I’m blessed to have the opportunity to review some of the best robot vacuum cleaners here at TechRadar, and honestly, no two are alike. Every robot vacuum that walks through my front door to my three-bedroom home brings something different to the floors, which is refreshing and makes me want to learn about these fantastic cleaning machines.
It won’t be a surprise to find out what a robotic vacuum cleaner is supposed to do; they perform automatic vacuuming of the floors in the house, which has been set on demand. This means you no longer have to carry a larger vacuum cleaner with you and charge it before or after use. Some robotic vacuum cleaners empty and clean themselves, so you don’t have to do anything except clear the way for them, because they can’t (yet) clean for you.
Some are more complicated than others; from setup to maintenance. Sometimes it’s worth it and sometimes it’s not. You also often get what you pay for. Cheaper robotic vacuums tend to have trouble walking over carpets and hard floors, so they only prefer single-story ones, and they’re more likely to get lost in the house because their mapping isn’t quite up to scratch.
Having said that, the more premium robot vacuum cleaners don’t always have mapping from the start. Some will just walk out of the dock without mapping, but that’s because they’re smart.
The big giveaway on what a robot vacuum cleaner is capable of is a look at the specs. I am a bit afraid of a robot vacuum that does not empty itself, does not clean and does not have zone cleaning. Imagination goes wild if it can’t do it, although I have high demands. But it comes at a price.
For example; I was reviewing Dreametech L10s Ultra. At first glance, the sight of a large dock and large integrated water tanks was daunting. Dream is famous for making big and heavy robot vacuum cleaners that are a bit tricky to pick up and get into your home. Setting up our “Kevin” was easy with filling the water tank, placing the cleaning solution, charging it fully and downloading the app.
Using it is really a dream. He didn’t need a maiden voyage per se to plan our house – his first trip was vacuuming and mopping. While there is a “Quick Map” option, it is not necessary as the robot vacuum is smart enough to orient itself in the terrain and return to base without getting lost. Having a map is also useful for setting up a separate cleaning zone with different cleaning modes.
With the price $999.99 on US Amazon (opens in a new tab) / / £1099 on UK Amazon (opens in a new tab) it certainly is a very expensive robot vacuum though. A good benchmark for getting a good robot vacuum cleaner would be spending $400/£500 and up to guarantee the features that make a robot vacuum cleaner worthwhile.
Things to look out for as a minimum include suitability for carpets and hard floors with adequate suction for the boot, automatic return to base after cleaning, and precise mapping. If your robot vacuum has it all: yes so It was worth it.