Here are a few things to consider when choosing the best robot mop for your home.
Dry-sweeping vs. vacuuming: Most of the robot mops you’ll find on the market also do some kind of dry clean-up — they either sweep using a dry pad to lift up dust or vacuum with suction. Models that double as vacuums will have the added task of emptying a full dust bin after cleaning (unless they also come with a self-emptying base), while models that dry-sweep will need the sweeping pads discarded or washed after each use. If your floors are especially covered in debris, letting the device vacuum before setting it to mop will yield better results.
Easy setup and maintenance: The easier the better when it comes to charging the robot mop, filling and emptying the water tank, removing or replacing the cleaning pads and setting it up to clean once or on a regular schedule. The easiest to maintain are models that come with a self-emptying station that only needs to be emptied every 30 days or more. Most of the new models we’ve tested in the Cleaning Lab now come with a QR code on the packaging for easier app setup too.
Battery life: Look for models with a runtime of at least 90 minutes on a single charge. Most robot mops now recharge and resume cleaning to finish the job if the battery starts to run low mid-cleaning. If you have a large home, this is an especially important feature to look out for.
Safety for floor surfaces: If your home is mostly wood floors, be sure the robot mop you select is designed to clean that surface. Soft, fluffy brush rolls or robot mops with no brush rolls at all are best. For wet mopping of wood floors, look for a model that allows you to adjust and control the amount of water that goes into the pads. All robot mops are safe for vinyl and tile floors.
Floor and carpet sensors: If you have a mix of carpet and hard flooring, choose a robot mop that can determine the difference to avoid wetting your carpets. Many models are able to lift the mopping pads off the floor’s surface a few millimeters when a carpet is detected, but this may not be enough for homes with thick, plush carpets. Instead, look for robot mops that have mapping features that allow you to select only certain areas to clean or have no-go zone strips that you can manually set up around your thick carpets.
App integration: Most new robot mops and vacuums can be paired with an app to save maps of your home, set cleaning schedules, select cleaning modes or see what your robot is up to while you are away. While not all robots require an app to work, they do make using a robot mop a more valuable experience. If you’d prefer not to use an app, look for a model that has at least a power and dock button right on the robot or charging base and comes with a remote control.