How to Choose a Robot Vacuum.
Since their first inception in 2002 by iRobot, robotic vacuums have made huge technological leaps forward. Fast forward today and you will find that not only are they very affordable for most consumers, but also super high functioning.
There’s a lot of reasons to buy a robot vacuum cleaner, but convenience should be top of your list. Many of today’s models have “smart” technology meaning that you can control it remotely via your smartphone. Simply press “CLEAN” and off it goes!
The problem potential buyers are running into is the overwhelming amount of options; dozens of brands, loads of different features, and prices that range from $50 to $1,000. If you are a first time buyer you might want to consider a number of factors.
Below I outline the steps I would take in order to purchase the Best Robotic Vacuum Cleaner for my home.
How to choose a robot vacuum
#1. What is your budget?
This may be the number one problem that will restrict your options. A few years ago, it was restricted to a handful of brands w/ prices between $500 and $1,000.
Today there are many more options that make it harder to decide. In addition to the brands mentioned above, Bobsweep, Deik, iLife, among others, have produced exceptional products with loads of features.
With substantial improvements in home vacuum technologies, costs have dropped. Most vacuum cleaners vary in price drastically, especially for the bigger brand names. From writing a bunch of reviews and constantly checking the market for new additions, here’s how I would summarize the latest features and price ranges.
Basic Model: $100 – $250
With Mobile App: $250 – $400
Vacuum & Mop: $400 – $900
Once you have determined your budget and brand, it is time to choose which attributes fit your own lifestyle and cleaning requirements.
#2. Battery life
Most robotic vacuum cleaners work with a charging base. The robot starts cleaning and if it feels that it will run out of battery before finishing it automatically returns to the charging dock.
The problem is that the recharge time can be 2-3x the actual cleaning time. If it works for one hour, you must check in for 2-3 hours and then restart at a very different stage every day. As technology advances they are gaining longer battery life, but the recharge still takes time.
From looking at the different models the Roborock and Roomba vacuum models offer the longest battery life.
#3. Does it have a mobile app?
Nearly all the robot vacuum cleaners today let you create a cleaning schedule, but only half give you the convenience of controlling it on your smartphone.
The mobile app functionality is possibly the best technology to grace the ‘RoboVac‘ market. In terms of different models I think the Ecovacs Deebot models offer the best mobile app features and functionality. Not only can you command the vacuum remotely, but you can also get realtime notifications (as it cleans rooms/areas) and you can send it to actual rooms or spots you want it to clean.
Example: You plan to have guests over and you want the living room vacuumed. Cleaning the home might take your robotic vacuum 90 mins to clean. Instead you can clean the room or bundle of rooms you want it to prioritize.
#4. Do you need mopping?
For homes with lots of hardwood floor, vacuuming is only a percentage of the cleaning. Fortunately today’s models offer a robot mopping function! It works just like the vacuum on your phone, but one extra task it requires is that you keep it filled with the right amount of water and clean mop towels. Different robot vacuum mops may require different methods and instructions, but overall its pretty simple.
The downside to this feature is the cost. It usually isn’t cheap – you also have the option to purchase only the robot mop without the vacuum function.
If you want only the robotic mop I suggest taking a look at the iRobot Braava, ILIFE or the Ecovacs Deebot Robots.
#5. Suction power
Keep in mind that autonomous vacuum cleaners are not (yet) as effective as people. Even though they are effective, you should not expect the power suction or thoroughness as you would get with a Dyson upright vacuum cleaner.
Robot vacuum cleaners are relatively slow which is why the mobile app commands come in handy. In an ideal world you will command it to start cleaning while you are at work or not in any hurry. However, with up to 2000Pa suction robotic vacuums are more powerful than ever. They can suck in pet hair or pull out debris deep within your carpet. For homes without pets and less carpeting, you probably don’t need to pay attention to the suction pressure.
To be short – robot vacuums can be designed for power, but not so much for speed.
How to Choose a Robot Vacuum Cleaner
Hopefully this article was informative for you. Like I mentioned there are a lot of factors you can take into account when purchasing a robot vacuum. If you want to be more additional characteristics might be noise level, number of vacuum brushes, modes of operation, and size (slimmer means it can get under furniture easier).
If you want, here is our newest list of the best robotic vacuum cleaners in 2020.
Overall I think they are worth the purchase. They are relatively affordable and can save you oodles amount of time not cleaning. There’s a reason why the demand for robot vacuum cleaners has skyrocketed.