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 30 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 hands-off way to keep your floors clean but want something a bit cheaper, consider the Yeedi K650. This well-built model doesn't maneuver itself as well as the Roborock E4, but it's more affordable and delivers a fantastic performance on bare floors. Its dirt compartment has a slightly bigger capacity, and it has a longer maximum battery life of nearly four hours, depending on what power setting you choose. The companion app allows you to create a schedule for the vacuum, see a cleaning log, and adjust the suction power. Unfortunately, it cleans in a random pattern and sometimes misses spots or bumps into obstacles. It also lacks an allergen-trapping HEPA filter.
Go for the Roborock if you want the robot vacuum with the best performance on bare floors. Consider the Yeedi if you don't mind sacrificing some performance for a lower price.
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. There are also many parts that need to be replaced or maintained on a regular basis, 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 eufy RoboVac 11S is the best cheap robot vacuum cleaner that we've tested. This very affordable option has a fantastic battery performance, as it provides roughly one to two hours of continuous use, depending on what power setting is used. It's light enough to easily carry around and very compact, so it shouldn't have any issue cleaning under low-lying furniture.
It delivers its best performance on bare floors like hardwood or laminate, where it has no issue clearing debris like rice and cereal, and it's also effective at cleaning pet hair from carpets. It has a decent-sized dirt compartment for a robot vacuum, so you can empty it a little less often. It comes with a remote control that allows you to create a cleaning schedule and set the suction power and cleaning mode without an internet connection.
However, its performance can drop as its dirt compartment fills up, especially when it comes to sucking up debris like cereal from bare floors. It also struggles to clear fine debris from carpets. Also, it has demanding maintenance needs and high recurring costs. Still, it's among the best cheap robot vacuums that we've tested, and it's even on our list of the best robot vacuums for pet hair.
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.
Jan 07, 2021: Added the Shark ION Robot 2020 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.