For years, has been testing this type of connected machine to establish a ranking of the best robot vacuum cleaners, there was always one negative point common to all models: the mop functionality was more of a gadget than a really useful item for washing floors.
Until now there was indeed an identical system on all models, a piece of half-moon rag placed under the device with a small reservoir that left a wet mark in its path. However, the low weight of the device does not allow sufficient pressure to be applied to really remove traces on the floors.
Recently two manufacturers released a new model of robot vacuum cleaner with a novelty in the mop. This is no longer fixed, and that can make all the difference. On one model it oscillates, on the other it vibrates at a sustained rate, and both offer honorable results. So, oscillating mop or sonic vibrating mop? Make way for the match.
The forces involved
To my right, the Roborock S7 offers the “VibraRise” sonic vibration system. The mop holder vibrates at a rate of 3000 times per minute, it is invisible to the naked eye but noticeable to the touch. On my left the Ecovacs Deebot T9, which also exists in T9 + version with dust container, uses an “OZMO Pro 2.0” oscillation mop system. This time the rhythm is only 480 times per minute but the movement is noticeable thanks to a wider radius.
We enjoyed both and it is now a question of deciding between them according to several criteria. Because if the system seems very similar on paper, it is very different in practice for several reasons. Let’s go further than in the tests of these two beautiful machines which have proved their worth in terms of suction.
At Roborock two separate elements must be prepared: filling the water tank and placing the mop. The filling of the tank is done without any difficulty. You must then remove the mop holder, wet the mop and wring it out to “prime” the humidification and slide it into its holder.
On the Deebot T9 side, these two elements are one. We fill the tank located on the Ozmo Pro 2.0 block then we place one of the disposable mops which is fixed thanks to a scratch system without having to humidify it. This avoids getting your hands wet and going back and forth to the water point for this start-up.
- First round : Deebot T9 winner because slightly easier to install
A robot vacuum cleaner with a mop is good, but what happens when you have rugs or carpets in addition to tiles, linoleum or flooring?
At Roborock we found a very simple solution by fixing the mop support on a system that rises as soon as a rug, doormat or carpet is detected. And it works very well. It also lifts the mop under load to avoid soaking the floor if the station is on one of these surfaces.
The Deebot T9 also knows the difference between textile and other surfaces. However, he has no other means to avoid them than to have located them and this involves the installation of virtual barriers or blocking zones in the application. Because wherever the robot goes, the mop continues to operate by default unless you configure the map manually to indicate these areas. In this case, it will be necessary to make a single vacuum passage for the textile areas, and another in mop mode for the surfaces to be cleaned.
- Second round : Roborock S7 winner thanks to its ability to clean parts with several types of surfaces in one stroke
Navigation and movement
Gone are the first generation robot vacuums that bumped up everywhere and sailed blind. The navigation system uses very responsive sensors that recognize obstacles before hitting them. The Roborock and Ecovacs apps map the room very accurately on first use and have no trouble locating in the fireplace.
Sometimes it is necessary to prevent them from going in blocking places or to make them avoid difficult passages such as the slightly protruding threshold bars, the bay window rails or even shifts created by differences in level. In this little game, the Deebot T9 is doing the best with an agility that allows it to pass obstacles that the Roborock will need to bypass.
- Third round : tie on navigation, Deebot T9 winner in terms of travel in difficult areas
And so we start and the robot cleans, that’s all? Well no, several modes are available in the applications in addition to the classic virtual barriers. With the Roborock application you can choose a friction intensity and if we are to believe the icons, this also releases more water. The deep mode will tell the robot to make tighter round trips, thus passing twice on the same track.
There are also similar options at Ecovacs with the possibility of modifying the water flow, but not the friction intensity, there is also a deep washing mode for dirtier floors.
- Fourth round : slight advantage for the Roborock. If the options are very similar, the application allows you to configure the intensity room by room in advance, while this will be done at each start at Ecovacs. On the other hand, the friction intensity cannot be changed on the T9.
That was before the big problem with robot vacuum cleaners: they weren’t efficient. With these two models, we find much better results in all cases than with fixed mop machines. After several weeks of testing and different types of tasks and situations, it seems that the Roborock is taking a slight advantage over the more stubborn tasks.
Is it the sonic vibration system that takes precedence over the oscillation? According to our observations, it is rather the type of coating of the mops. The disposable ones of the Deebot T9 are indeed much thinner with shorter fibers than the washable mop. It is possible that this difference in thickness, not necessarily obvious in the photo, but well to the touch, plays on the efficiency.
Note that Ecovacs support told us that there is no washable model for the Deebot T9, however we did find some for sale on Aliexpress through third-party sellers. But difficult to say if the compatibility will be there.
- Fifth round : Roborock S7 narrowly wins
After the simplicity of getting started, let’s move on to the end of cleaning. With the Roborock S7, it is not necessary to take care of it immediately since it lifts its stand so as not to wet the floor, and this is important if the station is placed on a wooden floor or carpet. Before the next cleaning, you just have to remember to remove the mop to wash it, and washing it in the machine gives good results.
The Deebot T9 does not have this option and it is better not to wait before removing the disposable mop. On the other hand, it is necessary to place the other sanitizer unit to return to suction only mode.
- Sixth round : equality, maintenance is not a problem on either side in terms of mops
In terms of cost, we must already compare the selling prices of devices. In terms of price, the Roborock S7 is well placed with its 549 euros while the Deebot T9 sells for 699 euros. The Roborock S7 does not require the purchase of mops since they are washable. On the other hand, the manufacturer only offers one and to keep them running while they are in the machine, it is better to buy a few more. They can be found on the official Roborock Aliexpress store or on Amazon for less than 20 euros for 5, they should last several years.
In terms of Ecovacs disposable mops, it is more vague. The user manual indicates that it must be changed at each passage, while an alert in the application offers a reminder for its replacement. Anyway there are 10, 20 or 50 at a price ranging from 0.50 to 1 euro per unit. Not given.
- Seventh round : Roborock advantage for the economy
Our two models did very well and the results are both satisfactory. Whichever model you choose, you won’t be disappointed with the result if you tested the older generations of robot vacuum cleaners. Except in the case of very greasy or thick stains, most soiling is removed as it passes.
However, we will declare Roborock the winner on points, by a short header. For him, he already has the advantage of the price, but also the possibility of lifting his mop holder to carry out the vacuuming and cleaning of parts in one go, even in the presence of carpet, rugs or doormats. The washable mop system also seems more appropriate to us.
However, the Deebot T9 could be your preference if the robot has to pass certain obstacles such as a bay window rail, it is indeed more comfortable on these slightly uneven passages. You might also prefer a disposable mop system, which eliminates the need to wash this accessory.
But neither is perfect yet. Areas for improvement should be explored on the side of the mops material, to make them even more effective on difficult tasks. Another possibility that we lack is that of being able to add a detergent instead of water. This can also improve efficiency and even leave a little fresh scent after washing.