Kids cry when they are on vacuum duty and you must agree using manual vacuum cleaners isn’t a fun exercise anymore since they can be quite boring. And inefficient too, as the time it takes to get a proper clean can be used to take care of some projects at work, get your nails done or clear at least three levels of your favorite game. But good news, robot help is available and they have quickly become one of the most popular smart home devices, but how much is a robot vacuum cleaner?
You can find a good, basic budget robot vacuum for around $150. If you want to introduce features such as app control and auto-docking, it will be a around $250. However, the top of the line options that include self-emptying can cost you in excess of $800.
So that’s the quick answer, but let’s break that down a bit further. In this post, we will share with you information about key robot vacuum features and what you can expect from robot vacuums that fall into the budget, mid-range and premium price brackets.
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Introducing the robot vacuum
Technology’s answer to vacuum boredom complaints is the robot vacuum cleaner. Unfortunately, nothing in life comes easy and deciding on the perfect vacuum for your house cleaning needs is not as simple as you may think.
There is a lot to consider such as the size of your house, whether you have wood flooring, bare floors or carpets? Do you have any pets? Would you like one that also mops and much more?
We answer all of these in our complete robot vacuum buying guide, but in this post, we are focussing solely on the most important point, your budget.
Finding a vacuum cleaner that fits your budget and intended use can prove to be quite a bit of a headache. As you start to discover the oceanic expanse of robot vacuum cleaner options on the market your head will spin. Especially when you discover the super-budget models that are admittedly tempting when you’re on a tight budget.
Before you click on the ‘buy now’ button for the cheapest option, you have to realize that getting a robot is not something you want to do once every year. The cheapest is rarely the best, but that doesn’t mean that you cannot find a cheap robot vacuum that does a great job.
So, having said that, you are not looking for the cheapest vacuum you can find, you are looking for the one that offers the best value for your budget.
What are the key features in a robot vacuum?
In a bit, we’ll look at exactly what you can expect to get for each price range, but first, let’s look at some of the key features you’ll be deciding on.
On the surface, the charm of robot vacuum cleaners is in the fact that you don’t need to operate them yourself. You can instead direct your time and focus on getting more money or enjoying the freedom you paid for by buying the robot. Others are:
Apart from the freedom from having to bend over while cleaning or the hours you waste ‘vacuuming,’ you can just set a cleaning routine for the robot cleaner to follow and it will deal with all the dirt. After it is done, some robot vacuum cleaners come with added auto-guiding systems that automatically direct the cleaner to its charging dock for a recharge when it is done with work. You don’t even need to be around to get your cleaning done. How convenient is that!?
Auto-adjustable systems for diverse surfaces
Some robots can reduce or increase the intensity of suction depending on the type of surface they are trying to clean. With this feature, you don’t need to bother about controlling the settings when the cleaner is moving from a part of the house finished with wooden flooring finish to another with carpets or tiles, and since most robot vacuum cleaners also know to recognize dirtier areas and will automatically focus on those sore spots, the sensor will do that job for you.
Smart Navi Systems
The robots could also be docked with obstacle sensors to detect walls and furniture that could be present in the virtual mind map of the robot.
Nothing epitomizes the ease of using robot vacuum cleaners than being able to get your cleaning done by simply uttering the words ‘start cleaning’. With google assistant or amazon’s Alexa integrated in the framework of the robot, you can get an intuitive robot vacuum cleaner at your beck and call.
You don’t want a robot vacuum cleaner you have to clean after each time it does some work. You deserve a helper that can check off hours of cleaning from your already-packed schedule.
What happens to all the dirt and dust the vacuum robots swallow? Do you have to change their bags like you’re switching baby diapers or does technological advancement offer you a timely reminder of how fortunate you are to be born in this generation. For most robots, the latter is the case with features like the auto-emptying feature.
Robot vacuum cleaners have a famous reputation for outlasting their less intelligent counterparts, mostly because they require little or no post-sales maintenance. However, if your unit is not smart enough, you’ll find it falling down the stairs or hitting walls and getting broken until it is beyond repair.
Smart Suction (for pet owners)
Even if there’s no built-in function to deal with matted pet hair or other similar difficult-to-remove pet residues, but at least there should be an attachment that will provide enough suction to clean up after your pets.
The basis for any purchase should not be sacrificed for anything. Try to get a piece that can effectively deal with the job you intend for it to do. You’re looking for too little power and fancy functions, don’t get distracted. One feature that guarantees good functionality is quality filters. Quality filters like HEPA filters make sure that the dust is trapped effectively in the dirt and dust storage.
It’s always handy for the robot vacuum cleaner to be able to connect to your home via Wi-Fi and other wireless options. With the smart connectivity, you can order your bot to do a quick cleanup when unexpected guests are on their way to your home and you don’t think you can make it in time to tidy up.
The latest robot vacuum cleaners can get their job without as much fuss as their predecessors. They get to work when it’s time to get your house sparkling while doing their jobs silently and then go back to their charging stations, all on their own.
Yes, they even empty themselves now! While Roomba are at the forefront of this technology, there are also some fantastic value choices such as Neabot’s latest self-emptying vacuum.
So, how much is a robot vacuum cleaner?
Knowing what you should look out for, you can already have an idea of why they cost so much and why they’re so worth it. Nevertheless, here is what you can expect for the price ranges you can expect to see robotic vacuum cleaners.
Budget – below $200
The robot vacuum cleaners that are bought within this price range will usually take the longest time to get the cleaning done. Wi-Fi connectivity is rare and usually traded off for just one or two special features. In most cases, the auto-emptying feature is certainly not available so it will require manual emptying quite often. While you can certainly find some devices that offer good cleaning in this price range, such as the Proscenic 820s, a lot of the convenience people love about a robot vacuum will not be available such as the ability to map your house and auto dock for complete autonomous cleaning.
Mid-Range £200 – $500
This is where you will more than likely find the best value options such as the Eufy Robovac 11s. You will get some decent features like a smart navigation system that can set up a virtual prototype of its surroundings for easier movement between rooms and longer battery life. It will likely have a smartphone app and auto docking so you can just set it up and forget about it until it needs to be emptied.
Premium – More than $500
All the features a robotic vacuum cleaner should have. From app integration with assistants like Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant for voice commands and extra functions to more practical cleaning virtues like automatic charging, laser-guided mapping like in the Neato botvac, and disposal, intelligence to decide which intensity is perfect for the floor you want to work on and noiseless performance. You will also start finding models that include self-emptying features, such as the irobot roomba i7 Plus and the Shark IQ, meaning you can just set them up and not worry about touching them for months at a time. This is the pinnacle of lazy-vacuuming.
Final thoughts on what to spend on a robot vacuum
Ultimately, it is not a smart idea to empty your account to buy a heavy-duty factory-level cleaning robot for a small apartment. In the same way, you shouldn’t be looking to save cost too much so you don’t end up with a toy that just makes everything get dirtier than it already is. Nevertheless, getting a robot vacuum cleaner is a great idea if you are looking to save time and effort wasted in cleaning manually.
So, first, you must decide how much you can set aside for a good robotic vacuum cleaner. After that, use what you want the robot vacuum cleaner to have the ability to do, how those features feasibly function and fit with your house set-up to then guide your decision to buy a robot vacuum cleaner.
Finally, don’t forget one of the most important steps, come up with a great name for your new robot!
Matt is the founder of the Little Robot Shop, who has spent much of the last decade hacking home cleaning with various robots and devices to make keeping his home clean as easy as possible. Not an easy task with two young children.
When not working on the Little Robot Shop website or YouTube channel, he works as technical support and product specialist for a fast-growing digital company. He does his best to get his younglings to code, which will be an essential skill in the future.