Neato Robotic Vacuum Cleaner  - it's been Neato-napped by my appliance thieving mama!

The Neato calls itself the best robotic vacuum and since we’ve owned the other, and thought it was good, we thought maybe Neato was thinking too highly of itself. After all, it’s a robot vacuum too, how could it be that much better?!?

Neato XV-21 Review

Well, now that I’ve tried a Neato XV-21, I agree, it’s the best robotic vacuum hands down! I won’t spend much time comparing it to the old (and now broken) robotic vacuum we’ve owned other than to say I’ve yet to have to dig out debris to unblock the machine, I didn’t need to spend a large sum of money on electronic gates to keep the vacuum from leaving the area, and I don’t have to empty the dirt cup twice during every vacuuming session.

In fact, I don’t have one bad thing to say about the Neato except that it’s so cool and works so well, that it’s been Neato-napped by my74-year old mother who swears she’s only borrowing it and yet we haven’t heard from it in days. She was last seen checking out my new coffee pot – I’m in fear for it’s safety now. Meanwhile I’m having separation anxiety from my new little vacuum friend. While it’s been gone, I realized just how much I miss my it cleaning my floors every day at 1:30pm. You see it’s scheduled to start a complete cleaning every day at the same time and I’ve grown accustom to listening to it do its work. And work it does!

Neato Charging Station - it's low profile and unobtrusive. Ours in in an unused corner of our dining room

Neato Charging Station – its low profile and unobtrusive. Ours in in an unused corner of our dining room

The Neato vacuums my laminate flooring like a champ. Anywhere it can reach, it does a fabulous job. With two men in muddy work boots, three dogs, and a cat, we give it a workout every single day. But every day it does its job and then docks itself waiting for the next scheduled cleaning time. But don’t think if these people make a mess the Neato can’t be called on duty – it can – an instant a spot cleaning can be performed and cleanliness restored.

Unlike the other robotic floor machine, this one seems to have much have better logic. Should it get stuck, say on that slipper I left in the middle of the floor, it beeps to let me know there’s a problem and then gives me a visual message to free it. Once the offending item is removed, I press the button indicated, and it takes just a moment to figure out where it is in the room and it goes right back to business.

Neato Automatic Vacuum Cleaner Features Laser Guide

How Does the Neato Robotic Vacuum Work?

Neato Underside - not a scratch on it after a tumble out the front door and on to the cement stepsThe Neato robotic vacuum uses an infrared light to scan the room instead of bumping into things to tell it where to go and more importantly where it’s been. That’s why it doesn’t need electronic gates (which I hated and which used an enormous amount of expensive batteries) and it still avoids falling down stairs (although one time it did make it out the front door and face down on the concrete stair – thankfully it didn’t even suffer a scratch!).  It uses the mapping it gains from scanning to clean in a pattern of straight lines that overlap so there are no missed spots and it completes one room before moving on to the next.

I love this feature and its one more reason I like it more than my old robotic vacuum. This one is predictable and I can go about my day without worrying about tripping on it because I know it won’t leave the kitchen until it’s done. The other one was all over the place and retraced its steps many, many times in a cleaning so you couldn’t predict where it was or where it was going at any given time.

Neato Dust Bin Cleaning - quick and easy, bagless chamber

Neato Dust Bin Cleaning – quick and easy, bagless chamber

The dirt cup is a good size and it’s bagless so I pop off the filter/door, dump it out, and then I give the filter a quick brushing with a bristle brush I keep just for this purpose. It’s not required by the manufacturer, it’s my own little thing to keep the filter clean, longer. The chamber is large enough for 2-3 days’ worth of debris (under our normal conditions) your dirt may differ.

The Neato XV-21 cleans our kitchen, entryway, living room and dining room on one charge with no problem and then docks itself to recharge. If you have a larger home, the machine will dock itself if the battery is low, and then return to cleaning as soon as it’s charged, exactly where it left off. I think that’s brilliant!

I’ll be getting the machine back from my mom soon, but if it works on her laminate floors covered with several large area rugs, we may have to see about having Santa bring her one for Christmas. She’s a quilter and keeping up with the threads that fall on her carpet is a full-time job. I can’t wait to see how the Neato fares in her hands.

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Neato XV-21 Replacement Parts

Pet & Allergy Filter Replacement Pack – approximately $29 for 2 filters
Standard Filter Replacement Pack – approximately $19 for 2 filers
Boundary Markers – need to keep the Neato from cleaning a certain area? Put up battery-free boundary markers. A 13′ roll is $30

Where to Buy Neato Robotic Vacuums and Parts

The Neato can be bought a major retailers locally and online. For a list of stores, visit their “where to buy” page.