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The best Roomba robots for 2021

Tired of lugging that rugged upright vac around your home? Wish you could “tell” your vacuum when to sweep up the entire first floor of your home? It sounds like you should be saying your goodbyes to the days of push-and-pull vacuuming and hello to a Roomba. Roomba vacuums are available in various price ranges and are made for homes of all sizes. With our guide, you can choose a model to help you keep your floors clean, so you can spend more time doing what you enjoy.

You can also take a look at some of the best robot vacuum deals for today if you’re looking to save some money.

The best: iRobot Roomba S9+

Roomba s9 cleaning hardwood floors.

The Roomba S9+ received an Editor’s Choice Award from Digital Trends. Like the i7+, the S9 series is available with or without iRobot’s cool Clean Base charging station and self-emptying dust bin. There’s also a new, D-shaped body and an enhanced brush design that promises improved edge and corner cleaning, while suction is boosted forty times compared to the Roomba 600 series. You’ll also benefit from smart mapping, which allows you to select individual rooms for cleaning (as well as entire floors) and a unique anti-allergen system — a first for robot vacuums, according to iRobot — designed to trap dust and pollen.

The best for an apartment: iRobot Roomba 960

The iRobot Roomba 960 cleaning a living room.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The Roomba 960 model hits the sweet spot between Roomba features and Roomba prices, allowing you to nab an intelligent cleaning bot at mid-tier prices (well, mid-tier for Roombas). The model includes iRobot’s three-stage suction and brush system, equipped with rubber brushes designed to clean both hard floors and low carpets. The brushes flex to make sure they are always at ground level, and the suction system is five times more powerful than older Roomba models. The filter, meanwhile, is rated to trap 99% of dust and allergens (although it’s smart to always have some replacement filters on hand if you run your Roomba frequently).

While the Roomba 960 includes plenty of smart features to navigate, including auto-recharging for its 75-minute battery, it also comes with a virtual wall barrier that you can set up to partition specific spaces if there’s somewhere you don’t want the bot to go. Scheduling via the advanced Roomba app is excellent, but you can also choose to voice command your Roomba if you have an Echo device around the house. The Roomba 960 is only available at select retailers now, but it still remains one of our favorite Roomba models.

The best value: iRobot Roomba i7+

The Roomba i7+ emptying its contents.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Looking for Alexa to run the house-cleaning show? With the Roomba i7+, you can use your trusty Amazon voice assistant to wake your Roomba and command the vac to clean in specific areas of your home. Better yet, if you’re thinking you’ll be away awhile but don’t want the home falling into dusty abandonment, you can create a customized schedule for the i7+ to follow while you’re vacationing.

The i7+ was also the first robot vacuum to introduce a self-emptying dust bin in addition to smart room mapping, a cutting-edge motor with enhanced suction, durable brushes, and an upgraded processor. Opt for the Clean Base charging station, and you’ll need to add iRobot’s replaceable dust bags to your shopping list every few months. But, the Roomba i7+ is a worthwhile investment for those who want to completely automate vacuuming.

The best budget: iRobot Roomba 614

iRobot Roomba 614 Vacuum Cleaning Robot in a living room.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

If you like the idea of Roomba scurrying around your home but don’t love the price of iRobot’s leading models, fear not — there’s a robot vacuum for you! The Roomba 614 is priced well and offers a solid suite of features.

Keep an eye on the deals, and you may be able to pick it up for under $200. Of course, there are some compromises. Twin multi-surface brushes and sensor navigation help this good-value model to autonomously clean your home, but suction power is significantly reduced, meaning this bot may not be the best choice for thicker rugs or carpets. The entry-level Roomba 614 vacuum also lacks app control and Alexa and Google Assistant integration.

The best for pet hair: iRobot Roomba e5

iRobot Roomba e5 in the kitchen.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The Roomba e5 is a solid mid-range pick. It’s particularly good at picking up pet hair, with a combination of powerful suction and dual rubber brushes that can work equally well on carpet or hardwood floors.

It’s equipped with a selection of innovative Roomba features, including automatic recharging, a full set of sensors, and compatibility with both Alexa and Google Assistant. This is all the more impressive when you consider that it’s very reasonably priced for a Roomba model. The battery lasts around 90 minutes on a hard surface. If you have pets and plenty of hardwood that you want to keep clean — and free of pet hair dust bunnies — the Roomba e5 is a great and affordable model to use.

The best for hardwood floors: iRobot Braava Jet m6

The Braava Jet M6 on its charging dock.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The Braava 380t and entry-level Braava Jet 240 were iRobot’s first foray into autonomous floor-mopping and were positive additions, despite the need for regular fill-ups with cleaning solution and a little extra work to set up the accompanying NorthStar navigation cubes.

The Braava Jet m6 resolves some of the issues and inconveniences that held back those first-generation lines. There’s a fresh design, upgraded mapping, and navigation technology featuring individual room selection, plus improved edge and corner cleaning. The Braava Jet m6 also detects when its battery is depleted, heads back to its charger and then resumes mopping from the same point. App control and support for both Alexa and Google Assistant are also included in the update, and if you also own a Roomba i7 or S9, you can set your robot army to clean in sequence — vacuuming, then mopping. While the new model supports both wet mopping and dry sweeping, you’ll still need to invest regularly in iRobot’s disposable cleaning pads for the best performance.

Research and buying tips

How does a Roomba work?

Roombas use technology like brush systems, sensors, and advanced navigation to travel around your home, find dirt, and pick it up from your floors. Modern Roombas, like the 980, have cameras that help the vacuum learn your home’s floor plan, so the robot can move through your home in an efficient pattern. As Roombas evolve, the technology continues to advance. Models like the i7+ and s9+ can empty themselves, and Roomba continues to be a leader in robot vacuum technology.

How long do Roombas last?

You should expect your Roomba to last for around three to five years. However, the life of a Roomba depends on a number of factors, the biggest being how well you care for your robot. If you consistently clean and replace the brushes and filters, perform updates, and follow the guidance in your owner’s manual, your robot should last longer.

Are there more affordable alternatives to Roombas?

Yes. Brands like iLife, Proscenic, and Ecovacs offer affordable robot vacuums that can serve as Roomba alternatives, many of which have exceptional suction power and smart features.

Can a Roomba mop your house?

iRobot offers robots that mop, such as the Braava Jet M6, the Braava Jet 200 series, and the Braava Jet 300 series.

Are Roombas worth it?

Roombas are typically high quality robots with excellent navigation, good suction power, and reliable performance. They’re kind of like the iPhones of robot vacuums–worth it, but not the only option out there.

Editors' Recommendations

Erika Rawes
Smart Home Evergreen Coordinator
Erika became a professional writer in 2010, and her work is published all over the web on sites ranging from USA Today to…
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