iRobot Braava 380 Review – Floor Mopping Robot

irobot braava reviewThe Braava 380 floor mopping robot is one of the latest offerings for iRobot. While known most commonly for the popular Roomba series, iRobot has been branching out to similar floor cleaning devices. The Braava 380t is their higher end model of their floor mopping series and attempts to solve the common household chore of mopping once and for all.

In this Braava 380 review, we will be looking at what makes the Braava stand out and whether it is worth the money.

 

Features of Braava 380 Series

The new Braava series from iRobot looks similar to the Mint vacuum series. Incidentally, the Mint brand was recently acquired by iRobot so they may have made use of their technology and design. After testing it out for ourselves, there were a few key features that we immediately noticed.

  • Hard Floor Specialist: If carpets are not your thing, the Braava is built for hardwood floors, laminates, linoleum, and tiles. While some of the Roomba models do a fair job, the Braava provided a sharper shine in our test (of tile flooring).
  • Dry/Damp Mop: This dual mode allows for maximum flexibility, depending on your cleaning needs. Dry mode picks up top level dust and dirt, while damp mop provides a deep clean to take out grime and stains. Both clothes are microfiber (2 each come standard with the Braava out of the box). This effectively creates a “swiffer” effect in automated form.
  • Multiple Pass Technology: Borrowing from the Roomba series, the iRobot Braava makes multiple passes over the same service area. This provides insurance for getting out even the toughest stains.
  • Ease of User: Borrowing from popular products like the “Swiffer”, the Braava has replaceable clothes for the bottom of the device. It is easy to tell when they are dirty and easy to replace as needed. You can start with a sweeping run with the dry microfiber cloth, followed by a deep clean with the microfiber mop cloth. Simply set it and forget it and the rest is history, all without having to lift a finger to clean. Pretty neat.
  • Smart Mapping: The only thing worse than not having a robot is having a broken robot. The Braava uses the latest iRobot technology and sensors to avoid stairs, carpets, and other pittfalls that could cause problems. While not perfect, the navigation is among the best we have seen from home robots in this market.
  • Compact Size: Learning from previous robotic vacuums, the Braava is built to fit under the usual household furniture. It can get under couches, tables and other tight spaces. It also has enough coverage to clean corners as well, something not all robots can boast about.
  • Quiet: Unlike some of the older Roomba and Neato models, the Braava is surprisingly quiet. It goes about its job with a low hum.
  • Price: Topping out at $300, the Braava is a cheaper than robot vacuums and is more effective  and efficient than hand mops. Within a year the investment pays for itself in time saved. While still not within everyone’s budget, the list price is more affordable than expected.

Pros and Cons of the Braava

Pros: Easy to use, smart navigation, and price (relative to Roomba/Scooba/Neato).

Cons: No major new technology, very similar to the Mint Plus, and hard to find in retail stores.

iRobot Braava Video Overview

The following video provides an excellent overview of what the Braava has to offer:

Braava 380 vs 320

At first glance, the price tag is the key differential between these two models. There is a $100 differential between the 380 at about $300 and the 320 at $200. There are some other key differences. The advantage of the 380 is that it can cover more ground in one session. It has multiple navigation cubes, meaning that it has the capacity to memorize the schematics of more than one room. The 320 can do one medium sized room at a time, requiring a bit more baby sitting. Also, the 380 has more liquid dispensing capability, meaning that it can cover more ground (a mid to large size room) with the wet cloth. Finally, the 380 comes standard with a turbo charging dock capable of recharging the device in about 2 hours.

Bottom line: The Braava 320 is ideal for occupants of smaller residences like apartments or condos. Alternatively, anyone with just one or two rooms with hard surfaces that require mopping will find the 320 well suited for the task. For home owners or people with large expanses of wood, tile, linoleum, or stone flooring, the 380 is the better investment and will require less monitoring.

Where to Buy the Braava 380

It is still relatively difficult to purchase robotic products like the Braava in retail stores. The best place to buy is still online. For free shipping and best prices, check out Amazon.com. The 380 comes in at $299 while the 320 sells for $199. Check out the links below for the latest live update feed of the prices.



About Patrick Sinclair

Patrick Sinclair is a geek; make no mistake about that. He runs All Home Robotics in his spare time so he doesn't have to think about his depressing cubicle and it gives him an excuse to buy expensive gadgets to review!