When robotic vacuumcleaners first appeared on the market, they heralded a future unburdened bytiresome household chores. But while we all fantasise about putting our feet upfor good, the truth is most aren't quite ready toreplace human-held vacuum cleaners.
The truth is most aren't quite ready to replace human-held vacuum cleaners
To sort the best bots from the bad, our experts have meticulously tested more than 20 popular models made by iRobot, LG, Miele, Roborock, Xiaomi, Eufy, Kogan and more in our lab.
Ranging in price from $199 to a whopping $2899, each model is assessed for carpet cleaning, hard floors, corners, pet hair and other key criteria. We found some impressive units and some woeful ones that just didn't compute for cleaning – we're talking scores less than 50%.
One of our expert testers, Antonio Bonacruz. At CHOICE, we've tested robot vacs for years.
If your home is largely carpeted, you may want to spend your money on a regular vacuum cleaner instead, as robot vacs generally do a poor job here. They're much more suited to superficial cleaning of hard floors.
"In a home with carpeted floors, a robot vac is fine for a tidy-up, but the carpet will need a regular going-over with a standard vac," says CHOICE expert Chris Barnes.
If you're already sold on the futuristic dream of a robotic cleaner, just be sure to give the following low-performing models a wide berth.
Terrible at cleaning carpet and below average on hard floors, this robot vac is disappointing all round and is the lowest scorer in our test.
Not only that, but Kogan is a company that's generally best to approach with caution: we awarded Kogan a Shonky in 2019 for putting profit before customer returns.
If you experienced any problems with this robot vac after purchase, don't expect much help from Kogan. The company has form for shirking its responsibilities under the Australian Consumer Law.
Despite being fairly good at cleaning hard floors, this clumsy robot vac trundles around bumping into objects and largely fails at getting into those hard-to-reach places, although stair detection means it will won't tumble over ledges.
Scoring a measly 13% for removing dirt from carpet, this budget-friendly option is really only convenient if you have a pet-free, hard-floored home.
This robo-vac promised a few positives – it was very good at cleaning edges and hard floors, and has a long battery life too. But if you have pets or carpet, you're going to wish you didn't kiss that 500 bucks goodbye.
It scored just 11% for removing dirt from carpet and can also get stuck going over the same spots, which doesn't seem like a very smart robot to us.
Our testers noted that the instructions say the product is for hard floors only, but the marketing is confusing, with images on the packaging showing the vac being used on carpet.
In short, we don't want you to get sucked in. Read the full review.We care about accuracy. See something that's not quite right in this article? Let us know or read more about fact-checking at CHOICE
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