Last updated: August 10, 2021

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In every household, several milligrams of dust, hair, breadcrumbs and flakes of skin accumulate per square metre every day. Anyone who has not vacuumed for a few days may have already made the acquaintance of voles or lurch. To avoid this, regular vacuuming is essential. With a robot hoover, you get a practical support in your home that can save you a lot of work. It is important to find the right device for you and your requirements.

In the vaccum cleaner robot test 2021 we have collected all the important factors to give you a good overview so that you can find the best device for you and your needs.




The most important facts

  • A vacuum cleaner robot can be a great support for your household. It gives you more free time and also a clean home. Who wouldn't want to come home after a long day at work and find everything vacuumed? If that's not enough, you can also opt for a model with an additional mopping function.
    Two work steps in one not only sounds very efficient, but it is.
  • Pet owners can also breathe a sigh of relief, because special pet-suitable hoover robots with a higher suction power and a special brushing system have been developed to meet the increased requirements.
    You can let the robot vacuum clean every day to always have a clean home.
  • New generation vacuum robots are usually controllable by app and can also respond to voice commands, they create maps of their area of use and know exactly where their position is.
    While these models are more expensive, they are also usually more efficient in terms of performance, as they do not needlessly vacuum the same spot two or three times.

The Best Vacuum Cleaner Robot: Our Picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for robot hoovers

Since there is a wide variety of robot hoovers on the market, we have worked out the most important criteria to provide you with a practical decision-making aid so that you can find the best robot hoover for your needs.

The criteria you can use to compare robot hoovers include:

Suitability for pet hair

If you are a pet owner, you know the problem of increased dirt and pet hair in your home. Our pets not only bring us great joy and love, but also more work around the house. A robot hoover is a practical little helper that can help you keep the floor clean.

You should look for special features in a robot hoover that is "suitable for pets".

  • More powerful suction
  • special floor brush or brushless cleaning system

Please also make sure that you empty the collection container after each use and, if necessary, clean the brushes of any caught hairs. In addition, the robot hoover can be used more often in a pet household.

Substrate suitability

The robot hoover usually prefers smooth and flat surfaces, such as laminate, parquet and tiles. Better models can make the transition from a smooth surface to a carpet or carpet runner without any problems.

However, they quickly reach their limits on unpaved carpets or high-pile carpets. But here, too, you will find models equipped with a stronger suction power and a climbing aid a perfect solution.

Mopping function

A vacuum cleaner robot with a mopping function can be a useful time-saving aid in your household. Vacuuming and mopping in one go not only sounds very efficient, but it is.

It is important to choose the right device for your floor covering and that it has enough power to achieve the desired end result. Especially with parquet floors, you should make sure that the machine does not mop too wet and that you can regulate the water output.

The robot hoover is equipped with a number of sensors that enable it to detect obstacles and react accordingly. In cheaper devices, these are simple contact sensors that react to touch.

When the robot hoover hits an obstacle, it changes its direction of travel a little and continues until it encounters the next obstacle. In models with infrared and proximity sensors, the sensor detects an obstacle without touching it and can steer all around.

The most important sensor of a robot hoover is the fall sensor. This sensor prevents the device from falling down stairs.

Some models in the higher price segment have a built-in camera that can also orient itself using the ceiling of a room and create a virtual map of its area of operation using other sensors. The advantage here is that they always know exactly where they are, which significantly reduces cleaning time.

Another navigation aid are so-called virtual lighthouses. These are used by various models as an aid to direct vacuum cleaner robots to another room.

In addition, some manufacturers also offer virtual walls that allow you to demarcate certain areas on the floor. For example, you can delimit your dog's sleeping area, your child's play area or even a precious piece of furniture.

Control

Robotic hoovers come in a variety of control and programming options. Most models come with a user-friendly remote control, but there are also buttons on the device itself.

  • Remote control
    The remote control of a robot hoover lets you easily and comfortably operate the device from a distance. The range is similar to that of a TV, so it's not too big, but it's handy if you don't want to get up just because you're so comfortable.
  • Smartphone App
    Nowadays, more and more household appliances are controlled via smartphone or tablet, including robot hoovers. When buying, it is important that you have an internet-capable device and a stable WLAN, otherwise the robot hoover may not receive the instructions.
    The advantage of an app-controlled hoover robot is obvious. It is extremely convenient and easy to use. App stores from Google or Apple have free apps that the respective manufacturer provides, you just have to download them. From now on, you can even programme and control the device comfortably from the office or from the train.
  • Voice control (Alexa)
    The intelligent smart home is advancing at a rapid pace and is led by Amazon with its Alexa voice control. With the use of Alexa or Google Home, it is possible for you to pass on commands directly to your robot hoover using your own voice. Start, stop or drive to the charging station, no problem.

Battery / runtime / charging time

The average battery life of a vacuum cleaner robot is between 1.5 and 2 hours, and most modern models also have a battery level indicator that tells you how much capacity is still available.

The robot vacuum cleaner is only ready for use again when it is fully charged.

If the battery charge level is low, the Robot Vacuum Cleaner will automatically return to the charging station.

The charging time of a robot hoover varies depending on the model and manufacturer and ranges from 1 to 3.5 hours.

Most manufacturers equip their robot hoovers with Li-ion batteries. The larger your home, the more you should pay attention to the battery life of the device.

Decision: What types of vacuum cleaner robots are there and which one is right for you?

If you want to get a robot hoover, there are several types to choose from. We have listed the four most important ones.

Robot hoover variant Advantages Disadvantages
Robot hoover with wiping function vacuums and wipes in one pass,can be used for many types of surfaces,large selection of models and additional functions higher energy consumption - shorter working time, not suitable for carpets, less manoeuvrability
Robot hoover with app function convenient and uncomplicated operation, large selection of models and additional functions expensive to purchase, stable WLAN must be available
Vacuum cleaner robot for carpets powerful suction, can cope with height differences of up to 3cm, also well suited for allergy sufferers higher purchase costs
Vacuum cleaner robot for pet owners large selection, also suitable for allergy sufferers cleaning recommended after each use

If you want to find out more information about each hoover robot, you can read more in the next sections.

Vacuum cleaner robot with mopping function

Vacuum cleaner robot with mopping function

The robot hoover with mopping function vacuums and mops your floor in one go. Before buying, you should pay attention to a few points. It is important to clarify in advance on which surface you want to use the robot hoover with mopping function.

With tiles, stone floors or laminate, it is not absolutely necessary to influence the water regulation, but with parquet floors you should pay attention to this, as otherwise unsightly stains can quickly appear on parquet if the mop setting is too wet.

Advantages
  • time-saving cleaning in one pass
  • suitable for many floor types
  • large selection
Disadvantages
  • higher energy consumption –
  • thus shorter use
  • higher purchase costs
  • time-consuming cleaning
  • regular filling of the water tank
Vacuum cleaner robot with app function

Vacuum cleaner robot with app function

Cleaning your home has never been easier with a robot hoover with an app. Whether you’re at work, flying home from your holiday or dancing the night away, you can activate your robot hoover from anywhere using an app. The apps can be downloaded free of charge from the manufacturer for the respective operating systems.

What you should bear in mind when buying a robot hoover with app function is that a stable WLAN is available, otherwise it can quickly happen that the device does not respond.

Advantages
  • Creation of schedules
  • Control without having to be on site
  • Linking with various apps (mostly IFTTT)
Disadvantages
  • high acquisition costs

With the so-called IFTTT applets, your robot hoover receives instructions from a third-party app such as :

  • a notification when the vacuuming process is completed
  • automatic shutdown when an incoming call is received
  • automatic activation when the last family member has left the house (via GPS)
Vacuum cleaner robot for carpets

Vacuum cleaner robot for carpets

It is very important that a robot hoover has a high suction power and a so-called climbing aid. Most of the time, a robot hoover has the problem of getting over an obstacle that is more than one centimetre high. If you have a long pile carpet, you should look for a model that can overcome a height difference of at least two centimetres.

Advantages
  • partly also suitable for long pile carpets
  • strong suction power
  • suitable for allergy sufferers
Disadvantages
  • higher purchase costs
  • regular filter cleaning

Most hoover robots that are suitable for carpets are also equipped with a HEPA filter and are therefore ideal for allergy sufferers.

Vacuum cleaner robots for pet owners

Vacuum cleaner robots for pet owners

Pet hair and fine sand are one of the biggest challenges for a robot hoover, hair tends to wrap around the brushes and especially as a dog or cat owner it quickly becomes tedious to constantly pluck hair out of the robot hoover.

For this reason, robot hoovers suitable for pets have special rubber rollers or no brush attachment at all, but instead have a higher suction power. Most devices are also equipped with a special filter.

Advantages
  • Strong suction power
  • no annoying brush cleaning
  • suitable for allergy sufferers
Disadvantages
  • Cleaning after each use is recommended

Guide: Frequently asked questions about vacuum cleaner robots answered in detail

In the following guide, we want to answer the most important questions about vacuum cleaning robots. After reading the guide, you will have all the relevant information for robotic vacuum cleaners.

Staubsauger Roboter-1

Who doesn't dream of coming home to a freshly vacuumed and clean flat after a long day at work? A robot hoover makes this possible.
(Image source: NickyPe/ Pixabay.com)

Who is a vacuum cleaner robot suitable for?

Everyone dreams of a clean flat, without much effort. The robot hoover brings you a little closer to this dream. If the floor is not very dirty, a robot hoover can run 2 - 3 times a week to always keep a flat clean. Pet owners can have it run more often and enjoy a clean floor.

As practical as a vacuum cleaner robot is, it also has certain disadvantages. Despite its good performance, it cannot replace the use of a hoover, at least in terms of power and thoroughness. It soon reaches its limits when it comes to heavy dirt.

Is a vacuum cleaner robot suitable for carpeted floors?

Unfortunately, most hoover robots have a problem, especially with uncarpeted and long-pile carpets. Before buying, you need to consider some criteria if you own carpeted floors. For a carpeted floor or high pile carpet, a robot hoover with a very high suction power is essential.

However, one of the main problems that the vacuum cleaner robot has with carpets is the colour and height difference as well as their texture.

Staubsauger Roboter-2

If you have a carpeted floor, you should choose a robot hoover with high suction power. (Image source: Adamowicz/ 123rf.com)

Many hoover robots simply have the problem of getting onto the carpet. The solution is a hoover robot that has a so-called climbing aid and can climb height differences of over 1 centimetre.

Even if your carpet is black or another dark colour, it can be perceived as a precipice by the sensor in the robot hoover. When the fall sensor is activated, this causes it to try to prevent the device from falling. What is a great solution when going down stairs is counterproductive in this case.

How often should you use a vacuum cleaner robot?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question; in this case, it depends on various circumstances. As a rule, the robot hoover should be run 2 - 3 times a week to keep the floor clean for longer.

If you have pets in your home, it is advisable to run the robot hoover more often because of the pet hair.

In any case, it is essential to empty the robot hoover regularly, depending on how dirty the floor is.

Staubsauger Roboter-3

A hoover robot can help you to have more free time, while it dutifully makes its rounds and vacuums, you can pursue your hobbies in peace. (Image source: cottonbro/ Pexels.com)

How much does a vacuum cleaner robot cost?

To give you a good overview, we have put together a price table.

Vacuum cleaner robot variant price
Vacuum cleaner robot with wiping function 50€ to 2500€
Vacuum cleaner robot with app function 180€ to 5000€
Vacuum cleaner robot for carpets 150€ to 4200€
Vacuum cleaner robot for pet owners 10€ to 9000€

What are the alternatives to a vacuum cleaner robot?

Even if you own a robot hoover, it unfortunately does not replace the thoroughness of a conventional floor hoover. A good and uncomplicated alternative is a handheld hoover for in-between use or a cordless floor hoover.

Vacuum cleaner variant Advantages Disadvantages
Hand-held hoover ideal for small areas,quick and practical to use,cheap to buy not suitable for larger areas, weak suction power
Cordless floor hoover convenient and uncomplicated to use,good suction power more expensive to buy

Hand-held hoover

A handheld vacuum offers you a quick and easy solution for small areas that need vacuuming. If you tip over your potted plant and some soil falls on the floor, you don't have to start the hoover or the hoover robot, just a quick movement of the hand and a quick vacuuming - done.

Cordless vacuum cleaner

The cordless floor hoover is like the hand hoover. Ready to hand when you need it quickly, no tangled cables and still powerful. No matter whether you only need to vacuum a small area or the whole house, a cordless hoover can do both.

Both variants are not real alternatives to a robot hoover, but they are ideal as a supplement.

How does a robot hoover work?

In principle, a robot hoover works like a normal floor hoover, it has a suction nozzle that sucks dust and dirt from the floor into a collection container and collects it there.

Staubsauger Roboter-4

Robot hoovers are built so flat that they can easily pass under furniture.
(Image source: Reisenhauer/ Pixabay.com)

The electric motor with which it is equipped is powered by a rechargeable battery. Two drive wheels on the underside provide propulsion and enable the hoover robot to drive over obstacles thanks to their suspension. Another smaller wheel at the front enables the robot to steer.

Many models are equipped with a HEPA filter, which filters fine dust and is therefore very popular with allergy sufferers.

Most robot hoovers have long bristle-like brushes on the front corner of the body that allow them to remove dirt from corners of rooms and around chair legs.

Visually, hoover robots look very similar, usually around 30 centimetres in diameter and relatively flat at 7 to 9 centimetres high. This allows them to pass under furniture.

The differences can be seen in the interior, for example in various additional functions, such as a wiping function, a navigation system, an obstacle sensor or a camera

How do I clean a vacuum cleaner robot?

First of all, it is important to mention that each model has a manual that you can use to clean and maintain your robot hoover in the best possible way.

Only by cleaning the device regularly can it achieve good, consistent performance.

In general, the dust container should be emptied and cleaned regularly; it is also best to wash it out regularly, if this is possible with your model. The filter should also be cleaned at regular intervals and replaced if necessary.

The underside of the robot hoover can be wiped with a damp cloth and you should also check the brushes. Especially if hairs get caught in them, thorough floor care cannot be guaranteed. You should remove them carefully.

For pet owners, it is recommended to empty the container after each use and to remove pet hair from the brushes.

Is a robot hoover suitable for pet hair removal?

Which pet owner does not know it. You have just vacuumed and hair is flying around again. As much as you love your pets, they also leave you with a lot of work.

A robot hoover can be a great help when it comes to cleaning your floors.

A robot hoover that is suitable for pet owners essentially differs in terms of increased suction power, special brush models or a brushless variant

Staubsauger Roboter-4

We all love our furry friends, they bring us so many friends, but unfortunately also more dirt in our home, a robot hoover suitable for pets supports you in the fight against dirt and pet hair.
(Image source: Цветановић/ Pexels.com)

Image source: belchonock/ 123rf.com

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