After trying out several robot vacuums, it became clear that not all robot vacuums are created equal. They just don’t clean the same way no matter how very similar their features are. Some are great at cleaning hardwood floors while others perform better on carpets and tiles.
While they all claim to be great at picking up dirt and keeping your floor squeaky clean, some of them are not as smart as they seem when it comes to navigating and mapping floor areas. Aside from suction power, battery life, and durability, there are two other essential features that you should be looking out for before making a purchase decision.
Top Features To Look Out For In Robot Vacuums With Mapping
When choosing a robot vacuum, you must check out these essential features and evaluate them based on how they would meet your floor cleaning needs and requirements. There are many factors at play and you have to take into account your budget, the size of your home, the type of floor surface, and whether you have pets or not.
Here are the essential features that every robot vacuum must have to be worthy of consideration.
Accurate mapping matters because it tells the robot vacuum where it has already cleaned and where it still has to go to complete its cleaning cycle. With the technology to create an accurate map, the robot is able to clean methodically instead of randomly moving around the room. It makes cleaning significantly faster and more efficient which results in complete floor coverage.
Navigation and Sensor System
It’s important for the robot vacuum to have a clear navigation pattern and sensor systems. With its visual, optical, or laser navigation technology, the robot doesn’t bump into furniture or collide with other objects on its path. It also prevents falling off heights or falling down flights of stairs through its cliff sensors.
Robot vacuums have different levels of suction power. Some models have low, medium, and high settings so that they can be adjusted based on the type and amount of dirt and debris on the floor.
In robot vacuums, suction power is measured in Pascal Pressure Unit (Pa). Essentially, the higher the suction power, the more effective it is in cleaning dirt and grime hidden away in carpets and hard-to-reach areas. High-end robot vacuums have suction power of up to 2000Pa while mid-range and low-end robots’ suction power is between 1300Pa and 1600Pa.
While it is desirable to have high suction power so that the robot vacuum can have a higher pickup rate, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should buy the one with the highest Pa (Pascal Pressure Unit).
Keep in mind that robot vacuums with higher suction power also have strong motors that consume more battery juice. Wear and tear is also faster because of high temperature. Powerful motors also mean a higher noise level which contributes to noise pollution.
The level of suction power to choose depends on your cleaning needs. If you have a small space, a moderate level of suction power will suffice. If you have a huge space that requires heavy cleaning, you’d want the heavy-duty robot vacuum with maximum suction power.
Everyone wants a longer battery life for robot vacuums. What you need to determine is how long the robot’s cleaning time lasts for one full charge before it makes its way back to the charging dock to recharge. If the battery is poor, it would take a while to complete a full cleaning cycle because the robot has to constantly go back to its base before resuming work.
Robot vacuums have a running time of 60 to 120 minutes depending on the brand and model. Some high-end models can last closer to the maximum time. However, keep in mind that battery life is affected by different factors including the size of the room and type of floor surface. The bigger the space to clean, the harder the robot vacuum works which drains the battery faster. The same is true for surface types. For carpeted floors, the motor works a little harder, so it uses up more battery.
Pros and Cons of Robot Vacuums With Mapping
- Most robot vacuums in the market today can be integrated with smart home systems through apps and have support for Alexa and Google Assistant
- Robot vacuums with different levels of suction power save a lot on battery life because they are not always on maximum power that makes the motor work harder.
- Robot vacuums have a programmable cleaning schedule so that you can set the robot to work on a specific time of day. It’s essentially a “set and forget” kind of cleaning so that you can get on with other things.
- New-generation robot vacuums have impressive navigation and mapping system that enables methodical and efficient cleaning. This also allows for greater room coverage at less time.
- Robot vacuums can be integrated into home systems through Amazon Alexa and Google Assistance for voice control cleaning.
- Budget robot vacuums are affordable but don’t have advanced mapping and navigation system which makes cleaning slow and inefficient.
- Robot vacuums don’t come cheap. Price starts at $300 but can go up to more than $1,000. Full-featured robot vacuums can be very expensive. Special features such as self-cleaning, longer battery life, maximum suction power, and multiple sensors jack up the price.
- Robot vacuums with more powerful motors tend to be louder which adds to noise pollution in the house.
FAQs for Robot Vacuums With Mapping
Do robot vacuums come with a mopping feature?
Not all robot vacuum brands carry models that have a mopping feature. Typically, mopping is available on mid-level and high-end brands. The mopping function enables the robot vacuum to wipe off grime and sticky residue on the floor. Even at the maximum suction power, the vacuum may not be able to get rid of dirt ingrained on the floor surface. The mopping functionality is activated using the extra mop attachment and water tank. The combination of mopping and vacuuming makes for a more thorough floor cleaning.
How long does a robot vacuum battery last before it needs to be replaced?
It depends on the brand and model. Batteries for high-end models (like the Roomba) can run for up to two hours before it goes back to the base station to recharge. It is estimated that a typical Lithium-ion battery used in robot vacuums can last for up to two years on average.
What robot vacuum is best for cleaning carpets?
There are several robot vacuums that are specifically designed to clean carpets. The things to look for are strong suction and carpet boost option. A typical robot will work on low-pile carpets and rugs but will struggle on medium-pile and high-pile carpets and shags. Robots with carpet boost will have strong suction that’s powerful enough for deep cleaning. It’s worth mentioning that some robot vacuums don’t work as well on dark colored carpets or rugs with patterns because the sensors interpret them as cliffs or edges.
What’s the maximum threshold these robot vacuums can transition over?
In general, robot vacuums can climb across thresholds of 1.6 cm to 2 cm in height. Some older models may struggle in transitioning to elevated surfaces and may need a little push to get it going.
Do robot vacuums pick up pet hair?
Yes, robot vacuums work quite well at picking up pet hair and dander. Typically, models with powerful suction, special brushes and rollers, huge bins, and high-performance (HEPA) filter are best for homes with pets. However, keep in mind that long fur may prove to be too much for some models as they often get tangled and jam the cleaner.
Can robot vacuums be controlled remotely?
Yes, robot vacuums can be controlled remotely using an app that can be downloaded from Google Play Store or Apple App Store. You’ll need to have a Wi-Fi-enabled vacuum to control the robot using your phone. Every manufacturer has its own app which you can use to set a cleaning schedule and monitor the robot vacuum’s progress through your smartphone. For example, Roomba as the iRobot Home App and Shark has its Clean App.
Biggest Brands for Robot Vacuums With Mapping
iRobot Corporation is an American technology company that created a series of autonomous robot vacuums starting with the first-generation Roomba released in 2002. It was then followed by the 400, 500, 600, 700, 800, and 900 series.
The new generation Roomba i7+ was released in 2018 together with the basic e5 with improved battery life. The Roomba’s premium s Series is touted as the most powerful robot vacuum in its class.
In the realm of robot vacuums, iRobot’s Roomba takes the lion’s share of the market. In 2018, iRobot has 52% of the market share worldwide.
Chinese technology company Ecovacs Robotics may be far second when it comes to robotic vacuum cleaner market share, but is getting a lot of attention with its DEEBOT line of innovative robotic vacuums released in 2007. Since then, Ecovacs continued to innovate its DEEBOT series, releasing a long list of robot vacuums with different functionalities to suit different household needs. Its flagship robot cleaner is the DEEBOT Ozmo series which uses AIVI technology for better navigation and recognition of obstacles
Xiaomi Corporation is another Chinese company that’s gaining ground in the robot vacuum market. It has four robot vacuum models in its line with Xiaomi Mi Robot as its best-selling and most popular line. It was produced by Roborock for Xiaomi and released in 2016.
7 Top Robot Vacuums With Mapping
 Roomba i7+
The Roomba i7+ not only cleans floors, but it also empties itself making for a no-contact dirt disposal. With its innovative mapping technology, the robovac can clean multiple floors in sequence and optimize coverage.
- Automatic dirt disposal – The i7+ comes with a Clean Base where the robovac can empty itself into a disposable AllergenLock bag which can hold 60-days-worth of dirt, dust, and debris.
- iAdapt 3.0 technology – With intelligent mapping and navigation algorithm, the robovac learns floor plans and adapts to the design of your home. Data is imprinted into its system so it remembers multiple floor plans for a more precise coverage. It also determines the best and fastest way to clean each room.
- Alexa and Google Assistant integration – You can seamless integrate the S7+ into your smart home system whether you’re using Amazon’s Alexa or Google’s voice assistant.
- Keep Out Zones – Virtual boundaries keep the i7+ away from areas you don’t want it to be.
- Smart Charge and resume – When the robovac battery runs low, it goes back to its base to recharge for the amount of time it needs to finish the cleaning. You don’t have to wait for the battery to fully charge.
 Roborock S6 Robot Vacuum
Xiaomi’s Roborock S6 is a robot vacuum cleaner with an intelligent mapping system that makes for faster and more efficient cleaning.
It’s powered by a 5200mAh Lithium-ion battery which can run for three hours non-stop. With its 2000Pa suction power, any type of floor gets a thorough clean.
- Smart Navigation – Using the light detection and ranging (LIDAR) technology, the Roborock S6 can learn and understand the shape of the floor and can detect the placement of obstacles. Its adaptive routing algorithm enables efficient and comprehensive room cleaning.
- Mopping – Attach the snap-on mop unit and adjust the water flow rate to give your floor the mopping action it needs. You can vacuum and mop simultaneously so your floors are cleaner every cycle. The unit comes with both reusable and disposable mops.
- Real-Time Route Mapping – You can track where your Roborock has been, the path it has taken, and where it is heading using the Mi Home app. You’ll know when it gets stuck simply by looking at the point in the map.
- 32-bit Quad Core Processor for faster and smarter cleanup – This is the same processer found in smartphones which allows the S6 to clean 20% faster than its predecessor. Combined with smart navigation, the vacuum can calculate the most efficient route for a speedy cleanup.
- Climbs over thresholds – The robot vacuum can climb over steps up to 2cm tall so the transition from a flat surface to a carpeted flooring is seamless. There’s less chance of getting stuck.
 Roomba 960
Roomba 960 is a Wi-Fi Connected robot vacuum with improved suction power and airflow to pick up dirt, debris, and pet hair embedded on floor crevices and gaps. It enables remote customized cleaning using the iRobot Home app.
- iAdapt 2.0 with vSLAM navigation – The 960 uses this technology to precisely map floors to optimize coverage. This intelligent mapping allows the robovac to capture as much floor space as it can for total home coverage.
- 5X air power – With stronger suction power compared to the Roomba 600 Series, embedded dirt, debris, and pet hair are easily picked up for a more thorough cleaning.
- 3-Stage cleaning system – Using dual multi-surface brushes, the 960 loosens, lifts, and picks dirt and debris from hard floors and carpets. With the edge-sweeping brush, it cleans along walls, edges and corners leaving no particles behind.
- Control via iRobot Home app – Start, stop, or schedule cleaning time using the app. You can easily know the status of the robovac and monitor its performance through the app. You can view the map, cleaning time duration, dirt events, area coverage, and charging time.
- Integration with Braava Jet m6 – Using the Imprint Link Technology, you can set up the Roomba 960 and the Braava Jet M6 to clean floors in sequence to give a thorough vacuum and mopping.
 Shark IQ R101
The Shark IQ R101 is equipped with an intelligent navigation system that enables a more precise row-by-row cleaning on every room. It comes with a powerful motor that can pick up large debris and stuck-on dust on any floor surface.
- Suction power – Can pick up small and large debris including pet hair stuck on carpets, crevices, and all types of floor surfaces. Significantly higher suction power than any Shark robot vacuum cleaner.
- IQ NAV multi-room cleaning – Shark’s IQ Nav cleans each room methodically by moving row-by-row before moving on to the next room, guaranteeing a complete home coverage.
- Recharge and resume cleaning – When the power runs low, it returns to its dock and recharges. After recharging, it will resume cleaning and pick up where it left off.
- App and voice control – Its compatibility with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant enables you to control the robot via voice command.
- Shark Clean app – With the intuitive app, the entire home or specific areas can be cleaned on schedule.
- Self-cleaning Brushroll – The robots multi-surface cleaning rubber brushroll can collect dirt, debris, pet dander, and other allergens. There’s minimal hair-wrap to deal with. With the unit’s XL capacity dust cup, it can hold 30 days of dirt and debris.
 Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo 950
The Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo 950 is a 2-in-1 smart robot designed to vacuum and mop simultaneously. With different levels of suction power, battery life is preserved more efficiently making the robot run for more than 3 hours.
- Smart NAVI 3.0 – Laser technology enables the robot to navigate all areas of the home with accuracy and precision. Through the interactive map, you can direct the Deebot to clean specific rooms and at the same time set virtual boundaries so that it can avoid other areas.
- Long battery life – The Deebot has a larger lithium battery that can last for up to 200 minutes on a single run. It’s ideal for bigger homes because it can map and clean larger areas in a single battery charge.
- Ozmo mopping and carpet detection – The Deebot has built-in reservoir and electronic water pump that enable it to mop and vacuum the floor. It can detect and avoid carpets when mopping mode is enabled. This way, there’s no wet carpet in the house.
- Supports Alexa and Google Assistant – The robot vacuum can be integrated into your smart home system. You can control the vacuum through voice command through Alexa, Google Assistant, or the ECOVACS Home app. You can start, stop, pause, and charge the vacuum remotely.
- Multiple-floor mapping – You can create up to three maps to cover different rooms or spaces. This is ideal for multi-story homes. The Deebot automatically saves the map and retrieves the information when it is set to clean.
- Smart mobility – The Deebot can easily cross obstacles with a height clearance of 20mm without getting stuck. The vacuum’s 93mm height enables it to go under furniture and hard to reach areas.
 360 Robot Vacuum and Mop
360 Robot Vacuum combines smart features with minimalist design to deliver efficient cleaning and mopping of different floor surfaces. It uses LIDAR mapping technology to accurately navigate and map the entire home. The 360 S6 has high-end features at a low-end price point.
- Accurate mapping – Through the LDS LIDAR technology, accurate HD maps are generated for multiple-floor mapping. The Robot’s SLAM algorithm allows it to create a cleaning path that covers all floor surface and it can work even in the dark.
- Three levels of suction power – The silent mode runs at 800Pa for the usual surface dirt while the standard mode runs at 1300Pa for debris. The maximum power is at 1800pa to pick up all kinds of dirt and debris for deep cleaning. Once the robot identifies that the floor is carpeted, it switches to Max Mode to ensure full suction power.
- Multiple anti-collision sensors – Its multiple sensors can detect obstructions and avoid them. It is programmed to cross over objects with a vertical clearance of 0.7 inch. It will not only prevent furniture damage, but it will also avoid getting stuck in narrow spaces. It also has anti-drop sensors so the vacuum will not fall off stairs and cliffs. The wall sensors sweep along edges and corners and along the walls.
- Washable filter – The high-efficiency filter is washable with water and it can maintain 99.96% filtration even after a year of usage. The filter can trap dirt, dust, mold, pet dander, pollens, and other allergens.
 Neato Robotics D7
The Neato Robotics D7 Connected is a laser-guided robot vacuum that is packed with innovative features for a total floor cleanup. It’s one of the most powerful vacuum in its class with a long battery life.
- “D” design for corner cleaning – Round robots often do a terrible job of reaching corners so with the Neato’s “D” design, it can reach corners and wall edges without any difficult. The design also allows the robot to have an extra-large brushroll to pick up more dirt and debris in one run.
- Laser-guided multiple-floor mapping – Laser technology allows the D7 to create a map for each floor (up to a maximum of three floors).It cleans in straight lines instead of random patterns for a more systematic cleaning method. It makes for a more efficient cleaning.
- Zone cleaning – Some parts of your house needs more vacuuming than the others. With zone cleaning, you can schedule the D7 to clean specific areas of your home. This can be done using the Neato app.
- Virtual No-Go Lines – These virtual lines tell your robot vacuum where not to go. It’s essentially telling the D7 that certain areas are off-limits. This can be set up in the Neato app.
- Alexa and Google Smart Home Integration – The Neato D7 integrates seamlessly with your existing Amazon Echo and Google smart home setup. The robot can be controlled and monitored through the app.