Last updated date: January 2, 2019
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We looked at the top Robotic Vacuums and dug through the reviews from some of the most popular review sites. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Robotic Vacuum you should buy.
Update as October 18, 2021:
Checkout The Best Robotic Vacuum for a detailed review of all the top robotic vacuums.
In our analysis of 66 expert reviews, the Shark ION placed 0th when we looked at the top 14 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.
From The Manufacturer
The market leaders in upright vacuums* have made a robot. The Shark ION ROBOT is the perfect solution for everyday upkeep. It features: A self-cleaning brushroll that captures short and long hair, dust, dander, and allergens to prevent everyday buildup in your home. Smart Sensor Navigation seamlessly navigates floors and carpets while proximity sensors assess and adapt to surrounding obstacles. Dual spinning side brushes pull in debris from edges and corners. Wi-Fi connectivity and optional cleaning and scheduling from your smartphone or with voice control through the Google Assistant or the Shark skill for Amazon Alexa.
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An Overview On Robotic Vacuums
There’s never been a better time to buy a robotic vacuum. Robovacs have come a long way since iRobot debuted its first Roomba. More brands and models have made their way to the market, which means cheaper prices and improved features.
People are drawn to robotic vacuums for their time-saving capabilities and ease of use. In theory, a robovac owner should be able to start the vacuum before leaving the house and come home to perfectly vacuumed floors — all without having to lift a finger.
Suction power, programming capabilities, boundary-setting, noise level and battery life are just some of the factors to consider when deciding which robotic vacuum to buy.
One important feature in newer models is smart mapping, which uses the latest technology to create a map of your home. This then shows you the route the robovac will take, letting you make changes as you see fit. Not all vacuums offer this functionality.
This brings us to Wi-Fi connectivity. Roomba robotic vacuums connect to your home internet, letting you manage your cleaning using an app. Through this, you can create schedules and change the route your vacuum takes as it works. Wi-Fi also means you can start your vacuum through a command to your Alexa or Google Assistant.
It’s also important to pay attention to how your vacuum will handle obstacles. A robovac will inevitably encounter walls and furniture during its travels. Some vacuums are small enough to squeeze under your beds and end tables, while others will have to try to navigate around them. Some aren’t quite as good as others at sensing and moving around your furniture, which could lead to some awkward bumps along the way.
The Robotic Vacuum Buying Guide
- Basic parts maintenance and regular filter cleaning will keep your robovac working effectively. Allergy sufferers, in particular, will want to stay on top of cleaning filters.
- You’ll need to empty the robovac dustbin more often than you would for a standup vacuum due to the robotic vacuum’s small size.
- If you want your robovac to clean under beds, couches and furniture, take note of the height of the robotic vacuum you plan to purchase. The Tesvor Self Charging Robotic Vacuum Cleaner is only 3.19 inches tall, making it the most likely to fit under all of your furniture. Compare this to the Roombas, which are both 13.8 inches tall.
- Robovacs have come down in price since they were first introduced. Today, you can find a model that’s sure to fit within your budget.
- If you plan to use your robotic vacuum near stairs, be sure to look for a model with a cliff sensor to avoid any tumbles.
- Robovacs sometimes get stuck under low furniture and can get caught up in power cords, rugs and other loose items in their path. A model that has invisible walls or a programmable cleaning area can help corral the robovac to a certain area and avoid any pitfalls.
- Homes today can vary in flooring types from hardwood to linoleum to carpet. It’s important to find a robotic vacuum that’s the best for your home, especially if you have multiple flooring types. The Roomba can move from one type of floor to another without missing a beat. Some models, however, use infrared sensors to clean, so it’s not the best robotic vacuum if you have dark floors or high carpets.
- Pay attention to battery life. Most robotic vacuums can run continuously for at least 70 minutes. Models with smaller lithium-ion batteries can only go through a 75-minute cleaning session before needing a recharge. Time to recharge is also important to consider. Some vacuums take as long as six hours to fully charge, so you may not be able to count on more than one or two cleanings a day.
- Many robovacs will return to their charging base when the battery runs low. Be sure to position the charging dock in a flat, unobstructed location so the vacuum can successfully reconnect to the base.
- High-tech models offer Wi-Fi connectivity so you can start your vacuum via your phone. Other models allow you to schedule cleaning times so that the robovac will run while you’re away. Some models have no Wi-Fi connectivity, but the Roombas do. One downside to this, though, is that you’ll need to start up the app if you want to control your Roomba’s movements or change the schedule. The Roomba i7+ comes with a remote, though, giving you the option of controlling your robovac without your phone.
- Mapping is also important. Many vacuums have no mapping, but you’ll get that feature with a Roomba. This means the vacuum will maneuver around your house and create a virtual map, which you can edit.
- The best thing about Wi-Fi connectivity is that it gives you the ability to control your robovac even when you’re away from home.
- In addition to remote connectivity, Roomba also lets you control it using scheduling. This means you can set a time each day for your vacuum to begin working. Other models don’t allow that.
- As your vacuum collects dust and dirt, you’ll need to manually empty the bin on most models. However, some robovacs automatically dump dirt into a large bin, which can be fitted with disposable bags to make it like any other garbage can in your home. In fact, the bin even doubles as a trash can.
- One downside to many robovac models is that there are no virtual walls to keep the vacuum from venturing into a certain area. However, there are a few that come with a magnetic boundary strip that can be placed in areas you don’t want the robovac to cross.
- Obviously, you don’t want your robovac to constantly bump into furniture and walls, but not all robotic vacuums are skilled in this area. Certain models aren’t as good at avoiding obstacles as the Roomba vacuums due to there being no virtual walls in place to direct the unit away from them.
- One feature growing in popularity among robotic vacuums is smart speaker compatibility. The Roomba vacuums can be activated through a command to Alexa or Google Assistant.
- Suction power is an essential feature in any vacuum, robotic or manual. Some models use Boost IQ to automatically increase suction when it’s necessary. You’ll even find vacuums that can up the suction all the way to 1300Pa. “Pa” is a unit of measurement applied to vacuums.
- Chances are, your robovac will run while you’re home. That means you want to look for a model with quiet operation that will avoid disrupting your day. With the Roomba, the self-emptying doc can be quite loud, so brace yourself for the occasional interruption.
- If air purification is a priority, the Roomba vacuums have air filtration built in. They promise to block 99 percent of mold, pollen, and other allergens, including those that come from pets. Other robovacs are equipped with a dual-layer filter and a high-performance filter to help keep the home clean.
- Most robotic vacuums automatically return to the charging station when they’re finished doing their work. This means you’ll never have to worry about charging them.
- Make sure the company you go with sells replacement parts and accessories on their website. Otherwise, you may find it difficult to fix your vacuum when it breaks down.
- If you have an alarm system in your home that uses motion detection, make sure you do a test run with your robovac in motion before you set the alarm and leave for the day.
Checkout Our Other Buying Guides
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