Sucking Up: The 6 Best Robot Vacuums
Vacuuming. Few kinds of cleaning are less satisfying than running a vacuum across your floor, yet it is one of the first things a person notices when they walk into your home. Dust on a lampshade or a television can be forgiven, but if your date or your mother walks into your house and sees that you were too lazy to vacuum, the shame will haunt you until the end of your days. To avoid bringing harsh judgments against yourself or your home and still avoid the tedious chore of vacuuming, you need a trusty robot vacuum to handle all of your sucking needs.
Infinuvo Hovo 510
Don’t expect much from this little scamp. It is intended solely for those that want an automated vacuum but don’t have much in the bank. It works best on hardwood or laminate floors, so it won’t dig into the deep fibers of your carpet to get the grime out. For a basic, affordable, entry-level vacuum, it’s good enough.
If you have a bachelor’s pad, then this will probably be all you need. It won’t give you spic and span, but it will pickup the dried ramen you spilled onto the shag. It uses a very simple scheduling feature that works well enough. The battery life is surprisingly long, but that is mostly because it isn’t working very hard. [Purchase: $195]
iRobot Roomba 620
If you want something that is better than basic, then the Roomba 620 is the sucker you need. Mostly it is perfect for larger apartments or as a secondary cleaner for houses with multiple-levels. It is best for maintenance cleaning day after day, rather than deeper cleaning once a month. The round design means it won’t get into corners, but for larger spaces it will keep everything tidy so you don’t have to work as hard the next time you do a full scrub on your home.
The 620 is especially good for anyone that owns smaller pets. The AeroVac cleaning design will pick up most pet hair and dander and keep dust and other allergens from recirculating in the air. If you’ve got a few furry friends, or are a full-blown crazy cat lady, the 620 robot vacuum will help keep them from making your house look like a used lint brush. [Purchase: $300]
Neato Robotics XV Signature Pro
Neato has several models, but they are all pale comparisons when they are put side by side with the Signature Pro. It cleans with military precision. If you have a home with multiple pets or serious allergies, the XV will keep you covered. It can work equally well on vinyl flooring, carpet, hardwood, laminate, or tile. It can move seamlessly from one to the other without breaking stride. Like a little tin soldier, it marches back and forth picking up everything in its way.
It uses Laser Guided Navigation along with Smart Sensors to ensure that it doesn’t miss a corner or forget to go underneath your couches and beds. It uses the most powerful suction commercially available, so you’ll get one of the deepest cleanings of any robot vacuum on the market. The one drawback is that it is loud so it may decide to interrupt your Sunday nap, but the noise is well worth it when you see your floors shine. [Purchase: $449]
iRobot Roomba 880
The Roomba was the first name in the space and the 880 looks like they are also determined to have the last word. It uses innovative air flow technology to improve its suction. The AeroForce Extractors get deep into carpet with even the thickest pile. In addition to power it is also very convenient. You can program a determined schedule so that it takes care of the housework while you are on the job, out for a run, or scoring digits at the local bar.
The XLife battery has twice the lifespan of previous Roomba models, and with its auto-return feature, you’ll never have to worry about it running out of juice, unless you live in Wayne Manor. From the first time you come home to a spotlessly clean floor, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without this smooth miracle. The scanners are very unusual and the iRobot will sometimes meander around a room, seemingly at random, but there is method to its madness and it will often give you the deepest clean of any model. Sadly, you’ll be paying top dollar for the privilege. [Purchase: $700]
LG LRV790R Hom-Bot
If you are more worried about how your robot pal looks and sounds than how well it cleans, then the Hom-Bot is for you. It has a soothing female voice, quiet operation, several customizable cleaning modes, and a stylish candy-apple look. What it doesn’t have is amazing cleaning power. It will work well enough on wood and vinyl floors, but a deep pile carpet will outmatch the Hom-Bot’s rather tame suction ability.
If you want total control over how your vacuum works and don’t mind paying a steep price for cheery vocal alerts, then this will work for you. If you care less about how it looks and behaves and more about how clean your floor gets, you’ll find the Hom-Bot a little too cute to handle all your man-sized messes. [Purchase: $799]
The Tango is for the alpha consumer that must have the hottest new thing before anyone else does. The Tango accepts voice commands and uses some externally mounted brushes to help dislodge dirt from corners and move them into the suction radius of the machine.
It has remarkable on-board sensors and a camera that it uses to plot the best way to clean a room, ensuring that it maximizes its time and battery life. The auto-pilot is easily one of the best in the business, even if the pickup power is somewhat less than stellar. If bells and whistles get your motor running, then the Tango has plenty to keep any gearhead or tech junkie happy. [Purchase: $1,250]