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Who knew the humble vacuum would one day turn into a dazzling feat of technological advancement? Robot vacuums of every price point have become some of the most highly-coveted household appliances, with features ranging from WiFi connectivity to room mapping capabilities. They go where no man (or vacuum) has yet gone, reaching different corners in the name of cleanliness.
With their popularity, robot vacuums have become less a luxury item and more a necessity. Pet owners, busy parents, and workaholics alike have sung the praises of these automated cleaning machines. Here, we take a look and test some of the best robot vacuums available today.
It’s hard not to think of the Roomba when someone says robot vacuum — the two words are practically synonymous. It’s no surprise. iRobot makes some of the best robot vacuums in the market, and if you’re looking for an appliance to actually last a long time, the Roomba is your best bet.
We all love a self-emptying bin, and it’s safe to say the Roomba S9+ has the best one out of the box. Wired named this model the “absolute best” robot vacuum you could get. We could only guess why: it’s programmed with advanced technology that actually works.
A self-emptying bin, impeccable mapping capabilities, trustworthy navigation software, and a sensor with top-of-the-line edging capabilities are just some of the things that make this vacuum bot a reliable investment.
iRobot is consistently one of the top brands when it comes to robo-vacs, and the Roomba S9+ is the perfect example of their unique technology.
A few years ago, you might have seen this model touted as one of the best robot vacuums out there. It’s still a worthy pick, but the lack of WiFi…
While most robot vacuums try to out-size, out-speed, and out-”smart” each other, the Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo packs on functionality. The T8 AIVI…
For all the joys having a pet brings us, pet hair can be incredibly frustrating to clean — even with the pricier robot vacuums. Our tip? Invest in a…
iRobot has been around since 2002, so it’s no surprise they have plenty of room for sophisticated upgrades. If the S9+ is a little over…
Ever had a robot vacuum get stuck on pet poop? Neither have we, but we’d like to avoid that if possible. The Roborock S6 Max features some…
If the S6 is a little too high-end for your needs, the midrange S4 Max is the perfect substitute. We test robot vacuums on almost every floor…
If you’re just looking for a step up from traditional vacuums without having to drop a fortune on some sophisticated (and unnecessary) features…
Among all the robot vacuums we’ve tested, this is the one that impressed us the most. At $200, you’re getting the most bang for your buck…
Second to the last on our list for the best robot vacuum is another automatic bin-emptying vac. It seems like the biggest market demographic for…
Finally, we’ve got another budget-friendly robot vacuum to cap off our list. The iLife V3S Pro Robot Vacuum is perfect for those who just want a simple…
Let’s face it — no one wants dust sticking to the soles of their feet every time they’re trying to get things done around the house. Mopping and push vacuuming can be a time-consuming chore, so why not get an automated friend to do the work for you?
Thanks to the popularity of robot vacuums, gone are the days of dropping a fortune on a robotic device. Plenty of “budget” robot vacuums are available for public consumption, and they’re no less handy than their pricier counterparts. Plus, they’re one of the most durable appliances to invest in — not just some gimmicky gadget.
Now, just because these things operate on their own doesn’t mean you’re completely hands-free. To make the most out of your cleaning sessions, here are some tips to go by.
Depending on how much dog hair is lying around in the crevices of your house, your robot vac’s waste bin might fill up sooner than you think. If you don’t have a self-emptying model, check your robot vac mid-run to see if the bin is filled with pet hair or dust bunnies. Most robot vacuums work best when their own dustbins have extra room.
Your robot vacuum is going to take some time to really know your house — quirks and all. Make sure to be there when your new friend takes its baby steps so you can note any virtual no-go zones, lumpy area rugs, dangerous spikes, or traps like pieces of string that might get caught in the machinery.
Most robot vacuums are able to operate using an optic sensor that relies on light, so it’s safe to say it’s going to really work hard if you have it run during midnight. Set cleaning schedules during the daytime.
Don’t throw away your old manual vacuum just yet. After monitoring your robot vacuum, you might notice that there are some spots it just can’t reach on its own. That’s completely normal. Just make sure you still have your handy, manually-operated vacuum with you to get to those hot spots.
|iRobot Roomba S9+||• Useful features |
• Auto-emptying bin
|Eufy RoboVac 11s||• Slim vacuum makes for easy maneuvering |
• Great for bare floors
• Easily picks up debris and dust
|Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI||• Incredible object detection |
• In-vacuum camera and mic
• 2-in-1 mop and vacuum
|Samsung POWERbot R7040||• Superior performance on any surface |
• Includes app
• Ideal for pet owners
|iRobot Roomba i3+||• Large bin |
• Powerful suction
• Thoroughly cleans carpets and rugs
|Roborock S6 MaxV||• High-end mapping capabilities |
• Doesn't need rescuing
• Powerful suction
|Roborock S4 Max||• Great features for a midrange bot |
• Smartphone compatibility
• No-go zones for more targeted cleaning
|iRobot Roomba 694||• Wifi connectivity|
• Budget-friendly Roomba
• Won't fall off edges
|Bissell SpinWave Wet and Dry Robotic Vacuum||• 2-in-1 cleaning tool|
• Detects no-go zones
|Shark IQ Robot Self-Empty XL R101A||• Affordable robovac|
• Large bin
• Works well on both carpeted and bare surfaces
|iLife V3s Pro Robot Vacuum||• Very budget-friendly |
• Automatic charging
• Great for pet owners
iRobot is consistently one of the top brands when it comes to robo-vacs, and the Roomba S9+ is the perfect example of their unique technology. Be warned that it’s a little pricey, so if you prefer a budget-friendly model, we have a few on the list too.
The Roomba S9+ is, simply put, the perfect vacuum. Automatic dirt disposal makes it the self-emptying bin feature a breeze. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The S9+ has added multiple sensors to its lineup for the best and quickest mapping technology possible. You’ve got the 3D sensors, drop sensors, cliff sensors, and top-mounted optical sensor — all to perfectly capture the layout of your home.
It also has refined edging capabilities to better clean around beds, corners, and cabinets. During the test, we noticed that the Roomba barely needed any maneuvering around sharp corners or stray shoelaces lying around. This is as close to a hands-free cleaning experience you’ll get. Bonus perks: it has voice commands compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant.
A few years ago, you might have seen this model touted as the best robot vacuum out there. It’s still a worthy pick, but the lack of WiFi connectivity that has become the standard sadly phases this model out. Instead, you’ll need a remote control to operate the vac.
But what makes this bot so popular in the first place isn’t the advanced features, but its price point and the size: with a diameter of 12.8 inches and a height of 2.5, there’s no other robot vacuum out there that can slide in and out of cabinets and couches with agility.
As long as you have bare floors (this model doesn’t do well with low-pile carpet or area rugs), the 11s can pick up debris, pet hair, and other surface dirt without a hitch.
While most robot vacuums try to out-size, out-speed, and out-”smart” each other, the Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo packs on functionality. The T8 AIVI is more than a vacuum: it’s also a mop, and one with an included camera and microphone at that. All this to perfect the navigation system and obstacle detection when it’s trying to craft the map of your house.
The powerful Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 is no damsel in distress. As per our testing and after a cleaning session or two, the robot vac rarely needed rescuing whenever it bumped into the edge of a closet or ran across a stray object. The mop-and-vacuum function also significantly reduces cleaning time. But as other reviewers have pointed out, having a camera with direct access to your house can be a security hazard.
For all the joys having a pet brings us, pet hair can be incredibly frustrating to clean — even with the pricier robot vacuums. Our tip? Invest in a bot with a rubber roller brush for maximum cleaning power. That way you won’t have to spend precious time going over your floors twice.
The POWERbot performs equally well on hardwood floors, bare floors, tile floors, and carpeted surfaces, and removes pet hair with crazy determination. Unlike a traditional vacuum, this robovac works for and around your personal time. Try setting a cleaning schedule for the next week using the smartphone app for a hands-free approach.
iRobot has been around since 2002, so it’s no surprise they have plenty of room for sophisticated upgrades. If the S9+ is a little over the budget, its younger sibling is your next best bet.
The i3+ outlasts all other robot vacuums in durability, features, suction power, and even price. The long battery life ensures you can actually let the Roomba roam free without having to save it or empty the dust cup every now and then. Did we mention the charging dock includes a self-emptying bin feature?
We also test robot vacuums on different surfaces to see where it succeeds and where it falls short. The i3+ unsurprisingly does well on all floor types but is perhaps notable for its performance on a medium-pile carpet and hardwood floors.
However, we also noticed it takes longer to map out certain trick corners and edges around the room, so it’s best to watch over your Roomba on its first few runs. Like the other Roombas, this one is voice-compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
Ever had a robot vacuum get stuck on pet poop? Neither have we, but we’d like to avoid that if possible. The Roborock S6 Max features some pretty neat object detection skills that allows it to identify and consequently dodge any potential impediments that may get caught in the brush roll, whether it’s pet hair, a tiny lego, or fine particles stuck in carpet. The 2.5kPa of suction power makes sure of it.
Of course, you’re paying for these perks with a dear price. But as far as advanced robot vacuums go, the S6 Max is worth the investment if you really want a hassle-free cleaning cycle.
If the S6 is a little too high-end for your needs, the midrange S4 Max is the perfect substitute. We test robot vacuums on almost every floor type, and while this one trips a little on bumps and uneven surfaces, it’s safe to say it has a staggeringly good performance for its price point. Hardwood floors are the perfect field for letting this thing break loose, but it does a fine cleaning job on tiles, too.
The battery life is spectacular, allowing for three hours of use on just a single charge. The only problem is we had to check up on the dust bin and empty it every once in a while mid-clean, despite the seemingly large bin.
We’ve also named this the best smart vacuum because of its smartphone app compatibility. However, the real kicker here is its boatload of features. Mapping features and no-go zones are usually found in much costlier robot vacuums, but they’re a pleasant surprise in this midrange one.
If you’re just looking for a step up from traditional vacuums without having to drop a fortune on some sophisticated (and unnecessary) features, then the Roomba 694 might be to your liking. It’s iRobot’s mid-range option and at around $300, you’re getting impeccable navigation capabilities, edge detection features, and WiFi connectivity.
The app lets you use your phone as a remote control for setting up scheduled cleaning sessions and even operate using voice commands. We were honestly impressed by the quality of the sensors on this thing, especially for its price. The suction adjusts according to how dirty specific rooms are so you don’t really have to watch over it to see if it misses a spot or a stray dog hair.
Among all the robot vacuums we’ve tested, this is the one that impressed us the most. At $200, you’re getting the most bang for your buck: the Bissell SpinWave is a 2-in-1 robovac and mop that comes with a dry tank and a wet tank for a more customized cleaning performance.
You might be thinking this is just another cop-out — plenty of other vacuum-mop hybrids do nothing more than drag a wet microfiber cloth across the floor, as mentioned by an Amazon reviewer.
However, the Bissell has spinning pads that actually vacuum the floor as it mops, making it effective on hard floors and tiled surfaces. It can detect no-mop zones too, so there’s no need to worry about getting your rugs all wet when this thing is in mop mode.
Second to the last on our list for the best robot vacuum is another automatic bin-emptying vac. It seems like the biggest market demographic for a robotic vacuum is pet owners, because this thing has an XL dust bin that’s perfect for cleaning up layers of pet hair lying around on the floor, in carpets, and under hard-to-reach surfaces.
Thank goodness it’s budget-friendly, too. If you’re not looking to splurge on a Roomba just yet, the Shark IQ robotic vacuum does almost as well. During our device test, there were a few issues with automatic mounting — you might have to lend a hand once it’s time for the Shark to go back to the dock. However, for its price, we’re not complaining.
Finally, we’ve got another budget-friendly robot vacuum to cap off our list. The iLife V3S Pro Robot Vacuum is perfect for those who just want a simple automatic cleaner that can take the load off their hands every once in a while. At less than $200, the iLife V3S is incredibly affordable.
That said, its functionality may be considered primitive by some people who like high-end gadgets. It doesn’t have much in the way of scheduling, virtual maps, and so on, but what it can do, it does really well.
Its strength is in picking up tiny debris, like cat litter, dog hair, and small pieces of food, which is why we recommend it for pet owners who need a little help with cleaning up.
|Robot Vacuum||Model Name||Price||Functionality||Quality||Total Rating||Check Price on Amazon|
|iRobot Roomba S9+||8||9.5||10||9.2|
|Eufy RoboVac 11s||9||9||9||9|
|Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI||8||9.5||9||8.8|
|Samsung POWERbot R7040||8.5||9||9||8.8|
|iRobot Roomba i3+||8||9||9||8.7|
|Roborock S6 MaxV||8.5||9||8.5||8.6|
|Roborock S4 Max||8||8||8||8.5|
|iRobot Roomba 694||8||8.7||8.5||8.4|
|Bissell SpinWave Wet and Dry Robotic Vacuum||8||9||8||8.3|
|Shark IQ Robot Self-Empty XL R101A||8||8||8||8|
|iLife V3s Pro Robot Vacuum||10||7||8||8|
We’re all lucky to live in a time where robots can do even the most taxing chores for us. Whatever your needs may be, we hope this guide was helpful in your hunt for the perfect clean-up buddy. For more of the best robot gadgets in the market, check out our guide to the best robot cats here.
The Roomba and Shark are both solid robovacs, so the answer to this question is ultimately subjective. When it comes to price, the Shark is going to save you a few more dollars and without having to sacrifice too many fancy features.
Both brands are great at navigation skills and mapping capabilities. The suction power may vary depending on the specific model — some Shark models have better suction than other Roombas, such as the Shark Ion 850.
But while the Shark wins the budget category, the Roomba’s tried-and-tested features kind of make it worth the money. Its self-emptying feature outperforms that of the Shark’s, and its mapping capabilities are likewise advanced.
Most robovacs have a suction power of around 2000-3000 kPa. Perhaps the most powerful one with the highest suction power is the Tesvor M1, which functions at normal levels but has a “high power” mode that can reach up to 4000 kPa. Check it out on Amazon here.