This Clever Dock Self-Empties My Robot Vacuum for Me—and It's the Best Cure for My Allergies
Despite owning a robot vacuum for years, I've never quite gotten over the futuristic feeling of having a tiny robot in my house cleaning my floors. If I'm being honest, the time-saving device does make me feel a bit lazy—which is why I was hesitant to test an auto-empty dock for my robot vacuum. Was I really so busy that I not only needed my vacuum to clean on its own, but empty itself, too? After trying Roborock's Auto-Empty Dock for a month, it turns out the answer is a shameless yes—but not for the reasons I thought.
Roborock's Auto-Empty Dock is a charging station and a dust collecting base all in one. Like most robot vacuums, my Roborock 7 (the only supported device for the docking station, and one I highly recommend) will return to its charging port once it's done cleaning. But now, along with self-charging, it will also self-empty at the dock into the attached dust bin.
To buy: $300; amazon.com.
Originally, I found this self-emptying feature to be amusing—the docking port makes a loud space-ship-sounding suctioning noise as it collects the dirt and dust from the vacuum into the console—but also oh so helpful. I used to empty my robot vacuum quite often because of my perpetually shedding husky, so this auto-emptying dock was a nice reprieve from that daily chore. It wasn't until about a week in that I realized the real benefit of the dock.
I have pretty bad allergies that can flare up with the slightest traces of pollen, pet hair, and dust. Emptying my robot vacuum on my own meant subjecting myself to those collected particles daily. It was also very likely that I ended up dispersing some dust back into the air during my emptying process, making the cleanup less effective. The auto-empty dock truly captures all the swept-up debris (up to 99.99 percent as small as .3 microns, according to the brand), locking it into the port with the multi-layer filtration system. A pair of brushes attached to the dock also self-clean the robot vacuum every time it returns, so any particles that happened to float onto the device are removed. After a month, my home's air is noticeably cleaner and I'm experiencing less frequent side effects from my allergies, like an annoying runny nose or lingering itchy throat. No air purifier has ever helped this much.
While I will need to eventually empty the dock's dust bin, it can hold up to 3 liters of dust, dirt, and dander, so I shouldn't need to do so for up to eight weeks. When I do need to empty the bag, I can do so with ease and without mess because the bag seals once it is removed, locking in its contents. Note: The dock did come with two dust bags, but I plan to purchase more on Roborock's website.