Robotic Vacuums

The Best Robot Vacuums for Hardwood Floors for 2017

(Last Updated On: January 25, 2017)

If you have hardwood floors, what are the best robot vacuums that you should consider?

This is a question I get frequently.

Bottom line: most robots vacuums do better job on hardwoods be default (carpets are what tend to cause more problems), but there are still better options to consider in terms of VALUE for the money.

#1 Option: Neato Botvac Connected

If you are used to Roombas, then you will surely find the D-shaped Neato Botvac Connected very impressive.  Its unusual shape allows it to get closer to edges and corners, thus giving your hardwood floor a more thorough cleaning.  The Neato Botvac Connected uses lasers to help map out your floors, cleaning it in parallel lines and cleaning four times faster than other robot vacuums.

It also has sensors that allow it to avoid objects and other obstacles.  Once it runs out of battery, it will go back to the charging base for a recharge.  It will then automatically resume cleaning where it left off.

 

  •  Cleaning.  The Neato Botvac Connected has a powerful suction that can leave your hardwood floors spick and span.  It has a big dustbin that you do not have to empty very often.  It also uses a combo brush and a spiral blade brush to clean while a side brush takes care of edges and corners.
  • Features.  The Neato Botvac Connected has Wi-Fi connectivity, allowing you to control your robot vacuum and schedule your cleanings through the mobile app.  It also has a multi-room navigation feature that allows your vacuum to go from room to room.  This particular feature is bolstered by the auto-recharge and auto-resume function.  You can just leave the Neato Botvac Connected and come home to a clean house.  It also uses the spin flow power clean, high-capacity lithium-ion battery, and ultra performance filter.

What could be better

Some issues had been reported with setting up Neato Botvac Connected.  There have also been problems connecting with the mobile app.

Also, this robot vacuum is on the expensive side, selling for more than $600 as of this writing (see here for current prices). However, it IS less expensive than the comparable Roomba 980.

Final Say: Neato Botvac Connected

Neato Botvac Connected is very well-designed, with its square-ish form allowing it to get nearer edges and corners.  It helps that it has great performance and can really deliver cleaner floors.  The vacuum also features Wi-Fi connectivity that allows you to synchronize it with the mobile app and control it remotely. For more details, you can read my in depth review here.

“The Neato Botvac Connected can efficiently clean up to 5,000 sq. ft. of hardwood floors with just one cycle.”

Option #2: The Roomba 860

The Roomba 860 is the most affordable 800 series (check out this listing for the price).  It is equipped with iAdapat navigation feature and Aeroforce vacuuming technology.

In other words, the Roomba 860 uses advanced software and a range of sensors to move around your floors, find its way around or under furniture, make several passes over a particular area, and avoid stairs while staying on edges and walls for a more comprehensive clean.  The Roomba 860 can easily clean all floor types.

Features at a glance
PriceCheck here
Dimensions (d x h, inches)13.9 x 3.6
Weight (lbs)8.4
BatteryLithium ion
Dust bin capacity0.4 liters
Operating time60 minutes

The Roomba 860 uses HEPA filters and tells you when the dust bin is in need of emptying.  You will need less time maintaining it because it uses debris extractors instead of a main brush.  This means that you do not have to deal with hair tangling with the brush bristles.  The Roomba 860 also uses side brushes to clean edges and corners.

When its lithium ion battery runs low, the Roomba 860 automatically goes back to its base to recharge.  You can also manually dock it to its charging station.

The Roomba 860 can also handle spot cleaning.  It comes with a dual mode virtual wall barrier, which can easily block off an open doorway so that the vacuum does not go into a room you do not want it to go into or leave a room that you want it to clean more.  This can also act as a virtual wall halo, which keeps the 860 out of a specific area such as an expensive floor vase or your pet’s food bowl.

What’s in the box?

  • iRobot Roomba 860
  • Home base charging station
  • Dual mode virtual wall barrier and batteries
  • Additional AeroForce high-efficiency filter

What could be better

iRobot has released Wi-Fi connected models in the Roomba 980 and the Roomba 960.  However, both of these models are much more expensive than the Roomba 860, even if they basically use the same cleaning technologies and navigation system.

The Roomba 860 also has an average run time of only an hour, which might be a hassle considering that both Neato Botvac Connected and bObi Classic give you twice that running time.

“Also, the 860 is more hands on as you do not have a remote control (or WiFi app) to operate the robot vacuum and to set cleaning schedules.”

Final say about the Roomba 860

It may not have the latest technology you see on Roomba’s 900 series, but the Roomba 860 has the same cleaning and navigation technology that the later Roomba models have.  It gives you all the power you need to make sure that you have clean hardwood floors. You can check out my full review of the 860 right here. OR, if you are looking at pricing options, check this listing.

Option #3: The bObi Classic

bObi Classic allows you to clean easily and fast.  It has three buttons that say “Go,” “Juice,” and “Waffle.”  Pressing Go would activate the normal cleaning mode, which makes use of proprietary algorithm to clean your floor.  Meanwhile, the Waffle mode is used if you need to clean up a small area of around 10 sq. ft.  This mode is perfect for small spills such as sugar or chocolate powder.  The Juice mode, on the other hand, tells the robot vacuum to go back to its charging station.

Cleaning

You can use the bObi Classic to vacuum your hardwood floors or you can attach the mop extension with a mini mop cloth to sweep, vacuum, and disinfect your floors.  That means that it does not only pick up dirt and dust, it leaves the floor shiny, too.

The robot vacuum uses two brushes for cleaning surfaces and a side brush for the corners and sides.  It also has a UV light that sterilizes the surface.  What’s more, it makes use of sensors to help avoid crashing against walls and dropping off stairs or elevations, as well as to detect dirt and focus more on the dirtier areas.

Features

  • Remote control.  A remote control allows you to operate the robot vacuum, including scheduling cleanings and selecting a desired cleaning mode.  You can use the navigation buttons to make the bObi run the way you want it to.  You can also see a variety of information on the remote with its signal indicator, UV and speed indicators, current time, and the scheduled time.  You need a pair of AAA batteries to use the remote.
  • Washable dustbin.  bObi comes with a removable dustbin that you can wash, ensuring that you have a clean dust receptacle.
  • HEPA filter.  For those who are prone to allergies, this robot vacuum makes use of a HEPA filter that can trap even the smallest particles so that it will not get released back into the air.

What is in the box

  • bObi
  • Charging station with power adapter
  • Two main brushes
  • Two side brushes
  • Mop extension
  • Two mop cloths
  • Remote control
  • Cleaning brush
  • Screws
  • Blindfold stickers
  • Extra filter
  • Screwdriver
  • Syncing tool
  • Owner’s manual and quick start guide
Features at a glance
PriceCheck here
Dimensions (d x h, inches)12.6 x 3.4
Weight6.4 lbs.
Suction power 10,000 RPM
Operating noiseMax. 60 dB
Dust bin capacity0.6 liters
Charging timeMax. 300 minutes
Operating time90 – 120 minutes

What could be better

There are times when the bObi Classic has problems locating its charging station before its batteries completely run out.  You will need to charge the robot vacuum manually by plugging it directly to the power adapter instead of using the charging station.

There are also times when the robot vacuum’s sensors confuse carpet edges as cliffs and will skip your carpet altogether.  This is why the box includes blindfold stickers that would cover these sensors.

Final say about bObi Classic

“The bObi Classic is another robot vacuum with a mopping function and strong suction, and that boasts quiet clean.”

The HEPA filter makes it a great choice for those who have allergies or those who do not want to gloss over their robot vacuums.

It has been created to simplify the cleaning process while also ensuring that you get a more efficient cleaning, and with batteries that run longer too, especially if you have only hardwood floors.

You can check out the latest pricing on the bObi Classic right here.

Comparing All 3 Options

How do these robot vacuums compare with each other?

Ratings for: *bObi ClassicRoomba 860

 

Neato Botvac Connected
Maneuverability4.255.05.0
Carpet Cleaning  Performance4.755.0

 

4.75
Hardwood Floor Cleaning Performance4.54.54.5
Ease of use5.04.54.25
Maintenance (in minutes)546
Noise (in decibels)607076.8
Runtime (in minutes)12060120
Mopping mode?X

*5-star ratings with 5 being the highest

** Best rates are in highlighted in yellow.

The Final Pass

When it comes to obstacles, the Neato Botvac Connected and the Roomba 860 win as they overcome hurdles, rugs and thresholds.  If you have a combination of carpeted and hardwood floors, the Roomba 860 could deliver the best cleaning on both surfaces.  Meanwhile, the bObi Classic is the easiest robot vacuum to use and is also the quietest.

The Neato Botvac Connected is the priciest of these three robot vacuums, but it does come with connectivity features and it delivers great overall clean.  If your hardwood floors do not require mopping, then this could be the robot vacuum for you.

Meanwhile, the Roomba 860 is great for carpets and is the easiest to maintain.

However, the mopping feature on the bObi Classic could be a deal breaker for those who want to give their hardwood floors an extra shine.  The bObi Classic also has an additional UV disinfecting feature and a quieter operation.  For deep mopping, you are still better off buying a separate specializing mopping robot.

About the author

Patrick Sinclair

Patrick Sinclair is a geek; make no mistake about that. He runs All Home Robotics in his spare time so he doesn’t have to think about his depressing cubicle and it gives him an excuse to buy expensive gadgets to review!

4 Comments

  • Thanks for the review.
    The new D5 should be a better choice over 1 year old Neato Connected?
    Here in Europe the price between these 2 is the same …
    The new D5 is better than Neato Connected ???
    Thanks

    • Hi Mark,

      The D5 is practically interchangeable, HOWEVER, the Botvac Connected is technically a step above. It is rated for 5000 square feet (vs 4500 for the D5), has an additional “blade brush”, and has the option of “eco mode”. Eco mode essentially expands your run-time. Without carpets, Eco Mode is ideal for hardwoods as it generally requires less energy output for the same results.

      Again, the differences aren’t huge, but there are some. The difference between “the best” and the runners-up is not much in general, but I had to pick one. Technically, the Botvac Connected is the best option for hardwoods (that I’ve found).

      • Hi Patrick,
        you don’t think that the new one (D5) could have some (not written) improvements, in terms of software / engineering (making experience from the old Connect model)? One year means ‘decads’ in tech world, isn’t it ? Yes you’re right about the 500 square feet mode, eco mode (and Map stats, and LCD) – nor blade brush that think you could buy also for D5 … but i just wonder why here in Europe the D5 and old Connect cost the same (650 euros) … have you tested also the D5 head to head with a Connect ?

        • Mark – It’s on the agenda. So many new robots to test!

          I have both devices and my anecdotal evidence suggests there is not a clear difference in terms of performance, but I’ll have to come up with some good test cases. On paper, the differences are minimal. Honestly, I don’t see a reason why you wouldn’t just go with the cheaper one. How many homes need the extra 500ft? You make some excellent points.

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