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The best time to buy a robot vacuum (and the worst time to buy) in 2021

Robot vacuums — or “robovacs” — have won a reputation of cleaning up unexpected messes, getting rid of dust bunnies, and prowling around to keep floors clean. There are models for both hard flooring and carpeting (or both), and the latest versions are incredibly smart when it comes to floor mapping, patterned cleaning, and automatic recharging and disposal. You may not be able to avoid cleaning altogether, but a vac like a Roomba can make it a whole lot easier.

There’s just a small problem: The smartest robovacs are also the most expensive, and prices can soar high with advanced technology. Saving money is key when purchasing a robot vacuum, so we’re helping out with the best times to plan your purchase. While you’re here, be sure to check out our guide to the best robot vacuums on the market.

First: Check our Roomba deals guide

To begin, check out our guide to the best current Roomba deals. We make sure to update it every month, and it’s a great place to begin the hunt for the deals you want.

iRobot Roomba i3 Plus dirt disposal unit
John Velasco / Digital Trends

During early spring: Late February to May

Spring is the time when cleaning comes to mind, the weather warms up, and people start planning home projects. In other words, it’s the perfect time to start selling vacuum cleaners. A wide variety of cleaning-oriented sales happen during these months, generally starting in late February and slowing down during May. This is one of the best times to look for a robot vacuum and take advantage of the lowest prices of the year.

Also, even if you’ve missed that particular run of sales, it’s worth paying close attention as summer begins. June is one of the most popular months for new vacuum models to be released and shipped. That means many retailers will be looking for ways to clear the shelves or warehouses and get older vacuum models out. Robovacs aren’t always on the same schedule, but they can get lumped into general vacuum clearance sales, so it’s certainly worth paying attention during this time.

Amazon Prime Day

Roombas and similar models may be vacuum cleaners, but they are also high-tech products, and one of the best times to look for deals is on Amazon Prime Day, when Amazon offers a wide variety of deals throughout its store — but especially for things like electronics.

However, it’s important to get the date correct: Prime Day can bounce around a lot. It’s been held in July several times, was pushed to October in 2020 due to general pandemic conditions, and this year, it’s slated for June 21 and June 22. Keep up with our Amazon Prime Day deal guide to see what the best deals are when you’re getting ready to buy.

If you are invested in getting a robovac online, we also suggest signing up for Amazon’s deal notifications so you can watch deals ahead of time and get alerts right when a deal for a certain product goes live. There are even extensions like Price Tracker for Amazon that you can use to help out.

A Roomba cross from hardfloor to a rug.

Black Friday weekend

Black Friday weekend and Cyber Monday are great times to buy both appliances and electronics, so robovacs are right at home among these discounts. The key here is acting fast: High demand during this period means inventory may not be able to keep up, so it’s possible that popular models will run out of stock early on. If you can’t find any models left on big retailer sites like Amazon, we suggest heading over to the brands’ own sites like iRobot’s Roomba product pages to check out their individual deals.

Summer holidays

Summer holidays are also an excellent opportunity to watch for robovac discounts. Memorial Day, Father’s Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, and more are all common timeframes for household appliance sales, so it’s certainly worth watching robot vacuum prices. As usual, deals around these holidays tend to be broadcast well ahead of time, so start looking early.

Buying online

Are you set on buying online? It’s a great way to find a robot vacuum, but there are ways you can increase your chances of finding a deal and the odds that a product is in stock. First, look during the first week of the month: This is when many people get their paychecks, and e-commerce deals often coincide. Thursday, for some reason, is a particularly common time to see deals hit. Also, you may have more luck shopping in the afternoon around 3 p.m. than waiting until the evening.

Programming with the Roomba app

The times to avoid buying a robot vacuum

There are a few times when it’s not a very good idea to buy a robovac. If you’re considering buying during one of these periods, it may be better to wait.

  • Fall and winter (outside of the holidays): Like the inverse of spring sales, fall and winter tend to be poor times to purchase a robovac — with the exception of the aforementioned holidays, of course! Wait until late November to start looking for holiday-specific deals.
  • January: By January, most older appliance stock is sold out, and the big spring-cleaning sales aren’t close to starting yet. Better hold off for now.
  • September: September, in particular, isn’t a great time to buy. Wait for holiday sales to arrive.
  • Any time before you’ve researched your options: Robovacs take some research to find out what model is best for you. You need to consider things like battery life, bin disposal options, and just how smart it needs to be. Does it need to traverse carpet and hardwood equally? Do you want commands for spot cleaning in case of an accident? Does it need to navigate ledges or fit under furniture? Would you prefer a robovac with mop capabilities? Don’t buy a model until you are sure of what you want.

For more information, you should also check out our complete guide on when to buy appliances.

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