Vacuuming sucks. Literally. Who wouldn't want a robot vacuum to take over the brunt of this odious chore? These little droids, which range in price from $100 to more than $1,000, can free up time to do other chores. The past year has seen a range of robot vacuum products hit the market, from smartphone-controlled versions to vacuums with laser-based sensors. And those technologies are constantly evolving.
Before you buy, you need to decide if you're looking for a simple duster of floors or a heavy-duty piece of machinery. This will help determine how much you spend. You'll also want to take into account the size of the dustbin, to determine how often you'll need to empty it. If you're interested in a robot vacuum, this guide will help you find the droids you're looking for.
Here are our favorite robot vacuums currently available or soon to be released.
There's a reason the brand name "Roomba" has become nearly synonymous with robot vacuums: quality. iRobot's latest model, the Roomba 880, combines top-notch vacuuming and navigation technology. It also comes with a HEPA-filter, which means it can collect and contain particles finer than the width of a human hair.
Using the accompanying remote control, you can set a number of preprogrammed cleaning settings, change them in the middle of a vacuuming cycle or take control for spot cleaning yourself. The Roomba 880 also comes with two devices called Lighthouses that you can put around your house to help guide the vacuum or prevent it from accessing certain areas.
What owners are saying about the iRobot Roomba 880
Likes: Amazon customers love how well the iRobot Roomba 880 works on almost any surface and that the device has no brush bristles to clean. They agree that this machine is a great choice for busy people who just don't have time for vacuuming. One reviewer says, "I have finally found a reliable housekeeper!"
Dislikes:People like that the iRobot Roomba 880 recharges itself, but complain that the battery doesn't last long enough. Other common complaints include that the device clogs, lacks quality suction and needs to be emptied often, even when not full. One owner says, "If you have dogs that sheds, this unit is worthless."
We all know our pets are intrigued by robot vacuums, but PureClean's Purcam75's built-in camera lets you see your furry friends' reactions when it starts sucking up their favorite toys. Developed by Pyle, the Purcam75 has a mobile app that allows you to see a live feed from its 720p camera, as well as control the robot's movements. It also has a 31-watt suction vacuum, a 6.5-inch dual bristle and rubber sweeper, and a 7-inch side sweeper. Plus, its replaceable HEPA filters will help capture animal hair, as they're sure to shed plenty as you chase them around your home.
We like the Moneual RYDIS H68 Pro for hardwood floors because the robot comes with dry and wet mopping options as well as vacuuming features. You can even preset the robot to do both at the same time. The mop pads attach to the robot's underbelly, just behind the vacuum opening and two sweepers. The device can also carry up to 6 ounces of water, which it uses to dampen the mop pads as it works. Like many other vacuum robots, the H68 scans the room it's about to clean and then executes one of its preprogrammed cleaning routines, from a basic sweep to "Double Deep Clean." The different cleaning options mean you should be able to find the setting that works best on your hardwood floors.
What owners are saying about the Moneual Rydis H68 Pro
Likes: People are thrilled that the Moneual Rydis H68 Pro is a hybrid with a multitude of cleaning options. Everyone seems to love this robot's added mopping feature. "This product is great! It mops better than I did," says another customer.
Dislikes: Many Amazon customers have complained that the front brush on the Moneual Rydis H68 Pro is always full of hair. They have also said that Moneual is quite lacking in customer support and access to help when you have problems. Mark H says, "I was given the opportunity to review the Moneual RYDIS H68, and I think it still needs some work."
In addition to vacuuming, the affordable Infinuvo CleanMate QQ-2 BASIC also includes a UV light that simultaneously disinfects as it eliminates bacteria, germs and allergens from hard-surface floors and low carpets. At only 3.5 inches high, the QQ-2's low profile lets it sneak under sofas and beds, and its cliff sensors keeps if from tumbling down the stairs.
What don't you get by spending less? This budget bot doesn't come with a homing charging base, and its low profile also means it might get stuck. Otherwise, the QQ-2 BASIC provides most of the cleaning capabilities of other, far pricier robot vacs.
What owners are saying about the Infinuvo Cleanmate QQ-2 Basic
Likes: Amazon customers love that the Infinuvo Cleanmate QQ-2 Basic gives you all the features of other bot vacs on the cheap. One reviewer says, "Picks up all the dog hair for a fraction of the price." A much-lauded feature is the vacuum's ability to clean tile floors.
Dislikes: Customers are quite unhappy with the QQ-2 Basic's short battery life and its tendency to get "stuck" on the same spot without moving to other areas. Because the products' packaging says it "emits ozone" as part of its "de-odoring" function, some customers have decided not to use this device at all.
iRobot's smallest and least expensive robot vacuum, the $199 Braava Jet is designed to sweep up spills and dirt from bathroom, kitchen, and hardwood floors. Replaceable pads with built-in cleaning agents will automatically switch the Braava into dry, damp, or wet mopping. The Braava squirts water from a 150ml reservoir, and a vibrating cushion helps the pads scrub up any stains. The Braava Jet will come with six pads, and replacements will be sold in packs of ten for $7.99.
What owners are saying about the iRobot Braava Jet
Likes: "Best investment ever if you hate cleaning hard-surface floors like I do," says one Amazon reviewer. Customers love that the iRobot Braava Jet's battery lasts quite a while before needing a recharge, and that the robot stops using liquid when it goes over anything that isn't a hard floor.
Dislikes: Many Amazon customers, no matter if they love or hate this device, seem to agree that they hate the series of beeps for error codes and would like the Braava Jet give actual messages instead. A recurring complaint is that you cannot use your own cleaning solutions with the product.
Love Dyson vacuums but hate vacuuming? The Dyson 360 Eye could be the solution. This pricey robot vacuum uses Dyson's cyclone technology to create a whole lotta suction to pick up dirt and dust. However, the 360 Eye is a lot taller—4.7 inches—than most of its competition, meaning it'll have a harder time getting into tight spaces. A camera at the top of the vacuum takes a 360-degree picture of your room to create a map, which you can view on Dyson's smartphone app. You can also use the app to schedule cleanings, but not much more. Sadly, the 360 Eye's battery life (45 minutes) is well short of others on this list.
Neato's newest robot vacuum costs $399, making it the least expensive in the company's lineup. Via Neato's smartphone app, you can monitor the D3 Connected's progress and schedule cleanings. Its lithium-ion battery can cover up to 1800 square feet, and the dirt bin is just as large as the $699 Botvac Connected. You can even control it using an Apple Watch. The D3 will be available in October.
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