How to Keep Your Robot Vacuum from Going Under The Couch

Environmentally friendly, agile, and swift are the words that people associate with robot vacuums. They give you a hassle-free cleaning experience.

They are taking over most conventional vacuum cleaners; for good reasons; they are cost-effective and you can control them through an app. So, you don’t even have to be around to make sure your house is clean.

Robot vacuums are very popular in the market right now. They are variations available for every person, budget, house, and lifestyle. If you are a student living a hectic life where you can’t afford to spend time sweeping, or a pet parent looking for ways to keep your floor clean from fur, then a robot vacuum would be a perfect fit for you.

Likewise, robot vacuums are perfect for the elderly. As people get older, they often find it harder to keep up with household chores like vacuuming and a robot vacuum can be a valuable and useful household appliance.   

These automated vacuums can range considerably in pricing and since you’re more than likely to buy just one, choosing the right robot vacuum to buy isn’t always straightforward. 

They can competently clean with their motorized functionality and newer models will even come with superior modifications. You just need to pay attention to the specifications and whether they are suitable for your needs.

However, despite all models coming with advanced motion sensors, people do run into the problem of these vacuums going under furniture, and often getting stuck. While more advanced models can judge if they can fit under something, not all do, so it’s important you pick the correct robot vacuum from the start. 

The purpose of purchasing a robot vacuum is to let it clean your home with minimal effort. But if you personally have to pull out your vacuum, then it defeats the purpose of buying one of these machines.

5 Ways to Prevent your Robot Vacuum from Getting Stuck under the Couch

Regardless of the fast-improving technology, they tend to get stuck under different pieces of furniture, specifically a couch. If you have a more advanced model, it may have built-in motion sensors, but even those can sometimes glitch out and fail to recognize the lack of space.

Couches and sofas tend to be lower than most furniture, which makes these incidents especially common. Once they get stuck underneath a sofa, these vacuums are prone to releasing their collected debris. This action makes the entire process counterproductive. Also, unless get up to help them they may continue to blare an annoying alarm which can be loud enough to wake the neighbours!

So what can you do to prevent them from getting stuck in the first place? We list the most popular 5 strategies below:

1. Switch On the Lights

A lady on the couch with a robot vacuum. How to Keep Your Robot Vacuum from Going Under The Couch

This is the first step you should take but is only relevant if the robot does not have LiDAR navigation. People often neglect to switch on their lights when their vacuum is running. It doesn’t even cross your mind to leave the lights on because robotic vacuums are supposed to be independent machines. Partially, that remains true. These vacuums are independent machines; however, they aren’t perfect, so they can’t see well in the dark.

Robot vacuums include sensors that perform exceptionally well in ample light. This is an essential tip, especially when they are navigating through dark corners, a living room, or a dining room. In these conditions, they can easily either get lost or stuck.

Your robot vacuum is likely to get stuck because of insufficient light. The optical sensors installed in the various vacuums work best when the room has enough light. And if the machine continues to bump into furniture, it could damage its sensors, which would need repairing.

If you aren’t available, or there isn’t someone to stop the vacuum from going under a couch, schedule the clean-up during brighter times of the day. It would be best for you to schedule the vacuum at noon or during the late morning.

Check this guide for tips to make your robot vacuum function better.

2. Set Up Restricted Zones

screenshots of the Roborock robot vacuum app for setting no go zones

This feature is available in almost every robot vacuum on the market. It’s an application which helps you choose and restrict areas which you don’t want to be disturbed. For instance, your pet’s bowl or a priceless gaming set-up. A vacuum can sometimes mess up expensive and complicated items in your home because of a reckless floor plan.

And if you live in a two-story house or an apartment with stairs, setting up restricted zones becomes even more essential. You could prevent it from tumbling down the stairs by putting up a boundary wall in the programming that the machine will not cross. Their programming is set up to recognize the red markings and they immediately back away from the line.

You can go to the application and select designated places in your house. It can either be a staircase or something random like cat litter. As long as the boundaries are red, the robot vacuum won’t cross them. Now, both your vacuum and your furniture will be safe.

3. DIY Tricks

many colorful pool noodles

There are two tricks you can use to stop the vacuum from going under a couch; 3M Hooks and Pool Noodles. They are both affordable and easy to set up. These two DIY hacks offer simple protection to keep your vacuum from getting stuck.

If you have a handful of pool noodles lying in your home, you can put them to good use. Or if you don’t, you can easily buy them from a local store. Here’s what we suggest to do:

  1. Start by slicing them according to the couches’ measurements (attach two or more depending on how long the couch is) and then insert them between the open space of the couch and the floor. Note that this works best for couches that are close to the ground, but you need at least two inches of space.
  2. After attaching them to the sofas, you can spray paint them; design them to your own preference and they could add a personalized touch to the decor.

Alternatively, A smart way to use 3M hooks is to install them on the top of your vacuum. This way, the vacuum won’t bump into anything or get stuck somewhere.

Whenever it encounters a hurdle, the 3M hook will prevent it from scratching itself or damaging the furniture, this way neither of these two things is harmed.

However, since 3M hooks have a quick release function, they tend to fall off from the impact. You can fix this by attaching them with glue or facing forward to prevent impact.

4. Use Sofa Risers

A robot vacuum with a raised sofa in the background

For the most accessible clean, it would be best if you got sofa risers. The vacuum gets stuck mainly because it doesn’t have enough room to go under and clean as it’s supposed to. However, if you have sofa risers to elevate your couch an inch or two, it would automatically allow the robot to vacuum enough of your room to effortlessly clean beneath your couch.

Of course, the reason you paid for a robot vacuum is for easy and efficient cleaning. So, you need to make sure that the vacuum goes in but can also come out.

Sometimes, people don’t opt for this option because it can change the structure of your sofa. It affects the legs of a sofa and so people prefer to use other alternatives first. Although, if you measure your weight and breadth of yours and buy the risers accordingly, then you shouldn’t have these issues.

5. Remove the Excessive Clutter

A living room with loads of clutter scattered around the floor

Oftentimes, robot vacuums get stuck because of the clutter obstructing the space beneath your couch.

If your vacuum frequently gets stuck underneath the sofa, it would be best if you peeked under the soda and find out what’s blocking it, i.e. pet toys, shoes, textbooks, etc.

Removing excess clutter means you should probably pick out your wrappers or containers that are taking up space and causing your robotic vacuum to get stuck. By removing this larger litter, your robot vacuum should be able to  enter and sweep the area with efficiency 


Robot vacuums are an investment made to assist with cleaning. However, they have a tendency to get stuck under furniture, namely couches, because of their shorter height. Even if you get the most premium vacuum, it will still get stuck.

Always try to take precautions to prevent your robot vacuum from getting stuck in the first place.

Things like adjusting settings in the programming that comes with the robotic vacuum and using 3M hooks or pool noodles to keep the device from breaching will work well.

However, the best solution would be to get sofa risers. They elevate the sofa an inch or two, allowing the vacuum to enter and clean the place for you.

However, it may affect the furniture’s sturdiness and doesn’t support all types of couches, so we advise that you adopt all strategies and stick with the ones that work the best for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions associated with how you can keep your robot vacuum from going under the couch:

What Can I Use To Block A Robot Vacuum?

You can block a robot vacuum with either physical or virtual barriers depending on the vacuum. If it’s one of the newest models and has built-in sensors, you can virtually block the robot vacuum by restricting areas on your phone. Now, you can minimize risks and bound it to particular places in your home that are safe for cleaning. Physical barriers are easy, and you can even put them up using pool noodles. Furniture blockers are also known for being an anaesthetic and protective barrier.

Which Robot Vacuum Doesn’t Bump Into Furniture?

iRobot Roomba 981 is an all-powered robot vacuum. It’s an advanced vacuum cleaner that those with a busy lifestyle will surely love to have in their own homes. It combines powerful suction with pristine visual localization and mapping, making it a device that can systematically clean your unit in neat rows.

How Often Can I Use My Vacuum?

You should use your vacuum four to seven times a week. You can use it every day without hesitation. If you live in a relatively large house or have a lot of furry pets, you should clean your house daily to prevent excess dust or fur from accumulating.

How to Prevent Scratches From My Vacuum?

The best way is for you to wrap bumpers or 3M hooks on top of your vacuum and on the bottom. This way, it won’t make loud noises or cause scratches when it drags across a wall or accidentally bumps into some furniture. The bumpers or 3M hooks are super easy to install

Where Should I Put My Robot Vacuum?

It would be best if you placed the dock against a wall or on the ground so that the vacuum can situate itself easily without you needing to do much. Ideally, it would best be to place it within a four-meter distance from any furniture and ensure there are no objects on either side.

The placement of the robot vacuum is essential to the longevity of the device. One common issue that endangers the device’s health is that it doesn’t save its location on the map after finishing with a clean. When this happens, the machine begins to rotate and clash with its parallel objects, ultimately damaging the furniture and itself.

Here’s a short and informative YouTube link so as to not get overwhelmed with questions yet have your worries wiped clean just like your home.

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