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Robot vacuums have been a major step forward in the automating of mundane household tasks. They continue to evolve, and the next generation of robot vacuums include a selection of self-emptying devices that take us even closer to that dream of a fully automated experience.
In this helpful guide we’ll share some top tips on what to look out for when purchasing your new device and we’ve reviewed the best vacuum cleaners that can empty themselves to make your life easier.
- Quick Summary
- Is a Self-Emptying Vacuum Cleaner Truly Automated?
- Best Self-Emptying Robot Vacuum Cleaners UK
- Buyers Guide for Self Emptying Robot Vacuums
Here is a quick summary of my top 3 devices, keep reading to find my full recommendations and product reviews.
Best Overall: Roomba i7+• Laser mapping with room-by-room cleaning.
• Mid-tier device from iRobot which is more affordable than the S9+.
• Included clean base will hold up to 2 months of dirt.
Premium Pick: Roomba S9+• Excellent deep cleaning ability with high suction and airflow.
• D-shape body is very effective at edges and corners.
• Self-emptying base is the same as found on the i7+.
Budget Pick: Proscenic M7 Pro• Cheapest self-emptying vacuum available in the UK.
• Laser mapping and room-by-room cleaning.
• Deep cleaning and pet hair ability not up to the same standard as Roomba.
*Base sold separately
Is a Self-Emptying Vacuum Cleaner Truly Automated?
Whilst a self-emptying vacuum cleaner is the closest you’ll get to avoiding the cleaning without hiring a cleaner, there is still some manual maintenance required to keep things running smoothly.
You’ll need to regularly change the filters, check the brushes and change them when necessary, and of course the bin in the base will need emptying. The best self-emptying vacuums shouldn’t need your intervention more than once a month, if that.
Best Self-Emptying Robot Vacuum Cleaners UK
These are the best self-emptying robot vacuum cleaners currently available in the UK:
- Best Overall: Roomba i7+
- Premium Pick: Roomba S9+
- Budget Pick: Proscenic M7 PRO (with Automatic Station)
- Coming Soon: Ecovacs Deebot OZMO T8 (with Auto Empty Station)
- One to Watch: Shark IQ
Keep reading for my full reviews of my recommendations with the full pros and cons of each.
Best Overall: iRobot Roomba i7+
The i7+ can be seen as the smaller brother of the S9+, it has slightly fewer bells and whistles but compensates for this with a friendlier price tag that see’s it get my recommendation of best value for money self-cleaning robot vacuum.
The i7+ has a similar cleaning ability as the S9+ as it features the same auto adjust cleaning head to adapt to different floors, however it doesn’t have the ability to automatically change the suction power. iRobot went with the more traditional circular shape for this one which isn’t as great around the edges.
The i7+ uses infrared sensors instead of laser, so it’s not as intelligent when it comes to picking a logical route, however it’s mapping capabilities are still better than most robot vacuums and the app shows a map of areas that have been cleaned.
The i7+ comes with a dual purpose virtual barrier that can be used as a straight virtual wall or a circular radius no-go zone, this is great when the robot is learning your homes floor plan or when you have a temporary no go area.
We’ve already covered how great the iRobot app is with all the basic functions covered off but with other helpful features like letting you know when the Roomba is stuck or had any issues.
The self-cleaning base appears to be the same as the one found on the S9+ that we mentioned earlier so you’ll already know that it has a powerful suction to completely empty the vacuums bin, however it does require traditional vacuum bags.
Premium Pick: Roomba S9+
The Roomba S9 was already one of iRobot’s top of the line robot vacuums, but the S9+ adds a whole new dimension with their self-emptying base.
The S9+ has a unique D shape that gives it better edge cleaning performance and a powerful motor that gives it excellent abilities when it comes to picking up small debris.
It features the auto adjust cleaning head that changes the height based on the surfaces but also has the ability to change the suction power for that extra help on thick carpets. That being said, it’s not as good at picking up larger debris and tends to scatter particles as it cleans.
The vacuum is clearly very intelligent and works its way around the room in a very logical way similar to what a human would do. It begins with zig zags up and down the main area, then returns to any missed spots and along the edges. It’s one of the slimmest robot vacuum cleaners from Roomba so would be great for a home with low furniture.
The Roomba app is one of the best around, most likely because they were the first to launch so it’s improved over time. In the app you can schedule cleans and see a map of your home that can be divided up and it will remember multiple floors. Whilst we do like that it provides notifications about errors or when the bin is full, it doesn’t provide maintenance alerts which would have been a good feature.
Budget Pick: Proscenic M7 PRO (with Automatic Station)
Proscenic might be a brand best known for it’s cheaper robot vacuums, but that hasn’t stopped them launching one of the first non-roomba devices with a self emptying base in the UK.
The M7 PRO is one of their most premium vacuums, but still incredibly affordable considering it’s features. It has full laser navigation that will create a floor plan in the companion app for room-by-room cleaning. If you want to take control, the included remote allows you to manually control the vacuum which is always fun.
The Proscenic M7 PRO has basic Alexa and Google Assistant support, however, you cannot set names for each room so this feature cannot be accessed by voice as with the two previous Roomba’s.
Unlike the Roomba’s, the M7 PRO also has a built-in mop. This is ideal if you have hardwood floors, however, it has a small water tank and only provides a light mopping so I wouldn’t buy the device especially for this feature.
Keep in mind that you will also need the Proscenic Automatic Station (sold separately) for the self-emptying feature. Like the Roomba i7+ and S9+, it uses traditional vacuum bags in the base which makes it easy to empty once full. The base is slightly smaller than Roomba’s clean base.
Coming Soon: Ecovacs Deebot OZMO T8 (with Auto Empty Station)
The Ecovacs Deebot OZMO T8 AIVI has been on my list of best robot vacuum cleaners for some time now, so I was super excited to hear that Ecovacs were launching a new Auto Empty Base that would allow it to empty itself.
First, a little bit about the vacuum itself. It’s notable for using a hybrid visual camera and laser navigation system. Each has it’s own benefits so the hybrid system gets the best of both worlds and I believe will be the future of robot vacuums.
The vacuum does an excellent job at picking up debris of all sizes and has an integrated mopping system that actually works well (unlike the Proscenic above). It allows you to set precise water flow for each room and will give your floors a good clean rather than a light dusting.
Now to the self emptying base which is why we’re all here after all. The ‘Auto Empty Station’ as it’s officially known is already on sale in the US and should be launching here in the UK soon. It will hold 30 days of dirt in a hypo-allergenic vacuum bag and is only compatible with the T8 AIVI which is Ecovacs’ top-tier robot vacuum.
One to Watch: Shark IQ
Shark are one of the few players in the robot vacuum marketplace that comes from a traditional vacuum background, so they have a ton of expertise to draw from.
There new Shark IQ model comes with the XL base which allows the robot to self empty. The base can hold around 30 empties, so you won’t have to intervene as often. Unlike some of the others on this list, the base is also bagless and it cleans the roller brush for you, less maintenance makes for an easier life.
The mapping technology uses infrared cameras, similar to the Roomba i7+ and the technology works pretty well although it can take a lot of cleans to fully complete the map. However, once the map has been created, you can select rooms and zones for cleaning via the SharkClean app.
As far as cleaning capability, it’s not quite on par with the two Roomba self-cleaning robots shared earlier and it particularly struggles with larger particles. Having said that, it will still give your home a thorough clean for a great value price. We’re sure you’re be happy if you buy this bot.
Buyers Guide for Self Emptying Robot Vacuums
Here is a guide to the criteria we keep in mind when reviewing and recommending the robot vacuum cleaners below:
The amount of suction will determine how well your robot manages to pick up smaller dust particles from your carpet or hardwood floor. This can be measured in air watts or pascals (pa) but most manufacturers use pascals. It’s not the only determining factor in cleanliness as having a cleaning head that adjusts its height according to the surface also plays a major role and can help it move over thresholds and rugs.
A robot vacuums mapping ability comes down to the combination of sensors and the technology that turns them in to a map. Generally speaking, laser sensors, sometimes known as lidar, are better at mapping and are similar to what a self-driving car uses. That being said, the combination of infrared lasers and a gyroscope can also produce great results with good software.
Related Post: How Robot Vacuums Work
As we’ve already alluded to earlier, you’ll still need to ensure you perform routine maintenance on your robot vacuum so that it functions well. But who has the brain capacity to remember that right? Luckily for you, most robot vacuum cleaners have maintenance alerts that will tell you when something needs doing.
If you’re buying a robot vacuum that empties itself, then we’re guessing you want to put in as little effort as possible. That’s where you’ll want to ensure the robot is compatible with your smart home assistant of choice so you won’t even have to get your phone out to tell your robot to clean.