How to Buy a Great Robot Vacuum Cleaner

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Robot vacuums are designed to clean your home with minimal help. Powered by a rechargeable battery, these cordless machines can learn their way around your room using sensors and cameras. They’re generally able to dodge stairs and are small enough to vacuum under low furniture.

After fully recharging your robot vacuum, you should be able to let it start cleaning straight away. It may take a few goes before your robot vacuum can properly learn the layout of your room. They tend to ‘feel’ their way around by bumping into walls and furniture so you should leave your room as uncluttered as possible (and free of any fragile vases!).

All but the most basic models can connect to your home Wi-Fi network, so you can monitor and set up your cleaning regime using its related app. This is recommended, as they’ll then be able to accept firmware updates (the software built into the vacuums) which could iron out bugs or include new features.

Are robot vacuum cleaners worth it?

After conducting our rigorous lab testing of robot vacs, we wouldn’t recommend any as a complete replacement for a regular stick, barrel, or upright vacuum, especially in homes with carpeted floors. However, they’re great for in-between cleans and can be used on a daily basis, especially if you’ll be out of the house. 

Despite their autonomous nature, filters, dust bins, and brushes will still need regular cleaning and you’ll still need to make sure your floor doesn’t have stuff lying around which could get caught in the robot vacuum, even if it does claim to be able to detect the obstructions.