It really does pay to not only find a reputable machine when deciding to go robot but to also consider just how much you are willing to spend and what you want it to do for you.

Not everyone needs a robot vacuum but it’s safe to say most people would like to spend less time doing the chore itself and purchasing of one of these nifty inhabitants could be the answer.

Where to start

Types of surfaces: Some vacuums can detect the surface type and adjust the suction or allow you to switch to turbo to handle the carpet.

Square footage to clean: Most designs can do around 200 square feet, roughly the size of an apartment, before needing recharging.

Furry family members:  Most machines can handle a bit of pet hair, but whether you have carpet will also change the type of machine needed to do this well.

Programming: Some are a simple on/off switch.  If the unit is noisy but does everything else well, set to clean while you are out.

  • Cheap: Pure Clean by Sound Around has good reviews and the range starts at around $100. The base model has one button operation, can be put on auto start and has 55 minutes of battery life.
  • Mid-Range: Neato Botvac D3 can be paired with Google Home and Amazon Alexa and charges itself when tired, and can be controlled with an app. It’s priced at just under $400.
  • Top of the line: My pick is the iRobot Roomba 980 for $900. Sure there are more expensive models but this one is small enough to vacuum under my bed.

If you have allergies, find a machine with a HEPA filtration. They will remove air-borne particles from the air.

The cheapest ‘robot vacuum’ at $15 is the Clean Robot, but don’t be fooled by the name. It’s not a vacuum, it’s a sweeper. It just sweeps the dust into a compartment and has no suction at all. If you have flat surfaces and small areas, these can be a good compromise but don’t expect too much from it.

In most cases, a robot vacuum isn’t better than a traditional hand-held, but if you are happy to pay more then there are definitely high-end models that will do a better job while allowing you the freedom to sit back and do something more enjoyable with your time.