Robot vacuums have become more popular than they ever have before, especially with new advances in tech, features and Ai, they’re doing things people never thought possible.
If you asked me 20 years ago that we would have self-emptying robot vacuums, I would have laughed, but have them now; I would have the same expression about a robot vacuum that can go up and down stairs.
A lot has changed since I last wrote this post, so an update is needed, and the answer to a robot vacuum that can do stairs is starting to change.
Up & Down Stairs
At the time of writing this post, there isn’t a robot vacuum for sale that can go up and down stairs.
But that seems to be slowly changing with the Ascender robot vacuum.
We may soon have a stair climbing robot vacuum in the near future, and I’m sure others like iRobot Roomba will follow.
If we can have self-emptying robot vacuums, it’s just a matter of time before they can climb and go downstairs.
Most Avoid Falling Down Stairs
Most modern robot vacuums have cliff sensors to detect stairs and sharp edges to keep it from falling down.
Every so often you need to clean the cliff sensors, and many other sensors, on your robot vacuum in your routine maintenance. If the sensors get too dirty, they may keep the robot vacuum from moving, or it may fall down the stairs.
I have had a few robot vacuums fall down the stairs, and luckily enough, most of them are carpeted, and very little damage is done. The few that fell down hardwood stairs did damage the body or dust bin, but often it was not that serious and easy to fix.
Get It To Clean Stairs
The only way to get a robot vacuum or Roomba to clean your stairs is to put it on each step and let it run.
The cliff sensors will keep it from falling off, but depending on the size of your steps it may still fall as it gets confused as it thinks it’s in a “small room”.
It’s honestly more tedious than simply vacuuming it yourself, so I don’t recommend it.
Roomba For Two-Story Home
If you have a two-story home, you will find a robot vacuum cannot go up and down the stairs.
You will either need to move the Roomba to the floor you want to clean, or buy a Roomba for each floor.
You can name each robot vacuum, so you know which is working or needs attention if you go with multiple robot vacuums. This is helpful with the robot vacuums with apps, as they will send you messages about what maintenance is needed for what bot or any trouble each one runs into.
Better Options – How To Clean Stairs
People want a robot vacuum that can clean stairs for several reasons, one is that they don’t like cleaning them, and the other is that they want one robot vacuum to clean one floor then the others.
We already have robot vacuums that can empty their contents, recharge, and clean a large home on one level. It’s just a matter of time before Roomba and others make a robot vacuum that can do all that and clean multiple floors.
Until then, here better options that can make cleaning your stairs easier.
- Carpet protectors: Carpet likes to hold on to dirt, but putting carpet protector* on the stairs keeps them from getting as dirty.
- Do hard floors: Simply get rid of the carpet and only have hard flooring. It’s far easier to clean, just sweep it off, or if you’re crazy enough, blow it off with a blower.
- Go cordless: Cordless vacuum cleaners have become a lot more affordable and vastly more powerful these days that it’s my go to for my own home. It’s easier to get them going and lighter than any other vacuum cleaner, which makes it ideal for cleaning the stairs.
- Rent or buy a carpet cleaner: If the stairs are carpeted and awful, you can rent or buy a carpet cleaner. Here are some steps you can take to clean your stairs.
- Carpet rake: Pet hair is the biggest reason many people want a robot vacuum to begin with, and the stairs are no different for the amount of dust and hair they trap. One trick I use is to get a carpet rake* to loosen up the hair that is stuck in the carpet before vacuuming it up.
- Clothes roller: Clothes rollers are used on garments to remove pet hair, it also works great on stairs, too. The best part is that you can buy large ones for your floors*!
- Carpet cleaning company: When the carpet on the stairs is really bad then a professional will be needed. Let them clean the stairs and other carpets in your home.
- Buy another robot vacuum: If your goal is to have a robot vacuum go to clean the next floor of your home, then getting a second robot vacuum would be the best option.
Hopefully, robot vacuums that can clean stairs and multiple floors of your home will be coming to the market, but until then, there are several other options.