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 40 robot vacuums, and below are our recommendations for what you can buy as the best robot vacuums on a budget. 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.
The best budget robot vacuum for bare floors that we've tested is the Wyze Robot Vacuum. This budget-friendly robot vacuum delivers superb performance on bare floors, where it easily cleans pet hair and small and bulky debris like rice or cereal. It also has a HEPA filter to trap allergens as you clean.
Unlike many budget-friendly robot vacuums, it has a LIDAR navigation system that stores a map of its coverage area, allowing you to set up virtual boundary markers and schedule cleaning sessions for individual areas. It does a good job maneuvering itself, and its ability to navigate around obstacles improves over several cleaning sessions. It feels well-built and offers excellent overall battery performance, though its maximum runtime of over two hours still isn't quite as long as some alternatives.
Unfortunately, this vacuum has a very small internal dustbin that needs frequent emptying. Also, it has quite a few parts that need to be cleaned or replaced regularly, so recurring costs can add up over time. Still, its relatively affordable price, strong performance on bare floors, and advanced automation features make it one of the best robot vacuums that we've tested.
If you'd prefer to use a robot vacuum without the need for an internet connection, you may want to consider the bObsweep Bob Pro. This budget-friendly robot vacuum has more parts that require regular maintenance than the Wyze Robot Vacuum, but it does come with a remote controller, allowing you to use the robot vacuum even if you don't have a stable internet connection. It has a larger dustbin and a longer battery life, with roughly three hours of continuous runtime depending on your usage habits, though this can vary in the real world. It delivers impressive performance on bare floors, though it struggles quite a bit when sucking up pet hair, which can get tangled in its brushroll. In addition, it lacks any suction power or surface type adjustment feature. It does have a smart-pathing navigation system, but it doesn't have a companion app, and unlike the Wyze, you can't set up virtual boundary lines or schedule cleaning sessions for specific rooms.
Get the Wyze if you're looking for a better-performing robot vacuum with more advanced automation features, but consider the bObsweep if you have a less reliable internet connection at home.
The best budget robot vacuum for carpets that we've tested is the Roborock E4. This budget-friendly robot vacuum does a fantastic job of sucking up pet hair on low and high-pile carpets. It also clears a decent amount of larger debris like sand from low-pile carpets, though it may need to make another pass to clean it all on high-pile carpet, and it can struggle with fine debris like baking soda on carpeted surfaces.
This vacuum's automatic surface detection feature enables it to change its suction power mode depending on the floor type that it's on. Its optical navigation system creates fairly efficient S-shaped cleaning patterns and allows it to maneuver around obstacles quite effectively. It also delivers fantastic overall battery performance, as you can expect roughly anywhere between two to over three hours of runtime on a single charge, which should be sufficient for cleaning most spaces.
Unfortunately, this vacuum takes a while to recharge. It also lacks some of the more advanced automation features found in some alternatives, as while it does output a coverage map following the end of a cleaning session, you can't use it to set up no-go zones or schedule cleaning sessions for specific rooms. Like many robot vacuums, recurring costs are also rather high, and many parts need periodic maintenance. Otherwise, if you're looking for a budget-friendly robot vacuum for carpet cleaning, this is a fair option.
The yeedi K650 is the best cheap robot vacuum cleaner that we've tested. This robot vacuum delivers fantastic performance on bare floors, where it easily cleans pet hair as well as bulky and small debris, like cereal or rice. There isn't a major loss in suction performance as its dirt compartment fills up too, which is good if the vacuum has a larger mess to clean.
Despite its budget-friendly price, it feels well-built, with a primarily dense matte-finish plastic body and wheels with rubber treads. Its compact size makes it easy to store and lets it maneuver under couches, tables, and other furniture. Depending on your choice of power setting, this vacuum can supply roughly anywhere between 50 to over 230 minutes of continuous runtime, which should be sufficient for cleaning most large areas.
Unfortunately, it struggles quite a bit with cleaning messes on low-pile carpet, particularly small, fine material like baking soda and pet hair. Its basic navigational system means that it often bumps into obstacles while maneuvering around a room. While you can't set up virtual boundary markers, you can buy magnetic boundary strips separately to prevent the vacuum from entering certain areas. Overall, this vacuum's good build quality and superb bare floor performance make it a solid choice if you're looking for cheap hands-free cleaning.
Sep 27, 2021: Swapped pick categories for Wyze Robot Vacuum and Roborock E4 due to the latter's automatic superior on-carpet performance: Roborock E4 is now the 'Best Budget Robot Vacuum Cleaner For Carpets' pick while Wyze Robot Vacuum is the 'Best Budget Robot Vacuum Cleaner For Bare Floors' pick.
Jul 29, 2021: Removed eufy RoboVac G30 Edge as 'Alternative With Boundary Markers' pick due to current pricing. Added bObsweep Bob Pro to main picks as 'Alternative With A Remote Controller'. Removed bObsweep Bob Pro from Notable Mentions.
May 31, 2021: Replaced eufy RoboVac 11S with Yeedi K650 as 'Best Cheap Robot Vacuum Cleaner' pick due to current pricing. Replaced Yeedi K650 as 'Cheaper Alternative' pick with eufy RoboVac G30 Edge as 'Alternative With Boundary Markers' pick. Added eufy RoboVac 11S to Notable Mentions.
Apr 01, 2021: Replaced iRobot Roomba E5 with Wyze Robot Vacuum due to superior cleaning performance on low and high-pile carpet. Added iRobot Roomba E5 to Notable Mentions.
Mar 11, 2021: Confirmed all picks are in stock and still the best recommendations for our users.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best budget-friendly 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.