robot vacuum
Self-emptying robot vacuum cleaners have larger disposal bins at their base station, which only need to be cleaned out once every few weeks. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Robot vacuum cleaners and robot mops are meant to save us time and effort. But if, every day, you find yourself with an additional chore for your to-do list – that of cleaning out the robot vacuum – then, something has to change.

That’s where self-emptying robot vacuums come in.

Why should I buy a self-emptying robot vacuum?

Thousands of reviewers on Amazon attest to the notion that if you switch to an automatic bin-emptying robot vacuum, you’ll never want to go back.

We spoke with Tayyeb Hanif Malik, an engineer at FAJ Technical Services LLC (@fajtechnicalservicesl.l.c on instagram), which is an appliance and equipment servicing and maintenance company that operates in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah.

He said the advantages of such vacuum cleaners will appeal to you, based on your priorities: “The decision between self-emptying robot vacuums and regular ones depends on your lifestyle, budget, and cleaning needs. If convenience and continuous cleaning are top priorities for you, a self-emptying robot vacuum may be a better choice. However, if cost and simplicity are more important factors, a regular robot vacuum could be the right option for you.”

In general, however, robot helpers around the house have become a common purchase for people who find themselves short on time. Malik said: “These robotic cleaners are advantageous for people with hectic schedules or limited time, unlike regular vacuum cleaners that require manual operation. Additionally, robot vacuums can carry on cleaning without interruptions. They can clean hard-to-reach spots such as under the bed, sofa or cabinets. With regular vacuum cleaners, you will spend your time lifting or moving heavy furniture to clean the floor.”

What features should I look for in self-emptying robot vacuums?

robot vacuum
Many self-emptying robot vacuums even feature automatic detangling combs that keep their roller brushes hair-free and fully operational. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Even as you consider robot vacuums with automatic dirt disposal capabilities, remember to focus on other features that make the cleaning experience smooth and efficient.

Malik outlined a few key features to keep in mind:

  • Navigation and map: Although most robotic cleaners are able to navigate via sensors, some are able to detect dirtier areas and focus on them, while others are able to map out rooms for a thorough clean. Malik said: “Choose a robot vacuum with advanced navigation and mapping capabilities to ensure thorough and efficient cleaning of your space.”
  • Battery life: Check the battery life of the device – if it’s just an hour or two, you aren’t getting the best deal. Malik said: “Longer battery life and the ability to resume cleaning after recharging are desirable features.”
  • Suction power: Malik urged consumers to take note of the robot’s cleaning performance reviews: “Look for models with strong suction power and effective cleaning performance, especially if you have pets or specific cleaning requirements.”

He cautioned against purchasing robotic cleaners with a history of reliability issues, “such as frequent malfunctions or breakdowns”, and expensive accessories, such as costly replacement parts or disposable bags.

With models that feature automatic bin disposal, it’s worth assessing the size of the included dustbin, as well. Malik said: “Be wary of robot vacuums with very small dustbin capacities, as they may require frequent emptying, negating the convenience of the self-emptying feature.”

Lastly, he advised keeping a close eye on the fine print. Malik said: “Avoid models from manufacturers with limited customer service and support, as it can be challenging to address issues or obtain assistance when needed.”

Even if you opt for a self-emptying robot vacuum, and go for days without cleaning it out – some disposal systems can be cleaned after a whopping 90 days – Malik recommends keeping to a regular cleaning schedule, if only to prolong the lifespan of your device. He said: “Be sure to regularly clean your robot vacuum. That includes emptying the dustbin, cleaning dust and debris off the filters, and cutting away any hair that's tangled on the brushes. You'll also want to wipe off the anti-drop sensors and charging contacts, and practice optimal charging, while ensuring a safe cleaning environment and the use of high-quality accessories.”

Editor's tip
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We picked the best robot vacuum cleaners with automatic dirt disposal. Pick up your favourite during the ongoing sale with Amazon Prime, and enjoy free, fast delivery.

1. Best Overall: iRobot Roomba J7+ Robot Vacuum 

Pros

  • Pet hair doesn’t choke brushes
  • Excellent navigation system
  • Disposal bin needs to be emptied every 60 days
  • Useful, intuitive app

Cons

  • Dirt disposal bags must be bought separately

If you’d like to focus on your pets, leave the cleaning to the Roomba J7+. This robot vacuum comes equipped with dual multi-surface rubber brushes that don’t get tangled up with pet hair. Reviewers also appreciate that the device’s high-efficiency filter traps up to 99 per cent of cat and dog allergens. The PrecisionVision navigation system used here is so discerning, it can help the robot vacuum identify and avoid pet waste. The Roomba J7+ also cleans hard floors and carpets in neat rows, with its tracking sensors, making sure it’s thorough. While you don’t have to worry about emptying its dust bin for up to 60 days, the dock uses the brand’s Clean Base dirt disposal bags, which reviewers caution is an extra recurring cost.

Bonus: Buy with zero per cent installments and pay Dh616.58 for 12 months with select banks.

Warranty: Amazon offers one-year extended warranty by Salama Care for Dh426, and two-year extended warranty for Dh242.

2. Best for Wet and Dry Clean-up: ECOVACS Deebot X1 Omni Robot Vacuum Cleaner

Pros

  • Strong suction power
  • Wide, dual rotating mops are effective
  • AI-powered obstacle avoidance system
  • Disposal bin needs to be emptied every 75 days
  • Automatic water refill
  • Washes and dries its own mop

Cons

  • Expensive

As one of the most advanced robotic floor cleaners out there right now, the ECOVACS Deebot X1 Omni is the closest you’ll come to an independent cleaner. It has the ability to both vacuum and mop, empty its own dustbin, wash and dry its mop cloth, and even refill its water tank. The device uses built-in dual-laser LiDAR navigation – the same tech that can be found in autonomous vehicles – to detect obstacles from 10m distance, and via a 210-degree view. With a strong suction power of 5,000Pa, it gives your home a deep cleaning experience every time it cleans. If you have rugs strewn across your home, don’t worry; the device can automatically lift its dual rotating mops by 15mm. Reviewers especially love that they don’t need to worry about emptying the dust bin for up to 75 days.

Bonus: Buy with zero per cent installments and pay Dh249.83 for 12 months with select banks. Redeem a coupon to get Dh3,100 off!

Warranty: Amazon offers one-year extended warranty by Salama Care for Dh171 and two-year extended warranty for 242.

3. Best for Bagless Clean-up: Shark IQ Robot Vacuum AV1002AE with XL Self-Empty Base 

Pros

  • Multi-stage filtration system
  • Disposal bin needs to be emptied every 30 days
  • After recharge, it picks up where it left off
  • Bagless bin at base station

Cons

  • Mediocre battery life

Unlike the iRobot Roomba J7+, Shark’s IQ robot vacuum saves you the expense of dirt disposal bags, with its bagless base. It self-empties with each run, and you’ll only need to empty the base station’s bin after 30 cleaning sessions. The device even has a self-cleaning brushroll, so you don’t have to worry about hair entanglement. Through its IQ Navigation system, the robotic cleaner can map your entire home, giving you control over which specific rooms you’d like it to clean. All you have to do is select via the Shark Clean app or share your choice with the voice assistant Amazon Alexa. The Shark IQ robot cleans row by row, effectively using its powerful suction to make floors dirt-free; its multi-stage filtration system captures and disposes dust, dander and allergens. The only qualm is that the battery has a runtime of about 97 minutes, which may not be long enough for a complete cleaning session. The good news, though, is that once it recharges, it will pick up where it left off.

Bonus: Buy with zero per cent installments and pay Dh149.03 for 12 months with select banks.

Warranty: Amazon offers one-year extended warranty by Salama Care for Dh103, and two-year extended warranty for Dh146.

4. Best Value for Wet and Dry Clean-up: roborock S7 Max Ultra Robot Vacuum Cleaner 

Pros

  • Strong suction power
  • Washes and dries its mop
  • Useful app
  • Good navigation system
  • Two kinds of battery recharging capabilities

Cons

  • Small obstacle detection isn’t always accurate

The roborock S7 Max Ultra is another wet and dry robot vacuum cleaner that offers a hands-off experience when cleaning your home. This high-end hybrid can do it all – it can vacuum and mop, self-empty its dust bin, wash its mopping cloth and refill its water tank so it’s always ready to go. With 5,500Pa suction, a LiDAR navigation system, and reactive obstacle avoidance technology that allows it to plan the most efficient cleaning routes, the device can move around your home confidently, even in the dark. Reviewers like that the mop has two charging speeds – if it runs out of battery mid-session, it returns to base and charges 30 per cent faster, so it can resume cleaning. And during off-peak hours, it returns to full charge. However, reviewers caution that you’ll have to make sure your earbuds, and other small knick-knacks are safely out of its way, since it doesn’t reliably detect smaller items.

Bonus: Buy with zero per cent installments and pay Dh320.83 for 12 months with select banks.

Warranty: Amazon offers one-year extended warranty by Salama Care for Dh227, and two-year extended warranty for Dh323.

5. Best Budget: eufy Clean X8 Pro Robot Vacuum Cleaner 

Pros

  • Strong twin-turbine suction
  • Disposal bag needs to be emptied every 45 days
  • Detangles roller brush after every use
  • Efficient navigation and mapping system

Cons

  • Bags must be bought separately
  • Mop could be better

Despite offering a better price tag than most items on our list, eufy’s Clean X8 Pro still manages to include plenty of premium features. Its large, 2.5-litre antibacterial dust bag will collect dirt for up to 45 days before it need needs to be replaced. The device creates precise maps of your home, learns tracking routes and avoids obstacles effectively, with its iPath Laser navigation system. Reviewers enjoy using eufy’s app as well – it gives them remote control over setting no-go zones, virtual boundaries and cleaning schedules. The robotic cleaner’s twin-turbine suction is incredibly strong, and its Pro-Detangle Comb automatically removes hair from the roller brush after every cleaning session, ensuring that it works efficiently, whether on carpets or hard floors. The only qualm is that mopping is not up to the same standard, reviewers say – it seems to be alright for occasional spot cleaning.

Bonus: Buy with zero per cent installments and pay Dh149.92 for 12 months with select banks.

Warranty: Amazon offers one-year extended warranty by Salama Care for Dh103, and two-year extended warranty for Dh146.

Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.