Review: This robot vacuum cleaner claims to be perfect for pet hair - we put it to the test

The Eufy X8 Pro is aimed at pet owners who have to cope with lots of shedding furThe Eufy X8 Pro is aimed at pet owners who have to cope with lots of shedding fur
The Eufy X8 Pro is aimed at pet owners who have to cope with lots of shedding fur | Eufy

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Consumer technology writer Gareth Butterfield has tested dozens of robot vacuums, but has he finally found one that can cope with his labradoodle's long locks?

Pet hair has always proven the biggest headache for designers of household cleaning tech. Rollers need to be adapted to stop clogging, pipes need to remain free of blockages, and this is all well and good if you're developing the latest mains-powered upright vacuum, but robot vacuums make the brief even harder.

I feel like I've got the perfect testing arena for the claims some manufacturers make about pet fur resistance, with two dogs running around my house, one of which is a five-year-old labradoodle who loves to moult.

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And it's not hard to find vacuum cleaners that offer "tangle-free" technology but, take it from me and my dog, Honey, they don't always work all that well. Especially on carpet, where the hair gets trodden in.

So when the nice people at Eufy offered to let me test their Eufy Clean X8 Pro, a robot vacuum that makes some bold claims about pet-hair capabilities, I was certainly keen to give it a go in my average three-bedroomed house.

The Active Detangling Roller Brush is a clever designThe Active Detangling Roller Brush is a clever design
The Active Detangling Roller Brush is a clever design | Eufy

Eufy says its device has a patented "Active Detangling Roller Brush" which drags the fur that's sucked up past a "Pro-Detangle" comb. This, Eufy claims, removes entwined hair after every clean.

I'll come back to its pet-hair claims in just a moment, but first, let's drill down into the stats. There are two key versions of the Eufy X8 Pro, one of which has a self-emptying base station.

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The standard version costs £449, and the one with the base station is currently on offer at £549.

Importantly, the X8 Pro has laser guidance, which is the best way for a robot vacuum to navigate. Using a technology called LiDAR it can "see" its way around each room, and create an effective map which, using the Eufy Clean app, you can direct the robot to different tasks, room by room.

Laser technology helps the X8 Pro to navigateLaser technology helps the X8 Pro to navigate
Laser technology helps the X8 Pro to navigate | Eufy

Other important features that justify the price tag include a wet mopping function - it's just a microfibre pad and a water pump, but it does a fairly good job of removing simple spills and stains.

If you do opt for the self-emptying charging base and, to be honest, you really should, the on-board tank on the robot is sucked into a bag at the end of every clean. It works well and Eufy says you'll only need to empty or replace the bag after every 45 days, but I've actually managed to go longer.

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In terms of suction power, it has two turbines, each with an impressive 4,000pa and the 5,200mAh battery will cope with lengthy deep cleans absolutely fine.

However, it's fair to say £500 is a lot of money for a robot vacuum. It's certainly not the most expensive out there, but it's a big investment for most people.

While the robot performs best on hard floors, its performance on carpet is still impressiveWhile the robot performs best on hard floors, its performance on carpet is still impressive
While the robot performs best on hard floors, its performance on carpet is still impressive | Eufy

You would expect, then, that its claims about pet hair are up to scratch and, I'm happy to report, they are. Pretty much.

Eufy has designed a way to sit its roller in a spring-mounted housing, with a "comb" built in. The roller is easy to remove, but in theory you shouldn't need to.

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Like all modern robot vacuum rollers it has a mixture of brushes and fins, and a unique pattern helps to deflect hair, rather than wrapping it around the cylinder.

Eufy claims this system can eliminate 97% of tangles, and I have no reason to challenge that. Yet.

My dog's hair is quite fine. I'd imagine dogs that shed thicker fur might put Eufy to a better test, but the new design is certainly working for me. Even some of my upright vacuums need a bit of a de-clog every now and again, but I'm yet to have to do it with the X8 Pro.

In terms of performance, the X8 Pro has performed very well. Eufy is usually my go-to brand for robot vacuums anyway, so I expected it to be pretty good at its job, but the huge suction power makes light work of hard floors. On carpets, it's among the better robots I've tried, but don't expect miracles of any robot vacuum cleaner. They're great for regular cleans, but you will still need to do a deep clean every few weeks.

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The self-emptying base station is well worth the moneyThe self-emptying base station is well worth the money
The self-emptying base station is well worth the money | Eufy

The mop is less impressive. Perhaps it's because I've become conditioned to oscillating mops, like the ones that can be found on Eufy's much more expensive X9 Pro and the X10 Pro Omni, but as far as static mops go, it does an OK job of giving the floor a shine. Tough stains just get a bit too much for it.

Overall then, I'm seriously impressed with the X8 Pro. It's another bold claim made by Eufy by no means an empty promise. It really does have a tangle-free cleaning system and I know for some pet owners that feels like the holy grail.

I don't doubt there will be a limit to the technology's tolerances, and eventually I'll end up having to unclog the roller myself but, right now, it hasn't let me down.

It's been a very impressive performance.