9 Best Robot Vacuums for Cleaning Your Home 2021
Robot vacuums are no longer niche gadgets for those obsessed with techy devices.
They are everywhere now.
They come in so many models and brands, and at various price points.
But the surge in popularity of the robot vacuum is because it’s designed to save you time and is convenient.
You no longer have to run a heavy upright vacuum throughout your house that may take three hours and even longer.
And it’s not convenient if you have a busy life or have rambunctious children.
In this way, you can spend more time with your family and friends and less time cleaning.
Top Picks for Robot Vacuums 2021
Budget models start at around $200 and can go up to $600 and even $1,000 depending on how many features the robot vacuum has.
The best features include virtual boundaries, mapping capabilities, self-emptying bins, lasers to guide the bot, and Wi-Fi so you can direct the bot or schedule a cleaning of a room just by the sound of your voice using the bot’s app.
To cut through the confusing process of picking out a robot vacuum that fits your needs, we’ve given you our top choices by category that we hope will help you narrow down your search.
We’ve even given you a guide about what to look for in a robot vacuum cleaner to make the task even easier.
Best Budget Robot Vacuum Cleaner: Roomba 675 by iRobot
Over 2,000 positive reviews on Best Buy can’t be wrong. This is the overall best budget robot vacuum cleaner on the market.
And since it’s an iRobot Roomba, you know you are getting quality, although this budget model lacks features that more expensive Roombas have.
This Roomba is Wi-Fi enabled so that Google Assistant and Alexa can start cleaning with just the sound of your voice.
It learns your cleaning habits and then offers up custom cleaning schedules. It will even suggest an extra clean when the pollen count is high or during pet shedding season.
There are two different-sized brush rolls, one with rubber flaps and one with bristles to ensure that your entire room is cleaned and has tackled all corners.
However, the downside of being a budget model is that the vacuum lacks mapping, which means it can’t create an accurate layout of your house. So you have to pick up the vacuum and move it around to clean specific areas.
|Trusted brand name||Not capable of mapping|
|Affordable||Reviewers agree that the vacuum doesn’t do a good job of cleaning up pet hair.|
|Easy-to-use app||The charging indicator could be brighter.|
Best Mapping Robot Vacuum Cleaner: DEEBOT OZMO T8 AIVI Robot Vacuum & Mop by ECOVACS Robotics
This innovative vacuum is top on our list (97 positive reviews can’t be wrong!) because it has an incredible mapping for multiple rooms using artificial intelligence.
The AIVI (Artificial Intelligence and Visual Interpretation) technology has a faster recognition to avoid objects and obstacles on the floor.
This means it will run into and over objects less often. It also has a 60% entanglement rate reduction compared to similar models.
While this is a vacuum and mop combo, it’s not the best at mopping the floor. But if you want a vacuum that maps fasts, this does the job.
Once you connect the app with the vacuum, that’s when you let it map your entire house.
According to Ecovacs, the robotic vacuum allows you to map your home with a 2x greater range and 4x accuracy.
And if you have a second floor, the vacuum can also make a separate map for each floor.
|The camera can take photos, record video, and even talk to people in other rooms in addition to running a security patrol of your home.||If the Ecovac runs out of battery power before it is done mapping or if it causes a glitch, it starts over.|
|You can use the camera as a nanny cam, for example, to check on your child.||It doesn’t vacuum well around furniture, especially chair legs.|
|A remote control is also included to control the bot.||Customer reviews agree that the mopping function is unimpressive.|
|The security camera video isn’t very clear. It can see feet because they are on the ground, but if you want to see a whole person, he or she has to be at a great distance.|
The Best Robot Vacuum That Cleans Up After Itself: Roomba i7 Plus by iRobot
This is hands down the best robot vacuum cleaner that cleans up after you, and itself. Its “Clean Base” offers automatic dirt disposal that allows the Roomba to empty itself for up to 60 days.
Due to its disposal system, the Clean Base has a much larger footprint than other vacuum bases.
The Clean Base is easy to empty—especially for those who have back issues.
Having the vacuum empty itself saves you time from having interrupted cycles while it waits for you to empty it.
The automatic dirt disposer has allergy locking bags that use 4 layers of allergen blocking material to trap 99% of pollen.
Besides the Clean Base, the vacuum has special brushes so they don’t get tangled in pet hair. And it traps cat and dog allergens with perfection.
Also, the voice assistant cleans up dust by just you saying, “Roomba, clean under the dining room table.” Or you can use the app.
|Can carefully wind itself around furniture, above all chair legs.||The automatic dirt disposing Clean Base is very loud.|
|It can avoid objects on the floor like dog or cat food bowls and can gently clean around them.||Expensive.|
|Can thoroughly clean rugs unlike less costly models.|
|Clean Base is easy to empty.|
|Very fast cleaner.|
Best Robot Vacuum Cleaner for Pet Hair: Roomba i3 Plus by iRobot
The Roomba i3 has a lifting suction that pulls in dirt, dust, and pollen ten times the power of comparable models.
At a moderate price, we picked the i3 because it also picks up pet hair without leaving a single hair behind.
And when peak pet shedding season arrives, the i3 offers extra cleaning sessions to keep your floors clean.
And you don’t have to worry about the i3 suctioning up small pet toys or bumping into things on the floor because its sensor technology helps it avoid getting stuck.
It even works around furniture or under it to trap pet hair such as under tables or beneath sofas.
Also, the i3 filter traps dust and 99% of cat and dog allergens.
|Moderate price.||You need to empty the vacuum’s bin a lot, although it should be said that is only because it picks up so much dust, hair, and debris.|
|Also great for people with allergies like pollen.|
The Best Robot Vacuum That Cleans Under Tight Spaces: Robovac 35C Robotic Vacuum Cleaner by Eufy
We chose the Eufy 35C because of its ultra-slim profile and small design. That means, in essence, that it can clean areas under furniture.
For those who want a deep clean of their house, the 35C—which is just 2.85 inches tall—delivers, unlike other bulkier models that can’t get under your sofa.
It’s also very light, so more people, like senior citizens with ailments, can pick it up if it gets stuck after suctioning in window blind cords.
It also has the technology to automatically increase its suction power when it starts to clean thick carpets.
The 35C works with Google Assistant and Alexa, but it also has a remote you can use to control it.
|Its height is enough to buy it. Small height robotic vacuums aren’t ubiquitous.||No mapping.|
|For its price point, it is very affordable.||It can’t be directed to certain rooms.|
|It can’t recognize wires.|
|It can’t empty its bin.|
Best Hybrid Robotic Vacuum Cleaner: Robovac L70 Hybrid by Eufy
Amazon reviews for the L70 have praised this hybrid for its mopping capabilities.
A robot mop is a single-purpose device. All it does is mop. A hybrid means that the robot can vacuum and mop.
They typically have attachments for microfiber cloths that wipe or scrub your floors as the robot runs around your home.
The reviews mostly appreciate that mopping is easy and simple using this hybrid.
But there are more goodies than just the mop. The hybrid cleans every inch of your floor.
Rather than bumping into walls and adjusting its course, the hybrid uses an S-shaped cleaning pattern so that no floor is untouched. Except, of course, in the case, you set up a no-go zone using its app.
One of the features that also stands out is that it runs for 150 minutes.
Like most models, it's self-docking once the batteries run low. However, unlike most models, this one offers mapping with a built-in laser.
|Great value.||Easily gets tangled by wires.|
|No deafening sound.||Having the vacuum empty itself saves you time. This model doesn’t, so emptying the dust bin is inconvenient.|
|Two cleaning functions in one.|
|Built-in lasers mean more thorough cleaning.|
Best Robot Vacuum for Multiple Surfaces: Robot Vacuum and Mop 2000Pa by Roborock
We chose this robot vacuum because it works well on all surfaces.
The 2000Pa has a powerful suction that removes dirt easily off hard floors, rugs, and area rugs without getting tangled in rug tassels or trailing off its mapping route.
Without a hitch, the vacuum can go from hardwood to carpet with complete ease.
That’s because the 2000PA automatically changes its suction power when it moves between hardwood floors and rugs.
The robot cleans fast and, according to the manufacturer, there’s no random bumping.
However, despite motion tracking sensors, it still bumps up against furniture, as many Amazon reviewers have called out.
But that’s easy to live with given that the robot has so many features.
There’s a large 5200mAh battery that offers 200 minutes of non-stop cleaning, and a well-equipped dustbin means even large homes can be cleaned in one go.
An anti-tangle brush means it is easy to remove stuck hair from the brushes.
Also, the 2000PA has mapping capabilities.
Finally, the robot vacuums and mops simultaneously so your floors are suctioning up dirt and debris and also getting a wet cleaning.
|Mapping.||Mopping cleans up light grime from the floor but doesn’t do a good job as a handheld mop. You can’t push the robot mop hard to clean stuck-on dirt on hardwood floors. This is why many don’t care about a mopping function.|
|Has many features that other vacuums lack.||You have to use magnetic tape to stop it from going to certain areas.|
Best Robot Vacuum Cleaner for Pet Hair and Allergens: Botvac D7 Connected Robot Vacuum by Neato Robotics
On this bot, the vacuum suctions up dirt as it moves across all your floors and flows through the HEPA filter.
The filter ensures that all of the allergens and germs are removed from the air and that they’re kept within the filter.
The worst is pet hair. Pet hair comes with dander and dust and the HEPA filter makes sure you are not breathing any of these particles.
Its powerful suction cleans everything it comes into contact with, which is why it will pick up a USB cable, for example. Also, it expertly cleans stubborn pet hair that’s been lodged in your Persian rug.
As you may assume, it’s great for those who suffer from allergies or pet hair.
This is the most highly rated HEPA bot on Amazon, with over 1,000 glowing reviews and with 64% of the reviews receiving 5 stars.
But the bot does more than just clean the air.
It has incredible mapping skills and can move around obstacles that are in the way.
Unlike other vacuums that can’t clean around chairs, this one does with aplomb.
It can scoot in between chairs around your dining room table and wedge itself between the legs to clean as well as it can.
|Sets “No Go Lines.”||Expensive.|
|Intuitive app is easy to use.||Needs to be cleaned often.|
|The “D” shape design allows the bot to get into corners better than round bots.|
Best Rated Robot Vacuum on Amazon: Shark IQ Robot Self-Empty XL RV101AE Robotic Vacuum
We chose this Shark robot because it received the best reviews on Amazon, with 69% 5-star ratings.
It’s very similar in terms of features to other bots on our list, but it does a good job with what it offers.
First, the Shark IQ has a self-cleaning brush roll, which saves you time from cleaning out dirt and pet hair. So, no more hair wrap!
Second, the IQ has angled side brushes so it can effectively clean hard-to-reach corners.
Third, there’s the convenient bagless, self-emptying base.
After each cleaning session, the IQ automatically empties into the bagless base, which holds up to a month of debris.
So, you can forget about cleaning it for up to a month. That’s a great feature to have.
Also, the total home mapping maps your entire house and lets you choose which rooms to clean next.
And like the Eufy RoboVac L70 Hybrid, the IQ will return to the dock when the battery is low to recharge, and then it can pick up where it left off.
|Methodically cleans row by row and then navigates room to room for complete home coverage.||Manual no-go zone. The vacuum has to use a strip of vinyl so it won’t cross over a boundary limit.|
|The mapping can’t be beaten.||The vacuum only comes with one vinyl strip, which means if you need more, you have to buy more.|
|The Shark name is synonymous with powerful upright vacuum cleaners. So, you should expect the best suction capabilities.||It can clean kitty litter but the manufacturer states that it should not be used to clean up soiled kitty litter.|
How We Picked Our Top Robot Vacuum Cleaners
To make sure that we chose quality robot vacuum cleaners, we looked at several major factors.
Our list of robot vacuums was conceived by looking at customers' ratings and reviews. Much of our information comes from reviews based on how well they performed, what special features they had, the ease of using them, and how much they cost.
We found customer reviews on Amazon, CNET, and Consumer Reports to be our best source for finding the best robot vacuums by category.
We also generated our list with the help of customer reviews on the following sites:
Tom’s Guide, Wired, Techhive, Tech Radar, Business Insider, The New York Times, PC Magazine, New York Magazine, Forbes, Mashable, Mental Floss
Every robot vacuum comes with its own features. To ensure that we chose versatile robotic vacuum cleaners, we looked at both the number of features as well as the uniqueness of a feature.
There are several robotic vacuum cleaners on this list that cost upwards of $6,000. However, that doesn’t mean the price didn’t come in as a factor. When choosing a robot vacuum, it’s important to make sure that the price fits the value. If it did, it got a thumbs up.
What to Consider When Buying a Robot Vacuum
Robot vacuums are not entirely autonomous.
They usually need your help if they get tangled in wires, trip over area rugs and clutter on the floor, and lose their way back to their charging dock.
But if you hate the mundane but necessary household chore of vacuuming your house, the robot vacuum will be perfect for you. Just keep in mind that you shouldn’t do away with your regular handheld vacuum.
Robot vacuums are smart due to their sensors, but they often leave behind debris or can’t go from floor to rug without tripping themselves.
Your House Size Is Important In Determining Your Dustbin Capacity
If you have a large home, look for a robot with a large dustbin.
This means a robot with automatic dirt disposal does away with you having to manually empty it after each cleaning because it carries debris in its bin for sixty days.
Also, a long battery life means the robot will clean up more without having to continually charge itself.
Can Your Robot Vacuum Handle Both Floors and Carpets?
Look for a robot vacuum that can move from hardwood floors to carpeting with ease. Some robots can’t do this. Others are better at carpets than floors. If you have the budget, choose a robot that is adept at cleaning both floors and rugs.
Pet Hair Can Hinder a Robot Vacuum's Performance
If you have dogs and cats, you know how much pet hair they leave on floors and rugs.
Many robot vacuums were created to best clean pet hair and dander.
If your pets shed a lot, then a dedicated vacuum designed to pick up the hairs will be best suited for your needs.
To complete the chore, the robot vacuum will come with special brushes and strong suction.
Have a Budget in Mind
Entry-level models cost around $200, but they lack many features that make a robot vacuum worth it as an alternative to manually vacuuming.
Since the best of them cost around $800 and go up to the thousands, you should make sure you have the budget first before buying one.
Your Make or Model May Be Already Decided for You
If you buy a robot vacuum, you may just end up buying a Roomba by iRobot.
iRobot is one of the leading manufacturers of robot vacuum cleaners in the world.
Their Roomba models are synonymous with “robot vacuum cleaners” and have monopolized that market because they are the best tested, have a trusted name, and are always the first to include the latest “tech” features.
They come in many makes and models and run from about $600 to over $1,000.
But keep in mind that we found a budget model for around $200.
The Best Features of a Robot Vacuum Cleaner
The more expensive the robot vacuum, the more it includes advanced features.
So which features do you want?
Here is the rundown on all the features you should be looking out for when purchasing a robot vacuum.
Sensors Save You Time
Look for a robot vacuum with sensors. Sensors save you time.
Without a sensor, the bot can get stuck into a corner, or bump into an object, or tip over the edge of a staircase, or get tangled in the tassels of your rug.
This means more chores and is less convenient for you.
You have to manually remove the tassels from the brushes on the robot.
You have to pick up the robot after it bumped into your pet’s water bowl and put it back in the area you want it to clean. The same goes for getting stuck in a corner.
So, the more sensors a robot vacuum has, the better.
With a sensor, the robot becomes smart. If it bumps into that water bowl or gets stuck in a corner of a room, the sensor will allow the robot to change direction on its own.
Longer Brushes Are More Efficient
The brushes on your robot vacuum—as well as its suction power—dictate how well it can clean floors.
All robots come with a main brush and one side brush. Some have two side brushes.
The main brush is between 5 to 8 inches long, and the side brushes are usually 2 to 3 inches long.
The larger the main brush, the more efficient it can clean up. And large brushes typically clean floors faster.
According to experts in the field, having two side brushes does not make a whole lot of difference in how the robot performs.
So, if you see a model that has two side brushes, don’t think it’s better than those with one brush.
A Slimmer Profile is Better When It Comes to Robot Vacuums
Size matters in a robot vacuum. Most are too high or thick and can’t go underneath furniture.
They get stuck or bump up against furniture.
But if you want to clean low-clearance (usually 3.5 inches) pieces like couches or underneath beds, look for a slim vacuum with a low height.
The Eufy Robovac 35C Robotic Vacuum Cleaner on our list is a good example of a low-profile vacuum.
It’s just 2.85 inches tall.
Cameras Can Do Many Things
A robot vacuum with a camera helps it map the room and gives you a robot’s eye view of cleaning.
On some models, the camera can be used as a security measure by keeping an eye on your home while you’re away.
With the camera, you can see what the robot is up to and where it is while cleaning.
The app for the camera allows you to view the room remotely. It also allows you to see if there are obstacles in the way so you can change its course.
Automatic Dirt Disposal Should Be Your Best Friend
For ease of chores, try finding a model with automatic dirt disposal.
The charging dock automatically empties the vacuum’s dust bin.
Having the vacuum empty itself saves you time from having interrupted cycles while it waits for you to empty it.
Now you can wait every month to throw away the disposable dirtbag and replace it with a new bag.
Some makers, like the Roomba, have a larger base so it’s capable of emptying itself for up to 60 days.
Robots with ADD tend to be the most expensive.
Do Cleaning Modes Work?
The cleaning mode refers to how a robot vacuum can adjust to different floor surfaces.
The right model can automatically change its suction to effortlessly go from cleaning wood floors to carpet with complete ease and without any snags or interruption.
Higher-end vacuums do so automatically. Lower-end ones need input from you.
Mapping Makes Robot Vacuums More Efficient
Mapping allows the robot to create an accurate layout of your house using onboard cameras or laser reflections.
The mapping on a robot creates a 360-degree view of the room to set up a map of your space and to locate itself within your room.
Once the mapping is done, it allows the robot to produce the most efficient path to clean your house and also helps it know where it has already cleaned and where exactly it should clean.
Mapping also lets the robot know where to resume cleaning if it has to stop in the middle of a job to recharge.
Because the robot won’t go over the same spot twice, cleaning is faster and more effective.
Also, since the robot follows the map it has created to cover a cleaning area, it won’t move around your house in some kind of random manner until its battery dies.
You’ll find that the latter happens in cheaper models or models without mapping. Most start in the $600 range and can go up in price very fast.
Boundary Blockers Means You Customize the Clean
Boundary blockers help the robot vacuum to bypass an area you don’t want it to clean, such as an area near an outlet with many wires and plugs that might hinder performance.
The barriers also help vacuums distinguish one room from the next and prevent them from bumping into items you don’t want it to touch, like say a priceless oversized ginger jar on the floor.
Boundary blockers come in two setups, virtual wall barriers or magnetic strips.
For the magnetic tape, you section off an area by stretching the tape in front of it. The robot’s sensor detects the tape and will automatically avoid the area.
Virtual barriers use infrared technology for navigation. They release invisible beams and once the vacuum detects them, it will move or pivot away to change its direction.
Since virtual and visible barriers limit where the robot can go, this is a useful feature.
Not all of us have the time to pick up things on the floor, especially a lot of toys in your child’s playroom, and it’s easier to just block the room so a vacuum can bypass it.
Scheduling Capabilities Even When You’re Not Home
Robot vacuums often have scheduling capabilities if they are Wi-Fi enabled.
The best of them allows you to select any day of the week you want them to clean and at what time using their app on your phone.
In this way, since some robot vacuums have a loud sound, you can schedule them when you know you are not home.
App Control for Ease of Use
Most robot vacuums offer app control. As we touched on above you can schedule a cleaning from your phone, though inexpensive models only work with an included remote.
For ease of use, look for a model that has Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant support, so you can control the robot vacuum with just the sound of your voice.
HEPA Filter For Removing Allergens and More in the Air
What Is A HEPA Filter? A HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) Filter is a filter that has been created to remove the small particles that are within the air. These small particles usually mean allergens and dust.
In models without a filtration system, they clean up areas with a lot of pet hair but leave behind dander, dust, and pollen in the air that’s not good for those who suffer from allergies.
The best robot models ensure that the particles in the air are kept in their dust bun, which results in cleaner floors and cleaner air.
Self-Charging Can Save You Time
As we noted, some robot vacuum models we chose comes with docking stations that allow the vacuum to self-charge by itself.
This is a great time saver.
If the robot is in some area and is low on battery, it will leave that area and head to the docking station to get charged.
Then the robot will return to where it left off after charging to continue cleaning.
Does a Mopping Function Mean Your Robot Vacuum is Better?
Although robot vacuum cleaners with integrated mopping are low on the list of features for buyers, having one may save you time.
Most models can hold 200 ml of water and can cover over 1,000 square feet.
For some robot vacuums, you have to buy separate a mop feature, which can jack up the price of the robot.
But it may be worth it if you buy one that mops deeply but won’t leave wet streaks on your floor.