It’s now spring, which means it’s nearly the season of cleaning and organization. There’s something particularly alarming about emerging from the winter doldrums to find that your home is a dusty, cluttered mess. To help you (and us) with sprucing up and restoring order, we’re talking to professionals and experts this week all about the best tricks and tools.
Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed (that’s four-to-five-star reviews and lots of ‘em) products and single out the most convincing. While we’ve written before about a certain age-defying German vacuum, the best vacuums on Amazon, the best handheld vacuums, and even reviewed the new Dyson, here we’re breaking down the best robot vacuums on Amazon. (Note that reviews have been edited for length and clarity.)
The Best Robot Vacuum for Thick Carpets
“I work in industrial robotics and motion control, so I might have different expectations for gadgets, but I’ve owned three of the better-known robot vacs and I always felt like none were really engineered to work in a real family environment (area rugs, pets,kids, etc. …). They’ve always been noisy and not overly effective. I’ve run this one every day since I got it. It’s quiet, and the amount of dirt, hair, etc. it picks up freaks me out a little. It easily navigates over the area rugs with ease. I’m pretty sure the algorithm for moving around objects in the other robot vacs was better, but that doesn’t mean much when the gadget can’t effectively do its main purpose. Thank you, Eufy, for showing me how a robot vac is supposed to work.”
The Best Budget Robot Vacuum
“If you are looking for a robot that heat-seeks dirt with laser beams, this is not your bot vac. It’s not fancy, but it gets the job done. I have run this vacuum nonstop for three days. I charge it overnight or once I get home, and then set it off. I send it on its way when I go to bed, and my husband charges it when he gets home. This does not have a base to report back to. It will die in random places if you leave it to run until the battery dies. It runs 60 to 90 minutes per charge. It’s no louder than a regular vacuum. It doesn’t get everything, but it takes a huge stress off my shoulders because I run it when I leave the house, when we are in bed, or whenever it’s charged. I’ll be buying at least one more for my upstairs.”
The Best Roomba Robot Vacuum Cleaner
“I find myself more impressed with Roomba the more I watch it navigate. I’m still not impressed with the path-planning algorithm, and I stand by my original statements, but after figuring out how the algorithm works for the most part, its simplicity is rather elegant. I only use it on hard surface floors, so I don’t know about carpet, but it works incredibly well for the hard surfaces. I am shocked by how much it finds every day, with three cats and two kids, there are always messes, but this thing can keep up with it and more. Where I’m extremely impressed, given I’ve designed a control system for a four-wheel, independently actuated, autonomous rover, is the navigation system they designed. The mobility of this little rob is incredible, working its way around obstacles (furniture, shoes, random objects). It can get into tiny areas where it barely fits, then it can find its way out, which is not an easy feat.”
The Best Robot Vacuum for Cleaning Up Pet Hair
“I have an Australian shepherd who blows his coat twice a year (a.k.a. sheds all day, every day). If you don’t keep up with the hair … it’s like the Wild Wild West. I came across this Shark Ion robot vacuum by chance. It has been well worth the $350 I paid. It does a wonderful job of picking up the dog hair; I was actually surprised of how much it actually picks up. It also does a really good job of picking up the fine debris such as dust, dirt, and sand. Also on larger debris such as dog food, leaves, grass, bark, and other things that get tracked in from the bottom of shoes. I have used my upright directly after a robot cleaning just to see how much more I would get up, and honestly, I was surprised that it was minimal hair and debris.”
The Best Mopping Robot Vacuum Cleaner
“I waited ‘til I’d used this robot for a few weeks before reviewing it, thinking it might crap out on me somehow. After running it at least a dozen times, and also trying out the mop functionality, I gotta say this is the best robot slave I’ve ever used. Kicks the crap out of our old Roomba and costs half as much. This sucker comes with a separate water tank (which I absolutely loaded with Orange Glo hardwood-floor cleaner) and automatically goes in a slower, steadier pattern when mopping. It very slowly drips out the solution to be absorbed and mopped around by the microfiber cloth attachment covering the rear underside of the robot. Works really great.”
The Best Robot Vacuum With an Air Filter
“This little bot is amazing. The first night I let him loose, I had to empty him six times. He pulled up dog hair from hell. I was in disbelief that my upright vacuum left my carpets so filthy. I was embarrassed. I have a huge downstairs that consists of hardwood, tile, regular pile carpet, rugs, and many, many obstacles. It transitions from all floors wonderfully. Out of four nights, it’s gotten stuck two times. This thing is surprisingly quiet, especially for the suction power. It’s super simple to set up, clean, empty bin, and program. It doesn’t knock hard into my furniture, if it even touches it at all because of the amazing sensors. I’m not sure why I waited so long to own one of these amazing bots.”
The Best Laser-Sensing Robot Vacuum
“This vacuum does it all! Our first floor is quite large, so more than one run was necessary. But she goes right back to where she left off when the battery is charged up. We love the way she glides over the carpets in a methodical way (unlike the Roomba) and gets up everything off the floor. We have three Great Danes, and there is no trace of them in the house when my Neato Botvac is finished! She runs in the dark with no problem at all! It’s also quite amazing for it to know how to lower herself to go under my sofas! She shrinks down if she is too tall! We have a large, round table with six chairs. How she managed to maneuver around the pedestal and chairs amazed us! She can even lift herself to get out of a jamb!”
The Best Robot Vacuum With a Long Battery Life
“My first robot vacuum … WOW! I vacuumed last night, however, the A4S ran for more than two hours and 15 minutes; I emptied it three times. It picked up dirt, dog hair, small twigs, tree bark, and grass all tracked in by kids, dogs, or me. It’s fascinating to watch it work. I’m wonder struck. I have all wood or tile floors with transition pieces, with a few rugs. It managed all surfaces well, though it did get stuck once under the piano pedals. It might have freed itself, but I helped it along. It found its way back to its dock without difficulty. My floors look great, and I’m really excited about this new addition.”
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