The 10 Best Budget Robotic Vacuums

Updated December 24, 2017 by Lydia Chipman

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We spent 45 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. When the labor-intensive work of keeping floors clean gets to be too much, robotic vacuums can provide an affordable alternative to bringing in hired help, but some models can still set you back a pretty penny. Our budget-friendly selections are cheaper than the competition and do an admirable job of picking up dirt and detritus from the wood, laminate, tile and carpeted surfaces beneath our feet. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best budget robotic vacuum on Amazon.

10. Rollibot BL618

In addition to the usual sweeping and damp-mopping repertoire, the Rollibot BL618 also features dual HEPA filters and UV sterilization to effectively remove allergens, dust mites and pathogenic microbes from high-traffic areas of your home.
  • cartridge and roller are washable
  • multiple obstacle avoidance sensors
  • not so good for edge cleaning
Brand RolliBot
Model BL618-BLK
Weight 9.7 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

9. Pyle PUCRC65

Designed to slide easily under furniture and maneuver into corners to root out dirt that's hiding there, the Pyle PUCRC65 provides intelligent cleaning power and filtration to keep floors fastidiously free of dust and debris, but it's at its best on smooth, level surfaces.
  • collision avoidance technology
  • microfiber mop pads included
  • not suitable for larger spaces
Brand Pure Clean
Model PUCRC62
Weight 8 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

8. iLife V5S Pro

Fill the detachable tank with water, diluted vinegar or disinfectant, and let the multifunctional iLife V5S Pro mop up dirt and sticky spots from wood, laminate and tile floors; or set the reservoir aside and program it to carry out a regularly scheduled cleaning cycle.
  • max mode for powerful extraction
  • designed to navigate uneven surfaces
  • proximity sensors can be twitchy
Weight 9.8 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

7. Pyle PureClean PUCRC95

Even the most devoted pet owners can't afford to let fur, dander, hair and dust bunnies overtake their homes, so the Pyle PureClean PUCRC95 swoops in right on schedule, using powerful suction and HEPA filtration to collect it all and keep floors blissfully clean.
  • low profile to scoot under furniture
  • programmable by remote control
  • struggles with flooring transitions
Brand Pure Clean
Model PUCRC95
Weight 8.4 pounds
Rating 3.5 / 5.0

6. Eufy RoboVac 11+

Using patented PowerBoost technology to automatically increase performance when a job calls for a little extra oomph, the WiFi-enabled Eufy RoboVac 11+ has an oversized dustbin and a long-life battery to keep on truckin' for up to 100 minutes before stopping to recharge.
  • advanced navigation sensors
  • low profile for hard-to-reach areas
  • at the top of the budget price range
Brand eufy
Model AK-T21041F1
Weight 10.5 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

5. Deebot N79

The Ecovacs Deebot N79 features intuitive smartphone app integration and an energy-efficient, three-tiered cleaning system to program and follow the most eco-friendly and effective process for keeping your home's walking surfaces free of dirt, dust and dander.
  • recharges automatically
  • good technical support and service
  • powerful suction to pick up pet hair
Model FBA_DN622-DN79
Weight 9.3 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

4. Bobsweep Junior

The Bobsweep Junior is there when you need it, and out of the way when you don't. With a push of the checkup button, it'll give you a report of any internal problems, such as intake jams or sensor malfunctions, but you can also silence it for a little more peace and quiet.
  • allergen-reducing hepa filter
  • large 1-liter dust bin
  • audible entrapment notifications
Brand bObsweep
Model WJ540011
Weight 13.1 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

3. Deik Robot

For less than the cost of hiring a professional service, the Deik Robot provides powerful extraction and a jumbo-sized dust bin to collect grit and grime from dirty carpets, plus a separate water tank for all-in-one sweeping and mopping of a variety of floor coverings.
  • five cleaning modes
  • hepa filtration included
  • turbo boost for spot cleaning
Brand Deik
Model pending
Weight 11.6 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. ILife A4S

The ILife A4S boldly goes where others dare not roam, keeping a low profile as it patrols the floors and using a three-step process to thoroughly clean tough-to-reach places. Specially designed sensors steer it clear of obstructions, entanglements and cliff-diving hazards.
  • up to 140 minutes of runtime
  • mode for extra suction power
  • jam-resistant roller brush
Weight 10.6 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

1. Dibea D960

Not only does the D-shaped Dibea D960 excel at getting into tight corners, it also features four different cycles to perform regularly scheduled pattern sweeps and tackle trouble spots as needed. When power runs low, it automatically docks itself at the recharging station.
  • comes with programmable remote
  • hepa filtration module included
  • obstacle and drop-off avoidance
Brand Dibea
Model RVC-D960-A
Weight 10.2 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

A Brief History Of Home Automation

In the late 1960s, a rather misguided (and tellingly sexist) marketing campaign suggested that all would be well for buyers of the latest in home automation technology, a so-called kitchen computer, “if she can only cook as well as Honeywell can compute” (cue deafening silence). Whether the failure of housewives to rally behind the new product had more to do with seismic shifts in gender politics or the $10,000 price tag and steep learning curve to use it remains an open question. Domestic work, often undertaken by the oppressed and perceived as inferior to labors outside the home, has long stood at the nexus of prevailing sociopolitical issues and efforts to resolve intractable economic struggles, racial tensions, gender bias, and class divisions.

Generation after generation, a seemingly endless stream of labor-saving devices promises to reduce the drudgery of housework and — more ambitiously — to do away entirely with the demand for a human workforce to dutifully tend our hearths, prepare our meals, and keep our domiciles clean. While it’s hard to argue with the relative usefulness of washing machines, as opposed to lugging bucketloads of dirty laundry outside to be scrubbed by hand, work has a way of increasing to match the extent to which it can be automated. The easier it is to get dirty clothes clean, the more often we expect to have to change our clothes in order to keep up appearances. By the same token, now that power mowers and electric vacuum cleaners have rendered scythes and straw brooms obsolete in the industrialized world, the social cost of letting gardens grow wild or dirt to accumulate on floors is much higher than it once was.

Although inventions like induction ovens and other electronic housewares have diminished the role of domestic workers in the average household, we’ve yet to achieve the level of automation required to completely eliminate human involvement in housekeeping. Widespread acceptance of subsequent generations of labor-saving devices, in spite of their shortcomings, suggests that the home automation market is still fertile ground for innovations in autonomous systems, however imperfectly they operate without human intervention.

Adventures In Absentee Housekeeping

While the introduction of artificial intelligence to cleaning technology comes with its own, unique pitfalls, those tasked with maintaining house and home often find welcome relief in the purchase of tools to automate their workload. The freedom to work, study, and pursue various amusements comes with the cost of new appliances or — more recently — app-controlled devices designed to see that dishes can be washed and meals prepared in our absence. From tumble dryers to slow cookers, we’ve come to rely on a growing arsenal of home automations to keep up with all manner of mundane chores so that we can get on with other business.

By almost any measure, cleaning floors is one of the most odious requirements of living indoors. With every step we take, the surface on which we walk becomes ever grimier and less appealing to the naked eye, not to mention our bare feet. When it comes to keeping in check the nastiness that’s tracked into our homes on footwear, paws, and various household objects, few household duties are more relentless or backbreaking. The constant onslaught of dust, dander and detritus can be overwhelming.

So, it’s no wonder that even the earliest, most rudimentary — let alone expensive — robotic vacuums have found a receptive audience across a number of demographics. Confronted by armies of dust bunnies and debris of unknown provenance under heavy furniture, one can hardly blame consumers who eagerly flock to the nearest department store or click that Buy now button en masse to hand the job over to the latest iteration of autonomous floor cleaners. And for those concerned about the prospect of facing their own personal Poopocalypse, should pet ownership and technology collide in such catastrophic fashion, robotic pets may offer a tempting alternative to going back to the old way of doing things.

Smart Solutions Or Risky Business?

With the field of home economics still very much in flux, smarthome technologies have more than their share of detractors — helped, in the case of networked systems, by the demonstrable security risks of having one’s home remotely infiltrated by hackers. However, in the ongoing struggle to manage competing responsibilities at work and home, sacrificing a bit of privacy may just be part of the balancing act. If the trade-off for effortlessly clean floors is the threat of having distant strangers sneak peeks into the untidiest corners of our lives, that may be a price we’re willing to pay. After all, is that really so much worse than the hazards of opening our doors to domestic workers we barely know?

Another common complaint is the prohibitive cost of intelligent labor-saving devices. But as market forces and technological advances help drive prices down, robotic vacuums and multifunctional floor cleaners become increasingly affordable. The rising ubiquity of smartphone apps has made it easier to add sophisticated software integrations to well-built hardware without the need for expensive onboard systems. Given that smartphones are now considered basic essentials even for individuals and families of modest means, it’s becoming more feasible for the average household to invest in app-controlled home automations than to hire outside help.

Feedback from early adopters has helped pave the way for significant improvements in obstacle detection and avoidance, navigational technology and battery capacity. Of course, the more effective and feature-rich the product, the higher the cost, but with basic functionality priced well below that of a maid service, there’s an automatic floor cleaning system to fit almost any budget.

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Last updated on December 24, 2017 by Lydia Chipman

An itinerant wordsmith with a broad constellation of interests, Lydia Chipman has turned iconoclasm into a livelihood of sorts. Bearing the scars and stripes of an uncommon diversity of experience—with the notable exceptions of joining a religious order or becoming an artist—she still can’t resist the temptation to learn something new.

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