A robot vacuum is a handy tool for keeping your house or apartment looking tidy between major cleanings. It can be especially helpful in homes with pets, where clumps of hair can accumulate seemingly overnight. And, a robot vacuum can go about its business while you're not home, freeing you do do more important things.
Based on more than 600 hours of testing on more than 40 robot vacuums, the best robot vacuum for most people is the $269 Shark Ion R85. Not only is it great at cleaning, but it also works with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. It even has an optional stick vacuum, so you can clean couch cushions and other spots the robovac can't reach.
If you're on a budget, we recommend the $159 iLife V3s Pro. While it lacks smart-home connectivity and is on the slower side, it’s better than most other robot vacuums — even those costing hundreds more — at picking up pet hair and other debris.
Here's all of our top picks for best robot vacuums.
Latest News & Updates (September 2019)
- Trifo has announced the Max, which not only cleans your house, but can be programmed to patrol your house and look for movement and noise, and send you video automatically if it detects a break-in. The Trifo Max will be available in October for $449.
- Neato's robot vacuums (the D3, D4, D5, D6, and D7) will soon work with Siri shortcuts. This fall, Neato robot vacuum owners will be able to tell Siri to start and stop cleaning, and have their vacuum return to base. On models that support zone cleaning, you will also be able to tell Siri to clean a specific room.
- iRobot has introduced two new vacuums, the Roomba s9+ ($1,299) and the Braava Jet m6 ($499). The former is the company's new top-end robot vacuum, and is designed to better get into corners and along edges. The m6 is the company's new and improved wet/dry mopping robot. In addition to their cleaning skills, the two robots can talk to each other, so that the m6 can start mopping once the s9+ is done vacuuming.
The best robot vacuum overall
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. We also like its notifications, smartphone control and easy-to-clean dustbin The optional handheld vacuum is handy for getting those spaces the robot vacuum can't reach.
Read our full Shark Ion R85 review.
Best budget robot vacuum
This is the best robot vacuum you can get for less than $200. Despite its low price, the iLife 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. The only caveats is that it’s slow, can’t be controlled from your smartphone (though it has a remote), and is a bit louder than other vacuums. But for this price, those are tradeoffs we’re willing to make.
Read our full iLife V3s Pro review.
Good cleaner, so-so mopper
The second-best robot vacuum under $200 is iLife’s V5s Pro, which vacuumed nearly as well as the V3s Pro. The V5s Pro has an added mopping feature that was pretty ineffective in our in-home tests. Like most budget robot vacs, the V5s Pro lacks a smartphone app, and doesn’t work with any smart home devices. It’s also one of the slowest robot vacuums we’ve tested. Still, for less than $200, it’s a very effective cleaner.
Read our full iLife A5s Pro review.
The self-cleaning robot vacuum
iRobot's highest-end model 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. Still, its price — $1,099 — plus the fact that it wasn't as thorough as other vacuums kept the i7+ from receiving a higher rating. You can purchase the i7 for $799, but that price doesn't include the cleaning base, one of the main reasons for getting this vacuum in the first place.
Read our full iRobot Roomba i7+ review.
A solid performer for the money
The iRobot Roomba 690 has powerful suction and is especially user-friendly. Once you set this vacuum up, it basically runs itself. But you can also control it from a convenient smartphone app that you can use to schedule cleaning times from anywhere. This robot did a great job on both carpeting and hardwood flooring, but it didn't do as well with pet hair as our top pick did. This vacuum also continued cleaning over various obstacles rather than getting stuck like competitors.
Read our full iRobot Roomba 690 review.
Older, but still good
Our best robot vacuum from 2018, the Samsung PowerBot R7070 is still a very capable and fast cleaner. You can also control it from your smartphone, as well as with Alexa and Google Assistant. But while it completed a cleaning run in half the time that the Shark Ion R85 took, it wasn't as effective at picking up pet hair or kitty litter. And it's about twice as expensive.
Read our full Samsung PowerBot R7070 review.
A good value robot vac
The Eufy RoboVac 11S is the best robot vacuum for those on a budget simply because it works. The device is short enough that it can track under furniture where you normally can't reach with an upright vacuum. And though there's no Wi-Fi connectivity or app control, there's a companion remote. You can use this to schedule the vacuum so that it cleans up any litter crystals, stray hairs and food crumbs left behind.
Read our full Eufy RoboVac 11S review.
Robot Vacuum Test Results
They can't all be named to our best robot vacuum list, but many of the robot vacuums we tested performed well on our tests, both in the lab and in the home. The numbers indicate the percentage of debris (Cheerios, kitty litter, and dog hair) that ended in the robot’s bin on both hardwood and carpeted surfaces, as well as the average time it took the robot to clean a 15 x 18-foot space. We will add to these results as we test additional vacuums.
|Name||Price||Rating||Smartphone Control||Overall Cleaning Score||Average Cleaning Time (h:m:s)||Cheerios Cleaning Score||Kitty Litter Cleaning Score||Dog Hair Cleaning Score|
|Shark Ion R85||$261.87||4/5||Yes||87.9||00:27:30||94.6||87.7||81.5|
|Eufy Robovac 11S||$179.99||3/5||No||85.8||1:18:00||100||90||67.5|
|iRobot Roomba 690||$299||3.5/5||Yes||89.2||1:12:27||99.5||94.9||73.3|
|Samsung PowerBot R7070||$599||4/5||Yes||87.9||00:27:30||94.6||87.7||81.5|
What to Look for in a Robot Vacuum
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.
We've put together a handy robot vacuum buying guide to help you determine your needs.
How We Test and Rate 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 lab tests in our Ogden, Utah, facility. There, we test each robot vac 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.