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SwitchBot K10+ Robot Vacuum Review: The little vacuum that could

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I’ve tested a few different robot vacuums over the years and one thing has remained a constant across them all. They were all big and they were all fairly loud. Enter the K10+ mini robot vacuum from SwitchBot. A compact robot vacuum that embraces what it means to be small but mighty. With its small stature, I was unsure if it was going to do a good job of cleaning the apartment. Especially now that the dog behaves well enough to be allowed to free roam 24/7, potentially leaving more crumbs of snacks or dog food about where it wasn’t an issue before.

Despite a small pup now galavanting about at all hours of the day until he tires himself out enough to sleep, the SwitchBot K10+ has had no real problems keeping the floor clean. Which is, a sigh of relief. My biggest worry was that I was going to be reviewing this thing at the peak of when I needed a robot vacuum to work well and that it would fail miserably. To my delight, that has not been the case. At least for most of the vacuum’s functionality.

As with anything, nothing is perfect. The SwitchBot K10+ certainly has areas for improvement. But for the most part, it’s been doing a fantastic job as a robot vacuum. And one that’s so small, no less. Let’s take a closer look at the SwitchBot K10+ and see how it stacks up as a robot vacuum with so many options out there.

SwitchBot Robot Vacuum Review: Design

When it comes to the design of the K10+, I look at it from two different angles. The style, and the actual functional design. In other words, how it looks and how smartly SwitchBot put this thing together. Let’s start with the looks. As robot vacuums go, the SwitchBot K10+ looks really just like any other run-of-the-mill robot vacuum. Just, on a smaller scale given its intended compact size.

This is fine since a robot vacuum is a robot vacuum. I don’t need it to look a certain way and it doesn’t need to have any frills or stylish features. It’s an engineered robot designed to such up dust and dirt off your floors. So, in all honesty, who cares what it looks like, right? That being said, I do wish there were perhaps one or two changes in this particular department. It would have been nice to see the vacuum available in a matte black option. Or just have the white plastic be all matte finish. As this minimizes fingerprints and smudges.

It being white also makes it really easy for the vacuum to get dirty itself, and that only gets amplified when the dog is following it around sniffing and licking it because it’s unsure of what it is (it’s funny to watch but then I have to wipe the vacuum down). All-in-all though, the looks of the vacuum are what they need to be. Just ok. Nothing special. I do also like that it has two distinct buttons for power and returning home to the base station.

Design from a functional standpoint

What’s more important is the functional part of the design. Like how the K10+ manages to provide both mopping and vacuuming. Or prevent itself from slamming into walls or other things around the home. In this regard, the K10+ was designed pretty well.

It has what SwitchBot calls slam navigation and these are basically just these little movable plates in the front that can be pushed inwards. The K10+ smartly recognizes when these plates are pushed in so it can avoid slamming into baseboards, tables, walls, and whathaveyou. The K10+ isn’t the only vacuum to do this but I’ve seen some that don’t have this kind of function. So it’s nice to see here.

By far the best parts of the design, however, are the size, and the engineering magic that allows the K10+ to operate much more quietly than a lot of other robot vacuums. Because it’s so compact, it has a slightly easier time getting under things. I noticed that at one point while it was cleaning the floors around my desk and office chair, it was almost able to move under the chair legs. Only just barely getting stuck. Which is just wild to me. This being the case, I knew I didn’t have to worry about it roaming around under couches, desks, or the kitchen table.

Its compact size also means it takes up less space against the wall. Because its base station is also smaller in size. So the whole unit leaves a little more room in case you have the base station set up around other things. This wasn’t the case for me personally as I have another robot vacuum that I use mainly, and the K10+ was just for testing. So I have it set up in a tiny spot away from other stuff. The point is, that it’s compact enough to not take up so much space which will be great for people who have smaller apartments or homes.

SwitchBot K10+ Robot Vacuum Review: Build Quality

It might look like your standard robot vacuum on the outside but despite its small size, which some might associate with cheap, the K10+ is actually built pretty well. It feels like a solid little robot vacuum that can stand the test of time. So I expect that even after months and months of use, you’d be able to proudly say this thing would still be kicking. None of the pieces that make up the whole product, which includes the base station, feel like they’re cheaply made in any way.

I would obviously keep it away from stairs if you live in a two-story home. Because even with a good build quality, I don’t think it would survive the fall. Then again most robot vacuums would probably suffer the same fate.

Both the wheels and the brush on the underside feel as if they’re robust enough to last quite a while too. Overall the build quality feels good for a product at this price range. And at $499.99, that’s a good thing so you don’t feel like your money was wasted.

SwitchBot K10+ Robot Vacuum Review: Cleaning

Now we come to the most important part of the review. The cleaning. You don’t buy a robot vacuum unless you want it to provide you with a good clean. Of course, you wouldn’t always get that. I’ve tried and seen some robot vacuums that don’t do such a good job. You always hope they do great though. And I can say that the SwitchBot K10+ did a pretty fine job at cleaning my floors. Let’s start with the mopping since this happens less often and it isn’t something I generally use as much.

Mopping

You might not think it because of the size and the price, but the K10+ does come with mopping capabilities. When we said it was small but mighty, this is part of the reason why. It doesn’t just suck up dust and dirt. It can also mop up stains and give your floor a general clean, too.

That being said, the mopping function doesn’t do anything more than scrub the floor a little bit with water as moves over your designated cleaning areas. If you’re looking for a mopping vacuum that will use a cleaning solution of some kind, you’ll need to look elsewhere. As this (and seemingly most) robot vacuums won’t have this capability. In this case, you might not end up using the mopping function much if you need more than just a simple water cleaning.

Still, having the mop function does raise the value of the K10+. It’s there to begin with and I’d rather have it and not need it than want or need it and not have it. In my time with the vacuum, the mopping seemed to work just fine as long as there weren’t any extremely aggressive stains. This means no large, stuck-on gobs of stuff like BBQ sauce, mustard, or other condiments that may have been sitting unnoticed for a day or so.

One downside is that the mop pads are disposable. So unlike some others, you’ll have to switch these out and eventually buy more. That said, if you mop using something like a Swiffer Wet (which I also have), you have to dispose of those too. So there probably won’t be much of a change on this for a lot of people.

Vacuuming

When it comes to vacuuming the K10+ is a pretty good little machine. Not only does it get most of it, not all the debris sitting around my place, but it does so without being excessively loud. Now I want to stress that this will vary based on how strong you set the clean. If you leave it on standard, the vacuum suction is a lot quieter than you would expect. It’s not whisper quiet. But then again if it was, it probably wouldn’t be doing a very good job.

Compared to other robot vacuums though, the K10+ is the quietest I’ve ever worked with. SwitchBot calls this their SilenTech. And I’d say that’s a fitting name. If I were to turn it on and let it go, the K10+ can move around and clean without waking people up. In fact, I had set it to clean at one point, and then I laid down to rest and was able to fall asleep. What’s more, is that it never woke the dog up. Even when moving close to where he was sleeping. That to me was a huge benefit since I can’t really pay attention to him as much during the day. And if he’s sleeping then that means there’s less of a chance for him to get into mischief.

In terms of picking stuff up, the K10+ didn’t really have much of an issue with most things. It picks up dust and debris just fine. And there were even a few times I heard it picking up little pieces of dog food that had gotten away from the food bowl. To my surprise, it didn’t just push those pieces around. It sucked them right up. Which saved me the trouble of picking them up myself. It also does a pretty good job on both hard floors and carpets or rugs. The only issue it really struggled a little with was the dog hair on the kitchen rug. It just doesn’t pick the hair up from that spot as well as an upright vacuum.

Overall though, the cleaning capabilities of the K10+ have been good so far. With up to 2500Pa strong suction there’s little this thing won’t pick up. At least in my apartment.

Maneuverability

I briefly wanted to touch on the maneuverability because the K10+ is such a small robot vacuum, this is a big part of its identity. Where other vacuums have had trouble getting to certain areas, the K10+ breezes right through them. The biggest example of this for me was the kitchen table. Other vacuums have just been too big to really get under there because there just isn’t enough room between the legs of the table and the legs of the chair. The K10+ had no problems getting between those small spaces.

It also had no issues getting under the couches or into the corners of each room.

SwitchBot K10+ Robot Vacuum Review: Charging

I’ll start off by saying that the base station charges the vacuum just fine. On the back of the vacuum, it has these little contact areas that will charge the vacuum’s internal battery back up once it needs to be recharged. In most cases, this will be after either one or two whole home cleans. It was usually one for me since I was setting the suction power to max instead of standard for most of the times that I’ve used it. In my experience, this was right around 74 minutes. It would leave the base station with a full battery at 100%, and then finish up the clean with around 30% or less.

The vacuum charges up pretty quickly too. I did have one small problem where it wouldn’t back into the base station to charge one time but I think this is just cause the back plate on the base station was just dirty. I gave it a good wipe down and it was normal after that and performed as intended. Of course, you can stop the cleaning and send the vacuum back to charge at any time as well. You don’t have to wait for the cleaning session to be finished.

SwitchBot K10+ Robot Vacuum Review: Software

Robot vacuum apps are hit or miss. Out of all the vacuums I’ve tried so far, the one that has been the most consistent is the Yeedi app that I use when I’m having the Yeedi Cube do the cleaning. Suffice it to say, I always end up wondering if the app from a brand I’ve never tried is going to be great, or terrible. Thankfully, the SwitchBot app leans a lot more towards a great experience. Everything is relatively easy to find and the UI isn’t cluttered with features. And most importantly, everything works.

What I mean is I can tap on anything in the app and it functions as it’s supposed to. It never disconnects and just generally doesn’t give me any hiccups whatsoever. I think one of the biggest issues I have with robot vacuums is that setting them up can be a pain, specifically with the connection during first-time use. In the past, some apps would just not connect to the Wi-Fi network on the first or even fifth try. The last thing I really want to do is sit around and re-attempt trying to connect the app to the vacuum for 30 minutes. With the SwitchBot K10+, it was one and done.

No muss, no fuss. Just hit connect and everything does what’s intended. I can’t properly explain how much of a blessing this was. Outside of the setup, the app offers a lot of different features to make the vacuum easier to use. While I generally don’t like using them anymore, the app does have a scheduling feature. This can be nice to have if your routine in the mornings is always the same. You can set the vacuum to go off and do its cleaning at the same time every day or every few days. Or however often you want the cleaning done. The K10+ also didn’t seem to have any issues with starting at the scheduled time.

I’ve tried vacuums before where the scheduling just didn’t really work. And I would just end up starting a manual clean. Not the case with the K10+. You can also simply begin a manual clean at any point in time. This is what I tend to do since morning routines change. Sometimes not everyone wakes up at the same time. Some days everyone’s out of the apartment by 8 am and I can start the cleaning earlier. This is why I like that the SwitchBot app makes it easy to start manual cleans. When you open the app, there’s a little card with the K10+ as the connected device, and when I tap on that there’s a card that pops up from the bottom of the screen with three options. Clean, finish, and recharge.

So all I have to do is tap on the clean button and it’s good to go. There’s no need to open up the larger part of the UI to access the map or anything like that. I feel like this is a little more convenient because it puts the start cleaning button right at your fingertips. There’s less in the way. That said, you will want to go into the larger portion of the UI at some point. This is where you’ll find the home map, as well as options for the vacuum like how strong you want the suction to be. To get to this you just need to tap on the “more” button that sits just below the “charging” button on the card.

Here you’ll also see options for emptying the dust bin, setting no-go zones, and saving room divisions, among other things. The app also separates things by tabs. The “Whole Room” is the main tab but there are tabs for singular rooms or just areas as well. If you just need to clean one room, tap on the room tab and have the K10+ go to that room.

RC Mode

One really cool feature I haven’t seen on any other vacuums is the RC mode. Now, I know what this is supposed to be for. It’s to allow you control over the vacuum so you can maneuver it to the exact area you want it to clean. It’s pretty neat and if you think about it, a rather convenient option. This isn’t what I used it for at all. I used it to move the vacuum around and annoy the dog. Although, I don’t think it annoyed him too much. After the initial “what are you doing” face he gave me, he proceeded to just follow it around and move out of the way whenever necessary.

Again, this isn’t the intended purpose, but it was fun nonetheless. I imagine it would be just as fun if you had a cat instead. Even more so if they like to sit on the vacuum as it moves around.

Map editing

This might not be something you need to use but I think it’s great that it’s available. As some vacuums had apps that didn’t offer this option. As part of the initial clean, the K10+ will map your home for you. But you might notice that it didn’t map things the way you want. That’s ok. As long as it got all of the floor space recorded then you’re off to a good start. From here you can open the map editor and adjust a few things. You can rename rooms, split areas up, merge them back together, and re-divide rooms. You’ll only need to re-divide the rooms though if the division is inaccurate.

You can also rotate the map if you want to. Although I don’t see the need for this in my own apartment. There don’t seem to be any features for multi-floor homes. So if you live in a multi-floor home or apartment, you will simply need to run the clean on each floor and have it map things out. The good news is that you can save multiple maps. So you can have a map for each floor and be just fine.

Voice packages

Another neat little feature that’s not necessarily a necessity but definitely nice to have. In the app, there’s an option for voice packages. Now this is just so you can download different languages for the vacuum when it says things like “charging” or “cleaning done.” This isn’t like Waze where there are tons of different voice options for you to choose from. You get one option for English. There are also three different voice packages for Japanese, one for Korean, one for Taiwanese Mandarin, and one for Hokkien.

Should you buy the SwitchBot K10+?

I think barring the issue I had with the automatic charging, this is a great little robot vacuum that offers both value and quality. It cleans the floors well and it’s nice and compact so it doesn’t take up much space. Its small size also allows it to go into tighter spaces that other, larger robot vacuums might not be able to get to. So all-in-all, this is a winner in my book. Plus, if you don’t need the strongest suction, having the vacuum set to standard and being able to work pretty quietly is more awesome than you might think.

You should buy the SwitchBot K10+ if:

– You live in a smaller space and need to make the most of the room you have

– Affordability is a factor

– You don’t need a lot of bells and whistles

Don’t buy the SwitchBot K10+ if:

– You want something with more features

– You’re ok with spending more

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