Robots are taking over the world – well, at least, in some households. And no, it’s not about world domination, only dirt elimination. Easing their human counterparts with the chore of cleaning surfaces and floors are what we now call the robovacs, or robot vacuums. In this review, we give you the best robot vacuum picks in the market, with the stellar iRobot Roomba 650 at the forefront. But before we dish in a few facts about this product, let’s delve into the world of robot vacuums and what this newfound technology can do for you.
Robot Vacuum Cleaners, you say?
Robot Vacuums, shortly called Robovacs, sound like a machine of the future, but this range of equipment has existed since the late 1990s. The first robovac was dubbed as the Trilobite and was crafted by the Swedish appliance company, Electrolux. It was first presented in Tomorrow’s World, a science-and-technology themed feature by BBC. Since then, many brands have devised their own robovacs, until in 2002, iRobot sparked a phenomenon with their Roomba series, a consumer-friendly little gadget that automatically sweeps the floor without a hassle. The company hit home with their invention, and after more than a decade, still leads at the robovac race.
iRobot Roomba 650
It’s no surprise that iRobot’s own Roomba 650 is our pick for the best robot vacuum cleaner. This round, handy gadget performs a mechanical dance as it sweeps through your carpet and sucks the invisible dirt from your floor surfaces. It is packed with a set of unique sensors that allows it to traverse through your home. Schedule a cleaning session and let it go off on its own, or easily press the ‘Clean’ button at the center for a quick sweep. Homeowners will be delighted with its aesthetics and features; the best part–it’s priced mid-range. Both user and budget friendly, we commend iRobot Roomba 650 with the highest robovac honors.
If you’re ready to take robot vacuum cleaning up a notch, we recommend Neato Botvac Connected, a lovely automated cleaning machine in deep black and pewter hue. The edged-arc shape improves cleaning performance, especially in corners. But other than its uncommon design is its connectivity features that enhances its efficiency. The Neato Botvac Connected can be accessed with a Neato app via mobile, so you can activate the robot vacuum whenever, wherever you are. Smart sensors help detect real-time object, which in turn helps avoid bumping into fallen items and strolling pets. Its methodical cleaning feature scans and navigates the room, quietly calculating route plans to sweep the floor in the most organized manner.
Don’t fret even if you are on a budget; we’ve uncovered an affordable robot vacuum. The Pure Clean PUCRC15 is an automatic vacuum robot made specifically for hardwood flooring and tough-fabric carpets, but hold your horses. It’s packed with a self-programming cleaning path navigation, obstacle detection, and a multi-surface cleaning feature that sweeps your floor just like a high-end gadget. Three selectable cleaning modes are available for users to choose; from the swift 10-minute mode to a full clean at the max mode. PUCRC15 comes with a rechargeable battery and a simple, eco-green aesthetic.
Why go robot?
Science has spoken; research shows that consumers spend a staggering number of hours during their lifetime to tidy up their homes. Females invest almost 13,000 hours over menial cleaning chores while the males only spend at least half as long. This speaks a lot about the innate human natureóthe love of keeping things organized and neat. However, this study also reflects how many precious hours have gone to housework, something of which may have been minimized, if only consumers were practical in planning their errands.
It’s no secret that humans like to be clean, but clean is never thorough. Rug Doctor, the initiator of the said study, reveals that despite the time and effort used on cleaning spaces, consumers tend to miss important areas that commonly houses germs and bacteria. Carpets, for one, can become a breeding ground for insects and mites, if not deep cleaned regularly. But deep cleaning, in contrast to a regular sweeping, takes up a lot of workósomething many modern consumers would like to avoid.
The arrival of electronic cleaning appliances has been a blessing, more so, the modernization of it. For one, vacuums have been a great help in keeping dust and mites off the floor surface. Cereal droppings, animal fur and all the tiny clutter make floors and carpets easily inhabited by unseen germs. Vacuuming makes a convenient solution of sucking things away, rather than sweeping, but let’s face it: vacuum cleaning is one of the most hated chores at home. It’s not easy to go through one room after another with a bulky appliance and a loud, repetitive noise. The task is too laborious and time-consuming.
This is where robot vacuum cleaning equipment comes in.
The advantages of robot vacuums
Robot vacuums are smaller, disc-shaped portable gadgets that do the work of a traditional vacuum, without the help of a user. It automatically does the sweeping, thanks to its built-in sensor that helps it navigate through the floor area without a hassle. Robot vacuums has no handle or wirings; it completely rotates on its own, finishing every scrap of debris on your floor and carpets, and helping you cut your cleaning time so you can focus on other priorities.
If you’re wondering if a robot vacuum is for you, here are some of its benefits:
- A break from the bending. Cleaning hard-to-reach areas like the underneath portion of your sofas and couches can be a tough job. However, robot vacuums eliminate that strain on your body, as it independently sweeps through all corners of the floor, inside and out. This eliminates your long-standing hours, pushing and pulling of the wires, and walking from corner to corner. People suffering from physical ailments will find a robot vacuum advantageous.
- Adjust anywhere. It’s a fact that some areas of the house are tougher to clean than others; this depends largely on the foot traffic it receives per day. Among the dirtiest: the kitchen, wash room, and the living room. Robot vacuums are created with intelligent programs that make them adjust to a particular setting, giving more time to specific areas that require further sweeping. It also adapts to the surface; most robot vacuums clean hard floor surfaces, as well as rugs and carpets. Corners are not a problem, as these little devices fit easily even in tight areas, allowing you to efficiently tidy up your room.
- Time is not a problem. Consumers who are laden with much work, or are mostly away from home, will benefit from a robot vacuum, simply because it cleans without supervision. Just schedule pre-set hours while docked, and it will automatically sweep the floor accordingly. Some robovacs run in apps so you can automatically run in with a Wi-Fi connection. Do this in several frequencies per week and benefit from a cleaner, healthier home.
- Minimal maintenance required. These gadgets do no demand a higher form of upkeep. Since they are made from premium, modern materials, all that is needed is the regular emptying of the container and proper charging.
Apparently, there is no single device that can clean your house a whole 100%. Here is the truth: germs are always on the lurk, even in the most unsuspected areas of the home. But before you get a change of heart, know that while a robot vacuum cannot entirely eliminate those unwanted debris, it can, however, cut your cleaning time in half, and help get you in the nearest, tidiest status possible. If you are someone who is cautious about his/her surroundings, has less time to do the chores, has children and pets to protect, or is physically challenged to perform regular vacuum duties, a robot vacuum is perfect for you.
How we picked
The battle is on for the best robot vacuum around, and we picked our paramount choice with many important points in mind. We have looked into different models, took note of their ratings, and listened to consumer reviews of unearth a list that will help you determine which product takes the crown. Among our top factors, in no particular order:
Price tag. We know you value affordability, and with that, we give you a list that offers the best deal for every budget, matching your needs and lifestyle at a cost you can splurge on.
Features. Robot vacuums are meant for cleaning, but we’d like to know whether a particular device offers ease of use, connectivity and other conveniences you might love.
Design. Of course, it’s all about the aesthetics too! We value the look just as much as we value its make. We’re dishing out robot vacuums with the best designs to fit your nests, and among our priorities: docking, portability and form.
Ready to wade into our best robot vacuum list?
Top Pick: iRobot Roomba 650
Our top pick is conceptualized by the same brand who first produced these high-end, modern household gadgets, iRobot. The Roomba 650 is a lightweight, budget-friendly robot vacuum that fits most households. Let’s take a glance at its specs:
iRobot Roomba 650
- iAdapt Responsive Navigation
- AeroVac Cleaning
- Virtual Wall Technology
- Low-profile construction
- 3-stage cleaning system (agitation, brush and suction)
- Automatic docking and recharging
- Spinning side brush feature
- Preset scheduling up to 7x per week
Perhaps iRobot’s bestseller, Romba 650 is fondly commended for its simple, straightforward design and handy features. It effectively cleans floors and carpet surfaces, running for a full hour with its maximum charge. The secret: its three-stage cleaning system. First, it agitates embedded dust and dirt; next, it uses its side and bottom brushes to remove the debris. Lastly, it extracts the dirt with its powerful suction, paired with a patented AeroVac filter to keep the clutter in place. Built-in sensors guide it as it navigates its way through the room, directly responding beneath the furniture and by the corners, with its iAdapt responsive navigation. When placed against the top robot vacuum picks, the Roomba 650 displays a high score in cleaning performance, ease of use and maneuverability.
Flaws but not dealbreakers
The iRobot Roomba 650 may be well-received by many homeowners, but let’s talk about some of its negative aspects. Among the top flaws: no Wi-Fi connectivity. The potential culprit: its dated version. Truth to be told, Roomba 650 isn’t exactly iRobot’s latest offering; however, this doesn’t completely overtake the many positive features this equipment has.
Another thing to consider: its limited scheduling per week. You can only use the robot vacuum 7x on a preset mode – strategically, once a day. But for homeowners who needs an extra helping hand in clearing the floor, they can always manually press the ‘Clean’ button for a quick fix.
Consumers may also find it disappointing that the Roomba 650 doesn’t come with a remote control. Thus, applying certain settings will require one to access the device’s control panel. Amidst these little trifles, this iRobot device still takes the lead when it comes to performance and affordability.
Taking floor and carpet sweeping on a whole new level is Neato Botvac Connected. More than just a household gadget, this smart robot vacuum houses something many of its counterparts don’t: Wi-Fi connectivity. Neato’s power-packed cleaning equipment is also one of the most expensive in the market. But what makes this item special? Let’s take a look.
Neato Botvac Connected
- LaserSmart Mapping & Navigation
- Real time object detection
- Two special modes: Eco & Turbo
- Wi-Fi Connectivity
- D-shaped Aesthetic with CornerClever technology
- SpinFlow Cleaning System
- Remote Control
- Scheduled automatic cleaning
- Bag-less dirt bin with ultra-performance filler
- Rechargeable Li-Ion Battery
Botvac Connected promises perpetual connectivity when it comes to cleaning your home. Its unique design, a stark opposite to the usual round-shaped robovacs, already carries practical features. The D-shaped aesthetics carry brush-rolls and accessories, but the difference is, it offers a better sweep at the corners, tidying up the edges. The premium navigation and object detection system steers it away from possible bumps over unlikely objects and animals in your room. Sweeping from corners to the center, you can trust that this powerful little machine leaves your floors and carpets all neat and tidy.
One of its best traits: an app which you can connect with your Android or iOS powered gadget. Use it to turn your robot vacuum on and off whenever you need it, wherever you are. The app syncs with your Botvac and gives you a preview of the process, reporting to you once the chore has been done.
So maybe you’re not about the high-end, fussy, robot vacuums. Maybe all you wanted was a simple cleaning device that just does what it’s told; no more, no less. If you want an equipment that fills that basic need, the Pure Clean PUCRC15 may be the one for you. If you’re wondering how it fits the bill, let’s take a look at some of its features:
Pure Clean PURCRC15
- 3 Cleaning Modes
- Multi-floor surface cleaning
- Self-programmed cleaning path
- Obstacle Detection
- Garbage collection tray
- Built-in rechargeable battery
Clad in a youthful green and gray design, the Pure Clean automatic vacuum robot gives you freedom from the broomstick. With three different cleaning modes, you can choose between a 10, 20 or a 90-minute sweep. The device brilliantly navigates through the room and detects any objects in its path, smartly working its way around them while efficiently removing the floor’s debris. Charming, compact and easy to use, take this as your starter pick as you dive into the world of robot vacuums.
Extremely Budget Pick
This red-and-black number is affordably sold. It covers the basic aspects of a robot vacuum: self-navigating, self-rotating and rechargeable, and many consumers loved it for its ease of use, at a low, low cost. This product is perfect for hard surfaces in particular, offering thorough dusting on your hardwood floors.
Our top list is already impressive when it comes to features and pricing, but we’re not stopping yet. We’ve got a few more robot vacuum choices coming shortly, all of them deserving to be mentioned in this review. If you’re searching for a particular quality which none of the previous products possess, you might find the closest pick with our selection below:
Rollitech Rollibot BL618
Rollitech Rollibot BL618
Rollitech Rollibot BL618 is a remarkable robot vacuum that sweep, vacuum, cleanse and sterilizes the floor, thanks to its built-in UV feature. With its dual sweepers, cleaning has never been more thorough–add to that, its high-powered suction. Users have the option to attach a micro-fiber cloth on the rear, then make use of the UV light to sterilize the surface as it goes through. 4 cleaning modes are made available with this version: spot, auto, edge and zig-zag. This product is perfect for hard surface floors.
Samsung Powerbot Essential
Samsung Powerbot Essential
The remote controlled, D-shaped vacuum robot from technology titan Samsung claims that it can perform 10x better suction than the leading brand. That’s quite a feat, especially when it uses Cyclone Technology to sweep all the dirt without clogging the filter. Large wheels arm this robot vacuum, giving it capability to move faster, more efficient, onto the surface. Motorized brushes picks up animal hair and detangles themómaking it a perfect choice for pet owners. This gadget has integrated digital camera and 10 sensors to navigate through your home, making navigation easy. Among its special features: the Cliff Sensor which keeps it from sliding down the stairs.
Infinuvo CleanMate QQ6
Infinuvo CleanMate QQ6
This dazzling, rainbow-lit black disc is among the newest offerings of Infinuvo. It offers a one-step sweeping, vacuuming and sanitizing, giving you a helping hand on your daily cleaning chore. The QQ6 offers a wider vacuum inlet that sucks in larger debris and a strong suction power. It has its own touch-control panel, dual filtration with HEPA, and a sonic wall confinement. UV lights are also installed in the system, killing germs, bacteria and potential allergens on the floor. 5 preset cleaning patterns are available: spiral, zig-zag, s-shape, polygon and along-the-wall.
Ecovacs Deebot D45
Ecovacs Deebot D45
This slightly square-ish disc from Ecovacs is a stunning hard floor cleaning robot vacuum. Effectively cleaning floors with its direct suction, dual sweeper and mop, you can leave the sweeping to this little companion with no worries. It comes with a remote control, so you can easily change settings at a distance. With its built-in sensors, it can cautiously navigate through furniture, objects and even stairs so you can leave it independently, as you go about your own priorities.
Moneual Rydis H68
Moneual Rydis H68
This red-and-gray colored disc from Moneual is a gem. Rydis H68 is not your ordinary robot vacuum: it also comes with its own water reservoir that makes mopping convenient. It sweeps then washes your floor simultaneously, leaving a complete polish on your hardwood or marble floor surfaces. Made with a cutting edge technology, Rydis H68 carries a camera to employ Smart Vision Mapping, while its Optical Night Recognition allows it to navigate through the dark areas of your home. This new generation of hybrid robot vacuums offer more comprehensive cleaning; at a price you can afford.
Appliance brand Haier releases its own series of household robot vacuums, and the SWR-T321 is easily among the cream of the crop. It offers powerful cleaning, with four kinds of modes that cope with the different environment. You have an optional wet or dry cleaning method, paired with a powerful suction that handles even larger debris. Its built-in Pathfinder locates the objects without a hassle. Worried about slopes? This robot vacuum has a 25-degree climbing capacity, so it can reach unexpected corners for an overall cleanse.
Amtidy A320 Mini Robot Vacuum
Amtidy A320 Mini Robot Vacuum
Never underestimate the power of the small; Amtidy’s A320 is a prime example of an excellent robot vacuum, all packed with punch while remaining only 8.7 centimeters high. Its low profile design allows it to move under the furniture, and can go about for up to 90 minutes on a full charge. Infrared beams block the equipment from entering off-limit corners, and its Cliff Sensor detects stairs, keeping it from falling down. This gadget is installed with UV sterilization, HEPA filters and strong suction.
Reminders in buying robot vacuums
So, you have finally chosen to indulge yourself and purchase a robot vacuum. Good; this may be a decision that will change your cleaning routine for the better. But before you hop and shop along, you need to remember a few things. After all, this piece of technological equipment is still under way to perfection. As to not disappoint you in your purchase, you need to understand what it can, and what it cannot do, so you can make the most out of your robot vacuum.
Know its basic use. Robot vacuums are created to help homeowners pick up the tiny specks on the floor, as well as cleanse surfaces from germs and bacteria. They work perfectly for pet owners and couples with children. Robovacs are best used on hard surfaces and low-profile carpeting.
There’s always a limitation. Yes, these robot vacuums are built with sensors and yes, they are created to go on and off independently. However, there are still some restrictions with these little devices. For example, your robovac may unexpectedly get stuck in tangled cables, or under the furniture. Or, it will require its bin to be emptied. Lastly, you may need to set up virtual walls of infrared to keep your robot vacuum away. Human intervention is important in maximizing the use of these handy gadgets.
Some robot vacuums are just created better than others. It is easy to compare robot vacuums and to complain when a certain device doesn’t work as well as others. When purchasing your own robovac, have an open mind about its features; get ready to shell out a bit more if you want convenient add-ons like Wi-Fi connectivity, recharging pods, and built-in cameras for navigation.
Take note of its power and performance. Do you need a hybrid vacuum and mop, or just a plain, powerful suction to clear your floor from debris? Will you need more than 90 minutes of cleaning, or just 15 minutes of a quick sweep? Do you require a larger bin (which eats up battery power), or only want a regular one? When purchasing your robot vacuum, get a closer look at its features and make sure they are what you need. You don’t want to pay for robovac qualities you won’t be able to use in the latter time.
Robot vacuum dos and don’ts
In order for you to efficiently use your robot vacuum for many years to come, here are some tips for better handling:
Do find a consistent schedule for your vacuum to run. This way, you won’t be surprised when there’s a strange, sweeping noise coming out from your room.
Don’t turn on your robot vacuum if you have pets or children inside. Not only their safety is at risk, but your robot vacuum may spread potential mess (such as dog feces or spilled milk) in the area, leaving you with more to clean.
Do purchase a robot vacuum with a good warranty. Maybe you’d even want to secure your device with an extended warranty.
Don’t replace your robot vacuum’s batteries on your own. Contact the manufacturer and ask them about the components. Make sure it matches your robot vacuum’s make.
Do pick up large objects on the floor when you run your vacuum. This way, you minimize potential bumps and “stops, and allow your equipment to run safely along the surface.
Don’t leave cables, wires and strings on the area. Tuck the tassels and keep the cables out of sight, as these may damage your robot vacuum.
Wrapping it up
Robot vacuums are a brilliant piece of invention made to help homeowners cut their cleaning time. Since its inception in the 1990s, robot vacuum technology has changed to match the consumer’s modern demands. Many of these devices are now packed with remarkable featuresósensors, UV lights, cameras, Wi-Fi connectivity and such. For consumers, these aspects can be astounding, but one must remember that even with our current state of technology, the art of robotic cleaning has not been perfected, yet. It is good to keep in mind that robot vacuums only help consumers with their chores, and not completely take over these tasks.
Among the many listed robot vacuums in the market, we found one to be profoundly stand-out: the iRobot Roomba 650. This powerful little equipment is built with many features that will work nicely on every household. Its patented cleaning system, direct from the original makers of robot vacuums, efficiently removes debris and hair. Roomba 650 also ranks high in maneuverability, making it one of the best gadgets that navigates independently throughout a room, with little to no need for human intervention. 5 minutes of maintenance per use keeps it in shape; this includes removing the bin and checking the system altogether. It returns safely to its dock once its energy runs low, readying itself for its next use on schedule, or whenever you press its ‘Clean’ button. When it comes to efficiency paired with value for money, this product gives you the best deal.
Jen Miller is a former electrical engineer and product specialist with more than 20 years of product design and testing experience. She has designed more than 200 products for Fortune 500 companies, in fields ranging from home appliances to sports gear and outdoor equipment. She founded Jen Reviews to share her knowledge and critical eye for what makes consumers tick, and adopts a strict no-BS approach to help the reader filter through the maze of products and marketing hype out there. She writes regularly and has been featured on Forbes, Fast Company, The Muse, The Huffington Post, Tiny Buddha and MindBodyGreen.