Whether traditional vacuum cleaners are destined to be forever replaced by their robotic rivals is difficult to answer. While many robot vacuum manufacturers are emphatic that their robots will free you from the burden of vacuuming, this is an exaggeration at its best. However, an automatic cleaner can significantly reduce the frequency that you would have to do the cleaning yourself.
Many users of robot vacuum cleaners report that after a few days, their robot has become something they could no longer live without. Others are completely disappointed with their robot once they see it in action. However, such diverse opinions don’t fully depend on the robots’ quality only. The right choice that would satisfy all customer’s needs is equally important.
Today, we’d like to provide you with honest and detailed information about robotic vacuum cleaners and reveal their myths. We will also list the most important characteristics to consider before purchasing a smart robotic assistant.
Before You Choose Your Robot
What robot model and brand you choose to buy depends on your needs, taste, budget, etc. We cannot tell you which model to pick up. Nevertheless, there are some technical aspects that we recommend you take into account when comparing different models.
What cleaning functions is your robot equipped with? This is the first question you should ask yourself.
Although generally called robots “vacuums,” some cleaning robots do more than just vacuuming. The majority of devices do dry floor cleaning. For example, some robots can perform two cleaning operations, i.e., mopping and vacuuming, making them more effective cleaners. This saves you the money and the hassle of two robots, one for vacuuming and one for mopping.
Another feature present in some advanced robot vacuum cleaners is HEPA filters. HEPA filters are effective in absorbing sub-micron particles too small for regular vacuuming. HEPA filters are widely used in air purifiers and hospital “clean rooms” and are especially useful for people with allergies, respiratory problems, children, and seniors. Earlier and cheaper models come with a simple filter, but this feature is present in the newer, more expensive bot brands like Roborock or Roomba.
Smart navigation is another extra advantage present in some robotic vacuums. Its accuracy may vary depending on the system used, like basic sensors, visual navigation, or top-level mapping. So, this is a crucial moment to consider that affects both the robot’s price and efficiency.
Ability to Adjust to Floor Type
This feature is more important than you can imagine. Many simpler robots in the market treat every floor type equally, while a carpet, for example, takes much more to clean than a hardwood floor.
Furthermore, if you are going to use your robot in an environment with multiple floor types, make sure your robot can adjust its brushes. Thus, it will provide a much more thorough debris collection and won’t get stuck when it reaches a thick carpet laying on your tile or hardwood floor.
This one goes without saying and becomes important if you need your robot for a larger area. Does the battery last enough to get the job done? What kind of battery is more durable?
You can’t really trust what manufacturers claim to be the amount of time your robot runs at full charge since the data is almost always exaggerated. Many factors are involved in how many minutes of cleaning a full charge will give you. For example, cleaning the carpet takes more battery life than cleaning tiles. Also, if your robot vacuum cleaner has different modes and speeds, it will influence the run time.
Obviously, the faster and more powerful it operates, the sooner it dies. Also, if your robot constantly has to climb up and down different surfaces, it will die faster because transitioning requires more power.
The battery’s durability is also hard to predict and depends on how often you use your robot and how well you take care of it. On average, a good energy block lasts for 16-18 months before replacement.
Programmable Cleaning Schedule
Some advanced robot vacuum cleaners can be programmed to start cleaning at desired days/times. This feature might seem a luxurious bonus for many consumers. However, this feature is really important for some environments like offices that need regular cleaning at certain hours. It is also handy for home users who want their cleaning done when they are off. If you always forget to start the robot before leaving the house, you’ll like this function.
Some robots can also be programmed to start cleaning when their battery is fully charged. A robot works then find its docking station, and then it automatically returns to work when the charging is complete and does some more cleaning!
Although the material and design play a great role in a robotic vacuum’s life, do not expect your robot to be as durable as a fridge or a stove! They are sensitive machines, and they will start needing regular repair or part replacement after a while. If you want your investment to be secure, make sure you check the manufacturer’s warranty.
You should pay attention to the warranty not only because it covers the repair fees for a specific period. Warranty is usually a good indicator of the manufacturer’s confidence in its product’s quality. The longer and more comprehensive the warranty is, the better. Make sure you read the fine prints; they usually reveal a lot about the product and the company you are dealing with. Many warranties might not cover the battery since that is usually the first part that needs to change. And some dealers might charge you a fortune for battery replacement, while on many robots, the battery is not replaceable.
If you don’t enjoy emptying a vacuum bag, you are not alone. And it is not fun coming back home thinking your robot has been cleaning while it has been moving around with no room to suck anything in. As a rule, 500-600 ml is enough for everyday cleaning in medium-sized dwellings. The bigger, the better. Some top models even provide automatic self-emptying, which is as extremely useful as expensive.
I hope our review will help you make a more informed decision on purchasing your perfect robot vacuum cleaner. We have tried to be as unbiased as possible in providing this information. We also have tried to give you general information. You can judge whether purchasing a robot vacuum cleaner is a good decision for you and, if so, which specific model in the market will potentially fit your needs better. So, choose wisely and attentively, and then you’ll never be disappointed in your small smart assistant.
Featured Photo by YoonJae Baik on Unsplash