Those Robotic vacuum cleaners are way too expensive! A robot vacuum cleaner is a must for everyone, so this is a shame for humanity.
But, don’t be worried we are going to help you with finding a high-quality budget robot vacuum cleaner from China. Not just with our wisdom but with the help of many online experts/bloggers.
For a high-end robot vacuum cleaner on Amazon, you will pay $400+, these Chinese alternatives are a lot cheaper and will start from $150 up to $400. In this overview, we will easily show you the differences between 8 various Chinese models.
We Compare These Chinese Robots with The Famous iRobot Roomba
The best selling robot on Amazon is the iRobot Roomba 650, the cheapest product from this high-end brand. The 650 is not newly available anymore, you can only find used or refurbished ones on Amazon.But there is a successor, the iRobot Roomba 690 (a review about the difference between the 650 vs 690).
We are going to compare 8 Chinese robot vacuums vs. the iRobot Roomba 690, the best selling robot on Amazon!
Finding Cheap Budget Robot Vacuum Cleaners
Obviously, finding cheaper robots is not the main difficulty. In China, there is an overwhelming offer of cheap robots, all with their downsides. In this review, we want the top of those Chinese models which are capable of competing with the main models on Amazon.
Like always it is finding the optimal price-quality ratio. Within that spectrum, we selected our 8 models.
Best Budget Robot Vacuum Cleaner Overview
|Roomba 690||Xiaomi Mi Robot||iLife A4S||iLife V5S Pro||iLife A6||iLife V7S||Seebest D730||Xshuai T370||Dibea D960|
|Run Time||60 min||150 min||140 min||150 min||160 min||140 min||120 min||120 min||120 min|
|Suction Power||N/A||1800 Pa||1000 Pa||850 Pa||1000 Pa||600 Pa||800 Pa||1500 Pa||1200 Pa|
|Cleaning Radius||170 m2||250 m2||200 m2||180 m2||200 m2||180 m2||150 m2||150 m2||N/A|
|Dust Bin Capacity||300 ml||420 ml||450 ml||300 ml||300 ml||500 ml||500 ml||300 ml||350 ml|
|Noise Level||68 db||68 db||65 db||50 db||65 db||60 db||55 db||60 db||55 db|
|Water Tank Capacity||–||–||–||300 ml||–||450 ml||–||300 ml||350 ml|
|Battery Capacity||1800 mAh||5200 mAh||2600 mAh||2600 mAh||2500 mAh||2600 mAh||2200 mAh||2600 mAh||2600 mAh|
|Charging Time||120 min||N/A||N/A||280 min||300 min||300 min||120 min||240 min||300 min|
|Barrier-cross Height||N/A||N/A||15 mm||15 mm||12 mm||15 mm||20 mm||10 mm||N/A|
|Weight||7.8 kg||3.81 kg||2.2 kg||2 kg||2.55 kg||2.95 kg||4.85 kg||2.7 kg||3 kg|
|Width||33 cm||34.54 cm||31 cm||30 cm||30.5 cm||34 cm||31 cm||31 cm||30 cm|
|Height||9.39 cm||9.65cm||7.6 cm||7 cm||8 cm||8 cm||8.7 cm||8 cm||7.6 cm|
|Price Range||$320 – $370||$280 – $400||$190||$170 – $270||$230 – $460||$190 – $210||$150 – $190||$180 – $240||$220 – $230|
What are the Differences Between Good and Bad Robot Vacuum Cleaners?
If we decided to go for a product from China, we need to consider what kind of features are necessary and which we can discard. In this manner, we can find a good fit. The different elements have small differences but influence the user-friendliness and cleaning capabilities.
A feature which is the specs is indicated as 1,800 Pa. This is a good indicator of the performance. The suction power is an indication if the robot can clean carpets and/or other heavy-duty tasks besides the regular dust.
Cleaning Time and Charging time
How many minutes can it consecutive clean. This is important because this will give a small indication if the robot is capable of cleaning bigger areas.
Next to that, how long will it take to charge again fully? In most cases, cleaning will take place just once a day. In this manner, the robot can fully recharge at night. Which is plenty enough time for all the models we compare.
Is it Quite Enough?
With the scheduling feature, you want to get the work done when you are not there. However, that is sometimes not possible. So the noise volume is something to take into consideration. In our overview the noise levels are from a range between 50 dB and 68 db.
HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air. A HEPA filter is a type of mechanical air filter; it works by forcing air through a fine mesh that traps harmful particles such as pollen, pet dander, dust mites, and tobacco smoke.
Essentially, HEPA air purifiers capture up to 99.97 percent of particles as small as 0.3 microns, which include a range of allergens and odors. On the other hand, a purifier with a HEPA Type filter is capable of capturing 99 percent of particles that are 2 microns or larger, such as pet dander and dust.
Some robots just navigate randomly through the room. Every time they bump into something they will turn around and go back again. Still, they are going back to a slightly different angle to not completely redo its initial path. However, in the end, it is still random if the robot got all areas and corners of your room.
Therefore there is a smarter system. Which is called SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping algorithm). This system works with infrared and the robot will try to map your living space in his virtual memory. In that matter, it can reach all corners and hidden spots in the room.
Besides, the navigation some robots have sensors to indicate if they are bumping into an object. With better and more sensors the vacuum cleaner will not bump into your furniture with the chance of damaging. Others have soft bumpers instead of sensors, which is a bit ponderous but also does the job.
Another feature which is essential is the ‘cliff detection.’ Does the robot recognize stairs or other height differences and prevent from falling off. In the budget prices robots, we compare in this review this feature is present in all models.
Self Adjusting Floor Recognition
Does the robot recognize if he is cleaning a tile/wooden floor or a carpet? And is he adjusting its setting appropriately to reach the best result? Cleaning carpets clearly needs more power suction.
The Robot Must Be Small with a Large Dust Bin!
This is a bit contradictory statement. We often want to be it as small as possible. Because vacuum robots are not a piece of art, they are just functional. Next to that, if it is smaller, it can reach more spots. For example, it’s height determines if it can clean under the couch.
On the other hand, we want a large dustbin, he needs to run a whole session without cleaning the bin. And we want to have the least work; we bought it for comfort and laziness. So it is indeed a plus if it is working utterly independent without a human for emptying the dustbin.
App or Remote Control?
A remote control will fulfill your needs to control the robot. But, an app often provides far more information with a nice graphical layout. More like a smart machine is supposed to operate.
– Is it able to wet-mop?
– Has it a virtual wall function?
– Can it deep clean carpets?
– Are you able to schedule the cleaning?
– Can you control it with your voice?
Are These Chinese Budget Robot Vacuum Cleaners Just as Good?
Our Contender – iRobot Roomba 690
We compare our Chinese models with this affordable model from the high-end iRobot brand. You can find this one for around $375 dollars. Which is in the upper region considering the alternatives we are going to look at.
If we consider the specs this Roomba 690 is not doing it very well vs. the Chinese models. A few cons which are heavyweight are the missing of wet mopping functionality. But also the runtime of only 60 min and the noise level of 68 dB are a bit disappointing. Or are those China brands truly a good alternative?
There are also pros, you can control your robot with Amazons Alexa, and it is entirely controllable with the iRobot smartphone app.
Xiaomi Mi Robot Vacuum
The first model we mention is also the most expensive alternative, the Xiaomi Mi Robot Vacuum (not the second generation, because that one is not valid for ‘budget/cheap’ anymore).
This Xiaomi model is standing out in two different aspects. It has the most potent suction power of all the models (there is no known specification about the suction power of the Roomba 690), the average suction power is around 1100 Pa, and the Xiaomi provides 1800 Pa. Which indicates that cleaning carpets are probably an easy job.
Besides the excellent suction power this robot also provides intelligent mapping algorithm, this feature is missing on most of the models. This smart mapping is surely a useful feature; it is more efficient regarding battery use, but also on cleaning and discovering every spot in the room (or multiple rooms).
The downsides are its noise and the height. It is almost 2 cm higher than our lowest models. The smartphone app is a nice feature. However, not all functions are in English.
This iLife model is the worst from the test regarding the specifications. But how does it perform, according to the reviews we found out that it is not his suction power is the problem but the so-called (by iLife) smart navigation is after all not so smart. Where the iRobot took 15 minutes to clean the floor, the iLife A4S took 2 hours. And that is because it was choosing a random pattern and got stuck once.
Besides this important shortcoming, it has an interesting feature. Called “small room” cleaning. In that case, the iLife will not keep on going for two hours before returning to his dock (a feature which most iLife models have).
The pros are obviously its price and less height for cleaning under furniture.
iLife V5S Pro
The iLife V5S is the winner in smallest design! With only a height of 7cm and a width of 30cm.
It has the least height of all robots and comes with a mopping function. You can read in one of the expert reviews that the V5S performed well in the 15 minutes cleaning test. Far better than his lighter brother, the iLife A4S.
Because the lack of intelligent mapping the V5S Pro comes with 5 IR sensors, which are helping to navigate around obstacles without bumping into them. The major cons for this model are the lack of a motorized brush, so it is not able to clean carpets. And for every plus comes a con, the size of the robot reflects the size of the dirt bin, which is small.
When we are giving awards for design and beautifulness, the iLife A6 will compete with the top. The tempered glass top cover creates an elegant look, and the piano black makes it look elegant and exquisite.
Some of the special features include the virtual wall and the tangle-free brush roll. Unfortunately, you are not able to connect through a smartphone app. The A6 does have sensors for helping to find the way in a room or not falling off the stairs. In the end, the cleaning pattern is still random.
So if you are considering design above all, you will have to leave other features. This robot cannot wet mop and no smartphone app. But you will get a great designed machine in your home which runs for a remarkable 160 mins and got virtual wall functionality.
iLife V7S Pro
The robot with the largest dustbin (500 ml) and water tank (450 ml).
This iLife V7S Pro model is also missing an intelligent planning system (like all iLife robots from this review). So it will “randomly” work through your room or multiple rooms for 140 min. Which is pretty decent running time. It only produces 60 dB, and with its sensors and anti-collision system it avoids your furniture.
The suction power is far beneath the specifications of the other models, just 600 Pa (where the average is around 1100 Pa). However, in the practical test of our experts, they state that it cleans very well. You just don’t need to expect remarkable results on carpets. Especially not on black rugs, probably because of the sensors the robot avoids those.
Its remarkably large water tank makes it able to wipe your whole floor.
By far the oldest model in this test, you can buy the Seebest D730 since 2016. But besides you can buy it everywhere nowadays, there are not many expert reviews of this iLife competitor. There is even no official brand webpage.
It has some pros, it can wet mop your room, and its noise is just 55 dB (one of the quietest from the test).
It does not have an intelligent room mapping system but it offers several ways to clean:
– Auto Clean (moves semi-randomly)
– Edge Clean (cleans around the room edges)
– Spot Clean (cleans around a designated spot)
You will find these modes on almost all robots without intelligent mapping. Its last feature is not entirely a highlight. It has the virtual wall functionality available. However, you will need to purchase it separately.
Haier XShuai T370
The XShuai T370 is one of the budgets robots with several sophisticated features. It is the only budget robot vacuum with the voice service from Amazon, Alexa. This will make the robot ease of use. Besides, it has other luxuries.
It has powerful suction, wet mopping function, a HEPA filter, and a responsive touchscreen on top of it.
The last great feature on paper but less in practice is its advanced gyroscopic navigation system. This does not work as sophisticated as we would expect, it is underperforming compared to the other intelligent mapping systems from the Xiaomi and the Roomba 690. Which is not a complete failure, because this mapping system is still far more efficient than the random algorithms of the iLife models.
One major downside which is somewhat necessary. Expert reviews indicate that the actual cleaning of dirty floors could be better. So in the end, you will get extensive features for less. However, it does not perform like a superstar on the things it should.
This model from Dibea has certainly some nice features. It is probably a bit undervalued compared to the other models, and certainly worth to consider!
One of its major pros is the quietness of operation, which can be handy with little children sleeping. It is also able to wet mop your floor; the large water tank makes it able to cover a large area. The low height design makes it able to vacuum under furniture.
The downside is its performance on carpets; it is not able to deep clean them. Next, to that, the navigation is not that refined. Just like most budget models use it a random system and will it navigate based on IR sensors.
Are Those Chinese Budget Robots Worth It?
Yes! They certainly are. If you go for half the price you will also get less quality, but with 2/3 of the price you can find the same quality with often more features. So those Robotic vacuum cleaners are way too expensive? This is not true anymore. You can buy good quality from $200 when you look in China.
Help Others, Share Your Thoughts
Comment below and share your questions and knowledge. Help each other with shopping in China, we all appreciate it.