A robotic cleaner is a small vacuum cleaner that can clean your floor automatically. Although this device is not a dream of a smart home, it is very affordable and is presented on the market in a wide choice of models. The type of floor – wood, tiles, carpet, rugs – everything is possible for them.
The working principle is similar to the standard vacuum cleaners – they suck the dust and the dirt and collect it with one or several rotating brushes in the container. You do not need to guide the cleaner; it works autonomously from the accumulator and uses smart electronics to navigate in your home.
Despite the simplicity of the working description, there are many parameters impacting the right choice for your requirements. The main ones are listed below.
8 essential parameters to choose the best robot cleaner
The suction power
Different robotic cleaners are designed for different purposes and users. For everyday maintenance cleaning, you do not need high suction power; it is crucial to have a small ergonomic cheap model, as every week, the general cleaning will be performed with a standard vacuum cleaner.
But if we consider an average user preferring to spend as little time cleaning, the suction power should be 400-500 Pa to suck fine dust particles and hair. If a cleaner does not have rotating brushes, it should be 600-700 Pa.
Most of the modern good-quality models have more than 1000 Pa suction power. To compare this and other parameters, you may check the robotic cleaners’ comparisons at Robotbox.net.
A battery is an essential feature if you have to clean the home in a limited amount of time, and you do not want to wait for its recharging on a docking station. Regular battery (Ni-Mh) capacity is about one hour plus-minus fifteen minutes, depending on the floor type.
Li-Ion batteries are not available with all robots as they are expensive and can work up to two hours. The whole recharging process is from three to five hours.
The cleaner will not start working in automatic mode if the battery is not complete. So, if you have a big flat, you need Li-Ion batteries or split the cleaning into several days to minimize expenses.
The overall form for all robot cleaners is a disk with different diameters and heights. A diameter is essential if you have limited space for a docking station and a cleaner to stay.
But for most users, height is much more critical as it defines the ability to clean below cupboards, cabinets, and beds, places that are very difficult to reach with a standard vacuum cleaner.
Usually, cleaners with 5″ height can go under the furniture. Unfortunately, the smaller the cleaner is, the smaller the dust bin container will be. So if you have a big home with a lot of dust per cleaning, you should consider a giant vacuum cleaner with a 14 oz dust bin and bigger.
The number of brushers
The availability of brushes determines the cleaning quality, as with them, more dust is collected from tight corners. Usually, a robot cleaner has two side brushers in the bottom part; this is an optimal solution. In most cases, the brushes are made from plastic and should be changed after six months of intensive cleaning or less.
Some advanced models have the possibility to map your home with electronic built-in sensors and lasers or even some unique cameras. You can also add virtual bonders to this map to protect the cleaner from falling down the stairs or avoiding the sensitive type of floor.
Typically, a map is created at the first cleaning; the cleaner memorizes the shape of rooms and all other obstacles.
Maps speed up a cleaning procedure. Not all models have this option, and it is not required in some cases. Models without it can also automatically clean your room, you will not see the path in your software application, but the result will be the same at the end for the simple shape of rooms and will require a little more time.
Availability of particular applications for smartphones for remote control
Before buying the robot cleaner, please check if a particular application fits your smartphone model. Almost all Manufacturers propose applications for their devices with different functionality, but all provide control as well as a traditional remote controller.
Expensive models have a particular container for water and the ability to perform wet cleaning/mopping. The quality of such mopping for some models is questionable but as nice to have for a regular freshening of your home. This feature will never replace a weekly mopping with a traditional mopping broom.
Ability to clean different surfaces – carpets, tiles, and wood
Cheap models cannot clean rugs and carpets with the same quality as wood floors or tiles. If you have different types of floors, please check the features of your chosen models.
For sure, the listed eight parameters are not all features that influence every owner’s choice. For example, some owners can worry regarding noise level (most of them are less noisy than standard cleaners and about 60 dB), availability of accessories (spare batteries or brushes), the duration of the warranty (mostly from one year and higher), the color (most are gray or black). But listed parameters are major and determine, in general, the quality of the primary function – cleaning.
A robotic cleaner, in general, can become a good friend for housekeepers and provide some free time automatically doing some cleaning activities. Unfortunately, they can clean only the floor, stairs and sofas are not possible to clean. For good work, the owner should also prepare the room for cleaning and remove all wires, shoes or clothes, or other light obstacles that can stop the robot.
With proper maintenance of the battery, regular cleaning of a container and filter after each cleaning procedure, and changing brushes, a robot cleaner can work for many years. Robotic cleaners nowadays are energy-efficient to charge their battery automatically in the most efficient way.