Forget about cleaning yourself, get a robot vacuum and/or mop to do your chores for you.

Forget about cleaning yourself, get a robot vacuum and/or mop to do your chores for you.

Flying cars are cool and all, but the future tech I always wanted the most was a robotic butler to clean my house for me. Today, this has become somewhat of a reality thanks to robot vacuums, which roll their way around your house picking up dirt and debris. But there are more models out there than we can count, and buying a robot can seem overwhelming. Thankfully, there are a few standout products that are truly worth your time and money.TL;DR These are the Best Robot Vacuums:
1. iRobot Roomba 960
Best Robot Vacuum
Suction power: 900Pa Sensors: camera, anti-drop, dirt detect Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant Boundary setting: Yes Cleaningarea: 1,615 ft-sq Dustbin capacity: 600ml Noise level: 65dB Battery life: 75 mins Size: 13.78 x 3.50 inches
Robot vacuums vary in price from $200 all the way up to over $1,000, so its tough to pick a best for everybodybut my one overall recommendation is the iRobots Roomba 960. Unlike cheaper robots, it has the ability to map your house using its camera and optical sensor, leading to a more methodical and reliable cleaning that doesnt miss big spots. It also uses brushless rollers, which are great for picking up hair without getting tangled. Furthermore, Roomba vacuums are remarkably repairable, partially because their popularity creates a healthy supply of replacement parts. The 960 also has Wi-Fi functionality, so you can start a cleaning with Alexa or Google, as well as through the iRobot app when youre away from home. It isnt exactly cheap at $600, but its far from the most expensive, and if you want a great vacuum without climbing all the way to the top of Roombas price range, the 960 is a great pick for anybody.2. Eufy RoboVac 11S
Best Budget Robot Vacuum
Suction power: 1,300Pa Sensors: carpet boost, anti-drop Connectivity: n/a Boundary setting: Yes Cleaning area: 1,292 ft-sq Dustbin capacity: 600ml Noise level: 55dB Battery life: 100 mins Size: 12.99 x 2.83 inches
Not everyone has a boatload of cash to drop on a robot vacuum, but that doesnt mean you need to give up your Jetson-Esque dreams of a self-cleaning house. The Eufy RoboVac 11S only costs $220, and its universally loved as the affordable alternative to Roombas pricier models. Eufy is the smart home brand of Anker Innovations, the same folks who make the budget wireless chargers, power banks, and Bluetooth speakers we love, and the RoboVac 11S is similarly great for the money. Its one of the quietest robot vacuums you can buy, not to mention small and nimble, and remarkably effective at picking up dirt, dust, and debris. Its not as smart as its more expensive competitorsit just moves around randomly instead of mapping your house, it doesnt have Wi-Fi, and you cant limit it to certain roomsbut for $220, its hard to complain much. Eufy has other robots that are very similar to the 11S with an added feature or two, like the RoboVac 11S Max (which improves suction), the RoboVac 15C (which adds Wi-Fi), or the 30C (which adds boundary markers to limit your robot to certain rooms). These occasionally go on sale for prices similar to the 11S, so theyre worth checking out as well.3. iRobot Roomba s9+
Max Power Robot Vacuum
Suction power: 1,300Pa Sensors: carpet boost, anti-drop Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant Boundary setting: Yes Cleaning area: 1,292 ft-sq Dustbin capacity: 600ml Noise level: 55dB Battery life: 100 mins Size: 12.99 x 2.83 inches
Lets say youre on the opposite end of the spectrum. Youve already got money growing on a tree in your backyard, and you want the most intelligent, powerful robot vacuum you can buy. That, my friends, would be the Roomba s9+, which costs a whopping $1,400. It takes everything great about the Roomba 960 and amps it up to 11, with incredibly powerful suction, a more advanced mapping system, a new design thats better at cleaning corners, and a dust bin built into its home base, so you dont have to empty it after every cleaning. You can tell it which rooms to clean and which to avoid right from the app, and repairing it is just as easy as other Roomba models. If you have the cash to spend, this is the most powerful robot vacuum you can buy today. (If you want to save a bit of money, though, the slightly older Roomba i7+ has a lot of the same benefits for only $1,100).4. iRobot Roomba 675
Best Midrange Roomba
Sensors: Camera, anti-drop Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant Boundary setting: No Battery life: 90 mins Size: 13 x 3.7 inches
The Roomba 675 offers a more affordable vacuum from the respectable iRobot brand. It’s a simpler model than the more premium (and much more expensive) Roombas, but it can still get the job done when it comes to cleaning your home. This robotic vacuum has enough power to handle hard floors and carpet, and can cruise around your space for up to 90 minutes on a single charge. You don’t have to worry about it falling down your stairs either thanks to a special built-in sensor. You can easily schedule it to keep your place clean, or control it through Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant for more impromptu cleanings.5. Roborock S5 Max
Best Robot Vacuum and Mop Hybrid
Suction power: 2,000Pa Sensors: Laser Distance Sensor, carpet boost, anti-drop Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant Boundary setting: Yes Water tank capacity: 290ml Battery life: 180 mins Size: 13.78 x 3.8 inches
Roborock may not have the name recognition that iRobot Roomba does, but it’s building a rock-solid reputation for itself. The Roborock S5 Max follows up on the S5 that we already liked plenty. And, for a price below many Roomba models, it can handle not just vacuuming but also mopping. The Roborock S5 Max has advanced sensors to map out rooms and prevent falls. That also lets you set up sections of your space you don’t want it to go or only want it to vacuum without mopping. It offers powerful suction and a three-hour battery life, giving it plenty of time to get your space clean. If it needs more power to get through a large space, it can even intelligently head back to the charge, juice up, and resume cleaning as soon as it has enough power.What to look for in a Robot Vacuum
These are far from the only robot vacuums on the market, but they are generally regarded as the bestand there are a lot out there that kind of suck (or dont suck, as the case may be). And even among these few models, there are a lot of different features to look for that you may not have considered when setting out on your robot-buying expedition. In particular, you want to keep an eye out for: Suction power: Obviously, you want a vacuum thatll pick up as much junk as possible, especially if you have thick carpets. Most robot vacuums dont advertise their suction power (measured in pascals, or pa, of pressure), but a few doso if you see a pascal rating when deciding between vacuums, it can be a helpful measure of its cleaning power. Not the only measure, mind you, but a helpful one. Sensor type: Some robot vacuums navigate using optical sensors, like camerasthese can be great, but dont always work in dark rooms (which may or may not matter to you). Other robots use infrared navigation, which works better in the dark and can more easily avoid objects.
Many robots use a combination of sensors for navigation, plus others that sense objects or tangles in the brushes. These little differences can affect how well they move around your home, so its worth looking at the idiosyncrasies of each robots movementyou dont want to get stuck with one that…well, gets stuck a lot. Wi-Fi capabilities: In my opinion, the best part of smart tech is being able to control it with your phone or voicewhich requires a Wi-Fi chip in the vacuum. Some robots have this, and some dont, but the ones that do tend to be a bit more expensive. Its up to you whether those remote control conveniences are worth the extra price. Mapping features: Cheaper robots tend to head in a random direction until they bump into something, then turn around and roll in another direction…repeating this process until theyve covered most (or all) of your home.
Pricier models, on the other hand, usually contain some sort of mapping feature, that navigates in a more methodical, grid-like fashion. Some vacuums clear this map from their memory after each cleaning, while others remember it for next time, allowing them to navigate it more effectively as they learn. You can also use those maps to clean specific areas with the tap of a button, thanks to… Boundary setting: Again, cheaper robots may have boundary featureslike the Roombas infrared boundary markersthat help keep them away from specific areas you dont want to be cleaned. Eufy uses magnetic strips that lay across your floor. More advanced robots, though, may allow you to do this through the app, blocking off certain rooms by drawing virtual lines. Some robots can even automatically detect rooms on their map, allowing you to pick which rooms to clean at any given time. If you have areas you want the vacuum to avoid, this can be a crucial feature.
Size, shape, and sound: Youll also want to consider the design of your vacuum. Most models look pretty similar, so it isnt really about styleits more about their ability to fit into corners, under beds and couches, and through tight areas. Smaller models may have a bit more maneuverability, but sacrifices in other areas, like suction or the size of their dust bin. Youll also want to consider sound. None of these vacuums are silent by any means, but some are much louder than others and maybe the difference between running it while youre watching TV and having to run it only while youre out of the house. Battery life: This only matters a little since most robot vacuums will go home and charge themselves before continuing on their route. Battery life is ultimately less important than with most gadgets, so I wouldnt worry about it too much. Finally, remember that robot vacuums arent necessarily a replacement for your traditional vacuumtheyre more designed to keep your house clean in between regular cleaning. Few, if any, have the power and maneuverability of a stand-up vacuum you run yourself, and youll still need to vacuum and mop occasionally.
But for those in-between cleanings, especially in homes with pets or kids, they can be a godsend to run each morning while youre out of the house. I shudder to think of what my house would look like without one. Whitson Gordon is a writer, gamer, and tech nerd who has been building PCs for 10 years. He eats potato chips with chopsticks so he doesn’t get grease on his mechanical keyboard.
Mark Knapp is a regular contributor to IGN and an irregular Tweeter on Twitter @Techn0Mark

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