- What Is a Robot Vacuum?
- What to Look for While Picking a New Robot Vacuum
- The Best Robot Vacuums in 2021 Reviews
- 1. Roborock S6 – Best to Buy Robot Vacuum
- 2. eufy RoboVac 11S – Best Value Robot Vacuum
- 3. iRobot Roomba 675 – Best Robot Vacuum for Pet Hair
- 4. iRobot Roomba 960 – Best Robot Vacuum for Carpet
- 5. iLife V8s – Best Robot Vacuum for Hardwood Floors
- 6. Roborock S4 – Best Robot Vacuum with Mapping
- 7. iLife V5s Pro – Best Robot Vacuum and Mop
- Tips to Improve Your Robot Vacuum’s Cleaning Efficiency
Not a lot of people can find joy in vacuuming. After all, it is a tiring and tedious routine for most people, especially the elderly and those who work full-time. That’s where the best robot vacuums come in.
These cleaning robots work just fine on their own without your constant guidance or monitoring, thanks to their advanced navigation systems. All you have to do is press a button, schedule a time you’d like them to begin working, and they will take care of the rest.
In case you didn’t know already, these robot vacuums also have smart control features like voice commands and virtual assistants such as Alexa and Google Assistant, offering more options for your convenience. The latest models have specialty cleaning prowess to boot— some can even mop the floor for you.
Our buying guide will offer everything you need to know to make the most informed choice possible. Additionally, our review section will go into further details on a range of favorably-rated robot vacuum models for your consideration.
What Is a Robot Vacuum?
Robot vacuums (also called “Roombas”) are autonomous vacuuming devices. They are programmed to clean the house all by themselves with minimal effort required from the users.
Similar to conventional vacuums, robot vacuums also have suction motors to collect dust, dirt and debris of all sorts. To deal with stubborn specks and any unwanted residues stuck on the floor or tightly embedded inside carpets and rugs, robot vacuums have an array of brushes to handle the matter.
All of the waste collected by the robot is funneled into a removable dust cup. Most models have a sensor to indicate when the cup has reached its maximum capacity, so you won’t have to disassemble the robot daily to check.
You also don’t need to worry about air filtering as these robot vacuums tend to be equipped with robust air filters to keep the atmosphere in the house fresh.
When it comes to controlling, you can schedule when to clean and set limits for the robots easily with a click of a button. Budget-friendly models often have a control panel directly placed on top of the unit. Meanwhile, premium models can be programmed and controlled with a remote or a specialized mobile app on your smartphone.
At the scheduled time, the robot will start navigating the house with its sensors and clean up everything along its path. Once it has finished its route or is about to run out of battery, the robot will automatically return to its docking station to recharge. As a result, even when you’re not home to keep an eye on it, the house will be spotless once you return.
But as versatile as they are, robot vacuums are not meant to replace your primary vacuum. They have specific limitations, such as not being able to clean in high places like the top shelves and the ceiling. And while they will be able to do an admirable job of cleaning a good portion of the house, there’s no guarantee they can cover every square inch or corner.
What to Look for While Picking a New Robot Vacuum
Strictly speaking, there aren’t two robot vacuums with the exact same cleaning prowess. And it’s not just raw suction power that constitutes a decent model: there are other factors to take into account as well. For example, while all robots are made to be as versatile as possible, they have certain preferences: some work better on hardwood, while others are more suitable for carpeting and rugs.
Thus, it’s crucial to survey the house in advance and decide if you need a robot vacuum designed for bare floors or carpeting.
Like traditional vacuums, robot vacuum manufacturers typically don’t publicize how strong or how loud the motor is online. And when they do, the measurements are inconsistent and often don’t make much sense for the buyers. It also doesn’t make things any easier when there are many different factors contributing to the final suction power. As a result, other than for reference purposes, these numbers shouldn’t be the deciding factor when making a purchase. There are other things to think about before making the final decision.
The bigger the robot’s battery, the longer it will be able to operate and the stronger the suction motor. This is especially true if you have a large house with a lot of ground to cover.
A big battery cell provides your robot with 70 to 90 minutes of runtime, allowing the vacuum to clean a broader area. The extra power will also let your vacuum motor kick into a higher gear.
When cleaning a large house, a robot vacuum with a small battery cell (50-60 minutes of runtime) may run out of juice in the middle of a cleaning session, meaning it must return to the dock to recharge before finishing the job/completing its route. That is not necessarily a bad thing since a smaller battery makes for a cheaper robot vacuum. Plus, if you live in an apartment or studio with little space to clean, it doesn’t make much sense to invest in a costly robot with a greater battery life.
Nowadays, most robot vacuums are powered by either Lithium-ion (Li-ion) or Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries. They are reliable, have large power density, and it typically takes a long time for their maximum charge capacity to deteriorate.
The robot navigates the house using a vast assortment of sensors. The best robot vacuums have an anti-collision proximity sensor, meaning when it approaches a wall or an obstacle, the robot will automatically turn away.
Anti-drop sensors are also a popular option for manufacturers. These sensors alert the robot whenever there is a drop in front of it and reroute the unit to a different course. This feature is especially useful if you have a multi-story home with stairs.
Premium models also have virtual mapping and cordoning (or “no-go lining“) capability.
A robot vacuum with mapping function can survey the house with laser sensors, radars, cameras, and gyroscopes to recreate a “mental map” of the whole house. This map will come in handy when guiding the robot around the house, with things like where to make a turn or staying away from furniture within the room.
For a robot vacuum with cordoning ability, you can set borderlines for the robot to avoid. For example, if you don’t want it to clean the kitchen, you can set a line on the kitchen’s threshold, and it will change direction once it gets there.
But not all robot vacuums have the same cordoning ability. In affordable models, the no-go lines are physical, magnetic tapes that you can string across the floor. Premium models’ no-go lines are entirely virtual and can be set through a smartphone app.
Control & Monitoring
Some robot vacuums can connect to WiFi and are controllable with an in-house smartphone app. Such models often come with voice command functions you can set through Alexa or Google Assistant.
You will also be able to monitor and control the robot even when you’re away from the house. As long as you have an internet connection on your phone, you can select cleaning modes, reset the schedule, or start a cleaning session at will.
Robot vacuums can handle air filtering, much like your traditional vacuums. Usually, they are equipped with High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters to capture all microscopic dirt, dust, allergens, and even airborne bacteria and viruses found in the airstream. A filter must capture 99.97% of all particles smaller than 0.3 microns to achieve a HEPA rating.
HEPA filtration is a must-have for households with allergy and asthma sufferers whose health might be affected if the house’s atmosphere is not clean enough. In the background of the current health crisis, we recommend you to consider having a HEPA filter. According to multiple researches, HEPA filters could reduce COVID-19 virus particles in the environment.
The Best Robot Vacuums in 2021 Reviews
With the buying guide done, here are our picks of the top-performing robot vacuums. Each one of them is carefully researched and chosen based on their overall performance and specific attributes (efficiency on flooring, mapping function or mopping ability, etc.)
No matter what it is that you need, there will be something for you.
- Roborock S6 – Best to Buy Robot Vacuum
- eufy RoboVac 11S – Best Value Robot Vacuum
- iRobot Roomba 675 – Best Robot Vacuum for Pet Hair
- iRobot Roomba 960 – Best Robot Vacuum for Carpet
- iLife V8s – Best Robot Vacuum for Hardwood Floors
- Roborock S4 – Best Robot Vacuum with Mapping
- iLife V5s Pro – Best Robot Vacuum and Mop
|Name||Navigation||Control System||Battery Life||Warranty|
|Roborock S6||Virtual Mapping||Mobile App||~90-110 minutes||2-year|
|Eufy RoboVac 11S||Bump Navigation||Remote Controller||~120 minutes||1-year|
|iRobot Roomba 675||Bump Navigation||Remote Controller||~90-100 minutes||1-year|
|iRobot Roomba 960||Bump Navigation||Mobile App||~60-70 minutes||1-year|
|iLife V8s||Bump Navigation||Remote Controller||~100-150 minutes||1-year|
|Roborock S4||Virtual Mapping||Mobile App||~100-150 minutes||1-year|
|iLife V5s Pro||Bump Navigation||Remote Controller||~100-150 minutes||1-year|
1. Roborock S6 – Best to Buy Robot Vacuum
The Roborock S6 can cover all of the basics that one would expect from a robot vacuum: fine performance on both bare floors and carpets as well as an extra mopping mode. But there’s something about this unit that sets it apart from the rest.
It has smart connectivity functions (including compatibility with Alexa and Google Assistant), an advanced navigation system with laser ranging sensors, and smartphone app control. Given all of these features, this robot is in a league of its own and is well worth the money.
- Powerful overall performance
- Multiple cleaning modes/options
- Mop function
- Advanced navigation
- Long battery life (110 minutes)
- Virtual assistant-compatible
- Long warranty
- Small dust cup
The S6 has garnered glowing praises and received positive feedback from users on multiple retailing platforms for its powerful suction motor and its elaborate array of brushes.
The robot has four power settings: Quiet, Balanced, Turbo, and Max. You can tune the robot to Quiet Mode if you use it early in the morning or late at night to avoid disturbing the house’s occupants who may be sleeping. However, its cleaning performance will take a notable hit due to the reduced suction and brush strength.
By default, the robot is set at Balanced Mode. In Turbo and Max Mode, the robot will be noisier because of the higher power load. Still, most people find the louder noise tolerable.
The vacuum has no trouble picking up dust, dirt, and fine particles such as flour and ground coffee on hardwood floors and low-pile carpeting. It also does an excellent job dealing with larger residues like bread crumbs, spilled cereal, pet hair and pet litter.
The Roborock S6 retains the traditional form factor of robot vacuums: a disk-shaped body with a low top (3.8 inches in height.)
The most crucial part of its design must be the “turret” on the top side of the vacuum. This is where the laser rangefinder is positioned. It works in tandem with 14 other built-in sensors to help the S6 find its way around the house. The laser rangefinder is also the critical component that gives the Roborock S6 the ability to recreate a virtual map of its surroundings.
Underneath the vacuum, you will find the main roller brush and a rotating edge-sweeping brush to clean up dirt and stains on the baseboards. You can also attach mop pads to the bottom of the vacuum if you want it to handle stubborn stains.
The internal dust cup has a maximum capacity of 0.48 liters (16.2 ounces), and the water tank for the mop can hold 0.14 liters (0.03 gallons.)
The Roborock S6 uses a replaceable 14.4-volt Lithium-ion battery pack.
Although the company has advertised that it would be able to clean for 3 hours continuously, most customers agreed that the actual runtime is closer to 90 minutes on average. Some have achieved 110 minutes out of the S6 but no higher than that.
The robot is controllable via a smartphone app. Through your phone, you can schedule when the robot will start working and switch between the cleaning modes.
In addition, the app will also display the virtual map that the robot has created with its sensor. You can draw borderlines on the map (magnetic tapes are optional) and partition the house into different sectors to do “selective room cleaning.” In this mode, the robot will only clean the marked room and nothing else, or you can make adjustments so that the S6 cleans from room to room in a specific order to your liking.
Equipped with an abundance of sensors, the S6 has no difficulty avoiding obstacles and roadblocks such as stairs or bumping into walls. The S6 is also compatible with popular virtual assistants such as Alexa and Google Assistant.
The Roborock S6’s filter is an E11-grade filter, meaning it can remove 99.5% of particles equal-or-larger than 0.3 microns. It is not as effective as HEPA, but it is close enough by allergy sufferers’ standards.
The robot comes with a two-year warranty period, which is longer than the industry standard. The majority of vacuum robots are under warranty up to only one year.
2. eufy RoboVac 11S – Best Value Robot Vacuum
What draws customers to the eufy RoboVac 11S is its small and attractive design, simple controls, and powerful suction, all wrapped up in an affordable package. This robot vacuum will be an excellent choice if you’re looking to get the most out of your money.
- Small & slim
- Simple controls
- Adequate cleaning performance
- Long battery life
- Strong filter
- Large dust cup
- No smart functions
- Outdated navigation system
- Doesn’t perform well with high-pile carpets
The robot has a remarkable specialty for hardwood floors, meaning it can efficiently pick up dirt and dust without damaging the surface. Pet hair also isn’t much of a challenge for this model.
For carpeting and rug-clad surfaces, the robot automatically switches to carpet mode. Once it detects the carpeting pile, the robot will boost the suction motor’s power to draw in more dirt and debris.
Thanks to this feature, the 11S will be able to pick up the majority of dirt, dust, and debris on low-pile carpeting. However, despite the carpet mode, most customers said it doesn’t do very well on high-pile. At best, it would be able to pick up debris at the surface of the piling but unfortunately no deeper than that.
The unit measures 2.85 inches tall. Unlike the Roborock S6, which has a rather unsightly sensor turret poking out of the top, the 11S’ glass top is smooth. As a result, it can fit underneath most furniture without becoming stuck.
At the back, directly above the removable dust cup, is the main roller brush. To the side of the robot is an edge-sweeping rotating brush for scrubbing dirty spots and stains on the lower walls.
The internal dust cup can hold 0.6 liters (20.2 ounces) of dirt.
The 11S uses a 14.4-volt Li-ion battery pack and has very long battery life. It can clean continuously for up to two hours on a full charge before running out of power.
The robot is programmed to return to its docking station to recharge when the battery drops too low. However, according to customers, this is not a sure-fire feature. Due to its lackluster navigation capability, unless you have a house with an uncomplicated layout, it will most likely die halfway through its journey back or get stuck somewhere before making its way back.
After a few years, the battery will begin to deteriorate. Fortunately, if you still want to keep using the 11S, you can easily replace the old battery with a new one.
The navigation suite is a disappointment in an otherwise excellent robot vacuum: rather than mapping, the 11S uses bump navigation.
To be specific, the 11S cleans by “bouncing” and zig-zagging all over the room. It goes in a straight path until it bumps into some sort of obstruction, like a wall or a piece of furniture. Once it does, it will change its direction until it bumps into yet another wall or obstacle, then it’s all rinse-and-repeat until the room is cleaned.
While bump navigation is more cost-effective (since there aren’t as many expensive sensors), it is much more inefficient than vacuums with mapping. The robot would go over the same spot several times during its “bumping” and waste precious battery life. If you plan for the robot to clean several rooms in the house, you will also have to wait until it manages to bump its way toward a door.
A budget-friendly model like the S11 here means the manufacturer has to sacrifice something to cut down its production cost. That being the reason, you can expect virtually no smart connection, voice command, or even mobile app controllability whatsoever. Control is done through a separate double AAA battery-powered remote controller. Fortunately, the robot still has cliff-detecting sensors to prevent it from tumbling down the stairs.
Of course, there’s no virtual no-go lining. You will have to get the magnetic tapes to cordon off areas you don’t want the robot to clean.
It has a substantial triple-layer filtration system, including a washable dual-layer filter and a non-washable high-performance filter.
There’s no information on the filtration efficiency of either of these filters. However, a triple-layer filtration system is still plenty functional enough for families with allergy sufferers
The robot comes with a 12-month warranty covering defects and labor errors.
3. iRobot Roomba 675 – Best Robot Vacuum for Pet Hair
The iRobot Roomba 675 is one of the more affordable robots in iRobot’s portfolio. For a reasonably budget-friendly price, the Roomba 675 offers great navigation ability, versatile cleaning performance and several smart features commonly found in more premium models.
Most importantly, according to pet owners who got their hands on this robot, it is also excellent for dealing with pet hair.
- Relatively affordable
- Great with pet hair
- Versatile cleaning performance
- Virtual assistant-compatible
- Long battery life
- Strong filter
- Outdated navigation system
- Small dust cup
The robot maintains equal performance across various surfaces: from bare floorings — such as hardwood and tiling— to carpeting and rugs of various thicknesses. The robot can seamlessly transition from one floor type to another, efficiently picking up dirt, dust, and debris along the way.
But the Roomba 675’s performance on hardwood is visibly better than on carpets. While it works great on hardwood, you may still be able to find some left-over debris on the piling of carpeting.
For pet owners, the robot will pick up all types of pet hair— even thick clumps— on bare floors. On carpeting and rugs, customers reported that it’s able to pick up about 75% of pet hair lodged between the piling, which is an excellent number considering how many other robot vacuums struggle with pet hair even on bare floors.
Similar to other cleaning robots whose bodies are disk-shaped, the Roomba 675 is 3.7 inches tall, and although it is one of the taller robots on this list, it will still fit underneath most furniture without much fuss.
At the top of the robot are the power button and two command buttons for spot cleaning mode and docking mode, which will tell the robot to return to its station. The power button will also serve as a battery indicator (if you don’t have your phone with you.) The light underneath the button will flash amber if it is still charging. Once fully charged, the light will turn green.
At the bottom, you will find two multi-surface brushes. The first brush is to agitate and dislodge dirt and debris, while the second one guides them into the suction mouth. The edge-sweeping rotating brush is positioned at the corner of the vacuum.
The dust cup is rather small with a capacity of only 0.3 liters (10.1 ounces), which feels quite disappointing and inferior to those of other models, and will require more frequent emptying.
The robot includes a 14.4-volt Li-ion battery, providing 90 to 100 minutes of runtime on a full charge. The battery is replaceable, and new batteries can be found on iRobot’s online shops.
The Roomba 675 uses bump navigation to go around the house.
Making up for the basic navigation suite, the robot has a dirt-detecting acoustic sensor that pinpoints where dirt and dust accumulate. The robot will then proceed to prioritize these places over others, increasing the cleaning efficiency. Fall-detecting sensors keep the robot from falling off ledges, stairs, and the basement, while infrared sensors help the robot “see” Virtual Barriers.
For those who aren’t familiar, Virtual Barriers are physical infrared beacons that you can buy as an optional purchase besides the Roomba 675 itself. They work in the same fashion as magnetic strips, but they’re much more aesthetically pleasing and versatile.
The robot is controlled via iRobot’s mobile app and is compatible with virtual assistants (Alexa and Google Assistant.)
The Roomba 675 features an Aerovac filter. You can wash the filter once or twice, but it is recommended that you replace it with a new one every two months.
The robot comes with an extra filter, so you have about four months before you need to order new ones.
iRobot offers a one-year warranty for the Roomba 675.
4. iRobot Roomba 960 – Best Robot Vacuum for Carpet
As part of iRobot’s mid-range products, the Roomba 960 maintains a delicate balance between cost and overall value. It features the advanced navigation suite as well as the powerful cleaning performance often found in more expensive Roombas while still retaining a relatively affordable price tag.
This robot’s cleaning power is excellent on all floor types, but its specialty is rugs and carpets. If your house has a lot of carpeting and rugs to sift through, this robot really deserves serious consideration.
- Great performance on carpeting
- Versatile performance
- Advanced navigation system
- Strong filter
- Large dust cup
- Relatively expensive
- Short battery life
As mentioned above, the Roomba 960 maintains a respectable level of performance across all floor types. It can effortlessly pick up all sorts of dirt, dust, and debris (including large crumbs and pet hair) on bare floors too.
But the actual deal-sealer is the Carpet Boost mode. The robot employs maximum suction and brush strength to comb through the piling of your carpeting and rugs. Hence, its performance has been compared to a stick vacuum by many customers.
The Roomba 960 stands 3.6 inches tall.
Looking at the robot from above, you’ll spot the control panel with three manual buttons. There’s a power button (labeled as “Clean“) that also acts as a battery indicator with its flashing backlight. Two function buttons include a Home button and a Spot button to enable spot-cleaning mode.
A bit away from the control panel, you will find the high-definition camera the robot uses for navigation. Near the robot’s top outer rim is a small turret that houses the robot’s RCON (Room Confinement) sensor. It is used to detect the infrared signals from iRobot’s optional Virtual Barriers and the charging base.
Underneath the robot, you will find two rubber roller brushes with an auto-adjust cleaning head. The latter is especially useful for cleaning carpeting and rugs since the brush’s height can dramatically affect cleaning effectiveness. This feature is also part of the reason why the Roomba 960 is a must-have for households whose floor layouts are carpet-clad.
The edge-sweeping brush is positioned to the side where it will handle scrubbing dirt and debris off the walls and baseboards.
The dust cup is quite spacious, capable of holding 0.6 liters (20.2 ounces) of dirt, dust, and debris.
The replaceable Li-ion battery of the 960 can only last for about 60 to 70 minutes before dying out. The robot can do a pretty great job at navigating back to its base and start to recharge before the battery runs out, so at least you’ll know it can find its way around without much trouble.
The Roomba 960 uses mapping navigation and will spend its first few hours surveying your home to build a virtual map with its sensors. Once the process is finished, this map will be used by the algorithm to plot the most efficient cleaning path.
The 960 is WiFi-enabled and is entirely controllable via iRobot’s app. You can schedule the robot’s cleaning sessions in the app, monitor its progress, and make adjustments as needed. You can also set virtual no-go lines by drawing on the virtual map of your home. Voice commands are available through Alexa and Google Assistant, to boot.
The robot uses an AeroForce filter to purify the air with 99% efficiency for particles around 10 microns. Granted, it’s much less efficient than a fully-fledged HEPA filter, but it will suffice in getting rid of irritants, allergens and fine particles such as pollen.
The Roomba 960 carries a one-year manufacturer warranty.
5. iLife V8s – Best Robot Vacuum for Hardwood Floors
As an entry-level robot vacuum for those who don’t see the point in buying an expensive one, the iLife V8s understandably doesn’t have as many novel features as premium robots. However, when it comes to pure cleaning performance on hardwood, this robot surprisingly excels at its job.
- Strong suction
- Multiple cleaning modes
- Intelligent mopping system
- Has manual control
- Large dust cup
- Lacks smart functions
- Prone to clogging
The majority of customers praised the V8s on its strong suction on hardwood and its ability to pick up just about anything: dirt, dust, and debris of various sizes.
However, be mindful to clear any oversized items such as socks and leaflets off the floor before you start the robot as they can clog the suction nozzle. The V8s doesn’t have a clogging sensor to notify its user of a blockage, which means the robot will continue chugging along as usual but without collecting, wasting its energy and your time in the process.
We don’t recommend using the robot on carpeting and rugs. It lacks a sturdy roller brush to comb through the piling, meaning its usefulness is limited on anything other than bare floors.
The V8s has five cleaning modes that you can switch between:
- Auto Mode
- Point Mode (for spot-cleaning)
- Border Mode
- Path Mode
- Mopping Mode
For daily cleaning, the Auto mode will do the job just fine. In this mode, the robot will split the room into different sections and clean each part separately.
The Mopping mode can be used once you have installed the mopping system— including a water tank and a mopping cloth— into the robot.
Remarkably, the robot can also be controlled manually via the remote controller. You can use the arrow keys on the remote to steer the robot. Technically speaking, you’ve got yourself a robot vacuum and a hands-free vacuum cleaner.
The robot is slim enough to fit effortlessly underneath most furniture, being only 3.19 inches tall.
You can either set up the robot through the remote controller shipped along with it or through the physical buttons on the robot’s top. Notably, it also features an LCD display to inform the user of the battery life, scheduling, and current cleaning mode.
The initial set up process is straightforward and relatively simple. Though not as convenient as robots with a smartphone app, if you follow the user’s manual, you can get the robot up and running in minutes.
Unlike other robots with a broad roller brush, the V8s has two rotating brushes on either side serving as both edge-sweeping brushes and carpet agitators. Although they work well enough on hardwood, they don’t have nearly enough power to handle thick carpeting.
Underneath the robot is infrared and cliff-detecting sensors to help the unit avoid obstacles like walls, furniture and stay away from drops, stairs, and the basement.
The dust cup is quite generous and has a maximum capacity of 0.75 liters (25.3 ounces.)
As for the mopping system, you can install the 0.3 liters (0.07 gallons) water tank into the robot by replacing the dust cup with the water tank. In the shipping, box are two machine-washable mopping cloths that can be strapped to the underside of the water tank. After everything’s in place, simply switch the robot to Mopping mode, and it will begin washing your floor.
The V8s uses a Li-ion battery that, according to customers, can power the robot for about 100 to 150 minutes before draining itself. Like other robots, the V8s is programmed to automatically return to its docking station once the battery drops too low.
Like previously mentioned, the V8s doesn’t have a lot of smart features to offer. Its navigation capability is not exactly stellar since it doesn’t have advanced sensor suites often found in premium models, like the Roborock S6. However, it is still smart enough to scuttle around the house without getting stuck too often.
The robot allows you to schedule cleaning sessions based on its internal clock, which lets it keep up with the current time. But other than that, it lacks app integration and is not WiFi-enabled, meaning virtual assistants are unfortunately out of the question.
The default air filters shipped with the vacuum are not HEPA. They are also not washable and must be replaced every few months. Fortunately, replacement kits (which also come with extra brushes) are available for purchase at a rather low cost.
The V8s has a one-year warranty from the date of purchase.
6. Roborock S4 – Best Robot Vacuum with Mapping
Although it has been almost a year since its release, this robot vacuum still hasn’t shown any sign of lessened popularity or overall performance. The Roborock S4 is still an excellent robot vacuum with unique navigation capability and long battery life while packing solid cleaning power.
- Excellent cleaning performance
- Advanced navigation system
- Virtual assistant-compatible
- Long battery life
- Strong filter
- Can’t reach into corners
- Small dust cup
The S4 has no problems with picking up dirt, dust, and debris of various sizes on hardwood floors, whisking away everything in its cleaning radius. However, some customers noticed that due to the robot’s circular shape, the S4 couldn’t clean debris wedged in the corners of rooms.
That aside, the robot also has splendid performance on both low-pile carpeting and high-pile carpeting. This is all thanks to the main brush, which has a unique combination of soft bristles and rubber fins to reach deep into the thick piling and agitate the dirt within. The brush has an adaptable design and can automatically adjust to the piling’s height for more effective cleaning.
When combined, the brush and the suction are powerful enough to leave clean trails on the carpeting after a pass. Unfortunately, the S4 does not include a mopping function.
The robot is 3.9 inches tall, which is still low enough to travel underneath furniture snugly. The physical controls consist of only two buttons at the top of the vacuum: a power button and a home button. Every other function is controlled through the smartphone app.
The S4 also has a turret which contains the laser navigation system of the robot for navigation and mapping.
At the bottom of the robot are the primary adaptive spiral brush roll and the edge-sweeping brush. Also installed at the bottom are the cliff sensors to prevent the robot from falling off of a ledge.
As for the dust cup, it can collect up to 0.4 liters (13.5 ounces), which feels rather disappointing given its decent classification.
The S4 uses a replaceable Lithium-polymer battery that powers the robot from 100 to 150 minutes of non-stop runtime. Once depleted, the battery takes about two hours to recharge fully.
The S4 has all of the smart features one would expect from a premium robot vacuum. It can connect itself to your home’s WiFi network, and most of the settings are done through a smartphone app.
Equipped with excellent mapping sensors, the S4 is much more efficient at navigating than other robot vacuums. You can set up virtual no-go lines through the map displayed on your phone. If you prefer physical magnetic tapes, the S4 will also work with them.
The robot also includes onboard microphones for voice commands and is compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant.
The Roborock S4 uses an E11 air filter. It is a touch less effective than a HEPA filter but still serviceable enough to eliminate common dust, dirt, and allergens.
The filter can be washed and reused quite easily. The company recommends washing the filter once every week and replacing it every three to six months.
The company covers defects and labor for one year after the date of purchase.
7. iLife V5s Pro – Best Robot Vacuum and Mop
The iLife V5s Pro will be well worth the money if you value mopping ability in a robot vacuum. A great mopper aside, the robot also has plenty of suction power and brush strength to help you brush up your floor. The fact that it has a reasonably affordable starting price only furthers its attractiveness.
- Multiple cleaning modes
- Long battery life
- Intelligent mopping system
- Mediocre navigation system
- Lacks smart functions
- Small dust cup
The V5s Pro works wonders on hardwood thanks to a strong suction motor and the two rotating brushes. It will pick up most dust, dirt, and small debris on bare floors. You should beware of large debris like cereal, bread crumbs, and kitty litter, however, since there are reports of the robot spitting them back out rather than sucking them into the dust cup.
On the other hand, its performance on carpeting and rugs is limited. For short-pile carpeting, the robot will do an adequate cleaning job, but sadly this effectiveness doesn’t translate/apply to high-pile carpeting Instead, you will need to resort to a full-sized vacuum cleaner.
There are four cleaning modes: Auto mode, Spot Cleaning mode, Edge Cleaning mode, and Scheduled mode. Auto is set by default and probably the only mode you will ever need for daily cleaning.
The V5s Pro is one of the slimmest robots on the list, measuring only 2.76 inches tall.
The top surface of the robot only has one button: a Clean button which, besides starting a new cleaning session, also doubles as a power switch.
You will find the rotating brushes and the suction nozzle underneath the robot. The navigating sensors like infrared and cliff-detecting sensors are also located there.
The dust cup is quite small with a capacity of only 0.3 liters (10.1 ounces.) You will find yourself emptying it on a regular basis, even halfway through a cleaning session if you have a large home.
For mopping operations, the dust cup must be removed and replaced by the water tank, which also holds 0.3 liters (0.07 gallons) of clean water. Once the tank is in place, pin the mop cloth to the bottom of the tank, and the robot’s ready to go.
The Li-ion battery is good for 1.5 to 2 hours of non-stop cleaning. As always, the robot will return home when its battery runs too low mid-session.
While the V5s Pro is well-programmed and decently equipped with an assortment of sensors, its navigation still fails to make an impression with the buyers.
The mopping system, called “i-Dropping,” lightly drizzles water onto the floor. It makes sure that the floor is only dampened instead of soaking wet like other mopping robots often do.
The iLife V5s Pro has a non-HEPA air filter that must be replaced once every few months. Since we don’t have exact details on the filtration efficiency of the filter, it may not be the right choice for households with allergy sufferers.
iLife has a one-year warranty policy on the V5s Pro.
Tips to Improve Your Robot Vacuum’s Cleaning Efficiency
Though your robot has been designed to pick up as much dust, dirt, and debris as possible, it is not a perfect machine. There will be scraps that it couldn’t pick up and spots it missed— especially those around the corners or way too deep inside to reach spots, like under a bed.
Here are some tricks you can use to make sure that your robot runs as efficiently as possible.
Allow Your Robot to Do A Survey Run
This is especially important for robots with a mapping function. When first taken out of the box, the robot is literally placed in uncharted territory. Thus, you should let it run through the house and familiarize itself with the layout. Once the robot knows where to go and what to avoid in the home, it can draw a far more optimal cleaning path after each round of cleaning. As a learning robot, it will make better use of the available runtime by navigating its way around much faster.
Have the Lights On
Some robots have cameras as part of their navigation system (such as the iRobot Roomba 960.) As a result, visual guidance robots like these cannot operate in the dark, so make sure to have the lights on while they’re working.
Consult your robot’s manual to see which one out of the two categories your robot belongs to.
Empty the Dust Cup
While cleaning the dust cup is a simple task, a lot of people neglect this important part by putting it off or simply carrying on as if nothing happened. Little do they know that once the dust cup has reached its maximum capacity, rather than sucking dirt in, the robot will spit it back out.
We recommend emptying the robot every day to ensure that it will be ready to clean the day after.
We hope you found the buying guide informative and our reviews helpful in making your final selection. The models we presented are currently among the best robot vacuums that the market has to offer and will satisfy no matter which one you pick.