These Robot Vacuums Are the Best at Efficiently Cleaning Your Floors
Robot vacuums are just the latest example of modern technology making our lives easier. Leaving your vacuum unsupervised to clean your home saves you the time and energy of having to do the tedious task yourself. Using smart technology, these vacuums are very self-sufficient, mapping out your home, avoiding stray objects, and sucking up every crumb and piece of dust on your floors.
Our testers created a mock room and let 30 robot vacuums loose to pick up crumbs, fur, and sand, and evaluated each for setup, effectiveness, maneuverability, noise, and special features. Below, we've rounded up the best robot vacuums, according to PEOPLE Tested.
PEOPLE Tested Winners
- Best Overall: iRobot Roomba 694 Robot Vacuum
- Best Budget: ILIFE V3s Pro Robot Vacuum Cleaner
- Best Splurge: Samsung VR50T95735W/AA Jet Bot AI+ Robot Vacuum Cleaner
- Best Mop Combo: ECOVACS DEEBOT N8+ Laser Mapping Vacuuming and Mopping Robot with Self Empty
- Things to Consider Before Buying
- How We Tested
- What Is People Tested?
Best Overall: iRobot Roomba 694 Robot Vacuum
Pros: The iRobot Roomba 694 Robot Vacuum offers a sleek design, effective and self-sufficient cleaning, and versatility on rugs and hardwood floors.
Cons: It had issues getting debris at the edge of the rug.
When you think of robot vacuums, the first name that pops up is Roomba — a highly popular model beloved for its ease of use and top-notch cleaning skills. The iRobot Roomba 694 Robot Vacuum earned a perfect five out of five stars for how simple it was to set up, its effectiveness on both rugs and hard floors, and its maneuverability.
It took our testers just five minutes to set up this vacuum thanks to clear and easy instructions. They loved how well this little vacuum maneuvered around the space — it moves quickly, fitting between chair legs and under tables and other furniture. "This product handled the pet hair, human hair, and cheerios extremely well," said one tester, adding "[it] also did a great job with sand."
It should be noted that while this vacuum had some trouble getting debris at the edge of the rug where it met the floor, the combined brush and vacuum technology swept most dirt up on the first pass. Our tester also noted this model doesn't have object avoidance technology. That's not a dealbreaker by any means, but should be considered if you have small kids that leave items on the floor or pets who have accidents.
Overall, we believe this is a good value for the price, and a great vacuum for your day-to-day needs. It's not overly loud, is easy to empty after use, and has some smart technology such as voice control and app connections. "I thought this product was very good at what it advertised," our tester said. "The product performed the basic features really well."
Hard floors, rugs, and carpets
App control, voice control
Object avoidance tech
Pet fur, hair, crumbs, dirt
Best Budget: ILIFE V3s Pro Robot Vacuum Cleaner
Pros: This vacuum is easy to set up, control, maneuver, and maintain.
Cons: It had a hard time picking up dirt in corners, and could be a little quieter.
This budget-friendly robot vacuum was a favorite among our testers because it moves around a space efficiently, picking up most dirt on carpets and hard floors along the way. "I spent some time reading the manual, which I would recommend to every user or beginner who has never [had] a robot vacuum," said our tester, who noted that setup took less than five minutes.
This model also comes with a handy remote control so you can change the settings while you lounge and watch your favorite TV show (work smarter, not harder!). It can navigate between carpet and hard floors with ease, avoiding most objects despite not having specific object avoidance technology. It scored well in noise level, because our team could hold a clear conversation during testing even when the vacuum was close by.
One issue our tester observed is that this vacuum had trouble grabbing cheerios from corners during testing. Though there aren't many smart tech features with this model, when considering its easy maintenance, cleaning abilities, and low price, we think it's a solid value. "This would be a good starter robot vacuum," our tester noted.
Hard surfaces and carpet
Object avoidance tech
Pet hair, dirt, and other debris
Best Splurge: Samsung VR50T95735W/AA Jet Bot AI+ Robot Vacuum Cleaner
Pros: This high-quality vacuum is user-friendly, quiet, packed with smart features, and even empties itself.
Cons: It initially avoided the rug during testing.
This Jet Bot vacuum is like Pixar's Wall-E — a little robot that does it all. It sucks up debris, avoids stray objects on the ground, streams live camera footage to your phone (!), cleans itself out, and even talks to you when turning on and off (downright adorable!). Our testers loved the smart features of this robot vacuum, as well as its simple setup.
"Every single part of this machine is high-quality," said one tester. This vacuum quietly maneuvers around furniture, picking up even the smallest specs of dirt with ease. The smart features are "endless" with sensors and cameras for object avoidance (to not create a bigger mess than it intends to clean!), self-parking in the docking station, self-emptying, and talking when it turns on and off.
Our tester noticed this vacuum initially avoided climbing the rug and instead turned away to continue cleaning the hard floor during the first test. However, it eventually came back around and transitioned well between the floor and the rug.
"I am a mother of two boys," said our tester, "...and keeping my floors clean is a daily task, [so] I appreciate a good product that can make life as a busy mom easier." She loved this robot vacuum and said, "If someone has it in their budget to spend their money on this gadget, I say YES — go for it. I was impressed."
Hard floors and rugs
Sensors, camera, self-parking and emptying dock
Object avoidance tech
Dirt, pet hair, sand, crumbs, and more
Best Mop Combo: ECOVACS DEEBOT N8+ Laser Mapping Vacuuming and Mopping Robot with Self Empty
Pros: This vacuum-mop combo works in tandem to both pick up debris and clean floors.
Cons: The mopping component left some residue on the floor, and the emptying dock of the vacuum is quite loud.
Our testers loved this vacuum for its ease of use and effective cleaning abilities. "The setup was easy and it was ready to go right away," said one tester. She observed how efficiently this vacuum removed hair and other debris from the floor, as well as the rug during our tests.
This vacuum moved around the space quickly, avoiding furniture, and mapping the floors with ease. The noise level for the vacuum wasn't too loud, and it self-docks and empties after cleaning.
The mopping component was just as successful, although our tester noticed there was a slight issue when trying to clean up the syrup we'd spilled to test its chops. "The only drawback is that the brushes are sticky from the syrup and would have to be cleaned after use," she said, adding that the emptying dock for the vacuum is a little loud.
Overall, we think this product is a great value. "I would recommend this product because it works well for the price and includes self-emptying, mopping, and other features that you would want in a robot vacuum," our tester said.
Hard floors and carpets
Floor mapping sensors, auto-emptying station
Object avoidance tech
Crumbs, sticky messes, and other debris
Things to Consider Before Buying Robot Vacuums
Since one of the perks of robot vacuums is their ability to be left unsupervised, you'll want to make sure you choose a model with plenty of maneuverability. Home mapping technology can help because it lets the vacuum know where there are stairs and other hazards, as well as detecting where furniture is. You'll also want to consider whether the vacuum can easily maneuver between rugs, carpets, and hard floors.
One benefit of certain robot vacuums is object-avoidance technology. These vacuums are equipped with sensors (sometimes cameras!) to help avoid things like kids' toys, socks, and pet messes that you don't want spread around your house.
Robot vacuums can be pricey, so you want to make sure you're getting the most bang for your buck. Some special features to look for include home mapping, self-parking in the dock, and self-emptying. Other features include voice control and app integration where you can direct the vacuum from your smartphone or other smart device.
How We Tested Robot Vacuums
Over a span of two days, our team ran a series of tests evaluating 30 robot vacuums for ease of setup, effectiveness, noise level, features, maneuverability, ease of emptying, and overall value.
During the lab test, our testers read the instructions, timed how long each vacuum took to set up, and got to work testing the capabilities of each model. In a small contained area, they set the robot vacuums free to munch on various debris (cheerios! fur! sand!) and considered the effectiveness of each. For hybrid models, they also tested the mopping components by adding sticky syrup to the mix.
Alas, we had a couple hiccups during testing with wifi and noise, so, some variables will be tested long-term in our testers' homes, and we'll add those insights at a later date. Our testers evaluated some special features (smart mapping! object avoidance!) and how well the vacuums maneuvered around the space. Lastly, they emptied each vacuum to see how messy or simple that process was.
What Is People Tested?
We created the PEOPLE Tested seal of approval to help you find the very best products for your life. We use our unique methodology to test products in three labs across the country and with our network of home testers to determine their effectiveness, durability, ease of use, and so much more. Based on the results, we rate and recommend products so you can find the right one for your needs.
But we don't stop there: We also regularly re-review the categories in which we've awarded the PEOPLE Tested seal of approval — because the best product of today might not be the best of tomorrow. And by the way, companies can never buy our recommendation: Their products must earn it, fair and square.
In short, PEOPLE Tested provides recommendations you can trust — every day, every purchase.
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