Robot vacuum cleaners are excellent at picking up tiny dust and dirt particles off any flooring at a much greater degree than traditional vacuum cleaners. They are also more convenient: if you’d like to abandon vacuuming entirely and rest knowing your floors and carpets are in excellent condition you can do so by purchasing one of these automated dust machines.
With so many brands saturating the market and each claiming to deliver great results, it can be very challenging to find a robot vacuum that meets your needs perfectly. To assist you with your vacuum robot purchase, here are 10 of the top rated robot vacuum cleaners for you to consider.
Compare: The 10 Top Rated Robot Vacuums of 2017
||Battery Life||Our Rating|
|IRobot Roomba 650||Carpet, tile, hardwood, laminate & more||~2 hours||4.9|
|All rugs, carpets & uneven flooring||~1.5 hours||4.8|
|All carpets & hard wood floor||~2 hours||4.8|
|Vacuuming and mopping all floor types||~4 hours||4.6|
|Best for hard floors and pet hair||~2 hours||4.5|
|Picks up stuff like dirt, crumbs, dust bunnies, and pet hair||~2 hours||4.5|
|Cleaning and sterilizes with UV all types of floors||~1.5 hours||4.4|
|Specifically designed to fit under most furniture, beds and kickboards||~2 hours||4.4|
|Advanced assistant for cleaning hardwood and carpets||~1.5 hours||4.3|
|All floor types – carpet, tile, hardwood||~2.5 hours||4.2|
Do you have pets and want to make your home super friendly to all your guests even those with pet allergies? If that’s the case, the iRobot Roomba 650 is the vacuum for you.
This vacuum incorporates a 3-stage cleaning protocol that enables it to pick up the finest of fur and hair. It works by first agitating the particles, brushing them gently and finally sucking them into its inbuilt reservoir. It comes with iAdapt Navigation technology that allows it to easily traverse around objects in the home and it also has an inbuilt AeroForce™ cleaning system that enables it to easily adapt to all types of floors ensuring consistent performance.
|It provides a thorough clean courtesy of the 3-stage sophisticated cleaning protocol||It is not designed to pick up any liquid spills or other slimy messes. It is designed for dirt and debris only|
|It is fully automated and can be controlled remotely through an app|
|Adapts to all types of flooring|
|Can easily reach spots that the traditional vacuum can’t access e.g. under sofas, beds e.t.c|
|It is self charging. It detects when the battery is running low and returns back to its charging station to recharge|
The Eufy RoboVac 11 guarantees over 1.5 hours of powerful constant suction and is highly durable. If you’re looking for a vacuum robot with premium functionality and that can last for a very long time the Eufy RoboVac 11 will meet your needs.
It possesses an anti-scratch glass cover for added protection and comes with inbuilt infrared sensors to evade obstacles. In addition, it possesses four side brushes for a superb clean and comes with a complimentary 12 month warranty. This makes it a very safe purchase for the first time robot vacuum buyer.
|Possesses an external anti-scratch tempered glass cover for extra protection||Few customers complained about the vacuum having power transmission issues|
|Has a high capacity battery that provides over 1.5 hours of constant power|
|Extra cleaning capability. The Eufy RoboVac 11 has HEPA-style filters and 4 side brushes for super tiny particles|
|It comes with a 12 month warranty|
Do you need a vacuum with a low profile body that can easily blend in with your other electronics in your home? Consider adding the ILIFE A4 vacuum cleaner to your appliance collection. This unit comes with a 7.6cm slim design and a suave grey color that is guaranteed to compliment any home. In addition, the ILIFE A4 comes with an advanced, powerful but efficient motor that generates up to 1,000 Pascals of pressure guaranteed to save you both time and energy.
|It possesses a low profile body enabling it to mesh with most home environments||A few common complaints include abrupt failure of the vacuum parts such as the motor, navigation system, brushes e.t.c.|
|Powerful motor that generates 1000 Pa suction power|
|Low noise. Produces a hum that is less than 65dB|
|4 Chip 2600 mAh battery that can run for 110-120 minutes|
This robot vacuum utilizes a similar navigation technology to the one Google uses to produce self-driving cars. It uses iAdapt® 2.0 with Navigation Cube technology which enables it to note any obstacles and avoid them and also enables it to return back to its point of origin after cleaning is done. It can clean up to 1,000 square feet in a single cycle with a charge that can last up to 210 minutes per cycle. If you’re looking for a vacuum that is elegant, with great suction power and a great cleaning range then this is the vacuum for you.
|Very easy to use. Just attach a cleaning cloth and press SWEEP or MOP||No virtual wall to restrict entrance into specific rooms|
|Long lasting battery. Lasts for up to 210 minutes|
|Can clean grime using either a cleaning solution or water moistened on the vacuum’s cleaning cloth|
|Large sweeping range. Can cover up to 1,000 sq ft in a single cycle|
If you are concerned about the safety of your device when it comes to falling off stairs and platforms consider investing in the Ecovacs Deebot N78. It is equipped with up to 3 groups of anti-drop sensors to make it impossible for the device to plummet.
It is also equipped with multiple anti-collision sensors that enable it to choose the most appropriate paths and navigate around obstacles without disrupting the cleaning. The vacuum also comes with “floating” wheels i.e. wheels that automatically adjust to all types of surfaces for optimal travel.
|Smart motion cleaning technology. It enables this vacuum to clean an area multiple times ensuring very tiny debris, hair and dirt are removed||Although this product has a lot of recommendations and positive reviews some customers found fault with the mop pad and some malfunction in other parts. This is covered in the product warranty that comes with every purchase|
|3 cleaning modes: auto, spot and edge, to be used depending on the surface and type of cleaning required|
|Easy to use. Runs at the push of a button|
|Stops secondary pollution. In addition to sucking up hairs, dirt, dust and other debris, the Ecovacs Deebot N78 simultaneously outputs freshened air reducing airborne contributors that cause asthma and other allergies|
Looking for a robot vacuum that can pick up more pet hair than most of the other brands? The Neato Botvac D80 promises to do this and much more. It is D-shaped to enable it wedge between the corners and walls for maximum hair pick up. With three brushes in tow: the spiral blade brush, combo brush and side brush, it cleans floors with precision leaving them immaculately clean of furs, dust, hair and other potential allergens.
|D-shaped. To facilitate easier maneuverability and reach highly secluded places for maximum hair and dust pick up||Replacing the dust bin may require some technical skills|
|Laser mapping technology – Allows scanning of rooms to facilitate methodical cleaning and prevent bumping into objects|
|Multiple brushes. To facilitate absolutely spotless cleaning of very tiny debris, hair and dust particles|
|Large, bagless dirt bin. Has a larger capacity than most round robot vacuums|
Tired of constantly having to brush pet hairs off the floor? BObsweep provides an elegant cleanup of all kinds of pet hairs at the push of a button. Its TurboLift Motor spins at a whopping 7500 rotations per minute enabling the suction of all kinds of pet hairs together with minute dirt and debris from the deepest parts of carpets. It also comes with an Ultra-Violet lamp which projects rays at 400 NM sterilizing the floor and the air above it.
|Low track contouring. It comes with an automator that adjusts BObsweep to the level of the floor for continuous contact||The navigation technology is not effective in really big rooms. An extra purchase may be required to get more sophisticated navigational mapping|
|1000ML dustbin. This is the largest dustbin in the industry and comes with a 3 layer filtration system that blocks the tiniest of particles from escaping back into the air|
|Lithium X-Amplified battery. Comes with a 2 year warranty|
|Highly responsive. It has edge sensors to prevent falling down platforms or stairs|
|3 Cleaning modes i.e. auto pilot, quick clean and touch up – for variety|
This is the best model in the iRobot Roomba collection and is accompanied by a price tag that reflects it. Home owners looking for a super automated vacuum cleaner that works just as well as the traditional vacuum in cleaning large pieces of fluff but with the unique capability of sucking embedded dust with ease should consider this iRobot model.
The Roomba 980 is especially ideal for cleaning heavy carpets and rugs. It can pack up to 10 times more air power in carpets and rugs by automatically adjusting its Gen 3 motor to eliminate all the dirt and dust particles.
|It is the best in the iRobot vacuum collection with two modes of cleaning i.e. damp mopping or dry sweeping||Very costly. The Roomba 980 costs more than its predecessors. This is no surprise considering the vast features it comes equipped with|
|Comes with an inbuilt Northstar Navigation which operates like an indoor GPS to direct the vacuum to clean specific areas|
|iAdapt camera enables the vacuum to continually adapt its internal map of the surroundings to avoid repeating areas it has already cleaned|
|Wi-Fi enabled. It can be controlled through the iRobot Home app with a basic Wi-Fi connection|
The Samsung POWERbot R9000 was built from CycloneForce technology to produce great suction power that can clean dirt and debris with ease. The technology enables it to maintain high suction power for long periods by taking advantage of an outer chamber which uses strong centrifugal forces to separate dust and debris for less clogging and optimal performance. This vacuum robot also comes with a digital camera and 9 smart sensors that can scan the layout of any home to create the most optimal cleaning paths.
|High suction force. Up to 10 times more suction power than the air in carpets and floors||A few customers complained about software bugs preventing the vacuum to find its way back to the docking point after finishing the cleaning and occasional malfunctions of the brushes and the sensors. These are all covered with the warranty that comes with every purchase|
|FullView sensors. To detect the most optimal paths to avoid collisions with objects|
|EasyPass wheels. Allow the vacuum to transition from one flooring surface to another with ease|
|Combo brush. It comes with a 12 inch brush to facilitate great coverage and deep carpet cleaning|
|Large dust canisters. These are convenient for very dusty days|
|Washable filters. These filters are easy to maintain|
This is one of the most attractive robot vacuums in the market. It has a sleek and compact design that fits perfectly in most homes. It doesn’t take up a lot of space either. ILIFE A6 vacuum can maintain charge for up to 160 minutes making it one of the longest lasting robot vacuums in the market. This facilitates cleaning of larger areas with less re-charging which ultimately lengthens the lifespan of the battery.
|Long lasting battery. Battery can last up to 160 min on a single charge||Compared to the A4 model, the improvements are slight|
|Aesthetically pleasing. ILIFE A6 design complements the design of most homes||In rare cases, it collides with dark furniture indicating some software malfunction|
|Great suction power. It utilizes Gen 2 CyclonePower technology for improved agitation and suction of dirt leading to enhanced cleanliness|
|Super quiet. It will not disrupt television, radio and other multimedia sounds|
What is a Robot Vacuum?
A robot vacuum is a vacuum cleaner built with intelligent programming to perform advanced functions that a traditional vacuum cannot. Robotic vacuums provide a greater degree of independence in the home with very minimal effort required on the part of the occupant to operate and maintain them. Also known as robovacs, majority of them are usually compact and low-slung. This enables them to be able to get under furniture and equipment to clean areas that regular vacuums can’t. Most robot vacuums are built to supplement the traditional vacuum cleaner due to their enhanced ability to pick up minute dirt and debris. However, even users who only own the robot vacuum can benefit greatly from very clean floors by hardly lifting a finger.
Different Types of Robot Vacuums
Robot vacuums are not standard; they come in different shapes, sizes and colors. They are differentiated based on the type of cleaning they are built to carry out, the type of technology used to run them, their design, suction power, programmable features e.t.c.
If you’re considering purchasing a robovac, here are a couple of things you need to consider.
- Type of flooring
As mentioned, not all robots are the same. Some robots are superior to others in terms of functionality and that includes the ability to clean different types of flooring. On average, the standard unit cleans shorter carpets (usually less than an inch thick) and hard surfaces the best. If you’re hoping to purchase a robovac to get a good clean on your super thick rug then opt for a robovac with super high suction power that is built for that purpose. The Samsung POWERbot R9000 is an excellent choice possessing up to 10 times more power than the air in thick rugs.
There are robot vacuums specifically designed for pets and picking up pet hairs. While the standard robovac can do an “okay” job eliminating furs from carpets and floors, there are highly specialized pet hair robot vacuums like the BObsweep PetHair which can do an amazing job. The BObsweep PetHair has a low track contouring ability that enables it to get really close to any flooring and comes with 3 cleaning modes that enable it to eliminate the tiniest of animal fur and hairs. Vacuums of this nature also come with HEPA filters that limit the amount of allergens present in the air. They also tend to have less clogging problems with hairs and furs. Another good example is the Neato Botvac D80.
Generally, vacuuming is a somewhat noisy experience and although robovacs have proven to be significantly less noisy, there are a few brands of robot vacuums that have taken it to a whole new level. The ILIFE A6, an upgrade of the ILIFE A4, can run extremely quietly when in “normal” mode. This makes it an ideal cleaning machine for rooms housing patients where noise is a deterrent or for when you need peace to research or study while you clean. Others produce a grinding or a high pitched whistling sound when cleaning. The “noisier” machines may not be a concern if you plan on having the robot vacuum clean while you’re out of the house.
The difference in noise level also contributes to the overall pricing of the vacuums. Consider all aspects before making your purchase.
Some robot vacuums require more maintenance compared to others. The more sophisticated the vacuum the more maintenance it will require. On the surface this might deter you from acquiring a robovac with a variety of features to avoid incurring high maintenance costs but in reality the level of maintenance required is very basic, cheap and widespread. Robovacs with HEPA filters like the Eufy RoboVac 11 that also possesses 4 side brushes can be maintained by basic washing of the HEPA filters to eliminate possible clogging along with the brushes. All factors considered, it is a small “price” to pay for the vast benefits accorded by the machine.
- Living space
The average robot vacuum is designed to function mainly in relatively small living spaces. If you live in a 1-2 bedroom apartment almost any robot vacuum will work to keep the space tidy. However, larger homes will require more specialized robovacs. The iRobot Roomba 650 is a great choice for a large house with multiple large rooms. Its navigation system is strong enough to scan the rooms, avoid colliding with furniture and other objects and still resume back to its dock effortlessly. This is a far cry from the BObsweep PetHair whose navigation is tailored mainly to complement smaller sized rooms. It can still be used in mid-sized to large rooms but an extra purchase will have to be made for more advanced navigational mapping technology to be incorporated.
- Physical disabilities
Are you too frail to operate the traditional canister or upright vacuum? Or maybe you’re disabled and would like some assistance in cleaning. Robovacs can be godsend appliances in such cases. However, certain robovacs are more helpful compared to others. Robovacs with virtual walls for instance can be programmed to sweep specific rooms and return to their docking stations. No supervision will be required to prevent them from entering areas you don’t want them in. A good example is the iRobot Roomba 980. In addition, robovacs with highly advanced drop-edge technology to prevent the vacuums from plummeting down stairs and raised platforms are more preferred over those with just basic drop sensors. The added sensors make it next to impossible for them to drop thus reducing any chances of inconveniencing you to lift them up again.
- Battery life
Robovac battery life has a lot to do with the robovac manufacturer and the type of technology used. Companies have designed their vacuums depending on specific needs of the users. Neato, for instance, builds most of its machines to run on an average of one hour per single charge. They are mainly designed for small rooms. Others like iRobot build their vacuums for much larger rooms and their batteries can run anywhere from 1.5 – 2 hrs or even more. The iRobot Braava 380t can run up to 210 minutes per single charge!
Price and Warranty
The prices and warranties of robovacs depend on the manufacturers, the type of technology used to build the robovac, as well as the quality of the materials used.
Most robovac manufacturers’ offer limited warranties for their products. This means the warranty has an expiration date beyond which the manufacturers are not liable for any damage or malfunction of the product.
If you’re buying a robovac be sure to read the fine print to avoid having to cater for repair and replacement expenses down the line. For instance, some warranties are only enforceable in the country of purchase regardless of whether the manufacturer operates in your present country.
Since the technology used by some manufacturers is still not fully phased, especially during upgrades, some malfunctions are bound to occur. For quick service, ensure you have the serial number of your product ready and your original proof of purchase with the full details about the product and your name. This will make it easier and faster to process your claim against a limited warranty.
Important factors to note about robovac warranties:
- In the event the product is found to have malfunction with no fault on the buyer, the manufacturer is at liberty to either repair the product or exchange it for another one.
- In the event of an exchange, a new product can be given or a product that has been manufactured from either new or used robovac parts but functions in an equivalent manner to the original machine.
- Still on exchange, a new or an upgraded model can also be given provided it at least meets the minimum functionality of the original model or possesses upgraded functionality to the first model.
- The warranty period, in most cases, cannot be extended, as far as the laws of specific countries permit, in the event of an exchange or repair of a robovac. In other words, any new parts that might be added will be covered by the original warranty for the remainder of the warranty period or for the next 90 days from the time of replacement, whichever is greater.
Different manufactures have different terms concerning warranties. Take the time to read the fine print to avoid inconveniences.
Prices sometimes have a proportional effect on warranty periods depending on the manufacturer i.e. the greater the selling price the longer the initial warranty period and possible warranty extensions.
Technologies and Features
A lot of factors should be considered before purchasing a robovac. To be safe use the following checklist to ensure you get a quality product that will be beneficial to your home.
Mapping technology – Always enquire about the presence of mapping technology in robovacs and how effective it is. Even if your home is relatively small make a point to purchase a robovac that can be able to scan much larger rooms, clean them efficiently and still find its way back to its docking station. Ideally, the robovac should have multiple sensors (i.e. more than two) and a digital camera to record movements. Alternatively, you should be able to use the sensors to map out a ‘virtual wall’ beyond which the robovac should not be able to access.
Avoidance technology – Quality robovacs should be able to avoid all obstacles and clean without fuss. Enquire about the technology used and its effectiveness on particular brands before taking your pick.
Remote control – Can the robovac be controlled remotely? Robotic vacuums are all about convenience. If you don’t spend a lot of time at home you’ll need a vacuum that you can easily control wherever you are. Even if you spend most of your time at home, are super organized and you don’t mind operating the device manually, this feature is still very handy. There’s a reason why it is found in most robotic vacuums today.
Battery life – Most robovacs start their operations from a charging dock and clean a specified area until the charge almost runs out. When this happens most will stop all operations and return back to their starting point. The only problem with this though is that many robovacs can take anywhere from 2-3 hours to charge fully. To avoid inconveniences purchase a battery with a long life; preferably 160 minutes and over.
Dust capacity – The larger the dust capacity the less the inconvenience of interrupting the cleaning to empty the dust canister.
Noise level – This mostly depends on your availability in the home during cleaning. If you spend a lot of time in the house, opt for a machine that runs quietly. If you’re mostly absent and are not affected by the sound then opt for a loud one. In most cases, these are usually much cheaper.
HEPA filters – Robovacs without HEPA filters can still do a great job. However, their efficiency in removing dust and pet hair is hindered to a significant degree. In order to avoid potential allergies always choose a robovac with HEPA filters.
Robot size – The smaller the robot, the easier it is to navigate around furniture and other obstacles and reach highly restricted areas.
Advantages of Owning a Robot Vacuum
Robot vacuum cleaners are quickly becoming invaluable cleaning appliances in the home. They accord home owners a variety of benefits that cannot be rivaled by other cleaning machines. If you were wondering whether you should buy a vacuum cleaner consider the following benefits associated with these cleaning appliances.
- Saves time.
In today’s fast paced world, finding time to do basic house chores can be difficult. This is where robot vacuums come in. A robovac can be programmed to clean a floor or a carpet and carry out the commands all on its own even when the owner is at work. This ability to function without supervision essentially saves home owners time and energy which they can channel to more productive activities.
- Cleans all types of floors.
Like their traditional counterparts, many robot vacuums can also clean all types of floors and rugs. From vinyl to tiles and even floor boards, these cleaning devices can easily suck out the dirt leaving you with a clean flooring and environment.
- Friendly to the disabled.
Compared to hiring expensive housekeeping, people suffering from mobile disabilities can purchase a robot vacuum to help with their cleaning needs. The vacuum is highly programmable and can be set to clean at specific periods without any supervision whatsoever.
- An array of accessories.
Some models come with a wide variety of features guaranteed to provide a greater cleaning experience and much cleaner flooring. Advanced brushes, HEPA filters e.t.c all work to the convenience of the user.
- Minimal maintenance.
Robot vacuums, unlike traditional vacuums, do not require much maintenance and are less prone to break down and have mechanical glitches. In order to support the delicate technology embedded they are built with high quality materials. They can serve for several years without the need for replacement.
- Purify air
Some robovacs are built to simultaneously output freshened air as they suck out the dirt and dust from floors and the air. This not only reduces the quantity of allergens in the home environment but it also eliminates other agents that might cause sickness thus creating a much healthier living space.
- Easy to store
Due to their compact and disc shaped design, robot vacuums are very easy to store. They require very little space. If you don’t have a closet or a storage room you can easily tuck them under the couch or the bed or just lean them against a corner in one room until the next cleaning session.
- Kill bacteria.
Some vacuum cleaners can emit Ultraviolet rays at high frequency while they clean which in turn kill bacteria and other micro-pathogens present in the flooring. A good example is the BObsweep PetHair vacuum which emits rays at 400NM that sterilize the floor and the air above it.
Almost all robovacs are equipped with the capability of self-charging. The inbuilt technology ensures that when the robots are low on charge they can transport themselves to their charging centre, dock and plug themselves to “re-fuel”.
- Other benefits:
- They can detect boundaries. Virtual walls can be programmed into the vacuums operating system to ensure they don’t enter specific rooms especially if they lack drop sensor technology to prevent them from falling down a flight of stairs or other forms of raised platforms.
- No cords. The robovacs are essentially cordless which means there is no possibility of entanglement.
- Remotely accessed. Some robot vacuum manufacturers have synced their products with an application that can be accessed from any location at any time. This provides extra convenience.
- There are many robot vacuum models that are below $350 and some cost even less and possess almost all of the great features e.g. operate quietly, possess drop-edge sensors, can adapt to different flooring e.t.c.
Robot vacuums are slowly revolutionizing the cleaning industry and growing popular by the day. Each model has its own unique combination of capabilities that make it stand out. Before settling on a particular model, take the time to research the various other models in the market and compare their collective features against their shortcomings. Nonetheless, regardless of what you choose, you still stand to benefit from added convenience and flexibility.
Regardless of your requirements, there is a robot vacuum out there guaranteed to meet all your needs.