You complete enough remedial tasks throughout the day—why should vacuuming be another task tacked onto that list? We’ve had robotic vacuum cleaners hovering around for well over a decade, but they had their kinks. Every new innovation does. Now, we’re looking at some of the most intelligent machines in all of history. In the age of drones and AI sweeping the nation, robotic vacuum cleaners have had every little issue worked out, and have become more affordable than ever. Don’t waste valuable time that you won’t get back—pop on the robotic vacuum cleaner, and better spend your time elsewhere.
Top Robotic Vacuum Cleaners In 2018
1. IRobot Roomba 650
From where it all started, right back to where it all ends—the best robotic vacuum cleaner brand is still alive and kicking today, and they’re bringing the heat with the best robotic vacuum cleaners on the market. No matter what type of flooring you have, you’ll be able to benefit from utilizing the iRobot Roomba 650. It automatically contours to whatever type of floor you have. Have multiple types throughout your home? You won’t have to mess around with manual switches or buttons. It can actually detect the difference between hardwood and tile, linoleum and carpet, all thanks to the smart technology within.
This also comes with three different stages of cleaning. You get an agitator: abrasive and tough on stuck-on messes on your floor. Brushes: flicks and sweeps up the particles and crumbs left behind the agitator’s wake. The final stage: suction, and actually capturing/removing the debris. It’s this three-stage system that’s been driving the Roomba series home, and making it so effective.
If you want to click the button every single day, that’s fine. Or, you could set your Roomba on a seven day schedule. Let it vacuum up everything in your house, drive itself back to the dock, and charge itself. Completely hassle-free—the exact reason why you want to buy a robotic vacuum cleaner in the first place.
Roomba has been the first—and the best—robotic vacuum cleaner brand in America since the inception of automated vacuum cleaners. As such, they have the best customer service and manufacturer’s warranty available. They back their products so fully, and with such decisive action, that they’re willing to put their stamp on it no matter what.
2. Eufy RoboVac 11
One of the lesser-known brands, as Roomba generally takes the stage: Eufy comes in with sleek designs and exceptional prices across their entire line of models. The real gem is the RoboVac 11, their most powerful and versatile robotic vacuum cleaner yet. One of the great features of this model is the ability to grasp pet fur and allergens with ease, making this much more friendly for those with sensitive allergies. When you use your manual vacuum, part of that dust is flying up and hitting you in the face. You’ll have to pop an allergy pill, and most of those have drowsy effects. Your day’s not going to be over because of a vacuum.
As if the allergen-detecting and eliminating feature wasn’t enough: you get a remote control to test this robotic vacuum’s capabilities out for yourself. Take the reins and watch messes disappear before your very eyes. With the integrated HEPA filter and side brushes, you’ll grab every bit of dust, and won’t cough and hack when you go to empty the chamber contents into the trashcan. It’s an ideal robotic vacuum or anyone with pets or allergies.
While the battery isn’t a big selling point, since your robot can recharge itself on the loading dock, it can still run for ninety minutes or more. If you have a lot of floorspace and need to cover it in a single day, schedule your vacuum to attack the whole house. It may take two charges, but it’s going to pick up where it left off, and get the job done right.
3. IRobot Roomba 980
IRobot’s been making these premier robotic vacuums for years, and every one of their models come packed with power and portability like you wouldn’t believe. This IoT device is going to hookup to Wi-Fi with ease, and allow your iRobot HOME App take the reins. You’ll see 3D mapping, connectivity features with Amazon’s Alexa, and customized cleaning preferences, all from your smartphone. Want to be pampered, by a vacuum of all things? This is definitely the model for you.
Two hours of battery are more than you need, especially when iRobot’s Roomba always comes back to its charging dock, even before the battery is at critical levels. The AeroForce Cleaning System is going to take care of you completely, leaving behind absolutely no pet hair (both on the floor, and in your brush bristles,) as well as offer 10x the regular suction to get everything up off of the floor. It’s like having a miniature, safe street sweeper barreling through your living room and kitchen, and you don’t even have to get out of the way—it’s going to detect you, guests, and furniture, and just move on its own around obstacles. With 3D mapping, it will remember where certain items are in the layout of your home, and even adjust to when you move furniture in between Roomba runs.
Roomba patented some specific bristle brushes just for this single occasion. You’ll get to enjoy absolutely no pet hair, and no pet hair left behind in your brush. It’s all about removing allergens like you never imagined. Brush aside, the suction on this model means you’ll get all the dander and small follicles of hair roots up with lightning-fast ease.
4. Ecovacs Deebot
One of the secondary names in robotic vacuum cleaners really swept us off our feet. With a model design cognizant of the Eufy RoboVac 11, you get all the sleek, modern comfort of a great-looking robotic vacuum cleaner. This IoT device is going to connect to your Wi-Fi to boost information, such as communicating with the Evovacs app, as well as popular home AI systems like Amazon’s Alexa.
We all want the automatic recharge feature in our robotic vacuums, no matter what the price point. With this inexpensive, extravagant robotic vacuum cleaner, you get the charging dock, and a device that’s intelligent enough to continuously recharge itself whenever it needs to. This is ideal for low-pile carpets; with multiple sensors, you get a super deep clean every single time, and nothing left behind.
Further going into the app, it’s a very simplistic design and interface, but it works nonetheless. As you would control a miniature RC drone through the skies, you can control your robotic vacuum cleaner and drive it throughout your house. Since we want to purchase robotic vacuum cleaners so that we can automate a part of our home, and take the guesswork out of a remedial task, the app is mostly used for fun.
5. ILIFE A4s Robot Vacuum
Designed for thinner carpets, though still strong enough to handle just about anything you throw its way, the ILIFE is able to quietly and precisely map out your home, and get the job done. All without you even knowing it’s there. Even with an extremely strong suction capability, the ILIFE doesn’t even make a sound. If you have allergies or are super sensitive to any building dust, then you know one thing to be true: pulling out the furniture every day, or every other day, is an absolute pain. ILIFE’s design is thinner and more maneuverable than most robotic vacuum cleaners, so you never have to pull the entire television stand out again. Let the ILIFE travel underneath that narrow spare, collect everything, and zoom on out like a robot ninja.
It’s not just about sucking up the dust. As you’ve known, with any manual vacuum cleaner, dust goes flying every which way, even with some of the best bristles and strongest suctions. It’s just part of it, and it always agitates your sensitive nose. With an integrated HEPA filter, virtually no dust escapes through the air filter, and gets trapped. When you run this vacuum through your home, do yourself a favor: open up the blinds, and look in those streams of sunlight. You’ll notice that there are practically no floating dust particles going through the air. Coincidence? We think not.
When you look at the design, it’s cognizant of an expensive Walkman (we just dated ourselves) and it quiet as can be. If you sit in complete silence, you’ll be able to hear a low rumbling hum that’s almost inaudible. This is the perfect robotic vacuum cleaner to set and forget. Let it run its course through your home while you sleep, and awaken refreshed to a refreshed home, free of dust and dander.
6. Ecovacs Deebot N78
The younger brother of the other Deebot model, this cost-effective and seemingly miniature robotic vacuum cleaner gets the job done in a flash. Their unique design on this model means you’re never going to have clumps clogging up the interior; pet hair, dirt, and everything in between—it’s no match for the adept nature of the Deebot N78.
Just like many robotic vacuum cleaners, you get the convenience of smart technology that senses when the battery is low, and your vacuum returns to its charging dock without any intervention. In a perfect world, if you didn’t have to empty the thing out, you could let this run forever. This is perfect for any floor type, and adapts when it crosses over the threshold into new territory. Tile, hardwood, carpet—it doesn’t matter; the Deebot N78 will adapt, and avoid obstacles that pose a threat, or sit in the way.
One of the biggest pains in the neck are allergens and pet-born dander and hair. Even if you don’t have an allergy to animals, their contribution to dust buildup is fairly large. If you can dust your ceiling fans, corners of your crown molding, and everything in between, use this tip to save a lot of sneezing, and capture everything: dust everything to the floor in one fluid motion, working through the house. Set your vacuum to hit the house, and leave for an hour to go to lunch. When you come back, all that junk you dusted to the floor will be in the chamber of your vacuum, and you’ll immediately live with better air quality.
7. ILIFE A6 Robotic Vacuum
Coming in at a perfect price point for quality and budget control alike, the ILIFE 16 is the answer to a lot of your questions regarding robotic vacuum cleaners, and how they operate. With the agitator to scrape up stubborn bits in your carpet and on your tile and hardwood, your vacuum will be a force to be reckoned with. Dust beware. With just over two-and-a-half hours of battery power, you’ll see just how accurate this vacuum really is. Infrared sensors built into the Electrowall Stair Barrier are going to avoid everything and anything under the sun that would otherwise compromise just how clean this vacuum can make your floor.
With multi-transitional tech, so you don’t have to worry if you have four different types of flooring in your home, you’re sitting pretty with a consistent clean all across your entire home. Their patented Generation 2 CyclonePower technology gets every last morsel and bit of dust off the floor. It’s power at it’s finest.
While the battery life isn’t the biggest selling point for robotic vacuums, especially with how far they’ve come, and how long they last, it’s noted that your robotic vacuum cleaner is going to last longer without needing an entire battery overhaul when it charges less frequently. If you know anything about lithium-ion batteries, then you know the longer it can be charged, the longer it can live.
8. BObi Pet Robotic Vacuum
This one is designed specifically with Fido in mind. If you love your furry friends, but you just can’t live with the dander and the hair, then you’ve just found your solution. The bObi vacuum is going to reach every nook and cranny to get the dander and hair from the floor. This is even designed to get stubborn pawprints off of the carpet. This one was truly put together with you in mind. It simultaneously sweeps while mopping, sterilizes spots with UV light, and uses the best filters in the world—HEPA filters—to capture every single bit of dust and dander.
With their patented digital barrier, you won’t have your robotic vacuum cleaner running into anything like table legs or furniture pieces. This vacuum can also easily get underneath furniture and expunge every bit of pet dander, wherever that and hair may be hiding. If you have pets and you’re having trouble living with that wet dog smell, or your allergies are getting the better of you, it’s time to get a bObi.
You’re not going to find a lot of robotic vacuum cleaners that can also mop at the same time, especially for this price. With an attractive price point and stylish design, it stands out from all the noise of the al-black, sleek designs of most robotic vacuum cleaners. It sweeps, mops, and sanitizes in its wake for maximum cleanliness. As we all know, our pets can make things pretty nasty, especially if they’ve just come in from a walk after a bit of rain.
9. Neato Botvac D80
Neato doesn’t come out with a lot of tech, but when they do, it’s definitely grand. The design on this alone allows for maximum dust removal, thanks to the D shape (hence the name) that allows you to get in all the areas that some other robotic vacuum cleaners just don’t perform well in. The brushes on this model are superb, and tear up a lot of stubborn, stuck-in dirt and food that’s been lodged into your carpet. While it’s not all-powerful, it’s still one of the best tools in your vacuuming arsenal.
You get the standard auto-recharge feature that we’ve all come to know and love. Just set a schedule, let your Botvac take care of your floor like a professional detailer, and watch it go on back to the charging dock. Easy as can be. Once it’s finished charging, it’ll resume your preset schedule every single day. The only thing you have to do is empty the dust out, and let it go.
With some of the best laser mapping technology on the market, the Botvac is going to maneuver your home, no matter what the setup and layout is. You’ll be able to move your furniture around without worry; the Botvac will contour to your new layout once it awakens and begins its usual scheduled cleaning cycle.
10. O-Cedar O-Duster Floor Cleaner
We all love robotic vacuums, but you can’t deny the power of electrostatic cleaning cloths. In some cases, they’re proven more effective than traditional vacuums. When you have static charging hair and dust to the floor, it’s ten times more difficult to get up with simple suction or powerful brushes. Let this robot clean your tile and hardwood floors with ease, utilizing an electrostatic cloth that traps hair, dust, and dander like a professional cleaning service.
We all want our robotic vacuum cleaners to be a one-robot-army, but in some cases, calling in for backup isn’t a bad move. The O-Cedar O-Duster Floor Cleaner is the perfect cavalry to call in when you need to lay down the law with your tougher floors. With two cleaning programs, built for a half-hour or two hours, you’ll get a perfectly clean floor, free of debris and ready for a quick mopping.
Keep in mind, this is not a vacuum, but a floor duster. While it can trap a lot of hair and dust that some robotic vacuum cleaners simply can’t, it’s not going to suction it up. It will get trapped in disposable electrostatic cloths, so you may want to also run your robotic vacuum cleaner to hit all rooms, especially if it has a built-in agitator.
These have been around for ages, so they should all have hit a certain pique, right? No two robotic vacuum cleaners are the same, and it’s apparent in a lot of different models and brands. It’s not just about the devices themselves, but about what kind of customer service care you can get, as well as warranty information.
What To Consider When Buying A Robot Vacuum Cleaner
No two devices are built the same, and that’s especially true when it comes to robotic vacuum cleaners. You’ll have so many different brands to choose from, each boasting the same features, but are they really the same?
Battery Life - We’re bringing this one up for one reason: the battery life doesn’t actually matter. Most of these vacuums don’t need to run for their full 90 minute cycles, and even if they do, they can detect their own batteries lowering in charge, and return to their charging dock to revitalize. When you’re searching for a robotic vacuum cleaner, the last thing you should be looking at is the battery. We’ve had these around for ages—the functions greatly outweigh the possibility of the battery dying at some point without finishing the job completely. Your vacuum will awaken, and finish the task.
Scheduling - The biggest thing right now is automation. We’re automating just about every part of our lives, if we can help it. When you’re looking at your robotic vacuum cleaner, the whole point has been, and continues to be, that you don’t want to haul out the big, awkward vacuum cleaner every single day, and waste ten to fifteen minutes of your time getting the house into shape. Allow your robotic vacuum cleaner to handle that for you. You’ll find later in this guide that we recommend a once-monthly manual vacuum cleaning, solely to hit tough areas like individual stairs in your home, or areas that you’re already aware of that your robotic vacuum cleaner simply can’t reach. Scheduling matters; don’t waste your time.
Modes - You’re not going to get the job done with a single suction feature. Pay attention to the different modes, including agitators, bristle brushes, and the suction feature to sweep it all up in the end. If you have small children, and messes are just a part of life, you may want to consider going with a higher-grade model that’s adept at getting stubborn, stuck-on food off the ground to the best of its ability.
How Do Robotic Vacuum Cleaners Work?
Don’t go unscrewing every component and messing with the internal wiring. Over time, these systems have become far more based on AI and less on physical components. While you still have plenty of sensors that pick up dirty, dust, and other debris that you’re going to find across your home, they now come with built-in computer components that record your home map with 3D mapping. The best part? You move your furniture, and most models are going to mold to your new home layout.
Sensors allow these devices to avoid obstacles, such as chair legs and other pieces of furniture, and in most cases, they can even avoid the tassels on the end of your removable carpets. If you’ve ever watches your carpet cleaning robotic vacuum go, you’ll see it bounce around a bit. That’s sending information to the CPU and educating the system. It may be adjusting to your home, or figuring out what type of debris are most common. Either way, the sensors mixed with the AI interface are consistently working to learn your home’s layout and what to expect, and deliver excellent results every single time.
What It Can & Cannot Do
While technology is amazing, it is not all-powerful. Your robotic vacuums cleaners do have limits, such as:
- Your robotic vacuum cleaner cannot get old, caked-on grime with bristles alone; there are models with built-in mopping capabilities, but a simple robotic vacuum cleaner is going to leave the most stubborn messes behind, the way your broom would.
- Your robotic vacuum cleaner can take the place of your current vacuum cleaner. Most models can even get along the baseboards, but they’re not drones—they’re not going to fly and get each and every step. You should do a manual vacuum clean once per month to get your stairs and any rooms with awkward, non-linear lines built into the design.
- Your robotic vacuum cleaner cannot empty itself. So far, there are no models that will also empty the trash it collects. That’s going to be up to you.
- Your robotic vacuum cleaner can work while you’re away. You can preset a schedule to clean your home while you’re gone, so you can return to fresh, dust-free carpets and floors.
Types Of Floors
Robotic vacuum cleaners have intelligent technology that can contour to whatever type of floor you may have throughout your home. But what can they really do when it comes to providing a great clean? Brooms van brush across carpet, tile and more, and vacuums can go across concrete or hardwood—what makes a robotic vacuum so special?
Tile - Stuck-on food and stubborn crumbs just love to hang out on tile floors. It’s like their home away from home. Instead of getting stuck dealing with that, just utilize your robotic vacuum. Yes, it can handle just about everything under the sun, within reason. Your robotic vacuum can scrape up the gunk and get those stubborn bits of food captured with an agitator feature.
Hardwood - The king of all flooring types. Hardwood floors can be rough to clean, especially when they’ve been mistreated over the years. Grooves and ruts in the wood can capture bits of food or thick dust bunnies, making them awkward and annoying to clean. The suction on your robotic vacuum is going to lift just about everything up from the floor, including these difficult-to-reach crevices.
Carpet - The whole reason that vacuums exist—you’ll be amazed at what your robotic vacuum cleaner can get under. It’s why we see more and more models with a slim feature: it gets under your stubborn furniture, and you’re not left with embarrassing visible dust and crumbs when you move the couch to set up for a party.
Linoleum - This one can be very tricky to clean, though robotic vacuums are able to do the job with ease. Linoleum is notorious for getting dusty, and having that dust stick to the floor due to humidity, or what have you.
We haven’t found a type of flooring yet that robotic vacuum cleaners aren’t able to tackle. With maneuverability and proper 3D mapping, you get the best clean possible, every single time. All without the hassle.
Top 3 Brands
There are always the elitist brands of any product out there. The ones that were founded on, or drive forward with these principles, and keep one specific product at the heart of their business. When you go with the top brands of any product, you’re getting more than a premium model: you get excellent customer service and warranties. But which brands are the best. The ones with your best interest at heart?
- iRobot Roomba
You saw it coming. We saw it coming. When you really cross-compare all the benefits to getting a Roomba by iRobot instead of another brand, you’re going to see a staggering number of benefits, and little to no downsides. Their customer service is top-notch, their warranties are expansive, and they have been known to act outside of their warranty time frames for the good of their customers. Pair all of that with the best robotic vacuum cleaners this side of anywhere, and you’ve got your top brand right there
Coming in second is none other than Eufy, a close competitor brand to iRobot’s Roomba series. Eufy boasts good warranties, and in some cases, their customer service has been compared as neck-in-neck with iRobot’s, but it’s more than that—Eufy landed number two on our list by a hare’s breath. You still get exceptional quality with Eufy, but you can’t deny the maneuverability features that Roomba just can’t be outdone on. For the best effort and some of the best robotic vacuum cleaner models on the market, we have Eufy.
This is a brand that we honestly didn’t expect to land so high on our list. Ecovacs have a great lifespan on them, and extremely intelligent 3D mapping that gets in all the nooks and crannies that you may be missing in your normal, bland, manual vacuum maneuvers. With exceptional warranties, but just “okay” customer service, Ecovacs comes in close behind Eufy.