Facebook Pixel Code
x
BestReview's Logo
Best For Your Buck Product
Best bang for the buck
Neato Robotics
Check Price
Best Of The Best Product
Best of the best
iRobot
Check Price
BestReview's Logo
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons

How We Decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds—we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

76
Models Considered
33
Hours Spent
1
Experts Interviewed
194
Consumers Consulted

Shopping Guide for Best Robotic Vacuums

There was once a time when robotic vacuums were a household novelty. Today, they are becoming more and more popular. They’re also getting smarter and are thus better able to detect obstacles and move around rooms and across various surfaces.

Busy homeowners are choosing to leave the tedious task of vacuuming to these smart robots. A robotic vacuum cleaner frees you up to enjoy other activities while it tidies the floor for you. These incredible machines require regular emptying, but other than that, they need very little maintenance. Some of them even “know” when to recharge themselves.

If you’re thinking of purchasing a robotic vacuum yourself, you’ll want to make sure you choose the right one for your needs. At BestReviews, we perform in-depth research on the available product choices so you don’t have to. In the process of testing, research, and expert interviews, we never accept free samples from manufacturers. In this way, we remain unbiased as we craft our shopping guides and product reviews.

We’ve put together this thorough buying guide to help you choose the best robotic vacuum cleaner for your needs. Check out our top recommendations in the matrix above, and read on to learn everything you need to know about robotic vacuums.

The first robotic vacuum was inspired by Star Wars and was invented by Helen Greiner. “I saw Star Wars when I was 11 – in the theater – and I was enthralled by R2D2 because he was more than a machine.” - Helen Greiner

Why Buy a Robotic Vacuum Cleaner?

You may be wondering if robotic vacuum cleaners are just a fad, or if they’re a permanent new fixture in cleaning technology. We tend to think the latter. As AI technology grows and expands, some aspects of our lives become simpler.

Consider buying a robotic vacuum cleaner if any of the following apply.

  • You’re a busy person who would like to delegate the task of cleaning your floors to someone (or something) else.

  • You enjoy living in an environment with spotless floors.

  • You find you can’t keep up with the ever-accumulating pet hair or other debris in your home.

  • You want to minimize the amount of time you spend cleaning your home.

  • You’re interested in high-tech gadgets and would get great enjoyment from a robotic vacuum cleaner.

  • You’re looking for ways to simplify your life.

Product in Depth

Product in Depth

iRobot Roomba 980

Performance

The iRobot Roomba 980 is one of the priciest models, but it’s also feature-heavy, has advanced technology, and is able to handle a tough workload. It’s an excellent navigator thanks to its Visual Localization feature. When it senses its battery power is fading, it automatically returns to its dock to recharge before completing its cleaning task. Furthermore, it can work for up to two hours. The iRobot Roomba 980 works in conjunction with the iRobot Home Smartphone application, allowing you to orchestrate the cleaning process without ever laying your finger on the actual vacuum. The device can gently clean your hardwood floors but is equally capable of tackling carpeted areas, making it an extremely versatile unit.

Questions to Ask When Shopping for a Robotic Vacuum Cleaner

Considerations

Is the robotic vacuum cleaner able to navigate the rooms of my home?

Some robotic vacuum cleaners use mapping technology to navigate the various rooms in your home. Not all robotic vacuums can intelligently do this, however. If you have a house with multiple complicated room layouts, you may want to consider a device with more advanced artificial intelligence.

Considerations

Can the robotic vacuum cleaner self-correct if I’m not home?

Decide whether you want to run your robotic vacuum cleaner when you’re not home. If so, what would happen if the vacuum got stuck? Consumers who want their robotic vacuum cleaner to work while they’re away must take care to buy one that can work independently throughout the vacuuming process.

Robotic vacuums can’t go up or down stairs, so you’ll have to pass over that part of your home on your own. However, a few models have the ability to sense drops higher than a few inches so they won’t tumble down stairs and get damaged.

Staff
BestReviews
Considerations

What is the robotic vacuum cleaners level of hazard avoidance?

A robotic vacuum cleaner’s level of hazard avoidance is an important consideration. Some vacuums are equipped with features that prevent them from plunging down a stairwell. Many robotic vacuums also come with “virtual walls” which allow you to block off certain areas of your home.

Considerations

What type of battery life does the robotic vacuum cleaner have?

Robotic vacuums are equipped with rechargeable batteries, but the lifespan of said batteries varies from one product to another. A longer battery life is required for larger homes, so it’s important to take stock of the square footage you want cleaned.

Product in Depth

Product in Depth

iTouchless Robotic Intelligent PRO

Features

The iTouchless Robotic Intelligent PRO is a budget option for those seeking to get rid of dust in uncluttered areas of their home. The device features three cleaning modes and is able to spend about an hour doing its job. It comes with a remote control so you can turn it on or off from afar, making this ideal for large homes or if you plan to use it while you are home.

Considerations

What type of flooring and debris are you dealing with?

Some robotic vacuums are better able to handle different types of dirt and debris. Thick carpets require a more powerful motor, as do large amounts of pet hair. If you’re a pet owner, you’ll want to ensure you choose a model that can handle the fur they shed. Choosing a device with a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter will ensure that allergens are kept to a minimum in your home.

Considerations

Do you want a robotic vacuum cleaner with wireless capabilities?

Being able to connect wirelessly to your robotic vacuum cleaner is a godsend when you’re away from home and need to check in on the cleaning process. Some of these vacuums even allow for automatic scheduling which helps you to plan out cleaning in advance, even during the times you’re away.

EXPERT TIP

When it comes to safety, you should treat a robotic vacuum just like you would a regular upright vacuum. If you get down to floor level to help the vacuum move along on its cleaning route, make sure your hair is pulled back and unable to get caught in the vacuum.


Staff  | BestReviews

Robotic Vacuum Cleaner Prices

You will pay a premium for a robotic vacuum cleaner compared to a standard upright vacuum. However, the top choices featured on this page do vary in price.

Generally, the higher the price, the more cleaning power you’ll get out of your chosen device.

Pricier robotic vacuum cleaners tend to have better AI and excellent room-mapping abilities. Less-expensive robotic vacuum cleaners feature more basic cleaning options and may lack some of the scheduling features seen in top-shelf models.

Product in Depth

Product in Depth

Neato Robotics Robot Vacuum for Pets and Allergies

Functionality

The Neato Robotics Botvac D80 vacuum cleaner is an excellent option for those with pets or severe allergies. The vacuum uses a combination of suction power and brushing movement to clean up dust, dander, and dirt. It’s also well-equipped to tackle pet hair. A special edge-cleaning brush ensures that every corner of your home is dealt with. The vacuum can easily map out your home using LaserSmart Mapping technology. It also won’t bang into objects in the room like other lower priced models. Plus, its special D-shape allows it to get at tricky areas where dust and dirt are likely to hide.

Potential Cons Of Robotic Vacuum Cleaners

Though very convenient and useful, there are some potential downsides to robotic vacuums that you should be aware of before you buy one.

Potential cons

Price

Robotic vacuum cleaners are generally much more expensive than most upright vacuum cleaners.

Testing Results
Robotic Vacuum Testing
  • IROBOT Testing
    Roomba's size and features make it a good choice for normal home-use: its dustbin of 8"x3.5"x2.5" is enough for normal cleanups, and it could effortlessly clean up normal dirt and hair on multiple surfaces. It can even clean up mud on hardwood floor, despite requiring repeated pass overse. Like all other vacuums, it can make noise of 70-90 db, so you may not want to have a conversation with your roommate when it is working. We like that we can easily set it up on a phone, what we don't like is its Wi-Fi function that limits the range in which we can control it. Note: the Roomba need to "see" with its camera, so it would not work in total darkness.
  • ROLLIBOT Testing
    Rollibot has a slightly smaller dustbin of 3.7"x 6.0” X 2.5”. The display screen is large and easy to see. It's a strong and helpful cleaner, can clean up hair easily, but takes a lot of effort to clean up mud on hardwood floor. It can get as loud as 70 to 80 db.Its remote control feature is handy – you can direct it to go forward, backward, clockwise and counterclockwise. It also struggled to move between carpet and hardwood floor.
Potential cons

Jams

Robotic vacuum cleaners can get stuck. Even the smartest models aren’t as smart as you are and can get stuck under sofas or get confused in a cluttered room.

DID YOU KNOW?

Many newer model robotic vacuum cleaners are extremely smart. They use artificial intelligence to map out a room and help guide their cleaning. Some models can even display the mapped room layout via a Smartphone application.

Potential cons

Less Power

Robotic vacuum cleaners lack the power of traditional vacuums. You simply can’t get a super deep clean with a robotic vacuum. We recommend using it often in combination with a traditional vacuum for heavily soiled areas or on dense surfaces like shag carpeting.

Potential cons

Maintenance

They require more frequent emptying than do upright vacuums because they simply are not large in size. However, emptying the bin of a robotic vacuum cleaner is fairly simple – you just need to do so regularly.

Product in Depth

Product in Depth

RolliBot Quiet Robotic Vacuum Cleaner

Technology

The Rollibot Quiet robotic vacuum cleaner is a jack of all trades. Not only can it efficiently vacuum your home, it can also sweep, mop, and sterilize the areas it cleans. It also does so very quietly, so you can even run the little vacuum at night. It’s equipped with a HEPA filter to ensure allergens are trapped and not released back into the air. Various sensors allow the Rollibot to clean effectively and avoid collisions. The included remote control allows for scheduling and easy navigation of cleaning modes. At its price, it’s one of the best value robotic vacuum cleaners available.

Tips

  • Most robotic vacuums can get out of tight spots thanks to their intelligent sensors, but to make sure yours does not get trapped clear obstacles before you set it out to clean.

  • It’s a good idea to fully charge your new robotic vacuum before putting it to work on your floors.

  • Read the included device manual carefully so you can put all of the neat features of your robotic vacuum to use.

  • Remember to empty the bin of your robotic vacuum cleaner regularly.

  • You’ll also want to change the device’s filter often to ensure allergens are kept to a minimum inside your home.

Check your expectations. Most robotic vacuums won’t fully replace upright vacuums with large canisters. However, they’re great for providing a quick sweep between larger cleaning jobs.

Robotic Vacuums FAQ

Q. What’s the advantage of a robotic vacuum cleaner over an upright vacuum?

A. The biggest advantage to having a robotic vacuum cleaner is that you can literally set it and forget it. These devices also tend to take up a lot less space, so they’re great for smaller homes or apartments.

Q. How does a robotic vacuum cleaner find its way around a room?

A. Robotic vacuums use different variations of mapping technology to navigate the inside of your home. Some common technologies include sensors, like the ones that alert your vacuuming robot that it’s encountered an obstacle. Some optical sensors allow the robotic vacuum to gauge its distance traveled. Many newer models actually use artificial intelligence to help them clean your space.

Q. Can a robotic vacuum cleaner find its way under furniture to clean those spaces?

A. That depends on whether the vacuum you choose can clear said furniture. If your couch is high enough off the ground, a robotic vacuum should have no problem getting beneath it to clean.

Q. What about corners? Can a robotic vacuum clean those areas?

A. This will depend heavily on the shape of the unit you choose. Special D-shaped units are specially designed to clean corners.

Q. What kind of maintenance should I expect with this kind of device?

A. You’ll need to remember to empty the dustbin each time you use your robotic vacuum. Sometimes, the sensors on the vacuum will need to be cleaned off to ensure the robotic vacuum can continue to find its way around. Some vacuums will require you to clean out hair and debris that has become stuck or trapped inside. Filters will also need to be changed to ensure your vacuum continues to trap allergens.

  • Devangana
    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Digital Content Strategist
  • Katie
    Katie
    Editorial Manager
  • Melissa
    Melissa
    Senior Editor
  • Steph
    Steph
    Writer
×

Support Us

At BestReviews, we purchase every product we review with our own funds. We never accept anything from product manufacturers. Our goal is to be 100% objective in our analysis, and we do not want to run the risk of being swayed by products provided at no cost.

Help support our research and testing by making a contribution.

$15
$25
$50
$100
$