The vacuum cleaner has evolved. You no longer have to suffer the indignity of dragging around a hose connected to a rolling dustbin. You don’t even need to get off of the couch to clean your floor.
While it may still seem like a new product category, there are now several good robotic vacuums available online.
The Best Robot Vacuum Cleaners
Robot vacuum cleaners are wonderful allies to have for your spring and summer cleaning chores. They come equipped with lasers, motherboards, sensors, and even Wi-Fi to navigate around your home.
They’ll rid your floor of pet hair, dust, and other debris. Ideally, you won’t have to lift a finger except to turn them on.
So, how to choose the right one for your home? Below is our round up of three top-rated robotic vacuums available on Amazon.
We’ve provided our insights – and those of other experts – to help you make a choice.
Your Best Budget-Friendly Option
First on our line-up is the iRobot Roomba 675, and it’s a good place to start. The iRobot brand is one of the most respected in the market. The Roomba 675 is the company’s most affordable model with Wi-Fi connectivity.
This robot vacuum automatically adjusts to different floor surfaces, rarely gets stuck, and works quickly.
The Roomba 675 measures 13 inches in diameter and 3.7 inches high. Flip it over and you’ll see two multi-surface brushes on the bottom.
The first loosens and lifts dirt and other debris. The second pulls the debris into the suction channel.
The robot is equipped with several cliff sensors to prevent it from falling down stairs or other edges. It also has an edge-sweeping side brush for corners.
Setting up the Roomba 675 is simple. Just plug the home base into a socket, remove the battery tab, and place the robot on the charger. The robot comes partially charged, but iRobot recommends waiting three hours for a full initial charge.
The vacuum doesn’t come with a remote. You can control it using a downloadable app or with your voice via Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
The app is simple and intuitive. There is a big Clean button in the middle and tabs on the bottom for Schedule, History, Help, and Settings. You can select which days of the week you want the robot to clean and at what time.
This robot will traverse carpets and different types of flooring and tile without much difficulty. It will collect a good amount of dust, pet hair, and other debris as it moves across these surfaces.
The battery will power the 675 for about 90 minutes on a single charge. The vacuum docks itself in the base station when it is done cleaning or when the battery is low.
The manufacturers recommend cleaning the bin after each use. You should also clean the brushes and filter once a week.
Our verdict? If you’re new to robot vacuums and prefer a trusted brand, the Roomba 675 is an excellent option.
Be warned, however, that this robot does make quite a racket when it’s working. If you want a quiet robot vacuum, this one isn’t for you. It’s louder than most.
A Budget-Friendly Runner-Up
Second on our line-up is the Lefant M201 Robotic Vacuum Cleaner. Priced at around $150 on Amazon, this is yet another budget-friendly option in the robot vacuum cleaner market.
The manufacturers claim this robot is 15 percent smaller than its competitors in the market. We couldn’t verify this claim but the M201 is, in fact, just around two-and-three-quarter inches high.
The robot features True 360 ° technology for space detection. This means the vacuum can detect different heights of potential obstacles. In theory, the robot should find the best access around any obstacle as it works.
Setting up this robot is a matter of unboxing and putting it on its charging dock. From zero percent charge, the battery will take about four-and-a-half hours to fully charge.
The spec sheet tells us to expect around 90 minutes of autonomy for each charge. Like the iRobot 675, this robot returns to its charging base when it’s finished or low on battery.
The M201 offers four cleaning modes: auto, spiral, wall follow, and user-controlled. The Lefantlife app is available for iOS and Android. It’s well-designed and quite intuitive.
You use the app to choose the cleaning mode and to schedule the robot’s active working hours. Google Home and Amazon Alexa users can instruct the M201 to go to work by using simple commands.
The M201’s performance almost matches that of the Roomba 675. Some might find the Levant M201’s bumbling randomness annoying. We found that the device tends to get stuck from time to time.
We noticed that the return to home sequence can take a long time, too. Sometimes, even longer than the clean cycle.
We do not know how the robot communicates with the charging base. We assume it uses infrared or radio. But occasionally, the robot just seems to get lost on its way home.
The semi-random navigation system is to be expected of budget-friendly robots, though. And it does pick up as much dirt and debris from the floor as the Roomba 675.
Overall, we say you get what you pay for with the Lefant M201. Using the device has its drawbacks, but it’s hard to argue against its price.
A Premium Choice
If you’ve got the cash for a good robot vacuum, the iRobot Roomba i7+ (7550) is an excellent option. That said, it’s the most expensive product in our line-up.
This robot vacuum cleaner looks impressive with premium-looking black plastic with charcoal gray on the top. There’s a wide black bumper on the front, too.
The robot is 13.3 inches in diameter and 3.7 inches tall. The logo on the top conceals a carrying handle. It sits above a prominent “Clean” button in the center. You’ll find smaller icons for docking and spot cleaning on its flanks.
Turn the Roomba i7+ over and you’ll find two rubber wheels with one small roller wheel front and center.
This robot vacuum does not use bristle and rubber rollers as do most other robot vacuums. Instead, the i7+ uses rubber-encased foam.
We didn’t have to do too much to get this robot running. You can control the Roomba i7+ with the iRobot Home app, which is available for Android and iOS.
You’ll need the app to guide you through the initial setup. The manuals that come with the robot and its base mainly explain how to clean it.
Connecting the robot to your phone and Wi-Fi network should be a near seamless process. We encountered no problems at all doing this.
The first few times this robot cleans, you’ll have the option to allow it to map your house. When it’s done mapping the house, you can view the map in the app.
You can make changes to the map by adding and removing virtual boundaries while giving each room a name.
Once the robot maps your house, you can use its smart-map feature to make it clean specific rooms.
The i7+ remembers up to 10 different floor plans. You can edit each map when you want. The robot does a wonderful job negotiating around chair legs as it moves through your home.
The Roomba i7+ isn’t as noisy as its entry-level cousin, the Roomba 675. But you will prefer not to have it around when you’re in the middle of a conversation.
The robot cleans as well as any other robot vacuum, too, pulling in dirt and debris as it goes.
What sets it apart, though, is that it will head back to the dock when its dustbin is full. The dock sucks the debris out of the bin and then the robot goes back to work.
All in all, we say this is an excellent product – the best in our lineup. We think it will be especially useful in a large house full of pets.
But all the convenience and technology it offers does come at a hefty price.
No Longer Science Fiction
There was a time when robot vacuums were only found in science fiction. That’s no longer true today. They are real appliances now.
In fact, they’re far more sophisticated than ever before, with many boasting an array of new technologies.
If you’re looking to keep your home clean, these robots can help you – for real.