The best robot vacuums can free you from one of the most mundane, but necessary chores. Instead of spending hours vacuuming your floors for pet hair and dirt, a robot vacuum can do the work for you.
But with robot vacuum prices ranging from less than $200 to upwards of $1,000, which is the best robot vacuum? We've tested dozens of robot vacuums of all prices to see which are the best at picking up pet hair, kitty litter, and other dirt. We've even tested robot mops, too. Along the way, we've found budget models that do just as good a job as pricey vacuums, and aded them to our list.
Black Friday 2020 robot vacuum deals
In the market for a new robot vacuum? Black Friday officially starts on November 27, but we expect sales to start as soon as November 1—if not earlier.
What are the best robot vacuums?
After spending hundreds of hours of testing dozens of robot vacuums, both in a controlled environment and at home, we think the best robot vacuum for most people is the Shark Ion R85. Not surprisingly, it ranked near the top of our lab tests when it came to picking up Cheerios, kitty litter, and pet hair. We also like the fact that the R85 can be purchased with an optional stick vacuum, so you can clean couch cushions and other spots the robot can't reach.
If you've got some extra cash on hand, we recommend the super-smart iRobot Roomba s9+ ($1,099). This robot vacuum has a charging base that sucks out the dirt from the vacuum, and can hold debris from up to 30 trips. That means less work for you. And, the s9+ can work in conjunction with the Braava m6 mopping robot, so after your floors are swept by the s9+, it will tell the m6 to start mopping.
If you're on a budget, the best robot vacuum is the iLife V3s Pro. It costs less than $200, yet outperformed robot vacuums that cost much, much more. However, it lacks smart home connectivity (you have to control it with an included remote) and is slow. But if you turn it on as you leave your house to go on some errands, then this might not matter to you. What does matter is how well it cleans, and the V3s Pro does that very well indeed.
Both Roomba and Neato have some new models on the way: The Roomba i3+ ($599) uses the same clean base technology and cleaning system as the Roomba i7+, but costs $200 less, owing to its less sophisticated mapping technology. Neato's new D10 robot vacuum ($899) has a true HEPA filter, which can trap particles as small as 0.3 microns.
Read on for all our top picks of the best robot vacuums.
The best robot vacuums you can buy today
Our best robot vacuum overall, the Shark R85 proved excellent at picking up pet hair and other debris around our home with a minimum of fuss. While it took about an hour on average to finish a run in our test space, it was much more thorough than all other robot vacuums. Our advice? Start it up, then leave the house to do some chores.
We also liked the notifications we received from the Shark Ion 85, as well as the ability to control it from our smartphone, as well as using it with both Alexa and Google Assistant. The R85's dustbin was also very easy to empty — not a given with many robot vacuums — and you can purchase its charging base with an optional stick vacuum, so you can clean in between couch cushions and other spaces the robot vacuum can't reach.
Read our full Shark Ion R85 review.
The iLife V3s Pro is the best robot vacuum you can get for less than $200. Despite its low price, the V3s Pro consistently outperformed other robot vacuums that cost three times as much. It picked up nearly all the pet hair in our lab tests, and was also good in our at-home tests, too.
There are a few caveats when purchasing a robot vacuum this cheap, though. For starters, the iLife V3s Pro is slow, taking more than 90 minutes on average to clean our test space. Also, it can’t be controlled from your smartphone, so you have to use the included remote control, and you can't connect it to Alexa or Google Assistant to turn it on or schedule cleanings. We also found that it was a bit louder than other vacuums. But it's great at doing the one thing it needs to do well, and that's picking up dirt. For this price, its downsides are tradeoffs we’re willing to make.
Read our full iLife V3s Pro review
The second-best robot vacuum under $200 is iLife’s V5s Pro, which vacuumed nearly as well as the V3s Pro, picking up pet hair, Cheerios, and kitty litter with the same effectiveness. The main difference with the V5s Pro is that it has an added mopping feature. While this seems like a great idea — a vacuum and mopper in one — we found that the V5s Pro was pretty ineffective at mopping in our in-home tests, so this feature didn't add that much value.
Like most budget robot vacs, the V5s Pro lacks a smartphone app, and doesn’t work with any smart home devices or virtual assistants like Alexa or Google Assistant. It’s also one of the slowest robot vacuums we’ve tested, taking even longer than the iLife V3s Pro. Still, for the money, it’s a very effective, and very inexpensive robot vacuum.
Read our full iLife V5s Pro review.
iRobot's Roomba i7+ makes our best robot vacuum list because it has a base with its own dustbin, so you can go multiple cleanings without having to empty out the bin. It edged out the Shark Ion R85 on our pet hair test, picking up just over 90 percent of all the fur on the floor.
It has a number of other features, such as the ability to map multiple floors and create virtual walls. The Roomba i7+ is also fast, finishing a cleaning run in less than 20 minutes. Now that iRobot has released the Roomba s9+, the Roomba i7+ has come down a bit in price, but it's still just as effective at cleaning.
Read our full iRobot Roomba i7+ review.
Neato's entry-level robot vacuum, the Neato D4, isn't as jam-packed as higher-end models, and isn't as cheap as budget robot vacuums, but for its price, it's a solid performer with some useful features. Priced at around $500, it's half as expensive as the Roomba s9+, and doesn't have a self-empyting bin, but it's effective at cleaning up dirt and debris.
The Neato D4 also has mapping capabilities, but can only remember one floor of your house, and can't do targeted room cleaning, as pricier models do (you can set up virtual "no-go" zones, though). Still, it did a great job of mapping our home and running its appointed rounds. This is a good model for those who don't want to mortgage their house in order to clean it.
Read our full Neato D4 robot vacuum review.
iRobot's Roomba s9+ is the smartest and most thorough robot vacuums we've tested. It's also the most expensive. The Roomba s9+ has advanced mapping, so it can record and remember a blueprint of multiple floors of your house after just a few trips; you can then specify individual rooms, and tell the s9+ to clean specific rooms on specific days. We suggest scheduling it for when you're out of the house, as this is a noisy robot vacuum.
The Roomba s9+ also comes with a dustbin built into its charging base; while you'll have to purchase bags for the base, you will only have to empty the container after every 30 cleanings. It you want to drop even more cash, the s9+ can also talk with the company's Braava jet m6 robot mop ($499), and tell it to start mopping your floors after the s9+ is done vacuuming. That's pretty neat.
Read our full iRobot Roomba s9+ review.
Not only is the modestly priced Eufy Robovac G30 Edge robot vacuum a very good cleaner, but it's a very quiet one, too. We barely heard it as it made its rounds as is made its way through our rooms in a very methodical pattern. While not as effective as the top performers on our list, it still managed to pick up 88.9 percent of all debris laid before it.
An updated app made using the G30 Edge much easier than with previous Eufy robot vacuums. While the G30 Edge creates a map of your home, you can't set up virtual no-go zones, or direct it to clean specific rooms.
Read our full Eufy Robovac G30 Edge review.
The Neato Botvac D7 Connected makes our list of the best robot vacuums because it's the fastest, and one of the smartest, robot vacuums we've tested. It finished our tests in an average of 10 minutes, 22 seconds, blitzing through pet hair, Cheerios, and kitty litter — and picking up a great deal of them, too. However, it wasn't as effective as our top two picks, the Shark Ion R85 and the iLife V3s Pro, at collecting debris.
The D7 also has multi-room and multi-floor mapping, and can be controlled using Alexa and Google Assistant. We also liked how easy it was to empty its dustbin. At around $550, the Neato Botvac D7 connected isn't the cheapest, nor the most expensive robot vacuum, but as a midrange model, it has all the features and performance that you could want.
Read our full Neato Botvac D7 Connected review.
The Roomba 675 has many features you'll find on the company's higher-end robot vacuums, but at a more reasonable price. This Wi-Fi-connected robot was easy to set up and use, and we liked that we could connect it with Alexa and Google Assistant. It has a cliff sensor so it won't fall down stairs, but lacks the mapping feature found on the Roomba i7 and S9.
The Roomba 675 proved to be a capable and methodical cleaner, but wasn't as thorough as some other robot vacuums, especially when it came to pet hair. It did a great job with Cheerios and kitty litter, though. If you're looking for an inexpensive Roomba, this is the one to get.
Read our full Roomba 675 review.
One of the trickiest areas to clean is under furniture; thanks to its low 2.85-inch profile, the Eufy Robovac 11s can go where other robot vacuums can't, and gets those dust bunnies lurking under your couch. At around $200, it's also a very affordable robot vacuum, too.
While it's not a "smart" robot vacuum, the S11 does come with a remote, which made it easy to control. Performance was pretty good for the price, as it picked up nearly 88 percent of all debris; it was less effective with pet hair though. We also found that emptying the 11s resulted in a little cloud of dust. The 11s also had a propensity for getting stuck on rug tassels as well as shag carpet; it wasn't smart enough to avoid those obstacles. Still, it's a capable and affordable robot vacuum.
Read our full Eufy Robovac 11s review.
How to choose the best robot vacuum for you
Before you buy, you need to determine what your needs are, and how much you’re willing to spend. Things you’ll want to consider include:
- How much you’re willing to spend.
- The size of the space you want to clean.
- If you need a vacuum to clean up pet hair.
- If you want to control the vacuum using your smartphone.
Generally, robot vacuums fall into two tiers: Budget, non-smart models that cost around $200 and less, and smarter models that cost around $400 and up. While they can be effective cleaners, budget models aren't as sophisticated, and generally bump around a room randomly until everything is clean. Because of their random cleaning pattern, they can take upwards of an hour to clean a 15 x 15-foot room.
Pricier robot vacuums will have more sensors, which they can use to map a room and clean it more efficiently. Some of the best robot vacuums we tested can clean a room in as little at ten minutes. These vacuums also have additional features, such as smartphone control, Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility, and the ability to clean individual rooms.
How we test robot vacuums
To determine which models make it to our best robot vacuum list, we call in or purchase a number of robot vacuums based on their popularity on Amazon, as well as their price and reputation from other review sites and reader comments.
The first phase of our analysis starts with testing each robot vacuum to see how effective it is at picking up 20 grams of kitty litter, 20 grams of Cheerios, and two grams of dog hair on hardwood and a medium-pile carpet. We also time how long it takes each to complete each test, as well as how loud the vacuum is as it goes about its business.
While we factor in the average cleaning time to our overall rating, we give it less importance than cleaning effectiveness, as most people will schedule a robot vacuum to go about its rounds after they leave their house.
The most promising vacuums are then sent to a reviewer to see how well they perform in a real-world environment. Here, we look at things such as how easily it navigates around an apartment, if it gets stuck under furniture or on carpets, how difficult it is to set up, and how messy it is to empty its dustbin.
From there, we base our final rating on its price, cleaning ability, functionality and ease of use relative to similar models.