Sarah is a busy marketing executive who starts her day at 5:30 AM due to a demanding job and tight schedules. She gets ready quickly and heads to the kitchen to make breakfast. She doesn’t have time to perform cleaning chores so she starts her robot vacuum cleaner. It silently navigates through the living room, dining area, and kitchen, picking up crumbs, dust, and pet hair all the while Sarah enjoys her breakfast without having to worry about vacuuming or sweeping before heading out the door. The robot vacuum handles the cleaning while she focuses on her morning routine.
Robot vacuum cleaners are autonomous devices that can clean floors in homes and other indoor spaces without human intervention. They feature various sensors, cameras, and other technology to navigate around obstacles, avoid falling down stairs, and efficiently cover a complex cleaning area. They use algorithms and mapping technology to create a cleaning path. Most robot vacuum cleaners offer different cleaning modes, including regular cleaning, spot cleaning, and edge cleaning. You can set schedules on some advanced models to clean at specific times.
Many modern robot vacuum cleaners come with Wi-Fi connectivity so that we can pair them to an app on our smartphone and control them. They may also be compatible with voice assistants like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. Despite all these bells and whistles, you still need to perform some regular maintenance, such as emptying the dustbin, cleaning the brushes, and checking for obstructions in the sensors.
We recently came across a robot vacuum cleaner, the SwitchBot K10+ Mini Robot Vacuum. As the name suggests, it is a tiny vacuum cleaner with almost all the features that most regular size cleaners have. For instance, the K10+ boasts a 2,500 Pa suction power off of its motor and can climb obstacles that are up to 2cm height. The SwitchBot brand of Robot Vacuum Cleaners are very popular is Japan due to their size (as apartments in Japan, especially in large cities are small and compact). Other important feature, especially for a relatively small vacuum cleaner, is the dust collection unit. Yes. The SwitchBot K10+ comes with a base station that not only charges the vacuum cleaner but also collects and accumulates the dust and debris off of it. There are so many other interesting features which we will be checking out in this review of the SwitchBot K10+ Mini Robo Vacuum. Spoiler alert! If you are looking for a really compact robot vacuum cleaner for your small home/apartment, then the SwitchBot K10+ is a definite contender.
Not only the K10+, even the package in which it comes is really compact. Opening the box, we have a quick start guide that includes some simple steps to get the vacuum cleaner up and running. Next, we have the main robot vacuum cleaner unit and the base station. We will look at the design elements of both these units in the next section.
There are also a couple of Cleaning Brushes and a set of disposable cleaning mops/cloths. That’s it for the unboxing and we will continue with the design of the main unit as well as the base station.
If you are familiar with robot vacuum cleaners, you will know them to be slightly larger devices with around 35cm (14”) diameter. But the beauty of the SwitchBot K10+ is its width is just under 25cm (10”) while the height is 9.2cm (3.6”). On the front side, it has a bumper mechanism that also houses some sensors. This will protect the vacuum cleaner even if it manages to hit an obstacle.
On top, there are a couple of buttons. One is the power button, which you need to long press to turn the device on or off and short press to begin the cleaning process. The second button has a “home” symbol on it. If you press it, the K10+ will return to the base station and charges itself. There is another switch under the top magnetic lid. You have to slide this to on position before using the vacuum cleaner.
Once you remove the lid, you will also have access to the tiny dustbin. While you don’t have to empty the dustbin as it will automatically empty itself to the base station, it is good to have easy access to the bin so that you can easily clean or wash it every now and then.
When you turn the unit over, you can see some wheels on the bottom. The main two wheels have suspension mechanism so that they can easily propel the vacuum over tiny obstacles as well. There is a roller wheel with brushes that will suck the dust and debris into the bin. To help move the dust towards the roller, there is a rotating brush on the front, just in front of the wheels. There is also an omnidirectional wheel at the front that will make the vacuum move in different directions.
Moving on to the base station, it will not only charge the robot unit but also collects the dust from the K10+ and stores it in its 4L storage tank. We thought the tank would be an integrated part of the base station or a removable plastic part. But to our surprise, it is a disposable dust bag. On the inside of the lid of the base station, there is a mop plate, which we can attach to the K10+ and use it with the disposable mop sheet that we mentioned earlier.
The SwitchBot K10+ Mini Robot Vacuum Cleaner comes with a range of innovative and useful features that can make home cleaning more efficient and convenient. First and foremost, the K10+ Mini Robot Vacuum is compact and 50% smaller than traditional vacuums. With a body diameter of just 24.8cm, it can smoothly navigate and clean narrow spaces, easily reach room corners and clean under furniture, such as tables. Its advanced LiDAR route algorithm ensures it can accurately locate and clean even hard-to-reach spots, significantly improving cleaning efficiency by up to 90%. Using the LiDAR technology, the K10+can achieve precise mapping and quick planning to its cleaning route at a speed of 2080 points per second.
This robot vacuum comes with a 4L base station that can hold debris for up to 70 days. It features an auto-funnel system that directs dust into a collection bag, making it ideal for allergy sufferers and providing a more hygienic cleaning experience. To prevent disturbances to family members or neighbors, the K10+ offers a “Do Not Disturb” function that allows dust collection to begin only when you’re out during the day and automatically stops at night.
After three years of research, the engineers at SwitchBot have reduced the noise emitted by the K10+ to just 48dB. This was achieved through optimized vacuum duct design, motor torque, and SilenTech technology, allowing you to clean quietly without disturbing others. The robot vacuum is equipped with a custom high-performance motor and optimized duct design, offering a strong suction power of 2,500Pa. This allows it to efficiently pick up both large debris, like pet food, and fine particles from hard floors and carpets.
The robot vacuum features an auto-recharge function for low battery situations, allowing it to resume cleaning from where it stopped after a full charge, ensuring it completes its cleaning tasks efficiently. The main way to control the K10+ Mini Robot Vacuum is using the smartphone app. We can also customize the operation of the robot through the SwitchBot app. Users can set cleaning plans, define restricted zones, and even use voice commands with Alexa and Google Assistant for a more intelligent and convenient cleaning experience.
So, how was the performance of the SwitchBot K10+ Mini Robot Vacuum Cleaner? We were really surprised by the size and the cleaning performance it offers. The diameter of the K10+ is around 25cm. If you compare this with the size of some of the popular robot vacuum cleaners, then you will see a difference of nearly 10cm in terms of diameter. Despite being smaller than most robot vacuum cleaners in the market, it has good suction power of 2,500Pa. We tried this robot to pick up different types and sizes of debris and it handled smoothly. The roller brush with rubber-hair will easily clean dust from the floor (especially from floor gaps) while the front spinning brush will send the dust and debris towards the roller.
We even tested the robot vacuum on carpet and it worked without hassle. Although the carpet that we used is not that thick, SwitchBot K10+ can easily climb obstacles that are 2.5cm high. We thought the small size of the SwitchBot K10+ has another advantage of going into tight corners and easily clean under furniture (sofas, beds, tables, etc.). If you have multi-storied house, then you can easily carry the robot between floors. However, the small size means less surface area, so, it would operate a little slower to clean a same area than a slightly larger robot vacuum cleaner.
Another thing we really like about the SwitchBot K10+ Mini Robot Vacuum Cleaner is its sound/noise, or the lack thereof, during operation. It is really quiet and although we haven’t measured the noise level, SwitchBot says it is just 48dB, thanks to an in-house developed SilenTech technology that reduces noise by 50%.
We talked about the size of the K10+ earlier. The small size of the robot vacuum cleaner will also reflect on the size of the dustbin and the amount of dust and debris it can hold. The 150ml built-in dustbin will fill up pretty quickly but you don’t have to worry about that as the SwitchBot K10+ comes with a dust collection station. The base station of the SwitchBot K10+, which primarily charges the robot vacuum, also collects the dust from it and stores in a 4L disposable bin. SwitchBot says you don’t have to empty the bit for almost 70 days but we feel it depends on the individual usage of the product. Garbage disposal frequency of anything over 50 days is really good.
The process of extracting the dust is also very impressive. It uses an auto-funnel mechanism to extract the dust and debris from the K10+ and store it in the bin. This way, even if you or anyone in your family suffer from allergies, you don’t have to worry about dust particles floating everywhere.
While the SwitchBot K10+ isn’t technically a mopping vacuum, you can mop the floor using the disposable mopping/cleaning pads. You can use this feature to wipe water off of the floor. But what’s more interesting is the battery life of the K10+. Even though it has a powerful motor that can produce a suction power of 2,500Pa, you get an impressive battery life of just over 100 minutes (although SwitchBot says 120mins) from its 3,200mAh battery. Area wise, the robot vacuum can cover up to 120 sq. mt. with a single charge.
On low battery, the K10+ automatically pauses its operation, goes back to the base station to charge, and once the battery is full, it will resume the cleaning operation.
You can turn the K10+ Mini Robot Vacuum Cleaner on and off using the buttons on the top or command it to go back to the base station. That’s it. For everything else, you need the SwitchBot App on your smartphone. The app helps you create a map of the area you want the robot to clean, set boundaries, no-go zones, and many more. The robot vacuum uses a combination of sensors and LiDAR to create maps and you can create multiple maps (say one for each floor) in the app and store up to 10 maps at a time. Like most tech-related home appliances out there, even the SwitchBot K10+ supports only 2.4Ghz Wi-Fi network.
Another very useful feature in the app is you can set schedules on when to clean or when to collect dust. Additionally, you can control the robot using Google Assistant, Alexa, or Siri. The app also lets you adjust the suction power of the vacuum (600Pa/1100Pa/1600Pa/2500Pa).
The SwitchBot K10+ Mini Robot Vacuum is available for $499.99. But with some coupons and discounts, you can get the vacuum cleaner for way less than that. The price is similar to some of the other brands of robot vacuum cleaners with auto empty feature. SwitchBot backs this product with a 1-year warranty.
Overall, we really liked the SwitchBot K10+. It is really tiny yet powerful at the same time. You can use the smartphone app to create maps of different floors and use the robot even in multi-storied houses. As it is a small unit, you can easily carry the robot vacuum from floor to floor.
The built-in dustbin has a small capacity of 150ml but thanks to the auto empty feature, the robot will automatically dump the dust and debris into the dust collection station. It can hold up to 70 days of garbage (realistically, it is less than that)with its 4L bin.
If you are looking for a robot vacuum cleaner for your small apartment, then the SwitchBot K10+ is a decent choice. Even with the base station, it doesn’t occupy much room. Although due to its size, it might take slightly longer to clean a room, you can create schedules and forget and it will take care of the cleaning job for you.