Robotic vacuums still have a ways to go before they will be something that everyone has to have in their home. But they are certainly gaining some ground with newer, more intelligent models coming on the market every day. Finding the best robotic vacuum is not an easy feat and there are tons of opinions out there on which ones are best. Some opinions are due to brand loyalty, others to defective products and there are some other true and honest reviews that seem to have no bias.
I have always wanted one myself but have refused to buy one since there was never one out there that actually did everything it was supposed to do, according to reviews. But after seeing one at a friend’s house and hearing what they thought, we decided to give it a try. We recently purchased a super cheap model, an iLife, just for our hardwood and tile floors downstairs and for the price, have been pleasantly surprised with its durability and convenience. Just knowing I can turn it on as I head out to the store and not have to worry about sweeping or vacuuming that day is fantastic.
This is one that we actually have at home so I can give an honest review on it. I love that I paid less than $150 for this because we have never had a robotic vacuum so I really had no idea what to expect and didn’t want to spend a small fortune on something I wasn’t sure I even wanted or needed. We have had it for about a year now and for the price, it really is a great little device. The dust pan is small so you have to change it after every use, sometimes in the middle of use, which is a bit of a pain. However, on wood and tile flooring, it does a great job of getting up dog hair, dust and any other small particles that are hard to get with a broom. I love that I can turn it on and leave the house and come back an hour or two later and my floors are clean. It comes with a remote so you can manually control it to clean up a particular area and you can turn it on and off when needed from the comfort of your couch….because isn’t that why you are buying one of these in the first place? I know that’s why I did.
On the negative side, it will get stuck on thick rugs (bathroom rugs or doormats if they are thick pile) and sometimes I forget to move dog beds or cords and it can get stuck there. If it gets stuck, it will just eventually turn off once the battery runs out. Otherwise, once it is almost out of power, it will take itself back to its charger in the corner and recharge. It doesn’t do too well on carpets, especially if you are looking for a deep down clean. I would recommend using it for hardwood or tile and look to a better brand or model for carpets. And yes, if there is dog poop on the floor it will try to clean it up and it will smear it all over the place. Unfortunately, we learned this from experience on a carpeted floor. We have a tiny dog that likes to hide his accidents on the rare occasion he cannot get outside and the robot found it before we could (under a bed). That was a bad day. But all in all, if you are on a budget or just want to try one of these things out, this is a great one to learn on.
iRobot Roomba 690
The iRobot brand is one of the original robotic vacuum manufacturers and is typically the brand most people identify with in this particular genre. There are many models to choose from when shopping for a Roomba and many would say this is the brand to buy. The 690 model is not the top of the line but is not the base model either…it is somewhere in the middle which will reflect in its price as well. It has WiFi connectability and has edge sweeping abilities which makes for a more efficient clean. It will run for up to 90 minutes, then will dock and recharge and automatically continue to clean. It also includes a “Dirt Detect” technology which alerts the product when there is more dirt or dust in the area it is cleaning so it will come back for a second or third sweep, if needed. Another perk of this vacuum is that it includes a sensor that will prevent it from falling down the stairs, a great addition for this type of robot.
There are tons of reviews for this vacuum all over the internet and the majority of them are positive. On Amazon alone there are close to 4,000 reviews which give this product an average of 4.1 stars out of 5. The positive reviews claim it is great for cleaning up hair, easy to clean and durable. Battery life is also pretty good (at about 90 minutes per run) and many reviews stated that if you give the vacuum time, you will understand its method and love it. From a negative aspect, some reviewers say this vacuum is touch on their furniture although others say this is not the case. Another reviewer claims that their robot scratched their wood floors but I could not find any other reviews stating the same so I am not sure if this item was defective or if there were some other anomalies in play here. When it comes to carpet, some reviewers said that this vacuum is not the best for a higher pile (rugs or fully carpeted rooms), so that may be something to take into consideration.
Shark Ion R85
I am a big fan of Shark products. We have a cordless Shark vacuum for our downstairs that is completely hardwood and tile (no carpet) and it works well when I am cleaning the entire downstairs flooring. I have a few friends that also own Shark vacuums and are very satisfied with their products, as well. I haven’t purchased a Shark robotic vacuum but I would lean towards them for the price and the great product experience that we have had previously if we were to ever purchase a more expensive model.
This particular robotic vacuum will connect to your WiFi thereby giving you the power to control it away from home and is also compatible with your Alexa device so it can be voice controlled. It is designed to remove pet hair and will work on hard and carpeted flooring. The R85 also claims to have three times the suction of its original predecessor and has increased sensitivities which helps it to avoid situations in which it could get stuck. Reviewers have stated that set up is easy as is cleaning out the dustbin (which is extra large according the Shark website). However, others stated that this vacuum did get stuck on very thick carpets at times.
I hate to clean…
…like I seriously despise it. I did not grow up privileged by having a maid, I had to clean my room and do other chores every week so it’s not like cleaning is a new thing for me as an adult. But, I just feel like things should clean themselves, is that too much to ask? Ok, yea, it probably is but when I see those dog hair tumbleweeds roll out from under the couch and across the floor I can’t help but wish for just a little help on keeping up with the dirt, dust and hair on my floors. If you feel the same way and are planning to or have purchased a robotic vacuum, let us know in the comments below. I’d also be interested in your opinions on these other models you’ve tried. Until next time…