The best robot vacuums make cleaning your home, and keeping it that way, a far easier prospect where you have very little to do. These are ideal for anyone with pets that molt hair regularly, those that struggle to work a vacuum, or anyone that just wants a little help around the home.
Unlike standard vacuums, these robot counterparts work independently to clean up your home without you having to do very much at all. Once setup and mapped these can be controlled from your smartphone to clean certain areas when you want, or to clean on a schedule. One great use is to have these get cleaning in the night so when you wake it's to a tidy home.
There are a wide selection of robot vacuums now on the market meaning you'll need to know what it is you need, as the price is also widely varied. Some robo vacs will not only charge themselves but also empty their waste into an automated bin, which means you don't even need to empty them as regularly. Many off lower clearance making them ideal for zipping under low-to-the-ground units in your home. Then there are some that specialize in moving between hard floors and rugs, or for getting over bumps between rooms. Some even mop as well as vacuum.
On the whole, robot vacuums cost you a fair chunk and you may still need a traditional vacuum as a back-up and for tough to reach areas. So it's worth keeping that in mind when you're budgeting for this purchase. It's also probably worth a look at other options too including the best vacuum cleaner, the best deep clean vacuum guideand the best handheld vacuum.
Best robot vacuums
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While we've reviewed most of the products in this guide, there are a few that we're still in the process of testing. For these robot vacuum cleaners, we've provided an overview of the important specs and features that you need to know – plus, we've provided a summary of user reviews to help you make the right decision for you and your home.
The best robot vacuums: tried and tested
1. iRobot Roomba i7+: Best robot vacuum overall
As one of the original robot vacuum cleaner pioneers, iRobot is well established in research and development of some of the best autonomous vacuum features. As such its top-end Roomba i7+ is so autonomous it'll even empty its waste while recharging, meaning you don't have to touch it for around a full month of cleaning. This is a big jump forward.
Of course that means this is also expensive. But combine with it smart assistant voice controls, intelligent mapping that learns rooms and you can literally say "Alexa (or Google), clean the lounge" and off it will go to do your bidding.
Suction power is excellent while 99 percent of allergens, pollen, mold and dust mites are removed using a filter system. All that's backed by a smart app to help you schedule cleans and keep track of performance. This is a cutting-edge robot vacuum cleaner - literally - that will slice into the dirt right to the edges of your home.
- Read our iRobot Roomba i7+ review
2. Shark IQ Robot Vacuum: Best for self-cleaning
The Shark IQ Robot Vacuum does it all, from a self-cleaning roller that's ideal for pet hair to an emptying tank for up to a month of cleaning before you need to empty the wall bin unit. This does most of what the iRobot competition does, only at a lower price.
Yes it's louder and might not be quite as quick to learn rooms, but it gets there in the end meaning room-specific cleaning requests via the app or smart assistant voice controls. This vacuum even talks back to ask for help if it gets into trouble.
At 90 minutes battery life isn't the longest but this is powerful and gets over bumps well. The spinning brushes make short work of dirt in corners or under skirting board - there's nowhere to hide, muck, this Shark is here to hunt you down.
- Read our Shark IQ Robot Vacuum review
3. Roborock S6 MaxV: Best smart robot vacuum with mop
The Roborock S6 MaxV is expensive, but it’s one of the smartest you can buy. The Roborock app allows you to map out your home, and the S6 MaxV works strategically clean every corner. With dual cameras and LiDAR navigation, this robot vacuum is designed to scan around the room and avoid any obstacles that arise in front of it. This includes any messes your animal may have left, which means they won’t be smeared around your home.
This robot vacuum has a strong 2500Pa suction but is not so noisy that you’ll mind it working as you watch the TV. It also comes with rubber bristles that flick dirt and debris in front of the vacuum’s path, allowing it to reach every small nook of your home.
One of the best features of this vacuum is its mopping attachment and onboard water tank. When it comes to tiles and hardwood floors, the Roborock S6 MaxV not only vacuums but mops as it passes. Seeing as it’s an expensive option, you’ll want to make the most of this feature, which means this vacuum is best suited to homes that have hard floors.
- Read our Roborock S6 MaxV review
4. Neato Robotics D10: Best robot vacuum with a HEPA filter
Neato is a popular name in the robot vacuum world, so it's safe to say this robot vacuum delivers on quality. The Neato D10 leads the way with a HEPA filter, which is a great decision if you suffer from allergies or have a pet, as it will help to keep any dust well contained in the machine. This will capture 99.97% of allergens and fine dust particles as small as 0.3 microns. Two extra filters are included too, which minimizes how much you will spend on maintenance.
Three cleaning modes make it easy to use and simple to transfer between different flooring. Eco mode is ideal for hard surfaces, Turbo mode is best for carpets and Max mode is for when you want the most powerful clean possible, so you can choose a specific power for your needs.
Like other models, you can set up different zones via the MyNeato app, which is great if you have areas you don't need or want cleaning. No-go zones are great for ensuring the robot vac steers clear of any mess or tricky furniture, so you can avoid it running into any issues. The app also has multi-zone cleaning where you can customize up to 16 areas and choose the exact cleaning functions you want for each spot.
Reviews are generally positive, but there are some users that mention issues with WiFi connectivity and a lack of support from Neoto, so that might be something to bear in mind before you make a purchase.
• Read our Neato D10 review
5. Yeedi vac 2 pro
The Yeedi vac 2 pro is the ideal entry-level robot vacuum cleaner and mop, with a long run time of 240 minutes and a mapping function that is able to identify and swerve objects in its path.
The white design is flawless, and makes a welcome change from black or gray, while an accompanying app lets you set cleaning schedules, create 'no-mop' zones, and dial the power up or down. Users praise the robot’s ability to get rid of pet hair, the convenience of scheduling cleaning when out of the house, and the Yeedi’s minimalist design.
The oscillating mop cartridge is easy to fit, while the mopping pattern simulates a manual mop, but five times faster. Simply peel off the mop head and throw it in the laundry when you're done.
According to cleaning expert for Housetastic and cleaning business owner Karen Barrigan, the Yeedi vac 2 pro is the ideal choice if convenience and ease of use is important to you.
- Read our Yeedi vac 2 pro review.
6. Roborock S7 Robot Vacuum
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.
While it certainly impresses as a powerful vacuum, the Roborock S7 stumbles when it comes to the mop function. For a robot vacuum that’s on the expensive side, the mop doesn’t quite fit the bill, as it struggles to eradicate quite small stains.
If you shy away from louder appliances, you may want to consider an alternative model in our guide to the best robot vacuums, such as the Yeedi k650 featured above, as this one is a little on the loud side.
- Read our Roborock S7 review
7. iRobot Roomba 960: Best robot vacuum for precision
iRobot is one of the top names in robot vacuums, and their machines certainly deliver features-wise. The iRobot Roomba 960 has some of the best features available as well as excellent performance, so you're not sacrificing power. As I'm sure you would expect though, this does mean that it comes at a higher price.
It uses the Aero force 3-stage cleaning system and 5x air power to pull in embedded dirt and dust far quicker and with more power than other models. It's also great for pet hair, so if you're struggling with removing fur from your floors or your existing vacuum isn't standing up to the test, then this will be a handy feature to keep in mind.
Smart technology means that the robot vacuum navigates itself across rooms and stays away from the rooms and items you select on the app. On the dedicated iRobot Home App, you can schedule the device to start, stop, and clean a specific area of your home easily. While you might want to create different zones on the app depending on your layout and floor types, this device has multi-surface brushes so it can transition between hard floors and carpets.
Reviews for the 960 are positive, however, one user noted that the older 600 series is just as effective and more affordable. The 960 can be controlled via WiFi unlike older models, but if this isn't something that you're concerned with then it might be worth saving your money with a previous design.
- Read our iRobot Roomba 960 review
8. iLife A9: Best robot vacuum for dust
With a sleek circular design, the iLife A9 is a stylish option that you won't mind having on show around your home. It's on the more affordable end of the products in our round-up, and of most robot vacuums on the market, so it's a great choice for those on a budget, or for those who have already invested in an upright model.
It can be controlled with WiFi connected app, so you can easily program it from the comfort of your device. It's worth noting that it doesn't work on cellular data though, so it will limit how much you can control the vacuum from outside of your home. It also has three cleaning modes, including path mode which maximizes coverage, spot mode that targets specific areas, max mode for intensive cleaning, and edge mode for better focus on corners and edges. With this versatility in modes, it's far easier to get a thorough clean that would replicate what is achievable with a manual upright vacuum.
We were able to get our hands on the iLife A9 to give it a go for ourselves, and we gave it four out of five stars. It's affordable, powerful, and has some great cleaning features packed in. It has Alexa voice control and outstanding dust collection. We did note that there's room for improvement in terms of navigating over rugs, but it's still a top choice for the price.
- Read our iLife A9 review
9. Neato Botvac D7 Connected: Best robot vacuum for corner cleaning
Neato is another big name in the world of robot vacuums, having been around since the start. It still stands out from the rest with its D-shape design which ensures this D7 Connected bot can get close to edges and right into corners so dirt never escapes.
The smart mapping learns your home and shows it on the app but this, unlike the competition, also lets you edit. You can mark out lines to show areas that are No-Go zones which is fantastic for cables, pet beds, tussled rugs and the like which might otherwise hinder cleaning.
A two hour battery, Turbo power mode, smart assistant controls and spot cleaning all make this a superb robot vacuum. If only this were able to store more waste before needing emptying, it'd be near perfect.
10. Eufy RoboVac 11S: Best cheap robot vacuum
Eufy offers great specs at a low price when it comes to robot vacuums and the 11S is one of its best. This little robot vac is one of the slimmest out there making it easy for this to get under low couches and units. Where other top models failed at thoroughly cleaning the corners of a room, this is where the Eufy excelled. It was also almost perfect in the suction tests. We trialled each device in our line up with the same amount of Cheerios and this one cleared the floor, with all of the cereal ending up in the bin. While it did manage to suction up pet air, not all of it made it's way into the bin, so if you're looking to use it primarily for cleaning up after your pets then you might need to reconsider. However, it is an affordable choice so for that, there's likely to be a compromise.
There isn't an app so that's not ideal for scheduling but the suction is decent and movement is good enough to avoid knocks and bumps. It has specific ledge-detection features to keep it away from obvious dangers, but you can't create any virtual boundaries for your space. Charge times could also be faster but the 100 minute battery is pretty decent and will cover most rooms.
- Read our Eufy RoboVac 11S review
How to choose the best robot vacuum for you
While many robot vacuums feature similar core functionality, certain models have specific specialisms, so we advise you to make sure that you know exactly what you need from your cleaning helper before you press pay.
Floor type: The best robot vacuum cleaners tend to come with added features for different types of floors. So the first thing you consider is your cleaning needs. Do you require a robot to run over hard floors, carpets or both? Do you need a vacuum to tackle pet hair or spills and stains too?
Run time: Similarly, different models have different run times, meaning some will take their time cleaning your house top to bottom for up to three hours, while others can whiz around a room for 45 mins before running out of steam (or battery power, rather). To recharge, they’ll return back to their docking station, so make sure you have a suitable space to put it’s base too. When selecting the best robot vacuum for you then, pick one that will last the length of your home, be it a small studio apartment or an open-plan townhouse.
Additional needs: Robot vacuums will clean your floors, yes, but they won’t cover stairs or soft furnishings. While they won’t plunge to their doom thanks to automatic drop detection tech, they’re only able to span flat surfaces. So if you’re wanting a multi-use vacuum to clean your car, couch or baseboard, then a robot vacuum might not be your best bet. Instead, we’d suggest investing in a traditional manual vacuum cleaner.
Are robot vacuums good value?
The answer is yes, depending on a few things. First, it depends on whether you have pets. If you do, a robot vacuum is definitely worth it. Pet owners know that vacuuming and dusting regularly can keep pet hair under control for the most part, but no one likes to vacuum more than once a day or to follow their pet around with a vacuum cleaner – the only way to keep your home pristine if you have heavy shedders. Even the fairly mediocre robot vacuums we tried did a good job of keeping pet hair at bay.
Second, it depends on where you plan to use it. Even our favorite robot vacuum cleaners struggled on carpeting. However, they were amazing on hardwood flooring. If you have a lot of hardwood flooring, a robot vacuum is a great investment.
Third, it depends on how you plan to use it. These machines have gotten better and better over the years we’ve been testing them, but they do not replace a human being with a broom and a mop. They can keep your place tidy between deep cleanings, though, especially if you have pets, as mentioned above.
Are robot vacuums safe for wood floors?
You don't have to worry about robot vacuum cleaners on your hardwood floors. Hardwood flooring is their specialty and the brushes are not stiff enough to scratch. We tested them on flooring in a 103-year-old home and the floors looked great afterward – not a scratch on them.
There was some chatter online about how early robot vacuums could scrape hardwood flooring with their front wheel, but we have never had a problem, even after testing for hundreds of hours over the years with multiple models from many manufacturers.
Keeping robot vacuums out of problem areas
Robotic vacuum cleaners are meant to take one chore off of your list, but your home may not be prepared for a robot vacuum to operate smoothly. These machines can be tripped up by cords, clothing, flooring transitions and much more. Designers have tackled these problems in a number of different ways. Here are some options for keeping robot vacuums away from danger zones:
Some units come with a small device that shoots an infrared beam across a threshold to keep the robot vacuum away. Usually, they offer blockage from 4 to 7 feet.
These are magnetic strips that a robot vacuum's sensors read and know to avoid. These keep the robot vac from running into objects in your home.
Many modern models offer smartphone apps with mapping capabilities. You can use the app to tell the robot which rooms to clean and which to avoid.
Some models take it one step further and let you section off not just rooms, but portions of rooms. It's like having a virtual boundary marker that sections off problem areas – a Christmas tree skirt or pet bowl areas. You just swipe off-limits areas in the virtual floor plan of your home on your phone's screen. Then the robot vacuum won't clean in that area .
Care and maintenance tips for robot vacuums
The best robot vacuum cleaners have a lot of moving parts, so they require some maintenance for optimal performance. Here are some tips on getting the most out of yours:
Do not overfill: This can be easy to do with tiny bins that are typical of these machines. Many of them do not have full-bin indicator lights, either. It is up to you to remember.
Clean the brushes: Take time to pick the hair out of brushes and wash them thoroughly on a regular basis. They will struggle to spin and pick up more hair and debris if you skip cleaning them.
Clean the wheels: Wheels also need regular cleanings. They won't turn or grip as well if they are coated in dirt.
Update often: The best robot vacuum cleaners come with a phone app that will update itself on a regular basis, but it is still worth checking for updates from time to time to ensure optimal performance.
Robot vacuum tips for allergy sufferers
Even with their smaller proportions, robot vacuums have the potential to create many of the same problems as full-sized machines. Any type of vacuum can kick up a lot of dust, which can affect those with allergies and asthma. If you have allergies or asthma, it is worth a little extra effort to make sure the cleaning process won't make you sick.
Buying the right machine in the first place is a good starting point. The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America has not certified any robot vacuum cleaners as asthma and allergy friendly yet. There are at least a few models that boast strong filters, though, which should help in containing dust and other allergens.
Some robot vacuum filters even rise to the level of HEPA (high efficiency particulate air), which meet U.S. Department of Energy standards for containing very small particles. Look for those and also use the type of precautions that make sense with all kinds of vacuum cleaners:
Empty often: Any time a vacuum of any kind gets too full there is the potential for it to throw debris back into the air.
Empty outside: Robot vacuum cleaners have tiny dustbins but they can still create quite the cloud when you empty them.
Be thorough: When possible, set your robot vacuum to go over high traffic areas more than once.
Environmentally friendly cleaning
Environmental friendliness may not be your top consideration when choosing a robotic vacuum cleaner, but if it's a factor that interests you, consider these aspects as you shop:
Durability: Any product that's made of plastic and has a battery will damage the environment when it enters a landfill. Read online reviews to find the most durable robotic vacuum so that yours won't end up in a landfill anytime soon. Look for a long warranty, which can be a good indicator of durability.
Repairs: Fixing a product rather than throwing it away will help the environment. If your robot vacuum has problems, consider sending it to the manufacturer for repairs.
Battery life: No battery lasts forever, and when your robot vacuum battery can't recharge anymore, don't throw it in the garbage. Instead, visit call2recycle.org to find a place to recycle it.
How long does carpeting last?
Your robot vacuum is likely just one cleaning tool you use to keep your flooring fresh and clean. Floors eventually wear down, though; experts say carpeting lasts five to 15 years. In high-traffic areas, however, carpet may not even make it to the five-year mark, even if you choose the looped/Berber style. The rotating brushes of a vacuum cleaner, including those on robot vacuums, can contribute to the breakdown of fibers over time. The decision of when to replace carpeting can be largely a matter of aesthetics, but there are a handful of health and safety issues, too. Here are a few things to consider:
Threadbare threats: When you can see the horizontal threads that run under your carpet, it's probably time to replace your flooring. This is the case especially when that happens along room borders, which can create a tripping hazard.
Allergy awareness: Older carpets tend to retain more dust and other allergens. If you notice your allergies acting up, it might be a sign you need to get new carpets.
Flooring flatlands: Matted carpeting always looks bad, and matted carpeting in high-traffic areas looks even worse because it's surrounded by the fluffy, newer-looking carpet. When you can't cover up the bad spots with an area rug, it's time for new carpeting.
Color discord: If you've shampooed your carpets and had them professionally cleaned but your high-traffic areas still look darker than the rest of your floors, it may be time to replace your carpets.
Off odors: The same applies to pet smells or any other odors: If you have shampooed the carpet and it still smells bad, you should consider replacing it.
If you’re looking for more tech-smart additions to your home, check out our guide to the best smart locks.