Today’s robot vacuums and mops have your back, even when you’re too busy to clean. From the most basic models to the ones that can map your home and offer app control, robot cleaners will vacuum, sweep, and scrub your floors to a sparkling finish.
Basic robot vacuums
You don’t have to spend a lot to upgrade your vacuum. Today’s basic robot vacuum is enough for a small home, and comes with an impressive amount of independence.
The main difference between basic and high end robot vacuums is how much you need to tend to them. Basic models usually need to be emptied more frequently, and have to be manually turned on for every clean. Higher end models offer the option for set schedules, and some (like the iRobot Plus line) are self-emptying as they come with the Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal dock.
Despite this, even a basic model vacuum does a great job. The affordable iRobot Roomba 614 cleans both hard floors and carpets without a hitch, and uses a three-stage cleaning system to do a great job of both. Its Dirt Detect Sensors trigger a more intense clean in areas that need it, and iRobot’s Cliff Detect system keeps every iRobot model from falling down the stairs. You’ll spend less time doing household chores with any model of robot vacuum; the main difference is that you’ll simply save even more time with a model that has extra features.
Other capabilities that you may look for include memorized floor plans, which help home robots pick up where they left off after heading back to their home base to recharge, or smart sensor navigation to help your device get through in dark rooms. Specialized corner brushes are also a great way to make sure your vacuum can get all of the dust and crumbs under your furniture and along your walls.
Advanced robot vacuums
One of the best things about a robot vacuum is its ability to be semi-, if not fully-automatic. Top-of-the-line robot vacuums have a lot to offer, from memorized home maps to scheduled cleaning times.
High-end models from brands like iRobot and Dyson offer a true luxury: time. (The Dyson 360 Heurist is featured at the top of this post.) With a stored map of your home, they’re able to do the job more quickly, and with app-controlled schedules, they need very little maintenance. These powerful robots can keep your home clean without you needing to lift a finger, and their sleek design looks great wherever they’re tucked away.
If you live in a larger home, memory-based mapping is an essential feature in your robot vacuum. Almost every model will return to its dock when it needs charging, but only vacuums with a built-in memory can pick up where they left off. This helps you cut down on cleaning time, and it ensures that your vacuum will clean your whole home without supervision—even the areas that are far away from its dock. This memory can also be used to help the vacuum effortlessly navigate around furniture and doorways, and even just clean only specific rooms with some premium models.
A great app is essential for making the best out of your vacuum’s features. Many models are compatible with smart home devices with voice assistance like Google Home and Amazon Alexa, and app control lets you fine-tune schedules to fit your needs. Another handy app-prioritized feature is home zones, which let you tell your vacuum where to (and where not to) clean.
What to look for in an automatic vacuum
As with many things in life, there is no one “best” vacuum. Instead, there’s a “best for you.”
To find the right cleaner for your household, you’ll need to look at your personal needs. Is app integration important to you, for instance? Or perhaps what’s most important to you is that your vacuum has as much suction power as possible. Or maybe you’re like me, and you’ll take anything that works… But you’d really prefer to purchase a vacuum that you can fix locally or at home, with parts that you can order easily online.
All of these traits vary by company and automatic vacuum model. That’s why it’s such a great idea to read vacuum reviews before making your decision.
When purchasing, I recommend that interested buyers look at what they want versus what they need. In my household, I prioritize sound intensity over speed or efficacy. I have a very nervous cat, but I’m also I’m allergic to her. So, while I would like a robot vacuum that can be scheduled to vacuum three times a week without having to be manually emptied between cleans, I need something that won’t scare my cat so much that she starts losing even more hair. (I’d also really like if she could spend more time with me instead of stalking a vacuum around the house, so a quieter model takes priority!)
In our very specific case, our ideal robot cleaner is actually the iRobot Braava Jet m6, which isn’t a vacuum at all but rather a mop that can handle both wet mopping and dry sweeping. It is, however, very quiet.
Robot mops, sweepers, and scrubbers
As is the case for my cat and I, the best robot cleaner isn’t always a vacuum. Sometimes it’s a mop, or a scrubber, or even a combination device.
I like the iRobot Braava line thanks to its super-quiet cleaning routine. Braava models can be used with electrostatic pads for easy sweeping, which is especially great before a big cleaning job. They can also be filled up with water and a suds-free floor cleaner to mop your floors, which I find takes a little longer but really helps to give my floors a pristine finish.
There are also home cleaning robots that can do both, like the BObsweep Plus. With a one litre dustbin and an included remote control, the BObsweep mops and vacuums your home and pet messes. It also uses HEPA filtration and lets you set a 7 day schedule.
For those that work outside of the home, robot vacuums and mops can help add extra time to your day. It’s easy to schedule cleaning sessions while you’re at the office or shopping for groceries. Even if you’re home a lot, a robot cleaner can clean up as you go about your regular day—and their adorably stylish little robot bodies can keep houseguests and kids occupied for a little while while they clean, too.
Get ready to save time with robot cleaners for the home. Shop robot vacuums and more at Best Buy.