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Part of the TopTen Test Home

Best Robot Vacuums of 2017

User

Angie Parkinson
Last Updated May 2, 2017

4

Years Reviewing

120

Hours Testing

9

Vacuums Considered

How To Choose a Robot Vacuum

There's no way around it: You have to do house work. Aside from the regular dishes, laundry and straightening you do, your house needs deeper cleaning, like vacuuming, sweeping and mopping. By the end of the day, there's little time left to do the things you want to do. You can take back some of your free time by investing in a robot vacuum. These little housecleaning helpers won't replace your upright vacuum cleaner or mop, but they can help you maintain a cleaner home so you don't have to do those deep cleans quite so often.

Robot vacuums have been on the market for almost two decades – in the late '90s, Electrolux debuted its first model, the Trilobite. Early in the millennium, the...

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Best Overall
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Neato Botvac Connected

This vacuum combines almost all the features you could want in robot vacuum: It has powerful suction, its design allows it to get close to walls, and it includes a smartphone and tablet app that lets you choose its schedule – even if you're not home.

Read Full Review $629.00 @ AMAZON
Best Carpet
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iRobot Roomba 980

The iRobot Roomba 980 effectively cleans your floors – both carpeted and hard surfaces – and gives you power to name your bot, sche... more





$799.00 @ AMAZON Arrow
Best Hardwood
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Samsung POWERbot VR 9000

The Samsung POWERbot excels in the most important category: cleaning. It also has an impressive... more





$624.99 @ AMAZON Arrow
Best Budget
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bObsweep bObi

Despite limited ways to keep it within boundaries, the bObsweep bObi is powerful enough to clean big messes and is easy to learn and... more





$289.00 @ AMAZON Arrow
Best for Pets
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iRobot Roomba 650

With its strong help tools, you can learn to set the iRobot Roomba 650 for a cleaning track that fits your home... more





$289.02 @ AMAZON Arrow

Compare TopTen Robot Vacuums

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    Price Maneuverability   Arrow Performance - Carpet Performance - Hard Surface Run Time (minutes) Charge Time (minutes) Climbing Height (inches) Multi-Room Navigation Scheduled Cleanings Dirt Sensor Multiple Passes Returns to Dock Hybrid Ease of Use Maintenance (minutes) Weight (pounds) Diameter (inches) Height (inches) Noise (dB) Carrying Handle Side Spinning Brush Bristle Brush Flexible Brush Status Light Full Bin Indicator Charging Base Soft Bumper Smartphone or Tablet App Remote Control Boundary Markers Virtual Wall Virtual Lighthouse Warranty Manufacturer Support Online User Manual Online Tutorials
1 Neato Botvac Connected
Best Overall
$629.00 @ Amazon Curve Arrow 100% 95% 90% 120 180 1 Check Mark Check Mark Check Mark Check Mark Check Mark N/A 85% 6 9 13.2 3.9 76.8 Check Mark Check Mark Check Mark Check Mark Check Mark Check Mark Check Mark Check Mark Check Mark N/A Check Mark N/A N/A 1 Year Check Mark Check Mark Check Mark
2 iRobot Roomba 980
Best Carpet
$799.00 @ Amazon Curve Arrow 95% 95% 80% 120 180 0.625 Check Mark Check Mark Check Mark Check Mark Check Mark N/A 90% 4 12.9 13.9 3.6 77.9 Check Mark Check Mark N/A Check Mark Check Mark Check Mark Check Mark Check Mark Check Mark N/A N/A Check Mark N/A 1 Year Check Mark Check Mark Check Mark
3 Samsung POWERbot
Best Hardwood
$624.99 @ Amazon Curve Arrow 90% 100% 100% 60 150 0.59 Check Mark Check Mark Check Mark Check Mark Check Mark N/A 70% 4 10.5 14.875 5.3125 68 N/A N/A Check Mark Check Mark Check Mark Check Mark Check Mark N/A N/A Check Mark N/A Check Mark N/A 5 Year Check Mark Check Mark N/A
4 bObsweep bObi
Best Budget
$289.00 @ Amazon Curve Arrow 85% 95% 90% 120 120 N/A Check Mark Check Mark Check Mark Check Mark Check Mark Check Mark 100% 5 6.4 12.6 3.4 60 N/A Check Mark Check Mark Check Mark Check Mark N/A Check Mark Check Mark N/A Check Mark N/A N/A N/A 1 Year Check Mark Check Mark Check Mark
5 iRobot Roomba 650
Best for Pets
$289.02 @ Amazon Curve Arrow 90% 100% 90% 60 180 0.55 Check Mark Check Mark Check Mark Check Mark Check Mark N/A 90% 5 7.9 13.39 3.62 65 N/A Check Mark Check Mark Check Mark Check Mark N/A Check Mark N/A N/A N/A N/A Check Mark N/A 1 Year Check Mark Check Mark Check Mark
6 Miele Scout $599.00 @ Amazon Curve Arrow 85% 90% 95% 120 120 0.75 Check Mark Check Mark N/A Check Mark Check Mark N/A 100% 7 12.2 13.8 3.5 56 N/A Check Mark Check Mark Check Mark Check Mark N/A Check Mark N/A N/A Check Mark Check Mark N/A N/A 2 Years Check Mark Check Mark N/A
7 Neato XV $449.00 @ Neato Curve Arrow 85% 70% 60% 60 180 1 Check Mark Check Mark Check Mark Check Mark Check Mark N/A 95% 6 8.6 13 4 68 Check Mark N/A Check Mark Check Mark Check Mark Check Mark Check Mark Check Mark N/A N/A Check Mark N/A N/A 1 Year Check Mark Check Mark N/A
8 Moneual RYDIS $342.00 @ Amazon Curve Arrow 50% 100% 80% 120 120 0.4 Check Mark Check Mark N/A N/A Check Mark Check Mark 90% 6 5.9 13.7 3.4 61 N/A Check Mark N/A Check Mark Check Mark N/A Check Mark N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 1 Year Check Mark Check Mark  
9 Infinuvo CleanMate $149.99 @ Amazon Curve Arrow 95% 20% 75% 80 150 0.5 N/A N/A N/A Check Mark N/A N/A 20% 10 6.61 14 3.5 65 Check Mark Check Mark Check Mark N/A Check Mark N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A 1 Year Check Mark Check Mark Check Mark
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Best Overall

Neato Botvac Connected (9.80/10)

            $629.99 @ AMAZON Arrow            
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Best Carpet

iRobot Roomba 980 (9.40/10)

            $799.00 @ AMAZON Arrow            
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Best Hardwood

Samsung POWERbot VR9000 (8.43/10)

            $624.99 @ AMAZON Arrow            
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Best Budget

BObsweepbObi (8.38/10)

            $289.00 @ AMAZON Arrow            
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Best for Pets

iRobot Roomba 650 (8.08/10)

            $289.02 @ AMAZON Arrow            
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TopTen tester Angie puts each robot vacuum to the test on different surfaces inside the Purch lab

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Best Overall

Rating 9.80

Neato Botvac Connected by Neato

            $629.99 @ AMAZON Arrow            

Pros / This robot vacuum cleans close to edges and around furniture.

Cons / Pet hair sticks to the bristle brushes easily, which makes cleaning your robot vacuum a bit more time-consuming than with other bots.

Verdict / The Neato Botvac Connected combines almost all the features you could want in a robot vacuum: It has powerful suction, its design allows it to get close to walls, and it includes a smartphone and tablet app that lets you choose its schedule – even if you're not home.

As technology advances, our homes get smarter with each new device we add to them. The Neato Botvac Connected is one of those smart home additions that let you clean smarter, not harder. This robot vacuum connects to your WIi-Fi at home and creates a connection with the Neato app you download to your smartphone or tablet (iOS or Android, only), and it gives you 100 percent control over your robot.

Just like the Neato robot vacs of the past, this one performs well on carpet and hard surfaces, sucking up most debris in its path. Its unique D-shaped design allows it to get closer to walls and edges of furniture than other robot vacuums. Although it kept some of the same accessories and behaviors as previous models, it has improved vastly in other areas, making this the Top Ten Reviews Gold Award winner.

Read Full Review 10 Icon



TopTen Test Results

  • Botvac Connected
  • Avg Robot Vacuum
Maneuverability Best
Cleaning Performance (Carpet) Best
Cleaning Performance (Hardwood) Better
See Full Results   $629.00 @ AMAZON Arrow  
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Best Carpet

Rating 9.40

iRobot Roomba 980 by iRobot

            $799.00 @ AMAZON Arrow            

Pros / This robot vacuum is easier to maintain than any other robot vacuum we tested.

Cons / The app doesn’t send push notifications to let you know what your robot is doing.

Verdict / The iRobot Roomba 980 effectively cleans your floors – both carpeted and hard surfaces – and gives you power to name your bot, schedule cleanings, locate your robot and get data on when and where your robot has cleaned, all from your smartphone.

The iRobot Roomba 980 added a smartphone and tablet app that gives you more control over your robot, and the robot vacuum itself is smarter than ever. The Roomba 980 can find new ways over the thresholds in your house, and it includes a new mode that forces the robot to use even stronger suction as it rolls over carpet. Although it is missing some desirable features and options, the iRobot Roomba 980 is still one of the best robot vacuums we’ve tested, and it earns the Top Ten Reviews Silver Award.

Read Full Review



TopTen Test Results

  • Roomba 980
  • Avg Robot Vacuum
Maneuverability Best
Cleaning Performance (Carpet) Best
Cleaning Performance (Hardwood) Better
See Full Results   $799.00 @ AMAZON Arrow  
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Best Hardwood

Rating 8.43

Samsung POWERbot VR9000 by Samsung

            $624.99 @ AMAZON Arrow            

Pros / This robot vacuum had the greatest overall cleaning power of all the bots we tested.

Cons / It isn’t intuitive to use, and support is lacking for this unit.

Verdict / The Samsung POWERbot excels in the most important category: cleaning. It also has an impressive navigation system that prevents it from bumping into most obstacles in its path. However, manufacturer support couldn’t help us in finding filter or battery replacements.

Samsung got into the robot vacuum game a while ago, but the POWERbot is its latest model. Compared to its competitors, it has a sleek body with shiny copper highlights. It definitely looks like a powerhouse that can eviscerate anything you throw on the floor in its path. Its cleaning power is worth the price, and that’s why it earns the Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award, but there are a few caveats, such as its height, weight and lack of some convenient features that are present on other robot vacuums.

Read Full Review



TopTen Test Results

  • POWERbot VR9000
  • Avg Robot Vacuum
Maneuverability Best
Cleaning Performance (Carpet) Best
Cleaning Performance (Hardwood) Better
See Full Results   $624.99 @ AMAZON Arrow  
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Best Budget

Rating 8.38

bObsweepbObi by bObsweep

            $289.00 @ AMAZON Arrow            

Pros / The bObsweep bObi has a variety of useful support services.

Cons / There are no virtual or physical boundary markers to keep the vacuum in place.

Verdict / Despite limited ways to keep it within boundaries, the bObsweep bObi is powerful enough to clean big messes and is easy to learn and maneuver.

The bObsweep bObi robot vacuum is one of the best ways to keep your hard surfaces and carpets clean without having to do the cleaning yourself. It is a robotic vacuum with the support services and quick setup to make even the newest users comfortable with its functions within a short amount of time, even if it does lack a few boundary-setting essentials.

This robot vacuum cleaner runs for about two hours on full charge, which is one of the longest run times we observed. It does slightly better on hard surfaces, so if your house is mostly done with hardwood floors, then the bObsweep bObi is a wise choice. It has a dirt sensor that directs it into messy areas and a ledge sensor that veers it away from your walls,

Read Full Review



TopTen Test Results

  • bObi
  • Avg Robot Vacuum
Maneuverability Best
Cleaning Performance (Carpet) Best
Cleaning Performance (Hardwood) Better
See Full Results   $289.00 @ AMAZON Arrow  
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Best for Pets

Rating 8.08

iRobot Roomba 650 by iRobot

            $289.02 @ AMAZON Arrow            

Pros / There are online tutorials and a thorough user manual for support.

Cons / The Roomba 650 lacks a remote control.

Verdict / With its strong help tools, you can learn to set the iRobot Roomba 650 for a cleaning track that fits your home.

If you love your pets but not the pet hair, the iRobot Roomba 650 robot vacuum is among the best. It runs for an hour, operates in a back-and-forth configuration and can navigate among many rooms. The unit uses a patented cleaning system that removes clingy animal hair and dirt from hard-surface floors and carpeting.

This small robotic vacuum cleaner effectively cleans you home. It runs for about an hour on full charge. With its back-and-forth cleaning motions, strong suction and many passes over dirty areas, you nearly always get a clean floor with this household device.

Like other models of the best robot vacuum cleaners, this one

Read Full Review



TopTen Test Results

  • Roomba 650
  • Avg Robot Vacuum
Maneuverability Best
Cleaning Performance (Carpet) Best
Cleaning Performance (Hardwood) Better
See Full Results   $289.02 @ AMAZON Arrow  

What We Tested, What We Discovered

Potential robot vacuum owners need to understand that these little helpers are daily housecleaning supplements. They are meant to pick up dust, hair, fur and crumbs to maintain cleaner floors. You can’t expect it to perform miracles. All of the robot vacuums we tested attempt to climb over thresholds, but each one handles higher climbs a little differently. There are certain features you can find that each robotic vacuum in our lineup has, such as ledge sensors and a spot-cleaning option. A ledge sensor protects the vacuum by sensing drop-offs and preventing these robots from tumbling over a set of stairs. Each of these top robots offers a spot-cleaning solution that allows you to instruct the robot to perform a quick pickup of one space.

As for the other features the robots offer, we test-drove each one of them. We put each robot vacuum on our list through real-world tests – and pushed them a little further to see if they’re capable beyond their claimed abilities.

Performance

The single most important function of a vacuum cleaner is how well it cleans your floors, so we tested the robotic vacuums on medium-pile carpet, hard surfaces, rugs and bath mats. We tasked the miniature vacuum cleaners with picking up flour, pet fur, human hair, toast crumbs and thin garlic skins.

Each one was able to pick up at least some of the hair, but some of the models without dirt sensors would pass over an area without picking up the majority of the debris. We also scored the robots on how well they managed obstacles, such as fringe on rugs, power cords and furniture. You can expect your robot vacuum to gently bump into a few pieces of furniture or run into walls on occasion, but we found some of them were less gentle when they ran into obstacles.

The best robot vacuum cleaners run for about two hours on a single charge, but all of the robot vacuums we tested run for at least one hour, depending on the task. Those that require a shorter charge time – 120 to 150 minutes – mean your house can get clean sooner.

Most of the robotic vacuums we tested can navigate door thresholds with little to no difficulty, so you can sit back and not worry about directing your robot vacuum to clean specific areas. Additionally, you can schedule cleaning times for your bot, which translates to even less work on your end.

All of these features contributed to the final ranking of each robot vacuum on our list, plus a few others, such as whether the vacuums also mop, whether they offer a spot-cleaning option and whether they make multiple passes over floors they’ve already cleaned.

Convenience

All of these robot vacuums require regular cleanings themselves. You may need to empty the dustbin and tap out the filter daily depending on how much it sucks up. You also have to clear tangled hair around the brushes, which we found necessary specifically on the Miele Scout. Hair that got wrapped around the flexible brushes of the iRobot Roomba 980 got pushed to the ends of the brush, which was extremely easy to pull off. We measured how long it took us to clean each robot vacuum and how easy it was to perform the necessary maintenance. Other considerations in our tests were assembly, setting up boundaries and setting schedules.

Although tiny robot vacuums are considerably quieter than their bigger, more powerful vacuum cousins, some of they can be fairly noisy, measuring as high as 78 decibels, the equivalent of a regular vacuum cleaner or conversations in a restaurant.

Not all robot vacuums have charging stations, so a light to indicate that the battery is low is important so you can recharge it when necessary. We also looked at the type of brushes these vacuums use, such as side spinning brushes, which can help enormously in pushing debris toward the underbelly of the robot and then into its bin.

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What Else Is Important in Choosing a Robot Vacuum?

Some robot vacuum manufacturers include fringe benefits to make their appliances even more appealing, but they aren’t completely necessary. Having a solid warranty, however, is vital in case anything goes wrong. Although most robot vacuums are easy to use straight out of the box, instructional videos and a user manual can be helpful.

Accessories

There are only two robot vacuums on our list that include a smartphone or tablet app, which allows your robot to connect to your home Wi-Fi. You can then set up schedules and control your robot from your phone or tablet (iOS and Android) – even when you’re not home. This communication can be particularly helpful if, for example, you’re at work and find out you’re going to have some unexpected company that evening. You can "talk" to your little machine and have it perform another pass around your house before you get home.

Several robot vacuums include a remote control, which means you don't have to chase down your pet vacuum during one of its cleanings if you want to change its schedule, or you can manually control your bot.

Some robot cleaners have magnetic strips that you can place at doorways or areas that you’d rather not have it venture into. Others employ more technology and include virtual walls that you can set up that prevent your robot from traveling too far. Virtual lighthouses can force your robot vacuum to finish vacuuming one room before moving on to another.

Warranty & Support

If anything goes wrong with your robotic vacuum, you’re going to be glad that you have a warranty that covers defective parts. All of the robot vacuums on our list include at least a one-year guarantee for the robot itself and a six-month warranty for the battery, while some of the better ones offer two and even five years of protection. An online user manual is helpful if your unit doesn’t come with a physical one, which was the case for a couple of the robot vacuums we reviewed. When you have questions that don’t seem to be covered by the manual, having access to a customer support team by phone, email or live chat can be essential.

We found online tutorials helpful when we wanted to schedule the robot vacuums to deploy at the same time every day.

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Our Verdict and Recommendations

Top Ten Reviews seeks, whenever possible, to evaluate all products and services in hands-on tests that simulate as closely as possible the experiences of a typical consumer. We obtained the units in our comparison on loan from some manufacturers and purchased other units. The manufacturers had no input or influence over our test methodology, nor was the methodology provided to any of them in more detail than is available through reading our reviews. Results of our evaluations were not provided to manufacturers in advance of publication.

Overall, the Neato Botvac Connected was most impressive with its smart navigation of each room and its easy-to-use smartphone and tablet app. It rarely bumped into obstacles, but it managed to roll right up to walls and other edges to clean better than any other robot vacuum. In its Turbo mode, it sucked up more debris than most, but it was as loud as a regular vacuum cleaner.

The latest model from iRobot, the Roomba 980, delivered an excellent performance also. The app lets you schedule cleanings and check for details on where your robot has been cleaning and for how long. If you want to locate your Roomba while it's cleaning, you can play a game of Marco Polo with it through your app.

Samsung’s latest addition to the world of robotic vacuums – the POWERbot – gave a good run, too. Its cleaning performance beat out most of the competition and maintenance for it was faster than any other bot on our lineup.

Very few of the robot vacuums cleaned under our test couch that had a fabric flap that hung down. The couch had a 4-inch gap between it and the floor, so it was able to fit every robovac, but only iRobot’s units, including the Roomba 650, and the Infinuvo CleanMate QQ-2 Basic ventured underneath.

Although the Miele Scout didn’t stack up as well as the highest-rated units, it performed well in our tests, picking up fine dust and almost every speck of debris we challenged it to. However, it gave us several errors in our testing, including when it ate the fringe of a rug. It refused to clean under certain pieces of furniture, and it doesn’t include a carrying handle.

These machines cannot replace the deep clean that you can get from an upright or canister vacuum cleaner, but they definitely kept our floors cleaner than they would have been otherwise.

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