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The 10 Best Robotic Vacuum Cleaners

results are based on 11,560 reviews scanned

Score
Yellow first place 1 eufy eufy eufy [BoostIQ] RoboVac 11S (Slim), Super-Thin, 1300Pa Strong
21 reviews
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eufy [BoostIQ] RoboVac 11S (Slim), Super-Thin, 1300Pa Strong Review and Comparison
eufy [BoostIQ] RoboVac 11S (Slim), Super-Thin, 1300Pa Strong Review and Comparison
2 eufy eufy eufy Boost IQ RoboVac 11S (Slim), 1300Pa Strong
322 reviews
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3 Eufy Eufy Eufy RoboVac 11, High Suction, Self-Charging Robotic Vacuum
4010 reviews
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Orange best value 4 ECOVACS ECOVACS ECOVACS DEEBOT N79S Robot Vacuum Cleaner with Max
1038 reviews
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5 SharkNinja SharkNinja Shark Ion 750 Connected Robotic Vacuum (RV750)
1120 reviews
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6 ECOVACS ECOVACS ECOVACS Robotic Vacuum Cleaner with Mop and Water
1728 reviews
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7 ECOVACS ECOVACS ECOVACS DEEBOT N79 Robotic Vacuum Cleaner with Strong
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8 Neato Robotics Neato Robotics Neato Botvac D80 Robot Vacuum for Pets
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9 iRobot iRobot iRobot Roomba 690 Wi-Fi Connected Robotic Vacuum Cleaner
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10 eufy eufy eufy RoboVac 11+ with Power Boost Tech, High
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A Guide to the Best Robotic Vacuum Cleaners

By Yehudah Posnick

Despite society becoming more advanced technologically, it hasn’t always come to mean that people have more time. But at least they don’t have to spend their precious leisure time on boring, stultifying tasks. Vacuuming the house is one thing that has become fully automated: There is a wide variety of robotic vacuum cleaners that can vacuum the house for you--even when you’re not home!

There are certain features common to all of them--while some of them have distinct advantages. You’ll see that the older versions could be programmed to clean certain times of the day. More state-of-the-art versions nowadays utilize a Smartphone app to allow planning a cleaning schedule an entire week in advance. Some even allow you to give it voice commands, via Amazon Alexa or the Google Assistant. Let’s look at which advantages are essential, and which are more gimmicky. This guide will help you:

  • Choose the right type of robotic vacuum,

  • See useful tips about that type of robotic vacuum,

  • Read reviews of different brands of robotic vacuums, and what customers are saying,

  • Select the right brand of robotic vacuum, and

  • Compare prices and find the best deals.

Types of Robotic Vacuum Cleaners

Robotic vacuums can differ vastly in their range of functions. But, in general, it's possible to divide them into three categories:

  • ​​​​​​Programmable by remote control: Some simpler models of robotic vacuum cleaners are programmed by remote control. They can also be programmed by the onboard controls. The Pyle PureClean Automatic Robot Vacuum Cleaner uses onboard controls as well as a remote control. 
  • Programmable by voice commands: As icing on the cake, there are also robotic vacuums that can be programmed via Alexa, so that they can obey voice commands. The Shark Ion Robot Vacuum (RV750) has Alexa capability.
  • WiFi programmable: There are robotic vacuums that can be programmed with a Smartphone app. The app will let you schedule cleaning times, as well as let you map out which areas to clean. The Ecovacs Deebot N79S Robot Vacuum Cleaner uses a Smart App as well as Alexa and Google Home voice commands. 

What Reviewers Say

  • Modestly priced robots together with traditional vacuuming: One customer liked the Shark ION, because for only $350, it can do the basic cleaning after pet hair, dust, and debris. If you want something more intensive, you can touch up with an upright or canister vacuum.

  • Look for good navigation: Some robotic vacuums rely too much on bumping into things to navigate around the house. The Pyle PureClean Automatic Vacuum Cleaner needed a little help to get from room to room, even though it cleans individual rooms well. Also, customers said that it bumps a little to hard into furniture when getting around the room.

Important Features

  • Maneuverability: Since you will probably operate a robotic vacuum during hours when you’re not in the house, you clearly want it to be able to complete the tasks without it required you to help it along. You should prefer a robotic vacuum that can manage to clean your floors and carpets without getting stuck along the way. In comparison tests, it has been noticed that the Dyson 360 Eye Robot experiences problems with common obstacles along its path, while the iRobot Roomba 980 performs significantly better in covering larger areas without getting stuck. (The Dyson was seen to work for only 20 minutes without interruption, while the Roomba 980 could go for close to an hour!)

  • Dimensions: You would like a robotic vacuum with a large cleaning width so that it covers a large area with each pass. For comparison, the Dyson 360 Eye Robot is 9 inches wide, the Neato Botvac is 11 inches wide, and the Eufy RoboVac 11 is 13" wide. At the same time, it’s best to have a robotic vacuum with a low profile, so that it’s able to slip under furniture easily. The Eufy RoboVac 11 is 3.1" tall, which allows it to go underneath your bed or sofa to clean.

  • Mapping out the room: You’ll find two major methods in which robot vacuums map out the region they are supposed to vacuum:

    1. Systematic mapping: The expensive, top-of-the-the-line versions use an infrared or digital camera to take a series of pictures of the room. For example, the Roomba 980 uses a method called Vision Simultaneous Localization and Mapping, which uses its camera to systematically travel the length and breadth of the room in straight lines.

    2. Random mapping: Older versions of robot vacuums, such as the Roomba 690, will randomly cover the room until it gets all of the debris. It will notice concentrations of debris and repeat going over those problem areas until they’re clean.

  • Size of dirt cup: Take note of the size of the robotic vacuum’s dirt cup. As the dirt cup fills up, the vacuum’s suction will decrease. The iLife V3’s dirt cup has a 0.3-liter-capacity, while the Dyson 360 Eye has a capacity of 0.4 liters. Some robotic vacuums will give you an indication of when to empty the dirt bin.

  • Recharging: Robotic vacuums will, of course, run on a rechargeable battery. But how does it recharge? The best devices will automatically sense when the battery power has dropped below a certain level, such as the bObsweep bObi Pet, which goes back to its docking station when battery power is below 15%. It travels towards the docking station, that you plug into the wall. Less sophisticated models of robotic vacuum might not make it to the docking station--it’ll be your responsibility to dock the device and make sure it recharges.

  • Battery life between rechargings: You’ll notice a wide range of recharging times and battery life for the various robotic vacuums. The Eufy RoboVac 11 and 11c take between 5-6 hours to fully charge up and give you 90 minutes of continual use. (For comparison, 45 minutes is generally sufficient for vacuuming 3 rooms.)

  • Adjust to height differences: It’s important that your robotic cleaner be able to go easily from hardwood or linoleum to a carpet, without risking getting stuck.  The iLife V3 has large “Road Rover” wheels which allow it to change height easily--being able to negotiate a 10-mm height difference between surfaces. The EcoVacs Deebot N79 can even go over a 1.4-mm height change!

  • Concentrating on one area: If you want, you can program the robotic vacuum to focus on one room. For example, some vacuums, such as the iRobot Roomba 960 and 980, employ a “virtual wall” beacon device, which gives the robot a signal not to go past a certain point. The Neato Botvac has a strip of black magnetic tape that you set in place, which tells the robot not to advance. Other vacuums, such as the Miele Scout RX1, has a spot-cleaning mode. Here, you place the vacuum down in the place that needs to be cleaned the most. The vacuum then spirals around in a 6-square-foot area around where you place it until it verifies that the area is clean.

  • Programmable: You’ll see that robotic vacuums are programmable in a number of ways:

    1. Onboard controls: All robotic vacuums will have onboard controls to program the date and time that you want to clean the house.

    2. Remote control: Most robotic vacuums will have a remote control will allow you to also enter in cleaning options--the time and course of cleaning, or whether you want the vacuum just to clean a particular area. The Roomba 880 can be programmed by onboard controls or remote control.

    3. WiFi connectivity: The most advanced robotic vacuums will have WiFi connectivity, to let you program the device by means of a Smartphone or iPhone app. They can also provide you with a map of the area covered when they finish. (An example is the Neato Botvac.)

  • Filtration: You’ll see robotic vacuums with a HEPA filter, which will capture more than 99% of allergens, pollen, and other debris smaller than 0.3 microns in size. The HEPA filter usually can also be washed and reused.

Top-Rated Brands

iRobot-- was co-founded in 1990 by MIT roboticists Colin Angle, Helen Greiner, and Rodney Brooks. At first they made robots for science research and space exploration purposes, but then in 2002 they made the Roomba floor vacuuming robot. Subsequent models of their floor cleaning robots also include intelligent visual navigation and WiFi capability.

Dyson--is a line of innovative vacuum cleaners, hair dryers, and other appliances, founded by the engineer and entrepreneur James Dyson. They make corded, cord-free, and robotic vacuums, as well as hair dryers, air purifiers, fans and heaters, hand dryers, and more. Dyson's robotic vacuum 360 Eye has increased suction and airflow for superior cleaning.

Eufy--is a brand of the company Anker, which is a leader in battery charging technology: wireless charging, car charging, wall chargers, and more. Eufy is their brand of robotic vacuums and automated lighting solutions. Other Anker brands Roav, including DashCam cameras and voice controlled devices, Nebula portable entertainment devices, and Zolo wireless headphones and speakers.

Ecovacs Robotics--is a maker of consumer electronics, founded in 1998 and based in Suzhou, China. They specialize in robotic appliances for the home, including floor-cleaning robots, window-cleaning robots, air purifiers, and even shopping assistants! Their Deebot Ozmo is capable of changing cleaning modes by sensing the nature of the floor, to know whether it should vacuum or mop it. Their Deebot Series is capable of different cleaning modes, depending on whether it has to pick up hair, dirt, or crumbs.

Pyle--is an electronics company that was founded in the 1960s, and based in Brooklyn, New York. They have three divisions of products: automotive electronics, home electronics, and professional electronics. They also have a selection of robotic vacuum cleaners, good on hardwood floors, rugs, or for multisurface cleaning.

SharkNinja--is a combination of two brands: Shark Clean and Ninja Kitchen. Shark, founded in 1998 in Montreal Canada, manufactures a series of robotic vacuums, as well as upright, stick, and cordless vacuums. Their robotic vacuums have remote control scheduling, or Wi-Fi connectivity and voice control.

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