The best robot vacuum cleaner 2020: 5 models for easy cleaning

The robot vacuum cleaner is about to become your new best friend. See the best options to help cut your cleaning jobs in half

Miele RX1 Scout robot vacuum cleaner
(Image credit: Miele)

A robot vacuum cleaner is not a high-tech luxury anymore. No gimmicks here – these little fellas are here to help you out with the cleaning and fit in well in a busy household.

No one likes doing the vacuuming, but what if you could hand this mundane task over to your very own personal cleaner? Thanks to the likes of Miele, Samsung, Dyson, Hoover and many more, you can get a robot vacuum cleaner, whatever your budget. Not only are they a timesaver, but they can be really handy for those with mobility issues, too.

We may have already rounded up the best vacuum cleaners out there elsewhere, but it you are specifically after a robot vacuum cleaner, this list is for you.

And, if you are worried about how much one of these handy robots is likely to cost, don't worry – we always serve you the best price.

Which robot vacuum is the best?

We like the Dyson 360 Eye which wins top spot for suction power, vacuuming up even pet hair with ease. It's smaller than some models, so it can tackle tight spots, and it can even call for help when it gets stuck.

These are the rest of our top picks, below. Keep scrolling for the full reviews.

  • Best robot vacuum cleaner: Dyson 360 Eye
  • Best robot cleaner for carpets: iRobot Roomba 980
  • Best smart robot vacuum cleaner: Neato Botvac Connected D5 
  • Best budget robot vacuum cleaner: AirCraft Vacuums Pilot Max
  • Best robot vacuum cleaner for hard floors: Miele Scout RX1

The best robot vacuum cleaners

Best robot vacuum cleaner: Dyson 360 Eye

1. Dyson 360 Eye

Best robot vacuum cleaner: a robot vacuum cleaner with powerful suction

Best for: Best of the best
Battery life: 40-90 mins
Control: Smartphone
Virtual walls: Yes
Reasons to buy
+ Detects drops+ Good suction 
Reasons to avoid
- A little noisy 

This Dyson 360 Eye is a super-smart, speedy robot vacuum that will have your home spotless in no time. It lives up to Dyson’s suction standards and is particularly good at removing pet hair from carpets. As such this wins pride of place as our best robot vacuum cleaner for suction power.

It’s a little slimmer than some meaning it can get into tricky areas such as between chair legs and if it gets stuck it can even call for help. The Dyson 360 Eye maps the space around it to ensure it knows where it is heading and rarely bumps into obstacles as a result, hence that name. 

That's one of the reasons this is a perfect robot vacuum cleaner for those with lots of furniture or units with legs. The Dyson 360 Eye will navigate well so you don't have to worry about moving your house around every time the vacuuming needs doing. It also means you don't need to worry about it damaging itself or anything else in your home.

The Dyson 360 Eye boasts excellent suction which, while it won't replace your upright vacuum, certainly means you'll have to do a major vacuum much less frequently. The Dyson has to take our number one spot, not only because of its excellent functionality but because we really struggle to find fault with this device.

Shop more Dyson products at Amazon

Best robot cleaner for carpets: iRobot Roomba 980

2. iRobot Roomba 980

Best robot cleaner for carpets: one of the first robot vacs that is still a strong contender

Best for: Cleaning the whole house
Battery life: 90-120 mins
Control: Smartphone & Remote
Virtual walls: Yes
Reasons to buy
+ High-efficiency filter + Multi-surface detection 
Reasons to avoid
- Loud  

The iRobot Roomba 980 is one of the more efficient robot vacuum cleaners on the market with its intelligent sensor that can detect different surfaces so that it changes its cleaning method as it moves from carpet to hardwood flooring, for example. That makes this one of the best robot vacuums for multi-surface floors.

Similarly to the others on the list, the Roomba 980 can also be scheduled to clean from your smartphone and it is also Alexa and Google compatible for total voice control. Battery life is pretty good, but if you’ve given it a big job and it doesn’t have enough power to complete it, it will automatically return to the charging station for more power before resuming the task. 

This is a pricey choice but then Roomba has been at the cutting edge of robot vacuuming smarts for years, so expect to get plenty of features for your money including a 10 times suction boost on the last model, multiple room navigation and dust trapping down to as small as 10 microns.

Shop more robot vacuums at Appliances Direct

Best smart robot vacuum cleaner: Neato Botvac Connected D5

3. Neato Botvac Connected D5

Best smart robot vacuum cleaner: have ultimate control with this smartphone connected device

Best for: App control
Battery life: 120 mins
Control: Smartphone
Virtual walls: Yes
Reasons to buy
+ Schedule cleaning times + Great for pet hair 
Reasons to avoid
- Gets stuck sometimes 

You can have total control of this Neato Botvac with just a simple app on your phone. You can schedule cleaning anytime, from anywhere so you don’t even need to be at home to get the chores done. This is one of the best robot vacuum cleaners for smartphone control options.

The app will let you see a map to understand where the vacuum has been. This is great from those who get in from work and want to be sure every area is clean for the children to play on, for example.

This is a great robot vacuum for corners and tight spaces thanks to that flat edge design which many other robot vacuums don't offer.

The Neato Botvac cleaner is very intelligent, however, you must make sure your Wi-Fi connectivity is strong enough because if it cuts out the Botvac will forget what you’ve told it. It can get stuck sometimes, but compared to other robot vacuums it is a lot quieter and is particularly good for those with allergies as it picks up pet hair very well.

Shop more robot vacuums at Amazon

Best budget robot vacuum cleaner: AirCraft Vacuums Pilot Max Robotic Vacuum Cleaner

4. AirCraft Vacuums Pilot Max Robotic Vacuum Cleaner

Best budget robot vacuum cleaner: a filtered robot vacuum that is great value for money

Best for: Budget buy
Battery life: 120 mins
Control: Smartphone & remote
Virtual walls: Yes
Reasons to buy
+ HEPA Filter + Quieter than most 
Reasons to avoid
- Goes rogue from time to time 

If you think the Dyson or the iRobot sounds impressive but you can’t justify spending that much money on a piece of tech to clean your home, then why not try out the Pilot Max Robotic Vacuum Cleaner? It's our best budget robot vacuum cleaner for those that want an affordable option.

It’s a fraction of the cost of the competition and if you’ve got allergies, this little guy can do all the hard work for you so you don’t end up coughing and spluttering everywhere every time you vacuum your home. It has a HEPA filter, which means you should definitely notice less dust in the air, ultimately making your home feel much fresher from top to bottom. 

This model doesn’t come with virtual walls, so it can end up going slightly rogue, making you question the method behind the cleaning. Just don’t trip over this one while it’s in action.

That said, since this can vacuum while you're out and is largely plastic built for the odd bump, you don't need to worry about impacts from time to time. When you consider the savings you can make here, while keeping low on noise and dust, it's a really appealing option.

Best robot vacuum cleaner for hard floors: Miele Scout RX1

5. Miele Scout RX1

Best robot vacuum cleaner for hard floors: a great navigator for full coverage when cleaning

Best for: Navigation
Battery life: 120 mins
Control: Remote
Virtual walls: Yes
Reasons to buy
+ Gentle around obstacles + Smart navigation 
Reasons to avoid
- A bit slow 

The Miele Scout may not be as high tech as the others on the list but is a loyal contender nonetheless. This is one of the best robot vacuum cleaners for hardwood floors as the smart navigation system means it rarely goes charging into things. 

The sensors are able to detect corners and obstacles well so that it aims to gently glide past them without causing any damage to your furniture. This can sometimes mean cleaning is a little slower than other models, but if you’ve got a small home then you shouldn't notice an inefficiency. 

You don’t have smartphone controls with this one but you can still schedule it to clean while you’re out so you can come home to one less chore to do.  

The triple cleaning action means sweeping, brushing and vacuuming all in one motion. As a result, this can clean quickly without sacrificing the quality of the job. This also gets right into the corners so dust and dirt have nowhere to hide.

Find more robot vacuum cleaners at Currys PC World

How to buy the best robot vacuum cleaner

Now, there are certainly some downsides to these gadgets, in that they run on batteries and cannot fully replace the suction power of an upright vacuum cleaner, but they have a whole host of perks, too. 

Battery life
Check the battery life of the model. The models on our list all do at least 40 minutes – that is long enough to do an average two-bed flat or the ground floor of a mid-size family home. Some models will return to their docking station to recharge when their battery gets low.

A robot vacuum cleaner is low profile and can get under all of those items of furniture no amount of vacuum yoga will help you reach. You will probably leave it out and docked somewhere, but they don't take up much space when out of use.

Sensor technology
These little gadgets use unique sensor technology to move around the home, but many have remote back up for going over tough spots. Some have different settings meaning they can adapt to different floor types automatically when going from room to room. 

They also come with handy accessories known as ‘virtual walls’ which allow your new little friend to know what areas are out of bounds, so it doesn’t end up trashing the place rather than cleaning like it’s supposed to.

App control
Robot vacuum cleaners can also be controlled by an app which means you can hoover your home from a remote location – cleaning the house has never been so easy! They are intelligent enough to remember a map of your home so that they can easily return to their charging station once the job is done.

Although a little pricey, these smart vacuums will certainly make your life a whole lot easier, and whether you want to a budget option to see what all the fuss is about, or you’re looking to adopt a robot vacuum to become a vital member of your smart home, our top five list has it all.

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