Undoubtedly, having a robot vacuum cleaner makes home maintenance a much lighter task. After all, you just have to press a button (more or less) and voila: the solito is in charge of vacuuming your house with more or less expertise.
However, in the market we find from robot vacuum cleaners for just over 100 euros to others that exceed four figures. In this article we will try to find out which characteristics justify this price difference in a certain way and which are the most interesting models in relation to quality-price ratio.
Choosing a good robot vacuum cleaner
Design has a lot to say in cleaning
The first point to consider is the design. Thus, while the vast majority are flattened cylinders, we also find D-shaped designs like the Neato or the current iRobot flagship, the Roomba s9 +.
More than a matter of form, something that determines how they will face the obstacles they encounter is their height and the size of their wheels. Thus, while the bulkier ones – consequently with larger wheels – will be able to climb thicker rugs better than the smaller ones, they will also have more problems cleaning under sofas or getting between the legs. Although navigation here has a lot to say.
Over time we also find variations on something a priori as simple as the charging base. In essence they are still small, but there are mats to collect moisture from the sink accessories and not damage the floor, and also bulky like those of the Roomba s9 + or its predecessor, the Roomba i7 +. Why so big? Because one of the differential features of both is that its tank is cleaned only when it reaches the base thanks to an extraction system that deposits dirt in a bag integrated inside. Hence the size.
Finally it is essential to look at the composition and materials of the brushes. The most basic thing we are going to find at this point is a central roller – in the past there were models without it, simply with a suction slot – to catch dirt and hair. Those in the entry and middle range opt for helically distributed bristles, but those designs that replace it with materials such as rubber better support hair tangles. It is also common that they come with one or two side brushes to direct the dirt to the central part.
Cleaning capacity: look at the power and type of filter
The essence of a vacuum cleaner, whatever its type, is its ability to trap dirt by suction and leave it in its tank, so that it not only removes hairs, dirt and dirt in general, but also captures and retains dust and other microparticles. Thus, not only do we achieve a “macroscopic” cleaning, but if the vacuum cleaner is powerful enough and has a high-efficiency filter, we can also minimize the effect of allergens, something highly recommended for people with respiratory problems.
In practice, the simplest range moves around 1,500 Pascals and as we go up the range, the suction capacity increases, reaching even the exceptional 10,000 pascals of the Conga 5490. Of course, a lot of eye because the B-side with more capacity suction is noise.
On the filter, it is important that it is HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) and not HEPA type, which means that they must trap all particles equal to or greater than 0.3 microns in diameter with 99.97% effectiveness according to established standards. A good example is that of the British brand Dyson and its 360 Heurist, a model inherits the effectiveness of the sled format but in a robot type.
The importance of efficient navigation
Have more or less power and noise has been more or less mitigated, it must be recognized that it is not comfortable to be with a robot vacuum cleaner at home. So the ideal is that it ends as soon as possible. Here we come to another key section in terms of innovations and price: smart navigation.
Apart from unevenness and obstacle sensors, truly intelligent navigation is carried out using cameras, as iRobot usually does; or through a laser viewfinder, the solution of brands such as Xiaomi or Conga, among others. Even the Roborock S6 MaxV bets with a hybridization of both, which theoretically not only navigate, but recognize and dodge obstacles.