Is it worth buying a robot vacuum cleaner for your home? Need or not! Weighing the pros and cons
There are different opinions on the Internet: some citizens write odes of praise about their robot vacuum cleaners and say that life has become better after a happy purchase, life has become more fun, while others in their reviews on forums warn against buying it, saying that a smart vacuum cleaner is a useless trinket and money thrown down the drain.
Anyway, I will try to critically weigh arguments of supporters and opponents of smart devices. After reading this article you can finally make a decision and decide if you should buy a robot vacuum cleaner and what to expect from it!
How a robot vacuum cleaner works and what it consists of?
A couple of years ago a robot vacuum cleaner was perceived only as a clever toy, which except that the cat can be entertained. Thanks to the efforts of manufacturers, a lot has changed. These devices have become much more powerful and precise in terms of movement. Yes, a robot still can not replace a full-fledged vacuum cleaner, but its tasks are different. It’s needed to keep things clean, to clean between major cleanings. While you’re at work or in the store, this helper will pick up all the dirt from the floor, and so every day, or so you program it. As a result, the number of cleanings with a full-fledged vacuum cleaner can be reduced to 2 per month.
To understand whether you need such a helper and estimate the efficiency of cleaning, it is worth knowing how a robot vacuum cleaner is designed.
Some average robot vacuum cleaner consists of the following elements:
- A plastic body with a rubber bumper that will cushion the impact if a collision happens. The body shape is often round, but there are square models that should clean corners better, but corners are still the weak point of many models. on that later;
- a motor that runs on a battery and drives the entire device. The engine in robot-vacuum cleaners is not notable for high power, it provides suction power at the level of 20-22 Watts, the most powerful models. up to 35 Watts, which can not be compared with a traditional vacuum cleaner;
- the battery pack is charged from a docking station, to which the robot itself arrives when there is little charge left. The greater the battery capacity, the longer the vacuum cleaner can clean the apartment without recharging;
- A sensor system helps the device navigate in space. If the first devices often collided with the walls or assiduously cleaned one part of the room without seeing the other, today quality models are able to build a map of the room. However, there are different sensors, and the accuracy of movement depends on it. Some inexpensive modern models, alas, are not distinguished by logic;
- wheels, one in front and two in the back. The front wheel is responsible for overcoming obstacles. The best indicator today is to run 2 cm high, for example, on the carpet;
- Two main brushes on the bottom of the vacuum. They rotate in opposite directions, which allows them to pick up debris and send it to the dust collector. These brushes pick up the debris under the vacuum cleaner and help to draw in the debris that is picked up by the side brushes. The unit with brushes is usually fixed loosely, so that the device freely adjusts to clean different types of surfaces. Earlier models were equipped with only one brush or were devoid of brushes at all, and the debris was sucked into them by the suction force alone, so do not judge all devices by the reviews of older models;
- Side brushes (1 or 2) allow you to extend the reach of the vacuum cleaner and pick up trash under walls, around furniture, in corners, etc.д.;
- the dust canister. The vast majority of robotic vacuum cleaners are equipped with a container with a cyclone filter, after cleaning it is enough to simply shake it out;
- Filters that clean the air sucked in and return it back to the room;
- Various indicators that inform you about the level of charge and how full the dust canister is.
Robot vacuum cleaner itself moves around the apartment, sucks up dust, picks up threads, hair and hair. When the battery runs out, it goes to the charging station by itself. Thanks to the timer and the programming function, you can set it to clean when you are not home. Can be controlled by pressing buttons, using the remote control or even from an app on your smartphone.
That was a general description. Different models can be very different from each other, although externally they are very similar. To answer the question, what robot vacuum cleaner to choose for your apartment, you should consider all possible types of these devices.
How to choose the best robot vacuum cleaner | Expert Reviews Buying Guide
How to choose the best robot vacuum cleaner for yourself?
A bit of a cliché answer: carefully, attentively, knowledgeably and in full accordance with your needs. And to do this when choosing a robot vacuum cleaner you need to consider some important parameters, the optimality of which will largely depend on. how the new “occupant” will be suitable for the owners of the house.
Maintained cleaning area
Specified by the manufacturer in the specifications, sometimes specifying the number of rooms. It is better to be guided by these figures, because even if the robot has the ability to complete unfinished work after recharging, the process can be very delayed. And if the vacuum cleaner gets into a “trap” is not the fact that its battery will have enough “power” to provide enough time to get out of the difficult situation.
Type and capacity of regular battery
You can still find models, usually low cost, which use an outdated Ni-Mh battery. This fact suggests that the manufacturer has decided to save on production costs. But then the consumer should vote with a bit more money, giving preference to robots vacuum cleaners with Li-Ion (lithium-ion) or Li-Pol (lithium-polymer) battery. They are more durable, reliable and do not have the memory effect.
The battery capacity directly affects the battery life of the device. Figures of 2500 mA/h are considered to be a good indicator. Of course, more is better. Today you can already meet “tablets” with batteries more than 5000 mA/h.
The higher the vacuum motor pull, the better the dry cleaning quality. A good robot vacuum cleaner must confidently clean not only hard flooring (including extracting dust, small debris from cracks, joints), but also carpets. Thereby saving the owner from having to retrieve the hosepipe “monster” sleeping for a while from its “shelter” too often. In today’s reality for most robots is considered optimal suction power of 2000-2700 Pa, but there are considerably more powerful versions where it can reach 4000 Pa.
The level of operating noise
The situation with this parameter is a bit “ambiguous”. On the one hand, when everybody is at home, a loud “pill”, getting under their feet, can be annoying. On the other hand, if it is really powerful, it can hardly be very quiet at maximum. In general, it is desirable to choose models, the maximum volume of which does not exceed 75, and in standard mode ranges from 50-65 dB.
And a smart approach to comfort is to program or remotely start cleaning in an empty house. And the pets will eventually get used to it. They might even like it.
The better the robot vacuum cleaner orientates itself in space, the faster, more efficient and with less energy consumption it will cope with its tasks. Advanced navigation system helps reduce the likelihood of untreated areas, tangles in wires, getting stuck in objects, on furniture legs, helps create, memorize and edit the room plan.
- Mechanical bumper contact IR sensors. The simplest option, characteristic of very budget models, designed to serve small areas of 30-40 m².
- Gyroscope (hereafter in addition to the existing bumper and infrared sensors). A better version, in which the device can remember the route, automatically find the base for recharging, more effective use of sensors for identifying walls, obstacles. Robots equipped with a gyroscope can already handle multiple rooms up to 60 m² in size.
- Camera (one or more). With the help of this sensor the room is visually scanned, the construction of the map, the formation of the optimal route is available, the service area grows to 100 square meters and more. Often the camera even has a remote home monitoring function.
- Lidar (laser rangefinder). Helps you track the distance to walls and other obstacles in real time, helps you accurately map rooms (whole and individual rooms), saving them into memory to optimize future cleaning tasks. The lidar vacuums are confident even when working on large areas.
- Lidar combined with a camera. The most advanced navigation today, thanks to which the robot vacuum cleaner navigates the room as precisely as possible, sees and passes obstacles (including small objects, “surprises” from pets), does not get tangled in wires, does not make unnecessary “gestures.
Let’s consider the basic features, the presence of which is not bad to ask when buying a modern robot vacuum cleaner:
- Smartphone control. It is in the mobile application you can usually find advanced settings, the maximum set of functions, the option of remote control.
- Mapping, room zoning. Creates a precise floor plan of the home with a division by rooms, for each of which it is realistic to set limits, set a separate schedule, mode of operation.
- Resumes cleaning after recharging. Functional for large areas.
- Carpet detection with auto power boost. Improves quality of cleaning while conserving battery life on hard surfaces.
- Possibility to perform simultaneous dry and wet mopping. It’s convenient when the floor is both dusted and refreshed with a damp cloth. The most advanced robots are also quite good at scrubbing stains with a mobile vibration platform (mop).
- Electronic water dosing system. Not all coverings are suitable for abundant moistening, so it is better to set a minimum moistening for laminate or parquet for example.
- Self-cleaning. In 2021 there began to appear more and more robots-cleaners, supporting or already having in the package a station for automatic pumping of garbage into the bag, which lasts for 1-2 months. Costs such an accessory is not cheap, but it is incredibly practical and more hygienic.
Experts “Price Expert” analyzed the data on the purchases of robot vacuum cleaners in 2021. Early 2022 and selected 20 best popular models. Now we will tell you more about them.
Many companies produce robot vacuum cleaners.
You can add several brands to the list, such as: Samsung, LG, Philips, Panasonic. The quality of these companies is not much inferior. The ranking of manufacturers was compiled, taking into account the specialization in robot vacuum cleaners. The only exception is Xiaomi. Because of the model range, and their abilities become leaders, in almost every segment.
iLife, Genio, iBoto and Panda make robot vacuum cleaners for the low-cost segment. Models receive positive feedback from customers because of the good quality of the product and advanced functionality.
What types of cleaning do modern robot vacuums work with
Dry cleaning only. Traditionally, robot vacuums are only capable of picking up dust and other debris from the floor. If you have a vacuum cleaner with an internal tank, it’s ready to go pretty much anytime. You can usually start it remotely with a mobile app an hour before you get home and return to the apartment you just cleaned. You will not need to do any additional manipulations for this: maybe you should remove children’s toys, scattered clothes and shoes from the floor in advance, as well as other objects that can prevent the smart cleaner to clean.
Wet mopping. I suggest you treat this feature with skepticism: despite the marketing claims in advertising campaigns, it should not be the key factor in choosing a robot vacuum cleaner. Also, it’s a useless feature, but it requires too much work from the user.
Robot vacuum cleaner from an unknown brand Eufy RoboVac L70 Hybrid. the mop for wet cleaning | GigaZine is clearly visible on the right
Before you start wet cleaning, you usually need to take out a mop, wet it and put it on the vacuum cleaner. Then get water into the special internal tank which is designed to keep the cleaning surface wet. After you finish cleaning, all of this equipment should be removed to prevent it from soaking the laminate flooring, parquet, or other flooring near the charging dock. It is also important to consider that the mop reduces the passability of the robot vacuum cleaner: with it it is unlikely to be able to pass the thresholds, which may be located between the rooms in your apartment. It also makes no sense with carpets.
Controlling a robot vacuum cleaner
The simplest models are controlled with buttons on the body or remote control. Advanced varieties are able to connect via Bluetooth to your smartphone or home Wi-Fi, allowing you to control them through a handy app.
The remote control is a usual IR-adapter, with the help of which one can give to the device the simplest commands (switch on, switch off, sending to the base for charging, choose the operating mode), which usually coincide with the functionality of control panel on the case.
Control via smartphone (app)
The app not only duplicates the basic settings and operating modes, but also provides advanced functions, such as viewing a map of the room, setting the delayed cleaning timer. In addition, the program shows the battery level and the degree of wear of consumables, which is also incredibly convenient for the user.
Of course, all these features are far from necessary, but they help to fully automate the process of cleaning and give you remote access to the robot. You can learn how to set up and use the robot vacuum cleaner app from the included instructions or go to the manufacturer’s website.
What to do if the robot vacuum cleaner does not see the base? First, check the Wi-Fi connection. Often it solves the problem. In addition, it helps to reset the settings of the robot vacuum cleaner.
The number of available programs, even in the super expensive and advanced models, is usually small. But progress does not stand still, and every year manufacturers offer something new.
A good robot vacuum cleaner can work in normal mode, move along walls, spiral, suction heavily (spot) in a given area, and automatically increase power when you hit the carpet. In washable models different levels of liquid supply are available (low, medium, high).
A great bonus will be the possibility of zoning the room, limiting zones, as well as saving multiple cleaning maps and its continuation from the same place after recharging.
Working on schedule
This convenient functionality allows the user to set up cleaning at the most convenient time. On a specified day, the robot vacuum cleaner will start vacuuming by itself without a reminder, and then automatically returns to the base.
What features to look for when choosing?
- The higher the power of the device, the more suction power it has.
- The volume of the dust and water tank should be chosen based on the approximate degree of contamination.
- The function of setting the schedule and duration of cleaning will make working with the gadget more convenient.
- The Li-Ion battery is the most reliable and will last for years.
- The ability to control via smartphone and the presence of a display will make the process more informative and easy.
- The presence of side brushes will ensure quality cleaning along the walls.
Today, many well-known manufacturers offer multifunctional models of robot vacuum cleaners, keeping your home clean and fresh.
Important! Each device has high technical characteristics, its own advantages and features. it is better to get acquainted with them in advance, so you do not make a wrong choice.
Robot Vacuums: Everything to know BEFORE you buy
We offer an overview and rating of the best 7 models, with the characteristics, pros and cons, as well as the current prices.
Atvel SmartGyro R80
High-performance and functional unit with advanced wet cleaning. Premium performance and budget category.
The model has the ability to clean wet and dry at the same time. 7 operating modes of the device help to clean rooms with special care. For full-fledged wet mopping, there is a poloter mode, where the device cleans in forward and backward movements, imitating the action of a mop and scrubbing the surface.
Pump design prevents water leaks and puddles, and flow controller adjusts how much the microfiber cloth is wetted.
With high precision gyro navigation, the model maps the room in detail and cleans the entire area. Importantly, the R80 automatically returns to the base to recharge and continue from where it was last stopped. Another premium feature is the automatic power boost on carpeting.
Equipped with HEPA10 and HEPA10 primary filters, this vacuum cleaner is a quality air cleaner. Convenient application allows you to set the schedule, control the device remotely or check the cleaning records.
- Type of cleaning. dry and wet;
- battery type. Li-Ion;
- Dust bag capacity of 0.5 л;
- water tank capacity. 230 ml;
- Working time. 120 min.
- Dry and wet cleaning at the same time;
- smart water delivery system;
- cleans without puddles and drips;
- 7 modes of work, including the floor cleaner;
- High power of suction;
- slim body
HOBOT Legee 688
Vacuum cleaner with wet cleaning, capable of working on all types of hard flooring (parquet, ceramic tiles, linoleum, carpet, carpets with low pile).
The model combines 2 functions. a vacuum cleaner and a floor cleaner. It cleans up small debris, hair and hair, and additionally cleans with high quality wet mopping by splashing water or detergent.
The most important feature of the model is the water sprinkler and two mobile platforms with microfiber cloths that make 600 movements per minute, imitating the rubbing motion of human hands when cleaning. And thanks to this it stands out against other models, where there is just a container with water and a cloth for wiping.
The main purpose of the vacuum cleaner is to work on tile, laminate, parquet, linoleum. so if your priority is not cleaning carpets, then this model is 100% suitable.
- type of cleaning. dry and wet;
- battery type. Li-Ion;
- dust canister volume. 0.5 л;
- water tank capacity. 320 ml;
- operating time. 90 min.
- special movable platforms for the additional elimination of dirt;
- long-life brushless motor with reduced noise level;
- Protective rubber gasket around the perimeter to avoid damaging furniture;
- D-shaped body allows you to not leave dust even in the corners;
- remote control or through an app.
Xiaomi Mi Roborock Sweep One
Functional device with high-precision sensors that can cope with any kind of dirt.
Smart robot vacuum cleaner equipped with a cyclone filter, roomy dust canister and surface recognition function.
A separate water tank with a volume of 0.15 liters. it has two openings that ensure even wetting of the wipe and thorough wiping of the floor.
the device is controlled by the button on the body, as well as remotely through a mobile app installed on your smartphone.
- power consumption. 58 W;
- type of cleaning. dry and wet;
- battery type. Li-Ion;
- dust canister capacity of 0.64 л;
- operating time. 150 min.
- powerful battery;
- programming of cleaning rooms;
- remote control;
- 13 optical sensors;
- automatic wet cleaning.
iBoto Smart X610G Aqua
Silent automated vacuum cleaner designed to make residential or office cleaning easier.
Model with an elaborate system of intelligent sensors, a powerful battery and a multi-stage filtration system.
Do you need a robot vacuum cleaner?
Consider buying a robot vacuum cleaner if at least one of the points is true for you:
- There is no time or desire for cleaning;
- you live in a megalopolis (Moscow, Saint-Petersburg) or in an industrial city (Norilsk, Chelyabinsk, etc.).);
- There are allergic people in the family;
- there are children and / or pets in the house;
- there are no long pile carpets in the rooms (short pile is acceptable).
In addition, a robot vacuum cleaner is a useful gift for people with limited mobility and the elderly.
What manufacturer has recommended itself best on the market for cleaning apartments and houses? Let’s turn to the selection of the best models, and do not forget to study the article, the link to which was at the beginning of the article.
- Xiaomi Mi Robot Vacuum Cleaner;
- Xiaomi Mi Robot Vacuum Cleaner 1S;
- Xiaomi Xiaowa E202-00 Robot Vacuum Cleaner Lite;
- Xiaomi Xiaowa Robot Vacuum Cleaner Lite C102-00.
We recommend to pay attention to the vacuum cleaner Atvel SmartGyro R80 American brand Atvel. This model is an example that the premium quality and functionality can be found in the budget segment. To reduce the cost of vacuum cleaner manufacturer used gyronavigation instead of laser navigation. In everyday life, it is almost imperceptible, but it has a great impact on the accessibility of the device. “The low height of the vacuum cleaner (8 cm) allows it to easily climb under sofas and beds.
You can control the movement of the robot in a mobile app. But in general, the device is smart enough not only to perform high quality cleaning, but also to protect itself from damage. 10 sensors provide movement past obstacles and 3 sensors prevent it from falling. For extra protection, the bumper of the device is protected by a rubber pad.
The vacuum cleaner can perform quality cleaning in different modes. For example, with a hand-washing simulation. In this mode, it passes through the same place several times, moving back and forth. And in dry-cleaning mode, the electric brush, side brushes and microfiber cloths capture quality debris on all surfaces. Also among the bonuses are a controller to regulate the wipe’s moisture content, a leak-proof container, and a HEPA filter.