If you’re considering a robovac for your home, there are some things to keep in mind.
Even the best robotic vacuum cleaners can get stuck on furniture legs or beached by stray cords. More expensive models use gyro-, camera-, and laser sensors to map out their surroundings before cleaning. This helps them avoid the same spots and save time.
Easy to use
Unlike traditional vacuum cleaners, a robovac doesn’t need your supervision to operate. You can control it with a smartphone app and run it on a schedule. This frees you up to focus on your work and family tasks without worrying about the housework.
Robots do a great job of automatically cleaning your floors and carpets, but they aren’t a replacement for a standard vacuum. They are prone to getting stuck in corners and can miss nooks that a traditional vacuum would easily reach.
To avoid these problems, opt for a model with a self-emptying base that removes the dirt and debris from the dust bin before it gets full. This will save you from having to empty the bin multiple times during a single run. Some models also come with a docking station that recharges the robot and automatically empties the bin for added convenience.
Cleans more efficiently
Most robot vacuums use a traditional vacuum motor while some also include spinning brushes, mopping or UV sterilization methods. They can be programmed to clean on a schedule and some can even be controlled remotely via mobile apps or smart speakers.
Depending on the model, some robots can recharge and resume where they left off when their battery runs low. That’s a big plus for large homes, as it can save you time and energy without the need to start the room from scratch.
Most models also create a map of your home so they can navigate it better the next time. That’s important if you have furniture, clutter or power cords that need to be moved before running the vacuum. Some also have self-emptying systems that let you run them more frequently since you won’t have to empty the dust bin manually. It is still a good idea to clean the filter and dust bin regularly.
Safer for pets
While robovacs do a great job on hard floors, they are less effective on carpets with high pile and corners. They also struggle to remove pet hair from carpets, so they may not be the best choice if you have a cat or dog that sheds a lot.
Some pets are terrified of robot vacuums, especially if they’re loud or move around while cleaning. It can be difficult to get them to use one without triggering their fight-or-flight response.
Some models have features to help keep your pet safe, like boundary strips or motion sensors that will alert you if they wander out of a designated area. You should also train your pet to stay away from the robot while it’s operating, and regularly check for tangled pet hair in the brushroll. You should also clean the filter regularly as specified in the manual.
As a result of their motor insulation and localizing design, robot vacuums make significantly less noise than traditional barrel or stick vacuum cleaners. Some of the models we tested were as quiet as 55 decibels when working, making it easy to keep your ears closed and carry on with your daily activities without being disturbed by the hum of a vacuum cleaner.
Robots are also much easier to use than a standard vacuum cleaner, requiring little user intervention beyond the initial setup. They can be set to run on a schedule using on-device controls or smart apps, and some even have the ability to be controlled by voice commands.
Some of the more expensive robots have features that can help you to clean more thoroughly, including mapping technology and object sensors that avoid ramming into toys and pet food bowls. They can also return to their docking station automatically when power is low, meaning they don’t need to be manually emptied as frequently.