The iRobot Braava Jet m6 is Roomba’s sleeker, wetter cousin, and a welcome help for those with dirty hardwood or tile floors and little patience. It can wet mop or dry sweep, allowing you to control the level of clean based on the dirt disaster at hand.
Equipped with patented iAdapt® 3.0 Navigation with vSLAM® technology, the Braava Jet m6 can clean up to 1,000 square feet in a single trip. Measuring in at 10 x 10.6 x 3.5 inches and weighing 4.4 pounds (with a carrying handle, top-loading tank, and both a camera and sensor on top for navigation), it serves as a compact yet comprehensive addition to your cleaning cache.
As the Braava Jet m6 works its happy little way through your home, it maps your space, allowing you to control which rooms the bot will clean. It takes a few passes to map, but conveniently, once it learns its home space, you’re able to direct it to clean (or avoid) certain areas either through the iRobot app or through your virtual assistant (it works with Google Home and Alexa). Feel like you’re truly living in the 21st century by voice-commanding a small robot to come out and clean your kitchen. Technology!
Through the app you can schedule cleaning jobs, edit your robot-mapped home layout, select cleaning areas, set “keep out” zones, and change your wet mopping preferences. You can also make your Braava Jet m6 unit work in tandem with iRobot Roomba i7, i7+, S9, or s9+, allowing you to schedule a pre-mop vacuum to capture and clear pesky debris.
But, because we’re relatively early in the “future is now” period, there is still a learning curve. The device has a corner-reaching square shape, which — while effective for running under counters and around appliances — means that it can find itself temporarily trapped in small spaces. I, for example, have an oddly shaped kitchen with some tricky corners. I watched as my poor, confused Braava Jet m6 spent a good 4 minutes to get itself out of one of these awkward areas, only to find itself right back in there just moments later. It takes a few laps for the bot to truly learn your space, but even then, it can sometimes need a bit of guidance. On the plus side, the bot will automatically recognize carpeted surfaces and knows to avoid them, so you don’t have to worry about a soggy carpet surprise. There’s also a button to “Spot Clean” if you have a minor spill that doesn’t need the full attention of the whole cleaning route.
The base must be placed in an area with good wifi access. But even with the Braava Jet m6 mapping out its charted territory, I found that it still had some difficulty locating its home base when instructed to return for charging. When — after much trial and error — I discovered the specific phrasing for my Google home device to direct my robot (nicknamed Bender) to dock, I found that I had to intervene a few times when Bender had gone a bit too far off course. Try as he might, he just couldn’t quite figure out how to get back to the kitchen.
The Braava Jet m6 can use either single-use or washable pads — separate pads for wet and dry — which need to be swapped out after each cleaning. This can get tedious if you’re working with a particularly dirty space (such as a tile floor coated with the countless paw prints of a muddy dog), or even if you just want it to clean independently on its own schedule. And keep in mind that the dry sweep option is not a sufficient substitute for the full power of a vacuum, so if you’re looking for one machine to rule them all, you’d best consider what kind of messes you’re dealing with on a regular basis.
Once you insert the pad, the Braava Jet m6 will automatically detect the cleaning mode and act accordingly. If you’re in need of a deep clean that only the wet mop can offer, it’s worth noting that the cleaning solution must be replenished every few trips, depending on the size of the job. That said, you are able to customize your mop setting using the app, controlling the amount used per trip. You mostly use water for the tank (and really, you have the option to use only water), but if you want that extra special fresh-scented clean, you’re going to need to stock up on supplies. Both the 7-per pack cleaning pads and 16oz bottles of liquid hard floor cleaner run for around $10 CDN each, while a combo-pack of one wet and one dry reusable pads retails for approximately $35 CDN.
Of course, while there are a few minor high-maintenance hangups (those cleaning pads really don’t last long), the overall convenience of having a highly customizable device do the literal dirty work for you is still a huge benefit. If you’ve got an abundance of cash on hand and you like the concept of having a cute little robot cleaning your space, its smart technology will leave you with a satisfactory clean (and a few moments of entertainment as your bot on a mission goes quietly whirring past).
If you — like me — have an oddly shaped apartment with lots of obstacles, nooks, and crannies, it’s arguably faster and more thorough to do a quick mop yourself (and less stressful than losing sight of a potentially stuck device). But if you want the convenience of an automatic clean, or if you have a substantial amount of carpet-free flooring in your (perhaps more open concept) home, the Braava Jet m6 is an adaptable, versatile option with easy-to-use technology that earns its $650 [CDN] price tag.