Let’s face it, sweeping, dusting off the baseboards and the corners, getting the mop water just right, mopping and then cleaning everything up is a hassle. It’s time-consuming and tedious. Not only that, but how mad does mom get when you walk on her freshly mopped floors?
Robotic cleaners work wonders on hard flooring of all kinds. While they do not (as of yet, anyway) completely replace the hard floor cleaning chore, they can make you have to do it manually less often. This review will showcase the best robots for hardwood floors.
- 1 Comparison Table
- 2 How to Choose The Best Robot For Hard Floors
- 3 Comparisons
- 4 bObSweep PetHair Plus – Best Bang for the Buck
- 5 Roomba 690 – Best Choice for Those Who Don’t Need Mopping
- 6 iLIFE V7S Pro – Best Choice for those on a Budget
- 7 Deik 3-in-1 Vacuum Robot: A Relative Newcomer to the Robot Market
- 8 Neato D5 Connected: A Top Overall Contender
- 9 In Conclusion
Here is a quick look at why these robots are the best at what they do on hard floor surfaces.
|BobSweep PetHair Plus
|ILIFE V7S Pro
|Neato D5 Connected
|13.3 x 13.3 x 3.9 in.
|13 x 13 x 3.6 in.
|11.8 x 11.8 x 3.1 in.
|13.8 x 13.8 x 3.4 in.
|12.7 x 13.2 x 3.9 in.
|Hard Floor Types
|Other Floor Types
|Non-Sealed Hard Surfaces
|Any Sealed hard surface
|Stone, Marble, Granite
|Non-Sealed Hard Surfaces
|Up to 75 minutes
|Up to 60 minutes
|Up to 150 minutes
|Up to 90 minutes
|Up to 90 minutes
|Stiff Bristle Brush Bar
|Dual multi-surface Brushes
|CyclonePower Gen 1
|Combo Bristle Brush Bar
|Combo Bristle Brush Bar
|AeroVac Standard Filtration
|Check on Amazon
|Check on Amazon
|Check on Amazon
|Check on Amazon
|Check on Amazon
How to Choose The Best Robot For Hard Floors
You are here for one reason: find the best robot vacuum for hard floors. I wish it were as simple as telling you “here it is, this is the one you want,” but it doesn’t work that way. There are a whole slew of things to consider when choosing a robotic cleaner, and you should be aware of all of them so you know what you can or cannot live without.
What should you look for when choosing a robotic cleaner for your hard floors? A lot, actually. It isn’t as simple as just picking one off the shelf and taking it home.
Battery life is important for those with larger floor plans or heavily soiled floors. Longer battery life means more cleaning time (in general).
You should also decide if you need the robot to continue a cleaning cycle after a battery recharge. This feature is known as entire level cleaning. It means that when the robot’s battery gets low, it will stop the cleaning cycle and recharge itself. Then, once the battery is full again, it will run out and finish the job.
For homes that have a large floor plan or high traffic areas that need special, constant attention, entire level cleaning might be a good option.
Unlike carpet, almost every robot vacuum will do really well on hard flooring. This is because there isn’t the carpet pile and fibers to get in the way or get tangled around the brush roll. The type of hard surfaces you have, though, will go a long way in helping your decision.
Softwoods and flooring that have sealers or wide, soft grout need specific robots that use soft bristles on their brush roll or have no brush rolls at all. Otherwise, the sealant and grout or surfaces could get scratched.
Some specialty surfaces like marble, granite or laminate can also get scratched. If you have softwood floors or specialty flooring, you should pay special attention to the type of extraction the robot uses. If it does have a brush roll, you should find out if the bristles are stiff or soft.
Controls Can Be Cumbersome
Controlling the robot is essential and every model will have some form or another of control options. Some may only have local controls, which is fine if you just want to send the robot on its way with the push of a button.
Other types of control, though, can be just as important as not having any. Remote controls, for example, will allow you to maneuver the robot or create schedules. Scheduling is a deciding factor if you plan to let the robot run while you aren’t home, or only on specific days.
Mobile apps are the generally accepted form of control as they offer the most reliability and features. You can schedule, program and get reports on the cleaning cycles through the robot’s mobile app.
Voice controls may be too much, or just the thing for you. Depending on how much of your home you have set up as a smart home, things like Amazon Alexa enabled devices and Google Home can come in handy to just use voice commands to control your robot.
Mopping or Not
Some models will give you the ability to dry mop, using a microfiber pad that runs along the floor on the back end of the robot. You can spray cleaners or water on the mop pad for a damp mop as well, much like using a Swiffer.
Other models will give you the ability to do a true wet mop. Complete with a water reservoir and mopping pads, you can get a half-way decent wet mop from certain machines. You shouldn’t expect a scrubbing mop though, so if you have dried or stuck on food areas of your floors, they will probably need to be cleaned manually with a real mop and bucket.
Still, others don’t mop at all, but the sweeping and vacuuming of the hard flooring may just be enough for you.
Finally, the budget you have allotted for a robot cleaner will come into play heavily. You should always try to stick to your budget, but at the same time, sometimes a cleaner is just a few dollars more but will serve you a lot better.
Choosing the right robot for your hard floors can be daunting. Luckily, I enjoy doing all the research and tearing apart so that you don’t have to. Let’s take a look at the top contenders for robots that do exceptional work on hard flooring surfaces.
When deciding on the best robot for hard flooring, you have your work cut out for you. Not every vacuum will be best for you, your home or smaller things like allergy reduction. However, taking everything into consideration, the following list is the best robot vacuums for hard floor cleaning, combination cleaning and mopping and value for the money.
Which one is best for you? Only you can decide that. Hopefully though, my list will help make your choice a little easier.
bObSweep PetHair Plus – Best Bang for the Buck
As one of the innovators of robotic combination robots, the bObSweep PetHair Plus has stayed on the charts for hard floor cleaning. Arguably, the PetHair was the first to include a mopping pad to mop floors as it sweeps and vacuums. The PetHair Plus improved on the features of the original, including battery life.
The Battery is Huge, And Lasts Pretty Long
The battery in the PetHair Plus is one of the largest in the market for this type of cleaner. At 3500mAh, it has enough power to clean over 1800 square feet of hard flooring surfaces effectively. The battery will run up to 75 minutes, though you will never see a full 75 minutes while using it in your home.
To be quite fair though, you won’t see any of the top end times for any battery in any model. It’s just how it is. Too many things cause drain on batteries and unless you live in a robotic testing lab, you won’t achieve lab quality conditions to run your vacuum in.
The Filter Cuts Down on In-Home Allergens
Having a HEPA certified filter is a crucial factor for those that suffer allergies. Seasonal allergies or otherwise, having a vacuum with a HEPA filter can drastically cut down on the allergens such as pollen, pet dander and dust mites that make it back out into your home’s air and flooring.
The PetHair Plus uses a HEPA certified filter that allows it to collect particles down to 3 microns in size, effectively reducing the amount of allergy-causing agents in your home by up to 99 percent.
Of course, this is only in the areas you allow the bObSweep to run and clean in. Other areas of your home will need the same filtration, depending on how you plan to clean them.
Floor Types Are Not Created Equal
The PetHair Plus uses a rotating brush roll very similar to most upright models. It has stiff bristle brushes that wrap around to sweep and separate dirt, dust and debris to be collected in the dustbin.
However, because the bristles are stiff, there is a chance that softer surfaces can get scratched over time. The floors you need to avoid with this machine are things like pine and other softwoods, wide grout tile floors and surfaces such as natural stone that use a clear sealant.
All other flooring types, including low pile carpet, will be just fine and cleaned easily, if not perfectly, by the PetHair Plus.
The Dust Bin Is Large
The bObSweep PetHair Plus has one of the largest dust collection bins in the industry. Coming in at 1 liter, it is almost double the size of most of the competitors here today.
UV Sterilization Keeps Floors Extra Clean
UV lights have been known for a while now to kill bacteria and other microorganisms. The PetHair Plus uses UV light sterilization as it cleans your floor. You can even set it to run only in UV mode and have it kill off any bacteria on your hard flooring surfaces. This mode does take a long time, though and should be done under some supervision.
But There Isn’t a Wet Mop Feature
One of the things that is missing from this model is a water reservoir. Without a reservoir, you will not get a true wet mop experience. The microfiber mopping pad is designed for dry or damp use, though.
You can spray the pad with water or your favorite floor cleaner solution and it will apply it to the floor as it runs around cleaning. Likewise, you can leave it dry and let the microfibers pick up any dust or debris left behind from the vacuum.
However, there is an alternative. You can purchase a separate water reservoir for water or cleaning solutions that attaches to your robot and dispenses water on the floor as the robot moves.
There haven’t been any reports of this working very well though, and it must be attached and removed when the robot is away from the charging station, so scheduling cleaning cycles when you are away is near impossible.
- Large collection bin for less frequent maintenance cycles.
- UV sterilization increases the cleanliness of the floors.
- Large battery for extended cleaning times.
Areas of Concern
- No true wet mop, damp mop only.
- There isn’t a mobile app or wireless communications for control.
- Stiff bristle brush bar means extra care should be taken on softer floor materials.
If you want an affordable robotic cleaner for your floor, with enough features to deep clean and keep allergies at bay, the bObSweep PetHair Plus is a worthy opponent.
Roomba 690 – Best Choice for Those Who Don’t Need Mopping
I find it too difficult to have a “best of” list when it comes to robotic cleaners and not include a Roomba model of some sort. These machines are just too good at what they do to not be on any list.
While the 690 does not have a mopping function, the robot still cleans hard flooring surfaces as good, if not better, than most other robots on this (or any) list. If you want a true mopping robot, then you can look to the Braava 380t made by iRobot.
The 690 Saves You Money
One of the biggest points for the inclusion of the Roomba 690 on this list is the price point. The 690 has a lot of features that appear in the early 800 series robots at a price that makes it very budget-friendly.
Saving money on a well known, name brand cleaner is always a good thing. What you also get, along with a low price point, one of the best cleans for hard flooring.
The Multi-Surface Brush Roll Sweeps and Scrubs the Floors
Unlike some of the competitors on this list with combination brushes, the Roomba 690 brush rolls will not scratch or mark flooring surfaces. This includes softwoods and sealants or grout. The brushes are soft bristles with nylon fibers.
The bristles are stiff enough to effectively scrub the floor while being soft enough to not cause scratches in any hard flooring surface or sealant.
With the side brush sweeping along the edges and baseboards of your rooms, and the multi-surface bristle brush scrubbing the floor or stuck on debris and loosening and separating other debris for collection, the 690 powers through any hard flooring you may have, leaving behind a clean, freshly cleaned floor.
The brush roll head automatically adjusts to the floor surface heights. This means that if the robot runs over a throw rug, carpet or hard surfaces, the head will self-adjust to always keep the proper power and suction for each of the surfaces it encounters.
Filter is not HEPA certified
There isn’t a HEPA certified filter on board. However, what you will get is the AeroVac system and filtration. Don’t worry; it isn’t anything special, AeroVac is just the name that iRobot gave their airflow and filtration system for the first generation motors.
What this means to you is that the AeroVac standard filter is just that: a standard filter. Unlike a HEPA filter, the AeroVac filter will only collect particles down to 10 microns in size. Most allergens will possibly make it through this type of filter.
However, collecting particles down to 10 microns in size will still keep up to 88 percent of in-home allergens. The most prominent, though, such as dust mites and pollen, can seep through.
The Controls Are Numerous and Intuitive
The Roomba 690 is one of the few 600 series robots with full wireless controls and communications. You won’t get the use of an infrared remote control. However, you will get the use of the industry-leading iRobot mobile app.
With the app you can give the robot a nickname, create, delete and edit schedules and view status information and reports on the cleaning cycles and the battery life.
You will also be able to use voice commands (using the robot’s nickname) with Amazon Alexa devices as well as Google Home, Samsung SmartThings hubs and many other third-party smart home integrations.
Containment Works Great
The virtual wall barriers of the Roomba line work in two ways: linear and halo modes. These battery operated towers provide you a method of containment that prevents access to certain areas of a room or entire rooms altogether.
In linear mode, the tower produces a 10-foot infrared beam. You can place this across doorways, entry points or even certain areas of a room. When the robot senses the beam, it will treat it as a physical wall; avoiding contact and changing directions.
The same is true in halo mode where the tower produces a four-foot diameter ring around itself. This is useful for protecting pet food dishes, vases, floor plants or lamps or anything else on the floor you do not want the robot to have access to.
You get one virtual wall barrier with the purchase of a Roomba 690, though can buy more from the website, or various online third party dealers such as Amazon, whenever you like.
- Industry-leading cleaning methods and results.
- Effectively scour and scrub all floors without scratching.
- Will cover about 1400 square feet of hard flooring on a single charge.
Areas of Concern
- No HEPA quality filtration to aid allergy sufferers.
- The battery could be larger to allow a longer runtime.
- The robot will not continue a cleaning cycle after a battery recharge automatically.
The Roomba 690 doesn’t mop, though with the multi-surface brush bar, and superior suction there isn’t much need for it to keep hard floors clean.
iLIFE V7S Pro – Best Choice for those on a Budget
The ILIFE V7S Pro is one of the most advanced combination robots on the market. Each version of the ILIFE V series is an improvement on the previous one, with some small exceptions.
The V7S Pro, for example, has a smaller battery than the V5, but it has an upgraded water reservoir and pump to reduce seepage and overwatering. For hard floor cleaning and the price, the V7S Pro is hard to beat.
The Battery is Smaller, but it Gets the Job Done
One of the notable differences is the downgrade to a 2600mAh lithium-ion battery pack. With the upgrades to other aspects of the robot, I think ILIFE did this to help save money. It’s not a bad thing, though as you still get up to 150 minutes of runtime (according to the ILIFE statements.). What you will likely see in all practicality is about 100 minutes of runtime.
This is enough, though to cover between 1600 and 1800 square feet of hard floor surfaces.
The Water Reservoir Has a Great Upgrade and Works Better
One of the drawbacks of the earlier models was the inability to keep the water in the tank. Water would seep out and make the pad too wet, or leave streaks behind the robot.
Now, there is a magnetic and motion controlled pump. There is still a chance of water leaking from the nozzle and onto the floor or pad, however, it is minimized and doesn’t seem to leak to the point of over-saturation or streaking.
The water tank will keep the front of the pad wet as the robot moves about. This leaves the rear of the pad dry to mop up and keep the floors shining and streak free.
You Must Rely on a Remote Control
The LIFE V7S comes with a remote control and it is used for everything. You can steer the robot is you need to or create schedules, start, stop or pause cleaning cycles or send the unit back to the charging station.
There is a mobile app, surprisingly enough. Though the V7S doesn’t have wireless communications. The app relies on Bluetooth connectivity and is essentially a mobile phone version of the remote control. There isn’t anything fancy about the app, except that it is only in Chinese.
The app is intuitive enough, though, that if you don’t read Chinese, you can still use the mobile app. However, since it doesn’t have any new or extra features, it may not be worth it to you over the remote control. You still have to be in close proximity of the robot since it uses Bluetooth and not your WiFi network.
The Bristle Brush Doesn’t Matter on Hard Flooring
The bristles used in the spinning brush roll are a bit on the stiff side, which in other models, may scratch softwood or sealed surfaces. However, with the ILIFE V7S, this may not matter too much.
I haven’t yet seen a report of scratching, though to be safe you should always test in a small area. When the unit is mopping though, the microfiber pad covers the brush roll area preventing the brushes from marring surfaces.
When in sweeping or vacuum mode, the brushes are not in constant contact with the ground enough to push the bristles into the flooring surface. The ILIFE robots rely on the CyclonePower suction to lift debris into the collection chamber.
The brush rolls are designed to agitate carpeting and loosen debris from low and medium pile. They have less effect on hard flooring and should not scratch any surface.
- Large water reservoir for prolonged mopping times.
- HEPA quality filtration for allergen reduction in the home.
- Long runtime even on a smaller celled battery.
Areas of Concern
- The robot cannot recharge with the water reservoir in place.
- Some water seepage is still possible.
The ILIFE V7S Pro is one of the most cost-effective combination robot cleaners on the market. With a low, entry-level cost and true wet mop, it makes short work of hard flooring.
Deik 3-in-1 Vacuum Robot: A Relative Newcomer to the Robot Market
Deik created a combination robot to compete right out of the gate. The 3-in-1 may not have a fancy name, but it does some amazing work on hard flooring. With an entry-level price point, it has opened a few eyes and entered more than a few homes.
There Aren’t Any Forms of Wireless Controls
In what appears to be a common theme among the less expensive models, there isn’t any onboard wireless communication. You won’t be able to use a mobile app or voice commands with the Deik, but you get an all-inclusive remote control with your purchase.
Aside from the relatively intuitive remote to schedule and start, stop, pause or resume cleaning cycles, you have limited local controls as well.
With the push of a button, you can send the robot on its way or send it back to the charging station.
The Water Reservoir Must be Attached, Even when Dry
One of the benefits of the 3-in-1 is the ability to use the mopping pad for a wet or dry mopping experience. If you fill the water tank up, it will wet the pad while it runs around your hard flooring, just like the other true wet mop models.
However, you may not always need a wet mop on your floors. Unlike the other models, you simply leave the water reservoir empty. It won’t burn out any pumps or motors and your floors will be dry mopped like using a Swiffer stick mop.
The Battery Is Quite Impressive
For everything going on inside, the battery life of up to 90 minutes is pretty impressive. It is true that you will only see about 75 minutes before the robot returns to the dock to recharge, but this is enough to clean about 1400 square feet of hard flooring.
The combination brush roll doesn’t scratch most surfaces, though softwoods and sealed flooring may notice some marks over time.
The gyroscope is used for the navigation and there isn’t a true sense of mapping. It is this lack of mapping computations and the simple brush roll that allows the 3000mAh battery to run for such a long time.
Because you also don’t have to worry about wireless communications or constant updates to a mobile app, the battery is free to run the motor and spin the wheels.
- The wet or dry mop option is rare with a water reservoir tank installed.
- HEPA filtration cuts down on allergens in the home.
- Long runtime for a smaller battery cell.
Areas of Concern
- There isn’t a method of containment, so you will need to protect your carpeted areas from getting wet.
- Without mapping or proper navigation, the Deik can bump into a lot of things as it runs around.
The least expensive model is also one to keep an eye on. It isn’t perfect, but for hard flooring and some carpet cleaning, it is on the right track.
Neato D5 Connected: A Top Overall Contender
Once Neato added wireless connectivity to their D series line, up, the whole game changed. Now, the D5 Connected is a top contender for affordable autonomous cleaners.
The Battery Is Large Enough To Clean Your Entire Floor
Working in conjunction with the navigation system, the D5’s battery should clean the entire space in a single charge. If you find that the robot doesn’t complete an entire cleaning cycle, there is no need to worry.
The D5 will stop the cleaning cycle when it is complete, or when the battery dips below 15 percent. When it has completed its recharge, the D5 Connected will resume cleaning from where it left off. For expansive floor plans, this is a lifesaving feature.
Neato uses laser-guided navigation. The laser scans the surroundings of the home to identify walls, doorways and obstacles the robot cannot get under. Once the scanning is complete, the robot begins using human-like parallel lines. The laser continues to scan and update while the D5 cleans.
Because of this constant scanning and map updating, along with the large 3000mAh celled battery, the sensors are freed up from the processing bottleneck to perform more accurately.
The drop sensors and bump sensors use infrared beams (along with acoustics to sense how close to a large obstacle the robot is and slow it down if needed), the efficiency of these sensors helps the robot avoid falls and getting stuck or running into obstacles.
The Ultra Filter Is Just Fancy Talk For A Fancy Filter
Neato has three types of filters they use in their machines: standard, primary and ultra. The Ultra filter used in the D5 is the highest quality and best particle-trapping filter they make. The filter is equivalent to HEPA certified filters.
The Ultra filter is rated to capture particles down to three microns in size. This means that in-home allergens such as dust mites, pet dander, pollen and mold spores. With this reduction of up to 99 percent of the allergens in the home, your allergy symptoms can be diminished with the proper and constant use of the robot.
- Mobile app and voice control work near flawlessly.
- HEPA quality filtration reduces in-home allergens.
- Laser guided navigation makes the robot clean in more human-like paths.
Areas of Concern
- Magnetic tape containment isn’t easy or convenient.
- May scratch softer woods or floors that use sealants.
The Neato D5 Connected is a decent all-around floor cleaner that pays special attention to hardwood flooring. Collecting hair and debris from edges and corners using its side brush and D shape design, the robot is thorough and concise.
There are many robotic cleaners on the market these days. Some work only on hard floors; some claim to be the best on carpets. The choice you have to make is if you need a robot that can vacuum, mop, or both.
Combination robots that vacuum and mop are not known for their cleaning abilities. They tend to do one better than the other and even that isn’t done as well. However, every once in a while you run along a few models that actually clean hard flooring really well, despite any negative press or features they may be lacking.
Once you have decided to make a purchase, you should know what type of flooring you have and how your selected robot will react to that type of flooring. It is a lot cheaper to upgrade to a model that won’t scratch softwoods than it is to purchase a new floor full of scratches later on.
In the end, the choice is yours, but for my money, these are the best five models to choose from.