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Best Robot Vacuum

Best robot vacuums 2021: Shark, iRobot and more robotic vacuum cleaners for your home
(Image credit: Getty)

Robot vacuum cleaning is one of the biggest time-saving devices you can buy for around the house. The best robotic vacs clean your floors, running around after the kids and pets, cleaning up their crumbs and messes so you don't have to. Robotic vacuums are designed to be mostly autonomous - meaning you can leave them to clean the floor without having to supervise it. Many of the top-rated robot vacuum cleaners are compatible with your smartphone to allow monitoring and control remotely. Look for a robot vacuum that uses mapping technology to learn your space and avoid stairs, furniture, and other objects in the way. Here are some of the best robot vacuums on the market based on our own research and testing.

Best overall

iRobot Roomba i3+ 3350

(Image credit: iRobot)

iRobot Roomba i7+

Digital assistant control

The iRobot Roomba has excellent suction power removing 99 percent of allergens, pollen, mold, dust, and mites from carpeting. It uses intelligent mapping to learn rooms including where furniture is places, corners, and drop-offs. 

Pros:

  • Self emptying
  • Digital assistant control
  • Smart mapping

Cons:

  • Expensive

As one of the original robot vacuum cleaner pioneers, iRobot is well established in the research and development of some of the best autonomous vacuum features. This Roomba knows when to return to its base to recharge and it will automatically empty the waste it has collected. You can control the iRobot with the accompanying app or from a smart home device, like the Amazon Echo. From the app, you can schedule cleans and keep track of performance. The smart assistant voice controls you can literally say, "Alexa (or Google), clean the living room" and off it will go to do your bidding.

Best value

Eufy 11S

(Image credit: Eufy)

eufy RoboVac11S

Good battery life

This little robo-vac is one of the slimmest models making it easy for it to get under low couches and units. It's also good at getting into corners and along edges. On a full charge battery, the eufy runs for 100 minutes.

Pros:

  • Slim and quiet
  • Affordable
  • Excellent battery life

Cons:

  • No app support

The eufy RoboVac uses advanced technology to sense when it needs to increase suction depending on the type of flooring it's on and the size of the mess it's cleaning. It has an infrared sensor that helps it detect furniture and other obstacles, and redirect it to get all areas of your floor. There isn't an app so that's not ideal for scheduling. But it does have a remote control so you don't have to start the vacuum by touching it.

Best self-cleaning vacuum

Shark IQ Robot Vacuum

(Image credit: Shark)

Shark IQ Robot Vacuum

Boundary marking

The Shark IQ Robot Vacuum does it all, from a self-cleaning roller that's ideal for capturing pet hair to a large holding tank that you don't need to empty for up to a month.

Pros:

  • Self-emptying
  • Smart mapping
  • Great for pets

Cons:

  • Loud
  • Slow to learn

You can teach and assign the Shark IQ specific cleaning requests via the app or smart assistant voice controls. This helps it learn the boundaries within each room. It does take a little longer compared to other robot vacs to learn rooms and boundaries, and it is quite a bit louder when running. You can still hold a conversation as it cleans. The battery, when fully charged, will continually clean for 90 minutes before returning to its charging station.

Best dust vacuum

iLife A9

(Image credit: iLife)

iLife A9 Robot Vacuum

Filters dust of all size

When it comes to dust, the iLife A9 leaves no sign thanks to its use of cyclonic tech and multiple bins to store dirt and dust of varying sizes. It filters well to leave nothing behind. 

Pros:

  • Cellular dusting
  • Low profile
  • Smart mapping

Cons:

  • Not great on uneven surfaces

The iLife A9 vacuum has a unique roller brush that works well on both hardwood floors and plush carpeting, though it does struggle with bumps and transitioning from lower to higher flooring. This robot vacuum looks great, features a low-profile design for getting under objects, four cleaning modes, app support, and an included virtual barrier to cordon off areas.  It's also self charging and is compatible with Amazon Echo for voice control. 

Best smart robot vacuum

Roborock S6 MaxV

(Image credit: Roborock)

Roborock S7

Mop and sweep functions

The Roborock vacuum has strong suction and rubber bristles that flick dirt and debris in front of the vacuum’s path. But its best feature is its mopping attachment and onboard water tank. 

Pros:

  • Sweeps and mops
  • Effective on multiple surfaces
  • Good suction

Cons:

  • Loud

The Roborock S7 excels with smart controls such as customizable options in the app and a LiDAR sensor to ensure that no stone or corner is left unturned. This robot vacuum takes different types of floors such as carpet and hardwood in its stride, transitioning smoothly between the two. Plus, for such a high-powered model, it has an impressive battery life, all contained by a pretty streamlined and sleek design. The Roborock vacuum runs loud enough that it can be a distraction. Also, its mop feature is good for quick cleaning, but tough stains, even small ones, will need more elbow grease than this vac can give.

How to choose the best robot vacuum for you

When choosing one of the best robot vacuum cleaners on the market the first thing you should ask yourself is what type of cleaning you specifically need. 

For example, do you need the robot vacuum cleaner to clean hard floors, carpeted floors, or a mixture of both? In addition, do you need the robotic vacuum to be a pet hair removal specialist? Or maybe you need a system that can run for a particularly long period of time due to the size of your home?

While many robot vacuums feature similar core functionality, certain models do lean towards specific specialisms, so we advise you to make sure that you know exactly what you need from a robot vacuum upgrade before you pull the trigger.

In addition, you should evaluate the layout and structure of your home, both in terms of the suitability of a robotic vacuum cleaner and where it can be docked. Remember that each robot vacuum comes with its own docking station (which often needs clearance on either side to ensure optimal operation) where the machine charges up between cleaning runs, so knowing exactly where that can be placed should also be an important consideration.

Lastly, it is worth considering your floor coverings and furniture, as if you have a tall, multi-floored dwelling with multiple staircases then maybe a robot vacuum cleaner wouldn’t be the best option. After all, these machines can’t climb stairs. However, they won’t plunge to their doom thanks to automatic drop detection tech. If you want to leave the robot running while you’re out, or on a schedule to come on while you are at work, floor transitions may prevent the vacuum from returning to the base station. This means you’re going to come home to a robot vacuum that has no charge.

Naturally, if you have an apartment this won’t be an issue, and from our personal experience, it is manageable as well with a simple upstairs-downstairs arrangement. Running the robot on the second floor while you’re in the house means it can be retrieved and docked before you leave. For anything more complex, we’d suggest a combination of a robot vacuum cleaner and a traditional manual cleaner.

Testing robot vacuums

Lab testing robot vacuums (Image credit: Future)

Why trust us

At Top Ten Reviews we recommend the best products to enhance your life. As expert curators, we handpick products based on quality and usefulness to positively impact your day-to-day, from cart to doorstep. We take our responsibility seriously — testing products, reading reviews, and sourcing knowledgeable outlets to ensure our selections are worthy of your time and money. We deliver detailed product overviews, balancing objective information with subjective opinions, so making the best choice for your home and lifestyle is as easy as possible.

We've tested out every top-rated vacuum cleaner on the market in our purpose-built robot vacuum testing facility, which includes carpeted and hardwood cleaning surfaces. Our tests included a wide variety of vacuums that differed in price tiers and usage specialisms. We looked at essential systems a robotic vacuum should include to give you the most convenient clean with minimal time impact. By using our guide you should be able to find the best robotic vacuum for your home. 

Top Ten Reviews Staff

This is the staff profile for the Top Ten Reviews team. If you see this author, you're looking at an article that was created as a collaborative effort from the TTR editorial team.