When you're juggling work, family, or other priorities, cleaning can be the last thing on your mind. However, you can't ignore the mess piling up on your rugs or carpet forever, especially since it can already be difficult to remove debris from high-pile textiles. While a traditional upright or canister vacuum requires your time and energy, a robot vacuum can automate the cleaning process and even operate when you're not at home, which can be a huge time-saver. Although many robot vacuums struggle to move on carpet, there are a few that can do a decent job.
We've tested over 10 robot vacuums, and below are our recommendations for the best robot vacuums for carpet you can buy. These picks are selected not only based on their performance but also their feature-set, design, and price. Check out our recommendations for the best robot vacuums and the best robot vacuums for pet hair. If you're looking for a different type of vacuum for carpets, check out the best vacuums for carpets.
The iRobot Roomba S9 is the best robot vacuum for high-pile carpet that we've tested. This well-built robot can easily climb onto shaggy, high-pile carpets or rugs and move around without much of an issue. It also offers an outstanding battery performance as it can last over two and a half hours on its lowest cleaning mode before it returns to its charging dock.
It does a good job on high-pile carpet as it's able to pick up pet hair as well as quite a bit of sand and baking soda. It also has a great performance on low-pile carpets, especially since it can pick up a lot of sand on this surface type too. When using its companion app, you can set boundary markers to keep it from entering certain rooms as well as schedule periodic cleaning times. If you want to expand your setup down the line, you can also purchase a charging station with a dirt bin separately, which allows it to automatically empty its own dirt compartment each time it docks at the station.
Unfortunately, it has several parts that need regular maintenance. It also has quite a few recurring costs that can add up over time. Still, if you're looking for a robot that can outperform most other similarly-typed appliances on thick, shaggy rugs, this is one of the best robot vacuums for carpet that we've tested.
The best robot vacuum for low-pile carpet that we've tested is the Neato Botvac D7. This D-shaped vacuum does a decent job on low-pile carpet as it can pick up pet hair as well as most sand without a problem. It also has a great build quality, and it's designed to be decently easy to maintain.
It has a fantastic battery performance as it can last over an hour and a half on its most powerful mode. Thanks to its robust companion app, you can see your cleaning history, create boundary lines, and even schedule regular cleaning times. If you prefer, it also comes with physical boundary strips to help keep this vacuum out of certain areas. Even though it has a better performance on low-pile carpet, it can tackle shaggy, high-pile carpet since it can clear pet hair and a decent amount of sand.
Unfortunately, it struggles a bit more with picking up finer debris like baking soda on low-pile carpet, and it could take a few passes to fully clean a mess like this. It also has a few recurring costs as parts such as its battery and brushroll need regular replacing. Still, this robot vacuum offers decent performance on low-pile carpet and can be a handy addition to your home.
If you're looking for an even more automated cleaning experience, consider the iRobot Roomba i7+. While its performance on low-pile carpet falls a bit short of that of the Neato Botvac D7, its charging dock doubles as an external dirt compartment. Every time it returns to the dock, it can automatically empty its dirt compartment. It performs similarly on high-pile carpet, and it has many of the same automation features as the Neato via its iRobot HOME companion app, including virtual boundary markers and programmable cleaning schedules. Unfortunately, while the external dirtbag holds a lot of debris and needs to be changed less often than other robot vacuums, it's still disposable and needs to be replaced over time.
If you're looking for a robot vacuum with fewer maintenance needs, go for the Neato. However, if you prefer your cleaning to be as automated as possible, check out the iRobot.
The best budget robot vacuum that we've tested is the Roborock E4. If you're trying to keep your expenses down but don't want to sacrifice an automatic cleaning experience, this affordable option can be a suitable choice. While it struggles a lot on low-pile carpet, it manages an alright performance on shaggy, high-pile carpet.
Since it has mixed overall performance, it's best suited for homes with mixed surfaces such as linoleum in the kitchen and carpet in the living room. On high-pile rugs or carpets, it can pick up a good amount of pet hair. However, it struggles a lot more with debris like sand. That said, it has outstanding battery life, and even if you're using its most powerful suction mode, its battery can last around 114 minutes.
Unfortunately, like many other models on this list, it has a lot of maintenance needs. On top of regularly cleaning its parts, there are also a few recurring costs like the side brushes that need replacing after 200 hours of use. It can get caught on rug tassels or electrical cords. However, if you're on a budget and deadset on a robot vacuum for your carpeted home, this one can help automate some cleaning.
10/22/2020: Replaced the Neato Botvac D7 with the iRobot Roomba S9 as 'Best Robot Vacuum For High-Pile Carpet'. Moved the Roborock S6 to 'Notable Mentions' and added the Neato Botvac D7 as 'Best Robot Vacuum for Low-Pile Carpet'.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best robot vacuums for carpet 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, ranked by carpet performance. 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.