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How to Find the Best Robot Vacuum

If you’re willing to live without advanced features such as mapping, and don’t mind emptying the garbage bin every 60 days or so, a basic robot vacuum could be a good choice for you. Choose a model with clean and tidy base that is compatible with voice assistants.

It excels at removing dirt, clumps of cat litter and pet hair on hardwood floors, tile and low-pile carpeting better than any other vacuum we’ve tried. It also maps and set virtual no-go zones in rooms or areas.

1. Powerful Suction

A robot vacuum will stay clean of the dust, pet hair and dander that collects on your floors on a daily basis. It also can reduce the frequency of deep cleaning, which will save you time and effort. The most effective model comes with powerful suction that will easily take on the most difficult messes and leave your home cleaner.

Selecting a vacuum that is also able to mop will allow you to achieve more coverage with one machine, which can be particularly beneficial for homes with a large area. There are models with a tank for water either built into the chassis or as an additional piece that you can take out after vacuuming. It will have to be filled and empty in order to complete the task.

In a perfect world you would clean your floors first before you use your ion robot vacuum vacuum to stop it from crashing into anything. In most homes, however, this is not possible or desirable. Fortunately, the majority of models allow you to use a smartphone app to set up virtual barriers that the robot can see and avoid. Some models have no-go zones which you can use to flag areas you don’t want it be in, like kids rooms or a stack of cords for your device in the corner.

If you’re looking for a simple robot vacuum that doesn’t have all the bells and bells, this model from networking company TP-Link is a good choice. It’s quiet and can be used on hard floors and carpets with low pile and can be programmed through the app to mop and vacuum at your convenience. It has a good battery life that can last up to 180 minutes before needing to recharge.

2. Easy to operate

Robot vacuums generally require very little from you. They utilize instruments for navigation, such as sensors cameras, lasers, and sensors to move and collect dust, pet hair and food crumbs from hard floors, tile and hardwood. A lot of them have boundary strips that aid in staying within a room’s walls, while pricier models can be set to automatically wake up and start cleaning at a predetermined time. Some models even have fall detection technology that can help them avoid falling down the stairs or getting caught in electrical cords.

Look for models that allow you to control from the comfort of your sofa using voice assistants, such as Alexa or Google Assistant. You can also pick Wi-Fi models that permit you to start cleaning from anywhere with an app. Depending on how large your house is, you might prefer an item with a long-lasting battery and a large dust bin that doesn’t have to be emptying frequently.

Some robot vacuums can also be mops. They use water reservoirs to wash the floor. This is useful for regular mopping but won’t work for extra-tough messes, like pet poop, or other wet spills. There are hybrids that have a removable microfiber pad that can be used for mopping, or opt for a self-emptying model that lets you go for 30 to 60 days without needing to empty the base.

3. Smart Mapping

Some robots use advanced mapping technologies to build an accurate map of your floorplan while they clean the floor, which makes it easier for them to avoid crashing into furniture or falling over things like chair legs or cords. This feature is only available on the top models, but it lets your robot be aware of your home’s layout and knows where to move when the battery runs out.

Most robots allow you to create virtual barriers. This can be done using an app or physically-based boundary strips. This lets you block off zones that you don’t want your robot to venture into, so it can concentrate its attention on the areas and rooms that require the most attention.

Many robots can also automatically navigate to different floorings depending on the surface they’re cleaning, whether that’s switching between carpet and hard flooring or focusing on particular areas of your home, like corners and baseboards. In our tests this was a helpful feature that improved their scores on picking up carpeting made of low-pile or hardwood. It’s nevertheless important to secure loose cords and furniture before using your robot vacuum to ensure that it doesn’t become stuck or run into something it shouldn’t.

4. Remote Control

Most robot vacuums have WiFi connectivity and can be controlled by Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri Shortcuts to enable you to control them using voice commands or from your smartphone. Many connect to smart home systems and create an outline of your space after each cleaning session so they can “learn” your layout and design more efficient routes for future runs. Certain models have obstacles avoidance built-in that prevents them from damaging furniture and getting stuck on things such as loose charging cables or pet hair.

Most robots are equipped with the ability to control them with a remote that you can use to navigate them around your home. However, most can also be controlled using a mobile app that comes with additional features. You can set up multiple cleaning schedules and create an inventory of your preferred rooms. You can also manually guide the robot using the directional arrows.

Certain models have no-go zones, which are virtual barriers that you can set up within the app to prevent the robot from entering certain areas (like toys for kids or dog bowls and beds). Certain apps let you draw a map of your house and provide detailed information about the floors. The app we ranked as our top pick Roborock S7+, the Roborock S7+, has a lot of useful options to help you tidy your home, however its interface isn’t as polished and elegant as those from iRobot and shark robotic vacuum Cleaner (

5. Long Battery Life

Robotic vacuums that can sweep all over your home without stopping to recharge or empty their dust bins save you time and effort. Some of them work with smart home devices like Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri Shortcuts for hands-free operation. They can also make an image of your home, allowing you to program them to clean specific areas or rooms, and to beware of obstacles.

The majority of robot vacuums can detect objects, however the iRobot J7 has advanced features, such as “home mapping” and obstacle avoidance. These features can make your life easier (although one of our test bots did “eat” a few socks). If you’re looking to improve the quality of your home maintenance, consider a robot mop with water containers that can be filled and then empty.

While no of the models we tested could match the ability to pick up dirt of a stand-up vacuum they did an excellent job of cleaning hard floors and carpets with a low pile. They are excellent at sweeping up food crumbs, and tracked-in dirt. They are also able to tackle pet litter that is stray and metal screws and nuts. The top robot vacuums can remove dirt from edges and corners and can even work around furniture. Eufy 11S is a relatively basic and affordable model.

6. Convenient Self-Charging

A robot vacuum will help keep your home tidy and clean without doing much work. You can schedule cleanings through the app, and you can set up no-go areas to ensure that your robot does not step on your plants or favorite chair. Many of our top picks automatically empty their dustbins and clean their docking stations for you.

The top robot vacuums can be programmed to clean your floors on a regular basis for months or even weeks at a time, saving you from the tedious chore of manually mopping and sweeping your floors on a daily or weekly basis. This lets you enjoy more time doing things you like and reduces the time needed to clean your floors manually.

During testing the Q Revo was able to pick up small particles such as oatmeal and baking soda as well as heavier debris such nails and screws made of metal, and fluffy stuff like hair of pets. It lacks the intelligent mapping and object-avoiding features of our top picks, but it is still a great choice for most families.

The j7’s best feature is its ability to detect and avoid obstacles such as power cords, shoes and socks, and pet waste. This means that you don’t need to tidy up before you can run your robot, but cluttered rooms will mean that your robot could get stuck and not do the job as well.