This $570 robot vacuum doubles as a mop - it cleans all the mud my 2 sons track into our house
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- If you're planning to invest in a robotic vacuum, it should complete cycles without getting caught up on obstacles, leave your floor spotless, and also come with a useful app that makes it easy to schedule cleanings.
- I like the Roborock S5 Robotic Vacuum and Mop Cleaner because it not only cleans better than any robotic vacuum I've tested, but also has a mop attachment that took care of the stuck-on grime my kids tracked in.
- Though it's somewhat pricey (currently $569.98 on Amazon), it's backed by an outstanding app and a 12-month warranty.
In the winter, our floors get gross. My wife, two boys, and I track in plenty of grime, snow, and mud. We have mats by the doors, but those can only do so much, especially since we aren't a "shoes off" house.
I've found that robotic vacuums can't get caked-on dirt no matter how powerful their suction is. Fortunately, several brands now offer units with mop attachments.
One such brand is Roborock. The Beijing-based company was founded in 2014 and focuses exclusively on robotic vacuums. I recently had the opportunity to test out its top-of-the-line S5 Robotic Vacuum and Mop Cleaner.
The Roborock S5 is available in white, black, and white with rose accents; I tested the white model. All three S5 models have a unique dustbin that is accessed from the top under the lid, as opposed to the bottom of the vac like most other brands, which can also cause a mess if you're not careful.
The vacuum itself is 13.5 inches in diameter with a height of four inches. This is a bit higher than most, which can make it hard to squeeze under furniture with a lower clearance.
The mop attachment is sleek and attaches to the unit without needing adjustments. The charging dock has a damp-proof mat that serves as a barrier between your floor and moisture from the mop.
Read more: The best robot vacuums you can buy
Overall, it took me about 15 minutes to unbox the S5, set up the charging dock, download the app, connect the vacuum to my phone, and start charging the vacuum.
The installation guide makes this process effortless. You do need to be careful that you get the right app though since the app's name is different from the brand name. It's called "Mi Home," which continues to confuse me when I try to access my Roborock's settings on my phone. Otherwise, after letting the S5 charge overnight, it was ready to clean.
What makes it stand out
The Mi Home app has a lot of useful tools. I like to set my robotic vacuum to run every day at a certain time so I can forget about it until it's time to empty the dustbin, and the app made it easy to schedule. You can also set the cleaning mode you want; the four modes in order of strongest cleaning to lightest are max, turbo, balanced, and quiet. There is also a mop mode, which is useful if you have stuck-on gunk.
When the Roborock S5 creates a map of your house, you can use the app to label your rooms, designate "no-go" zones, and set up cleanings in specific areas. The app also tells you how much battery power is left so you know when to charge and when you can start it up again.
I also liked that you can access the cleaning history, which is a very unique feature. At the time of this writing, I'd completed 90 cleanings for a total run time of 4,223 minutes.
The S5 does a stellar job of cleaning. I like to test the quality of a robotic vacuum by laying out kitty litter, coffee grounds, and flour on both hardwood flooring and low-pile carpeting, run the vac, and see how much of each is left. When I did this test, the kitty litter and coffee grounds were completely gone on both surfaces. The flour was removed from the hardwood and I'd estimate the vacuum picked up about 97% of the flour from the carpeting.
I used flour again to see how far into corners the vac could get on the two surfaces, and on both, it came within an inch of the corner, which is fairly average.
I also put a sound meter 12 inches away from the vacuum when it was running on quiet mode and got a reading of 70 decibels, which is similar to a shower or dishwasher. This was quiet enough that I could keep it running while teleconferencing without fear of it drowning out my voice.
The robot vac is easy to clean and maintain. There's a cleaning tool located under the lid next to the dustbin that helps clear debris out of the filter, and cut hair and other gunk wrapped around the brush. I also like that you can easily clean the dustbin and filter by filling the dustbin with water and shaking it up.
The vacuum comes with a replacement mop cloth, filter, and four extra water tank filters. And, if you need more, there are relatively affordable replacement sets on Amazon.
Read more: 12 smart home gadgets that practically clean the house for you
Cons to consider
The robot vac definitely doesn't come cheap, so it's quite an investment. But for me, it did clean the best compared to other models I've tested. However, it's not perfect.
After about a month of use, the vacuum started to make a high-pitched squeaking sound as it rolled around - I discovered it was the front wheel. I cleaned the easy-to-remove wheel and sprayed it with WD-40, which solved the problem. Since then, it hasn't squeaked at all.
In my office, I have a large rubber exercise mat. Between the mat and the wall, there is an eight-inch wide gap of hardwood flooring. For some reason, the S5 would almost always get stuck on the edge of the mat. I eventually made the gap a no-go zone for the vacuum, but I'd much prefer for it to clean that eight-inch strip of floor.
Other than that, the Roborock did an excellent job of not getting caught up on obstacles. It completed its cleaning cycle without a hitch about 75% of the time, even though there were plenty of toys and clothes strewn about to trip it up.
The bottom line
Overall, I was impressed with the Roborock S5. It did a better job of picking up dirt and dust than any robotic vacuum I've tested so far. I like that it has a mop attachment that took the cleaning one step further too. And the Mi Home app has several useful features that function as intended. If you are looking for a robotic vacuum that can also mop, you'd be hard-pressed to find a better option than the Roborock S5.
Pros: Does an incredible job cleaning, has a mop attachment, the app allows you to schedule cleanings and set no-go zones, comes with replacement parts
Buy the Roborock S5 Robotic Vacuum and Mop Cleaner on Amazon for $569.98 (originally $699.99)
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