Robotic Vacuums

Robot Vacuum Buying Guide

Robot vacuums (or Robovacs) haven’t been around for very long at all. In fact, it was only 20 years ago that the very first one was invented, the Electrolux Trilobite. Since the Trilobite, many companies have jumped on the chance to create their own robotic vacuum cleaners to a variety of outcomes.

Robot Vacuum

The Top Robot Vacuums

Key Features Rating Buy it here
Vileda Cleaning Robot Vileda-Cleaning-Robot-Robotic-Vacuum-Cleaner-UK-Version-Grey-0
  • 3 room settings; small, medium and large
  • Good for hard floors and short pile carpets
  • Weighs 3 kg
  • 14 volts
  • Includes rechargeable battery and lead
  • Run time: up to 80 minutes, set by the room size setting
  • Charge time: 5 hours
Vileda Cleaning Robot
RoboVac XD from ThinkGizmos RoboVac-XD-Robot-Vacuum-Cleaner-by-ThinkGizmos-Trademark-Protected-0
  • Five cleaning modes
  • Mop attachment
  • 360° sensors to prevent falls and bumps
  • UV light for neutralises bacteria
  • Will return by itself to charger
  • Run time: around 2 hours
  • Weighs 3.5kg
  • Charge time: around 3 hours
RoboVac XD from ThinkGizmos
Meyoung Robot Vacuum Meyoung-Robot-Vacuum-Cleaner-Smart-Infrared-Remote-Control-Anti-collision-Vacuum-Cleaning-7-Scheduled-Clean-Modes-Robotic-Cleaner-Automatic-Hoover-Gold-0
  • 7 cleaning modes including mopping
  • Ultra thin to get under furniture
  • Returns itself to charger
  • All-round infra-red sensors to prevent bumping and falling
- Excellent! Meyoung Robot Vacuum
iRobot Braava 380 Floor Mopping Robot iRobot-Floor-Mopping-Robot-Black-0
  • Sweeps and mops hard floors
  • Inbuilt navigation tells the robot where it’s been
  • Can sweep 1000sqft and mop350sqft in one cycle
  • Uses microfibre cloths
  • Run time: 250 minutes for sweeping or 150 minutes for mopping
  • Weighs 1.8kg
  • Returns to where it started and powers down automatically after completion
iRobot Braava 380 Floor Mopping Robot

[product_category category=”Robotic Vacuums”]

What is a Robot Vacuum?

A robot vacuum cleaner is usually a small, often circular, machine that travels around a specific area by itself, vacuuming and increasingly, sweeping, brushing and mopping as well.

While the early models had a habit of plunging down staircases and ricocheting off walls, table legs and dogs, the modern ones usually have highly accurate sensors that prevent these things from happening. Cheaper models tend to bump into more things as a rule while models higher up the range have better sensors.



Many robot vacuum cleaners have multiple functions, often pertaining to the patterns they clean in. While some clean in an ever-widening circular pattern from the centre of a room, some settings allow for random pattern zig-zagging, perimeter wall cleaning or set patterns. Some can even have ‘invisible walls’ programmed in so they can’t stray into unwanted territory! 

Mopping, Sweeping and Vacuuming

Depending on the model you buy, robot vacuum cleaners are often more than just vacuums; they can frequently mop and sweep as well. Many converts have a robot vacuum for carpeted areas and a secondary robot cleaner for hard floors so they can have a dedicated mop and sweep cleaner.

The mopping cleaners usually have water reservoirs inside and mop using microfiber cloths. The iRobot Braava 380 is one of the best on the market as a dedicated sweep and mop robot cleaner.


Why do I need a Robot Vacuum?

Cleaning takes up a large percentage of each week and we’re all short on time, why spend in vacuuming, sweeping and mopping? Because we’re such busy people, it’s easy to put off mopping the kitchen floor or vacuuming the house and as a result, dust and dirt can accumulate.

Those with pets and allergies have to spend double the amount of time cleaning up, just to protect their families and keep pet hair under control. Do you really want to spend your time cleaning up? Robot vacuums and cleaners are extremely intelligent now and many models will not only clean automatically without human interaction, but they’ll also return themselves to their chargers or start points, power down by themselves or recharge themselves.

Highly efficient and usually good at avoiding hazards such as staircases (although they are designed to take tumbles well), you no longer need to worry about a robot roaming your house unattended, they’re extremely responsible machines.

With a high quality robot vacuum cleaner, the only section of your home you’ll need to spend time cleaning are the stairs. Everything else can be taken care of. Sound good? Start planning how you’ll spend your extra time!


What types of Robot Vacuum are there?


The most common type of robot cleaners are the vacuum cleaners. These can come with side brushes for skirting boards too and generally work the same way as a normal vacuum cleaner; they suck up dust, dirt and hair and provide you with a clean home.

These have soft wheels that allow them to work on short pile carpets as well as hard floors but they usually cannot work on very thick carpets – those still need to be done by you.

The best robot vacuum cleaners come with lithium ion (l-ion) batteries which allow long run times and short charge times. A typical lithium ion battery charge time is around 3-4 hours. Some of the best vacuums can run for at least 2 hours, giving them plenty of time to complete the rooms they need to.


A new breed of robot cleaner is coming onto the market and these are the robot moppers. Designed for hard floors only, these are highly adept at mopping and, usually, sweeping. With in-built water reservoirs, these use microfiber cloths to clean kitchens and hard floor bathrooms, keeping your home hygienic and clean at all times.

Combination cleaners

Lots of brands and models now have the capacity to do multiple cleanings, everything from brushing and sweeping to vacuuming and mopping. While you might have to change attachments or give the robot a cloth when you change from vacuuming to mopping, these little machines really give you your money’s worth and save you so much time.


Stand out features from the best robot cleaners

Here’s a range of features that can be found in the best robot vacuums and cleaners:

  • UV sterilisation – this uses UV light to sterilise the surfaces the robot passes over. This is a safe way to kill bacteria without using harsh chemicals and is a really good idea for households with young children and pets.
  • Infrared sensors – A clever way of avoiding objects, infrared sensors can surround the perimeter of the robot vacuum and sense when an object is near, preventing the robot from colliding. With the original method was simply to allow the robot to collide and then it’d set off in another direction, using light sensors means you don’t have to worry about damage to furniture or the robot itself. Infrared sensors also prevent it from taking a bumpy trip down the stairs.
  • Gyroscopic navigation sensors – this is a method of tracking the movement of the robot so it knows where it’s been and where it has to go next. Available on only a few models, many brands have their own navigation detection functions to prevent the cleaners from repeating the same area.
  • Laser guidance – Like infrared sensors, some models use laser guidance to prevent then from hitting walls, tables, chairs and people.
  • Automatic functions – this is especially useful if you work out of the house most of the day as you can set your robot cleaner to complete its cleaning and vacuuming at a certain time when you are out. Robots with this function will usually complete their cleaning before returning to their charge to recharge or to their starting position where they’ll power down.

Thanks to today’s technology, these are reliable robots that simply do the job and you won’t come home to a house full of smashed vases and a broken robot.

  • Return to chargers automatically – An increasingly popular function, lots of robot vacuums return to their chargers after they’ve completed their cycle. This is particularly useful because most will proceed to recharge without you having to put them on to charge yourself. This means that your robot cleaner is always ready to go at a second’s notice. The chargers also usually turn off when recharging is complete and you don’t need to worry about tripping over a robot that’s powered off in the middle of the floor, as robots who return to charger do it when they sense power is fading, even if they’re mid-cycle.
  • HEPA allergy filters – Allergies are a serious problem in the western world and households with dust allergy suffers need to take extra to clean regularly. This is where robot vacuums really come into their own as they can clean every day and those with HEPA filters suck up the finest dust particles and prevent them from falling out.
  • Moppers that sweep, soak, scrub and squeegee – Robot cleaners that are capable of mopping come in a variety of prices and the best really get to grips with your kitchen and hard floors. With the ability to sweep and soak before scrubbing and squeegeeing, most of them will probably do a better job than a person!
  • Multiple pattern functions – A robot cleaner with multiple pattern settings is a worthwhile investment because rooms are a lot more complicated than you’d imagine. Robots who lack wall perimeter cleaning functions usually cannot reach the dust around the skirting boards for instance. Patterns can range from circular and zig-zag to random pinball and perimeter cleaning and using a range is the best way to get a truly clean house.
  • Slim, short design – The useful thing about robot vacuum cleaners is obviously that they save you time doing a job you don’t want to do. Cleaning under sofas and other furniture is a big faff for us with regular vacuums because we either can’t reach under there or we can’t lift the furniture. Getting a robot vacuum cleaner that is super low down, maybe around 7cm tall is ideal, because they can travel under sofas and dressers without any effort, cleaning all that dust away that’s been dwelling there for far too long.

Pros and Cons of Robot Vacuums


  • Save you time
  • Multi-talented
  • Efficient and have long battery lives
  • Can use UV to kill bacteria rather than chemicals
  • Can work automatically while you are out
  • Amuse pets


  • Some can fall down stairs and bump into things
  • Dogs and cats are sometimes capable of turning them off
  • Can get stuck in unusual places
  • Have small dust hoppers that require emptying
  • Might gain AI and take over the world 

Price ranges of Robot Vacuums

Like with most technology industries, there is a huge price range when it comes to robot cleaners. Ranging from £70 to £1000, there are so many designs and prices that you’re guaranteed to find one that suits your purposes and your budget.

Lower priced robot vacuums may lack to the super technology of the higher priced ones, but they’re still a huge improvement on the old style ones. With sensors that are fairly effective and reasonable suction, you can get a decent vacuum for under £100.

Between £200 and £300 you can invest in a seriously excellent robot vacuum and mopper complete with accurate sensors, a return-to-charger capability and things like UV sterilisation. Cleaners in this price range usually have multiple pattern settings and can both vacuum and mop.

Upwards of this and you start looking at world-class technology, with highly accurate sensors, intelligent navigation and sterilisation along with all the normal features and functions. To top it off, technology giant Dyson have released their Dyson 360 Eye robot vacuum (in Japan) which uses their astounding cyclone technology to produce and incredibly effective machine. When released in the UK later this year it’ll cost around £750 which is pricey, but it will be the best on the market; capable of picking up even the most stubborn embedded pet hairs in the carpet.

How to find the one you need

Finding the robot cleaner for you isn’t too hard, despite the vast range of products available. You need to first ascertain what it is that you need it for and what type of household you have.

Carpet or Hard Floor?

If you’re mainly looking for a carpet-cleaning robot, then you can settle on a model that is a straightforward vacuum model. Depending on how big your carpeted rooms are will also play a factor because better models have longer battery run times and can be capable of cleaning for longer.

Do you have split level carpeted rooms? If you have a couple of steps in the middle of your living room for instance, you’ll need to look for a robot vacuum cleaner than has really clever sensors otherwise it’ll end up on its back as it takes a tumble.

If you want the cleaner to be able to vacuum carpets and mop hard floors, then you’ll need one specifically capable of both like the Robovac XD Robot Vacuum, which has a mopping attachment and the great feature of UV sterilisation – clean floors without chemicals!

Only hard floors

If you only have hard floors or only want hard floors cleaned by a robot, then you might be able to dispense with the vacuuming side of things and go with a robot that can sweep, brush and mop. The iRobot Braava 380 Floor Mopping Robot is a great example of things but something like the Meyoung Robot Vacuum can do it all too.

Added bonuses of Robot Vacuums

Robot vacuums and floor cleaners have one massive bonus over all human-powered cleaners – they produce extraordinary reactions from household pets. If you haven’t already watched YouTube videos to this effect then you’re really missing out and if you have pets then you’ll soon find out for yourself how curious they will find your new cleaner.

Another thing – any self-respecting robot vacuum owner will buy and apply googly eyes. Buy them here

The Best Robotic Vacuums for the Home

Don’t waste your time hoovering your ouse when you could be letting a robot take the strain. Home robot vacuum cleaners are no longer the stuff of science fiction. They are now reliable and very affordable. Modern robotic vacuums are excellent as navigating a house and won’t bump into your furniture or fall down flights of stairs.

[product_category category="Cordless Handheld Vacuums"]

Just imagine, coming home from work and finding that your house is always clean and tidy, this could be reality with a robotic vacuum. You can set it to operate when you are out, meaning that your house is always kept clean and you never even see or hear it happen.

Not only do robotic vacuum cleaners allow you to spend more time doing the things your enjoy, they also create a cleaner environment. This is because they remove dust from the the floor that might otherwise be disturbed and float in the air around your house. Many users note that their breathing problems are alleviated once they have a robotic vacuum cleaner that sweeps up daily.