Let the Robot Clean – Choosing the Best Robot Vacuum for Your Home
Tired of constantly pushing around a heavy vacuum cleaner? Let a robot do the hard work for you! Robot vacuums have exploded in popularity in recent years thanks to their convenience and effectiveness at keeping floors clean.
In this ultimate guide, we cover the top robot vacuum models on the market, provide expert tips for choosing the right robot vacuum, and answer some of the most frequently asked questions about using and maintaining robot vacuums. Read on to find your perfect robot cleaning companion!
The Best 4 Robot Vacuum Cleaners
We tested all the highest rated and best-selling robot vacuum models to determine the top options across different budgets and needs. Here are our picks for the best 4 robot vacuums available:
1. iRobot Roomba i7+
The Roomba i7+ is at the top end for advanced self-emptying robot vacuums. The hefty price tag delivers powerful performance and convenience.
- Self-emptying– Automatically empties itself into enclosed bag after cleaning. No need to manually empty for weeks.
- Smart mapping– Uses sensors to map rooms and build efficient cleaning routes.
- Alexa and Google Assistant compatible– Can start cleaning via voice commands.
- Excellent navigation– Navigates smoothly around furniture and tightly under cabinets. Gets stuck rarely.
- No need to empty dustbin manually for weeks thanks to self-emptying base. Very convenient.
- Learns layout of home for efficient cleaning paths.
- Powerful suction and side brushes pick up debris well.
- Quiet operation doesn’t disturb you.
- Very expensive, but justifies cost with advanced features.
For the ultimate robot vacuum that requires minimal effort, the Roomba i7+ is fully automated. Its self-emptying base means no thinking about maintenance for weeks. Smart mapping ensures full coverage. The high price delivers powerful, hands-off cleaning.
2. Roborock S5 Max
The Roborock S5 Max balances impressive cleaning abilities with a more moderate price point.
- LDS navigation– Laser mapping allows methodical cleaning patterns.
- Huge dustbin– Large 620ml capacity bin needs less frequent emptying.
- App controls– All functions can be controlled remotely via app.
- Adjustable water tank– Can wet mop hard floors when attached.
- Great value for the price.
- Laser navigation maps home and cleans efficiently.
- Can vacuum and mop hard floors when setup with water tank.
- Quiet operation.
- Doesn’t automatically empty dustbin.
- Gets stuck more often than premium models.
For powerful smart cleaning at a great price, the Roborock S5 Max maps your home and cleans methodically. The large bin means less frequent emptying. With vacuuming and mopping functions, it offers versatile floor cleaning.
3. Ecovacs Deebot N79S
The Ecovacs Deebot N79S is a solid budget-friendly robot vacuum option.
- App and Alexa control– Can use app or voice control through Alexa.
- 2 cleaning modes– Switches between hard floors and carpets automatically.
- Slim design– Low profile reaches under furniture.
- Drop-sensing technology– Avoids falls down stairs.
- Great low price for basic robot vacuum.
- Good for small homes without complex layouts.
- Automatically switches cleaning modes between floors.
- Lacks advanced mapping and navigation.
- Small dustbin requires frequent emptying.
- Gets stuck and lost easily.
For an affordable entry-level robot vacuum, the Ecovacs Deebot N79S gets the job done for small homes without fancy mapping technology. Controls via app and voice make it user-friendly.
4. Shark ION Robot® RV750
SharkNinja’s robot vacuum packs smart mapping and self-emptying at a moderate price.
- Self-emptying base– Empties itself for weeks of maintenance-free cleaning.
- Intelligent sensor navigation– Methodically maps home and cleans efficiently.
- Phone/app controls– All functions accessible via app.
- Automatic charging– Returns to base when battery is low.
- Great value for self-emptying base to avoid manually emptying.
- Maps home’s layout to clean thoroughly.
- Can schedule whole home cleanings from app.
- Smaller dustbin than premium options.
The Shark ION delivers solid robotic cleaning and self-emptying convenience at a reasonable price. It maps out homes for complete coverage and requires minimal oversight during weeks of maintenance-free cleaning.
How to Choose the Right Robot Vacuum
Robot vacuums vary widely in price and capabilities. Here are the key factors to consider when picking the right model:
Types of Robot Vacuums
Basic – Affordable but limited navigation. Require frequent oversight.
Advanced – Smart navigation using cameras or lasers. More automation.
Self-emptying – Auto-empty base means no bag changes needed. Most convenient.
Battery life – Runtime before recharging determines cleaning capacity.
Navigation – Entry-level use random motion. Advanced models map home layout.
Cleaning modes – Adjust power and brush speed for different surfaces.
Scheduling – Set cleaning times and areas via app.
Wi-Fi and app connectivity – Allows monitoring, scheduling, controls remotely.
Surfaces Handled Well
Carpets – Find models with enough suction and air power for carpets.
Hard floors – Ensure has setting to reduce power on delicate floors.
Pet hair – Look for models with tangle-resistant extractors and brushes.
Home Layout Factors
Multiple rooms – Advanced mapping manages multiple rooms well.
Multiple levels – Won’t handle stairs, best for single floor homes.
Furniture spacing – Tight spaces challenge navigation systems.
Carpets and rugs – Deep pile carpets impede some models.
Budget and Pricing
- Under $200 budget suits basic robot vacuums.
- $200-$500 has more smart features and mapping.
- $500-$1000 buys premium performance and convenience.
Additional Cleaning Tools
Entry level models include main floor brush and edge brushes. Higher tiers add secondary filters, multi-surface brushes, extra filter units to maintain suction.
Consumer Reports and Reviews
Research top rated models on Consumer Reports and Amazon. Compare specs and actual customer experiences.
Set Up and Maintenance
- Remove loose cables, clutter to prevent jamming
- Place dock station with lots of open space
- Schedule cleaning when away to avoid interference
- Frequently empty dustbin and clean filters
- Remove debris from extractors and wheels
Choosing wisely ensures your robot vacuum cleans effectively and reliably.
Frequently Asked Robot Vacuum Questions
How well do robot vacuums clean compared to traditional vacuums?
Robot vacuums can’t yet match the deep cleaning performance of an upright or canister vacuum. However, advanced robots with smart navigation provide excellent maintenance cleaning of dust and dirt between deeper manual vacuum sessions.
What are the advantages of getting a robot vacuum?
Convenience is the biggest advantage. Robot vacuums clean autonomously without effort. They can maintain cleaner floors daily with minimal input. Smart models map homes for complete efficient coverage.
How do I choose the right robot vacuum?
Consider floor type, home layout, obstacles, piling vs low carpet, pets, and smart features needed. Test drive models in store. Compare owner reviews. Choose affordable basic models for mostly hard floors and advanced robots for carpets, mapping ability, and perfect for pets.
What maintenance does a robot vacuum require?
- Empty dustbin frequently
- Clean filters and extractors often
- Remove tangled hair from brushes
- Keep sensors and charging contacts clean
- Update software and firmware
How do I set up my robot vacuum most effectively?
- Place dock with wide clearance on all sides
- Remove cords, loose objects, fragile items
- Limit placement of furniture legs, stools
- Close doors to pet areas or rooms not needing cleaning
- Schedule cleanings in app for times away from home
What surfaces can robot vacuums clean?
- All hard floor types – wood, tile, laminate, etc.
- Short and medium pile carpets
- Area rugs and carpet runners
- Pet beds and pillows also can be vacuumed
Avoid cleaning very high pile carpets which can overwhelm robot vacuums.
How do I clean and maintain my robot vacuum?
- Empty dustbin after every use
- Clean filters weekly
- Remove hair and debris around brushes, wheels
- Occasionally wipe sensors and charging contacts
- Check for software updates
- Replace parts like filters, brushes, wheels when worn
What are the best tips for using a robot vacuum?
- Schedule cleanings in app for times away from home
- Clear cords, clutter, and fragile objects
- Place on a finished floor, not carpets or rugs initially
- Divide large rooms into zones using magnetic strips
- Adjust cleaning frequency based on traffic
- Empty dustbin before it’s overflowing
How do I empty the dustbin and clean filters?
Consult manual for model-specific dustbin emptying. Typically involves removing bin and emptying contents into trash. Filters commonly slide out from top or bottom of robot. Rinse washable filters monthly. Replace as needed per manufacturer.
Why does my robot vacuum get stuck or lost?
- Debris or cords wrapped around wheels or axles
- Transition strips and thresholds confuse sensors
- Dark colored carpets can appear as drop-offs
- Under furniture has inadequate clearance
- Bumped sensor throws off positioning system
Refer to troubleshooting in manual to clear debris, adjust placement, add virtual barriers, etc.
What causes error messages and how do I fix them?
Consult manual for specific error code causes like stuck on obstacle, wheel trapped, low battery, dirty sensors, etc. May require clearing debris, returning to dock, manually replacing components.
How do I keep robot vacuums out of areas I don’t want cleaned?
Use included magnetic strips or tape to block off doorways and areas. Virtually close off rooms using app. Adjust available areas and restrictions as needed.
How long do robot vacuum batteries last?
With regular use expect roughly 2-3 years of battery life. Running full cleaning cycles extends runtime vs short interrupted cleaning. Replace battery when operating time drops significantly.
When is it time to replace my robot vacuum?
Consider replacing when:
- Battery life drops sharply
- Repairs exceed cost of new model
- Lacking features you need like smart mapping
- New models have better navigation and suction
- Appearance worn and aging
- Over 5 years old
Bring Robot Cleaning Home
Robot vacuums provide a convenient way to maintain cleaner floors without daily effort. Models with advanced smart mapping and navigation deliver complete coverage across multiple rooms with minimal guidance.
With the non-stop cleaning power of a robot vacuum, you’ll maintain cleaner floors on autopilot. Give your floors the hands-free care they need and enjoy more free time while your robot cleaning companion tackles the dirty work for you!