In the dark ages of the 20th century, human beings still labored with manual weekly and daily chores. These savages would toil begrudgingly with push vacuums tangled in wires — a curious species indeed. Fortunately, in the smart home area of digital assistants, droid lawnmowers, and roving robotic vacuums, the days of such life-sucking rigmarole are no more.
We’ve reviewed dozens of these smart little vacuums, testing their apps and cleaning power, and are happy to share a list of the top models we’ve found. Our best pick is the high-end, amazingly intelligent Roomba i7+. However, if that seems a bit out of your price range, be sure to check out all of our options.
At a glance
|Product and MSRP||Category||Rating|
|iRobot Roomba i7+||Best overall||4 out of 5|
|Eufy RoboVac 11S with Boost IQ||Best starter robot vacuum||4 out of 5|
|Neato Botvac D6||Best for edges and corners||4 out of 5|
|iRobot Roomba 980||Best multi-surface||3 out of 5|
|Shark Ion S87||Most versatile||4 out of 5|
|Ecovacs Deebot 711||Best budget||4 out of 5|
iRobot Roomba i7+
Sure, a robot vacuum makes cleaning your floors a heck of a lot easier. But, you still have to empty the dust bin just about every time you run it. With its Clean Base and compatibility with Alexa and Google Assistant, the i7+ makes it so you can literally vacuum without lifting a finger. Just say “Alexa …” or “OK, Google, ask Roomba to start cleaning,” and your i7+ will start cleaning. After it’s finished, the clean base will suck the dirt and debris into an enclosed bag that holds up to 30 deposits.
In addition to being one of the most user-friendly robots you can buy, the i7+ also has an upgraded processor, increased RAM, and an advanced navigation system that allows the robot to track its surroundings using visual landmarks. It can tell where it’s already been and where it still needs to clean. The robot can clean your entire home, or you can instruct it to clean specific places. Its sensors can locate the higher traffic areas in your home, and the robot will be extra attentive to those dirtier areas of your floors.
While the i7+ is exceptionally expensive, it’s performance and features are top notch. If you want the best of the best in terms of robot vacuums, the i7+ is the way to go. You can check out our full review of the Roomba i7+ here.
Eufy RoboVac 11S with Boost IQ
Best starter robot vacuum
This smart Eufy RoboVac is an affordable and versatile little botvac that has a particularly good design. The slim vac can fit under most furniture, but has even traction to climb up onto high-level carpet when necessary (a common bane of many robot vacuums). Using and emptying the vac is designed to be as simple as possible so that new owners don’t have to worry about learning too much. That “Boost IQ” feature will increase suction on tougher areas like thick carpet, and there’s a mode for spot cleaning and edge cleaning depending on the task (you can command the bot with a remote as well the app). As with most modern robot vacs, you can also set a schedule for when you want the vac to start the cleaning routine.
Beyond this, the 11S is pretty short on features. You can’t set cleaning patterns — the bot cleans in random directions, so it may take a little time for a full clean. But the multi-surface capabilities and affordable cost still make this model a real winner. It’s a great starter robot vacuum. Read our full review of the Eufy RoboVac 11S.
Neato Botvac D6
Best for obstacles
You can easily set the Botvac D6 to clean your entire home or spot clean a specific section of a room. Once set up, you can check in on the bot to schedule tasks and similarly receive notifications as rooms are cleaned via the Neato app. You can store up to three different floor plans, making the D6 the ideal robot for a three-story home. The D6 comes with magnetic strips to set up boundaries around the home or apartment. This is a great way to prevent the unit from bumping into your pet’s food dishes and also partitioning play areas to keep the bot from chewing up toys. You can also create virtual “No-Go Lines” in the Neato App that tell the robot which areas to avoid.
The Botvac D6 has a laser-based navigation system, which allows it to scan and map your home and even clean in the dark. It has a large main brush that picks up pet hair and small debris, and an ultra-performance filter to trap allergens. The battery life on the D6 is pretty good too, at 120 minutes, and it has a quick-boost charging feature to let it charge as much as it needs to finish the job. Plus, with Neato’s D-shape build, this robotic vacuum is a boss when it comes to cornering and edging. We conducted a full review of the Botvac D6, if you’d like to learn more.
iRobot Roomba 980
Few homes are limited to just carpet or hardwood, and not all robotic vacuums are capable of tackling high-pile carpets or linoleum. That said, the Roomba 980 (full review here) can handle the full spectrum of flooring options in your home. While many models boast a turbo and efficiency mode, these are often options you need to tweak manually as the bot moves about the home, and babysitting your vacuum sort of defeats the purpose of allocating the task to a droid in the first place. That said, the Roomba 980 AeroForce Cleaning System automatically adapts to its environment, increasing or decreasing the suction for the terrain underfoot at a given time.
Some models — like the aforementioned Botvac D6 — use magnetic strips to establish a perimeter fence to prevent the vacuum from venturing into unwanted areas. The Roomba 980, on the other hand, allows you to establish omnidirectional virtual walls and halos throughout your home via the iRobot Home App. This app also features a Clean Map for notifications and scheduling. The filter does capture particles as small as 10 microns; however, those more sensitive to indoor allergens may need to choose a different model.
Shark ION S87
Shark is known for making pretty solid upright vacuums, but it also has a hit with the S87 cleaning system. The S87 system includes the ION R85 Robot Vacuum, the ION W1 handheld vacuum, and a charging base that simultaneously charges both units.
The robot vacuum has powerful suction, a large dustbin, and it includes boundary strips to block off specific areas like pet food areas or doorways. The Shark ION Robot App lets you create schedules and control the robot. You can also voice control the R85, given it has Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility.
The handheld is lightweight, weighing only 1.4 pounds. It comes with three separate attachments — a pet hair tool, a dusting tool, and a crevice tool. You can use the handheld to clean furniture, to dust, or even to clean your car. Although the handheld doesn’t have the greatest battery life, it has powerful suction for such a small vacuum and its addition to the R85 this makes this a truly versatile vacuuming system. Check out our full review of the Shark ION S87 Cleaning System (here).
Ecovacs Deebot 901
Best for pets
The Deebot 901 (read our full review here) combines extra power with very smart features that are great for tech junkies who want to upgrade an old model or finally adopt a robot vac of their own. It integrates with both Google Home and Amazon Alexa for voice controls and offers up to 100 minutes of cleaning per charge for all types of flooring except very thick carpet.
The 901 also uses what we found to be very accurate smart mapping to get a picture of surroundings and avoid collisions while plotting the best paths. The traditional spinning brushes are here, but you can back them up with a suction attachment that excels at removing extra debris, like matted pet hair. This is particularly useful if your pets like to lounge on the carpet but tend to leave a lot of themselves behind.
Ecovacs Deebot 711
If you’re looking for a more affordable alternative to Roomba models but still want a bot vac that will actually make a difference, we recommend this highly affordable Deebot model. It comes with some of the latest smart vac technology that’s usually only found in higher-priced models, such as intelligent room mapping for more systemic cleaning cycles and voice controls via Alexa or Google Assistant. If you prefer controlling the vac via the app, you’ll be pleased to see it has options for direct control, or various cleaning modes for different tasks, including an extra suction mode for larger messes.
On the normal mode, the Deebot 711 has a 110-minute runtime, with an auto-return feature for easy charging. One battery cycle is enough to clean about 1,100 square feet. The bot comes with four side brushes and a high-efficiency air filter.
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