While robot vacuums do provide an unmatched level of convenience, there are a few things you should know and keep in mind before going out and buying one. There are many different robot vacuum models, with various features and functionalities.
Choosing a robot vacuum can be difficult, and the sheer number of options can become quite frustrating. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you when it comes to how to pick the right robot vacuum.
Keeping your house clean and neat is difficult, and can sometimes feel like an insurmountable task. This is one of the main reasons that robot vacuums are so appealing — they offer a bit of relief to the constant chore that is cleaning your home.
Before you go out and buy a robot vacuum, take the time to survey your home and analyze the rooms, furniture, and appliances. If you have lived there for a while, you are probably already very familiar with the space.
It is worth looking over everything anyway. See how many of your rooms are carpeted or have floors made from hard materials like tiles and wood. Take note of how much furniture and how many appliances you have.
If your home is heavily carpeted, you will want a robot vacuum that has a high suction power, so that all of the dirt trapped within the fabric is removed. You will also want a machine that is able to glide across carpets smoothly, as ones that work well on hard floors may not work as well on carpets.
If your rooms are packed with appliances and furniture, your robot vacuum may have a harder time mapping out the layout of your home. It will also likely get stuck on your furniture every once in a while, and you’ll have to remove it manually.
While this is never a huge problem, it sort of defeats the whole hands-free appeal. Other than these main things, you won’t need to worry about any other household traits.
Do You Have Pets?
There are a number of robot vacuums that are specifically manufactured to clean pet hair effectively. A good pet hair machine will be able to pick up hair, fur, feathers, and other animal debris (not waste) with ease, and without experiencing blockages.
Having one of these robot vacuums in a household with pets is vital, as any other machine will become clogged when it encounters fur or hair. They also help those who suffer from allergies, thanks to the HEPA filters that are usually built-in.
The one main downside to owning a pet hair robot vacuum is that you will need to perform frequent maintenance. Side brushes, roller brushes, and HEPA filters will eventually wear out over time and will need to be replaced.
You would be surprised at just how much pet hair these robot vacuums actually pick up, and you will need to empty them regularly to prevent clogging and overflowing. Try and find a machine that has a dustbin larger than 700ml if you don’t want to empty it as frequently.
Connectivity and Control
Different models of robot vacuums are controlled in different ways. Some models are compatible with smartphone apps, which let you schedule cleaning schedules and map out the layout of your home.
These apps also allow you to create virtual barriers that your robot vacuum will not be able to pass. This is great if you have more sensitive objects or furniture that you do not want to be disturbed, such as unfinished artwork.
Most apps also let you designate no-clean zones, which section out a whole area of your home that your machine will not enter.
Other models are controlled via a remote. These models generally have much fewer features and functionality and are only capable of basic cleaning. However, depending on the brand, ‘remote-controlled’ robot vacuums can have several useful functions and cleaning modes.
What Do You Want Your Robot Vacuum to Do?
Keep in mind that most robot vacuums are not designed to replace upright vacuums, but rather supplement them. They should generally be used between your regular upright vacuuming sessions, to touch up around the house or when you are not able.
Some robot vacuum models do not just vacuum, but sweep, mop, and even clean using UV lights. If you really want to automate your floor cleaning duty, there are machines available out there, though they are more expensive.
For the most part, standard robot vacuums vacuum and sweep and can last for an average of 120 minutes. This is usually more than enough to cover all floors in an average home, but you’ll want to look for something with a more robust battery life if you live in a larger house.