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iRobot Braava 380t Vacuum Review

iRobot Braava 380t Vacuum Cleaner Black Friday & Cyber Monday Deals
Written by zeeshan

Welcome to vacuum Wars and to our big showdown between the three Brava mopping robots from iRobot we’ve done individual in-depth tests and reviews of each of these robots which I’ll link in the description this video will go over all those results and pick a winner and really explain the differences between all three because as we’ll see the decision as to which one of these is the best kind of comes down to how you plan on using them so links in the description and let’s get started first let’s go through the contestants we have the braava 240 which is the budget version the 380 t which is a little bit more expensive and the top-of-the-line model the m6 they all are mopping robots only meaning that they’re not meant to be used to vacuum the floors though all of them do have a dry or dusting mode where they will dust the floor with an included dry pad but if there’s any large debris it’s just going to push them out of the way so the dusting mode is honestly only so useful that being said we found that the bravas do a really good job at mopping floors much better than the robot vacuum / mops that are out there and we’re going to see why that is later on there are quite a lot of differences between these three models though I think the best way to show this is to start talking about them one by one starting with the budget model the 240 the 240 a robots cheapest brava operates by filling an internal tank with up to 0.15 litres of water you then attach one of the included disposable mopping pads which are designated as dry damp or wet the little card on the back of the pad is read by the robot and it automatically adjusts the water spray amount depending on which pad was inserted iRobot offers proprietary washable reusable pads which are sold separately it mops by spraying a little bit of water in front of the unit and then making an odd sort of back-and-forth y-shaped path to clean.

iRobot Braava 380t Vacuum Cleaner

The area though in dry mode its path is basically straight back and forth lines in our various mopping tests where we use all kinds of material from wet spills to dried on grape and vegetable juice I found that the Bravo jet 240 was incredibly good I test a lot of robot vacuum mop combos and none of those come close to the mopping power of the 240 it just gets tougher stains and gets them in fewer passes than any non brava i’ve personally tested I should also mention that the 240 is also unique among bravas since it’s the only one to have a vibrating mop head to further loosen stuck on debris the bravo jet 240 has a surprisingly sophisticated navigational algorithm to make the best use of it you place it on the left side of a small to medium-sized room and it will find its way to cover the entire area while navigating around obstacles and it did pretty good with this on our tests iRobot says the 240 can cover 150 square feet in mopping mode in about 350 square feet and dusting mode the 240 like all bravas has sensors that prevent it from going on carpets and rugs which I found to be really fantastic even our very flimsy bathroom mat was avoided which was one of my concerns you can also prevent it from going past a certain area with the so called virtual wall mode where you basically hold down the button until you see this blue line which means that it won’t go past that invisible line which is behind its starting point which is pretty clever the 240 usually comes with one battery which is removable and it’s also easy to find replacements for or extras online which I really liked iRobot claims that it can get 180 minutes on a single charge which is a pretty good amount but it should be weighed against the fact that it takes these mopping BOTS longer to cover an area in mopping mode for example it took almost 60 minutes to clear our test room which is about double what it would take a typical robot vacuum the next model is the 380 T which is technically the middle tier option in terms of price but was actually released before the 240 was in any case the main niche that the 380 T fills in the Bravo lineup is its ability to clean larger areas than the 240 it can do this because it has a touch more battery life than the 240 but the downside is that the battery on the 380 T is internal and so to recharge it you have to put it on its charging dock manually which is a little more inconvenient but not really a big deal they included something they called the navigation cube with a 380 T which you place in the middle of the area that you want it to clean and it will act as a kind of radio beacon to allow the bots to systematically clean larger areas according to their specs this allows for an extra 50 square feet of coverage over the 240 in mopping mode but it does look like you could buy more navigation cubes and kind of overlap them to cover even larger areas and it should be said that the 380 T also seems to have the same basic default navigational algorithm as the 240 so if you didn’t have the cube you could just set it down on the left side of the room and it would more or less operate exactly as the 240 did the other main difference between the 3 abt and the others is that instead of using a sprayer that shoots water in front of its mopping path they used a detachable mopping plate that has a water reservoir on top where the water just soaks into the pad at a fixed rate I actually had to test this twice because I’m a moron and I didn’t read the instructions carefully but after doing that I actually found this fixed rate soak pad method to be quite effective as long as the pad was sufficiently saturated with water it picked up the very difficult to get dried vegetable juice stains in just one pass just like the 240 basically it was about the same as the 240 but it was crucial to get that pad entirely saturated one advantage with the 380 T over the others is that since there is no sprayer there’s no spray adjustment system that’s connected to the type of pads that you use so you can pretty much use any kind of microfiber material as long as it’s cut in a similar fashion to the included pads in other words the three ADT has the biggest upside with regard to operational costs since you don’t have to use proprietary irobot products the final contestant the braava jet m6 is the newest and most advanced brava yet and for it I robot went back to the tried-and-true water spray method in this case the water tank is removable but it’s the same basic idea where you fill it up and attach either a dry or a wet pad which can be either disposable or reusable but in any case it will detect the mopping mode automatically however in this case you can actually use the app to further dial in the amount of water you want it to spray and a few other options it does clean a bit differently than the others in that it no longer has a y-shaped pattern but it’s more just straight back and forth even in mopping mode and it no longer has that vibrating head like on the 240 but the net result is a very similar cleaning ability to the 240 in other words it’s really good and it’s kind of hard to say which was better but it was the same basic top tier mopping ability that as far as I have seen is the best you can get with a mopping robot but the real difference between the m6 and the other bravas is its navigational features the m6 is the first pure mopping robot has a camera which it uses to map out your house and clean systematically room by room while giving you the full suite of app options from I robots imprint smart mapping technology things like keep out zones where you draw little boxes on the map in the app to keep it out of places you don’t want it to go it also has room select where you can tell it to clean this room and not that room which is actually going to be important later on you can also use it in tandem with any Roomba that has imprint mapping like the i7 or s9 regular robot vacuums basically you can tell those regular robots to start cleaning and when they finish they will send a signal to the m62 start its mopping job the main point though is that the other bravas are bots that you really need to be involved with you need to physically bring them into the room that you want it to clean and neither the 240 or the 380 will come anywhere close to systematically cleaning your entire home let alone giving you the option to tell at which rooms to clean and which ones not to the other advantage is that the m6 automatically returns to the dock to recharge itself and because it’s a smart navigation robot it has a feature called recharge and resume meaning that if it does run low on battery it will return to the base to recharge and then resume cleaning when it’s charged up exactly on the place on its map that it left off so battery life is a lot less of an issue with the m6 some of the downsides to the m6 really apply to all the bravas but are more noticeable with the m6 for example all bravas are pretty bad at crossing over even very low floor transitions this is because they are programmed not to go over carpets and rugs and even minor floor transitions seem like a carpet or rug to them this isn’t usually a complaint with the other two cheaper bravas since people don’t really expect those to clean the entire house where they would encounter lots of transitions and other obstacles but with the m6 people notice it a lot because they expect it to be able to navigate the entire house transitions and all and it quite simply won’t cross significant transitions similarly in my opinion all of the bravas are great to a point and that point is where they’re mopping pad gets too dirty because after that it’s just going to leave streaks don’t get me wrong it won’t leave streaks up to a point but once that mopping pad gets dirty enough you will need to change the pad to avoid streaks which sometimes show up as tire marks again this is an issue with the m6 precisely because the idea is for the m6 to be able to clean the entire house but in most cases that means it will have a pretty dirty mopping pad by the end of its run one solution would be to have it scheduled to clean only one or two rooms a day and then to change the mopping pad every morning a solution that’s only possible thanks to the advanced software on the m6 in summary though my recommendation is mostly for the cheaper brava jet 240 I know it’s more simple and it doesn’t have all the cool navigational features and you do need to manually place it in the room that you want to clean.

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zeeshan

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