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The future is finally here, at least the future of cleaning that is. Thanks to robot vacuums, you no longer have to waste your time and your valuable energy on those annoying cleaning tasks, as you can now get a robot to vacuum your floors for you.
Although not quite like the robots we’re used to seeing in movies, these small robotic vacuum cleaners can be a great choice for busy households or anyone who is just plain sick of cleaning.
The modern robot hoovers you’ll find on the market today are really quite high tech, coming with sensors that allow them to avoid walls, memory that ensures they clean the entire room and the ability to return back to their charging station once the job is done.
With a programmable timer, you can set your robot hoover to clean while you’re away, so you always come home to spotless floors.
Meaning you can even hide the Cordless Vacuum away in the cupboard, at least for the majority of the vacuuming.
Every month we compare prices and product availability. We also consider any new models that we previously have not reviewed to ensure you are given the most up to date information on choosing the best carpet cleaner machines.
This review guide was last updated in January 2020 We haven't added any new models or reviews this month.
Their small size makes them perfect for reaching places that uprights can’t touch, making a robot hoover a great addition to your cleaning arsenal.
However, it must be said that they really aren’t yet a full replacement for your normal hoover, as they simply can’t match the sucking power of an upright or cylinder model.
That being said, they can still provide some much needed help around the house and ensure you don’t have to drag the full-size hoover out nearly as often, which is most definitely a great thing.
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Why Buy a Robot Vacuum?
When You Shouldn’t Buy a Robot Vacuum
If you live in a home with stairs or several steps, a robot vacuum cleaner might not be the best option for you. This is because they are unable to navigate stairs, and so if you want it to clean while you are out, you will only have the option to clean upstairs or downstairs.
Similarly, if you home contain a number of steps (such as a drop down to the kitchen or bathroom), a robot vacuum will have a limited amount of use.
So, even if you are home, you will have to keep getting up to move it to the right location. It’s best suited to an open plan home.
How Much Do You Need to Spend?
Robot vacuum cleaners come in a very wide range of prices. You can easily end up spending well over £700 on an excellent and effective model, but you can also find robot vacuums that are just as good for around £250.
We have found that if you want a robot vacuum cleaner that is able to clean your home effectively, you will want to look at spending a minimum of £250. There may be some good quality models in the lower price points, but it could prove a little risky.
Main Types of Robot Vacuum
There aren’t really any different types of robot vacuum cleaner, the only way they differ is in terms of their cleaning ability and the amount of tech that they contain.
In the sections below, you can see the features that each price point tends to offer, as well as things that you might want to take into consideration before you buy.
What Key Features to Look For
One of the first things you will want to look at is the price range. Once you have determined how much you have to spend, you can start to filter the models available to you accordingly. Here’s how the pricing tends to go for robot vacuum cleaners:
Cheap: under £150
- The models in this price bracket tend to be bulkier and also require manual charging. They also have less tech and no app capabilities. Less cleaning ability than higher priced models.
Budget: under £250
- These models tend to be better than the cheap ones, and they often have a little more tech. Some might have automatic charging, and the cleaning capabilities are slightly better.
Mid-Range: under £400
- These robot vacuums come with a good amount of tech and have great features like automatic charging so that you don’t have to worry. Sometimes have app capabilities and also have better cleaning abilities.
High-End: over £400
- These are the cream of the crop, and some of the best models that you will find. They have the best technology available as well as automatic charging and full app capabilities. They also tend to be the best models for pets and ultimate cleaning.
Suction and Power
Suction and power, as with any vacuum cleaner, is an important consideration when you go to buy a robot vacuum.
The higher end models tend to have better power and capabilities when it comes to suction, and you will find that they are better able to pick up dirt and debris. However, there are a few lower priced models that still do a good job.
Type of Brush
The type of brush you get also tends to depend on how much you spend. The cheaper models often have a very basic side brush. These are good on hard floors but do sometimes lack when it comes to cleaning carpets effectively.
The higher end models usually have a rotating brush that gives your carpets and hard floors a better, deeper, clean.
The internal batteries for a robot vacuum cleaner tend to last around 60 minutes in a standard model. However, if you go for the more expensive models, you could be looking at an exceptional two hours of cleaning time before it needs to recharge.
Leading on from this, the charge time can vary from two hours to seven, depending on which one you purchase. This tends to average at around five hours.
When your robot vacuum does run out of charge, you are going to want to know if it needs to be put back on manually or will go back automatically. If you pick up a cheap model, you are going to need to plug it in yourself, which can be a little inconvenient.
Spending a little more, however, will get you a model that returns to the docking station itself when the battery is running low – giving your home a futuristic feel.
Navigation is key with this kind of tech. You are going to want something that will be able to avoid obstacles like furniture, as well as ensure your entire home gets cleaned.
Cheaper models will tend to have a random cleaning pattern – which gets the job done, but areas might end up being missed.
The pricier robot vacuums often have sensors that map out your home and scan for obstacles, so they avoid furniture and other obstructions.
This also means that they are able to remember what the layout of your home is, and they will create a routine for cleaning to ensure that every inch gets cleaned up.
However, every model (regardless of price) does tend to have a sensor that stops it falling down stairs or steps.
Wifi and App Capabilities
One thing you will get with the more expensive models is Wi-Fi capabilities and an app. This means that you can control your robot vacuum from your smart device, as well as check things like the battery level and the general status of the machine.
It’s a really fun and useful extra to have if you want to go full tech. The cheaper machines usually have controls on the vacuum itself or a remote control. The app capabilities also tend to allow access to scheduling features.
This often contains a map of your house that the vacuum cleaner has made, but also ensures that you can get the cleaning started while you are out at work or running errands.
You can schedule the cleaning in advance, or you can just load the app up and ask it to get going there and then. Often, you can check the app for cleaning updates to see how much it has done and where is left to do.
Dust Canister Capacity
The dust canister capacity is also a good thing to know before you buy. There are some models that can go up to one litre of debris, but many have smaller ones.
This is because the robot vacuum cleaner is usually smaller than a standard vacuum, and so there is less space for the collection of dirt. However, they are usually quite easy to empty.
Pets and Allergies
If you have pets or allergies, you will want a vacuum cleaner that is able to cope with this. The higher end models often have better suction that is able to deal with pet hair and debris.
Some robot vacuum cleaners also have a filter system so that allergens are captured and not pushed back into the air – making it cleaner and more breathable for you.
Cheaper robot vacuums usually come in a circular shape, and it was the original shape for a robot vacuum. This can make it very hard for them to reach corners unless they have extendable brushes – hence the D-shape design came into fashion.
You will find this form of robot vacuum in the higher price brackets, but it is perfect for reaching corners and running along walls for better pick-up.
Some of the really fancy robot vacuums have cameras built into them, which is a really fun and cool feature. The original purpose was to act as a form of home security – ensuring that if anyone broke into your home, they would be caught on camera.
However, brands like Dyson also use it to improve the vacuum cleaner’s ability to map out your home, ensuring that the cleaning capabilities are as good as they can be.
Types of Flooring
The types of flooring you have in your home are an essential consideration, as you need to ensure that your robot vacuum is going to be able to cope with your floors. The cheaper models aren’t as effective on carpets, but do a great job on hard floors.
On the other hand, the higher priced robot vacuums tend to be excellent across the board and can cope with both carpets and hard floors.
Warranties are essential with any vacuum, but with the amount of tech a robot cleaner has, it is even more essential. Many come with a warranty that lasts at least a year, but if you have the option to extend it, then you should.
Make sure that the warranty comes with parts and labour included in the price so that if anything happens, you are fully covered.
Neato Robotics Botvac D75
Another top name in the world of robotic vacuums, Neato is known for their modern designs and excellent quality machines.
Take a look at the reviews below and see if this is the perfect match for your home and needs.
This robot vacuum features Neato’s incredibly smart mapping system, allowing the vacuum cleaner to make a clear map of your home that it will remember ready for each cleaning round.
With detection scans and careful planning, it is a methodical cleaner that will leave you with great results.
It has a corner cleaner so that it reaches every part of your home, as well as a spiral blade brush that hugs the wall to ensure that nothing is left behind.
With strong suction and precision brushes, your floor will be left beautifully clean.
Plus, when it runs low on charge it immediately returns to its station so that it can get ready for the next trip.
The Not So Good
It does have a few navigation issues, and some customers have found that the bin pops out frequently and alerts them that it is full.
One of the more expensive models on the market, this robot vacuum does have a couple of downsides as noted by customers.
However, those with these experiences are few compared to the ones that have found this to be the best vacuum cleaner that they have owned.
With smart technology and a range of great features, you can’t go wrong with a Neato robot vacuum cleaner.
RoboVac XD Robot Vacuum Cleaner
RoboVac is one of the leaders when it comes to robotic vacuum cleaners, and if you think that your home might benefit from one, then this could be the place to start.
Take a look and see if this is your ideal model of robot vacuum.
This robot vacuum is incredibly easy to set up and use, with a simple touchscreen that lets you decide which setting you want to use.
Plus, it comes with a Bluetooth remote so that you can control it from a distance.
It even comes with a charging base that the vacuum will automatically return to when it starts to run low on charge.
It has a range of great attachments, including a mop for the kitchen floors, and even a bacterium killing UV lamp.
It has five different cleaning modes, and even the ability to map out your home, so it knows where it is going next time.
With the ability to detect walls, obstructions, and steps, you can rest easy knowing that this vacuum is going to do a good job.
The Not So Good
It does not work as well on carpets than hard floors, which can be disappointing for those who have both floor types or those who only have carpets.
This robot vacuum cleaner is available at a superb price, and one that you do not often see for vacuum cleaners of this type.
While it does have a few issues with carpets and rugs, it is a superb choice for hard floors, and works effectively to get your home as clean as possible.
With some superb additional features, you won’t regret picking up one of these fantastic models.
Other Recommended Models
To Conclude - Best Robot Vacuum
With a robot vacuum cleaner, you can finally have the much needed hardworking cleaning assistant in your household.
For such a small fraction of the price of actually hiring professional cleaners to help you get the cleaning job done, these little yet powerful things can do much for you to lift some of the weight off your shoulders.
As mentioned above, these wouldn’t be enough to replace your upright or your cordless vacuum cleaners; however, it can do much by helping you clean hard to reach places without you lifting a finger – other than clicking that power button of course.
If you have further questions or if there’s any detail we missed that you’d like to add, leave us a message below and we’ll be happy to reply the soonest possible.
Gemma Tyler is a freelance journalist with 15 years of experience writing for consumer publications. She has tested and reviewed a wide range of household items from vacuum cleaners to washing machines and dehumidifiers to steam irons. Her attention to detail and exhaustive testing certainly makes her an expert in her field.