Lydsto R1 hero imageAs a lifestyle blogger for more than 10 years, I consider myself to be pretty difficult to truly wow. I try many products every month, and for the most part, each one comes with both good and bad aspects. I like a lot of them, but am wowed by very few. The Xiaomi Lydsto R1 Robot Vacuum Cleaner with Dust Collecting Station is a rare exception to that rule.

Most of us here in Canada aren’t familiar with the Xiaomi name—but I think we all will be very soon. Xiaomi is the world’s third largest smartphone maker (behind only Apple and Samsung). But in western countries, the brand focuses on products for your home like TVs and vacuums.

It’s no exaggeration to say that this robot vacuum blew me away. I haven’t enjoyed a product this much in a long time, and as I got to know the R1 better, it only continued to impress me more and more. I felt like I was uncovering new secrets with every page of the instruction manual; with every new tap in the app.

Lydsto cannister

What’s in the box of the Xiaomi Lydsto R1?

In the box of the Xiaomi Lydsto R1, you’ll find a pretty basic-looking white robot vacuum. It comes with a home base, which it automatically empties debris into. The vacuum will position itself directly in front of the home base in order to charge magnetically, but there isn’t a tray for it to mount itself into. This is handy if you’re short on space. But as the Lydsto voice assistant will tell you, it does mean that you’ll need to remove the vacuum’s mopping pad after each cleaning in order to prevent any water damage to your floor.

Lydsto R1 underside

Also included in the box of the R1 is a reusable mopping pad, a stack of disposable mopping pads, and a stack of dirt disposal bags. The R1 is recommended for households with pets, uses a HEPA filtration system, and runs for 150 minutes on a single charge.

You’ll find one last thing in this box: a simple but incredibly effective cleaning tool. With a brush on one end and a letter opener-like blade on the other, I’m surprised that more companies haven’t started giving these out with vacuums yet! This tiny device makes it easy to clean the machine’s filter, and (more importantly) means that I can clean all of the hair off of the R1 vacuum’s brush roll in under 30 seconds. It’s truly fantastic.

*Edge cleaner not pictured.

Lydsto cannister standing base

How does the Xiaomi Lydsto R1 compare? 

When I compare the Lydsto R1 to other products I’ve tried, read about, and used, it stands out in three categories: cost, sound, and speed. None of the functions that it offers are completely unique to the brand (for instance, other vacuums also offer automatic emptying), but the R1 offers a full menu of high-end functions for a very middle-of-the-pack price.

This robot vacuum is also a mop, and both its vacuuming and mopping functions are very, very quiet. The Lydsto app lets you select from four levels of suction power (including “nighttime”) and three levels of mopping volume, which you can fine-tune based on area and room. I’ve been testing the vacuum primarily on standard and maximum power, and while it does a great job of picking up kibble and cat hair, it’s still quiet enough that my nervous cat stays in the room to watch it clean. This is something that I was also able to achieve with the iRobot Braava Jet mop, but so far, no other vacuum.Xiaomi Lydsto R1 review

The Xiaomi Lydsto R1 is also extremely efficient. Its initial mapping of my main floor took only 44 minutes, and the map it created is incredibly detailed. It knows where my humidifier sits; where I’ve left bags of kitty litter. It knows where my coffee table is right down to its shape, which swings out at the ends in a bone-like silhouette.

Xiaomi says that its technology is more than 20% faster than “traditional products,” but the last iRobot Roomba I reviewed took between 2-3 hours to cover the same amount of space. The Lydsto R1’s quick, directional movement is a lot more than a 20% improvement, and its incredibly exact mapping software was way more than 20% better than other brands I’ve tried, too.

What can the Lydsto R1 do?

As I’ve mentioned, the Xiaomi Lydsto R1 can do a lot. It both vacuums and mops, and it has an impressive 2-1/2 hour battery life. Should the device run out of power or bin space during a cleaning job, it knows to return to its home base, empty itself or charge, and then resume its cleaning from where it left off as soon as it’s ready to go.

Lydsto app

Despite all of my generalized fawning, I do have one specific, favourite thing about the Lydsto R1 Robot Vacuum Cleaner and Mop: its app. The Xiaomi-designed app shows you the cleaning pattern your robot vacuum has taken, so you know exactly where it is and exactly where it’s cleaned at all times. It can memorize multiple maps for different floors in your house, and automatically partitions your home into different rooms. If it makes a mistake, you can go into the app to manually fine-tune and rename each room.

From there, you’re able to send the R1 to mop or vacuum certain spots or certain rooms. I spilled some butter chicken sauce in the kitchen, for instance, so I set my mop to perform a one-time job: a square metre right in the centre of my kitchen floor, at maximum water volume. It finished the job and returned to its home base in less than 5 minutes, and the floor was clean when it completed the job.

Lydsto mop and vacuum review

My experience with this Lydsto vacuum and mop

Despite the fact that Xiaomi is a largely undiscovered brand here in Canada, I had a great experience with the Lydsto R1 vacuum and mop. Its two-in-one dustbin/water compartment makes maintenance easy (the dustbin is in the centre, and the water compartment sits slightly lower and to the sides). It was helpful not to have to add a cleaning fluid to the water compartment, and I liked that the mopping pads and dust bags aren’t RFID chipped, which lets me reuse or replace them as needed.

Being able to customize my home maps was very handy, and I used the app to set a few no-go zones. There’s one corner under my kitchen table that every robot vacuum seems to get stuck on top of, so I set that as a no-go just in case. (The R1 got stuck on it only once, and it sent a push notification to my phone when it did. It also announced that it was stuck, which surprised me in a really pleasant way. The female voice that the company uses has a light Chinese accent, which sounds welcoming and homey.)

If you’re looking for a two-in-one robot vacuum and mop, the Xiaomi Lydsto R1 is a great place to start. Its self-emptying bin, quick and quiet operation, and excellent app are sure to streamline your daily routine.

Shop the Xiaomi Lydsto R1 Robot Vacuum Cleaner with Dust Collecting Station and other robot vacuums at Best Buy.

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