The Electrolux UltimateHome 300 is a Great Budget Robovac, But Can’t Handle Pets

The Electrolux UltimateHome 300 is a Great Budget Robovac, But Can’t Handle Pets
At Gizmodo, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.

I rely on my robot vacuum to help me do a daily clean while I’m busy working, but the one I currently own is five years old and has no smart functionality. I needed something I could control from my phone and something that had an organised way of cleaning, instead of just using my walls and furniture like a pinball machine.

The Electrolux UltimateHome 300 Robot Vacuum & Mop is a hybrid robovac that is both a vacuum and, you guessed it, a mop. It’ll set you back $499, which is on the cheaper side when it comes to robovacs. Vacuum and mop combination cleaning robots from other brands usually retail for $799 and up. So while you are saving money with the Electrolux UltimateHome 300, you do get what you pay for.

So what are you actually getting?

electrolux ultimatehome 300
Image: Courtney Borrett/Gizmodo Australia

Electrolux UltimateHome 300 Robot Vacuum & Mop Review

  • Filtration: 3-step HEPA filtration system
  • Run time: Up to 120 minutes
  • Weight: 4.6kg
  • Navigation: Sensor-aided
  • Suction: Maximum of 2,600Pa

The Electrolux UltimateHome 300 looks great. It’s sleek and has a textured, grey top that houses the on/off button, the home button, the gyroscopic camera and the lid for the dust bin and water tank. The charging base is also simple and unobtrusive, and I was able to fit it in a small corner next to my couch.

Cleaning performance

Image: Courtney Borrett/Gizmodo Australia
Pictured above: a robovac crime scene.

The UltimateHome 300 is a robot vacuum-mop hybrid, and the first robot vacuum I’ve ever owned that does both. Our apartment is mostly carpet though, with only the kitchen and bathroom being tiled, so I wasn’t too worried about it not being able to clean both spaces on a single charge.

Mopping performance

I found that the mopping feature was fantastic. It’s pretty simple, you just attach the mopping pad to the plastic plate attachment to the bottom of the vacuum (it clicks right in), fill the water tank with tap water, and select the mop function in the Electrolux app.

The user manual didn’t specify the water temperature, but it does say to not use any chemicals or cleaning products with the mop, so I just filled it with room-temperature tap water. The tap water worked really well, but I was concerned about the germs on my kitchen floor, so I made sure to use my separate steam mop occasionally for the sanitisation benefits.

There are three different mopping levels in the Electrolux app that change the level of water output. The ‘light’ option is eco-friendly as it uses less water and I found it to be too little unless you’re planning on mopping every single day. The ‘max’ option uses a frankly ridiculous amount of water. It left my floors sopping wet and I had to dry them with a towel because it left puddles all over my bathroom floor. I found the ‘regular’ mopping level was perfect and did a good job at cleaning the tiles without any excessive water use. It also used exactly one tank of water for both my bathroom and kitchen.

If you’re concerned about the Electrolux robovac trying to mop your carpets, it comes with a long, magnetic strip that deters the robot from certain areas. I put the strip at the entrance to the kitchen and trapped my little friend in there while it mopped away. When it was finished in there, I’d move the strip to the bathroom entrance and carry the robot into the bathroom to do its business.

Vacuum performance

While the mop function was fantastic, the vacuum is what let the UltimateHome 300 down. I’m going to preface this with some context. Firstly, I live in a small one-bedroom apartment with my partner and our extremely fluffy ragdoll cat, Mochi and most of our apartment is carpeted. Both Mochi and myself shed so much fur and hair that it’s honestly surprising that neither of us are bald. We need to regularly clean the brushes on our old Roomba robot vacuum because our hair clogs them every second use.

So already, the Electrolux UltimateHome 300 was entering a robovac’s nightmare apartment. Every time it finished vacuuming, it would be filled to the brim with dust and fur, and it would have both human and cat hair strangling it like some kind of eldritch horror. While this was already an issue as I had to detangle it every use, when I looked around after it had finished cleaning, it only seemed to pick up the first layer of dust and dirt, with some remnants of cat fur remaining stuck in the carpet. This was the case no matter what cleaning setting I had it on.

There are three vacuum settings for the Electrolux robovac. ‘Quiet’ is the most eco-friendly setting as it cleans more area per charge, but the suction isn’t great for carpeted rooms. ‘Regular’ has an average noise level and cleaning performance (I could hardly hear it when I was wearing headphones). The ‘power’ mode features the highest level of cleaning performance, but it cleans less area per charge. I found myself using ‘regular’ mode most of the time because it was a good balance of noise and speed, and the robovac only needed to go back to the charging dock once per clean.

The robovac would start cleaning, vacuum the first part of my house very methodically and in neat rows. Then, when it got to 20 per cent charge, it would return to the base, charge, and then go back to cleaning the rest of the apartment. This is how I realised that the UltimateHome 300 was unable to properly clean my carpets efficiently. The robovac has a gyroscopic camera to help make sure it doesn’t spend time vacuuming areas that it’s already cleaned. But, if you live in a carpeted apartment full of cat fur, you’ll need to re-clean areas depending on how much hair is squished into the carpet. The UltraHome 300 did a fantastic job of vacuuming and mopping my tiled floors, but the fact that it only goes over the carpet once, meant that it missed a lot of the cat fur that needed to be given more than just a once-over.

Setup and ease of use

electrolux ultimatehome 300
Image: Courtney Borrett/Gizmodo Australia

Despite the struggles I had with keeping my carpet clean, the Electrolux UltimateHome 300 was extremely easy to set up and even easier to use.

It comes in a large box that includes the vacuum, the charging base, a remote control, a magnetic strip, a power cord, the mop pad and attachment, and a carpet protector for post-mopping. I’m not at all a fan of setting up any pieces of furniture or appliances, but setup was really quick and easy.

Once you’ve taken all the bits out the box, it’s simply a matter of plugging them in, installing the Electrolux app, and letting the vacuum charge to 100 per cent, which doesn’t take long at all.

When it comes to using the UltimateHome 300, it’s as simple as making sure you have the mop attachment on if you’re mopping or off if you’re not, and then pressing the start button in the app.

It’s not difficult to clean the dust bin, filter or brushes either. Even setting up an automatic schedule for the robovac is easy — you just need to make sure you’ve remembered to empty the dust bin after each use and make sure there’s nothing small or fragile on the floor.

Electrolux app

electrolux ultimatehome 300
Image: Courtney Borrett/Gizmodo Australia

The app has a user-friendly interface that’s clean and simple to navigate. It does take a few seconds to load in when you first open it, but other than that I had no issues. I really enjoyed being able to control my UltimateHome 300 from anywhere and check in on it to see how much cleaning it’s done. The Electrolux app shows you a real-time, slightly inaccurate map of what areas the robovac has cleaned, as well as the run time, the total m^2 it has cleaned, and what time it started cleaning. The app also has a history of when the vacuum has been in use and gives extra details about how many charges it required, along with which modes were used.

The Electrolux app is a solid piece of software that I genuinely feel adds to the experience of the UltraHome 300. There’s just something so satisfying about being able to watch my vacuum roam around my apartment via a tiny map.

Final thoughts

electrolux ultimatehome 300
Image: Courtney Borrett/Gizmodo Australia

I’ve been using the Electrolux UltimateHome 300 for over a month now and while it isn’t my dream robot vacuum, it does do an alright job. I’ve been running it every one to two days in conjunction with my old Roomba and have found that the two of them together work great as a very chaotic team. Also, I love the mop function and it’s cut down the amount of time I need to physically mop my kitchen and bathroom, which is a bonus.

While it isn’t ideal for pet owners, overall, it’s a solid robot vacuum and I’d recommend it to anyone who has a lower budget, is getting their first robovac, or has a completely tiled home.

Where to buy the Electrolux UltimateHome 300 Robot Vacuum & Mop

Lead Image Credit: Courtney Borrett/Gizmodo Australia