38 Best Robot Vacuum Cleaners

List of 38 best vacuum cleaners ranked based on 178.368 user reviews, 99 expert reviews and 13 test results. Updated October 2020.

Brand

Features

Max runtime

Charge time

Battery type

Battery capacity

Sound level

Timer-function

Remote control

Floor mopping

Height

Width

Depth

Weight

Best list: Best robot vacuum cleaners of 2020

Best robot vacuum cleaner
Xiaomi Roborock S6
Reoverview
95/100
Very good
Robot vacuum cleaner with floor mopping
★★★★★
★★★★★
(4.7) 2045 reviews
„Recommended“ by Reoverview
Best cheap robot vacuum clean...
Coredy R500+
Reoverview
95/100
Very good
Robot vacuum cleaner with floor mopping
★★★★★
★★★★★
(4.7) 723 reviews
Eufy RoboVac 15C MAX
Reoverview
91/100
Good
Robot vacuum cleaner
★★★★★
★★★★★
(4.5) 3625 reviews
Bagotte BG600
Reoverview
91/100
Good
Robot vacuum cleaner
★★★★★
★★★★★
(4.6) 2508 reviews
Eufy RoboVac 11s
Reoverview
90/100
Good
Robot vacuum cleaner
★★★★★
★★★★★
(4.5) 7835 reviews
iRobot Roomba 981
Reoverview
90/100
Good
Robot vacuum cleaner
★★★★★
★★★★★
(4.5) 7019 reviews
ILIFE V3s Pro
Reoverview
90/100
Good
Robot vacuum cleaner
★★★★★
★★★★★
(4.5) 6273 reviews
Eufy RoboVac 11S MAX
Reoverview
90/100
Good
Robot vacuum cleaner
★★★★★
★★★★★
(4.5) 1993 reviews
Coredy R650
Reoverview
90/100
Good
Robot vacuum cleaner
★★★★★
★★★★★
(4.5) 1017 reviews
iRobot Roomba 966
Reoverview
90/100
Good
Robot vacuum cleaner
★★★★★
★★★★★
(4.6) 730 reviews
iRobot Roomba 960
Reoverview
89/100
Good
Robot vacuum cleaner
★★★★★
★★★★★
(4.5) 12634 reviews
Eufy RoboVac 15c
Reoverview
89/100
Good
Robot vacuum cleaner
★★★★★
★★★★★
(4.4) 1386 reviews
Ecovacs Deebot N79S
Reoverview
86/100
Good
Robot vacuum cleaner
★★★★★
★★★★★
(4.3) 21402 reviews
iRobot Roomba 605
Reoverview
86/100
Good
Robot vacuum cleaner
★★★★★
★★★★★
(4.3) 14713 reviews
iRobot Roomba 671
Reoverview
86/100
Good
Robot vacuum cleaner
★★★★★
★★★★★
(4.3) 14613 reviews
ILIFE V5s Pro
Reoverview
86/100
Good
Robot vacuum cleaner with floor mopping
★★★★★
★★★★★
(4.3) 7178 reviews
Neato Botvac D7 Connected
Reoverview
86/100
Good
Robot vacuum cleaner
„Test winner“ - Haus & Garten Test 5/2019
★★★★★
★★★★★
(4.2) 5311 reviews
Bagotte BG800
Reoverview
86/100
Good
Robot vacuum cleaner
★★★★★
★★★★★
(4.3) 399 reviews
iRobot Roomba e5
Reoverview
85/100
Good
Robot vacuum cleaner
★★★★★
★★★★★
(4.3) 12933 reviews
Proscenic 820S
Reoverview
85/100
Good
Robot vacuum cleaner with floor mopping
★★★★★
★★★★★
(4.2) 880 reviews
iRobot Roomba i7158
Reoverview
84/100
Satisfying
Robot vacuum cleaner
★★★★★
★★★★★
(4.3) 1454 reviews
iRobot Roomba 980
Reoverview
83/100
Satisfying
Robot vacuum cleaner
★★★★★
★★★★★
(4.2) 867 reviews
ILIFE A4s
Reoverview
83/100
Satisfying
Robot vacuum cleaner
★★★★★
★★★★★
(4.2) 680 reviews
ILIFE V80
Reoverview
82/100
Satisfying
Robot vacuum cleaner with floor mopping
★★★★★
★★★★★
(4.1) 1606 reviews
Neato Botvac D4 Connected
Reoverview
82/100
Satisfying
Robot vacuum cleaner
★★★★★
★★★★★
(4.1) 849 reviews
Neato Botvac D6 Connected
Reoverview
81/100
Satisfying
Robot vacuum cleaner
★★★★★
★★★★★
(4.0) 631 reviews
iRobot Roomba 895
Reoverview
80/100
Satisfying
Robot vacuum cleaner
★★★★★
★★★★★
(4.1) 4206 reviews
ILIFE A7
Reoverview
80/100
Satisfying
Robot vacuum cleaner
★★★★★
★★★★★
(4.0) 188 reviews
Severin RB 7025
Reoverview
78/100
Satisfying
Robot vacuum cleaner
★★★★★
★★★★★
(3.9) 3931 reviews
iRobot Braava jet 240
Reoverview
77/100
Satisfying
Robot mop
★★★★★
★★★★★
(3.9) 5109 reviews
Makita DRC200Z
Reoverview
77/100
Satisfying
Robot vacuum cleaner
★★★★★
★★★★★
(3.7) 58 reviews
iRobot Braava 390T
Reoverview
76/100
Satisfying
Robot mop
★★★★★
★★★★★
(3.9) 7442 reviews
Ecovacs Deebot SLIM2
Reoverview
76/100
Satisfying
Robot vacuum cleaner with floor mopping
★★★★★
★★★★★
(3.8) 4316 reviews
Neato Botvac D3 Connected
Reoverview
76/100
Satisfying
Robot vacuum cleaner
★★★★★
★★★★★
(3.8) 1623 reviews
Dyson 360 Eye
Reoverview
75/100
Satisfying
Robot vacuum cleaner
„Test winner“ - Haus & Garten Test 8/2017
★★★★★
★★★★★
(3.8) 195 reviews
Miele Scout RX2
Reoverview
75/100
Satisfying
Robot vacuum cleaner
★★★★★
★★★★★
(3.8) 83 reviews
Neato Botvac D5 Connected
Reoverview
74/100
Sufficient
Robot vacuum cleaner
★★★★★
★★★★★
(3.8) 3462 reviews
Eureka i300
Reoverview
68/100
Sufficient
Robot vacuum cleaner
★★★★★
★★★★★
(3.5) 147 reviews
Xiaomi RoboRock S5 Max
Discontinued
Robot vacuum cleaner with floor mopping
★★★★★
★★★★★
(4.6) 534 reviews
Deenkee DK600
Discontinued
Robot vacuum cleaner
★★★★★
★★★★★
(4.6) 354 reviews
Eufy RoboVac 30C
Discontinued
Robot vacuum cleaner
★★★★★
★★★★★
(4.5) 5502 reviews
„Recommended“ by Reoverview
iRobot Roomba 616
Discontinued
Robot vacuum cleaner
★★★★★
★★★★★
(4.3) 495 reviews
ILIFE A6
Discontinued
Robot vacuum cleaner
★★★★★
★★★★★
(4.1) 682 reviews
AmazonBasics RB1
Discontinued
Robot vacuum cleaner
★★★★★
★★★★★
(4.0) 760 reviews
Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo 930
Discontinued
Robot vacuum cleaner with floor mopping
★★★★★
★★★★★
(3.9) 4238 reviews
INLIFE ZK8077
Discontinued
Robot vacuum cleaner
★★★★★
★★★★★
(3.6) 211 reviews
Proscenic 800T
Discontinued
Robot vacuum cleaner with floor mopping
★★★★★
★★★★★
(3.5) 2680 reviews
Miele RX1 Scout
Discontinued
Robot vacuum cleaner
★★★★★
★★★★★
(3.5) 68 reviews
Deik MT-820
Discontinued
Robot vacuum cleaner
★★★★★
★★★★★
(3.4) 780 reviews
Filter

Comparison

Product information
Xiaomi Roborock S6 Coredy R500+ Eufy RoboVac 15C MAX Bagotte BG600
Name Xiaomi Roborock S6 Coredy R500+ Eufy RoboVac 15C MAX Bagotte BG600
Noten 95/100 95/100 91/100 91/100
Reviews
★★★★★
★★★★★
(4.7)
2045 reviews
★★★★★
★★★★★
(4.7)
723 reviews
★★★★★
★★★★★
(4.5)
3625 reviews
★★★★★
★★★★★
(4.6)
2508 reviews
Price 509 £ 200 £ 270 £ 180 £
Battery
Max runtime 180 min 120 min 100 min 100 min
Charge Time 300 min 300 min 360 min 300 min
Battery Li-ion Li-ion Li-ion Li-ion
Battery capacity 5200 mAh 2600 mAh 2600 mAh 2600 mAh
Cleaning performance
Max working area 200 m2 120 m2
Noise Level 67 dB 60 dB 55 dB 55 dB
Suction Power 2000 Pa 1400 Pa 2000 Pa 1500 Pa
Barrier-cross height 2.0 cm 2.0 cm 1.6 cm
Power 58 w 25.0 w 28 w
Cleaning Modes 3 4
Floor Mopping
Water tank capacity 0.14 l
Technical details
Dustbin Capacity 0.48 l 0.5 l 0.6 l 0.5 l
Filter HEPA HEPA HEPA HEPA
Functionality
Automatically Docks and Recharges
Recharge & Resume
Scheduling
Remote control
App-functionality
Mapping
Voice control
Amazon Alexa Support
Google Home Support
Anti-drop / Cliff Sensor
Weight and dimensions
Height 9.7 cm 6.8 cm 7.2 cm 6.9 cm
Width 35.3 cm 32.5 cm 31.5 cm
Depth 35.0 cm 32.5 cm 31.5 cm
Weight 3.6 kg 2.7 kg 2.7 kg

Best robot vacuum cleaner as per our comparison

Our robot vacuum cleaner comparison for 38 robot vacuum cleaners are based on a total of 178.368 user reviews, 99 expert reviews, and 13 product test results. Updated October 2020.

1. Xiaomi Roborock S6 – Robot vacuum cleaner with floor mopping

Xiaomi Roborock S6 Xiaomi Roborock S6 is the best robot vacuum cleaner in our comparison, with a score of 95/100. The robot has a runtime of 180 minutes and is built with a Li-ion battery. The online price is £509. Read more here.

    Reviews

  • User reviews: 2045
  • Expert reviews: 6
  • Test results: 2

2. Coredy R500+ – Robot vacuum cleaner with floor mopping

Coredy R500+ Coredy R500+ is the second-best robot vacuum cleaner in our comparison. The robot achieves a score of 95/100.The robot vacuum cleaner is available at £199.99 in online stores. The runtime of the smart vacuum cleaner is 120 minutes, and the charge time is 300 minutes. Read more here.

    Reviews

  • User reviews: 723
  • Expert reviews: 1
  • Test results: 0

3. Eufy RoboVac 15C MAX – Robot vacuum cleaner

Eufy RoboVac 15C MAX Eufy RoboVac 15C MAX ranks 3rd in our comparison, with a score of 91/100. The robot vacuum cleaner is available at £269.99. Read more here.

    Reviews

  • User reviews: 3625
  • Expert reviews: 3
  • Test results: 0

The robot vacuum cleaners with the best features

This is the robot vacuum cleaners with the best scores and features within the given criteria.

Best robot vacuum cleaners with a long runtime

These products are the three best robot vacuum cleaners with runtime above 110 minutes.
  1. Xiaomi Roborock S6 (Review Score: 95/100) – Max runtime: 180 minutes
  2. Coredy R500+ (Review Score: 95/100) – Max runtime: 120 minutes
  3. iRobot Roomba 981 (Review Score: 90/100) – Max runtime: 120 minutes

Robot vacuum cleaners with the longest runtime

These products are the three robot vacuum cleaners with the longest runtime.
  1. Makita DRC200Z (Review Score: 77/100) – Max runtime: 200 minutes
  2. Xiaomi Roborock S6 (Review Score: 95/100) – Max runtime: 180 minutes
  3. iRobot Braava 390T (Review Score: 76/100) – Max runtime: 150 minutes

Best robot vacuum cleaners with floor mopping function

These products are the three best robot vacuum cleaners with mopping function.
  1. Xiaomi Roborock S6 (Review Score: 95/100)
  2. Coredy R500+ (Review Score: 95/100)
  3. ILIFE V5s Pro (Review Score: 86/100)

Best robot vacuum cleaners with Recharge and Resume functions

These products are the three best vacuum cleaners with Recharge and Resume functions.
  1. Xiaomi Roborock S6 (Review Score: 95/100)
  2. iRobot Roomba 966 (Review Score: 90/100)
  3. iRobot Roomba 960 (Review Score: 89/100)

Three best robot vacuum cleaners with App- Function

These products are the three best robot vacuum cleaners with App- function.
  1. Xiaomi Roborock S6 (Review Score: 95/100)
  2. Eufy RoboVac 15C MAX (Review Score: 91/100)
  3. iRobot Roomba 981 (Review Score: 90/100)

Best robot vacuum cleaners with Mapping Function

These products are the three best robot vacuum cleaners with Mapping Function.
  1. Xiaomi Roborock S6 (Review Score: 95/100)
  2. iRobot Roomba 981 (Review Score: 90/100)
  3. iRobot Roomba 966 (Review Score: 90/100)

Best robot vacuum cleaners with Voice Control

These products are the three best robot vacuum cleaners with Voice Control.
  1. Xiaomi Roborock S6 (Review Score: 95/100)
  2. Eufy RoboVac 15C MAX (Review Score: 91/100)
  3. iRobot Roomba 981 (Review Score: 90/100)

Best cheap robot vacuum cleaners

These products are the three best cheap robot vacuum cleaners which are priced below £201.
  1. Coredy R500+ (Review Score: 95/100) – Price: £199.99
  2. Bagotte BG600 (Review Score: 91/100) – Price: £179.99
  3. Eufy RoboVac 11s (Review Score: 90/100) – Price: £189.99

Cheapest robot vacuum cleaners

These products are the three cheapest robot vacuum cleaners.
  1. Severin RB 7025 (Review Score: 78/100) – Price: £123.15
  2. ILIFE V3s Pro (Review Score: 90/100) – Price: £134.99
  3. ILIFE V5s Pro (Review Score: 86/100) – Price: £164.99

Data collected for robot vacuum cleaners from our test/comparison

Based on data from 38 robot vacuum cleaners.

Top 5 best robot vacuum cleaner brands in our comparison

Only brands with at least 3 products are included.
#1 Eufy
90
#2 ILIFE
84
#3 Neato
80

How many robot vacuum cleaners have timer functionality?

The chart shows the number of robot vacuum cleaners with built-in timer functionality. The above data represents that 86% of the robot vacuum cleaners are with built-in timer functionality.
October 25, 2020

How many Robot vacuum cleaners come with App feature?

The chart shows the number of robot vacuum cleaners with app functionality. Out of 38 robot vacuum cleaners in our comparison, 60% feature app functionality.
percentage of robot vacuum cleaners with app functionality
October 25, 2020

What is the runtime of robot vacuum cleaners?

The chart shows the runtime of the robot vacuum cleaners in our comparison. As the chart reveals, the one with longest run time among robot vacuum cleaners is 200 minutes, while the one with the shortest runtime can operate for 40 minutes before it needs to recharge.
What is the runtime of robot vacuum cleaners?
October 25, 2020

How many robot vacuum cleaners feature voice control?

The chart shows the number of vacuum cleaners with built-in voice control.
How many robot vacuum cleaners feature voice control?
October 25, 2020

What is the battery capacity for the vacuum cleaners?

The chart shows the distribution in battery capacity for the vacuum cleaners. As shown in the chart, the battery capacity is varying from 1800 mAh to 5200 mAh.
What is the battery capacity for the vacuum cleaners?
October 25, 2020

How many Robot vacuum cleaners come with remote control?

The chart shows the number of robot vacuum cleaners with remote control. As displayed in the chart, 47% of the 38 robot vacuum cleaners compared come with remote control.
percentage of robot vacuum cleaners with remote control
October 25, 2020

What are the types of battery used in robot vacuum cleaners?

The diagram shows the battery types among robotic vacuum cleaners. The data interprets that among 38 robot vacuum cleaners in our comparison, 86% have Li-ion battery and 14% have NiMH battery.
distribution in battery type for robot vacuum cleaners
October 25, 2020

What is the charging duration for robot vacuum cleaners?

The distribution in the robot vacuum cleaners charge time is shown in the chart.
What is the charging duration for robot vacuum cleaners?
October 25, 2020

What is the sound level for robot vacuum cleaners?

The chart shows the sound level of the robot vacuum cleaners. The noisiest robot vacuum cleaners have a sound level of 70 dB, while it is 55 dB for the least noisy one.
What is the sound level for robot vacuum cleaners?
October 25, 2020

What is the suction power of a robot vacuum cleaner?

The chart shows the distribution of suction power among the robot vacuum cleaners.
What is the suction power of a robot vacuum cleaner?
October 25, 2020

Robot Vacuum Cleaner Guide

Robotic vacuum cleaners are a fairly new addition to the vacuum cleaner market. Also known as robovacs or autonomous vacuum cleaners, these intelligent and innovative designs have been commercially available since 2002. Robot vacuum cleaners are designed to make your domestic life easier, with a range of automated, self-drive models available to clean your floors without human intervention.

Modern robot vacuum cleaners can be controlled and scheduled through dedicated apps, voice control, and physical buttons on the unit itself. While not as powerful as a conventional vacuum cleaner in terms of suction, a robot vacuum is a great addition to any busy modern household.

Battery life and charging time

Robot vacuum cleaners have come a long way since their birth at the start of the century. Along with greater navigation skills, more efficient filters, and more attractive designs, modern units also have a much longer battery life. When buying a robot vacuum, this is one of the most important considerations, with some models designed to work exclusively in small environments such as apartments, and others better-suited for larger homes.
While most modern robovacs will last an entire cleaning session without needing a charge, and some will return to base and charge without intervention, the size and shape of your home can have a big effect on the amount of back and forth required. On average, robot vacuums will last for about one and a half hours before they need to recharge. High-end units can last much longer than that, including some batteries that are designed to last up to 180 minutes depending on the application. While modern lithium-ion batteries are used in most high-end models, nickel metal hydride batteries are also in widespread use.
Other than the operating time, it’s important to look into the charging time and how this will affect your intended usage. While many units will charge in two to three hours, others may take as long as five hours. As mentioned, many advanced models feature return-to-home functionality that allows the vacuum to recharge and return to use without human intervention. Some robot models even go a step further, returning to exactly the same spot they left without missing a beat.

Controlling your robot vacuum

As you might imagine, technology is the big draw card when it comes to robotic vacuum cleaners. There are many ways to control a robot vacuum, including dedicated apps through WiFi, voice control, remote control, and buttons on the unit itself. The inclusion of Internet connectivity through WiFi is one of the features that defines high-end units, with different apps offering unprecedented levels of scheduling and control.
For example, some apps will allow you to inspect and recap the entire route taken by your robot vacuum, while others will offer basic controls and daily scheduling. Being able to control your vacuum cleaner over WiFi provides a number of advantages, including the ability to clean your home while you’re at work or even in a different state. Because these vacuums can return to base and recharge when needed, you can even set up an entire schedule and keep your home dust-free while on vacation.
Voice control is another forward-thinking way to control your robot vacuum cleaner, including the ability to offer voice commands courtesy of Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. While this will not appeal to everyone, telling your vacuum cleaner what to do does seem enticing compared to doing it yourself. Dedicated apps and voice control only feature on high-end robot vacuum cleaners, however, with most models designed to work with remote control functionality and hardware buttons.

Robot vacuum navigation

Regardless of how they’re controlled and scheduled, all robot vacuums are designed with intelligent sensors and smarts that allow them to move around the room successfully. Instead of using eyes or cameras to navigate around your home, they use a variety of sensors to detect obstacles and clean around them. Common sensors include bump sensors to detect objects, cliff sensors to detect heights, wall sensors to detect walls, and optical encoders to measure the distance traveled.
Optical encoders are especially important, with vacuums only able to return to base successfully and map particular rooms when they know how far they’ve gone. When choosing a robot vacuum, it’s important to select a model that has the sensors demanded by your environment. Along with sensors, robovacs also rely on simple artificial intelligence (AI) in order to map your space and work out where they have been. A similar set of behaviors will determine what the vacuum cleaner is able to do when it gets stuck.

Cleaning ability

Despite all the bells and whistles, the primary job of a robotic vacuum cleaner is to clean your home. While a small and nimble robovac will never be able to compete with a conventional vacuum cleaner in terms of suction power or dust bin capacity, they can still do a very good job. When choosing a robot vacuum, the first thing to keep in mind is the surface where it will be used. Most robot vacuums are designed to handle hard floors and low pile carpets rather than rugs or heavy carpets.
Even though some robot vacuums have the ability to identify and clean different types of carpets, a conventional vacuum cleaner is typically recommended as well. Depending on the sensors and intelligent capabilities of the vacuum in question, corners and edges may also be compromised. There is a big difference in price between different models of robot vacuum cleaners, much of which can be attributed to the sensors and intelligent capabilities on-board.
Along with their widespread use on wood surfaces and other hard floors, there has been a rise in units that can also mop due to the inclusion of a removable water tank and washable mopping cloth. The most advanced modern designs feature a 5-stage cleaning system that sweeps, removes dirt, vacuums, and provides both wet and dry mopping. It’s also important to compare the power rating of the robot vacuum cleaner based on the Air Watt rating rather than the wattage alone.

Filters and dustbin capacity

Much like a conventional vacuum cleaner, robovacs can also be compared according to their filter and dust re-emission class. The most advanced filtration systems use a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter to trap 99.97% of fine dust particles down to 0.3 microns in size. While the size of its dustbin capacity will always limit a robot vacuum cleaner, the inclusion of a HEPA filter can help to clean fine pet hair and eliminate allergens that are hanging in the air.
Robot vacuum cleaners mostly come with a bagless dustbin design, the limited size of which is one of the biggest compromises of a robot vacuum compared to a regular vacuum. Look for dustbins larger than 0.6L if you don’t want them to fill up after a single clean, with high-end models featuring dustbins up to 1L in size. It’s important to note, however, that a larger robovac with a bigger capacity will have more difficulty navigating under your furniture and around your personal belongings.

Accessories and functionality

Other than the control features, cleaning ability, and filter design, there are lots of other specifications that affect the overall performance of a robot vacuum cleaner. For example, it’s important to look at the selection of brushes available for different floor surfaces, the size and shape of the unit in relation to your furniture and home, the weight of the vacuum, the ease of cleaning and cleaning tools available, and the materials used in construction.
While most robot vacuum cleaners are made to be extremely quiet, it’s also important to check the noise level while in operation. Once you’ve done your homework, it’s important to settle on a budget based on your individual needs, with more expensive robovacs likely to offer longer cleaning times, larger dustbins, lower profiles, and more innovative connectivity and navigation options.

What’s the best robot vacuum for you?

Robot vacuum cleaners have become very popular over recent years, with technological advances and lower prices making them increasingly attractive to everyday consumers. Before buying a robot vacuum, there are lots of issues to consider, from the size of your budget through to your flooring materials and the overall area of your home. Technological features also need to be considered, including navigation features, sensors, and connectivity.
Just like upright or handheld vacuum cleaners, the price you pay for an automated vacuum depends greatly on the included feature set and overall construction quality. While robot vacuums are on the cutting edge of domestic appliance design, there’s a price you have to pay to get your hands on so much advanced technology. If you don’t need all the bells and whistles, you’ll be happy to know that the robot vacuum marketplace has expanded over recent years and now includes a number of affordable options.
While some brands are known to produce innovative and forward-thinking designs, not everyone needs WiFi connectivity and other advanced features. Before deciding on the perfect robot vacuum for your home, it’s important to decide which features you really need. While you probably don’t want to compromise on things like filters and carpet cleaning performance, you may not require smartphone control or multiple navigation modes.

Are robot vacuums worth it?

Whether or not a robot vacuum cleaner is worth the asking price depends on your cleaning needs and overall expectations. While some people find them to be an invaluable tool, for others they may be a complete waste of time. The size of your home is a primary consideration, as is your furniture, the floor surface, and the existence of pets. Robotic vacuum cleaners are available in a range of prices, with expensive models offering greater battery life and more onboard technology.
It’s also important to note, that for many people, a robot vacuum cleaner is a way to compliment an existing upright or barrel vacuum. Much like a stick or handheld vacuum, these amazing products are a fantastic way to clean part of your home on a regular basis in between more extensive cleans. The one thing these vacuums can do that nothing else can is automated cleaning, which makes these tools very desirable for anyone who wants to clean the house while they’re not at home.

How big is your home?

The size of your home is a chief consideration when buying a robot vacuum, with models differing considerably in terms of their battery size and operating time limits. Robotic vacuum cleaners are not really designed to clean large five-bedroom houses or suburban mansions, with apartments and townhouses their natural domain.

While some models can accommodate medium-sized homes, even then, you may need to schedule the vacuum to clean one or two rooms at a time. Perhaps more than anything else, it’s important to check the battery time and charging time to see if a robot vacuum is a realistic option for your home.

How cluttered is your home?

It’s not just the size of your home that needs to be considered, but also how messy or cluttered it is. While most robot vacuums have the ability to detect furniture and personal belongings with sensors, some are much better than others at navigating in and around your stuff. If you really want a vacuum that will go anywhere, it’s important to think about its height, edge cleaning ability, and navigation modes. How much room do you have underneath your sofa? Do you want a dedicated edge cleaning brush? Are you happy with random cleaning or do you want to specify areas in detail?

Carpets vs hardwood

Most automated vacuum cleaners can easily handle carpets and hard floors, but there are some key differences in terms of performance. For example, some models have been designed to clean one type of flooring above all others, and other models have been designed to move quickly and efficiently between soft and hard floors. A number of higher-end robot vacuum cleaners have the ability to detect the flooring underneath and change power settings accordingly.
Before buying a robot vacuum, you should research models based on their ability to clean different surfaces. It’s much easier for a vacuum cleaner to work on wood and other hard surfaces, so you can save yourself a lot of money if your home has no carpet. If you have tiles or vinyl flooring, however, you may want to increase your budget and buy a vacuum that also offers mopping. If you want high-pile carpets or rugs cleaned, it’s important to note that many lower-end models are likely to get stuck.

Do you have pets?

The existence of dog or cat hair makes cleaning your floors much more difficult. While some robot vacuums are designed to deal with pet hair and other allergens, others are likely to get tangled easily or require emptying often. If you have pets, it’s important to get a robot vacuum cleaner with a relatively large dust bin capacity, with 600 millilitres or more generally recommended. It’s also important to think about the attachments that are included, with roller brushes, side brushes, and de-tangle systems normally a good idea. Last but certainly not least, it’s important to get a vacuum with an advanced HEPA filter to eliminate pet hair and fine dust particles from your home.

Technology features to compare

More than any other class of vacuum cleaners, robot vacuums are defined and priced according to their use of technology. While conventional features such as dust bin capacity and filters are always important, the inclusion of technology is what separates the two ends of the market. Robot vacuums can be compared according to their battery size and charging time, navigation features, sensors, and connectivity functions. Other than battery life, which they also share with handhelds and stick vacuums, all of these features are exclusive to automated vacuum products.

Battery

The type and capacity of the battery is an important consideration for anyone in the market for a robot vacuum. Most models feature a lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery, with some less expensive and older models coming with a nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) battery. Generally speaking, a lithium-ion battery will have a larger capacity and a shorter charging time. Battery life can greatly affect your robot vacuum experience, especially if your house is really big. On average, a robot vacuum can clean between an hour and 90 minutes, with some higher-end models lasting a full 2 or 2 1/2 hours.
The battery capacity and operating time is just one consideration, however, you also need to be aware of the charging time and docking capabilities. People are often surprised by how long it takes to charge a robot vacuum, with 4-6 hours common. For this reason, it’s normally a good idea to leave them charging overnight so they’re ready to clean again the next morning. Many robot vacuums are able to self-dock, which means they can return to base and recharge when the battery gets low.

Navigation features

Navigation features and modes differ widely between models, with less expensive units likely to have one or two navigation modes and more expensive units having five or more. Common navigation modes include random cleaning, zig-zag cleaning, spot cleaning, and edge cleaning. The higher end of the market also include advanced scheduling and mapping features, with people able to map out specific areas of their home on a touchscreen or app. The ability to use different cleaning modes greatly expands the versatility of robot vacuum cleaners.

Sensors

Modern automated vacuum cleaners come with a range of sensors as standard. This technology is an integral part of how they function, with different sensors used to navigate around your room, prevent collisions with furniture, and stop the vacuum itself from falling down the stairs. These sensors and the software used to control them are called various things by different manufacturers, including i-dropping technology, path planning, laser navigation, anti-drop technology, collision technology, and intelligent sensor detection among others.
Some advanced models also feature virtual wall technology, which provides an invisible barrier that the vacuum cleaner can’t get past. A virtual wall allows you to block off open doorways, messy rooms, and other interior spaces that you don’t want the robot to enter. Some units can integrate virtual walls and internal sensors with scheduling functions, with users able to program the vacuum to clean certain areas while leaving others alone.

Connectivity

Robot vacuum cleaners can be controlled in many ways, including physical buttons, touchscreen controls, remote controls, and mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Connectivity features are greatly enhanced in higher-end models, especially when it comes to WiFi control through dedicated apps in iOS and Android devices. While the cleaning ability of higher-end models isn’t that different from mid-range models, the connectivity features are generally much better.
The most expensive robot vacuum cleaners come with their own apps, which you can install on any smartphone to control and schedule the unit from any location. While basic control is included on many models, some units also allow you to access advanced scheduling and mapping features. While some users may find these features unnecessary, they can be useful if you want to control your vacuum cleaner while you’re at work or even on holiday. Whether you want to use a standard remote control or an innovative app, having the ability to control your robot vacuum is very important.

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Klaus Bachmann

Klaus Bachmann

Author and Creator

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