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Once a mere Jetsons-inspired fantasy, robot vacuums have become an affordable reality—so much that in 2016, Roomba manufacturer iRobot claimed that 20 percent of the world's vacuums were robots. But vacuuming — whether automated, robotic or the more rudimentary and ever-ubiquitous handheld vacuums — is only half the job when it comes to cleaning your floors: If you want them to truly sparkle, you'll need to mop, too.
Best robot mops: A shopper’s guide
I love my Roomba but I was still skeptical of robot mops when I first heard of them. After testing one of iRobot's Braava mops, though, I immediately wanted one for myself. Like robot vacuums, they aren't a complete replacement for the old-fashioned methods. But they make for a great companion, allowing you to go longer between manual scrubbings in those tough areas. If you’re looking to upgrade your own mopping situation, look out for these significant features.
A robot mop's battery size determines how big of an area it can clean at once, at minimum — models with smaller batteries may only be good for small apartments, or specific areas like kitchens and bathrooms. If you have a whole house covered in hardwood floors, you'll need a mop that can last longer.
Robot mop cleaning settings
Most robot mops offer a choice between dry sweeping and wet mopping, with dedicated cleaning cloths for each. Ideally, though, you'd also want a mop that lets you adjust how much it sprays and how deeply it cleans, so you strike the right balance between speed and thoroughness (without leaving wet streaks on your floor).
Robot vacuum-and-mop hybrids
Some robot mops stick to dry sweeping and mopping, while a few "hybrid" models have vacuum and mopping capabilities built into one unit. If you don't already have a robot vacuum, these could be enticing.
Wi-Fi, smart features, and navigation
Finally, while some mops rely on their built-in navigation to avoid obstacles, other mops may map your entire house and remember it for future cleanings, allowing you to single out specific rooms or set virtual boundaries. Wi-Fi enabled models will also support voice assistants like Alexa and Google Home,which is quite handy.
The Best Robot Mops
If you’re considering a new robot mop, here are some of the top models right at various price points.
Best robot mop overall: iRobot
Braava may not be a household name like Roomba, but the two are cut from the same cloth: iRobot, the makers of Roomba, have branded their robot mops with the Braava name to keep the two product lines clear, and Braavas perform as well as their Roomba cousins. The Braava Jet m6 is iRobot's top-of-the-line mop, with a specialized cleaning solution, solid battery life for whole-home coverage, plenty of settings and even the ability to work in tandem with certain Roomba models — so when your Roomba is done vacuuming, the Braava will start its mopping job. It can run both dry sweeps and wet mops, as well as map your house and integrate with voice assistants like Alexa.
Best robot vacuum-and-mop combo: Ecovacs
If you don't have a robot vacuum yet, you might save yourself some space and get a model that can both vacuum and mop at the same time. There are quite a few of these hybrid models out there, but the Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI is one of the better options, with the ability to detect (and remember) obstacles, map your home and even monitor your home with its camera. Unlike the Braava Jet m6, it uses water rather than cleaning solution, but it'll still lessen the time you spend mopping overall, which is the main goal. There's even a version with an emptying station so you don't have to empty its vacuum chamber every time it cleans.
Best affordable robot mop: Braava
If you're on a stricter budget, Braava's Jet 240 is an affordable alternative to higher-end options. Its battery life is shorter than more expensive models so it's ideal for apartments and other smaller spaces. It isn't Wi-Fi enabled but you can set virtual boundaries by holding the Clean button, which is awfully useful if you want it to avoid certain areas or corners. If the Jet 240 doesn't have quite enough battery life, you can grab the slightly less advanced but longer-lasting Braava 380t.
Best deep cleaning robot mop: iLife
While the above options do a good job of wiping up your floor, the iLife Shinebot W400 focuses its energy on giving your floors a deeper scrub thanks to its rotating brush and squeegee. It even has a separate dirty water tank so you can see exactly how much grime it picked up — though it still only uses tap water and lacks some of the advanced Wi-Fi and mapping features you'll find in higher-end mops. In fact, it won't even dock itself — you'll have to pick up the rather large unit and place it back on the base. But if your main concern is scrubbing power, the W400 may be worth those sacrifices.