iRobot Braava 380t Mopping Robot Review

Leave daily floor maintenance up to this little robot

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4.8

iRobot Braava 380t Mopping Robot

iRobot Braava 380t Mopping Robot

The Spruce / Camryn Rabideau

What We Like

  • Extremely quiet

  • Can be used wet or dry

  • Room mapping technology

  • Impressive navigation

  • Compatible with Swiffer pads

What We Don't Like

  • Expensive

  • Not effective on tough stains

  • No scheduling feature

  • Dust magnet

Bottom Line

While the iRobot Braava 380t Mopping Robot isn’t the best option for deep cleaning, it’s ideal for light daily maintenance with both wet and dry pads.

4.8

iRobot Braava 380t Mopping Robot

iRobot Braava 380t Mopping Robot

The Spruce / Camryn Rabideau

Robot cleaners have become the new normal in many households. Robotic vacuums are extremely common nowadays, as are robotic pool cleaners. If you’re sold on the hands-off cleaning these gadgets provide, you might also be drawn to the iRobot Braava 380t Mopping Robot. 

This cute little gadget comes from one of the most recognized brands in household robotics, and it’s designed to wash your floors all by itself, letting you sit back and relax while it keeps your house tidy. However, it’s no secret that not all robotic cleaners perform as promised, so we wanted to see just how well this top-rated mop alternative cleans. After testing out all its various features, here’s what we found. 

iRobot Braava 380t Mopping Robot
The Spruce / Camryn Rabideau

Setup: Lots to sort through

Upon first opening the Braava’s box, we were a bit overwhelmed at how many pieces there were. In addition to the main cleaning unit, there are two magnetic mopping pads, two cleaning cloths, a charging dock, and the navigation cube. Our advice is to put the Braava onto its charging dock—it charges standing up, which is a bit strange but requires less floor space—then familiarize yourself with all the pieces and their purposes as you wait for it to charge. It takes about four hours to charge completely, and it can mop for 2.5 hours or sweep for four hours per charge—a pretty impressive battery life if you ask us. 

Once the unit is all juiced up, you can then pick the pad and cloth you want to use. We first wanted to test out the robot’s mopping abilities, so we set it up in an open-concept living room and kitchen area and cleared out all the furniture and rugs so it could do its thing. To use the robot wet, you have to select the “Pro-Clean Reservoir Pad,” which has a small compartment that you can fill with either water or a mild soap and water solution. We chose to use just water since the floors weren’t that dirty. Next, we wet the mopping cloth, attached it to the reservoir pad, and then clipped the whole thing onto the main unit—the reservoir pads are magnetic, so they’re easy to attach and remove. 

If you want to use the dry sweeping cloth, which will collect dirt, dust, and hair, the process is a bit simpler. Just attach the white sweeping cloth to the multi-purpose reservoir pad, then clip it onto the robot. 

The next step is to set up the navigation cube. The instructions say to turn it on and place it on a counter or table, pointing its blinking light toward the center of the room. The cube then maps the ceiling and transmits an outline of the room to the Braava, helping it to navigate better. Finally, you place the robot on the floor, press the wet or dry button (the third button is “off”), and it gets to work. 

iRobot Braava 380t Mopping Robot
The Spruce / Camryn Rabideau

Mopping Performance: Thorough, but not heavy-duty

The iRobot Braava 380t can be used in a number of ways—it has both wet and dry mopping settings, and it includes both a microfiber mopping pad and a microfiber dry sweeping cloth. Plus, the unit is compatible with both wet and dry Swiffer cleaning pads for even more versatility, and you can use it on pretty much any hard floor, including sealed hardwood, tile, and linoleum.

The Braava went around the whole room twice, even getting into corners and along walls with impressive accuracy.

When wet mopping, the Braava uses a back-and-forth V-shaped motion to thoroughly scrub the floor. First, it moves about a foot forward, slightly to the right, then it goes back to its original position. Next, it moves a foot forward, slightly to the left. This movement pattern ensures it covers pretty much every spot of your floor, but it also means the robot takes quite a long time to clean. The Braava went around the whole room twice, even getting into corners and along walls with impressive accuracy. 

To be honest, we were a little skeptical about whether the Braava was adequately cleaning the floor, as the reservoir really doesn’t hold much water. However, every time we touched the floor where the robot had just been, it was still wet, and there was still a quarter of the tank of water left when the robot finished! Plus, the microfiber cleaning pad was quite dirty, proving to us that it was picking up quite a bit of grime. 

Because you’re not supposed to use a heavy-duty cleaning solution, it’s not all that effective at removing dried-on stains and other splotches.

That said, the Braava is only gently scrubbing your floors, and because you’re not supposed to use a heavy-duty cleaning solution, it’s not all that effective at removing dried-on stains and other splotches. To this end, it’s better suited for regular maintenance than it is for deep cleaning.

Want to see some heavy-duty options? Check out our guide to the best floor cleaning supplies you can buy today.

iRobot Braava 380t Mopping Robot
The Spruce / Camryn Rabideau

Sweeping Performance: Faster than mopping

As mentioned earlier, you can also use the Braava for dry sweeping by attaching the reusable microfiber sweeping cloth or even a Swiffer Sweeper pad. Since we have both a cat and a dog, it’s not uncommon to see dust bunnies rolling around under furniture in our apartment. We usually end up Swiffering several times a week to keep the hair under control. We were excited to see if the Braava was up to the task. 

The only real hassle is picking up the Braava and putting it on the charging station, but that sure beats wringing out a dirty mop if you ask us.

The Braava’s dry setting is much faster than its mopping—it travels in straight paths instead of moving back and forth. It still manages to get into corners and along walls, which is where rogue hair tends to gather, but we didn’t move chairs out of the way this time, and the Braava had a bit of trouble navigating around them. So if you want to really thoroughly clean, minimize the number of obstacles it has to travel around. 

Also, it’s worth noting that if you have serious dust bunnies—like the ones created by our long-haired dog—the Braava can’t always “capture” the sheer volume of hair (remember, it’s not a vacuum). As it pushes the masses of hair around, some inevitably escape, leaving clumps of hair behind. However, this is really only in extremely hairy situations—literally. On a mildly dirty floor, it does a good job capturing dirt, dust, and hair with its microfiber pad.

iRobot Braava 380t Mopping Robot
The Spruce / Camryn Rabideau

Design: Good, but still room for improvement

From a purely aesthetic standpoint, the iRobot Braava 380t is quite sleek and futuristic with its shiny black exterior. However, there are several features that are a bit lacking, especially when you consider its high price point. 

For instance, unlike many of iRobot’s robotic vacuums, the Braava doesn’t have a dock that it returns to after cleaning. Instead, it just goes back to where you first placed it, and you have to pick it up and put it on the charging station manually. Thankfully, it only weighs 4 pounds and has a handle, so this isn’t too strenuous, but we still wish it didn’t need our help.

Similarly, there’s no scheduling feature, so you have to manually start it every time, which isn’t ideal if, for instance, you want it to clean the floors when you’re at work. Further, the Braava’s navigation is limited to one room if you just have one navigation cube. If you want it to tackle multiple rooms in your home, you have to purchase an additional cube, which will cost you another $40. 

Our final complaint is a bit trivial, but the sleek black exterior of this robotic mop is a total dust magnet. Within a few minutes of taking it out of the box, the Braava was covered in a layer of dust and pollen (it’s allergy season as we’re writing this), and no matter how hard we tried, we couldn’t get it back to its original pristine condition. 

The Braava is extremely quiet on both its wet and dry modes, especially when compared to traditional robot vacuums.

However, there are a number of good design features as well. For one, the Braava is extremely quiet on both its wet and dry modes, especially when compared to traditional robot vacuums. Several times while using it, we actually forgot it was running until it bumped into a wall or other obstacle. Plus, when it does run into something, it finds its way around the obstacle in a Roomba-esque fashion, turning in small increments and trying to move forward until it finds a clear path. We also liked that it could avoid carpets on its own—the change in floor height signaled to the robot to turn around. 

We were also impressed with the Braava’s navigation abilities (when there were minimal obstacles, anyway)—it seemed to really have an idea of where it was going, as opposed to our old Roomba, which haphazardly ran into walls every few seconds. This leads us to believe the navigation cube is truly effective and not just a gimmick used to command a higher price. When the Braava is finished cleaning, it returned to where we initially put it down and played a happy little tune to let us know it was done—it’s really kind of cute!

Included Accessories: Just the basics

While there is quite a bit of stuff in the box, the Braava really only comes with the necessities. You get one dry sweeping cloth and one wet mopping cloth, as well as a magnetic pad for each. Considering this robot mop costs several hundred dollars, we think it would have been nice to get a few extra cloths—that way you’d have a spare in case one is in the wash. You can purchase a pack of three extra mopping cloths for around $14, and as far as dry sweeping goes, you can get a box of 52 dry Swiffer cloths for around $12.

Ease of Cleaning: As easy as it gets

One of the worst parts of traditional mopping is that you have to clean up the supplies after you finish cleaning. That means emptying and washing the bucket, as well as wringing out and washing the mop head. The Braava does away with all this extra work—all you have to do is remove the cleaning pad and toss it in your washing machine. Or, if you’re using a Swiffer pad, throw it away! 

The only real hassle is picking up the Braava and putting it on the charging station, but that sure beats wringing out a dirty mop if you ask us. 

Price: Not too bad

At about $300, the iRobot Braava 380t is certainly more expensive than your standard mop and bucket. However, if you compare it to the price of other robotic cleaning devices, it’s actually fairly affordable. Today’s latest robotic vacuums can cost up to $1,000, so all things considered, $300 isn’t too bad. Sure, we would have liked if the Braava could run on a schedule or come with a few extra cleaning cloths, but the price seems reasonable nonetheless. 

Competition: Any other mop requires more manpower

Swiffer WetJet Floor Spray Mop: One of the most popular mopping kits today is the Swiffer WetJet, which we also tested. It uses disposable pads and has a cleaning solution compartment built right into the handle. This affordable mop is great for everyday use, as it’s lightweight and easy to use. If you’re more concerned about spot cleaning than whole-home maintenance, this may be a better option than the Braava; however, the main downside is that you have to push it around yourself.

See more reviews of our favorite flat mops available for purchase.

Microfiber Wholesale Professional Microfiber Mop: If you want to clean a large room with the iRobot Braava, it’s probably going to take at least an hour, if not longer. If you don’t feel like waiting that long for your floors to be clean, the Microfiber Wholesale Professional Mop, another product we tested, is a great alternative. This mop’s extra-large head makes quick work of even the largest rooms, and its unique design doesn’t require you to lug around a bucket behind you. The Microfiber Wholesale Mop is definitely the way to go if you’re in a time crunch—and it’s much more affordable, to boot—but you’ll forfeit the hands-off cleaning abilities the Braava provides. 

iRobot Roomba 614 Vacuuming Robot: We owned an iRobot Roomba 614 for many years, and if you gave us the choice between these two iRobot products, we’d probably choose the Braava. While the Roomba can run on a schedule and docks itself to charge, we were never all that impressed with its cleaning or navigation capabilities, and man, was that thing loud! 

On the other hand, the Braava is super quiet and does a great job getting into nooks and crannies. While it won’t vacuum up large debris, you can use the dry sweeping mode to capture dust and hair on a daily basis.

Final Verdict

Worth it for frequent light cleaning.

If you’re looking for a heavy-duty cleaning machine to get tough stains off your floors, the iRobot Braava 380t Mopping Robot isn’t the way to go. However, if you just want a robot that will get light layers of dirt and dust off your floor without you having to lift a finger, you’ll definitely be pleased with the Braava.

Specs

  • Product Name Braava 380t Mopping Robot
  • Product Brand iRobot
  • UPC 885155005182
  • Price $299.99
  • Product Dimensions 9.6 x 8.5 x 3.1 in.
  • Warranty 1 year, limited