Imagine: someone – or something – vacuuming the home without you asking for it to happen. It's a nice thought which could be made a reality with one of the best robot vacuum cleaners. I know, we're blown away by the thought too. One of these helpful appliances will keep themselves busy, let you know when they're full, map out your floorplan for an even quicker clean next time and even return to base when they need a charge.
They won't replace your best vacuum cleaner – which could be an upright or a cordless – due to obstacles such as the stairs and other hard-to-reach places, that's a given. But these little fellas will do a fine job of keeping everyday crumbs under control. Some will even get on well with your pets (and their stray hairs). Today's best robot vacuums also have several other appealing features, functionalities, and reflective price tags but you may need some deciphering because of the lingo used. This is where we can help.
We've rounded up our top buys from the likes of iRobot, Shark, EcoVacs and more, with a vac to suit all budgets and requirements. All factors have been considered such as the ease of use, responsiveness, and price which we've either tested in our own homes or consorted with user reviews. And if you are worried about how much one of these handy robots is likely to cost, don't be – we always serve you the best price.
Here are the best robot vacuums in 2021
When it comes to robot vacuums, the iRobot Roomba is essentially a household name. The iRobot Roomba i7 + series is one of the iRobot's most advanced models, and was the first to introduce us to our new robot vacuum requirement: Automatic Dirt Dispoal.
The iRobot Roomba 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. It also moves in a The unique Dual Multi-Surface Rubber Brushes that stay in constant contact with the floor are some of the most effective at debris pick up and don't get tangled with pet hair. Meanwhile, dirt detect sensors ensures the robot work harder on concentrated areas of dirt for a deeper clean.
It also utilizes smart features like smart mapping and visual navigation to clean your home in neat rows, plus custom cleaning recommendations around your habits and the season, as well as the ability to clean by the room.
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.
Automatic Dirt Disposal
The i7+ automatically empties itself into a disposable AllergenLock bag that holds 60 days of dirt and dust. You will have to buy bag replacements, but you'll also never have to deal with touching dust or emptying your robot again.
What don't we like
This is a pricey choice compared to a cordless vacuum cleaner, and most other robot vacuums as a matter, 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.
If you're not looking to shell out for a Roomba with automatic dust disposal, we love the Shark IQ Robot XL with its own automatic self-emptying base. It cleans in a methodical motion, seamless transferring between carpets and hard floors and maneuvering around obstacles.
Automatic Dust Bin
In this game-changing feature, the Shark IQ robot automatically disposes of collected debris into its bagless self-emptying Base. The machine will alert you when it is full, and there's a fill window that lets you see how much dirt has gathered. Shark advertises it only needs to be emptied once every 30 days. but the size of your home, how often you run a cycle, and how dirty your floors are, all affect how quickly the external base will fill up. When the robot is full, it methodically inserts itself back onto the dock to align itself with the debris intake channel,
The Shark robot has multiple sensors that help to map out your space, as well as cliff and boundary sensors. Once your home is mapped, you can control which rooms you want to be cleaned, as well as set digital No-Go boundaries. You also have the option to use the included Bot Boundary strips to place around areas you don't want the vacuum to go.
What we don't like
Amazon reviewers say it takes several cycles for the robot to "map" your home. That was not my experience, and I had a map within the second run, as I assume the mapping software has since been updated. Where the Shark faltered for me was that if I wanted to move the base, the robot vacuum would have to recreate the map of your space from scratch, and there is only support for one map at a time, so it's not possible to move it between floors, or in spaces that are not consecutive.
The Neato Botvac has incredible control options which can all be done using the simple app, which makes it 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 for those who get in from work and want to be sure every area is clean for the children to play on, for example.
You can also draw a line using the app to create boundaries for the D7. This is a revolutionary feature that will allow you to cordon off 'no-go' areas. This could be your working from home space, for example, where there's a sea of wires to get tangled in.
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.
What we don't like?
When the robot vac is busy scurrying around the home to pick up every last crumb, you may find the that bin gets full pretty quickly. And it doesn't have a 'bin full' sensor either, so you may find that you are emptying this one more often than perhaps you want to.
If you think 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 Ecovacs Deebot N79S? It's our best budget robot vacuum cleaner for those that want an affordable option.
This little vac has several modes to choose from (Auto mode, Edge mode and Spot cleaning), and it comes with a remote that it's quite responsive to. Yep, you can use your smartphone to choose which mode you're after, but the vacuum seems to prefer using the paired remote.
Deebot is also compatible with Alexa, so you can set it for cleaning using just your voice.
What we don't like
This isn't an ugly vacuum by any means but is possibly one that is a little on the plain side if you tend to usually go for something jazzier. The end result after a session vacuuming isn't exactly the best either, but it will suck up enough to get surface dirt and dust off of your hardwood floors and carpet.
If you have your heart set on an iRobot Roomba, but not the price tag of its more advanced models, the Roomba 675 is a highly-rated option that clocks in well under $300 and features the performance you would expect from the trust iRobot brand.
Multi-surface detection automatically adjusts to the appropriate suction level while on carpet or hard floors. Dirt detect sensors alert your robot to pay special attention to dirtier areas of your home, something you don't usually see in budget vacuums. The 675 features iRobot's signature multi-surface brushes, the first of which loosens and lifts dirt and other debris, and a second that pulls it into the suction channel.
The 675 is Roomba's most affordable option with wifi-connectivity. This enables you to start your vacuum's cleaning cycle remotely, or set up a schedule for when you want it to clean. It'll also connect to smart home assistants.
What we don't like
The Roomba 675 uses an adaptive cleaning method as opposed to methodical rows of more advanced versions. It is still effective at reaching your entire floor plan (up to 1,000 sq ft), but as there is no smart mapping feature, each time, it cleans in a sporadic nature, which can
Reviewers also found that the robot vacuum's major weakness is pet hair. It's a beast at cleaning carpet and leaves hard floors visibly cleaner, but if you seek a robot vacuum that doesn't get stuck on pet hair (or the stray cord), you'll need to consider an alternative.
Whether you're sensitive to noise or want to minimize sound pollution at home, you may not even hear the eufy by Anker BoostIQ RoboVac 11S running in the next room. But don't worry, even though it's quiet, it's still mighty powerful.
With one of the quietest running cycles we've come across, the Robovac 11S usually runs around 55dB, at a sound meant to be no louder than the microwave. No matter if it's operating on hard floors or automatically boosting suction to tackle carpets, you may not even notice it above the AC.
At just 2.85" tall, this robot vacuum effortlessly slides under low-profile furniture like sofas and beds. Other design highlights include its large .6L dust box, triple-filtration system, and an anti-scratch tempered glass cover which plays double duty as a stylish feature, and protection. Infrared sensors help it evade obstacles and drop-sensing tech avoid it falling down the stairs. It has a runtime of about 100 minutes (less on carpets) and will return to the dock to charge.
What we don't like
Like the iRobot 675, the eufy also uses bounce navigation to move about your space, so you don't have the ability to cordon off no-go zones, and it could miss some areas that you'll want to go over manually. However, with the included remote, the eufy does have a manual steering option, but that technically negates the thrill of letting the robot monitor the cleaning for you. Users also note that the eufy does not work well on black or dark flooring, which is actually a common complaint for robot vacuums, since it messes with their sensors.
How to buy the best robot vacuum cleaner
Now, there are certainly some downsides to these gadgets, in that they run on battery power and cannot fully replace the suction power of an upright vacuum cleaner, but they have a whole host of perks, too.
Check the battery life of the model. The models on our list all do at least an hour – that is long enough to do an average two-bed apartment or the ground floor of a mid-size family home. Most of the models will return to their docking station to recharge when their battery gets low, and some will even resume cleaning where they left off.
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.
These little gadgets use various sensor technologies to move around the home from LiDar navigation (light detection) to encrypted cameras as well various cliff, obstacle and bump sensors. Some have different settings meaning they can adapt to different floor types automatically when going from room to room.
More advanced models will also feature some sort of‘ virtual walls’ with the ability to create no-go boundaries to let your new vacuum know what areas are out of bounds, so it doesn’t end up trashing the place rather than cleaning like it’s supposed to.
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 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.
Which is the best robot vacuum cleaner to buy?
Just to recap...if you want to have the best robot vacuum (in our opinion) we recommend buying the iRobot Roomba i7+. It wins top spot for it's multi-surface detection, ease of use, and smart features, so it is one which we're confident will quickly become a cleaning friend in the home.
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