Investing in the best robot vacuum will mean you’ll have clean floors without lifting a finger. These little cleaning robots trundle around your home, picking up dirt, dust and debris from carpets, hard floors, and rugs, while you put your feet up. Short of paying a cleaner, this is about as hands-off as you can get.
Robot vacuums have been around for a while now, and though some earlier models were a bit clunky, the latest and best robot vacuums are anything but. They employ cutting-edge tech such as lasers and cameras to create logical cleaning patterns, map rooms and navigate around your home. They can avoid falling down flights of stairs and clever app integration means you can tell them where to avoid cleaning.
Not only will a robot vacuum do all the hard work for you, but most allow you to schedule cleans, so you don’t even need to be at home when it gets to work. You will have to empty the dust canister though, unless you opt for a self-emptying robot, which as the name suggests, will empty its own dirt bin into a bag in the charging base, which you’ll only need to change every so often.
Unlike some of the best upright vacuums, a robot is designed for regular cleans rather than a weekly deep clean. They have batteries that can outlast those found on some cordless vacuums and will even go back to the charger when the battery runs low, resuming a clean after charging. Advancements in technology mean robot vacuums are among the best vacuum cleaners you can buy right now. However, don’t ditch your existing vacuum as you'll need it for stairs (if you have them) and deeper cleans. Make these manual cleaning sessions as efficient as possible by discovering how to vacuum and how often you should vacuum.
We’ve put a number of designs to the test, looking at how well they collect fine dust and larger debris from hard floors and carpets, as well as the noise level and battery life to help you decide which is the best robot vacuum for you.
The best robot vacuum 2022
The iRobot Roomba S9+ really is the best robot vacuum you can buy right now, although with such a hefty price tag, it will be out of the reach of some. It is self-emptying and also has five angled arms on its brush to really get into corners and along walls.
During testing it proved to be simple to use and the S9+ impressed us when it came to sucking everything from fine dust and biscuit crumbs to cereal on hard floors, although it’s pick-up on carpets wasn’t quite as thorough - although our existing cordless vacuum also struggled to suck up some of the remaining fine dust, suggesting this is deeply embedded into the pile.
The Roomba S9+ is self emptying, and deposits the debris from each clean into the 14.9oz / 440ml replaceable dust bag in the charging and emptying station - meaning you won’t find yourself having to regularly empty the robot vacuum, either. You’ll get an alert on the app when it needs replacing, but at $14.99 / £21.95 / AU$59 for three bags, this creates an ongoing cost for the robot vacuum.
There’s also a filter for allergy sufferers that captures 99 percent of mould, pollen, and dust mite allergens. It’s smart too - mapping your home so it knows every nook and cranny and even offers integration with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
Read our full review: iRobot Roomba S9 Plus (opens in new tab)
For those seeking a robot vacuum on a budget, the Eufy 11S is worth considering. At $219.99 / £189.99 / AU$229, and often discounted, you’ll be hard pushed to find anything cheaper on the market.
That’s not to say the affordable price tag means compromising on dust pick-up. On test, it picked up dry oats from both a medium-pile carpet and a hard floor with ease and finer dust made from flour and cookies was also no problem for it on a hard floor - although it wasn’t as good on carpets. It’s slim too, meaning it has no problems cleaning under furniture with low clearance. However, with a smaller dust bin compared to other models on the market, and no app control or integration with voice assistants, there are some compromises to be made for the low price - although that will be music to the ears of those that want a simplistic robot vacuum.
It doesn’t take the same logical path around a home when cleaning as other more expensive Eufy models do. Sometimes it’ll go in straight lines and sometimes seek out the edges of a room, while on occasions it’ll travel in circles, which means it may take slightly longer to clean the whole room or floor. It wasn’t always that good at moving around objects – low-level things seemed to fox it the most, such as deep-pile rugs, piano pedals, and pet food bowls.
Read our full review: Eufy RoboVac 11s (opens in new tab)
There's nothing worse than having to dash around your home collecting up items that have been left around before you set a robot vacuum on a cleaning spree. If you don't there's a chance they will get tangled in the brush roller and cause lasting damage, not to mention the time you'll need to put in to remove the item.
However, the iRobot Roomba J7 Plus can put an end to this, as it uses its built-in camera and other sensors to identify and avoid obstacles in its path. On test, it managed to navigate around both a sock that escaped the laundry pile and a charging cable we left in its way.
As with other Roomba vacuums in this list, the dust pick up on both carpet and hard floors was excellent, and its a self-emptying model so you don't need to empty the robot vacuum's dust box, although there is an ongoing in the form of the replaceable dirt bags the robovac empties the debris in to.
We also found the side brushes tended to scatter larger debris around the room, which made cleaning slightly longer and there wasn't a clear battery level. However, its smarts far outweigh these minor gripes.
Read our full review: iRobot Roomba J7 Plus (opens in new tab)
The Ecovas Deebot X1 Omni is a mop and vacuum in one, but rather than just slosh water over your hard floors, it can also scrub them. In our tests, it was able to remove dried coffee and cola from laminate flooring with ease.
It’s got a built-in camera designed to help it ‘see’ around your home, although in our testing it still struggled with avoiding small obstacles such as a sock and a charging cable and attempted to suck them up instead. When the vacuum isn’t cleaning, you can get it to act as a security guard for your home, letting you see and speak to anyone in the house through the app.
We were impressed by its suction power too, as it collected fine dust and debris from hard floors and carpets with ease.
It's self-emptying and cleaning, too, which makes for a truly hands-off floor cleaning experience, but does mean you have to put up with the extremely bulky docking station, which is imposing, to say the least.
Read our full review: Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni (opens in new tab)
The Dyson 360 Heurist is the first robot vacuum that can really rival a cordless vacuum when it comes to cleaning power. It’s got 20% more suction than Dyson’s previous robot vacuum cleaner, the Dyson 360, and as the motorised brush runs the entire width of the vacuum cleaner, you get full suction power even on the edges of rooms. It’s a narrower design than most robot vacuums, but the trade-off is, its taller too. So while it does a great job at squeezing in narrow gaps, it struggles to get under some furniture.
There’s no denying it’s slow to set-up, as the vacuum uses a camera to map rooms rather than LiDAR but your patience will pay off. Once that’s completed, you’ll be able to split your house into zones and set restrictions such as avoiding altogether, not using the spinning brush bar (good for delicate hard floors and deep pile carpets) and stopping the vacuum from attempting to climb furniture.
It works with both Alexa and Google Assistant, so you can use your voice to start it cleaning. However, in our experience, it can’t avoid obstacles, such as cables and shoes; so you’ll need to pick these up yourself and on full power, it’s louder than most of its competitors, coming in at around 70db.
Read our full review: Dyson 360 Heurist (opens in new tab)
If you want a robot vacuum that's great for collecting pet hair as well as other dust and debris, look no further than this model.
The Roomba i7+ excelled at collecting pet hair as well as fine dust during testing. In many ways equal to its bigger sibling - the Roomba S9 - it’s got the same smarts when it comes to mapping your home, and integrates with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. It also uses the same large capacity dust bag to ensure you’re only removing all the dust and debris collected around every 30 days, although it's also available without the self-emptying base, for a slightly more affordable price tag.
However, when it comes to suction power it just can’t compete. During testing, we found it was best suited to quick daily cleans, but struggled to remove the level of larger debris and ground-in dirt the S9 could. That said, for most people this robot vacuum strikes the right balance between price and cleaning power.
The replaceable dust bags do mean the robovac comes with an ongoing cost - the bags are priced at $14.99 / £21.95 / AU$59 for three. It also retains the familiar circular design and rotating body found on previous Roomba robot vacuums, so it has no problems manoeuvring through narrow areas.
Read our full review: iRobot Roomba i7+ (opens in new tab)
The Roborock S6 MaxV stands out for battery life. Roborock says it will manage up to three hours of continuous cleaning in its least powerful mode. During testing, we used the middle-of-the-road ‘balanced mode’ which meant 30 minutes cleaning over an area of 20 square meters (215 square feet) depleted the battery by 20% - a decent level of performance.
The Roborock S6 MaxV has dual cameras and a Lidar, so it’s quick when it comes to mapping a room, it’ll even mark obstacles like discarded shoes or furniture on the map, and snap a photo which can be seen in the app. The app even uses AI processing to identify the obstacle, which works most of the time.
We were impressed with its dust pick up on carpets and hard floors - offering similar suction to its competitors. It can mop as well as vacuum, too but its dual function means it’s one of the biggest robot vacuums we’ve tested. At 19.2 x 16 x 6.1in (48.8 x 40.6 x 15.6cm) it takes up a significant amount of space and did struggle to get between chair legs. However, it’s surprisingly quiet in use, making it more of a gentle giant.
Read our full review: Roborock S6 MaxV (opens in new tab)
If you love the idea of a robot vacuum that can mop as well as vacuum, but you’re on a budget - this hybrid floor cleaner from Eufy is well worth considering. At just under half the price of the Ecovacs Robovacs that can mop as well - and often discounted - this certainly comes with a more affordable price tag.
On test, the Eufy G30 Hybrid collected fine dust, cookie crumbs and larger debris – including cereal – with ease, even on the lowest power setting from hard floors, although like most robot vacuums it struggled with ground in dirt on carpets. The dust canister and water tank are smaller than on rival models, however we think this is an acceptable compromise given the more affordable price tag.
While the robot vacuum takes a methodical path backward and forward through a room, mapping its path - these can’t be saved for future cleans, so it’s not quite as smart as other robot vacuums we’ve tested.
Read our full review: Eufy RoboVac G30 Hybrid (opens in new tab)
The Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo N8+ can vacuum as well as mop ensuring your hard floors are left sparkling. Just like the Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI it can also detect carpet, and when it does will stop mopping to ensure your floor coverings don’t end up sopping wet.
However, it builds on this with an Auto-Empty Station and will empty the on-board 14.2oz / 420ml dust canister automatically into a disposable bag after every clean. So you only have to worry about emptying the robot vacuum once a month or so.
We found it sucked up fine dust as well as larger debris on hard floors on the lowest power setting, but required the highest suction setting to remove most visible traces of flour from medium pile carpets. We were disappointed there’s no spot cleaning option either.
We found the robot vacuum became stuck a few times and repeatedly banged into pet food bowls, as it doesn’t have the same level of sensors as found on Ecovacs more expensive models. However, it's a good buy for large homes with plenty of hard floors, and thanks to app control and voice integration, busy families, too.
Read our full review: Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo N8+ (opens in new tab)
If you struggle with allergies, the Neato D10 is worth considering. It's one of the few robovacs with a built-in HEPA filter, which according to Neato traps captures 99.97% of allergens as small as 0.3 microns.
On test, we found the D10 offered good pick-up both on carpets and hard floors. Even better, the battery offers up to 300 minutes of runtime, although this is on the lowest suction setting.
However, in spite of its D-shaped design, which Neato says is good for edges and corners of rooms, we found it struggled to collect all of the debris from the corners and crevices of the baseboards in our home.
We also found the robot vacuum has a tendency to try and climb up low-lying furniture, while the customization of maps in the app wasn't as robust as we'd have liked. That said, it's still a great performing robot vacuum.
Read our full review: Neato D10 (opens in new tab)
How we test robot vacuums
To identify the best robot vacuums, we put models from big brands such as Shark, Dyson, and Roomba to the test along with smaller names including Eufy and Roborock. We evaluate the dirt pick-up of each model covering both fine dust and cookie crumbs, along with larger particles including cereal, while also looking at whether its pick-up on edges and in crevices is as good as on large surface areas.
As well as assessing how effectively the robot vacuums clean floors, we also compare how easily they maneuver on carpet and hard floors, as well as whether the robovac takes a logical path around a home or cleans in a random pattern, which means areas could easily be missed. We also looked for robot vacuums that can learn the layout of your home meaning they can be dispatched to clean a certain room or areas in just a few taps.
We rate each robot vacuum on how easy it was to empty, how loud it is in use, and how long the battery lasts between charges, too.
Best Robot Vacuum FAQs
What to consider when buying a robot vacuum
There are a number of aspects you should consider when choosing the best robot vacuum cleaner for you.
As well as deciding on whether you want a robovac that just vacuums or one that mops as well, it’s also important to consider battery life, as nobody wants a robot vacuum that runs out of power halfway through cleaning your home. Similarly look for robot vacuums that have large dust canisters, or those that empty their own dust bins, meaning it really can be left to clean your floors unaided.
Some robot vacuums take a methodical path across your floors which ensures the vacuuming process is quick and efficient. However, these tend to be more expensive than robot vacuums that employ a random route when cleaning your floors.
Also, look for a smart mapping feature that ensures the robot vacuum learns the layout of your home and can clean specific rooms or areas at the touch of a button, and those that allow you to set no-go areas that the robot vacuum won’t even attempt to clean - ideal if you have teenagers, which leave their clothes all over their bedroom floor.
Are robot vacuums worth it?
In short, yes. Robot vacuums can be more expensive than an upright or cordless vacuum but you’re paying for the added convenience of not having to do the vacuuming yourself. Robot vacuums are a great solution for busy people who simply don’t have time to put the vacuum around but they also offer a good alternative for those with mobility issues because all you need to do is switch them on.
Many robot vacuums cope well with both hardwood floors and carpeted areas but if your home has lots of staircases then, you’ll need an additional vacuum to clean the stairs. With many robot vacuums suitable for programming from your phone, you’ll be able to switch these devices on when you’re out and about and come home to clean floors.
Do robot vacuums work on pet hair?
Just like other types of vacuum, many of the best robot vacuums in this list, and other models we've tested, are effective at collecting pet hair as well as fine dust and larger debris from floors.
Designs that are offer aa Boost or Turbo mode are ideal if you have thick-pile carpets or rugs as they ensure you can temporarily increase the suction power, ensuring no fur remains after cleaning.
The best models to choose are ones that have rubber brushes that are free from bristles so the per hair doesn't get trapped around them. Although that's not to say robot vacuums with bristled brush bars aren't as effective at collecting the hair. If you do choose one of these, look for a design that comes with a tool to help remove pet (or human) hair that's got tangled to make your life easier.
Can a robot vacuum replace a normal vacuum?
Robot vacuums can offer a very impressive clean, even on thick carpets which makes them a good alternative to upright or other types of vacuums. They’ll be more convenient too as you can set them to work when you’re busy doing other things. The dust cups on robot vacuums are often smaller than you’d expect to find on a canister or an upright vacuum cleaner.
While robot vacuums don’t have crevice tools that work well down the side of your sofa or on your stairs, these machines do normally have small brushes on the outside of their shells. The brushes do a good job of getting close to baseboards and making sure that any crumbs or dirt on hard floors doesn’t escape the vacuum’s suction. However, as of yet, they can't clean stairs.
Read more on this subject by reading can a robot vacuum replace your existing vacuum cleaner?
How do robot vacuums work?
Robot vacuums have a series of brushes on the underside of the machine that work together to collect dirt and dust that they come in contact with. The dirt is then sucked up into the dust cup, which is fitted in the body of the vacuum. Most are fitted with smaller brushes that extend past the circumference of the vacuum and the purpose of these is to reach dirt that’s settled against baseboards or in awkward places.
More advanced robot vacuums have lasers on the front of the machine and some on the underside of the machine too. These lasers detect where furniture, objects, and edges are in your home helping to avoid bumps and cliff detection prevents the machine from falling down the stairs. Read our article How do robot vacuums work to find out even more.
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