The best robot vacuums you can buy

Read full story

The Insider Picks team writes about stuff we think you'll like. Business Insider has affiliate partnerships, so we get a share of the revenue from your purchase.

best robot vacuumiRobot/Business Insider

  • Vacuuming is a real pain, but robot vacuum cleaners can suck up the dust for you.
  • Of all the robot vacuum cleaners we tried, the iRobot Roomba 690 proved to be the best for most people with its easy-to-use app, smart features, great suction, and affordable price.

Nobody likes household chores, but they have to be done. Unfortunately, we don't live like the Jetsons yet, but you can get capable robot vacuum cleaners to take care of the dust and dirt for you. Robot vacuums can't completely replace manual cleaning, but they can help cut down on the amount of time you spend waging war on dust bunnies.

Robot vacuums work best in smaller homes and normal-sized apartments between 800 and 1,200 square feet. They handle hard floors and short carpets best, though they can get stuck now and then. Robot vacuums need a good motor for powerful suction, decent battery life, a brush roll, and enough smarts to be self-sufficient. Many robot vacuums work with apps on your phone and some will even run when you tell them to with voice commands if you have Amazon's Alexa at home.

You can get robot vacuums for as little as $220, but the high-end models run up to $1,000 or more. We tested out a number of highly reviewed robot vacuums that run the gamut from $220 to $1,100. We also included a $170 robot mop and duster in our guide because it's a great vacuum alternative for basic cleaning.

Here are the best robot vacuums you can buy:

Updated on 01/16/2019 by James Brains and Lulu Chang: Based on testing, we added the iRobot Roomba i7+ as the best self-cleaning robovac and the Ecovacs Deebot 711 as a great option for $350. Also updated prices and formatting.

Read on in the slides below to check out our top picks.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Find all the best offers at our Coupons page.

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Insider Picks team. We highlight products and services you might find interesting. If you buy them, we get a small share of the revenue from the sale from our commerce partners. We frequently receive products free of charge from manufacturers to test. This does not drive our decision as to whether or not a product is featured or recommended. We operate independently from our advertising sales team. We welcome your feedback. Email us at insiderpicks@businessinsider.com.

{{}}

View As: One Page Slides

Best robot vacuum overall

Best robot vacuum overall
Why you'll love it: The iRobot Roomba 690 sucks up dirt and debris, responds to voice commands, and costs less than high-end bots.

You don't have to spend a fortune to own a robot vacuum cleaner, but you don't have to go with a low-powered one, either. The iRobot Roomba 690 sits right in the middle of the road, making it the best robot vacuum for most people. It has strong suction and smart features like voice control that put it above most budget vacuums. It's an even better deal now, coming in at $300.

iRobot's three-stage cleaning system loosens dirt and debris so it's easy to suck up. The vacuum has a spinning side brush, which is very effective. Setup is easy and the companion app is excellent. You even get introductory videos with tips to help you get started. It's so easy to use that we had our bot up and running in about 10 minutes.

The Roomba 690 can clean carpet, rugs, tile, hardwood, and laminate floors without any problems. It navigates around obstacles like furniture, clutter, and other objects. You can also set up barriers, so your bot doesn't clean the wrong room or stumble onto your thick shag carpet and stop running. We created a barrier between our hardwood and tile floors so we could separate the rooms better.

We tested out the iRobot Roomba 690 and came away very impressed. It picked up dirt, dust, cat and human hair, cat litter, crumbs, and just about everything else we threw at it. It wasn't quite as powerful as the $700+ robot vacuums we tested, and it did get stuck on a stray shoelace, but overall, it impressed us, and we think it offers the best bang for your buck.

Since it's a smart vacuum that's Wi-Fi-enabled, you can set a schedule for it to clean during specific times and more in the companion app. You can even control it with your voice using Amazon's Alexa or the Google Assistant. We tried it a few times, and it really felt like living in the future.

The Roomba 690 runs for 60 minutes and returns to its base for charging as soon as it runs out of juice. It's funny to see your robot amble its way home without any assistance. The robot vacuum played nice with our cat, too, so have no fear that your Roomba will run over your pets. If anything, be worried that your cat may pounce on your Roomba. — Malarie Gokey

Pros: Affordable for a smart robot vacuum, voice control, app-controlled, can be programmed

Cons: Not as powerful as high-end models, doesn't clean the whole house in one go like the 960

Buy the iRobot Roomba 690 on Amazon for $299.99 (originally $374.99)

The best robot vacuum for less than $250

The best robot vacuum for less than $250
Why you'll love it: For just $220, the Eufy RoboVac 11S is significantly cheaper than every other robot vacuum we tested, but it's just as good at cleaning.

Who says you have to pay an arm and a leg to robotically clean your home? Certainly not the startup Eufy, which launched its budget-friendly RoboVac line last year. We tried the 11 and we loved it, but the startup's latest robot vacuum, the Eufy 11S, is our new budget pick because it has a slimmer profile that fits in tighter spaces, a slightly longer runtime, and improved features.

Most importantly, the 11S will help you do your chores, so you can save time and money. Because it only costs $220, we called it the smartest investment you'll make all year in our full review.

While the 11S is smaller than previous RoboVac models, the 11S boasts a larger dustbin to collect more dirt, and 30% stronger suction to clean floors even more efficiently. Although the 11S is only 2.85-inches tall, its diminutive size allows it to sneak under bed frames, cabinets, and other tight spaces without getting stuck. It navigated across hardwood, tile, and carpet effortlessly.

The 11S gets 100 minutes of battery life while cleaning, and its suction has also been upgraded, so it is better equipped to pick up dirt and debris from your carpets or cracks in your floor.

One of the RoboVac 11S' most notable strengths is that it has several modes. Spot mode, for instance, will focus on cleaning a small, specific area for two minutes, while Single Room mode will start a 30-minute cleaning session in a certain space.

The RoboVac's remote also lets you set up a schedule, so you can start your vacuum before you go to work, and return home to spotless floors.

Overall, the vacuum maneuvers pretty gracefully around furniture and molding, and picks up all the dust, hair, and everything else that amasses in a home with ease. Sure, you may be horrified when you empty the dustbin every couple of days to see just how much stuff is collecting on your floor, but hey, it beats dealing with it on your own. And with a price tag this low, it won’t feel like a robotic vacuum is a luxury, but rather a necessity.

It may not have all the smart features like app or voice control, but it cleans just as well as our top pick and costs almost $200 less. The only reason it wasn't our top pick is that it is lacking smart features like voice and app control, and we're nerdy enough to wish for those features. However, if those things don't matter to you, it's an excellent deal. — Lulu Chang and Malarie Gokey

Pros: Extremely affordable without sacrificing key functionality, low profile allows the vacuum to get into small spaces

Cons: No voice control or connectivity

Buy the Eufy RoboVac 11S on Amazon for $219.99

The best robot vacuum for $350

The best robot vacuum for $350
Why you'll love it: The Deebot 711 is the latest robotic vacuum from Ecovacs, and with its Smart Navi Mapping Technology and 110-minute battery life, this may just be one of the most effective robots on the market.

The Ecovacs family of vacuums has long been a shopper and Business Insider favorite. They’re some of the best-selling robovacs on Amazon, and back in June, we just couldn’t get enough of the Ecovacs Deebot 900. But now, the team has come out with yet another iteration of its popular cleaning assistant, and this one — the Deebot 711 — is $50 cheaper and just as effective. Plus, it has nearly two hours of battery life, which makes it an excellent candidate for even the dirtiest floors.

What I’ve been most impressed by in my few weeks with the new Deebot is its ability to map my home and quickly learn which areas are most in need of cleaning. That’s thanks to the robot’s Smart Navi Mapping Technology, which not only helps it adapt to any environment with ease, but also helps it to avoid bumping into furniture or avoid falling down stairs.

The Smart Navi Mapping Technology is capable of creating an optimized and systematic cleaning path that covers up to 1,300 square feet, which makes it more than enough for at least one floor of your home — if not your whole home.

Thanks to the Deebot’s compatibility with both Alexa and Google Assistant, you can begin cleaning simply by telling the robot to do so. Either use a voice command or download the companion smartphone app to start the cleaning process, and you’ll be able to spend your time doing more important things.

Of course, if you’d like to exercise a bit more control over the cleaning process, you can use the app to direct the robot, or schedule a cleaning. You can also ask for status updates while you’re away so that you know exactly what the Deebot has and hasn’t done.

The Deebot 711 features a maximum power suction mode, which doubles the suction power of the machine and helps it take care of tough stains like dirt and grime on either hardwood or carpeted floors. Plus, the Deebot features two specialized cleaning modes — edge and spot mode — which allow you (by proxy, that is) to tackle hard to reach and often-missed areas of the room. — Lulu Chang

Pros: Smart mapping, voice commands, easy to use, cleans well, decent price

Cons: Not as precise as a Roomba

Buy the Ecovacs Deebot 711 on Amazon for $350

The best robot vacuum for less than $600

The best robot vacuum for less than $600
Why you'll love it: The iRobot Roomba 960 is a great high-end robot vacuum cleaner that cleans your entire first floor without stopping as it moves from room to room.

If you want great suction, smart features, and seamless performance, you'll have to pay for it. The iRobot Roomba 960 may be expensive, but it is a great high-end robot vacuum cleaner. It's also more affordable now that it's on sale for $550.

It has more smarts and more suction power than our top pick and it can clean your entire first floor without stopping as it moves from room to room. It's sure to satisfy those of you who have a bigger home or just need a more intense clean from your bot.

Just like the other vacuums in our guide, the 960 can clean any type of flooring and suck up dirt, dust, and debris without a hitch. The app lets you schedule and initiate cleanings, but it also shows you maps of the area your bot has cleaned. The 960 learns your floorplan to clean more efficiently every time and it can move from room to room all on its own.

Setup is very easy and the app is excellent. You even get introductory videos with tips to help you get started. It's so easy to use that we had our bot up and running in about 10 minutes. The Roomba also works with Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant, so you can tell it to clean with a simple voice command. We tried that a handful of times, and it was pretty amazing.

The 960 uses iRobot's iAdapt 2.0 Navigation with Visual Localization to clean more effectively, and it has five times more suction power than our top pick and other Roomba 600 series cleaners. You can tell the difference, too.

In our tests, the 960 left less debris behind and managed to get more pet hair in a single pass than others. It navigated around obstacles fairly well and only got stuck when it ran into a stray power cord we'd left in its path. The vacuum goes back to its charging station as soon as it's done cleaning. You don't need to stop and restart it because it moves from room to room on its own. It'll also go right back to its home base when it needs to recharge.

If you have pets, don't worry — the Roomba won't hit them, and it's much more likely to scare them out of its way than anything. My cat got very curious about the strange moving creature with no scent, but she tended to avoid its path as it vacuumed.

You can run it for up to 75 minutes before it goes to charge itself back up. It'll even pick up where it left off before it had to go charge, so you don't need to worry that it missed a spot. It's truly a great robot vacuum cleaner if you have the money for it. — Malarie Gokey

Pros: Powerful suction, great with pet hair, smart controls in app, voice control, shows map of cleaned area, cleans all rooms on the first floor without stopping

Cons: Expensive

Buy the iRobot Roomba 960 on Amazon for $549.99 (originally $699)

The best robot vacuum that self-cleans

The best robot vacuum that self-cleans
Why you'll love it: If you just want to schedule your robotic vacuum and forget it, there is no better option for bigger homes than the iRobot Roomba i7+ — it even self cleans.

iRobot continues to revolutionize robotic vacuums with the release of the Roomba i7+. What sets this robovac apart from every other option is the Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal.

After a cleaning job, the i7+ docks at the Clean Base and empties its dustbin into a disposable bag. The bag is designed to hold 30 bins of dirt. The i7+ also has the ability to map the rooms of your house, and when paired with Alexa or Google Assistant, you can simply say, “Hey Roomba, clean the kitchen.” And, it follows your command.

I currently have the Roomba 980 and Roomba i7+, among other robotic vacuums. The 980 was my favorite vacuum until the i7+ came along. And, in a few ways, the 980 is still superior: It has a bigger battery, more suction, and can be found for $250 cheaper. However, iRobot has discontinued the 980.

The i7+ is my new favorite because I was able to use it for 45 cleanings before I filled the disposable bag. This is especially impressive since I have two cats and a dog that sheds heavily. I have not thoroughly tested it yet, but from my casual observations, it doesn’t appear to leave debris behind: It picks it all up.

The only hiccup I had was a warning that the Clean Base was clogged. I followed the directions in the app, including unscrewing the debris evacuation tubing to check for clogs. There was no visible debris. So, I replaced the disposable bag, and the problem went away.

The experts are going gaga over the iRobot Roomba i7+. The Wirecutter has deemed it the “very best robot vacuum.” The reviewer was impressed with how it can clean or skip specific rooms on command, and he was able to go weeks at a time without thinking about cleaning his floors. However, he did find that about 10% of the time the navigation system would fail to follow his cleaning directions.

PCMag recommends the i7+ because it’s the first robot vacuum that does all of the cleaning work for you. In its tests, the vacuum handled dust, dirt, hair, and other debris on vinyl, tile, and hardwood floors. Yet, the reviewer didn’t like the bulkiness of the Clean Base and how loudly it operates.

About 87% of the people who reviewed the iRobot Roomba i7+ on Best Buy's site would recommend it. The most helpful reviewer was turned off by the robovac at first because it had trouble emptying and docking properly. The reviewer discovered that as it was making its way into areas that hadn’t been cleaned in years, the sensors were getting dirty. After cleaning the sensors, the vacuum worked much better.

One of the most popular features among buyers is the i7’s ability to map multiple floors in a home. — James Brains

Pros: Bin empties itself, maps multiple floors in your house, compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant

Cons: Expensive, noisy, Clean Base takes up more space than other docking stations

Buy the iRobot Roomba i7+ at iRobot for $1,099 Also at Bed Bath & Beyond

The best high-end self-navigating robot vacuum

The best high-end self-navigating robot vacuum
Why you'll love it: Thanks to the Electrolux i9’s 3D Vision technology, you can set and forget your vacuum with the utmost confidence.

You won’t have to worry about the Electrolux i9 falling down a flight of stairs or scuffing the legs of those heirloom wooden chairs you’ve had in your family for generations upon generations. Rather, this truly 21st-century robotic vacuum is probably more careful and precise than you are when it comes to navigating around the nooks, crannies, and other obstacles of your home.

Key to the effectiveness of the vacuum is its 3D Vision navigation technology, which employs a camera and a laser to ensure that the vacuum can navigate around any obstacle. Unlike other robotic vacuums that employ a circular shape, the i9 is actually more triangular, which means that it’s able to get into small spaces and odd angles that you may otherwise have trouble reaching, even with a traditional vacuum.

You’ll likely be surprised to find that the i9 does a particularly good job in cleaning the small space between the bottom of your cabinets and the floor, or other areas where crumbs tend to congregate. We were certainly impressed when we reviewed it.

In addition to the clever shape, the i9 comes with two 21-centimeter wide front brushes to sweep up dirt, dust, and debris on your hardwood, tile, carpet, and anything in between. But the most useful brush is the anti-tangle PowerBrush, which helps to extend the vacuum’s reach, and helps it clean out corners, particularly on hard surfaces.

If you have hardwood next to carpet, you’re not to worry — The AutoPower feature of the i9 means that it automatically adjusts its suction settings based on the surface it’s cleaning.

While the i9 doesn’t come with voice control (yet), you can use the companion app to tell the vacuum exactly where to go or access the spot cleaning function for a more concentrated clean.

When you’re ready to send the vacuum back to its charging dock, just press the home button, and it’ll find its way to its initial starting point. It automatically begins charging once docked and regains a full charge in a matter of a couple hours. — Lulu Chang

Pros: Excellent navigation capabilities, self-adjusting suction based on surface, clever triangular design gives it better reach

Cons: Very pricey, no voice or smart home controls yet

Buy the Electrolux Pure I9 Robotic Vacuum on Amazon for $676 (originally $899)

The best robotic mop and broom

The best robotic mop and broom
Why you'll love it: The iRobot Braava Jet 240 Robot Mop is like an automatic Swiffer that mops up spills and sweeps up dust and hair.

If you don't really vacuum much and mostly use your Swiffer instead, the iRobot Braava Jet 240 Robot Mop will be a revelation for you. It's basically a robotic Swiffer that uses disposable wet and dry mop pads to clean your floors.

The wet mop setting can tackle spills and stains with its jet spray and vibrating cleaning head, while the dry mop can pick up dust and hair as it sweeps around the room. There's even an in-between setting for damp mopping, so you can just polish your floors. The Braava isn't meant for carpets, but it is ideal for tile, stone, ceramic, and hardwood floors.

It's also a rather smart mop. The Braava automatically selects the correct cleaning mode for the type of pad you're using, it knows not to go on the carpet, and it avoids spraying its water at walls.

To use the mop, you just pop a pad on, add water if you're wet mopping, and press the Clean button. You can set up boundaries to prevent your mop from going where it shouldn't, and there's a handy Eject button that removes the pad for you when the mop is done cleaning. You also have to empty any extra water when you're done. The only real downside to this mop is that you have to buy replacement pads, but since a 10-pack costs about $7 on Amazon, it's not that much of a hardship.

When we first found out that the Braava existed, we all got very excited. It's a great idea that's truly unique, and luckily, the execution is just as good as the idea. I tested the robotic mop on the hardwood and tile floors of my apartment, and it worked so well.

I usually just Swiffer away dust and hair and mop the hardwood floors with Murphy's oil soap every now and then, so I don't need to vacuum that often. Having a robotic mop that can take care of that chore for me is a real game changer.

The only reason it's not our top pick is that it isn't a true robot vacuum and it can't handle carpet, which is something that most people need. However, if you just have hardwood and tile floors, this is your robot! — Malarie Gokey

Pros: Affordable, wet and dry mopping pads, smart features, cleans stains

Cons: You have to buy disposable pads

Buy the iRobot Braava Jet 240 Robot Mop on Amazon for $169.99 (originally $199.00) Buy the iRobot Braava Jet Dry Sweeping Pads (10 pack) on Amazon for $7.09 Buy the iRobot Braava Jet Wet Mopping Pads (10 pack) on Amazon for $7.90
Add Comment()

Comments ()

X
Sort By:
Be the first one to comment.
We have sent you a verification email. This comment will be published once verification is done.