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Best robot vacuums 2021

Best robot vacuums 2021
(Image credit: Getty)

The best robot vacuums keep your floors clean and crumb-free all week long. These clever cleaning machines make their way around your home using the most up-to-date technology. Many of the best robot vacuums can be controlled via a smartphone, while some can be told what to do via voice command. To help find the best robot vacuum for your home, we’ve listed the top-rated machines that put cleaning at the forefront of everything they do.

Robot vacuums are battery-operated, which is why we’d suggest noting how long each of the models run for. The bigger your home, the longer the robot run time will need to be. In our guide, we’ve included models that run for at least 45 minutes, with some able to clean for three hours. We’d also suggest looking at which robot vacuums are best for what types of floors. If you have a pet, or hardwood floors, make sure your model comes with strong suction power and the ability to trawl across a hard surface.

Generally speaking, these clever gadgets can cost anywhere between $150 to $700. The top-end robot vacuums come with self-emptying capabilities, a mop so they can clean up any spillages, and WiFi connectivity. But that’s not to say the best robot vacuums have to cost a fortune. It all depends on how dirty your floors get and how much you will be relying on your robot vacuum.

For more ways to clean your home, discover our guide to the best vacuum cleaners for home and the best deep clean vacuums.   

1. iRobot Roomba i7+: Best robot vacuum overall

Best robot vacuums: iRobot Roomba i7+

(Image credit: iRobot)

iRobot Roomba i7+

The best robot vacuum on the market right now

Battery life: 120 minutes | App: iOS, Android, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant | Pet capable: Yes | Multi-surface: Yes

Self emptying
Digital assistant control
Smart mapping

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.

2. Shark IQ Robot Vacuum: Best for self-cleaning

Best robot vacuums: Shark IQ Robot Vacuum

(Image credit: Shark)

Shark IQ Robot Vacuum

Best for boundary marking

Battery life: 90 minutes | App: iOS, Android | Pet capable: Yes | Multi-surface: Yes

Smart mapping
Relatively affordable price
Great for pets
Loud and slow to learn

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.

3. Roborock S6 MaxV: Best smart robot vacuum with mop

Best robot vacuums: Roborock S6 MaxV

(Image credit: Roborock)

Roborock S6 MaxV Robot Vacuum

With mopping and vacuum functions, this is the smartest you can buy

Battery life: 180 minutes | App: Yes | Pet capable: Yes | Multi-surface: Yes

Mopping attachment
Smart zoning
Avoids obstacles
Better for hardwood homes

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.

4. Yeedi k650 Robot Vacuum

Best robot vacuums: Yeedi k650

(Image credit: Yeedi)

Yeedi k650 Robot Vacuum

Stylish and quiet in use, and designed to tackle built-up pet hair

Battery life: 130 minutes | App: iOS, Android, Amazon Alexa | Pet capable: Yes | Multi-surface: Yes

Daily cleaning schedules
Good suction
No mopping function

The sleek Yeedi k650 Robot Vacuum is pretty smart. Order it not to go into a specific area of your house using the daily cleaning schedules during the set-up and the vacuum will mark out a no-go zone with boundary strips laid down. While this isn’t possible with the app, it’s pretty handy if you can wrap your head around while you assemble it.

With a powerful suction and a very effective brush, this robot vacuum will pick up most of your mess, including pesky pet hair. Although its cleaning pattern can seem relatively haphazard, it will leave you with pleasingly clean carpets or hardwood surfaces. 

Plus, at such an affordable price point, you also get a nice host of smart features. Easily hook it up to your smartphone and connect to your Wi-Fi to give it the low-down on where to clean from your phone. 

5. Roborock S7 Robot Vacuum

Best robot vacuums: Roborock S7

(Image credit: Roborock)

Roborock S7 Robot Vacuum with Mop

A sleek robot cleaner for all floor types (even rugs)

Battery life: 180 minutes | App: iOS, Android, Amazon Alexa, Siri, Google Home | Pet capable: No | Multi-surface: Yes

Effective on multiple surfaces
Sleek design
Good suction
Poor mop function

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.

6. Neato Botvac D7 Connected: Best robot vacuum for corner cleaning

Best robot vacuums: Neato Botvac D7 Connected

(Image credit: Neato)

Neato Botvac D7 Connected

This smart robot vacuum is good at boundary marking too

Battery life: 120 minutes | App: iOS, Android | Pet capable: Yes | Multi-surface: Yes

No-Go areas
Multi-floor mapping
Zone cleaning
Long battery life
Small bin with no full indicator

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.

7. iRobot Roomba 960: Best robot vacuum for precision

Best robot vacuums: iRobot Roomba 960

(Image credit: iRobot)

iRobot Roomba 960

Best for precision

Battery life: 120 minutes | App: iOS, Android, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant | Pet capable: Yes | Multi-surface: Yes

Smart assistant support
Multi-surface cleaning
Allergen filter system
Not cheap

The iRobot Roomba 960 is a really excellent example of a robot vacuum with top features and excellent performance combined in a perfect balance. This isn't cheap, however. 

For the money you get a three stage filter, smart assistant voice controls, enhanced suction power, auto adjust cleaning head, adaptive smart navigation and app support. Grab this in a sale and you're getting yourself a really great robot vacuum.

8. iLife A9: Best robot vacuum for dust

Best robot vacuums: iLife A9

(Image credit: iLife)

iLife A9

Bust those dustballs with this app-connected vacuum cleaner

Battery life: 120 minutes | App: iOS, Android, Amazon Alexa | Pet capable: Yes | Multi-surface: Yes

Cellular dustin
Low profile
Smart mapping
Not great on uneven surfaces

When it comes to dust, the iLife A9 leaves no sign thanks to its cellular bin. Essentially this uses cyclonic tech and multiple bins to store dirt and dust of varying sizes, filtered to leave nothing but pure air. You also get great looks, a low-profile design for getting under objects, four cleaning modes, app support and an included virtual barrier to cordon off areas. 

This does struggle with bumps onto higher rugs but for the price this is a fantastic robot vacuum with loads of great features, including smart assistant voice controls and super navigation smarts.

9. Dyson 360 Eye: Best for looks and power

Best robot vacuums: Dyson 360 Eye

(Image credit: Dyson)

Dyson 360 Eye

Best robot vacuum for looks and power

Battery life: 45 minutes | App: iOS, Android | Pet capable: Yes | Multi-surface: Yes

Powerful suction
Great app support
Attractive design
Poor corner cleaning

Dyson spent 17 years perfecting its robot vacuum, it claims. The result certainly is a good looking and powerful bot that will suck up any and all dirt, dust and allergens. The camera based navigation works well with minimal bumps and decent speed. 

Battery life is some of the worst out there, due to all that suction power. The app works well but is basic with little beyond scheduling and two modes, Max and Quiet. Despite featuring a tank track, this still struggles over bumps and the 0.33-liter bin won't hold much before needing emptying. 

10. Eufy RoboVac 11S: Best cheap robot vacuum 

Best robot vacuums: Eufy 11S

(Image credit: Eufy)

Eufy RoboVac 11S

A more affordable robot vacuum cleaner that's quiet in use

Battery life: 100 minutes | App: N/A | Pet capable: Yes | Multi-surface: Yes

Slim and quiet
Excellent battery life
No app support

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. It's also good at getting into corners and along edges. 

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. Charge times could be faster but the 100 minute battery is pretty decent nonetheless.

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 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 and while 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 secondary floor while you’re in the house means it can be retrieved and docked before you leave. For anything more complex, we’d suggest at a combination of robot vacuum cleaner and a traditional manual cleaner.

Best robot vacuums: iRobot Roomba i7+

(Image credit: iRobot )

How long will a Roomba clean for?

The robot vacuum cleaners we tested – including Roombas and other brands – can run autonomously for over an hour, averaging one hour and 40 minutes. We found that the more expensive machines don't necessarily run the longest. 

However, there are lots of features that matter at least as much as how long your robot vac can vacuum before returning to its station. If you have a few larger spaces and are worried a robot vacuum won't be able to cover them, check the manufacturer's website – they all make that information pretty easy to find so you can know before you buy.

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.  

Best robot vacuums: iRobot Roomba i7+

(Image credit: iRobot)

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:

Virtual wall
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.

Boundary markers
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.

Smart mapping
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.

No-go lines
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 . 

Best robot vacuums: Shark IQ Robot Vacuum

(Image credit: Shark)

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 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.