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Are you having issues with dirt, stains, and grime? Or to be more specific: Do you have a pet that tracks paw prints in the house on wood floors? Or maybe you have a large area with a lot of foot traffic?
Typically, a standard mop is the go-to.
But, what if you have back pains or don’t have the time, which automatically cancels out the manual mop option?
Well, there are floor mopping robots for the purpose and situations mentioned above. The best part, since automation powers these devices, you can significantly cut down on manual mopping, gain back a huge chunk of your weekend, while saving time and improving the quality of your life. Sounds like a plan?
You’re in the right place if you’re looking for the best robot mops to keep hard floors (cement, linoleum, hardwood, tile, stone, etc.) perpetually tidy. Today’s update isn’t just going to review the top options on the market, but also guide you into choosing products that would most likely fit your mopping requirements while touching on other relevant information. Let’s get started.
Five of the best floor mopping robots to buy
iLife SHINEBOT W400
The system of the iLife W400 works similarly to the Narwal and Veniibot in that it also keeps clean and dirty water separate. Not only that, but the W400 is also more hygienic given its cleaning mechanics that regularly washes its brush roll instead of dragging a dirty pad around, as is the case with most single-function and hybrid mopping robots.
Great for wet spills, the spinning self-cleaning brush means no mop pads to keep buying; plus, the W400, in my experience, leaves the least marks.
Unlike the Narwal and Venibot, though, the W400 has only one water setting and could struggle on tile cracks due to its wheels and squeegee. Even so, the W400 doesn’t have app features (comes instead with a remote), mapping capability, zone/area cleaning, keep-out zones, or recharge and resume. Similar to the Braava 240, the Shinebot W400 doesn’t have the scheduling function either. Its height also means it won’t go under the edges of cupboards. If you don’t have needs for any of those functions, though, the W400 is a great choice for a mopping robot.
Braava Jet 240
The Braava Jet 240 is an entry-level mopping robot similar to the W400. By entry-level, the Jet 240 can’t automatically detect and avoid carpet or recharge and resume; it has a smaller water tank (150ml) and lacks the mapping and scheduling feature. Black tiles could also pose a challenge.
On the upside, the Jet 240 pairs nicely (via Bluetooth) with the iRobot Home app for basic controls and settings.
And, given its smaller size, it can reach more areas, is currently around the $200 price mark at Amazon, and is one of the few mopping robots with a vibrating mopping head (the Ozmo T8 has this feature too).
Therefore, if you’re looking for a simple, reasonably priced mopping robot for small spaces like the bathroom or kitchen, the Braava 240 is your best bet.
Braava Jet M6
First, the Jet M6 has additional weight (4.85 pounds) to help apply pressure on an area and takes a back and forth approach as such ideal for tough stains.
Second, and thanks to an upgraded processor, a wider pad, and a more extensive reservoir (500ml, electronically controlled), the M6 can cover more ground in less time.
Third, there’s the Imprint technology (for folks who may own an i7 or s9).
That mentioned, the M6 has quite some unresolved issues involving streaks, thresholds, mapping, and navigation. For a $500 machine, I expected more.
- Hold off until you’re sure M6’s issues have been addressed (you can subscribe to my list to get a lead);
- Buy it anyway;
- Buy the Shinebot W400 and the Braava 240; or
- Buy the Braava 240 with additional batteries.
Sure with the 240 and/or W400, you’d lose the convenience and efficiency (when it works well) of the M6. However, you’d be saving a few bucks while potentially avoiding wasting time and/or getting frustrated going back and forth with iRobot customer support.
Braava 380t robot mop
Simple, practical, and affordable and another one from iRobot. Think of the 380t as the Braava 240 with increased cleaning ability. Specificallly, the 380t has 350sqft (vs. the 240’s150sqft) mopping coverage and 1000sqft (vs. the 240’s 250sqft) dusting coverage.
While sharing similarities with the 240 in hardware design, functionality and price, the 380t doesn’t connect to an app; it has only dry and damp mopping modes (no wet modes); no vibrating head, either.
Granted, the 380t is good enough at cleaning the bathroom and kitchen and can do a bigger surface than the 240. Still, the 240 can serve as an excellent complement to the 380t, e.g., deploying the 240 in the bathroom and kitchen area while getting the 380t to do other parts of the house.
To round off this list of the best floor robot mops is the Samsung jet mop. Like the W400, Braava 240, and 380t, the Samsung jet mop is a beginner mopping robot and, therefore, more suited for small homes and apartments.
For some context:
The Samsung jet mop has a working time of 50 minutes (that is, how long it can stay until it needs refilling–it can last up to 100 minutes on a single charge).
Next, there are two minuscule water tanks with a combined capacity of around 120ml. Also, the Samsung jet mop lacks the recharge & resume, app/WIFI, remote, and mapping functionalities. Comparatively too, the Samsung robomop is a bit on the high side price-wise.
Further, coverage and mobility on the Samsung are decent at best. Therefore, there could be misses here and there, plus carpets and cabinets could pose a challenge. You should be fine though, if your house is 800 -1000 sq ft.
Now to the plusses, the Samsung jet bot mop is simple to use (fill the two reservoirs with water, attach the pads and clean them with the silicone brush when necessary), very quiet, and low maintenance (an extra pair of reusable wash clothes comes with the package).
What’s more, the Samsung jet mop charges quickly and has different pattern options. It rarely leaves dirt streaks or soaks floors. The rotating mop heads work together with the mop clothes (two deep cleanings and more aggressive wool set, and a regular microfiber pair) to effectively clean any dirt or stuck on grime in open areas and crevices. And unlike the W400, there are no dirty water bins to empty or clean.
From the preceding, the Samsung robot mop isn’t meant for a major cleaning. For daily maintenance, it is perfect. The battery lasts about 100 minutes, which is enough time to clean a couple of rooms.
The three categories of mopping robots
Mopping robots, just like their vacuuming and hybrid counterparts while they may look alike in appearance, don’t usually have the same performance level. To align expectations, I grouped the available floor robot mops according to their abilities and capabilities.
The beginner robot mops
This is the group the likes of the W400, Braava 240 & 380t, and the Samsung jet mop falls into. The beginner robot mops are very modest in their offerings:
- Random/semi-random navigation
- Smaller water tanks that require frequent refilling
- No scheduling feature, mapping, smart home integration, automatic carpet detection & avoidance, and area and restricted cleaning functions.
Suitable for floors that aren’t overly soiled, the beginner robot mops are simple, relatively affordable (typically under $300), and work excellently in kitchens and bathrooms.
The intermediate robot mops
In the middle category is where you’ll find the Braava Jet M6. This one offers everything the Shinebot, Braava (240 & 380t), and Samsung don’t.
Because it’s powerful, feature-rich, and smart, the M6 is ideal for the tougher stains and more extensive areas; you can send it to rooms of choice or exclude from tough spots. It has scheduling features and moves in logical straight lines. The M6 can also receive over the air updates for bug fixes and usability improvements.
Now you’re probably wondering, “with all these high-tech features, why then did you place the M6 in the intermediate category?”
Priced around $500, you still have to keep track of it and switch pads while refilling the water tank as many times as is required to complete the cleaning job.
The advanced robot mops
The advanced robot mops can do everything the Braava Jet M6 can–in addition to having an immense reservoir to reduce the frequency of refilling, plus being able to self-clean its wipes. Narwal and Veniibot robots are perfect examples.
Typically selling above $500, so not cheap. Perhaps it’s worth mentioning that these are double function robots–they vacuum and mop vs. a single-use robot like the M6 that mops only.
Single-use robot mops vs. the hybrid models
If you noticed, items mentioned under the Review section of this guide performed just one function: mopping. However, other options in the market combine vacuuming and mopping operations into one robot.
Typically the single-use mopping robots have power for the tough jobs but disadvantaged on pricing, especially if you want true automation, currently only available in the Braava Jet M6, at around $500. For that same $500, you could get a high-performing and much more reliable robot (that vacuums and mops), such as the Roborock S5 Max.
Single-use models are the better buy for homeowners with all or predominantly hard floors in their homes and have a vacuum cleaner (standard or robotic) to clean the rare carpeted area. If you have a mixture of hard and carpeted floors at home or haven’t already purchased a separate vacuum cleaner, the hybrid models may suffice.
Scrubbing vs. wiping
Scrubbing and wiping are two cleaning techniques employed by robot mops. The main difference between the two is the application of force on an area by the scrubbing robots, which the wiping robots lack.
Scrubbing robot mops put down clean water on the floor to soften stains while using their vibrating mop head (alongside an attached disposable/reusable pad or spinning brush like in the W400) to scrub and help remove stains. Some robot mop models powered by a superior suction power have automated pad/brush cleaners for removing the dirty water while wiping off residues with a rubber scraper. By implication, scrubbing robots with the automated cleaner system usually have one clean water tank and one dirty water tank. Besides, robot mops in this category usually have larger reservoirs (the W400 reservoir size is 850ml, for example). Better yet, the practice of separation is hygienic, dramatically improving the cleaning efficiency, while allowing for adequately collecting the dirty water for easy disposal.
On the other hand, the wiping robots typically have smaller tanks; the Braava 380t at 250ml and the S6 MaxV at 297ml are the highest numbers I’ve seen so far on dedicated and hybrid robot mops respectively. Performance on models with this cleaning mechanics is less effective since they only use a small water tank that supplies a slow water to a microfiber cloth with no scrubbing action for stuck-on stains or scuffs.
The Braava 380t and M6 Jet and most robot vacuum mops (except for the Ozmo T8) are examples of floor robot mops with the wiping mechanics. The Braava 240, Shinebot W400, and the Samsung jet mop are good examples of robot mops with the scrubbing mechanics.
To use or not to use cleaning solutions?
Cleaning solutions loosens dirt, kills bacterias, and gives the floor a pleasant smell. Instructions accompanying most robot mop models often indicate whether or not to use a cleaning liquid and what’s accepted/unaccepted. Please don’t use an unapproved product as it can eat away at the rubber hoses and damage the electronics inside the robot, thus voiding the warranty.
iLife recommends using only water in their product, the W400, and water is often enough, to be honest. If you’d instead use a cleaning solution, there are two options.
The first option: get a mopping robot with an approved cleaning solution. Whether the approved cleaning product is native to the robot model (as seen in the Braava 240 and M6) or an alternative that the manufacturer has declared safe (e.g., Bona for the Braava 380t and Samsung jet mop).
The second option: get a washable pad and use whatever cleaner you want on it.
Mopping robots behavior on different floor surfaces and under specific situations
So this one may not particularly apply to you, but it’s something you want to keep in mind. It has been observed that robot mops behave differently depending on the type and nature of the floor. Some models may encounter trouble with the thick, uneven, and deep grout in some tile; and heavily waxed or rough surfaces like brick or slate. Thankfully, most robot mops seem to perform excellently on smooth, flat, and even floors to include stone, hardwood, and laminate.
Robot mops currently have fewer listings in the market, plus their technology is doing a catch-up to the robot vacuums and the hybrid models–and currently doesn’t compare with a standard mop. Notwithstanding, mopping robots are great maintenance tools that can make life easier through saved time and added convenience.
That mentioned the iLife Shinebot W400 is my pick in the beginner category mostly for its simplicity (no app or WiFi); affordability (under $200 at Amazon); low maintenance (no ongoing expenses on disposable wipes); and effectiveness (leaves the least streaks, has no dirt pads to get dragged around instead it has a brush roll that self-cleans, and comes with a separate reservoir for clean and dirty water).
In the advanced category, despite some drawbacks, my loyalty still remain with the Braava Jet M6 considering it’s powerful, smart, feature-rich and can receive firmware updates for bug fixes and usability improvements.
In any case, anytime you’re done with the cleaning job, always empty the reservoir. This prevents water from drying up inside the sprayer mechanism and causing mineral buildup. It further prevents the tank from smelling.
And because it takes a little while to get wet enough to do its job–whether you’re getting the W400, the M6, or other floor mopping robots mentioned in the list–pre-wet them rollers/wipes, or spray some water on the floor in the immediate area when you first start it.
For the best result and experience, consider buying additional pads/mop cloths. And with the likes of the Shinebot, Samsung jet mop, Braava (240 and M6) that don’t have the recharge and resume function, an extra battery (especially one with higher capacity) is in order, as this will increase range and improve usability.
Keep in mind activities like recharging, moving the bot to other rooms, reservoir refilling, and pads switching. If you think these tasks will bother you, consider the Braava Jet M6 (automatically recharges and resumes and has a bigger water tank–that’s two fewer things to worry about). Or the Narwhal or Veniibot (these ones auto recharges and resumes, auto-cleans their wipes, and have more giant reservoirs).
Do also keep in mind the height of the W400 and the Samsung jet mop. If you plan to use one of these in a bathroom, maybe OK; but they might have trouble getting under cabinets or around cupboard edges in a kitchen.
Still, you may have to run your robot vacuum first. Dry sweep mode comes with some mop robot models, but they’re mainly picking fine specks of dirt. The hybrid models might be worth a read.
Finally, your requirements will inform your choice. If you’re a messy cook, have solid surfaces for the most part–or dirt, mud, footprints to deal with–then a dedicated mopper will probably be your best bet. If you have a mix of carpets and hard floors, get a robot vacuum or the hybrid option.