In a hurry? My top choice of the best robot mops is the iRobot Braava jet M6
When you have a washable floor, every time someone mops it, even with the best robot, it looks like it’s new. For me it’s like I’ve managed my job of keeping the house clean because it looks shiny.
That was great in the beginning but over time it can become a real chore to mop up every day. That’s why I decided to look into finding the best robot mop and offer this buying guide, because I can think of better things to do with my time.
What exactly is a robot mop cleaner and why would you buy one?
In a nutshell, a robot mop is an automatic floor cleaner with a mopping pad underneath. It has a small water tank and will either wet the floor by spraying it with water or wetting the pad.
It then moves around the floor wiping as it goes. Once you set it cleaning it should work it’s way around the room without you needing to do anything.
Why people invest in a house cleaning robot is usually because they have the type of flooring that requires washing and to free up time. It might also be because they hate having to mop the floor. If you can’t afford a housekeeper to do the job for you this might be a suitable alternative.
My Top 5 Choices
How do you choose the right robot mop for your home?
Price is often the deciding factor when buying an item. The more you’re willing to pay the more features you get.
If you want room mapping and docking the same as a robot vacuum, it’s now available. Expect to pay around double the price for the best, compared to the basic robot mops.
The robotic mop works on hardwood, laminate and tile flooring types. If your whole floorspace is washable then you will need a dedicated mop style robot.
They’re designed to clean more thoroughly than a vacuum cleaner and mop combo. They usually have a larger water container and spray options.
Size Of Your Home
Depending on the size of your home, it’s worth checking the running time to see how long it will take to clean your floor. Some mops have a longer cleaning time compared to others.
If you have a larger home, a robot mop with a long run cycle might be better. If the mop has a quick charge up time that would work too.
Things to look for before buying.
Dry sweeping is what you would do with a swiffer mop. At the bottom, the robot can have a cloth or pad fitted to it. It will move around the room and the cloth picks up the dirt and hairs which stick to the cloth. This is perfect for giving your floor a quick dust before washing.
This uses a microfiber pad or cloth attached to the base of the robot mop. Some machines with a water tank then drip water onto the cloth keeping it damp as it moves over the floor.
People often wet the cloth under the tap before attaching it and the stored water keeps it wet. If the machine doesn’t have a water tank then you would wet the cloth before running the robot.
Again, using a pad under the robot mop which gets wet for removing the dirt. Depending on the type of machine it might spray the floor as it goes.
Some use a rougher pad to scrub the floor with a different cleaning action. This is to imitate a natural cleaning action and lift the dirt better.
You will receive some pads in the box, and you can usually buy replacements online.
Battery life and charging
Robot mops run on batteries, but like the best battery-powered items, they need recharging. It’s worth knowing how long the charging cycle will be. Also is there a docking unit included or does it get plugged into a socket.
You’ll also want to check how long it will run for as you may have to run it more than once if you have a large floor area.
The water tank in even the best robot mops are not large. Expect that you might need to refill it if you have a large room to clean. Some water containers on a robot vacuum mop can be quite small. They only expect to dampen the pad underneath for a light clean. If you want to add a cleaning solution iRobot have one that is safe for use with a vacuum mop.
Smartphone Control in the Best Robot Mops
Controllability is one thing that makes a robot of any kind worth considering. Most of the best robot mops have built-in controls. These are simple to use and usually well marked.
Others tend to have remote controls with wi-fi or smartphone apps. This can give the option to track the cleaning cycle from any location.
The benefit of an app is that it can notify you when the mop gets stuck. Also when the water tank or dustbin needs to filled or emptied.
Intelligent Floor Mapping And Navigation
Robots are very clever, they have bump sensors to keep the mop from banging into things. The navigation system can avoid obstacles, identify walls and most have drop sensors so they can’t fall down the stairs or steps.
Some have infrared sensors that bounce off the ceiling so that they can identify where they are. The latest are now offering the same type of camera room mapping that you get on the robot vacuums.
You can now identify rooms on the map created. This lets you clean by specific room. Clean your kitchen more often than other rooms if it needs it.
The one thing I do have to say is don’t expect miracles from these robots. They do a creditable job of cleaning your floors but it won’t be as good as you.
There are benefits to cleaning on a regular basis and this mop will help you do it. They won’t be able to go over ingrained stains and sort them out but might prevent that in the future.
Robot mops have got limitations, even the best of them. They can have difficulties in tight spots, can miss spots or might leave streaks or wheel marks. The software tries to limit that with three way passes.
Some of the newer robots might still have a few glitches in the software but wifi updates can fix this.
Best Robot Mops
Here’s a list of my top 5 best robot mops dedicated to mopping.
iRobot Braava jet m6 (6110)
The Braava jet M6 is the latest release of robot mop by iRobot. It’s a big improvement on their previous models. First of all being able to dock and recharge itself before resuming cleaning. Most mops aren’t as sophisticated as this but they are coming on as the technology improves.
The other great selling point for this product is its ability to use smart mapping. It can also sync with the i7 and S9 vacuum for a complete cleaning system. This vacuums the room, then informs the mop to wash the floor when it has finished. Pretty clever addition to a smart home!
This machine can offer 2 cleaning methods, dry sweeping and wet mopping. The pad that you place on the bottom indicates to the robot which cleaning mode to use. The connector on the pad is different for wet and dry pads.
These are single use only pads although there is a washable wet mopping pad available to buy.
This Braava mop is good for dusting the floor, but it isn’t a vacuum. If you have a lot of hair or larger particles of dirt, vacuuming is recommended before mopping.
The wet mop robot sprays out in front before the pad moves forwards and backwards over it.
You can dictate in the app the amount of water sprayed and the number of passes (3 or 5) depending on how deep a clean you need.
Don’t forget the voice option which is very useful if you have a spill and want to get your mop cleaning quickly. Also links in if you’re building a smart home.
If you compare Braava models the improvements made here are impressive and make this one of the best robot mops available.
- Iadapt navigation
- Clean by room
- Recharge and resume
- Problems with dark floors
- Trouble with thresholds
- Need to buy replacement pads
Most of the newer iRobot vacuum cleaners have the ability to use on board cameras. These identify the rooms dimensions and objects to avoid. It also calculates the best cleaning route to cover the whole floor which is then stored for further use. This mop uses this lates technology for the most efficient clean.
Clean by room
The sensors create a map as it cleans of the whole floor area. From this you can identify different rooms by name. Use this to clean a specific room and it will use the saved map without having to clean the whole floor.
Recharge and resume
Most dedicated mops have not had this feature before. This was a bit limiting as you couldn’t mop without being there to control it. This gives a lot more flexibility to clean even if you aren’t there.
If the robot runs out of charge before it finishes it will go back to complete once it has recharged on the dock. This is presuming that it has a hard floor route to get back and forth.
Problems with dark floors
One of the problems that some customers have found is the inability of the robot to work on dark floors. The drop sensors that detect steps seem to take the darkness as empty space and stop it from moving.
It’s hard to believe with the improvements to newer products that they can’t come up with a fix for this problem.
Trouble with thresholds
There is a limit of 6mm that the Braava M6 can pass over. This stops it from going onto rugs but also makes it difficult for it to pass over thresholds.
You will have to check this for yourself in your own home. If it won’t pass from room to room you will have to place it in the room you want to clean which would be more limiting.
Need to buy replacement pads
The pads that you receive in the box are for single use only. You can buy more pads online but it is an extra cost that you have to factor in, especially if you are using daily. There is a washable mopping pad available which can be a better long term investment.
ILIFE Shinebot W400 Floor Washing Scrubbing Robot
The Ilife Shinebot W400 is a dedicated robot mop. What this mop has that is different is a double water tank. One part you fill with water and the other part fills up with the dirty water sucked up from the floor. The clean water holder is 0.85L while the dirty water holder is 0.9L in size.
Attach the rotary mop head ( like a paint roller) and the blade behind it which scrapes up the water. Fill the unit with water and then you’re ready to go.
The control is via a remote handset. You can use it to select which cleaning option you want. There is a spot mode, edge mode, area mode (for small areas) and path mode which cleans back and forth.
There is a dock unit for charging. The robot doesn’t have the ability to return to it by itself, you have to place it on to charge it. When you’re ready to clean you need to lift the robot off the charger and carry it to where you want it to clean.
The water trickles from the tank onto the floor in front of the roller. It scrubs the floor as it goes along with the rubber blade scraping the water into the tank.
- Good for liquid spills
- Washable rotary mop head
- Large water tank
- No wifi or bluetooth connection
- Only does 1 pass
- Doesn’t get right in corners
Good for liquid spills
Because there is a collection tank for the dirty liquid it’s easy for this floor washing robot to pick up spills. There is a spot clean function that will clean a specified area to deal with a small spill.
Washable rotary mop head
The ilife robot mop comes with a rotary mop head attached and a spare. It’s easy to clean under the tap when you’ve finished mopping the floor. The benefit of this is no extra cost for disposable pads.
Large water tank
The water tank is 0.85 litres in size and the dirty water tank is 0.9 litres. Customers have stated that on one charge they might refill the tank 3 times and it will run for over an hour.
No wifi or bluetooth connection
Although you do get a remote control unit there is no wifi. You can’t link this robot floor cleaner to your phone or connect via bluetooth. Everything is pretty much manual but this doesn’t detract from its abilities as a robot mop.
Only does 1 pass
If you were mopping the floors yourself you would move the mop over the area a couple of times at least. This doesn’t. It only moves over the area once. The mop cleans well but there is no option to send it twice around or to do a more thorough clean as in other mops.
Doesn’t get right in corners
The rotary mop head fits across the centre of the base, but the circular design doesn’t make it easy to get into corners.
I can’t help thinking that a d-shape unit or square would allow it to follow edges and clean corners a bit easier.
iRobot Braava 380t Advanced Robot Mop
The iRobot Braava 380t is a robot mop that can identify its location for more efficient cleaning.
This mop can dry sweep the floor to get up dust and hairs. It uses a dry microfiber cloth attached to the base. It has a dry sweep button on top of the unit and it will move in straight lines as it sweeps. It can cover up to 1000 sq feet in this mode.
For wet mopping the mop has a small water reservoir which will drip onto the wet mopping cloth as it cleans. This is a different cloth more suitable for scrubbing the floor and it’s washable. The mop moves in a 3-way pattern around the floor. It can cover 350 – 1000 sq feet in this mode.
The unit comes with a Northstar cube. This is a beacon which you place somewhere in the room to emit a signal. The robot mop uses the emitted signal to understand its whereabouts. It uses the Northstar navigation to workout the layout of the room to clean the whole area.
This iRobot Braava 380t has some new technology, not as good as the best robot mops, but it has got manual control . It needs placing in the room that you want cleaned. When it’s finished you will have to place it in the turbo charging dock to recharge.
- Triple pass mopping action
- Northstar cube to keep track of its location
- Turbo charge cradle
- Small water tank
- Problems with the reservoir cover cracking
- Problems with connection to the cube
Triple pass mopping action
This gives 3 chances at cleaning the dirt off the floor. It moves in a back and forth motion which also helps to erase any wheel lines.
Northstar cube to keep track of its location
The Northstar cube helps robot mops manoeuvre around the room that it’s cleaning in the best way. It locks onto the signal from the cube so it can clean the whole area and return to where it started.
You can move the cube into different rooms so it can move through your home. Once it’s finished a room you can move the cube into the next room. Location of the cube can make a difference to how far it will clean. It’s worth testing out different spots to place it so you will need to move it around as little as possible.
Turbo charge cradle
The turbo charge cradle is a storage and charging point for your Braava 380t. It can charge in around 2 hours. The normal running time is around 2-2.5 hours.
Small water tank
The container for the water only holds 0.12L which is not a lot. Many people wet the mopping cloth before using as it takes a little time for it to wet through while in mopping mode.
Problems with the reservoir cover cracking
The reservoir has a clear cover so you can see how much water is in it. People have found that it can crack which means getting replacements.
Problems with connection to the cube
There have been issues with getting a connection to the Northstar cube. There isn’t anything you need to do to connect as it’s automatic.
Face it pointing towards the centre of the room with the Braava facing the cube. They will lock onto each other. Make sure there is enough battery charge in the cube. There is a red light which will show when the battery is low.
There can be issues with tv and remote controls affecting the signal. It doesn’t like fluorescent lighting either. If you’ve tried everything without it working then it’s time to get onto the iRobot helpline.
iRobot Braava jet 240 Superior Robot Mop
The Braava jet 240 is the smallest version of a robot mop made by irobot. Don’t let that put you off as it has all that you need to keep your floors washed on a regular basis.
It offers you 3 cleaning modes, dry sweeping, damp sweeping and wet mopping. The main differences here, except for the pads, is the movement pattern.
With the 2 sweeping modes the unit moves back and forth in straight lines. Dry sweeping is like a Swiffer mop, the dust sticking to the cloth. Damp sweeping is with a different pad and uses the spray to wet the floor. It does a double pass but doesn’t deviate from the straight lines.
Wet mopping has a different pad again. It uses the water spray and moves in a 3 way movement. This gives it that backward and forward motion like you would make when mopping.
The iRobot Braava jet 240 robot mop knows which mode to choose by the cards on the back of the pads. They have different holes in them, identified by the machine.
The water tank is only 0.15L so you might have to refill it during cleaning depending on the size of your room. This isn’t meant for large cleaning spaces, more for small homes.
There is no charging dock with the 240. The battery is removable and fits into a small charger which plugs into a normal wall socket.
Place the Braava jet mop in the room to clean. You start it in the left corner of the room and it negotiates the area, manoeuvring around furniture in its way. It works around the room and finishes in the same spot as it started.
Good value and great for small bathrooms and kitchens. Very easy to use although if you have a large floor space a bigger unit like the 380t might be better.
- Small size lets it get into tighter spaces
- Invisible boundary
- Good price point
- For small spaces only
- Extra cost for pads
- Cleaning ability
Small size lets it get into tighter spaces
This is only around 7 inches square and 3.3 inches high. Designed for those awkward places that are difficult to get to while still being able to clean.
With this cleaner you can set an invisible wall to stop it from crossing. This can be for any reason like not wanting it to get near your fire or get stuck on air vents.
It’s easy to do, set your Braava mopping robot with the rear of it facing the area you want to block. The invisible boundary will be in line with the back of the unit. Press the CLEAN button until 2 lines appear. ‘Voila’ it’s done. Once the cleaning cycle is over and the unit turns off, the boundary will disappear.
Good price point
Out of the units we are reviewing here, this is the cheapest dedicated robot mop. It’s small in stature but big in ability.
For small spaces only
Can only cover up to 150sq ft. If you have a larger house this won’t be big enough for you. You can use the invisible wall to break up the room size but you’ll probably find a bigger mop more efficient.
Extra cost for pads
There is an extra cost for the disposable pads. You will need to factor this in when buying this mop. There is a washable version for each pad which would work out cheaper over time.
Some people have found that it either doesn’t work correctly or clean well enough for them. There is always going to be some fall out when you have a robot type of product. The good thing is that there’s a warranty period when you can return it if it’s not working as you expect.
HOBOT LEGEE-668 Vacuum-Mop
The Hobot Legee-688 is a vacuum mop. There is a difference between this and the best sweep and mop robots. The Hobot vacuum and mop work together in the same pass but don’t work separately.
There are 2 washable mopping cloths attached to the base of the unit. As it moves over the floor it will suck up the hair and dirt, dry wipe the floor, spray it with water then wet mop up the water. There is a side brush at the front to help get the dirt out of the corners
This floor mopping robot agitates the cloths at the speed of 600 movements per minute. This means they are rubbing at the floor to wash it. So this robotic floor scrubber can give the floor a good clean. There is an option to do a dry mop over the floor if it doesn’t need washing.
You direct the mop with a remote control unit. Using this you can choose from 4 cleaning modes.
Automatic – Parallel cleaning with wall cleaning included to get a thorough clean
Parallel – Just parallel cleaning, doesn’t clean edges.
Wall cleaning – Cleans around the edge of the room
Spot cleaning – For use in cleaning up spills. Spiral cleaning over a small area.
The Hobot can clean for up to 90 minutes on a full charge. This covers around 1600 sq feet. When it runs out of charge or finishes cleaning the area it will return to the charging dock.
After each clean you may want to check the water levels in the tank and empty the dustbin. Both found inside the unit by lifting the top lid for access. The mopping cloths are removable for washing and there are spares included.
- Combined mop with a vacuum
- Laser navigation
- Anti-skidding tread
- Vacuum not for carpets
- No wifi
Combined mop with a vacuum
Although this robot mops the floor, the best bit is it also vacuums the floor as part of it’s cleaning system. It doesn’t work on carpets or work stand alone as a vacuum but as part of the 4-part cleaning system. It vacuums, dry mops, sprays and wet mops all in one pass.
This robot mop navigates using 3 point laser targeting. This is used in combination with gyros and a compass to pinpoint its location. The benefit of laser is that it’s not affected by lack of light or dark floors to stop you getting the job done.
Because a wet floor can cause the wheels to slip and create marks Hobot use tracks on the wheels like a tank. This helps with traction.
Vacuum not for carpets
The reason I included this in a list of dedicated mopping robots is because the vacuum isn’t stand alone like a normal robot vacuum cleaner. It does work on a hard floor but most people find it isn’t a strong enough suction for dirty floors. The vacuum doesn’t work on carpets because of the height and the mopping is integral to the process.
There is no way to connect the mop to your phone. This means no cleaning schedule which is a shame because it’s good to be able to clean when you aren’t in the house. It’s controlled with a remote handset.
This is definitely priced at the higher end of the market which seems a bit over the top with the limited controls. Even with a high price most of the reviewers are happy with the way it cleans.
My top choice is the iRobot Braava jet m6. It has the latest technology to give you one of the best robot mops with the most cleaning choices for customers.
With this iRobot mopping robot you have the ability to set a cleaning schedule. You’re also able to sync it to the new range of iRobot vacuums. This lets you vacuum the floor and then mop it automatically compared to the ability of the others.
It isn’t the cheapest price but it can cover a large floor area and clean all types of hard floors. It does give you the choice of dry or wet mopping and you can get washable pads. You have the choice to not use single use pads.
The charging is a simple affair with the charging dock. You also get the ability to return for a recharge mid clean if required.
What makes this the most useful for people is the app. Being able to control the whole cleaning chore by scheduling it using your phone is great. Flexibility to plan cleaning by room is even better.
We’re all busy enough. Any help with essential chores is a blessing. Sometimes the time saved with the best robot mops, is worth paying for.