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Robot vacuums for thresholds in comparison

Reviewing and comparing the best robot vacuum cleaners for high thresholds (2022)

Ilia

Last updated: 12.03.2022 9 Min.

A robot vacuum makes household cleaning much more manageable. However, high thresholds can thwart these plans. Doorsteps of 2 to 3 cm (0.8 - 1.2 inches) height are quite common, especially in old flats.

Not all robotic vacuum cleaners can overcome such heights easily.

But don't worry: there are many good robot vacuums in the UK that can overcome high doorsteps.

In this review, you will find out which models do well, and we’ll also tell you what you can do if the doorstep is too high for your robot vacuum.

Robot vacuum cleaner driving over a door threshold.

What you’ll see on this page:

  • The best robot vacuums for high thresholds in comparison: Our top 5 models
  • How do robotic vacuum cleaners cope with high thresholds?
  • Robot vacuum threshold ramp - the solution when doorsteps are too high (> 2.3 cm - 9 inches)
  • Purchase Advice: What should I consider when buying a robot vacuum for high doorsteps?
  • Our Conclusion

Best robot vacuums for thresholds in the UK in 2022:

    Test Winner 2020 🏆
    The Roborock S7 with the mopping plate from below

    Roborock S7

    Roborock S7

    S7 can easily overcome higher door thresholds of ~ 1.9 cm (or 0.75 inches)

    You’ll notice a lot of high-tech features in this model. The VibraRise feature offers a liftable mop for carpets, and the Sonic Mopping system features a vibrating mopping system.

    All about the Roborock S7

    The Roborock S7 can cross higher thresholds up to 1.9 cm (0.75 inches).

    First, the Roborock S7 Vacuum Cleaner approaches the threshold straight on. If this is unsuccessful, it turns 90 degrees and tries again at an angle.

    Our Roborock S7 handled standard doorsteps and carpets with ease.

    Despite this, the Roborock S7 boasts some brilliant features.

    • A vibrating mopping function (sonic mopping),
    • Excellent App,
    • Outstanding cleaning results on hard floors and carpets,
    • A liftable mopping plate for carpets (VibraRise),
    • ...

    Roborock S7 is one of the best vacuum robots on the market. 🏆

    Our Roborock S7 review is a great place to start if you're interested in learning more about the vacuum robot.

    Roborock S5 Max vacuums lentils and sand on a hard floor

    Roborock S5 Max

    Roborock S5 Max

    "Climbing performance at thresholds: 2 cm (0.8 inches)".

    The Roborock S5 Max is one of the most popular robot vacuums in UK. It’s an all-rounder, suitable for almost every home and won our hearts in the test with its outstanding performance.

    All about the Roborock S5 Max main

    Roborock S5 Max (more details here: Roborock S5 Max Review) is a great robot vacuum cleaner.

    It also didn’t have any problems overcoming thresholds with a height of 2 cm (0.8 inches.

    The Roborock S5 Max is an excellent robot vacuum that came out with flying colours in almost all test categories. It’s a "perfect all-rounder" and is an enrichment for nearly every smart home.

    CHECK PRICE*

    Ecovacs Deebot OZMO T8 AIVI crosses a high threshold

    Ecovacs Deebot OZMO T8 AIVI

    Ecovacs Deebot OZMO T8 AIVI

    "Climbing performance at thresholds: 2 cm (0.8 inches)".

    The Deebot OZMO T8 AIVI is an outstanding hybrid mop/vacuum. It’s cleaning performance is perfect. The mopping feature is also one of its kind: The vibrating OZMO Pro wiping system ensures an excellent mopping result! Another highlight: self-emptying dustbin (optional).

    All about the Ecovacs Deebot OZMO T8 AIVI main

    The Deebot OZMO T8 AIVI is a robot vacuum cleaner with mopping capabilities that leaves nothing to be desired.

    The vibrating wiping plate ensures a significantly improved mopping result. The OZMO T8 AIVI earned its title as the test winner in the "Robot Vacuum and Mop Combos review".

    The AIVI technology for automatic obstacle avoidance also convinced us (even if there is still room for improvement). It’s also a great feature that you can use the robot vacuum as a security camera.

    The OZMO T8 AIVI also had no problems with doorsteps. The Ecovacs robot vacuum overcame obstacles of up to 2 cm (0.8 inches).

    All in all, the OZMO T8 AIVI is a high-tech product (read more here: Deebot OZMO T8 AIVI Review). But it’s also more expensive.

    Check Price*

    Advantages

    Great mopping result

    Top cleaning performance on hard floors and carpets

    Automatic obstacle avoidance thanks to AIVI technology

    Innovative surveillance camera function

    Optional: Auto-empty station

    Disadvantages

    Certainly no option for bargain hunters

    Automatic obstacle avoidance doesn’t work 100% reliably yet

    No underlay for the charging dock (to protect the floor from the wet mop) in the delivery scope

    Proscenic M8 Pro with self-emptying base stands on the floor

    Proscenic M8 Pro

    Proscenic M8 Pro

    "Climbing performance at thresholds: 2.1 cm (8.3 inches)".

    A good robot vacuum with a mopping function AND a self-emptying dustbin (optional).

    All about the Proscenic M8 Pro main

    When you think of the Proscenic M8 Pro, the first thing that comes to mind is the self-emptying dustbin. The Proscenic M7 Pro is among one of the top models in our "Robot vacuums with self-emptying base review", and that with good reason.

    But the Proscenic M8 Pro has even more to offer.

    The climbing performance of the robot vacuum with integrated wiping function is also impressive. It can overcome a height of 2.1 cm (8.3 inches).

    Therefore, the little household helper hardly reaches its limits with conventional doorsteps and carpets (low pile / high pile).

    You can’t go wrong with the Proscenic M8 Pro. You’ll get a great robot vacuum cleaner with mopping capabilities, an auto-empty station and excellent climbing performance. And that at an unbeatable price, too.

    Check Price*

    Advantages

    Moppiong feature

    Powerful suction - decent cleaning results on hard floors

    Good laser navigation (lidar)

    Smart Mapping: Can save multiple maps

    Long battery life

    You can define no-go zones for specific areas / specific rooms

    With carpet detection function

    Good price-performance ratio for a self emptying robot vacuum

    Disadvantages

    Quite noisy

    You can’t control the water flow rate

    App with many functions (but has a few bugs)

    How do robotic vacuum cleaners cope with high doorsteps?

    The manufacturers realised that this problem often occurs. Thus, they redesigned the latest robotic vacuum cleaners so they can handle high doorsteps better.

    They put rollers on the bottom side of the robot vacuum.

    Close-up of the rollers of a robot vacuum

    With these special rollers, modern robot vacuums can easily overcome typical door thresholds.

    But even these rollers don’t work wonders...

    Doorstep / Threshold Ramps - the solution when doorsteps are too high (> 2.3 cm / 9 inches))

    Even the greatest "climber" among the robot vacuums can’t overcome a door threshold of approx. 2.3 - 2.4 cm (~ 0.9 inches).

    But what if your doorsteps are higher than that?

    Some flats in old buildings have extremely high thresholds (sometimes 2.5 - 3 cm (1 - 1.2 inches) and higher).

    That’s not the end of the world. There’s a solution to this problem: A special robot vacuum doorstep / threshold ramp.

    A robot vacuum drives over a threshold ramp for vacuum robots into the next room.

    You can build a doorstep ramp yourself - depending on your craftsmanship - or just buy one online* on Amazon UK.

    PS: This will also make your flat "barrier-free" and thus wheelchair-, walker- or pram-friendly. High thresholds also won’t be typical "tripping hazards" anymore. That ensures more safety in your home.

    There are a few features to consider when choosing a robot vacuum doorstep ramp:

    • You have the choice between a "fixed" ramp construction or a ramp that you can put down shortly before the vacuum starts cleaning and remove it afterwards.
    • Make sure that the ramp matches the colour of your floor.
    • If you have very high door thresholds, the ramp should have the smallest possible inclination (the ramp must be longer). The robot vacuum may not be able to drive up the ramp if it’s very steep.
    • If it’s a fixed ramp construction, you have to pay attention that the ramp on the side where the door opens can’t be higher than the threshold. Otherwise, you won’t be able to open the door.
    • With very high thresholds (> 3 cm), you may need a ramp from both sides. The robotic vacuum may not descend the threshold because it sees it like a precipice.
    A small tip: You can avoid that by covering the crash sensors with opaque adhesive tape. But be careful: you can’t have "real" precipices (e.g. stairs) in your home then. That wouldn’t end well for your household helper.

    Solution No. 1: Buy a robot vacuum doorstep / threshold ramp

    Not all people are skilled craftsmen and can build a robot vacuum doorstep ramp themselves.

    It’s not necessary.

    You can buy doorstep ramps in all shapes and colours on Amazon in the UK.

    Rubber ramp

    You can conveniently purchase a corresponding rubber ramp on the Internet (buy here from Amazon* UK).

    Robot Vacuum thresholds ramps made of rubber lie in front of a high threshold.

    Advantages:

    • Very slip-resistant. You won’t have to nail the rubber ramp to the floor or screw it down in any other way.
    • Flexibility. You can leave the ramp permanently in place or put it away after each cleaning.
    • Low wear and tear and, therefore, long-lasting

    Disadvantages:

    • Rubber optics may not appeal to everyone’s taste

    Check Price*

    Aluminium ramp:

    You can also buy metal ramps online* for little money on Amazon UK.

    But you have to screw these to the floor.

    If you don’t want to do that, you can also use self-adhesive ramps.

    Self-adhesive ramps for door thresholds.

    These ramps are available in different colours. You’ll find a matching style for sure.

    Advantages:

    • Cheap
    • No craftsmanship skills required

    Disadvantages:

    • Visually not appealing

    Check Price*

    Special robot vacuum doorstep ramp made of wood (customised)

    If you want a high-quality ramp, you can also buy a customised robot vacuum doorstep ramp made of wood.

    Robotic vacuum cleaner Doorstep ramp made of different types of wood.

    You can choose the wood type and colour.

    The ramps are manufactured in Germany according to your needs and are of very high quality.

    Advantages:

    • Visually not appealingIndividual customisation. They will adjust the ramp according to your living situation.
    • Very high-quality workmanship
    • Regional and sustainable manufacturing
    • Beautiful look (matching your floor)

    Disadvantages:

    • Quite Expensive

    Solution No. 2: Build your own robot vacuum doorstep ramp

    If you are good at handicrafts, you can build a robot vacuum doorstep ramp yourself.

    Wood is very suitable because you can buy it in almost every DIY store for little money and it looks very nice. You can also choose the best (colour-wise) matching type of wood (depending on your floor’s colour and condition).

    Please measure the door threshold’s height and width in advance.

    Then you can cut the wood to the appropriate length/height and sand it down.

    Please make sure that the angle of inclination of your ramp is not too high. Otherwise, your robot vacuum will have a hard time driving onto the ramp.

    Once you built the ramp, you can apply a wood preservative. That’ll keep the wood in good condition for as long as possible. It won’t wear out too quickly either.

    Purchase advice: What should I consider when buying a robot vacuum for thresholds?

    A robot vacuum’s threshold overcomming isn’t the only criterion

    If you buy a robot vac only because it has the "best climbing performance", you exclude many excellent models from the beginning.

    Ultimately, however, the robot vacuum’s main task is to clean your home in the best way possible.

    So if you focus too much on just one criterion, you may have to go for a model with a bad price-performance ratio or make unnecessary compromises.

    If your favourite robotic vacuum cleaner has problems overcoming thresholds, you can use a door threshold ramp (buy it or build it). That’ll solve the problem once and for all.

    Measure your doorstep beforehand

    You should measure the threshold precisely with a conventional ruler before buying.

    Measuring the door threshold with a ruler.

    A sense of proportion won’t do the job. Please be very precise. Differences in just a few millimetres can be decisive.

    Are the door thresholds rounded, or do they have a 90-degree edge?

    We always test a robot vacuums on 90-degree edges. That way, we can maintain the necessary objectivity in our tests.

    But many doorsteps have rounded edges due to wear.

    A robot vacuum’s climbing performance may improve by 1-2 millimetres with rounded edges.

    Just give it a try!

    You've already chosen a model, but you're not 100% sure if the robot vac can handle high doorsteps?

    That’s our advice: Just give it a try!

    Every living situation is different. Sometimes robot vacuums simply cope better with some doorsteps than others because they are round or for other reasons.

    Best Robot vacuums for high thresholds in the UK - Our Conclusion

    High doorsteps can be a show-stopper for your robot vacuum.

    The robotic vacuum cleaner simply stops if it can’t cross a threshold, and you’ll have to carry it to the next room.

    That’s not what we’d call home automation.

    Fortunately, manufacturers have recognised this problem. There are excellent robot vacuum cleaners for high doorsteps of up to 2.3 cm (9 inches) in the UK these days. Our selection of the best robot vacuums for thresholds gives you a good overview of the models.

    If you live in an older flat, it’s quite common that the doorsteps are higher than 3 cm (1.2 inches). Not even the best "climbing master" among the robot vacuums can cope with that.

    But don't worry. You don't have to do without a cleaning robot.

    With "robot vacuum" doorstep / threshold ramps, you make your home accessible for the robot, so it can move effortlessly from room to room.

    Read more

    • Can a robot vacuum overcome high doorsteps?


      Yes, some robot vacuums can easily overcome thresholds of up to 2.3 - 2.4 cm.

    • I live in an old building and have very high doorsteps. Do I have to do without a robot vacuum?


      Not at all. Some robot vacuum models can easily overcome thresholds of up to 2.3 - 2.4 cm. This "climbing performance" should be more than sufficient for most old flats.

    • What is the maximum height of a doorstep that a robot vacuum can overcome?


      Even the "climbing masters" among the robot vacuums can’t cope with doorsteps higher than 2.3 - 2.4 cm.

    • I live in an old building, and my doorsteps are impossible for a robot vacuum. However, I don't want to do without it either. What can I do?


      If your door thresholds are higher than 2.3 - 2.4 cm, the robot vacuum usually can’t overcome these thresholds. However, you don’t have to do without a robot vacuum. A special doorstep ramp for robot vacuums can help. You can buy it online or in a specialist shop or build it yourself if you’re a skilled craftsman.

    • What is the best robot vacuum for thresholds?


      The “climbing champ” of robot vacuums is the Qihoo 360 S7 at the moment. In our tests, it overcame a height of 2.3 to 2.4 cm.

    • How well do the iRobot Roomba robot vacuums cope with high doorsteps? How high can the Roomba models climb?


      The iRobot Roomba i7 (+) can overcome thresholds with a height of 1.9 cm. The Roomba s9 (+) had an obstacle clearance of 2 cm in our tests.

    • Where can I buy a robot vacuum doorstep ramp?


      You can easily buy a robot vacuum doorstep ramp on the Internet.

    • Is my robot vacuum’s „climbing performance“ lower with the water tank attached?


      Yes, we experienced this with some models.

      If you attach the water tank, some cleaning robots’ climbing performance decreases by a few mm.

    • Do different floor types play a role in overcoming obstacles?


      The climbing performance of a device might be slightly lower if it’s on a soft carpet.

      However, the difference is in the millimetre range and is no big deal.

    • Can you buy a robot vacuum for high thresholds on Amazon in the UK?


      Yes, there are various purchasing options available to you on Amazon in the UK.

    Ilia

    Robot vacuum cleaners are my passion. These little helpers make cleaning our homes so much easier. That's why it's my personal concern to recommend only the most outstanding products and the best tips and tricks to you. Then you can devote your valuable time to the finer things in life - and as a rule, floor cleaning is not one of them.

    Alternatives

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    The Roborock S7 with the mopping plate from below
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