At a glanceExpert’s Rating
ProsPowerful vacuumingCompact dockEffective, long side brushGood mop moisture levelsConsSimultaneous mop and vacuum Manual water fillCannot climb over 2cmOur Verdict
Perfect for smaller spaces, TP-Link’s Tapo RV30 Plus will provide high-suction vacuuming and impressive all-round cleaning without fuss.
For smaller households, the Tapo RV30 Plus is the Goldilocks’ principle in a robot vacuum and mop.
It is neither too big nor too small, too simple nor too complicated, too automated nor too manual – in fact, for households looking for a robot vacuum and mop for a moderate sized home without a lot of empty wall space to stand it against, it is just right.
Plus, it’s easy to use. If you just want vacuuming, you can set it up, schedule your cleans, and pretty much forget about it for 70 days (or more if you don’t have much of a dusty house).
If you want mopping, you’ll need to refill the mop tank and change the mop cloths between cleans. But that’s the trade-off for an auto-empty dock that’s smaller than most and won’t take up too much space. For one that cleans its mops as well, check out our review of the Ecovacs T20 Plus.
Let’s look at what you get in the box.
What’s included with the RV30 Plus?
Auto-empty charging dock
Vacuum and mop
Spare vacuum bag, mop cloth, side brush and HEPA filter
The first thing you’ll notice is that the auto-empty charging dock – which is the Plus in the product name – is far smaller than most of its rivals. At 38cm high, 23cm wide, and roughly 19cm deep, it has the footprint of a small waste-paper bin rather than, say, a water cooler, and this immediately makes it easier to place in a room and it lessens the sense that the appliance dominates the space.
Now this compact dock size is due to a tail suction air duct that is nearly 45% shorter than the average suction ducts at this point – or so Tapo tells us. This air duct also has super strong suction power at 27,000Pa, which pretty much means it sucks the debris out of the vacuum quickly; we found that a 6m2 clean meant a three second auto-emptying that was noticeably loud but not overwhelming.
One thing to note here is that the dock only auto-empties dust, it doesn’t empty or refill the mopping tank. You’ll have to do that manually.
Then you get the robot vacuum and mop itself. It’s a typical 35cm diameter size with the LiDAR tower on top taking it to about 9.5cm high. On the front, you have three buttons: “power/clean” starts or pauses cleaning, “dock” prompts the vac to return to the dock or empty the bin when docked, and “spot cleaning/child lock” makes the vacuum start spot cleaning and turns the child lock on or off.
Note the three control buttons and the length of the side brush
Alex Greenwood / Foundry
To accompany the vacuum, there’s a mop cloth tank mount: a piece of plastic that holds the washable mop cloths and clips into the bottom of the water tank. Then there are two washable mop cloths, two disposable 4-litre dust bags, two side brushes, two HEPA filters for the vacuum, a cleaning brush, and a user manual.
Now what is interesting about the Tapo is the colour scheme. The vacuum has a white body with a black bumper, and the dock has a white midsection with a black lid and lower body. This black and white effect is very modern and cute, but it won’t necessarily match a chintz bedroom, so bear that in mind if you have more traditional interior design tastes.
Setting up the RV30 Plus
Easy to set up
QR code supplied
Can make multiple maps
Position the dock against a wall 0.5m from adjacent walls or furniture, remove all the protective strips and films, fit your brush and tank, switch on the power switch on the bottom of the vacuum, and place the vacuum at the bottom of the dock so the charging plates connect.
There’s no docking plate, which is unusual but e gives it a smaller footprint, so you do have to ensure you are connecting the right side of the robot vac to the dock.
Tapo says the vacuum has 4,200 Pa suction, which can pull up debris sandwiched between gaps, and we found this to be accurate – it sucked up some of the old wood filler between our floorboards
Download the app – the user manual gives you a QR code – and then follow the onscreen instructions to create your profile, connect to Wi-Fi and pair the vacuum to your phone. It is a simple process, and we found it quick and easy.
Then create your map. Before you do, it is worth checking whether the spot you’ve sited the robot vac is the best place in terms of zoning and accessibility.
Once you start the mapping process, the RV30 will slowly move around the open floor space, scanning and storing the layout through its LiDAR and Gyro Dual Navigation System, then it will divide the space into “rooms” before presenting you with a map you can edit.
At this point, you can merge or separate different rooms, and set virtual walls and no-go zones. We found that it was a good idea to set no-go zones around pieces of furniture where cables cluster, or which have a base that a robot vacuum might try to climb.
You can also set up multiple maps if you wish to use the RV30 Plus on a different floor or a part of your home that it can’t reach from the dock.
Four suction levels
There are four vacuuming levels: quiet, standard, turbo and max. We found max to be quieter than a conventional vacuum cleaner, and quiet to be little more than a hum.
You can choose to vacuum by room, floor or zone. We found vacuuming took about a minute per m2. The robot vacuum outlines the room in question first and then zigzags within the outline. You can also choose whether the vacuum goes over the floor once, twice or three times.
The Tapo RV30 Plus outlining the room space before zigzagging across the floor
Alex Greenwood / Foundry
You can also programme custom cleans where you set your preferences for each individual room – which vacuum level you want to employ for that floor and how many times you want the vacuum to cover it.
You can schedule the RV30 Plus to begin cleaning at a certain time on certain days, and you can either clean the entire floor or choose the rooms you wish to clean and how you wish to clean them.
In our test, we found that the RV30 cleaned efficiently and speedily. Tapo says the vacuum has 4,200 Pa suction, which can pull up debris sandwiched between gaps, and we found this to be accurate – to the extent that it sucked up some of the old wood filler between our floorboards. A fingertip test by the skirting boards came up clean, suggesting that it really gets into the corners.
And this doesn’t surprise us, because a noticeable feature of the robot is its long side brush. At a 6cm extension from the side of the robot vac, it is a good centimetre longer than other leading robot vacuum brands, which enables the vacuum to reach gaps and crevices that might otherwise get missed.
You’ll get more of a mopping action from the Tapo, and not just the damp dusting we’ve seen from other brands
Tapo suggests the auto-empty 4-litre bag should last you up to 70 days, and you get a spare one with the robot vacuum. Of course, the frequency depends on how dusty your house is.
In terms of how much it can do from one battery charge, Tapo says that the 5000 mAh battery can deliver three hours continuous cleaning, and 360 m2 maximum vacuum coverage.
The RV30 Plus can cope with thresholds under 2cm, but really cannot climb higher than this, so if you have a home with significant variations in floor heights, you may want to look at something else.
You can control the RV30 Plus with voice commands through Alexa and Google Home, and the robot vacuum has real-time voice reporting. It also features a Do No Disturb mode, and a child and pet lock.
Excellent water mopping levels
Vacuums and mops simultaneously
Wipe action, rather than buffing action
Mopping with the RV30 is simply a question of filling the water tank and clipping in the mop cloth tank mount to the bottom of the tank, complete with fixed mop cloth. The act of clipping in the tank mount prompts the mopping feature to activate.
The mop cloth itself is a terry towelling half-moon that wipes as it goes along, which means that it can only give a gentle clean. If you need a robot mop that has more of an abrasive, buffing action, this mop might not be for you.
However, it has three water flows: low, moderate and high – and they are the best water levels we have seen in a robot mop. Often, with competitiors, you have to set a high water level to even get a visible post-mop sheen, but with the RV30, the moderate level leaves a noticeable shine on your floors.
For this reason, we would say that you’ll get more of a mopping action from the Tapo, and not just the damp dusting we’ve seen from other brands.
The 300ml tank gives you about 200m2 of mopping capacity. However, you can’t set the Tapo to only mop your floors; it will always vacuum at the same time too.
Price and availability
The RV30 Plus is Tapo’s top of the range robot vacuum and mop. As yet, it is not available in the US. The closest option – and its feature set and design are very similar, although its suction is not as powerful and it features only gyro, not LiDAR navigation – is the TP-Link Tapo RV10 Plus, which you can buy from the brand’s website for $269.99 at the time of writing.
In the UK, the RV30 Plus is available from Amazon and direct from Tapo. There are frequent deals available and we think that if you can get it for less than the RRP, it’s a very good deal for this feature set and overall quality of the machine.
You can also buy the RV30 itself, without the auto-empty dock, from Amazon.
The Tapo RV30 Plus is one of those smart home appliances that you set up, and it just does its thing without much fuss. We found we didn’t really need to think much about it, apart from refilling the tank now and again and replacing the mop cloth if we decided to mop.
With its compact auto-empty dock, we think it’s a good buy for people who don’t have a lot of spare wall space and just want a robot vacuum to clean their floors without much fuss.
If you’d like to see more robot vacuum buying options to compare, have a look at our round-up of the best robot vacuums we’ve tested.