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Maybe you’ve been a proud robot vacuum owner for years now; maybe you haven’t yet tried out this nifty, time-saving home gadget. Either way, we suggest you check out the newest models on the market: With upgraded capabilities and futuristic features, they’re well worth your while—and most perform far better than the earliest robot vacuums. Floor plan mapping, the ability to detect flooring types, obstacle maneuvering and even mopping functionalities make cleaning enjoyable and easy. The best robot vacuums have always outperformed typical vacuums with their hands-off cleaning abilities, but now, they’re that much more efficient.

For instance, with the newer floor mapping capability boasted by newer models, you can set “restricted areas,” designate particular areas for vacuuming and mopping and even choose the order of rooms for cleaning. More advanced robotic vacuums, meanwhile, have even more impressive features—which are naturally accompanied by higher prices—that include automatic dustbin emptying and remote control via voice commands to Alexa or Google Assistant and/or the use of a companion app. And finally, the best of the best robot vacuums go far beyond stick vacuums with features like advanced sensors to avoid wires, stairs, pet waste and other disastrous obstacles (mind you, these models can reach $1,000).

The Forbes Vetted team put in hours of research and combed through hundreds of reviews to find the best robot vacuums on the market right now. Ahead, explore our top picks—and prepare to take one pesky chore off next week’s to-do list.

Best Robot Vacuum Overall

An Excellent Pick With Powerful Suction And Futuristic Features

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  • Self-Empty: No 
  • Controller Type: App control, voice control
  • Surface: Wood, tile, carpet

Shark is a widely trusted vacuum brand, so it’s not surprising that consumers are generally as pleased with the Shark IQ R100 Robot Vacuum as they are with the brand’s full-size vacuums. This particular model is available for a reasonable price, but it still boasts a number of exciting, high-tech features, including home mapping capabilities, Wi-Fi connectivity and voice commands via Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. 

On its first few runs, the Shark IQ takes time to map out your entire home. Once mapping is complete, you’re prompted to select exactly which rooms you want it to clean. It then vacuums each specified area in a methodical, row-by-row pattern, not just bumping around randomly. The vacuum features an extra-large dust bin, a self-cleaning brush roll and a high-efficiency filter, and the brand claims it delivers the same powerful suction that you’d expect from other Shark vacuums.

Pros:

  • Cleans row by row
  • Self-cleaning brush
  • Filter captures dust and allergens

Cons:

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Best Value Robot Vacuum

An Affordable Pick With A Three-Stage Cleaning System

  • Self-Empty: No 
  • Controller Type: App control, voice control 
  • Surface: Carpet and hard floor

While the iRobot Roomba 694 may not have as many high-tech features as more expensive models, it’s still a top pick thanks to its solid performance and reasonable price point. It has a three-stage cleaning system that’s effective at loosening, lifting and sucking up dirt and dust from hard floors and carpet, and its Edge-Sweeping brush can pick up dirt lingering in hard-to-reach corners. The unit’s Dirt Detect Technology helps find the dirtier areas in your home and then cleans them more thoroughly. And since it’s Wi-Fi connected, you can schedule and monitor the robot’s cleaning sessions from your smartphone and start it using Google Assistant and Alexa-enabled devices.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Smart features
  • Three-stage cleaning system

Cons:

  • 90-minute run time
  • Doesn’t self-empty


Best Robot Vacuum For Pet Hair

A Model Whose Airflow And Suction Maximize Pet Hair Pickup

  • Self-Empty: No 
  • Controller Type: App control, voice control
  • Surface: Carpet, multi-floor

The Eufy RoboVac X8 easily picks up pet hair with its strong suction and twin-turbine technology that creates 80% more airflow than Eufy’s single-turbine robotic vacuum. Pet hair or no, this vacuum also automatically increases its suction when it moves onto carpeting.

This robot vacuum performs up to 180 minutes of cleaning with a single charge, and you can direct it to clean entire rooms or simply spot clean where it’s needed. It can store multiple maps including your selected No-Go Zones, and you can control its operation with the companion app as well as Google Assistant or Alexa. An additional convenient feature is the UltraPack Dust Compression, which provides suction that maximizes the capacity of the dust box, meaning less frequent emptying.

Pros: 

  • Good mid-range option
  • Detects carpeting automatically
  • Smart features

Cons: 


Best Robot That Mops And Vacuums

An Option That Does It All: Vacuum, Mop, Wash And Dry

  • Self-Empty: No 
  • Controller Type: Voice control
  • Surface: Hard floor, carpet, wood, stone, marble

As the name notes, this Dreametech W10 Robot Vacuum Cleaner and Mop does double duty (more like quadruple duty), picking up dust, dirt and pet hair, and then mopping, washing and drying—thus saving you hours of work. Its functions are split into three modes: vacuuming, mopping and “all-in-one cleaning.”

This robot vacuum performs thorough vacuuming and mopping thanks to its upgraded roller brush with a strong 4,000 Pa suction force and its double-rotating mop (at 180 rpm). The vacuum also “knows” when to increase its pressure when it detects carpeting. It gets its power from a 6,400 mAh super-capacity battery which provides a maximum 210 minutes in quiet mode, and when the battery is low, the W10 returns to the charger before continuing to clean once it’s ready.

The vacuum quickly and accurately maps your home, and you can save (and name) up to three maps. You can also restrict vacuuming and cleaning to certain areas (so that you don’t end up with a wet carpet, for example). The advanced sensors help it easily avoid obstacles as well as stair mishaps.

Bonus features include its D-shaped structure, which allows it to thoroughly clean corners of rooms, as well as a 4-liter tank to keep you from having to change the water too frequently. The vacuum is compatible with Alexa, and you can also control it through the app.

Pros:

  • Fast mapping
  • Can save up to three maps
  • D-shape aids in cleaning corners

Cons:

  • Pricier than most
  • Doesn’t self-empty


Best Robot Vacuum For All Types of Floors

A Robot Vacuum That Seamlessly Transitions From Floor To Carpet

  • Self-Empty: No 
  • Controller Type: App control, voice control
  • Surface: Hard floor, wood, carpet

The most impressive tech feature (granted, perhaps not the most vital) of the Roborock S7MaxV Robot Vacuum and Sonic Mop is the real-time video call function. Using the vacuum, you can video call any location in your home. (The company emphasizes that no images are saved and that the vacuum meets European cyber security standards.) Other smart features include ReactiveAI 2.0, which uses an RGB camera with LED to recognize and avoid obstacles, even in the dark. You can also set virtual No-Go Zones, Invisible Walls, and No-Mop Zones to restrict the vacuum’s movement as needed.

Regarding the mechanical features, the mop cleans at 3,000 cycles per minute to remove dried-on stains while intense suction lifts dirt from floors and deep inside carpets. To allow the device to vacuum and mop in a single run, the S7MaxV uses ultrasonic technology to automatically identify carpeting and then immediately lift the mop. You can preset sessions by time, sequence and rooms.

Pros:

  • Seamless floor transitioning
  • Strong (and adjustable) suction
  • 180-minute run time

Cons:

  • Pricier than many
  • Doesn’t self-empty


Best Roomba Robot Vacuum

A Self-Emptying Option With Many High-Tech Features

  • Self-Empty: Yes 
  • Controller Type: App control, voice control
  • Surface: Hard wood, ceramic, carpet

Roomba is one of the most recognizable robot vacuum brands, and one of the company’s latest models, the j7+, promises some of the best performance yet. This sleek robot vacuum has a more compact self-emptying base that can still hold up to 60 days’ worth of dust and dirt, and its improved navigational skills allow the vacuum to automatically avoid power cords, shoes and toys, as well as pet accidents. In fact, iRobot now offers a “Pet Owner Official Promise” (also known as P.O.O.P): If the j7+ doesn’t avoid pet waste, the unit will be replaced for free.

In addition to its new navigational skills, this updated Roomba has a three-stage cleaning system with an edge-sweeping brush and multi-surface rubber rollers, and it allows you to schedule multiple cleanings per day, if desired. You can control it through the iRobot app or your smart home assistant, and it learns your cleaning habits and offers customized schedules.

Pros:

  • Self-emptying
  • Enhanced smart features
  • P.O.O.P. function to avoid pet waste

Cons:


What To Consider When Choosing A Robot Vacuum

There’s a lot to consider when choosing the best robot vacuum to meet your cleaning requirements. Do you have several flooring types in your home? Do you have a frequently shedding pet whose abundant fur requires a vacuum with extra suction power? Do you have a large home, or will a shorter run time for a robot vacuum be sufficient? Here’s what to look for:

Flooring Type

Look for a robot vacuum that can accommodate the various types of flooring in your home. If you only need one to clean hard floors, you may find that a cheaper model (one that doesn’t necessarily excel at flooring transitions or carpet cleaning) may be sufficient. However, if you want your vacuum to switch from hard floors to carpets and rugs with ease, you’ll want a model that can move across different surfaces and automatically adjust its suction—and lift its mop, if it has one, when it detects carpet. (No one wants wet carpeting, that’s for sure.)

Obstacles

Homes with minimal obstacles make the best cleaning environment for robot vacuums. If you have a lot of furniture, electrical cords or toys (kids’ or pets’) strewn about, you may want to consider a higher-tech model that features home mapping and smart navigation to detect and avoid obstacles and hazards. It still may get stuck, though, so your best bet is to clear as much clutter as you can before unleashing a robot vacuum on your floors.

Pets

Do you have pets who shed? The best robot vacuums for you will boast strong suction and self-cleaning brush rolls that are designed to effectively pick up pet hair. You may want one that has an allergen-capturing filter, too. Also, consider a self-emptying option if you think the dust bin will fill up quickly. And if your pets have occasional accidents, check out the Roomba j7+—not only does it avoid the waste, but it comes with the “P.O.O.P.” guarantee: If the product fails to dodge the doo, you’ll receive a free replacement vacuum.

Run Time

Less expensive robot vacuums have maximum run times of about 90 to 100 minutes, while more expensive models can manage up to 120 to 180 minutes. If you have smaller areas that mostly need maintenance cleanups, the shorter run times should be adequate. However, if you have a large house or regularly need to clean up a lot of pet hair or debris, a robot vacuum will a longer battery life is a better choice.

Self-Emptying Feature

Just like old-school vacuums, most robotic vacuums need to be emptied manually, which may interrupt a cleaning session (and may feel to you like it defeats the purpose of having a hands-free vacuum). That said, the newer, more advanced models are designed to self-dock automatically and empty when they’re full, so even if you’re not home while they reach capacity, they can make a quick pit stop and keep on cleaning.


Frequently Asked Questions About Robot Vacuums

Is A Robot Vacuum Worth It?

The short answer: Yes. Even the most affordable robot vacuums are priced at $200 or so, meaning these gadgets are a significant, worthwhile investment. To determine if a specific robot vacuum is worth its price tag, though, we recommend thinking about your home’s layout and any potential challenges. For instance, if keeping up with pet hair or dirt means that you’re using a regular vacuum several times a week, a robot vacuum might be particularly helpful when it comes to the relevant daily maintenance. That said, they typically aren’t as thorough as a typical vacuum—so you’ll probably still need to use one of those on occasion.

What Robot Vacuum Has The Strongest Suction?

Robot vacuums’ suction is typically measured in Pascal Pressure Units, abbreviated as “Pa.” That’s what we look at to determine which has the strongest suction. The Dreametech W10 Robot Vacuum Cleaner and Mop delivers an impressive 4,000 Pa of suction, so it’s far and away one of the most powerful options on the market.

How Long Do Robot Vacuums Last?

It’s one of the most important questions you can ask a consumer—and we’ve got good news for anyone who’s curious. Robot vacuums typically last for around four to six years, provided that you keep up with proper maintenance by cleaning the brushes regularly and replacing components as needed. Pricier models can last up to eight years under the same conditions.

Can A Roomba Replace A Vacuum?

No, Roombas and other robot vacuums cannot replace normal vacuums. While they can pick up most dirt, dust and pet hair off of bare floors and carpeting, they’re best for light, everyday cleaning. Many don’t provide the same suction power that a traditional vacuum does, so they often can’t pull out dirt that’s been pushed deep into carpets. For this reason, most people use robot vacuums as supplementary, everyday cleaning tools, then use a full-size vacuum to deep-clean their homes as needed. That said, advancements in robot vacuum technology mean that some of the higher-end models can come close to rivaling your standard upright.

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