Three Things to Know Before Buying a Robot Vacuum

Welcome to the future.

Robot vacuum cleaning wood floor.
Turn it on and let it loose.Jan Antonin Kolar, Unsplash

Fifty years ago, robot vacuums would have sounded like science fiction. And today the concept—put them to work while you’re asleep and wake up to clean floors—still sounds magical. But to maximize the use you get from a robotic vacuum, you need to consider a few things first. While robot vacuums come in a range of price points, the best one for you depends on your layout, whether or not you have pets and how you plan to use it.

eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 11S (Slim), Robot Vacuum Cleaner, Super-Thin, 1300Pa Strong Suction, Quiet, Self-Charging Robotic Vacuum Cleaner, Cleans Hard Floors to Medium-Pile Carpets

Small and Sleek

This slim model lasts up to 100 minutes on a single charge with minimal noise; infrared sensor helps navigation around obstacles and prevents falls.eufy

A robot vacuum can be a “set it and forget it” appliance. Look for one that automatically goes “home” to its charging base when power is low. That way, you can set it as you get ready for bed and see its handiwork when you wake up the next morning. Sensors—either physical or infrared—are also key to make sure your robo vac can easily navigate obstacles like table legs or couch corners without getting stuck.

iRobot Roomba 675 Robot Vacuum-Wi-Fi Connectivity, Works with Alexa, Good for Pet Hair, Carpets, Hard Floors, Self-Charging

Dirt Detecting

A grime-detecting feature helps handle heavier messes; smart tech syncing allows you to program and run from anywhere.iRobot

Some robot vacuums have apps that allow you to run your appliance and watch it in real time from wherever you may be. This can be ideal to get your place guest-ready when you offer a spur-of-the-moment invite. App syncing also allows you to schedule cleaning for convenient times, like when your nervous pup is out for a walk.

ILIFE V5s Pro, 2-in-1 Mopping,Robot Vacuum, Slim, Automatic Self-Charging Robotic Vacuum, Daily Schedule, Ideal for Pet Hair, Hard Floor and Low Pile Carpet.

Wet and Dry

Dual cleaning mode means this model sweeps up and washes up.ILIFE

A two-in-one mop and vacuum option can do double duty. Generally, a robot vacuum with dual cleaning options has a water tank, and the user has to manually switch capabilities when it’s in use.