Finding the Best Robot Vacuum

Image by Mark H. Evans @ Flickr

With our busy lives anything that saves us time is worth looking into.  One of the most popular time savers in recent years has been robot vacuums.  There are many options on the market today, unfortunately for some of us many of these robotic home helpers are out of our price range with high end models ranging from $600-$1,200.  However there are inexpensive robot vacuums out there if you know where to look and what to look for.

No matter your budget, purchasing the right one for you takes some research.  In this article we will attempt to inform you in making that decision based on your budget and cleaning needs.

Do Robot Vacuum Cleaners Work?

For some of you this may be the first time you’ve looked into robot vacuums.  Others may have some skepticism towards them  and with good reason.  When robot vacuum cleaners first came onto the market they didn’t work as well as advertised.  Most were like those robot toys of the 80’s. They were really cool until you got one home. Then after a week the reality of their actually abilities hit and they ended up in a closet collecting dust until the next yard sale.

Who invented the robot vacuum?

The first automatic vacuum cleaner called Trilobite was released by Electrolux in 1997. Since then many more manufactures have entered the market and the competition for sales has led to improvements that’s made today’s robot cleaners vastly superior to those first generation models. 

Robot Vacuums Under $200

Popular Robot Vacuums

Robot Mops

What to look for when buying a robot vacuum?

Battery Life

High end robot vacuum cleaners can last about two hours on a full charge while some of the less expensive models can only do around half of that.  Determining if that is an important factor to you will depend on the area you need cleaned.  If you are not currently residing in a mansion you may be able to save on the cost by getting one with a shorter battery life span.  If you do decide to go that route find a robot with a short recharging time to allow it to clean more often to make up the difference.

Performance

The most important feature of a robot vacuum is its ability to clean your floors freeing you up for things which require human attention.  Look for robots that clean multiple surfaces like carpet, hardwood, linoleum, vinyl and tile floors.  Some will struggle more on thick carpet than others but all do a good job on hard surfaces.  Don’t worry if you have carpet though, there are low cost robots that are great for carpet too, just ensure they have a main roller brush.

Noise Level

Having a robot do your floor cleaning is great but not if you can’t hear yourself think over the noise generated by your robotic helper.  If having a quiet robot vacuum is important to you make sure to look at the decibel rating before buying.

Sensors

Another very important aspect of performance is the robot vacuum cleaner’s sensors.  If a robot vacuum spends half of its battery charge bumping into the walls or furniture it is not doing its job and therefore not worth the money.  Just like humans some robots are better than others at avoiding problems but they all will bump into obstacles when you first put them to work. After a few times on the job they will learn from their mistakes.
   Some robot vacuums have a remote controls or the ability to program with
your smart phone as well.  The ability to
make it over thresholds is also important, the robot won’t get much cleaning done if it gets stuck going from one room to the other.

One of the most important sensors is the fall detection sensor sometimes called a cliff sensor.  No matter how much you pay for your robot vacuum you don’t want it to tumble down the stairs on its first cleaning mission.

Maintenance

Cleaning and maintenance should also be considered before purchasing.  More expensive models will only require you clean the filter and empty the dust bin while a less expensive robot vacuum may need their brushes manually cleaned of hair or other debris that gets caught in the bristles.  The brushes have almost as much to do with overall cleaning performance as the robot vacuum’s power does.  For optimal cleaning of more surfaces choose one with both side and rotating brushes.

Robot Vacuum Comparison

ILIFE A4

Samsung POWERbot

LG Hom-Bot Square
ECOVACS M82
iRobot 650
Neato Botvac D80

Battery Life

150 minutes

70 minutes

100 minutes

150 minutes

90 minutes

100 minutes

Recharging Time

270 minutes

150 minutes

180 minutes

270 minutes

180 minutes

180 minutes

Surface Type

All-Thin Carpets only

All-Excellent  on Carpet

All-Best for Corners

All-Max mode

for Carpets

All-Most Popular

All-Best for  Pet Hair

Brushes

Main & Side

12" Main

Main & Side

Main & Side

3-Stage

Spiral & Side

No​ise Level

70 dB

50-70 dB

60 dB

56 dB

60 dB

65 dB

Sensors

Tangle-Free

Full View

Dual Eye

Fall & Object

iAdapt

Laser Smart

Wi-Fi

Remote

Yes

Remote

Remote

No

No

Warranty

Protection Plan

1 year

Protection Plan

Protection Plan

30-day Money Back

90 day parts

1 year

Best Robot Vacuums on Amazon

Now that we have been over what to look for in a robot vacuum cleaner, let’s take a look at some of the most popular models for sale on Amazon.  Click on headlines below to learn more.

BEST ROBOT VACUUM FOR HARDWOOD FLOORS

MOST POPULAR ROBOT VACUUM

BEST ROBOT VACUUM UNDER $200

MOST POWERFUL SUCTION

BEST ROBOT VACUUM FOR PET HAIR

BEST CORNER CLEANING

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