Best Robot Vacuum and Mop

Different types of floors demand different cleaning applications, which is why we looked for the best robot vacuum and mop for 2017. Which bot vacs can handle both dry and wet tasks? Put down the mop and bucket, and read on in our guide for everything you need to know about this rapidly evolving category of cleaning machine.

When it comes to affordability and features, we ultimately chose the iLife V5s Robot Vacuum Cleaner ($179.99) as the best model that includes both vacuuming and mopping capabilities. While it takes a little extra management, this nimble model comes with a battery life that lasts around an hour and a half, plus scheduling options that make control easy and a powerful motor that can handle even pet hair.

Best Robot Vacuum and Mop

How We Choose the Best Robot Vacuum and Mop

A robot vacuum is complicated enough – but when you add mopping features, it becomes even more complex. Durability, for example becomes much more important, because a little water damage from the smallest puddle can ruin bot vacs of lesser quality. But we look at a lot more than warranties and life spans!

When a bot offers both “dry” and “wet” cleaning options, we take a close look at how to switch between the two. Is it effective to go from vacuuming to mopping? Are there modes that clearly define what the vac can handle? What manual steps – like filling reservoirs with water – are necessary?

The best bots switch between dry and wet cleaning easily and effectively, but ultimately it comes down to how the vacuum performs in real world scenarios. Does it vacuum up those dust bunnies, or just chase them around? Does it have rollers or brushes, or only suction? The best models offer similar cleaning and brush rolls to fully dry robot vacuums, along with a wet mode that can actual remove stains and earn its keep.

We also take a look at how well mopping features actually work: it’s not enough to smear water across the floor, we look for mop bots that can actually scrub floors and remove dirt – the Braava model, with its back-and-forth mopping motions, is good example of a bot that really tries to clean the floor as it goes, instead of just going through the motions.

We’re also interested in controls and customization for scheduling. We prefer to see apps and other remote methods of directing and reviewing bots. Controls that take too long or that are too confusing don’t make it on the list, because none of us have time for that. Likewise, we look for options that are easy to clean when it comes to canisters and filters – something doubly important on these mop models where you also have to clean tanks of water and mop accessories.

Finally, we look at battery properties. How long does a charge last? How long does recharging take? If a charge lasts 30 minutes and the vacuum returns for a quick recharge without you needing to worry about it, that’s a big plus! If it only lasts 15 minutes, well, we’re not as excited and cleaning projects will take a lot longer.

Read More: Best Vacuum Cleaner for Carpets

Why You Should Buy a New Robot Vacuum and Mop

Hard floors and carpet are very different. Many vacuum cleaner devices aren’t made to work well on both surfaces – you don’t want to mop a carpet, or use harsh bristles on hardwood floor. But these robotic vacuums are designed to do two different tasks in a way that others aren’t. Some can vacuum carpet as well as mop up spills on tile. Some can dust hardwood, and then use a mop mode to help clean more stubborn stains. If you need a device that can handle two very different types of clean up – along with a host of automatic features – then these are just the vacuum cleaners you should look for.

As an added bonus, many of these mop combos are cheaper than high-end robot vacuums, which can cost $800 to $900 due to their specialization. Mop hybrids are simpler machines in some ways, but that also means they’re more affordable. Their $200 to $250 price tags put them more in the range of upright vacuum cleaners.

An additional thought: many of these models include HEPA (high efficient particulate air) filters and other types of high quality filters to trap dust. Because these models work on both hard floors and carpet, and because they are designed to run every day, they can also be used to control dust and dander in your house, especially if someone has allergies.

Read More: Best Dyson Vacuum

#1 Pick  iLife V5s – Editor’s Choice/Most Affordable Robot Vacuum and Mop

This iLife is affordable and capable…if you put a little work into it.

Price: $179.99 | Brush Roll: Mop and brush | Filtration: Primary and HEPA options | Battery Life: 90-110 minutes

WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: An affordable unit with great dust control.

The iLife robot comes with several advantages for those with varying hard floor surfaces who want the best cleaning possible. Its primary purpose is mopping, and comes equipped with an interchangeable 0.3 liter water tank (larger than most, and enough to easily clean an average-sized home) and mop mat holder that holds a basic mop pad that is continually soaked by the water tank. When you want to dry clean, you replace the tank with the dust container, attach the side bristles/cleaning brush, and let the model loose to vacuum up debris. Again, it’s primarily designed for hardwood floors, but this model can also tackle low-pile carpets when necessary. Low-pile carpets can vary in size, but they have very short loops – usually less than a quarter of an inch – that make the carpet look “flat” and parallel to hard flooring.

You have options for auto charging or manual charging, depending on how you prefer to schedule the vacuum cleaning. Modes vary from spot and edge cleaning to auto and scheduled cleaning, which is nice to see – it allows you to pick the right cleaning option for your current goals, rather than being stuck with the same cleaning pattern every time. Plus, at around $180 this is one of the most affordable robot vacs on the market, so it’s also a great way to save money.

The biggest problem with this model are all the caveats: you aren’t supposed to schedule while in mopping mode, the mop pad may get stuck on some surfaces, and you can’t charge with the water tank inside. In other words, the little vac requires a surprising amount of maintenance, so don’t think this is a “fire and forget” model.

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#2 Pick  iRobot Braava 380t – Best Robot Vacuum and Mop for Hardwood Floors

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Braava’s model is ideal for hardwood floors.

Price: $244.97 | Brush Roll: Pads for Dusting/Mopping | Filtration: N/A | Battery Life: 150 – 210 minutes

WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: Ideal dusting pad options for hardwood floors.

This iRobot vacuum and mop is designed specifically for hardwood floors: It includes two very different pads, one designed to pick up dust and one designed to help mop up stains. The mopping pad in particular is interesting, with a small section you can fill with around 4 ounces of water or cleaner to keep it moist – but not too moist. Four ounces doesn’t sound like much, but it’s enough for the average room: you may need to refill the pad in between cycles if you are cleaning a larger area. The dusting pad is also useful – and replaceable with a variety of different pads if you already have a dusting favorite. In addition to the long battery life, the model also comes with a handy little swerve motion in mop mode that really works for scrubbing more annoying stains and covering more space reliably.

Note that the model comes with a navigation cube that you can set up on a table, to help with digital mapping. However, there are no “lighthouses” to create digital barriers, so this model works better when there’s a clear divide between carpet and hardwood.

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#3 Pick  Haier SWR-T320 – Best Robot Vacuum and Mop for Large Debris

1484416774_575_best-robot-vacuum-and-mop Best Robot Vacuum and Mop

Haier’s powerful model is a little hard to control, but offers plenty of vacuuming capability.

Price: $189.99 | Brush Roll: No Brush, Pads for mopping and dusting| Filtration: HEPA | Battery Life: 120 minutes

WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: Great suction power for a variety of surfaces.

Haier’s model comes with both a 0.18 liter water tank (larger than the Braava, and able to tackle a larger room before needing a refill) and dusting pads for a variety of cleaning options – at least on hardwood floors. The four different cleaning modes, including edge cleaning and automatic daily cleaning, provide enough options for different cleaning tasks and make this model seem even more like a combination of our first two picks – which in many ways, it is. However, while the Haier is powerful enough to pick up larger bits of debris from low carpets and hard floors, it lacks the brush roll necessary to really dig into your carpet. Keep this model on flatter surfaces, and it can shine.

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What to Look for When Buying the Best Robot Vacuum and Mop

Something for Carpets and Floors

  • It may seem obvious, but look for a model that can tackle both surfaces. One thing that kept the Braava from the top spot was that it was made for usage on hardwood floors only.
  • Look for a model that can switch between the modes that you need. If you don’t want the vacuum to clean certain areas, look for models that allow you to set signal barriers and paths for greater control.

A Manageable Mopping Mode

  • Mopping modes can take a lot of work, especially when you need to fill and empty containers for every cleaning cycle.
  • Look for models that have containers that are easy to work with or make sense to you – and for models that come with cleaners or extra materials that make your job easier.

The Right Size for Your Furniture

  • Furniture can be tricky when buying a robot vacuum. When purchasing, pay attention to the size of the model (which can end up being bigger than seemed on paper).
  • Will it fit under your stools and cupboards? What about your sofa, or in that corner where you keep the lamp? If a model is too big, you need to know sooner rather than later by measuring out your dusty hotspots ahead of time to ensure the vacuum will be able to reach without getting stuck.

No Water Stains

  • One of the worst tendencies of mopping vacuums is to clean a floor, but then leave water marks behind that eventually dry up and then create another stain or mark that needs to be cleaned.
  • If you see any sign in a review or description that indicates a bot vac leaves behind these water marks, stay away. Look for models that don’t just dump water onto the floor, but have more controlled methods – like the Braava’s water-infused mopping pads.

Extra Cleaning Accessories

  • A couple cleaning accessories can make a big difference! Side brushes, for example, can clean your baseboards and add a bit of dust cleanup. Don’t discount these accessories – see what they are and if they could improve cleaning in your home.

Low Noise Levels

  • Noise isn’t a big deal for everyone, but the noisiest vacuum models may make it difficult to watch TV, etc.
  • If noise is a factor for you, then look for models that guarantee a quieter or muffled motor. It doesn’t always mean you’ll get a whisper-quiet vac, but it’s better than nothing. Both the iLife and Haier models have decibel levels around 50 to 60 dB. The Braava unit, with it’s pad-based cleaning, is usually so quiet that it’s hard to get an accurate decibel reading.

Read More: Best Upright Vacuum

Mistakes to Avoid

We mentioned how filters in these bot vacs can help keep dust under control in your house…but that only works if you take care of your filters! Every time your vac completes a vacuuming cycle, you need to clean out or wash the filters. HEPA filters also need to be replaced every several months to keep up their filtration quality. If you ignore the filters, the vacuuming side of these combo bots will be much less effective.

Also, you may want to change a few things about your house when you buy one of these robotic vacuums. There are some things these devices aren’t equipped to deal with. They can get tangled up in cords, for example – or some models may run into thin metal furniture legs before their sensors can detect them, damaging the machine. Others may knock over lamps or lightweight objects – so don’t forget to scout out your floors first and remove any potentially troublesome scenarios that the robot might get caught on.

Finally, remember to pick the model that matches your floor best. For example, the Braava does a great job on hardwood, but doesn’t have anything to offer carpet, so don’t pick based solely on features – especially features you wouldn’t use. Something like the Bobsweep robotic vacuum and mop has features to clean carpet and tile, but if you only have carpet, then extras like the UV light are just going to go to waste.

What Else You Should Think About

When you’re looking for the best robot vacuum and mop, a little research can go a long way. We encourage you to check out our Neato vs. Roomba examination to see how the two most popular brands of robot vacuums compare to each other – and what cutting edge features they each have to offer. For a more in-depth view of a robot vacuum, you may also want to take a look at our Deebot D45 review.

No matter what choice you ultimately make, consider buying extra accessories like cleaning pads or a supply of filters at the same time. This will make it easier to replace components and switch out pads for larger cleaning tasks – and you won’t have to worry about running out of supplies any time soon.

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