Vacuum cleaners revolutionized the way we look at cleaning and robot vacuums took it a notch higher. Rather than having to spend hours vacuuming, these compact machines will take over the entire cleaning operation and leave you with a clean house without requiring as much input from you.
However, not all robot vacuums are born the same. Some of the modern high-end models come with amazing features that make them more efficient and better at their jobs. From automatic bin emptying to dirt detection and advanced mapping and navigation, the modern robot vacuum is miles ahead when compared to some of the earlier models.
Today, we are going to look at vacuum models in regards to navigation. Different models take different approaches, and this use of different methods translates to performance differences when it comes to cleaning efficiency and effectiveness.
Earlier models of robot vacuums cleaned randomly across the room. This meant that cleaning took longer and the robots would sometimes miss some spots. Robot manufacturers have devised more effective cleaning methods in a bid to improve these models and make them faster and better at cleaning.
With these modern methods, the robot vacuum cleaners can adjust to the floor type and layout in different rooms in your home so that they can perform a better cleaning job. This way, instead of taking the same approach on all rooms, the robot can choose the best cleaning pattern for the specific room that it is cleaning so that it can deliver better results and in a shorter time.
Today, we are going to identify some of the best robot vacuums when it comes to mapping, navigation and controlling options. Let’s jump in.
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Best Robot Vacuums with Mapping
Mapping technology is very important in a robot vacuum. It helps the robot vacuum to gather information about your home so that it can choose the most efficient cleaning path. In addition to choosing the most efficient path, it can also detect the best cleaning mode for the floor type in place.
So how exactly does mapping work in robot vacuum cleaners? This will vary from one manufacturer to the other and from one model to the other, but the result is pretty much the same. The robot will be able to scan your house and create a map of the various rooms and any obstacles it is likely to find at different places within these rooms.
The two most common mapping technologies are laser and optical mapping. Laser mapping is more accurate because it can get more precise locations of walls and any obstacles along the robot’s path. Optical mapping uses a camera that is usually placed on the robot’s top face.
Armed with this map, you will be able to give better commands to the robot when the time comes to clean. For example, you can tell it to clean the living room and the bedrooms and to leave the rest of the house. You can also use this map when setting cleaning schedules so that it can clean different rooms on different days. Some models will even show you where they have cleaned and where they haven’t.
This means that the robot vacuum will need to come with a smartphone app that will give you the interface for giving these commands and making the different selections. The robot vacuum will also need to connect to Wi-Fi so that it can communicate with your smartphone.
You should be able to view your home’s map on the smartphone and also to edit them to help the robot have a better understanding of the layout.
With all that said, it’s important to note that not all robot vacuums with mapping technology will come with all the features described above. It varies depending on the manufacturer and the price point. This means that depending on your budget, you might need to make some compromises and choose the model that best fits in your budget.
Here are some of the best performing robot vacuum models with mapping technology:
Best Robot Vacuums with Virtual Walls
Although robot vacuums bring convenience, the fact that they operate autonomously can be a bit disturbing. What if it falls off the stairs? What if it goes to the wet bathroom floor and sucks in some water?
To ensure that this does not happen, there is a need to set limits and boundaries that will tell the robot where it can go and more importantly, where it can’t go. This way, you will eliminate the chance of your expensive robot vacuum getting itself into a messy situation.
There are several ways robot manufacturers achieve this. Roombas come with virtual walls. These are small battery-powered devices that can be detected by the robot vacuums. However, the robot vacuum needs to be close enough to the wall barriers for the signal to be detected.
The virtual walls on Roomba models are dual-mode wall barriers, and the mode you choose will determine how the barrier will function. The first mode is an actual straight line virtual wall. The barrier will prevent the robot from crossing a virtual straight line next to the wall barrier. If you place the wall barrier next to the door in this mode, it will keep the robot from entering or leaving the room thus restricting its movements.
The second mode creates a radius around the barrier that the robot can’t come near. This is great for keeping the robot away from pets or near the entertainment center so that it doesn’t get entangled by cables.
Other models like eufy use boundary strips that are thin magnetic belts that you use to separate the areas where the robot vacuum shouldn’t reach. For example, you can place one in front of a door or along the edge of a carpet to ensure that the robot only cleans the allowed areas. When the robot gets to the strip, it will turn around so that it doesn’t go over the strip into the restricted areas.
In addition to keeping robot vacuums from certain areas of your home, you can also use these virtual walls to ensure that the vacuum does a thorough cleaning job on a small area rather than trying to clean a large floor surface and missing many spots randomly.
Best Robot Vacuums with a Remote
One thing that stands out when it comes to the operation of robot vacuums is the fact that they all generally take longer than you would have taken to clean the same area. This is because they will sometimes need to go over some areas twice to be sure that they have not missed any spot.
If you want to clean the floor faster, a model that comes with a remote control will help you save time without compromising on the level of cleanliness achieved. A remote control will allow you to actively control the robot and move it to whichever part of your home that you would like to clean.
This way, you will be able to get the work done faster because you will be able to figure out the fastest cleaning path for the room and skip any areas that don’t need to be cleaned. It is still easier and more convenient than using a canister or stick vacuum because none of the heavy lifting is necessary. Just press the right button, and the robot will do the moving.
Some models come with physical remote controls while others are a part of the smartphone app that you use for scheduling and other controls. Either way, the remote control is built to give you an easy time when you want to get involved in the cleaning.
We have identified some of the best robot vacuums that come with remotes. Start your search by looking at some of these models, and they will save you some shopping time.
The robot vacuum market is flooded with hundreds of models from different manufacturers and at different price points. With such a wide range of options, it is hard not to find something that will work for you.
When choosing the robot to buy, you should also think about the following:
Floor Type: The type of floor you have in your home will determine how your robot vacuum is going to perform. For example, if you have a large carpeted area a robot vacuum with bristles will do an amazing job because the bristles will be able to get deep into the carpet fabric and sweep out the dirt particles.
Filtration Efficiency: Just like any other vacuum cleaner, robots collect a lot of fine particles from the floor. Without a good filtration system, some of these fine particles can make it back into the room through the exhaust. Look for robot vacuums with HEPA filters because they do a better job filtering out these small particles.
Pet Hair: If you have pets, you might want to choose a model that can pick up pet hair without wrapping some of it around the wheels and brushes. Some models come with brushes that are specially designed to pick up pet hair so cleaning them is quick and easy.
Our Recommended Robot Vacuums
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The iRobot Roomba i7+ is great at learning your home's layout and is ideal for challenging surfaces and areas with lots of obstacles. It's a solid performing robot vacuum, too. And, yes, the Clean Base is impressive and easy to empty — especially for those who have back issues. Check out our Roomba i7+ review here
The Shark IZ362H is a handy cordless stick vacuum that runs up to 40 minutes before needing to charge. The unit comes with a self-cleaning brushroll so you're not stuck dealing with gross hair, and fits tidily into tiny spaces. Shark IZ362H Review
The Deebot 500 is a solid robot vacuum that cleans well and has an attractive price. That said, there are a slew of other robot vacuums that can make the same claim. Deebot 500 Review
The Roborock S6 Pure does a great job of making the S6 difficult to recommend. When we first reviewed the S6 last year, it was an Ambient top pick. However, the fact that the S6 Pure has come along, offering pretty much the same setup - for $100 less - means the Pure is now our favorite Roborock. Roborock Pure Robot Vacuum Review
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Last update on 2020-11-30 / Most affiliate links and/or Images from Amazon Product Advertising API