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Ecovacs Deebot N8+ review: A robot vacuum that can empty its own bin

Our Rating :
£469.00 from
Price when reviewed : £679

It empties its own waste, which sounds revolutionary, but in practice probably isn’t worth the extra you have to pay for it


  • Powerful 2,300Pa suction
  • Empties its own collection bin
  • Smart mapping and decent app


  • Expensive
  • Unsatisfactory emptying
  • Small collection bin needs regular checking

The Ecovacs Deebot N8+ has a broad range of features handy for cleaning your floor, but its best trick is that it can empty itself. The charging station has its own vacuum, which sucks dirt from the robot’s collection bin and holds it in a bag that needs emptying less regularly.

However, the price is significant, costing £679 when we reviewed it. This ought to come down to a question of how much you’re prepared to pay to have your robot emptied for you, but on closer inspection, it’s not quite that simple.

Ecovacs Deebot N8+ review: What do you get for the money?

The Ecovacs Deebot N8+ comes in a much larger box than most robot vacuums because of its charging station, which also functions as the emptying bin. This is a significant item to have plugged in and visible in your home, much bigger than the usual robot vacuum chargers. It measures 300 x 423 x 428mm (WDH), so can’t be easily hidden or tucked away beneath a radiator. Our review unit arrived in white, though, which at least blends in neatly with pale walls.

Although the robot itself has a laser sensor protruding from the top, it has a reasonably low profile, standing just 94mm high. This gives it a better chance of getting under furniture such as coffee tables, sofas and beds. Looking at it from the top, it’s a circular puck shape with a diameter of 353mm and it weighs 3.6kg.

The robot has two sweeping brushes at the front, one on each side, to gather debris from the floor and feed it into the vacuum aperture. The two brushes are supplied in the box but there are no spares. The robot can also mop hard floors, with a 240ml water tank that feeds water onto a cloth attachment. There’s one washable mopping pad in the box, although it also comes with a sealed pack of 10 disposable pads. These are a bit like wet wipes but cut to the shape of the detachable mop plate.

Speaking of consumables, a quick search of Amazon showed that the bits and bobs you’ll need are easily ordered and available in bulk. The dust bags for the emptying station cost around £1.60 each (two are supplied in the box). The disposable wipes cost around 20p each.

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Ecovacs Deebot N8+ review: What’s it like to use?

Once you’ve set up the emptying station and charged the Deebot N8+, which takes around four hours, you control it using the Ecovacs companion app, available for Android and iOS. Set the robot off on its first cleaning mission and it scans its surroundings, scouting out an area worth covering. Once it’s established a decently sized space, it cleans it, only going on to seek out the next area afterwards.

Once it’s completed its first clean, the app shows a map of the cleaning area. This is automatically broken up into rooms, so you can set the robot to clean individual areas or groups of areas without having to tidy up the whole floor. If there are areas you don’t want the robot to go, you can add virtual boundaries to the map by drawing rectangles or lines. You can do this to block the robot completely, to stop it from getting tangled in wires, for example, or to set up no-mop zones that you don’t want to get wet.

It can store two maps, so can operate on two floors of a house, although as no robot vacuum manufacturer has yet figured out how to get their robots to climb stairs, you’ll have to carry it from one floor to the other. The app can also be used to set up scheduled cleaning, and you can set it to clean individual rooms or perform a spot clean by selecting an area on the map.

When it’s finished a job, it returns back to the emptying station and parks. The station’s vacuum then activates for a few seconds with a great explosion of noise as it sucks the dirt out of the robot and into its own, larger bag.

Ecovacs Deebot N8+ review: Is it good at finding its way around?

Once the app has built up its map, cleaning is relatively efficient. The Deebot vacuums each room before moving on to the next and you can choose the order in which you’d like rooms to be done. In my first clean it took around 62 mins to cover 57m2, but with the area mapped out, subsequent cleans were faster. I found it took around one minute per square metre.

The device doesn’t charge around trusting the map, however; it still bumps into table legs and wriggles its way around them. At one point I thought it was going to get stuck in an alcove behind my dining room table, but after a bit of reversing and retrying it managed to wriggle its way out.

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The only other problem I encountered was with furniture legs that aren’t vertical. I have a coffee table with legs that splay out from the surface at an angle, and if the front of the robot hit the leg on its obtuse side, it would stop and try to loop around the leg; however, the harder rear of the unit would then scrape against the rear of the leg, catching the acute interior angle.

Changes in height don’t phase the robot, however, and it’s perfectly capable of climbing from hard floor onto rugs and mounting thick doormats.

Ecovacs Deebot N8+ review: How well does it clean?

Ecovacs states that the suction power goes up to 2,300Pa, which is stronger than average for a robot vacuum. Although the Deebot N8+ doesn’t utilise this level of suction in standard mode, it does automatically boost it when the robot detects it’s moved from a hard floor onto a carpet. If you want a more thorough clean, maximum power mode is easily selected from the app, and the power level can be adjusted during cleaning.

The dual sweeper brushes at the front are both a blessing and a curse. On the positive side, it seemed to do a better job than robots with single brushes at cleaning around the edges of things, as there’s twice the chance of catching stuff and sucking it into the bin. However, when clearing up easily scattered particles, there’s also a higher chance of flicking dust and other particles across the floor.

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We test robot cleaners with tough 50g spillages of rice and flour and see how much is picked up from hard floor and short-pile carpet. Scattered rice on a hard floor is a tricky test for a robot with spinning brushes because they tend to bat a significant number of grains out of the way rather than gathering them in. Of the 50g I dropped on my hard floor, the Deebot N8+ collected 39g on the first pass but spread the rest over a wide area.

A second pass saw it collect another 7g, taking it up to 46g, which is a reasonable effort, but by this time the rice that hadn’t been collected was all over the place, and even the remaining four grams of rice looks like a lot when it’s all over your floor.

The Deebot N8+ fared better picking up rice from the carpet because it doesn’t scatter it as widely. Here, it collected 43g on the first attempt. However, what remained of the rice was still spread liberally around the initial area of spillage.

Of the 50g of test flour I spilled on the carpet, the vacuum collected only 25g on its first pass. What was left was trodden into the carpet and spread into the surrounding area, leaving dusty tyre tracks and residue from the device’s turns. The hard floor result was better, with the N8+ collecting 42g of 50g. However, there was still plenty of residue on the floor, and a second pass only picked up another 3g.

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Overall, this is a fair performance. It doesn’t match up to the more expensive Dyson 360 Heurist, which was much better at picking up our artificial messes, but it’s a similar level of cleaning to other puck-shaped robots we’ve reviewed, such as the Eufy RoboVac G30 Edge.

The self-emptying proved to be a bit of a mixed bag as well, often struggling to suck all of the dust out of the N8+’s bin in one go. It isn’t ideal that the robot doesn’t detect when its 0.42-litre bin is full, either, and take itself back to base to be emptied. Instead, the bin often becomes rammed full mid-clean, reducing efficiency and making it harder for the emptying station to do its job. It’s also not great that the 2.5-litre bags in the emptying station aren’t reusable and are fairly pricey to replace.

The mop element doesn’t quite provide what you or I would consider a proper mopping, either, dragging a damp pad around the floor to give it a watery once-over, as opposed to a thorough deep clean. To be fair to it, though, this is similar to other robot vacuums with mopping attachments – it’s fine for the occasional wipe down and to keep on top of cleaning, but you’ll still want to keep a manual mop to hand for deeper cleans.

Ecovacs Deebot N8+ review: Should I buy it?

If there’s a disappointment about the Ecovacs Deebot N8+, it’s that it doesn’t fully live up to its promise. The additional suction over the Eufy G30 Edge didn’t help the Ecovacs Deebot pick up more of our test spillages and the mopping element is no better or worse than we’ve seen elsewhere. And the self-emptying still needs some degree of management as it doesn’t work perfectly.

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It’s pricey, too, but there are some positives here. It’s not a huge amount more than you’d expect to pay for a vacuum with laser-based multi-floor mapping, mopping and automatic hard-floor/carpet detection, notwithstanding the self-emptying feature. And it’s worth bearing in mind that Ecovacs robots are often subject to big discounts around sales time. The N8+ is also cheaper at full price than the equivalent iRobot Roomba i3+, which lacks all of the aforementioned advanced features.

Ultimately, it’s neither great nor terrible. On the one hand, it’s packed with features that help it navigate your home effectively and quickly. It can give your floors a light mopping and empty itself, and it’s competitively priced, too. On the other, it’s not an awful lot better at actually doing the job of sucking up dirt than much cheaper robot vacuums.

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