Insider Picks writes about products and services to help you navigate when shopping online. Insider Inc. receives a commission from our affiliate partners when you buy through our links, but our reporting and recommendations are always independent and objective.
- Vacuuming is a real pain, but robot vacuum cleaners can suck up the dust for you.
- Programming one to vacuum daily can help maintain the cleanliness of your home.
- 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. The most advanced models can even map your home’s floor plan for more precise cleaning.
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:
- Best robot vacuum overall: iRobot Roomba 690
- Best robot vacuum under $250: Eufy RoboVac 11S
- Best robot vacuum for $350: Ecovacs Deebot 711
- Best robot vacuum under $600: iRobot Roomba 960
- Best self-cleaning robot vacuum: iRobot Roomba i7+
- Best self-navigating vacuum: Neato Botvac D7 Connected
Updated on 06/24/2019 by Les Shu: Updated selections, prices, links, and formatting.
Keep scrolling to read more about our top picks.
SEE ALSO: The best vacuums you can buy for less than $300
Best robot vacuum overall
The iRobot Roomba 690 sucks up dirt and debris, responds to voice commands, and costs less than $300.
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 less than $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 $279.99 (originally $374.99)
The best robot vacuum for less than $250
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 around $50 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 (in black) on Amazon for $223.99
The best robot vacuum for $450
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 we just couldn’t get enough of the Ecovacs Deebot 900. But our pick is actually the Deebot 711 — $50 cheaper than the 900 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 during my testing is the Deebot 711’s ability to map my home and quickly learn which areas are most in need of cleaning. That’s due to the robot’s Smart Navi Mapping Technology, which not only helps it adapt to any environment 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.
The Deebot is compatible with both Alexa and Google Assistant, so you can simply tell the robot to start cleaning by either using a voice command or use the companion smartphone app.
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 $429.99
The best robot vacuum for less than $600
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 at $499 on Amazon.
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 floor plan 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, app shows map of areas cleaned, cleans all rooms on the first floor without stopping
Cons: On the pricey side
Buy the iRobot Roomba 960 on Amazon for $499 (originally $699)
The best robot vacuum that self-cleans
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 93% of the people who reviewed the iRobot Roomba i7+ on Best Buy’s website 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. A recent firmware update, in April 2019, improved the vacuum’s mapping capability as well as its startup time. The firmware brings the i7+ in-line with the newest Roomba, the S9+, which shares similar technology except it has a filtration system for removing allergens and an updated design. — 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 Roomba i7+ from iRobot for $949.99
The best self-navigating robot vacuum for larger spaces
The Neato Botvac D7 Connected cleans efficiently, thanks to its ability to follow invisible no-go lines for precise navigation.
While going from an apartment renter to a homeowner has been an exciting experience, I quickly realized that having more space also equates to more time spent cleaning that space. Being able to automate any part of the cleaning process was welcome and made the idea of having a robot vacuum zipping around all the more appealing. This is where the Neato Botvac D7 Connected comes in.
While testing this self-navigating smart vacuum, I was immediately impressed with how much time it saved me. Thanks to laser smart technology, and the ability to place invisible “no-go” lines right in the app on my phone, the Botvac D7 effortlessly navigated around our 2,100 square-foot home. It can also save up to three different floor plans, making it ideal for multi-level homes like ours.
Since this is the first robot vacuum I’ve ever used, I took some time to run through the directions, but the overall set-up went smoothly, and there were no issues with internet connectivity. I placed its charging base in our living room, where our internet signal is strongest, and so far, it has had no issues with finding its way back to “home base” when it’s finished cleaning.
It should be noted that we have a mix of hardwood and linoleum floors, along with some throw rugs. We also have a kitten who enjoys shedding and tracking her litter everywhere. The Botvac D7 had no issues cleaning the different types of surfaces thanks to its ability to sense the floor-type it’s cleaning, and it picked up both cat hair and litter with ease with the dual spinning brushes.
The “D” shaped design allows this vacuum to navigate into corners, and closely along the walls and around furniture to pick up as much dirt and dust as possible. Thanks to being able to place “no-go” lines and the high-end laser technology, I luckily never had any issues with the Botvac D7 getting tangled in cords or stuck under furniture.
I do wish the bin were bigger to collect more dirt without having to be emptied as often, but on the upside, it is easy to remove and the filters are also easy to clean, making this far less of a chore than it could be.
Having a larger home, I especially appreciated the battery life of 120 minutes, and how quickly this vacuum charges. It even has “quick boost” charging if it runs out of power in the middle of a cleaning job, where it calculates the amount of power needed to get the job done, and then resumes cleaning once it’s been charged enough.
I also liked being able to choose which type of cleaning would be most effective. The different features include spot cleaning for a quick pick up and zone cleaning for the areas like around the kitchen table that tend to get dirtier more often. Different cleaning settings are available as well. The Eco-setting is slightly quieter and saves more energy, and the turbo clean setting is great for a deeper clean.
You can also schedule specific times for cleaning that can be controlled right from your smartphone so you can be busy working at the office while your vacuum is busy cleaning up your home.
While my cat is not yet sold on the Botvac D7, running for cover every time it starts up, I feel that it’s a worthwhile investment for anyone who’s looking for a way to add some ease to their cleaning schedule.
Its compatibility with both Alexa and Google Home devices for added ease of use is yet another feature that makes this robot vacuum worth the higher price point. — Kylie Joyner
Pros: Laser technology for precise navigation, invisible no-go lines can be placed for ultimate cleaning control, 120 minutes of battery power ideal for larger spaces, cleans quickly and efficiently, compatible with smart home devices including Alexa and Google Home
Cons: Small bin size, on the expensive side