Can Robot Vacuum Cleaners Do Stairs?

Can Robot Vacuum Cleaners Do Stairs?

With robot vacuum cleaners improving all the time people can be forgiving for wondering whether they can completely take over all the tasks when it comes to their floors.

One such task are the stairs which can be tricky to tackle with a conventional vacuum cleaner. So, can robot vacuum cleaners do stairs? The short answer is no – we are not aware of any robot vacuum cleaner at the moment that has the capability to clean the stairs.

Below we’ll take a closer look at robot vacuums and the stairs as well as other areas robot vacuums cannot yet do. We’ll also touch on why robot vacuums may still be worth considering even if you do have stairs.

Can Robot Vacuum Cleaners Do Stairs?

Can Robot Vacuum Cleaners Do Stairs?: Image of robot on threshold of stairs
Can Robot Vacuum Cleaners Do Stairs?

Can robot vacuum cleaners do stairs? As noted, we’ve yet to come across a robot vacuum that can tackle the stairs in the same way it can tackle flat floors.

Typically robot vacuums would not find on stairs and you’d have to theoretically move them from each step anyway to avoid them falling. As most models currently stand, it wouldn’t work.

Currently robot vacuums are typically equipped with sensors to avoid them falling over the stairs. These work by sensing the distance between the unit and the floor. Once a robot determines there’s too big a difference in height, they will turn away from the threshold to safety.

So at the moment not only can robot vacuum cleaners not do stairs, they’re mostly designed specifically to avoid them in order to protect against damage.

The other issue to consider is that stairs typically tend to have tight corners that also need to be cleaned. As things stand the size of robot vacuums and the way they handle corners generally (with side brushes) means it would likely be very difficult, if not near impossible, for them to actually get into the corners on a typical set of stairs. This once again would make cleaning stairs for robot vacuums fairly impractical in their current framework.

What Other Areas Do Robot Vacuums Not Like?

Stairs aside, there are some other limitations in terms of areas that robot vacuums may not be particularly suited to when compared with conventional vacuum cleaners.

Tight Corners

Some robot vacuums can struggle to get into corners effectively with a lot typically struggling to get into tight corners and spaces effectively.

It is not uncommon to see user reviews for robots commenting on how in some instances around their homes they need to supplement the robot cleaning with a manual run through once in a while for corners.

Curtains and Anything Else Off The Ground

Clearly with robot vacuum cleaners designed for operating along the ground, they’re not going to be able to clean anything above ground e.g. curtains and cobwebs on ceilings. This may seem onvious but it is worth keeping in mind when considering what you may need a robot vacuum for in your own home.

If you have a conventional cylinder or upright vacuum cleaner but still feel you need something that offers more convenience and flexibility for handling the stairs and other areas then you may want to consider a cordless stick vacuum cleaner.

Are Robot Vacuums Still Worth It?

So we know robot vacuums aren’t equipped for the stairs and there are some other areas they aren’t typically well suited to.

However, robot vacuums can still represent a very useful addition to your cleaning setup. Let’s take a look at some of the main reasons why.

They Save You Time

One of the biggest advantages of having a robot vacuum is the amount of time it can save you on cleaning. Robot vacuums can get to work on cleaning your floor whilst you do something else potentially saving you hours worth of tedious work every week. This is time you can spend doing things you actually enjoy (unless of course you enjoy vacuuming your floors!). You can also spend that time doing tasks that still require manual work e.g. like cleaning the stairs.

With some models having the capability for you to set scheduled cleans, you can ensure that the robot is only operating when its convenient for you.

They Save You Effort

As well as saving your time, robot vacuums also take care of the actual work of vacuuming for you. This means rather than you having to lug around your cylinder vacuum around your floors, a robot vacuum will take care of this for you. One will even empty its own dust bin so you don’t have to worry about it.

Easier To Clean More Regularly

As you do not have to worry about finding the time to vacuum yourself, with a robot vacuum you can easily clean your floors more regularly helping you to stay on top of dust build up. When you have to rely on finding a suitable time during the week for vacuuming your home, you may only find one or two convenient slots. This can result in dust and dirt building up in between cleans making your job harder.

With robot vacuum cleaners as you can set them to clean regularly e.g. daily, it means dust and dirt have less chance of building up leaving you with a cleaner environment and less work overall.


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