Choosing a robot vacuum: what do you keep in mind?
What do you expect of your robot vacuum?
Do you occasionally use the robot vacuum as an addition to your normal vacuum, a basic model will probably be enough for you. If you want to use your robot vacuum every day, or control it via your phone, for example, you'll need a more advanced model. A € 100 robot hasn't got as many qualities as a € 800 one. Keep in mind that a robot vacuum is above all an addition, and won't completely take over your cleaning jobs. You'll still have to vacuum your stairs and baseboards yourself.
What floor type do you have?
All robot vacuums work well on hard and smooth flooring, but some have a hard time tackling high-pole carpet or rugs. If you have a hard floor, every type of robot vacuum will be suitable, but if you have a lot of carpet or many rugs, you'll need a more specific robot vacuum.
Do you have allergies?
If you have a dust allergy, you'll need a robot vacuum with a special exhaust filter. A HEPA 13 or 14 filter is the most suitable for people with allergies. The filter stops fine dust, pollen, and allergens, so they don't end up in the room via the exhaust air.
Do you have pets?
Dog and cat hairs lying around can be a challenge for a robot vacuum, as they usually have a rather small suction brush. If you want to be sure it vacuums pet hairs, go for a robot vacuum with rotating central brushes. These brushes are better at picking pet hairs from hard floors and low-pole carpet than those with nothing but a suction brush. In the product filter, you can easily select a robot suitable for pet hairs under 'application'.
What's 'smart', and do you need it?
We call a robot vacuum 'smart' if it has a WiFi connection. In that case, you can control the robot via an app on your phone. That's useful if you're away from home a lot. The more advanced the robot, the more extensive the app. Some robot vacuums also have cameras, which let you view images via the app. Keep in mind, you won't find those smart functions on a starter model robot vacuums.
How big is your house?
I'm referring to the floor surface the robot has to cover. Not all robot vacuums are equals when it comes to this. Do you want your robot vacuum to vacuum multiple rooms in 1 go? Make sure you go for a robot vacuum with a battery life of over 90 minutes.
How do you charge the robot vacuum?
Starter models will stop when the battery is empty. You have to put the robot vacuum back into its charging dock yourself, or charge it via a charging cable. More luxurious robot vacuums will go back to the charging dock themselves once they're empty. If you go for the most advanced robot, it will automatically charge itself at the charging dock and continue vacuuming once it's charged.
If you want to know which vacuums I recommend for each specific usage situation, you should have a look at Coolblue's Choice. There, I'll help you make a decision if you're having trouble doing so yourself. Already have a vacuum, but need help using it? In the advice article, I discuss frequently occurring problems with robot vacuums in general, and I provide tips on what you can do to fix it yourself.