In this article, we will talk about all the important features of robot vacuum cleaners, consider different models of brands and answer the question “What robot vacuum should I buy?”.
Like most people reading this, you probably don’t fancy spending your weekends cleaning your home. Well good news, there are many models of robot vacuum cleaners that can automatically perform this dull task for you.
You can just press the button, lean back in your chair and watch your smart device roll around the apartment and suck in all the dust and dirt in its path.
However, with so many options available, it is difficult to find the right vacuum cleaner that will satisfy your requirements and will be a great addition to your home.
Luckily, we’re here to help!
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When choosing a robot vacuum cleaner, remember that you are investing in assistant for cleaning for many years to come. Therefore, you should carefully consider many factors, not just base your decisions on the price. Although knowing how much you can afford to spend on a robot vacuum is certainly the first step.
Once you have set a budget, it is time to think about your home. If you have mainly carpets or want one to deal with pet hair you’ll need a robot with lots of suction power, however, if you have mainly wooden or tiled floors, you could maybe sacrifice a bit of suction for one that has integrated mopping. We’ll look at the features in a bit more depth soon.
What are the best brands of robot vacuum?
There is a huge variety of models of robotic vacuum cleaners among which it is difficult to choose the one that is best suited to your needs. One thing you can look at is brands. There are a few market leaders that will always deserve consideration.
These brands specialize in robot vacuums so event their cheaper smart home devices will still have a level of quality guaranteed. Something that is not always the case when buying unbranded goods.
You may not have heard of iRobot, but you have almost certainly heard of the Roomba. iRobot is the company behind the Roomba, a robot vacuum that is so popular that the name is now used as a generic term for any robot vacuum. As experts in the field, you can be pretty confident that any Roomba model will be a great choice. With the wide range of Roombas available, there is something for every wallet from budget options all the way up to the iRobot Roomba S9+ for more than $1000.
Speaking about robot vacuum cleaners, it is impossible not to mention the Korean giant of devices for the home – Samsung and of course its POWERbot R7010 model for the budget segment (less than $200) and for the premium buyer POWERbot R7260 (more than $600)
Ecovacs is one of the three leading global brands in the field of home robotics. Ecovacs is one of the three leading global brands in the field of home robotics. And its budget OZMO 601 (less than $200) and premium version of the Deebot Ozmo T5 (up to $500) of robotic vacuum cleaners will find application in every home.
Eufy is one of the companies owned by Anker Innovations, which is known for its budget pricing. So among its products you can find both Boost IQ RoboVac 11S (up to $200) and RoboVac L70 (up to $400).
If you’ve never heard of Roborock, then you probably know Xiaomi Corporation, which Roborock recently joined. Among the budget options you can find the Roborock E20 (up to $200), and among the premium segment you should pay attention to the Roborock S6 (more than $600).
In this cheap price range (up to $200), it is very difficult to find a robot vacuum cleaner that can do more than be a ride for your cat. Such models, as a rule, do not have either side brushes or central ones (at low power it is better to have them).
They also have small-sized nickel-metal hydride batteries and some of them cannot return to the base, or even navigate in space, get out of the wires and display error codes (most often there are no displays). As a rule, such models do not have normal outgoing air filters.
In addition, too cheap models have very low suction power (in general, for robotic vacuum cleaners, it is low – from 8–10 to 70–80 air watt). Robots vacuum cleaners with low suction power still somehow work on hard surfaces, but they are useless for carpets.
Although there are some exceptions, such as the Proscenic 820s, If you decide to buy a cheap robot vacuum cleaner from a Chinese company, pay extreme attention to the choice.
Look at the reviews of real customers on Amazon, read reviews, study the company itself and its policies. But remember that even after such a study, you still buy this device at your own risk.
What features do you need?
When answering what robot vacuum should I buy, the best robot vacuum cleaning assistant, you should pay attention to the following key features:
Dimensions and shape of the robot cleaner
The thinner the robot vacuum cleaner, the easier it is to climb into hard-to-reach places. These smart assistants have a round or semicircular shape, which helps them bypass corners and not touch oncoming objects. Usually, robot vacuum cleaners weigh about two kilograms, the newest models have a height of 6-8 cm.
You can control the assistant vacuum cleaner using the remote control or LCD-display and buttons located on the top panel of the robot. But there are other ways: voice control or a specially defined program. You can also activate the “virtual walls“, which will limit the cleaning area. And intelligent cleaning management is possible using infrared sensors at the bottom of the device, which will not allow the robot vacuum cleaner to fall from the stairs. There are also models that can be controlled through the application for mobile gadgets. It allows you to control the functions of a robot vacuum cleaner at any time from anywhere in the world. Using the application, you can easily configure cleaning modes, manage the schedule and receive notifications about cleaning and maintenance.
The larger the cleaning area, the more important how much the vacuum cleaner can run on battery power. For cheap models, it takes 20-40 minutes, more expensive ones have voluminous batteries that can work for several hours. If you are looking for an answer to the question of how to choose a robot vacuum cleaner for a house or a cottage, we definitely recommend choosing a larger battery – because it will have to work longer than in an ordinary apartment.
Possibility of automatic charging
If you have a multi-room apartment, the robot vacuum cleaner will be very handy, which can drive into the dock itself when the battery is close to discharge. After recharging, some devices are able to return to the place where they stopped cleaning, and continue it – for a large area, this is convenient.
Virtual wall function
This is a device that restricts the “entry” of the robot into a certain territory: in another room, in a children’s or work corner, a “place” for the dog, but you can’t always just close the door to them. The way out of this situation is a virtual wall. A “wall” consists of at least two battery-powered units.
Number of cleaning modes
Some robot vacuum cleaners are designed for local cleaning, that is, you can only tidy up such a small area – for example, collect accidentally dropped garbage from the floor. The more cleaning modes, the larger the area and more complex geometry of the room your device will be able to “overpower”. In advanced models, cleaning modes are up to 60.
Building a room map
If things are constantly out of place in your house, then choosing a robot vacuum cleaner with this function means overpaying for unnecessary items. The robot will have to rebuild the map if you scatter shoes, put a grocery bag in the corner, or forget a chair in the middle of the room. So if you feel that your lifestyle is a creative mess, it’s better not to torment a high-tech device, but rather to buy a simpler model with contact navigation – it will go around your scattered things without unnecessary calculations.
It is impossible to foresee everything, and if the robot vacuum cleaner enters an inaccessible corner, he will be able to understand this. And give you a sound signal – so that you come to the rescue, pull it out and adjust the route.
The trend this year has been a move to models that come with a combined charging and dirt disposal station. While self-emptying robot vacuums used to be super expensive, models such as the Neabot and the Shark IQ, the price is really coming down. It is a great feature as it is surprisingly easy to forget to empty them, especially when you rely on scheduling.
What robot vacuum should I buy: final thoughts
We told you in detail about the robot vacuum cleaner, described its functionality, the principle of operation, as well as the distinctive features of robotic vacuum cleaners of various price categories. Thus, you can choose a robot vacuum cleaner for any wallet. When buying, you should be guided by the goals that you will set for your new assistant. Now the choice is yours!
About the author
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.