A good robot mop is like an automatic Swiffer: It won’t make your floors sparkle, but it will wipe up splatters and some grime, and it can be a handy, low-effort tidy-up tool for busy areas like your kitchen, bathroom, and mudroom. We tested 10 different bot-mops, and we think that the first one you should consider is the small, simple, smart-enough iRobot Braava Jet 240.
The iRobot Braava Jet 240 is slightly more effective at removing stains and grime than other robot mops we tested, and it’s a little simpler to use, too. You attach a cleaning pad (disposable or reusable; iRobot makes both types), fill the small reservoir with water (and, optionally, cleaning solution), plop it down near the edge of the room you want to clean, and press the start button, and it handles the rest. The small bot—measuring only 7 by 6.7 inches—moves quietly in an orderly back-and-forth pattern and usually doesn’t miss any patches of flooring. The Braava Jet 240 isn’t as quick, clever, or controllable as some other robots; it’s meant to wet-mop only one large room or two small rooms at a time (something like 150 to 200 square feet), and you can’t program how it navigates. But in a lot of homes, it’ll be all the robot you need, because you probably don’t need to mop most of your rooms often. iRobot also has a very good reputation for making durable, repairable products, as well as for keeping spare parts available for ages. Like all robot mops, the Braava Jet 240 is safe to use on any kind of sealed hard flooring.
If you want to use a smart-home app to control when and where your robot mop cleans, or want to be able to mop multiple rooms at a time (up to 1,000 square feet), you could upgrade to the iRobot Braava Jet m6. It’s essentially a smarter, larger version of the Braava Jet 240. The navigation system is the key upgrade: The m6 uses a camera that helps it learn the layout of your home after two or three cleaning sessions per level (and it can learn multiple levels). After it’s been “trained,” you can use an app to tell the bot to clean specific rooms while skipping others. You don’t have to use these advanced navigation controls if you don’t want to, though it’s also kind of the point of paying to upgrade to the m6. (A few other robot mops have smart navigation systems that work well, too, though those models either cost much more or don’t clean as well as the m6.)
Like any robot mop, the m6 is not quite an auto-magical, hands-off experience: You still need to change the pads and fill the reservoir after every cleaning session (and remember to sometimes order fresh supplies or wash the reusable pads). Rugs and thresholds can also trip up the m6 as it tries to navigate between rooms—a side effect of its above-average cleaning performance, since the cleaning pad hugs the ground tighter than on other bots. There are a host of reasons why the m6 might end up disappointing you, but if you have a home that’s well suited to its limitations and you buy it with appropriate expectations, it can be worth the price. And there’s no other robot mop with this combination of smart navigation and above-average cleaning performance, from a brand with an established track record for durability and long-term support.
You can find plenty of combined or hybrid vacuum-mop robots. But don’t count on a combo bot to wipe away most splatters and greasy buildup: They don’t apply as much downward pressure or scrubbing action as a dedicated robot mop does, and most models are meant to work only with water—no detergent. But if your floors tend to stay pretty clean, or if you mop or Swiffer by hand regularly anyway and just want some help staying tidy between those deeper cleanings—and you’re looking for a robot vacuum anyway—you could consider a combo. Look for a model with lidar navigation (you can recognize this feature by the circle-shaped bump on top of the bot’s body), which is excellent for speedy, whole-home navigation.
The Roborock S5 Max is a notable example of a combo bot, with ever-so-slightly smarter navigation and greater control than on many others like it, from a brand with a decent track record for customer support. But there are plenty of other combo models that are very similar, and we don’t have a strong preference for any particular one.
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