Robot vacuum cleaners are one of the best ways to save time and skip an inconvenient chore. They add up to hours and hours of saved time each year, so they're a really smart purchase. iRobot's Roomba is the market leader in vacuum robots and offers excellent products. Their big brand name also comes with a big price tag, though. That's why we've created this buying guide to help you find a smart, cheap alternative to the Roomba that offers you the same automatic cleaning experience - at a great price! The winner of our tests is the excellent ILIFE A4. It's a fantastic robot vacuum that gets the job done and keeps your wallet happy. Let's find out more!
The iRobot Roomba 980 is an excellent robot vacuum. iRobot is both the market leader and original creator of robot vacuums. Their flagship model, the Roomba 980, offers everything you could want fro ma cleaning robot but comes with a hefty price tag. The only notable feature that the Roomba 980 has and the ILIFE A4 doesn't is app support. So if you're keen on scheduling cleanings via your smartphone, the Roomba 980 is great. Otherwise, we'd recommend that you save yourself a lot of money and choose the ILIFE A4.
The ILIFE A4 is surprisingly powerful and feature-rich for it' low price. It offers virtually identical specs compared to the pricey Roomba 980 and sometimes even manages to surpass the brand product. For example, the ILIFE A4 offers a much better battery life. It's an all-around great cleaning robot that managed to convince us with top features, excellent cleaning performance, and its great price. We rally enjoyed using this product. It shows that you don't need to spend a lot of money to get a great robot vacuum.
The Roomba 980 features what IRobot calls a "AeroForce Cleaning System." This allows the vacuum to clean efficiently on both carpet and rugs. The vacuum's suction is strong and cleaning performance is all-around excellent on different surfaces.
The ILIFE A4 also offers great cleaning performance. It features a three-step cleaning process consisting of a strong vacuum, rotating blade brushes, and corner sides brushes. This is very similar to the Roomba and a proven way to clean different surfaces.
The Roomba 980 cleans for up to 120 minutes. This allows it to clean multiple rooms in a row before having to recharge.
The ILIFE A4 offers a better battery life than the Roomba. It can vacuum for 130-150 minutes before having to recharge.
The Roomba 980 let's you set custom cleaning schedules so that the vacuum can, for example, clean while you're not home. Scheduling works great and was very easy to set up.
The ILIFE A4 also offers cleaning schedules. Simply program the robot for specific days and times and it will start cleaning your home even when you're not present. Magic!
The Roomba 980 works great on almost any surface. We tested it on thick and thin carpets, hardwood and laminate floors, and tiles. On all those surfaces it picked up dust and dirt effortlessly.
The ILIFE A4 was also tested on different carpets, hardwood floors, tiles, and more. The tiny robot was able to clean all dirt and debris we had put down, from sand to pet hair and beyond.
After the Roomba 980 is done cleaning (or when it needs to take a break to recharge), it automatically drives itself to it's base station. After docking the robot recharges and then continues cleaning if needed. It's a very convenient feature.
The ILIFE A4 also offers automatic docking and recharging. Because it has a better battery life than the Roomba it does this less frequently. The ILIFE consistently found its charging dock and took care of everything itself. It works great.
The Roomba 980 was able to clean at the same level of power during its entire battery cycle. Even on low charges it continued to clean very well and didn't loose suction.
The ILIFE A4 also offers fade-free vacuuming. even on lower battery levels the cleaning robot continued to vacuum with top performance. It's a powerful little helper.
Roomba's rotating brushes are designed to be tangle free. This helps to prevent hair and debris from jamming the vacuum. You'll have to occasionally clean the brushes, but it's easy and rare.
ILIFE features their own tangle-free design. Just like the Roomba it works very well to prevent vacuum jams from long hairs and other obstructions. Cleaning brushes is very easy.