Vacuuming is a time-consuming chore that no one likes to do. However, if you have a ton of pets in the house, it can be more than that – it can turn into a logistical nightmare or something akin to the trials of Sisyphus. You could finish vacuuming for the day just to find out that everything is dirty again within the hour.
So, here’s the proposition – what if you didn’t have to do it? Yes, hiring a maid or letting your house turn into a messy garbage heap doesn’t seem like a great proposition. What we’re talking about is getting a robot vacuum that does the job for you automatically. It might seem far-fetched, but they work great and have become quite affordable in recent times.
Here are just some of the benefits a machine like this can offer you and why you should get one for yourself.
Why Buying a Robot Vacuum?
To answer this, we should first go into what these robot vacuums are. They are small, automated vacuum cleaners that have a sophisticated program inside them, telling them what to do and they navigate the world using a variety of sensors and cameras. They were invented at the start of the nineties, but over time they have become more sophisticated, powerful and able to do jobs other than just vacuuming. The price has also gone down, and these days they are easily affordable and take up more than 20 percent of the vacuum market.
Overall, the main reason to get one of these machines is, so you don’t have to do the vacuuming yourself. Dragging a large machine behind you all over the house just sucks, pun intended, and it’s not something anyone takes joy in. Robot vacuums can do the job for you while taking up almost none of your time – you just need to empty it and maybe recharge it when it finishes. There is also the time you have to spend on the initial setup and programming, but that’s not a lot and will ensure that the vacuum works to your liking.
These little guys can also get into tight spots where normal vacuums can’t reach, like under furniture and into cramped corners. That’s where a lot of dirt and grime can pile up, and you don’t want to move your sofa or cupboard to get it cleaned – with robot vacuums, you don’t need to.
They are also easier to empty that traditional vacuums, and less messy. They have nice, convenient dust bins that can be removed with no hassle and cleaned in a flash.
In short, they are superior to traditional vacuums in a lot of different regards and can save you tons of time and effort in the long run.
Since vacuums like this are high-end machines that are highly sought after, there are bound to be some duds and cheap knock-offs out there, trying to make an easy buck on the back of uninformed consumers. So, we’re here to empower you with knowledge so you can avoid products like this. We tested a huge amount of different products and came up with the three we consider to be the best right now. We will present them in this article and offer our opinions on them as well as some user reviews, while also informing you about the most important aspects of the best robot vacuums. So, let’s begin by showing you the products!
Meet the Best Robot Vacuums
The Good: Great maneuverability, great battery life and a host of good extra features.
The Bad: It gets stuck on large debris and black surfaces and misses spots when cleaning.
The Bottom Line: This robot vacuum does have a couple of glaring flaws, but it’s still a great product overall and well-worth buying.
The Good: It has incredible performance and three different cleaning modes.
The Bad: Gets stuck a lot for a variety of reasons and requires constant supervision.
The Bottom Line: In theory, this would be the best robot vacuum out there, but in reality, it gets stuck a lot and underperforms, though it’s still worth a look.
The Good: Inexpensive unit with enough power and large battery life, as well as a mopping feature.
The Bad: It works slow and gets stuck a lot, while not being able to clean most surfaces.
The Bottom Line: Even though it’s rather cheap, this unit has quite a lot of flaws. If you want a budget product, it’s decent, but don’t expect too much.
The information here is just the short version – for the long version, continue reading.
All of the Factors Considered
Trying to find the best robot vacuum you can get can be a difficult thing. The mistake most people make is trying to find a machine that is the best in all possible aspects, one that is nearly perfect. However, there is no perfect machine, and you should focus on a few key aspects instead. Which ones? Well, that’s a question we aim to answer here as we list what we consider to be the most important things to look for in a robot vacuum.
The overall cleaning performance of a robot vacuum is what will determine, above everything else, if you want to buy it. There are a couple of things to consider when it comes to that, as it is a complex issue.
For starters, what kind of brushes does it use, how well do they work and pick up materials? Do they work better for pet hair, dust or random debris? Does it have a motor that’s powerful enough? Consider what you need before buying.
You should also consider how well the unit performs on different types of terrain. Plenty of robot vacuums are made only to handle hardwood floors and nothing else, while others may also work on rugs or tiles. Getting a versatile unit might not always be the best idea though. A vacuum made for all types of floors might not work on the hardwood as well as one made specifically for that surface, so if that’s all you need that’s all you should get.
Another thing to consider is the size of the unit and how maneuverable it is, especially if you have a ton of tight spaces in your house or furniture that it needs to go under.
One of the most important aspects about robot vacuums is how long they can work on a full battery. This especially true if you have a large house and a lot of areas that you want it to vacuum for you – if it has to recharge in the middle of work, it might not be worth it. You don’t want a robot vacuum that you constantly have to look at during work, for fear of it just shutting off in an awkward place.
However, even if you pick a unit with a lower battery life, it might not be so bad if it can automatically return to its charging station when it runs out of power. In that case, you can leave it on its own without a problem.
If you have a large house, though, you should still look for a product that has higher battery life.
Ease of Use
One of the main reasons people avoid robot vacuums is because they think these machines are too complicated for them, that they require too much hassle to use effectively. Sometimes, they are right, as some models require quite a lot of fiddling, taking up a lot of your time and requiring constant supervision – at that point, you might as well do the vacuuming yourself.
Because of this, ease of use is an important thing to consider when buying a product like this – you want it to save you time, not take up even more of it. To that end, you should get a robot that is simple to program and that can do most of the job on its own, without the need for oversight. Different automatic adjustments and other similar features go a long way to achieve this.
There are various extra features that a unit like this can have – some of which can be extremely useful. Automatic adjustments go a long way towards making the machine more versatile, while add-ons for mopping make it even better. Different sensors for avoiding falls or running into objects are also useful, and so on.
There are various extra features out there, but you should pick a vacuum with those that look useful to you.
Overall, this is what you should be looking at. Now let’s see how our top three products ranked in those areas.
In-Depth Reviews of 3 Robot Vacuums
This unit usually performs well, and the best part about it is how maneuverable it is, as it can get everywhere. However, it does miss some spots and can’t get over black surfaces well, while not picking up any larger debris. It’s a mixed bag overall.
Great Battery Life
The battery life of this vacuum is probably the best we have seen. It can run for around 3 hours at best, though sometimes it returns to charge after about 2.5 hours – yes, it does have an automatic charging feature as well. It charges in a couple of hours as well.
Simple to Operate
It can easily be scheduled to clean seven times a week at specific times. It can also be easily activated at any time by pressing the “clean” button on top of it.
Useful Extra Features
The “virtual wall” feature is the standout here, allowing this unit to easily avoid places where you don’t want it to go. It is also able to adjust to different types of terrain automatically – however, this doesn’t always work, and black surfaces confuse it. A variety of good add-ons can also be bought for it, including a mop.
Who Should Buy This Product
If you’re looking for a robot vacuum that can get almost anywhere and work for a long time, this is for you. It has great battery life, it can recharge on its own, and it doesn’t take a long time to recharge at all. It can also clean out some places that are hard to reach due to its small size.
What to Watch Out For
There are a couple of things you need to keep in mind when using this unit. The first is that you should keep both large debris and black surfaces away from it, since it can’t handle either and will cause it to get stuck. The other is that it might miss some spots in one run, but it will cover all of them in most runs.
Overall, this is quite a nice unit that has great maneuverability, some handy extra features as well as great battery life to boot. Its performance leaves something to be desired though, with a couple of hiccups that can hinder it, especially the strange fact that it gets stuck on black surfaces. It’s still quite a good product for the price.
Great Cleaning Performance – in Theory
So, this unit is quite maneuverable, has a strong motor that allows it to pick up almost anything and can clean in three distinct modes. That’s all great, but because it gets stuck a lot, it is not as efficient as it otherwise would be.
Decent Battery Life
The battery life is nothing to write home about, but it is decent, it can run for about an hour and a half before it needs to recharge. So, if you have a large home, you should get something else, but otherwise, it works well.
Not Incredibly Easy to Use
Because this vacuum gets stuck a lot, you need to supervise it, which takes up plenty of time. The cleaning schedule also doesn’t work properly, meaning that you will have to activate it manually each time as well.
Three Cleaning Modes
This unit has three cleaning modes – spot, edge and max, each for different purposes. The first for tricky spots, the second for edges and the third for maximum power. It is a great feature to have.
Who Should Buy This Product
If you want a unit with supreme cleaning performance, this is what you should be getting. It is exceedingly powerful, able to pick up even the smallest of specks. It is also able to clean almost anywhere and has three different cleaning modes for various surfaces.
What to Watch Out For
It gets stuck quite a lot. Black surfaces can cause it to get stuck and so does uneven terrain. It also has trouble finding its way back to the charging station, meaning that it might just run out of power under the bed and good luck getting it out. The cleaning schedule doesn’t work properly either.
The sheer power of this unit is what makes it noticeable at first, allowing it to pick every spec of dirt it comes across and in almost any area of the house. However, it can get stuck easily, for a variety of different reasons, meaning that you can’t leave it unsupervised and it doesn’t perform as well in practice as it does in theory. It’s a shame; it’s still a decent product, but not an amazing one.
It doesn’t have plenty of power, and it has more problems than that. It also gets stuck easily and just can’t do anything when on a carpet or rug. It even has trouble on tiles. It’s good for hardwood floors, but little else. It also works rather slowly.
Commendable Battery Life
It can work for around two hours or a bit more, before needing to go back and recharge. This is quite decent, not exceptional but still better than most products out there. Too bad it works slowly, so the time is wasted.
Requires some Supervision
This one is relatively easy to set up, but when it comes to working on its own it’s not an option. Due to how easy it can get stuck and due to how slow it works, it requires supervision.
Great Extra Features
It has four cleaning modes – or so it claims, in reality, it’s three, plus a scheduling option. Still quite decent though. The best part, however, is the built-in moping function, allowing it to mop and vacuum at the same time. It’s not incredibly good at it, but it’s fine for a light clean-up now and then.
Who Should Buy This Product
This robot vacuum is best suited for people who are looking to buy a machine like this on a budget. It offers decent performance with good battery life and some neat extras, like the mopping function. All of that at quite a low cost, lower than most competitors are offering.
What to Watch Out For
It’s a slow worker and gets stuck a lot, meaning that you will have to watch it work. It does the job, yes, but if you have even a medium-sized house, forget it, it’s too slow for that. It’s also a bad choice if you want to clean anything other than hardwood floors – it doesn’t clean particularly well on any other surface.
In the end, this is a rather decent product that has some great upsides, like the mopping feature, but it also has too many downsides to ignore easily. It works slow and gets stuck a lot which hampers its performance. This wouldn’t be too bad, but combined with the fact that it doesn’t work on anything but hardwood floors, it’s quite troublesome. It’s a hard sell, even at the low price.
The Best Pick – iRobot Roomba 650
As we noted previously, the “best” product doesn’t necessarily have to be the one that’s perfect in all areas, or even just the ones that matter. It can be just a product that excels incredibly in a few areas, or just one, thus being more useful than the rest. Here we have one such product, the iRobot Roomba 650. It’s not perfect, far from it, but it offers the best performance when compared to the price, it has fewer problems getting stuck than other and has a better battery life, making it more reliable overall. It’s one of the rare robot vacuums that you don’t have to keep an eye on as they work, and for that, it is our best pick for this article.
That’s our overall pick for the best product in this roundup. It took us a lot of testing to come to that conclusion, and it was not easy, but in the end, we couldn’t deny the fact that the iRobot Roomba was better than the rest. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the one you should buy – carefully consider everything we presented here and make your pick. In the end, that was our aim with this article, to help you do that. If we succeeded, feel free to share this article elsewhere, as it would be a great help to both us and others with a similar dilemma. Until next time, have a good day!