Robotic Vacuum Icon The Best Robot Vacuum Cleaners 2020 – Reviews & Comparison

updated: November 13, 2020

The Cleanup Expert reviews the highest-rated models on the market to discover the best robot vacuum cleaner of 2020. Robot vacuum cleaners, also known as automatic vacuums, are cleaning robots designed to autonomously keep your home spotless — and we’re here to help you choose the best in this robot vacuum comparison.

Roborock S6 MaxV cleaning the floor.

Do Robotic Vacuums Actually Work

Yes! While not a complete home-cleaning replacement, robot vacuums offer impressive cleaning capability given their small size and autonomous nature. They are able to tackle a variety of lighter cleanup projects throughout the home, all on their own.

What Are Robot Vacuums Capable Of, And What Are Their Limitations

Bottom view photo showing how the robot vacuums work

Vacuum robots are best equipped to handle dust, debris, pet hair, and food crumbs on hard floors and short-pile rugs. While some can handle carpeting, a thick pile may rapidly exhaust the robovac’s battery before it’s cleaning cycle is complete.

Robot floor cleaners are not effective at cleaning larger debris, and may become stuck and on items such as power cords or loose socks. It is important to manually remove large debris before beginning a cleaning cycle.

Which Robotic Vacuum Works Best For Tackling Pet Hair

A dog riding the Roomba

While most of the robot vacuums we’ve reviewed are readily able to tackle long pet hair, some stand out ahead of others.

If you’re looking for peak pet performance, look no further than the iRobot Roomba s9+ or the Neato BotVac D7.

Both options deliver superior suction and improved cleaning over competing offerings.

Which Robotic Vacuum Works Best On Hardwood

Robot Vacuum on a hardwood floor of a bedroom

Similarly to pet hair, most of the models we’ve reviewed are readily able to clean your hardwood floors. Yet again, there are some models that are simply superior at the job than others

We readily recommend the Roborock S6 MaxV, given it’s low profile, superior AI, and hybrid mopping capability. It’s not only the most effective model at keeping your hardwood pristine, but one of the finest models we’ve had the pleasure of reviewing.

Is A Robot Vacuum Right For Me

Would you rather vacuum yourself? Everybody wants a clean floor — but let’s face it, nobody wants to vacuum. Robotic vacuums are a great addition to any cleaning arsenal, thanks to their autonomous cleaning capability and compact nature that allows them to easily clean around your home.

A young woman with a smartphone and a robot vacuum
Autonomous operation makes a robot vacuum the great cleaning tool

Robot vacuums have come a long way from when they first hit the market, greatly reducing in cost and exploding with an array of innovative smart features. Take advantage of our helpful buying guide and reviews to help you choose the best model for your home cleaning needs!

More

Rating The Best Robotic Vacuum Cleaners Of 2020 – Reviews & Comparison


1Innovative Intelligent Hybrid Robot
Intelligent robot boasting precision navigation and a long-lasting battery.

The Roborock S6 MaxV Robot Hybrid Mop and Vacuum can detect small obstacles thanks to its ReactiveAI technology powered by twin cameras. The long-lasting three-hour battery life of this device sets it leagues above the competition.

The Roborock S6 comes with a moping water tank capacity of 297ml, and as a vacuum, generates a suction force of 2500 Pa. Not only that, but the innovative navigation, routing, and mapping capabilities of this device are some of the best available on the market today.

ProsThe Good

High-Precision LiDar Navigation allows the Roborock S6 MaxV to accurately map out a cleaning area for future tasks. It features ReactiveAI powered by dual cameras that give this robot effective vision for efficiently detecting and avoiding any obstacles in its path.

The Robot offers an impressive 2500 Pa of suction capabilities, which is 25% higher than the previous model. It can be easily controlled through Roborock’s complimentary app, or through Alexa or Google Assistant voice commands. The extended three-hour battery life of this vacuum robot provides it a tremendous edge over competing machines.

ConsThe Not-So-Good

Firmware updates for the Roborock S6 MaxV can be a bit time-consuming and bothersome until configured correctly. A downside some users have experienced is the main brush potentially becoming stuck, however this issue seems to be fairly uncommon.

Others have noted the S6 MaxV may have trouble with darker color carpets, so be cautious and consider a spot test before using if all of your floors are dark.

Customer OpinionWhat Customers Say

Customers find this robot vacuum to be notably more technologically advanced and efficient when compared to other big names in the market. The mapping capabilities of this device are intelligent, quick, and reliable. Others love how the ReactiveAI technology allows the S6 MaxV to operate smoothly, avoiding all obstacles. Many noted how good it was at automatically building an internal model of the house without needing to be babysat.

Take a Look At These Alternative Models:
  • Roborock S5 MAX Robot Vacuum and Mop
    Roborock S5 MAX
    Price: High

    The Roborock S5 Max is more cost-effective and less feature-packed than the S6 and S6 MaxV, but manages to stand out thanks to impressive features and upgrades to the core S5. It is an efficient hybrid vacuum-mop, competing directly with more premium models. It features laser-based navigation, using a Z-shaped cleaning path and offering selective room cleaning. Multi-level mapping capability allows you to designate virtual no-go and no-mop zones, making it an excellent choice for those with rugs or who live in multi-story homes.

  • Roborock S6 Robot Vacuum and Mop
    Roborock S6
    Price: Average

    The Roborock S6 is an upgrade from Roborock’s previous popular S5 model. This design packs powerful smart tech improvements and performance into a sleek and compact form. It’s quite similar to the powerful S6 MaxV, only lacking some power and functionality such as less suction and lower wattage. Aesthetically, it’s offered in white, black, or rose gold and features the same dimensions as the prior model. It comes with a compact charging dock, extra filters, a brush cleaning tool, 5 disposable and 2 reusable mop cloths, as well as a brush cleaning tool.

    For additional information on the Roborock S6 be sure to check out our extended review here >

  • Roborock S5 Robot Vacuum and Mop
    Roborock S5
    Price: Average

    While the Roborock S5 is cheaper and more basic than the above models, it is still a worthy competitor to higher-priced brands. It acts as both a robot mop and vacuum, featuring 4 vacuum modes and a versatile app for mapping that includes individual cleaning zones and virtual barriers. The carpet boost function automatically adjusts suction for different flooring types. Unlike the S6 or S5 Max, it doesn’t feature Alexa or Google voice control, nor can you select individual rooms and zones.

    You can find out more about the Roborock S5 by reading our detailed review here >

More Info

2Premium and Powerful Cleaner
Top of the line technology for hands-off, thorough performance.

iRobot’s newest Roomba is quickly becoming a fan favorite. With several design upgrades, a self-emptying bin, and its ability to pair up with a robot mop — floor cleaning has never been this automated. It offers an array of innovative features many robot vacuums simply don’t offer. Thanks to its powerful cleaning capability, we readily recommend this as one the best options for pet owners. Unfortunately, this premium product also comes with a premium price tag.

ProsThe Good

The unique D-shape and corner brushes allow the s9+ to clean corners better than any Roomba before it. A HEPA-style filter and fully sealed dustbin keep allergens safely contained. Unlike previous models, the s9+ doesn’t avoid dark flooring or rugs. Improved suction power and better brush rollers helps it deep clean almost anything, even thick carpeting.

The s9 is also compatible with iRobot’s Braava Jet m6 robotic mop. The robot can be controlled through the iHOME app, or by using voice commands through Alexa or Google Assistant.

ConsThe Not-So-Good

It’s one of the more costly options on our list, so it won’t fit the average homeowner’s budget. There’s no carry handle for easy transporting between rooms or floor levels. Given its advanced nature, it may not be the best option for those who aren’t tech-savvy or who have poor WiFi.

The corner brushes tend to wear out quickly, especially on thicker carpeting. It’s also fairly loud, especially when emptying at it’s Clean Base. Maps can also not be shared between older models or with the Braava Jet m6 mop.

Customer OpinionWhat Customers Say

Customers absolutely love the self-emptying bin and the extra degree of autonomy it provides. They also love the improved suction and better carpet cleaning capability. Pet owners were impressed with this machine for how much hair it picked up without getting clogged, and without them having to empty the bin themselves.

Early adopters who purchased the first round of s9 robots have had some issues with software bugs. Several complained that the corner brushes wore out quickly. Many felt it took a bit too long for the s9 to autonomously learn floor plans.

Take a Look At These Alternative Models:
  • iRobot Roomba i7+
    iRobot Roomba i7+
    Price: High

    The Roomba i7+ is the first robot vacuum capable of emptying its own dustbin. With a battery run time of up to 90 minutes, the i7 covers a lot of ground while picking up a ton of hair and other debris that can clog other vacuums. With Imprint Smart-Mapping, the i7 learns your floor plan in just 2 to 3 cycles, seamlessly avoiding furniture and other obstacles. The iHOME app gives you an infinite array of control possibilities from scheduling times, choosing rooms, creating maps, and more.

    Find out more with our detailed review of the iRobot Roomba i7+ >

More Info

3Set-It and Forget-It Convenience
Self-cleaning and self-emptying autonomous cleaning machine.

The Shark IQ Robot XL offers an impressive host of innovative features that help it stand out among previous and competing machines. It comes with deep cleaning capability thanks to improved suction and a self-cleaning brushroll. Shark’s IQ Navigation technology intelligently maps out your floor plan as it cleans, while row-by-row cleaning offers better coverage than previous models. It is compatible with the SharkClean app, as well as both Alexa and Google Assistant.

ProsThe Good

This robot was designed with tackling tougher tasks in mind. Enhanced suction capability and a redesigned self-cleaning brushroll excel at cleaning long hair, making it a great option for animal lovers. Its bagless, self-emptying bin allows you to forget about the dustbin for up to a month of continuous cleaning.

Recharge and Resume technology allows your Shark IQ Robot XL to pick up cleaning right where it left off after returning to its base to charge.

ConsThe Not-So-Good

The Shark IQ Robot XL tends to have some difficulty with mapping, although there are some workarounds online that may help. The navigation may occasionally run into problems as well, with some finding the device stuck or having issues returning to its base. This is a noticeably audible machine, becoming particularly loud on hardwood flooring.

Customer OpinionWhat Customers Say

Customers love the self-emptying feature, freeing them from needing to babysit their machine just to make sure it’s not full again. People are also big fans of it’s impressive deep-cleaning capabilities, particularly pet owners. They say the machine is particularly effective at cleaning longer hair thanks to it’s impressive suction, but that they don’t need to worry about it wrapping and clogging the machine thanks to it’s self-cleaning brush.

There are a number of users that state their vacuum is fairly loud when in operation, particularly on harder surfaces such as tile and hardwood. While praised by some, there are a number of users that have noticed problems with the mapping and navigation as well.

More Info

4Highly Compatible Cleaner
Advanced robotic cleaner boasts wide compatibility.

The Roomba i7 by iRobot is one of the more innovative cleaning robots released over the last several years. It offers a rich feature-set, as well as a broad range of compatibility with accessories such as iRobot’s iHome app or their Braava robotic mop. Thanks to a high-efficiency filter and dual multi-surface brushes the i7 makes a solid choice for homes with pets as well.

ProsThe Good

This is a powerful machine, boasting an impressive triple-stage cleaning system and over 10 times the suction power over the Roomba 600 series. iRobot’s proprietary Imprint technology not only intelligently maps out your home as it cleans, but allows your i7 to synchronize with a Braava robotic mop to clean your home efficiently together.

The i7’s dual rubber brushes won’t get tangled cleaning pet hair, while its filter manages to trap up to 99% of dog and cat allergens.

ConsThe Not-So-Good

While the smart mapping capabilities are a nice addition, the i7 may still occasionally run into issues navigating your home. It’s not designed for cleaning high-pile rugs, and may struggle greatly on shag carpeting. The onboard bin is fairly shallow, and may need to be emptied before a cleaning cycle is completed.

Customer OpinionWhat Customers Say

People are impressed by the powerful cleaning capability of this vacuum, particularly former Roomba owners who notice the direct improvement over previous models. People also enjoy the broad range of compatibility offered, such as being able to control the robot through the iHome app, as well as through voice commands with Alexa and Google Assistant.

Users have reported a few issues with the intelligent mapping not actually being followed. On top of that, several people have stated that their i7 can become easily stuck or lost.

Take a Look At These Alternative Models:
  • iRobot Roomba E5
    iRobot Roomba E5
    Price: Average

    The Roomba e5 offers solid performance with the capacity for powerful cleaning. Roomba’s triple-stage cleaning system effectively cleans dust and debris, while its efficient filter traps allergens and keeps them out of your home. Dirt detection sensors automatically detect soil and the robot can adjust its cleaning capability to tackle it. It boasts long battery life and strong suction to thoroughly clean your entire home. It also features a shallow profile, making it an excellent choice for homes with lower-clearance furniture.

  • iRobot Roomba 960
    iRobot Roomba 960
    Price: High

    The Roomba 960 is a solid mid-level offering in iRobot’s 900 series of robotic vacuum cleaners. It features effective battery life of up to 75 minutes, while also delivering Roomba’s triple-stage cleaning system and having up to 5 times the suction power of the 600 series. iAdapt navigation technology tracks where the robot has cleaned and helps it intelligently avoid obstacles. The Roomba 960 makes a great budget-conscious offering for almost any home.

    Read more in our complete review of the Roomba 960 >

More Info

5Sleek and Silent Affordable Powerhouse
Sleek, silent, and powerful cleaning machine.

The eufy Robovac 30C MAX offers improved performance, delivering impressive suction while running quieter than before. It features a gorgeous sleek design that almost looks futuristic, yet still offers powerful cleaning capability. It has been engineered with a low profile, so it can easily glide and clean under most furniture in your home. The Robovac 30C MAX manages to pack many modern features into a slick frame at a price affordable to most homeowners.

ProsThe Good

This is quite a powerful robotic vacuum, delivering an impressive 2000 Pa of suction power. It also features BoostIQ technology, which automatically increases suction power when needed for those stubborn cleanup jobs. It comes with boundary strips included so you can section off areas of your home, ensuring you’re only cleaning where you need to. This machine is also surprisingly quiet thanks to it’s brushless motor.

ConsThe Not-So-Good

It’s triple-brush design easily collects debris, but can be hard to clean. The robot may have occasional issues with navigation, and may get stuck unexpectedly or sporadically hit an obstacle. In addition to that, this is a model that does not automatically map your home. The dock is fairly light, so it’s best to have it set against a wall to prevent sliding when docking.

Customer OpinionWhat Customers Say

People tend to be really impressed with the solid feature set offered at this price point. Many are surprised by how quiet the machine is when running, with some users forgetting it’s even there — until they see the results. Users also enjoy modern conveniences such as Alexa and Google Assistant integration, as well as it’s self-docking feature when the battery is low and how it picks up where it left off when charged.

There are a number of people unsatisfied with the navigation at times, especially with its tendency to get stuck on cords and other smaller objects. There are also users who complain that these problems may be exacerbated when trying to use the robot in a larger home.

Take a Look At These Alternative Models:
  • eufy RoboVac 11S MAX
    eufy RoboVac 11S MAX
    Price: Low

    This upgraded version of the RoboVac 11S boosts suction power from 1300 to an impressive 2000 Pa, making it better at cleaning carpets than before. Increased power means this robot will be a little louder, being about as loud as an average conversation. The dustbin’s wider wind tunnel and inclined filter help it hold more debris than its predecessor. The 11S Max has the same profile as the 11S, as well as the same simple operation with no room mapping or app control.

  • eufy RoboVac 11S Slim
    eufy RoboVac 11S Slim
    Price: Low

    This slimline version of the Robovac 11S features a sleek design and low profile, coming in it at only 2.85 inches. It can run up to 100 minutes, and features a generous 0.6L dustbin that should finish most jobs. It also runs quieter than most, while still managing to reach an impressive 1300 Pa of suction force. This cleaner manages to offer impressive features at a generous price.

    You can read more about the Robovac 11S in our extended review here >

More Info

6Multi-Surface and Multi-Function Cleaning
Redefining hard surface to carpet cleaning using innovative artificial intelligence.

The Coredy R750 robotic vacuum cleaner combines smart technology with quality components to deliver an impressive multi-surface cleaning experience. With an upgraded washable HEPA-style filter, it captures a range of dust and particles that make it a solid option for homes with pets. The R750’s dual hall sensors can detect boundary strips to only clean predefined areas. Meanwhile, the Coredy R750’s delivers super-deep cleaning capability thanks to the notable 1600Pa vacuum that increases to a whopping 2000Pa when in boost mode.

ProsThe Good

The Coredy R750 Robotic Cleaner is engineered to intelligently clean both carpet and hard surface areas. The R750’s included smartphone app is excellent, allowing you to create a schedule as well as set the current cleaning mode. With an impressive 2600mAh Li-ion battery, the Coredy robotic vacuum can clean your home or office for up to 120 minutes per charge.

This model has been upgraded with cutting-edge anti-collision technology that helps the R750 to evade obstacles. It is also equipped with a drop-sensing technology that allows it to avoid falls.

ConsThe Not-So-Good

The Coredy R750 doesn’t perform well when vacuuming thick carpeting, and may become stuck. Though its 1600 Pa of suction power is impressive for a vacuum of this size, it may have issues loosening up dirt and grime within dense surfaces.

It is also important to note that this is a model of robotic vacuum that may encounter issues navigating darker surfaces. Additionally, because of its size, the dustbin fills up quickly compared to larger vacuums.

Customer OpinionWhat Customers Say

Many customers love the impressive multi-functionality of the Coredy R750 Vacuum cleaner, with the ability to vacuum and mop as needed. Other customers appreciate the included remote and voice-enabled app that provide total control over your cleaning experience.

Some people reported issues working on black carpets, due to a malfunction with the sensor. However, most customers love the Coredy R750’s virtual boundary system, which stops it colliding into walls, appliances, or dropping from elevated platforms.

More Info

7Feature-Packed yet Price-Conscious
Affordable and advanced multi-function cleaning capability.

The Cybovac E31 by Kyvol is quite the impressive option, delivering many advanced features while remaining affordable to most homeowners. This is a multi-functional machine, meaning it sweeps, vacuums, and mops the messes in your home. The navigation system is driven by a gyroscope, delivering enhanced cleaning with more accurate routing than competitors. A combination of multi-functionality, impressive runtime, and a generous dustbin allow you to forget about cleaning and focus on living.

ProsThe Good

This machine is both remarkably powerful and durable, making it capable of cleaning your whole home. It offers an impressive 2200 Pa of suction power, tackling almost any mess you can throw at it. Considering the suction performance, this device runs remarkably quiet. The battery is capable of running up to a lengthy 150 minutes, and intelligently navigates back to base on its own to recharge. The navigation is solid, and tends to run into few issues navigating your home.

ConsThe Not-So-Good

While the navigation is effective the machine fails to distinguish between carpeting and hard surfaces, meaning it may end up eventually accidentally mopping your carpet. The mop feature is a welcome addition, it tends to be less effective than dedicated robotic mopping options. It features a single brush design, which impacts some of the potential performance this device could offer.

Customer OpinionWhat Customers Say

People are thoroughly impressed with the powerful suction and long-lasting battery, allowing it to tackle most everyday cleaning projects in your home. People also love the ease of use it offers, thanks to functional autonomy that doesn’t need to be actively babysat like others. People also love the addition of a mop, automating and freeing them from yet another home chore.

There are people who wish the mop was more effective, noting it has difficulty tackling tougher tasks. Some users may have received defective units, noting that their robot was unable to hold a charge out of the box. Thankfully this can be remedied by contacting Kyvol’s customer support.

More Info

8Big Features at a Modest Price
Impressive smart features at a fraction of the cost.

This affordable robotic vacuum is packed with an array of great features considering its price. It offers advanced options typically seen in higher-priced models, such as app support, voice control, and automatically docking when needing to recharge. It performs well, offering cleaning power from 500–1000 Pa, depending on which cleaning mode you’re using. It features a runtime of up to 120 minutes, is 3.3 inches tall, has a 300 ML dustbin, and is fairly quiet when operating.

ProsThe Good

A great thing about this vacuum is the versatility it provides, both in cleaning capability and user experience. You can control it with a manual remote control, through the mobile app, or even by using Alexa voice commands. There are multiple cleaning modes available, such as spot cleaning, edge cleaning, and single room cleaning options. Anti-collision and drop sensors keep it from damaging furniture or falling down the stairs. This robot is also quiet enough to run overnight.

ConsThe Not-So-Good

With a rather plain plastic design it’s not exactly an eye-catcher, so it may not be the best choice if aesthetics are a main concern. It may get stuck in more cluttered areas, and connectivity with your mobile device can be buggy at times. With all the cleaning modes available, it may take a while to find the one that works best for various situations. It’s also taller and could get stuck under some low-clearance furniture. Additionally, the only smart home system it supports is Alexa.

Customer OpinionWhat Customers Say

Many praise this robot as a great everyday cleaner, with some noting it is quiet enough to potentially run throughout the night. People enjoy its cleaning capability, readily tackling most crumbs, debris, and dust spilled. People also enjoy how it effortlessly navigates between surfaces without becoming confused or stuck.

One common complaint was the small dustbin and having to empty it so often, along with cleaning out the brush roller. A few customers said it tripped the cliff sensors on dark floors and rugs.

More Info

9Affordable and Effective
Basic and effective affordable robotic vacuum.

iLife serves up a solid budget option with this hybrid robotic mop and vacuum. The V8s is a simple machine with little in terms of smart technology or features. But for people who prefer simplicity or those purchasing their very first robot, this may be an excellent option. It’s a better vacuum than mop, although the feature is serviceable. It features a solid runtime of over an hour and a half, as well as a generously large dustbin.

ProsThe Good

The simplicity of this machine makes it very user-friendly. Those new to robots and the less tech-savvy among us will appreciate not needing to rely on a smartphone app to use it. One notable perk is its scheduling feature, allowing you to set cleaning times based on your time. It runs up to 100 minutes on a single charge, and automatically re-docks when the battery is low.

There’s a generous 750 ML dustbin, six unique cleaning modes, and a remote control to operate it manually. To mop, simply pop out the dustbin and replace with the water tank, the machine will intelligently control water flow to prevent spillage.

ConsThe Not-So-Good

While the scheduling feature is nice, setting it up is akin to texting on a flip-phone with repetitive button pushing. It’s not very intuitive either, so you’ll likely need the user manual to help guide you through the process. It’s not the best at discerning hard floors from low-pile rugs and carpeting, so it may get those wet.

Mopping performance is also generally light-duty, as it doesn’t have enough friction to handle stuck-on dirt or scuff marks.

Customer OpinionWhat Customers Say

Older customers and those with back problems found this to be a great alternative to using their upright vacuums so often. Many users appreciated its solid obstacle avoidance and noticed it didn’t get stuck as often as other models.

Some customers with pets that tend to shed heavily found that the suction nozzle easily clogged with hair which ultimately inhibited performance. Some also wished it had less of a random pattern and better cleaning coverage.

Take a Look At These Alternative Models:
  • ILIFE V5s Pro Robot Vacuum and Mop
    ILIFE V5s Pro
    Price: Low

    The V5s Pro is a budget-friendly but feature-rich offering from iLife. It offers a battery runtime of up to 120 minutes, and is smaller and lighter than the V8s at 3” high and only weighing 4.5 pounds. It comes with an impressive list of features given it’s inexpensive price. However, scheduling vacuuming isn’t quite as advanced as the V8s as you can only schedule time of day, where the V8s allows you to schedule specific cleaning days and times.

    You can find out more about the iLife V5s Pro in our detailed review here>

More Info

10Great for Smaller Homes
Simpler option for those who don’t require a ton of features.

Bissell is synonymous with floor cleaning and vacuuming, so it’s no surprise they’ve entered the robotic vacuum industry. This model works well on hard floors, area rugs, and low-pile carpeting. It’s not loaded with an array of smart features, however it is a solid option for homeowners buying on a budget. It can be operated with an included remote control which you can use to schedule cleanings too. It features a runtime of up to 100 minutes, is taller at 3.5 inches, fairly heavy at 4 pounds, and comes with a 1 year warranty.

ProsThe Good

This model has a simple yet somewhat futuristic look to it, which is appreciated. Many users will appreciate the simplicity of operation and ease of use. The remote control allows you to create custom schedules and activate various cleaning modes, and even manually operate the device if needed. It automatically adjusts suction based on different types of flooring. It’s a good choice for small homes and apartments with mostly bare floors or low-pile carpeting. It also cleans well in corners and against walls thanks to the side sweeper brushes.

ConsThe Not-So-Good

As a simpler option, it features no app support or voice assistant integration. It does not perform well on anything thicker than an area rug. The 100 minute runtime means it’ll need to recharge a couple of times to clean a larger home. It doesn’t store location information, so it has to start the cycle over each time it leaves the dock instead of remembering where it had been. It features no obstacle detection and may often bump into things. Since cleaning patterns seem to be random, it may not finish a room before recharging.

Customer OpinionWhat Customers Say

Customers with small homes such as studio apartments are happy with this vacuum. They feel it’s a good value for their money to help them clean their smaller space. Many pet owners said it did a good job with cleaning up pet hair. Many users enjoy that you can direct the vacuum with the remote and even schedule cleaning times.

Some customers weren’t happy about the lack of mobile app or voice controls, although the omission of these features is common at this price. There were also several that weren’t happy with the relatively short battery life and how often it needs to be recharged.

More Info

11Great Choice for Pet Hair
Great option with intelligent mapping and smart home integration.

This little bot eschews traditional circular design for a D-shape featuring a distinct straight side. This innovation allows it to clean corners and along walls far better than other models. It’s fairly tall at 3.9 inches, which includes the height of the turret where the sensors are housed. It also features a modest but effective 0.7 L dustbin. Technophiles will appreciate the smart home integration as well as the advanced mapping and navigation features. Battery life is up to 120 minutes. It’s a great option for pet hair on hard floors and low-pile carpeting.

ProsThe Good

The Botvac D7 Includes magnetic dividing strips that you can cut up to establish no-go zones in your home, although you can also set up virtual no-go zones in the included app too. The virtual mapping allows you to create a map for the bot that’s much more versatile than using the strips alone.

Not only does this vacuum work with Alexa and Google Home, but it also IFTTT which has yet to be adopted by most competitors. It features a large brush roller to effectively collect dust and debris, and tends to move quickly compared to others.

ConsThe Not-So-Good

The Botvac D7 isn’t cheap and is similar to the Roomba 900 series in price. It may take a few times to accurately map cleaning areas. If the sensors get dirty, obstacle avoidance could malfunction, letting it run into walls and furniture. It’s also rather loud at up to 67 dB.

Connectivity can be a challenge, with the bot often losing floor plans, requiring remapping of the space.

Customer OpinionWhat Customers Say

Customers really loved the versatility of establishing no-go zones to keep the bot out of certain rooms or areas that housed power and charging cords. Many pet owners were happy how well it managed to clean up their pets’ hair. Some suggested using the “gentle navigation” mode to prevent damage to walls and other items should the sensors fail.

Several users were unhappy with the occasional connectivity issues, and how the device could lose an entire floor plan from a single piece of furniture being moved. A few also noted a design flaw that required repairs, as fur can get sucked into a gap between the brush and housing.

More Info

Cleaning performance is important, but not as much as you may think.

As many manufacturers will tell you, robot vacuum cleaners are meant to compliment your cleaning, and aren’t designed to be a complete replacement for traditional vacuuming. They free you up to enjoy your life rather or to tackle other tasks, reducing your overall need to manually clean.

A robot vacuum cleaning the floor near the sofa and the young couple sitting on the sofa
Robot vacuum frees you up to enjoy your life.

There are several things to consider when purchasing one of your own, such as your budget, the features offered, and even reviews from real customers.

How do robotic vacuum cleaners work

Robotic vacuum cleaners, also known as roombas or robovacs, are vacuum cleaners that are powered by robotics to autonomously clean your home. Every robotic vacuum cleaner features basic navigation capabilities, utilizes an agitator with suction to collect debris, and are completely battery powered.

Robot vacuum sensing the cliff of a stairs

Robot vacuums use sensors to navigate your home, with more premium models even mapping as it cleans. They typically feature at least one spinning or rolling brush, although many are dual-brush options. These work in conjunction with a powerful suction force to collect dust and debris off of your floor, just like your traditional vacuum. This gets stored in a removable dustbin which you will have to empty when full, although there are several modern models that empty themselves into a canister on the charging station.

How do they compare to conventional canister and upright vacuums

The basic way they clean is actually similar, using an agitator in conjunction with suction to collect debris into a container. However, robotic vacuum cleaners are autonomous and can even be intelligent, unlike conventional canister and upright options. They can boast an array of options and features traditional offerings could only dream of delivering, such as internet connectivity and even app support.

Upright vacuum standing in a room and a dog lying near it
Traditional vacuums are more powerful but require your time

As mentioned, they are meant to supplement your cleaning routine, and aren’t meant to serve as a complete replacement. Traditional vacuums are simply more powerful and effective at cleaning than their autonomous counterparts. Many are also unable to clean carpeting with any sort of depth, and may easily become stuck.

How do I maintain and take care of my robot vacuum

While robot vacuums can host an myriad of sophisticated features, they tend to be made out of a few common components that are generally easy to clean. Be sure that you check and clean the brushes and wheels frequently so you can prevent them potentially becoming clogged. Ensure there aren’t any hairs or thread trapped or wrapped in the brushes, and that there is nothing stuck on the wheels or in any crevices of the machine.

Functions and features of the robot vacuums.

  1. Cleaning Modes – Robot vacuums frequently feature various cleaning modes for handling different tasks around your home. While they can vary between models and manufacturers, there are a few options that tend to be shared among devices. They include an automatic mode for general cleanup tasks, a scheduled mode that allows you to program cleaning cycles for specific times, and a turbo mode for those tougher tasks. There are also different options available to clean a specific spot or area, but as mention these vary between vacuums.
  2. Control Options – One of the biggest perks of having a robot vacuum is their autonomous nature, directing itself through your house and cleaning up on its own. While this is the most common and preferred form of operation, there are also often manual control options available. These are most commonly accessed through an included remote control, or even by using a supported app, and are great at spot-cleaning or hitting hard-to-reach spaces.
  3. Navigating – Earlier and cheaper robotic vacuum cleaners used random navigation, which would often result in uncleaned areas or having trouble getting around. Nowadays, robovacs feature an array of sensors to “see” the world and navigate your home, helping them avoid obstacles or fall off of ledges. Premium options are often capable of not only docking themselves when their battery is low, but will pick up exactly where they left off once charged. There are some that are capable of identifying different types of debris and adjusting power to clean as needed.
  4. Mapping – Modern, advanced robot vacuums are capable of actively mapping your home as it cleans. This is a concept in robotics known as simultaneous localization and mapping, or SLAM for short. These devices use an array of sensors including gyroscopes, cameras, radar, LiDAR, and even laser-guided systems to create floor plans for your home and update them as needed. This not only helps your robot clean effectively, but can help keep track of which areas have and have not yet been cleaned.
  5. Boundaries – There may be certain objects, areas, or rooms that you don’t want your robot vacuum to go near. While you could physically block them with some kind of barrier, manufacturers offer a better way to section off areas from your robot. Most commonly, companies utilize magnetic strips known as boundary blockers that you can apply to the floor for your robot to avoid. More premium options feature virtual boundaries you can establish in an app that your robot will respect as it cleans and navigates.

Art concept of the smart home with a robot vacuum as a part of it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are robotic vacuum cleaners actually effective?

Of course! Although they’re not meant to be a total replacement for continental cleaning, more to supplement it. While rapidly advancing, robot vacuum cleaners aren’t quite yet capable of tackling large debris and tougher messes so you will still need to take care of these yourself. They are however, an amazing addition to any home or cleaning arsenal. They help pick up dust, dirt, and debris — reducing your need to frequently clean. There are even hybrid models capable of mopping, although these tend to be on the higher-end of the market.

Do robot vacuums work well on carpeting?

It all really depends on the model of vacuum and the height of the carpet. There are premium powerhouse models on the high-end of the market capable of tackling thicker carpeting like shag, where less powerful budget options may struggle even moving across a rug. Most models should be able to handle rugs and low-pile carpeting, but it’s important to research this before making a purchase.

Robot vacuum cleaning a carpet.
Performance on a carpet depends on the model.
Which is the best option for cleaning thick carpeting?

While there are a few models capable of tackling thick carpeting, some are better than others. We readily recommend the iRobot Roomba s9+, which excels at cleaning even deep carpeting.

Are robotic vacuums safe to use on wood flooring?

Absolutely! They may even perform better than conventional sweeping when it comes to cleaning them. This is because your robot vacuum is capable of cleaning and removing dirt trapped between boards, whereas conventional sweeping may only exacerbate this issue.

Auto-emptying iRobot Roomba.
How frequently should you empty a robotic vacuum cleaner?

It is situational and depends on several factors including the size of the dustbin, how frequently you run cleaning cycles, the size of your home, and the type of debris the machine is cleaning. If you live by yourself in a smaller space and use it less frequently, you’ll need to empty it less often. Conversely, if you live in a large home with small children and pets running multiple cycles daily, you may need to frequently empty it throughout the day.

Are there any robot vacuums that empty themselves?

When robot vacuums first hit the market this was a feature that consumers could only dream of, but today it’s an actual reality. Not only are there multiple models that empty their dustbins on their own when docked, but there are several we’ve reviewed in this guide alone. Some great options with this feature include the iRobot Roomba s9+, the Roomba i7+, and the Shark IQ Robot XL.

Author
Stephen A. Hancock received his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering (Robotics Track) from University of Utah in 2004. Since then, he’s contributed to numerous articles and has been a consultant for many technical publications and websites.
image description Comments
Maria DeAngelo
April 28, 2020 at 5:40 pm

Between the ilife v5s pro and the ilife v8s, which would you go with? The v8s is on sake now for $169.99 and the v5s pro is on sale for $179.99. I feel like I should automatically go with the newer model – v8s – but the v5s pro seems to cover more area in one charge than the v8s. And another thing I’m not sure about is the dust bin on the v8s – it says you can’t get it wet when you clean it out because it now houses an electronic part. Is that the same for the v5s? Thank you for your help.

Kevin (Cleanup.Expert Team)
May 7, 2020 at 8:45 am

Hello Maria, thank you for reaching out with your question! While the iLife V5s Pro does have a slightly longer operating time than the V8s, the V8s actually navigates more quickly than its predecessor, meaning you’re able to clean more space in less time using the newer model. The dustbin on the V5s does not house an electronic component and is able to get wet when cleaning. I wish you all the best with your purchasing decision and future 2-in-1 robot!

Marshall
January 28, 2020 at 7:51 pm

We’re considering buying a Roborock, but can’t decide whether the Roborock S6 or Roborock S5 is the better deal. What’s your take on it?

Kevin (Cleanup.Expert Team)
January 30, 2020 at 10:16 am

Thanks for your question. There isn’t a ton of difference between the two, especially the mopping function, but the S6 will cost you more. It’s still quite a bit cheaper than the top Roomba models. Both have great navigation with LIDAR (laser) navigation that makes them very accurate.

With the S6, you get the added advantage of Alexa and Google Assistant voice control plus a longer battery life (up to 150 minutes), and it’s 50% quieter than the S5. The main advantage, however, is that you can name rooms and set custom cleaning schedules and routes in the app. Plus, the added 32-bit quad core processor makes navigation 20% more efficient than the S5.

If you want quicker, quieter, and more control over cleaning cycles, we’d suggest the S6. The cost difference is worth it.

B Robertson
December 3, 2019 at 6:33 pm

I’m looking for a small robot vacuum that will sweep up my wood floors in my kitchen… Requirements:

– Small so it can get around baby high chair.
– Good at crevices under cabinets.
– Doesn’t try and go into my other rooms (where it will certiaintly get stuck on all the baby toys laying around in the family room)
– Capable of getting to a dock that would be under the table with obstacles nearby -OR- a vacuum smart enough to leave my dining room travel into the kitchen and clean only the kitchen and then return.

I’m highly skeptical in a vacuum properly performing this task without getting stuck so i’d like a lower cost to entry to try it…

Any recommendations?

Kevin (Cleanup.Expert Team)
December 7, 2019 at 8:32 am

Hi and thanks for your question. It’s hard to find any one robot vac that meets all of your criteria at a low price. The closest one we’d recommend would be the eufy RoboVac 30. It’s very affordable and a step up from the 11S, which we did a full review on here: https://cleanup.expert/eufy-boost-iq-robovac-11s/.

It’s only 2.85” high so it will fit under toe kicks and furniture that other vacs can’t reach. It also has a redocking feature so it will return to the dock when the battery is low. For all robot vacs, it’s best to place the charging dock in an uncluttered area, so under a table with chairs wouldn’t be ideal. If you can find a spot against the wall with good clearance, that would be best.

While navigation isn’t as advanced as the Roombas, it does come with boundary strips that you can lay in front of power cords or doorways to keep it out of unwanted areas.

It’s not perfect, but it might be a good one for you to start with.

AGoins
November 24, 2019 at 6:13 am

I can’t believe the Shark robot vac didn’t make the list! I love mine. It did come with a strip. Virtual avoidable areas would be nice and a automatic bin emptier , But other than that I have no complaints! It picks up cat hair, dust, dirt easiely goes from my linoleum to thick carpet. It has a app I can control it from or set automatic cleanings weekly,daily ect. .It rarely gets stuck. I do vacuum every once in awhile with my large vacuum but honestly the floors are clean so i dont worry about it much!! I do however keep the cords,socks, toys up so they don’t get run over. It goes under my beds, maneuvers around dining room chair legs an always gets the whole house clean before it makes its own way back to charge! I have never owned a roomba but I think Im going to stick with works for my family of 6!! (plus 2 indoor cats!!)

Wilma Shaver (NY)
September 29, 2019 at 1:22 am

We have various types of carpet from low pile to thick plush. Will a robot vacuum really work on all carpets?

Kevin (Cleanup.Expert Team)
September 29, 2019 at 8:04 am

Many robot vacuums will struggle with anything beyond a low pile. That is, unless they have added features that increase the suction power needed to clean thicker fibers. Your best bet is to go with a robot vacuum that has something like Carpet Boost such as the iRobot Roomba 980. It will automatically adjust the suction power when transitioning between flooring types so it cleans much more thoroughly than those that don’t have this ability.

Amanda
September 24, 2019 at 12:41 pm

Will a robot vacuum last as long as an upright, and is it worth the expense? How long do they usually last?

James (Cleanup.Expert Team)
September 24, 2019 at 6:11 pm

Like most everything, that depends. For one, with robot vacuums, you usually get what you pay for, meaning that a premium priced brand will likely outlast a bargain priced one. With good maintenance, many robot vacuums can last at least 4 – 6 years, longer for a high quality one. To keep it running well, you will need to replace various parts on it at different times.

Here’s a very general idea of replacement schedules:

  • Battery – every 2 years
  • Brushes – every 6 months
  • Filters – every 3 – 6 months
  • Sensors – every 2 years
  • Dirt bin – as needed

It’s important to follow all the maintenance steps in the owner’s manual for keeping the dirt bin and brush rollers clean, etc. You can pre-purchase replacement filters and brush rollers ahead of time so they’ll be ready when it’s time to change.

Nancy Wesley
September 23, 2019 at 4:49 am

I know a lot of these robot vacuums have schedule functions. With pets (2 dogs in particular) I’m wondering how often should I run the vacuum?

James (Cleanup.Expert Team)
September 23, 2019 at 8:41 pm

There is no set time to run your robot vacuum. It will depend on how dirty your floors tend to get and what type of robot vacuum you have. If your dogs shed a lot, many pet owners set their vacuums to run daily, like while they’re at work or overnight. Some pet owners find they only need to run theirs 3 – 4 times per week.

Try running it a few times per week and observe the results. If you find you need more hair pickup, then run it every day or every other day. Some brands will be more efficient on some types of floors and dirt types than others. The Neato Robotics D7, for instance, was rated best for pet hair in our reviews. So it may not require as many cycles to do the job well.

image descriptionAdd comment

Robot Tips & Tricks

A woman has many questions about robot vacuums, just like most of us.
Robot Vacuum Cleaner FAQs
Robot Vacuum Cleaners are evolving at a rapid pace and have indeed become the new necessity for any modern household. Here's a breakdown on some of the most frequently asked questions about these devices
How Robotic Vacuums and Mops Navigate?
How Robotic Vacuums and Mops Navigate Through Your Home
Robot vacuums and mops are smarter than first gen models. How? By adopting the smart tech used in other devices that power our lives. Here’s how these robots go about mapping and cleaning your home.
Every technology has nuances and we try to help you to choose the good robotic vacuum.
How Does a Robotic Vacuum Work to Clean Your Floors?
Have you ever wondered how a vacuum robot really works? Before rushing out to buy one, it’s good to know about the features robotic vacuums use to clean hard floors and carpet. Read our guide to find out.
Household robots make our lives much easier.
Automate Your Cleaning With 4 Types of Smart Home Robots
Wish you had a live-in cleaning assistant that didn’t cost a fortune? Now you can! With home robots, cleaning has become more hands-off than ever before. Here are 4 types you could have right now.