Straight Line Robot Vacuums vs Random or Circle: Which is Better?

There is a lot of debate when it comes to the best way for robot vacuums to clean.

Some people believe that straight line robot vacuums are the best because they can cover more ground in a shorter amount of time. Others think that random or circle patterns are better because they go over the same spots multiple times.

What is the right answer? Let’s take a look at both options and see which one comes out on top!

What Robot Vacuums Go In A Straight Line?

The type of robot vacuums that go in a straight line are the ones that have a LiDAR or a camera for navigation.

These types of robot vacuums map out the room and once they know where everything is at, they clean in straight lines. Cleaning in a straight line is the quickest and most effective way to clean your floor, as it’s more likely to get everything in the shortest amount of time.

Not every robot vacuum has cameras or LiDAR navigation, it’s usually the more expensive robot vacuums that have them. The cheaper robot vacuum use random motions and a lot of backup and turning around to clean your home.

Learn more about how a robot vacuum navigates your home here.

Straight Lines Vs. Random Robot Vacuum Cleaning

Is cleaning in straight lines better than cleaning randomly? The answer is yes!

As we mentioned before, straight line robot vacuums can cover more ground in a shorter amount of time. This means that they are less likely to miss any spots and will do a better job at getting all the dirt, dust, and debris off your floor.

Though, there is a unique thing about robot vacuums that clean randomly. When you clean randomly, you end up cleaning the same sport over and over again while going in different directions.

Most of the straight line cleaning robot vacuums can detect dirt and spend more time on very dirty areas, so it’s not a huge issue. But I must admit, while the random cleaning takes much longer, they do tend to get “lucky” and pick up better. I find myself liking the straight line cleaning as it more likely to get everything for sure and not rely on luck.

Why Does Roomba Go In A Circle?

Roombas are known for their circle cleaning when they start. But why do they clean in a circle when it’s not the most effective way?

The robot vacuums that start going in a circle are often the ones that go in a random motion and the circle motion is just a starting point.

Before charging bases, people would pick up their Roomba and plop it down on the floor, and often it was the dirtiest spot. The Roomba starting off in a circle motion makes sense if you drop it down on something like spilled dry cereal and then let it go from there. The circle motion still lives on in many models today, it’s mostly used when the robot vacuum finds a filthy spot and wants to spot clean it.

How To Make Roomba Clean In Straight Lines?

If your robot vacuum did not come with LiDAR or a camera that is used for navigation, then you can’t force it to clean in straight lines. The robot vacuum has no clue where it’s at and just bounces around until it runs out of battery life.

A robot vacuum with LiDAR or a camera can see the room and will clean in straight lines. So if you want straight lines from your robot vacuum, you need to get one that maps out the room when it cleans.

I, personally, use the RoboRock S5 Max (Amazon Link Ad), and it cleans in straight lines.  

Here is a great video showing you why the RoboRock S5 Max is so great:

Why Does Roomba Leave Lines In The Carpet Or Floor?

Just like any vacuum cleaner, a robot vacuum will leave lines in the carpet because of the rotating brushes.

So it’s not uncommon to see lines in your carpet, and it should not be doing damage.

If damage is being done, it could that the brushes are dirty and need to be replaced. Something is attached to the brush, and it’s damaging your floors.

I’ve also see dark carpets and rugs confuse the older Roomba’s as it thinks those are cliffs, so they keep backing up and the wheels drag on the carpet.

Sometimes hair and other debris get stuck in the two back wheels and keep one from spinning as much as it used to and can drag, which will do damage. The front roller wheel can also get damaged and drag and leave black marks on your floors.

Look under your robot vacuum to make sure nothing is damaged, clogged, or dragging as it can cause issues.