Why buy a robot vacuum?
Robot vacuums can vacuum large areas efficiently while adjusting their function for different flooring types. You can schedule them to clean when you want, even while you’re away at work or on vacation. When you return, you come home to clean floors, a delight similar to that refreshing feeling when you return to a hotel room that’s just been cleaned.
What should you look for in a robot vacuum?
- Navigation: The variety of navigational systems among robot vacuums is impressive. First, there are a variety of sensors, including cliff, bump, wall, and optical encoders. A robot that moves according to bump sensors is pretty fun to watch. As it bumps into things, it redirects itself like a bumper car. More advanced models clean according to the map it can make of your home. During the first cleaning, the sensors inform the robot of room dimensions, obstacles like steps, and varied surfaces. With a smartphone, you can save this map using the brand’s app.
- Connectivity: If you prefer old-school remote-controlled devices, you’ll be happy to hear that such robot vacuums exist. The robot’s electric plug-in docking station will be ready when the robot needs a recharge. Some prefer the Wi-Fi app-enabled models you can activate wherever you are so long as you have your phone. Wi-Fi apps also have more control features than battery-operated remote-control robot vacuums. They allow you to set cleaning schedules, select among cleaning modes, and other fancy features.
- Suction: You can’t overlook the importance of high-suction power! Look for high-pascal (Pa) suction vacuums. The higher the number, the more powerful the suction. Interestingly, some robot vacuums are programmed to self-regulate their Pa according to the surface it encounters. From carpet to wood floor, different levels of suction are needed. The same goes for the amount and type of debris that needs cleaning. Any robot vacuum cleaner with a Pa below 1,300 might not be worth your money.
What should you expect to spend on a robot vacuum?
They are generally pretty expensive, but reasonably so. The most affordable robot vacuum we review runs about $200. It has Wi-Fi connectivity and other attractive qualities. It’s not as large as some pricier models, but it does the job. For $400, you can get a robot vacuum that self-cleans into a separate extra-large bin for up to 45 days. There’s even a $1,000 precision mop and vacuum robot with technology that records and stores your daily routine—where you go and when—to create the best cleaning schedule and self empties for up to 60 days. Anything less than $60 is probably not worth your money. You’d do a better job vacuuming with an upright manual vacuum.
iRobot Roomba 694
A well-designed robot vacuum that adjusts to your needs and docks itself when its battery is low.
Pros: This robot vacuum doesn’t create a map of your home but learns your habits and routines. What’s working behind the scenes as the robot vacuum detects and targets dirtier areas to give them more attention is the iRobot’s Patented Dirt Detect Technology. The navigational system entails sensors, including cliff and light touch sensors, which enable the robot to move under and around furniture, along edges, and avoid falling downstairs. If you watch a video of the Roomba 694 in action, you may notice this white antenna-like sweeper whizzing about. Don’t worry; it’s supposed to look like that. It’s an edge-sweeping side brush. Download the iRobot OS app and set up an automatic cleaning schedule. The robot vacuum is compatible with Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant for voice-activation control.
Cons: The vacuum underperforms on pet hair and low pile carpet.
Bottom Line: With bottom-side multi-surface brushes, the Roomba 694 lifts dirt, dust, and debris from carpets and hard floors. If you fork over more money, you can get the virtual wall barrier accessory you use to map the areas you do and don’t want the robot to clean. And there’s more. It runs for 90 minutes, then finds its way back to the docking system for recharging.
Eufy RoboVac 11S
The thin RoboVac cleans under the bed and couch with impressive suction power and a quiet motor.
Pros: The super-thin RoboVac 11S has a name for its strong suction power (1,300 Pa) and quiet (55 dB) motor. It doesn’t constantly run at 1,300 Pa but increases power when the robot senses that extra vacuuming strength is needed. It has a rudimentary bounce navigation system, changing directions when the infrared sensor detects obstacles like walls or pieces of furniture. It roves randomly but does a thorough job. Working on hard floors for 100 minutes or carpet for 60, the robot finds its own way to its docking station for recharging. Use the included remote control to select among multi-cleaning modes and create a vacuuming schedule.
Cons: The RoboVac 11S does not come with the required lithium-ion battery.
Bottom Line: It’s nice not to worry about sufficient Wi-Fi connectivity or malfunctioning smartphones to operate this robot vacuum. Ensure your AAA batteries are fully charged, so you can effortlessly change settings with the remote control.
Roborock E5 Mop Robot Vacuum
A remote-controlled or Wi-Fi and app mop and vacuum robot with super-strong suction power
Pros: There’s a lot to look forward to with the Roborock E5. For starters, it mops and vacuums up to 2,152 square feet in one session, constantly cleaning for up to 200 minutes on a single charge, thanks to its powerful 5,200-mAh battery. The mop has a 180-ml water tank to work with and 2,500-Pa suction power. Together, they lift dust and hair from hard floors and deep inside carpets. You may be wondering how the robot knows where to go. With Roborock’s Optic Eye motion tracking and dual gyroscopes, it tracks where it’s been and hasn’t. It moves in an efficient, z-shape path. Finally, you can control the bot through Wi-Fi with the Mi Home app, the remote control, and Amazon’s Alexa or Google Assistant.
Cons: As smart as it is, the Roborock E5 doesn’t feature smart mapping. Also, there’s no way to vacuum or mop only, which is too bad.
Bottom Line: The Roborock E5 may meet your floor cleaning needs so that you can get to important to-dos or leisure activities. It’s also a great addition to homes with pets, as its large 640-ml dustbin has plenty of space for fur and dirt.
LIFE V80 Max Mopping Robot Vacuum and Mop Combo
An app-connected vacuum and mop robot that cleans all floors and docks itself when its battery is low.
Pros: It has powerful 2,000-Pa suction, a 750-milliliter dustbin for hair, dirt, dust, and debris, and a large 300-ml water tank. This robot vacuum and mop combo was designed to clean everything on both carpet and hard floors. The smart gyro navigation system keeps the robot on task and on the right path. Download the ILIFEHOME app and control the V80 on your phone, Amazon Alexa, or Google Assistant. Use it to create a cleaning schedule, track parts maintenance, schedule cleanings, adjust the water level, and choose cleaning modes. There are path, auto, spot, and edge modes. For example, if you see a juice spill on the kitchen floor, just set the spot mode for local cleaning.
Cons: Some users report that the ILIFE V80 does not perform as well on carpets as on hard floors.
Bottom Line: If your smart technology fails you, the V80 comes with a hand remote control. With long side brushes, an extra-large dustbin, and an easy-to-use app, this economic vacuum and mop robot makes an appealing product.
Shark IQ Robot Self-Emptying Vacuum
This pet-friendly vacuum holds dirt up to 45 days, then empties it into a bin on top of its recharging base.
Pros: Go on an extended vacation, or just forget about vacuuming for up to 45 days with this self-emptying vacuum cleaner. The powerful suction vacuum removes 99% of your home’s dust, dirt, and hair from carpets and floors. Just like other robot vacuums return to their docks to recharge, the Shark goes to its self-emptying base. There’s a self-cleaning brush roll as well to prevent clogging. Download the SharkClean app or use voice control with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant to schedule cleanings. Thanks to IQ navigation technology, you can specify which rooms you want the Shark to target or the whole house.
Cons: The battery life is okay, but not great.
Bottom Line: Most robot vacuums must be cleaned often with dustbins considerably smaller than manually operated vacuum cleaners. The self-cleaning feature has the potential to make a difference in the everyday life of a pet owner or an individual who travels frequently. Let the Shark IQ help you!
Well, there you have it. Robot vacuums have become commonplace household appliances for good reasons, as you can see. These options will make your life easier.