Navigate the World of Robotic Vacuums with the Top 4 Models
The future is here – vacuuming your floors without lifting a finger! Robotic vacuums have come a long way, using advanced mapping and navigation to clean your floors on their own. No more pushing a heavy vacuum around trying to reach every nook and cranny.
In this guide, we’ll cover the benefits of today’s top robotic vacuums and key factors for choosing the right model. You’ll also find answers to frequently asked questions about living with one of these autonomous cleaning gadgets. Let’s dive in!
Robotic Vacuums Provide Serious Convenience
Originally thought of as more novelty than necessity, robotic vacuums have earned their place as useful home cleaning aids. Using sensors and pre-set programs, they can vacuum floors throughout your home with minimal effort.
Robotic vacuums are best for:
- Keeping carpets and hard floors tidy between deeper cleanings
- Quickly picking up daily debris like dust, dirt, pet hair and crumbs
- Reaching under furniture where vacuuming is difficult
- Maintaining cleaner floors with regular scheduled runs
- Providing independence for those unable to push traditional vacuums
While they can’t yet fully replace upright or canister models for deeper cleaning, today’s robotic vacuums cover the basic floors needs for many households.
The Top 4 Robotic Vacuum Contenders
Several brands now make quality robotic vacuums packed with features. Here are my top 4 picks:
iRobot Roomba j7+
The Roomba j7+ sits at the top when it comes to robotic vacuum technology and convenience. AI-driven computer vision lets the j7+ recognize and avoid common obstacles like shoes, cords, and pet waste. The self-emptying base means you don’t have to think about it for weeks at a time.
- AI mapping and navigation
- Self-emptying base
- Powerful 3-stage cleaning system
- App control and scheduling
- Alexa and Google voice assistance
- Excellent obstacle avoidance
- Empties itself for weeks of autonomy
- Strong suction performance
- Customize cleaning with app zones and labels
- Very expensive
- Self-empty base is large
With intelligent navigation plus the major convenience of automatic dirt disposal, the Roomba j7+ takes robotic vacuum performance to new heights.
Eufy RoboVac G30 Edge
For powerful cleaning at a more affordable price, the Eufy RoboVac G30 Edge is a slim robotic vacuum that can handle messes. The strong 2000Pa suction forces dig deep into carpets to pull up dust and debris.
- Up to 100 minutes of runtime
- BoostIQ Technology for extra suction
- App control and scheduling
- Thin 2.85 inch profile
- Excellent suction power for the price
- WiFi enabled app control
- Low profile cleans under more furniture
- Quiet operation
- Limited navigation compared to pricier models
- No mapping features
- Smaller dust bin
This Eufy robot delivers robust everyday cleaning for less. The slim design reaches tight spots while the intuitive app makes scheduling and control easy.
Shark IQ Robot Self-Empty XL
Shark’s powerful robotic vacuum can hold weeks of debris in its bagless self-emptying base. Total home mapping lets you customize cleaning schedules room by room.
- Self-emptying base
- Row-by-row cleaning method
- Home mapping
- Carpet and hard floor settings
- Bagless emptying for weeks of autonomy
- Strong suction pickup
- Mapping for customizable cleaning
- Large dust capacity
- Bulky self-empty base
- No obstacle avoidance
- Limited smart home integration
For a self-emptying robotic with regular mapping features, the Shark IQ delivers robust automated cleaning at a reasonable price.
Neato Botvac D4
The Neato Botvac D4 provides laser-guided navigation at an affordable price. The D-shape design hugs walls and reaches corners more thoroughly.
- LaserSmart mapping and navigation
- CornerClever technology
- No-go lines with magnetic strips
- App control and scheduling
- Excellent navigation and coverage
- Good suction power
- Allows custom room dividing
- Pet hair brush included
- No self-emptying
- Small dust bin
- Basic app features
For affordable robotic vacuum performance, the Neato Botvac D4’s laser navigation outshines lower-end competitors. This is a great introduction to robotic cleaning.
Choosing the Right Robotic Vacuum
Selecting the best robotic vacuum depends on factors like your home size, flooring, and features needed. Keep these key buying considerations in mind:
Home Size and Flooring
Robotic vacuums excel on hard floors and low-pile carpets. For medium to plush carpeting, seek models with strong suction and carpet boost modes. Measure room dimensions to ensure the robot’s battery lasts long enough to clean your entire space.
Sensors and Navigation
The most basic robots use random bump-and-go patterns requiring frequent rescues. Advanced models have sensor towers creating systematic cleaning maps and patterns for complete coverage.
Look for laser, camera, or IR sensor-based navigation using simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) technology. This allows efficient cleaning without getting stuck as often.
While robotic vacuums can’t match heavy-duty uprights, power around 20-30 air watts is suitable for regular maintenance cleaning. Motor speeds around 1,500-2,500 RPM create enough suction to lift dirt from floors.
Smart Home Connectivity
Many robots connect to home WiFi for controlling schedules, modes, and tracking cleaning history through a companion app. Voice control integration with smart speakers like Alexa allows hands-free commands.
Bin Size and Self-Emptying
Smaller robots hold just 300-400 mL of debris, requiring frequent emptying. Larger dustbins around 600 mL need less attention. Self-emptying bases hold 30+ dirt bins worth before needing manual emptying.
Battery Life and Charging
Runtimes average 90-120 minutes or less on a full charge. Lithium-ion batteries recharge in a few hours. Replacements may be needed after 1-2 years. Longer battery equals cleaning larger spaces per session.
Cleaning Modes and Scheduling
Look for multiple cleaning modes like focused spot cleaning or maximum coverage. App and voice scheduling lets you automate cleaning when convenient like when you’re away.
Check reviews on retail sites for feedback on real-world performance and pain points. Ratings of 4+ stars indicate quality. Look out for complaints about limited cleaning coverage or frequent jamming issues.
Budget robotic vacuum models run $200 to $300. Mid-range options with advanced navigation and WiFi connectivity cost $400 to $600. High-end robots with intelligent mapping, self-emptying, and the best cleaning performance run up to $800 or more.
Robotic vacuums typically come with 1-2 year warranties on parts. Shorter 6 month warranties may cover the battery. Carefully review what’s covered should repairs be needed.
Frequently Asked Questions About Robotic Vacuums
How well do robotic vacuums clean compared to regular vacuums?
While they can’t completely replace upright or canister models yet, today’s better robotic vacuums now clean floors surprisingly well, especially hard floors. Limitations include weaker suction and less dirt bin capacity than larger vacuums. They excel at regular surface maintenance.
Can a robotic vacuum fully replace a regular vacuum?
For many households, a robotic vacuum can handle most of your daily floor cleaning needs. But for deeper periodic cleaning of carpets and hard-to-reach areas, you’ll still want a traditional vacuum on hand for spot cleaning and heavier jobs.
How do you maintain a robotic vacuum?
Empty the dustbin after every use. Clean sensors, brushes, and filters regularly to keep performance optimal. Replace parts like filters and brushes as needed per manufacturer instructions.
Are robotic vacuums good for pet hair?
Robotic vacuums with brushes and tangle-free extractors can handle pet hair well, sucking up hair, dander and dust. Just empty the bin more frequently to prevent clogs when cleaning up lots of hair.
What happens if the robotic vacuum runs over spills or pet waste?
Most run an initial bump test before cleaning to detect issues. But some moisture or waste can still seep inside, requiring disassembly and cleaning. For best results, do a quick scan and tidying of floors before running.
How long do the batteries last in robotic vacuums?
Lithium-ion batteries in robotic vacuums last 1-3 years with regular use before needing replacement. Running the robot on lower suction extends battery life. Higher-capacity batteries also maintain charge better over time.
What types of flooring can robot vacuums handle?
Robotic vacuums work safely on tile, vinyl, laminate, hardwoods and low to mid-pile carpeting. Their low profiles reach under furniture. Avoid very plush carpets or rugs where the brushroll can get tangled.
Are robotic vacuums loud?
Today’s models operate at 50 to 70 decibels, comparable to an upright or canister vacuum running in the distance. Self-emptying bases make some intermittent noise when activating. Otherwise they run quietly.
Can a robotic vacuum accidentally fall down stairs?
Most have cliff sensors to detect and avoid stairs and steep drops to prevent accidents. Just to be safe, use barrier tapes or closed doors block off any stairs when your robot is cleaning.
What are some common problems with robotic vacuums?
Issues include getting stuck on edges or around furniture, lagging battery life, confusing reflective or dark surfaces for cliffs, falling down heights, and limited cleaning area compared to regular vacuums.
Get Your Floors Clean Without Lifting a Finger!
Robotic vacuums have evolved into capable autonomous floor cleaners thanks to advanced mapping and navigation features. Choose from our top picks like the iRobot Roomba j7+ or Shark IQ Self-Empty based on your budget and needs.
Focus on key factors like your home size, flooring, suction power, smart features, and self-emptying capabilities as you shop for the best robotic vacuum. Use this guide to find robotic cleaning convenience at the right price point!