Are you thinking of upgrading your vacuum cleaner with a robot vacuum? Well, robot vacuum cleaners are autonomous devices that effectively collect dirt at the push of a button. Thanks to their navigational abilities, these machines move around without bumping into furniture, walls or falling off stairs.

But how do you choose the best robot vacuum, depending on your needs? This robot vacuum buying guide lists 12 factors to consider when buying a robot vacuum.

What to Look for in a Robot Vacuum

Robot Vacuum Suction Performance

Robot vacuums have motors that suction dirt from the side brushes and the main rolling brush. The suction performance affects how well a robot vacuum cleans an area on its first pass. Therefore, opt for robot vacuums with 1500 Pa or more suction power for the best cleaning results.

Robot Vacuum Navigation

Robot vacuums use sensors to navigate when cleaning. It is, therefore, essential to check how efficient these sensors are before purchase. Most robot vacuums use laser navigation to sense and identify objects, meaning they clean around them rather than bump into them. Moreover, establish whether they have cliff detection sensors. These sensors will instruct the robot vacuum to turn around when they sense uneven surfaces or stairs, thus preventing accidental falls.

Robot Vacuum Room Mapping

The best robot vacuum cleaners have mapping technology. This tech uses sensors and cameras to map the room(s) to ensure the robot cleans every corner.

Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) is one of the best home mapping systems. It uses an invisible, spinning laser to bounce off light waves, measuring the size of the room and obstacles along the cleaning path. This information is then saved in the robot vacuum’s control app for future cleaning sessions.

In addition to room mapping, check whether you can create boundaries for the robot vacuum. These virtual boundaries prevent the robot vacuum from cleaning specific rooms or spots.

Robot Vacuum Cleaning Performance

Some robot vacuums are suited to cleaning carpets, while others clean hard floors better. Therefore, pick a robot vacuum that can effectively clean your floors.

If you have hardwood and carpet in your home, get a robot vacuum with a carpet detection feature. This feature automatically adjusts the machine’s height and boosts suction power to collect dirt off the carpet. And once it moves to hardwood, it automatically throttles down its power and lowers its height.

Also, if you’re a pet owner, read robot vacuum reviews to check whether a specific model can effectively clean pet hair, fur, or poop from your floors. Some robot vacuum brands intentionally avoid pet poop to prevent more messes, while others have advanced filtration systems to trap allergens and pollutants.

Robot Vacuum Mopping

Some robot vacuum cleaners do more than just vacuum. They include a microfiber mop cloth and an onboard water tank to mop dried stains. So if you want a convenient robot vacuum, get one with a mopping feature.

Robot Vacuum Auto Cleaning

If you prefer cleaning your home at specific times, check for the auto-clean feature. It helps you set up daily or weekly cleaning times to ease your schedule.

Robot Vacuum Self-Emptying Technology

Robot vacuums collect dirt in a built-in dustbin that requires frequent emptying. However, robot vacuums with self-emptying technology reduce this hassle by automatically emptying the dust bin at the charging base after a cleaning cycle. Getting a robot vacuum with this feature may see you going a month or two without having to schedule cleaning.

Robot Vacuum Battery Life

Robot vacuums operate on batteries that run low after use. Therefore, find out how long the battery lasts since you want a machine that completes cleaning before its battery runs out. If you live in a moderately-sized home, a 60- to 90-minute cleaning session might be enough.

Opt for robot vacuums that automatically return to the docking station once their battery runs low. This action extends the robot’s battery life since it recharges before the battery dies.

Also, check how long it takes for the battery to recharge since the robot may have to resume cleaning if its battery runs low mid-cleaning. You want to avoid a robot vacuum that offers 60 minutes of runtime but takes 4 to 5 hours to recharge.

Robot Vacuum Controls

You must establish whether you prefer a remote-, a smartphone app-, or a voice assistant-controlled robot vacuum. Some robots only feature a remote control, perfect for people looking for simplicity.

Most robot vacuums have dedicated apps to help you monitor, redirect, or schedule cleaning sessions. You can program cleaning mode, time, and frequency or track the cleaning history.

Meanwhile, other robot cleaners can be controlled by voice assistants. However, confirm whether the model supports your Wi-Fi version, as some only support 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi and not 5 GHz Wi-Fi.

Robot Vacuum Noise Level

A noisy robot vacuum cleaner can be a nuisance to kids, pets, and neighbors. So, check how loud the robot vacuum gets on its highest settings and aim for lower decibel noise levels. Avoid models with mechanical grinding noises and high-pitched whistles.

Robot Vacuum Docking Space

Robot vacuum cleaners need docking space that also acts as a charging station. Most manufacturers recommend a flat wall with ample space for the robot vacuum to maneuver easily to and from the station. So, check whether you have the required space for docking since you cannot set the charging station wherever.


Robot vacuums cost between $200 to over $1000. Although these inexpensive robot vacuums are efficient at cleaning, they do not have premium features like LiDAR, mopping, self-emptying dustbins, or Wi-Fi compatibility.


Getting a robot vacuum cleaner will save time, labor, and money. These machines clean your home to perfection without supervision or guidance, and the best robot vacuums have advanced sensors for navigation and powerful suction for vacuuming. This guide has outlined 12 factors to consider when buying a robot vacuum cleaner, making it easier to choose a model that meets your needs.

Sources: Robomate, Digital Trends, Ecovacs.