IRobot Braava Jet 240: A Robot That Scrubs the Floors for Around $200

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Not too long ago, the idea of a robot maid who took care of the household chores, like Rosie in the futuristic cartoon “The Jetsons,” seemed a far-off fantasy. Enter iRobot and its Braava Jet 240, a new mopping robot cleaner that’s bringing the dream of work-free cleaning one step closer to reality. It’s an alluring product, especially if you have pets or children and you don’t want to drop a lot of cash.

We took an in-depth look at the iRobot Braava Jet 240 to help you decide if the convenience it offers is worth your money.

What is the iRobot Braava Jet 240?

The Braava Jet 240 applies the concept of hands-free vacuuming to cleaning hard floors.

Here’s how it works: You attach a cleaning pad (wet mopping, damp sweeping or dry sweeping) and press the “clean” button. Then let the robot loose. It uses navigation technology and sensors to find its way around your rooms, including under and around furniture.

This 2.7-pound device is intended for use on hardwood, tile and stone floors, and its three cleaning modes cover every type of mess you may find on them. Wet mopping works well for removing dirt and stains, damp sweeping tackles everyday dust, and dry sweeping traps dirt and pet hair.

The Braava Jet comes with a lithium ion battery, battery charger, two wet mopping pads, two damp sweeping pads and two dry sweeping pads.

» MORE: Best robot vacuums

How much does it cost?

You can get the Braava Jet 240 from iRobot for $199.99. That’s hundreds of dollars less than many of the other robot vacuums from the brand. It’s also $100 less than the Braava 380t, iRobot’s more advanced floor-mopping robot.

A 10-pack of wet, damp or dry mopping pads will set you back around $8 from iRobot. You can also get a pack of two reusable, washable cleaning pads for $19.99.

And remember, if you’re buying something major — such as a household appliance — and putting it on a credit card, consider using one that offers rewards so you can maximize your purchase.

What makes it appealing?

A machine that scrubs the floors for you is awesome enough. But the Braava Jet has more to recommend it. We’ve compiled some of the features we think consumers will appreciate most:

  • It’s versatile. The mopping robot’s jet spray and vibrating cleaning head can take on any sort of hard flooring.
  • It won’t fall down the stairs. If you set your robot in motion upstairs, you won’t have to worry about it tumbling to the first floor. The device has “cliff detect” technology that helps it avoid both stairs and rugs.
  • It knows its boundaries. If there are areas you don’t want the mop to clean, you can use a “virtual wall” mode to mark off-limits areas.
  • It’s easy to clean. It’s befitting that this cleaner is itself easy to clean. Just press the pad eject button to dump a used cleaning pad.

Who’s it best for?

The iRobot Braava Jet 240 is ideal for busy homeowners who don’t have the time or inclination to mop up every mess and spill. If you have pets or children, a robot to handle your floors could be a welcome help.

We also recommend the Braava Jet to people who are new to the robot cleaner market. At just $200 — compared with other robot vacuums, which cost upward of $500 — this hard-floor cleaner can help make life easier without breaking the bank.

Or, if you’re already a fan of robots, equipping your home with the Braava Jet 240 and one of its sister vacuum robots from the iRobot brand could mean you’ll never have to clean either your hard floors or your carpets on your own again.

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Courtney Jespersen is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: courtney@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @courtneynerd.