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Robot vacuum cleaners – What are they and which should you buy?

best robot vacuum cleaner - Roomba 690 Vacuum

One of the most tedious jobs when it comes to cleaning is vacuuming. Fortunately, multiple companies have nearly perfected robot vacuums that do all of the work for you.

Instead of grabbing your large vacuum for occasional messes or even whole-home cleanups, tell your robot vacuum to do it. Automation is vital in keeping your home clean with minimal work on your part.

Here’s what you need to know about robot vacuums and which you should buy.

How do robot vacuums work?

best robot vacumm cleaners - iRobot Roomba Vacuum Dog in Livingroom

The design of most robot vacuums consists of one or two spinning brushes and a rolling brush or two. These work in conjunction to bring large and small debris inwards to the center where the vacuum aspect of the gadget uses suction to collect the mess.

Dirt, fur, food, hair, and everything else the vacuum collects gets stored in a removable section. Once this is filled, the owner will typically have to remove the tray and dump everything into the trash. 

Most autonomous robot vacuums also include various types of sensors. The most common are downward-facing and help the device from driving over a ledge such as stairs. More expensive models have sensors on top that can map rooms as they clean.

Basic robot vacuums can be programmed to run on a schedule using controls on the device itself. Higher-end models can be managed by basic controllers as well as smartphone apps or even a smart speaker.

No matter which device you end up owning, you can be sure that it will pick up debris from all over your residence. As these vacuums can be programmed to run when you are not home, you can come back to a clean house every day of the week.

The limitations of robot vacuums

Shark Robot Vacuum

Before you start thinking that autonomous vacuums are the secret ingredient to an always clean home, we should go over several limitations. Let’s say that robot vacuums won’t be replacing your stand-up vacuum anytime soon. 

First, robot vacuums don’t have the same cleaning power and maneuverability that you find with a traditional upright unit. While most units have a varying amount of suction, most designs do not allow the vacuum to reach every inch of floor in your home.

Second, robot vacuums have sensors to make sure they don’t roll down stairs, but there isn’t much stopping them from sucking up small items in cluttered environments. The biggest casualty in my experience are cables. While most vacuums will move right over thicker cords for lights, USB-C and Lightning cables can get mangled and destroyed.

There are day-to-day hassles with robot vacuum cleaners too. For one, the smaller design doesn’t allow for that large of a collection bin. While it might take a couple of days to fill up if used regularly, homes with pets might need to empty the bin after every use.

The other daily hassle is charging. Each robot vacuum will have a battery size rated for an hour or so of continuous cleaning, but the units aren’t always the best at making it back to its charging station. Some days, you might find your vacuum in the middle of a room chirping that it needs to be charged.

The best robot vacuum for you

best robot vacuum cleaners - Eufy Robot Vacuum Cleaning Mess

Sold on the idea of a robot vacuum? Ready to purchase one for your household? We have checked out the best robot vacuum cleaners currently available and have handpicked the best options for you. 

Budget vacuum — Housmile 1000Pa

best robot vacuum cleaners - Housmile 1000pa Robot Vacuum

Pros:

  • Ultra-budget friendly
  • Multiple cleaning modes

Cons:

  • Bulkier than other robot vacuums
  • Doesn’t work great on all surfaces

The Housmile 1000Pa is the definition of a no-thrills robot vacuum that works. The device might look different than the rest of the vacuums on this list, but it’s a workhorse. 

The Housmile includes several cleaning modes that are made to clean different types of messes and environments. With a built-in filter, you can trust the 1000Pa also to purify the air and not spit up dust and other particulates. 

Buy the Housmile 1000Pa for $100 from Amazon using the button below.

Best bang for your buck — eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 11S

best vacuum cleaners - eufy RoboVac 11S

Cons:

  • Only programmable by remote
  • Unreliable stair sensor

If you’re looking for the best value robot vacuum cleaner, check out the eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 11S. This mid-range option has some of the best ratings and reviews online for robot vacuums.

One of the best aspects of eufy is its thinness. This feature might not seem important, but it allows the vacuum to clean under furniture that typically gets passed by.

Rated to run for 100 straight minutes, the RoboVac 11S can be programmed to run using an included controller. Once the eufy vacuum is set to run, it will automatically switch between cleaning cycles based on the flooring that it’s cleaning and whether it’s picking up a mess. 

Buy the eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 11S for $224 from Amazon using the button below.

Best of the best — iRobot Roomba i7

iRobot Roomba i7

Pros:

  • Smartphone app compatible
  • Capable of mapping house and cleaning specific rooms

Cons:

  • More expensive than similarly-specced competitors
  • Wi-Fi connection can be spotty

If you’re looking for the top-of-the-line robot vacuum, look no further than iRobot’s brand new Roomba i7. This Wi-Fi connected vacuum comes with almost every cleaning mode and feature that you might want. 

Just like other vacuums, the Roomba i7 has a rotating brush that sweeps debris inward towards the device’s dual rubber brushes. Based on the floor type, the vacuum can adjust its 10X suction to pick up dirt, hair, and any other minor messes. 

Additionally, the vacuum maps out your home as it cleans. Owners can then view the layout within the Roomba app. From there, they can direct the robot vacuum to clean specific rooms and areas of their houses from the app. 

iRobot introduced a disposal unit alongside the Roomba i7. The unit replaces the vacuum’s base station and automatically clears out the debris when the Roomba is docked. The accessory costs an extra $200, but it makes cleaning out the Roomba foolproof. 

Buy the iRobot Roomba i7 for $699 from Amazon by clicking on the button below. 

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