Who doesn’t want a vacuum cleaner that can empty itself? While going bagless might be a cheaper alternative, allergy sufferers might not find it worthwhile when dealing with a sneezing fit or runny nose every time it fills to the brim. Many of us know all too well the frustrating task of trying to empty the internal dustbin without it missing the trash bag and making more mess, in a vicious tear-your-hair out type cycle.
While a self-emptying vacuum gives many the impression that there’s a little cleaning fairy inside doing all the dirty work for you, it turns out it just removes the most tedious part. Almost every self-emptying vacuum brand is a robotic one that returns to a mini docking station once full to unload any dust and dirt into a disposable dust bag.
This does mean that there are additional costs associated with investing in a self-emptying vacuum, on top of their already expensive retail price. Replacement bags often sit at $30 each and will need to be thrown out every one or two months depending on how much cleaning your household requires.
But whether you hate emptying out the dustbin or you’re just plain forgetful, we’ve looked into a few of the most popular self-emptying vacuum cleaners to help you decide which one’s right for you and your family.
The best self-emptying vacuum cleaners
Best overall – Ecovacs DEEBOT N8+ 3-in-1 self-emptying vacuum cleaner
A robot vacuum cleaner that can suck, mop and empty itself? Sign us up. The Ecovacs DEEBOT N8+ is our best pick for a self-emptying vacuum since it can store up to 2.5L of dirt and dust (that’s 60 days worth of cleaning), and comes with multi-floor mapping technology, powerful 2,300Pa suction and is ideal for pet-friendly homes.
For a RRP of $1,199, you’re getting a lot of fantastic features for what’s neither the most expensive self-emptying vacuum option nor the cheapest. With 2,300Pa, you’re facing a fairly powerful amount of suctioning power that’ll get the job done but a major plus is that it’s among the quietest robot vacuums you’ll find running with a volume level as low as 67 decibels.
Many reviews have noted that the app set-up is quick and easy, although there was some babysitting required while it was completing its first-time map creation. Ultimately, you’ll be impressed by its predictive laser mapping that can scan ahead up to 21.3ft to detect hard-to-reach places that’ll appear in-app before it’s even cruised over the target area.
Lastly, the mopping function is what elevates this self-emptying vacuum to the next level. While it won’t give your floors the same polish and shine that you’d get from doing it manually, you’ll still be able to prevent the build-up of grime or scrub away at any touch stains. It can even climb up to 1.9cm in height, so once it’s finished sucking all the dirt from your carpets, it’ll be able to move onto any raised tiles and commence mopping immediately.
Where to buy
Most pet-friendly – iRobot Roomba j7+ self-emptying robot vacuum cleaner
If your home also houses a furry critter (or three), then there’s no better robot vacuum brand to turn to than iRobot, because it likes to test how much its vacuums pick up on fur compared to other models and brands. This is a great option for those of you who struggle with allergies and need to vacuum more frequently during hay fever or shedding season. In fact, the iRobot app will even remind you when allergy season hits so you can up your cleaning frequency.
To ensure an efficient vacuum, the Roomba j7+ utilises a three-stage cleaning schedule with an edge-sweeping brush, power-lifting suction and multi-surface rubber brushes that adjust as it comes into contact with different surfaces.
Once your robovac has done its sweep of your house, it’ll return itself back to its docking station to recharge. A good thing is that it’ll hold your dust and dirt in an allergen lock disposable bag for up to 60 days. If you’ve ever owned a bagless vacuum, you’ll know all too well how easy it is for dust to escape and go everywhere when you’re trying to tip it into the bin. While you will have to buy replacement bags, at least you won’t have to worry about it triggering your allergies when disposing of its waste.
Perhaps the niftiest part about this self-emptying robot vacuum cleaner is that its smart-mapping technology is so sensitive it knows how to avoid sucking up cables and even your pet’s poop.
Where to buy
Best suction – LG CordZero A9T with All-In-One Tower
It turns out that not all self-emptying vacuum cleaners are robot ones. If you want one with a suctioning power that’s better than a Dyson’s, you’ll want to grab the LG CordZero All-In-One Tower.
This LG CordZero stick vacuum has one of the best suction capabilities we’ve ever witnessed in a vacuum cleaner. It left our carpets feeling fluffy afterwards and with those satisfying suction lines that indicate a job well done. There are two suction modes, but the standard one works a treat without needing to amp it up to its max power mode. It even comes with a bunch of interchangeable tools, including a mop nozzle so you can use it to shine your floors and scrub away at any stains.
However, this self-emptying vacuum has a couple of drawbacks. The first one is that it’s manually operated, which means that, unlike a robot vacuum, you’ll have to drag it around your house and insert it in its self-emptying tower when you’re done. On the plus side, it has a battery life of up to two hours in case you’re intent on waging a cleaning war on every nook and cranny in your home.
The other issue is that while it’s extremely easy to set up when it arrives, the tower itself is huge and heavy. It’s not something you’ll want to relocate often and let’s hope you don’t live in an apartment building without an elevator.
If you want to know more, you can read Gizmodo Australia’s full in-depth review here.
Where to buy
Most budget-friendly – Uoni V980Plus
As you may have noticed, self-emptying vacuum cleaners do not come cheap – especially robot ones. While most sit upwards of $1k, if you’re keen to get one but don’t want to spend that much, then your best bet is the Uoni V980 Plus.
Like the other self-emptying vacuums we’ve gone through, this is another robot vac that comes with an app you can download onto your phone so you can preset cleaning schedules and map out no-go zones in your home.
Suction-wise, it sports a 2,700Pa which is really good for such a little guy. It’ll even let you enjoy seeing those smooth lines that show a suctioning job well done once it’s finished with one carpeted area – you know what we’re talking about.
It follows a solid, structured routine where it moves in a snake-like pattern back and forth across wide spaces. The Uoni robot vacuum can dodge obstacles and avoid falling downstairs, but it’s unclear whether it won’t suck up a straggly sock or charger cable. It’s been noted that it handles changes to the environment well and can fit underneath tight spots, such as most sofas and beds.
One thing we have to touch on is that the dock’s waste port is quite narrow which means if your Uoni robot vacuum tries to self-empty too much, it’ll likely become jammed until you come over to help it out. Some Amazon reviews have noted that this can force the app to report that the internal dust bag is incorrectly full when really it just needs a hand cramming its dust inside.
Where to buy
At almost $700 right now, it probably doesn’t fall into most people’s definition of “cheap” is, but you can save an extra $120 if you opt to apply the coupon on its product page. For everything that it offers, this is definitely the most bang for your buck that you’ll get with a robovac.