How to choose the best robot vacuum cleaner


Are you looking for a hassle-free way to stay on top of your household hoovering? Once an expensive gadget, robot vacuums are now available at a range of price points to suit almost any budget.

They are the smart devices that take care of your cleaning chores with a single click. Equipped to clean an entire floor and cover difficult corners, they are the perfect appliance for people who find it difficult to take time for sweeping and cleaning.

Not all models are created equal, however. So in this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know to make a well-informed buying decision.

Robot vacuum cleaners operate with as little human intervention as possible. Simply begin cleaning and take a step back. The vacuum will navigate your space before returning to its charging station, sucking up dirt and debris. All you have to do is empty the collection bin.

1. Performance

Cleaning performance is crucial when comparing different models. Brushes that span the full width of the unit are found on the most effective robot vacuums, allowing them to clean right along the edges of your room and into the corners. However, this is a rare configuration, and most models place the brushes between the wheels. These vacuums are still capable of doing a good job, but they rely on less effective spinning corner brushes to reach the edges.

2. Suction power

As you can imagine, suction power is very important. Typically expressed in pascals, this measures how powerful the motor inside the vacuum is. Not every manufacturer quotes suction power. But it is good to look for around 2000 pascals or more.

3. Navigation

The most noticeable differences between models can be found in the navigation. Cheaper vacuums will perform haphazard cleaning patterns as they bump around your rooms, cleaning as they go. While they do the job, they aren’t the fastest or most efficient, prone to miss patches. Before starting, more expensive models use cameras and laser sensors to map out their surroundings. It lets them plan more systematic and efficient cleaning routes. With more advanced mapping, you can custom define cleaning areas and set virtual no-go areas. You can tell the vacuum to stay away from delicate furniture, plant pots, and other places where they might get stuck. Cheaper vacuums can avoid these areas, but they will almost always require special boundary strips to keep them from going where they shouldn’t.

4. Mop attachments

Robot vacuums with mop attachments that allow them to clean the floor while vacuuming are becoming more common. While they won’t replace a proper manual mop, this is a useful feature to consider if you have a large area of hardwood flooring. Beyond the standard functions, there are several other features worth considering.

5. Smart connectivity

Many robot vacuum cleaners are wi-fi enabled, allowing you to start vacuuming, set cleaning schedules, and monitor the vacuum’s cleaning progress all from your phone. Some vacuums are also compatible with smart assistance, allowing you to start and stop cleaning via Alexa, Google Assistant, and sometimes even Siri.

6. Height and dust capacity

Robot vacuum cleaners are particularly good at cleaning beneath low-lying furniture, such as tables, cabinets, and beds. You’ll want to double-check that your vacuum can fit where you want it to because vacuum heights vary. It is also important to consider the bin capacity of a vacuum. Robot vacuums require more frequent emptying than traditional vacuum cleaners due to their smaller average size.

However, there are significant differences between models, with some having capacities as high as.7 liters and others as low as 0.4 liters. Some of the more expensive robot vacuums even can empty themselves. When the robot’s dust collector fills up, they suck the dust and debris into larger bins at the charging station. This enables the robot to clean with even less human intervention. It’s important to remember that you’ll still have to empty that bin from time to time, so the added convenience is limited.