Picking the best robot vacuum from over a hundred different models currently on offer, is a mammoth task. And without actually testing each robot vacuum on your short-list, you can’t check every feature works as well as the brand claims!
The best robot vacuums clean your floors when you’re busy doing something else at home or elsewhere. The high-end vacuums use Wi-Fi and a phone-app allowing you to control the robot from wherever you happen to be. However, some robots need to be supervised in case they get stuck by an obstacle and need re-setting. It’s true to say that paying more doesn’t always guarantee the best performance in electronic devices. However, in robot vacuums, the lowest-priced units don’t always work as completely unsupervised floor cleaners. On the other hand, our all-round best robot vacuum wasn’t the most expensive unit, either!
If most of your floor space is hard-flooring, with the odd rug, we can recommend the best robot model to keep them clean. And if you need the robot to cope with hard-floors, carpeting, and ‘stuff’ left casually on the floor, you’ll also find the best model here! Some homes have large areas of open flooring that’s easy for a robot vacuum to cover effectively. But smaller homes may have lots of table and chair legs occupying the floor space. So we’ve also found the most agile robot vacuum that clean between furniture legs really well. The best-quality robot floor cleaners are now highly effective and soon every home will have a robot vacuum taking care of this repetitive chore.
Check out our recommendations based on performance, value, durability, noise level and other important issues, and ensure you buy the best robot vacuum for your home!
As the all-round best robot vacuum, the Neato Botvac Connected is a wise investment, which fulfils everything you could wish for in an effective, unsupervised floor cleaner. It sucks up large and small types of dry floor debris efficiently, including cereal, flour and sawdust, from vinyl, wood and carpeted floors. In tests to check how well the robot navigates in the average home, it was great to watch this device move around table and chair legs, and then under sofas and beds. The Neato Botvac was far superior in its ability to switch from different flooring types without any problem at all.
It can clean hard flooring with rugs and then move on to a carpeted room sucking up dust, fluff and stuff as it goes. With strong suction, excellent navigation and the agility that lets it ‘climb’ over minor floor obstacles, and continue cleaning, it was a joy to watch the Botvac work! It’s also easy to set-up, and stands out for having by far the easiest controls with a clear menu and even error messages that say what’s wrong, without you needing to find the leaflet and look it up. Best of all, you can use the handy phone app for completely ‘remote-control’, so it cleans while you’re out.
- Best suction power on hard floors
- Fast worker and easy to use
- Remote-control with phone app
- At 72 decibels fairly loud
- No wet mop mode
- No remote-control unit included
The iRobot Roomba 980 came out as the best robot vacuum for its incredible agility, when cleaning rooms in which the furniture is closely packed. It fulfils its purpose as a floor cleaner that maintains all types of floor clean, without needing your attention extremely well. It moves from room to room, handling the switch between different floor types easily. In particular, it managed to clean in and around limited areas where sofas, and furniture legs cover the floor.
It’s definitely a ‘set and forget’ robot vacuum cleaner! The iRobot Roomba 980 stands out from many other robot cleaners, which often need re-starting when stuck against obstacles. This model easily rates among the best for strong suction on carpets and hard-floors in general. However, it isn’t the best robot for lifting pet hairs from flooring. It has a handy, carrying handle making it easy to carry up and down stairs, which is needed because this is quite a large model. It doesn’t have a display telling you error codes and when it needs re-charging, but a recorded voice message gives this information.
- Best for agility around furniture legs
- Strong suction in general
- Switches between types of surface easily
- Recorded voice gives status information
- Guarantee twice as long as average
- Not as powerful suction as some other models
- Larger and heavier than other models
The best robot vacuum for fast re-charging is the Neato Botvac D3, which only takes 40-minutes to fully charge the battery. This is a very short re-charge period, compared with other robot vacuums that average 3 ½ hours and can need as long as 6 hours. Its run-time is shorter than some robot vacuums. But this is a very practical feature for homes with children/pets that need frequent, short cleaning sessions.
This Neato robot vacuum isn’t as high performing as some other Neato models, and it doesn’t pick-up as much stuff from hard floors as some other robot vacuums. However, it’s designed to be available for repeat cleaning and fast re-charging throughout the day, so it’s ready for every little spill. And the Neato D3 can also be used as a remotely controlled vacuum cleaner, using the smartphone app, so you can go out and leave the D3 to clean your floors! What a wonderful gift this could be for anyone caring for small children!
- Ready for frequent short cleaning sessions
- Short charging time
- Cleans carpets well
- Smartphone app for control wherever you are
- Not the best robot for hard-floor cleaning
The Miele Scout RX1 deserves its place as the best robot vacuum for cleaning quietly. It generates a low 56 decibels, which is incredibly quieter than the 70 decibels the loudest robot vacuums generate. And it’s much quieter still than upright vacuum cleaners which easily generate 79 decibels. Vacuuming your home can cause you a headache, or annoy neighbors in apartment blocks. If you spill something on the carpet after 10 p.m. using the average vacuum cleaner would wake up anyone already asleep. And if you’re an early riser, who likes to vacuum the floors before breakfast, this would be a good robot vacuum to buy.
This is the quietest robot vacuum cleaner we know of. It lets you continue normal conversations, phone calls, and watch TV while your robot gets on with cleaning the floors. The Miele Scout didn’t score as highly as some other units, for picking-up every sort of debris or moving around obstacles without needing help. However, it does a good all-round floor-cleaning job, and won’t cause you, or your neighbors, a headache every time it’s used!
- Low noise 56 decibels
- You can chat/phone call/work as it cleans
- Use any hour without upsetting neighbors
- Good general floor-cleaning
- May struggle with pet hairs
The Ecovacs Deebot M82 came out top in our best robot vacuum for value for money. It cleaned up dust and cat litter, sawdust and cereal better than many other vacuums in the same price bracket. It has a slimmer profile than some competing brands, which allows it to glide under furniture and suck-up debris from corners better than the majority of competing vacuums. And it costs significantly less than the average price of the top-selling robot vacuums.
However, it would be best suited to a pet-free home, as it doesn’t remove pet-hair as well as other devices. And it doesn’t switch from hard flooring to rugs as well as other vacuums in similar ranges. The Deebot M82 doesn’t have a display panel for error codes and to tell you when the unit needs recharging. But when balanced against the strong suction and cleaning ability for this robot vacuum, many users don’t mind being around to re-start it if necessary.
- Strong suction
- Side-brushes clean corners well
- Slim profile slides under furniture
- No complicated controls
- Doesn’t pick-up all pet hair
- No error code display
- tell you when to recharge
- Customer service hard to contact
We hope this overview gives you the information you need to choose a first-rate, robot vacuum for your needs. Lots of users say buying their robot vacuum cleaner was a life-changing investment, freeing them from the tiring and time-consuming task of floor cleaning – forever!