How to Choose the Best Robot Vacuum Cleaner? (Essential Features You Must Know Before Buying)

A robot vacuum may seem like an unnecessary luxury, but really, it’s a must-have for any busy household. There’s no surprise that robot vacuums are quickly taking over traditional vacuums in modern homes. After all, they are easier and more convenient, offer hands-free cleaning, and most importantly, save time.

But all robot vacuums are not created equal, and finding the best robot vacuum for your needs requires comparing different features, examining pros and cons, and reading reviews.

So, how can you find the perfect one? Well, we have compiled here some of the essential things that you must consider before investing in this valuable piece. Read on to know how to choose the best robot vacuum cleaner for your needs.

How To Choose the Best Robot Vacuum Cleaner?

Robot Vacuum Cleaner Buying Guide

1. Assess Your Cleaning Needs First

How well the robot vacuum moves across your home space and cleans efficiently depends upon the interior infrastructure of your home.  It means what type of flooring you have, how many barriers and partitions are there, how many rooms are there to clean, etc. 

What Kind of Flooring Does Your House Have?

How well the robot vacuum moves across your home space and cleans efficiently depends upon the interior infrastructure of your home.  It means what type of flooring you have, how many barriers and partitions are there, how many rooms are there to clean, etc. 

Since robot vacuums are equipped with wheels for their free movement around, they perform best on hardwood floors like tile, granite, or marble, as these surfaces offer better grip to the wheels and allow free movement. On the other hand, if you have a lot of carpeted areas in your house, you must make sure whether the model works well on carpet or not before you buy.

Some models work well on slim rugs and carpets. But thick rugs and carpets with loose and long fibers may obstruct the robot’s movement as the wheels get stuck into it while operating and prevent it from free movement. Since some models have the capability to climb heights of less than a centimeter, it is better to remove the thick rugs and carpets before your robot starts to clean.

What About Partitions, Stairways, and Low Furniture?

These are also the biggest obstruction for a robot vacuum’s operation. Most robot vacuums have drop protection and cliff detection features that avoid them falling off from stairs. For partitions and low furniture, they have bumper sensors that change their cleaning direction automatically when reaching nearby these obstacles. Best to buy those models that come with these features.

Do You Have Pets in Your Home?

Having pets means your house is filled with shredded hair all over. Thankfully, many high-end models can clean up after your pets too. The best robot vacuums for pet hair can pick up their shredded hair from both hardwood floors and carpets. So, it is best to invest in a model that is capable of removing pet hair from floorings. 

On the downside, if your vacuum is cleaning pet hair on a regular basis, there are high chances of wear and tear on roller brushes, side brushes, and filters. So, they require frequent maintenance.

Do You Have Allergies?

If you are allergic to dust, pet dander, etc., consider buying the one that comes with a high-efficiency filter (HEPA Filters are best) to eliminate allergens and other microscopic particles in the air. 

2. What Type of Robot Vacuum Should You Buy?

Most cleaning bots are typically referred to as the Robot Vacuum Cleaners that come with powerful suction to sweep out dirt, dust, and debris from the floor. This is the most common variant available that you can buy for general dry cleaning of the floors.

Another variant is the Robot Mop, which offers wet mopping of the floors and is further classified into two types: Single Purpose Robot Mop and Hybrid Robot Mops.

Single Purpose Robot Mops do wet mopping only and don’t vacuum your floors. On the other hand, Hybrid Robot Mops, which are generally referred to as Robot Vacuum and Mop Combo, can mop and vacuum both. 

They typically come with a water reservoir and a mechanism to spray water on the floors, which is further wiped and scrubbed by the attached microfiber clothes while the robot moves around. 

3. What Is the Shape and Size of the Vacuum Bot?

Considering the shape and size of the robot vacuum cleaner is also very important for its easy maneuvering all-around your house. If the robot vacuum is tall, it will be difficult for the machine to reach tight spots like underneath furniture or cabinets. However, even if somehow the machine manages to enter these areas, it may get stuck there, and it is difficult for it to escape until you remove it by yourself.

We recommend investing in a robot vacuum cleaner with a slim profile if your home has a lot of furniture or cabinets. A robot vacuum with a height of 3 inches or less offers a significant advantage over taller and heavier vacuums since they can easily reach underneath furniture and clean it thoroughly. Especially, they do a better job when transitioning from carpet to floor. 

4. Navigation 

So, how does a robot vacuum cleaner navigate?

Navigation is the most important feature of a robot vacuum that allows it to map your home and clean accordingly. Mapping allows the bot to understand how your home looks like, and so it gets easier for the robot to clean every area more efficiently and perfectly. 

Different models use different approaches to navigate your home. Some models use cameras to detect boundaries like walls and obstacles, including furniture and other objects, to avoid hitting them while cleaning. 

Some smart models use a range of sensors to detect walls and obstacles. This is typically more accurate than camera-based navigation and allows the bot to easily know the key locations for cleaning and charging dock, no-go zones, etc. The choice depends on you and, of course, on your budget.

5. Multiple Cleaning Modes

All the smart models of a robotic vacuum come with multiple cleaning modes to offer cleaning versatility. These different cleaning modes include:

Auto Mode: The Auto Mode is set for general cleaning of your house floors. It cleans the space until the battery dies out. 

Spot Cleaning Mode: This mode is helpful for cleaning a particular dirty zone and is best for cleaning kitchen messes and accidental spills.

Edge Mode: Like the name, this mode is suitable for cleaning of edges and corners of the walls and furniture.

Turbo Mode: This mode is helpful for cleaning high dirt-prone areas.

6. Run Time and Battery Life

The battery of a robot vacuum determines how much it can run and clean in a full recharge. If your home area is too big, keep in mind that the robot may not be able to clean an entire space in a single run. As a plus point, most robots have the self-charging capability that returns back to their dock station when their battery gets exhausted. Some even resume the cleaning work from where they left off once the battery is completely charged. 

Most robot vacuums can clean for more than an hour in a full recharge, which is suitable for small apartments and homes. But, for larger homes, you may consider choosing the model that offers high runtime. 

Note: It takes approx 4-5 hours to recharge a robot vacuum’s battery.  

7. DustBin Capacity

The dustbin capacity is also an important deciding factor when choosing the right robot vacuum cleaner for your needs. The one with lesser capacity will require frequent emptying and interrupts the cleaning process. So, it is recommended to invest in the one with a higher capacity bin, so you don’t have to empty it again and again. The average capacity of the robot vacuums’ dustbin ranges from 0.25 L-1 L, which you can choose from. 

As a plus point, many smart robot vacuums also come with a self-emptying feature, so no manual intervention is required as they automatically clean their bin and resume the cleaning process. 

8. Scheduled Cleaning

This feature lets you schedule your vacuum cleaning for some specific days and at specific times-maybe, it’s early in the morning before anyone wakes up or during the work hours when you are not at home. This feature allows the robot vacuum to turn on by itself at a specific time and day and then clean the house in your absence. 

Many robot vacuums can be scheduled to run multiple times a day, and some allow you to keep track of their progress via an app. 

9. App Compatibility

Robot vacuums with app compatibility provide a truly amazing user experience. Not all the models, but some smart and hi-tech models have app compatibility for both Android and iOS that allow you to control your robot vacuum from anywhere. In addition to controlling, you can also set schedules and preferences with a good app. 

Even some smarter models also offer the flexibility of voice controls through Google Assistant, Siri, or Alexa, making operation and control much more convenient. 

10. Choose The Best Brand Only

Choosing the best robotic vacuum brand is a good idea if you want the best performance, cleaning efficiency, and, most importantly, reliability. The best brands for robotic vacuum cleaners you may invest in are Ecovacs, iLife, iRobot Roomba, Eufy, etc.

These brands offer the best features in their products, decent return and exchange offer, good warranty duration, and amazing customer support.

11. Decide Your Budget

Budget plays an important role when purchasing any product. And in the case of a robot vacuum cleaner, it really matters. Different models have different features and specialties and at varying prices. And surely, the more you spend, the more features you will get. 

So, before settling on a budget, decide first what features you want in your robot vacuum.

Robot vacuums that offer only basic cleaning and come with general features like home mapping, room-specific cleaning, automatic dirt detection, etc., come in the price range of Rs 12000 – Rs 25000.

There is a variety of mid-range to high-end models available in the range of Rs 30,000 – Rs 1,50,000, with features such as long battery life, large dustbins, slim profile, sophisticated mapping and navigation, wi-fi connectivity, and app control, etc.

12. Warranty Also Matters

The warranty assures that you may not have to invest extra bucks on repair over defects or other malfunctioning in the product. Almost all robot vacuum cleaners come with a minimum one-year warranty and after-sales service. We recommend investing in the one with the higher warranty period. 

Read Next: 7 Smart Tips and Tricks to Use Robot Vacuum Cleaners More Efficiently

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