Imagine it. Close your eyes. A simple appliance moving from one room to the next, doing the least favorite chore while you relax or while you go about your day. Robot vacuums are possible and they don’t require you to spend a fortune.
Today, there is much robotics on the market. They have advanced a lot since the first one we tested back in 2002 in our Good House Institute Cleaning Lab. In our Labs, we test all kinds of vacuums: stick vacuums, canister vacuums, HEPA vacuums, per-hair vacuums, and many more.
Robots are tested by placing them in special “room” obstacles to see how they move from hard floors to carpet. We test their ability to get under and around furniture, how they handle sticky situations and how they move from one room to the next. We measure the amount of pet hair and particles they collect from hard floors and carpets.
Our analysts also consider how intuitive the controls and programming are. They also evaluate how loud the vacuums are and how easy it is to empty and remove the dust. These are the top robot vacuums available in 2020.
How do robot vacuums operate?
A robot vacuum uses navigation tools such as lasers, sensors, cameras, and lasers to navigate your home. It collects pet hair, crumbs, and dirt from hard floors, including tile, laminate, and wood. The most expensive robots can map your space and set it to clean a particular area. Low-end models have boundary strips that you place on the floor so the robot stays where you want. Even the cheapest models can have fall detection sensors to prevent them from falling stairs.
Many vacuums can be programmed to sync with apps, such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and other digital voice assistants, for hands-free cleaning. Robotic vacuums can automatically recharge and return to charging stations. Some models can even pause cleaning sessions and recharge so that they can continue cleaning where they left off. A model that has a rubber brush roller is a good option if you have pets. It was much easier to remove pet hairs and lint than using bristle brush rollers.
Pick up any small objects that you don’t need to be vacuumed before your robot gets started cleaning. Make sure that all power cords, clothes, rug fringe, and window blind cords have been removed. Clean up any wet spillages, unless you are using a wet mop vacuum. Clean the dustbin and wipe the contacts and sensors with a soft cloth. This will allow the robot to navigate better and have a better connection to the charger.
iRobot Roomba s9+ Robot vacuum
It is why we love it
- Airborne allergens are reduced by automatic dirt disposal
- Easy to pick up dirt from carpets and bare floors
- The footprint of automatic dirt disposal is large
- Prices high
The iRobot Roomba s9+ performed well on hard floors in our Lab tests. It picked up 99% uncooked oatmeal, baking soda, small nuts, and screws that we put on the floor, and also cleaned a smaller area more quickly and thoroughly than other Roomba models. Roomba automatically increases the suction power to clean more deeply when it detects carpet. The onboard high-efficiency filter traps allergens and the corner brush goes deep into corners to pick up stray crumbs.
Roomba’s rubber roller brushes are easier to clean than bristle brushes. The dust cup is automatically emptied by the robot vacuum. After cleaning is done, Roomba returns its charging base. The dirt it collected is automatically transferred to the dustbin in a bag. The large capacity bags can withstand multiple cleaning sessions, and they seal well before being tossed.
Roomba is one of the most intelligent robot vacuums that we tested. It can remember multiple rooms and floor plans and makes it easy to direct it via voice command or the app. It will quickly recharge its battery, even when it is in the middle of a big cleaning job. This allows it to clean until it is done and avoids the areas it hasn’t finished. It’s amazing!
Eufy RoboVac Max 15C Robot Vacuum
It is why we love it
- Low furniture can be slimmed down with a minimalist design
- There are many options for regular or deep cleaning
- Easy removal of pet hairs from carpet
- Random cleaning patterns
- Filters can’t be washed
The Eufy robot, one of the quietest vacuums we tested was an excellent performer. It has two side brushes and a roller brush action and it is very quiet. It’s packed with high-end features at an affordable price. It was a favorite with Amazon reviewers. Its slim, sleek design (just below three inches high) allows it to slip under low ottomans and couches to grab even the most difficult-to-reach dirt.
Eufy uses BoostIQ Technology, which automatically increases suction power when it senses that a more difficult cleaning job is required. The large wheels allowed it to climb over door ledges, and move easily from medium-pile carpeting to tile or hardwood. Eufy’s advanced sensors prevent Eufy from falling off stairs or slipping on furniture. The remote control can be used to spot clean or to clean around the edges of rooms. The smartphone app allows you to create a cleaning schedule and syncs with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant for easy voice control. It ran almost two hours on one charge. The large dustbin makes it easier to empty. Eufy, like most robot vacuums, knows to return to the charging station when it runs out of the battery to fully charge before the next clean.
Ecovacs DEEBOT OZMO O5 Robot Vacuum
It is why we love it
- Protects rugs from water damage by automatic carpet detection
- Multi-floor mapping capabilities
- Spot cleaning is not a great job
- It may not fit under low furniture at 3.7 inches
This Ecovacs DEEBOT OZMO O5 T5 is the best gadget for double-duty – it’s our only winner. You can vacuum and wet mop your floors simultaneously DEEBOT is an electronic water pump and reservoir that can be used to provide water. It also has disposable or reusable pads. The DEEBOT doesn’t leave your carpet wet. The robot detects carpets and automatically avoids them thanks to its carpet detection abilities. The DEEBOT detects carpets and increases suction to vacuum more thoroughly.
The DEEBOT was able to transition easily from bare floors and carpets in our tests. At 3.7 inches high, it could maneuver and clean exceptionally well under and around love seats and end tables. It also ran for an impressive 3 hours and 20 minutes. This vacuum is great for larger homes thanks to its three-level suction and methodical vacuuming. The robot is protected from obstacles and falls off ledges or stairs by sensors.
It can also create three maps of your home’s floors while it navigates around. You can then access the map through the smartphone app to create a cleaning schedule and define boundaries for your robot to clean. You can remotely start the cleaning process from anywhere, even when you’re not home. The app syncs with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
Miele Scout RX2 Vacuum for Home Vision Robot Vacuum
The Miele Scout RX2 Home Vision is extremely maneuverable. Vacuum your home for as long as two hours this pick vacuum is ideal for cleaning your carpet and floors without causing damage. This pick vacuum cleaned every type of mess faster than any other winner and efficiently. It was also quick at spot cleaning. Rotating front brushes reach deep into corners, edges, and other places. There are multiple cleaning modes available depending on what cleaning you require. The turbo mode is louder, but it does not cause damage to furniture or fall stairs. To protect your investment, don’t rely only on the sensors. A handy boundary strip is included to prevent the robot from entering prohibited areas.
The Scout RX2 Home Vision’s two front cameras can transmit an encrypted live image feed to your smartphone. This allows you to verify that everything is in order at your home. If you prefer not to be connected to your robot’s Wi-Fi module, you can remove it completely and use the remote control for scheduling cleaning sessions or direct it to a spot for cleaning. The standard warranty is 2-years, which is twice the normal duration. The dustbin contains the maintenance tool, so it won’t be lost or stolen.
It is why we love it
- The simple, quiet, and powerful base model
- You can schedule cleanings even without Wi-Fi
- To prevent falls, sensors detect stairs
- A small dustbin means frequent emptying
- No Wi-Fi connectivity
The quiet motor of the Bissell Ev675 made it almost impossible to forget that it was running through our test rooms for over 100 minutes before needing to be recharged. Two edge brushes and a rotating roller brush are used to quickly clean pet hair from bare floors. Its low-profile design allowed it to maneuver into tight spaces and underneath furniture.
Although it isn’t Wi-Fi enabled, the remote can be used to direct the robot to clean the edges or perform a quick spot cleaning. It did a great job. It’s easy to set up a cleaning schedule for the future so that your home is maintained even when you aren’t there. The robot can be alerted to low battery levels by sensors that detect steps and drops. It will then automatically return to its docking station to charge up. For those who don’t like techy gadgets, the Bissell is a great starter robot vac.
Robot vacuums are often unable to remove pet hair. However, the Amaray A900 is a budget-friendly option. Top pick for pet hair pickup among our winners, any hair stuck in the brush was much easier to remove. The Amaray uses visual navigation to map your space and determine the best cleaning route around obstacles. Although it may seem chaotic at first, the Amaray can be much more efficient in future cleanings thanks to its maps.
The slim design of the unit, which measures only 2.75” high, allows it to slide under low furniture and beds to reach hard-to-reach areas. There are four cleaning modes, including spot cleaning and edge-cleaning. Auto mode adjusts suction to different types of floors, increasing suction when it detects carpet. The Amaray performed well in our tests. It was quiet and could clean for as long as two hours before it returned to its charging dock. It will automatically return to its original place if it runs out of power during a job.
The Amaray has both a remote control that can be used to operate basic functions such as cleaning modes, suction levels, and directing the vacuum. There is also an app that allows you to access mapping, scheduling, voice commands, and other useful information.
Samsung POWERbot R7070
You are looking for a robot vacuum that can clean your carpet and take care of your floors. Look no further. The Samsung POWERbot R7070 is a great tool for cleaning carpets. It was better than our Best Value pick. The POWERbot can adjust its suction to achieve the best cleaning results thanks to its wide brush roller. The Edge Clean Master feature is the best. It’s equipped with FullView sensors and an onboard camera, which creates a perfect cleaning path that avoids obstacles. The vacuum’s sensors detect when it is near a corner or edge. An innovative rubber blade extends to pull dirt and debris out of these areas.
The app allows you to remotely control your robot or voice-enabled devices. A coverage map displays the locations that POWERbot has cleaned. You can schedule cleaning times whenever it suits you. The POWERbot can recharge the battery and continue cleaning if it needs to. The robot is easy to maintain. The rubber roller brush removes hair from the pet’s fur and can be washed.
Roborock S6 maxV
It is why we love it
- Ability to dry vacuum and then wet mop
- Pet mess can be avoided by using “Pet Mode”.
- Avoid objects on dark floors.
- It is not always possible to set a no-mop area around a rug.
Ask any dog owner what they love most about their pet and they will give you a list of things. But ask them what they dislike. Often, it comes down to pet hair and poop accidents. Roborock S6 Max V was specifically created to address both of these issues. The app asks you if you have pets when you start the app to control it. The dual-camera system will be activated if there is sufficient contrast between the floor surface and the object. The S6 MaxV was able to avoid dark objects on a white floor. However, it had trouble recognizing the same object on a wooden floor. It simply moved it away. The object that must be avoided cannot be smaller than 2 inches.
Robot vacuums are notoriously difficult to clean up pet hair. However, enabling carpet mode made it easy to pick up embedded dirt and fluff as the S6 MaxV adjusted the suction when it detected the carpet.
The S6 MaxV uses a straight-line approach to cleaning. It starts by cleaning around the edges. Next, it moves back and forth quickly and methodically across the entire floor. The S6 MaxV’s small profile, at just three inches high, allows dirt to be swept away from hard-to-reach areas. It also has a single side brush that cleans corners. The robot maps and saves up to four maps for multilevel homes. You can also set no-go areas through the app.
Use the S6 MaxV to vacuum with plain water. Water flow can be adjusted via the app and the mop cloth is washable. No-mop zones will prevent the carpet from being mopped. However, it can be difficult to set the zone for an entire area rug. Your floor is protected by a moisture-proof mat placed at the charging base.
The app allows you to set up cleaning schedules, select zones to clean (or avoid), and also controls the volume and voice of your robot. The robot can clean for nearly two hours in balanced mode. It also has a long life expectancy. It has sensors that prevent it from falling stairs like most robot vacuums. However, it is best to put up a virtual barrier.
Are robot vacuums worth the cost?
Although robots are not capable of handling stairs or removing dirt and debris from the ground, they can still be used to clean up crumbs. However, the best performers in our tests have excellent pick-up scores for hard floors and low pile carpets. They pick up small particles like baking soda and sand, as well as heavier debris like oatmeal, orzo pasta, and metal screws and nuts.
If you hate cleaning your home or have the time and energy to do it, you might consider investing in one. Robot vacuums make great maintenance cleaners. They can be sent out multiple times per week to sweep up all dirt and hair on your floors.
These vacuums also clean behind and around furniture and corners, which is something you may not be able to reach with your regular vacuum. All of the vacuums that we tested had brush rollers for pet hair removal, were small enough to reach under furniture up to four inches high, and featured side brushes to remove dirt from corners and edges. These vacuums can clean your kitchen floor while you watch your favorite TV show, or sweep your entire home. Is it possible to do it faster using a regular vacuum? Yes. The real question is: Do you want to?