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 it comes to clearing bulky material or dealing with messes on carpets, some do at least a fair overall job.
We've tested over 35 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 Roborock E4. This impressively built robot vacuum does an outstanding job of cleaning pet hair and debris like rice and cereal from bare floors. It comes with an allergen-trapping HEPA filter, which is helpful if you have a pet that sheds.
It does a very good job of maneuvering around a room, following an efficient S-shaped route. It's small enough that it can clean under most furniture. It has a remarkable battery performance, lasting over three hours even on its most powerful 'Max' setting. It also has three other settings it can automatically select based on the type of surface it's cleaning.
Unfortunately, it incurs quite a few recurring costs since the HEPA filter, brushroll, and side brush all need to be replaced from time to time. It's also fairly demanding to maintain since there are quite a few parts that need to be serviced regularly. That said, this robot vacuum offers a fantastic performance on bare floors, making it one of the best robot vacuums we've tested.
If you're looking for a robot vacuum with an even broader suite of automation features, take a look at the eufy RoboVac G30 Edge. It doesn't perform as well as the Roborock E4 on any surface type and doesn't feel as well-built, but it does come with a couple of physical boundary strips that can be used to prevent the vacuum from entering certain areas. It feels decently well-built and has a compact, low-profile design that allows it to fit under couches and tables. Battery performance is also excellent, with the vacuum being capable of providing roughly anywhere between 70 and over 110 minutes of runtime depending on your usage habits and choice of suction power setting. Unfortunately, it incurs higher recurring costs than the Roborock and has many parts that need to be regularly cleaned. It also really struggles with cleaning pet hair on a variety of surface types.
Get the Roborock if you prioritize performance and build quality, but take a look at the eufy if you want a slightly broader spread of automation features.
The best budget robot vacuum for carpets that we've tested is the Wyze Robot Vacuum. This vacuum does a decent job of clearing debris like sand, baking soda, or pet hair from high-pile carpet, though it struggles somewhat with fine material on low-pile carpet. It's also more than capable of maneuvering on high-pile carpet.
It feels quite well-built, with a primarily high-grade plastic construction that looks and feels reasonably premium. It also supplies over an hour of continuous runtime even its high-power 'Strong' mode, which should be enough to cover most areas, though its battery life can extend roughly past two hours if it's run on its low-power 'Quiet' mode. Unusually for a vacuum at this price point, it's equipped with a smart pathing navigation system that allows it to plot increasingly efficient cleaning routes in its coverage area. You can also set up virtual boundary markers or schedule cleaning sessions for individual rooms through its companion app.
Unfortunately, it has a small dirt compartment that needs to be emptied fairly frequently. Many parts need to be replaced or maintained regularly, though, for the most part, the various components are quite easy to access. It can also only be purchased from the manufacturer's website currently. Overall, if you're looking for a robot vacuum with an advanced suite of automation features that does an alright job of cleaning carpets, this is a solid, value-conscious choice.
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 clears 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 allows it to 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.
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.
Feb 18, 2021: Checked picks to make sure the best products are still being recommended, and that they're in stock.
Jan 28, 2021: Replaced the bObsweep Bob Pro with the Yeedi K150 as the 'Cheaper Alternative' to the 'Best Budget Robot Vacuum Cleaner for Bare Floors' because of the Yeedi's lower price and better performance on bare surfaces. Added the bObsweep to Notable Mentions.
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.