Vacuum Cleaners in China: Consumer Trends, Brand Strategies, and Innovation

April 2024

The Chinese vacuum cleaner market is the most competitive and innovative. Brands are known to launch two new models a year, trying to out-innovate each other. These brands are now at the leading edge of technological innovation in self-cleaning wet and dry vacuum cleaners. Read this briefing to find out more about how these brands are revolutionising the vacuum cleaner industry.

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This report comes in PPT.

Key Findings

Features, not form factor, are a key determinant of market success 

Stick vacuum cleaners has enjoyed unprecedented growth since 2010. However, global growth has been stagnant over the last two years. Over this period, growth has been driven by upright and robotic VCs, mainly due to the integration of wet and dry functionality, with growth coming from the Chinese market. The stick VC, unable to integrate wet and dry functionality, has not been able to capture this growth.

VC technology is at the bleeding edge of appliance innovation

The VC space brings sophisticated technology to a home appliance. Robotic VCs are among the most sophisticated, using complex obstacle sensors and even Lidar sensors to navigate around the home. Mapping data generated by robotic VCs is also highly valuable, and a key reason why Amazon wanted to acquire iRobot (the deal fell through). In upright VCs, wet and dry technology has revolutionised the way consumers clean their homes.

VC companies have a technology start-up culture

In the appliances space, VC companies are the most innovative and behave the most like tech start-ups. Innovation moves at lightning speed and product R&D to commercialisation cycles are among the shortest. In China, each brand launches a new VC model, on average, twice a year, each trying to stay ahead of the competition by out-innovating the others.

Understanding and designing products that consumers want

Vacuuming then mopping a floor can be a tedious and time-consuming process. Chinese brands understood this and developed VCs that met this immediate consumer pain point. Brands then realised that consumers did not want to get their hands dirty through the regular changing of mopping heads and emptying the dust bins. Models with self-changing mopping heads and large dust bins were then launched to great success. Adapting to consumer demands through innovation will be key to survive in this market.

New markets and adjacent categories are key to sustaining growth

Growth in the VC market has gone through many peaks, from the introduction of stick VCs, to robotic VCs, to the wet and dry format in recent years. While growth has moderated in China, the wet and dry VC is still in the growth stage in other markets. Companies are also looking at adjacent categories that can leverage existing VC competencies such as robotics, mapping, and battery technologies.


The vacuum cleaner market is highly innovative and competitive
Amazon’s failed purchase of iRobot – why did Amazon want the Roomba vacuum cleaner?
Key takeaway: chinese brands are launching two new models a year; can the others keep up?
Sales of robotic VCs are driving growth in the market
Six of the seven G7 countries are among the largest markets for VCs
Dyson leads the overall VC market, but is a laggard in robotic VCs
Feature-rich robotic VCs are driving unit price growth in the category
The wet and dry VC, taking VC innovation to the next level
Chinese vacuum cleaner brands are bringing cutting-edge technology to consumers
Wet and dry vacuum cleaners underpins overall category growth in China
Questions we will be answering
Wet and dry vacuum cleaners lead to an uptick in upright VC model sales
Vacuum cleaner innovation leads to a demand and price spike in China
Consumers crave versatility, automation, and smart functionality in wet and dry products
Wet and dry vacuum cleaners’ major consumer groups
Automation, efficacy, and user-friendliness highly valued by different consumer groups
Key product i nnovation themes in China
Efficacy: Innovating to achieve cleaning goals
Automation : Hassle-free cleaning
Versatility: one vacuum to rule them all
Highly competitive and dynamic landscape, led by Chinese local brands
Clear value positioning p ivotal to attract right consumer groups and strategise
Ecovacs: cross-category expansion through dual brands
Roborock: Product design excellence enables price leadership
Dreame: going international before the domestic market
Narwal: Disrupting the industry by catering to the “lazy economy”
What’s next for vacuum cleaner innovation in China?
Vacuum cleaner brands showcased their technology leadership at Shanghai AWE 2024
The integration of the wet and dry feature will spur sales of upright and robotic VCs globally
What’s next for vacuum cleaner brands?
Key takeaway: chinese brands are launching two new models a year; can the others keep up?

Consumer Appliances

Consumer Appliances is the aggregation of major appliances and small appliances. Major appliances are an aggregate of the following categories: refrigeration appliances, home laundry appliances, dishwashers, large cooking appliances and microwaves. Small appliances are an aggregation of the following categories: food preparation appliances, small cooking appliances, vacuum cleaners, irons, personal care appliances, heating appliances and air treatment appliances.

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