I’ll be honest, I haven’t cleaned an entire floor by hand in months. Sure, I pulled out my Dyson and occasionally deep vacuumed the carpets and upholstery, but I vacuumed every corner of my house, then grabbed a mop and scrubbed?
I’ll pass, thanks.
Such is life when you have a robot vacuum/mop to keep things tidy. Even with pets (I have a very fluffy cat), if you’re willing to spend the money on a top-of-the-line robot, your floors will always be clean.
But the key here is “if you’re willing to spend”. These aren’t $199 big-box specials that chew ropes, choke on socks, and step over pet waste, only to smear it wall-to-wall. We’re talking high-end robots from Roborock and Ecovacs that cost well over $1,000 and have a feature set to back up their high price tag.
So who are these amazing bots that have the thankless job of competing against each other to maintain my floors? And are they worth it? Let’s take a look at the candidates.
Roborock S8 Pro Ultra
The Roborock S8 Pro Ultra combines the company’s best slave, the S8 Pro with a 6,000 Pa suction motor and dual vibration, with its latest Ultra attachment, which can wash, empty and now hot air dry the S8 Pro Ultra after it’s done running.
It has a pair of tangle-free rollers that do a great job of keeping hair in place (it retracts into the ends of each roller for easy disposal). It doesn’t have a dual-rotating mop like some other robomops, but instead adds a second vibration motor to improve the mop pad’s performance.
Speaking of that mop pad, the S8 Pro Ultra can automatically raise and lower the mop when it detects carpet, switching to vacuum-only mode. When it detects carpet, it boosts the suction accordingly to pick up more dirt. When returned to a hard surface, it turns the mop back on and reduces suction to extend battery life. It will even lift the brushes out of the way when returning to the dock to avoid cross-contamination.
The S8 Pro Ultra uses 3D sensors to detect and avoid objects, cables and clutter. That…mostly that right. To be honest, the previous generation S7, which also had a light for low-light situations, was better at avoiding entanglements and obstacles. Still, the S8 Pro Ultra is intelligent enough that you don’t have to worry about picking up after yourself. Yes, grab a stray sock off the floor before you go, but don’t worry about the pile of laundry in the middle of the floor becoming your slave’s tomb.
However, the S8 Pro is not without its flaws. The S8 Pro seems to have a problem with the black cables, missing them completely and going over them. And while its mapping capabilities are better than the T10 (more on that in a second) and the hard copy declares that it can be quickly charged to complete the cleaning job, I reckon the S8 will run out of battery and then take 3-4 hours to charge back up end before he finishes the one room he has left.
Roborock S8 Pro Ultra has a great app. It’s easy to use, easy to schedule and provides timely notifications. The bot’s mapping capability is one of the best I’ve used. Within thirty minutes of unboxing the S8 Pro Ultra, I had a full map of my house in the app. I could easily arrange and tweak things, adding routines like cleaning up after dinner that only targets the breakfast nook and kitchen.
The Ultra docking station got its name. Although the water capacity is a little low, requiring a refill every other time in a typical 4-bedroom home, the motorized brush keeps the mop pad clean, with a washable filter built into the dock. The Ultra Dock vacuums the S8 Pro after each boot, then dries the mop with hot air to avoid mold and mildew build-up. Although, even with the addition of hot air drying, the S8 Pro Ultra dock can develop unpleasant odors if you leave the side filter uncleaned. I found that I had to clean much more often than the app recommended.
Still, occasionally cleaning after the robot instead of cleaning the entire floor is a small price to pay. The Roborock S8 Pro Ultra costs $1,599 and comes in black and (possibly) white. You can find out more on the Roborock website.
EcoVacs Deebot T10 Omni
The latest EcoVacs, the Deebot T10 Omni is back with a more powerful suction motor, 5,000 Pa, and better intelligence than previous models. It also retains its excellent dual rotating wiper heads for superior wiping ability.
The T10 Omni has a single roller vacuum module, which is prone to all the tangles you’d see in a typical slaver. This means you’ll want to keep a roller maintenance tool handy for trimming tangles (it can easily be stored in the Omni’s dock). It has dual side brushes for cleaning, making it effective in corners and when picking up stray debris that might otherwise bypass T10.
The OZMO Turbo 2.0 cleaning system is the star of the show with the T10 Omni. This makes the bot just as effective at cleaning the floor as if you were to do it manually. How should I know? I call it the “ick” test. Whenever you fill the clean water tank for any robomop, you must also empty the dirty water tank. Every time I wonder about the EcoVacs dirty water tank what I followed the house. Yes, the Roborock’s tank is definitely dirty, but it makes me feel a lot better about my overall state of perceived cleanliness.
The only problem with the T10 Omni cloth? It can’t raise its wipe pads like the S8 Pro Ultra. You must remove the mop pads entirely if you want the T10 to vacuum your carpets and rugs.
EcoVacs touts the AI capabilities of its T10 Omni, but I was left unimpressed. The T10 does a better job of moving than its predecessors (previous models would hit loose cabinet bases until they were underneath), but obstacle avoidance needs work. The T10 constantly knocks against stationary furniture (terrible banging and movement). It vacuums and tears the cables from the wall. He steps on clothes left on the floor. He travels under the bed until he finds a dark corner he can’t get out of, then calls for help. He has the temperament of a pesky toddler with a mop. Potentially useful, but often destructive and in need of rescue.
It makes up for being more demanding than the S8 with a superior docking station design. It’s larger than the Roborock version, but makes good use of that extra space with larger water tanks and a separate compartment for dock cleaning tools. Unlike the S8, the EcoVacs docking station uses the capacity of the T10 centrifuge to clean the wiping pads. This results in a less complicated design that is easier to clean when it breaks down over time. Once finished, it uses hot air drying to inhibit bacterial growth. Plus, there’s a handy cleaning brush that fits into the dock so it’s very easy to clean the dock itself.
The EcoVacs T10 Omni has a pretty functional app, but I don’t find it nearly as easy to use as the Roborock app. Plus, there’s the fact that the mapping functionality is overwhelming. A “quick map” of my house gave me the blob of map that was mainly correct shape, but then the app divided the rooms all wrong, sticking parts of the rooms into other rooms (like the corner of the living room apparently extending past the wall into my daughter’s room). Attempting to comb the area and clean things ended up being more frustrating than helpful, so I just let the EcoVacs do its thing.
The EcoVacs T10 is $1,199 (currently on sale on the EcoVacs website).
Which top Robovac to choose?
So after six months with both bots, which would I choose, if I had to choose one? Bearing in mind that the Roborock model costs significantly more.
I think the Roborock S8 Pro Ultra is worth the extra $400 over the T10 Omni. It is true that it is not capable of a delete bot. However, the fact that it can vacuum carpets and rugs without user intervention is a huge bonus. Add in better obstacle avoidance and the S8 pulls forward even further. If you have the cash to spare, the S8 is the ultimate hands-off slave.
But don’t count out the T10 Omni. It does a much better job of mopping your hard floors and requires less overall maintenance. The design of the EcoVacs docking station is superior, with larger water tanks and fewer nooks and crannies for nasty bacteria to breed. If you’re willing to vacuum your rugs occasionally (or set the T10 to only vacuum) and you’re good at cleaning up before the T10 kicks in, you can get a fantastic slave experience for less money.
Forbes – Innovation