Back to blog

What is DPU and Why Should You Care About It?

When shopping for a robot vacuum, there are a lot of features that can be considered. It can be overwhelming, we know. But at the end of the day, we’re buying a robot vacuum to do one thing – remove Dirt, Dust and Dander from our floors.   

Though some may believe that the power (Pa) of the vacuum’s suction is the driving factor to the amount of dirt picked up, there are many other factors that affect this. Brush design and functionality, filtration, robot speed and the sealing are just a few of many key players in this equation.  

These are only a few of the parameters that can affect the cleaning performance, but the good news is that the Dust Pick Up (DPU) value captures all of them and is the true representative of the cleaning performance. DPU is essentially the methodical value to measure the final result that the user expects from a vacuum.

DPU vs. Pa 

Dust Pick Up (DPU) is one of the standard tests defined by the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) for robot vacuums. DPU, a percentage value (0-100%), is one of these tests that focuses on the robot's cleaning performance.  

Pa stands as an abbreviation for the unit Pascal, a unit of pressure, similar to min, the unit of time. When it comes to robot vacuums, it's used to measure the power of blowers, the main item in the robot vacuum that creates air pressure to suck up debris.  

In other words, Pa is the initial power, and the DPU is the final result – like the analogy of a car below.

Horsepower → Acceleration


How is DPU measured? 

To support the regulated method by the IEC, DPU should be measured only in professional settings. The procedure below is repeated several times with several sample robots and the average value would be the final DPU value for that specific robot model.  

  1. Weigh the clean robot  
  2. Add a certain amount of debris to the completely clean floor  
  3. Run the robot in a straight line on that floor  
  4. Weigh the robot and its dustbin  
  5. Compare the amount of debris picked up by the robot to the total amount of debris initially added to the carpet

It is fair to say that the actual DPU value of a robot vacuum directly correlates with how clean your floors will be after using that robot. At Neato Robotics, we use the DPU value as our golden matrix, and our goal is to increase this metric as efficiently as possible. 

Ultimately, DPU is something we care a whole lot about, and think you should too. 

Shop our latest robot vacuums and see which Neato is right for you with our robot recommendation tool.


Back to blog