One day, the robots will enslave us all, but until then we can highly recommend employing the Eufy RoboVac 30C MAX as your floor-cleaning servant of choice. While this isn’t as clever as many of the higher-priced iRobot models, or indeed some of the pricier Eufy vacuums, it packs a lot in for a relatively low price. If you’re uncertain about entrusting your floor cleaning to an extra from Dr Who, the 30C is a great way of exploring the world of robot vacs, with the minimum of cost. You can pick up the Eufy RoboVac 30C MAX for around $299, and it’s a regular feature in the sales too, so we reckon about $240 is a good price for this model.
The Eufy makes our list of the best robot vacuums not only because of its price, but also because of the excellent cleaning it manages, and the way it tackles objects like rugs, surface changes, and small steps up or down. Yes, it’s bulky and less fancy than some other robot vacs (it lacks the ability to map an area, for example) but as a basic ‘set it cleaning and forget about it’ vacuum, it’s ideal.
Eufy RoboVac 30C MAX: Features
The first thing to note about the Eufy RoboVac 30C MAX is that it’s quite a big fella. This model is 12-inches across, and it’s around 3-inches deep, not counting the clearance underneath. It’s one of the heavier robot vacs we’ve tested too, and it weighs in at just under 6lbs. If you’re looking for a small robot vac to get into tight spaces, and be regularly carried from room to room, this chunky robot isn’t for you. Try something like the Neato Botvac D7 Connected for tighter spaces. The Eufy is a bit plain-looking too, but we appreciate the simplicity of the unit itself - there’s a sturdy, rubber ‘On/Off’ button on the top of the unit, and a light that reassures you that it’s connected to the WiFi.
In terms of what you get, there are a pleasing number of features here, but nothing too advanced. It comes with a remote control, which has all the basic functions mapped out - On/Off, return to charging dock, various cleaning/suction speeds, and the ability to pause and control the vacuum manually. The charging dock itself is nice and slim, and while it recommends about 20-inches of clearance either side of the unit, we stuck it under a narrow table with very few problems.
You can connect your little robot chum to Amazon Alexa, using the Eufy app. This allows you to voice control certain features of your cleaning. We called our robot J Edgar Hoover, just to test Alexa’s capabilities, and the voice controls worked about 90% of the time. One thing we didn’t appreciate was having to repeat certain commands, when Alexa wanted to double-check we were talking about our RoboVac, and not the former FBI Director himself. The Eufy app also offers the same options as the remote control, and will send you alerts when your robot vacuum requires attention, like when the dust container is full, or the drop sensors need cleaning.
There’s plenty here - it just doesn’t have the advanced room-mapping capabilities, and the ability to learn, like the iRobot Roomba i7+, our top pick. Then again, you’re paying far less for the Eufy, and you do still have the option to set a schedule for the 30C MAX, which means you don’t even need to remember to activate it.
Eufy RoboVac 30C MAX: Performance
We tested our Eufy RoboVac 30C MAX on a variety of surfaces, and threw in a handful of tricky objects for it to navigate around. On the whole, the cleaning was good, and the J Edgar managed to clean a 15ft room with a tiled floor in about 15 minutes. There were a couple of very small pockets of dust left in one corner of the room, and absolutely no Communists that we could see. We tested it in a house with a cat, and it did a good job of picking up pet hair too, although this will mean you need to clean the brushes a little more often, especially if your animal has longer hair.
The next test was a larger room, at about 40ft in length, and 20ft across, with both wooden floor, a rug, and a step-up to a small carpeted area adjoining it. The Eufy RoboVac 30C MAX managed to clean this room in about 35 minutes, and did miss a couple of spots near the bay window. It navigated the rug well, although did get stuck once when it attempted to turn while mounting the corner of the rug. It managed the half-inch step-up, and cleaned the carpet well, even on regular settings.
Our final test was a 30ft by 30ft carpeted room, with a hallway leading to some stairs. We set the Eufy to the ‘BoostIQ’ setting, which automatically adjusts for different surfaces, and it performed really well on the carpet, even sucking up loose hair here. It navigated the stairs well, and didn’t come tumbling down, even after several visits to the edge. Comforting, but we do think this is a basic requirement for a robot vacuum.
We found ourselves changing J Edgar’s dust tray every couple of hours, and it actually has a larger capacity than a number of the rival models we tried out. The 2000 Pa maximum suction serves the Eufy really well, especially on carpets, although it does reduce the maximum usage time from 85 minutes to about 50 minutes. Higher suction also makes it noisier, and while it doesn’t emit a huge amount of background noise, it isn’t the quietest vacuum. Because he’s a heavy guy, J Edgar does clatter around, especially when changing surfaces.
We find that you need to empty the dustbin about every two to three hours, depending on how messy your home is. Eufy quotes the size of the dust tray as about 0.6 liters, which is average size among robot vacuums.
Overall, we’d rate the cleaning as very good, and the navigation of the rooms as pretty good. It misses some spots, but leaves surfaces very clean. It doesn’t bash into boundaries, it manages to access most corners of the room, and it navigates step-ups well, thanks to a larger wheel on the underside of the unit. When we asked it to go home, it found its way about nine times out of ten, which is pretty good.
Eufy RoboVac 30C MAX: User reviews
The user reviews for the Eufy RoboVac 30C MAX are overwhelmingly positive, and it currently boasts a 4.5 star rating on Amazon.com. Some users noted a handful of issues and advantages we found in our tests. One says that “You do have to keep your house picked up a bit” which is very true. Eufy will attempt to pick up loose wires and smaller rugs, so it’s always best to move these aside before cleaning.
When commenting on the cleaning power, people really liked the extra suction the MAX model offers. One user states that “The suction is incredible and it is so quiet.” While we agree about the suction, we didn’t find the Eufy the quietest of robot vacuums. It’s far from noisy, but you definitely hear a background noise when it’s active.
One user via Amazon notes that “When I tried running it on a schedule, it got stuck on something EVERY time.” This is fair, as we do see it as a robot vacuum that you need to be prepared to rescue, from time to time. While we didn’t experience the same quantity of issues as this user, we did rescue J Edgar a bunch of times when it tried to suck up loose objects or lighter rugs.
Should you buy the Eufy RoboVac 30C MAX?
If you’re new to robot vacuums and want to test one out in your home, for a low price, we’d absolutely recommend the Eufy RoboVac 30C MAX. It has a great balance of cleaning power, the ability to navigate rooms, and basic but essential features. It operates well on solid floors and lower-pile carpets, and it is happy sucking up pet hair and dry dirt. While it needs charging more often, it has a large dustbin, and it will alert you when it needs maintenance. It’s easy to pull the various parts off, clean them, and just set it going again.
It doesn’t perform the most thorough cleaning of all the vac we tested, and its large size means it does miss some corners, even with the side brushes. If you’re constantly moving it around a home, it’s slightly heavier and bulkier than most. Despite these flaws, though, the Eufy RoboVac 30C MAX is one of the best budget models you’ll find, and it’s very simple to use.