The best robot vacuums for 2019

Let a robot do your chores! Here are the best robot vacuums for 2019

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 assistantsdroid lawnmowers, and roving robotic vacuums, the days of such life-sucking rigmarole are no more.

While the first wave of robovacs were fairly limited technologically, the latest models are significantly more intuitive, connected, and capable than their caroming predecessors. From units that empty themselves, to pet-friendly robots, to solid budget options, here are the best robot vacuums you can buy.

Hey, if you’d rather do things the old-fashioned way, we totally understand. We’ve also compiled a roundup of the best traditional vacuum cleaners currently on the market as well.

At a glance

Product and MSRP Category Rating
iRobot Roomba i7+ ($1,099) Best overall 4 out of 5
Eufy RoboVac 11S with Boost IQ ($225) Best starter robot vacuum 4 out of 5
Neato Botvac D6 ($699) Best for edges and corners 4 out of 5
iRobot Roomba 980 ($900) Best multi-surface 3 out of 5
Shark Ion S87 ($499) Most versatile 4 out of 5
Ecovacs Deebot 901 ($400) Best pet robot 4 out of 5
Ecovacs Deebot N79 ($249) Best budget 4 out of 5

iRobot Roomba i7+ ($1,099)

Best Overall

irobot roomba i7 i7plus prod

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 the 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.

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Eufy RoboVac 11S with Boost IQ ($225)

Best starter robot vacuum

eufy RoboVac 11S review
Matt Smith/Digital Trends

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. Here is our full review of the Eufy RoboVac 11S.

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Neato Botvac D6 ($699)

Best for obstacles

Neato Botvac D6 review
Andy Boxall/Digital Trends

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 (here).

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iRobot Roomba 980 ($900)

Best multisurface

best roomba robovacs 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.

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Shark ION S87

Most Versatile

Shark ION Robot Vacuum Cleaning System S87 review
Erika Rawes/Digital Trends

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).

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Ecovacs Deebot 901 ($400)

Best for pets

Ecovacs Deebot 901 review
Terry Walsh/Digital Trends

The Deebot 901 (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.

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Ecovacs Deebot N79 ($249)

Best budget

iRobot Roomba deals

A robot that can vacuum your floors for you is a wonderful convenience, but that luxury often comes with a hefty price tag. If you’d like to get a robot vacuum without dropping a month or two’s worth of rent, the Ecovacs Deebot N79 will do the job at an affordable price. Although it’s not much of a looker, within the N79’s inconspicuous frame is an arsenal that will annihilate the typical household mess. The N79 wields a V-shaped main brush and a pair of side brushes, but its secret weapon is its software.

The N79’s “Smart Motion” navigation system is effective, guiding the vacuum around rooms with a low chance of getting stuck. Although no robot vacuum is foolproof — a stray cable here or there can trip them up — the N79 is fairly reliable. It’s also quiet, which is good if you plan on running the vacuum while you’re bingeing Netflix shows. Users can control the N79 via a smartphone app, so you don’t even have to be home to schedule a cleaning session. The Deebot N79 isn’t particularly powerful; those with thick carpets might want to look elsewhere, but for those who have hardwood floors and not a lot of messes, it should be all you need. Check out our full review of the Deebot N79 (here).

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