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Mopping isn’t fun, but are robots really ready to take this tedious task from us? I love my Roomba, but that doesn’t mean I’m ready to hand its cousin a big bucket of water. Are robot mops worth it, or should we wait a few more years?
In this article, I’ll weigh out the pros and cons of using a robot mop or a combined robot vacuum and mop. I’ll help you decide whether robot mops are ready to join your cleaning force and which one is best for your cleaning needs.
Do any robot mops actually work?
Robot mops have come a long way in recent years. They can handle fresh messes and daily maintenance with little to no trouble.
They aren’t really able to scrub, though, so you will need to help them out from time to time with set-in stains. Most robot mops only clean with water, so they can’t do anything about messes requiring cleaning solutions.
6 Reasons to Buy a Robot Mop
1. They are convenient
If you’re like me, you don’t mop nearly as often as you should. A clean floor feels amazing, but you don’t want to cut your Netflix binge short to get out the mop.
Shows like the Jetsons promised us a future without life’s minor inconveniences. Until we get our own Rosie the Robot, a robot mop will have to do.
2. They can clean when you can’t
Spills tend to happen at the worst times. Fortunately, your robot mop can respond at the touch of a button.
Some even respond to Alexa’s robot mop voice commands, so you can get the spill cleaned up without lifting a finger. That’s great when you can’t spare the time (or don’t want to touch the mess!)
3. They can clean on your schedule
Your time is limited, but your mop’s time doesn’t have to be. Most robot mops have scheduling options, letting your cleaning proceed while you’re watching TV, in the other room, or away from home.
4. They can clean several types of flooring
Many robot mops have options for dry, damp, or wet mopping. That means they can clean essentially any hard floor, from stone to tile to hardwood. And most of these mops know to automatically avoid their natural enemies—carpets and rugs.
Switching modes typically require you to swap out cleaning pads, but that’s a price worth paying for the extra versatility.
5. They can clean under furniture
You may have mopped your kitchen recently, but when was the last time you mopped under your couch or bed (assuming they aren’t on carpet)?
Robot mops can reach those places that you can’t or don’t want to get to with your regular old mop. That alone makes them a worthwhile investment.
6. Some of them can vacuum
Rather than having two robots running around your home, you can get a single hybrid robot vacuum that has both vacuum and mop functionalities.
Some of the high-end vacuum/mop combos, like the Roborock S7+, even have the ability to vacuum and mop in a single run. In part, this works because it can sense carpets and lift its mop pad to avoid making a wet mess.
5 Reasons Not to Buy a Robot Mop
1. They are expensive
You can get a budget robot mop for under $200, but a good one will probably cost you $400–600. If you want a robot vacuum/mop combo, you could end up paying as much as $1100.
2. They can get stuck
There’s a downside to sending your robot mop under furniture: It might stay there. Robot mops aren’t always great at getting themselves out of tough situations, whether that’s a tight squeeze or a tangled mess of cords.
There are steps you can take to prevent your robot mop getting stuck under furniture. No plan is fool-proof, though, so expect to have to rescue your poor robot at least once in a while.
3. They have small water tanks
A lot of the basic robot mops can only clean a room or two between water tank refills, and those refills usually require human intervention.
You can get around this limitation by choosing a robot mop with its own refill station, but those tend to be more expensive.
The Narwal T10 is the best example of a whole-house mop, largely because of its separate clean and dirty water tanks. However, it will cost you around $1000.
4. Most can’t use cleaning solutions
Robot mops can typically only clean with water. Cleaning solutions will permanently damage the machine and void your warranty. That’s fine as long as you’re dealing with basic spills, but it does limit their ability to handle more complicated messes.
5. They can’t clean everything
You won’t be throwing away your old mop anytime soon. Your robot mop can’t scrub, and it can’t apply cleaning solutions. That limits its usefulness for set-in stains and the stickier, more complicated spills in your life.
Then again, a robot that cleans most of your everyday spills is better than no robot at all.
Which mopping robot is best?
The iRobot Braava Jet m6 is easily the best mid-range robot vacuum. It can clean up to 1,000 square feet, has advanced navigation abilities, and has several advanced usability features like voice commands and spot cleaning.
If the m6’s price tag is too high, you could opt for the lower-end iRobot Braava Jet 240. It lacks the room mapping features and many of the other smart features of the m6, but it can still clean impressively well. Just don’t expect to get your whole home done in one run, as the Jet 240 can only handle about 200 square feet at a time.
Let me know if there’s anything else I can do to help you decide whether to buy a robot mop. Whether or not you opt for the robot mop, robot vacuums are a must-have these days. So be sure to check out my comparison of the Shark IQ vs Roomba i3, two of my favorite robot vacuums.
I’ve also been looking into using Roombas on multiple floors recently. Given the high cost of having multiple robot vacuums and how little some Roombas weigh, it’s a natural way to clean apartments with stairs. And all of that advice applies to robot mops, too, so feel free to have a look.