Best Robot Vacuum Cleaners 2019

By: Kealia Reynolds

The House Method team tested and reviewed the best robot vacuums to help you make a smart purchase. Keep reading to find the best vacuum cleaner for you and your cleaning needs.

Our reviews save you time, save you money, and they are always free. House Method is reader-supported. Advertiser Disclosure.

Robot vacuums are a great option for those who want an alternative to manual vacuuming. Though these vacuums can’t compete with the suction of upright vacuums, they offer advanced navigation capabilities, minimal maintenance, and longer run times, giving your house a more comprehensive clean. Keep reading our review of the best robot vacuum cleaners to determine which one is right for you.

Best robot vacuum cleaners

Conclusion
Pros
Cons
Best product

iRobot Roomba 980

Conclusion

Strong enough to pick up ground-in dust and hair on carpets, this robot vacuum delivers superior cleaning performance compared to other robot vacuums.

Pros

With a 3-stage cleaning system, this vacuum can zero in on dirt and clean up a mess in a single pass. It also features memory mapping and excellent navigation features.

Cons

The advanced features are only available through the iRobot HOME App, so if you don’t have a smartphone, you may experience some cleaning difficulties.

Best value

Eufy RoboVac 11

Conclusion

The Eufy offers up to six cleaning modes and is equipped with 11 infrared sensors for enhanced navigation.

Pros

It features BoostIQ technology for increased suction, a remote control for manual cleaning, and drop-sensing technology to avoid obstacles while vacuuming.

Cons

It doesn’t include accessories that set cleaning boundaries and it can’t be connected to WiFi.

Neato Robotics Botvac D7 Connected

Conclusion

This premium, D-shaped robot is able to clean corners better than most robotic vacuums and offers two suction settings.

Pros

It has a long battery life and is compatible with Amazon Alexa, IFTTT, Google Home, and Neato Chatbot for Facebook. Its D-shape enables it to clean corners and it uses LaserSmart technology to map and remember your unique floor plan.

Cons

This robot vacuum cleaner is a bit heavier than other robot vacuums and occasionally has trouble connecting to WiFi.

iRobot Roomba 690

Conclusion

One of the most affordable robot vacuum cleaners on the market, this is our top pick for those who want a basic robotic vacuum cleaner.

Pros

Featuring an easy-to-use app, scheduled cleanings, and a virtual wall barrier, this no-frills vacuum is a solid choice who are looking for a hands-off approach to vacuuming.

Cons

It has a less powerful cleaning system (it features the AeroVac instead of the AeroForce) than more advanced Roomba models.

iRobot Roomba 980

As iRobot’s most advanced vacuum to date, the Roomba 980 comes with a variety of updated features like Smart Mapping, Dirt Detect Technology, and innovative carpet agitators. In our opinion, this is the best robot vacuum on the market.

Design

This Roomba comes in a black and copper color scheme with a glossy interface. Its circular design allows it to clean close to furniture and move in a spiral direction on spot cleaning mode. Despite its round design, this robot vacuum can reach edges and corners with its edge-sweeping brushes, giving your home a more thorough and precise clean.

How it cleans

The Roomba 980 uses a three-stage cleaning process that agitates embedded dirt, lifts it up with its brushes, and sucks it into its dust bin. It also has an onboard camera sensor that locates obstacles in its path and several other sensors that create a visual map of your home and help the vacuum remember its cleaning pattern every time it cleans.

Usability

Since this vacuum is robotic, it’s incredibly easy to use. After completely charging it before use (this usually takes two to three hours), you can start the vacuum by pushing the “CLEAN” button on the top of its interface, pushing a start button in the iRobot HOME app, or scheduling it to clean with the app.

Setting up the app is a simple process and iRobot gives you step-by-step instructions on how to complete this. Once you’ve linked the app to your Roomba, you’ll be able to enjoy the convenience of controlling the vacuum from wherever you are.

Accessories

This Roomba comes with two virtual wall barriers (most Roombas come with only one virtual wall barrier). These barriers are great tools to use if you want to block off certain rooms or prevent the robot from cleaning around delicate areas. This vacuum also comes with a charging station and fine comb for removing tangles in its brushroll.

Our recommendation

We recommend the iRobot Roomba 980 if you want the best robot vacuum cleaner on the market. It has stellar mapping and navigational features and comes with virtual wall barriers that make cleaning your home a breeze. If you don’t mind the high price tag, the Roomba 980 is definitely worth the purchase.

Learn more about the iRobot Roomba 980

Eufy RoboVac 11

The Eufy RoboVac 11 comes with six different cleaning modes, drop-sensing technology, and a remote control that allows you to control the vacuum from the comfort of your couch. It’s one of the most affordable robot vacuums on the market and definitely competes with higher-priced vacuums.

Design

This robot vacuum has a circular shape and features a tempered glass interface. There are 11 infrared sensors located on the bottom of the vacuum cleaner, a drop sensor, a swivel, a wheel, two side brushes, and a central rolling brush. One of the smaller robotic vacuum cleaners we’ve reviewed, the Eufy makes a great choice for those who live in apartments, condos, or single-level homes.

How it cleans

The Eufy uses Power Boost technology that automatically increases the vacuum’s suction when moving across carpets and drop-sensing technology to prevent it from falling down stairs. It also has 11 infrared sensors that combine with a pressure-sensitive bumper for enhanced navigation. Another cleaning bonus? It carries up to 100 minutes per charge, allowing it to tackle a cleaning job without having to recharge.

Usability

Though this robot vacuum doesn’t have an app, it can clean your house with the press of a button or through a remote control controlled by the user.

Accessories

The Eufy RoboVac 11 comes with a charging base, a remote control (complete with two AAA batteries), a power adapter, a cleaning tool, two additional side brushes, a high-performance filter, and an additional foam filter.

Our recommendation

If you want a robot vacuum cleaner that doesn’t break the bank, go for the Eufy RoboVac 11. Its six cleaning modes, Power Boost technology, and infrared sensors make it a top contender among other robotic vacuums.

Buy the eufy RoboVac 11

Neato Robotics Botvac D7 Connected

Unlike other robot vacuums that clean with sensors, the Neato Botvac D7 navigates with lasers. Its LaserSmart technology is one of the most advanced navigational systems available for robot vacuums and allows the Neato to create a floor plan that it consistently follows.

Design

The robot’s unique, D-shaped design and CornerClever technology allows it to cover more ground and remove finer debris from corners. Its D-shape also allows for a 50% bigger brush than other round, robotic vacuums. Regarding aesthetics, the Neato Botvac D7 has a brushed-metal plate that gives it a more modern look and LED indicator lights on top of the vacuum. One design element to note: this robot vacuum is taller than Roomba models, so it may not be great for homes with low-set furniture.

How it cleans

As mentioned previously, the Neato uses LaserSmart technology that scans and maps your entire house, creating a floor plan for your robot to follow. Its multiple floor plan feature allows the Botvac D7 to remember up to three different floor plans, so you can set no-go lines on every floor of your house. Here are some other cleaning features of this robot vacuum:

  • It moves in straight lines instead of a random pattern.
  • It features a Turbo mode that sucks up deeply embedded dirt.

Usability

Using this vacuum is simple and easy. Schedule your robot vacuum to clean through the Neato app or start and stop your robot from your phone, Apple Watch, Amazon Echo, or Google Home device.

Accessories

The Neato Botvac comes with a charging dock, batteries, additional filters, spare brushes, boundary markers, and a cleaning tool. It also comes with magnetic strips that act as physical boundary markers, but you might not need to use them since you can set boundaries in the app.

Our recommendation

This is the best vacuum for those who want personalized cleaning paths and regularly scheduled cleaning times.

Learn more about the Neato Botvac D7 Connected

iRobot Roomba 690

Though the 690 is one of the most basic iRobot Roomba models, it provides adequate suction power, WiFi connectivity, and Dirt Detection technology. It doesn’t have the advanced cleaning technology that the Roomba 890 has, but it’s still a powerful and efficient vacuum for everyday cleaning.

Design

Circular in shape, the Roomba 690 has a black and silver body with a sleek interface. On top of the vacuum, you’ll find a start button, a home icon that sends the robot back to its charging dock, and a spot cleaning icon for individual messes. Because of its round shape, it doesn’t do a great job maneuvering into corners, but it does have an Edge-Sweeping Brush designed at a 27-degree angle to sweep debris away from edges and corners.

How it cleans

Like the Roomba 980, this robot vacuum uses a patented three-stage cleaning system to pick up everything from small particles to large debris. Some other cleaning features worth noting are one-click cleaning, which encourages the robot to actively drive around your home in search of debris with the push of a button, and Dirt Detection technology which provides additional suction to areas that contain more dirt and debris.

Usability

The Roomba 690 is incredibly easy to use and offers a hands-off approach to vacuuming. Like other Roomba models, the 690 is powered by a full suite of intelligent sensors that automatically guide the robot around your home. Start a cleaning job by pushing the “CLEAN” button on the vacuum’s interface or by scheduling a clean through the iRobot HOME App.

Accessories

This Roomba comes with a flat cleaning tool, a charging dock, an extra filter, and one virtual wall barrier.

Our recommendation

If you want a basic robot vacuum, opt for the Roomba 690. It’s the most affordable option for those who don’t necessarily need the newest, most updated technology on the market.

Learn more about the Roomba 690

Our pick

The Roomba 980 is our team’s number one pick for the best robot vacuum. Its suctioning abilities on hard floors, low-pile, and high-pile carpet are unmatched and it has a 120-minute battery life, which we found to be a crucial factor when choosing a robot vacuum to clean larger homes. We also love that it comes with two dual-mode virtual wall barriers, which allowed us to easily block off areas we didn’t want the Roomba to clean. Overall, the Roomba 980 proved to be the best robot vacuum because of its updated technology, great maneuverability, and simple usability.

Why choose a robot vacuum?

Robot vacuums, particularly Roombas, can be considered little luxuries. They offer unmatched convenience compared to all other vacuum types and their performance is shockingly good. If you’re tired of manually vacuuming your entire house or just don’t have the time to vacuum your house every week, consider investing in a robot vacuum.

Best robot vacuum for hard floors

The best robot vacuum for hard floors is the Roomba 980. During our suction tests, this vacuum had no problem sucking up Cheerios, kitty litter, coffee grounds, or pet hair. It picked up the substances in two passes or less and didn’t leave any scratches on the floor after going over the debris.

Best robot vacuum for high-pile carpets

The Roomba 980 once again performed best on high-pile carpet, receiving a perfect score. It was removed the Cheerios, kitty litter, coffee grounds, and pet fur from the high-pile carpet in a single pass.

Best robot vacuum for low-pile carpets

The Roomba 980 and the Neato Botvac D7 tied for the best robot vacuum for low-pile carpet. The Neato had to take an extra pass at the kitty litter while the Roomba 980 required an additional go-around to suck up the coffee grounds.  

Best robot vacuum for homes with pets

The best robot vacuum cleaner for homes with pets is the Roomba 980. With a large dust bin, a three-stage cleaning system, and an extra virtual wall barrier, the 980 is an ideal option for pet owners. The large dust bin means fewer trips to the trash can, a three-stage cleaning system lifts even the most deeply embedded pet hair and debris from carpets, and the extra virtual wall barrier allows you to protect dog bowls from being knocked over during the cleaning process.

Robot vacuum buyer’s guide

Before buying a robot vacuum, ask yourself the following questions to help you determine which vacuum cleaner is best for you:

  1. What’s your budget? It’s no surprise that robot vacuums are some of the most expensive vacuums on the market. Having a budget in mind will help you narrow down your search and prevent you from overpaying for an adequate robot vacuum. If you’re on a tight budget, we recommend going for the Eufy Boost 11 or iRobot Roomba 690.
  2. What type of floors do you have? Some robot vacuums, like the Eufy Boost 11, can’t clean on high-pile carpet while others, like the Roomba 980 and Roomba 690, can clean on both carpets and hard floors.
  3. Do you want the convenience of an app? Some robot vacuums, like the Roomba 980 and 690, come with an app while other robot vacuums won’t. If you want the convenience of scheduling cleaning jobs through an app instead of manually controlling a robot from a remote control, opt for a Roomba.
  4. Do you have pets? If you have pets that shed regularly, look for a robot vacuum that has a large dust bin, extended run time, and powerful cleaning technology.

4 factors to consider before buying a robot vacuum cleaner

Assembly

All of the robot vacuums we tested were neatly and securely packaged and didn’t require any assembly, other than some charging before use. We say “some” because most of the robot vacuums came with a partial charge that allowed us to use them for a short period of time before they retreated to their charging station. For best results, we recommend fully charging your robot vacuum before putting it to the test.

Design

Aside from the Neato Botvac D7, which has a D-shaped design, the robot vacuums all have a circular design. Expect most robot vacuums to have a height of three to four inches and a diameter or 12–13 inches.

Another design element to consider is the weight of each robotic vacuum. Most of the robots we tested weighed the same, and though you shouldn’t need to lift your robot often, it’s still something to consider if you have a multi-level home. The Roomba 980 weighs the least at only 8.7 pounds while the Eufy tips the scale at 13.23 pounds.

Maintenance

With outstanding performance and top-notch convenience, you’d think there’d be a catch like having to service these robot vacuums regularly. Fortunately, these robot vacuums are very low-maintenance, aside from having to regularly empty the small dust canister. The only other maintenance that you’ll need to consider is how often the filters and vacuum parts need to be cleaned and replaced. This information can usually be found on the manufacturer’s website.

Accessories

Robot vacuums aren’t designed to fit cleaning attachments like traditional vacuums are. Because of this design flaw, they don’t come with a ton of accessories. However, the Roomba vacuums come with a virtual wall barrier that allows you to section off areas of the house that you don’t want the vacuum to access. The Roomba 980 comes with two of these barriers, but if you don’t want to spend the full amount on the 980, these wall barriers can be purchased separately for models in the Roomba 600, 700, 800, and 900 series.

Frequently asked questions

Are robot vacuum cleaners worth it?

Robot vacuum cleaners are great for people who want a hands-off approach to vacuuming. Some robots, like the models in the iRobot Roomba series, have incredible suction power, extended run times, and large dust cups, with comparable cleaning performance to a stick or canister vacuum.

Which is the best robot vacuum for high-pile carpet?

The Roomba 980 is by far the best robot vacuum for high-pile carpet. It not only provides incredible suction power, but it has an easy time transitioning from hard floors to high-pile carpet.

What is the best robot vacuum for large homes?

For large, multi-story homes, we recommend the Neato Botvac D7 Connected. Its long, two-hour battery life and advanced mapping capabilities enable efficient cleaning over large areas.

Which robot vacuum has the longest battery life?

The Neato Botvac and the Roomba 980 have the longest battery life, both lasting 120 minutes.

About the author

Kealia is a staff writer and social media coordinator for House Method. She writes for a variety of beats, including home inspiration (her favorite), real estate, and home wellness.


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