List of the 26 best robot vacuum cleaners based on tests and 17.463 reviews.
- Robot Vacuum Cleaner
- Auto Charge & Resume(3)
- Floor Mopping Robot(2)
- Ideal For Pet Hair(1)
- With App(7)
|ILIFE A4s||DIGGRO C200||ILIFE V3s||ILIFE V3s Pro||iRobot Roomba 671|
|price||180 £||156 £||160 £||160 £||333 £|
|Runtime||120 min||110 min||110 min||120 min||60 min|
|Charge Time||4 h||6 h||4 h||5 h||2 h|
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.
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.
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.