Robot vacuums have become so smart and equally advanced that they make home cleaning easier than ever. And unlike the standard vacuums, they feature some of the latest technologies like electronic sensors, AI-enhanced software, and lasers.
However, most robot vacuums have trouble cleaning dark floors, dark laminate floors, and dark hardwood floors since they perceive dark floors as a cliff. Luckily, a few models have found a solution to this problem.
In this review, we have handpicked models that can clean dark floors so that vacuuming your dark carpet and floor doesn’t have to be at all complicated.
Robot vacuums for dark floors use beam sensors to clean over dark-colored surfaces. In their smart design composition are cliff detectors, which keep the vacuum from confusing dark-colored surfaces to edges, hence better performance.
While many robot vacuums clean, charge and empty automatically, only a few models can detect dark-colored surfaces and clean them effectively. Whether you have a model that you’d like to upgrade, or you want to switch from an upright vacuum to smart home cleaning, you’ll find this review series helpful.
Summary of Our Top Picks
- The Eufy Self Charging Robot Vacuum
- Roborock S5 MAX Robot Vacuum
- Neato D8 Intelligent Robot Vacuum Cleaner
- iRobot Roomba i3
- iRobot Roomba i6
Here’s a comparison table for the best robot vacuums for dark floors:
|Dimensions (in Inches)||Runtime||Scheduling||Bin Size||Hybrid Model?||Remote Control|
|1||iRobot Roomba i6+||13.34 x 13.26 x 3.63||120 minute||Yes||0.5 Liters||No||No|
|2||Eufy RoboVac 30||12.8 x 12.8 x 2.9||100 minutes||Yes||0.6 Liters||No||No|
|3||iRobot Roomba i3+||13.26 x 13.26 x 3.63||90 minutes||Yes||0.4 Liters||No||No|
|4||Roborock S5 MAX||13.9 x 13.7 x 3.8||150 minutes||Yes||460 ml||Yes||No|
|5||Neato D8 Robot Vacuum||12.71 x 13.22 x 3.99||90 minutes||Yes||0.7 liters||No||No|
Best Robot Vacuum for Dark Floors
1. The iRobot Roomba i6+: Best for Dark Carpets
With an extended runtime, a self-emptying dustbin, voice command control, premium features in the smartphone app, and exceptional cleaning performance, the iRobot Roomba i6+ is no doubt a model to consider if you want to upgrade your cleaning style.
At i6+’s hardware level is an integrated digital mapping technology, which enables it to navigate spaces, dodge obstacles, and clean dark-colored surfaces as best as possible. And when it comes to effectiveness, this robot vacuum removes up to 99% of debris, even in dark areas.
The iRobot Roomba i6+’s clean base is big enough to hold up to 30 loads of debris from the attached dustbin. The self-emptying mechanism runs a complete cleaning cycle and then returns to the charger without human intervention.
Instead of memory mapping, the i6+ includes imprinted smart mapping, which easily navigates over obstacles and cleans dark carpets and floors more efficiently. Further, the tech allows you to create different cleaning zones around the house and even see digital mapping reports.
The iRobot Roomba i6+ even allows you to schedule cleaning, allowing you to vacuum your entire house without additional intervention. Specifically, you can schedule a one-time cleaning or up to 7 days and leave the model to do the rest of the work for you.
- Smartphone integration enabled for wireless control
- Able to remove up to 99% of dirt and debris
- Uses digital mapping for easy and accurate navigation
- Supports Google Assistant and Alexa
- The maintenance cost for the model is quite high
- An expensive option compared to other models
2. The eufy Self Charging Robot Vacuum: Best for Dark Laminate Floor
Eufy self-charging robot vacuum is a suitable model for dark laminate floors. While it neither features Wifi connectivity nor includes voice assistant support, the Eufy RoboVac 30 is still a solid choice, especially if you’re on a budget and need an alternative to iRobot Roomba i6+.
The magnetic boundary strips are perhaps the model’s strongest selling point. With the inclusion, the Eufy RoboVac 30 can clean after itself only where you want it to.
This vacuum has a button that works as an indicator, blinking blue when under normal operation, orange when charging, and red in the event of an error. In the front bumper is an infrared sensor, and a 0.6-liter dustbin is on the opposite side. Underneath the vacuum are two spin brushes, drop sensors, a swivel wheel, two threads, charging contacts, and a roller brush.
Eufy RoboVac 30 doesn’t disappoint when it comes to performance. Like the iRobot Roomba models, this unit features as much suction power that can pick up dirt and debris from dark laminate floors without leaving a trace of dirt after a pass. It uses the Boots IQ technology, a boost that automatically increases or decreases suction power depending on the floor type.
From a navigation standpoint, trawling in the right direction and to the right destination is easy for this model. It can even handle thick carpets, not to mention detect and navigate raised cliffs without a problem. Anker has limited the cleaning schedule to once-daily cleaning, which may not be ideal for some people.
- Strong suction power and quiet operation
- Slim in design yet slick, with boundary strips, included
- Includes only limited scheduling options
- We wish it included voice command assistance
- Doesn’t include an app for smartphone control
3.The iRobot Roomba i3+ : Best Overall Vacuum Cleaner for Dark Floors
The iRobot Roomba i3+ is the best pick for those who’re looking for affordable robot vacuums in the iRobot category. It tackles bare floors well, automatically empties debris from the internal to an external dirt compartment. Maneuvers surfaces quite effectively with respect to the mapping technology.
From a design standpoint, the model features solid plastic construction and durable rubber wheels. At the very top are three buttons, a big one to start and stop the vacuum, one for spot cleaning an area, and one for sending the device home. The internal dustbin isn’t as strong.
Roomba i3+ is an old model, yet it delivers 10 times the suction power of Roomba 600, making it feel like the i7+ model. It’s efficient when it comes to cleaning, and does a decent job on a bare floor, although it tends to make noise when it’s in use.
The battery runs low at around 90 minutes of cleaning, after which the i3+ automatically rides back to its clean base. After a recharge, Roomba i3+ goes back to exactly where it left off and finishes the rest of the cleaning as per your instructions.
In addition to being somewhat fragile, the internal dirt compartment of the iRobot i3+ is smaller than most. But when it’s full, the vacuum goes back to the dock and empties itself into the large dirtbag. The light indicator and the companion app can notify you when the dirtbag requires emptying.
- Can clean dark floors even if the area is heavily soiled
- Supports scheduling and IFTTT
- It features a self-emptying dustbin
- Not good enough for dealing with pet hair
- Demands a high maintenance cost
- Has a difficult time handling debris on carpets
4. Roborock S5 MAX Robot Vacuum
If you’re in the market for a robot vacuum cleaner with features such as cleaning scheduling and mapping, but you don’t want to spend close to what you would on the iRobot Roomba i6+, then Roborock S5 MAX might be a good option to consider.
The model has its flaws of course. The dustbin is small, the app is buggy, and at 3.8 inches tall, there’s no way it’s going to fit under low furniture pieces. Still, Roborock S5 is a good performer, one that gives you up to 150 minutes of battery runtime on a single charge.
Roborock S5 max uses a laser navigation sensor to clean your dark floors. It’s the first of a kind model that cleans methodically, starting from the perimeter of the house and then a zigzag route thereafter. In addition to cleaning dirt and debris from the floor with ease, the model doesn’t struggle to get rid of dust from shag rugs.
This model uses a voice alert when it needs manual assistance, but you can use the app notification if you don’t want the S5 talking to you – or if you don’t like the idea of turning the volume of the voice command all the way up.
Roborock S5 Max also delivers decent suction power, with which it sucks up to 99% of dirt and debris without performance lags. Set to operate on Quiet mode, you may notice traces of dirt left behind, but you can sweep this with another pass. For the best results, we recommend setting the S5 to work on Balanced or Max modes.
- Delivers sufficient suction power to clean up to 99% of dirt and debris
- Decent battery life
- Works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa
- The model includes a mopping attachment
- The mobile app could use some fine-tuning
- Roborock S5’s dustbin could be larger
- Not a good fit if you have low furniture pieces
5. Neato D8 Intelligent Robot Vacuum Cleaner: Best for Dark Hardwood Floors
Neato D8 intelligent robot vacuum delivers strong suction power to clean dark hardwood floors, leaving no trace of pet hair, dust, and debris where it passes. Featuring a flat edge, this intelligent model easily cleans corners and wall edges, making it the perfect alternative to robot vacuums.
Beyond that, it doesn’t have enough features to justify its price point. For what it’s worth, it would be great if it included a self-emptying function, mopping power, and vacuuming.
Multiple tests runs show that Neato D8 is an efficient unit. It cleans for about 80 minutes in the Eco mode and then navigates to its charging base. Although the brand recommends it for hardwood floors, including the dark-colored ones, the D8 can easily traverse tiled and laminate floors as well as area rugs.
Neato D8 isn’t intelligent enough to detect obstacles on its way. As of now, the brand recommends removing items such as shoelaces and socks from the floor before you start vacuuming. It gets a higher score for easy navigation, and especially for handling tight, otherwise difficult-to-reach spaces with ease.
D8 is a quiet model by OSHA standard. With the noise rating at 60dB level, a range quieter than a normal conversation, expect the unit to be so silent that you can even use it at night when your loved ones are already asleep.
- Neato D8 works with Amazon Alexa
- Supports cleaning scheduling
- Has a strong suction power
- Ability to clean edges and corners without performance lags
- The model doesn’t have support for targeted zone cleaning
- Doesn’t self-empty itself, so you have to do that manually
- Might get stuck on rare occasion and fail to auto navigate to the charge base
Buying Guide: How to Choose the Best Robot Vacuum for Dark Floors
With the market filled with a ton of robot vacuums, it can be hard to tell what model is suitable for dark floors. So here are a few things to consider before you spend money on this type of vacuum cleaner:
A robot vacuum is suitable for dark floors if it includes a dual-beam cliff sensor. The technology can easily navigate dark surfaces, detect edges, and clean the surface with quick passes. So check to make sure that the vacuum you wish to buy has this feature before buying.
Light Detection and Ranging
If you plan to use the robot vacuum cleaner at night, go for a model that includes LiDAR sensors. Light Detection and Ranging allows the vacuum to work well in the nighttime and deliver results similar to what you would get if you used it during the day.
Robot vacuums have different ratings for noise levels. Some are so quiet that you can use them at night. Others make loud noises despite their efficiency in cleaning dark floors. We recommend that you choose a model with a noise rating of at least 68dB, as they tend to be quieter.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does a robot vacuum work on dark floors?
A robot vacuum uses light and sophisticated sensors to work on dark floors. Some feature mapping technologies to help you determine areas to vacuum. And you can even schedule cleaning and let the device work on its own when it’s time.
My robot vacuum won’t vacuum dark surfaces?
Your robot vacuum won’t vacuum dark surfaces because there’s dirt and debris blocking the sensors. Wipe the cliff sensors with a clean cloth or a damped melamine foam to fix the problem.
Do all robot vacuums have cliff sensors?
Robot vacuums come equipped with cliff sensors on the underside. The sensors detect whether the vacuum is near a drop off such as a ledge and stairs.
Why does my robot vacuum stop when it encounters a black carpet?
Your robot vacuum doesn’t work when it encounters a black carpet because it mistakes the black color for a cliff. It’s likely the vacuum doesn’t have a dual-beam cliff sensor installed.
Should I disable cliff sensors on my robot vacuum?
You can disable cliff sensors on your robot vacuum if you want to although doing so might void the warranty. To be clear, disabling the cliff sensors won’t affect the performance of the robot vacuum, but the device might fall down if you have stairs.