aarp, girlfriend, robotic vacuums

The Girlfriend’s Guide To Robotic Vacuums

Your life is about to change forever.

When the first robotic vacuum was developed and released for the home consumer, I thought, “What kind of person is that busy (or lazy), that they can’t find roughly 20-30 minutes per week to vacuum their floors, that they literally need an automated one to do it for them?”

I mean, I love home-savvy technological advances as much as the next housewife, but going full throttle by kicking back in the La-Z-Boy while watching a magical device suck up crumbs was a little too Jetsons for me.

And then something changed all that for me: I got a dog. A large, short-haired hound that seems to have more hair flying around her than Beyoncé does while shooting a music video. I realized I could spend hours per day vacuuming dog hair, or I could kick back in my recliner and watch a robotic vacuum do it. Decisions, decisions …

And speaking of decisions, with so many robotic vacuums currently on the market, how do you know which one is right for your household? Here’s a handy guide to study before shopping for your first robotic vacuum. You can thank me later, right from your recliner.

These first five options function solely as a vacuum cleaner, while the last three are vacuum-mop hybrids — meaning they vacuum and mop and/or sanitize hard-floor surfaces.

ECOVACS DEEBOT N79S, $230

This highly reviewed DEEBOT would make a solid and smart choice for your first robotic vacuum. It has a 95-minute battery life, offers remote and phone control, and is Amazon Alexa compatible. There are selective mode options for edge cleaning, general cleaning and max cleaning for heavy dirt, and it can be scheduled to clean at your convenience. Good starter robotic vacuum, or for small homes and apartments.

Eufy RoboVac 11S, $220

Digital Trends named this the “Best Robotic Vacuum of 2018.” Features “BoostIQ™ Technology,” which means it increases suction power within 1.5 seconds when it senses extra vacuuming strength is needed. For this price point, as well as the high-end features like an antiscratch tempered glass-top cover for protection, infrared sensor for evading obstacles, large dust box to reduce emptying and drop-sensing tech to avoid falls, it’s a bargain.

iRobot Roomba 690, $350

From the makers of the first successfully marketed and sold robotic vacuum, the latest Roomba offers terrific cleaning functionality, and still at an affordable price. It can be scheduled with the iRobot HOME App, Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. It’s a decent pick for pet hair, and has dirt detectors that sense heavy-traffic areas — and focuses on those specifically. It offers the “virtual wall” option, meaning you can set up a specific area it’s prohibited from cleaning, and it has multisurface brushes for both carpet and hard floors.

Neato Botvac D3 Connected, $400 

As the price goes up, so do some of the features. The Neato uses a patented “LaserSmart” navigation system, where it scans the room and cleans it with the most efficient path. With the Neato app, you can see a summary of the day’s cleaning history, including where it vacuumed. It can be controlled with the app, Alexa, Google Home and even Facebook. Still a basic robotic vacuum, with just a few more bells and whistles on this one.

iRobot Roomba 960, $600

This iRobot Roomba has extremely strong suction power, with a filter that captures 99 percent of allergens, and navigational technology that allows the robot to map its surroundings to clean an entire level of your home at one time. It’s available with additional “virtual walls” so you can set up specific “nonvacuuming areas,” and boasts five times the air-suction power as all the other Roombas. For pet owners, it may be a necessary splurge to keep a handle on pet hair.

ILIFE V8s, $251

This cleaner vacuums, sweeps and damp-mops all at once. And while not a replacement for regular vacuuming and mopping, it does a decent job at keeping pet hair, dirt and sticky floors to a minimum in between real cleanings. You can manually change modes for when you require only vacuuming, but you will need to keep it out of rooms with large or thick area rugs, or other obstacles, as it’s not “smart” enough to turn off the mopping feature over carpet, or steer clear of items in its way.

bObsweep PetHair Plus, $367 

This gem of cleaning technology sweeps, vacuums, mops, UV sterilizes and HEPA filtrates all at the same time. It also boasts the largest dustbin in the industry — holding one liter of hair and debris. Users can set digital boundaries to ensure the vacuum stays in one room if needed.

ECOVACS DEEBOT OZMO 930, $548

If budget is of little concern, this powerhouse of a cleaning machine combines the bells and whistles of both the best robotic vacuums and robotic mops. This DEEBOT provides features that its competitors don’t offer: Its mopping system has a water pump to control flow; it automatically senses when it’s on carpet or hard surfaces and adjusts accordingly; it has 110 minutes of run time; and it can be controlled by Alexa.