Last updated on May 26th, 2021
Latest technology always catches the sight of innovative minds and inquisitive hearts. Robot vacuum cleaners are the choice of up-to-date life styles. It works better to the entire satisfaction of its users who have good taste of clean and neat environment.
Actually busy hectic daily routine always demands comfort and ease in doing domestic work and chores. We cannot get rid of domestic chores either it is dish washing or having unlimited loads of laundry but cleaning and vacuuming of house surpasses all other chores.
We are in a bit of pickle and exhausted after doing all such labor. These droids of today are helpful too for the sick, the elderly, the handicapped or the persons with mobility problems.
Here is a guidance to facilitate and to choose the right one and the required one out of a lot. But before purchasing one, you will need to look at several of the best robot vacuums to determine which one will satisfy your specific cleaning needs and requirements.
Robot gizmos are special helpers for the set it and set out community. Time saving and time management is the peculiarity of latest technology. However, the robot cleaner is available in market with variety of features and prices as per demands of users.
Whatever you have to do is to figure out the required features and your affordability. Here required features means: the type of your home floor, either it is carpeted floor or simple hard wood floor, pet hair problem, area of your home etc.
This robot vacuum buyer’s guide will help you a lot, although reading this is tough and boring yet the thing you choose through this guidance will not be irksome or source of boredom for you.
In short, robot models are a trend of today, in future; it will come with more surprising features. For everyone the purpose is to save precious time to be spent on more productive and pleasant activities with the prevention of health issues like asthma, back pain, sore feet, dust allergy, etc.
Form and Shape of Robot Vacuum
Mostly robot vac cleaners are in circular form with the diameter of 4-5 inches tall. Some of them are in square or D shape. Cost of these robotic gizmos fluctuates as per its functionality. Its functionality starts from simple on/off button to LCD screen with multiple accessories.
Often such cleaning machines have 3 wheels with different brushes ranges from one to many. Some of these robotic gizmos have operating wheels and some move on track and can change their mode according to the type of floor, carpeted, hardwood or ceramics.
How This High-Tech Device Work?
These robot vacuum cleaners are rewarded with the capability to receive, retain and comply your orders. All the vacuums work on the same principle. A motor-driven fan presses the air out of an exhaust port. As a result suction is created at an intake port that pulls dust particles into the vacuum, this polluted air and dirt pass through a filter, which strains the air and debris remains in the bag or removable tank.
In some vacuums, motorized brushes help in extracting debris from the area as vacuum intake port moves on it. Robotic vacuum cleaners are a high-tech home automation furnished with infrared sensors that can scan the required place multiple times.
The robot designs a three degree map of the area. This map will go on updated according to the situation of the area to move on its work, most of the robotic vacuums have high suction power to dispose of the dust particles that come on its way. With detection algorithms, these machines search and find the dirty area to make it spick and span. The robot vacuums scuttle around and can sweep the area in straight lines that overlap, move randomly or in spirals. It keeps its track to get the shining floors.
Of course, the performance depends on the model of robot cleaner. It works efficiently on smooth surfaces. Its light sensors don’t work in unlighted place; otherwise your Robovac might stumble or topple down. The average navigation time for this type of machine is about 90 minutes after 3 hrs charge, which means, at least 4 rooms.
When this Robotic gizmos returns to its docking station; its back home navigation is guided by the sensory light beam emitted by its base station. This light beam spreads in V form and guide the Robovac to reach and recharge itself.
The Robot Vacuum Cleaner Buying Guide
We divided the choosing criteria into two major considerations that are the vacuum features as well as the external factors like house environment that will affect the performance and capabilities of a Robovac. So you need to consider it before buying a new robot machine.
I.) The 8 Vacuum Features
The following are some of the important robotic vac features that will affect the performance of a machine and you should take note on it.
1.) Suction Power
The suction power of a vacuum robot is as important as the vacuum itself, especially for those houses which have lavish and palatial wall to wall carpets. A vacuum with strong suction power will lift up more dirt and other fluff as compared to other machines with low suction power. Suction power of a vacuum is closely linked to the number of amps and running quality of the vacuum’s motor. In other words, if number of amps is higher the suction power will be greater too.
2.) Debris Removal
Most of the robot devices are without bags, they have receptacles near the top of their bodies which are easily accessible for the users to vacate the robot cleaner. Most of robotic cleaners have detachable containers and a very good filtration system.
This can pick the dust, trash or pet hair but these containers are often small in size, if not emptied in frequent intervals, their heaviness create hindrance in the required quality of performance. So, choose the BObsweep Pet Hair Plus that has largest dustbin at 1 L (1000ml).
3.) Dust Bags
Generally all robot gizmos have tiny dust bags when we compare them to traditional vacuums. Standard size of dust bins are often 12 oz to 14 oz.
When robot vacuums dust bags are full, the users have to move forward to vacate them from fluff and dirt, that’s why you must be on watch to check its mobility however, costly vacuum cleaners have an alarm system in the form of a light beep to make you alert that the bag is full and you have to empty it. It all depends on the amount of debris and the frequency of vacuum.
Moreover bagless robot cleaners are a little bit cheaper as you don’t need to purchase bags but you need more filters to make the cleaning task better; to vacate the bags from fluff or trash is another headache for the dust allergy patients. Also, the large dust bag increases the size of robotic vacuums and drains more battery power.
4.) Brush Type
Some tools of crevices and brushes can do simple cleaning in a better way. A powered intake, edge cleaners can help a lot to clean wall to wall carpets.
The type of brushes on the robot devices determine the rapidness of cleaning no matter how much tough it is. The brush bar with beaters picks up the dust to its surface and sucks it up. Some models of Samsung and iRobot have full-width Turbo brush bars, sweeper brushes, little brushes to sweep and clean the filthy place.
The latest devices will use laser guided scanners or a combination of cameras, sensors, and ‘virtual walls’ to map out the required place; the sensors over it also detect the completion of task. The Robovac with the wheel has brushes to clean dirt and pet fluff, one or two lateral brushes are present on the sides of device to clean every nook and corner near the walls.
Motorized brush of the cleaner can be more handy as compared to the suction power, a switch can disconnect the brush activity so that floor polish can be saved without creating mess.
5.) Filtration System
A neat and tidy environment needs a powerful vacuum filtration system with change of filters of and on. A filtration system with the vacuum is essential for dust allergy and asthma patients. A robotic vacuum with poor filtration system or burden of crevices in the body can spread irritants that can make you sneezy and wheezy.
Appended below is the list of types of filters that are being used in Robovacs.
- Cartridge Filters: Easily detachable, disposable. They are made from synthetic products like foam, pleated papers.
- Foam Filters: They filter air to save you from microbes, pet dander and allergens. Some of them are washable.
- Disk Filters:They are paper or cloth made, a little bit expensive, they can sustain dirt and dust.
- Washable (Cloth) Filters: Great for commercial cleanings where larger or more powerful cleaners are used. They are washable and can be reused.
HEPA Filters – It’s actually a feature that found in the vacuum filters.
The most efficient and effective type of filters are HEPA filters. Their performance is 99% accurate as they filter air, even radioactive particles. They are manufactured by special type of fiber and can remove all type of allergens and asthma causing agents. Consumer comments are fantastic and encouraging as far as their results are concerned. However, they work efficiently if they are well-fitted and air tight.
- Micro fresh Filters: Micro fresh filters are a chemical substance used for sterilization of air that passes through filters. Their durability is from 6 to 8 months.
- Allergen Filters: Their specific design confines even the smallest particles in the air.
- Pet Filters: They not only snare pet hair but can remove pet odor too (if some baking soda is added to it).
- Scented Filters: They not only remove bad odor but can scatter fragrance in the air.
- ULPA Filters: They are non-washable and are used in pharmaceutical labs to maintain high standard of sanitation.
- Wet and Dry Filters: These filters are used with wet and dry robot vacs.
6.) Clamour of your Robot Machine
Robotic machines generally work smoothly than standard vacuum cleaners yet some create disturbance by producing clamour and noise through going and grinding noise. This clamour is acceptable when you are out of your home so set it to task and go get go.
Certainly, this thing is not annoying for you but it can annoy your neighbour. Notable point is that; the noisy vacs are cheaper and powerful. But buy a quite one. Because quite engine brings relaxation for you, you don’t need to wait for the members of your family to wake up completely to make it navigate with gong.
7.) Stair Detection Capability
This feature in robot vacuum cleaners is available in all models; through it the robot vac can sense the obstacle, a ledge or a step so it can retreat to avoid damage. Moreover, supplemented vacuum is needed for carpeted stairs. You can buy a cordless upright and a Robovac instead of a full-sized vacuum.
Also read: Best vacuum for stairs cleaning.
8.) Virtual Wall
This accessory in your vacuum creates an invisible obstacle so that the robot vac may not enter the prohibited area. The strips used in Virtual walls are made of infra-red material or magnetic fiber. Some companies use plastic towers with infra red signals to behave like light house while others use strips to detect impediments during navigation of Robotic gizmos.
Before we move to the external considerations, you also may consider:
- Remote is really helpful to save you to kneel down to start the vacuum
- Auto-scheduling is significant to set the vacuum at task in your absence
- Opt the speedy robot machine if you required
II.) 7 External Factors
These refer to the factor other than vacuum features itself like your home environment and budget for the new machine, etc. Those include:
1. Apartment’s or Room Size Matter
What matters great is the size of your apartment? Robot vacuum cleaners are designed for all types of apartments as per their size, e.g. Samsung Powerboat R7070, can roam about 2000 square feet with ease and without any tension for battery power. The Roomba 675 is a budget cleaner that can clean 3 bedrooms apartment.
An apartment with less furniture is ideal for vacuuming but actual situations are always different from the ideal one. The actual situation is that the houses are filled with furniture, cabins, pets and toddlers, etc. So, a canister vac may be more convenient.
So, the robots are programmed to sense and map the area to complete the cleaning task assigned to them. Some robot models can clean a single room nicely to enhance their performance; iRobot lighthouse is helpful which is sold separately.
2. Cleaning Underneath the Furniture’s
Not all robovacs can move comfortably under furniture’s. They may get stuck underneath even with the tiny impediments.
Size of vacuum must be considered in mind while cleaning underneath the furniture is concerned. Most of the robot machines have height of less than 4 inches; it will make it easier to approach all areas for thorough cleaning.
The Eufy Anker, BoostIQ RoboVac is a very thin robot vac. Make it sure, robot cleaners are not to clean curtains and other furnishings or the inner parts of your vehicles.
Robot models which have height of 4 or 5 inches tall maybe cannot clean the dust particles underneath your bed or seating arrangements. So, think twice when you want to get those models like Dyson 360 Eye.
i.) Cleaning modes
Often six cleaning modes are available:
- Auto or Normal is to clean the whole room.
- Manual Cleaning is through On/Off button.
- Spot Point Cleaning: To clean the specific area for deep cleaning purposes.
- Turbo: Turbo bars help the cleaning purpose more efficient.
- Dust Sensor helps to navigate and detect obstructions. Many top navigation systems are available in high-end devices such as gyroscopes, cameras, and ultrasonic sensors.
- Remote Control and an App too: Make the cleaning easier especially controlling and scheduling the machine.
ii.) Debris at your home
How much dirty your home is? This seems intrusive but significant. Size of your family calculates the amount of dirt your home contains. The home with many kids gets dirty and needs more vacuuming than the homes with mature and grown up kids. So stronger vacuum mops have been designed and have jet facilities and cleaning pads that have power to pick up stubborn stains.
iii.) How about carpeted houses?
Robot models have both the quality of cleaning carpeted or hardwood floors. Here the difference is variation in their quality and performance. The cleaners that can detect the type of cleaning surface and can adjust its suction power accordingly are the best.
For example, Neato Botvac Connected can be adjusted between Turbo and Eco modes for extra suction power to clean the carpeted floors. Some robot models are specialized according to the floor type like iRobot Braava jet 240 is more suitable for hard floors.
So make a right choice for the type of floor you have in your home. There are several traditional vacuums for you to choose from:
- Upright Vacs are more suitable for carpeted floors or the floors with lots of rugs.
- Canister Vacuums are handy for the house having many hardwood and stairs, including laminate hard & tile floors.
- Stick and Handheld Vacuums are helpful for lighter and quick actions. Buy nowadays, some stick models also very powerful and you can take advantages of their cordless feature.
High pile carpets are too thick for the robot vacuums cleaners to tread on them. It is there like a beached Dolphin, so vacuuming over shaggy carpets needs extra care. It is suitable only for the carpets having thickness of not more than 1 inch. However, the Roombas are exceptional in this regard.
3. Hark! Still to Decide
Still to decide is the purpose of vacuuming. Just cleaning needs a cheaper vacuum but if you want to make your time productive, leave all to your vacuum appliance. What you have to do is to loosen the purse strings a bit! So it’s up to you to purchase the higher-end versions or something without extra performance devices.
Make sure from which brand you are getting your machine, So that spare parts, accessories and manufacturer’s help and guidance is always at your reach e.g. phone number, email address for your quarries and concerns about the device you have bought. Trusted, big brands are always reliable for you.
4. Types Regarding Its Functionality
Robot cleaners are of various types according to their cost and functionality. Mainly can be divided into three types:
There are certain specifications regarding the use of robot vacuum and robot Mop. Robot mops are specific for hard flooring; they have microfiber cloth with water of cleaning fluid dispenser to spruce your homes.
Most of the robot cleaners have combine features of sweeping and vacuuming and this type is in vogue since the beginning. iRobot’s Roomba 880 and newer models have combine system of sweeping, vacuuming and moping but not all the robot units have capability of doing all this.
Mopping is done by microfiber fabric attachments without moisture. The Braava has a quality of that it can automatically choose the right cleaning mode for the type of pad you are using on your floor. It does not spray its water at its surroundings.
For moping just pop a pad on, put some water for wet mopping and press the clean button and set the area of mopping. There is a handy eject button too, that pick out the used pad after the mopping is done. The extra water can be ejected out after the usage. But the problem with this mop is that you have to buy replacement pads.
So it is not problematic because consumer’s comments are good for this but, it can’t handle carpeted floors Robot Braava jet 240 Robot Mop uses disposable wet and dry mop pads to clean the area. The wet mop setting can remove stains with it. Spray and dry mop clean the dust and pet hairs from the area.
Choosing a robot mopping requirements:
- Weight: Heavy mop works harder on stubborn cleaning areas.
- Size: Cleaning under the cabinets or tight corners will be easy with them.
- Type of floor: The device suitable for all type of flooring is the best.
5. Pet Friendly and Allergens’ Foe
Some Robots are specialized to pick up pet hairs nicely. For example, the Samsung PowerBot 7260 Pet Plus is one of the top scorers on consumer comments. However, dust allergy patients can prevent themselves by getting HEPA filter device with the vacuum cleaner to diminish the propagation of allergy causing allergens. But with the passage of time clogging trouble can restrict the efficacy of HEPA filters. So you have to be on watch when this clogging occurs.
6. Programming – Your Crony in Cleaning
Top quality of robot cleaner is its programming or its provision of a specific schedule to work on its own without distracting you from your work. The user set the time and date with frequency and let it go.
Time scheduling capability of robot vacuums will let you avail time for shopping and other activities. If you have sudden guests at home, when you return back, you don’t like them to view the debris scattered everywhere. At this hour of need, your crony comes forward to help you out.
Just pre-program it, and leave the house on it. This satisfaction of having a neat and clean home is priceless, especially after a hectic long day labour, you are satisfied that someone is doing cleaning process in place of you.
- Remote Control:
Another feature of robot cleaner is availability of remote control to direct it manually for a specific place to clean the place deeply. Use of remote control basically, is to operate the vacuum for cleaning. But if robot unit is too much ignored by the user, it may not be useful. So, it is better to use standard vacuum which is cheaper and effective as well.
- Scheduling over Wi-Fi
Some of the robot vacuum have provision of expensive programming feature to be scheduled over Wi-Fi through smart phone app, e.g.(1) iRobot Roomba 880 (2) EufyBoostIQRoboVac 30C Max have features of app control and programming (3) iRobot Roomba 960 is another higher-end robot machine that can be linked with your Wi-Fi network and also works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
- Battery Life
Battery life of your vacuum machine is of greater significance; primarily Robovacs have two types of batteries; Lithium–ion and Nickel-Metal hydride batteries. Both types are rechargeable. Working time of Lithium-ion batteries is longer as compared to Nickel-Metal batteries, but Nickel-Metal batteries have longer life span than the other one.
It may be about an hour or less on a single charge. One and half hour and higher-end cleaner provides almost 2 hrs of operation.
- Vacuum behavior regarding battery life.
Robot of your choice should go back to its base station either the battery is low or the cleaner has completed its task .Don’t let them stay away your home, otherwise you have to go for its search, Oh my Gosh! Where is my Robo?
Self-charging capability of the cleaner can sense low battery and set its response accordingly. Once it returns to its base station, it will remain there till its full charging and then it restart its incomplete work.
7. New Vs. Old Machine
The customers who search for vac cleaners in retail stores have only option to purchase brand-new vacuums. However, we can have both second hand and new robotic vacuums. Usually, refurbish or used vacuum cleaners are less expensive than the new one, so the customer who cannot afford higher price can purchase the old product from the market.
All pros and cons as well as essentials regarding purchase and after purchase matters have been discussed in detail in this robot vacuum cleaner buyer’s guide. I think these droids provide you some reason to buy one for you. Of course, you get what you pay. Whatever model you like to opt for your use, it makes your house work at breeze.
The author, Powell Wong has been working in the vacuum cleaners industry for the past 8 years. Now he created this website to help people choose the best and reliable vacuum cleaner by providing comprehensive and unbias reviews on various vacuum models.