Until fairly recently, robot vacuums were out of reach for the average consumer, especially compared to more affordable traditional models. However, the selection of budget-friendly options has grown substantially in the past few years, so there's no shortage of relatively affordable robot vacuums with differing feature sets and designs to better suit your cleaning needs. While many cheaper robot vacuums struggle with some cleaning tasks, especially when clearing bulky material or dealing with messes on carpets, some do at least a fair overall job.
We've tested over 50 robot vacuums, and below are our recommendations for what you can buy as the best cheap robot vacuums. These picks are selected not only based on their price but also their performance and feature set. For more buying recommendations, take a look at our list of the best robot vacuums for hardwood floors, the best robot vacuums, and the best cheap vacuum cleaners.
If you're looking for a hassle-free way of keeping your floors clean but want to spend as little as possible, the eufy RoboVac 25C is the best budget robot vacuum we've tested. Despite its very low price point, this budget-friendly robot vacuum delivers superb performance on bare, even surfaces, though it has a hard time on carpet and struggles with sucking up pet hair. Its companion app is basic but easy to use, and there's little lag when issuing a command with your phone. You can control it without an internet connection by using its included remote control, which is great if you have spotty Wi-Fi coverage at home.
If you're looking for a robot vacuum in a similar price bracket that feels better built, you could also consider the Shark ION Robot RV700 Series. It also features a larger dirt compartment and does a slightly better job maneuvering around obstacles, though it takes much longer to recharge and has even more parts that need periodic cleaning.
Look at the Roborock E4 if you're willing to spend a little more on a robot vacuum. Compared to the cheaper eufy RoboVac 25C, its twin internal gyroscopes and OpticEye camera-based motion tracking sensor allow it to chart its position in real-time, allowing for far more comprehensive, efficient room coverage, though it doesn't store a permanent map of its coverage area. It also does a great job of maneuvering itself, as it can easily negotiate its way around obstacles like couches or chairs and cleans in an organized, thorough manner. Unlike the eufy, it comes with a high-efficiency filter that's at least somewhat effective in sealing in fine allergens.
It delivers alright overall performance on low and high-pile carpet and performs exceptionally well on bare surfaces. Unusually for a vacuum at this price point, it has a surface detection feature that lets it automatically adjust its suction power to suit different surface types. However, there's no included remote control that would allow you to use most of its features without an internet connection.
If you feel comfortable spending a bit more on a robot vacuum, the Neato D8 is worth a look. It's usually on sale for a little under $250 and packs a pretty substantial punch for the price, with a wide array of features that are usually only found on much pricier models. Unlike the Roborock E4, it has a LIDAR mapping system which allows it to precisely plot out its coverage area so that you can schedule cleaning sessions for specific rooms or set up virtual boundary makers in its coverage map so that the vacuum won't cross. It also does a pretty good job of maneuvering itself, though its squared-off front end can cause it to get stuck in some tight spots.
Performance on bare floors is excellent, though it does have a slightly harder time clearing away debris embedded deeply within carpet fibers. Unfortunately, battery performance is unimpressive for a robot vacuum, as it has a max runtime of only 70 minutes when used in its most energy-efficient setting.
If you're looking for a robot vacuum for just under $300, it's hard to go wrong with the Wyze Robot Vacuum. It's a little more expensive than most other robot vacuums on this list, but like the Neato D8, it does have a LIDAR mapping sensor, which allows for quick and precise room mapping, even in the dark. It pulls ahead of the Neato in terms of maneuverability, as it does a better job of maneuvering itself around obstacles like tables or chairs and cleans in an organized pattern of straight lines. It also has a much longer max battery life of over two hours, though it does take a lot longer to recharge. You can use its companion app to set up virtual boundary lines and schedule cleaning sessions for specific rooms using the coverage map.
It delivers exceptional performance on bare floors and easily clears away pet hair on most surfaces. Unfortunately, one feature it's missing compared to the cheaper Roborock E4 is the latter's self-adjusting suction power feature, so you'll need to adjust this setting manually on some surfaces. Its dirt compartment is also tiny and needs regular emptying.
Dec 01, 2022: Replaced yeedi K650 with Roborock E4 as 'Best Robot Vacuum Under $200' pick due to current availability. Replaced Roborock E4 with Neato D8 as 'Best Robot Vacuum Under $250' pick due to current pricing. Added eufy RoboVac G30 and yeedi K650 to Notable Mentions.
Oct 04, 2022: Major article restructuring to better align with user requirements. Removed less relevant Notable Mentions picks.
May 25, 2022: Article rewrite to better align with user expectations. Recategorized Roborock E4 as 'Best Budget Robot Vacuum'. Recategorized Wyze Robot Vacuum as 'Best Budget LIDAR Robot Vacuum'. Added eufy Robovac 25C as 'Best Robot Vacuum Under $150'. Added yeedi K650 to Notable Mentions. Removed iRobot Roomba 694 from recommendations.
Mar 25, 2022: Removed Shark AI Robot from recommendations due to current pricing. Added iRobot Roomba 694 as new 'Alternative With A Larger Dustbin' category pick.
Jan 24, 2022: Replaced Shark EZ Robot Self-Empty AV911S with Shark AI Robot as new 'Alternative With More Advanced Automation Capabilities' category pick due to current pricing.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best cheap robot vacuums for most people. We factor in the price, feedback from our visitors, and availability.
If you'd like to do the work of choosing yourself, here's the list of all our robot vacuum reviews priced under $300. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While no vacuum is perfect for every use, most are good enough to please almost everyone, and the differences are often not noticeable unless you really look for them.