If your vacuum cleaner has been collecting dust, you’ll be glad to know there’s another option for keeping your home clean. Today, robotic vacuums clean up dirt, dust, and other debris – all without requiring you to push a vacuum around.
Robotic vacuums are designed to clean a space as thoroughly as possible. Once you activate a robotic vacuum, it starts cleaning instantly. Then, after the robotic vacuum is done it returns to its charging station.
There's plenty to like about robotic vacuums. Lots of robotic vacuums are available, too. To help you find the right robotic vacuum, we're here to provide buying recommendations and tips.
Considerations when choosing robotic vacuums
As you shop for a robotic vacuum, here are some of the factors you'll want to consider:
Floor type: Robotic vacuums generally perform great on all types of surfaces. If you have linoleum or tile floors, however, tiny surface gaps sometimes interrupt a robotic vacuum while it's cleaning. Meanwhile, low-end robotic vacuums rarely work on low pile carpet. Some may also struggle going from hardwood floor to high pile carpet.
Home or office layout: Sometimes, large lips between rooms help hide seams between two types of surfaces, but they may also cause a robotic vacuum to stop working. To manage this issue, purchase a robotic vacuum that can seamlessly move from one room to the next, regardless of surface or bumps.
Battery life: Top-of-the-line robotic vacuums may clean up to 2 hours on a single charge. A large battery usually indicates a robotic vacuum can clean a spacious home or office on a single charge.
Surface debris: If you regularly clean up pet hair, kids’ spills, and assorted surface debris, choose a heavy-duty robotic vacuum designed to help you instantly handle these issues.
Robotic vacuums are often loaded with features. Some of the key features to consider as you evaluate robotic vacuums include:
Mobile app: Certain robotic vacuums work in conjunction with a mobile app. That way, you can download an app onto your smartphone or tablet and use it to control your robotic vacuum from any location, at any time.
Voice control: If you own an Amazon Echo or other smart speaker, you may use be able to use your speaker to control your robotic vacuum with your voice.
Smart sensors: Some robotic vacuums include smart sensors to navigate carpets and floors and adapt to furniture and other potential obstacles.
Drop sensing: Thanks to a robotic vacuum that includes drop sensing technology, you can reduce the risk that your vacuum will fall down stairs or off ledges.
Robotic vacuum price ranges
Set a budget before you shop for a robotic vacuum. Robotic vacuum prices range from $200 to $1,000, and if you have a budget in place, you can narrow your search accordingly.
Basic robotic vacuums are usually priced between $200 and $500. These vacuums tend to be simple to use and provide excellent choices in apartments, condos, and other compact spaces.
Middle-of-the-pack robotic vacuums are typically priced between $500 and $750. These vacuums are intended for use on a variety of surfaces and run for one hour or longer on a single charge.
High-end robotic vacuums are priced up to $1,000. These vacuums commonly offer a large dust bin, a self-cleaning brush roll, an anti-scratch tempered glass cover, and other premium features.
Other important details
The ideal robotic vacuum varies based on the size of your space. Some robotic vacuums can clean up to 3,000 square feet at once. Additionally, if your home has a lot of nooks and crannies then you’ll want to look for a vacuum that can operate in tight spaces.
Q. Can I use a robotic vacuum at the same time my pet is home?
A. It depends on your pet. To find out if your pet is comfortable with a robotic vacuum, run the device and watch his or her reaction to it. Or, if you believe your pet might attack your robotic vacuum or fears it, err on the side of caution by running the device when your pet is outside.
If you have a pet, prepare for regular robotic vacuum maintenance, too. Pet hair accumulates quickly, and as your robotic vacuum picks it up, you may need to empty your vacuum dust bin frequently. Some robotic vacuums come with a charging port that also automatically empties the bin.
Q. Can I program my robotic vacuum to run on its own at a set time each day?
A. Some robotic vacuums can be programmed and allow you to set up a regular cleaning schedule. Once you set up your cleaning schedule, your robotic vacuum will start to clean your space based on your specifications. You can also adjust your robotic vacuum cleaning schedule at your convenience.
Q. If I buy a robotic vacuum, will I ever need to vacuum again?
A. A robotic vacuum may provide a viable substitute to standard vacuuming. If you purchase a quality robotic vacuum, you may significantly cut down on the time it takes to clean your home or office space. However, robotic vacuums can’t go up and down stairs, so you’ll still have to pull out your regular vacuum occasionally.
Robotic vacuums we recommend
Best of the best: iRobot Roomba 980
Our take: This robotic vacuum includes smart features and a user-friendly design, and as a result, takes the guesswork out of vacuuming.
What we like: Includes the iRobot HOME App, so you can customize your cleaning preferences. Provides convenient Clean Map reports and cleaning status updates. Captures 99% of allergens.
What we dislike: Requires a clear line of sight to locate its charging station.
Best bang for your buck: Eufy RoboVac 11 Power Boost
Our take: This budget-friendly robotic vacuum features an ultra-thin design, spacious dust bin, and other outstanding features.
What we like: Delivers up to 100 minutes of suction on a single charge. Operates quietly in comparison to similar models. Works great to clean up pet hair.
What we dislike: Sometimes fails to detect potential obstacles.
Our take: This robotic vacuum effortlessly moves from room to room and cleans close to walls and in corners.
What we like: Covers up to 3,000 square feet of space per cleaning cycle. Includes a side edge cleaning brush to help you clean all areas of your home or office. Features a smart mapping and navigation system that helps prevent the vacuum from bumping into furniture and walls.
What we dislike: May need to be recharged multiple times to complete a large cleanup.
Daniel Kobialka is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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