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Vacuums

Here's how to extend your robot vacuum's battery life

Get more out of your favorite floor cleaner with these tricks

Three batteries in front of their respective robot vacuums. Credit: Reviewed / Jonathan Chan

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When it comes to your robot vacuum, the battery is actually one of the most vulnerable parts. If the battery goes, nothing else will. So it behooves you to try and get the most out of this crucial component.

You’d think rechargeable batteries found in robot vacuums would last forever. However, every rechargeable battery has a limited number of cycles—times that it can discharge and recharge its energy. Every time a battery goes through a cycle, the total amount of energy it can store goes down just a little bit. Not to worry, though, we’ve got extensive experience working with robot vacuums in our testing labs, and have plenty of time-tested tips for extending the life of your robot vacuum.

1. Keep the robot vacuum in moderate temperatures

Ecovacs Deebot T8 vacuuming a sunlit room.
Credit: Reviewed / Jonathan Chan

Keeping your robot vacuum out of direct sunlight will help extend its battery life.

Extreme cold and heat both have a negative effect on batteries. Cold temperatures can reduce the total capacity of a battery, forcing the robot vacuum to recharge sooner. High temperatures have been shown to increase the degradation between cycles. In order to prolong the lifespan of your robot vacuum’s battery, keep the unit at moderate temperatures whenever possible.

2. Keep your brushes clean

The brush roll of the Eufy G30 being replaced.
Credit: Reviewed / Jonathan Chan

Keeping and replacing the brushes will help put less stress on the battery.

Batteries degrade as they discharge and replenish their energy. If your robot is running efficiently, then it will discharge less energy and require less recharge. Keeping the brushes on your robot vacuum free of tangles and loose debris will help your little floor cleaner running at peak performance.

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3. Actually use your robot vacuum

The iRobot Roomba j7+ on carpet.
Credit: Reviewed / Jonathan Chan

Use your robot vacuum cleaner regularly.

It’s important to avoid having your robot vacuum at 100% or 0% charge for prolonged periods of time as both of these states put stress on the battery. To avoid this, run your robot vacuum regularly. Doing so will keep your automated floor cleaner from sitting too long at full charge. If you have a robot vacuum like the iRobot j7+, take advantage of its virtual barrier feature. With virtual barriers, you can direct your robot vacuum to clean specific areas and avoid others. This helps to keep the battery from discharging all its energy.

4. Get a robot vacuum with a bigger battery

The battery for E and I series Roombas.
Credit: Reviewed / Jonathan Chan

Milliamps hours is a useful measurement of a battery’s capacity and longevity.

A bigger battery means you can get more cleaning done with fewer cycles. Battery capacity is typically measured in milliamp hours (mAH)—more mAH means a battery can store more power. We’ve tested a ton of robot vacuums and here a few that both clean well and have a sizable battery.

  • iRobot Roomba i3+: One of our favorite self-emptying robot vacuums, the iRobot i3+ boasts a 1,800 mAH battery. The i3+ has plenty of smart features while still being an affordable Roomba.

  • Eufy 11S: This is our favorite affordable robot vacuum. It comes with a 2,600 mAH battery. However, its navigational system isn’t the most sophisticated so floor cleaning can take longer, but people who only need a helping hand with their vacuuming should check this model out.

  • iRobot Roomba j7+: If you’re looking for a robot vacuum that has all the bells and whistles, the j7+ is the one you want. It has tons of smart features, including the ability to avoid pet droppings. It boasts a large 2,210 mAH battery. Combine that with the j7+’s efficient navigation and you’ve got yourself a long-lasting battery life that’s better than most.

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

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