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 35 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, the best robotic vacuum for hardwood floors, 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 best robot vacuum for high-pile carpet that we've tested is the Neato D8. This robot vacuum delivers very good performance on high-pile carpets, where it clears pet hair without difficulty and an impressive amount of larger material like sand. It can take a couple of extra passes to suck up fine material like baking soda. Its HEPA filter can also trap allergens as it cleans.
This vacuum has a LIDAR navigation system that enables it to develop increasingly efficient cleaning routes, along with a wide variety of automation features. You can use its app to see a map of its coverage area, establish no-go zones that the vacuum won't enter, change its suction power mode, or check cleaning session history. It's small enough to maneuver under couches and tables and feels very well-built.
Unfortunately, while its battery performance is excellent overall, its maximum runtime of 70 minutes is markedly shorter than that of the older Neato Botvac D7, but this can vary in the real world. It has quite a few parts that need regular replacing, too. Still, its strong cleaning performance, impressive build quality, and broad selection of automation features make it one of the best vacuums for high-pile carpet that we've tested.
If you're looking for a robot vacuum with a self-emptying feature, consider the yeedi vac station. Unlike the Neato D8, it doesn't come with a HEPA filter to trap allergens as you clean, but it can automatically dump debris from its internal dustbin into a larger dirt compartment attached to its docking station, slightly reducing hands-on maintenance requirements. It also delivers impressive performance on high-pile carpets, where it easily clears pet hair and most fine debris like baking soda, though it might take an extra pass to fully clear larger debris like sand. It can also provide roughly anywhere between 80 to almost 180 minutes of runtime on a single charge depending on your choice of settings and usage habits, though this can vary in the real world. However, it does take considerably long to recharge than the Neato. It also has many parts that require regular cleaning or replacement, leading to high recurring costs.
Get the Neato if you want a robot vacuum with less demanding maintenance requirements, but consider the yeedi if you're looking for a model with a wider range of automation features.
The best robot vacuum for low-pile carpet that we've tested is the iRobot Roomba S9. This premium robot vacuum has little trouble sucking up pet hair and larger debris like sand on this surface type. Its performance with fine debris like baking soda is less impressive, and it may take an extra pass for it to clear everything, however. Thankfully, suction performance remains consistent as its dirt compartment fills up, which is good when dealing with larger, more spread-out messes.
This vacuum feels amazingly well built, with a high-grade plastic exterior and sturdy rubber wheels that enable it to roll smoothly on carpeted floors. Its iAdapt 3.0 navigation system plots increasingly efficient cleaning routes of its coverage area, and you can use its companion app to set up virtual boundary lines or schedule cleaning sessions for individual rooms. Depending on your choice of suction power and usage habits, it supplies roughly anywhere between 50 to over 150 minutes of runtime on a single charge, though this can change in the real world.
Unfortunately, many parts need to be cleaned periodically or even regularly replaced, so user maintenance requirements are demanding, and recurring costs are high. It's also a relatively heavy vacuum, making it difficult to pick up and carry to another room. Otherwise, if you're looking for a hands-free way of keeping low-pile carpets clean, this is a good option.
The best robot vacuum for carpet that we've tested in the budget category is the Roborock E4. This well-built, budget-friendly robot vacuum easily sucks up pet hair on high and low-pile carpet, but it may need to make another pass to fully clear larger debris like sand and fine debris like baking soda from carpeted floors. Its surface detection feature allows it to adjust its suction power automatically depending on the floor type that it's on.
This vacuum's durable rubber-coated wheels also enable it to roll smoothly onto carpets and rugs. Battery performance is exceptional, as depending on your choice of settings, it supplies roughly anywhere between 115 and almost 200 minutes of continuous runtime, which should be more than sufficient for most areas. It does a good job of maneuvering itself, with its OpticEye navigation system plotting fairly efficient S-shaped cleaning routes and being capable of identifying areas that need a more thorough clean.
Unfortunately, the vacuum still lacks some of the more advanced automation features found on pricier models. You can't set up virtual boundary lines using its companion app or schedule cleaning sessions for individual rooms within its coverage area. In addition, like most robot vacuums, recurring costs are high, and many parts need to be cleaned periodically. Still, if you need a versatile robot vacuum at a relatively affordable price, this model is one of the best budget robot vacuum cleaners that we've tested.
Aug 16, 2021: Removed Neato Botvac D7 as 'Easier To Maintain Alternative' pick due to current availability. Added yeedi vac station as new 'Alternative With An External Dustbin' pick.
Jun 17, 2021: Replaced iRobot Roomba S9 with Neato D8 as 'Best Robot Vacuum For High-Pile Carpet'. Replaced Neato Botvac D7 with iRobot Roomba S9 as 'Best Robot Vacuum For Low-Pile Carpet'. Replaced iRobot Roomba i7+ as 'Alternative With Automatic Dirt Compartment' category with Neato Botvac D7 as 'Easier To Maintain Alternative'. Added iRobot Roomba i7+ to Notable Mentions.
Apr 19, 2021: Verified that the best products are still being recommended and that they're in stock.
Feb 19, 2021: Verified that we're still recommending the best products and that they're in stock.
Dec 21, 2020: Slight changes to the text; no change in product recommendations.
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 their high-pile 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.