When I’ve been asked if it’s worth buying a cheap robot vacuum cleaner, my response has always been that you should save up a bit more and get something decent. Yes, you can buy robovacs for under £200, and indeed less than £100 in some cases, but these cheaper models aren’t usually as powerful or thorough as more expensive ones. The Eufy RoboVac 30C has changed my opinion and it’s the first Robovac under £300 I’d 100% be happy to recommend.
At first blush, though, there’s nothing remarkable about the RoboVac 30C. Like most robotic vacuum cleaners, it’s designed to bumble around your floor, cleaning automatically as it goes.
It’s circular in shape and has a low profile so it can fit under furniture and clean the carpet under your bed, and it will recharge itself at its base when it runs low on battery power. With up to 100 minutes of cleaning per charge, though, it should be able to cope with even the largest of rooms before having to do that.
Other features include Alexa and Google Assistant support (so you can tell it to go clean via your Echo or Google Home speakers), a companion app so you can control it via your smartphone, and a useful remote control that lets you direct operations when your phone isn’t handy.
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At £269, the 30C is comparatively packed with features, then, but importantly it’s a lot cheaper than the £434 Neato D5 Connected I normally recommend.
The Neato has a few benefits over the Eufy, notably a wider brush roller, a superior companion app and better room mapping technology but the Eufy has great suction, cleans nearly as effectively and costs around £160 less.
The Ecovacs N79S, another robovac I’ve tested recently, is closer in price to the Eufy at £230 but that robot isn’t nearly as effective or thorough and gets stuck more often.
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The Eufy RoboVac 30C looks pretty unremarkable from the outside. It’s circular in shape, measuring 325mm in diameter and a mere 72mm tall, so it’ll fit under even fairly low-slung furniture and clean the spots that otherwise don’t get much attention.See related Best robot vacuum cleaner 2022: Clean up with the most effective robot vacuumsNeato Botvac D5 Connected review: Great cleaning power at a reasonable price
It has a reasonably generous 0.6-litre dust bin and, like most circular robovacs, trundles around on a pair of motorised rubber wheels with a tiny pivoting jockey wheel at the rear to provide stability. The main rolling brush sits between those two wheels and a pair of spinning brushes are located at the front to help the 30C pick up dust and fluff close to the edges and in the corners of your room.
This is pretty standard fare for modern robot vacuums but it isn’t as effective Neato’s system, where the roller brush sits forward of the wheels and spans nearly the full width of the vacuum. As a result, you might occasionally need to run a handheld vacuum along the corners of the room for a complete room clean.
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The Eufy isn’t as thorough and methodical at making its way around a room as the Neato vacuums, either, and this is largely due to the fact that it doesn’t utilise laser scanning to map its surroundings. Instead, the 30C uses a combination of infrared and bumper sensors and moves around on a set pattern designed to get it to every part of a room without it knowing where the boundaries are in advance.
The Neato vacuums, on the other hand, scan the room first, then clean the edges. Only after that do they work their way around the rest of the room. In this way they ensure every inch of floor is cleaned.
The 30C also doesn’t have any means of setting virtual boundaries as with the range-topping Neato D7 Connected but it does come with a couple of rolls of magnetic boundary strips that can be used to prevent the 30C from venturing into areas you don’t want it to go – that cable nest in the corner of your living room, for instance. There’s also a pair of drop sensors on the underside of the 30C, to prevent it from launching itself down the stairs, and included in the box are a couple of replacement front brushes and filters.
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Despite its navigational shortcomings, the RoboVac 30C cleans very thoroughly. Unlike the Ecovacs N79S I tested recently, it managed to reach all areas of my long, thin lounge quickly, cleaning most areas multiple times and it also coped well with my medium-pile carpet without juddering when travelling against the nap.
You’ll have to keep the floor clear of stray cables, as is the case with all robovacs, but the 30C coped well with other objects, rarely getting stuck. It even negotiated the flat legs of my Ikea Poang armchair without floundering, an item of furniture upon which other robovacs have become irrevocably beached in the past. The front-facing sensors did have some trouble spotting my glossy black TV rack, though, and would frequently bang into it at full speed.
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With 1,500Pa of suction power the Eufy RoboVac is pretty powerful for the money, too, and it’s reasonably quiet. It has three power modes: “Standard”, “BoostIQ” and “Max”, and it will run from around an hour up to 100 minutes depending on the mode you choose. I found I didn’t need to run it in any mode other than BoostIQ for a thorough clean, though. In this mode, the 30C can increase suction power automatically when required so you can maximise battery use when cleaning floors of different types in one cleaning session.
The 30C also has a number of different cleaning settings you can use. You’ll mostly be using the Auto mode but it’s occasionally useful to use the vacuum’s edge, spot and quick modes if you want it to carry out a quicker clean.
All of these modes can be accessed via the remote control, which also gives you steering controls and the ability to find the vacuum or send it home. You can also carry out all these actions via the companion app and set up a cleaning schedule, so you can have the bot clean at specific times of day – when you’re out at work, for instance. Alternatively, you can start and stop cleaning using a voice command via an Alexa- or Google Assistant-powered smart speaker.
All-in-all, the Eufy RoboVac 30C provides great cleaning at a wonderfully attractive price. It’s powerful, quiet, easy to use and very capable when it comes to making its way around your home without intervention.
In short, if you’re looking to dip your toe in the water of automatic vacuum cleaning but don’t want to spend in the region of £500 on a Neato, this is the next best thing. It might not be the most advanced robot vacuum on the market but it’s superb value for money and the most effective of any robot vacuum anywhere near this price.