Best Robot Vacuums
If the modern trend continues, human beings are not going to need to lift a single finger to accomplish their goals. Autonomous vehicles are certainly a great example but yet another, and the one that is about to take center stage are robot vacuums. At their core, they are designed to automatically vacuum certain rooms in your household. Each model will have different technology and smart features that set them apart. The key to finding the right version for you is identifying these features to analyze which specific ones are more suitable. From basic models to self-reliant robots, we have provided you with the 10 best options available in this day and age.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 13 hrs of research
Is capable of cleaning all floor types
Utilizes tangle-free brushes
It will run continuously for up to 120 minutes on a full battery
- iRobot Roomba 980
- Neato Botvac Connected
- Roomba 960
- Neato Robotics D4
- Shark Ion 750
- Samsung Powerbot
- Eufy Robovac 11
- Eufy Robovac 30C
- Ecovacs Deebot N79
- iLife A6
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Top 10 Picks
1. iRobot Roomba 980
Is capable of cleaning all floor types
Utilizes tangle-free brushes
It will run continuously for up to 120 minutes on a full battery
Is about as noisy as a traditional vacuum cleaner
The app is a bit wonky and needs to be improved
For anyone who has ever used one of the models of iRobot’s Roomba series of robot vacuums, this top entry should not surprise you. Among the plethora of Roomba models, the 980 stands above the rest of its predecessors as the best robot vacuum.Read more
In conjunction with the iRobot Home App, which is not without its own flaws, you can clean and schedule any time you want. In addition, all Roomba vacuums are compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
Thanks to integrated smart sensors, the Roomba 980 Robot Vacuum is able to detect objects and properly move around them.
Because the cleaning head will automatically adapt its height based on the floor surface, this device is capable of cleaning all floor types. Past this, the Power Boost mode will output 10 times more power to better clean hard-to-reach areas.
Ease of Use
While standard maintenance, such as cleaning the filter, should be done, the tangle-free brushes ensure that you will spend less time maintaining them and more time relaxing.
iRobot rates their Roomba 980 Vacuum to continuously run for up to 120 minutes on a full charge. Yet, they specify that they ran tests on hardwood floors and that the run times can vary based on the surface.
It is safe to assume that many people will find it absurd to spend so much money on a robot vacuum cleaner. Given the quality of this device and how masterfully it is designed, however, if you have the money it is worth it.
2. Neato Botvac Connected
It is compatible with Alexa
Cleans in a methodical approach given its mapping sensors
Features both an eco-mode and turbo mode for more power
Reaching smaller areas can be difficult
Does not perform great on really thick carpets
Neato Robotics has been around the block a time or two and while they have released several excellent robot vacuums, with another one making an appearance on this list, their grandest achievement may be their Botvac Connected Robot Vacuum.Read more
Using Wi-Fi technology, you can control this vacuum in conjunction with the Neato application. Of course, it is also compatible with Alexa. In addition, there are two modes of operation; an eco-mode and a turbo mode.
This is as smart as it gets. With LaserSmart mapping and navigation capabilities, this device is able to detect real-time objects and map out the entire area to deliver a more methodical cleaning.
To clean closer to walls and tight corners, there is integrated CornerClever technology and a unique D-shaped design. Plus, this robot vacuum is able to finish four times quicker than other models.
Ease of Use
When debris gathers inside of the brush, which is sure to happen from time to time, removing the brush is as simple as popping it out of place. After cleaned, simply pop it back in place.
Depending on the design mode that you utilize, the battery life will alter. For example, it is rated to last up to 120 minutes on eco-mode and only 90 minutes on turbo mode.
After assessing this vacuum from top to bottom, it is quite difficult to gather serious flaws that would prevent someone from wanting to invest in it. There are a few present but this is really, pretty much as good as it gets.
3. Roomba 960
It is programmed to clean all floor types
Can be controlled via the iRobot Home App
Features patented dirt direct sensors to provide additional cleaning to concentrated areas of dirt
Again, the app is not the best
Can be a struggle for this device to find its charging dock
Wait, what is the difference between the Roomba 980 and the Roomba 960? Consider this a cheaper and less advanced version of the Roomba 980. However, with as good as that robot vacuum is, that is really not a slight against it.Read more
Much like its successor, the Roomba 960 Vacuum can be operated in conjunction with the iRobot Home App. But, it is also compatible with Google Assistant and Alexa.
Due to the plethora of smart sensors that have implemented in this design, no place is unreachable (unless the vacuum can’t fit underneath) and all objects will be detected.
As opposed to its successor that can unleash up to 10 times more power, the Roomba 960 can only achieve up to five times more power. In addition, it can clean all floor surfaces due to its unique auto-adjust cleaning head.
Ease of Use
The tangle-free brushes lend a hand to reduce the amount of overall maintenance required for them.
In comparison with the Roomba 980, this is the biggest area where the Roomba 960 falls short. It is only rated to last up to 75 minutes before it needs recharged (and that number is for hardwood floors only).
This is, more or less, a watered down version of the Roomba 980. However, if you are not ready to take the next step to a Roomba 980 Robot Vacuum, the 960 model is a great place to start.
4. Neato Robotics D4
Extremely easy to operate
Works on tile, carpet, laminate, and wood
The main brush spans the entire front of the robot
Tends to get stuck on objects
A few users have complained about the syncing issues with the app
Neato Robotics makes their second appearance on this list and while their Botvac D4 is not quite as advanced as their Botvac Connected Robot Vacuum, it is still phenomenal. What makes it so efficient is it has built-in technology that allows it to detect furniture and objects and react accordingly. This newer version of this vacuum also features a No Go Lines feature to keep the vacuum out of unwanted areas.Read more
How it Works
If you choose to, you can download the Neato app and control the robot vacuum from there. Or, for people without a smart device, you can simply press the appropriate button on top of the Botvac D4.
Neato Robotics programmed their Botvac D4 with lasers to detect furniture and various other obstacles in its path. Due to this, it can properly navigate around them. An impressive new feature here is the No Go Lines technology. From your smartphone, you can set boundary lines so that the vacuum will not cross into a room that is off-limits. This is a great feature for sleeping babies or dirty teenagers.
In places where dirt tends to hide, this is able to seek out thanks to its D-shape design and CornerClever technology. All in all, it is capable of cleaning all different types of surfaces.
This high-performance filter is reliable and simple to use. When the time comes, and it will, the dirt bin is incredibly easy to remove and clean out. Also, it is simple to remove the brush if debris gets caught inside.
One of the main differences in this updated item is the battery life. We still agree that the battery life is not up to par with other robot vacuums on the market. However, a continuous runtime of 75 minutes is not abysmal, per say. Yet, others will run for much longer than this.
It seems all great things in life have some sort of drawback. Indeed, the Botvac D4’s caveat is its relatively poor battery life. Considering that it is programmed to return to its docking station when it needs to be recharged, though, it is not all bad.
5. Shark Ion 750
Can work with both Google Home and Amazon Alexa
Sports a thin design that allows it to get in tighter spaces
Features proximity sensors to adapt to surrounding obstacles
Despite its size, it can still miss hard-to-reach areas
At times, the bristles will become tangled
Shark has designed some amazing traditional vacuum cleaners but what about their ION ROBOT 750? Given its position on this list, it is safe to say that they have nailed it with flying colors.Read more
On either iPhone or Android devices, you can download the Shark ION ROBOT app to schedule and start cleaning. If your smart device has it, also, you can use Alexa.
The smart sensor navigation and proximity sensors work with one another to seamlessly navigate the surroundings without bumping into incoming obstacles. Additionally, when it needs to be recharged, it is programmed to automatically return to its dock.
Integrated dual-spinning side brushes manage to pull debris away from tight corridors; while the self-cleaning brush roll performs the bulk of the work sucking in all sorts of debris.
Ease of Use
Not only does the self-grooming system of the brush roll allow it to automatically untangle strings and fibers, the dustbin is easily detachable when it needs to be cleaned.
Per the product description, the lithium-ion battery integrated into this vacuum will last over an hour at a time.
Once again, you pay a pretty penny here. Robot vacuums are not cheap and when you begin to analyze what they bring to the table, it is understandable. Shark’s ION ROBOT is a perfect example of that and will make a fine companion in your home.
6. Samsung Powerbot
The large wheels help it traverse thicker carpets
Delivers up to 40 times more suction than previous models
Can automatically detect the type of surface it is on
Users have had issues with the app
The battery life could be improved
In the world of technology, Samsung is an utter juggernaut. It just so happens that they also designed quite the impressive robot vacuum. Their POWERbot may not be their bread and butter, but it is more than worth checking out.Read more
While various reviewers have stated their displeasure with the incorporated application, you can still sync this to your smartphone via Wi-Fi technology. Also, it can operate with Alexa.
Literally, due to the onboard digital camera and smart sensors, this is programmed to scan the entire layout of the room it is about to clean. As such, it knows the exact location of everything in the room.
As compared to Samsung’s previous model, this is capable of providing up to 40 times the amount of suction power. If that was not impressive enough, specific technology allows this to extend out to reach debris in trapped corners.
Ease of Use
Due to the self-cleaning brush, it is able to maintain itself quite well. All other standard cleaning practices should not be an issue, either.
On one charge, the most you could get out of this would be 90 minutes. However, this is in quiet mode and this is reduced to 60 minutes and 30 minutes for normal mode and turbo mode, respectively.
Samsung is a rare manufacturer in that as soon as you see they designed it, you know it is, if nothing more, a quality product. They rarely will construct a low-quality device and even if you are not a fan of their smartphones, you should be impressed by this.
7. Eufy Robovac 11
Features an anti-scratch tempered glass top
Integrates a three-point cleaning system
Its low-profile design allows it to fit in tight corridors
Not ideal for heavy carpets
Tends to get stuck on objects often
Past maybe the Roomba series from iRobot, arguably, no other robot vacuum is a bigger fan favorite than the RoboVac 11. Besides the fact that most people can actually afford it, it has a plethora of premium features to create a very intelligent machine.Read more
Coming with the base vacuum cleaner is a remote control, which allows for easier operation. With the simple click of a button, the RoboVac 11 will be off and running.
Infrared-sensors have been implemented that help this robot vacuum detect obstacles so it can properly evade them. But, it also has drop-sensing technology that will prevent it from falling down stairs.
It is pretty clear that the RoboVac 11 is not designed for thicker carpets. Still, however, its low-profile design and three-point cleaning system allow it to provide a thorough cleaning.
Ease of Use
Cleaning your machine should become a weekly task and when need be. The dirt and debris built-up inside can be easily removed and dumped out.
For up to 1.5 hours, which is roughly 90 minutes, the RoboVac 11 is rated to last on one charge. As compared to the competition, this is not the best nor the worst.
It sure is not difficult to see why this design would appeal to the average consumer. Not only is it a high-quality machine with an ample amount of technology built-in, but it is also affordable. It is tough to beat that combination.
8. Eufy Robovac 30C
Great deep cleaning
Limited scheduling options
As a budget option, this should sit at the top of your list. This upgraded version of their popular 11 model, the 30 is very similar but the 30 has a sleeker look and comes with a 13-foot magnetic boundary strip you can use to show no-go zones. It has also amped up suction to help perform better overall.Read more
While the vacuum will start based on its scheduled programming, you can actually use the remote to initiate max mode. In this mode, the power of this machine will be put to the maximum.
When its battery becomes low, the Robovac 30 vacuum will sense it and head directly to its charging station. In addition, with the use of multiple smart sensors, it avoids bonking on objects and falling down stairs.
This upgraded model has stepped up its sucking power. It boasts 1500Pa over the last model's 1300Pa. This should mean that you have no issues with it picking up dirt and debris.
Ease of Use
Overall, much like other robot vacuums, properly maintaining this device is not too tricky. Thanks to the tangle-free roller brush, in addition, you should not have to worry too much about that.
Granted the advertised battery life is accurate, which can sometimes be exaggerated, this can run up to 100 minutes on a full charge. Given the lack of power, though, this does make sense.
Convenience is at the forefront here and despite the fact that the power is not the greatest, the other design features make up for it. This includes the fantastic battery life and smart technology.
9. Ecovacs Deebot N79
The application is compatible with both Apple and Android
During the cleaning process, the air filtration system captures excess air particles
Integrates an innovative helix design for a wider clean
Not an optimal performance when used on thick carpet
Does not actually learn the structure of your home and can be random
ECOVACS makes it very clear that their N79 Robot Vacuum is not intended for thick carpets, claiming the performance is poor. If used on hardwood and tile floors, however, the N79 can be your next best friend.Read more
With either your Apple or Android device, you can download the accompanying app to control the N79 robot vacuum. Granted you have access to a Wi-Fi signal, you are golden.
While it is not programmed to map out its cleaning location, thus sometimes leading to randomness, it comes with a plethora of anti-drop and anti-collision sensors.
It is a common theme with the lower priced models; this is not ideal for thick carpets. Yet, its dual-wide reach and innovative helix design provide optimal performance on tile and hardwood surfaces (or thin carpet).
Ease of Use
For your convenience, a full set of complimentary cleaning tools are included with your purchase. If you then reference the instruction manual, you will find detailed steps for cleaning this device.
Expect this vacuum to run on one charge for up to 100 minutes. Depending on the type of surface it is cleaning, this number could vary.
At the end of the day, you get what you pay for. Do not get this twisted; this is a great device that is more than worth an investment. It is just, if you are looking for more power and advanced technology, look elsewhere.
10. iLife A6
Has two modes of operation
Performs well on carpets
Another option for ILife on our list is the A6. While the A4 is a budget option, this new, more powerful model isn't as budget-friendly, but is it worth it? We think so. There's a new design on the brush and cyclone system so it will work better on carpeted floors, something the A4 fell short on.Read more
This design is as easy as it gets; access to an included app is not even required. Nope, you simply press the button on the surface once for small rooms (30 minutes of runtime) and twice for larger rooms (up to 50 minutes).
Most of the premium features, such as the ability to evade obstacles and prevent falls, are incorporated into this design.
With a new brush system upgraded from the A4 model, the A6 picks up more dust and dirt, especially on carpeted surfaces.
Ease of Use
Ilife suggests cleaning the side brush, wheel, suction inlet and the sensor hole at least two times per week (unless you do not use it often).
When compared to the rest of the pack, the 160 minutes of battery life lands it on the higher end of our list for runtime. That's a great thing if you have a bigger home.
This is not the most recognizable robot vacuum on the market and when compared to some of the most elite ones, it has a hard time stacking up. Still, it cracked this list and that proves it is a high-quality device.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
It only makes sense to begin your search by analyzing the most basic aspect of robot vacuums, how they function. One would automatically assume that they all function the exact same way. While they are all set out to accomplish the same feat, some will be designed differently. For example, some will come equipped with Wi-Fi technology and possess the ability to be controlled by a corresponding application on your smart device. Depending on the app, you may be able to schedule specific times of the day you want the vacuum to clean and analyze its performance.
With this in mind, it is always important to research the app beforehand to see if there are any notorious issues; such as the annoyance of the connection dropping or a clunky interface. However, more advanced models will also be compatible with popular voice activation software such as Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. But, there may also be robot vacuums that lack Wi-Fi support completely. While you will not have access to special features, operating them is still a breeze and usually only requires a single press of a button (possibly from a remote if one is included).
Without smart technology, robot vacuums would not be an existing product. They are literally predicated on the technology because it allows them to function and without it, the result would be the same as a blind man trying to sweep an unknown area. But, this is also where the top-end models tend to separate themselves from the rest of the pack. See, pretty much all robot vacuums will have built-in sensors to detect obstacles and objects that surround them to ensure they avoid them. The same goes for drop-sensing technology as once they reach an area where they can’t detect ground underneath them, they halt.
Yet, not all models will come equipped with mapping capabilities. While they are certainly not needed, without a proper scan the vacuum may perform in a random pattern. However, with scanning capabilities built-in, the vacuum can literally understand every nook and cranny of the room’s layout. The result will be a much more efficient performance; but, just know, you will be throwing out some extra dollars for this type of functionality.
The aforementioned smart technology that was just alluded to clearly lends its way to improving the efficiency of the vacuum. However, there is more that goes into it, still. Take, for example, how much suction power a robot vacuum possesses. As one would assume, the more power a robot vacuum has the more debris it will suck up and they will get more dirt that is trapped in corners and walls. Speaking of which, their ability to reach tight corridors is also vital. Sure, a low-profile design will assist in this but even for robot vacuums that are a little bulky in size, they can achieve this. If the dual-spinning side brushes are powerful enough, they can pull dirt away from those tight corridors from a decent distance.
However, you also need to be aware that not all robot vacuums will work on all surface types. More specifically, cheaper models may not perform well on thicker carpets with thick fibers. In fact, most manufacturers will clearly indicate if their robot vacuum is not capable of such.
If you have ever owned and been responsible for maintaining a traditional vacuum cleaner, then you do not have much to learn as robot vacuums require similar maintenance. For the most part, this will be nothing overly complicated. Depending on how often you plan on running the vacuum, standard procedures such as cleaning the filter and the brushes should be done around once a week. But, a deep cleaning of the filter may not be as necessary once a week. Of course, the cleaner it is the more efficient your robot vacuum will perform.
Sometimes, manufacturers will even provide detailed instructions on how you should maintain and clean their robot vacuum. If you ever do hit a roadblock, though, you can always reference online tutorials.
Unlike your traditional vacuum cleaner that will need power from your electrical outlet, robot vacuums run off of an integrated battery. As such, they will need to be recharged once their battery becomes critically low. What this means is they have a limited time in operation on a full charge. The current market for robot vacuums tends to range anywhere from 30 minutes to 120 minutes. While there are exceptions, expect one to land within this range.
Yet, the battery life itself can vary based on several factors. iRobot, the makers of the Roomba series of robot vacuums, actually specifies that they test their models on hardwood floors and their time could vary on other surfaces. In addition to this, some models will have various design modes (such as an eco-mode and a turbo mode) and the battery life will differ based on which mode is being run. What is really convenient, though, is that when they run low on battery, most will be programmed to return to their docking station to recharge.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
Of course, you know that you should pick up things off the floor before the robot gets to work but don't forget about and hanging wires. The vacuum can get tangled up in the cords and won't be able to finish its job.
For the first few uses, it is a good idea to watch the vacuum to see how it functions. This way, if it spending too much time in a certain area or isn't quite reaching a dirty corner, you can adjust it or add a bumper or other obstacle.
Other Factors to Consider
t seems absurd that the world has come to the point where robot vacuums are being developed so humans do not have to sweep their homes. Still, in times where you have had a long day or need a specific room in your house clean while you are not present, these devices can be a huge convenience and can make your life a bit easier. Just know, though, you will be spending a pretty penny because due to the integrated technology and features, they are not cheap. It’s a big investment so definitely take the time to decide which model best fits your needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
As previously alluded to, robot vacuums will generally be programmed to return to their charging docks when their battery reaches a critically low level. Although, there may be instances where your robot vacuum is not able to find its way back home. Clearly, you can just manually place it on the charging dock but if this happens to be a recurring problem, you may be able to fix it.
There could be a number of reasons why this is happening. Firstly, there may simply be too many obstacles surrounding the charging dock. Ensure that it is in an open area with little to no obstructions nearby. Also, there could be signal interference from another infrared signal source. It could also be that the dock station is on black-colored flooring and because some robot vacuums are programmed to not operate on darker floors, it will turn around.
When you have a domestic pet in your home, the need for vacuuming is doubled, if not tripled (granted they have fur). Thus, this makes a robot vacuum a logical choice as it performs the work for you (at least most of it). However, how is your canine going to react to an autonomous vacuum? Are they going to see it as a threat and attempt to attack it? Each breed of dog may react differently but if user experiences are any indication, they should not be too much of an issue.
One individual uploaded an article and claimed that when their robot vacuum was in operation for the first time, their dog was highly skeptical. But, they claimed that once their dog realized that no harm would come from the device, it ignored it. Now, that is just one instance and again, your dog’s experience may differ.
Something that has not been addressed yet is how robot vacuums fair with liquids on the ground. If the situation presented itself, could they feasibly suck up water? Well, they will probably suck up the water but the issue is they are not designed for this purpose. The market for robot vacuums that do this is quite small but iRobot happens to design floor mopping robots. These are specifically designed for that purpose.
However, it should be fine if there are a couple of drops of water on the floor. If there happens to be standing water on the floor or they are extremely wet, avoid allowing your robot vacuum to sweep up that specific area.
This is a follow-up to the previous question as just because you know robot vacuums are not designed to clean water off the floor, does not mean it will not accidentally happen at some point. After all, humans are not perfect and you may not even realize if something spilled. If you notice that your companion vacuums up excess liquid, you need to take action right away. Obviously, the first task you need to do is to turn off the vacuum as quickly as you possibly can.
As you do not want the liquid to rest inside the device, removing all components as quickly as possible is your next step. This is going to include the main brush, dustbin and all the filters. After all components that can be removed are removed, allow all them to thoroughly dry. You could even take a cloth to dry off the inside of the vacuum. Once everything is dry, re-install the vacuum to working order. After which, if the vacuum is not operating properly, you may need to contact the manufacturer for assistance.
It is not too hard to understand why these devices are so beneficial. One additional benefit that has flown under the radar, up until this point, is that they are generally quieter than traditional upright vacuum cleaners. The question is how quiet are they? As you would expect, each model is going to vary and one may be loud than the other. For instance, as great as the Roomba series are some customers have complained about the noise factor. Yet, there are other robot vacuums that are whisper quiet as compared to upright vacuum cleaners.
In general, most should not be loud enough to prevent a conversation from happening. But, they are not noiseless, either.
Yet another problem you may encounter with your robot vacuum is when it randomly will not stop turning around when it is not supposed to. Typically, they have a methodical and consistent approach to cleaning due to their integrated technology and sensors but this can happen from time to time. If you notice this occurrence, it is time to perform some basic troubleshooting. First off, take a peek at the anti-drop sensor (which will probably be located on the base of the machine) and clean it to remove any potential debris causing interference.
Also, ensure that there is no dirt or debris on the wheel or wheels. This could cause the vacuum to act sporadically and not clean properly. Of course, it could be as simple as your carpets and flooring being too dark as remember, some models will not operate well with this type of a surface.
- Here are some tips for buying your next robotic vacuum, Tech Blog, Aug 01, 2018 ,
- The Best Robot Vacuums, Buying Guide, Nov 19, 2018 ,