Everyone loves a clean house, but let’s face it, most people hate cleaning. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, American’s spend an average of a half an hour a day dusting, vacuuming, and picking up their houses. That’s 183 hours a year spent cleaning your home. There are better uses for your time. Our list is going to find you the best gadgets for cleaning your house and hopefully reduce your time spent cleaning.
If you have ever seen Wall-E, you know that robots are great at cleaning up the messes we get ourselves into, and now you can get your own little robot helper. Robot Vacuums remove the need for you to vacuum. The secret is that robots don’t get tired, they don’t get busy, they will beat you and your expensive upright vacuum by sheer repetition.
You might vacuum for a couple of hours once a week, but robovacs will hit your floors again and again and again. After three months, our test Roomba had over 266 hours of vacuuming, that’s three hours a day. That means in a year, it will have over 1000 hours cleaning, even with the most expensive Robot vacuum, you are spending less than a dollar an hour. Isn’t your time worth more?
But, before we tell you our top picks for Robot Vacuums, let’s talk about features.
Sealed HEPA filters.
If you don’t have a vacuum with a sealed HEPA filter, you may think you are doing a good job vacuuming, but really you are just blowing dirt around. Ever dust your house, got out the vacuum, the hoses, the long cords; Almost knocked over your favorite coffee mug into your laptop, only to find after you vacuumed that you need to dust again? Stop getting frustrated. Most vacuums don’t have sealed systems to keep dust and allergens in a while cleaning.
HEPA filters actually clean the air while you vacuum. A robot vacuum with a HEPA filter works like a little mobile air filter. In addition to keeping your floors clean, it pulls dust and allergens out of the air. No matter what vacuum you purchase. Make sure it comes with a sealed HEPA filter.
Robot vacuums try their best, but every house has those areas that will get a robot stuck. Low chairs, edges of countertops, cords all throw a wrench into the gears of a robot vacuum. It used to be you needed to use black tape as a way to prevent a robovac from entering an area or use expensive towers.
I’m looking at you, Roomba.
But now mobile apps have mostly solved the issues. The robot will make one pass, then its app will allow you to draw no-go areas. It is simple, it is useful. Once it is done, you go from being slightly annoyed about coming home to a clean house, every day.
Charge and Resume
If you have a large house, a single charge robovac just isn’t going to cut it. Luckily, most robotic vacuum manufacturers have realized that the robot charging itself, then continuing its job is one of the most essential features. We found our test Roomba will clean about 350sq/ft per hour on auto to cover our test house it charges three times. But with the Charge and Resume feature, if we didn’t make it a point test how many charges it needs, we wouldn’t know it just works.
Best Robot Vacuums
The Roomba S9+ is the most expensive, but it is the best, with massive airflow it will not only clean your house better than the other robot vacuums on the list, but it beats most uprights for deep cleaning carpet. Roomba redesigned the S9 to work with a slow spinning side brush and a D-shaped design that gets corners better.
But the real reason it is at the top of the list is Roomba’s self-emptying technology. The S9+ and the I7+ will return to their charging stations and empty their bins into disposable bags. Allowing the S9+ to solve the only real problem of the robot vacuum, it is self-sufficient.
The Roomba S9+ also can create rooms on the app once your house is mapped, which helps hit the high traffic areas, or asking Alexa to have Roomba clean the kitchen.
The big strike against the S9+ is no digital no-go lines as of this list. Roombas use lighthouses to create virtual walls, but they aren’t as effective as software no-go lines. This is a strike against it. Unless you want the impressive deep cleaning power or the self-emptying bags, it might be better to look hard at our other two options.
The Roborock S6 is the newest offering from Roborock. These are competitively priced robot vacuums with smart navigation and cleaning technology. They are HEPA filtered and feature smart navigation, charge, and resume, as well as a great app with No-Go lines. The S6 effectively clean and with the no-go lines, you don’t need to worry about it getting stuck.
What sets the Roborocks apart is the ability to add a mopping element to your robot vacuum. The simple mopping attachment is a slow drip into a microfiber pad at the back of the robot that cleans floors impressively well. It doesn’t replace a dedicated mop, but it does make your floors much cleaner. With the mopping attachment added and no-go lines keeping it off the carpet, you can quickly mop your hardwoods or tile.
Otherwise, the Roborock is cheaper than the Roomba or the Neato, with its only downside being a relatively small dust bin.
Neato D-Series, D4, D6 and D7 have all the features you want. Sealed HEPA, No-Go Lines, Smart Navigation and Charge and Resume. They are cost-efficient robot vacuums that will save you time cleaning.
The D-Series doesn’t have as much power as the S9 Roomba, but they do have enough to clean most houses effectively. Neato D-Series is our recommended robot vacuums if you don’t need the features of the Roomba +Line or the Roborock’s mopping ability.
The differences in the series are slight.
The D6 is the standard model, it is much better than the budget D4, and only lacks some features of the D7. It is a highly effective robot vacuum, and unless you need the features missing from the D7, Roborock or Roomba S9+, you will love the Neato D6.
The D4 is the budget model that doesn’t feature a side brush, it also has a lower battery life. The D4 also comes with an inferior primary brush roll though it can be easily changed with the better spiral combo brush. The D4 doesn’t remember multiple floor plans so you can’t switch between levels on your house easily. However, it is only a problem if you are moving your robot between floors or don’t want to purchase a secondary robot.
The D7 has one impressive feature over the D6, Zone Cleaning. Allowing you to create and name specific areas of your house, then tell the D7 to clean only that area. It is a great feature to hit high traffic areas or save time, not hitting little used areas of a house. The D7 is also the flagship of the Neato line and will get updates faster and more frequently, but it isn’t worth the extra hundred dollars. Except that lately, prices between the D6 and D7 has been close to a twenty dollar difference, at that price it is definitely cost-effective.
Related: Top 10 Home Gadgets
Sometimes even with a robot vacuum you just feel the need to pull out an upright and deep clean your floors, but how often do you reach for a broom instead. Or worse feel like vacuuming is such a problem that you leave it for later.
The next three gadgets are the best for really cleaning your floors, but they solve the biggest problems with using a traditional vacuum. Hassle, Noise, Deep Cleaning.
Vacuuming is a chore, but we found three vacuums that beat most uprights. The most significant factor is can you grab these vacuums and clean quick. That’s why we recommend cordless vacuums. Many people think they don’t clean as well as corded vacuums or that they are too expensive, but with the advances in battery and suction technology, many vacuum makers are saying goodbye to the cord and you should too.
All of our recommend vacuums have settings under 70 decibels. Allowing you to have almost normal conversations or watch tv while vacuuming. According to an Electrolux study, the most annoying thing about vacuuming is the noise. We found several quiet vacuums that work to clean your home.
The second most annoying thing was low suction. Even though these are quiet vacuums, they are powerful. According to the same study, people choose their vacuums based on its ability to pick up dust, all of our chosen vacuums are sealed HEPA filtered. That means you won’t need to dust as much. They also are great at picking up debris.
We love our robots, but they can’t do stairs…yet. The Shark P50 is the most cost-effective cordless vacuum, we have been able to find. Shark vacuums have great features with the best being the Duo Clean Zero-M, or zero maintenance, brush rollers with a soft brush roller in front for hard flooring and a fantastic brush roller that doesn’t tangle in pet hair. A soft brush can handle almost any mess on a hard floor and give an amazing clean in grout and —
Sharks also have excellent attachments, but the P50 excels as a powered lift away. That means you can pull the canister away and get under furniture, downstairs and into places where an upright struggles.
Our favorite accessories are the Charge and Go dock, the Under-Appliance Wand and the Anti-Allergy Dusting Brush. The Charge and Go Dock makes the P50 a grab and go vacuum instead of needing to pull the battery to charge. The Under-Appliance Wand and Anti-Allergy Brush make all the difference deep cleaning a house.
The Dyson V11 is the best stick vacuum. Stick vacuums are great for quick clean ups. You can grab the vacuum like a broom and quickly clean up any messes. This makes it so much easier to clean your house, with the added benefit of best in class suction the V11 isn’t just a quick clean up, it replaces traditional uprights.
Replacing traditional uprights is where the Dyson really shines, instead of dealing with hoses or long cords, you can just grab it and clean. On the Auto power setting, our test model lasted for nearly an hour, picking up debris that our Roomba and Riccar missed.
The only problem with the V11 is the lack of a soft roller as a standard piece of equipment. While you can purchase the attachment and it works well with just the torque head if you have mostly hard floors the change is worth the cost.
But the impressive cleaning capability and ease of use makes it a perfect choice for any home.
Shark Apex Zero M – Its a corded P50 with more power.
Sometimes you need to make sacrifices. The Shark Apex Zero M gives up portability for power, and I don’t just mean its corded, it has double the airflow and suction from the P50.
Whether you need that power is up to you and your cleaning method. If you prefer to clean your whole house at once and don’t want to wait for batteries to charge, or if you just can’t make it through your entire house with a cordless.
Shark has terrific customer service and great accessories. Sharks cleaning power is nearly unmatched for the price and if you need a corded vacuum, take a look at the Shark Apex.
Chores can wait, automate.
The most time-intensive cleaning is tidying up, picking up the random objects laying around your house that just seems to accumulate. While we are still a way off from our fully automated robot maid. There are still time-consuming jobs that you can automate so you can spend your time and energy the way you want.
Braava Jet M6
If you have a Roomba I7 or S9, The M6 is the perfect little companion to keep your floors freshly mopped. The Braava M6 sprays solution and scrubs solution over your hard floors in an efficient pattern. With the I7 or S9, it will wait under your robot vacuum has finished your floors then start off.
The little mop does a remarkably good job at getting dried on stains, but it still lacks the No-Go lines that Roomba badly needs to incorporate into their robots. But with some light walls or a little prep work, it will quickly zip through your house without you needing to grab the swifter.
iRobot 330 Looj
This tough little robot trades intelligence for raw power as it blasts through your gutters. Debris stands little chance as it slowly crawls through spinning the gunk out. What I love about the Looj is the safety. You don’t need to repeatedly reposition your ladder, just place it into your gutters and send it on its way. When it is done, recall it and hose it off. It is simple and tough, making it the perfect gift for Dads.
Hobot 298 Window Cleaning Robot
Hate doing windows, don’t worry, there’s a robot for that. The Hobot 298 works with suction and cleans your windows quickly and easily. While it is best used on large picture windows, we used ours on the outside of our third story office. The robot has a safety line in case the suction power gives out, allowing you to feel at ease as it cleans.
The Hobot also works on showers, mirrors, and floors. It comes with an App Remote, allowing you to hit problem areas like where the birds managed to hit your windows because they are too clean.
Dolphin Nautilus Plus
You don’t want to waste your summer away scrubbing the pool, let the Dolphin Nautilus Plus free up your time, so you aren’t cleaning the pool you are using it. Unlike most pool cleaning robots, the Nautilus has the power and traction to not only clean the pool floor but the walls as well. Our unit was even able to get most of the pool steps allowing us to enjoy the pool instead of worrying about debris or algae.
Our unit paid for itself quickly by reducing the cost of pool maintenance and increased our use of the pool. It really proved itself after a hailstorm filled the pool with leaves and debris, just two hours later our 15’x30’ pool was ready to use.
Our most used gadgets for clean is a heavily automated list. We found automating as much as possible saved us not only the most time but in the end the most money. We cleaned faster and spent less time worrying about long cleaning sessions.
Even after the Dysons and Sharks pulled as much as they could out of our carpets, the robovacs kept slowly filling with dust and dirt. Other than major spills we just let the robots handle the vacuuming and mopping… and the windows… and the pool… and the gutters….