I, For One, Welcome Our New Robot Overlords – Mint Vs Roomba


I loved our Roomba until the day it died. Could any other floor cleaner heal the pain?

It turns out the Mint floor cleaner fills the void nicely.

We have laminate flooring throughout the house. And two dogs, one of which blows out his wiry coat every few months. Unless we stay on top of it every day the dust bunnies start to take over.

What I like most about the Mint is it’s simplicity. The thing is an automated dust mop. A Swiffer with two wheels and a brain. The only care it needs is to be plugged in and have it’s pad changed.

The Roomba on the other hand required a five minute grooming routine every morning. Comb the brushes, empty the dust bucket and worst of all, tease out the dog hair that got wrapped around the front axle. This last task took a set of micro pliers to perform.

Some reviews comparing the Mint floor cleaner to the Roomba make a big deal about the Mint’s navigation system. The Mint builds a map of the room as it travels and doesn’t cover the same area twice. The Roomba is much less efficient, heading off in random directions at every turn.

Efficiency, it turns out, doesn’t equal effectiveness. If a clump of dust gets left behind when the Mint makes a turn the little robot won’t be back later to pick it up. The Roomba, as long as it has life and breath in it’s battery, will go back and collect any dust it missed.

The Roomba with it’s whirling brushes and frenetic edge sweeper brush is the more aggressive cleaner by far. But also the loudest. The Mint is whisper-quiet. As long as it doesn’t get stuck you barely know it’s there. And the Mint gets stuck less than the Roomba. The Mint is better at navigating under low sofas and dressers. The Roomba has beefier tires and is better at driving over power cords and coaxial cables.

Neither cleaner is perfect. But both do a good job at keeping the floor in habitable condition. The Roomba is less likely to leave random clumps of dog hair in it’s wake. But for my money the Mint has the upper hand. After all, what’s the point of having a robot housekeeper if you have to start every day by cleaning the robot?

Latest Comments

  1. David December 15, 2011