A powerful vacuum cleaner for normal dirt pickup, the Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni’s dual-spinning microfibre cloths also mean it’s a super-impressive mop, cleaning up messes that other robot vacuum cleaners can’t touch. With auto-emptying, plus auto cloth cleaning and water refilling, this is a set-and-forget robot vacuum that reduces the manual work you have to do. The only minor complaint is that the robot can’t avoid carpets automatically, or lift its mop to prevent soaking them, so you’ll have to configure its no-go areas carefully.
It’s a good navigator, avoiding big items automatically, but I’d like the cameras to be able to spot and avoid smaller objects, such as cables, too. The price may well put off a lot of people; but if you want perfectly clean and mopped hard floors with minimum hassle, this is an impressive performer.
- Excellent mopping
- Largely automatic maintenance
- Powerful vacuuming
- Dock is large
- Fiddly to set no-mopping zones
- UKRRP: £1499
- USARRP: $1495
- TypeThis is a robot vacuum cleaner and mop, with a self-emptying and cleaning charging dock
- MoppingThis robot has a water tank that it uses to wet its dual microfibre cloths. The cleaning station cleans these cloths and refills the robot with water.
- Battery lifeA maximum of 260 minutes from a single charge, although this is on the lowest power setting; on higher settings, there’s enough power to clean a large area or an entire smaller house
After a long time of standard robot vacuum cleaners that need a fair amount of manual intervention, we’re now at a point where robots and their docking stations have become smarter. Take the Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni, for example. This smart robot vacuum cleaner has a massive docking station that not only empties the vacuum cleaner but also cleans the cloths, sucking the water into a dirty water tank, thereafter refilling the water reservoir.
Also available is the Deebot X1 Turbo, which is a cleaner with mop functionality, but it’s charging station doesn’t empty automatically; it only cleans the mop cloths and refills with water. That model is £200 cheaper than the Omni.
Design and Features
- Absolutely huge dock
- Quick to map
- Lots of cleaning modes
Unlike the similar Roborock S7 MaxV, which can be bought with and without the docking station, the Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni comes with its huge docking station as standard. Measuring 430 x 448 x 578mm, this dock takes up a lot of space and can’t fit under cupboards, so this is more of a vacuum cleaner for larger homes.
To be fair, this station packs a lot in. Pull out the front drawer and you’ll find space for bags, as the robot can be self-emptied after cleaning. The bag holds 2.5-litres of dirt. Given that the robot has a 400ml bin, that should be enough capacity to last for around 30 days, depending on the size of your home and how dirty it is.
There are two bags in the box, with replacements costing £20.99 for three, which is a similar price to bags for the iRobot J7+. It’s still quite expensive overall, given that you’ll have to spend around £7 a month on bags.
The robot vacuum cleaner is of a standard size with a circular body. Ecovacs was the first company to convince me that robot vacuum cleaners could also mop, with the Deebot Ozmo 930. That model was the first I’d seen to include a water pump to select the amount of water used. In fact, it was so good at the time that I even bought one.
Times have moved on, with Roborock choosing a sonic mopping system to improve its scrubbing; but the Deebot X1 Omni takes a different tack. This robot has dual-microfibre spinning cloths that agitate dirt and use water to help clean. It’s like having a robot version of the AirCraft PowerGlide.
The docking station will clean the cloths, taking dirty water into one tank, and then refill the robot’s water tank from its own large water reservoir. Both tanks have space for four litres of water, so you won’t have to fill or empty them often. There’s even a hot air mode to dry the microfibre cloths after use to prevent any damp smells.
There are two spare cloths in the dock, so you can swap out and clean the old ones in a washing machine from time to time.
Unlike the Roborock models, the X1 Omni can’t lift its mopping cloths off of the floor for traversing carpet, so you’ll need to set no-mop zones in the app.
This model has two side-sweeper brushes for moving dirt into the path of the robot vacuum cleaner. Two can be better than one, as side cleaning is easier; robots that have one brush have to navigate edges in one direction to be effective, but the Deebot X1 Omni can approach from either side.
There’s a rubber floor roller at the centre of the cleaner, for agitating dirt on carpet and hard floors. It’s designed so as not to get hair wrapped around it: in a house with pets and people with long hair, I’ve not had to cut anything off the roller yet.
As seems to be standard now, the robot has a camera on the front, which is used both for navigation and to avoid common obstacles, such as cables and shoes. There’s an option to view the feed while the robot is cleaning, letting you see what’s going on. I found this quite useful to see what was going on in my house while I was out, even if the video quality is a little basic and the image a little dim.
The Ecovacs app is one of the best I’ve encountered. When the robot is first connected, it needs to perform a mapping run of your home. Thanks to LiDAR, this is exceptionally quick and accurate. Once you’ve got your map, you can divide it into rooms, which lets you clean one area quickly and even set the cleaning order you prefer, both manually and in schedules.
Multiple maps are supported, so if you have multiple floors in your house, the X1 can happily deal with them.
Advanced features let you set no-go and no-mop areas, plus you can place furniture on the map for quick cleaning – say, telling the X1 Omni to clean around your dining table only. These are similar features to the Roborock S7 MaxV, although the Roborock is a little easier to configure. Here, the X1’s app shows a different grid view for furniture placement, rather than the standard map view, so it’s a little hard to work out where furniture should go.
For cleaning, you can select to cover an area once or twice and choose from four power modes (Quiet, Standard, Max and Max+). I found the latter more useful, although my house is home to multiple cats, so there’s a lot of fur to contend with.
Mopping modes are based on the amount of water used (Low, Medium and High). Again, High proved best for my floors.
While you can do everything from the app, there’s also the OK Yiko smart assistant. Say “OK Yiko” and you can command the robot to start or stop a clean (general or a specific named room or bit of furniture). I found that I had to practice getting the intonation right for the robot to understand my commands, and it isn’t as easy to get Yiko to respond as, say, Alexa. Once Yiko sprang to life, it was as useful as the Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant skills, but with one added advantage: I can tell the robot to come and clean “here”.
This sets the X1 Omni to come and find where I’m standing (or sitting) and then clean that particular area. When cooking, this is super-useful. I can make a mess and then tell the X1 Omni to come and clean it up. How well this works depends on where you’re standing and the obstacles around you. I found that if there was a clean line of sight to me, the X1 found me easily. Standing on the other side of the kitchen island from the robot, it struggled to locate me.
- Excellent mopping
- Powerful suction
To test the Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni, I put it through my usual tests. I started with my hard floor tests, beginning by sprinkling a teaspoon of flour onto the floor. All of the dirt was removed with ease.
Next, I sprinkled a teaspoon of flour right up to the skirting board. Here, the robot got most of the mess on the first pass, leaving behind just a trace amount of dirt. Given that the level of dirt I spread was more than you’ll find in most homes, the X1 Omni will cope with everyday spills well enough. Besides, a second run managed to get pretty much everything.
I also spread a teaspoon of flour onto carpet. Again, the X1 did brilliantly, sucking up almost every trace from the carpet fibres on one pass; two passes did even better. There was a small amount left, but for day-to-day cleaning, the X1 is more than up to the task.
For mopping, I let the Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni tackle my light kitchen floor, which gets very dirty as a result of the cats coming in and out, as well as mess from general use and cooking. It’s an impressive cleaner, even managing to largely remove some ground-in stains that other mops simply run over.
Navigation is very good, too. LiDAR lets the robot quickly assess its surroundings, and my review sample easily made its way around tables and chairs. The camera adds another dimension to what’s possible, letting the robot see where it is and navigate around trickier obstacles, such as chair legs. However, the robot ran over my test cable – although it did avoid smashing into a cat bowl on the floor; the size of the obstacle seems to make a difference.
For noise, I measured the robot at just 64dB: that’s exceptionally quiet and not very intrusive – and impressive given that the Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni was on Max mode. The docking station is louder at 79dB emptying, although it only runs for 10 seconds.
Ecovacs says that battery life is up to 260 minutes, although this is on the lowest power, vacuum-only mode. On Max mode and mopping, I found that there was plenty of juice to cover my entire house once, or to do downstairs giving the kitchen a deep scrub and clean.
Should you buy it?
If you want exceptionally mopping performance, excellent cleaning and, largely, hands-free operation, then this robot can’t be beaten.
It’s expensive and huge, and doesn’t have the same quality obstacle avoidance as the iRobot J7+, so you may prefer that robot vacuum cleaner instead.
There are two main drawbacks with the Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni: £1499 is a significant sum of money for a robot vacuum cleaner, and the docking station is absolutely huge. If neither is a problem for you, the robot is one of the best I’ve tested.
Suction power is excellent, with the robot cleaning well on all surfaces, even on the more difficult edge tests. It’s the mopping ability that really sets this robot apart from the competition, though.
Simply put, the mopping is the best I’ve seen from a robot vacuum cleaner, even tackling tough ground-in stains; it’s a small step above the excellent Roborock S7 MaxV even. I’d like a little more flexibility in cleaning options, and it would be better if the robot could automatically avoid carpet while mopping.
If you want a robot that does everything, this is a great choice. If you’re on a tighter budget, however, check out my alternative choices in my guide to the best robot vacuum cleaners.
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Used as our main robot vacuum cleaner for the review period
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Tested with real-world dirt in real-world situations for fair comparisons with other vacuum cleaners
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The Turbo’s dock cleans the mopping pads and refills with water, while the Omni’s dock does this and empties the robot.
Yes, it does, so you can use this robot in a house with multiple floors.
It uses two spinning microfibre pads that scrub and agitate dirt.