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6 Best Robot Vacuums to Buy in 2021

Keep your floors clean without even lifting a finger.

irobot, neato, eufy robot vacuums on carpet and wood floor
Created by Bridget Clegg using images from Getty Images, Neato, Eufy, iRobot

A robot vacuum will keep your floors looking nice and tidy with little effort on your part. Push a button (or tap on your smartphone screen), and they’ll suck up a bunch of crumbs, dust, and pet hair before you get the chance to even notice them. Schedule cleanings, and they’ll automatically start at a set time each day. These futuristic features are a dream come true for those who hate to clean, keeping your home clean without ever having to think about vacuuming.

Even if you own multiple vacuums, you’ll be surprised how much you’ll rely on a robot vacuum, especially since you don’t have to do the vacuuming yourself. With an abundance of robot vacuums on the market right now, we've selected the best robot vacuums for all of your (effortless) cleaning needs.

The Best Robot Vacuums of 2021

What to Consider

There are hundreds of robot vacuums to pick from at a wide variety of price points, and shopping for one of them is about as difficult as vacuuming under the couch. Although all of our recommended picks can clean both carpet and hard floors, their runtimes and suction power vary.

The biggest difference between budget, midrange, and premium robot vacuums is their methods of navigation. More expensive robot vacs use cameras, lasers, and advanced algorithms to get around. Cheaper models move forward until they hit something — then they’ll turn around and adjust themselves to continue traveling in a straight line until they bump into another object to repeat the process over again until they run out of battery.

Besides different methods of navigating, robot vacuums vary in their number of features. Several smart robot vacuums come with companion apps that you install on your smartphone so you can remotely control the vacuums and schedule cleanings. More expensive vacuums’ apps also let you view maps of your floor plan for telling your robot to clean (or avoid) specific rooms and areas of your home. Some robot vacuum models double as robot mops and can even empty their dustbins themselves.

If you have hard floors, any vacuum on this list will keep them clean. But, if you have pets or mostly carpets, we recommend opting for a more powerful model in the $300 price range since these models promise higher suction power, larger-sized dust bins, and brushes that are more resistant to tangles from a copious amount of hair.

How We Tested

We tested a dozen robot vacuums from seven different manufacturers to find out which ones navigate the most effectively, deliver the most suction to clean up crumbs, dust, debris, and hair while still offering a good balance between price and performance. The products we tested were picked specifically because they are the newest on the market or are held in high regard by other review sites and consumer reviewers.

The main testing criteria included the following:

  • Agility and navigation
  • Suction strength
  • Ease of use

We tested each robot vacuum at least twice to see how they suck up breakfast cereals, dog food, pet hair, dust bunnies, and fine debris like salt and sugar. We not only weighed how much junk they sucked up but also made a note of how well they navigated. Additionally, we factored in the number of brushes the vacuums have, bin size, their battery life, and how easy they are to empty.

We sought out to find out how well each one worked on various floor types, including rugs, low-pile carpet, and bare floors (both tile and hardwood). We paid attention to how they pick up debris along walls and how well they were able to transition from one floor type to another. We eliminated vacuums that were likely to get stuck or constantly needed babysitting. Lastly, we tested any complementary apps and any supplementary accessories such as mop attachments and strips that you lay to keep the vacuums out of certain areas of your home.

Over the course of a month-long testing period and after sucking up enough pet hair and dust bunnies to probably make a duvet out of, we settled on six favorite models.

Looking for more vacuum reviews? Check out our guides on the best handheld vacuums, the best stick vacuums, and the best vacuums overall.

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Best Overall
iRobot Roomba E5 Robot Vacuum
iRobot amazon.com

Bin Size: 500 milliliters
• Runtime: 90 minutes
Loudness: 64 decibels

When it comes down to it, a robot vacuum needs to be three things: agile, thorough, and versatile. This Roomba robot vacuum is all that and then some. It’s the best robot vacuum you can buy for its ability to navigate, clean both hard flooring and carpet and its repairability.

The e5 provides five times the suction of Roomba’s more affordable 6 Series robots (currently Wirecutter’s top robot vacuum pick). We found that the e5 could handle dust, pet hair, crumbs, fine debris like salt —really, anything we threw at it — with ease.

It never got stuck during our test runs and returned to its base after completing its jobs. It left our floors (especially the carpets) cleaner than other vacuums in its price range did.

Since you can schedule cleaning with the app, the vacuum will clean automatically without you even having to think about it.

Reviewed: iRobot Roomba e5 Robot Vacuum

  • Has Wi-Fi and smart functionality
  • Slim enough to fit under low-clearance furniture

  • Doesn’t navigate as efficiently as pricier models
Best Budget Robot Vac
eufy RoboVac 11S Robot Vacuum
eufy amazon.com

Bin Size: 600 milliliters
• Runtime: 90 minutes
Loudness: 55 decibels

The eufy RoboVac 11S is a powerful yet affordable robot vac that caters to shoppers on a budget. What we love about the 11S is how unassumingly amazing it is.

It's a beast at sucking up debris and performs just as well as robot vacuums that are twice the price. We’re big fans of its twin side brushes, which help it clean better along the edges compared to most other round robot vacuums.

During our tests with it, the vacuum navigated flawlessly around our space. It dodged dining room chairs, increased its suction speed when it sensed carpet, and its brushes successfully directed dust bunnies to its path. The vacuum didn’t get stuck, and its slim profile helped it to clean under tight spaces.

If savings are important to you, the 11S is definitely worth considering for its excellent cleaning performance.

Reviewed: eufy RoboVac 11S Max Robot Vacuum

  • Strong cleaning performance for the price
  • You can pre-schedule cleaning sessions

  • No virtual barriers
  • No smart features
Best Self-Emptying Vacuum
iRobot Roomba i3+ Robot Vacuum
iRobot amazon.com
$349.00 (13% off)

Bin Size: 500 milliliters
• Runtime: 90 minutes
Loudness: 63 decibels

This midrange robot vacuum from Roomba is equipped with a convenient feature that was previously was reserved for vacuums that cost $800 or more. It’s one of the few robot vacuums that can empty itself. Basically, when the robot’s bin is full, it’ll automatically return to its base, empty its bin, and resume cleaning where it last left off. This feature is a huge plus for folks who suffer from allergies since it significantly limits your exposure to dust.

The Roomba i3+’s Clean Base holds 60 bins worth of debris but unfortunately requires proprietary disposal bags, which cost about five bucks each. We think the added convenience is well worth it.

The Roomba i3+ is an excellent cleaner that’s equipped with Roomba’s patented rubber brush rolls. They work hard at agitating carpet fibers to remove dust from your floors and resist tangles from pet hair quite well.

Its app lets you start the vacuum remotely and set schedules, but unfortunately, you cannot tell the i3 to clean specific rooms of your home. Regardless, this model is a capable robot that cleans well and doesn’t require a lot of babysitting.

  • Empties itself
  • Has dirt-detection sensors that help improve cleaning performance

  • Clean Base bags are proprietary and can be expensive over time
Best for Large Floorplans
Roborock S4 Max Robot Vacuum
roborock amazon.com

Bin Size: 460 milliliters
• Runtime: 150 minutes
Loudness: 61 decibels

The Roborock S4 Max is an excellent mid-range robot vacuum that packs plenty of smarts and delivers stellar cleaning performance without breaking the bank. It works especially well at cleaning bare floors and will suck up practically any size of debris in its path. It’s also faster and quieter than the majority of other robot vacuums we’ve tested, making it a good pick for large-sized floor plans.

Where it really shines is its navigation performance. The vacuum will learn the floor plan in your home in just one cleaning session. The $900 Roomba S9+ we tested took four tries! Once it saves the map, you can create no-go zones and invisible walls where you don’t want the vacuum to clean (like by your pet’s water bowl). You can even instruct it to clean specific rooms or draw areas on the map where you want the vacuum to spot clean.

If you’re looking for a wicked-good robot vacuum with superior suction, outstanding navigation tech, and a convenient app, the Roborock S4 Max is worth your consideration.

  • Quieter than most vacuums
  • Above-average cleaning performance
  • You can tell it to clean specific rooms of your home

  • Hair gets caught on brush roll
  • Its dock slides around on hard floors
Best Robot Vac/Mop Hybrid
Roborock S7 Robot Vacuum and Mop
roborock amazon.com

Bin Size: 470 milliliters
• Runtime175 minutes
Loudness: 68 decibels

Several robot vacuum manufacturers have tried and failed to create hybrid robot vac and mop combo units, but they oftentimes cause more stress than they alleviate. The problem with most combo units is that you have to swap out the dust bin for a mop bin after they finish vacuuming.

This robot vacuums on one side and mops on the other. It can even detect carpet and will automatically lift its mop out of the way when approaching it, making it the first robotic cleaner that vacuums and mops during the same cleaning job.

Like the Roborock S4 Max we previously mentioned, this cleaner uses LIDAR technology to map your home and avoid obstacles throughout it. You can also use its app to tell it to clean specific rooms or areas and tell it where you don’t want it to clean. Priced at $650, the Roborock S7 doesn't run cheap, but it's a luxurious robot vacuum unlike any other, and it delivers some of the best cleaning performance we've seen among robot vacuums.

  • Equipped with vibrating sonic mop that scrubs your hard floors
  • Excellent battery life
  • Impressive cleaning performance

  • Small dust bin
Best for Cleaning Carpet
Neato D8 Robot Vacuum
Neato Robotics amazon.com
$499.00 (29% off)

Bin Size: 700 milliliters
• Runtime: 90 minutes
Loudness: 63 decibels

The Neato D8 flaunts a unique D-shaped body that helps it clean corners and around walls where round robot vacuums can’t. It also delivers exceptional suction performance on carpets — even if they are high-pile. That’s because the D8 offers a turbo mode that helps it suck up dirt deep within every crevice or between every carpet fiber.

The Neato does a phenomenal job at clearing messes. It’ll suck up everything in its path, including heavy crumbs like cereal. Although it provides enough suction strength to vacuum pet hair, its brush suffers from tangles that you’ll likely have to clear out manually. Speaking of the brush, it’s the largest we’ve come across — it’s 11 inches long, which means the vacuum can cover more ground in less time. The D8’s dust bin is also 40% larger than Roomba’s bins which means you won’t have to empty it as frequently.

Although the Neato had above-average cleaning performance, it’s not without its faults. The vacuum has a tough time navigating around dining room chairs, and it's more likely to get stuck under low thresholds, probably due to its bulkier shape. 

The D8 is priced significantly higher than competing vacuums, despite offering lesser battery life. Regardless, if you have wall-to-wall carpet, the D8 is an appealing vacuum with a convenient app and stellar suction power.

  • Super strong suction power
  • Cleans corners and edges fantastically
  • Supports no-go zones

  • Expensive
  • Hair easily tangles on brush
  • D-shaped vacuums get stuck more frequently
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