After more than a decade in the market, robot vacuum cleaners have evolved a lot and today they are a common ally to simplify household cleaning tasks.
Although years ago they used to be knocking against a corner or turning senseless in a corner, today there are intelligent robots that identify the level of dirt and scan the house so that not a baseboard is left uncleaned. There are those that vacuum when you are not there, that avoid the stairs and identify the areas where you do not want them to enter, or even that they pass a damp mop so that you do not have to scrub as often.
To help you make a decision, in this guide we have selected the best quality-price robot vacuum cleaners according to our analysts and user opinions, from low-cost models to the iconic Roomba.
The best robot vacuum cleaners of 2020
These are the best robot vacuum cleaners today. Either of them is an excellent purchase, but make sure beforehand that their characteristics suit your needs.
1. Taurus Mini Striker
Battery: 75 minutes
Noise: 50 dB
Scrubbing function: no
You don’t always need the best vacuum cleaner on the market. Sometimes it just takes an extra help in cleaning, to make daily maintenance a little more comfortable.
That is neither more nor less, the intention of the Taurus Mini Striker : a robot vacuum cleaner with the right and necessary features to clean the floor of any house.
So don’t expect complicated schedules, virtual walls, or a full house scan. What we have here is a small robot (23.5 cm in diameter) as easy to handle as it sounds, with an on and off button.
The operation is also simple and effective: two side brushes drag dust and dirt to the vacuum cleaner located at the bottom. A mop can be attached to polish the floor , although it must be taken into account that the refills are disposable. They are easily found in supermarkets and department stores, and they are not expensive.
It also has:
- 3 anti-fall sensors to avoid obstacles and stairs.
- A side protection strip to avoid scratching the furniture.
Its small size allows it to move easily in tight spaces or very crowded with furniture. It also takes up little storage space, and is charged by directly plugging a transformer into the electrical network. In that sense, the Taurus Mini Striker is presented as the solution for houses with space problems , where even leaving the charging base fixed can be a problem.
2. Cecotec Conga 1090
Battery: 160 minutes
Noise: 64 dB
Scrubbing function: yes
While most robot vacuums offer three cleaning modes, Cecotec’s Conga 1090 Series goes further and offers a 4-in-1: sweeps, vacuums, mops and scrubs . For this, it has a small 300 ml water tank that drips the soil, eliminating the most difficult stains.
Although it is comfortable, this scrubbing system can still be improved , and it will not prevent you from having to pass the normal mop from time to time.
Where the Conga 1090 Series does respond is in daily cleaning :
- On the one hand, it incorporates two systems -Force Implode and Turbo Clean Carpet- to maximize the suction of the vacuum cleaner and offer good results even on very dirty floors.
- It also has a special rubber brush to avoid tangles in carpets and another rotary brush with two silicone and bristle rollers, for all types of surfaces.
- The control is done by means of a remote control with LCD screen , which allows programming weekly cleaning with five different modes.
Note that it does not map the house and moves through rooms randomly (basically, it goes around until it considers the space to be clean). It does have a simple built-in GPS so that when cleaning is finished, or when the battery runs out, the robot automatically returns to the charging base.
With proximity, distance and anti- drop sensors , simply schedule cleaning times and let it do its own thing. And if you still have doubts about whether this model is suitable for your home, you can consult our comparison of the 5 best Conga robot vacuum cleaners .
3. iRobot Roomba 605
Battery: 60 minutes
Noise: 60 dB
Scrubbing function: no
We are facing the benchmark brand in the sector, and facing one of the most basic models in its catalog. The iRobot Roomba 605 is a very simple robot vacuum, almost like a “starter” Roomba at a very cheap price by company standards.
However, no matter how elementary it is at the programming level, it is a Roomba and with that almost everything is said: we are facing an excellent robot that responds to what is expected of it.
The 3-stage cleaning system features two multi-surface brushes, a special edge brush, and powerful vacuum suction. When the battery runs out or you have finished cleaning it automatically returns to the charging base.
It works very well in homes with pets , it adapts to all types of surfaces, be it hard floors or carpets, and the side brush has an angle of 27 ° that guarantees total cleaning of corners and edges.
As we say, this is one of the most basic models of the brand. It works by simply pressing the Clean button , while the Roomba 680 , for example, offers the ability to schedule weekly cleaning.
And if we compare with more advanced models such as the Roomba 960 , we miss the WiFi or the possibility of scanning the whole house with our own navigation system to have control of every corner.
In short, without ever having a robot vacuum cleaner, the Roomba 605 is going to change your life. If you go from extra functions and just want a simple and efficient cleaning , it is perfect.
4. Ecovacs Robotics Deebot N79S
Battery: 100 minutes
Noise: 67 dB
Scrubbing function: no
With very competitive mid-range characteristics, the Deebot N79S from the Ecovacs Robotics brand is a robot vacuum cleaner that achieves very satisfactory results in cleaning the floor , in addition to being able to schedule work sessions thanks to the mobile application and the remote from distance.
It has four operating modes: Automatic, Corners, Intensive (MAX) and Spot, the latter for cleaning specific stains in a certain area, for example if something has been spilled on the floor.
It works with two side brushes that drag the dirt to the central vacuum cleaner, while the main brush takes care of the most thorough cleaning, such as that of carpets by activating the MAX mode.
It works well on any type of surface, and responds well in homes with pets, thanks to the tangle-free suction system that prevents the mechanism from jamming (although, as with all appliances of this type, it must be cleaned and the tank emptied periodically).
Although it does not have a navigation system to map the house, it has the usual functions such as:
- Anti-fall sensors for stairs and obstacle detection to avoid colliding with furniture,
- Automatic return to charging station when battery is low.
The operation is very correct, and the possibility of programming the hours of operation , even when we are not at home, makes the Ecovacs Robotics Deebot N79S a perfect ally for daily cleaning.
5. ILife V5sPro
Battery: 120 minutes
Noise: 50 dB
Scrubbing function: yes
iLife is a Chinese brand that is carving out a niche in the robot vacuum market, offering great features at a surprisingly low price. The V5sPro model is one of the best results in its catalog, in the price range of € 200.
Without going into high-end features such as the WiFi connection or the home navigation system, the V5sPro excels the basic functions , offering a powerful vacuum in two speeds: normal and max, for dense carpets or with pet hair.
But this robot also has a 300 ml water tank that allows the cloth to be passed in the wet , complementing the daily cleaning of the floor.
It is possible to choose between three cleaning modes : spiral -for large surfaces-, normal -for medium-sized rooms- and manual -guiding movements from the remote control-.
The remote control allows you to program by hours, although it does not distinguish between the different days of the week. If you don’t want to get involved with programming, you can set it up by simply pressing the Clean button.
It is especially interesting for small houses , since if you do not have space to leave the charging station in a fixed space, you can directly connect the V5sPro to the network thanks to a simple cable.
6. Rowenta Smart Force Essential
Battery: 150 minutes
Noise: 65 dB
Scrubbing function: no
For those who do not want to get involved with complicated programming, the Rowenta brand Smart Force Essentialis an intuitively operated robot vacuum cleaner , suitable even for less technological users.
It can be used manually, with a simple play / stop button, or use the remote to program hours and operating modes.
Allows you to choose between three cleaning modes:
- Random , to move randomly through large areas;
- Random room , vacuumed in a specific area for short periods of time, pre-programmed at thirty minutes;
- Edge , for edges or corners, in which the robot moves following the skirting boards.
To guide you, it incorporates infrared sensor technology and six anti-fall sensors. It also has bumpers to protect the furniture, although the truth is that infrared does its job very well and the robot vacuum cleaner does not usually touch any object while it works.
With a motorized central brush and two sides, the Rowenta Smart Force Essential is great for hard floors , even the most delicate wooden ones.
It includes a two-meter long magnetic strip (cut-out) that works as a virtual barrier to prevent the robot from entering specific rooms, for example if they are full of cables, or to prevent it from going out into the garden in ground-floor houses.
In addition, the long battery life (up to 150 minutes at low power) allows cleaning large surfaces in one session.
7. Xiaomi Mi Robot Vacuum 2
Battery: 150 minutes
Navigation: mapping with wifi
Noise: 54-67 dB
Scrubbing function: yes
As the Xiaomi brand is accustomed to us, its Mi Robot Vacuum 2 (Roborock S50) model has a price that, although it does not make it a cheap robot vacuum cleaner, is more than adjusted for everything it offers .
It is the renewal of its predecessor, the Mi Robot Vacuum Cleaner , which improves mainly in vacuum power (2,000 Pa), with a lower noise level, and the new scrubbing function thanks to the microfiber mop that is incorporated in its base and the 100ml water tank that moistens it.
These are some of the most notable features:
- Its smart cleaning system creates a virtual map of the house to use for each use and get the job done as efficiently as possible.
- Its 12 sensors (collision, unevenness, ultrasound, accelerometer, gyroscope) do a great job and even allow the Xiaomi robot to adjust its height to better suck up dirt from the ground.
- The laser sensor placed in the upper part of the device is in charge of scanning the environment creating a 360º image of the room.
- Also, the device can be easily controlled through its Mi Home application , which is available in Spanish.
Regarding its battery, you will not suffer even having a very large floor, because it lasts for 150 minutes and in that time it is capable of cleaning up to 250 square meters.
Other improvements added to this new model is that it is capable of climbing obstacles 2 cm high , compared to 1 cm of its predecessor, which facilitates the correct cleaning of carpets, which it is able to automatically recognize to change to a mode. higher power (MAX) and clean them better.
8. Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo 950
Battery: 200 minutes
Navigation: laser mapping
Noise: 66 dB
Scrubbing function: yes
Ecovacs Robotics, a company of Chinese origin that has established itself as a leader in robot vacuum cleaners worldwide, is responsible for this excellent Deebot Ozmo 950 . In recent years the brand has gone a step further, investing in R&D and bringing particularly complete household appliances such as this robot vacuum cleaner onto the market.
And the Ozmo 950 not only sucks, but also scrubs and sweeps . While no robot vacuum cleaner with these features can replace the traditional mop, this Deebot’s wet cleaning system is one of the most effective we’ve tested to date .
We liked that it combines the scrubbing and vacuuming functions at the same time , when in other robots you have to do one thing first and then the other. It also allows you to regulate the amount of water to use (less for wooden floors, more for tiles) and it detects the carpets to avoid getting them wet when scrubbing. This way you avoid unexpected water damage or stains.
For vacuuming, it combines the suction of a traditional vacuum cleaner with the use of a central anti-tangle brush for rugs and carpets. But where it has surprised us the most is in its mapping and navigation technology , which takes a quality leap over previous models. The Deebot Ozmo 950 scans the house with a laser and creates a virtual map on your smartphone and, although this is not a great novelty, its additional functions are:
- On the one hand, it allows you to have several different maps. This solves the usual navigation problems if you have a house with several floors, or even if you use the vacuum cleaner in different houses.
- On the other hand, it lets you plan the cleaning path to your liking . So you can choose which areas to clean and when to do it, or create virtual boundaries if you want to protect a specific area.
Despite all these customization possibilities, we believe that it would even improve if it allowed the cleaning areas to be edited a little more (grouping areas is not easy, for example). But overall it’s the best we’ve seen.
The Ozmo 950 provides other interesting functions:
- Control by mobile app. The Ecovacs application allows us to program which rooms we want to clean, and even protect specific areas by marking them on the virtual map.
- Multi-language voice control and assistant support to control the robot with Alexa or Google Home .
- Automatic carpet detection . In addition to avoiding getting it wet, when you vacuum a carpet, increase the power to clean it thoroughly. We have noticed it especially on long pile rugs.
- Three power levels , adjustable from the app. The least powerful level extends the autonomy up to 200 minutes.
In summary: this robot cleans quite well on most surfaces and, although you will have to spend a while programming it to do things to your liking, with it you will be able to forget about a lot of details and automate most of the tasks of cleaning.
9. Cecotec Conga 4090
Battery: 240 minutes
Navigation: laser mapping
Noise: 64 dB
Scrubbing function: yes
There are three basic features that make the Cecotec Conga 4090 stand out on our list.
- The suction power, up to 2700 Pa , is one of the highest on the market. If it still doesn’t hit you, take a look at the Conga 5090 , which goes up to an impressive 8,000.
- The navigation system. The laser mapping is very precise, and the app allows us to program the cleaning in detail, 24/7: by zone, by schedule, by power, by type of vacuuming and / or scrubbing …
- The duration of your battery: up to 240 minutes in eco mode. If it still doesn’t reach you, the Conga returns to the charging base when it needs to and picks up cleaning where it left off.
We also really liked the Jalisco brush, typical of the brand, which uses microfiber to thoroughly clean even the most delicate floors. But just in case, in the box you will find two more, which you can exchange as you like. One made of double material for all types of floors and another made of rubber designed for animal hair.
Scrubbing is in scrubbing mode, which mimics the natural movements of the mop to avoid marks on the floor. In addition, you can choose between three intensities of wet cleaning.
And you can also combine vacuuming and scrubbing in the same cleaning session, thanks to its mix of water and dust.
Both to stand up in the high-end market , as in its quality-price benefits, this Conga 4090 is a robot vacuum cleaner that can be used a lot.
10. iRobot Roomba 960
Battery: 75 minutes
Navigation: mapping with wifi
Noise: 70 dB
Scrubbing function: no
With its price, the iRobot Roomba 960 gives us an unequivocal clue: this is a high-end model that exceeds the typical features of a normal robot vacuum cleaner.
Even so, it is important to make clear that the basic brush system is the same in all Roomba models, so the price difference is justified by the quality of the sensors, the programming possibilities and certain technological improvements that affect the efficiency and comfort.
In the case of the Roomba 960, one of the most striking features is the WiFi connection , which allows you to operate the vacuum cleaner with an application not only to schedule the week, but also to view reports of each session, to know if there is a problem (traffic jam , tank full …) or to indicate specific changes depending on the house, such as affecting a specific area or avoiding a room. In addition, it saves the programming and if it runs out of battery, it returns to the charging base and resumes cleaning when it is ready.
The best robot vacuum cleaner by feature
In our tests we have identified the best robot vacuum cleaner in each of the technical sections (design, mapping, noise, efficiency, etc.). These are our winners:
Design (size, accessories, brushes)
All robot vacuum cleaners are round and usually have a height of around 9 cm to be able to pass under furniture.
Those that have laser navigation are usually taller because of the sensor they incorporate in the upper part. This is the case of the Conga 4090 , the Rowenta Smart Force or the Xiaomi Roborock . In return, the smallest of the analyzed models is the Taurus Mini , with a very scarce 7 cm.
The deposit system is similar in all models analyzed, with a dust container that is released with a click and empties into the bin.
- If there is a water tank, it is recharged separately. Except for the Conga 4090: this model uses a single interchangeable tank, one for solids and the other mixed. In this way, it allows vacuuming and cleaning to be programmed at the same time.
- In the case of the Ecovacs Deebot or the Rowenta Smart Force, the tank is transparent so you can see if it is full or not, something that we found especially practical.
With the exception of the Mini Striker, which works only with a mop, all include an “all-terrain” brush (or two facing each other, as in the case of the Roombas), but some add extras such as an animal hair brush or a mop.
And finally, aesthetics . Although the typical thing is a black “cookie”, there are brands that are already launching to innovate in this field, such as Rowenta, Xiaomi or Ilife.
Mapping, navigation and return to base
In house mapping, the ideal is one of these two systems :
- The laser, which is the technology used by brands such as Cecotec, Xiaomi or Deebot in their latest models
- A browser with a camera , like the one found in the Roomba 960
The rest use infrared sensors or simply walk around the room until it is clean. It is also interesting to see how many cleaning modes the robot has ( random , corners, ECO , manual turbo, etc.) if we want to customize the programming.
Two more points to keep in mind:
- Restricted areas. The most advanced models —Ecovacs 950, Cecotec, Xiaomi Roborock— do it on the map, but others need physical barriers. It’s fine for non-mapping models, like the Rowenta Smart Force, but we’re surprised that a benchmark like iRobot continues to use this feature, even on the Roomba 960.
- Return to the charging base. Almost all minimally advanced models have this possibility. There are some, such as the Conga 4090 or Roomba 960, that once recharged they resume cleaning without you having to do anything.
Control (mobile application, controls, voice control)
Most robot vacuum cleaners have an on / off button and little else. The idea is that you manage them either with a remote control , or with a mobile application . The most modern models include connectivity to assistants such as Alexa or Google Home.
Generally, if they have WiFi, there is a mobile app . This is the case of the Roomba 960, the Conga 4090, the Deebot 950 or the Xiaomi Vacuum 2. The rest of the vacuum cleaners on our list work with a remote control, except the Taurus Mini.
At the moment, only some can be handled with virtual assistants. This is the case of the Conga 4090, the Deebot or the Xiaomi Roborock.
With the mobile application it is possible to program the cleaning to almost unhealthy levels: by zones, by hours, by intensity… For example, you can tell it to vacuum only the kitchen every day after eating.
As for aspirated, the most powerful by far is the Conga 4090. They are up to 2,700 Pa of power, while the next on the list would be the Xiaomi with 2,000. However, almost all the vacuum cleaners on this list have a Turbo mode that allows you to give a “boost” when needed, in very dirty areas or carpets.
The type of brush also influences cleaning. While Roomba maintains its design with two facing brushes (which we don’t like too much even though it’s anti-tangle), most opt for a combined bristle and silicone system . Again, the Conga 4090 offers more options: a special brush for animal hair and – the novelty – the Jalisco brush, which combines silicone and microfiber.
Others allow you to attach a mop , such as the Deebot 950, the Rowenta or the Xiaomi. The Taurus Mini, on the other hand, only works with a mop.
Another factor to consider is the side brushes : usually one or two. Does this mean that if you have only one cleaner, worse? No: but it will take longer, because you will have to do more laps.
We have not found any model of robot vacuum cleaner that, to this day, allows you to do without the mop 100%. The main problems? The mop marks on the floor and the drip, which according to the robot soaks up more than anything else.
Cecotec includes scrubbing as standard in all its models, although there are differences in terms of the system and its efficiency . It is also included by the Deebot 950 and the Xiaomi Mi Vacuum 2. In exchange, the ILife opts for a drip system.
Most manufacturers report an optimistic maximum range, always calculated in ECO mode . Normally, the robot moves between the hour offered by the Roomba 605 and the 240 minutes that the Conga 4090 promises.
If you have a small apartment, 60 minutes is enough for you . On the other hand, if your house is large, you should look for greater autonomy.
It is important that the robot knows how to return only to the charging base if one day you give it a lot of power. And if you also keep the cleaning program you were doing in your memory, the better.
Normally, a robot vacuum cleaner does not make as much noise as a traditional vacuum cleaner. As a reference, from 65/70 decibels it begins to be considered annoying, depending on the tolerance level of each one.
Normally they are around 65 dB , but be careful, it is the estimated intensity in ECO mode . If you turn on the turbo, the number goes up.
The loudest model on our list, according to the manufacturer itself, is the Roomba 960 with 70 dB . In return we have the minimum at 50 dB , with models as diverse as the ILife V5s and the Taurus Mini.
What is the best robot vacuum cleaner? Our recommendations
Finally, these are the models that we recommend according to the budget you have:
Best cheap robot vacuum cleaner: Taurus Mini Striker
A robot vacuum cleaner for less than a hundred euros? Well yes, here you have it: the Taurus Mini Striker is a powerful little cleaner that will keep your floors clean effortlessly.
Logically, for that price we cannot expect an internet connection, weekly programming or house mapping, but we can expect an effective vacuum cleaner that also mops to polish the floor.
The Taurus Mini Striker does not have a remote control and is operated with a simple on / off button, so you have to be at home to start it. Good thing it is quite silent and does not bother too much when it is working.
It is perfect for houses with space problems, because not only is it small (and therefore it drains very well in corners and under furniture) but you do not need to allocate a fixed hole for the charging base , since it has a cable to plug directly into the network.
In summary, if you are short on budget, the Taurus Mini Striker is a very affordable robot vacuum cleaner that gives neither more nor less what is expected of it: maintenance cleaning so that you do not have to worry about cleaning the floors every day.
The best robot vacuum cleaner in quality-price: Conga 4090
The Conga 4090 is one of the most complete robot vacuum cleaners that we have found on the market (at least for now). And also, with a very reasonable price for all the features it offers us.
Power, autonomy and mapping are out of the ordinary. And WiFi connectivity, combined with a very comprehensive mobile app, allows things like creating up to five different maps. It will be very useful if you have several floors, and also if you are going to move it around several homes.
If you don’t want to get involved, you can always use the remote control or direct the robot like a drone, from your mobile. Or operate it with voice, since it is compatible with Alexa and Google Home.
It also lets you create restricted areas without the need for magnetic stripes or physical barriers. Mark on the map the area where you do not want the robot to enter, and voila.
Cleaning is very efficient, with 10 modes that combine vacuuming and scrubbing at different intensities. Of leftovers to have the house in conditions.
It is difficult for us to get buts out of this Cecotec Conga 4090. You may be lazy to learn how to handle the app, and it is true that you will have to spend time scheduling cleaning if you want to be very thorough. But if you do, you can forget about the daily maintenance of the house for a long time.
Best robot vacuum cleaner: iRobot Roomba 960
There are no surprises here: the best vacuum cleaner on our list is the most expensive, but that price is more than justified when you start looking at the technical characteristics of the iRobot Roomba 960.
Porque lo tiene todo: conexión WiFi, sistema de navegación inteligente para no dejar ni un rincón sin limpiar, pared virtual, aspirado más potente con el sistema AeroForce, que incluye un filtro muy similar al HEPA… y por supuesto el sistema de cepillos y extractores que ha hecho famosa a la marca.
And for that price does not scrub? Well, no. It is interesting to note that most robot vacuum cleaners that offer wet cleaning do it as an extra and do not replace, by any means, the old mop. In iRobot they have chosen not to do the 2 in 1 and, if you want to use water you have to go through the checkout again and buy an appliance from the Braava range like this one .
It is good to get the complete pack, but if you decide only on the Roomba 960 you will have already made an excellent investment and you will have the floors like the jets of gold. Guaranteed.
The most advanced robot vacuum cleaner: Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo 950
Finally, we cannot miss the Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo 950, which right now brings together the latest innovations on the market .
In addition to the fundamentals (it cleans well), its laser mapping stands out, allowing it to recognize different plans or floors of the house . Starting from that, practically everything can be programmed: cleaning areas, vacuuming and scrubbing power, areas to avoid, etc.
The scrubbing function is another of its strengths , as it allows sweeping / vacuuming and scrubbing at the same time. That is, we do not double the cleaning time, despite the fact that it is necessary to change the mop every time you use it (although in light scrubbing we hurry a bit).
The Ecovacs cleans well on any surface , and even detects carpets. Self-regulates scrubbing (the amount of water used) and vacuuming power to protect the floor if it is delicate. And if you don’t want to leave these decisions in their hands, you can always choose the functions yourself through its practical app.
Keep in mind that this Ecovacs has so many possibilities that it will need some attention on your part at first , especially if you want to control the cleaning a lot. This means that it is not your typical “push a button” robot and voila. Or yes, but then you would be wasting many of its functions.
Add to that that even at maximum power it is the quietest on the market, and we have a robot that allows us to access the latest technology at a competitive price .
Guide to buy the best robot vacuum cleaner
If you are one of those who think that with a broom, dustpan and mop you already have more than enough to keep the floors of your house in good condition … you are right.
This is the basics, but surely you have a vacuum cleaner that you take out from time to time, probably a mop to polish the parquet or flooring, etc.
Think for a moment about the amount of junk you have at home, just to clean the floors.
All this can be considerably reduced if you invest in a cleaning robot, which will finally keep the fluff on the floor at bay, without you having to invest time or effort.
It will be great for you if:
- you have little time (or little desire) to take care of cleaning at home
- you have small children who crawl and it is necessary to have an impeccable floor
- you have pets at home that shed hair everywhere
- you are allergic to dust and you have to take special care with dust and dirt
Unless you invest in a very high-end appliance, keep in mind that a robot vacuum cleaner is not going to work in depth. Come on, you ca n’t do a general cleaning from time to time , but it is not the same to attack the house when you can no longer handle the dust than to go over a “clean envelope” because the maintenance is up to date.
How much is a good robot vacuum cleaner worth?
As always, it depends . But this is one of the cases where there is usually no cheating, and the price is a good indicator to know the quality of what you take. The better the mechanism, the more it will cost you , that simple. And that’s why you find robot vacuum cleaners on the market in the range of one hundred euros, and others that are dangerously close to one thousand.
Does that mean that the cheapest is not going to work for you? Not necessarily, but it does mean that you are taking home a very simple appliance, which serves as a vacuum cleaner but will not give you all those features that you find in a high-end robot: exhaustive programming, intelligent scanning of the whole house, WiFi , etc.
So you have to find the balance between your budget and all the technical advances that you are probably going to want as soon as you see them.
If you are on a budget, you can try a simple robot vacuum cleaner to see how far you can get the most out of it … and eventually make the leap to a more expensive one that gives you more options and customization.
Technical characteristics to take into account
A tiled floor is not the same as a parquet or a carpet. This is something that you should take into account when choosing the model of your robot vacuum cleaner, since there are some that do not respond well on soft floors, or have rollers that can be too aggressive for delicate wood.
If you have very dense carpets or pets that shed hair, you will be interested in the robot having an extra vacuum mode, to be able to apply maximum power in these specific areas.
Go ahead that from time to time you have to bend down and clean the robot vacuum cleaner. The dirt tank must be emptied and the rollers cleaned to ensure best performance.
However, some robot vacuum cleaners include an anti-snag system that prevents jams especially when dealing with large carpets or very dirty areas.If you have furry pets do not hesitate: you are interested.
The bigger your house, the more you care about battery life. Most models take around 60 minutes , more than enough for daily cleaning, but there are some that can exceed two hours.
As usual when we talk about batteries, the duration that the manufacturer gives is estimated and depends on whether you are using the robot in eco mode or at full power.
Most models include a charging base, which is left plugged in and fixed somewhere in the house. Many robots return alone when they notice that they are running out of battery, so the base must be in an accessible place without obstacles that prevent the passage to the machine.
If you don’t have too much room at home, there are some vacuum cleaners that allow you to do without the base and charge directly by plugging in with a cable.
A robot cleaner is usually much quieter than a traditional vacuum cleaner … but it does not stop making noise. If you are going to be at home when the appliance works, find a sound level that is tolerable for you . The resistance threshold of each person is different, but from 65/70 dB it begins to be considered noise. Remember the great advantage of these appliances: you are going to be doing something else. Don’t let the mess stop you.
If you have little room at home, it is something to take into account, since the diameter can vary a lot from one model to another (and that also influences the capacity of the tank and the periodicity with which you have to empty it).
However, the most important piece of information is the height, as that will determine whether the vacuum cleaner can clean under your furniture or not.
Don’t forget to check it before you buy, so you don’t get the unpleasant surprise that the robot does not fit under the sofa by an inch.
Dry or wet cleaning
Although the concept of the robot vacuum cleaner is to work dry, some models incorporate a water tank that performs a function similar to scrubbing. Some work drip, others incorporate a mop that works wet.
It is important to say that this is not a substitute for a good traditional scrubbing, but it is an extra cleaning that will keep floors shinier and stains at bay.
The brushes of the robot vacuum cleaner will raise dust and particles, which can stay in the air you breathe or get into the robot’s mechanisms and damage them over time. That is why it is important that they have some type of filter, much better if it is HEPA , which in addition to avoiding these damages purifies the air while it is working. The Roomba brand uses AeroVac filters, of its own manufacture, very similar to HEPA.
Remote control / WiFi
The simplest robot vacuum cleaners are operated with a simple power button, but it is increasingly common to find a remote control in the box. It controls additional functions, such as cleaning mode or scheduling , allowing you to forget about cleaning even when you are not at home.
The most advanced models have a WiFi connection, and are controlled by an app on the mobile . There you can do a more exhaustive schedule, monitor the efficiency of each cleaning session, or receive a warning when there is a problem, such as engine jams.
It determines the way the robot moves to clean, and it is one of the elements that most influences the price . The simplest models move randomly through the available space, have a small bumper that prevents them from being damaged when tripping against a piece of furniture, and when this happens they change direction.
One step further, most have infrared sensors that warn them when they have an object in front of them . If they are of good quality, they avoid knocks on the furniture (and possible marks) making navigation a little smarter.
Some even incorporate a dirt sensor , which allows them to recognize areas that need special attention, such as walkways or under the dining room table.
Finally, the most advanced models have a navigation system that maps the house , creating a plan of the entire surface to be cleaned. Thus, the robot perfectly controls the areas it has passed through and which it has not, making sure not to forget any.
Essential if you have a double-story house, or there is the slightest possibility that your robot could fall down some stairs.
Some cleaning robots also have a kind of “vacuum sensor”, interesting to prevent them from falling down a hole or step. The downside is that if you have a black rug, it can be mistaken for a hole and it won’t clean there.
It allows defining a specific area in which we do not want our robot vacuum cleaner to work. It is very useful to protect the pet’s feeders , for example, or prevent it from entering more complicated rooms, with many cables or delicate material on the floor. It also prevents you from going out into the garden if there is no skirting board to stop you.
There are several systems to create a virtual wall, usually with infrared sensors that the robot identifies as an insurmountable obstacle; or by means of a magnetic strip, which is placed as a barrier. Some brands incorporate the “halo” option, which generates a circular security area around the object to be protected.
What is the best robot vacuum cleaner brand?
Until recently the only brand to look at was the iRobot Roomba . In fact, you will hear more than one say that they have a Roomba at home, regardless of the brand they put on the label.
Roomba is to cleaning robots like Apple to computing: flawless performance but high prices. And why not say it, there is a certain social status that is associated with the brand.
However, as in most household appliances, the democratization of technology means that recently other brands have appeared on the market that stand up to the almighty Roomba: LG, Philips, Rowenta, Taurus, Vileda …
And of course, Chinese companies have put the batteries in and have begun to compete strongly , not only in the low-end sector or private labels, but with features that do not have much to envy the most cutting- edge models: Xiaomi, iLife or Ecovacs are great examples of this trend.
Roomba vs Conga
iRobot Roomba and Conga, from the Spanish company Cecotec, are the brands that dominate the robot vacuum cleaner market, and doubts often arise when choosing between one or the other. To help you decide, here are the main differences:
- The price. Roomba vacuums are high-end, and it shows in the price. The Cecotec, on the other hand, are cheaper and have a great value for money.
- The experience. IRobot Roomba has been on the market for over 20 years, while Conga robot vacuum cleaners are much more recent.
- The innovation. Roomba is the mirror in which other manufacturers of this appliance look at themselves. At the time they clearly bet on R&D, although now that they are consolidated it gives us the impression that they prioritize reliability over “experiments”. In return, in Conga they have put the batteries and surprise us with each model. For example, all Cecotec include the scrubbing function, although in the simplest models it is quite basic.
Obviously, it all depends on what you are looking for, so here is our recommendation:
- If you want a consolidated brand and don’t mind paying for it: iRobot Roomba.
- If you are looking for quality-price and the brand is not so important for you: Cecotec Conga.
- If you want a simple robot vacuum cleaner , the Cecotec Conga includes very interesting extras in its most basic models, such as scrubbing or the HEPA filter.
- If you are looking for premium features and a certain “status” , the Roomba is your option. It is not the same to buy an iPhone as an Android phone, right? Well, a bit the same.
Continuing with the comparison, imagine that you are buying a phone. At the moment of truth, today a high-end Android phone can do the same as one from Apple … but it is not the same. An iPhone is reliable, fails little, lasts long and technically runs like clockwork. In return, it is not cheap at all.
Well, with the Roomba it happens more or less the same. Its technology is no longer exclusive and other brands like Cecotec do the same or even more (such as the scrubbing function or laser mapping). But with iRobot you always have the guarantee that you are buying a “fault-free” appliance , with flawless operation and designed to last.
Whatever you choose, keep one thing clear: in both cases you are making a big purchase . Both Roomba and Conga are the reference brands, and they respond very well in their different ranges.