A robot vacuum, such as the iRobot Roomba’s, can go over ramps, inclines, bumps, and other thresholds.
The max Roomba threshold is 5/8in or 15.8mm.
There exist other robot vacuums that can go over higher thresholds that we’ll discuss along with other tips to try.
Roomba says their robot vacuums can go over a threshold of 5/8in or 16.8mm.
But there are times a Roomba, especially newer ones, can clear up to 3/4in due to the height of the front bumper shown below.
The biggest factor that stops a robot vacuum from going over something is its sensors or, in this situation, the front bumper.
As you can see in the picture above, my Roomba 690 could clear 3/4in if it hits just right without triggering the front bumper to turn around. The problem is that there is plastic underneath that can get caught and stop the robot vacuum from clearing a threshold. I flipped my robot vacuum over to show you where it could get caught.
Best Robot Vacuums For Large Thresholds
The best robot vacuums that come to mind with some of the highest thresholds are Roborock robot vacuums. All models, except the S4, can go over 2cm (20mm) or about 0.79 inches.
For example, the Roborock S6 Pure Robot Vacuum* can get over thresholds of 2cm.
If the threshold is too large, there is not much you can do except split the cleaning up.
If the threshold is small enough, you can buy threshold ramps, some that can even match hardwood floors.
Thresholds are a big problem for people in wheelchairs or those who use walkers. You can buy threshold transition for wheelchairs like this* to get your robot vacuum over the thresholds.
Try A Low-Pile Rug or Runner
The solution that worked well for me was adding a runner over the threshold.
The runner is thin enough the robot vacuum has no issue going over and gives enough incline to get it over the threshold.
Not only that, but the runner cut down on wear and tear at that junction.
Thresholds Over 1 inch
If you have thresholds over 1 inch, you’re not going to find a robot vacuum that can go over it.
You’ll need to look into ways to fix that, as any threshold over 1 inch is in “tripping hazard territory”.
You get to a point where a threshold is simply a step, and currently, there isn’t any robot vacuum on the market that can clean steps.
Robot vacuums and high pile rugs can be hit or miss from my testing.
I have some high-pile rugs that give me no issue and the robot vacuum can go over with ease. Then I have a few that give me issues, especially the ones with thicker and less flexible fibers.
This honestly can be a good thing, as I can use some high-pile rugs as walls to keep a robot vacuum out of a room. These rugs look better than the virtual walls or magnets that come with robot vacuums so it’s a win-win if you ask me.
Thresholds & Robot Mops
The thresholds for robot mops are worse than robot vacuums.
Most robot mops can’t go over 3mm.
This is because the mop needs to contact the floor more, so you have less wiggle room.