smart vacuums

A standalone device like a smart vacuum embodies home automation at its simplest and most effective.

Robotic vacuums are unbeatable labor-saving devices that takes all the sting out of cleaning up.

You can program and schedule your vacuuming in-app and you’ve got yourself the next best thing to a cleaning service, but without that ruinous monthly bill.

If all you need to do is let the smart vacuum do the work, buying one must be easy, right?

It will be if you follow the simple pointers below.

Buying a Smart Vacuum in 10 Easy Steps

  1. Get The Surface Right
  2. Battery Runtime and Charging
  3. Overall Cleaning Performance
  4. Filtration
  5. Dust Bin
  6. Layout of Your Smart Home
  7. Connectivity
  8. Scheduling
  9. Maintenance
  10. Budget

1) Get The Surface Right

Think about the flooring in your connected home.

Do you have carpeting?

Bare flooring?

Mixed surfaces?

If you’re looking for a robot vacuum for hard floors, avoid models with beater bars. Rubberized brushes alongside sufficient suction should be more than enough. You won’t need too much firepower since dirt and debris has far fewer hiding places on wooden flooring than carpet.

When you need to clean carpets, most smart vacuums work well. Pay closer attention to specifics of each model if you have thicker pile carpet or area rugs to consider.

If you have both carpets and hard flooring, make sure you choose a model that won’t give your wooden surfaces too rough treatment.

2) Battery Runtime and Charging

Smart vacuums are all battery-powered and if you see a model offering less than 1 hour of runtime, steer clear.

A budget robovac will give you perhaps 75 minutes of life on a single charge while you get roughly 100 minutes of cleaning with a mid-range unit. The pricier robots deliver 120 minutes or more before the battery needs recharging.

While you should consider the size of your space relative to runtime, most smart vacuums should get the job done in a single sitting. Realistically, it will be fully charged and ready to roll before you’d want to use it next.

Most smart vacuums will head automatically to the charging dock when they need a boost. If the cleaning cycle was interrupted, the bulk of robots will continue where they left off once recharged and ready for action.

With a model appropriate for the surfaces in your home in place and with a lengthy enough runtime for your needs, let's take a glimpse at overall performance.

3) Overall Cleaning Performance

Your primary concern with a robotic smart vacuum should be the cleaning results.

We’ll be frank here: if you’re looking to get anything approaching the performance of a great upright vacuum, you will need to dig fairly deep for the privilege.

As with many things in life, sometimes investing very slightly more can generate significantly greater returns.

If you drop down a level and consider a mid-tier robot, you’ll get decent build quality, but you might not get such edge-to-edge cleaning. Cheaper robots can struggle with deeper pile carpet and can get bogged down.

A budget robotic vacuum is little more than an assistant. You’ll still need to regularly vacuum manually if you opt for a cheaper smart vacuum.

Bottom line here, if you want first-class cleaning performance, stick with a higher-end model.

4) Filtration

With robot vacuum cleaners, you should look for multi-stage filtration.

Many manufacturers will refer to high-efficiency filters but it’s hard to know whether these are true HEPA filters. With this type of filtration, you’ll eliminate 99.97% of the tiniest particles down to a size of 0.3 microns.

If anyone in your household suffers from allergies or asthma, it’s vital to consider filtration to minimize any flare-ups.

5) Dust Bin

The vast majority of smart vacuums won’t empty themselves just yet so you should pay attention to how much capacity the dirt container has and how often you’ll need to ditch those contents.

Most smart vacuums need to be emptied after 4 or 5 cleaning cycles.

Read plenty of user reviews to make sure the size of this container is appropriate for your cleaning requirements.

6) Layout of Your Smart Home

If you have a larger home with a more complex layout, you’ll be well advised to angle for a more expensive robot vacuum. With lengthier runtime, automatic recharging and far superior navigation, you’ll get the perfect appliance to work its way around complicated spaces.

Think about whether you need to create any no-go zones for the vacuum. This might be in areas where your pets eat. Think, too, if you’d like to be able to concentrate cleaning. Some of the better smart vacs allow you to focus on high-traffic areas with spot-cleaning mode.

Your needs when buying a smart vacuum for an apartment are dramatically different to those of someone with a split-level house in the hills.

7) Connectivity

More and more of the best robotic vacuums are fully WiFi-enabled.

You’ll be able to take charge of all your cleaning remotely in-app on your smartphone. Many smart vacuums are now also compatible with Alexa or Google Assistant so you can get your floors spotless hands-free.

WiFi-enabled robovacs are also ideal for live updates being added fuss-free.

8) Scheduling

You should make sure the smart vacuum you’re considering is user-friendly and this should extend to auto-scheduling.

With the most effective models, all you need to do is punch in the time of your ideal schedule, often using handy presets as a base to work from.

As with all aspects of buying a smart vacuum, make sure you invest in a unit that makes your life easier every day of the week.

9) Maintenance

You’re buying yourself a smart vacuum in order to save time and money, so you should ensure you don’t get sucked into a model that calls for too much maintenance and general upkeep.

Human input with vacuuming is being reduced as technology continues to surge forward. More robotic vacuums are now able to empty out the contents of the dust container. Automatically heading back to the charging dock is becoming the rule rather than the exception.

All this means that you should not need to carry out much at all by the way of ongoing maintenance. You should obviously ensure that the dust container is emptied in a timely fashion – every 4 or 5 cycles as a general rule. Keep on top of filter cleaning or replacement and that’s about all you’ll need to worry about.

10) Budget

While price will always play a role in any buying decision, it should never be the deciding factor.

As with many products, there’s a reasonable price disparity with smart vacuums. At the lower end, you can expect a serviceable robovac for a few hundred bucks. Upscale models easily run north of $1000.

In general, the more you pay here, the more thorough cleaning results you can expect.

If you’re determined to stick with a major brand and you’re not prepared to compromise performance, why not consider dropping a model in terms of generation? You can often pick up a great bargain without any noticeably diminished firepower.

With those points taken in mind, we’ll round out today with a trio of the best smart vacuums 2019. While it would be easy to recommend the entire Neato Robotics range, we’ve tried to include something for everyone and mix things up a little.

3 Best Smart Vacuums 2019

1) iRobot Roomba 890 WiFi Connected Robotic Vacuum

iRobot’s Roomba line is populated with some of the strongest smart vacuums on the market. Right near the top of that line is the 890 but what do you get for your money?

Packed with sensors, Roomba should easily sail its way around more complex layouts without getting bogged down or caught up on furniture. These sensors also pick up neatly when Roomba is edging close to a fall hazard.

Scheduling is super-simple. You can automate your cleaning on a daily basis so you have a set-and-forget vacuuming solution in a tiny form factor. Control is seamless. You’ll be able to use either Alexa or Google Assistant for voice control, too.

AeroForce filtration is described as high-efficiency and you should find the air in your smart home left as spotless as your flooring.

A pair of rotating brushes makes Roomba perfect for cleaning all surfaces. You’ll get adequate suction to remove ingrained filth from carpet and the power is at the perfect level so you don't end up scratching up your hardwood flooring.

If your Roomba doesn’t make it to the end of a cleaning session before it needs charging, it will head back to the dock of its own accord.

Cleaning settings are numerous and easy to fine-tune. You can manipulate cleaning power while also determining how many passes you want Roomba to make and whether you want final-edge clean mode for a truly showroom finish.

If you want an in depth look at the Roomba, check out our Roomba review we did a little while back.

2) Neato Robotics Botvac Connected D7 WiFi Robotic Vacuum

Neato Robotics has a broad and deep range of smart vacuums and we have a particular soft spot for the D7. This is certainly not the cheapest robot vacuum you can buy. If you’re looking for a bargain, scroll down below. If, on the other hand, you have deep pockets and exacting standards, give D7 a shot.

The highly intelligent laser mapping allows for agile navigation and complete coverage of your flooring. The deep and logical cleaning pattern is a breath of fresh air if you’re used to randomized robots causing efficiency to dip.

The D-shape design of D7 might initially seem jarring, but allows for the smart vac to clean in tight corners with ease. See off all the finest particles and pathogens, even if they’re jammed up along the edges of your rooms.

Compatible with both Google Assistant and Alexa, if you want to use voice commands or in-app if you prefer taking the help from your smart phone, control is flexible. The connected nature of this smart vacuum makes for simplified software updates, too. Your Botvac can keep going from strength to strength at the push of a button.

If you’re looking for a robotic vacuum cleaner that won’t have you breaking out the upright in its wake, Neato Robotics is a brand you can rely on and the D7 among its finest smart vacuums, so what are you waiting for?

3) eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 11S

An elegant disc in black or white, eufy is an affordable smart vacuum that doesn’t stiff you on the performance front.

Suction is impressive at 1300Pa and you’ll get an equally commendable 100-minute runtime. This is based on cleaning hardwood floors at full tilt so you might experience shorter lifespan when you’re cleaning carpet. This outstanding runtime is complemented by a generous 0.6-liter dirt container.

This model comes with a slimmed-down low-profile so it will slip neatly under furniture without getting snarled up.

Sensors have drop-sensing tech baked in and the robust triple-stage filtration ensures that any allergy sufferers in your home are in safe hands.

You can flit between multiple modes giving you plenty of scope and your RoboVac will automatically head back to the docking station any time power is low. This gives you a smart vacuum that’s always primed and ready to roll.

Scheduling your cleaning couldn’t be easier thanks to the crisp, intuitive app.

RoboVac can cope with all surfaces you throw its way with the exception of deep-pile carpeting.

If you’re reluctant to even consider a cheap smart vacuum due to horror stories you’ve heard, you might rethink that if you road test eufy RoboVac.

Final Word

We hope you’ve found some inspiration today if you’ve been considering buying a smart vacuum but you weren’t sure where to get started.

If you sign up to our email newsletter, we’ll give you a whopping 20% off your first order. Why not make that a smart vacuum?

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