The Best Robot Vacuums for Effortless Cleaning Routines
Looking to hire a high-tech robot vacuum to do the dirty work for you? These three options have impressive cleaning power at a reasonable price point.
Nobody enjoys dragging a heavy vacuum across all carpeted floors of the house and repeating the job only a week later, but dust, debris, and pet hair don’t stop for anyone. Over time, the need for a better (read: more convenient) way led to the invention of the robot vacuum. While early models were more novel than practical—the clumsy machines jerked erratically, bumped into table legs, got stuck under the sofa, and sucked up minimal dirt and debris—robot vacuums have improved through many technological advances since then, graduating to household helpers worthy of the investment. If you’re shopping for your first robot vacuum, you may even be pleasantly surprised at the relatively low price and innovative features. Keep reading to find out what you should know before shopping and why these models stand out as the best robot vacuum options on the market.
- BEST WIFI-CONNECTED ROBOT VACUUM: iRobot Roomba 675
- BEST ROBOT VACUUM FOR TIGHT SPACES: Eufy RoboVac 11S
- BEST BUDGET ROBOT VACUUM: GOOVI Robot Vacuum Cleaner
Key Considerations for Choosing a Robot Vacuum
Cost vs. Cleaning Power
First and foremost, consumers must understand that even the best robot vacuum will not clean better than a traditional human-operated option. For starters, the machines’ suction power will be less and their dust bins smaller. Moreover, they cannot distinguish between areas that require light vacuuming and heavily soiled areas, so they may not suck up all stray particles. That being said, robot vacuums can still save you a significant chunk of time in your routine and, in most circumstances, work effectively.
Although there is no standard system for testing and rating robot vacuums, more expensive models tend to have better cleaning power. Budget robot vacuums start at around $150, though they may not offer the best suction power or operate on all types of flooring. Mid-range models, which sell for between $200 to $300, are usually more effective. High-end models run upwards of $400, and some will set you back as much as $800 or more. However, do not judge a robot vacuum’s power strictly on price; select a model that has the features you need and a track record of great customer satisfaction.
Figure Out the Features
When choosing a robot vacuum, homeowners are often most interested in the machine’s cleaning power. But the effectiveness of any specific model depends on a variety of factors, such as the size of the room you intend to clean, the type of flooring you have, the vacuum’s battery life, and the vacuum’s ease of operation. Before choosing a model, consider the following:
- Floor Covering: Check the manufacturer’s specs carefully. Some models are designed for low- and medium-pile carpeting but not shag, while others should only be used on solid floorings, such as hardwood planks or tile.
- Battery Life: Even if a robot vacuum advertises great suction, it won’t clean effectively without a properly charged battery. Manufacturers often list battery run time as well as the area size (in square footage) that the vacuum will successfully clean on a single charge. During an extensive cleaning cycle, some models will even automatically dock in their charging stations until refueled and then continue vacuuming where they left off.
- Remote Control: While the exact functions depend on the model, many robot vacuums come with remote controls to program the operating modes (see below) or activate the vacuum when necessary, whether to clean the whole room or just one spot on the floor.
- Smart Technology: Newer robot vacuums connect to Wi-Fi, allowing users to operate them remotely through an app on their smartphones. In addition to programming the miniature machines as a remote might otherwise do, the app may also monitor the robot’s cleaning progress, battery life, and dustbin.
- Size and Shape: Though all are relatively close in size (ranging from 2.8 inches to 5 inches tall), the height of a robot vacuum can be a tie-breaker between two leading models. Ideally, you’ll want to choose one that clears even short chair or table legs and other low-to-the-floor furniture. The round shape you’ll see in most robot vacuums allows for easy turning and route patterns, but the D-shaped models can turn flat for close cleanup along the baseboards.
- Program Options: To cater to the amount of cleaning you need, robot vacuums often include a selection of operating modes: “turbo” modes that offer quick and intense cleaning power, “eco” modes that save battery power, and “quiet” modes that won’t interfere with your every day (studying, working, or television time). The ability to program a cleaning schedule in advance—typically from three to seven days—may also be high on your priority list for a vacuum that makes the whole chore practically automatic.
Our Top Picks
Using the criteria outlined above as well as reviews from consumers, we’ve simplified your shopping trip even further by rounding up three options for the best robot vacuum. Putting your chores on autopilot has never been easier!
1. BEST WIFI-CONNECTED ROBOT VACUUM: iRobot Roomba 675 ($199)
Features like the quiet operation mode and superior navigation system made it a hit with Amazon customers, who awarding the Roomba 675 4.2 out of five stars. At only 3.5 inches high and 13.4 inches in diameter, the machine runs its patented three-stage cleaning system for up to 90 minutes on hard floors and carpeting, all the while able to skim under open-leg chairs and sofas without getting stuck. Press “Clean” on the robot vacuum itself, or schedule a cleanup from anywhere via the iRobot HOME app or a voice assistant (either Amazon’s Alexa or Google). When its battery runs low or the job is complete, the robot vacuum will automatically dock in its recharging station. Available on Amazon.
2. BEST ROBOT VACUUM FOR TIGHT SPACES: Eufy RoboVac 11S ($159.99)
Neither carpeting nor low furniture can stop this robot vacuum from Eufy. Its slim, 2.85-inch-tall design fits under most furniture legs, while its large wheels ease transitions from hard flooring to low- or medium-pile carpeting. Schedule a time and a cleaning mode using its remote control, then let it operate worry-free: Its BoostIQ technology activates extra cleaning power as needed on especially dirty spots on carpets, and drop sensors prevent it from falling over a ledge or down the stairs. The 4.4-star robot vacuum runs quietly for up to 100 minutes at a time, and auto-docks when it’s out of juice. Available on Amazon.
3. BEST BUDGET ROBOT VACUUM: GOOVI Robot Vacuum Cleaner ($189.99)
At less than $200, this affordable robot vacuum typically beats the retail price of the other picks in this list and still creates thousands of happy customers—to the tune of 4.6 stars! It features a 2.83-inch-tall profile, drop sensors, pre-set vacuuming times, and cleaning power that lasts up to 100 minutes before it needs to dock and charge, making it competitive with other models. Start as needed from a remote control or schedule sessions in advance to keep your home effortlessly clean. Available on Amazon.