Robot vacuum Buying Guide

Choose a robot vacuum cleaner

Robot vacuum Buying Guide

The robot vacuum cleaners realize a real dream: no longer need to vacuum! A robot vacuum cleaner moves alone in your home, and sucks and sweeps the dust. It requires little attention, although sometimes it takes time to understand how it works and how to fix it. Robotic vacuums usually use a combination of rotating and suction brushes: the brushes bring dust back to the center of the vacuum cleaner and then store it in the dust bin.

Most robot vacuums are able to automatically return to their station to recharge. They move about in rooms and change direction when they encounter an obstacle, or for the most recent when they detect stairs, which prevents them from falling. Due to their small size (less than 10 cm in height), they can be cleaned under furniture and under beds, in areas that are difficult to access for conventional vacuum cleaners.

Robot vacuum Buying Guide

The suction power is much lower than that of conventional vacuum cleaners, and cleaning sometimes leaves something to be desired. For, the robot vacuum cleaners allow a regular cleaning of the grounds and are a good complement of the classic vacuum cleaners, but for a perfect result it is necessary nevertheless to vacuum oneself from time to time for the corners and baseboards .

Robotic vacuum cleaners are expensive, but their price has dropped in recent years: the majority are sold at prices between 300 and 500 euros, and the decline in prices should continue.

To know all about the criteria for choosing a robot vacuum cleaner, follow our guide below, or see our comparative robot vacuum cleaners !

Robot vacuum cleaner buying guide

The following points should be considered when choosing a robot vacuum cleaner.

1. Dimensions and Weight:

Choosing a robot vacuum - Dimensions and weights

You will not really have the choice of dimensions , since almost all robot vacuum cleaners are discs of diameter between 34 and 36 cm, with a height of 8 to 11 cm. Because of their shape, they have trouble cleaning the corners of the rooms (although some are equipped with side brushes for this).

If you want the robot vacuum cleaner to clean under your furniture, check that it is not too big and compare its size with the available space: it can be played to the centimeter!

The weight is also not a determining factor, since all robot vacuum cleaners have a weight of between 3 and 4 kg, and you will not have to wear them or pull them like a conventional vacuum cleaner.

2. Cleaning efficiency

Robotic vacuums clean the floors by most often using the combined action of one or more rotating brushes and a small suction (30 to 40 W). The last generations are beginning to have more powerful aspirations, which are effective on carpets and rugs. For more information see the article on the operation of robot vacuums .

Some robot vacuum cleaners are equipped with HEPA filters or even UV lamps to eliminate allergen particles and ensure a high level of filtration.

3. Tank capacity

Choosing a robot vacuum - Tank Roomba Pet 564

The capacity of the dust tanks is limited : between 0.25 to 0.6 L in general. The smaller this value is, the more it will require you to empty it regularly. It is therefore very important, to avoid the maintenance is difficult, to choose a model whose dust tank can withdraw and empty easily.

The special “domestic” versions of robot vacuums have a larger tank (up to 1 L) to store collected hairs.

4. Accessories:

The accessories are more or less numerous according to the range of the robot vacuum cleaner.

Robot vacuum Buying Guide

Virtual wall and remote control

One of the most important is the virtual walls , which serve to delimit zones of displacement. There is usually 1 (entry level) to 3 (high end), and it is possible to buy others. The virtual walls delimit zones that the robot vacuum cleaner will not be able to cross, or that will only open once the part being cleaned. Some brands offer magnetic tapes to fix the ground, which play the same role but are more difficult to move.

The remote control can be useful, it will allow you to program and control your vacuum without having to bend down.

Finally the supply of spare filters and brushes , additional batteries or cleaning tools is very important.

Choosing a robot vacuum cleaner - Accessories

5. Autonomy

IRobot Charging Base

IRobot Charging Base

Depending on the type of battery used (NiCd, NiMh, Li-ion …) the autonomy of the robot vacuum cleaner for a charge can vary from 60 to 120 minutes. This corresponds to cleaned surfaces between 40 and 150 m² depending on the efficiency of the movement system. The autonomy is better on hard floors (tiles, parquet) than on carpet or carpets. If you can, we recommend choosing a robot vacuum cleaner with sufficient autonomy to clean your home in one charge.

In any case, check the charging time of the battery: it can vary from 1 to 5 hours. Also, make sure that the vacuum cleaner is able to come back to its base when it is unloaded, and then ideally resume work where it left off.

6. Movement system:

Robotic vacuum cleaner - Navigation

Most robot vacuums have a preprogrammed moving system : they travel the rooms, sometimes following a spiral path, and change direction when they encounter an obstacle. This is not very effective since they go back to the same place several times.

Others (like the Samsung Navibot or the Neato XV ) use a camera or laser to record the dimensions of the room where they are, and they optimize their movements. They clean more surface with the same autonomy.

Robot vacuum cleaner - Virtual wall

On the majority of models, you can place ” virtual walls ” (1 to 3 in general) that the robot vacuum cleaner will not cross: practical if you want to limit the action of your robot vacuum cleaner to certain parts or part of your home only.

Some virtual walls (lighthouse type) can be lifted as you go: it’s handy if you want the vacuum cleaner to clean your house room by room and not make unnecessary round trips.

Choose robot vacuum cleaner - Obstacle detection

A robot vacuum cleaner is normally equipped with sensorsthat allow it to slow down when approaching obstacles and not to damage furniture and walls.

If you have stairs, it is highly recommended to take a robot vacuum cleaner able to detect the steps so as not to fall (even if you can use a virtual wall for the same result).

7. Programming

Roomba 581 - Control Interface

Programmable robot vacuum cleaners can be set to clean your home at certain times on certain days of the week, for example during your absence.

You can, for example, program them for a cleaning from Monday to Friday in the middle of the day, and when you come home you will find them on their base and will only have to empty them (provided you prepare the house for do not find them stuck somewhere!).

Some entry-level robot vacuum cleaners only allow a delayed start .

8. Noise level

The sound level is a point not to neglect, especially if you expect to be present during the passage of the vacuum cleaner. That said, almost all robot vacuum cleaners generate less than 70 dB, which places them at the same level as silent vacuum cleaners.

Usage tips

Robot vacuum Buying Guide

Keep in mind that you will need to prepare a minimum for your dwelling for robot vacuuming.

Robot vacuum cleaners can pass obstacles a few centimeters high (thick carpet type for example), but are hampered by objects that drag and especially by the electric wires they can cause accidentally.

The highest-end vacuum cleaners are equipped with an automatic disentangling system of the driven wires, but which remains imperfect.

To know more

You can find more information in our article on the operation of robot vacuums .

To help you choose your robot vacuum cleaner, do not hesitate to consult the comparative vacuum cleaner robot to compare at a glance the technical characteristics of the latest models, or our selection of the best robot vacuum cleaner for pet hair

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