Updated March 2022
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Buying guide for best neato robotic vacuums

Few people like to clean the house. From the time you were a little kid and had to clean your room to today when you have to give up part of the weekend to dust and vacuum, it’s a hated job. But making this job easier has become big business.

That’s where Neato vacuums come in. You can program these robotic vacuums to scoot around your home at any time of day to pick up dust and debris. When finished, the vacuum returns to its charging station until the next time it’s needed.

Little robot vacuums have been around for almost two decades now, and their performance and features have steadily improved over that time. Neato Robotics has been a contender in this market since 2010. If you’d like to learn more about these vacuums, we at BestReviews have put together this shopping guide full of features and functions.

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Neato robotic vacuums are roughly one square foot in size and just a few inches tall.

How Neato vacuums work

Neato vacuums run without the need for supervision or hands-on operation. These little vacuums are controlled by software and powered by a rechargeable battery. Sensors built into the hardware measure the distance from the vacuum to other objects and the vacuum uses these measurements to avoid collisions. While the robotic vacuum moves around the room, a spinning brush located under the unit picks up debris and stores it in a container, much like any manually operated vacuum.

Most Neato robotic vacuums connect to your home’s WiFi system, allowing you to run them remotely over a smartphone app. You also can program these vacuums to run at certain times of the day or night. Some Neato vacuums allow you to use boundary markers to keep the vacuum within a designated area, a useful feature to keep the unit from tumbling down stairs.

When it’s finished, the Neato vacuum drives itself to the docking station, where it recharges the battery. The entire process runs automatically and efficiently (and don’t tell anyone, but it kind of makes cleaning fun).

Neato vacuum uses

Neato vacuums pick up small items, like dust and food crumbs. Certain models pick up pet hair better than others, something to look at if you have dogs or cats.

A Neato vacuum can help you keep the everyday dirt and dust to a minimum, but little robot vacuums aren’t made for deep-cleaning tasks. You’ll still have to do more extensive cleaning on occasion, just less frequently.


  • Empty the dirt bin. Two or three times a week, empty the bin where the vacuum collects the dust and dirt.

  • Clean the filters. Brush the filters on the vacuum (near the dirt bin) each time you empty the bin to remove any debris from the filters. Make sure nothing is blocking the air ducts.

  • Clean the brush. As the vacuum cleans, the brush can collect strings and pet hair. Remove these every week or so to enable the brush to move freely.

  • Clean the wheels. Strings and pet hair can wind around a wheel or axle and affect the vacuum’s performance. Remove these every couple of weeks.

  • Clean the sensors. If you notice dust collecting on the sensors, clean them off monthly or as needed. Dirty sensors can cause the vacuum to ignore boundary markers or  spin in circles.

  • Replace the filters. The owner’s manual will tell you how often to replace the filters in your Neato vacuum model, but it’s usually every three to six months.

Neato vacuum prices

The cost of Neato robotic vacuums is similar to that of other robotic vacuums. This technology isn’t cheap. You can expect to pay between $200 and $800 for a Neato vacuum.

Inexpensive: Neato vacuums that cost between $200 and $300, can run from an app or Amazon Echo voice commands. These models sit at the low end of the price range for Neato vacuums. They have a shorter battery life than more expensive models and aren’t as good at transitioning between carpet and hard floors.

Mid-range: For about $400 to $600, you’ll find Neato vacuums with WiFi and Amazon Echo capabilities that do a good job of cleaning, although typically not quite as good as top-end models.

Expensive: Neato models that cost from $700 to $800 use laser technology to map rooms. These work with Echo and clean all types of flooring more efficiently.

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As with any appliance, properly caring for your Neato vacuum will enable it to perform well for a longer period of time. After you’ve programmed your Neato vacuum, be sure to perform the regular, simple maintenance tasks.


Q. What are the biggest disadvantages of robot vacuums?

A. For the most part, there really aren’t any major disadvantages. They might miss a few spots while working, and occasionally they’ll need some troubleshooting. If you have a pet that has “accidents” on the rug when you aren’t home, it’s possible that the vacuum could spread it around as it runs automatically. Avoid this, and you should be happy with your vacuum.

Q. Do I have to prepare the house in any special way before using the robotic vacuum?

A. Preparing the house to run a Neato vacuum isn’t much different from preparing it before using a manual vacuum. Pick up small objects that could damage the brush roller. Pick up small bowls of pet water because the Neato vacuum could try to run over the top of these. The vacuum could become stuck on fringe on rugs or couch covers, so lift this away from the floor. Finally, set out the boundary markers to keep the vacuum running only where you want it.

Q. Why is the vacuum not docking correctly?

A. You have to take some care with the location of the docking station for the Neato robotic vacuum. The docking station needs access to an electrical outlet, so you’ll want to place the station near a wall. Additionally, the robotic vacuum needs three feet of clearance in front of the docking station to maneuver into place for a successful dock. If you hide the station behind furniture, for example, the robot might not be able to dock properly.

Q. Why does my Neato vacuum lose its signal connection with my WiFi network?

A. Most of the time, a lost connection occurs because of a weak signal from the WiFi router. WiFi signals can lose strength if passing through walls or floors. So if the robotic vacuum enters an area of your home with weak signal strength, it could lose the connection. Consider adding WiFi signal boosters in your home to fix this problem.

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