Robot Vacuum Buyers Guide

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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 Choice then click on a button below for the best prices and information.

irobot roomba 980 robot vacuumirobot 980roomba 980 vacuum

Buyers Guide

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.

Price

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.

Floor type

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.

Pets

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 your 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.

Battery life

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.

Cleaning performance

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

irobot 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 its 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

Shark Ion RV750

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

Neato Robotics 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 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

irobot 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

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

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 11s 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 you can control your robot vacuum. 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?

Room Scanning

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.


Other Posts of Interest

Best Robot Vacuum for Pet Hair 2018

Best Robot Vacuum 2018

Best Cheap Robot Vacuum

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