A robot vacuum can make life so much less stressful. Say bub-bye to spending hours vacuuming your home, or goading your kids to do it, and hello to chilling out while the robot does all the work. Here’s what you need to consider when hunting for a robot vacuum.
Before you choose a robot vacuum, it’s good to understand the range of different features available. There are lots of different things these small but mighty bots can do, but you may not actually need all of them. Investigate features you believe you’ll actually use, since getting a botvac without some of the pricey upgrades can save you a boatload of cash.
Most robot vacuums have a calendar function so you can set it to vacuum at specific times of the day or week; like when you’re at work. Most of this scheduling is done via a companion app on your smartphone, though with some less expensive models, you’ll need to manually program this schedule into the bot using buttons.
Some robot vacs also combine high tech mapping with scheduling features (Roomba’s i7 and s9 vacuums have it) and let you program specific rooms to be cleaned on certain days, giving you amazing flexibility and freedom.
With most botvacs, they may do the vacuuming, but you’ll have to empty the dustbin just like any regular vacuum cleaner. Some models will automatically dispose of dirt into their own bin (and in sealed vacuum bags) located inside the base station and will remind you when this bin needs to be emptied via an app. These models are definitely more expensive, but if not getting your hands dirty is a priority, this might be an upgrade worth the expense.
Most robot vacuums are round, as this makes it easy for them to move around independently and not get caught on things, but that lack of corners can make it difficult to get into narrow spaces. The recent rise in D-shaped robots have a range of sensors and the added bonus of being able to get closer to wall edges and corners than their circular counterparts.
Some robot vacuums also have built-in mopping: a small water tank inside the bot moistens a microfibre or disposable cloth that is clipped under the robot. Although they are not as effective on stubborn stains as a regular mop, or even a dedicated single-purpose robot mop they do work on light messes or day-to-day wiping up.
There are a lot of great robot vacuum brands out there, all with different prices. Before purchasing a vacuum cleaner, it’s a good idea to do a little research on the brand and check customer reviews. iRobot is often an expensive brand, with vacuums costing in the $1,000 price category and up, but with that said, iRobot makes some of the best and most well-reviewed robot vacuums on the market. Neato is a snappy little upstart compared to iRobot, but it’s got a reputation for making solid, hardworking bots. Ecovacs robot models are extremely sophisticated, with the latest having a Wi-Fi enabled camera, and a mop plus the vacuum. Eufy, iLife and Dyson all also make robot vacuums with varying levels of skill.
Who wouldn’t love the idea of never vacuuming again? With a robot vacuum cleaner, this is very nearly possible. With a host of brands to choose from plus all kinds of useful features, and in price ranges from budget to luxury, it’s possible to live in the Jetsons-era today.