Which robot vacuum is best?

One invention that has benefited the modern household is the robot vacuum, so it shouldn’t be surprising that Amazon is purchasing iRobot. Today’s robot vacuums don’t require you to be present during cleaning and can be programmed to work automatically using a digital map of your space. They often also support Wi-Fi connectivity or control through a mobile app. Robot vacuums can vary widely in budget and functionality, so figuring out what your house or space’s needs are is crucial.

Basics of a robot vacuum

How do robot vacuums work?

The most obvious difference between regular vacuums and robot vacuums is that they don’t need to be pushed by the user. Robot vacuums simply use a combination of maneuvers and smart technology to navigate a space independently. They also usually use a combination of cleaning functions, most notably a vacuum, to keep floors clean.

Pros and cons of buying a robot vacuum

Pros:

  • Using a robot vacuum is time-saving compared to pushing a vacuum or mop.
  • Robot vacuums are highly efficient and may hit spots a human could easily miss.
  • They’re excellent at mitigating pet hair and dander.
  • Most are self-emptying and automatically recharge using a charging dock.

Cons

  • Low-end robot vacuums may struggle with large obstacles, so you’ll still have to pick up and clean large objects that could get in the vacuum’s way.
  • Robot vacuums tend to be expensive.

What to look for in a robot vacuum

Automatic dirt disposal

Most robot vacuums include automatic dirt disposal for a certain period. This feature only requires users to empty the dock every month or so. Robot vacuums can range in how long they self-empty, usually requiring manual disposal every 30 to 60 days.

Mobile app and Wi-Fi connectivity

Even today’s mid-grade robot vacuums usually offer control via a mobile app and Wi-Fi connectivity. These options make your control of the robot vacuum more versatile. These digital connectivity options often let you use them with other smart home features, too.

Compatible with your floors

Robot vacuums are typically designed for carpet and hard floors. However, checking a particular product is crucial because some low-end vacuums may only work with one or the other. Though most are for dusting and vacuuming, you can also find some robot vacuums with attachments for mopping.

Runtime

Robot vacuums use a rechargeable battery for power, meaning they have limited runtimes before returning to the dock to charge. Most robot vacuums have a runtime of 30 to 120 minutes. Depending on how large your space is and other factors such as the layout of rooms, many robot vacuums can clean an entire home in a single run.

Floor mapping and obstacles

Low-end robot vacuums tend to get stuck, which is why they often compensate with floor mapping. When obstacles are in the way, most mid- and high-grade vacuums will use sensors to go around them. You can also find robot vacuums with added features such as smart floor mapping, virtual boundary strips or voice controls that you can use to offer more specific cleaning guidelines.

Best robot vacuums

Best iRobot Roomba S9+ Robot Vacuum With Charging Base Smart Mapping And Wi-Fi

iRobot Roomba S9-Plus Robot Vacuum With Charging Base Smart Mapping And Wi-Fi

This premium robot vacuum can vacuum spaces up to 1,500 square feet per charge, and it has Wi-Fi control and automatic dust removal for up to 60 days. This vacuum also has advanced cleaning functionality, such as a suction power boost that makes it effective at cleaning, even for tough-to-remove debris such as pet hair.

Sold by Amazon

Best IRobot Roomba 694 Wi-Fi Robot Vacuum With Wi-Fi

iRobot Roomba 694 Wi-Fi Robot Vacuum With Wi-Fi

This affordable vacuum offers base-level functionality and comes with both a rubber brush and a bristle brush. While it doesn’t offer automatic disposal or a charging base like some of iRobot’s vacuums, it’s a great budget pick for those who just want a basic robot vacuum that lets you upgrade with a charging base down the road.

Sold by Amazon

Best Shark IQ AV1002AE Self-Emptying Robot Vacuum With Charging Base

Shark IQ AV1002AE Self-Emptying Robot Vacuum With Charging Base

This robot vacuum is affordable and includes a self-emptying chamber and a convenient charging base. It offers 45 days’ worth of automatic disposal, easy app or voice control options and swift home mapping at a fair price.

Sold by Amazon

Best iRobot Roomba I7+ Robot Vacuum With Automatic Dirt Disposal And Charging Base

iRobot Roomba I7-Plus Robot Vacuum With Automatic Dirt Disposal And Charging Base

This vacuum is an excellent mid-grade option, featuring upgrades such as keep-out zones, mopping options and a high-efficiency filter for trapping dander and other allergens. It can empty itself for 60 days at a time and offers voice control through Alexa and Google Home.

Sold by Amazon

Best Shark Ion Robot Vacuum With Wi-Fi And Voice Controls

Shark Ion Robot Vacuum With Wi-Fi And Voice Controls

This vacuum is more affordable than most, and it has a 120-minute runtime, voice controls using Alexa or Google Assistant and a charging dock. You can buy this vacuum model in black, gray or white.

Sold by Amazon

Best Tikom 2-in-1 Combo Robot Vacuum And Mop With Wi-Fi And Charging Base

Tikom 2-in-1 Combo Robot Vacuum And Mop With Wi-Fi And Charging Base

This off-brand robot vacuum is affordable, has strong ratings and includes mopping functionality. It can run for 150 minutes per charge and includes Wi-Fi connectivity and accessories, such as boundary strips, remote control and a water tank.

Sold by Amazon

Best Shark IQ RV1001AE Extra-Large Self-Emptying Robot Vacuum With Charging Base

Shark IQ RV1001AE Extra-Large Self-Emptying Robot Vacuum With Charging Base

This vacuum has improved suction from Shark’s lower-end vacuums, 45-day bagless self-emptying using its charging base and total home mapping for customizable cleaning. This vacuum also works with the SharkClean app or with voice assistants.

Sold by Amazon

Best Eufy By Anker BoostIQ RoboVac Robot Vacuum Cleaner With Charging Base

Eufy by Anker BoostIQ RoboVac Robot Vacuum Cleaner With Charging Base

This is one of the more affordable robot vacuums available, featuring a vacuum time of up to 100 minutes, a charging base for its lithium-ion battery and a handful of high-performance filters. Purchase also includes a 12-month warranty and a remote control.

Sold by Amazon

Best IRobot Roomba I3+ EVO Self-Emptying Robot Vacuum With Charging Base

iRobot Roomba I3-Plus EVO Self-Emptying Robot Vacuum With Charging Base

This is a mid-tier version of the classic Roomba vacuum, and it self-empties for up to 60 days at a time. It also has Wi-Fi and voice controls and it creates an imprinted smart map of your home, offering intuitive cleaning scheduling and controls.

Sold by Amazon

Best iRobot Roomba 692 Robot Vacuum With Wi-Fi And Charging Base

iRobot Roomba 692 Robot Vacuum With Wi-Fi And Charging Base

This economy-level Roomba can run for 90 minutes before docking and recharging. However, it doesn’t include any home mapping features. You can buy this robot vacuum on its own or in a bundle with a replenishment kit or a virtual wall.

Sold by Amazon

Best Lefant Robot Vacuum Cleaner With Charging Base And Wi-Fi

Lefant Robot Vacuum Cleaner With Charging Base and Wi-Fi

This is another non-name-brand vacuum with excellent ratings. It has 360-degree infrared anti-collision sensors, Wi-Fi connectivity and multiple cleaning modes. You can buy this robot vacuum in black or white.

Sold by Amazon

Best Light N Easy Automatic Emptying Robot Vacuum Cleaner

Light ‘N’ Easy Automatic Emptying Robot Vacuum Cleaner

This budget robot vacuum offers a great price for automatic emptying for 30 days at a time and 90 minutes of runtime per charge. It also offers Wi-Fi, a mobile app, programmed cleaning schedules and multiple cleaning modes.

Sold by Amazon

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Peter McGuthrie writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money. 

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