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About Our Rankings
Our editors rate and review products objectively based on the features offered to consumers, the price and delivery options, how a product compares with other products in its category, and other factors.
The ratings are based on the expert opinion of our editors and on underlying technology that analyzes decisions made by similar users to provide individual, targeted recommendations to each person who visits our site.
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Robot Vacuum Types
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Choosing The Best Option
What goes into being the best, you may ask. The criteria we've looked at include:
Cost – While it's definitely worth it to spend money in order to get the right vacuum that will fit your needs, there's no need to overspend. We've done the math to compare the prices of vacuums as well as the value they offer at their price. We've also found coupons and deals where they are available to help you get the biggest bang for your buck.
Durability – Why bother getting a new robot vacuum if it's just going to break? You're going to want to use your new robotic vacuum regularly to keep your home sparkling clean. We've looked at the durability and longevity of robot vacuums to find ones that are built to last and can handle daily use.
Ease of use – Some robotic vacuums take voice commands, are wifi compatible, or are controllable by a mobile app. Some have more complex upkeep requirements, while others are happy to keep trucking away cleaning your home with the occasional break to dump the dust bin. We've taken these factors that determine how easy a robot vacuum is to use into account in our ratings.
Features – Some robot vacuums are built with more bells and whistles than others. Some only work as vacuums, while others have mopping and wet-vacuuming capabilities. Some are compatible with apps and other devices so that they can be controlled remotely. Some are better equipped to deal with pet hair than others. We've looked at all the features offered in various robot vacuums to find the very best out there.
User reviews – It’s great to get our opinions, but what do other product owners think? We’ve read through Amazon customer reviews and watched YouTube unboxings to understand what real customers think.
Robot Vacuum Overview
Robot vacuums have come a long way since the first iRobot Roomba was released in 2002.
When robot vacuums were first introduced you had to set up virtual walls to help with their navigation – and still had to get them unstuck from behind furniture. Batteries barely lasted enough time to be useful and you had to manually plug them in to recharge. And, you had to purchase separate devices for carpets and hard floors.
No longer! The world of robot vacuums has changed dramatically and these advanced cleaning machines have evolved into the helpers you always dreamed of having.
Today, almost 1 in 4 home vacuums cleaners is a robot.
Robot vacuums have become semi-autonomous and indispensable tools for people living busy lives. They automatically navigate homes, running on a schedule to clean when you’re out of the house and seamlessly switching between floor types. They can identify and tackle the dirtiest of floors and handle pet hair with ease. Robot vacuums are even smart enough to navigate back to their base to recharge when batteries are getting low.
With so many fantastic options, the only hard part is picking which one is best for your needs. That’s where we come in...
Best Robot Vacuum Editor’s Choice
Our reviews have named the iRobot 690 the best overall robot vacuum based on a combination of performance and price.
The iRobot 690 delivers advanced cleaning and controls at a fraction of the cost of some more advanced models.
Like the more expensive iRobot 980, this model utilizes a 3-stage cleaning system to loosen, lift, and suction dirt and debris from all floor types. The iRobot DirtDetect sensors help the 690 to identify dirtier areas and spend more time cleaning them. We were especially impressed by how well the iRobot 690 handled pet hair.
Even with the DirtDetect, the iRobot 690 does not provide the same level of mess assessment as the 980. That is because it uses acoustic, instead of optical, sensors. Additionally, the iRobot 690 does not provide the same level of edge-cleaning as some other models. Still, you can trust this device to navigate your home, avoid getting stuck, and get the vast majority of messes cleaned.
The iRobot Home App makes it easy to schedule and monitor cleaning from anywhere. Want to come home from vacation to a clean, dust-free house? Just tell your iRobot 690 to get started with a few easy clicks of a button.
At home and need help with a mess, but don’t have time to grab your phone? Just tell the iRobot to clean using Amazon Alexa or Google Home voice commands. With built-in iAdapt navigation technology, you can let the iRobot 690 navigate your home without worrying if it will get stuck under furniture or fall down stairs or ledges (such an improvement over early models!).
Need the iRobot to get out of your way? Use Alexa or Google Home commands to tell it to go back to its base and recharge.
Though the 70 minute battery run-time is shorter than other robot vacuums on the market, it did not impact our experience. The iRobot 690 is smart enough to return to its station, recharge, and get back to cleaning when scheduled to do so. Unfortunately, this model does not automatically resume cleaning like iRobot’s more expensive models.
The Bottom Line:
At just $324.99 the iRobot 690 is an excellent option for anyone thinking about getting a robot vacuum, but concerned about the high cost of other models. It includes advanced options that will help make your life easier and your home cleaner.
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