How to Choose the Best Robotic Vacuum – A Buyer’s Guide
While robots aren’t yet replacing humans in all fields of work, they can surely do a great job in our homes. There is a robot for almost any need, from robots that cook to robots that manage our central heating system or the lights. If one of the most dreadful chores was vacuuming your home, now there are robots for this task too.
By looking at the top ten robotic vacuums, you’ll understand how complex and practical these products are. Nowadays, they are widely available and relatively affordable. Learn how to choose the best robotic vacuum.
TLDR: What to look for when buying a robotic vacuum? Learn in this buyer’s guide.
Top Features to Consider
There are many features to ponder before you buy a robot vacuum. Here is a list of the most important ones.
Cleaning and Mopping Abilities
Robot vacuums usually do a great job picking up dust, hair, or cat litter. They can help you save plenty of time cleaning your home. However, these robots are not humans and don’t have eyes. So, don’t expect them to perform at the same level as traditional vacuums you operate yourself.
Moreover, some robots also have mopping capabilities. These can do a pretty good job on hardwood floors. But again, you can’t compare them with traditional mops or robots that are specifically designed for mopping. While vacuum and mopper bots remove an extra layer of dust and dirt, they might not completely remove persistent stains.
Ease of Use
Most robot vacuums are smart devices that connect to an app. You can easily manage them from your mobile after installing the app and connecting the robot to your device. Not all users need to have the app. However, it takes at least one person to create and configure an account to be able to operate the robot remotely from the app.
Once the bot is set up, you just have to turn it on. It will start cleaning the area while also memorizing its features. It will try to find the shortest routes to finish the cleaning session fast while covering the entire surface. You can also program the bot to start cleaning your house at specific times and days.
Some robots also offer voice command integration via Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, so you can tell them when to start and stop cleaning.
Automation and Performance
The whole purpose of getting a robot is to have as little to do with the vacuuming task as possible. For this, you need a performant robot that requires minimal intervention. Once you configure the robot, it should do the rest.
These robots automatically map out the space you use them for. Unless you change your setting, they remember the area and the obstacles. They do this by deploying infrared sensors or laser technology.
The infrared sensors help robots avoid obstacles and change their direction once they encounter them. Vacuum robots with laser technology are even more performant as they can identify dirtier areas that need a more thorough cleaning.
Most robotic vacuums have a round shape. This allows them to move easily and avoid obstacles. However, there are also D-shaped robots. These cost more. But they do a better job at cleaning edges and corners. They also boast a wider cleaning surface, so they are more efficient and finish the clean-up faster.
Most robots require minimum maintenance. You might only have to clean the main brush every two weeks or once a month, depending on how often you use the robot. However, if you have pets, the vacuum will need more maintenance. This is because it will gather more hair and dirt. You might have to replace the filter, side, and main roller brush more often.
Dirt Disposal System
Most robot vacs work like traditional ones when it comes to dirt disposal. So, you will have to manually dispose of the dirt after one or two cleaning sessions. More expensive robots also have incorporated bins. After each cleaning task, they automatically move the dirt from the main container where it is collected into the bin. Then, once the bin is full, you get a message to empty it.
Lengthy battery life is another feature you might want to look for. If you have a big house, you’ll need a vacuum bot with a long battery life that can complete the whole clean-up in a single session. Robots with shorter battery life need to return to the dock to charge more frequently. This means they use more energy and take more time to finish the job.
Your setting plays a major role in how easy it is for the vacuum robot to clean your floors.
The more obstacles stand in its way, the more time it takes to complete each cleaning session. If you want to make the most of your robot and leverage its cleaning ability to the full, simplify things.
Try to move your furniture, so there are as few obstacles as possible in the center of the room. If you have a table with chairs, you might want to put them on the table or couch while the robot works.
See which robots offer better performance in complicated settings. Some can bypass obstacles easier; others stumble upon them and send annoying error notifications. You can read the top 10 robotic vacuums reviews to get a general idea of how well these robots should perform.
The height of your furniture and that of the robot should match. Your robot should be able to get under objects such as your couch. So, look for a model that’s small enough to pass through. Some robots are less than 3 inches high, so they can easily navigate under the furniture.
The size of your home is also important. Some robot models are more suitable for small spaces, while others are designed for big houses or offices measuring more than 2,000 square feet. Paying for the latter makes no sense if you live in a small apartment.
Carpets vs. Floors
Most robots have no problems vacuuming any surface, from wood to tiles and carpets. Some are smart enough to automatically adjust their power usage when cleaning a carpet, which requires more force and speed. Then, they switch back to their regular mode when they encounter wood or tile.
The problem is that cheaper models sometimes get caught in smaller rugs. If you’re home while the robot’s working, this is no big deal. The device will send you a written or vocal error message so you can set it free and put it back to work. If you have few or no rugs, all the better. Even a cheaper model will work just fine.
Vacuum robot prices vary tremendously based on their brand, power, battery life, operating system, and cleaning features. You can get a lower-end model for as little as $120. Vacuums that can also mop usually cost more, with high-end models reaching $650 - $1,000.
Warranty and Return Policy
Warranty is also important if the vacuum gets broken and needs repairs. Make sure you get a model with a generous warranty, especially if you pay more than $500 for it, which is above the average price. Also, read the company’s return policy to see how you can return the product and ask for a refund or replacement and who pays the shipping cost.
Customer reviews are a good step in your research process. You can start by reading the top 10 robotic vacuums reviews to understand more about how these products work. Then, choose a few models you like and can afford and see what clients have to say about them.