How to choose a robotic vacuum cleaner?
Robotic vacuum cleaners are designed to save you time. However, they are not suitable for cleaning every space. Height obstacles within the cleaning space and its irregularity are critical factors in the decision whether to buy a robotic vacuum cleaner or not. But if your apartment consists of 2–4 rooms without large door sills, situated on one storey without stairs, and if you do not use deep pile rugs and carpets, then we definitely recommend buying a robotic vacuum cleaner.
When choosing a vacuum cleaner, look for the following features:
The price of the vacuum cleaner depends on the functions listed below, and ranges from EUR 70 for vacuum cleaners that have only a vacuuming function up to a price of EUR 2000 including VAT for vacuum cleaners with a waste container that is located in the charging station at the wall of the room.
- Suction power
Suction power is a crucial parameter affecting the quality of the vacuum cleaning. Suction power is given in Pascal units of pressure and the usual power is 1800–3000 Pa, although the most powerful robotic vacuum cleaners have a suction power of over 8000 Pa.
- Vacuum cleaner height
When choosing a smart vacuum cleaner, you need to check its height and compare it with the height of the space under your furniture.
- Bin capacity
Vacuum cleaner bin capacity usually ranges from 0.3 to 0.9 l. The bin capacity needs to correspond to the size of the cleaned area and expected concentration of dirt. If you have pets moving freely around your home, opt for a larger bin.
- Vacuuming with random cleaning
The cheapest vacuum cleaners have only one function. They basically just go randomly around the room vacuuming until their battery dies. A robotic vacuum cleaner automatically recognises a low battery level and goes to the charging station, ending the cleaning. Cheaper vacuum cleaners are suitable if you need to clean just one room. Their drawback is that they are not very fast.
- Vacuum cleaning or mopping up dirt with a central brush
Not all smart vacuum cleaners can do both, and especially cheaper ones usually do not have the mopping function. More expensive vacuum cleaners have both vacuuming and mopping modes: you can swap the normal container for a combined water tank/dust bin, allowing a central brush to mop up larger pieces of dirt.
- Vacuum cleaning and mopping in one go
Higher category vacuum cleaners can manage vacuum cleaning and mopping at the same time. These robotic vacuum cleaners have a special water and dust container that makes this possible.
- Gyroscopic, camera, or laser navigation
Pricier vacuum cleaners move around the room more efficiently thanks to navigation, which substantially reduces the number of crossings the cleaner makes. Navigation ensures better orientation round the room and saves cleaning time. This allows the vacuum cleaner to cover almost 100% of the cleaning space, automatically recognising when its job is done and returning to the charging station.
The following types of navigation are available:
Gyroscopic navigation helps the vacuum cleaner recognise how far it has gone in a particular direction and calculate the best way back. Gyroscopic navigation is often supported with a memory that allows the vacuum cleaner to remember the places it has cleaned.
Camera navigation often complements gyroscopic versions for even better area mapping and obstacle recognition.
Laser navigation is the most accurate: it can pinpoint the space, create a room plan, and formulate a strategy for the most efficient cleaning.
- UV-C lamp sterilisation
Modern robotic vacuum cleaners
also offer a UV-C lamp sterilisation function. UV-C radiation kills 99.99% of viruses and bacteria on the irradiated surface. UV-C light damages the DNA and RNA of pathogens, eliminating their ability to reproduce and thus achieving fast, convenient, and effective disinfection. The UV-C lamp can be activated in standard cleaning mode using the mobile app or the remote control.
- Controls and the language spoken by the vacuum cleaner
There are three ways of controlling your robotic vacuum cleaner. Most smart vacuum cleaners are switched on by pressing a button on their top. Secondly, you can also use a remote control. Finally, some smart vacuum cleaners come with a mobile app. The more advanced of these allow you to mark out the areas you wish to clean. You can use this function to prevent your vacuum cleaner from coming too close to your cat’s bowl or flower pots.
Women especially appreciate it when vacuum cleaner messages are spoken in a language they understand.