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I have tested a few too many robot vacuums over the past year, but none of them come close to what's been cleaning my floors as of late.
I've been putting the new Roborock S8 Pro Ultra through its paces and can confidently say that it puts all other robot vacuums to shame. The latest model is truly a hands-free, 2-in-1 machine that self-washes, self-dries, self-empties, self-refills, and, most importantly, self-cleans. It's also got dual rubber brushes and a VibraRise 2.0 scrubbing technology to deep clean your floors. And it costs $1,600.
Also: 6 things you can do to give your devices a spring cleaning
$1600 is a lot of money; that's a mortgage payment or a couple of months' worth of car payments. But as a soon-to-be parent and someone with a very on-the-go lifestyle, here's how the Roborock has justified its worth over my time testing it.
|21.18 x 20.31 x 19.06 inches|
|Suction power||6,000 Pa|
|1 Lithium ion battery (included)|
Roborock app for iOS and Android
|1x S8 Pro Ultra Robot Vacuum Cleaner, 1x RockDoc Ultra Dock, 1x charging dock, 1x power cable, 1x user manual|
The Roborock S8 Pro Ultra is very similar to last year's Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra model, but there are a few changes that are worth pointing out.
If you're someone who always finds strands of hair on the floor, dirt, or debris, then the suction power -- measured in Pa (Pascal pressure unit) -- of a robot vacuum is going to be really important to you. The Roborock S8 Pro Ultra touts a 6,000 Pa rating (up from 5,100 Pa on last year's model), which has been enough to leave beautiful carpet lines across my carpets and rugs.
Also: Which Roborock robot vacuum is right for you? The top models compared
Robot vacuums are not always as powerful as traditional hand vacuums for carpet cleaning, but the S8 Pro Ultra has been strong enough to handle my carpeted rooms daily, reliably. I truly haven't had a reason to pull out my handheld vacuum during my testing period because the Roborock has kept up with my toughest vacuuming needs.
The Roborock S8 Pro Ultra can both vacuum and mop your surfaces in one session, and that's thanks to its new automatic brush lifting technology. The robot's AI technology senses when it's transitioning from tile to laminate to hardwood to carpet and rug and lifts the mop pad accordingly to keep your soft surfaces from being soaked. And, impressively enough, it does it in a very reactive manner, hardly slowing the machine down when it needs to switch gears.
Also: The best robot vacuum and mop combos you can buy
The S8 Pro Ultra can lift other parts of its hardware as well. For example, it can lift the rubber rollers so that the robot only has the mop head down. Or, it can lift both the rubber rollers and mop head to travel back faster to the auto empty base. All of this is done by the robot itself, depending on what cleaning modes you have selected.
Manufacturers like to say that their robot vacuums are "hands-free," but I've tested enough of them to know that the promise is not always true. Fortunately, the Roborock S8 Pro Ultra is one of the few exceptions; I've been able to just program the machine with a task and not have to think about it for a few days or more.
Also: The best robot vacuums you can buy
In the Roborock app, I've even set a cleaning schedule based on my lifestyle, and the vacuum has been able to complete its tasks without me needing to check back. The only times when your attention is needed are when the system alerts your phone about refilling the cleaning tank or emptying out any excess water or the occasional dust bag replacement. Charging and all is done on its own.
There are very few things that Roborock didn't get right with this model; it really is that good. But, here are a few key features I'd love to see in next year's Pro Ultra.
My main complaint with the Roborock S8 Pro Ultra is its inability to empty its dustbin the moment it's full -- instead of at the end of the cleaning job. Because of this fault, the robot is currently unable to clean my entire house in one session because the dustbin fills up long before the full job is completed.
That means that at full capacity, the vacuum just pushes any dust and dirt along its path instead of sucking them. Mopping is still possible, though you never want to mop your floors if there's debris hanging around.
Something that I've encountered with all the Roborock devices I've tested is how talkative they are. By talkative, I mean the robot will announce when it's doing something and what it's doing every single time. For this machine in particular, it will tell you when it's going to wash the mop, when it's starting its job, anytime either tank needs to be emptied or refilled, and a few other messages.
Review: Roomba Combo j7+: A 2-in-1 vacuum done almost right
While you have the ability to turn the volume down, and it gets quiet enough during the daytime, the S8 Pro Ultra is not as noise-friendly when you're trying to sleep and the house is silent. It still startles me when I forget that the robot is running when I wake up.
Although the Roborock S8 Pro Ultra is one of the most, if not the most, expensive 2-in-1 machines on the market, I can honestly say that it's very much worth investing in. I can walk around barefoot and feel the cleanliness of my floors, and that's hard to achieve with robot vacuums and mops. The hands-free nature of the S8 Pro Ultra is what has won me over. It can go days without needing me to intervene, and the robot cleans at least one room every single day for me.
If you're someone with kids, animals, a hectic lifestyle, or anything of that nature, investing in the Roborock S8 Pro Ultra is going to save you an incredible amount of time and energy. As a third-trimester, first-time mom and pet owner, the time and energy this robot has saved me make its price justifiable. That said, there are plenty of alternatives like last year's Roborock vacuums that cost less and have less suction power, but are just as functional, as listed below.
The S7 MaxV Ultra has the majority of the S8 Pro Ultra's features but with a cheaper price tag. Its suction power is not as strong, though.
The Roomba Combo j7+ is iRobot's first-ever 2-in-1 machine and has retractable arms to raise and lower the mop head as needed.
With its 5000 Pa suction and rotating mop heads, the Deebot T10 Omni is another great option if you're looking for a two-in-one machine.