For those of you with a large floor space, there is seemingly no task as tedious and unrewarding as having to vacuum your house every week. It seems that just as you were done vacuuming, it’s already time to vacuum again. Like Sisyphus, we are doomed to repeat ourselves endlessly in this task of tedium. It’s even worse when you have pets that shed; then you will have to clean even more, at least!
Don’t despair, however, as robots are here to answer our prayers. You likely know of their existence already, with iRobot’s Roomba becoming a household name. What you might not know is that what goes into buying the best robot vacuum for a big house/large floor space. In this article, we’ll dive into all of the factors that you should consider prior to purchasing your very own robot vacuum.
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Our Recommended Robot Vacuums for a Big House
Any old robotic vacuum won’t do when you live in a big house. Battery life, mapping ability and dirt capacity are just a few of the features you need to consider. If you’re searching for a robot vacuum that can handle the demands of a large home, check out these models.
iRobot Roomba 980 Wi-Fi Connected Vacuuming Robot
Big homes need a robotic vacuum that can clean for long stretches, such as the iRobot Roomba 980. This Roomba contains a 3,300 milliampere-hour lithium-ion battery that can vacuum for 2 hours on a full charge. It’s also programmed to automatically recharge mid-cycle and resume cleaning afterward.
More than a dozen sensors keep the Roomba 980 on course. This robo vac also uses an iAdapt 2.0 optical sensor and vSLAM to map one story of your home at a time. iRobot even throws in a Virtual Wall to give you more control over where the 980 does and does not go.
If you have a lot of carpet in your home, you’ll appreciate the Roomba 980’s acoustic dirt-detect sensor, This sensor increases the robot’s suction when it encounters large piles of dirt. The 980 also has a 10-micron filter cartridge, which boasts a 99-percent efficiency rate.
One of the robot vacuum’s best features is its brushroll system. Consisting of two brushrolls instead of one, these rollers are made of rubber and affixed with debris-scooping blades. They excel at resisting tangles, and you can remove them without a screwdriver. The robot also has an angled nylon side brush for edge cleaning.
The built-in Wi-Fi connectivity makes it easy for you to control the Roomba 980. Via the iRobot HOME app, you can set a schedule, initiate a cleaning session and check the performance log. Essential voice commands can be issued through Alexa or Assistant, and there are a few onboard controls too.
Neato Robotics D6
The Neato D6‘s charging system has what it takes to meet the demands of a big home, especially since it has a lithium-ion battery that runs for 2 hours on a full charge. The D6 also a short recharge of 2.5 hours and automatic resume-cleaning capability. It even makes battery top-ups to quickly complete a cleaning cycle.
Precision LiDAR technology makes the Neato D6 an intelligent straight-line navigator. The laser sensor scans each room, remembering as many as three different floor plans for each story of your home. It’s also equipped with Neato’s Extra Care Navigation, which slows down the D6 when driving around furniture and walls.
A dual-speed motor allows you to choose between low-suction Eco mode for hard floors and high-speed Turbo mode for carpeted floors. An extra-large dirt bin holds 23.7 ounces’ worth of debris, minimizing bin-dumping downtime, and the Ultra Performance filter traps 99 percent of allergens as small as 10 microns.
Measuring 11 inches long, the combo-floor brushroll’s length extends the robot vacuum’s coverage area per pass. Eco mode and Turbo mode also control the brushroll speed. A single side brush rests on the corner of the D-shaped Neato D6, which has a straight edge for corner cleaning enhancement.
You can use an Amazon Echo, an Apple Watch or a Google Home speaker to issue voice commands. The Neato app offers schedule customization, spot cleaning and virtual no-cross line setup. Neato also includes a roll of magnetic boundary tape to use until the robot creates interactive maps of your home.
Roborock S6 Robot Vacuum
With a 5,200 milliampere-hour lithium polymer battery, you can expect this robot vacuum/mop to clean for up to 3 hours per charge, which equates to over 2,100 square feet of coverage. To ensure it can vacuum or mop all your floors in one day, the Roborock S6 tops up the battery to 80 percent and resumes cleaning after it recharges.
SLAM technology plus a laser-distance sensor mean the Roborock S6 remembers where objects are on the map it creates. The S6 also adapts its route according to the shape of each room, and it has infrared sensors to detect stairs and obstacles.
The 16-ounce top-loading dirt bin is easy to empty, and the snap-on reservoir is a breeze to attach. The high-torque motor can produce 2,000 pascals of suction, and quiet mode reaches a mere 56 decibels. When the S6 needs a suction boost to clean your carpet, the pressurization sensor kicks up the suction.
For mopping, Roborock includes a microfiber reusable pad and a few disposable ones too. The floating brushroll resists tangles and adjusts its height to meet the height of the floor. The webbed side brush spins at one of two speeds, automatically choosing the lower speed when vacuuming the middle of the room to prevent dirt from scattering.
The Mi Home app displays up to three interactive maps. It also offers several advanced features such as water-flow adjustment, selective room cleaning and virtual no-go barriers. You can use an Assistant or an Alexa device to start, stop and dock the Roborock S6 robotic vacuum/mop.
iRobot Roomba i7+ (7550) Robot Vacuum
The Roomba i7+‘s 1.5-hour working time is acceptable for medium to large-size homes, and it only takes 3 hours for the 3,300 milliampere-hour battery to recharge. If the battery needs to charge before the robo vac is done cleaning, you won’t have to restart the cleaning cycle since the i7+ automatically resumes vacuuming.
iRobot integrated its iAdapt 3.0 and vSLAM technology to prevent redundant cleaning and help the robot dodge obstacles. It only takes one round for the i7+ to create a map. iRobot’s Imprint Smart Mapping remembers as many as 10 floor plans, and you get a Dual Mode Virtual Wall tower.
The bigger the house, the more dirt a robot vacuum collects. The i7+’s 10-ounce bin automatically disposes of debris in the 300-ounce disposal. All dirt is suctioned into a bag, which has a tightly sealed tab to prevent dust from escaping. Like many Roombas, the i7+ also has a suction-increasing dirt-detect sensor.
Animal fur is no problem for the Roomba i7+. Equipped with two rubber brushrolls, hair rarely accumulates and tangles. Plus, the brushrolls flex to hug the surface of the floor. Additionally, the Roomba i7+ has a side brush that cleans wall edges, corners and baseboards.
When connected to your home’s Wi-Fi network, you can start, stop and dock the robotic vacuum with the sound of your voice via Alexa or Assistant. Alternatively, you can use the iRobot HOME app to get realtime status updates, make an auto-clean schedule and split, merge, label and clean individual rooms on the interactive map.
iRobot Roomba s9+ (9550) Robot Vacuum
For the s9+, iRobot chose a high-capacity lithium-ion battery, which lasts for 2 hours on a full charge. When the battery level is low, the s9+ automatically docks to recharge for 2 hours and then resumes cleaning. The robot vacuum has an LED indicator on its housing, so you can see the charging status at a glance.
The bumper-wrapped D-shaped robot has four cliff sensors to prevent falls down the stairs. It also has an optical sensor for rapid data-point collection and multiple-map creation. iRobot includes a halo/straight-line Dual Mode Virtual Wall, and you can even perform a test run to ensure the s9+’s maps are accurate.
Dirt-detect technology boosts the suction to tackle difficult messes, and there are three levels of suction you can manually engage. The rinsable 13-ounce bin loads from the top, has a convenient carrying handle and automatically empties into the 30-load dock disposal. Plus, it pairs with the Braava Jet for back-to-back vacuuming and mopping.
With its one straight edge, the Roomba s9+ exceeds at corner cleaning. There’s a five-blade angled brush that whisks away dirt from corners with ease and a set of two wide brushrolls. Since they’re made of rubber, the brushrolls closely touch hard floors and dig deep into carpets.
The smartphone app is loaded with features such as a scheduler, a clean-by-room feature, an edge-clean option and manual suction adjustment. You can also choose the number of passes the s9+ takes and reconfigure the rooms on each map. Alexa and Assistant-based controls include start, stop, dock and by-room audible commands.
Vacuum Surface Area
This might be one of the biggest considerations you should look into when purchasing a robot vacuum. It’s not such an easy thing to balance, however, as the bigger the area of the robot vacuum will be, the less effective it is at getting into tight spots like corners.
Having a bigger robotic vacuum is especially valuable when you have a lot of carpets, as it will take a more powerful machine to clean these floor types, depending on how thick it is.
Along with the surface area and how big the robot vacuum is, it’s also important that it knows the layout of the floors. Some of the automatic vacuums will simply move at random and can be very inefficient. To get around this, the smarter vacuums will have floor mapping technology, keeping track of when they run into an obstacle so that they can clean more effectively in the future.
The duration of your vacuuming is also of importance. Even better if your vacuum can dock itself, charge and return cleaning once charged. Otherwise, you will make a habit of looking for where the vacuum died in. This works especially well if the robot vacuum has the floor mapping feature, as the robot will know where to resume cleaning.
In large houses, it’s especially important, as not much of your house will get cleaned if the robot needs to recharge after every room, or if you need to recharge the vacuum manually. It’s advisable to get a vacuum that has a battery life of at least 90 minutes as it will ensure it vacuums a significant portion of the floorspace prior to recharging.
One thing that’s nice to have in an autonomous vacuum device is being able to have it blend into the backroom. If you’re looking for something that you won’t even know is there, make sure you know how noisy the robot vacuum is before you purchase it.
It’s nice to be able to watch TV or read a book without being disturbed by the sound of a vacuum, and it’s especially nice when you have an autonomous vacuum which cleans every day. The future is here!
Robotic vacuums, like normal vacuums, have a pretty widespread on the price range. The lower end of the spectrum is around $100 with most higher end models capping out at around $1000, although you might find higher.
Note that the lower end isn’t necessary the bargain bin, as there are some quality robotic vacuums in the $300 to $500 price range. Our selected reviews will help you find the best robot vacuum for a big house/large floor space.
Is an Optical Sensor Better Than an Infrared Sensor?
Optical sensors and infrared sensors work differently. Optical sensors use an embedded camera to detect landmarks in the immediate area by measuring the amount of light and turning it into electronic signals. Infrared sensors calculate the distance by releasing light beams and measuring how long it takes the beams to bounce back to the robot.
Due to these differences, optical sensors and infrared sensors have unique navigation advantages. Optical sensors can locate objects that infrared sensors are unable to detect. On the other hand, infrared sensors still function when a room is dark. Ideally, you want a robotic vacuum that uses both an optical sensor and infrared sensors.
What Does Milliampere-Hour Mean?
A milliampere-hour is a common measurement used to calculate the amount of power that a battery can store, and it’s abbreviated with the letters mAh. Sometimes, manufacturers use the ampere-hour, or Ah, measurement, which is simply 1,000 units of current (1,000 milliampere-hour).
The higher the number of milliampere-hours, the more power the battery can store. In other words, the higher the battery’s capacity. A high-capacity battery will hold a charge for a few hours. If you live in a large house, you’ll need a robot vacuum that has a high-capacity battery.
How Can I Get the Most Runtime Out of a Variable-Speed Robot Vacuum?
While the capacity of a robotic vacuum’s battery is important, a high capacity doesn’t automatically mean that you’ll get the full advertised runtime from it. A robo vac that runs on two or three speeds will differ in runtime depending on the suction setting.
The lowest suction strength will give you the longest working time. However, the lowest speed may not always be appropriate. If your floor is extra dirty or you need the robot to vacuum a plush carpet, run the robot vacuum on a higher speed.
Do I Need Wi-Fi Controls?
Although they are convenient, Wi-Fi-based controls aren’t a necessity in a small or average-size home. While a remote will suffice for smaller homes, the reach of the remote’s infrared beam means you’ll spend a lot of time hunting down the robot in a big home when you need to change a setting.
Voice commands through Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant are convenient, but there is the issue of distance limits. However, you can use a smartphone app from anywhere, and they usually have more functions than a remote or a virtual asssitant.
What Kind of Virtual Barriers Are Available?
The more square footage your home has, the more control you need over where your robotic vacuum cleans. Depending on the brand and model, a robo vac may come with magnetic strips, an infrared tower or app-based virtual barriers.
While each type of barrier can confine or block a robotic vacuum, they aren’t created equal. Magnetic strips aren’t exactly aesthetically pleasing, and some strips leave adhesive residue on the floor. Therefore, many people prefer infrared towers and app-based virtual barriers.
Is Mapping Important?
Even if a robotic vacuum cleaner’s battery can last for 3 hours per charge, the robot can’t make the most of its runtime without the ability to map. A robo vac that can map will move in a logical back-and-forth pattern. Those that use an advanced algorithm can even adapt their route to the shape of the room.
While a mapping function prevents a robo vac from leaving a large house partially unclean by the end of the day, the robot’s RAM is also important if you live in a multi-story house. The more RAM a robo vac has, the more maps it can remember, so you can view a map for each level of your house.
What Do LiDAR and vSLAM Mean?
LiDAR stands for light detection and ranging, and vSLAM is an acronym for visual simultaneous localization and mapping. Both LiDAR and vSLAM are navigation technologies, and their purpose is to chart a map and determine where the robotic vacuum is located on that map. However, LiDAR uses a laser sensor while vSLAM relies on a camera.[
Should I Get a D-Shaped Robot Vacuum?
Robotic vacuums come in two shapes. Some are round while others look like the letter D. The biggest advantage that D-shaped robot vacuums have over round ones is their ability to clean dirt out of corners due to their straight edge.
Generally, both shapes perform well along walls and cabinet kick plates, but the shape alone doesn’t determine how thoroughly a robot can clean alongside wall edges. The side brush also matters. The longer the brush’s blades, the further its reach.
The more blades it has, the more dirt the brush can remove with each revolution.
Does It Matter What Path a Robotic Vacuum Takes?
There are two paths a robotic vacuum will take depending on the way the manufacturer designed it. Some robo vacs move in a random, or bounce, pattern. Others travel in a methodical back-and-forth pattern. Out of those that do navigate logically, there are a few models that adapt to the shape of the room.
Robot vacuums that use bounce navigation ping across rooms with no rhyme or reason. While this navigation path is fine for smaller homes, it’s inefficient for larger abodes. A back-and-forth pattern covers more square feet in the least amount of time, especially if the robot can adapt to a room by running horizontally or vertically.
What’s the Advantage of Dual Brushrolls?
If you have cats or dogs roaming around your house, you’ll definitely want a robotic vacuum with dual brushrolls. Two brushrolls that rotate toward one another easily grab stubborn debris such as pet hair, which is challenging for single-brushroll robo vacs to lift.
Rubber brushrolls will make your life easier if you own pets as rubber resists tangles better than bristles. The size of the brushroll is also important in terms of house size. Wider, longer brushrolls can cover a large path, which means the robot will take less time to clean your home.
The Future is Here
No matter what robotic vacuum you choose, investing in a robotic vacuum is more akin to getting a new pet than a cleaning device. Most people end up naming them and being amused by their tireless cleaning activities.
Even the early adopters of robotic vacuums haven’t regretted their decision and now that the product has had time to mature the offerings are even better, especially with the mapping and auto-recharging features some vacuums on the market have today.
Once you have a clear idea of what you’re looking for in your ideal robotic vacuum for your house based on the factors discussed in this article take a look through our reviews until you find the one that is right for you.
|Best of the Best!||Budget Pick||Great for Carpets|
|Roomba i7+||Eufy 11S (Slim)||Roborock S4|
| • 75min Runtime
• Keep Out Zones
• Clean Base
| • 100min Runtime
| • 150min Runtime
• Precision Navigation
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