Different types of floors demand different cleaning applications, which is why we looked for the best automatic vacuum and mop for 2020. Which bot vacs can handle both dry and wet tasks? Put down the mop and bucket, and read on in our buying guide for everything you need to know about this rapidly evolving category of cleaning machine. Find out what the latest automatic vacuum and mop consumer reports are saying below.
Top 5 Best automatic vacuum and mop
#1 Roborock E25 Robot Vacuum and Mop
Our #1 Pick is the Roborock E25Check Price
Award: Top Pick
WHY WE LIKE IT: This robot vacuum features some of the best navigational senses and excellent cleaning functionality that we’ve tested to this point. Top all these features with its extra-affordable price point and you can see why this robot vacuum made the top of our list.Pros
- Best smart with built-in Alexa compatible
- Can control from smartphone app
- Performs really well on carpet
- Struggles with edge cleaning
- App can be tricky to use
- Noisy operation
Our top pick for best robot vacuum and mop is versatile, powerful and smart. It’s able to clean multiple surface types with ease, including hard floors and carpets. It even includes a variety of different cleaning modes based on what kind of surface you want to clean. But perhaps the best feature of the Roborock E25 is its smart navigation. It can map out the room its cleaning and remember where it goes in order to achieve the maximum cleaning efficiency.
When we say the Roborock is smart, we mean it. This robot vacuum is compatible with Amazon Alexa voice controls and even includes a smartphone app that you can use to control the unit. we admit that the app is a little tricky to learn how to use and doesn’t offer the most intuitive interface, but something is better than nothing in this case. Unfortunately, the Roborock is a little loud during operation, but if you schedule cleanings wisely, you shouldn’t have to worry about it disrupting your day to day. For your pool, check out the best pool vacuum robot.
#2 iRobot Braava jet 240 Robot Vacuum and Mop
Our #2 Pick is the iRobot Braava jet 240Check Price
Award: Honorable Mention
WHY WE LIKE IT: The iRobot is super compact and ultra-portable, making it the perfect choice for cleaning hard-to-reach spaces in smaller living spaces. It also features a bunch of automatic features for easier operation.Pros
- Best compact
- Triple-pass cleaning
- Can “dry sweep”
- No dust bin
- No charging station included
- No auto scheduling capabilities
The iRobot Braava jet 240 Robot Mop has a water tank that holds up to approximately 150mL of water and it automatically selects the correct cleaning method based on the dusting pad type. It will mop and sweep all hard floor types, making it a versatile option for most home owners. One of the best things about the Braava jet 240 is its compact design. Measuring in at 6.7 x 7 x 3.3 inches, this is the smallest option on our list.
This means that the iRobot Braava jet 240 is great for maneuvering. This model is a master of navigating tight spaces as well. It also has a decent running time of 2 hours. The bottom line is that this robotic vacuum mop cleaner does a great job cleaning floors. Unfortunately, it lacks the brush roll necessary to really dig into your carpet. So it’s best to keep this pro robot on flatter surfaces, where it can really shine. In short, if you’ve got kids, don’t have a lot of carpet and need to clean things like the best baby wipes, this isn’t a bad choice.
Automatic Vacuum And Mop
#3 ILIFE V5s Pro Robot Vacuum and Mop
Our #3 Pick is the ILIFE V5s ProCheck Price
Award: Best Battery
WHY WE LIKE IT: The iLife robot vacuum and mop is an affordable unit with great dust (HEPA filter) control and a best-of-class battery life. If you need something that runs a little longer than most to ensure you get that comprehensive clean.Pros
- HEPA filtration
- Performs really well on hardwood floors
- Includes premium features at affordable price
- Sometimes struggles to find charging base
- Cheaper build than we’d like
- Sometimes gets stuck on furniture
The iLife V5s Pro 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 for a damp mop. 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 with strong suction.
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. The biggest problem with this model are all the caveats: you aren’t supposed to schedule while mopping floor, 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. For something more traditional, read about the best canister vacuum.
#4 iRobot Braava 380t Robot Vacuum and Mop
Our #4 Pick is the iRobot Braava 380tCheck Price
Award: Best for Hardwood Floors
WHY WE LIKE IT: This vacuum is designed specifically to tackle dirty hardwood floors and it performs well when in that element. Powerful scrubbing and smart tracking make this an excellent choice for most homes with hardwood flooring.Pros
- Comprehensive triple-pass scrubbing
- Smart tracking
- Seamless swap between mopping and sweeping
- No dirt container
- Can’t schedule auto cleaning
- Manual return and recharge
The iRobot Braava 38t 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. Ideal dusting pad options for hardwood floors. 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 Braava 38t also comes with a handy little swerve motion in mop mode that really works for scrubbing more annoying stains and covering more space reliably. It is a top-notch pro robot vacuum mop cleaner. 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. Also, check out the best shark vacuum.
#5 Knox Robot Robot Vacuum and Mop
Our #5 Pick is the Knox Robot Vacuum CleanerCheck Price
Award: Best on a Budget
WHY WE LIKE IT: This robot vacuum and mop is the most affordable pick on our list but that doesn’t mean compromise. Not only can it scrub and mop, but it can vacuum carpet and hardwood and includes a 90 minute run time.Pros
- Dual filters keep air fresh
- Lowest price on the list
- Decent smart sensors
- Shorter battery life
- Not as durable as other options
- Doesn’t include instructions
Knox may not be the biggest name in the robot cleaning industry, but this model is reliable, powerful and super affordable, making it the perfect choice for anyone who wants to explore the idea of robot vacuum cleaning and mopping without spending an arm and a leg. The Knox robot vacuum cleaner features all of the standard functionality you should expect from products in this space, including smart sensors that tell the robot where to go and a variety of modes to clean different surfaces.
Of course, with this being a budget device, you can expect some cutbacks in order to make it more affordable overall. Perhaps the biggest downfall is the Knox’s shorter battery life of around 90 minutes. While this isn’t a dealbreaker by any means, it’s something that you need to take into consideration, especially if you have larger spaces to clean. In the end, if you’re looking for a reliable and affordable robot vacuum and mop, you can’t go wrong with the Knox robot vacuum cleaner. Compare it to the best upright vacuum.
What to Look for When Buying the Best automatic vacuum and mop
- Something for Carpets and Floors
It may seem obvious but look for robot vacuum mops 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. Also if you are looking for a vacuum for pet hair, look for something that specializes in pet hair like the popular pethair plus robotic vacuum cleaner. The Bobsweep Pethair is great for pets. For carpets, a deep clean function is a bonus. The best robotic vacuum should make life easier whether you have pets or not.
- 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 a cleaning machine that doesn’t just dump water onto the floor, but has 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.
Things to Consider When Buying a Vacuum Cleaner
The old vacuum cleaner has “bitten the dust” and you need a replacement. One quick look online is all it takes to realize that choosing a new machine might be more challenging than you thought. It’s easy to get caught up in the “latest and greatest” when perusing vacuums online or in magazines and end up with a machine that is either too much or not enough, or just doesn’t fit your needs.
We’ve put together a few questions for consideration to help focus your search efforts before purchasing that new vacuum cleaner. Maybe you’ve already thought about some of these, so please use the following list to quickly navigate to the concerns most important to you.
What Flooring Types Do I Have?
Probably the most obvious consideration is whether you have mainly carpeting, hard floors, or a fairly even combination of both. Generally speaking, for homes with a lot of carpeting, especially in large areas, an upright vacuum cleaner is a good choice. However, if your personal preference tends toward canister style vacuums, there are quite a few excellent choices available. You will want to be sure that it has a floor nozzle with a motorized brushroll and height adjustment options for various pile carpets.
If you love hardwood or tile flooring with a few rugs here and there, or enjoy low-pile carpeting, a canister style vacuum is a great option. Using a specialized floor brush, these are usually very maneuverable for working quickly around and underneath furniture. Some are equipped with combination floor tools that easily switch to effectively clean scatter rugs. For true canister vacuum lovers, there are machines that feature high quality motorized floor nozzles that can effectively handle deep-pile carpets.
Most people have a combination of both carpeting and hard floors. At this point, style preference will be your guide. However, be sure to check for convenience features such as on/off brushroll control, height adjustment, and suction control. Be sure to note whether the brushroll is air-powered or electrically powered as this affects the effectiveness of deep-pile carpet cleaning.
Do I Need to Control Allergens?
This is a key question to consider since we spend, on average, about 90% of our time indoors where pollutants can be 2 to 5 times higher than typical outdoor concentrations. This is especially important to ponder if you or someone in your family has asthma or allergies. A vacuum cleaner that provides HEPA filtration can be an important contributor to improving your indoor air quality. HEPA filters capture particulate matter down to 0.3 microns so that the exhausted air is actually cleaner than what was sucked into the vacuum. There are also machines that include some level of charcoal filtration to help control odors—great for pet owners.
An additional consideration is a vacuum that not only uses HEPA filters but does so in a completely sealed system. This means that there is virtually no leakage of air through the housing or fittings of the machine and all air (along with pollutants) is forced through the filtration system, leaving your indoor air allergen free. See this article for more information about allergies and vacuums.
How Often Do I Vacuum?
Something you may not have thought about, the frequency of your cleaning schedule can be impacted by the ease or difficulty of storing and accessing your vacuum. For those folks who shed their shoes the minute they hit the door, walking on floors that quickly accumulate pet fur, crumbs, and tracked-in dirt or sand, daily vacuuming is standard operating procedure. In that case, a vacuum that is difficult to access and use quickly can make this routine a real chore. Consider a robotic vacuum that can be scheduled to clean while you’re at work or running errands so you return to grit-free floors, really nice if you frequently bring home company.
If your debris tends to concentrate in specific areas, a stick vacuum is a champ at quickly taking care of daily messes whether on hard floors or carpets, as well as effectively handling more extensive weekly cleaning. There are also light-weight uprights and compact canisters with parking features that make them easy to store and use at a moment’s notice.
How Many Levels are in My Home?
In other words, how many stairs do you have to carry your vacuum up and down? There are many maneuverable, light-weight cordless vacuums that have great suction power and long run times that can handle multiple floor types. There are also lightweight vacuums in both upright and canister styles that make transporting them between floors easy.
An additional thought is the type of flooring on each level. While it sounds crazy, sometimes more than one vacuum is a very good idea. If you have a main floor that really benefits from a machine that can handle a variety of floor types, your upper floor may only require a vacuum best for carpets or hard floors. Or, the reverse may be true. In either case, consider purchasing a smaller stick vacuum for the space best suited for it, and save yourself grueling trips up and down stairs with your larger machine.
What Additional Surfaces will I be Cleaning?
If you like vacuuming away all the accumulated dust from furniture, curtains, moldings, and baseboards instead of dusting, you’ll want a vacuum that includes a variety of accessory tools. Most include at least a combination brush and crevice tool, while others have additional floor nozzles, an upholstery tool, and specialized accessories for specific types of cleaning. If you own pets, or have a lot of stairs, consider a vacuum that includes a mini-motorized tool for easy cleaning. Some offer an even wider variety of specialized tools and extension wands which you can purchase separately as you need them.
How Much Noise Can I Stand?
Given the technology, if you will, of vacuums, there is a certain amount of expected sound generated during use. Typically, the larger and more heavy-duty the machine for the job, the louder it is. For homes, and for office spaces where a quieter sound level is desired, there are vacuums that have been designed with insulated motor housings as well as newer low-noise motors for quieter operation. Some can run as lows as 47 dB at maximum power while still delivering 120 CFM. Vacuum manufacturers such as NaceCare, Miele, and Sebo have recently redesigned some of their machines for quieter operation. Check specifications for your selection before buying.
How Much Maintenance is Required?
This is a question that really depends on your definition of “a lot” and how tedious different kinds of maintenance are for you. Bagless vacuums don’t have bags that need to be changed, but dust bins still need to be emptied and washed periodically, especially if your home includes allergy-sufferers. Any vacuum with a HEPA filter will need that filter to be replaced when necessary, depending on individual home environments. The same is true for any other type of filter unless it is specified as a washable filter.
Brushrolls will collect pet fur, hair, threads and other debris and will need to be cleaned to maintain top operating capabilities. Ease of access to it should be a consideration. For quality vacuums that last for years, sometimes accessory tools like dusting brushes may need to be replaced. Check to see if these are available for purchase either at retail or from the manufacturer.
The Main Vacuum Types
There are five primary shapes of vacuum cleaners, each performing a slightly different function, although some combine those forms in order to provide more bang for your buck. Being aware of the expectations you have of your vacuum cleaner can help you more intelligently and decisively pick one of the following.
Handheld vacuums are perfect for getting those painfully hard-to-reach areas that desperately need a cleaning. The most common example for use is in vacuuming cars, since, as the name suggests, this model can be held in only one hand. Its versatility makes it a dream for suctioning up dirt and debris in a variety of tight places, but it would not serve well for general flooring cleaning, which would take a long time to clean with a handheld. This type of vacuum cleaner comes in all sorts of different forms with equally different price tags.
Canister vacuum cleaners are a happy medium between the upright model and the stick model. They are powerful like the upright cleaners, but feature a slender frame, like the stick cleaners. In this case, a separate canister is attached to a long wand which can be used to maintain not only carpeted areas but also bare flooring as well. This style of vacuum cleaner tends to be one of the most expensive options, given its technologically-forward and multi-functional design.
These cleaners are perhaps the most popular and sought-after forms of vacuum cleaners. When you imagine a vacuum cleaner or see one advertised in media, the image you picture is probably that of an upright machine. These models provide the most powerful clean-up for your house, and offer the comforting benefit of usually easy-to-understand functions and accessories, since most people have used an upright vacuum cleaner at least once in their lifetime. Most models provide settings that allow these vacuum cleaners to be used not only on carpeted surfaces but also bare floors.
While perhaps the least powerful of the vacuum models, stick vacuums have a knack for getting into narrow places and doing a tremendous job on hardwood floors, area rugs and light carpeting. This type of vacuum features a long stick-like handle and a slender construction. The slimness of this model makes it a perfect addition to any closet space, as it tucks neatly into most corners after its purpose has been served.
5. Autonomous / Robot
Robot vacuum cleaners have gained a lot of popularity in recent years, mainly due to the fact that they require little effort on your end. These vacuums are able to roam freely around your home, sucking up any small mess in its way. They not only save you time, but they are also able to reach places that larger vacuums wouldn’t be able to, such as under the couch. One main drawback of robot vacuums is that they typically come at a steep price.
Location, Location, Location
Do you have primarily hardwood floors throughout your house? Are these floors covered with area rugs, or are they bare? Is your home filled with wall-to-wall carpeting? These are considerations you must make before taking the leap and purchasing your very own vacuum cleaner.
If you have bare floors, you’re better off with models that provide a number of attachments and which don’t have quite as much heft as some of the others. Using a regular upright vacuum on flooring like hardwood poses a number of problems, which includes scratching your smooth and coveted floors and being counterproductive by scattering debris across their surfaces. Some upright vacuums do provide settings that function better on non-carpeted areas, but for the most part your best bet would be with a model like the canister vacuum, which can also take care of your area rugs if you have any. These vacuums usually come with a bare-floor brush, which makes keeping your floors squeaky clean and scratch-free a piece of cake.
On the other hand, if you have wall-to-wall carpeting, it’s definitely worth considering a model with different advantages than a vacuum cleaner suited for hardwood flooring and tiling. You won’t need to worry about scratching the surface of your carpet, and in fact, you’ll want something powerful that pulls up all the lingering debris from the carpet strands. In this instance, an upright cleaner is a great way to go. There are all sorts of extra conveniences that upright vacuums have recently come out with, including a dirt sensor which makes sure you get that last speck of grime.
Know the layout of your flooring and what sorts of surfaces you’ll be dealing with to ensure your needs will be met with your new vacuum cleaner.
To Bag or Not To Bag
The general consensus is that, whether you have a bagged vacuum or a bagless vacuum, your house will be clean either way (as long as you keep using it). However, there are a few small differences that may make or break your decision to buy one or the other.
If you or any of your family members are sensitive to allergens or have asthma, the bagged vacuum is probably more for you. Dust exposure is minimized when the bag is emptied and most bags are guaranteed to trap all but .03% of the dust and pollen in your carpeting. You do have to replace the bags on a regular basis, although these are typically available at most supermarkets.
If you are environmentally-minded and prefer to not have to deal with replacing bags, the bagless vacuum is more for you. These vacuums usually have a see-through canister which gives you perfect access to seeing how full the vacuum is, which can help you determine when you need to empty it out.