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The best Roomba alternatives for 2021

iRobot’s Roomba series is arguably one of the most popular robot vacuum lineups on the market, but you can find some great alternatives if you’re looking for a robot vacuum with some different features, or perhaps just one that’s a little less pricey than a Roomba. These are some of best robot vacuums that aren’t Roombas, to give you a chance to see what else is out there.

Best self-emptying Robot Vacuum: Shark IQ R101AE

Shark IQ Robot Self-Empty XL RV1001AE, Robotic Vacuum

The Shark IQ (read our Shark IQ Robot R101AE Self-Emptying Robot Vacuum review) is getting noticed by shoppers. This is mostly because it does away with one of the most dreaded parts of owning a robot vac: The emptying of the dustbin. The Shark IQ can empty itself, while coming in at a lower price than many of the units in iRobot’s self-emptying line.

A self-emptying robot vacuum may just blow your mind. That’s because it doesn’t matter how smart your robot is, the smaller size of the dustbin will always mean regular (even daily) emptying. Not only will the Shark IQ return to the base to ditch its dirty cargo on its own, it will do the same to recharge if the battery starts to die during a clean. This smart robot works with Alexa and Google Assistant and also cleans its own brushes during emptying. Basically, this is a vacuum that’s going to save you a lot of time and is cheaper than the iRobot equivalent. Plus this bagless version means no extra accessories to buy.

Best mid-priced robot vacuum: Neato Botvac D7

This robot has the ability to draw “no-go” lines via the app, making it both intuitive and smart. Once it’s done a scouting run of house, you can access a map of your house on the app and draw lines to stop it from bumping into things or from wandering under the bed.

This is a huge improvement from the magnetic strips some manufacturers use to delineate no-go zones in a home and allows for serious precision, making the cleaning time faster and less error-prone. The D7 botvac also has cool navigation skills, thanks to a 360-degree laser, which regularly scans its environment, allowing it to deftly dodge obstacles.

By the way, if you need some tips on how to choose a robot vacuum, check out our guide.

Best for quiet operation: Eufy 11S Max

If you’re looking for a budget robot vacuum that a toddler can nap through, look no further than the Eufy 11s Max. As well as being a very powerful model, it’s also one of the quieter units on the market. This quiet is perfect for families who want to get the cleaning done while a baby (or shiftworker) is sleeping, or just when you’re at home and don’t feel like listening to the drone of a vacuum. It also has a great battery life, running for around 2 hours after 4 hours of charging.

Best dual-purpose robot vacuums: RoboRock S5 Max and Deebot Ozmo T8

One of the most interesting new features is the 2-in-1 mopping and vacuuming that some bots can do. This is a total game-changer, taking away the worry of the vac getting stuck in a wet mess as it zips around the house.

For those in the market for a robot vacuum that also comprises a mop feature, these bots are the best options out there, in our opinion:

The RoboRock S5 Max has an app that lets you precisely control how much water is used for mopping the floor, meaning rather than being a robot vac with a mop function, it’s truly a dual machine: just as powerful and effective a mop as it is as a vacuum.

The Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI is a very quiet robot vacuum that also has an optional self-emptying bin so it both sweeps and wipes.

Best budget bot: iLife A9

ILIFE 9A with app

The iLife A9 is a sweet choice for a budget bot that comes in at around $200. It does a fantastic job on hardwood floors and carpets, and it’s actually pretty smart. It has app control and Alexa compatibility, and the suction power is impressive. The battery lasts up to 12o minutes too. If you’re looking for a robot that cleans very well without breaking the bank, this is your bot.

iRobot’s Roomba is an icon in the home cleaning and automation space, but there are some other brilliant models on the market, too. The robot vacuums on our list all have some amazing features, and most are less expensive than a Roomba, meaning they’re definitely worth checking out as you’re shopping for a robot butler to keep your home clean.

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Erin Lawrence
Erin has over 20 years of experience as a journalist in the media and news industries, with time both on camera and behind…
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