The 9 Best Robotic Vacuums

video play icon

This wiki has been updated 36 times since it was first published in May of 2015. Robotic vacuums are highly popular among house owners and apartment dwellers alike for their ability to take care of a tedious chore. Many of these automatic cleaners can be controlled from a mobile device via your Wi-Fi network, while some also work with popular virtual assistants, like Amazon's Alexa. Here you'll find a reliable model that meets your needs and your budget. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. iRobot Roomba i7+

2. iRobot Roomba 694

3. Roborock E5

Editor's Notes

August 05, 2021:

Just a few minor changes to this edition of the wiki, including the removal of an older Ecovacs Deebot model that's outperformed by multiple newly upgraded machines. Those recently updated choices include the iRobot Roomba 694, one of the iRobot's newest affordable choices. Both it and the Roborock E5 offer impressive performance and reliability for the price. The iRobot Roomba i7+ retains the top spot thanks to all its fancy features, but even a low-priced model like the Eufy RoboVac 30C is perfectly effective.

April 14, 2020:

This time around, we removed a couple from Bobsweep and Shark for consistency and quality control errors and one from Neato because its performance didn't match up to its high price. We also pulled the plug on one budget-friendly iLife model because its pathfinding was poor enough to seriously hamper its effectiveness.

There are plenty of other brands that are also worth considering; in fact it can be hard to wade through them all. The ILife A4S is about as affordable as they come a good choice if you aren't interested in any advanced features. For just a bit more you can get the Ecovacs Deebot 500 and Eufy RoboVac 30C, the latter of which comes from popular electronics manufacturer Anker and does have a big brother int he 30C Max, but we could't justify the 50% price increase based on its performance.

The Roborock E35 and Roborock S5 Max are particularly interesting because of their built-in mops, though while the E35 is a pretty good bargain, the S5 Max is more expensive than many others.

It's no surprise that iRobot's Roomba continues to have a significant presence, and indeed their popular models to tend to do better on carpet. Of particular note is the iRobot Roomba 675, which is an all-around well-performing option that's easy to program and, lie many of iRobot's models, quite durable.

Then there's the iRobot Roomba i7+, which is not their most recent release, but is especially well designed and has been updated to all but eliminate the minor problems it showed at launch. We looked into the popular company's latest high-end option, the Roomba S9+, but many owners offered up worryingly bad experiences, especially for something that costs so incredibly much. Nonetheless, the i7+ still stands as one of the best out there, and if you can deal with the high price tag, it should satisfy just about anyone.

November 11, 2019:

Upright vacuums are often powerful and compact, but you still have to push and steer them. These robotic vacuums revolutionized the process of carpet and floor cleaning by automating the job 100%. While these little bots busily tidy your home, you can put your feet up and watch TV -- or you don’t even have to be on the premises.

Joining our selection today is the Roborock S4, an intelligent option that be programmed to stay clear of certain parts of a room, or out of select rooms entirely. It features a sleek, elegant design with a transparent dust collection bin that makes it easy to check how full it is at any time. This powerful machine makes quick and simple work of removing trapped dirt and provides more bang for your buck than many similar options. It’s equipped with laser-based mapping to navigate your abode quickly and steer around furniture and other obstacles. Its powerful battery can keep it running long enough to clean a large home on a single charge, and the smartphone app makes it easy to control and program remotely.

The Deik Robot makes its departure from our list, amidst reports it stops working after a short period of time, with the Lithium battery refusing to recharge.

In addition, several of the selections on our list were replaced with newer available models in this update.

4. iRobot Roomba 960

5. Roborock S4

6. Eufy RoboVac 30C

7. ILife A4S

8. Roborock S5 Max

9. Eufy RoboVac 12

Why You Need A Robotic Vaccuum

And, like with regular vacuums, these can be set to work on different floor types, such as carpet or tile.

Vacuum cleaning isn't only time-consuming, but it's also one of the common household chores that is known to cause back pain. This is because people usually bend over to reach under low pieces of furniture and into tight corners. They may also try and lift heavy objects to vacuum underneath them.

A robotic cleaner is extremely low profile, and it can slide under sofas and chairs on its own, without any heavy lifting on your part. With a robotic vacuum cleaner, remembering to put vacuuming on the to-do list becomes a thing of the past. These intelligent cleaning tools can be programmed to vacuum at set times every day, week, or month.

Robotic vacuum cleaners are also a financially smart choice. The initial investment in an automated vacuum is small enough that after using one just a few times, you could already make back the money you would have spent on a maid.

And here is one thing a robotic vacuum cleaner can do that a person cannot: perfectly remember the layout of your home. This means they won't get stuck in corners or against walls, sitting still when you think they're cleaning. Many even remember where their charging station is, and return to it when they're finished vacuuming. Some models even do the nasty job that humans hate to do, and throw away the debris they've collected into a receptacle.

Robotic vacuums come with many of the same special features that manual ones do, like the ability to suck up pet dander and common allergens. They're essential for anyone who suffers from severe allergies or asthma because they get into the tightest corners, picking up allergens regular vacuums leave behind. And, like with regular vacuums, these can be set to work on different floor types, such as carpet or tile.

History Of The Robotic Vacuum Cleaner

The domestic cleaning industry saw an influx of robotic vacuum cleaners in the late 1990s and early 2000s. In 1996, BBC's "Tomorrow's World" featured Swedish brand Electrolux's Trilobite. The Trilobite was first released for sale in 2001, making it the first autonomous vacuum cleaner available on the commercial market.

iRobot's response was to simply purchase Evolution Robotics for a large sum.

American company iRobot was also known for creating autonomous devices at the time, such as one that could scan the bottom of the sea, one that could remotely diagnose patients, and a number of other robotics for military use. In 2002 they entered the domestic arena and released the ever-popular Roomba, which had sold over one million units by 2004.

Dyson has a history with robotic vacuum cleaners, too. In 2001 they built their DC06. The robot featured 80 sensors and two onboard computers, but due to its high price tag it never hit the commercial market. It would be nearly 15 years until Dyson re-entered the robotic vacuum race with their 360 Eye, featuring an onboard navigation camera.

While iRobot and their Roomba had dominated the robotic vacuum cleaner niche for some time, in 2010, they faced their first major competition when Evolution Robotics introduced their Mint cleaning system, which boasted more power than the Roomba. iRobot's response was to simply purchase Evolution Robotics for a large sum.

Places You Forget To Vacuum

One of the many benefits of using a robotic vacuum cleaner is that they never forget to clean anything. Rather than depending on human memory, they depend on the cleaning path that's been programmed into their robotic memory. Without these tools, it's very easy to miss critical spots that collect harmful allergens in the home. The floor under the bed is often neglected, but it collects skin particles that people shed during the night, as well as the dust left over from broom sessions.

Fortunately, robotic vacuum cleaners go under them effortlessly.

The area beneath the couch is often missed as well. People eat and drink on the couch, children do arts and crafts on it, and every type of debris and crumb collects underneath it. Moving the couch every time one has to vacuum under it can put them at risk of a back injury. Fortunately, robotic vacuum cleaners go under them effortlessly. The area beneath in-wall air conditioning vents and heating ducts collect a lot of dust, too.

The multiple wires of an entertainment room generate a lot of heat. That heat attracts dust, causing the floor around one's television and speakers to become filthy. Picking up the wires once a week allows the robotic vacuum to clean up the area. Dust on electrical cords is also a common fire hazard in the home, which is another reason it's important to keep areas with plenty of appliances clean.

Christopher Thomas
Last updated by Christopher Thomas

Building PCs, remodeling, and cooking since he was young, quasi-renowned trumpeter Christopher Thomas traveled the USA performing at and organizing shows from an early age. His work experiences led him to open a catering company, eventually becoming a sous chef in several fine LA restaurants. He enjoys all sorts of barely necessary gadgets, specialty computing, cutting-edge video games, and modern social policy. He has given talks on debunking pseudoscience, the Dunning-Kruger effect, culinary technique, and traveling. After two decades of product and market research, Chris has a keen sense of what people want to know and how to explain it clearly. He delights in parsing complex subjects for anyone who will listen -- because teaching is the best way to ensure that you understand things yourself.

Thanks for reading the fine print. About the Wiki: We don't accept sponsorships, free goods, samples, promotional products, or other benefits from any of the product brands featured on this page, except in cases where those brands are manufactured by the retailer to which we are linking. For more information on our rankings, please read about us, linked below. The Wiki is a participant in associate programs from Amazon, Walmart, Ebay, Target, and others, and may earn advertising fees when you use our links to these websites. These fees will not increase your purchase price, which will be the same as any direct visitor to the merchant’s website. If you believe that your product should be included in this review, you may contact us, but we cannot guarantee a response, even if you send us flowers.