Tried and tested: Robot vacuum cleaners
Deebot 900 Ambience Shots 02

Tried and Tested: Robot Vacuum Cleaners


Have you ever wanted someone to do the vacuuming for you? We certainly have, and with technological advances this dream can now become a reality. We’ve tested five robot vacuum cleaners to help you decide which handy helper is best for you

Roomba 980


Fast and effective, the Roomba 980 powered across the room, stopping at larger piles of debris to go back and forth over it, and then continuing on its path. It provided a thorough clean with ease, the spinning side brushes pushing carpet build-ups into a three-stage cleaning system. Of course, with great power comes greater noise, and this machine was reasonably loud. The rubber carpet agitator seemed to dig into the carpet and loosen dust in a way the other robots didn’t, leaving this quality machine as our top pick of the robot vacuum cleaners.
iRobot Roomba 980, $1499,


Roboking Turbo+homeview (2)


Featuring three modes — spiral, zigzag and cell by cell — this robot was effective in cleaning a specific spot, a larger room and complex areas which required more care. The Smart Inverter Motor ensures a deep clean, automatically detecting carpeted areas and correspondingly increasing suction power. With a mopping function that avoids running on carpet, this machine could clean a space effortlessly. The robot barely bumped into the many obstacles of the room, navigating the space like a pro with its high-quality 3D sensor.
At the end of the clean and with little effort, the robot moved back to its home port for charging, making the experience extra simple.
LG Roboking Turbo + HomeView, $1599,


Deebot 900+top Right


At the heart of this robot is beautiful design. The chic, white exterior and curved sides of this machine hide an efficient and systematic functionality that vacuumed with ease. Relatively quiet, the DEEBOT 900 utilised twin side brushes to push scraps towards its vacuum component. The laser sensor technology was good, and while it did need rescuing a few times, it worked a charm once it had mapped out the area. The floor looked considerably fresher than before,
but in areas of heavier debris a second run through would be required to catch it all. The app provided extra functions that make this robot a versatile addition to the home.
Ecovacs DEEBOT 900, $799,


Electrolux 3


Quality was encapsulated in this robot. From its stylish triangular shape to an eight-bristle side brush, I knew I was in for a great clean from the get go. The robot was methodical in approach, cordoning off an area and circling in smaller paths until it had covered the space. The 3D navigation was impeccable, measuring the height of objects in its path to determine if it could glide below, stop before bumping or climb up smaller increases in floor heights — perfect for sofas and rugs. On the odd occasion the robot did tap a furniture piece, but the bash plates protected the model and it continued on its cleaning spree.
Electrolux Pure i9, $1699,


Neato Botvac D5 Connected Top Hi


The square front of this robot was unique to this design, and enabled it to cover corners which other models at times struggled with. A self-sufficient robot, it was thorough in vacuuming the area, albeit a little noisily. The machine was clever in laser navigating the space before it, not bumping into many objects. I did miss the home feature on the robot model, the option to send it back to its station only available on the app. With the app installed, it was easy to schedule cleans and send back to dock. An effective cleaner, this robot did the job well and required little rescuing or docking help.
Neato Botvac D5 Connected, $599.99,

Originally in Kitchens & Bathrooms Quarterly Vol. 25 No. 4