Why trust me?
I’ve owned robot vacuums since moving back to Atlanta in 2015. I’ve been through several models, two apartments and more than 1,000 cleaning cycles since then.
The RoboVac 11S has been my primary robo-vacuum since September 2018. You can even find the discussion thread of me looking for robot vacuum recommendations here. It has been run almost daily for the last two and a half years—so I’m keenly aware of its strengths and weaknesses.
Also, know that Eufy is not paying me to review the RoboVac 11s. Reviews on Product Notes are not paid or sponsored. The items reviewed here are purchased for my own use or as part of a test—as I did in search of the best Nespresso machine. Once the test complete the products are given away or sold. If you’d like to support my work, make a purchase through one of the product links on this site.
Do you need a robot vacuum?
I’ve always been fascinated by robot vacuums. Years ago when we were promised a future full of flying cars, robot vacuums are part of that future that became a reality. And honestly they are magical devices that I don’t think I could live without.
Here’s the rub. When it comes to performance even the $1,000 robot vacuums will fall short of budget stick and upright vacuums. Because of their size and, they simply don’t have the power to compete. They also aren’t very flexible. When I find a dust bunny in the corner, I don’t mess with the Eufy. I grab my ROIDMI F8 and get it.
So you’re thinking if that’s true, why even consider a robot vacuum?
All you have to do is press start. A robot vacuum will clean your entire floor with almost no time or effort. It doesn’t get tired or distracted or bored. It doesn’t have to weigh spending time with friends or going to a movie versus cleaning.
Before the pandemic I would start the vacuum right before I left for work. When I came home my floors were clean. There is nothing more valuable than your time. That is why it is one of the few household appliances I recommend to everyone.
I’m pretty hard-pressed to think of someone that couldn’t use one? Maybe couch surfers or those who don’t stay in one place long enough to need to clean? Perhaps a unique layout? You’ve got a tiny home, with multiple split-levels? Robot vacuums haven’t conquered stairs yet.
What’s important when evaluating robot vacuums? Below we will cover performance, build quality, automation and more.
Most people may not care about how their robot vacuum looks. But I’m a designer and I do care about the objects in my place look.
It may not look like much, but the picture above is my 2.5 year old Eufy RoboVac 11S—dust and all! The Eufy is significantly more attractive than my Roomba 614, which it replaced. I think part of the appeal is in it’s simplicity. It looks like a big hockey puck. There’s not a lot of buttons or sensors visible. Only just a single power button towards the front. The bumper doesn’t protrude far out, keeping the circular proportions.
Another striking design feature is the Eufy’s low profile. At 2.85 inches tall, it’s surprising that it’s a vacuum. But that low profile is very useful. It allows the vacuum to slip under most beds, couches and console tables—places my Roomba wouldn’t go.
That low profile allows me to hide the dock under a media console, which mostly puts it out of sight when it is charging.
If I were to change one visual thing about the vacuum it would probably be the glossy exterior. I much prefer matte as dust and fingerprints are not nearly as obvious.
The Eufy RoboVac 11S has 1300pa, which is a fair amount of power for a robot vacuum. My apartment has concrete flooring with a few low-pile rugs. On the hard flooring it does a good job getting dust and crumbs. If your place has mostly hard flooring, the vacuum will be fine.
On the other hand the Eufy doesn’t to a great job with rugs and carpeting—even low-pile. We run the vacuum almost every day. And still I am disgusted by the amount of dirt that comes out when we break out our stick vacuum.
A caveat—we may be a little harder on our rugs than most people. Our dog, Remi, likes bringing treats over to the rug before eating them and then likes to wipe his face off on the rug after eating them.
If you’ve got carpeting throughout your house, I might suggest spending a little more for something that will perform better on carpets.
Long hair also causes difficulty for the Eufy. The vacuum doesn’t have an issue picking hairs up. However, they do become tangled in the brush, which means they have to be cut out or the vacuum becomes less effective.
Pathfinding dictates the cleaning pattern robots take. The RoboVac 11S uses a reactive cleaning pattern, which means that the robot goes until its sensors detect an obstacle. Then it has a series of options such as following a wall or turning a different direction. This is fairly standard for low-and-mid range robot vacuums.
Sensors on the Eufy are quite good and perhaps the biggest improvement over older robot vacuums at this price point. I used to joke that my Roomba 614 would speed up before hitting furniture. That is not the case here. It is very good at sensing chests and other large objects and turning without hitting them at all. It will run into slimmer objects like chair and furniture legs, but it does hit them softly. As far as other potential hazards—it has a difficult time detecting rugs with tassels or low objects like my scale.
Control is handled via a remote that ships with the Eufy. You can tell it to start, stop or manually control it through the remote. There are also a handful of pre-sets such as clean in a spiral, rows or go along walls. It does not have an app or connect to WiFi, which was a big selling point for me at the time. The remote works well, although I’m don’t really find the display helpful.
The RoboVac 11S has a decent-sized 0.6L dirt bin. Most robot vacuums need to be emptied fairly frequently. We generally empty ours every 2-3 cleaning cycles although you could probably get a few more cycles out of it.
The bin slides out of the back and is fairly easy to remove. It’s also nice because it’s easy to get to even with the vacuum parked under our media console.
The 2600 mAh battery for the Eufy RoboVac 11S is pretty impressive. I suppose that isn’t a surprise since Eufy’s parent company, Anker, is a world renowned battery manufacturer. You can expect about an hour at max power and over 100 minutes on standard mode. That will be plenty of time to get most small-and mid-sized floors thoroughly cleaned.
The thing about batteries is they do fade with time though. After 2.5 years our Eufy runs for about 30 minutes before heading home for charging—which brings us to the next category.
Other than not speeding up to ram my furniture, the other big improvement the RoboVac 11S had over my previous Roomba was noise. The Eufy’s noise level is 55dB as opposed to the Roomba 614’s 68dB.
Having a quiet vacuum is fundamental, especially if you’re like me and working from home these days.
Maintenance and Repair
Maintenance and repair are two areas where it is painfully obvious that the RoboVac 11S is a budget vacuum.
You will need to replace the brushroll, brushroll guard, side brushes and air filters periodically. Unfortunately, you’re likely to be reliant on third-parties for these items. I’ve never been able to find replacements for sale on Eufy’s website or store on Amazon. I haven’t had issues with the replacement brushrolls or filters—they are affordable. I would prefer to purchase such parts directly from the manufacturer though.
If there is an issue with the battery, wheels or a major part of the vacuum, you’re going to be out of luck unless you’re within the 1-year warranty. The Wirecutter’s Eufy RoboVac review makes it pretty clear.
The Eufy 11S is not meant to be taken apart and put back together—major repairs are impossible without breaking parts of the robot.
So we’ve covered that the vacuum has a 1-year warranty and it isn’t repairable. The good news is that Eufy has excellent customer support. Someone from their customer success team actually sent me an email about 6 months after purchasing the vacuum to make sure I liked it and that everything was running correctly. I was so pleasantly surprised, I actually posted about it.
If you are caught in the situation where there is a catastrophic issue and the robot is out of warranty. You should still contact Eufy support, you’re likely to get a pretty good discount towards a replacement.
As we’ve covered, the primary issue is that robot’s replacement parts can be hard to find and the vacuum isn’t designed to be repaired.
Unfortunately, it is obviously becoming less effective. The battery life has fallen from over an hour to about 30 minutes of run time. I’ve also started to noticed a rattling noise coming from the Eufy when on a hard floor. Luckily, I was able to fix the issue, but I’m afraid that it’s only a matter of time before more issues appear.
It has been a great vacuum for the last 2.5 years, but I think it’s not realistic to expect the Eufy 11S to last longer than 3 years—at least with daily use.
Comparing other Eufy models
If you’ve been researching robot vacuums, you’ve probably come across several versions of the RoboVac 11S that are nearly identical. The primary differences are suction power, boundary strips, access to the Eufy Home app and the warranty period.
|Model||Suction Power||Boundary Strips||Eufy Home App||Warranty|
|RoboVac 11S||1,300pa||—||—||1 year|
|RoboVac 11S Max||2,000pa||—||—||1 year|
|RoboVac 15C Max||2,000pa||—||✓||1 year|
|RoboVac 12||1,500pa||—||—||2 year|
|RoboVac 30||1,500pa||✓||—||1 year|
|RoboVac 30C||1,500pa||✓||✓||1 year|
|RoboVac 30C Max||2,000pa||✓||✓||1 year|
You probably can’t go wrong with any of these models. I think for the price of the 30C Max most would be better off with something like a Roomba i3. But Eufy frequently has coupons and sales. I think the primary alternatives to consider are the 11S Max for additional power and the 30C for the Eufy app.
Eufy 11S vs 11S Max
When comparing RoboVac models, you might want to consider the Eufy 11S Max over the 11S for its additional power. The 11S Max has a 2,000pa vacuum vs the base model’s 1,300pa. Both models are frequently on sale. If you can find the 11S Max for $20 or $30 above the base model, it is probably worth the upgrade.
Eufy 11S vs 30C
The RoboVac 30C and 11S are almost identical. The 30C includes additional features such as boundary strips, which you can place on your floor. These strips prevent the vacuum from going past certain places in your house.
The 30C is also Wi-Fi capable and can be controlled via the Eufy Home app. The app replaces the remote that comes with the non-WiFi models. From there you can direct it manually, choose the cleaning mode or set a cleaning schedule.
Who should buy the Eufy RoboVac 11S?
OK, time for my recommendation. Who should buy the Eufy RoboVac 11S?
You’ve got a place with hard flooring and a fairly simple layout This is the ideal scenario for the Eufy since you don’t really need much as much power or complex pathfinding found in more expensive robot vacuums.
You want to spend less than $200 on a robot vacuum. The Eufy 11S and it’s variants are absolutely the best budget robot vacuums on the market.
You don’t have pets that shed and carpets. The Eufy is a decent robot for pets if you have hard flooring. However, I’d recommend spending a little more if you have both pets and carpets.
I purchased the Eufy RoboVac 11S in September 2018. Since a products flaws can appear after months or years of use, I publish my long-term notes here. That way you can determine how buy-it-for-life the product is.
January 12, 2021: I think it’s time to replace the Eufy. It probably could make it one more year if my place were a little smaller. With the limited battery life, the coverage has become pretty poor.
December 14, 2020: A rattling noise has started occurring when the Eufy is on hard flooring. Apparently this is caused by the peg that connects the brushroll to the vacuum becoming loose. Wrapping the peg in plumbers tape seems to fix the problem, although I’m not that it’s a permanent solution.
October 1, 2020: Battery life on our Eufy used to be excellent. Now our vacuum returns home after about 20-30 minutes of run-time.
April 19, 2019 I received an email from Eufy’s customer support asking how I liked the vacuum and making sure it did not have any issues. More customer support teams should do this. It’s a great way to guage how the product is doing and make customers feel like you actually care.
September 21, 2018 Purchased the Eufy RoboVac 11S to replace my loud, noisy iRobot Roomba 614.
Theresa Ketterling, The 4 Best Robot Vacuums - Winter 2021 Reviews, RTings, Last Updated 1/6/2021
How Loud is a Roomba?, Life on AI, Retrieved 1/9/2021
Dagobiet Morales Alfaro, Nicholas Di Giovanni, Yannick Khong, Eufy RoboVac 11S Vacuum Review, RTings, Published 7/20/2020
Liam McCabe, The Best Robot Vacuum, The Wirecutter, Last updated 12/1/2020