Robot vacuums have always been best-suited for hardwood floors since bare, even surfaces are easier to maneuver on and have fewer small crevices for dirt and debris to get trapped in. On this kind of surface, a robot vacuum can be an invaluable cleaning aid for many homeowners since they take the stress and the effort out of cleaning and shouldn't get stuck. Still, some perform better on this surface than others, as the best robot vacuums for hardwood floors should be able to clear everything from pet hair to large chunks of debris on this kind of surface with ease.
We've tested over 20 robot vacuum cleaners, and below are our recommendations of the best vacuums for hardwood floors to buy. These are based not only on their performance on bare floors but also on their design and price. For more buying recommendations, take a look at our list of the best robot vacuums for pet hair, the best robot vacuums, and the best hardwood vacuums.
The best robot vacuum for hardwood floors that we've tested is the Roborock S6. It's incredible at cleaning bare floors, where it easily clears pet hair as well as debris like rice and cereal, with little drop in performance as its dirt compartment fills up. Depending on what power setting you use, its battery provides two to three hours of continuous runtime, which is fantastic.
It has an exceptionally good build quality, with a hard plastic body, metal accents, and rubber wheels that feel durable. It uses a laser navigation system to maneuver through rooms more efficiently and will automatically return to its charging dock when it's running low on battery. With the companion app, you can set virtual boundaries, create cleaning schedules for different rooms, and pilot it remotely. It even comes with a mop attachment for sticky messes, but we don't test that currently.
Unfortunately, it has quite a few parts that need to be removed and serviced regularly, so it's not the easiest to maintain. Its recurring costs are also quite high since several parts, like the filters and brushroll, have to be replaced periodically. That said, its outstanding performance makes it a great option if you're looking for a hands-off way to keep your hardwood floors clean.
If you prefer a vacuum that doesn't need to be emptied as often, try the iRobot Roomba S9. It's not as good as the Roborock S6 at clearing bulky debris like cereal from bare floors, but its dirt compartment is bigger. It recharges much more quickly and delivers an overall fantastic performance on surfaces like hardwood and laminate flooring. You can use its companion app to set virtual boundaries for it or create cleaning schedules for different rooms. If you want an even more hands-off experience, you can buy a charging dock with a built-in dirtbag that the vacuum can empty debris from its dustbin into automatically, although we haven't tested it. On the other hand, this vacuum is more difficult to maintain and incurs higher recurring costs than the Roborock.
If you want the vacuum with the best performance on bare floors, go for the Roborock. If it doesn't bother you to sacrifice some performance for the convenience of a bigger dirt compartment, you may prefer the iRobot.
The Roborock E4 is the best budget robot vacuum for hardwood floors that we've tested. It's fantastic on bare surfaces like hardwood or linoleum flooring, where it easily clears pet hair and debris like sand and cereal. Its performance stays consistent even as the decently-sized dirt compartment fills up, and it comes equipped with an allergen-trapping HEPA filter.
It feels impressively well-built and cleans rooms in an organized, S-shape pattern. Its compact size allows it to fit under low furniture like couches. The battery performance is fantastic, as it will provide roughly two to three hours of continuous cleaning time before returning to its dock to recharge. Also, it works with a companion app that you can use to set cleaning schedules and even remote-pilot the vacuum.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of parts that need to be removed and serviced regularly. Some, like the filter and brushrolls, should be thrown away and replaced periodically, so recurring costs can add up. However, this is typical for robot vacuums, and if you're looking for an affordable and hands-off way to clean your floors, this one's a great option. It's even one of the best robot vacuums we've tested.
Jan 15, 2021: Verified that picks are still the best recommendations and that products are in stock; added the iRobot Roomba 981 to Notable Mentions.
Our recommendations above are what we think are currently the best robot vacuums for hardwood floors 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's the list of all our robot vacuums for hardwood floors, ranked by their performance on bare floors. 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.