Most household chores are gradually being shifted to “smart” devices. Today’s housewives no longer need to do laundry by hand or wash dishes. And the advent of robot vacuum cleaners has simplified apartment cleaning. It is no longer necessary to sweep and vacuum the floor every day – a new home helper can do this. These devices are available in stores in a fairly wide range and price range. Since robot vacuum cleaners for many people are new, it is not easy to choose the best device. That is why we want to tell you what brand to give preference, what characteristics to pay attention to. 9 tips will help you to make the right choice.
What kind of robot vacuum cleaner is better to choose?
All robot vacuum cleaners are divided into several categories – for dry, wet cleaning, poloters and multifunctional devices. The choice of one of these types depends entirely on your tasks. The simplest, budget models are designed for dry house cleaning. In the general principle of action they differ little from conventional vacuum cleaners – retract to the container all the debris encountered on the way, but do it independently with small brushes. The dust settles on the filter. Such models are used for daily cleaning of floors and short-pile carpets.
Judging by the reviews of users, washing robot-vacuum cleaners can not completely get rid of the need to wash the floors, but will help to keep it relatively clean. These are models with a water container. As it moves, the device sprays water in front of it, cleans the wet surface with brushes and sucks the dirty liquid into the container. Depending on the model, residual moisture is removed with silicone squeegees or a vacuum. Washing vacuum cleaners can not be used for all surfaces – they are not suitable for budget types of laminate, untreated wood, parquet and long-pile carpets. Combination models are an interesting option – they vacuum the floor or do wet cleaning depending on the mode set.
Floor cleaners are less popular, but are indispensable in apartments with long-haired animals. To clean smooth surfaces, the robot uses a wet microfiber cloth, and to remove pet hair and other dirt from carpets, it uses a turbo brush.
How to choose a robot vacuum cleaner by design features? What are the best brushes?
For the chosen model to cope with the quality of its functions, pay attention to the design of its cleaning part. Robotic vacuum cleaners are equipped with large brushes for collecting large debris and side brushes for cleaning complex areas of the apartment. It is necessary to evaluate the quality of the material of the brushes – the efficiency of cleaning depends more on this factor than on their shape. Cheap brushes made of fishing line catch threads, long hair – to clean them then a real problem.
Expensive models in this respect win over budget devices. They have more efficient brushes and larger containers, they are easy to clean even from coiled hair. The length of the bristles of the side brushes determines how well complex areas will be cleaned. The longer they are, the better.
Number and types of sensors
How to choose a robot vacuum cleaner by type of sensors, which are better?
Sensors of different types ensure the correct operation of the device. From them, he receives information about the direction of movement, objects on the floor, obstacles. Manufacturers use several different types of sensors.
- Collision sensors. On the edges of the device, under the rubber bumper are hidden collision sensors. As soon as the device touches a wall or an object, the sensor signals to go the other way. The design usually uses not one, but several sensors at once, so that the robot correctly locates the interference.
- Infrared. They are divided into two types – touch and fall. Sensors of the first type are located around the edge of the device. They send infrared beams that hit an obstacle, reflect off it, and are received by the receiver so the robot knows when to change trajectory. Drop sensors use the same principle, but are located on the bottom. If there are no signals, the robot stops, carefully turns around and drives in the other direction.
- Ultrasonic. Determine the proximity of the object, forming the speed of movement. Models equipped with such sensors are the best in terms of cleaning difficult places, as they can get close to the wall or furniture.
- Additional sensors. Mid-priced and premium models are sometimes equipped with dirt sensors. They determine how much debris is on the floor and in accordance with this independently select the optimal mode of operation. Some models have front wheel sensors that are triggered if the vacuum cleaner gets tangled up in something. The most modern and expensive models are equipped with laser sensors, which allow you to map the area.
What option to choose? Of course, if funds allow, it is better to give preference to devices, as much as possible equipped with various sensors. They will do their job much more effectively and make it easier to navigate the room.
Battery capacity and charging station
How to choose the battery capacity, what is better than robotic vacuum cleaners with a charging station?
The efficiency of cleaning largely depends on the battery capacity. The longer the device can work without recharging, the better will cope with cleaning the house. Compared with an ordinary vacuum cleaner, the suction power of robots is much less, so it will take a lot of time to remove all the dirt. For example, to fully clean an apartment of 50-60 m2, it will take about two hours. According to user reviews, cheap Chinese models have a maximum charge of one hour. To charge the device will take from 3 to 8 hours, so it is better to choose a model at least in the middle price range – the battery capacity they have significantly higher.
Many robots are equipped with a base station to charge the battery. It is connected to the network and installed on the floor. If the robot’s charge level drops, it finds the station by infrared signal and recharges itself. This makes cleaning much easier and more efficient. The robot can work continuously while you are away. It’s the best solution you can get – buy a device with a base station for recharging.
Why choose a robot vacuum cleaner with virtual walls?
The minus of most even expensive models – their trajectory is random, so cleaning can be performed unevenly. For example, one room the robot will vacuum throughout the day, and the other will not even go. If you want to make the device clean exactly where you need it, you can divide the area into zones. Some models come with a small device called a “virtual wall.” Using an infrared narrow beam, they expose an invisible wall. The robot receives a signal about an obstacle and changes the direction of movement.
By moving the device it is possible to provide consistent cleaning of all rooms of the house. One or two devices are included as standard, but they are also sold separately. If necessary, you can buy more devices to set clear boundaries of the cleaning area.
Is it better to choose an inexpensive or cheap robot vacuum cleaner?
If the first robot vacuum cleaners were expensive, now it is not difficult to find an inexpensive standard or washing model. There are a lot of proposals, but it is not worth looking at the cheapest options – their performance and quality leave much to be desired. But the low price for smart devices directly affects their quality of work – an inexpensive robot will not replace the standard floor sweeping. Materials, electronics are not of very high quality, dust collectors are small, insufficient battery capacity, complexity of orientation in space – this is only part of the disadvantages of cheap models. Such a device can be purchased only for regular cleaning of one small room.
In the middle class, the choice is already much more. But these models are still considered inexpensive. They use more elaborate cleaning technology – a lot of different sensors, the clear path of cleaning, high-quality materials, effective brushes, increased size of the dust bag. There are some good detergent models. Many options are equipped with a charging station, virtual walls, provide a good quality of cleaning. This is the best option if you do not have a large sum of money, but want to get a reliable assistant at home.
Some people think that premium devices do not differ from mid-priced models. But they have a faster charging speed (10-20 minutes), a large dust collector, excellent space orientation. Some models are equipped with a self-cleaning function.
Vacuum cleaner size, area, volume
What power robot vacuum cleaner is better to choose?
To choose the right model of robotic vacuum cleaner, start from the area of cleaning. For a small room with moderate daily pollution (if there are no children or pets) you can buy a simple model with a power of about 30-40 watts. If the apartment is larger, there are polluting factors, it is worth preferring more powerful models – up to 70 watts. Take into account that the robot will spend about 1.5-2 hours to clean a house with an area of 50-60 m2.
The capacity of the vacuum cleaner is another important parameter. If there are animals at home (especially long-haired) or small children, choose models with a larger capacity. For an apartment of 60-80 m2, it should be at least 0.3-0.4 liters. For larger areas, you should consider models with a dust canister size of up to 1 liter. Combined models, designed for wet and dry cleaning, cope with the task of removing debris and dust more qualitatively.
Most models are quite noisy. The volume index can reach 60-70 dB – you should pay attention to this parameter right away. Now it is quite realistic to find quieter models, mainly from the middle price range with a maximum operating volume of not more than 45 dB.
Choosing a vacuum cleaner
Is it worth buying a robot vacuum cleaner or is it better to choose a regular model?
Washing robot vacuum cleaners will save you from frequent floor cleaning. They are quite good at this task. The only inconvenience – the water periodically need to change and pour. Washing robot-vacuum cleaner conducts cleaning sequentially – first it collects trash, then sprays water on the floor, rubs it and sucks back. It leaves behind a washed and dried surface. Special products are added to the water for effective cleaning. Sometimes users use a mild concentration of vinegar.
Washing models are not suitable for all surfaces. You should not use them for laminate without water-resistant coating, parquet, brushed wood, porous stone tiles. They’re not meant for long-pile carpets, either. If you only need an occasional substitute for hand-washing your floors, consider models with a wet-cleaning mode that simply wipe the surface with a damp cloth.
What’s the best set of options to choose from?
Some models are supplemented with various interesting options. For example, air purification with filters, its aromatization, disinfection of the floor with ultraviolet. Some options can be very useful, but in cheap devices are sometimes used to divert the eyes from the not very good technical characteristics. Therefore, auxiliary options are the last important selection criterion. Although some options greatly simplify cleaning and improve its quality.
- Schedule cleaning. Many models are equipped with this option, which allows you to set a certain power on time. In some devices, the schedule mode can be set for a week in advance. For example, the robot vacuum cleaner will clean while you are at work.
- Self-cleaning. In this case, the charging station (base) is additionally equipped with a vacuum cleaner from the collected debris. The user will not need several times a day to remove the garbage from the device – it will do it on its own without having to break away from the cleaning process due to an overflowing container.
- Remote control. This is a secondary function, as there is usually no need to switch operating modes in the process of cleaning.