There I was, standing in the middle of my kitchen after I just finished mopping the floor for the second time this week, thinking, “I’d rather be spending time playing with my daughter than cleaning.” Baby Pumpkin must have read my mind, because she army crawled towards me, gave me a huge grin and proudly showed me a clump of dog hair that she must have pulled from under the couch just a moment ago. She held it up long enough for me to see what it was before swiftly stuffing it in her mouth. She then proceeded to crawl across the floor, stopping to lick it every now and then.
At that moment I knew something had to be done about the whole process of cleaning my floors. I had to streamline it. Somehow. So I started researching my options.
What I needed was a way to clean my floors daily without investing too much time or money into it. Hiring outside help wasn’t an option (hey, someday I might win a lottery, right?), and I really didn’t feel like sweeping and mopping all the time. Maybe…. maybe I can have a robot do it for me? This is when I came across iRobot Braava.
- How fast the robot can charge between cleaning cycles (Braava 380t comes with a turbo charging cradle vs just a wall charger for Braava 320 so it charges in significantly less time)
- How long it can run on a single charge (dry mopping 3 hours, damp mopping 2 hours for Braava 320; dry mopping 4 hours, damp mopping 2.5 hours for Braava 380t)
- Mopping coverage (dry mopping coverage 800 sq. ft., damp mopping coverage 250 sq. ft. for Braava 320; dry mopping coverage 1000 sq. ft., damp mopping coverage 350 sq. ft. for Braava 380t)
- This is the important one – Braava 380t comes with a reservoir cleaning pad which dispenses cleaning solution as needed to moisten the cleaning cloth. Braava 320 does not!
After reading for a long, long time about iRobot Braava, I gave in and bought the 380t model. You can buy Braava on Amazon, or in stores like Bed, Bath & Beyond (yes, you can use the 20% off coupon on any iRobot purchase).
I wasn’t sure at first if I was going to like it enough to justify the money spent, but now, several months later, I can definitely confirm that it was 100% worth the price. You have to understand though, Braava has some limitations – it is NOT a scrubbing robot, it was never meant to be one. If you have some major stuck-on mess on your floors, it won’t help you. iRobot makes a scrubbing robot just for that:
What Braava is great for is a good everyday cleanup. It is basically a fully automated Swiffer (you can even use Swiffer dry and wet cloths), and it does all the work for you. You just need to attach a cleaning cloth and push the start button.
Things I really like about my Braava 380t:
- It cleans by itself. I can leave the house after turning it on and come back to clean floors.
- It is whisper quiet. My (always nervous) pomeranian doesn’t even notice when it’s around, I can watch TV with it running, etc.
- It picks up dog hair from the above mentioned pomeranian very, very well.
- It cleans UNDER everything it can possibly fit under. It cleans places around my home that I haven’t cleaned in YEARS (under the couch, under the cabinets…). It also does a good job along the baseboards (much better job than me with a Swiffer).
- It really takes its time cleaning and will usually go over the same spot a few times.
- You can use either reusable cloths that come with it or Swiffer dry and wet refills. If you are planning on using the reusable ones, make sure you get some extras because you will want to clean every day now. I prefer using the Swiffer refills (I think they clean a bit better, especially the dry ones) for cleaning all the rooms but one with a high gloss laminate, where I use Bona Stone Tile and Laminate Floor Cleaner.
- It is oh so cute. I know, sounds silly, but it is very amusing to watch it clean, especially at first, and it seems to have a personality of some sort. We lovingly call our Braava our “animal” 😀
Things that could be improved:
- It really won’t do a great job if you have a major mess (think an entire jar of spilled baby food or dried-on mess)
- Sometimes it gets stuck. It doesn’t happen often (out of all the places in my house it cleans under it only gets stuck under one couch, which is somewhat weird because I have two identical couches in the living room and he only ever gets stuck under one of them, go figure) and it will let you know that it’s stuck by making a cute beeping noise. After you “unstuck” it, it will keep cleaning.
- Price. Doesn’t everybody wish these things were just a bit cheaper? 😉
Is it worth the asking price? I can say with confidence, it is for me. I honestly have not swept or mopped the floors myself since I got my Braava, and my floors are reasonably clean. I feel comfortable letting my baby crawl all over them, I know there aren’t any more dog hair clumps under my couches, and I’ve actually had people comment on how clean my floors look. “How do you keep your floors so clean with the baby?,” I’ve had other moms ask me. Well, I don’t.
My Braava does it for me.
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”