Gone are the days when robotic vacuum cleaners only existed in mid-century dream homes a la Jetsons or in science fiction. Today, real, everyday appliances can take over your household, and many of them have features like sophisticated sensors, lasers, processors, and AI-powered software.
If you don’t want to reach for a broom or vacuum every time there’s something to sweep, but can’t justify the cost of a robot vacuum cleaner, you should know that these devices also pick up small debris like kitty litter and dust bunnies. A robot vacuum cleaner is also versatile: depending on how you clean, they can keep hardwood floors, tile, carpets, and rugs clean with powerful suction that can even rival a vacuum cleaner in some cases. Best of all, if you store the charging station elsewhere, you don’t even have to think about your robot vacuum – you just have automatic dirt removal and a clean floor.
As cool as they are, the dream of a robot vacuum cleaner can cost a lot of money – some cost up to four figures. While you don’t have to spend that much on a robot vacuum cleaner, you do get a lot in return. That includes self-emptying bins, the ability to map multiple rooms and floors, powerful suction, and well-designed hardware. However, expectations for cleaning robots are high, and none of these machines can truly replace a mop and human effort on a hard floor.
Which is The Best Robotics Vacuum Cleaner
- iRobot Roomba s9+ | Best robot vacuum cleaner
- Neato Robotics Botvac D7 | Best robot vacuum for pets
- eufy RoboVac 11S MAX | Best robot vacuum for carpet
- iRobot Roomba i7+ | Best robot vacuum for concrete floors
- Roborock S6 MaxV | Best robot vacuum uk
Complete Review of the Best robot vacuums
1. iRobot Roomba s9+
If someone gave you a blank check and told you to buy the best robot vacuum cleaner, this would be the robot to buy. However, the iRobot Roomba S9 Plus has a hefty price tag: $1,300 (although discounts are sometimes available). For this high price, this robot vacuum offers strong suction power and excellent dirt and dust removal.
On hardwood surfaces, the Roomba picked up an average of 93% of the sand, the highest amount in our test group. However, it struggled a bit with sand removal on low-pile carpets and rugs, with an average dust and sand removal rate of 28%.
However, the Roomba robot vacuum removed an average of 71% of the sand from our medium pile carpet. That was also the best result we saw in this test. It also removed more dog hair, pet hair, and allergens than any other vacuum in this test group, and the robot navigates and maps multiple rooms and floors. iRobot has also updated its app, which lets you set “exclusion zones” that you want the S9 Plus to avoid when cleaning. The app also lets you use voice commands to instantly clean a room with Alexa or Google’s voice assistant.
The robot cleaned our test room in an average of 25 minutes. You can also connect the S9 Plus to the Roomba app and Wi-Fi in your home. Best of all is the Roomba S9 Plus’s CleanBase docking station. The docking station charges the robot’s battery and automatically empties the dustpan. It makes cleaning easier and you don’t have to worry about battery life. It’s really convenient.
2. Neato Robotics Botvac D7
For less than half the list price of the Roomba S9 Plus, the $480 Neato D7 sucks up dirt, dust, and clutter almost as well, making it the best mid-priced robot vacuum. On average, this robot vacuum picked up more grit (36%) from low-pile carpets and rugs than the Roomba.
This automatic vacuum also narrowly beat the S9 Plus in cleaning performance on hardwood floors, picking up an average of 95% of the grit we dropped. However, the vacuum cleaned dirt, dust, and sandless effectively on medium pile carpeting, capturing only 47% on average.
While the Neato can’t compete with the Roomba when it comes to removing pet hair or emptying its own dustpan, the D7 gets around furniture more efficiently and covers more ground with its built-in Lidar laser navigation. You can also control the robot vacuum using the Neato app as a remote control and connect it to Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. With the app, you can also set areas of your house that are not allowed to be cleaned.
3. eufy RoboVac 11S MAX
Here’s a robot vacuum cleaner that proves you don’t have to break your budget to buy a solid vacuuming robot. Even though the Robovac 11S Max only costs $250 right now, it cleans floors effectively. This is especially true when cleaning bare hardwood surfaces.
In our test, this economical robot vacuum cleaner managed to remove an average of 71% of the sand on this type of surface. When it came to cleaning carpets, the robot was not as successful, achieving an average sand pickup of 21% and 27% on low and medium-pile carpets, respectively.
And thanks to this vacuum’s simple navigation system, it took well over an hour to traverse our test room. In terms of time, that’s a lot. But Eufy used its run time wisely. The vacuum covered the room well, cleaned it, and left almost no stains. The Eufy also charges itself, so you don’t have to worry about battery life or adding it into the overall cleaning time. This is the best robot vacuum cleaner for its money.
4. iRobot Roomba i7+
If you’re looking for a robot vacuum that empties itself but doesn’t have the price tag of the Roomba S9+ (see above), this model is the right choice between price and cleaning performance.
The Roomba i7+ is equal to its big brother in many ways – it has the same smart features to map your home and integrates with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. It also uses the same large-volume dust bag to make sure you only remove the dust and dirt collected every 30 days.
However, it can’t compete when it comes to suction power. In our tests, we found that it’s the best for quick daily cleaning, but it can’t remove as much dirt as the S9+. Still, this robot vacuum offers a good balance between price and cleaning performance for most people.
5. Roborock S6 MaxV
The Roborock S6 MaxV Robot Vacuum stands out for its battery life. The Roborock claims that it can clean continuously for up to three hours in its lowest power mode. During testing, we used “balanced mode,” which means that 30 minutes of cleaning a 20-square-meter area drained the battery by 20% – a decent level of performance.
The Roborock S6 MaxV is equipped with two cameras and LiDAR, so it can quickly map a space. It even marks obstacles like discarded shoes or furniture on the map and takes a photo that you can see in the app. The app even uses AI to detect the obstacle, which works in most cases.
We were impressed with the dust pickup on carpets and hard floors – it offers similar suction performance to its competitors. It can both mop and vacuum, but this dual function makes it one of the largest robot vacuum cleaners we tested. Measuring 48.8 x 40.6 x 15.6 cm, it takes up a lot of space and struggled to fit between chair legs. However, it is surprisingly quiet in use, which makes it a rather gentle giant.
How do robot vacuums work?
Robot vacuums have a series of brushes on the bottom of the unit that work together to suck up the dirt and dust they come in contact with. The dirt is then sucked into a dust bin located inside the body of the vacuum cleaner. Most vacuum cleaners have smaller brushes that extend beyond the perimeter of the vacuum cleaner and are designed to pick up dirt on baseboards or in hard-to-reach places.
More advanced robotic vacuum cleaners have lasers on the front of the unit and some on the bottom as well. These lasers detect where furniture, objects, and edges are in your home, which helps prevent bumps, and cliff detection prevents the unit from falling down the stairs.
What to consider when buying a robot vacuum
When choosing the best robot vacuum cleaner for you, there are a number of things to consider.
Besides deciding whether you want a robot vacuum cleaner that only vacuums or mops, it’s also important to consider battery life because no one wants a robot vacuum cleaner that runs out of power halfway through its run. Also, look for robot vacuum cleaners with large dust bins or ones that empty their own bin so you can really let it clean your floor on its own.
Some robot vacuum cleaners follow a methodical path across your floors, allowing you to vacuum quickly and efficiently. However, they tend to be more expensive than robot vacuum cleaners that clean your floors randomly.
Also look for a smart-mapping feature that lets the robot vacuum know the layout of your home and clean certain rooms or areas at the touch of a button, and ones that let you designate no-go areas that the robot vacuum won’t even attempt to clean – ideal if you have teenagers who leave their clothes all over the bedroom floor.
Can a robot vacuum replace a normal vacuum?
Robotic vacuums can have an amazing performance even on thick carpets, which makes them a good alternative to stick vacuums or other vacuum models. They’re also more convenient because you can leave them to work even when you’re busy doing other things. The dustpans of robot vacuums are often smaller than those of canister or floor vacuums.
While robot vacuums don’t have crevice tools that are good for cleaning the sides of your couch or stairs, these devices usually have small brushes on the outside of their housing. The brushes are good for reaching baseboards and making sure crumbs or dirt from hard floors don’t escape the vacuum.