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The 4 Best Robot Vacuums - Summer 2024 Reviews

Updated Apr 03, 2024 at 08:59 am
Best Robot Vacuums

If you don't have time to regularly sweep or vacuum, robot vacuums are an easy way to ensure your home stays clean without needing to do all the work. Since they use technology like lasers or cameras to navigate and maneuver around a room, they can avoid furniture and get beneath couches and tables relatively easily. Some of the best automatic vacuums can self-empty their dirt compartments, reducing the work you need to do. Although they aren't as good at cleaning carpet as more traditional upright vacuums, many come with smart pathing technology to clean more efficiently. Many also come with companion apps or remote controls to set up scheduled cleaning times or place boundaries to keep it out of certain areas.

We've tested over 50 robot vacuums, and below are our recommendations for the best robot vacuum cleaners you can buy. These picks are selected based on performance, feature set, design, and price. For more recommendations, look at our list of the best vacuums, the best vacuums for high-pile carpet, and the best vacuums for pet hair. If you're only looking for brand-specific options, you can also see our recommendations for the best iRobot vacuums.

  1. Best Robot Vacuum

    The Roborock S8+ is the best robot vacuum cleaner we've tested. This high-end robot vacuum has a dual-sensor navigation system, which combines a LIDAR sensor that maps out your home with a pair of 3D scanning cameras at the front of the vacuum. These cameras identify and, if necessary, avoid common obstacles like power cords, furniture legs, or even pet waste in real-time. The vacuum can also store up to four floor maps, so you can use this model on any floor in your home. It can use its camera sensors to spot landmarks and automatically determine which room it's working in. It can also output a 3D representation of your home after mapping.

    You can also specify different cleaning settings for different rooms, set up no-go zones, or use the pin-and-go feature to direct it to a specific area to clean small spills. Compared to the older Roborock S7 MaxV, the S8 features a redesigned twin-roller floorhead that's far more effective for dealing with pet hair on various surfaces; ultimately, the newer model is a better performer overall. However, it's worth noting that only the S7 MaxV had a color-capable front camera and a built-in microphone that allowed you to use it as a roving security camera.

    Its ultrasonic mopping system differs from most passive mopping systems, as its pad vibrates to scrub away dried-on stains. The S8+ variant of this vacuum comes bundled with Roborock's Auto-Empty Dock Pure station, which allows the vacuum to transfer debris from its dustbin into an external dirtbag when docked. If you want a robot vacuum that comes with a dock that not only empties the internal dustbin but also refills a water tank for mopping and washing mop pads, check out the Roborock Q Revo.

    See our review

  2. Best Upper Mid-Range Robot Vacuum

    The Roborock Q5+ is a good choice if you're shopping at a lower price. While you're missing out on the real-time hazard identification, twin-roller cleaning head, and ultrasonic mopping systems found on the Roborock S8+, the '+' variant of the Q5 offers self-emptying capability at a much lower price. It has the same companion app as the S8, which is a good thing, as it's very easy to use and offers a broad range of features, like drawing virtual boundary lines and directing it to clean a specific room in your home. It delivers good performance on bare surfaces like hardwood or tile floors.

    Unlike the S8, the Q5 has a single-roller cleaning head and has Roborock's older brushroll design, which is noticeably more tangle-prone since it uses closely spaced bristles. However, this roller does provide greater surface agitation on carpets. Despite having a high-efficiency E11 filter, it does a terrible job of sealing in fine particles, which are blown out of gaps in its body and LIDAR sensor.

    Check out the Roborock Q7 Max if you want a robot vacuum with a design similar to the Q5 but with a passive mopping system. Ultimately, however, the Q7 Max is noticeably pricier than the Q5, and its mopping system isn't all that efficient, as it doesn't scrub the floor like the S8+/S8's Ultrasonic mop does.

    See our review

  3. Best Mid-Range Robot Vacuum

    If you're shopping for something marginally cheaper, the Wyze Robot Vacuum is among the best mid-range robot vacuums we've tested. Unlike the Roborock Q5/Q5+, this robot vacuum isn't compatible with a self-emptying base station; you'll need to manually empty its tiny dirt compartment at the end of almost every cleaning session. However, it still offers plenty of features for the money. This includes a LIDAR sensor that allows for quick and precise room mapping, even in the dark, and you can use its companion app to set up virtual no-go zones or direct the vacuum to individual rooms.

    Debris pickup on carpets is reasonable for the most part, though this vacuum can have a hard time with finer material embedded deep within carpet fibers. It has no trouble dealing with solid debris and pet hair on bare floors.

    See our review

  4. Best Budget Robot Vacuum Cleaner

    The Eureka Groove is the best budget robot vacuum cleaner we've tested for those looking to spend as little as possible. Unlike the Wyze Robot Vacuum, it has no room-mapping capability but relies on random bump navigation. This system isn't all that efficient compared to pricier alternatives with LIDAR or optical sensors since the Eureka will cover some areas more than once and get stuck on obstacles like thick rugs or coat racks. That said, actual room coverage is quite thorough, and the vacuum won't miss any big portions of your home.

    The included remote control also allows you to access all of the vacuum's functions, so you don't have to use the Eureka Robot smartphone app, making it a great option if your home Wi-Fi network is unreliable. Unfortunately, the overall debris pickup performance isn't all that impressive. It's quite effective in dealing with pet hair on most surfaces, but it struggles with solid debris on carpets and isn't powerful enough to lift away heavier material.

    See our review

Notable Mentions

  • iRobot Roomba S9: The iRobot Roomba S9 is a high-end robot vacuum that delivers super overall debris pickup performance on various surfaces but has a less advanced suite of automation features than the Roborock S8+/S8, with no real-time hazard avoidance capability and no mopping system. See our review
  • iRobot Roomba j7+: The iRobot Roomba j7+ is a good alternative to the Roborock Q5/Q5+ if you want a model with real-time hazard avoidance. However, it falls short of the Roborock regarding debris pickup performance. See our review
  • Shark IQ 2-in-1 [RV2410WD, UR2410WD]: The Shark IQ 2-in-1 is a mid-range robot vacuum with a passive mopping system that's remarkably effective overall. It isn't as good at maneuvering itself as the Wyze Robot Vacuum and delivers inferior debris pickup performance on bare floors. Its companion app is also a little less intuitive. See our review
  • eufy RoboVac 25C: The eufy RoboVac 25C is a good option if you're looking for a budget-friendly vacuum that you can control with a physical remote control. Unfortunately, it feels less sturdy than the Eureka Groove and does a worse job maneuvering around obstacles. See our review

Recent Updates

  1. Apr 03, 2024: Slight in-text adjustments to better convey product information.

  2. Mar 01, 2024: Verified that all main picks are still available and represent the best option for user needs. Added FAQ section to provide additional information to readers.

  3. Feb 19, 2024: Added a mention of the Roborock Q Revo in the Roborock S8+ pick section to provide a similarly-priced alternative with a more sophisticated docking station.

  4. Feb 13, 2024: Replaced the ILIFE A4S with the Eureka Groove as the 'Best Budget Robot Vacuum Cleaner' pick due to current availability.

  5. Jan 10, 2024: Removed the Roborock E4 from the Notable Mentions due to current availability.


Can a robot vacuum fully replace a conventional vacuum?

Generally speaking, robot vacuums aren't a wholesale replacement for a full-size, manually operated machine. Most models on the market aren't powerful enough to deal with heavy debris or large piles of material, so you'll want to keep a conventional model on standby for bigger cleaning jobs. That said, robovacs have their market niche covered when it comes to "maintenance" cleaning; that's to say, frequent, low-intensity cleaning sessions that ensure there won't be a buildup of dust or lightweight dirt.

Are robot vacuums worth it?

Honestly, that'll depend entirely on what your expectations are, not to mention your budget. You don't necessarily need to spend a fortune on something that offers reasonable overall performance. Spending somewhere in the region of $200-$300 can net you a robot vacuum with LIDAR mapping, relatively advanced automation capabilities, and decent overall debris pickup performance. A good example of this kind of option would be the Wyze Robot Vacuum. The above attributes are generally enough for most, as many models in this price bracket are quick to map out your home, smart enough not to get stuck too frequently, and powerful enough to deal with most kinds of messes.

If you want to spend less than that, you're likely to be looking at a robot vacuum with a rudimentary random-pathing bump navigation system, like the iRobot Roomba 694; these systems don't generate a coverage map of your home and aren't especially time efficient; while they might achieve good overall room coverage, they're pretty slow in doing so, and are far more liable to getting stuck on obstacles and cleaning the same area more than once.

Vacuums with mopping systems, real-time hazard avoidance technology, and self-emptying capability are generally pricier. None of these features are essential, but if you don't feel like emptying a vacuum's dustbin, scrubbing away stains, or ensuring your home is completely free of any potential obstacles before letting it run, they're worth a shot. It's also worth noting that prices for these niceties are creeping down. Consider the Roborock Q Revo, which offers all of these aforementioned features for not much more than the more basic stripped-down Roborock Q7 Max+.

How often should you perform maintenance on a robot vacuum?

Most manufacturers aren't shy about specifying how and how often a robot vacuum should be maintained, and it's worth noting that these maintenance intervals can vary pretty drastically from model to model. That said, there are absolutely a few things you can look out for, even outside of scheduled maintenance. You'll want to check the robovac's brushroll once or twice a week to ensure no hair is getting tangled in the mechanism; models with rollers with bristles, as opposed to smoother rubber rollers, tend to collect a lot of pet hair. The same goes for side brushes and wheels; stuck-on debris can jam up their mechanisms, compromising overall performance. You'll also want to dispose of any material in the vacuum's dirt compartment.

However, it's worth noting that there are plenty of models on the market that come with docking stations that suck debris from the vacuum's dustbin into an external dirt compartment or dirtbag, so you won't have to go through the process of emptying a dustbin yourself.

Can I run my robot vacuum every day?

Absolutely, this is what most robot vacuums are designed for. Some smarter models allow you to schedule cleaning sessions beforehand, so the vacuum will run while you're out and about.

How do I prepare my house for a robot vacuum?

You'll want to remove small obstacles like socks, slippers, or thicker power cords. While an increasing number of higher-end models, like the Roborock S7 MaxV, boast additional sensors that allow them to spot, identify, and, if necessary, avoid obstacles, these systems are still far from foolproof. You'll also want to remove any super-thick shag pile rugs because a lot of robot vacuums can get bogged down in really plush carpet fibers.

If you have a robot vacuum with a LIDAR sensor, you'll also want to cover up any floor-to-ceiling mirrors before it maps out your home for the first time. The laser emitted from the vacuum will bounce off reflective surfaces, effectively causing the vacuum to 'perceive' a nonexistent room and even bump into the mirror itself. You can also get around this by setting up a 'no-go' zone around mirrors, at least on models that support this kind of function.

Conversely, if you have a robot vacuum that uses an optical sensor to navigate, like the iRobot Roomba i3, leave the light on in areas you want the vacuum to clean. Unlike LIDAR systems, optical sensor-based systems need a certain level of ambient light to navigate.

It's worth noting that many robot vacuums will also struggle with navigating on really dark-colored floors. Most models on the market have cliff sensors that rely on infrared radiation to work, and since dark surfaces absorb infrared radiation, this will trigger the cliff sensors and cause the vacuum to stop.

All Reviews

Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best robot vacuums for most people. We factor in the price, feedback from our visitors, and availability.

If you would like to do the work of choosing yourself, here is the list of all our robot vacuum reviews. Be careful not to get too caught up in the details. While there's no single best option that's 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.