Living in The Future: A Guide to Choosing Your Ideal Robot Vacuum
The notion of a little robot roaming around and cleaning your floors used to be pure science fiction. But today, robot vacuums have become an essential home appliance for millions of busy people. With advanced navigation, cleaning power, and features, robot vacuums take the hassle out of keeping floors spotless.
But not all robot vacuums are created equal. With so many models available from brands like iRobot, Eufy, Shark, Neato and others, it can be tricky picking out the perfect one for your home and lifestyle. This guide will make your buying decision easy.
- The top robot vacuums out today and their unique strengths
- Key factors to weigh when choosing a robot vacuum
- Answers to the most frequently asked robot vacuum questions
Let’s dive in! Finding your ideal robot vacuum partner is just a few minutes of reading away.
The Best Robot Vacuums You Can Buy Today
Robot vacuums range from simple inexpensive models under $200 to fancy machines with complex navigation and self-emptying bases costing over $1000. Here are the standout models in today’s robot vacuum landscape:
iRobot Roomba j7+
The Roomba j7+ sits at the top of the robot vacuum market. It represents the pinnacle of automated floor cleaning technology.
With iRobot’s most advanced navigation system using camera sensors, the j7+ maps your home to intelligently clean room-by-room. You can even set no-go zones if there are areas you want avoided.
The j7+ introduces iRobot’s revolutionary self-emptying Clean Base. After cleaning, the vacuum autonomously empties its dustbin into the base which holds 60 days of debris! No more constantly emptying the robot manually.
Add in excellent obstacle avoidance, customized scheduling, smart home integration, and powerful suction with a high-efficiency filter, and the Roomba j7+ checks every box imaginable. It’s hands down the best robot vacuum experience money can buy.
Eufy RoboVac 30C
If you’re looking for solid robotic cleaning without breaking the bank, Eufy’s RoboVac 30C is your savior. Typically selling for around $300, this is one of the most affordable robot vacuums that still gets the job done.
The 30C cleans for up to 100 minutes on hard floors and shorter carpets. While it doesn’t have advanced smart mapping, randomized navigation works well for smaller spaces.
You get a slim 2.85″ profile to reach tight areas. Convenient app and voice control through Alexa and Google Home keeps things modern. For basic robotic vacuuming on a budget, Eufy’s 30C delivers in spades.
Shark IQ Robot Self-Empty XL
Here’s a great middle ground between advanced and affordable – Shark’s IQ Robot vacuum with self-emptying base. It provides the huge convenience of self-emptying after cleaning at a more moderate price point.
This Shark model maps your home layout for methodical cleaning room-to-room. Control everything easily from the smartphone app. A large bagless base holds up to 45 days of dirt and debris.
With up to 120 minutes of cleaning time, powerful suction, and allergen filters, the Shark IQ Robot makes automated floor upkeep refreshingly affordable.
Neato Botvac D8
For precise navigation utilizing advanced lidar technology, Neato’s BotVac D8 has your floors covered. The D8’s laser smart mapping allows efficient cleaning of larger homes.
A unique D-shape and corner cleaning brush reach deep into corners and along baseboards where dirt loves to hide. You can designate areas to avoid completely.
With strong suction power and a HEPA filter, the Botvac D8 excels at removing allergens and pet hair. My one complaint is its shorter 60 minute battery life compared to competitors. But for methodical floor cleaning with advanced navigation, the D8 shines.
Key Factors to Consider When Choosing a Robot Vacuum
To select the perfect robot vacuum for your wants and needs, keep these key factors in mind while shopping around:
Smart Mapping vs Random Cleaning
Entry-level robot vacuums use random bump-and-turn patterns to cover floors. This approach is inefficient. Advanced models utilize lidar, optical or camera sensors to map home layouts for systematic cleaning room-by-room.
Mapping allows setting virtual boundaries and no-go zones. This precision really optimizes cleaning coverage. Look for brands advertising smart, intelligent, or self-learning navigation.
Crash protection! robots using obstacle avoidance technology can detect walls, furniture, stairs and more to prevent collisions. This allows more autonomous operation.
Some robots bounce off objects while others have forward-facing sensors to see items far in advance. Obstacle avoidance also assists navigation.
How long your robot can clean on a single charge determines the area coverage possible. Most models operate 60 to 120 minutes per cycle.
For larger homes, you want maximum battery capacity to clean more square footage before recharging. Short run times under an hour can be frustrating.
Scheduling and App Controls
Almost all robots today work with smartphone apps for convenient control. You can remotely start and stop cleaning cycles or schedule automated times of day or days of week.
Apps allow customization of cleaning modes and suction power. Make sure to check app reviews – a poorly designed app can ruin the experience.
The new gold standard in robot vacuum convenience – a dock that automatically empties the robot’s dustbin after cleaning. This means you can go weeks without having to empty manually.
Models like the iRobot Roomba j7+ and Shark IQ Robot have self-emptying bases. But they come at a steeper price.
Brushes, Extractors, and Filters
Robots use spinning brushes and rubber extractors to agitate and pick up different types of dirt and debris. Filter types also vary.
Look for models optimized for homes with pets and allergies. HEPA filters are great for trapping allergens. Also key – brushes that don’t get tangled with pet hair.
Today’s robots tend to operate quietly but some models or modes are louder. If running while home, noise is a consideration.
Check if manufacturers provide decibel ratings and look for reviews commenting on noise. You want gentle background hum not distracting roar.
Home Size Compatibility
Make sure to choose a robot adequate for the square footage of your home. Large 2+ story houses need longer battery runtime and smart mapping.
Check manufacturer recommendations for home size and consider your floorplan. Multiple rooms need good navigation.
Carpets vs. Hard Floors
While able to work on carpets, robots excel most at hard floor cleaning like wood, tile and laminate. Adjustable heights adapt to carpets.
Some robots have special modes for carpet or hard floors. Models with larger wheels also perform better on carpets.
Last but certainly not least – how much are you comfortable spending? Robots range from around $200 to $1000+ for ultra premium options.
Basic affordable models still deliver convenience and time savings. You pay more for advanced navigation and features, but entry level works fine for many.
Frequently Asked Robot Vacuum Questions
Here are answers to some of the most common robot vacuum queries:
How well do robot vacuums clean compared to regular vacuums?
While not deep cleaning powerhouses, robots excel at frequent maintenance cleaning. Their always-on availability keeps floors tidy between deeper manual vacuuming.
Robots handle dust, dirt, pet hair and debris well. But for thorough carpets cleaning, a classic upright or canister vacuum is still recommended once or twice a month. Think of robots as your daily tidy-up crew.
How do you maintain and clean robot vacuums?
- Empty the dustbin after each use or when it becomes full.
- Clean the brushes, extractors, sensors and filter periodically.
- Replace internal air filters based on manufacturer guidance – often every 2-3 months.
- Use cleaning modes and tools provide to keep the robot operating fresh.
Regular robot maintenance is easy and key to maximizing performance.
Can a robot vacuum fully replace regular vacuuming?
For some users and homes, robots can nearly eliminate traditional vacuuming. But in most cases, you’ll still want to do manual deeper cleanings periodically.
Robots handle day-to-day tidying beautifully but can’t match upright power on carpets or human touch in tricky areas. View them as hardworking assistants.
How do robot vacuums navigate and map my home?
Basic robots use random bump-and-turn patterns aided by simple infrared and mechanical sensors. This works fine in smaller spaces.
Advanced robots utilize camera, lidar, or optical smart sensor arrays to logically map home layouts. This enables methodical room-to-room and custom area cleaning – much more efficient!
What types of flooring can robot vacuums handle?
Robots excel at collecting dust, dirt, and debris from all types of hard floor surfaces including wood, tile, laminate, and vinyl. They can also maintain short and medium pile carpets reasonably well.
But for deep shaggy rugs and carpeting, a traditional full-size vacuum is still the champion cleaning them thoroughly in crevices.
Are robot vacuums good for pet hair cleaning?
Absolutely! The combination of their frequent, daily cleaning and specialized pet hair brushes makes robots great for managing pet dander and hair. Models with tangle-free extractors excel here.
Scheduling the robot daily or a few times a week keeps floors tidy between deeper manual pet hair cleanings. Just empty the dustbin regularly when cleaning up lots of hair.
Can robot vacuums integrate with smart homes and voice assistants?
Many robot vacuums today support WiFi connectivity and integration with popular smart home platforms like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT and others.
This allows you to control your robot simply by speaking Alexa or Google voice commands. You can also connect robots to other devices and platforms.
How long do robot vacuum batteries last?
For full charges, robot vacuums typically run 60-120 minutes depending on model, your floors, and cleaning mode. Run times have improved greatly in recent years.
This is enough to clean multiple rooms or a small home. The robot will automatically return to its base to recharge when power is low, so you don’t have to worry about manually plugging it in.
Are robot vacuums safe around children, pets and furniture?
Modern robots have sensors to prevent falling down stairs and collisions. Safety features that stop the vacuum upon impact are also common. Most won’t scratch floors or damage furniture.
That said, supervision is still recommended if small children or pets will be around the robot. Make sure cords from blinds or lamps don’t get tangled.
Bring Automated Floor Cleaning Into Your Life
Isn’t it time you got some help keeping your floors tidy day in and day out? From affordable models under $300 to advanced robots with smart mapping and self-emptying bases, find the perfect fit for your home cleaning needs.
Focus on the features and technologies that will deliver the most convenience in your unique environment. Do you need extra powerful pet hair pickup? Long battery life for large spaces? Hands-free emptying? Make your must-have list.
And if you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the options, brands like iRobot, Eufy and Shark offer great entry points into automated floor care. Start living in the robot vacuum future today! Never waste time with another vacuum chore again.