REVIEW: iRobot Braava jet 240 Mopping Robot

This past holiday season I surprised my wife with a robot mop.  If it weren’t for the fact she had asked for one prior, I might have been murdered for buying her a house cleaning item.  But anything that makes having a clean house easier, who wouldn’t want that?  Here is our review after a few months of living with the iRobot Braava jet 240 Mopping Robot.

Foreword: Since the primary user for this device has been my wife, I decided to give her the honor & privilege of this review.  I’ve touched up a few things for formatting here, but otherwise this is her take on the iRobot Braava jet 240.  Enjoy!

Click thumbnails for larger views of images

One of the benefits of having lived with Ari for the past 11 years is that I am exposed to a lot of fun, gadgety technology. On my own, I’m not really a techie person, but I have enjoyed the benefits of everything that he’s tested and reviewed here on his blog.

That being said, there are some gadgets and gizmos that intrigue me that do not interest Ari in the slightest — namely, gadgets that help out with the cooking and cleaning.  Several months ago, I convinced Ari to buy be a iRobot Roomba 980. I mean, why not?! It was a gadget that would definitely benefit him. It would reduce the amount of nagging directed his way, and it was a cool piece of technology that he could blog about.  Win!  I also convinced him to buy me the Anova Wi-Fi sous vide cooker, so that I could cook him easy, delicious, gourmet meals, and he could have the fun of blogging about that, too.

So when the iRobot Braava jet 240 came out, it seemed only natural that we review it, too.  After all, we had just had our kitchen remodeled, so I want to keep it as clean and pristine as possible, and between the cats, the kid, and the husband, I’ll take all the help I can get.

The iRobot Braava jet 240 is a surprisingly small unit, so since we’re using this unit primarily for our kitchen floor, we store it in the cabinet under the kitchen sink. It hardly takes up any space at all. It came with three different types of cleaning pads — wet, damp, and dry.  The robot is able to read which pad is which when you attach it to the unit, and will adjust its cleaning pattern based on the pad you choose.  It also has a rechargeable battery, which we keep plugged in so it’s always ready for use.

According to the iRobot Braava jet 240‘s instruction manual, the robot moves in a forward & right pattern, meaning you need to set the robot in what you determine to be the “back left” corner of the room. Finding the perfect starting place may take some trial and error.  Our kitchen has a large center island, and one side of the kitchen is completely open to the dining room, so depending on where we started, the robot had a tendency to get lost.  This unit seems to be not as smart as its Roomba 980 counterpart.  While you can use the app to start and stop it, it doesn’t have any really sophisticated mapping capabilities; it simply continues to move forward and to the right, and uses walls/physical barriers to guess where it is.  Honestly, it looks like a little drunk robot, scooting around and bumping into everything, and getting confused as it turns around. It’s quite entertaining.  It’s also designed for smaller spaces (a single room at a time), so don’t expect it to be able to mop an entire floor of your home at once. It will likely get lost, or run out of batteries, if you’re trying to do a huge space.

Here are some sample videos of the unit working

As I had mentioned earlier, the iRobot Braava jet 240 can do three types of cleaning (wet/damp/dry), depending on the pad you choose.  With the dry pad, the unit simply goes in a single path, back and forth in the room, picking up crumbs and dust, rather like a Swiffer.  When using the damp or wet pads, you need to fill the unit with tap water.  The damp cycle sprays a little water, and the robot moves back and forth in a two-pass motion.  When using the wet pads, the robot sprays water, and uses a 3-pass motion, moving left, right, and forward, much like you would when your’e mopping the floor on your own.  The pads are also lightly scented, and the damp and wet pads contain a cleaning agent, so it’s using more than just plain water to clean.

Once you figure out the best starting spot for your iRobot Braava jet 240, and you start the cleaning cycle, it is pretty much a set-it-and-forget-it thing.  You start cleaning, you go do your thing, and you come back an hour or so later to a clean floor. I was really happy with the job it did. The dry pads picked up all the cat hair and dust, and the wet pads did a great job of cleaning dried up spills and spots.

iRobot sells the disposable pad refills on their website, and you can purchase the refills on Amazon, as well (example).  However, I find that the refills are pricey enough that I’m hesitant to use them frequenttly. What can I say, I’ll spend the money on a cute little robot, but that’s where I want it to end – I don’t want to have to continue to spend money to use the thing. And you have to use their refills in order to use the robot.  However, they do sell washable, reusable pads, which I am definitely going to buy in the near future.  It will be less expensive and less wasteful in the long-run to use the washable pads.

Overall, I’m really happy with the iRobot Braava jet 240.  Like the Roomba 980, I like being able to set it and forget it, and come back to a clean floor.  It has proven itself to be a quirky little time-saver, and it helps me keep my hard floors clean and tidy between “major” cleanings.


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