The 7 Best Robot Vacuums of 2022, Tested and Reviewed

The ECOVACS DEEBOT N8+ Vacuum and Robot Mop wins

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ECOVACS DEEBOT N8+ Robot Vacuum and Mop

The Spruce / Henry Wortock

A great robot vacuum keeps your carpeted and hard floors free of dirt and debris and requires minimal care and maintenance. When considering the right model for your home, Alicia Johnson, cleaning expert and owner of Cleaning Green, recommends looking at your space to get a sense of where a robot vacuum might need to maneuver obstacles or get stuck. "If the layout of your house is simple, no need to go for an expensive one with a high-end navigational system, but if the layout is difficult, you need to pump up the budget."

With that in mind, we tested 30 robot vacuums in The Lab in Des Moines, Iowa, to see how top picks performed in real life and selected our favorites based on each vacuum's ease of setup, effectiveness, features, noise level, maneuverability, and overall value. We also sent our top picks to home testers to evaluate smart functionality and long-term performance.

Our top choice, the ECOVACS DEEBOT N8+ Laser Mapping Vacuum and Robot Mop with Self-Empty, is simple to set up and incredibly effective at sucking up pet hair and debris, and it was able to smart map our testing area in a cinch.

Here are the best robot vacuums, backed by our thorough testing.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Ecovacs Deebot N8+

4.8
Ecovacs DEEBOT N8+ Laser Mapping Vacuuming and Mopping Robot with Self Empty - White

Target

Our Ratings
  • Setup
    4/5
  • Effectiveness
    4.7/5
  • Noise Level
    5/5
  • Maneuverability
    4/5
  • Features
    4/5
What We Like
  • Easy to set up

  • Docked itself on the first try

  • Excellent smart mapping

What We Don't Like
  • Loud when emptying

  • Mop brushes need to be cleaned

Who else recommends it? Rolling Stone also picked the ECOVACS DEEBOT N8+.

What do buyers say? 72% of 1,100+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 4 stars or above.

Ease is the name of the game with the ECOVACS DEEBOT N8+ Robot Vacuum and Mop, and that's why it's our top pick. After all, a robot vacuum is supposed to do all the hard work and make cleaning something you never really have to worry about. That's exactly what this vacuum-mop combo does from the moment you take it out of the box. While the full manual is available online, the enclosed quick start guide aided in a speedy assembly process in our lab; it was ready to use in four minutes and 30 seconds.

Once in action, this robot vacuum got a perfect score while cleaning the hardwood floor and rug. Our tester noted that it easily picked up all the hair and debris and transitioned onto the rug seamlessly. After the test was over, there was no hair or debris tangled in the brush roll, which is a relief if you're a pet owner who is used to cutting hair from underneath your vacuum. For the mopping test, this vacuum cleaned up the messes, but the brushes were still sticky with syrup when the test was over. This is an expected outcome, but note that this vacuum isn't self-cleaning. You'll still need to wipe down the bristles if it runs through a particularly sticky or gooey mess.

While this pick isn't quite as loud as a regular vacuum, it may require you to turn up your television's volume a bit if you're attempting to clean the house while watching your favorite show. The loudest part of this vacuum is the self-emptying feature, which fortunately only happens at the end of the cleaning session. Notably, users can also make use of laser mapping. Our lab tester was impressed with how it methodically mapped out the lab room's floor and avoided furniture and other large obstacles.

After lab testing, we sent this model to a long-term home tester who used it regularly for one month. The tester praised the straightforward app setup, which involved scanning a QR code to download the app and guided instructions for getting started with mapping. Our home tester reported the same mopping and vacuuming effectiveness we saw in the lab, praising the N8+'s ability to detect carpet versus hard flooring, releasing water and mopping only on the latter. Our long-term tester also appreciated the convenience of running the device unsupervised. The tester made sure to pick up objects, such as dog toys, before running the machine and stepping out but always returned to spotless floors.

Price at time of publish: $700

Battery Life: 110 minutes | Cleaning Path Width: 14.5 inches | Mapping: Yes | Self-Emptying: Yes | Filter Type: HEPA | Smart Capabilities: Laser mapping, obstacle avoidance, smart recharge, interactive map, carpet detection, cleaning report

Best Budget: ILIFE V3s Pro Robot Vacuum Cleaner

4.3
ILIFE V3s Pro Robot Vacuum Cleaner

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Setup
    2/5
  • Effectiveness
    4/5
  • Noise Level
    5/5
  • Maneuverability
    5/5
  • Features
    4/5
What We Like
  • Excellent object avoidance

  • Easy to use

  • Quick assembly process

  • Remote control

What We Don't Like
  • No mopping feature

  • No app compatibility

  • Struggled in corners

Sometimes the best things in life are the simple things. At least, that's what we found when testing the ILIFE V3s Pro Robot Vacuum. Our lab tester appreciated that this robot vacuum doesn't have an app or voice control features that would make it "smart." This simplistic design makes it easier to use out of the box and an excellent starter robot vacuum if you want to dip your toe into the robot vac world on a budget without downloading apps or navigating smart mapping features.

When testing in the lab, this robot vacuum was ready to go in two minutes. Our tester loved that it had an obvious power switch and easy-to-use remote control. There is no mopping feature on this vacuum, but it did a pretty good job vacuuming, picking up most of the debris on its first try. It struggled with the Cheerios placed in a corner, but that's a pretty common pain point that much more expensive models may also experience. However, it avoided obstacles very well, including chocolate. Our lab tester noted that "even when other vacuums were getting stuck in the chocolate that melted, ILIFE did not get stuck at any point." Our lab tester also appreciated the low profile and ILIFE's relatively unobtrusive routine and reported that emptying this robot vacuum required very little effort.

In addition to lab testing, a long-term tester spent one month using the V3s Pro on hardwood and tile floors and while caring for a foster dog. This tester echoed our lab tester's sentiments about the ease of use and called it a "lifesaver" in picking up dog hair in hard-to-reach places, such as under the bed, but noted it couldn't fit under lower furniture. Our real-world tester was also impressed by the amount of debris it picked up but mentioned that the vacuum had some difficulty managing uneven flooring and bumps and required a few tries.

Price at time of publish: $160

Battery Life: 90 minutes | Cleaning Path Width: 11.8 inches | Mapping: No | Self-Emptying: No | Filter Type: HEPA | Smart Capabilities: Anti-bump and anti-fall, programmable schedule, self-charging

Best Splurge: Samsung Jet Bot AI+ Robot Vacuum With Object Recognition

4.5
Samsung Jet Bot AI+ Robot Vacuum with Object Recognition

Samsung

Our Ratings
  • Setup
    4/5
  • Effectiveness
    4.5/5
  • Noise Level
    4/5
  • Maneuverability
    5/5
  • Features
    5/5
What We Like
  • Efficient cleaning

  • Self-emptying base

  • Quick assembly process

  • Front camera

What We Don't Like
  • Did not avoid all objects in test

  • Must download Samsung app

If you're okay with spending a little bit extra for a sleek appliance, opt for the Samsung Jet Bot AI+ with Object Recognition robot vacuum. This device scored a 5-star rating for effectiveness because it easily sucked up all of the debris and hair in our testing lab. While it's certainly paired with a higher price tag, our lab tester raved about its high quality, easy setup in under three minutes, and how flawlessly it maneuvered around and under furniture. It includes a self-emptying base and a camera on the front so you can stream your vacuum's run around your apartment. This feature can also help your vacuum avoid objects, which we observed in the lab. However, while this model avoided some large objects like furniture, it ran through chocolate pudding.

Our lab tester described the noise level of this vacuum as "quiet and soothing" but reported that it had trouble transitioning from a hard floor to a rug. However, the docking station can empty the dust bin, and the filter moves up and down when you turn the robot vacuum on as if to give you a moment to check its cleanliness before the machine gets to work. The device also talks to you when it's turning on and off or when there is an object in its way that it needs assistance with. While this model requires setting up through the Samsung SmartThings app (and a Samsung account if you don't have one) to operate, the app offers control from your smartphone for scheduling and monitoring or voice commands using Bixby, Alexa, or Google Assistant.

After one month of routine use, our long-term home tester agreed with our lab tester's observations about general effectiveness and the relatively speedy setup. In our real-world tester's case, the app didn't detect the Jet Bot AI+ automatically, which required manually entering this model. The app did recognize an already established Samsung robot vacuum on another floor of the home. The home tester also mentioned similar issues with hardwood-to-rug floor transitions, specifically on rugs with tassels. On a low-pile rug, the Jet Bot AI+ performed smoothly, but on a higher-pile rug, it became turned around or flipped the rug over. However, our long-term tester appreciated the vacuum's overall cleaning performance, including its ability to clean corners pretty closely, thanks to the fan brush.

Price at time of publish: $1,300

Battery Life: 90 minutes | Cleaning Path Width: 7.9 inches | Mapping: Yes | Self-Emptying: Yes | Filter Type: HEPA | Smart Capabilities: Laser mapping, obstacle recognition, carpet detection, interactive map, livestream cleaning

Best for Hard Floors: eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 30C MAX

4.3
eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 30C MAX

eufy

Our Ratings
  • Setup
    5/5
  • Effectiveness
    4.5/5
  • Noise Level
    4/5
  • Maneuverability
    3/5
  • Features
    4/5
What We Like
  • Height-adjustable suction

  • Works well on pet hair

  • Quiet operation

What We Don't Like
  • No floor mapping

  • Does not avoid small objects

  • Needs strong Wi-Fi connection

If you're on the hunt for a robot vacuum that's powerful and efficient on hard floors, look no further than the eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 30C MAX. This mid-price robotic vacuum is ideal for use on hardwood floors and low- and medium-pile carpets, and it has several useful features that make it stand out. We tested this robot vacuum in the lab and at home with two testers and found it does a fantastic job as long as you have a good Wi-Fi connection. While our initial home tester experienced some difficulty with Wi-Fi setup, our lab and long-term home testers found the setup seamless. Our long-term tester reported that it took less than one minute total and that the Alexa integration was swift with an existing Amazon account and convenient for asking the 30C MAX to spot clean.

This model from eufy includes improved suction power, quiet operation, and can run for up to 100 minutes with only one charge. It features the brand's signature slim design—the vacuum is less than 3 inches tall, so it can glide underneath low furniture. Our long-term tester loved this low profile, which allows the vacuum and charging dock to store discreetly under a bookshelf. The RoboVac also has BoostIQ technology, which automatically increases suction when needed. Our home tester raved about this feature, noting that "it handled pet hair beautifully and even better on the MAX rather than the BoostIQ setting." Our in-lab tester was ultimately impressed with how quick and effective it was at suctioning up a range of debris, including hair, sand, and Cheerios. While it struggled a bit to transition from the hard floor to a rug, it avoided large furniture well and handled pet hair in our home tester's space with total ease.

While this robotic vacuum does an excellent job of picking up pet hair and dirt from hardwood floors and carpets, this model doesn't have floor mapping technology like more high-tech vacuums do, meaning it cleans in a random pattern. It also avoids large objects but not small ones like socks—so you'll need to do some pre-cleaning before running this vacuum. After one month of use, our long-term home tester observed that this model often jumps around, missing debris completely in certain areas, and repeatedly runs into objects. The vacuum does come with magnetic strips you can lay out around your house to help the vacuum avoid any obstacles, which our initial home tester used and our long-term tester didn't. While effective, our home tester found the strips visually unappealing and the number insufficient to cover all the areas the vacuum should avoid.

Price at time of publish: $260

Battery Life: 100 minutes | Cleaning Path Width: Not listed | Mapping: No | Self-Emptying: No | Filter Type: Not listed | Smart Capabilities: Programmable schedule, voice control, boundary strips, boost mode

eufy Boost IQ robot vacuum

The Spruce / Henry Wortock

Best for Carpet: Coredy R380 Robot Vacuum Cleaner

4.5
Coredy 380 robot vacuum in navy blue

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Setup
    5/5
  • Effectiveness
    5/5
  • Noise Level
    4/5
  • Maneuverability
    4/5
  • Features
    4/5
What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Long battery life

  • Effective cleaning on carpet and hardwood

What We Don't Like
  • Glitchy remote

  • No mopping feature

  • Struggles with room transitions

The Coredy R380 Robot Vacuum Cleaner is a hidden gem, thanks to its impressive cleaning and lower price point. Since this vacuum doesn't have a mopping feature and had zero issues on carpeted surfaces during our lab at at-home tests, we believe it makes an excellent pick for daily cleaning in your carpeted rooms. It can run for up to 110 minutes per charge and boasts an auto-adjusting cleaning head that increases suction when it moves from tile or hardwood floors onto carpets. The vac features a slim, 2.7-inch profile that fits under furniture easily and has a double filter system to effectively capture dirt and dust. 

During lab testing, this robot vacuum stayed relatively quiet throughout its routine, and our lab tester noted that setup and emptying the dust bin were both a breeze, thanks to clear instructions and photos. In addition to an app and smart features for voice control and scheduling, this powerful vacuum comes with a remote control. This accessory didn't work well in our lab testing, but the robot vacuum managed to suck up everything in its path and maneuvered better than some of the more expensive models we tested. It stayed away from obstacles and didn't get stuck when moving from one surface type to another.

Our long-term home tester reported positive results after one month of routine use but noted several challenges. The app was generally easy to navigate but connecting the R380 with Alexa-enabled devices took considerably more time than expected. Unlike the general setup instructions, smart feature integration could be better detailed in the manual, but the vacuum performed well after clearing this initial hurdle. Like our lab testing results, our home tester confirmed the R380's quiet operation and ability to avoid objects. However, our long-term tester noted that this model had difficulty with room transitions, often getting stuck in one room unless redirected. For that reason, our home tester suggests that this model would be a better fit for homes with more open layouts.

Price at time of publish: $172

Battery Life: 110 minutes | Cleaning Path Width: Not listed | Mapping: No | Self-Emptying: No | Filter Type: HEPA | Smart Capabilities: Programmable schedule, voice control, anti-drop and anti-collision technology

Coredy robot vacuum

The Spruce / Henry Wortock

Best for Pet Hair: iRobot Roomba 694 Robot Vacuum

4.5
iRobot Roomba 694 Robot Vacuum

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Setup
    5/5
  • Effectiveness
    5/5
  • Noise Level
    3.5/5
  • Maneuverability
    5/5
  • Features
    3/5
What We Like
  • Easy to assemble

  • Easy to empty

  • Hair didn't get tangled in brush roll

What We Don't Like
  • Didn't avoid small objects

  • Loud operation

If you live in a home with pets, you understand the challenge of keeping your floors clean. That's where robot vacuums can come in handy. A simple run at the end of the day will capture so much unseen pet hair—you'll be delightfully disgusted when you empty the dustbin. While all of our top picks performed well with pet hair in our lab, the iRobot Roomba 694 stood out. It did an excellent job picking up pet and human hair, and neither tangled in the brush roll. It also did an impressive job sucking up sand, so we strongly believe it could banish pet dander, too. Not to mention, the vacuum is equipped with a HEPA filter, which helps trap all of that dander and keeps it from recirculating back into your home's air. According to Deni Ivanov, Digital Marketing Director at Royal Cleaning, "Your robot vacuum's filter is its very heart—it ensures even the smallest of smallest dirt particles are captured so you can have a debris-free floor."

This robot vacuum was easy to assemble and empty, and our lab tester loved that this vacuum did exactly what it promised to do: vacuum very well. However, it didn't avoid small objects like socks, so you'll definitely need to make sure your floors are clear of tiny things before running it in your space. It's also slightly louder than some other models, so plan to turn up your TV's volume or move your conversation into another room while it cleans away.

While the Roomba 694 doesn't come with many bells and whistles, our long-term home tester reported that the app is easy to use for the initial setup. Our tester loved the step-by-step guidance, which was thorough enough to avoid turning to the instruction manual. After one month of regular use, our home tester found this robot vacuum much more effective than a stick model at cleaning hair and dirt. The tester also appreciated not having to supervise the device and the easy dustbin emptying and brush roll cleaning process. Both our in-lab and real-world testing confirmed that this vacuum does the basics well. Though as a Wi-Fi-connected machine, you can also schedule cleaning sessions and set up voice controls with Alexa or Google Assistant through the app.

Price at time of publish: $274

Battery Life: 90 minutes | Cleaning Path Width: 7 inches | Mapping: No | Self-Emptying: No | Filter Type: HE | Smart Capabilities: Programmable schedule, voice control, smart recharge, anti-drop and anti-collision

irobot Roomba 694 robot vacuum

The Spruce / Henry Wortock

Best Combo: Ecovacs Deebot T10+ Robot Vacuum and Mop

4.4
EcoVacs Deebot T10 Plus in white

Best Buy

Our Ratings
  • Setup
    4/5
  • Effectiveness
    5/5
  • Noise Level
    4/5
  • Maneuverability
    4/5
  • Features
    3/5
What We Like
  • Scented pods

  • Smart mapping

  • Mop feature worked well

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Long initial charge

  • App could be more user-friendly

There's a lot to love about the ECOVACS DEEBOT T10+ Robot Vacuum and Mop, but our favorite thing is that it actually has a good mopping feature, which is pretty rare in hybrid models. In our lab testing, we found that most hybrid robot vacuums tend to just make a bigger mess when there's a real spill involved, but the DEEBOT T10+ cleaned up our spills and only left a little bit of residue behind on its side brushes. Our lab tester said it will almost seem to stutter here and there when mopping, but that's because the mop heads are scrubbing the mess off the floor.

When it came to vacuuming, the DEEBOT was also super effective and only left a little bit of hair behind. The vac's routine includes going over the area first to get an idea of the layout and its boundaries. Then, it works in lines. It took time to understand its space. When it had a hard time transitioning to the rug, it tried from a different angle and was successful. It was very quiet when operating on hardwood and navigated around furniture and a sock very well. While the price point is high, our lab tester was ultimately impressed by its functionality and how easy emptying is thanks to the self-emptying feature, which seemed to perform better than others in our testing. On top of its high-tech features, it also comes with scented pods, so you can enjoy a light, fresh scent throughout your home.

After our initial lab test, our long-term tester spent one month using this model in a smaller apartment with tile, hardwood, and rugs and reported similar results. Just as we observed in the lab, the self-emptying feature, while loud, was a standout feature, and the tester appreciated the low operating volume and efficient patterns. However, the home tester reported that the T10+ struggled to clear door thresholds, fit through narrow passageways because of its wider build, and often got stuck on rugs, especially those not weighed down by furniture. As for smart functions, our long-term tester indicated that the app was not user-friendly, providing little guidance about the available features and setting up mapping. Another point to note if you go with this model: Set it up the night before you do any cleaning, as it takes six and a half hours to fully charge.

Price at time of publish: $950

Battery Life: 180 minutes | Cleaning Path Width: 14.5 inches | Mapping: Yes | Self-Emptying: Yes | Filter Type: Replaceable | Smart Capabilities: Laser mapping, obstacle avoidance, smart recharge, voice control, interactive map, cleaning report

EcoVacs Deebot T10 Plus

The Spruce / Henry Wortock

Compare

Overall Rating Setup Effectiveness Noise Level Maneuverability Features
Ecovacs DEEBOT N8+ Laser Mapping Vacuuming and Mopping Robot with Self Empty - White
Best Overall:
Ecovacs Deebot N8+
4.8
4 4.7 5 4 4
ILIFE V3s Pro Robot Vacuum Cleaner
Best Budget:
ILIFE V3s Pro Robot Vacuum Cleaner
4.3
2 4 5 5 4
Samsung Jet Bot AI+ Robot Vacuum with Object Recognition
Best Splurge:
Samsung Jet Bot Robot Vacuum
4.5
4 4.5 4 5 5
eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 30C MAX
Best for Hard Floors:
eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 30C MAX
4.3
5 4.5 4 3 4
Coredy 380 robot vacuum in navy blue
Best for Carpet:
Coredy R380 Robot Vacuum Cleaner
4.5
5 5 4 4 4
iRobot Roomba 694 Robot Vacuum
Best for Pet Hair:
iRobot Roomba 694 Robot Vacuum
4.5
5 5 3.5 5 3
EcoVacs Deebot T10 Plus in white
Best Combo:
Ecovacs Deebot T10+ Robot Vacuum and Mop
4.4
4 5 4 4 3
Final Verdict

Our top pick for a quality robot vacuum is the ECOVACS DEEBOT N8+ Laser Mapping Vacuum and Robot Mop with Self-Empty because it is incredibly easy to assemble and operate. It suctioned up pet hair and debris quickly, and its smart mapping features are top-notch. If you're not looking to invest too much money in a robot vacuum, a high-quality yet cheaper option is the ILIFE V3s Pro Robot Vacuum. It doesn't have all the bells and whistles of some other robot vacuums, but it's so easy to use and worked just as well as many other models we tested for a fraction of the price.

irobot i7 robot vacuum

The Spruce / Henry Wortock

Other Options We Tested

iRobot Roomba i7+ (7550) Robot Vacuum: This vacuum performed relatively well during our testing, but our tester had to manually empty it after it had already self-emptied into its tower. The vacuum also got tripped up by a few small obstacles and kicked some Cheerios farther into the room instead of suctioning them up. It did successfully vacuum up all of the hair and dirt in The Lab, but we think it should have performed better for the price. However, if it were on sale, it would be worth buying.

eufy by Anker RoboVac G30 Edge: We love that this robot vacuum comes with a remote as well as an app, so you can decide what works best for you. Our lab tester thoroughly enjoyed the spot-cleaning feature but noted the vacuum slowed down while vacuuming carpet. When it was cleaning on hard floors, however, it excelled. Overall, this was an easy-to-use vacuum and would make a great starter robot vacuum for someone who doesn't need all the bells and whistles of an AI machine. If this were on sale, we'd say go for it.

iRobot Roomba i3 EVO (3150) Robot Vacuum: This vacuum took our testers around 10 minutes to set up, but once it was up and running, they were very impressed. It was quiet, so you could enjoy your TV shows or conversations while the machine does its thing around your home. This model doesn't have a self-emptying feature or object avoidance, which is a bummer. But, it's a great basic robot vacuum for daily surface cleaning.

How We Tested the Robot Vacuums

We purchased and tested 30 robot vacuums in The Lab in Des Moines, Iowa, for two days. We started by unboxing and timing the setup process. Our testers assembled each vacuum, inserted any filters, hooked up docking stations, and installed mop pads. They rated the ease of setup based on all these steps and how clear or confusing the instructions were. (Our current at-home testers will expand on these insights when they further get to know each vacuum's app and smart mapping features while using them long-term in their homes.) Once setup was complete, we tested cleaning effectiveness by observing how well each vacuum picked up debris—hair, Cheerios, and sand—from hard floors and carpets. If the machine had mopping capabilities, we tested that feature by spilling coffee and syrup on the hard floor, and then we set a timer for two minutes to see how well the robot mop cleaned up the mess.

As the robot vacuum was operating, we used a decibel reader to assess the noise level. We also took note of any special features included, such as obstacle avoidance or smart mapping that our home testers will further dive into, and scored on maneuverability as the robot vacuums made their way around our living room obstacle course. If object avoidance was an advertised feature, we tested that by putting a USB cord, sock, and chocolate pudding on the floor, and then we took note of whether it successfully avoided those obstacles. Lastly, not all robot vacuums are self-emptying, so we rated each one on the ease of emptying the dust bin or included bag. Then, we had our tester assess the overall value based on how well the product performed in all of the tests, compared with the price tag and promised features.

Now, some robot vacuums and mops come with features such as voice control, smart mapping, and scheduled cleans. To put these vacuums and smart features through the paces in the real world, we sent our top vacuums to long-term home testers. We have updated our list with one-month test results and will provide more updates with our testers' fresh and thorough insights in the coming months.

The Best Robot Vacuums Battery Life Mapping Self-Emptying
ECOVACS DEEBOT N8+ Laser Mapping Robot Vacuum and Mop 110 minutes Yes Yes
ILIFE V3s Pro Robot Vacuum Cleaner 90 minutes No No
Samsung Jet Bot Robot Vacuum 90 minutes Yes  Yes
eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 30C MAX 100 minutes No No
Coredy R380 Robot Vacuum Cleaner 110 minutes No No
iRobot Roomba 694 Robot Vacuum 90 minutes No No
ECOVACS DEEBOT T10+ Robot Vacuum and Mop 180 minutes  Yes Yes 

What to Look for in a Robot Vacuum

Battery Life

Take note of the robot vacuum's battery life and compare that to your cleaning needs. "Know that a typical home uses its vacuum 60 minutes a day on average. You want a robot vacuum that runs at least an hour or north of that when fully charged," says Deni Ivanov, Digital Marketing Director at Royal Cleaning.

If you plan to use your robot vacuum to target just one room, such as a living room that houses the dog bed (and, therefore, a whole lot of dog fur), then a shorter battery life might suffice. If you want your vacuum to clean your entire home or cover a large amount of square footage, you'll want a model that has a longer battery life (90 minutes and up), a larger dust collection bin, and possibly even self-charging capabilities. While all of our top recommendations have a battery life of at least 90 minutes, if you want a model with extra longevity, our Best Combo pick, the ECOVACS DEEBOT T10+ Robot Vacuum and Mop, offers a 180-minute running time—though with a lengthier charge time of six hours.

Floor Compatibility

Will your robotic vacuum be cleaning hard floors or carpets? Certain products are designed to handle the transition from one floor type to another without losing suction, which helps it clean better and ensures it requires less assistance throughout its routine. Many models will even automatically register what type of floor it's currently cleaning and change its suction or brush features to optimize cleaning for that floor type. Our testing showed that the ECOVACS DEEBOT N8+ Robot Vacuum and Mop, our Best Overall pick, excels at recognizing the difference between carpet and non-carpeted surfaces and cleans accordingly.

Make sure your robot vacuum is compatible with your floor types. If you have many area rugs or a variety of surface types in your home, a robot vacuum with carpet detection will be very helpful in ensuring a good clean.

Smart Features

Most robotic vacuums come with smart capabilities, but you'll want to decide which ones are right for you and your cleaning needs, as each fancy feature usually comes with a bump to the price tag. If you want to be able to start the vacuum remotely or monitor its progress, you'll want a robot vacuum that comes with a programmable schedule or remote start features. This will likely require you to install an app on your smartphone and connect the robot vacuum to Wi-Fi. Your user manual will walk you through how to do that if you're not confident in your technical skills.

If you want to take it up a step, some models will make a map of your home, and you can instruct your robot vacuum to only clean the kitchen or just the living room and bedroom through the app. Others allow you to issue voice prompts to operate your robot vacuum with the help of voice assistants such as Alexa, Google Assistant, or Bixby. Note that the commands you can use vary based on the manufacturer/model, so it's worth researching the possibilities and limitations of voice compatibility. Some brands could require a compatible smart speaker or hub that you need to connect to add this functionality, while others such as our Best Splurge recommendation, the Samsung Jet Bot AI+ with Object Recognition, might work with the Alexa app or a companion app such as Samsung SmartThings.

Object avoidance and boost cleaning modes are other smart features that make some models more advanced than others. Many robot vacuums with object avoidance have cameras on the front that can detect obstacles, such as a sock or a pet accident, so the vacuum will avoid that spot. Boost cleaning modes can recognize when an area is very dirty. The robot vacuum will increase its suction while cleaning that spot or maybe scrub harder if the model has both vacuuming and mopping capabilities. Keep in mind that these features will increase the price tag, often by hundreds of dollars, though can make cleaning more convenient.

Standout Features

Self-Emptying

An excellent robot vacuum offers a fully hands-off cleaning experience, which extends to emptying the dust bin. Some robot vacuums feature a tower that contains a dust bin bag, and at the end of the robot vacuum's clean, it will dock itself and empty the debris into the tower. Then, all you have to do is throw away the bag and replace it with a new one. This means you won't have to interact with the dirt and debris. However, you will likely have to buy the brand's replacement bags, which is an additional cost. This emptying process is much louder than the robot vacuum's normal noise level, so it might scare pets or infants as well.

Smart Mapping

Basic robot vacuums will clean methodically around your space, and if they bump into anything, they'll rotate and start cleaning in a different direction. Robot vacuums with smart mapping features make a map of your home before the first cleaning, so they avoid running into permanent obstacles such as couches or door frames. In addition, your robot vacuum will likely learn your space a little better each time it cleans your home. You can also direct the robot vacuum from your smartphone to only vacuum your kitchen or bedroom if you need it to do a quick clean before guests come over.

Object Avoidance

One of the biggest pain points of using a robot vacuum is that you may have to pre-clean before running your device. This is because robot vacuums work best with clear floors and no obstacles. The latest technology on robot vacuums includes object avoidance. If your vacuum has this feature, it will have a camera on the front of it that can identify something, like a sock or pack of crayons on the floor, and will go around it instead of running into it and possibly making a bigger mess. This is an especially great feature for pet owners if their dogs are prone to having accidents in the home. This feature is a work in progress with many robot vacuums and will likely get better and more precise in the years to come.

ILIFE V3s Pro Robot Vacuum

The Spruce / Henry Wortock

FAQ
  • How do robotic vacuums work?

    Generally, robotic vacuums rely on a variety of sensors to determine their path through your home, including where they should go to clean. Some of these sensors help detect "cliffs," like staircases or edges that the machine could fall off, while others sense where objects like furniture are in relation to the vacuum and help it avoid bumping into them. More technologically advanced robotic vacuums may also implement machine-learning in order to get their cleaning done. Mapping software, customizable cleaning preferences via an integrated app, and dirt sensors provide these smart vacuums with additional information to move through your home and clean the areas that need the most attention.

  • Can a robotic vacuum replace an upright vacuum?

    If you find the right robotic vacuum for your home, it can do an excellent job keeping your floors clean and end up saving you some time on routine vacuuming. But, you shouldn't toss out your full-size vacuum just yet. Where robotic vacuums are highly effective at regularly cleaning floors, including the hard-to-reach corners of your home, they don't always feature the sheer cleaning power that, say, an upright vacuum does. So, when it comes to deep cleaning a high-pile carpet or any vacuuming job that calls for attachments, like cleaning couch upholstery, you're better off sticking with your upright model.

  • How do you keep a robotic vacuum from getting stuck under furniture?

    Even if you have a smart robotic vacuum that can learn and adapt to your home's layout, there is always the risk that it will end up stuck under the couch or another large item of furniture. Luckily, you can prevent this from becoming a recurring issue by choosing a model with a low profile, adding risers to the legs of your furniture, or blocking its pathway under furniture with string or a virtual barrier.

eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 30C MAX

The Spruce / Henry Wortock

Why Trust The Spruce?

This article was written by Erin Johnson, a commerce editor at The Spruce focusing on appliances, cleaning, and organization. Erin has hands-on experience testing upright, cordless, handheld, and robot vacuums and mops and has developed and led tests in The Lab. She has boiled down testing insights and brought our experience with products like carpet cleaners and dustbusters to life. You can also find her work on Real Simple, Better Homes and Gardens, Apartment Therapy, and Southern Living. Personally, she is a fan of iRobot robot vacuums because their app is easy to use.

For additional insight, Erin interviewed Alicia Johnson, cleaning expert and owner of Cleaning Green, and Deni Ivanov, digital marketing director at Royal Cleaning, on robot vacuums and combo picks in residential cleaning settings.

Kate Geraghty, editorial director, contributed to this roundup, too. She uses the eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 30C MAX to clean her New York City apartment every weekend and trusts it to suck up every last crumb in the kitchen and piece of fuzz from the living room rug before it needs to be recharged. Mary Marlowe Leverette, a nationally recognized cleaning expert, provided additional research.

What Is Spruce Approved?

Here at The Spruce we want to ensure we fully stand behind every product we recommend, and that when we say something is the best, we mean it. You might have noticed The Spruce Approved badge next to the products on this list. Every product with this badge has been rigorously tested in person and carefully selected by our expert team of lab testers and editors. In most cases, we buy all these products ourselves, though occasionally we get samples provided to us directly by companies. No matter how we procure products, they all go through the same tests and must meet the same strict criteria to make the best-of cut. We also pride ourselves on transparency and will always let you know if we received a product for free.

Updated by
Mary Marlowe Leverette
Mary Marlowe Leverette 2018
Mary Marlowe Leverette is one of the industry's most highly-regarded housekeeping and fabric care experts, sharing her knowledge on efficient housekeeping, laundry, and textile conservation. She is also a Master Gardener with over 40 years' experience; writing for over 20 years.
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