Eufy HomeVac S11 Go Reviewed

Since discovering the liberating wonder of cordless vacuum cleaners I’ve been wanting to try one not made by… well, you know who.

Fortunately Anker’s household orientated sister brand Eufy just so happen to make a cordless Vacuum, and they’re being rather kind to me lately so I took the gamble and gave one a look.

The HomeVac S11 Go is a mixed bag and, while it’s certainly more good than bad, it has room for improvement.

Look and feel

Fresh out of the box the HomeVac S11 Go is pretty striking. The chic white-and-purple colour-scheme is bold and true to its contemporaries, and the whole thing is so outrageously reminiscent of a gun from Quake or Unreal Tournament (those are videogames for the uninitiated) that it’s completely impossible not to pose with it and pretend you’re come kind of action hero.

I can’t shake the feeling that the HomeVac S11 Go feels cheap, though. Things just aren’t quite as well fitting, as easy to disconnect/reconnect, or as well designed as its contemporaries. Stuff slots together in odd ways that is entirely functional and perfectly fine, but not aesthetically pleasing.

Accessories

The S11 Go comes with a variety of accessories, albeit falls short of competing brands at a glance. In the box is the long-bit, the pointy small bit, your bog standard floor bit, a mini motorised brush (for all your aggressive sofa, bed, car and stair cleaning needs), a brushy bit (for tight spots, cobwebs and skirting tops) and a flexible extension hose that feels decidedly out of place but is actually quite useful.

While the lack of a hard floor brush would seem to put the S11 Go at a disadvantage, I found the floor brush to be pretty competent at tackling wood and tiled floors. Eufy don’t offer a complete head replacement for hard floors vs carpet, instead offering the Infinity that includes a soft roller to fit the carpet head. There’s a good reason for this- the head includes LED lighting. I’ll forgive you for thinking “whyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?”, I did too. The LEDs are exuberant and somewhat hilarious, but the damned things are also stubbornly useful. In particular I found the extra low-angle light extremely effective at showing up dust on a hard wood floor underneath a sofa. This is, of course, an extremely specific usecase but I also found the lighting to be useful when whipping around the house for a quick clean of each room. You see, it’s mid-winter in the UK and lighting conditions are mostly what can only be described as “dark AF.” Rather than skip a beat to switch the lights on and off in each room, I just rolled right in with the bright vacuum headlights and continued cleaning uninterrupted.

The flexible hose attachment is another thing that’s somewhat perplexing but actually turns out to be surprisingly useful. While most people probably don’t fully detail their skirting and doorframes when vacuuming (do they?), I’m particularly attentive to these little details. A fixed shaft between the vacuum and the cleaning head makes it quite tricky to clean without bashing into them. Think of it like painting with a 4 foot long brush and you might get some idea of how tricky it feels. The flexible hose is a game-changer, though, giving you much finer control over the head while holding the main body (and bulk) of the vacuum cleaner separately.

The dual-mode brush/wide head feels noticeably lower quality than others I’ve tried. The brush on the head doesn’t lock down firmly and you might end up bashing whatever you’re trying to gently clean with the plastic instead of the softer bristles. It does the trick, but it’s frustratingly shy of being fine. We’re talking a slightly beefier plastic clip needed here, not a whole redesign.

Using the thing

The HomeVac S11 Go, presumably like any other cordless vacuum, requires you to hold the button down constantly in order for vacuuming to happen. This can be tiresome but, unlike others brands that will go unnamed, it’s kind enough not to skin my knuckle. Clearance around the trigger is pretty good, and holding it down to vacuum isn’t particularly cumbersome. I do kind of wish for some motion sensing auto-vac, though.

To its credit both the battery and dust container are removable. The latter means you can detach the dust container to empty it, which makes it a little more feasible to go outside in adverse weather to empty the resulting dusty mass. Like – sigh – other brands, the process of emptying the container is a little hit and miss. With practise you can do it cleanly, but there are some problems with dropping a canister of dust into a bin bag that just can’t be solved with good design. If only they made vacuums with disposable bags, eh? The detachable dust container has another benefit. I disassembly my cordless vacuum cleaner periodically for a deep clean. This involved a thorough rinsing and soapy cleansing (oo err) of the dust container in order to remove the finer, more stubborn dust particles that tend to build up. For my existing cordless vacuum this means actually taking a screwdriver to the thing and very carefully effecting a full disassembly. For the Eufy HomeVac S11 Go (can I just call it the HomeVac from now on?) you can just remove the dust container, pull out the vortex thingy and clean the whole lot effortlessly. Well some effort is required for the cleaning, but you wont need a bloody screwdriver to get that far.

One benefit the design of the HomeVac affords is a resistance to gravity. While my existing vacuum tends to let heavy bits just drop right out- depending on how full it is and how it’s held – the HomeVac is much better at capturing stubborn little bits and not releasing them. This comes at the cost of a little valve/flap that lets dust in but not out, but also has the unfortunate side-effect of getting dust snared in it. It makes the process of emptying just that little bit more finicky.

In theory the removable dust canister could promote a delightfully bad habit of just having a spare, empty canister on the go that you could hot swap between for more prolonged cleaning. With the battery also being hot-swappable (a certain other brand say their batteries are integrated because something-something it’s better but there’s no bloody electrical difference between their integrated battery and a hot-swappable ones) you can keep a spare for extended vacuuming sessions of a larger house. I’ve never needed a spare battery, I just take it as a sign to sit down and relax for a bit, but having the option is great. Eufy offer the “Infinity” variant of the HomeVac which mostly exists for the additional spare battery but has the added bonus of a soft roller for hard floors.

As I mentioned above, it’s a little tricky to disconnect the various attachments of the HomeVac. Where my existing cordless vacuum can (and frequently is) be disassembled by a literal baby (well, almost toddler now I suppose) the HomeVac is a little more stubborn.

Battery runtime seems pretty great, and – of course probably the most important consideration – dust lifting power is exemplary. This thing sucked a shocking amount of dust out of carpets that had already been relatively frequently vacuumed.

I’m told that maintaining the filters on these things is important to maintaining their suction, so perhaps the existing cordless vacuum is losing its edge. One way or another the HomeVac performed admirably. The only downside? Lots and lots of dust and dirt I had to empty outdoors.

While emptying the dust canister I found the retainer clip on the first stage filter to be a little wanting. The filter flew out of the canister and landed behind the wheely bin where I had to rummage to retrieve it in cold, dark sleet. If you’re bashing stubborn dust out, be sure to remove the filter and set it aside first to avoid this.

On the up side the filter is easy to get at for maintenance, and similarly the second stage finer filter screws right of the back of the vacuum for cleaning. Easy!

The filter is also a pretty soft/flexible plastic so it holds up well to a thorough washing and a squeeze to get out the excess water.

Since the canister is removable you can fill the whole darn thing with water and shake it vigorously to displace the stubborn finer dust particles. I usually give it a firm tap to get the worst out and follow up with a thorough rinse to keep it in tip-top condition.

The HomeVac has three modes of operation- MAXIMUM SUCKINESS, MEDIUM SUCKINESS and ONLY LIFTS DUST. By default- that is, when you press the trigger- it starts up in MEDIUM SUCKINESS mode. One press will switch it into MAXIMUM SUCKINESS mode and another press will switch it into ONLY DUST mode that doesn’t seem to serve much purpose if you don’t vacuum at least daily. You *must* keep the trigger pressed once switched into a mode, releasing it and pressing again will default back to medium again. This is in stark contrast to my other cordless vacuum which has a very definite, very obvious “High Suction” vs “Longer Runtime” switch. I always run the HomeVac in medium unless I’m doing a periodic deep clean, so this is never really an issue but they missed a trick using a weird push-button where a mutually-exclusive three position switch would have sufficed. Or, y’know, two positions? What’s that third level even achieving other than the ability to make longer battery life claims in marketing?

Speaking of battery life, it’s been plenty to vacuum four rooms fairly vigorously with some runtime left to grab dust from doorframes, skirting and furniture too. Since the maximum suction mode isn’t aggressively over-sucky it also has a pretty decent runtime. Enough to deep clean rooms one or two at a time.

The floor brush isn’t particularly great at picking up dirt and food bits from around the edge of the kitchen, just under the cabinets. This is a common problem I have with vacuums, and you’ll need to use the crevice tool to get at those bits. I’d love to see a vacuum head that solves this problem, but it’s difficult to work around the fact that the roller/brush needs to be connected to something.

If you’re new to cordless vacuum cleaners and/or the mini motorised brush I very strongly recommend taking some time to clean all of your mattresses. Use the maximum power setting and just go over them in regular stripes so you don’t miss a spot. This sounds obvious in retrospect, but you’ll probably be a little bit sickened at how much dust you pull out of it.

Overall

The Eufy HomeVac S11 Go pretty much hit right on my expectations. Cleaning performance is excellent, but the materials, fit and finish are not quite on a par with my existing vacuum. The design is still well considered and functional, however, with the removable dust container being a particularly useful feature and the exuberant LED headlights being more useful than they’d first appeared. While the catches for disconnecting vacuum heads and hoses are a little more difficult to operate than I’d like, this isn’t a dealbreaker. I’d recommend the HomeVac S11 Go to anyone wanting to pick up a cordless vacuum free from the ideological grey area of the popular alternative from you-know-who.

For those who like to repair/maintain their stuff, the HomeVac seems pretty inviting. Screws are standard crosshead and the removable dust compartment and battery mean the remaining unit is fairly straight forward to strip down. If you’re regularly vacuuming up hair, the ability to take apart the vacuum head (at least other than the standard twist-a-2p-coin to release the brush) helps retrieve hair from more troublesome spots. On my current cordless vacuum I’ve seen rogue hair find its way into plastic “bearings”, whereupon it melted them with friction and the whole lot fused into one terrible mess. Suffice to say you should deep clean this thing every few months if you want to maintain the best cleaning performance.