We may not be able to wiggle our way out of doing chores but it wouldn’t hurt to call in some reinforcements. Having a housekeeper tend to your home may seem far-fetched when you’re on a budget and so a robot vacuum may come as the next best thing. These genuine little helpers would at least take some time off your hands and care for your floors. And now, you can get the most bang for your buck with premium models from iRobot and Shark selling up to $255 less on Amazon.
— $395 ($255 off)
Those living with furry friends will be relieved from all that shedding as iRobot’s Roomba 960 is equipped to tackle pet hair and all kinds of messes. Whether you have carpet, hard floors, or a combination of both, this droid isn’t choosy and efficiently cleans using a patented AeroForce three-stage cleaning system to loosen, lift, and suck away small to large debris.
Equipped with power-lifting suction, the Roomba 960 delivers five times more air power than any Roomba belonging to the 600 series. You’re undoubtedly in store for an improved pick-up performance which is then complemented with dual multi-surface rubber brushes that automatically adjust and flex to stay in constant contact with your floors. You’ll also be able to select among multiple cleaning modes. And to ensure no dust gets left behind, its Dirt Detect sensor makes it work extra hard on high-traffic areas while its HEPA filters do a good job at trapping dust and allergens as small as 10 microns into its 0.82-liter dirt bin.
The Roomba 960 intelligently maps and cleans an entire level of your home regardless of the number of rooms you have with iAdapt 2.0 Navigation and vSLAM technology. It intuitively avoids and works around obstacles but bumpers are in place for good measure. With a height of only 3.6 inches, the Roomba 960 sure knows how to keep a low profile to glide under furniture.
To spare your back from crouching down to access all its controls, the iRobot Home app lets you start, stop, schedule, and customize cleaning as much as you can keep tabs of the 960’s progress from anywhere through your smartphone. And once connected to your Home Wi-Fi network, it becomes just as receptive to voice commands with an Alexa or Google Assistant-enabled device. Even when you’re not there to see it work, you can trust it to get the job done as it only pauses to recharge.
— $449 ($101 off)
If you want to forget about vacuuming for a whole month, you might not mind shelling out a couple more for the Shark IQ R101AE. If you’re familiar with the iRobot Roomba i7+ or the more recent S9+, this is the fairly more affordable version with the best navigation system and unbeatable suction power Shark has to offer (in comparison to the RV700 series). The IQ R101AE is just as capable of cleaning after your pets, and itself, with an anti-tangle brush roll system and a self-emptying charging base.
Like the Roomba 960, it has the full suite of sensors that enables it to map out more than one room. You can even create a floor plan and assign it to the room you want to be cleaned. You wouldn’t have to question its coverage since it cleans row by row with two angled side-brushes to rid those edges and corners of dust.
This droid also responds to voice command with Alexa and is likewise programmable through its buttons or the Shark app when you want to schedule a clean. With a battery that can last 90 minutes, it is a solid choice for small to average homes as no one wants to wait a full day for it to recharge and finish cleaning. It is also trustworthy enough to stop only when it needs to juice up and pick up from where it left off.
While Shark’s IQ R101AE is a great cost-efficient alternative to iRobot’s flagship, it doesn’t exactly make for quiet operation and takes about a week to familiarize itself with your home. It also lacks HEPA filters and makes do with high-efficiency filters. Then again, one swift action is all it takes to dispose of 30 days worth of dirt and debris. Just be mindful to position it close to your trash can to avoid creating a dust cloud.
Digital Trends may earn commission on products purchased through our links, which supports the work we do for our readers.
- Roomba 675 robot vacuum is $80 off — it’s the perfect time to buy!
- Shark IQ Robot R101AE Self-Emptying Robot Vacuum review
- This Roomba i3 robot vacuum just got a $100 price cut at Amazon
- The best deals on iRobot Roomba robotic vacuum cleaners for January 2021
- iRobot Roomba i7 just got a big $195 price cut at Walmart