The joke about the chore of having to vacuum your floors is that it sucks, both literally and figuratively. Almost everyone would either pay someone to do their housework for them if they could, or get a great gadget that helps lighten the load and that is where the recent innovation in vacuum cleaners comes in to play, the robot cleaners. Where once you had to pay a small fortune to have a little robot take care of your floors for you today you can find them ranging from just $100 up to several thousand. In fact according to the CEO at iRobot robot vacuum cleaners now make up about 20% of the global market. But before you rush out to get one you need to know what your needs are, something light duty or something more effective, how often you want to be emptying it and of course the big one how much you want to spend. Here is a guide looking at 5 of the many robot vacuum cleaners on the market.
Top Robot Vacuum Cleaners
1) iRobot’s Roomba 880
Roomba has become synonymous with quality robot vacuum cleaners and the 880 sums that up well and deservedly, the coveted title of the best robot vacuum cleaner. It has great navigation technology as well as vacuum cleaner technology. It has the best vacuum filtration system HEPA, so picks up and keeps in even tiny particles. The remote is how you program in your settings and they can be changed even when it is in the middle of a cleaning cycle. The Lighthouses that come with it mean you can stop it from going to places you do not want it in.
Customers from Amazon report it cleans different surfaces well and they like there are no brush bristles to keep clean. It is reliable too. However some report they feel the battery does not have a long enough charge, that it can have clogging problems and it needs to be emptied even when it is not full as it affects the suction power. It is not recommended by some pet owners.
2) Chuwi ILIFE Beetle A4
This robot vacuum cleaner is attractive because as well as having as being an effective cleaner it also comes in at a lower price then other leaders in the market. There is nothing especially unique about it but it comes with everything you want from a robot cleaner. It performs better than the low end robot cleaners though, it has longer than usual side whiskers that allow it great reach right up to the walls, it has wheels that are spring loaded so it has good clearance when it comes to wires and obstacles. On carpeting it performs adequately if the carpet is not too thick, it is not an extremely powerful cleaner but nor is it inadequate. If you have thick carpeting or rugs though this may not be the best option for you.
It comes with HEPA filtration which is great but those filters will need to be replaced roughly every 6 months and you may have to pick off some clumps in between, particularly if you are a pet owner. Hair tends to get stuck on the side whiskers and the agitator brush too so will need cleaning every so often. It comes with a dry mop that can help remove some extra particles of the hard floors. In conclusion this robot cleaner is very well priced and works fine if you have mostly hard floors. It does not map the room though like some other brands so has a random cleaning pattern so some spots can be missed.
3) bObsweep Pethair
This robot vacuum cleaner sells itself as a robot cleaner best suited to pet owners and those wanting the function of a mop as well as a vacuum cleaner. However the mop option to be honest is not that great so do not buy this just based on that feature. In some cases it can just about manage to be as good as a Swiffer wet mop, but often not even as decent as that. It does not stay wet and it just slides around on the surface applying no cleaning pressure at all. It certainly does not replace the need for you to mop your floors yourself. The bObsweep does pick up pet hair well as it claims though some hair does need to be cleaned off the brush regularly or it can jam. The side brush works fine too but it does not reach well into corners or clean close to the walls.
The long brush means it has a good area of cleaning and the dustbin is larger than many and easy to empty though it is not needed as often. But another issue with this cleaner is the cliff sensor which tends to see dark spots on the floor as an edge and therefore doesn’t vacuum there. This means if you have dark carpeting this is not the best option for you. There are blinders that come with it you can use to cover sensors to avoid this problem but this risks a fall down steps or stairs. While there are clearly ups and downs with this robot cleaner it does have a strong motor and has UV lighting that is meant to kill viruses and bacteria.
4) Moneual Rydis H68 Pro
The Rydis H68 Pro also called the RoboVacMop is billed as an effective all in one cleaner. It has a dry/wet mop that is attractive to a lot of people and which Rydis took from other existing competing robot cleaners. It must be said though compared to some robots with ineffective mops this one works a lot better. It applies some pressure to the ground when the wet mop is on and cleans better than competing brands. However it still does not clean as well as you can. How effective it is as a vacuum cleaner is a little more mixed. It can be said overall to perform acceptably but not excellently. While the makers promote the machine based on its 5 in 1 cleaning technology, on certain cleaning modes it is not performing as it should be.
When it gets going it works okay, the brushes are good and it can pick up most debris, but not all. It has two whiskers like a lot of robot vacuum designs and as with them it works to a degree, though its round design means that reaching close to baseboards and getting into the corners does not always happen. Its central brush is also not that wide which means some debris gets left behind when not caught by the whiskers. The brushes need regular cleaning though which isn’t pleasant and it is best to do this before they are completely wrapped up in it. It does better on hard floors than it does on carpeted flooring but overall its performance is a bit disappointing.
5) Ecovacs Deebot D35
The Deebot D35 is an interesting robotic vacuum cleaner as it takes a few elements common to many robot models but also has some innovation of its own. It has the whiskers on each side that spin and clean closer to the sideboards and which also help move debris to the center where the device sucks it up. Instead of the more traditional robot vacuum cleaner agitator brush used to lift and pull debris into the cleaner though it has just suction without the brush. This has some advantages, things like cords and wires are less likely to get pulled in and also the robot itself can be made thinner and sits lower to the ground, and it costs less.
However there are some function issues. Without the brush and because it does not have a wide suction path it does not pick up everything. While the aide brushes help move some of it into the suction path it still does better on hard floors and is underwhelming on carpeting. That being said they do not market it as a carpet cleaner, it is just a lot of customers assume it will perform on either. While its appearance might suggest it is the Roomba’s and Neato Botvac’s robot cleaner child it does not perform as well as either. It is better able to get closer to the walls perhaps, but does not have good enough suction or cleaning pattern programming to pick up what is there. And it does not do corners well unlike the Neato Bravo. If you can live with some missed areas then this could be fine and more affordable, but do not get this one if you want a perfectly cleaned floor or if you have carpeting or rugs.