Welcome to this Robot Vacuum site. On this page we’d like to give you as much information as we can about buying a robotic vacuum. We’re going to give you our buyers guide and which products we think are the best robot vacuums.
We’ll look at the latest technology, the best brands, whether a robot vacuum can benefit your health and other things we think might be relevant. So buckle up and let’s get started.
If you want to take a quick peek at our Best Robot Vacuum Overall then click here.
- 1 Buyers Guide
- 2 Best Robot Vacuums
- 2.1 Best Overall Robot Vacuum – Roomba 980
- 2.2 Best Newcomer Robot Vacuum – Shark ION ROBOT 750
- 2.3 Best Aternative to Roomba – Neato D7 Connected
- 2.4 Best Themed Robot Vacuum– Samsung Powerbot Darth Vader
- 2.5 Best Seller Robot Vacuum – Roomba 650
- 2.6 Best Robot vacuum and mop – ECOVACS DEEBOT M80
- 2.7 Best Budget Robot Vacuum – Eufy Robovac 11
- 3 Alexa, what is it and do you need it?
- 4 The Latest Technology
- 5 Best Robot Vacuum Brands
- 6 Cheap robot vacuums – what to expect from a budget robot vacuum
- 7 Robots that mop the floor
- 8 Can using a robot vacuum benefit your health?
- 9 Robot Vacuum Maintenance
We’re going to give you a list of things you might want to think about when buying a robot vacuum. You will find there are many choices out there so you need to find a way to narrow down the choices so you can get the best one for your home.
I’m going to start with price because it can be the one thing that makes the difference to what type of products you look at. You can get robot vacuums for as little as $100 and as much as $1000 so knowing your budget can definitely cut your choices down to manageable levels. With a low cost budget friendly vacuum you will get less features. They tend to be pretty basic but if you have a small home and hard flooring they might suit your purpose. If you have a larger home, need scheduling capabilities and have mixed flooring you may need to spend a bit more. When you’re looking at the higher priced robotic vacuums you are usually paying for the latest technology, longer cleaning times, a more thorough clean and the ability to control from your phone. In the middle price range you get a mixture of everything so you can choose the features most important to you and give up some others.
Your floor type can eliminate some types of robot vacuum from your list of choices. If you have hardwood floors everywhere and no carpet then you can choose from most vacs because some which just have suction will still pick up fine. You might also want to consider if you want a vacuum and mop combination. If you have a mix of carpet and hardwood floor or just carpet then you will probably want a vacuum that has a roller brush underneath that can agitate the carpet fibres and suck the dust out. You also might be looking at a robot vacuum that can offer extra suction too.
Having pets can mean a constant round of cleaning if they shed hair. Even if they don’t they can still track in more dirt than you would so again you would definitely be looking for something with a roller brush underneath suitable for catching pet hair. When you’re looking for the best robot vacuum for pet hair you might also want to consider a schedule function so it can clean for you on a daily basis without you having to remember to set it off. That way you can keep on top the hair and dirt and it doesn’t get a chance to get embedded into your carpets. You might also want to check what type of filter the vacuum has to trap dust and pet dander.
Scheduling and app control
Many people are starting to build up smart items in the home that can be controlled by voice using a voice control device with Alexa or Google home. A lot of robot vacuums in different price ranges are now incorporating apps and voice integration. If you would just prefer to use your phone to control the robot instead of another remote control then you will want it to have wifi capabilities. If you don’t care about either of these then you can choose from most types but be aware if you have problems in your area with wifi connection you might want to opt for a machine that is controlled with a remote or via the unit itself like the Roomba 650. Many robot vacuums now offer the opportunity to schedule cleaning, some only let you choose one time for every day and some are more flexible letting you choose different times for different days. This can allow you’re vacuum to work on it’s own whether you are home or not. The benefit of this is you don’t have to stop what you’re doing or remember to fit it into your day as it will just do it’s own thing regardless so if this is important for you add it to your checklist.
The size of your home might mean you have to be aware of the battery life offered by the vacuum that you choose. If you have a small home then 30 – 60 minutes of cleaning might be enough to clean the floor sufficiently but if you need a robot vacuum for a large house then running time is important for you. You can get robot vacuums that can run for up to 120 minutes which would improve your results and if you get a vacuum with mapping capability it can also speed up the cleaning. If you have a large area and it is covered in carpet then that takes more energy from the battery so longer running time might also be beneficial in that situation.
The way the robot vacuum cleans depends on if it has mapping capabilities. Cheaper versions tend to clean in a random pattern, zig zagging around the floor till it has covered the majority of the floor area. This works for a lot of people and if you have smaller areas it can clean pretty well. Larger areas might not work as well and might need to be done in smaller parts to get a more thorough clean.
If you choose a robot vacuum that has floor mapping it usually scans the room to get the size and shape, it detects large objects and it then works out the most efficient route to use for a full clean. They usually clean in a linear way working around objects in their path until the whole room is done. Some vacs even give the option of one pass or two. With these types of sensors you get a quick thorough clean an know it will cover the whole floor.
This works better on larger areas and the other benefit of this is the vacuum knows where it is at so if the battery charge runs down it will return to the dock to recharge then go back to where it stopped to carry on. This feature is usually on more expensive models but it’s becoming more popular so keep an eye out for this on cheaper models too.
So have a think about what you want your robot vacuum to do and where you are going to use it and create yourself a checklist with the most important features to you on the top and the wish for features at the bottom. If money isn’t an issue you can start narrowing down by your most important features first and you will have more choices. The latest models of most brands offer the best features as they are always improving what the vacuums can do but it can be a big investment. You might feel more comfortable with a more established lesser version that has a bit of customer feedback so you get a better feel for it.
If you want some suggestions check out our best robot vacuum suggestions below.
Best Robot Vacuums
Best Overall Robot Vacuum – Roomba 980
Taking into consideration what customers want and the features offered the Roomba 980 takes the lead when it comes to cleaning. This is the latest iRobot version and they have packed in many features. The price is on the higher side around $800 depending on special offers but it does do what you want and is the best all rounder. When it comes to floor type the 980 can cover all types of flooring and even has a booster option for cleaning carpets. It has 2 rollers underneath to pick up all types of dust and debris and boasts a high performance HEPA filter that can deal with the smallest of particles.
The battery performance on the Roomba 980 is around 120 minutes depending on the floor type you have which can cover a large area on one charge. It also has floor scanning capabilities so that it will map your floor to clean in the most efficient way to get the job done. You can get it to do 1 pass or 2 passes if you feel your floor needs it and it will remember where it finished if it has to recharge in the middle of cleaning, recharge then resume all on it’s own. There are dirt detectors which will go over an area if it is dirtier than expected.
Setting a schedule or monitoring the cleaning is made simple by the use of an app and wifi. You can set a daily clean or any number of days you want, monitor where you’re robot has cleaned. Get a notification of a full dust bin or just set your robot vacuum cleaning with button controls on the app too. If you want to connect the vacuum so that it works with Alexa it has that option so that you can send your robot to clean with a few words and send it back to dock when you’re done.
This is a great option to choose for any home, especially if you have pets as I believe it is the best Roomba for pet hair.
Best Newcomer Robot Vacuum – Shark ION ROBOT 750
If you already own a Shark vacuum or you’ve heard of them then you will know that they area a name to be reckoned with. They have now ventured into the robot vacuum field and have created a good machine that people like. They have 2 robot vacuum options, the Shark ION ROBOT 720 which is remote controlled robot and the more up to date Shark ION ROBOT 750 which has wifi and phone control via an app.
The Shark 750 is similar in design to the Roomba 690, you can check out the differences here. The price is in the cheaper bracket around $350 but it’s worth keeping an eye on it as you do get it cheaper occasionally.
It has the ability to work on any floor type and move between them. It has a roller brush underneath and 2 side spinning brushes to give you some good coverage. It can clean for up to 60 minutes on one charge which can clean an average home before returning to re-charge.
You have an app which allows you to schedule cleaning and do basic controls from your phone. You can also link up with voice control as it works with Alexa and other voice devices.
There are sensors that can stop it falling down steps and to help it to avoid obstacles but it can’t scan the room. With this robot vacuum the mapping style is random so it will change direction when it meets an object or the wall and move off at an angle and over the cleaning period it should clean the whole floor. This means that when it runs out of charge it doesn’t know where it has cleaned and can’t return to a spot to keep going, so this vacuum usually cleans until the battery runs down then recharges for the next cleaning time.
This is a reasonably priced unit and has proven itself with customers. Worth checking out.
Best Aternative to Roomba – Neato D7 Connected
The Neato Robotics brand is well known in the robot vacuum world. They came in with room mapping before iRobot cottoned onto it and offer a good alternative. The Neato D7 connected is the latest in the connected range. It’s price range is similar to the Roomba 980 at around $800 and it’s features are similar too.
The D7 can work well on all floor types, it is a D shaped vacuum with the brush underneath placed along the straight edge so you can get the biggest brush length for covering more floor at once. It has a clever cornering technique so that it gets well into the corners and a side brush to help too. This robot vacuum can run for around 120 minutes depending on the floor type, it will auto adjust to the different heights if required.
To control everything you have an app which connects to the vacuum and to wifi so that you can set the cleaning schedule on a daily basis or if you want to set it cleaning while you’re out at the shops then you can from the app. You can also sync it to work with any voice device so you can tell it to go and clean.
The Neato D7 scans the room as it cleans and maps out all objects. It will work out the best route and set itself cleaning so that it covers the whole floor. One of the clever features this vacuum offers is the no go lines. When it has mapped the room that map is viewable on your phone, if there are areas in your room that you don’t want the vacuum to clean you can draw a line on the map on your phone and it will be avoided.
This is a top of the range robot vacuum but it offers all you could need and more. If money’s no object it’s worth considering.
Best Themed Robot Vacuum– Samsung Powerbot Darth Vader
Samsung are another big player on the robot vacuum scene and to celebrate Star Wars they brought out 2 themed robot vacuums that you might like to have in your home if you’re a fan of Star Wars. Based on their Powerbot range they created the Darth Vader robot vacuum, it’s shiny, it looks like Darth Vader and believe it or not it sounds like him too. Don’t think that this is just a gimmick because it has many good features as a cleaner.
At the moment it is retailing for less than $400 which is a very reasonable price for it’s features. The Powerbot can clean both carpets and hard floor. They have increased the suction 20 times more than older models and they also added a turbo boost for carpets. There is a rotary brush underneath to make it easy to pick up dirt and pet hair and it has an edge clean system for getting right up to edges and scooping the dirt into the suction.
This vacuum has a remote control and an app for controlling it, you also have the option to set it up for voice control with Alexa. You can set it up to clean at a certain time of day then repeat it and of course you can just set it off manually.
There are scanning sensors which map the room so that it can clean in the most efficient way and if it runs out of charge before finishing the clean it will recharge then return to the last cleaning point to continue. Let’s not forget the sound effects, heavy breathing and phrases spoken in Darth Vaders voice, pretty cool. Check it out on the video below.
Best Seller Robot Vacuum – Roomba 650
The Roomba 650 has been around a few years now but it’s been the bestseller in those years. The 650 is a basic type of robot vacuum, a circular shape with a small spinning side brush and a double circular brush underneath. So what makes it a best seller? In simple terms – it does the job.
You can pick up a Roomba 650 for less than $300 and for that you get a robot vacuum that can handle all floor types. The brushes underneath mean it can clean up after pets pretty well and the spinning side brush gets into areas like corners and edges. The 650 can run for up to 60 minutes before it returns to the docking station for a recharge.
This robot vacuum doesn’t have a remote control, it doesn’t have an app and you can’t use it with a voice device but you have the buttons on the top of the vacuum to start and stop it. You also have a scheduling feature as with all Roomba vacuums but you have to use the buttons on the top to set the times. You can set daily scheduling or any amount of days you want with the time that you want and it will just go out and clean. Nothing complicated and little that can go wrong. If you have issues with wifi connection in your home this is the perfect option. This Roomba 650 cleans in a random fashion around the room and will head into any area that is open and clean until it has run out of charge. This is a great set and forget robot vacuum for a great value price.
Best Robot vacuum and mop – ECOVACS DEEBOT M80
If you have a home which has hardwood or laminate floors and you would like a vacuum that can sweep the floors and also mop it then you might be interested in the ECOVACS DEEBOT M80.
The M80 is primarily a robot vacuum but it also has a mop attachment that holds water that can clip underneath the robot with a cleaning pad that becomes damp through water wicking and it wipes the floor after is has been swept as it goes along. You would only attach this mop part if you are using on hard floors and remove it when you need to clean any carpeted areas.
The DEEBOT M80 comes in at less than $250 which makes it a more affordable robot vacuum for most people. It works on all floor types and has an intense function that you can use for extra suction on the carpeted areas.
It can run for up to 110 minutes on one charge before it will return to the charging dock although it can’t go back to where it finished because it doesn’t have room scanning. It cleans in a random pattern until the battery runs out or you send it back to base. There is an edge clean mode and a spot cleaning mode to cover all options.
This ECOVACS vacuum can be controlled via an app where you can program it with a schedule for cleaning as well as control the cleaning manually. You can also link this robot vacuum with Alexa for voice control and us it whenever you need it. Check it out today.
Best Budget Robot Vacuum – Eufy Robovac 11
When you’re looking for a robot vacuum when you are on a budget you can’t go wrong with the Eufy Robovac 11. This vacuum offers you a good cleaning solution, although only useful on thin carpets you can get the newer version Eufy Robovac 11+ for more suction if you have more carpets in your home and it’s a similar price around $250.
This will work on both floor types and won’t have any issues going between the two, it has 2 side brushes to get into the corners and around edges with a rotary brush underneath to pick up all the dirt and hair. It has a high capacity Li-ion battery which can run for up to 90 minutes in one charge before it will return to the dock.
Like most of the cheaper brands it cleans in a random fashion which zig zags around the room eventually cleaning most of the floorspace. It has some different cleaning modes to help with cleaning specific bits like the spot cleaning mode for spills, the edge cleaning mode if you feel it hasn’t given the edges a good clean and the max mode which is good for carpets as it gives the suction an extra boost.
This doesn’t have app control but it does come with a remote which you can use to set up a schedule or just manually set it cleaning.
If you want a cheaper vacuum that can offer all round cleaning then this Eufy Robovac 11 is definitely worth looking at.
Alexa, what is it and do you need it?
If you watch any TV you will have seen ads for Amazon Echo devices and maybe seen them controlling a robot vacuum by voice command. So what is Alexa and do you need it?
Alexa isn’t a product in itself but it’s the voice which will answer questions via the Amazon Echo speaker. Alexa is the wake up word that the device uses and it is a woman’s voice that will respond to you as if you were speaking to a real person and is almost conversational in it’s responses, it’s Amazon’s own digital assistant. Alexa can access information on the internet to answer your questions or it can play music or interact with other devices to turn them on and off or adjust controls depending what the capability is.
Alexa is now being built into more products including robot vacuums so you can control it with a voice command.
What is Alexa?
Alexa is a cloud based voice service and it has been integrated into Amazons devices so it can answer questions and other actions. If you have ever used the voice option ‘Siri’ on your phone or computer you will understand a little bit about the things that Alexa can do like give you the weather forecast or set a timer for you or just answer any question that pops into your head.
The Alexa voice service can recognise your voice and when you say ‘Alexa’ it wakes up and starts listening for your commands or questions. You can change this though to ‘Amazon’ or ‘Echo’ which is useful if a member of your family has the name Alexa or similar.
How did Alexa come about?
The inspiration for this voice controlled device came from Star Trek where they often asked the computer for information. The name Alexa was chosen because of the X sound which isn’t as common in words and they wanted to use a word that wouldn’t be easily confused with others. As well as the X sound the inventors also thought it was reminiscent of the Library of Alexandria which was one of the largest libraries of the ancient world, their version of our internet.
Where can you use Alexa
If you want to have voice control in your home with Alexa you will have to buy a device that is compatible with it like the Amazon Echo, Echo dot, Echo spot, Echo tap or Echo Show. Some are speakers and some are screened devices but all are integrated with Alexa.
There are many companies now integrating Alexa in their products so that you can create a smart home that can be controlled in various areas by voice commands. Everything from your lights, heating, security systems and robot vacuums.
What can it do
Alexa has skills that have been developed so that it can do things. There are thousands of skills available with more being created by new companies. At present you can buy light bulbs which you can turn on and off. Smart plugs that you can use for any electrical item which you want to turn on by voice like the kettle. You can get thermostats for your heating and door locks that you lock without leaving your seat. There are security cameras that you can view live on Alexa devices and of course robot vacuums. Check our top 10 Alexa enabled robot vacuums if you want to know which ones to buy.
Do you need Alexa in your robot vacuum?
If you have Amazon voice devices in your home already and like the idea of using voice commands to control some of your appliances then it’s worth looking for a robot vacuum that works with Alexa, but you don’t have to use that function and you will still have control with your phone. The commands are limited to start, stop and return to dock at the present time but that is going to improve as more people come on board with using a voice device. If you don’t like to have too many wifi controlled products in your home there are many robot vacuums that work with a standard remote control that you can still buy.
The Latest Technology
Like in most up and coming gadgets for personal use or in the home you will find that there is always going to be some new technology to improve the look and the function. Robot Vacuums are no different, as they become more widespread in use, the firms get a greater feedback and try and improve the customer experience.
I thought I would go over some of the latest improvements to come through on the most top rated robot vacuums so you can see if it’s worth paying the extra money for them.
What are the latest improvements?
I’m going to mention room scanning although it has been around a little while on vacuums like the Neato. The Roomba included full room scanning in the 900 series and it definitely makes for a more efficient cleaning routine so that the floor can be covered in a quicker time but you can also be sure that the vacuum is going to cover the whole area. With vacuums that just use random movements to clean there is no guarantee that they will manage to cover every inch of the floor and sometimes they pass over an area a few times and other areas not at all, so room scanning is the way to go and you will find that newer cheaper versions of robot vacuums are already getting on board with this.
Extended run times
Some robot vacuums can only run for 60 minutes before needing to recharge. This isn’t a big issue if your vacuum has room mapping and knows how to return to complete the job if it wasn’t finished. Many vacuums still have a random cleaning pattern and a lesser time means you don’t get as thorough a clean as you might want.
With changes in batteries to Lithium for longer lasting power they can now get the vacuums to run for up to 120 minutes which is a massive improvement. This means that you can clean larger areas without your robot having to go back for a re-charge. This makes it much easier to find the best robot vacuum for a large house.
Although robot vacuums can run for up to 120 minutes, the total time is dependent on the floor type you have as more energy is expended with a carpet floor than a hard floor. It’s also dependent on if you clean with a carpet boost mode on or not, but with the extra time available you will still get a good run time even if it doesn’t reach the full 120 minutes.
Power boosts and cleaning modes
A lot of robot vacuums are now offering a power boost feature so that you have some extra suction when it comes to dirtier well used areas and especially if you have carpets. This definitely gives you some improved cleaning capability bringing the robot vacuum a little closer to a standard vacuum. As mentioned above this can drain the battery a bit quicker but with a mapping feature allowing the vacuum to return to it’s cleaning path after a re-charge you will still be assured of a total floor clean.
This feature isn’t always required though if you have hardwood floors but now we are getting the option for different cleaning modes so you can choose depending on the flooring in the area that you’re cleaning. The Neato D7 offers an Eco as well as a Turbo mode so you can save battery and run the vacuum quieter in the Eco mode if it works well in your home. For most of these options you get to choose what you want via the app.
Improved capabilities within the app
Some of the biggest improvements are the variety of options you can get within the app itself. This allows you to tailor the cleaning to suit your home. Scheduling has been around for a while but other options you have available on some vacuums is whether you want to clean with one pass or two.
You can also view the maps that the vacuums have scanned and check their progress. Neato have now given you the option to add a virtual wall within the map, on your app, so you can decide if you want to stop your robot vacuum from going into a certain area where you don’t want it to clean like around your pet food area or where you might have a delicate floor vase. You just have to draw a line on the map and it’s done.
Much easier than setting up magnetic strips or lighthouses. Samsung not to be left behind have now brought in point cleaning which is where the map covers all of the rooms on one level you can point to which rooms you want it to clean and it will do only them. This software is still a bit hit and miss but I would imagine it will get perfected fairly quickly.
Is it worth buying newer technology?
If you like the most up to date gadgets then definitely, but you have to look at what the latest technology can do for you. If the improvements won’t help in your home environment or you don’t feel that they are worth the extra cost then wait a year and the price will probably come down as they release an even newer version.
If you feel the extra power and controls you can get mean you will get more usage and a cleaner home, if you can afford it, then go for it.
Best Robot Vacuum Brands
I thought I would give you a list of the best robot vacuums on the market at the moment.
These are some of the best known top sellers but there are more newer brands out there offering some good cheap options so it’s worth checking customer reviews to see if they might work in your home.
The iRobot brand with the Roomba circular robot vacuums are probably the most well known brand. They have 4 current series of products from the best selling Roomba 650 up to the latest version the Roomba 980.
It was founded in 1990 by Massachusetts Institute of Technology roboticists and they created and released the first Roomba in 2002. They have been improving it ever since but they don’t only have robot vacuums for the home but have mopping robots as well like the Brava 380T and the Braava Jet 240. iRobot offer robot vacuums in all price ranges with the cheapest around $300 to the top of the range around $800.
The latest updates have been to add wifi and voice capabilities to 2 of their popular versions, creating the Roomba 690 and the Roomba 890 to add cheaper versions to the robot vacuums that work with Alexa. You can find an iRobot to suit you no matter what type of floors you have and whatever you’re budget.
Neato Robotics is another top brand of robotic vacuums which you will probably recognise from their D shape. Neato are known for their connected range and their latest issue is the Neato D7. Neato has been an innovator with the robot vacuum being the first to use the D shape, the first to use room mapping, first to announce wi-fi and first to support Alexa.
They certainly have a handle on new technology and they now are offering virtual no go lines on their mapping so you can draw your virtual wall with your finger on the map and your vacuum won’t go past it. Their cheaper version is the Neato Botvac D80 which still gives you room mapping at just under $400.
Samsung is well known for their smartphones but they also have a range of robot vacuums that are on a par with the top 2 brands. They have recently released the Samsung POWERbot R9350 which gives you all the latest features including room mapping and turbo boost for carpets.
To compete with the other top robot vacuums they have developed the point cleaning feature which allows you to map the rooms in your house then choose which rooms you want to clean at any time. Samsung vacuums also use the D shape although the design is different to Neato.
They released a Powerbot Star Wars version last year which looks like the Darth Vader mask and has heavy breathing and Darth Vader phrases along with having many top features. This is retailing at less that $400 at the moment which is a bargain.
Shark is one of the leading brands in upright vacuums and now they have moved into the robot vacuum field with the Shark Ion 750 being the latest version, offering wi-fi and voice control.
The Shark robot vacuums don’t have all the features of the top of the range products but it is similar to the Roomba 690 (checkout the comparison here) in features and cleaning capability. You can pick up a 750 for around $350 making it a very affordable choice.
The Ecovacs company was founded in 2006 and designed and released it’s first floor cleaning robot in 2007. They specialise in robotic products including robotic window cleaners and robotic air purifiers. There range of robot vacuums is called the Deebot and they have a range of products to suit all budgets.
The latest release is the DEEBOT OZMO 930 which is a combination vacuum and mop. This has some of the latest features including laser mapping and carpet detection for when the mop is attached so it won’t go on the carpet. The OZMO 930 is retailing around $600 on Amazon.com.
Ilife robot vacuums are a company from China which offer a variety of vacuums in different price ranges. The ILIFE has 2 different series of vacuums, the A series which can work well on carpets and the V series which works well with pet hair and has a dual function of sweeping and mopping.
The latest release is the ILIFE V8s which offers laser mapping for efficient cleaning and this has a dual function so can mop as well. This isn’t a wi-fi robot and is controlled with a remote so would work well for people who don’t like wifi gadgets and it retails under $350.
Eufy is part of the Anker group which concentrates on providing connected devices for the smart home to make life easier. The robot vacuum that they supply is the Eufy Robovac 11 series the latest being the 11s which has a boost feature to clean dirtier parts of the floor.
It’s very slim and quiet and retails just over $200. This is a remote control vacuum and doesn’t offer laser mapping so will clean in a random pattern. The Eufy is a very good budget robot vacuum that can clean well.
Bobsweep is a Canadian company which manufactures the Bobsweep brand of robot vacuums. They make the basic Bobsweep, Bobsweep pethair and the newer pethair plus, the Bobsweep Junior and the Bobipet.
The latest addition Bobsweep pethair plus retails under $400 and offers boosted suction power to work on pethair, the option to create 2 invisible barriers to protect furniture or block areas you don’t want it to clean, it can run for 75 minutes and also has a mop attachment to mop as it sweeps. This doesn’t have as many features as the top rated robot vacuums but it manages dirt, has a hepa filter for dust protection and a uv light to kill bugs.
Hoover is such a well known brand for vacuum cleaners and they have now branched out into the robot vacuum side of things. They have 3 or 4 different versions or robot vacuums but the latest is the Hoover Rogue 970.
This robot vacuum retails just under $350 which is very reasonable considering they have installed laser mapping, wifi app control and it supports Alexa or Google Home. You also get the option to use virtual wall lines on the map to stop the robot vacuum going into areas that you don’t want it to.
There are many more brands available but these are some of the main ones to give you a place to start.
Cheap robot vacuums – what to expect from a budget robot vacuum
When you’re looking at the top rated robot vacuums you are looking at prices up to $800 but they give you the latest features including room scanning so that you’re vacuum can clean efficiently and thoroughly covering the whole floor, being able to track it’s own progress and return to clean at the same spot if it needs recharging.
Most cheaper robots can’t offer room mapping and tend to clean in a random manner around the floor. You do get some of these robot vacuums that have wifi and that can be controlled via your smartphone.
These cheaper options do usually have a good running time, the suction isn’t always on a par with the more expensive options like the Roomba 980 so they do tend to be advertised as suitable for thin carpets or hardwood floors but they can be surprisingly effective at cleaning and not to be dismissed out of hand.
One of the main features people want from their robot vacuums is to be able to schedule the cleaning so that you can set it and forget it mostly(apart from emptying the bin) and you will find that the cheaper vacs can still offer the ability to schedule cleaning.
They have most of the basic skills that you want in a robot, they will return to recharge, they can manage not to bang into all of your furniture, they don’t fall down stairs and are usually slim enough to fit underneath the sofa.
If basic is enough for you then check out some of our choices under $200 to see what you think.
ILife V5s Pro
If you want a dual function vacuum and mop that comes in just under $200 then you will like this Ilife V5s pro robot vacuum. This is a vacuum cleaner and a mop but you can’t use them at the same time. There is a place for the dust bin and that is removed and replaced with a water tank to use the mopping function.
The V5s robot vacuum is primarily designed for hardwood type floors, it doesn’t have a brush underneath but works with side brushes and suction to clean up. It comes with a dock and remote control and offers scheduling for cleaning if you are out. The water tank should not be used while the vacuum is on the charging dock as you don’t want to add water when plugged into electric.
The battery can clean for around 120-140 minutes and has a max mode for extra power on dirtier areas. The vacuum has larger wheels to make it easier to get from one level to another and to help it get out of tight corners. This Ilife V5s pro is a budget robot vacuum that offers a double function making it very versatile.
The PureClean PUCRC90 is a white circular robot vacuum that can handle hard floors and thin carpets. It retails at just under $170
This vacuum can be scheduled to clean when you want and is controlled with a remote control or via the lcd screen on the top of the casing. The robot can run for 90 minutes before it returns to the dock for recharging. There is no brush underneath, the robot vacuum relies on the 2 side brushes and suction to extract the dust and debris from the floor.
The PUCRC90 cleans with a random pattern changing direction when it encounters an object with the sensors on the bumper. The dust is collected in a dust bin which includes a HEPA filter which is helpful if you have an allergy.
Housemile Robot Vacuum
The Housemile robot vacuum is a circular vacuum with a bumper attached and it comes it at a very reasonable price of just under $100. This vacuum is more for hard floors as it doesn’t have a rotary brush for carpet cleaning, it uses the side brushes and the suction to clean the floor.
The Housmile robot vacuum doesn’t have a docking unit, the battery is removable and you plug it into the included charger when required. There is no remote control or app either, this vacuum has a button on the top of the vacuum to start it cleaning.
There are 2 cleaning modes, small room and large room, the small room uses one press of the button and runs for 30 minutes and the large uses 2 presses and runs for 60 minutes. There is a small dustbin with removable filter under the cover. This is a basic but functional robot vacuum but if you need a scheduling option you will need to choose a different one.
The Pyle PUCRC95 robot vacuum is a circular vacuum which a height profile of 3.1 inches and is black and red in color. The current price is just under $150 at the time of writing.
The Pyle doesn’t have a rotary brush underneath and relies on the 2 side brushes and the suction to remove all the dust and debris. It comes with a dock for recharging and will send itself back when the batteries go down. It has a running time of 90 minutes.
The vacuum has a remote control which you can use to set the cleaning mode and the scheduled cleaning if you need it. There is a HEPA filter included in the dust bin to keep the dust out of the air and you can attach a dry wipe underneath to wipe the floor as it sweeps. This is quite a basic vacuum probably better on hard floors but it can do the job for a low price.
Deik Robot Vacuum Cleaner
The Deik Robot Vacuum Cleaner is very reasonably priced at just over $150 at the time of writing. It’s a circular shaped vacuum which has a rotary brush underneath plus 2 spinning side brushes to get into awkward areas.
The Deik comes with a docking unit and offers a running time of 60 minutes before it returns to be recharged. The vacuum comes with a remote control and you can use the different cleaning modes or set a daily time for the vacuum to clean.
Although it says suitable for thin carpets it does have a turbo boost mode to help with a deeper clean. This design also gives a large dust bin so that you don’t have to empty it so often and it has a HEPA filter to help filter out allergens. This vacuum has had some good reviews and it worth checking out.
Robots that mop the floor
If you’re interested in robots that can help save you time by doing a job for you and you have the type of floor that needs mopping then you may have heard of mopping robots. If mopping for you is spraying the floor and using a mop to get dirt off or using an old cotton head mop and bucket to clean with then this innovation might appeal to you.
There are 2 types of mopping robot, the ones that are specifically for mopping and don’t vacuum up dirt and there are the robot vacuum and mop combinations.
The mop specific robots tend to have 2 functions, dry mopping and wet mopping. The dry mopping is similar to what you would do with a swiffer mop, you have disposable wipes and the robot moves around the room picking up surface dirt. Then you have the wet mop function where the water is stored in a water tank in the robot and it wicks down onto the cleaning pad to keep it damp as it washes the floor, it also might have a spray function.
The robot vacuum and mop combinations I have mentioned in earlier parts of this page but what you get with these options is a choice of an attachable pad holder that can hold water which you clip underneath the vacuum and it will keep the pad damp and wash the floor as it sweeps or you can get some robot vacuums that use a water tank in place of the dust bin so you mop separately from sweeping. Again these usually have a pad holder that clips beneath the vacuum and becomes damp from the water tank wicking water onto the pad.
Obviously it’s much quicker to wash the floor yourself but if you have a large area to clean which you are having to do daily and you want to be doing other things, then investing in the best mopping robot might be worth it to free up your time.
Let me show you 3 different robot mops so you can see what’s available.
iRobot Braava 380t Robot Mop
The Braava 380t is the mopping equivalent to the Roomba vacuum. Although it is made by iRobot it isn’t a vacuum cleaner, it can dry mop and wet mop your floor. It comes with a charging cradle that you can sit it in to recharge but it doesn’t return to it by itself you have to place it in there. It does have sensors though to work out where it is cleaning, it comes with a navigation cube which you place in the room and it communicates with that to work out where it has been.
The 380t has a small reservoir underneath which you attach the cloth around, this drips water via a wick onto the cloth so that it wets it as it goes along. Most people tend to wet the cloth first before they start it mopping. It also comes with a white microfibre cloth which you attach underneath and it will go over the floor and pick up any dust. You can do this first before you mop the floor or just send your Roomba in if you have one to sweep up first.
There are 2 cleaning modes on this mop the Dry Mop Mode and Damp Mop Mode. You would use the dry mop mode to sweep the floor, it will start cleaning from wherever you place it in the room, working backwards and forwards in long straight lines until it has covered the whole room then it will go around the edges and finish in the same place it started. The difference with the damp mop mode is that it will move in straight lines but it has a small backwards and forward movement, just like you do when you mop, so it has a better chance of taking off dirty marks. If you find the cloth gets quite dirty you can remove it, rinse it out and replace it to finish off.
Unlike most robot vacuums you can’t set this to go when you go out, you need to monitor it but you can be doing other things while it works. It’s not the cheapest at around $250 but it will save you time and effort and the cloths are washable.
iRobot Braava Jet 240 Robot Mop
The Braava Jet 240 is the little brother to the 380t. Made by iRobot it’s a smaller version and so can fit in smaller spaces easier like the bathroom. You can’t program it to clean when you’re not there but you can set it away very quickly to work while you concentrate on other things.
The 240 doesn’t come with a charging cradle but the battery is removed and just plugs into the wall with it’s own charger unit and takes about 2 hours to fully charge. You can buy spare batteries for longer cleaning time.
Another difference with this robot mop is that it comes with disposable card backed cleaning pads to suit each cleaning mode. You can dry sweep, damp sweep and wet mop with this unit, the cards on the back of each pad when slotted into place lets the robot know which mode to use. The pads are disposable but you can get re-usable wet mopping pads.
The pad holder vibrates when it’s using the damp or wet mode to gently scrub the floor. The pads have a cleaning product on them which activates with the water so you don’t need to use any cleaner.
There is a water tank inside the robot mop and it sprays on the floor in front of the unit as it moves along the floor. It has sensors which allow it to avoid obstacles while it follows a linear cleaning path.
The EVERYBOT RS500 is also a robot mop. It a longer mop which has 2 circular microfibre cloths underneath with a water reservoir for cleaning. This is probably a more powerful mopper and would be much more efficient in large areas because it goes around in a circular motion a bit like a floor polisher all around the floor. It is a more random clean and because it is quite large can bump into furniture and not fit underneath.
It is controlled using a remote and has different cleaning modes that you can choose for cleaning. You can also use it in dry or wet clean. The RS500 can run for around 50 minutes which gives it a good long cleaning time although it is quite loud when it’s running it can give a deep clean. There is a handle in the unit so you can easily carry it or use it to clean walls or tables. It retails at under $300 so not cheap but very useful if you need to clean large areas.
If you’re looking for your own robotic assistant to help with your floor mopping then check out these mopping robots to see if they will work well for you.
Can using a robot vacuum benefit your health?
What allergies are we talking about?
If you are allergies in the home you will know the benefits of keeping your home as dust free as possible as that seems to be a trigger in setting off a reaction.
What causes this?
Dust mites are a common cause of allergies. Without trying to gross you out a quick description or a dust mite is a tiny relative of the spider, which we can’t see with the naked eye. It lives in bedding, mattresses, furniture which has been upholstered with material, curtains and carpets. Dust mites unfortunately live on our dead skin flakes (ok enough! I’m creeping myself out here).
So what can you do to help keep dust mites at bay?
Carpets can cover a large area in the home and of course can harbour dust mites, although even if you can vacuum often and you can set your robot vacuum to clean on a daily basis, it won’t get rid of it totally.
It’s suggested that if you can get hardwood or vinyl type flooring it is better for keeping down dust mites. You would still need to keep down the dust on these floors and that is where a robot vacuum can help as it can clean daily, automatically, no matter what your flooring type but it can also get under furniture if the gap is large enough and clean any dust and dirt from there. Many robot vacuums are fitted with HEPA style filters which are recommended when people have allergies. You can also choose furniture that is made from leather or vinyl rather then material based.
Another cause of allergies is pollen in the summer time. You might think that this is only going to affect people outdoors. If you keep your windows open to let the fresh air in or keep your doors open for the kids or pets to run in and out this can let the pollen indoors and create an allergic reaction. Although it’s maybe not as comfortable it is recommended to keep your doors and windows closed. Don’t line dry your clothes as they can collect pollen. Change your clothes if you’ve been outside. Vacuum at least once or twice a week using a vacuum with a HEPA filter.
Our most precious furry friends can contribute to allergies from their pet dander, which is from dead skin cells, saliva and urine. This can collect on furniture, carpets and other surfaces ready to bring our immune system out in force.
Things that can help:
- Keep your pet out of the bedroom
- Keep your pet off the furniture
- Give your pet a weekly bath
- Get someone to groom the pet outside who isn’t allergic
- Vacuum often using a mask or a vacuum with a HEPA filter.
What is a HEPA filter?
HEPA is short for “High Efficiency Particulate Air”.What that means to a normal person is that a HEPA filter can trap a large amount of microscopic particles from the air so if you’re vacuum has one of these filters installed it won’t blow the particles back out in the air making your allergies worse.
Are all HEPA filters the same?
True HEPA filters can trap up to 99.97 % of small particles of 0.3 microns and are usually marked as such on the filter. 0.3 is the standard to which all of the filters are tested because most allergens in the home are 0.3 microns or larger.
All robot vacuums have some kind of filter, some better than others, but the more advanced they become the better the filters are. Now you know the size of allergen particles, you can check on any robot vacuum what size particles it will filter and choose accordingly.
Cleaning often is a must and sometimes finding the time can be an issue so being able to schedule your vacuum to clean at a time that suits you whether you are home or not is a definite benefit if it’s going to improve your allergies. Keeping your floors clutter free can also help as it gives less places for dust to gather.
The new Neato D7 has filters that can capture particles as small as 0.3 microns. So if you are looking to find a robot vacuum that can help you why not check out this brand of vacuum. The D7 uses laser mapping so it can clean quickly and efficiently, this means that dust is being disturbed for less time so less can get into the air. It can clean one level of your home easily and works on all floor types. The filter is part of the dust bin and can be tapped clean after every cleaning cycle and easily replaced as all filters can be bought as spares. You will feel the benefit of cleaner air without any extra effort on your part.
Robot Vacuum Maintenance
We talk about buying a robot vacuum to make your life easier, it can clean on a daily basis once it’s been set up in the scheduler and you don’t have to think about it, but it’s not something you can plug in, set up and leave alone. Your robot vacuum is going to need some regular maintenance so that it will keep running at it’s best.
So what do we mean by maintenance?
When you receive your robot vacuum charge the battery for as long as it recommends. When regularly using the vacuum make sure that it is returned to the dock after use and it stays charging till the next use. If it gets stuck somewhere you will need to manually dock it.
Use it regularly and if you have to go away on holiday or you won’t be using your vacuum for a couple of weeks then fully charge then remove the robot vacuum battery while you are away. When you return re-install the battery, full charge up then run your vacuum until the battery is fully drained. Then re-charge and continue use as you normally would.
Keep your robot vacuum in a cool, dry area with plenty of ventilation, follow the tips above and you will get the best life out of your battery
Dust bin and filter cleaning
Clean the dust bins and filters on a regular basis, if you run your vacuum on a daily basis it’s worth getting in the habit of emptying the dustbin and cleaning the filters every night so it can work efficiently when it sets off to clean. If you leave the bin until it’s packed with dirt before you empty the suction becomes less effective.
The same with the filters, you can tap them off into your rubbish bin but if they get really dirty you can use a bit of compressed air or even blow them out with a hair dryer. Unless your robot vacuum states that the filter can be washed them you don’t clean them with water and if they get too grubby even after cleaning then it’s time to buy a new filter.
Maintenance underneath the vacuum
There are 3 areas to be aware of underneath your robot vacuum:
Sensors – There are drop sensors on the base of the robot vacuum and various sensors in other areas like the dust bin which need cleaning. You only need a clean cloth and polish over the sensors to remove any dust or dirt that might have stuck onto it. You don’t need any water, a dry polishing cloth will do.
Wheels – Just like emptying the dustbin you need to keep a check on the parts underneath the vacuum. When it comes to the wheels they can easily get clogged up with dust and hair, bits of string or cotton or other things that might find itself in the wheel wells.
You have the castor wheel at the front which can be removed from the robot vacuum(it just pulls out). The wheel itself will push out of it’s housing and you can remove any hair or gunk from the wheel and it’s housing. The other 2 wheels are attached so you can just remove any hair that’s around them and wipe clean.
Brushes – Whether you have a rubber type of brush or a one with bristles hair can get wrapped around the spindle at the sides as well as around the brush. You will probably receive a small tool which you can use to cut off hair between bristles but a thin screwdriver which you can manoeuvre under the hair will help you get it off. You can also remove the side brush, it is just held in place with a screw. Clean around the underneath of the brush and the area it is attached to with a cloth and use it to clean through the bristles.
Why not watch this video about the Roomba 980 and you can see how easy it is to maintain your robot vacuum.
Clean up before use.
If you go to vacuum the floor with a standard vacuum cleaner you wouldn’t vacuum over your children’s toys, socks or the wires of your tv or computers, you would move them first before you start and with a robot vacuum you need to pick up any items that could get caught up or sucked up into the vacuum.
It’s easy to forget that you have the robot vacuum set up to clean because that is the reason you bought it, so you don’t have to think about it but you need to get into the habit of cleaning up items from the floor so it can clean to the best of it’s ability.
If you take the time to do basic maintenance and keep the dust and dirt out of your robot vacuum you can prolong the life of the battery and keep the suction and filtration working optimally.