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.
The Roborock S8+ is the best robot vacuum we've tested. This high-end robot vacuum has a dual-sensor navigation system, which combines a LIDAR mapping sensor that maps out your home with a pair of 3D scanning cameras at the front of the vacuum that let it spot, 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 maps, so you can use it on any floor in your home. It leverages the utility of its camera sensors to spot landmarks and automatically identify 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. The S8 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 actively 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. However, you'll have to step to the pricier, slightly mechanically different S8 Pro Ultra to get an auto-empty station that refills its water tank and washes and dries its mopping pad.
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 directing it to clean a specific room in your home. It delivers exceptional performance on bare surfaces like hardwood or tile floors and is remarkably effective when dealing with pet hair, though it struggles a little on carpet.
Unfortunately, despite having a high-efficiency E11 filter, it does a terrible job of sealing in fine particles, which are blown free from gaps in its body and LIDAR sensor. If you want a robovac with a mopping feature, the Roborock Q7 Max is very similar in design but includes 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 Roborock S8+/S8's Ultrasonic mop does.
If you're shopping for something marginally cheaper, the Wyze Robot Vacuum is among the 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 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 access the coverage map it outputs 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 it can have a really hard time with finer material embedded deep within carpet fibers. Thankfully, it has no trouble dealing with solid debris and pet hair on bare floors.
For those looking to spend as little as possible, the Shark AI Robot is the best robot vacuum cleaner at a budget price we've tested. Unlike the Roborock Q5+, it isn't compatible with a self-emptying base station, so hands-on maintenance requirements are a little more demanding since you'll need to empty its dustbin manually at the end of almost every cleaning session. However, it's still a fairly strong proposition for the money. Given its relatively affordable price point, it has a wide variety of automation features, including support for virtual boundary lines and scheduling cleaning sessions in advance. Unfortunately, the SharkClean companion software isn't intuitive and provides a somewhat clunky and buggy user experience.
If you're shopping for a budget-friendly robot vacuum you can use without an internet connection, the ILIFE A4s is a worthy alternative that you can operate only using a provided remote control. Unsurprisingly, it's far more basic in functionality than the Shark, with no actual room mapping capability.
Jul 14, 2023: Replaced Roborock S7 MaxV with Roborock S8+ as 'Best Robot Vacuum' pick, replaced iRobot Roomba S9 with Roborock Q5+ as 'Best Upper Mid-Range Robot Vacuum' pick, replaced Roborock Q5 with yeedi vac station as 'Best Mid-Range Robot Vacuum' pick, and replaced Neato D8 with Shark AI Robot as 'Best Budget Robot Vacuum' pick. Added iRobot Roomba S9 to Notable Mentions.
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.