Consumer Reports: Robotic Vacuums Aren’t as Good

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Robotic vacuums aren't ready to replace traditional ones, though a $450 model does a respectable job.

Here’s one job I don’t think people would mind a robot taking over: cleaning house. But the good news for professional housekeepers is that the vacuum cleaner of the future still isn’t quite ready.

In its new review of three models of robotic vacuums, Consumer Reports says, “No robotic vacuum can match the deep cleaning you’ll get with the best upright and canister vacuums.”

Nonetheless, one stood out above the others in its tests, which involved dumping paper, cereal, rice and sand on carpet and bare floors. Here’s what CR found:

  • Neato XV-21. This $400 gadget was the noisiest and least effective of the three, struggling to clean up paper and frequently getting itself stuck between chair legs.
  • LG Hom-Bot Square LRV790R. This one was the quietest, and the most expensive at $800. It had trouble cleaning up paper and cereal, and navigating around power cords and narrow objects.
  • iRobot Roomba 760. It’s $450 and picked up virtually everything. “A random pattern with more passes over the same spot helped account for its cleaning, though that also meant the Roomba roved around our 12-by-16-foot test area four to five times longer than the other two before it returned to its charging base,” Consumer Reports says.

Consumer Reports also suggests that robotic vacuums may not work well in areas with shag carpeting or area rugs.

Do you have a robotic vacuum? Are you happy with it, especially at prices like these? Let us know below or on Facebook.

Stacy Johnson

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