A few generations ago, vacuum cleaners would have seemed as strange to us as robot vac seems to us now. They were a newfangled device that people were uncertain about until they tried them and saw how well they worked.
With their growing popularity, you may be wondering if it is time to get one for your own home. These new devices are making an impact on many households and are changing the very nature of housework. With so many products on the market, you may find that it is difficult to pick which one is right for you.
Best Robot Vacuum Cleaner for 2018
It is hard enough to tell a good product from a bad one when you know a great deal about what you want from the product, but so much harder when what you are selecting is completely new to you. In order to choose the best robot vacuum cleaner that suits you, there are some things that you should take into consideration:
What is the price range you are looking for? Although low end models can be had for as little as $170, a high end brand can run well over $1000. Moderately priced models are still commonly between 200-300 dollars.
How much are replacement parts for your model?
As reliable as they may be, all vacs eventually need replacements such as rotary brushes. Some models have more expensive replacement parts than others.
How important are additional accessories?
Some models are stacked with additional accessories that improve their effectiveness, but other brands are content with providing very little (other than perhaps HEPA filters) preferring to let their product stand on its own.
How autonomous do you want the system to be?
Some models are more autonomous, programmed to zip around your floor randomly even when you are not there, while others require more human intervention and setting up to function properly.
Do you want a vacuum-only or do you want it to do kitchen floors too?
Some models are equipped to scrub floors as well as vacuum, although this can affect the price tag quite a bit.
How important is it for your model to be pet-friendly?
Some bots have gotten publicity for chasing pets and aggravating cats. Remember to mind the reviews to see how pet friendly your model is.
There are ten top models that you should consider based on the criteria above. These models all have their strengths and their weak points, but by considering what you want most out of the product, you can decide for yourself which one is right for you. For your consideration, here are the top ten models of robot vacuum on the market:
Neato XV-21 Pet & Allergy Automatic robot
Much like the Signature Pro, the XV-21 is designed to prevent collisions with furniture and valuables, with the additional payoff that it scans your room for movement to avoid similar collisions with pets. It had an intuitive design that prevents annoying occurrences common to other robots, such as getting stuck or running out of power. It does suffer from the same drawbacks as the Signature Pro, but in addition it is a high-energy user and needs to recharge much more often and take much more time to complete its tasks. Despite this, the XV-21 is one of the best models for pet owners.
When I first saw that the brand name of this vacuum was Neato, I have to admit I was a little skeptical. Still, I have pets and kids with allergies, and have also been wanting to try a better automatic vacuum cleaner for a long time.
The idea of setting the vacuum, leaving for work or errands, and returning to a clean house really appealed to me as it does to many business parents. I have purchased less expensive brands and models, but they were never really up to the task of handling pet hair, food debris, and tracked in dirt.
Because this model was particularly designed with pet owners in mind, it was equipped with a special cleaning brush, allergy air filter, and the most powerful automatic vacuum motor on the market. This is not the least expensive automatic cleaner on the market, but I wanted to pay for functionality and quality. In the end, I believe that a few extra dollars will actually help me save money and time if I am happy with the product.
Neato XV-21 Pros
This powerful little machine can actually scan your rooms so it knows where to go and what to avoid. When it is finished or needs to charge, it simply returns to the charging base all by itself. It the unit needs a charge before the job is completed, it actually remembers where it left off. In my opinion, these efficiency features are really beneficial.
If you have pets, you probably suffer from a couple of problems. Hairballs and just plain shedding end up everywhere, especially along the walls. This is true if your floors are carpeted, wooden, tile, or laminated. Most pets tend to shed up their fuzzy toys too, so this leaves extra debris around. This simply overwhelms less powerful automatic vacuums. To might great delight, the Neato XV-21 handles all of this.
The Neato also navigates pretty well. It gets really close to objects, including my pets, without running into them. It is not constantly bumping into the walls or cupboards either.
Yes, it does get clogged sometimes. Also, the unit needs to be cleaned when it gets full just like any other vacuum cleaner. However, the unit makes a little chirping noise when you have to attend to it. This takes the guesswork out of wondering why it has stopped.
Neato XV-21 Cons
I have tried some cheaper automatic vacuums over the years, and as far as i am concerned, this model has them beat. So when I come up with criticisms, these are really lists of my wish lists for a perfect automatic vacuum.
Here is one problem though. I have an end table that is higher than the base, but lower than the back vent. A couple of times, the machine got stuck there. If I know I am going to let it run when I’m not home, I usually move that table out of the room to avoid the problem. In order to really correct it, you can purchase additional boundary markers from the company.
The battery life is not great, but this is true of every automatic vac I have tried. It really does not hold a charge that long, but since it goes back to base and recharges this is not a huge problem for me. However, I have been told that batteries do not tend to last long past the warranty and have to be replaced. They are rather expensive. If you are used to purchasing a typical vacuum that only requires an initial investment to run for years, expect a different experience with automatic vacuums.
If you have never used an automatic vacuum before, it takes awhile to adjust to them. For example, they can navigate around a room, but they can get confused sometimes. I have never found a model that holds a charge as long as I need to in order to clean a large room. I was prepared for the differences in the way an automatic vacuum works when compared to a typical vacuum that you push or pull around the house.
Anyway, I am not comparing this unit to another type of vacuum. I am comparing it to my experiences with some less expensive brands and models. In my opinion, the Neato XV-21 stacks up fairly well against its competition.
Neato XV Signature Pro Robot
The Neato is notable for its ability to learn a room without needing to bump into wall or furniture, which is a big selling point for many buyers. It features a laser guidance system that prevents it from coming within an inch of solid objects and obstructions, guiding it around and along these portions of your floor. Its greatest strength actually causes the biggest drawback of the Neato. Its no-bump feature makes it difficult for it to clean close to walls and furniture or to reach dirt in corners. However, it is a relatively autonomous bot and will return to its charger before running out of juice.
Neato Robotics, who is popular for its line of the successful robotic vacuum cleaner, has created another flagship product in the form of the Neato XV Signature Pro. It is state-of-the-art and improves on the design and features of previous robotic vacuums. This makes cleaning less of a chore and more like an activity that you can easily forget about due to automation. The XV Signature Pro is an essential vacuum to have due to its great guidance system, new brush, and incredible suction power.
Neato automatic vacuums are known for having good suction power, but the XV Signature Pro takes suction to the next level, featuring a 50% suction increase when compared to previous models. This powerful machine glides closer to the floor, allowing it to pick up more particles and debris. For homes with excessive pet hair, the three brushes can help get the hair out of any surface. It also uses two filters that are specially designed to attract allergens, such as dander and dust, leaving your floor much cleaner than before.
The battery inside this Neato can run for 45 to 90 minutes without needing to be charged. The runtime varies depending on floor type, the previous battery charge, and the number of obstacles in a room. A charging station is included with the machine that makes it possible to perform self-charging. The vacuum detects its power level, and when this level gets too low, it will go to the station and recharge itself without any human input.
The battery will take about two or three hours to recharge, and the machine will even remember where it stopped cleaning before the recharge and return to that area to finish its job. If a problem arises with the battery, Neato customer service will offer assistance or send a new battery.
Pros of Neato Signature Pro
The XV Signature Pro is easy to operate with its five-button interface and easy to read LCD screen. The buttons are used to set up three cleaning options: general clean, spot clean, and scheduled cleaning. Pre-programmed cleaning allows the user to set the bot to clean at a certain time of the day for the entire week, which is convenient if you are going to be away from home and want to have clean floors and carpeting. General clean is the most basic option that cleans a room once when the start button is pressed.
Spot clean is used when the user wants the robot to clean a specific area while ignoring the rest of the room, saving battery life in the process. It will move in a small rectangle around the designated spot until it is clean. It can also be connected to a computer via a USB port, and its software and firmware can be updated.
This machine is easy to assemble and maintain. Regularly cleaning debris from the brushes and emptying the dust bin will be enough to keep it running smoothly. It can move from surface to surface without any problems, making going from carpet to hardwood to tile easy. Like most vacuums, it makes a bit of noise, but not enough to be a problem.
In order to navigate through obstacles in a room, the XV Signature Pro uses a laser mounted on its body. Rather than bumping into every object and turning around, it uses a laser to determine the best path around a room and updates this plan regularly. It can even detect where stairs and another drop off points are, keeping it from falling a distance and damaging itself. If this isn’t enough and you desire extra precautions, you can buy magnetic boundary strips that will keep the robot from entering certain areas.
Cons of Neato Signature Pro
It seems to be a general consensus among owners that the Neato has more cleaning power than Roomba, especially when dealing with pet hair. However, users have complained about the battery life. In the beginning, you will only get about 20 mins before the unit goes back to the charging station to recharge itself. But it will get better in time. You just have to run it until the battery issue resolves itself after a few charges. Also, the docking station needs to have ample space (at least 3 sq. ft.) for the vac to find its way back, otherwise it’ll get lost.
You have to clear the floor of potential hazards like socks, clothing and other loose items where the machine can get stuck. This is the case for most robot vacuums, so it’s not really a downside for the Neato. It actually doesn’t get stuck as much as other cleaning bots like the Roomba.
Be aware that this unit does not have a remote control so you to chase it in order to turn it off which can be annoying for some.
The Neato XV Signature Pro is one of the best options for anyone who wants a robotic vacuum. It has powerful suctions and brushes that make floors exceptionally clean. It can map its way around a room and clean using specific commands which are easy to implement. It can even charge itself when the battery becomes low. The only possible down side is that it costs more than others, but it’s definitely worth the price for what it can do.
Mint Automatic Hard Floor Cleaner, 4200
This is the top of the line floor cleaner for those more concerned with the cleanliness of hard-surfaced floors such as hardwood or linoleum. It had the functionality to utilize Swiffer brand wipes to keep floors clean and polished. It is notably quieter than other models and is prized for its ability to function in complex floor spaces. Even though it is criticized for the limitations of its cleaning cloth, which loses its effectiveness if it is not changed on a regular basis, the Mint 4200 is a good option for those who have large areas of hard-surfaced floors.
Do you like sweeping and mopping your floor every day? If not, you may be ready for this handy little robotic floor sweeper. It cannot do everything that Rosie the Robot can do, but it is a good start!
The main advantages of the Mint Automatic Floor Cleaner include a variety of different functions, a fairly long battery life, and the fact that it avoids obstacles and drop-offs. It is also small to make storage easier. It even runs quietly so you do not have to endure some loud motor while your floor is being cleaned.
Mint 4200 Pros
Because the Mint 4200 has both dry and wet pads, it can actually take turns sweeping and mopping your floor. As you know, it does not do much good to mop a floor that still needs to be swept. All you do is turn your dirt into mud. Alternatively, just sweeping your floor will not pick up the dirt that needs to be removed with water and cleaning solutions. This machine handles both of these tasks, but not both at the same time.
Because you can run it as a floor sweeper first, and then run it as a mop, it is a much better solution than some products that only do one thing. Simple wet and dry pads can be changed out so this one machine is both a sweeper and a mop. It is pretty easy to switch out pads and change the function of this cleaner.
I also like the fact that the charge lasts for about three hours, although it depends on which setting you’re using. Many models seem to fizzle out after less than an hour which is not nearly enough time to really do a good job in a larger house. In my opinion, a good battery charge life is one of the primary reasons that I would purchase a machine.
The Mint 4200 has a built-in GPS system. This means that it will clean next to your furniture, rugs, and walls. But it will not keep bumping into them. Better yet, if you have stairs or another drop-off, the machine senses these automatically and will not take a plunge. I always like a floor cleaner with a sense of self-preservation!
Mint 4200 Cons
As a note, some people I spoke with felt that the unit moved slowly so it did not really do a lot of cleaning in the allotted time. It is impossible for me to know the condition of their floors though. The unit works with a GPS system that helps direct it around furniture, rugs, and the edges of floors.
I would imagine that the harder that this GPS system has to work, the more time and energy it takes. That makes sense, because that is the case with cell phones. If the GPS is on, it drains more power. It may be that the company is advertising the long battery life and cleaning effectiveness under the most ideal conditions.
If your floor is very dirty because of dogs, kids, or just general use, you may not get it spotlessly clean by using this device either. In this case, you may want to prepare the floor by going over it lightly in advance. Alternatively, you might let the machine work first, but then figure you will have to work behind it later. Either way, it will save you time and effort even if it is not as efficient as you are at picking up each spill and speck of dust!
You can find this automatic floor washer for sale at many retail outlets, including online stores. If you can get a good price, it is really a fairly inexpensive considering the features that it has. You might compare price and functions with other brands and models of automatic floor cleaners.
Even people who did mention some problems usually said it was a good product for the amount of money they spent. If you want an affordable, versatile and automatic solution to floor cleaning, you should consider the Mint Automatic Floor Cleaner.
If your budget allows, I suggest you get the upgraded Mint Plus 5200, although it costs at least $100 more. It has better battery life, charges faster (with the option to charge even much faster if you buy the Turbo Charge Cradle separately), has room memory so it can resume cleaning where it has left off (useful when you pause it to change the cleaning pads), comes with a “Quick-Clean” mode, and best of all, it has a liquid reservoir to keep the mopping pad wet throughout the cycle.