Skip to main content

Should you buy a smart robot mop? Pros and cons

Vacuum bots like the Roomba have become a common sight in homes of all kinds — but they have a cousin, a lesser-known robot cleaner with a different purpose. These smart mop robots clean hardwood surfaces with a cleaning spray mixture and pads. While they don’t handle debris, they are designed for hardwoods, vinyl, and other materials you would otherwise clean with a mop.

You can find these robot mops from the same brands that produce the vacs, including iRobot, Ecovacs, and Bissell. Sometimes they are even bundled together in one package to accommodate different types of flooring in the same house. But are the mop bots really worth it? Let’s go over the pros and cons before you buy.

Pros of a robot mop

ECOVACS Robotics - DEEBOT OZMO 930 Wi-Fi Connected Robot Vacuum & Mop.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

They’re just as smart as the vac versions: These vacs are packed with sensors and offer many app control options for various cleaning patterns and setting schedules. With tech like iRobot’s vSLAM navigation, they’re smart enough to navigate around furniture and toys, and many can head back to their charging station and recharge when their battery grows low.

They are adaptable across many materials: Mop bots tend to have several different settings for how much spray they use. That’s a useful feature if you have a floor that can benefit from a little spray (like various hardwoods and bamboos) but you’re worried about too much moisture causing damage.

They are good at getting hard-to-reach spots: When using a manual mop, it can be difficult to get all the way under tables and around obstacles. Robot mops don’t really have that problem. They are also programmed to get as close to floorboards as they can so they don’t miss walls or corners.

They can boost the cleaning with the right modes: Handy modes include spot cleaning for light spills, and extra-tough cleaning modes that go slower and use harder oscillation to deal with more serious cleaning projects.

You can find hybrid models: Many mop robots are hybrid models that can switch between mopping and vacuuming, which can be a way to save money while getting some benefits of both.

Cons of a robot mop

Evacs mop bot and accessories.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

They require more maintenance: Robot vacs are easy to care for — especially when they return for charging. Simply empty them from time to time — some models can even do that automatically. Smart robot mops are different: They use cleaning pads that must be replaced and/or washed, and reservoirs of specialized cleaner that you need to refill regularly.

They can’t take care of big spills: These mop vacs only have a limited pad surface area, which isn’t designed for much absorption. If it’s not a small spill, the bot probably won’t be able to deal with it, so you’ll need to reach for a rag or mop instead.

They have limited capacity: In larger areas, robot mops can run out of cleaner quickly and will need to be refilled. After refilling the bot three times for a single open-area room, you may start getting tired.

They don’t handle grout lines well: Grout lines are usually too deep for a robot mop to reach, so they will still grow dirty over time. You will have to clean these manually for the best results.

Price can be an issue: Robot mops, like robot vacuums, can quickly become expensive, and models often range beyond $200 — or much more. The mops also have some extra ongoing costs that vacs don’t, like replacing pads and cleaner fluid. A pack of new pads is generally around $10 to $20, for example, while a new bottle of cleaner is around $20.

Common robot vacuum mop FAQs

Pets with the Roborock vac.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Are robot vacuum mops really worth it?

For moderately-sized hardwood or groutless flooring, robot mops can help keep the floor dust-free and looking good. They also cut down on the number of times that you will need to mop. However, they can’t handle older stains or dirt build-up that take serious scrubbing to remove, and they are limited at tackling spills. That said, there are enough advantages to seriously consider one if you have significant amounts of hard flooring, but they probably aren’t worth it at the same price as robot vacs, so look for deals or moderately-priced models.

How many years do robot vacuum mops last?

You’ll have to replace the mop pads at intervals, typically every several months or so. The bot itself will last significantly longer, usually up to six years if well-cared for — and if they don’t fall down any stairs.

How often should you use robot vacuum mops?

Much like robot lawnmowers, robot vacs and mops are designed to work frequently in a maintenance-oriented role. They take care of daily dust and light debris, not large dust bunnies or caked-over spills. Run robot mops once a day or every other day for the best results.

Editors' Recommendations

Tyler Lacoma
If it can be streamed, voice-activated, made better with an app, or beaten by mashing buttons, Tyler's into it. When he's not…
The best Amazon Alexa smart speakers
Amazon Echo Dot (4th Gen, 2020 release)on a table with a yoga matt and water bottle.

The best Alexa smart speakers don't just offers support for the voice assistant -- they also sound good, look good, and bring great value to your home. They often serve as the "brains" of a connected smart home, as you can give commands to the rest of your Alexa-enabled products just by talking to your smart speaker.

But with so many Alexa smart speakers on the market in 2023, it can be a challenge narrowing down your options. It's hard to go wrong with anything from Amazon, Bose, Sonos, and other reputable brands – but which model is best for you?

Read more
SwitchBot S10 robot vacuum connects to your plumbing for fully automated mopping
The SwitchBot S10 on a white background.

IFA 2023, an annual consumer electronics show, has been filled with impressive smart home reveals, but when it comes to automated floor cleaners, few products on display were as innovative as the SwitchBot S10. Like existing robot vacuums and mops, the S10 is capable of vacuuming and mopping your floor without any manual input. The big difference, however, is the SwitchBot Floor Cleaning Robot S10 hooks up to your plumbing to perform automated water changes.

That makes the S10 the first auto-refilling and auto-draining robot mop available to the public -- which should make it an impressive rival for the Roborock S8 Pro Ultra and Ecovacs Deebot T20 Omni. SwitchBot notes that the S10 supports most existing plumbing systems, and after you’ve connected the dock to your water line and drainage pipe, all you’ll need to do is empty its dustbin every 70 days.

Read more
Best air purifier deals: Save big on Dyson, Shark, TCL and more
A Germ Guardian purifier placed on a living room floor.

Whether you know it or not, indoor air quality is a major concern. Allergens, debris, dust, pet dander, and many contaminants plague the air you and your family breathe, potentially causing health concerns, asthma, or worse. You can spare your home from this invasion with an air purifier. If you've ever wondered do air purifiers work, the answer is yes. Unfortunately, these suckers aren't cheap. Fortunately, air purifier deals can save you a lot of money if you know when to buy. We've done the legwork for you and found the best air purifier deals out there today. The big savings are on the budget brands like Shark, but we've found some nice discounts on name brands like LG and Dyson. Read on to find out which air purifier is best for you, considering the price, size, and features like HEPA filtering vs PECO filtering and heat and fan combos.
Alrocket HEPA Air Purifier -- $40, was $ $60

Excellent for a nightstand, the counter, or an end table. this relatively small air purifier offers cleaning for up to 215 square feet. H13 level HEPA filtration ensures that most odors and contaminants are eliminated, with microscopic particles captured, to provide relief to asthma sufferers and beyond. It is relatively simple, so there are no smart features or serious programmable modes, but that's okay. A touch-based control panel on the top, with LED indicators, allows you to adjust the system's timer, indicator lights, and power. You can add your essential oils or fragrances to the top to help disperse a more aromatic scent.

Read more