I’ve owned and used a number of robotic vacuum cleaners over the last few years. What started with a free one from a major appliance purchase on Black Friday has turned into a steady stream of new models.
If there’s one thing I could say to prospective robotic vacuum buyers, it’s that they work better than you might imagine. But, I’d be quick to follow up with something along the lines of them not being the be-all-end-all solution to homes. Indeed, you’re still better off with a traditional stand-up or stick vacuum.
One of the best things about having a vacuum that automatically runs on its own and which knows the layout of the house, is just that. There’s peace of mind in knowing that your trusty little companion can clean the house for you either on its own or manually triggered.
Roborock, a division of Xiaomi, specializes in vacuum equipment and has made big strides in the space over the last few years. For 2020 it introduced a variant of its S6 robotic vacuum and the H6, its first cordless stick vacuum. So impressed with what we saw in January, we named the H6 as one of the Best of CES.
We were sent both units to review and have used both on a daily and near-daily basis. Here is our review of the Roborock H6.
What is the Roborock H6?
The Roborock H6 is a cordless (battery operated) stick vacuum cleaner with multiple speeds and features. As is the case with others in the field, it comes with a number of attachments. This includes, among other things, a dusting brush, floor brush, stick tube, and flexible tube.
The H6 runs in standard, eco, and turbo speeds with varying battery life for each. Suffice it to say, the deeper the cleaning and power, the shorter the life.
The eco mode might be what you use for dusting furniture while the standard mode is better for furniture fabric. The maximum setting is best suited for cleaning a mattress or for ground-in dirt. In terms of battery life you might be looking at 90 minutes on the high end with as little as 10 on the low.
The Roborock H6 has a built-in air purification system designed to capture dust mites, pet dander, pollen, and mold. According to the manufacturer, the vacuum is tested to have an 800-hour battery life.
There is a status display that allows for quick glances to see which mode you’re in and how much battery remains.
What’s it like to use the Roborock H6?
In word, pleasurable. If you own a Roborock robotic vacuum, you already know the quality in the build. It’s as versatile as anything I might need, it’s quiet, and it does a hell of a job.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing overly revolutionary at play here. The stick, canister, and attachment approach is par for the course in design. While it does employ a very attractive silver and red color scheme, it otherwise looks familiar and almost unremarkable. Almost. There is beauty in the detail.
The first thing I noticed about the experience was the way the air smelled around it while running. It was clean in a way that you can’t really describe. And no, it’s not that “new car” effect or the odor from electronics. The filter system that Roborock uses is incredible and really works well. Even after a few months of daily usage I find the vacuum to make the air smell cleaner around me.
The Roborock H6 is light and pleasurable to work with, regardless of attachments. Whether you’re cleaning carpet with the extended tube or giving the steps a nice vacuum, it’s very easy to control.
Snapping on each attachment or brush is about as simple as it gets with a very noticeable click. There’s no mistaking whether they’re in place or not, And speaking of which, I like the variety offered.
I’ve seen cases where vacuum makers throw a dozen options at you and expect you to keep track of them in a bag or closet shelf. Roborock keeps it pretty straightforward with just a handful, but they’re helpful and unique enough. And when it comes to storage, everything (including the vacuum) goes on the shelf that can be mounted inside a closet or on a garage wall.
Battery life is good, and it’s nice to see how much time remains; however, I prefer the turbo or highest setting for my deeper pile carpet. And given there’s a pretty fair amount of it in the house, I’ve come close to depleting it without finishing. With that said, keeping things in the middle and switching from carpet to hard floor to rugs seems to work well, too. If you vacuum daily, you’ll be just fine with it.
The lock button is a nice touch as it lets you grip the Roborock H6 in a more relaxed manner. Instead of squeezing the trigger for power you can grab the handle and focus on movement.
Are there any drawbacks or downsides?
As much as I love the H6, there are just a few things I’d like to point out. Maybe they’re minor quibbles — maybe they’re things that can be improved upon.
I’ve noticed that the Roborock H6 tends to have quite a static build-up to it on the exterior of the carpet brush. Every so often I have to give a quick wipe to it to collect any hair or small dust that collects. It’s not gross or unsightly, but it’s noticeable.
Cleaning the canister is a different story. While I certainly love the suction power of the vacuum, it collects everything. And as a owner of multiple pets and father of a teenager, that means dust, dirt, and dander. I’d love to share photos of what comes up but it’s almost embarrassing — especially for someone who runs a robotic vacuum on a regular basis.
When it comes to emptying out the canister, I’ve found that I have to use my hands and get dirty more than I’d like. Most vacuums of this nature make it easy to click a button or pop a lever to dump the contents into the trash. Here, I find that I have to reach in and pull out the junk or help it along – and that means washing hands.
Would you recommend the Roborock H6?
Absolutely. Even with the aforementioned gripes, I find the vacuum to be powerful, easy to use, and flexible.
My wife has purchased her fair share of vacuum units over the years, always in search of the perfect one. We’ve owned Dyson, Shark, and a handful of other brands. Suffice it to say, she has been quite impressed the Roborock H6.
This is the first one we reach for when tidying up ahead of family visits and guests. It’s also the one we grab when it comes to cleaning out vehicles and refreshing the furniture.
While we did mount the shelf and clip in our pantry, our house tends to plug in the H6 in the family room. Its modern and minimal design doesn’t draw any unwanted attention and it’s right in the middle of the house when we need it.