Best robot vacuum for 2021 Best vacuum cleaner for robot 2022 Best robotic vacuum 2023 Best 20-21 robot cleaner vacuum
No need to take your upright vacuum, broom, and dustbin out of the closet -- your robot vacuum will do the dirty work for you. Gone are the days when robot vacuums were only found in Jetsons-like midcentury dream homes or in science fiction. They're real, everyday appliances that can take charge of your housekeeping and many have advanced sensors, lasers, CPUs and AI-enhanced software, making them ideal for taking control of the household.
If you don't want to have to grab your broom or regular vacuum every time something needs to be washed up, but you're having difficulty justifying the expense of a robot vacuum to keep your home tidy, you should know that these machines will pick up even tiny bits of debris such as cat litter and dust bunnies. A robot cleaner is also versatile: Depending on cleaning mode, they can keep hardwood floors, tile floors and area rugs clean and tidy with a powerful suction that rivals upright vacuums in some cases. Even better, if you hide the charging dock in an out of the way area, you'll never have to worry about your robot vacuum -- you simply have automatic dirt removal and a clean floor.
As cool as robotic vacuum cleaners are, living them can cost you a lot -- some costs as much as four figures. While you don't have to spend that much money on a robotic vac, you do get rewarded with perks. That includes self-cleaning dustbins, mapping multiple rooms and floorplans with powerful suction, and thoughtfully designed hardware. That being said, robotic cleaner expectations are important, and none of these machines can match a mop and human exertion on sand.
To choose the best robot vacuum, I spent over 120 hours torture-testing a group of 12 robotic cleaning vacuums for things like suction power, their ability to clean carpets and hard flooring, and their performance during each cleaning cycle. Brand-new models that have just been launched, flagship models and compelling options available across a plethora of online retailers are just some of them. I excluded older models that will most likely not be available for a long time. As more robot vacuums become available, I'll keep updating this list periodically.
Get smart home reviews and ratings, video reviews, buying guides, prices, and comparisons from CNET.
The best robot vacuum if youre loaded.
If someone were to give you a blank check and tell you to get the best robot vacuum, this is the robot to receive. The iRobot Roomba S9 Plus is priced at $1,100 (though it's sometimes discounted). For that colossal sum of money, this robotic vacuum provides effective suction and exceptional dirt and dust removal.
This Roomba picked up an average of 93% of our test sand on hardwood floors, the highest amount in our testing group, but this Roombata robot vacuum struggled a bit cleaning mud from low-pile carpeting and area rugs, with an overall dust and odour of 28%.
Despite this, the Roomba robot vacuum removed an average of 71% of sand from our medium pile carpet while vacuuming. Again, this Roomba model provided the most accurate results that we observed on this test. It also cleaned up more dog hair, pet dander, and allergens than any vacuum in this test group, as well as navigates and maps multiple rooms and floors. iRobot has updated its app to let you specify "keep out zones" that the S9 Plus should avoid when cleaning. The app also allows you to immediately clean a room using Alexa or Google Voice Assistant.
In addition, the robot zipped through our test room in a short average time of 25 minutes. You can also connect the S9 Plus to the Roomba app and your home Wi-Fi. The Roomba S9 Plus' CleanBase docking station is the best part. The dock charges the robot's battery and automatically emptys its dustbin, making cleaning even faster and preventing battery failure. Now that's convenient.
Read our first impressions of the Roomba S9 Plus.
The best midrange robot vacuums are the best.
For less than half the list price of the Roomba S9 Plus, the $600 Neato's D7 vacuums up dirt, dust, and messes almost as efficiently, making it the best robot vacuum at a midrange price. On average, this robotic cleaner picked up a greater amount of sand (36%) on low-pile carpet and rugs than the Roomba.
This automatic vacuum cleaner also beat the S9 Plus in cleaning power on hardwood bare floors, collecting an average of 95% of the sand we removed. The vacuum removed dirt, dust, and sand from midpile rugs less efficiently, with an average pickup of 47%.
While the Neato can't match the Roomba's prowess at removing pet hair or emptying its own dust bin, the D7 navigates more efficiently around furniture and covers more ground thanks to smart robot vacuum built-in lidar laser navigation mapping. You can also control the cleaning robot using the Neato app as a remote control, as well as connect it to Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. The app also allows you to designate areas of your home as off-limits to cleaning.
The best robot vacuum value.
Here's a robotic vacuum that shows that you don't have to blow your budget to get. Even though the Robovac 11S Max costs only $250 right now, it cleans floors efficiently. When cleaning bare hardwood floors, this is particularly true.
This budget robot vacuum managed to remove an average of 71% of our test sand from this surface. The bot didn't perform as well cleaning carpets, obtaining sand-pickup averages of 21% and 27% on low-pile and midpil, respectively.
And, thanks to this vacuum's basic navigation system, it took well over an hour to enter our test room. That's a lot of time. Still, the Eufy employed its runtime prudently. The vacuum cleaned up and left no spots unrepaired. The Eufy is also self-charging, so there's no need to worry about battery life or factor that into overall cleaning time. It's the best robot vacuum for the price.
How do we test robot vacuums?
Our method for evaluating robot vacuums is straightforward, yet arduous. We run two types of tests. The goal of the first experiment is to see how well a robot covers the floor while cleaning. We erected a industry-standard testing facility, as defined by the International Electrotechnical Commission, specifically for this purpose. The IEC is an international standard body that is responsible for coordinating robot vacuum testing procedures, among other things, for vacuum manufacturers.
Inside this room, objects are constructed to simulate obstacles a robot vac encounters for navigation as it cleans. These obstacles include wall edges, table and chair legs, couches, other furniture, and so on, as well as bare tile and hardwood floors, along with carpet.
We attach LED lights to the top of each vacuum cleaner. The dimensions of the lights correspond to the measured nozzle width of each robot vacuum we test.
As robots clean the floor, a camera overhead captures incredibly detailed pictures of the entire room in low light. That photo will then have a light trail created by the LEDs that will provide information on the exact locations where the robot traveled (and its nozzle position) during its runtime. We can see areas of the floor where the vacuum may have missed or gotten stuck.
In the gallery below, you'll find the navigation results of all the robot vacuums in our test group.
The second type of test reveals how much physical debris a vacuum can pick up off of the floor. To emulate dirt of small particle size, we use a mixture of play-sand and landscaping sludge. For smaller particles of soil, we use grains of uncooked black rice. Robots then operate in straight line on three types of flooring (low-pile carpet, medium-pound carpet and hardwood bare floors).
We control the nozzle width of each vacuum. We used an adjustable tool to soil our test floors. It allows us to lay down a strip of soil that is precisely proportional to the nozzle dimensions of each robot. The soil mass isn't chosen randomly either. We measure a proportional amount according to the flooring material, type of debris, and each vacuum's nozzle width.
We have performed three clean runs (at minimum) on each floor type. Separately, we perform cleaning tests with sand and rice. Thats equivalent to at least 18 tests per robot vac. We weigh the robot's dust bin before and after each run. From there, we can estimate the percentage of debris collected for each cleaning run and the average amount of soil a machine removes. Additionally, we perform anecdotal (visual) pet hair tests for each robot on all three floor types.
The graph below shows the fine particle cleaning performance data for all of the robot vacuums we tested. It should give you a fairly accurate picture of their cleaning results on different types of flooring surfaces, such as hardwood floors, bare floors and low pile carpet. Our rice-based, medium-sized particle test didn't show enough differentiation between each cleaner, which says they can handle larger particles without difficulty. We judged anecdotally for fur removal for pet owners.
Want more robot vacuum options? Here's a list of the other robot vacuums we tested besides the ones listed above.
- Roomba i7 Plus is an eRobot product developed by Roomby.
- Neato D6
- Neato D4D4
- Electrolux Pure i9 is a pure IO9 that uses Electro Lux.
- Shark IQ 1001AE 1002AE
- Ecovacs Deebot OZMO 950 EcoVacs OzMO 995 Ecovs DEEBOX OZEMO 95 EcoVs
- Ecovacs Deebot 600 is a deebio 600 technology that offers ecovacas with elastovac.
- Ecovacs Deebot 500 is a DeEcovacS DeBot 500 computerized ecovacation system.
- RoboRock S5 Max Max S5, RobORocks5, S5. Max RobaRock, S6, RobiRockS5, MaxRobo Rock S6 Max
More vacuum advice and recommendations on vacuuming
- Your Roomba cleans the floors in your home using a strange approach.
- Best cordless vacuums for 2021
- Best shopvac for 2021.
- iRobot Roomba 980: $550 for a high-end robot vacuum.
- How to prepare your home so your robot vacuum won't get stuck in your house?
- The 10 best vacuums to use for kitchen cleanup are listed below.
- Neato Botvac D7 Connected to the iRobot Roomba S9 Plus