Forget pushing a heavy vacuum cleaner around your home and let technology do the work for you. Here of 5 of our picks for the best robot vacuum cleaners in Australia.
Neato DC00 Botvac Connected Robotic Vacuum Cleaner
The Neato DC00 Botvac Connected Robotic Vacuum Cleaner comes with a wide, flat, low-profile design that is great for getting under furniture and its D shape means that it leaves no corner untouched.
This feature-rich, high-end robotic vacuum cleaner has the ability to connect to your smartphone via Wi-fi too and there are apps for both iOS and Android included. The app allows you to both schedule cleaning tasks and tweak the settings. It also gives you the ability to control the Botvac like a remote-control toy car, although how useful that actually is, remains questionable. If all that control isn’t enough, the Botvac can also be voice-activated and controlled remotely provided you’re online, which is a convenient feature if you’re stuck at work or running late!
A few other features that are worth a mention include two power modes, Eco Mode and Turbo Mode, as well as the Botvac’s ability to return to its docking station, recharge itself, and then continue its scheduled cleaning tasks. We should highlight that one thing the Botvac isn’t, is an all-terrain robot vacuum. Its performance on hard floors is impressive, but on thick, deep-pile carpets the results are less so.
Robotic vacuum cleaners are reasonably new technology and so there is still room for improvement, irrelevant of which model you choose. The Botvac isn’t the best robot vacuum on the market but, at this price point, it does everything it claims to very reliably.
iRobot Roomba 866 Robotic Vacuum Cleaner
If you’re looking for user-friendly handling and easy maintenance in your robotic vacuum cleaner then the iRobot Roomba 866 Robotic Vacuum Cleaner is definitely worth a look. This robot vacuum comes with a few interesting features including rubber-finned brushes, easy scheduling and the ability to automatically detect the surface it is cleaning and adapt its settings accordingly.
The Roomba 866 by iRobot includes ‘iAdapt Responsive Navigation’ which is a suite of smart sensors that enable it to work through your rooms without bumping into your furniture. It can even detect the difference between hard furniture and soft furnishings like curtains and the cliff detection sensors on the Roomba mean it automatically avoids falling down the stairs too, while its low-profile design enables it to clean under your furniture, including curtains, effortlessly.
The 866, like many high-end robot vacuum cleaners, can be scheduled to clean at set intervals through the week and will return to its docking station to recharge itself when its batteries are running low. It also has a manual override button if you need it to start cleaning for you outside of its regular schedule.
The Roomba 866 is a fully equipped, low-maintenance robotic vacuum cleaner that will take care of your everyday floor cleaning tasks efficiently and easily.
Miele Scout RX1 Robotic Vacuum
The Miele Scout RX1 Robotic Vacuum Cleaner is a compact robotic cleaner that is packed with features and technology. It is ideal if you’re looking for a robot vacuum that will clean your floors daily with a minimum of hassle.
The Scout comes with the docking station, a remote control, two replacement exhaust filters and one set of side brushes. Miele claims the Scout RX1 has an impressive 2-hour run-time, or 150sqm of cleaning, on a single charge and, like many robotic vacuums, it will recharge itself when necessary. This cleaner also comes with one magnetic strip, which can be used to restrict its access to a particular area or laid across an open doorway. If you need additional strips then you can purchase them from Miele direct.
The remote control supports four cleaning modes and has a clock, timer, and pause button should you need to pause the cleaner to take a phone call, for example. To the rear of the very neat and tidy base station, there is a cable storage facility, which means you won’t have loose cables everywhere if you position it near a power outlet.
In terms of performance, the Miele Scout RX1 is very impressive at navigating around obstructions and furniture. It does this via its 13 onboard sensors and a camera. It can also handle a step height of up to 20mm, which can be adjusted down to 6mm in ‘Low Mode’ if you don’t want it to clean your rugs. When the cleaner’s 0.6-litre canister is full, the machine will display an error message informing you that it needs to be emptied.
All-in-all if you’re in the market for a quiet, efficient and reliable robotic vacuum cleaner then the Miele Scout RX1 offers a great range of features and reliability.
Samsung POWERbot Pro Robotic Vacuum
The Samsung POWERbot Pro Robotic Vacuum is a mid-market robotic vacuum cleaner that will effortlessly alleviate you of the daily chore of putting the hoover around. With its low-profile design and a height of just 9.7cm, it will intelligently clean all those hard to reach places for you, either as part of its daily cleaning schedule or in manual override mode. The ‘Point Clean’ function on this cleaner even enables you to point the remote control’s light beam to a particular section of floor and the POWERbot Pro will hurry over clean it for you.
A few other great features the POWERbot Pro offers include its ‘FullView Sensor 2.0’ and ‘Visionary Mapping Plus System’, which will ensure that it cleans your rooms as efficiently and quickly as possible while not damaging any of your furniture. The WiFi connectivity means that you can also control it remotely, provided you have an internet connection.
The feature-packed Samsung POWERbot Pro Robotic Vacuum offers huge value for your money and should definitely be on your short-list of contenders when shopping for your next robotic vacuum cleaner.
Samsung POWERbot Essential Robot Vacuum
The Samsung POWERbot Essential Robot Vacuum cleaner is one of the most impressive entry-level robotic vacuum cleaners on the market. While it may not have some of the advanced features other available models have, it does still offer great ease and convenience.
Surprisingly, the POWERbot Essential’s biggest strength, in our opinion, is its sturdy build and nice big wheels! What that means is that unlike some of its competitors it doesn’t get tangled up in cables, neither will be stopped by doorway finishes or lips as it moves between rooms. According to Samsung, it also boasts 10 times the suction of its competitors so it’s sure to pick up any debris in its path.
Another great feature worth highlighting is that this robot vacuum is great on all surfaces, so whether you have hardwood, tiles or deep pile carpets on your floors it will clean them all equally well.
Battery life is often a key factor when it comes to choosing a robotic vacuum cleaner. The battery life on the POWERbot Essential is around 60 minutes between charges, which is fairly reasonable and will allow it to clean a two-bed apartment in a single session once the intelligent mapping software has your floor plan and layout mapped out. Recharging takes about 3 hours, which is slightly more than average but isn’t a major issue because you can charge it whilst you’re out or asleep.
A common feature that is absent from the POWERbot Essential is that it has no scheduling ability so if that’s a feature you’re looking for then this isn’t the model for you, instead, you would need to look at one of the other options we’ve listed.
In short, Samsung POWERbot Essential Robot Vacuum cleaner is impressive for an entry-level, autonomous floor cleaner and will get the job done for you. It offers some great features and functionality at a very affordable price.
Robot Vacuum Cleaners Buying Guide
What is a RoboVac?
RoboVacs are robotic vacuum cleaners that will vacuum your floors and carpets automatically. They are usually circular machines that are not more than about 10cm high. The most obvious attraction of these clever little appliances is the convenience they offer – they do the cleaning while you put your feet up and relax!
A less obvious plus is that, due to their compact nature, they can effortlessly glide around your rooms cleaning all those hard to reach places like under furniture and in tight corners without the need to reorganise your home!
How do they work?
Robotic vacuum cleaners are fitted with a small onboard computer that gives them the ability to map out and remember your floor space and layout via a built-in algorithm.
They are equipped with a multitude of infrared sensors so they can scan your rooms and work out where your walls and furniture are, which enables them to avoid bumping into them during a cleaning cycle.
Cleverly, if you’re planning on using your RoboVac in an area that has stairs then you can be confident that you new RoboVac will be ok because it is also fitted with ‘cliff-sensors’ that detect sudden drops in the floor’s surface so that it doesn’t get damaged.
The good, the bad and the ugly!
So, the concept’s great, right? Buy a RoboVac, plug it in, put your feet and never do any cleaning again!
Not quite. Robotic vacuum cleaners are by no means perfect, like everything they have their good points and their bad points. Let’s run through them briefly.
Let’s talk about the disadvantages first.
Robotic vacuum cleaners tend to work best in areas can are flat and free of clutter. They struggle if there are too many obstacles in their way. In many modern family homes, this could be a somewhat unrealistic expectation.
They also can’t hoover your stairs and due to their compact build, they do need to be emptied quite often.
The last, and possibly, most important point is that RoboVacs aren’t as powerful as regular vacuum cleaners so if you’re expecting your new robotic vacuum cleaner to pick up every last cat or dog hair you’re likely to be disappointed.
On the plus side…
Because robotic vacuum cleaners clean at very regular intervals they will keep your room clean and tidy while the HEPA filters they use can eliminate allergens in the air leaving your home safer and healthier.
They offer huge convenience because you can program them to do the vacuuming whilst you’re out and that’s one less chore you have to worry about when you get home.
They’re great for elderly people and people who suffer from restricted movement.
Some RoboVac models have become surprisingly affordable when compared to other vacuum cleaners on the market.
Features to look for
‘Virtual walls’ are special strips that you can put in doorways or across the middle of an open plan room to contain your cleaner to a set space.
Scheduling means that you can get your cleaner to do the cleaning at preset times like when you’re out or at work.
If your chosen cleaner is fitted with ‘charging sensors’ then it will return to its base station and recharge when it’s running low on battery power. If this happens in the middle of a cleaning cycle then, once recharged, the cleaner will continue where it left off. This is an especially handy feature to have if you’re planning to use the scheduled cleaning feature regularly.
Vacuuming power determines how good your cleaner will be at collecting the dust and dirt on your floors.
Cliff sensors are a standard feature across most models and will protect your cleaner from falling down the stairs, which could obviously damage the unit.
The noise these cleaners make whilst cleaning can be quite distracting so it’s a good idea to ask for a demonstration in a quieter area of the showroom before you buy – quieter models are clearly more preferable.
The expected battery life of your cleaner should be a key factor in deciding which model you choose. In truth, none of the robotic vacuum cleaners currently on the market have particularly impressive battery life – expect 2 hours between charges for more expensive models, less for cheaper ones.
It’s also a good idea to ask the salesperson how many charges you should expect before you’ll need to replace the rechargeable batteries. Anything over 250 is good, 400 is exceptionally good.
Should you buy one?
Robotic vacuum cleaners undoubtedly are useful and convenient to have around and will save you time. They are great if you keep your home relatively tidy and have wooden or tiled floors. While they do also work on carpeted floors, the results are a little less impressive.
If you have pets then the relentless and regular daily cleaning cycle of your robot vacuum will help to keep excessive pet hairs (and odors) under control.
RoboVacs are a great solution for people who hate vacuuming, are short on time, are physically unable to use a traditional vacuum cleaner and for the elderly but they simply don’t have the cleaning power of a traditional vacuum at the moment.
The main reason for buying a robotic vacuum cleaner is the set-and-forget convenience.