Most homemakers consider a robotic vacuum like iRobot to be one of the best gadgets designed, second only to the washing machine! This is because of the many tasks it performs to lighten their household chores and thus make life so much easier for them. Here is some reviews of robot vacuum cleaners:
Compare: Top 7 Robot Vacuums of 2018
|Name||Item Weight||Product Dimensions||Our Rating|
|11.8 pounds||13.4 x 3.6 x 13.4 inches||4.9|
|iRobot Roomba 880||8.4 pounds||13.9 x 13.9 x 3.6 inches||4.8|
|4.9 pounds||11.8 x 11.8 x 3 inches||4.7|
|Anker RoboVac 10
||5.1 pounds||12.2 x 12.2 x 3 inches||4.7|
|4.9 pounds||12.2 x 12.2 x 3 inches||4.5|
|4 pounds||9.6 x 8.5 x 3.1 inches||4.2|
|9 pounds||12.7 x 13.2 x 3.9 inches||4.0|
1. iRobot Roomba 650 – Best Robot Vacuum 2018
This is an automatic vacuum cleaner which thoroughly cleans your house at the push of a button. It picks up pet hair, dust and large debris like cereal from all floor types like carpet, laminate, tile and hardwood and as it’s only 3.6” tall, it fits under most kickboards, beds and furniture.
The irobot vacuum cleaner uses the help of sensors to navigate and adapt with your changing home design. It can be either scheduled to work 7 times per week, or start just with the push of abutton. It uses the help of a 3-stage cleaning system to agitate, brush and suction your floors and once its battery runs low, automatically docks and recharges itself.
- Vacuums places where dirt and dust hide by cleaning under beds and other hard-to-reach places
- Uses a 3-stage cleaning system
- Automatically adjusts to different floor types
- Always ready to clean as it docks and recharges itself when battery runs low
- It’s iAdapt Navigation avoids clutter and stairs with the help of sensors
- Can be scheduled to clean 7 times a week
- Virtual wall technology contains the automatic cleaner only in rooms to be cleaned
- Cleans even wall edges and corners using its spinning side brush
- Cleans carpets well and easily moves from floors to carpets
- Runs for about 2 hours on full charge
- Not advised to use at night as its loud
- Ends up stuck after getting confused amidst legs of chairs and dining tables and drains its battery
- Doesn’t remove fine debris like powder and sand from wooden floor cracks and seams
- Bumper leaves black marks on white baseboards
- Too expensive for its short lifespan of 18 months
- Some complain it scratches hardwood floors
The IRobot Roomba 880 is one of the top brands in the Roomba 800 series that can clean dry spills as well as other tiny dirt particles and debris with ease. Unlike many robovacs in the market, this vacuum does not sport any brushes enabling it to increase its suction power tremendously – up to 50% more than most Roomba models. According to IRobot Roomba, having brushes sometimes causes entanglement which slows down the cleaning process. Lack of brushes also makes this vacuum much easier to maintain. Other impressive features of the Roomba 880 model include its large bin which can hold up to 60% more dirt than former models, its three stage cleaning system as well as its smart responsive navigation.
- 3 stage cleaning system – This unit cleans by utilizing a three stage cleaning protocol that involves first agitating the dirt and debris, brushing them gently and finally sucking them into the dirt chamber.
- Very easy to use – Simply select the cleaning mode you prefer to use, push the button marked “clean” and the vacuum gets to work.
- Smart – The Roomba 880 is built with iAdapt response navigation which enables the vacuum to clean clutter around the home without colliding with furniture and objects. It also prevents the machine from falling off raised platforms and stairs.
- Concentrated cleaning – The Roomba 880 possesses acoustic and optical sensors that can detect concentrations of pet hair, dirt and dust. This enables it to focus its cleaning on specific areas where it is required the most.
- Virtual walls – Users can restrict the Roomba 880 to clean specific areas by activating the virtual wall light house devices that come with the Roomba.
- Twice the battery power – The Roomba 880 can deliver up to 2 times the battery power or previous Roomba batteries.
- Some parts, such as the filter cap, are delicate and can fall off easily if poorly handled.
- It might occasionally miss some spots when cleaning.
Looking for a unit that can also sweep and mop and is also very affordable? If so, consider the ILIFE V5s Pro. This unit was built for homes where the owners have very little time to spend cleaning. Users can expect amazingly clean floors from this vacuum courtesy of its powerful motor that packs 40% more power than the average robovac. This robovac also comes with four cleaning modes designed to meet different cleaning needs. You can choose from either auto, spot, edge and schedule clean modes. Built with advanced technology, this one of a kind vacuum promises to transform regular vacuuming and mopping activities into highly effortless exercises.
- Multi-purpose – Can be used for damp mopping, sweeping and vacuuming.
- Very powerful motor – It comes with a motor that has a 20% longer lifespan than most, produces 10% less noise and packs 40% more power. The motor also incorporates pet hair technology enabling it to easily scoop dust, fur and other tiny particles and debris with ease.
- HIghly Automatic – The vacuum can clean without any human assistance, return to its docking station and recharge all on its own.
- Elegant design – This robovac is built with a slim design and a minimalist look that makes it very attractive.
- Affordable – Retails for less than $200 which is a steal when you factor all the amazing features it possesses.
- Obstacle and cliff sensors – The ILIFE V5s comes with state of the art cliff and obstacle sensors to prevent the vacuum from tumbling down a flight of stairs or from other raised surfaces as well as to avoid bumping into furniture and objects when cleaning.
- Fade-free battery – Ensures this model can clean for up to 140 minutes.
- In some machines, the navigation may be prone to occasional malfunctions and may cause the robovac to bump into objects when cleaning. The batteries may also be affected and charge less than half of their intended capacity. This, however, has been noted in extremely few vacuums.
The Anker RoboVac10 is your automated house-cleaning robot which cleans your house at the click of a button. You no longer have to break your back dusting your home as RoboVac does it for you using its multi clean modes and auto-scheduling feature while you attend to other tasks.
The Anker RoboVac works using drop-sensing technology and a 3-point cleaning system where a rolling brush, side brushes and a powerful suction thoroughly clean your house. It first loosens and extracts dirt from the floor which is then powerfully sucked into the dust collector.
The low-profile design of the RoboVac ensures it reaches under furniture to get rid of hard-to-reach dirt. As it can climb over objects up to 15mm high, it easily sweeps over rugs and crosses thresholds to the next room.
- Easy to use- a click of a button thoroughly cleans your home
- Offers a choice of auto, spot and edge cleaning modes
- Comes with a high-capacity Li-ion battery providing over 1.5hours of consistent power for powerful and constant suction
- Uses 3-point cleaning system for a thorough clean by loosening and extracting dirt
- A ‘Smart’ automatic cleaner which recharges after automatically returning to charging dock
- Comes with a remote control, charging base, cleaning tool, HEPA-style filter, AC power adapter, 2 side brushes and 18-month warranty
- Easily reaches under furniture to get rid of hidden dirt
- HEPA-style filter traps dangerous allergens like dust, mold spores and pet dander to give clean and safe air.
- 18-month warranty
- Meant for use on low-pile carpets, laminate, tile and hardwood floors. Unsuitable for very dark-colored floors and high-pile carpets
- Pretty poor suction power
- Has some problems with rugs
- Leaves a line of dust where it worked
- Can’t schedule different cleaning times for different days of the week
- Poor customer support
5. ILIFE A4
With the ILIFE A4 around, you needn’t look anymore! This is an automatic unit with extraordinary cleaning processes on both hardwood floors and carpets.
It’s high capacity fade-free battery offers up to 150 minutes of working time and it automatically docks and recharges when the battery levels go down which eliminates the need of manually recharging it every day.
You are assured a deep clean of carpets, laminates, tile floors and hardwood as the ILIFE A4 cleaner works on a 3-step cleaning system. Its advanced Max mode motor contributes to its thorough cleaning abilities.
As the robotic vacuum has a motorized low profile body and tangle free sensors, the device conveniently goes under narrow places like under beds and sofas and also crosses between chair legs without any hassles.
- It’s 1000pa vacuum motor easily picks up dirt and dust while rotating blade brushes efficiently clean carpets
- Automatically docks and recharges when battery goes down
- Easy to use with a remote control
- Has a convenient programmable schedule
- A full charge provides 130-150min of working time
- Minimal working noise
- Front wheels have infrared sensor which prevents the device from getting stuck
- Cliff sensors prevent the robot from falling off stairs
- Tends to get clogged with vacuumed debris
- Does not have lighthouse technology
- No virtual wall markers or magnetic strips to mark off territories
- Some complain that it rarely finds its home base
The iRobot 380t mopping robot from Braava is a robotic mop which cleans your floors while you even sleep! All you have to do is program it to clean your floors, and it uses the help of Northstar Navigation to keep track of places cleaned and yet to be cleaned.
You can choose between two cleaning modes of dry sweeping or damp mopping to clean your floors accordingly. The daily dust, hair and dirt on floors is easily picked up by its disposable microfiber cleaning cloths in dry sweeping mode. It’s Damp Mop mode uses its damp mopping cloth to mop hard surfaces.
Easy to use- just have to attach a microfiber cloth which can be reused hundreds of times, set the unit down and press a button. It starts cleaning your home using advanced technology to track where it’s been and where it has to go. It sweeps your floors in straight lines using a dry cleaning cloth but uses a back-and-forth mopping action with a damp cleaning cloth in mop mode. It’s special Reservoir Cleaning pad dispenses liquid to keep the cloth damp.
- A choice of two cleaning modes- dry sweeping and damp mopping
- It’s Turbo Charge Cradle recharges the unit in 2 hours
- Reusable microfiber cleaning cloths included for both cleaning modes
- Its Northstar Navigation works like an indoor GPS unit keeping track of places cleaned and yet to be cleaned
- Covers your entire floor in a single pass with minimal noise
- Cleaning cloths easily attached and removed using Braava’s removable magnetic multi-purpose cleaning pad
- Additional Northstar Navigation Cubes available to expand the irobot’s dry mopping abilities for larger homes
- Easily fits to clean under most furniture, beds and kickboards
- Some complain its cube doesn’t work well as a navigator
- Some complain is poor quality as it has mobility issues in a few months’ time
- No rear sensor so the iRobot cleaner cannot sense obstacles on the rear side
7. Neato Botvac D80 – Best for Pets and Allergies
Fed up cleaning all the hair your pet dog sheds? Are you allergic to pet hair? If yes, you might consider investing in a Neato Botvac D80 for pets and allergies. You just have to program it to clean your room and it removes all the dust, crumbs and pet hair while you spend time with your family.
The Neato Botvac runs on LaserSmart mapping and navigation system wherein it scans and maps the room to plan and clean it without any bumping around. Its extra-large, bag less bin and jumbo high performance filter captures and carries much more dirt and is easily emptied than round robot vacuums. Instead of sliding out the bin from the side or under the robot like other auto vacuums, you just have to lift the bin out of its top and empty its contents.
Its exclusive D-shape design and CornerClever technology helps it get close to walls and corners for maximum and thorough hair pickup. You needn’t worry about recharging it as the auto robot automatically returns to charge and when charged, continues cleaning where it left off.
- No bumping around while cleaning as its LaserSmart mapping and navigation system scans and maps most efficient cleaning path to use
- SpinFlow Power Clean uses strong suction and precision brushes like side brush to pick up most stuff on the floor
- Auto charges when it needs more power and resumes where it left off
- CornerClever technology and D-shape design helps get close to walls and into corners for to pickup maximum dirt and hair
- Has an extra large bag less bin
- Its high performance filter captures particles like mold and pet dander as small as 0.3microns
- It’s spiral blade brush works best on all floors and combo brush works quietly at picking up all hair types.
- Easy to use auto-schedule cleaning feature
- No bumper or rear sensor so it can damage furniture while backing up
- Poor customer service
- Some customers complain it gets stuck at places while cleaning
What is a robotic vacuum cleaner?
A robot vacuum cleaner is an autonomous cleaning device which cleans dirt, debris and small items off your floors just like a standard vacuum cleaner. These devices don’t clean as efficiently as humans; but they can do most of your cleaning without any guidance or control from you. They thus help minimize your workload. Most settle down in their docking station when it completes its works, while others ‘speak’ to notify you of completing a job.
Though they first hit the market in 1997, it was the advent of smart phones, smart appliances and wearable technology which helped robot vacuum cleaners re-establish themselves in the world of cleaning devices.
An increasing number of consumers have shown interest in these devices not only because they are more affordable now, but because they have grown more efficient at cleaning floors.
Why use robotic vacuums?
It’s actually no wonder that an increasing number of people today like using vacuum machines for their cleaning purposes. Vacuuming is a chore not many like, but is necessary for health and cleanliness reasons.
Robovacuums are just what the name suggests, robot vacuums which do your vacuuming for you while you attend to other chores or work It helps save both your time and effort so much that people who have started using these devices have practically grown dependent on them, which is why they are so common in homes.
Working of a robot vacuum cleaner
Practically all robot vacuum cleaners come with two drive wheels and many non-driven caster wheels. They also have various sensing units under and inside the robotic cleaner providing environmental feedback like locating cliffs and stairs, its trip range and electronic device status. And like a vacuum cleaner, robot cleaners have a motor which produces suction and motors which turn brushes and sweep particles into the suction.
Advantages of using automatic vacuum cleaners
Automatic vacuums obviously have their share of advantages which has lead to its increased demand and popularity!
- Most important, it helps save crucial cleaning time so that you have time for other work. It also relieves you from manually vacuuming floors yourself and zoom past your pets and children while cleaning up the mess they leave behind.
- Robot floor cleaners are sturdy and last for years. The only maintenance they need is keeping it away from harmful and sharp particles and periodically cleaning its filters and brushes as needed
- Most units have advanced sensors which can sense the amount of cleaning to be done, so that the machine sticks around to ensure they clean the surface till it’s done.
- Robot cleaners perform only in the space they are programmed for. So if you have kids playing or pets around while it’s in use, just set virtual walls in its programming function. This prevents the device from crossing doorways and other openings, and from frightening or hurting your kids and pets.
- Robotic vacuum cleaners can immediately charge itself if it runs low on battery by returning to its docking station once it has completed a cleaning job.
- Automatic vacuum cleaners recognize surface modifications and change its settings accordingly. It identifies stairs and walls if it comes across one and immediately turns around.
- Robocleaners are getting affordable as time passes. This is why the newer models are not only more effective than the original models; they are also cheaper than the first launched models.
- Cleaning robots are very easy to use. All you need to do is program it for a given space and set its timer for a predetermined start time. Then place it on an appropriate starting spot and it cleans your floor for you.
- The latest models have been refined and are self-regulating and practically foolproof, thus reducing the chances of mishaps or the device malfunctioning or getting stuck on a surface.
- Some of the latest robot vacuums multi-task where they not only clean, but also remember your space layout, dump all the collected dirt and can find their way back to charging stations.
- There are also some robo-vacuum cleaners which can be controlled through Smartphone apps. It is its back-and-forth, methodical and circular motion which ensures each inch of the floor and space is covered for an overall thorough cleaning.
- Automatic cleaners can work on multiple types of surface ranging from carpets to wood floors to concrete to linoleum. They have advanced sensors for easy transition between bare and carpeted areas without the need of manually switching settings.
- They can detect and tackle all types of dirt from the barely settled dirt to deeply embedded carpet debris. Its built-in sensors detect the amount of cleaning to be done in various situations and if required, will also repeatedly clean an area till it’s clean.
- As robot vacuums are smaller than upright vacuum cleaners, they can be easily stored anywhere in a closet, under beds or wherever you like. Their size also permits its easy transportation from one location to another and it’s easily reaching corners and getting under furniture to reach places regular vacuum cleaners cannot.
- The hands-free and easy use of automatic cleaners are practically a boon for handicapped and elderly. With these devices around, they needn’t depend on house-cleaners to clean their houses, and also save money they’d otherwise have spent paying house-cleaners.
Features to consider while buying automatic vacuums
Looking at all these benefits, and the affordable cost of a robotic vacuum cleaner, it’s not surprising that you too may be interested in buying one! Of course, with so many units cleaners to choose from, you may need the help of this buying guide to find out which is the best robot vacuum to invest in.
Amount of maintenance required
Robotic vacuum cleaners clean well but need some regular maintenance. The newer the model, the less maintenance it requires as newer technological improvements help lessen the load while improved features like automatic re-charging have reduced the required amount of physical human contact.
Of course, even the latest models need some attention like emptying the bin when full and replacing battery packs over time. It’s better to buy established brands with a strong secondary market for replacement parts where you needn’t send the unit back to the manufacturer. All you need to do is buy the replacement part online and follow its instructions for replacing it.
While some units work just by pushing ‘start’, the advanced models offer auto-scheduling features. You just have to set the robot’s daily, weekly and alternate schedule and it automatically runs. This is a great feature to have if you don’t have the time to schedule it every day and are out of the house most of the time.
Battery power and charging requirements
Vacuum robots run on batteries which have to be periodically recharged, which is why the battery power is an important feature to consider. A decent robot vacuum runs for about 60 minutes after which it has to return to base, or you manually have to return it to base, for recharging.
Robot vacuums which run for less than 60 minutes on a full charge are considered to be generally inefficient for use. Those which run for 60 minutes are considered to be lower end, budgetary models, while machines which run for 60-80 minutes are considered mid-range models and those which run 80-90+ minutes are high end and top-of-the-line models.
The recent robots can also automatically ‘return to the charging base’ for recharging when its battery levels are low. These robots are further classified into:
- Robots which run till they die and need to be manually carried to their charging base
- Robots which automatically return to base when the battery is low but restarts the entire cleaning process once charged
- Robots which automatically return to base when the battery is low, but auto-resume cleaning from the spot where they had left out
Obviously the best, latest and usually most expensive models have a longer battery life, and can also return to the base to recharge.
The best robotics vacuum cleaner come close and practically match the cleaning efficiency of traditional vacuum cleaners. The low end models are best for light maintenance cleaning and you may periodically have to use a traditional vacuum.
The mid range automatic vacuums do give a good clean, but struggle while cleaning particular surfaces and corners. So its better making your choice based on your objectives. Think about the time you save not vacuuming, and thus be ready to pay a bit more if required!
Size of bin
Do check how large the robot’s bin is before buying one lest you end up empting the bin so many times. In case of smaller houses and apartments or houses with minimal dirt and dander, you may not need to empty the bin after every cycle.
However in case of bigger homes, you may have to empty the bin a few times, whenever they fill up. Then again, don’t get discouraged with robots where its bin fills up quickly as it may just be that the robot is effectively collecting dirt!
Size of your homely abode
Size always matters, even while choosing robot cleaners. If you have a large home, opt for a newer robot as it has a longer battery life, larger dust bins, automatic recharging feature and better navigation. There are some best robot vacuum cleaners with boundary marking accessories like virtual wall lighthouses and boundary marking tapes which help robots navigate large areas.
Wi-Fi app control
You can finally control your robot from your Smartphone app so that you receive live updates and system monitoring and control available at your fingertips. While this exists in the latest roomba models, you can modify older roomba devices using a simple attachable ‘plate’ which makes your old robot ‘smart’ with Wi-Fi connectivity.
Like any electrical appliance, you need to consider your budget while buying robot cleaners. Most range from between $300 to $900 and while there are robots available for less than $300, they are either cheaper imitations of the real thing or are meant for light cleaning maintenance and not deep cleaning. Your best option is to look for last year’s models as though they may not have the latest cutting edge features, they have the latest features.
If the auto vacuum cannot identify hazards or gets stuck in unusual places it shouldn’t be in, then it’s not the right cleaner for you. They should have virtual wall technology and sensors which help them do this and avoid unnecessary accidents and damage. Moreover, choose a model with automatic shutdown to prevent fires due to overheating if it ends up tangled.
If you or someone else at home has allergies, pets or asthma, look for home cleaning robots with a HEPA filtration system. This is because these devices not only clean your floors, but also cleans the air. They effectively remove pet dander and hair and catch all the small dust particles which get sucked up in its filter before letting the air out of the exhaust.
Bagless or bagged
Robotic vacuums run on centrifugal force or cyclone technology and have small bins which have to be frequently emptied. There are also bag less models which save the additional cost of buying bags. Look for models which indicate if the robot vacuum is nearing its maximum dirt capacity and the models which automatically empty itself when it returns to its charging station.
While automatic vacuums are quieter than standard vacs, some emit an annoying high-pitched whistle while others make a mechanical grinding noise. While these sounds may not annoy you if you are out of the house while the vacuum works, if the sound is loud enough, it may annoy neighbours or pets.
Some cleaners have remote control for directing it around the room, which some people will consider unfavourable and unnecessary for automatic vacuums. Some people feel that you might as well buy a normal vacuum cleaner instead of spending time directing the vacuum robot with the remote control!
Like any electrical appliance, robovacuum cleaners have their share of disadvantages, which are however nothing major to worry about. For example, they are a bit more expensive than regular vacuum cleaners, but not drastically different. In fact, the extra cost is compensated by the additional free time you gain with its robotic features.
There are also some robotic vacuums which may not do that great a cleaning job as a standard vacuum cleaner. There is a chance of it missing a few spots, but is something to expect as it may eventually go over the spot. You can also always manually send it over the spot if you are concerned about it. However on the overall, these automatic cleaners do a great job at cleaning your carpets and floors.
There is also the additional responsibility of regularly charging the robotic vacuum for it to work at cleaning your home. The amount of charging the unit requires depends on your usage, but for most cases, it’s enough to just charge it in the evenings when going to bed.
So if you compare the disadvantages with the advantages of a robotic vacuum cleaner, its advantages vastly outnumber the disadvantages. It thus looks like this is an excellent invention worth investing in.
Now if you plan at giving it a try to get some free time to pursue your hobby or concentrate on some other work, then you may find these robot vacuum reviews helpful at making your choice. There are so many robotic cleaners in the market that you may end up confused searching for the best!