Robot Vacuum for Stairs: What’s News?

If you are anything like me, you probably do not like vacuuming the flight of stairs in your home. What with the tricky crevices that hoard debris and pesky pet hairs!

Secretly, I have always wished for a stair vacuum that would just do the dirty work, so I would not have to spend hours toiling away at my staircases.

Upright vacuums come with nifty attachments that sort of make cleaning stairs a bit easier but still, there is no escaping the manual labor. No wonder the idea of a hands-free robot vacuum that can clean stairs is so appealing!

So, the big question is this: stair vacuum robot-do they exist? The answer is yes and no. Read on to find out more.

How Robot Vacuums Work

Robot vacuums are arguably one of the most ingenious innovations to come out of the vacuum cleaning industry.

While a Roomba vacuum will not entirely replace a regular upright or canister vacuum, it does take the work out of vacuuming, allowing you to schedule cleans and enjoy a spotless house without as much as lifting a finger.

These little bots use a host of sensors to navigate a room, detect, and clean particularly dirty spots, and avoid tumbling down steep edges such as stairs. These latter sensors are known as cliff sensors.

When the cliff sensors detect a steep edge, the robot stops, turns around, and avoids falling down the flight of stairs. The robot has sensors at the front that detect obstacles on the vacuum’s pathway.

As soon as the robot senses an obstacle, in this case, the bottom of a stair, it will clean along the stair before turning around to continue cleaning the rest of the room.

As they currently are, robot vacuums have been built to avoid stairs! Handy as these little bots are, they lack the intelligence and physical mechanism to climb up and down staircases.

What’s New?

robot vacuum clean stairs
robot vacuum clean stairs

A robot vacuum that can clean stairs continues to be an area of interest for researchers in the field of engineering and artificial intelligence.

So far, a handful of companies have tried to build robots that can climb and clean stairs but these are neither fine-tuned nor available for commercial use.

The prototype robot vacuums that researchers have put out have several limitations. Other than lacking in aesthetics, some of these early stair vacuums might have challenges with weight distribution so even if they can climb stairs, the motion would be very clunky.

Another challenge is that these robots clean by moving their feet back and forth, which does not make for very good cleaning outcomes.

What makes modern robot vacuums so efficient is the advanced features such as brush rolls and edge brushes that ensure the robot cleans thoroughly. These features are lacking in the prototype stair robot vacuums.

Overall, one would say, yes, stair vacuum robots do exist. However, these are not available for purchase as they are still under development. As they are, these vacuums do not clean as well as the robot vacs we currently have in the market.

If we were to be honest, we still have a couple more years to go before we can easily buy a robot that goes up and down the stairs.


handheld vacuum clean stairs
handheld vacuum clean stairs

Perhaps the main reason why we would all want a vacuum for stairs is so we won’t have to do so much work! After all, heavy foot traffic means the stairs need to be regularly cleaned.

So, if there are no robot staircase vacuums to speak of, what are the alternatives? I would suggest investing in a programmable robot vacuum and a light handheld vacuum to keep your stairs spotless with as little effort as possible.

What’s really great about a programmable rob vac such as the iRobot 960 is that you can set it to clean at a convenient time and as regularly as possible. This particular vacuum features dual multi-surface rubber brushes and a 3-stage cleaning system that makes it ideal for homes with pets and busy households.

If you have a regular upright vacuum, in as much as you would like to, you might not be up to the task of vacuuming your house every day. On the other hand, with a robot vacuum, you can vacuum your house every day or as often as you need to. If the rest of the house is clean, the stairs will not be as dirty either.

If you want to keep your stairs cleaner for longer even without a stairs vacuum, a robot vacuum that is set to clean regularly might be the way to go.

I also suggested a handy lightweight handheld vacuum to deep clean the stairs every now and then. A handheld is versatile and comes with great tools that make maneuvering stairs so much easier. If you use both the handheld and robot vacuum as your cleaning companions, you will hardly break a sweat over keeping your home clean at all times.

Some features to consider if you are in the market for a robot vacuum are:

  • The type of floors- Some vacuums are better suited for hardwood floors while others clean carpeted floors better
  • Size of your home: A robot vacuum with extra features such as room mapping technology and virtual walls might be suitable for homes with more rooms
  • Pets: Do you have pets in your home? Not all robot vacuums will pick up pet hair with ease without needing to be unclogged regularly. Consider a vacuum with enough suction to suck up pesky pet hairs
  • Budget: The more features you want, the costlier the robot vacuum is likely to be.


Keeping a house clean is no easy feat. While it would be nice to have stair-climbing robots to clean our homes, we are still several years away from having such gadgets available in the market.

For now, if you want an easier way to keep your stairs clean, your best bet might be a programmable robot vacuum to clean your home regularly, and a handheld vacuum that comes with all the necessary attachments to get to those hard to reach crevices.

Do you have any questions or comments? Please leave them below!