Best robotic vacuums
If you’ve decided to purchase a robot vacuum this year, you may be wondering which one is right for your home or office.
When it comes to choosing a robot vacuum, it’s helpful to make a list of essential features to narrow your choices. For example, if you need to clean a larger area, consider a robot vacuum with a longer battery life. For those with pets, there are a few robot vacuums with no-tangle brush rolls for fuss-free cleaning.
Learn what robot vacuums have to offer with this buying guide, including a checklist of options to consider as well as quality robot vacuum recommendations from top brands.
What to know about robot vacuums
Robot vacuums vs. regular vacuums
Operation: The main difference between robot and regular vacuums is the way they operate. Robot vacuums traverse floors independently, where regular vacuums require pushing or pulling by the user.
Attachments: Regular vacuums may have attachments or tools for specialized cleaning of corners, curtains or upholstery. Robot vacuums generally lack these attachments and specialized capabilities. However, some models have dedicated corner-cleaning functions.
Noise level: Many users report regular vacuums are noisy or intimidating to pets. Robot vacuums operate more quietly. Many robot vacuums have sensors that detect pets to move around them, too.
Size: Robot vacuums are significantly smaller than regular vacuums, which means their dustbins are also smaller. As a result, users need to empty dustbins more often. Regular vacuums can go through several cleanings before their dustbins require emptying.
Setting up a robot vacuum
Robot vacuums allow users to customize floor cleaning through companion apps. Depending on the device’s capabilities, users can set up cleaning schedules, create no-cleaning zones or initiate new cleanings for messes.
Before users reach this point, however, many robot vacuums run initial mapping cycles where they learn the layout of the home. They adapt to clean more efficiently based on variables like floor type, furniture obstacles or debris concentration.
Maintaining a robot vacuum
Generally speaking, robot vacuums are considered low-maintenance devices. Besides emptying the dustbins, users may need to replace filters or clean brush rolls, and that’s it.
Many robot vacuums let users know if there’s a device malfunction or if it requires service or repair. This information is usually shared in the app, though some robot vacuums may have on-board LED indicator lights or alarms to alert them as well.
Cost of robot vacuums
Entry-level robot vacuums cost $150-$300, while mid-range models come in around $400-$650. High-end robot vacuums run $700-$1,200.
Features of robot vacuums
Robot vacuums are appreciated for their dynamic cleaning capabilities. Some models have advanced floor mapping technology, like iRobot Roomba s9+, which delivers more comprehensive cleanings.
A few robot vacuums have low-profile designs, which make them small enough for cleaning beneath low-clearance furniture. ILIFE V3S Pro and eufy by Anker Boost IQ RoboVac 12 both have slender designs and are less than 3 inches tall.
Robot vacuums with longer runtimes are attractive to consumers who schedule whole-house cleanings. Rather than interrupting cleaning to charge themselves, robot vacuums like Shark ION AV753 are capable of running for a whopping 110 minutes on a full charge.
Several robot vacuums on the market now offer quiet operation, such as eufy by Anker BoostIQ RoboVac 30C. These robot vacuums are considered less intrusive to work-from-home professionals, remote learners and even pets.
Designed to clean pet messes
Some robot vacuums, like iRobot Roomba 675, contain special filters or brush rolls to tackle pet hair. They’re less likely to clog, especially when lifting longer human hair from floors.
Robot vacuums with powerful suction, such as ILIFE V80 Max, are suitable for homes with high-pile carpets. Debris and dirt sit much deeper between fibers, and the extra suction is often necessary to lift these particles.
Many robot vacuums have smart assistant integration, in which they respond to voice commands to initiate cleanings. iRobot Roomba 891 and eufy by Anker RoboVac G30, for example, are both compatible with Alexa.
Best iRobot Roomba robot vacuums
This top-of-the-line model offers advanced floor mapping and works with Alexa. It comes with a clean base where it deposits daily debris, which only needs emptying every 30-60 days.
While it’s one of the more affordable Roombas, this model still offers powerful suction that lifts pet hair and deep-set dirt from carpets. The device even sweeps around corners and edges.
Best Shark robot vacuums
This mid-range robot vacuum empties itself in a base after each cleaning. It responds to voice and app commands, and it lets you map and design cleanings room by room.
With a tri-brush system, there isn’t much that will get away from this Shark robot vacuum. The device has deep-suction cleaning power, making it popular for cleaning high-pile carpets.
Best eufy by Anker robot vacuums
Appreciated for its low-profile design, this eufy by Anker robot vacuum is a trim 2.85 inches tall to fit beneath low-clearance furniture. It earns praise for its quiet operation and 100-minute runtime.
Sold by: Amazon
The advanced suction of this robot vacuum picks up pet hair, dander and other debris from floors. The three-point cleaning system helps loosen and extract deeper gunk from carpets.
Sold by: Amazon
Best ILIFE robot vacuums
This two-in-one robot vacuum is capable of sweeping and mopping. The easy-to-remove dustbin is uniquely designed to trap pet hair and prevent clogs.
Sold by: Amazon
Even as one of the cheapest robot vacuums on the market, this ILIFE model cleans all floor types, including tile and laminate. It’s also one of the quieter robot vacuums on the market, making it popular for office use.
Sold by: Amazon
Other popular robot vacuums
This robot vacuum is a crowd favorite for its advanced floor mapping system, which also lets users create no-go zones or invisible walls. It’s compatible with Roborock mop pads to tidy up light spills.
Sold by: Amazon
As a D-shaped device, this model is uniquely designed to clean hard-to-reach areas, especially corners. It pairs with Alexa, Google Home and Echo for convenient hands-free operation.
This Samsung model delivers 20 times the suction of a round robot vacuum. Users praise its companion app, citing it’s one of the easiest to navigate and initiate cleanings. The robot vacuum integrates with Alexa, Google Assistant and Bixby.
Sold by: Samsung
Sian Babish is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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