UPDATED: Nov 15, 2019.
If you’ve ever used a vacuum, you know how bulky and complicated they can be. With cords that no one seems to want to wind up, vacuum bodies that take up a lot of room that make it hard for storage or to get into hard to reach places and they’re loud!
Thankfully, there are robot vacuums nowadays that make quite a difference. Generally, they are small enough to fit in your hands, wireless and practically silent. Most robot vacuums connect to Wi-Fi so that you’re able to control it from just about anywhere!
If you’ve never used a robot vacuum yourself, I can see how it would come off as a gimmick. But over the years, they have become more and more popular. Some of the most popular robot vacuums have smart features such as cameras and virtual maps.
I tested out several of the most popular robot vacuums and wanted to share with you my experience with three from Neato. I’ll cover everything you need to know about robot vacuums, including in-depth reviews with honest pros and cons.
Before you open up your wallet to pay for your new vacuum, make sure you get one that can do the job for you and has all the features you’re looking for. Without further adieu, let’s dive into the value section!
With so many robot vacuum options on the market, I wanted to share with you some of the frequently asked questions, concerns and important information about this technology. Why should you choose a Neato Botvac? What sets robot vacuums apart from old school regular vacuums? Is it really worth the money? We’ll tackle all of that and more down below!
Is it Worth the Money?
Let’s address the elephant in the room, these vacuums aren’t cheap, but are they worth the money? Overall, I think so because they save you time, energy and stress from having to vacuum your entire house yourself, several times a week.
It’s even worth the money more if you’re a pet owner that has a furry friend that sheds a lot. You can easily set up the vacuum to run everyday while you’re at work. Easily charge it overnight and you’ll likely never have to think about vacuuming yourself again!
Comparing a Vacuum to a Robot
There are a handful of main differences between your standard vacuum and a robot vac. For one, a robot is battery powered. This makes it more convenient, but it also means you have to recharge it.
With a standard vacuum, you’re literally controlling it with your body, versus a robot is controlled via an app or a virtual map you’ve put into place. Robots also run automatically and the cleaning can be done without you needing to be home.
Robot vacuums tend to ram into furniture and can be loud on surfaces like hardwood floors. They also can’t pick up as large of debris as standard vacuums. Try to find a robot vacuum that has the features you like most in a standard vacuum and you’ll be set!
When it comes to robot vacuums, the main feature they have is that they’re able to clean and navigate without the need of a human pushing it around. There are two different navigation types when it comes to robot vacuums: optical and infrared.
The infrared sensors send out beams that tell the robot about its surroundings, such as how far it is away from the couch. These beams help the robot navigate around your home and can help the vacuum get itself unstuck around furniture, or prevent it from getting stuck in the first place.
On the other hand, the optical navigation uses cameras. The cameras are mounted on top of the vacuum, and can double as a security camera if needed. These cameras act as a set of eyes for the robot. The vacuums rely heavily on the navigation settings, and robots that use optical navigation will not function in rooms that are too dark as they won’t be able to see.
What is the Lifespan for a Robot Vacuum?
The lifespan of a robot vacuum heavily depends on the battery. Though batteries can die out completely, they can also be replaced. It’s a tough question to answer because it’s often not the vacuum itself that dies. Any robot vac will come with a battery that can only be charged so many times.
You’re better off buying one that has a lithium ion battery. These not only last longer, but they charge much faster. In general, batteries will need to be replaced every two to four years, depending on how often you use the vacuum.
Neato Vacuum Reviews
Below you will find in-depth reviews for three of the most popular Neato vacuums on the market right now. Hopefully this will help you decide which model will work best for your needs. We’ll be comparing the D3, D5 and D7 model.
If you didn’t already know, Neato was the first company that made a robot vacuum that could be paired with Amazon’s Alexa. The D3 model is the most inexpensive option they carry that does just that.
These days, we’re all on a budget and that’s what I like most about the Neato D3, it’s affordable, yet doesn’t lack amazing features. It comes in Neato’s iconic D-shaped design. This makes it so the extra wide brush can suck up dirt and debris right next to the floorboards and walls.
There are sensors on the top of the vacuum so the machine can easily navigate around the room. If you have floors that vary in materials, such as a tiled kitchen that meets with a carpeted living room, the D3 model has no trouble navigating from one surface to the other.
With the Neato smartphone app you’ll be able to easily start and stop cleanings right from your mobile device. You’re also able to easily schedule a vacuum session days in advance using your Google Home, Facebook Chatbot or Amazon Alexa.
- Lightweight (weighs around 9 pounds)
- Easy to use
- Power options via smartphone
- Cleans quickly
- Long battery life
- Most inexpensive model
- Doesn’t pick up really large debris
- You may want to purchase extra filters
Coming in second is Neato’s D5 model. This machine is a bit more expensive, but it has more features that the D3 version. You’ll be able to see via the smartphone app the real time cleaning that the D5 is doing. You’re also able to easily control it from the app if you need to turn it around or send it in another direction. It has a 90 minute battery life between charges and is easy to learn how to use!
It has a longer battery life than the D3 and the virtual barriers on top have been improved. The D5 model can clean up to 5,000 square feet per charge. The brush has been improved to make it clean edges along walls even easier.
- Can clean double the square footage as the D3
- Long battery life
- Improved brush
- Real-time cleaning feature
- Louder than the D3 model
- Can get stuck under low furniture
Last but not least, let’s talk about the Neato Botvac D7 model. This is easily Neato’s most iconic vacuum. It’s the first of its kind that you can program it when, where and how you’d like your floors cleaned. You’re able to easily do this via the smartphone app.
What sets this model apart from the other two is the No-Go feature. This feature allows you to draw lines on the map that you don’t want the vacuum going near, such as things like low furniture or pet food and water bowls that may be on the ground.
Just like the other two models, it has a D-shape design that makes it easy for the machine to crawl from surface to surface without getting stuck. It can easily pick up debris along walls and picks up just under 10 grams of dirt per cycle.
While the No-Go feature is cool, Neato also made a robot vacuum that cleans well, where you want it. The D7’s large wheels and D-shaped design allow it to climb high-pile carpet and get flush against walls. On average, the Neato picked up 9.6 grams of dirt per run.
- 2 hour long battery life
- 70% larger brush
- No-Go feature
- Laser guided mapping
- Is nearly as loud as a regular vacuum on hardwood floors
- It’s expensive
Overall, all three Neato vacuums are amazing options. The winner depends on your budget. If you have more money to spend, the D7 is an incredible option. If you find yourself on a tighter budget, the D3 is superb for the price tag.
These vacuums can clean for you while you’re at work, or on holiday. They have a decently long battery life range and charge up quickly. If you lead a busy life, a robot vacuum like one of the three you read about today will make an incredible improvement to your life.