How to Choose a Robot Vacuum Cleaner Based on Suction Power: Tips and Recommendations

If you are in the market for a robot vacuum cleaner, it is essential to choose one that effectively sucks up dirt and debris. However, comparing different models can be confusing, especially when it comes to understanding data such as suction power. To help you make an informed decision, we've put together a guide on the basics of robot vacuum cleaner suction and offer tips on selecting the right model. We'll even recommend some models with exceptional suction. Don't miss out on our guide if you're considering purchasing a robot vacuum cleaner!


Robot vacuum cleaners also place emphasis on suction


Recently, vacuum cleaners have seen a significant increase in suction. Regardless of whether they are corded or cordless, manufacturers are striving to equip their models with powerful suction capabilities. This focus on suction is also true for robot vacuum cleaners, as it is an important aspect that manufacturers pay attention to.


Points to consider when choosing a vacuum cleaner

A robot mop is working next to a bright floor-to-ceiling window

If you want to choose the right vacuum cleaner, it's crucial to take into account its suction, which directly impacts its capacity to efficiently get rid of dirt and debris. The purpose of purchasing a vacuum cleaner is to clean the floors thoroughly. However, if the suction is not properly checked, some people may find that dirt and dust are left behind even after vacuuming, which can be unsatisfying. Of course, factors such as price and operating time are also important, in addition to suction.

Nevertheless, the ability to effectively remove dirt and debris from the floor should be a basic prerequisite. Therefore, it is essential to check whether the vacuum cleaner has strong suction. If you are considering purchasing a vacuum cleaner, we recommend selecting a product that ensures sufficient suction and fits your budget and other requirements.
So, how can you check the suction of a vacuum cleaner?


What does the unit "Pascal" mean when referring to the suction of a vacuum cleaner?

The unit used to indicate the suction of a vacuum cleaner is called "Pa" or pascal. Pa refers to the "vacuum level", which is the force required to lift objects. The typical range of Pa for a regular robot vacuum cleaner is around 2500 to 3000 Pa. The higher the value of Pa, the greater the force lifting the debris off the floor.

However, a higher Pa value does not necessarily indicate superior performance. In addition to Pa, the amount of air that the vacuum cleaner can suck in (airflow) also affects its suction power. Even if the Pa value is high, a vacuum cleaner with zero airflow will not be able to suck up the lifted debris. A vacuum cleaner that balances Pa and airflow is considered to have a high suction and better performance.

The "suction power" is generally the numerical value obtained by multiplying vacuum level and airflow. It's worth mentioning that the suction power calculation formula may differ depending on the vacuum cleaner manufacturer and its design. The suction power is measured in watts, which is the same unit used for electrical power. However, it's crucial to keep in mind that suction power is distinct from electrical power, despite the shared unit of measurement. Therefore, when checking the specifications related to a vacuum cleaner's performance, it is essential to distinguish between the suction power and power consumption.
  • What are the differences in suction power among various types of vacuum cleaners?

The "Watts (W)" of a vacuum cleaner, which is also known as suction power, varies depending on the type of vacuum cleaner. Paper bag and cyclone-type vacuum cleaners have different suction powers, with paper bag-type vacuum cleaners generally having a higher suction power. The suction power of paper bag-type vacuum cleaners is mostly around 500W, with some higher-end models at 600W and some lower-end models at around 400W.

Cyclone-type vacuum cleaners have a lower average wattage than paper bag-type vacuum cleaners, but they have the advantage of sustaining suction power. The wattage of cyclone-type vacuum cleaners is mostly between 300-400W, while smaller stick-type vacuum cleaners typically have a wattage of 50-100W. It is said that a suction power of around 300W is needed to effectively vacuum small dust and debris, so keep this in mind as a reference.

Suction power is measured while the vacuum cleaner is plugged in, so cordless vacuum cleaners may not have a suction power rating displayed. Robot vacuum cleaners are treated similarly to cordless vacuum cleaners, so suction power is often indicated by "Pa" or "dust pickup rate."


What is Dust Pick-Up Rate?


Dust Pick-Up Rate (DPU) is a percentage value that represents the actual vacuuming power or suction capability of a vacuum cleaner to collect dust. The measurement method for DPU is determined by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). In many countries, the performance of vacuum cleaners is commonly expressed in terms of DPU rather than the suction power. DPU is a useful indicator of a vacuum cleaner's performance because it quantifies its ability to pick up dust.

Calculation method for Dust Pick-Up Rate

The dust pickup rate is calculated by measuring the amount of debris left on the floor after vacuuming up the debris placed on the floor, and determining the percentage of debris that was picked up. A higher value indicates stronger suction power. The debris used on the floor is typically "quartz sand." In countries where outdoor shoes are worn indoors, the ability of a vacuum cleaner to effectively clean sand is an important performance factor.

Beyond Watts: Factors That Affect Suction in Vacuum Cleaners


Many vacuum cleaners display their suction in terms of "suction power" but suction can be influenced by factors other than watts. In particular, the performance of the head has a significant impact on suction power. The suction power is measured with the head removed, but the actual "cleanliness of the floor" also depends on the head's ability to collect dirt (collection power). There are mainly three types of heads:
  • Motor brush
  • Turbine brush
  • Floor brush

We have summarized the collection power and characteristics for each head type.
Type of Head Suction Power Features
Motor Brush High The brush rotates with the motor. Suitable for picking up dirt that has become embedded in fibers such as carpets.
Turbine Brush Medium The brush rotates with the airflow. While its suction power is lower than that of the motor brush, it is effective in picking up dirt by tangling it with the rotating brush.
Floor Brush Low The brush does not rotate but is designed to gather dirt like a broom. It is not suitable for cleaning carpets or other items that require the ability to pick up and remove dirt.

Floor brushes can be purchased inexpensively, but their collection power is weak, so it would be best to avoid them if you want to thoroughly clean your floors. Additionally, as we explained in the section on wattage for vacuum cleaners, there are differences in the sustained suction power between bagged and bagless (cyclonic) types. Cyclonic types have less of a drop in suction power, while bagged types are more prone to a drop in suction power due to clogging. However, the suction power will return once the bag is replaced.


How to Choose a Powerful Robot Vacuum: Tips for Maximum Suction


As robot vacuums are cordless, they may not indicate their suction power. Therefore, when choosing based on suction, it's important to check the "Pa" and "dust pickup rate." The benchmark for robot vacuums with excellent suction is to meet the following criteria:
  • Pa of 3000Pa or more
  • Dust pickup rate of 95% or more

ECOVACS' DEEBOT series of robot vacuums, specifically the X1 OMNI, boasts a powerful suction of 5000Pa, making it capable of collecting dust deep within carpets. It also achieves a dust pickup rate of 95%, ensuring thorough cleaning of floors. Furthermore, the X1 OMNI comes equipped with a mop function, allowing it to perform vacuuming and mopping simultaneously, making it an even more attractive option.




Suction is an important factor to consider when choosing a vacuum cleaner. The following three indicators can be used as reference points for suction:


  • "Pa" indicates the lifting force of an object
  • "Suction power" indicates the ability to draw in air
  • "Dust pickup rate" indicates the ability to actually pick up dirt


When shopping for a vacuum cleaner, it's important to keep these three factors in mind to ensure you choose a model that meets your cleaning needs. By understanding the different types of suction and how they're measured, you can make an informed decision and select a vacuum cleaner that will help keep your home clean and tidy.

Many vacuum cleaners display the suction power, which is usually around 300W, and can pick up fine dust such as house dust. However, it's important to note that the type of head brush and dust collection method can also affect the ease of picking up debris and the duration of suction power.

When it comes to robot vacuum cleaners, it's not possible to measure the typical suction power because they are cordless. Therefore, it's recommended to choose based on the "Pa" and "dust pickup rate" criteria. A robot vacuum cleaner with a Pa of 3000 or higher and a dust pickup rate of 95% or more will have excellent suction power. Keep these factors in mind when selecting a robot vacuum cleaner.