A robot vacuum cleaner means you can leave the hard work to the machine while you do other stuff. But some floors respond better to washing than vacuuming, so a robot mop may be a better choice. Or, how about this? Both in one. Here are the best robot vacuums, robot mops and two-in-ones on the market.
It’s hard to find both exceptional vacuuming and impressive mopping in the same machine, but the S6 manages this trick easily. The suction on carpets is excellent, lifting even an AA battery (so don’t leave them on the floor). The sophisticated navigation system means it cleans more efficiently than many rivals, not least thanks to 14 sensors guiding it: as a result, it’s faster and with better coverage. It even has advanced virtual wall settings so it avoids a fragile vase automatically, for instance. Then there’s the mopping capability which controls the amount of water scrupulously and then mops it up properly, leaving the floor clean and dry behind it. A filter means it can take impurities out of the water to prevent blockages. It’s also much quieter than much of the competition.
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iRobot Braava jet M Series
The Braava is a robot mop designed to clear up even sticky messes on wooden and other smooth floors. A jet spray is designed to loosen dirt without wetting walls or rugs. This is a robot mop, not a vacuum, though the option of attaching a Dry Sweeping pad means it can also pick up dirt, dust and hair when a watery solution isn’t needed. The cleaner automatically knows whether wet or dry cleaning is needed as soon as you attach the appropriate pad and uses electrostatic charge to help pick up dust. A smartphone app lets you schedule your cleaning regime.
This is another combined mop and vacuum and it’s an affordable choice with decent vacuuming powers capable of lifting plenty of dust. The low price is partly reflected in a navigation system less advanced than many – there’s no room mapping here. Benefits include a large dust bin so it can go longer before needing to be emptied. The mopping system is fiddly to set up and does an okay job cleaning hard floors but is only average on lightly dirty areas and less good on sticky messes. Still, it’s low enough to go under a lot of furniture.
This is similar to the Roborock S5 above, but is more affordable. The clever laser-guided navigation system is super-effective and it means the S5 can scan the room to create a floor plan. This means the side brushes can speed up at the side of the room to increase dust pickup, and slow down in the middle of the room so as not to throw dirt around. The mop attachment is easy to use with a microfibre cloth that slides on to the water tank and clips on to the cleaner. Usefully, there’s even a moisture-resistant mat which attaches to the charging dock so the microfibre cloth doesn’t wet the floor while the battery is recharging. The smartphone companion app is versatile and easy to use, so you can choose what areas you vacuum or mop.
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iRobot Braava Jet 240
The squarish Braava Jet 240 is affordable and works well. Like the other Braava, it’s a mop with dry floor capabilities by brushing, not vacuuming. The run time is much lower than many robots but its cleaning power when it’s going is pretty good and this is a reasonably smart cleaner that’s better than many on heavier stains like mud or spilt wine on hard surfaces. Programming is also basic but it’s small and low enough to scoot under much furniture easily. The rounded corners also help it to clean close to the walls and corners.