Neato XV-21 Pet & Allergy

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XV-21 Pet & Allergy
Operating Time (hours)
Charge Time (hours)
Operating Pattern
Back and Forth
Scheduled Cleaning
Infrared Sensor
Dirt Sensor
Hardwood, Tile & Linoleum
Spot Mode
Height Adjustment
HEPA Filter
Multi-Room Navigation
Battery Indicator
Full Bin Indicator
Cliff Sensor
Charging Base
Return to Charging Base
Boundary Markers
Virtual Walls
Remote Control
Additional info
+ Patented Neato Technology-Laser-guided navigation system scans and maps the room, plans and methodically cleans-instead of just bumping around
* NiMH (nickel metal hydride)
* Blade Brush + Combo Brush + High-Performance Filter
* Great for picking up pet hair
Comparison: Neato XV-21 Pet & Allergy vs Neato XV Signature Pro

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Review by Jchap
As someone who has owned many models of the Roomba over the years it was time for another Robotic Vacuum. I have 3 dogs and 4 cats so I have constant fur balls and toy shreddings around my house. I have not been impressed with some of the newer Roombas compared to the older ones as believe it or not the newer versions would get stuck on rugs easier. I did some research since there are now many brands of Robotic vacuums on the market to choose from.

I have tile throughout with occasional area rugs. I got my Neato last night and already I'm in love! Compared to the Roomba, it is smart! it scans my rooms, knows where to go, when it's time to charge it returns to it's base remembering where it left off. All the while it hasn't gotten stuck on anything and it's not constantly banging against my furniture and cabinets. It has suction which none of my roombas have ever had. Already between playing with it last night, and then again this morning I can see what a superior job it's doing at picking up the furballs and toy shreddings and navigating through my house. And as far as cleaning the machine it's a snap compared to keeping the Roomba clean and fit. I think even my dogs are appreciating the fact that it's not constantly running into them!

Absolutely love this vacuum!
I've been meaning to write a review on the Neato XV-21 pet vacuum since I got it but never got around to it. It's been 7 almost 8 months since I got him and I still love him its the best household appliance I have ever gotten and that includes my kitchen in stand mixer which comes in at a close second. Now for some details:

I got Neato because I fractured my back and could not push the vacuum around or sweep easily. I would recommend him ( yes mine is a he yours might be a she but you'll have to get to know yours to find out. Ask nicely and maybe it will tell you.) for elderly or disabled people that have issues with those kind of tasks.

I have 5 yes you heard right FIVE Pug dogs. If you have a Pug you know they shed enough fur each week to make up whole new Pugs, my husband jokes that that is how we've ended up with 5 they keep multiplying via furball reproduction.

My house is 4200 square feet give or take. It's all either hardwood floors or porcelain tile I have NO carpet or throw rugs so can't speak to how it would do on carpets. My layout is mostly open concept but is divided among 3 floors. The main floor which neato does every day is about 2400 sq ft. Neato does an excellent cleaning all of it. It does take about 3 charging cycles to do the main floor but that is okay with me he basically does about 800 square feet per charge. To do the other levels I simply carry him to that floor set him down and start him up and off he goes. On those levels he of course can't get back to his charger on his own so I put him down in the middle of a room so I can find him easily once he has finished and is asking to be charged up. Yes I lost him one day when i forgot I had carried him upstairs so learned leave him right in the middle of an easily visible room. I have him run EVERYDAY seven days a week for at least 2 cycles but mostly 3 so he can do the whole main floor or the other 2 floors combined.

I love neato BUT he does have his quirks and somedays his nickname is dumdum but here are a few things I have discovered that help and or that you might have to do to help him out at times.

1) During the winter when he was doing most of his cleaning in the dark I found that after about a month he started getting really stupid and chirping, bumping, circling and acting like a complete idiot. I swear he got dyslexic there for awhile attempting to turn right and go through a wall rather than left through the door. BUT I realized it was like his internal map of the house was getting corrupted. I think he has a harder time in the dark and if he cleans in the dark week after week with no daylight or lights on his internal map gets jumbled especially say if he encounters changes like say Christmas decorations that he has to account for. I solved his issues by making sure at least once a week to let him clean during the day this seemed to keep his map updated and his brain clear.

2) He has only tumbled off a step twice once right after we got him and then just this week, it was maybe a 4 inch step and he survived with no issue other than maybe his pride. My husband said the first time he did it was because he took one look at five Pugs and tried to make a run for it. To solve this problem I just gently clean his drop sensor with a q-tip, the manual tells you where and how it takes 30 seconds and he's all bright eyed and chipper ready to get back to work.

3) he hated my breakfast nook and consistently got hung up around the table until I made a slight adjustment by sliding the table out a few more inches from the wall. That tiny change which did not affect the room or table made all the difference and now he zips around in there with no issues.

4) my living room furniture was a hair too short for him to go under so simply bought a set of those rubber glides and put them under each leg. You can't see them, neato gets under them now and a bonus they don't slide around so much on the wood floors anymore.

5) I had to gather up all the cords dangling around my entertainment console because he kept finding that one tiny cord that would pull all the others free. I think he's very smart and felt up to the riddle of unwinding all those cords my husband had other opinions. All I had to do was get some of the plastic zip ties bundle the cords up and shove them behind the console. On a good note it looks way better than before and neato is happy as well. Easy thing to solve.

6) locating his charging stand or should I say "bedroom" since he also sleeps there. My homes layout did not works for it to be right in the center what with everything being open there simply were no wall or outlets. I also did not want him to be the first thing people saw when they came to visit. I put him along one wall in my breakfast nook. It's about 3 feet from either corner and has about 4 feet in front of him from the table, most of the time he finds it no problem BUT.... sometimes he does not and kinks out and then goes waa waa waa please charge me in a very sad tone. I have found it to be an issue mostly when he has been cleaning the far side of the house and simply gets too tired to make it all the way back to his bed. I simply pick him up and tuck him in his charger and everyone is happy.

7) climbing things. He will at time try to climb the strangest things, like the corner of a room or a bench or BEHIND the toilet (how he manages THAT I have yet to figure out) why I do not know but usually he rights himself and continues on. Rarely he will get himself hung up and then cry for attention and have to be rescued but this is only rarely and to not have to vacuum the floors everyday myself I will rescue the lil critter every now and then.

8) closets, oh my walk in closets can be a challenge for neato. My husband claims he is a cross dresser since he seems to like my dresses better than his pants. I think he just has better taste in clothes. But really it's my fault since I do occasionally leave something hanging a little too low and neato is just doing his job. Having him around has made me keep my closet much more nicely organized.

9) shoes... Do not leave shoes laying about, neato has a thing for shoes we caught him... Ehem... Having his way with one of my husbands shoes. We blushed and Neato beeped and we simply don't talk about the incident preferring to pretend we didn't see what we saw. Neato has helped teach my husband to put his shoes on the shoe shelf in his closet something 30 years of marriage I have never been able to do. I secretly think its because he is afraid neato might overpopulate the house with vacuum/shoe hybrids. It could be worse at least they would clean up after themselves.

10) the beeping is annoying. I mean ANNOYING. when he gets lost, hung up, confused, tired, or just plain ornery somedays and goes beep beep beep waa waa waa beep beep beep I want to smack him silly. Somedays it seems as if he doesn't want to work and just sets out to annoy the heck out of us until we put him back in his charger base. On the other hand when he gets lost, tired, stuck, what have you and you can't see him the beeping leads you to where he is and 2400 sq ft is a lot of space to search without his little cry.

11) the filter and dirt container could be bigger. I run him every day and most of the time only have to clean it out once a day. He does not tell me while in the middle cleaning Hey lady my tummy is full please empty it. I have to remember to check it. He does ask once he is in his charger to please check his bin to see if it needs emptying. He is VERY polite and thanks you once you have done so though. Neato has manners. If he encounters a large furball his little mouth will get clogged and he will keep trying to clean even though he isn't getting anything through. That is irritating you'd think he could have a sensor that would stop him and have him ask you to clear his throat. This does not happen often since I run him every day but occasionally he will encounter something under the recesses of the furniture and get more of a mouthful than he can handle.

12) The filter lasts a LONG time. I am in fact still using the same one I started with. I clean it regularly by vacuuming out the pleats and every couple of months rinsing it out with water. If you rinse it out make sure it is completely dry before you put it back in; Neato does not do water. I plan to purchase a new filter and most likely a battery shortly just to be sure I have them on hand since he will most likely need a new battery around his birthday any way. I think a new battery and filter would make a nice birthday gift for him.

13) I have only had a stuck brush message once when yes his brush was stuck he tried very valiantly on his part to suck up a sock. I think he is a hero for trying so hard that he tied himself in knots doing it. I simply removed the sock from his roller bar and sent him on his way with an apology for not being a better house keeper.

14) He will sometimes bump into stuff but as he learns the layout he does so less and less UNLESS you have a little Pug that sees him a competition and purposely stands in his way to make him stop start and jerk about trying to find his way around her. I have tried to teach her not to do this as it just confuses neato but I can always tell when she's been torturing him because when I come into the room and neato is toddling across the open floor like a drunken sailor I know it's because he has been trying to dodge her and his temporary memory is holding all the the places he remembers bumping into her at. No permanent damage is done though since the next time through he recaps the area and goes back to a nice neat grid pattern.

15) I have updated his software twice since getting him and it is VERY easy. You just need a min USB cord and your computer. You plug him in and Neato does the rest.

I hope I have answered some of the questions you might have and maybe even some of your concerns. I would buy Neato again in a heartbeat. I did buy the extended warranty protection plan from Amazon for him so if anything goes wrong with him for the first 3 years they will replace him, after that I figure it'll be time to buy a new one anyway. If I get 3 years out of him it will be one of my longer lasting vacuums as Pug fur is notoriously hard on vacuums and the only one I have had last longer than that is a shop vac, yes I used it to vacuum the whole house since every other vacuum died within months of getting them. Neato is not a Jetsons vacuum, I don't think the technology is there yet for a completely independent cleaning machine. If I could get one that would mop wood floors and another one that would climb shelves to dust I would be in homemaker heaven, sigh maybe someday they will invent those as well.

I hope you too will one day have a neato in your life I know mine has changed mine for the better.