The Eufy 11S is the first Robovac I've ever owned and I must confess that I was slightly dubious about buying it. In a household with two children, two cats, two rabbits, and a dog, however, there's a lot of vacuuming to do.
One thing I started to realize is that if your house is vacuumed it looks clean. Even if it's really tidy and everything is picked up, if there are small threads, bits of fluff, pet hair, etc. on the carpets and floors, it just looks a mess.
So, I was desperate to find an answer to the fact that my house needed vacuuming every day, and I simply didn't have the time to do it all.
I researched a lot of different Robovac cleaners from the very cheapest to the most expensive. The Eufy 11S fell very much towards the cheaper end but still had good reviews, which is why I chose it over some of its competitors that come in at three or four times the price.
Firstly, I should probably start by telling you that despite my initial concerns, I absolutely love my Eufy 11S.
It far, far exceeded my expectations in almost every respect—and thankfully none of my fears about robot vacuum cleaners were confirmed.
The number one thing I love about the Eufy is that it quite simply works. The first time I tried it, I was slightly disappointed to be trying it when my house had just been vacuumed and was looking relatively clean. However, I needn't have worried!
I started by setting it cleaning in the TV room and hallway where my children and pets spend a lot of time. It took itself off—I closed all the other doors, because I wanted to watch it and make sure it worked and didn't get stuck—and within seconds I could see that it was trundling around and really making a difference.
It took about 15 minutes to clean the hallway and TV room thoroughly. This is because it is mainly random. So rather than mapping the room like some cleaners do and then systematically going over every inch, it instead works its way around by moving in a random pattern. This sounds like it wouldn't work, but actually, it works just fine.
In some ways I prefer it, because tiny bits of thread aren't always picked up on the first pass—same with cat fluff. So it's good that most areas are covered more than once.
Despite the fact that my carpets and wooden hallway floor had been vacuumed that day with my Dyson Cat & Dog vacuum cleaner, when I opened the dust compartment of the Eufy, it was already half full. It was really quite sobering just how much dust was in there, particularly as I have an asthmatic daughter with a house dust allergy!
The dust compartment of the Eufy 11S (you can see it above) is very easy to empty. You simply press the blue button and slide it in and out. It then clips open as below. I usually empty it into the dustbin outside, and once a week I also use my normal vacuum nozzle to vacuum any dust from the filter.
The dust compartment on the Eufy 11S isn't huge. It's about one third to one half of the size of my Dyson's dust container. I tend to send my Eufy out around the house twice a day for an hour at a time, and I empty the dust compartment once a day too. That gives you can idea of how much it is picking up!
The Eufy 11S is a slim Robovac. The huge advantage of this is that it is very low, which means it can get under furniture that a normal vacuum can't. My Eufy can happily slide under my hallway console table, my sitting room sofas, and lots of other places that were never before vacuumed much.
The only downside to this is that there are two places in my house where it can get stuck. The first of these is underneath my dishwasher. I have an integrated dishwasher, and the door height is such that the Eufy can just get under it, but then gets stuck. I've solved this by placing a small piece of wood under the door edge.
The other place is under a cabinet in my lounge room. Again, I've put something under the cabinet now so that the Robovac doesn't get stuck.
Despite these slight problems, however, the good news is that the Eufy can get up and over every rug, door threshold, and wire, as well as under tables. It's never got stuck doing any of these things thankfully. It also has a sensor that stops it from falling down the stairs. This is brilliant, because my black cat sleeps in the upstairs hallway at the top of the stairs. So I really need Eufy to go there every day.
I have to be honest: I don't use many of the Eufy features. My house is often a bit of a mess. So I don't use the auto-timer features of the Eufy, because I'm never quite sure if there'll be a dropped sock, a spilt water bowl from the dog, or a pile of shoes in the hallway.
Instead, I do a quick scoot round twice a day, picking up anything that needs picking up, and then press Eufy's button and off he goes. (He's a boy in our house!)
He trundles around for around an hour vacuuming. When his battery gets low, he either puts himself back on his dock downstairs, or I hear him if he's upstairs and bring him down to his dock. In an ideal world, I'd have an upstairs and downstairs Eufy, but that's a little above my budget right now.
The Eufy remote is very useful, because you can use it to guide the Eufy exactly where you want it to go. So, if there's an area of a room that's particularly dirty, you can make it go over to it and clean that area.
There is also an edge mode function. So you can make Eufy go around the edges of the room, as well as have him go into a spiral mode where he starts from a point and circles out from there. I tend to stick with random though.
There are also various timers and power modes you can set. I tend to use BoostIQ, where it automatically selects the most appropriate power level according to its sensors. If you put it on full power constantly the battery runs out more quickly—which is a pain, as it takes the full hour to do a level of my five-bedroom house.
The battery charging time is the only downside to Eufy in my opinion. It takes a few hours to charge fully, so I tend to set it going in the morning and then again in the late afternoon.
An additional problem that I've just discovered is that bright patches of sunlight seem to trigger its drop sensors, making it think it's at the top of stairs. As I have a large open plan kitchen that floods with patches of sunlight in the morning, I tend to do this area in the afternoon at the moment.
All in all, however, the Eufy has been completely transformative to my life! I can't think of an inanimate object that I've ever spent money on that I like more. Sad, but true!