Whether you have pets and need the extra help or just want to streamline your cleaning process, a robot vacuum is a great product to add to your arsenal. These small, vaguely cute machines run on their own, and most can even be put on a schedule and charge themselves so you truly don’t have to think about it. There are a ton of options out there, and each comes with its own long list of features to sift through, so we narrowed down our favorites to help you find the best fit for your needs.
Robot vacuums aren’t exactly an essential household item, but they’re a smart purchase if you have pets, a larger home that needs more maintenance, or need to keep your space super clean due to allergies or other factors. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to finding the perfect robot vacuum, which is why research is so important—and why recommendations need to be taken with a grain of salt. Here’s what to think about:
Robot vacuums have a whole suite of impressive features these days, but you might not necessarily need all of them. If you’re someone who has fully leaned into the smart home wave, you’ll definitely want a vacuum that is compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant, as well as WiFi enabled so you can control it all from an app.
On a more basic level, self-docking and self-charging models are highly recommended—they’ll go back to their dock when the charge is running low, and finish the job when they’re ready. Make sure your model is smart enough to avoid barriers and not fall down stairs, and if your home has a mix of carpeting and hard flooring you’ll want something that can clean both. Robot mops are a newer addition to the robot cleaning family, and some of the more high-end models are capable of vacuuming as well.
The robot vacuum model you choose will largely depend on the type of household you have. There’s more flexibility if you have a small space, but if you have a whole house to keep clean, you’ll want to find something heavy duty with a large dustbin and longer run time. Households with pets or people with allergies will benefit from a more powerful robot vacuum that has a HEPA filter and strong suction, leaving no allergens behind.
There’s no way around it: Robot vacuums are expensive. Be wary of models that cost below $150, as they’re definitely priced so low for a reason. Quality “budget” robot vacuums are in the $200-$250 range, which certainly isn’t cheap, so you’ll want to be sure you really need one before committing. Check sites like Amazon and Walmart for deals, and plan to buy around a major sale season (like Black Friday or Memorial Day) to score discounts.
We tested and researched a wide range of models to find the best robot vacuums, judging them on the following criteria:
For the best overall, we went with something that has the core features you want in a robot vacuum at a surprisingly manageable price. The Roomba 675 can be controlled via the iRobot app or your Alexa or Google Assistant device, and automatically redocks and recharges when battery is running low, so you handle the entire cleaning process hands-free. With a three-stage cleaning system and dual multi-surface brushes, the 675 is a pretty powerful machine, plus has a full suite of sensors to navigate around furniture and everyday objects. And those 11,000+ 5-star Amazon reviews are a nice bonus, too.
Who It’s Best For: Those who need something simple yet effective in addition to their regular vacuum.
Good to Know: You can also purchase with a Replenishment Kit or Virtual Barrier.
The RoboVac 11S is a fantastic option if you don’t want to spend over $250. While it doesn’t have WiFi connectivity or Alexa/Google Assistant compatibility, it has other features you’ll love, like a large dustbin, super slim design, and triple filter system. Although you can’t control it from your phone, you can set schedules and cleaning modes using a remote control, and it will automatically redock and recharge when power is running low. As far as cleaning goes, it boasts a three-point cleaning system, BoostIQ technology for carpeting, and up to 1300Pa of suction power—not too shabby at all.
Who It’s Best For: Those looking for something budget friendly; those who need something simple in addition to their regular vacuum.
Good to Know: It’s also available at Walmart.
The Neato Botvac stands out for its D-shape, which allows it to access those tricky corners and edges with ease. This feature is a major plus for homes with pets, where you need to suck up all the pet hair, dust, and dander. Aside from the unique shape, the Botvac D80 is pretty large, with an impressive dustbin and bigger brush to handle a heavy duty clean—it’s capable of covering up to 3,000 sq. ft. per charge! The only downside is that it can’t be controlled with an app or smart home device, which is a bummer considering the high price. Nevertheless, this is a powerful vacuum that handles heavy-duty cleanings with ease.
Who It’s Best For: Those who need something heavy duty; those who have larger spaces.
Good to Know: The newer Neato Botvac D7 is available at Bed Bath & Beyond.
One of the more popular upgraded Roombas, the Roomba 960 has a lot to get excited about. It has five times the power of the Roomba 600 series, so it’ll pick up everything—dirt, dander, hair, crumbs, you name it. The three-stage cleaning system, high-efficiency filter, and dual multi-surface rubber brushes make this an extremely effective machine, while the top-of-the-line navigation technology makes this one of the smartest vacuums on the market. Scheduling can be done in the iRobot app, or you can simply control it with your Smart Home device—or just press a button if you prefer to do things the old-fashioned way.
Who It’s Best For: Those who want something heavy duty; those with smaller spaces.
Good to Know: It comes with three extra HEPA filters.
Roborock has some of the best robot vacuums on the market, and the new S6 MaxV is truly top of the line. Advanced route management features include the ability to set up to 10 No-Go Zones, 10 No-Mop Zones, and 10 Invisible Barriers on each level of your home, plus it has multi-level mapping that supports up to four (!) floors of your home. Add that to the list of seriously precise navigation, ability to avoid even the smallest obstacles, and WiFi and smart home connectivity, and you’ve got an almost scary-good machine. Oh, and did we mention it mops? The only cons are the high price tag and larger-than-average size, but it’s worth it, considering all that you’re getting.
Who It’s Best For: Those who want something that can do it all.
Good to Know: Comes with a washable HEPA-Type filter.