Everyone wants to have a clean home, but not many people really enjoy cleaning. Cleaning, and vacuuming in particular, is not only very tedious work, but… can also be quite time consuming. So in a world where time is money, any product that can lessen the amount of time and energy spent cleaning may be very well worth the investment.
Robotic vacuum cleaners, although still a relatively new concept, have now been around long enough to prove effective. The problems these machines faced at conception, such as lack of navigation ability and short battery life, have since been corrected.
Benefits of a Robot Vacuum
Why a robotic vacuum cleaner? Well the benefits of vacuuming your home on a weekly basis are tremendous. Besides the obvious – getting rid of dust and dirt and keeping your home tidy – weekly cleaning also has serious health benefits. In fact, studies suggest that vacuuming reduces health hazards by decreasing the amount of bacteria, mites, and fungi on your carpets and floors.
Now we know what you're thinking. Who has time to vacuum on a weekly basis? Well then a robot vacuum is definitely the product for you! Robotic vacuums can now remember a house’s layout, dump their own dirt in a receptacle, and even connect themselves to the charging station when needed. Some robotic vacuums are even compatible with WiFi, allowing users to set up an automatic cleaning schedule and control remotely.
Although robotic vacuum cleaners have improved over recent years, it is still important to determine which type of product best meets your personal needs. While most robotic vacuums can effectively clean hard wood floors, not all are capable of effectively picking up pet hair or preforming scheduled cleanings.
Beyond that, how do you determine the best robotic vacuum for you? Start with the basics. The robotic vacuum cleaner, also called robovac, is a disc-shaped autonomous vacuum cleaner with intelligent programming and various cleaning systems. Some use spinning brushes to reach tight corners, while others combine multiple features such as mopping and UV sterilization.
It is important to know that robovacs can’t perform miracles – some struggle with rugs, others will not recognize certain debris, and some might get tangled into thin cables. But the machines are getting smarter by the minute, and will significantly extend the time between deep cleaning sessions.
Differences in Models
There are five basic things you need to ask yourself before buying a robovac. If you determine all five features are important to you, be prepared to spend a little extra. If you’re willing to compromise, you will likely be able to find yourself a pretty good deal.
The five basics include: performance, cost, terrain handling, battery life, and maintenance. These are by no means the only features you should look at when finding the perfect robovac, but after some extensive research, we have found that these are the most important. You can also look for more advanced features such as self-recharging, self-emptying, and Wi-Fi connectivity. However these advanced features will not be crucial to the device’s success.
The single most important feature every robovac needs is the ability to clean effectively. Ask yourself what kind of floor do you have – hard flooring or carpets? If hard flooring, do you have a lot of large rugs or other thresholds that may restrict a robovac's access? If so you may want to spend a little extra for a high performance product that will avoid getting stuck on obstacles.
If you’re on a tight budget, you might want to consider a simpler device stripped of advanced features such as Wi-Fi connectivity or the ability to self-empty. There are also devices which come with accessories, such as a remote controller or magnetic strips to prevent the device from entering certain rooms. Avoiding these features will definitely save you some money.
Does your home have a lot of thresholds, thick rugs, stairs, or levels? If so, you will want to find a product that specializes in handling these obstacles. Some devices handle thresholds and climb better than others, but if your house is mostly flat with very little obstacles you are free to focus on other features first.
The robotic vacuum cleaners with the shortest battery life run for about an hour on a single charge, while the best of the best can go up to two hours. If your apartment is somewhat smaller, and an hour would be more than enough time for the little guy to do his thing, then you don’t have to focus on this aspect. Otherwise, having a longer-lasting device can mean the world.
It is also worth mentioning that different manufacturers offer longer-lasting warranties for the batteries. No matter which device you choose, batteries will need to be replaced at least once a year, meaning extra expense. Therefore, our list considers how much the batteries for each device costs, and how much it will cost you annually to maintain the device.
Most robotic vacuum cleaners can be used right out of the box, but all require regular maintenance and cleaning to remove the hair that gathers on the brushes. The time, effort and money required to keep the robotic vacuums in good shape is also an extremely important element.
As mentioned previously, these are by no means the only features you should look for in a robotic vacuum cleaner, but they are the most important. Loudness can also be a factor, with some cleaners being as loud as regular vacuums, while others can be fairly quiet. Advanced features such as a mobile app can also be taken into consideration, but you should first and foremost focus on the five elements above.
Once you’ve determined which features are the most important to you personally, you can take a look at the following list to find the perfect device.
How We Ranked the Best
So how can you determine a good robotic vacuum cleaner from a great robotic vacuum cleaner? We’ve scoured the web, reviewed hundreds of products, read countless reviews, tested several of the top robot vacuums and came up with the best of the best. Additionally, we ranked the best products in particular categories in order to help you easily find what you're looking for.
The official rankings of the best robotic vacuums on the market are below.