If you are old enough (or just enjoy watching retro cartoons), you may have fond memories of Rosey, the robotic housekeeper featured on The Jetsons. This is undoubtedly a tempting luxury when you are tired, hungry, and overwhelmed with chores.
Although Rosey may still be a fantasy, robot vacuum cleaners now offer the option to automate one of our major housekeeping chores. A robot vac is a relatively new arrival to the home appliance market, but it looks like they are here to stay.
As with any new player in the field, this niche comes with new brands and different technology buzzwords. But do they work? Check out our reviews to find out how some of the best brands actually perform.
Table of Contents
Top-Ranked Robot Vacuum Cleaners, Reviewed
|Best Robot Vacuum Cleaner||Title||Check Price|
|iRobot Roomba s9+ (9550) Robot Vacuum & Braava Jet m6 (6112) Robot Mop Bundle - Wi-Fi Connected, Smart Mapping, Powerful Suction, Precision Jet Spray, Corners & Edges, Ideal for Multiple Rooms||Check Price|
|eufy by Anker, BoostIQ RoboVac 11S (Slim), Robot Vacuum Cleaner, Super-Thin, 1300Pa Strong Suction, Quiet, Self-Charging Robotic Vacuum Cleaner, Cleans Hard Floors to Medium-Pile Carpets||Check Price|
|eufy by Anker, RoboVac G30, Robot Vacuum with Smart Dynamic Navigation 2.0, 2000Pa Strong Suction, Wi-Fi, Compatible with Alexa, Carpets and Hard Floors||Check Price|
iRobot Roomba s9+ (9550) Robot Vacuum
The Roomba is perhaps the quintessential robot vac brand, and with the iRobot Roomba S9, they have pulled out all the guns. At the moment, this is possibly their top tier product. This is why this model combines a pretty mighty suction power, an improved navigation system, and a more extensive dust reservoir.
These upgrades can be summed up with two functions: the vSLAM navigation system and the automatic dirt disposal option.
When it comes to navigation, the goal was to program a completely automatic robot vacuum that you only need to pay attention to once a month. This includes a separate Careful Drive Mode, which will help you protect low or easy-to-nudge objects that could be on your robot’s path.
Using the partner smartphone app, you can also store the layout of your house and designate some areas as “keep out zones”. You can also use this to flag possible dangers or sites that require a different setting (such as carpeted rooms).
If you enable voice commands, either directly to the app or via Google or Alexa, you can command the Roomba to immediately clean up spills and messes.
Then, there’s the automatic dirt disposal option. The Roomba’s central docking station includes a bigger dust reservoir. You can program the iRobot Roomba S9 to empty its daily contents into this larger container. Once the docking container is complete, it will send you a smartphone alert. The large bag is then sealed and can be easily disposed of.
Naturally, this means that these bags are single-use, and you will need to buy more continuously. Some users have also reported the occasional software bug, especially after Headquarters send updates.
|Very smart automation options.||Requires bags.|
|A dedicated smartphone app that allows you to tweak advanced settings.||The software can crash, especially after an automatic update.|
|The machine can clean itself into a larger dust container.|
|Best Robot Vacuum Cleaner Reviews|
eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 11S (Slim) by Anker
This minimalistic multi-floor robotic vacuum cleaner was designed to keep everything light, silent, and automated.
Out of all these features, its noise levels are the most remarkable ones. It makes less noise than a regular microwave, so you won’t need to have your video calls interrupted by the abrupt pre-programmed activation of your Eufy Robovac 11s.
Add to that its slim design, under 3 inches tall, and you have a small assistant capable of reaching below low furniture without any intervention on your side.
Despite its tiny size, this model includes three suction points, providing up to 1300 pa of suction power. This is enough to handle hardwood, tiled, rugs, and medium-pile carpets. The wheel sensors will adapt the suction power in less than 1.5 seconds, which will help preserve energy.
The whole package includes the vacuum, its docking station, a remote control, a set of side brushes and a spare set of filters. The remote control is easy to use but not as convenient as a smartphone app.
On the other hand, the wheels are small and soft enough to prevent scratching bare floors. Unfortunately, this also hinders its ability to surpass obstacles or climb on top of a small mat or rug.
The small size also requires a relatively small dust cup, which you will probably need to clean once a day.
|Can handle a variety of floor types.||Limited ability to surpass obstacles.|
|Keeps noise levels low.||Small dust cup.|
|It can adjust its suction power quickly.|
|Best Robot Vacuum Cleaner Reviews|
eufy RoboVac G30 2-in-1 Hybrid by Anker
The RoboVac G30 is an upgraded version to the Eufy Robovac 11s. Slightly larger than its counterparts, it provides an upgraded navigation system and the ability to mop and hold semi-solid debris.
Let’s take a closer look at the software improvements first: they are all built around eufy’s dedicated app. By opening this app, you will access the Path Tracking sensor and immediately see which areas have been already cleaned or the device’s current location.
You can also program specific paths for the vacuum rather than let it randomly cover every possible direction.
Then there’s the mopping function. This is great if you have a tiled or bare floor and want to make sure it is absolutely sanitized. When on mopping mode, the G30 will first use its strongest suction power to get rid of all dust and dirt. Then, it will follow the exact same path using the mopping module.
For mopping, you will need to use one of the disposable mopping cloths. Each cloth is washable up to a certain point, but you will need to replace it after about a dozen uses. The standard package includes five extra cloths, but you will probably need to buy more eventually.
Finally, the package includes two 6 feet magnetic boundary strips, which allow you to quickly create an “exclusion zone” that should not be cleaned.
On the other hand, the vacuum itself only has one side brush and one roller. This can occasionally leave spots untouched, and the vacuum will need to pass again at the same location to clean it properly.
|Can mop as well as vacuum.||Modest battery life.|
|Advanced programming functions.||Only packs one side brush and one roller.|
|Allows you to track the vacuum’s route or locate it.|
|Best Robot Vacuum Cleaner Reviews|
Best Robot Vacuum Brands
As a relatively new product, op robot vac brands differ slightly from the traditional big names in the vacuum cleaner industry. In fact, many of the pioneers in this category are electronic brands rather than home appliance specialists.
Some of these include:
The iRobot corporation created the first recognizable brand of robotic vacuum cleaners. This Massachusetts-based company was the first to combine movement sensors and internet connectivity to create a self-driving vacuum.
Chinese company Eufy took the idea of home-friendly artificial intelligence a step further. They are the largest manufacturer of Smart Home products in Asia. They also produce a wide range of wireless security cameras, sound equipment, and voice-powered light installations.
Despite being based in California, Neato Robotics is a subsidiary of the more prominent German manufacturer Vorwerk. They produce a full range of domestic-use robots and AI-Powered appliances, including robotic vacuums and surveillance devices. They are highly renowned for the Neato Botvac D7 Connected, the first robotic vacuum specifically created to reach corners.
How Do Robot Vacuums Work?
Robot vacuums are small, automated vacuums capable of circulating a room without any direct assistance from you.
At their most basic iterations, they have equivalent suction power as a handheld vacuum. They usually pack a couple of spinning brushes underneath, as well as a set of wheels that allows them to move independently.
Slightly larger models will also include a rolling brush, which can help push debris towards its internal suction cup.
Most robot vacuums will include, at least, a set of proximity sensors that allow them to avoid obstacles and prevent them from rolling down the stairs. These models can be activated using a remote controller or pre-programmed to leave their docking station at a predetermined time of the day.
More sophisticated models usually include Wi Fi connectivity. In these cases, they can connect to a Smartphone app, remember the basic layout of your home, or respond to voice commands using Alexa and Google Assistant.
Robot Vacuums FAQs
Is this the first time you have heard of robot vacuums? These are some of the questions that people are asking themselves.
Do robot vacuums work?
Yes, robot vacuums can provide a similar degree of cleaning as a regular human-held vacuum cleaner. They work better in smaller apartments or one-story homes: they cannot cross stairs and would have to be manually carried otherwise.
What is the battery life for robot vacuums?
Most robot vacuums are much lighter than regular ones, and as a result, their batteries last longer than most traditional cordless models.
The final battery life will depend on the suction power, and floor type handled:
- For fabric floors and carpet ones, the high suction power lasts an average of 30 continuous minutes.
- For a hardwood floor, robot vacuums will adapt to Eco mode and last for an average of 90 minutes.
Can you use robot vacuums for mopping?
Yes, some “two in one” robot vacuums include a mopping function. In these cases, they will consist of a separate water reservoir. These models are heavier, and therefore their batteries tend to last less.
Robotic vacuum cleaners can help you automate a routine and a rather dull chore. It will be up to you to choose between regular dusting or programming a complex sweeping and mopping schedule. Make sure the technology you are buying makes sense for your living space: robo vacs work better on flat areas where they don’t need to handle stairs or unlevelled surfaces.