The Best Robot Vacuums, Tested by HGTV Editors
Perfect for picking up crumbs and dust on the daily, these hard-working robot vacuums are the ones we tried and loved.
Our Top Robot Vacuum Picks
We could all use some help with our neverending household chores. But when humans won't pitch in, it's a relief to know that we can turn to robots — robot vacuums, that is. These ingenious little machines excel at cutting down on manual work, and they easily fit under beds and couches, reaching places that don't frequently get cleaned. If you're looking for the perfect hands-off cleaning partner, then a robot vacuum will definitely help you stay on top of daily messes.
What to Consider Before Buying a Robot Vacuum
Before getting into the nitty-gritty, you should know about a few key features that pretty much come standard these days and will help narrow your options. Most models, including our picks, are controlled with an app, making it easy to start a cleaning session whenever you want, wherever you are. Stairs are not an issue thanks to drop-sensing technology, and voice-enabled startup is widely available if you desire smart home device compatibility. Dustbin sizes vary but don't change the fact that you'll have to empty it at least twice a week if you run the robot daily. Some vacuums come with side brush attachments, but we found that these really didn't make a difference and are more of a nuisance than a bonus.
Expect to shell out at least $300 for a good robot vacuum, i.e. one that doesn't require lots of manual adjustments. While robot vacuums do relieve you of manual work, they don't necessarily get the job done quicker. In general, robot vacuums won't be agile or strong enough to replace the job of an upright or stick vacuum, but they're perfect for picking up dirt, crumbs and pet hair in high-traffic areas. Robot vacuums also won't be able to go everywhere that a traditional vacuum can (like stairs). In other words, hold onto your stick or upright vacuum for detailed cleaning. Now that you've got the basic facts, it all comes down to the details.
Size: There's a bit of a tradeoff when it comes to robot vacuum size: slimmer models may be quieter and stealthier but lack power, while heftier models will be louder and bulkier but have larger dustbins and stronger suction. You'll just need to determine which feature is more important for your lifestyle while also considering where you'll store the vacuum. (We recommend under or behind the couch to save space.)
Noise Level: In our experience, robot vacuums run quieter than stick or upright vacuums but are still loud enough that you wouldn't want to watch TV during a cleaning session. Noise level will also depend on the suction strength and power setting of your robot.
Navigation: The most sophisticated, and, in our opinion, better-performing robot vacuums use a LiDAR laser to more efficiently clean and navigate. Cheaper vacs, by contrast, bounce around the room in no particular pattern using an internal camera to take pictures of walls, ceilings, furniture, etc.
Dirt Disposal: For a hefty price (usually $400+), you can pay for the convenience of the robot emptying its dustbin in a receptacle attached to the charging base. We felt that while this was a nice bonus feature, it ultimately doesn't seem worth the extra hundreds of dollars since you'll have to eventually empty the receptacle anyway. Plus, vacuums with a self-emptying feature are bulkier and require extra maintenance, i.e. replacing dust bags in the bin.
Connectivity: Most robot vacuums today connect via Wi-Fi for seamless remote operation through a phone app. This gives you control over the robot even when away from home and allows you to manage settings like scheduling and mapping.
Here are some questions to ask yourself before purchasing a robot vacuum:
- Is picking up pet hair your main concern, or is a quieter, slimmer machine more important?
- Do you need a large bin and long battery life to cover a lot of square footage?
- Are there areas where the vacuum shouldn't go, or can it have free reign?
- Is your home mostly carpeted or hardwood?
- Do you mind tucking tassels underneath rugs and picking up a bit before running the robot?
- Does the type of navigation technology matter to you?
When researching and testing, we've considered all of the aforementioned concerns, as well as customer reviews, and found options for every budget and need.
To determine which vacuum would hold the "Best Overall" title, it had to meet three main criteria: affordable, strong suction and good navigation. Ultimately, the eufy prevailed in all of these categories. In comparison to other models on the market, the RoboVac G30 offers the most features for your money. We were unexpectedly won over by its quiet noise level (the quietest one we tested) and the user-friendly app that provides a map of the bot's cleaning job and allows you to manually direct the robot to clean a specific area. It picked up leaves, crumbs and hair, no problem, thanks to BoostIQ, a feature that automatically increases suction power when extra strength is needed. The 0.6-liter dustbin was less than half full after our tester ran it two to three times a week. The G30's slim design fits easily in hard-to-reach spots but, because of its smaller size, struggled to get over thresholds between rooms. All in all, though, the eufy RoboVac met our basic needs from a robot vacuum. It's not the fanciest, but it's also not going to cause you more problems than it solves.
Our Editor's Review: "I really like that it creates a visual map of its cleaning jobs that you can look at while it's running or later after it's completed a job."
While very similar to the eufy RoboVac, the Roborock was a bit louder and clunkier, although it outperformed the eufy in picking up pet hair. The manufacturer recommends emptying the 640-milliliter dustbin once a week, but our pet-owning tester had to dump it after two sessions. It can clean up to 2,152 square feet on a full charge, making it a great pick for larger homes. Our tester loved the app, too, from which you can start cleaning, check the robot's progress, choose a cleaning mode, schedule cleanings and see a completed map. It's also worth noting that this model has an optional extra mopping feature that we did not test. One con of the E4 is its noise level. Our tester noted that the robot was too loud to run while watching TV. And while "Gentle Mode" is quieter, it doesn't clean as deeply as the tester's preferred "Carpet Mode." Another downside to the Roborock is its gyroscope mapping technology; it's not as accurate as laser technology which means it may miss spots. Despite the negatives, Roborock E4 still saved us from lugging around a corded upright vacuum, which is a win. If you're looking for an entry into the robot vacuum world, the E4 is a good pick.
Our Editor's Review: "My family has been dragging in a lot of leaf and yard debris this fall, and the vacuum grabbed all those plus pieces of litter, baby food crumbs and more."
Consistently top-rated, the Roomba 675 rings in at just under $300 which is a great price considering it cleans just as well and has many of the same features as other higher-priced models we tested. The 0.6-liter bin is perfectly suited for large homes, and cleaning sessions can be started and scheduled in the easy-to-use app. Although it's bulkier than other models we tried, its size works in its favor to easily cross thresholds and pick up larger debris. It effortlessly climbs onto rugs from hardwood, auto-adjusting brush height to effectively clean each surface. But size comes at a cost, as we noticed this vacuum was much louder than comparable models. The Roomba 675 also doesn't recharge and resume cleaning when it runs out of battery like our other picks. After 90 minutes, the vacuum returns to the base to charge before having to be manually restarted again. It also doesn't use smart-mapping technology like other vacuums we tested. Instead, it uses a more rudimentary navigation technique, bouncing around until it finds a clear path. It also seemed to leave hardwood floors cleaner than rugs which meant our tester needed to manually spot clean more frequently. So while it may not be the best option for pet owners, it's a great introductory choice for those with large floorplans and who want scheduling options.
Our Editor's Review: "It does a good job sensing objects and furniture, and it fits well under a lot of my furniture that would otherwise be difficult to reach."
Although it's one of the pricier vacuums we tested, the Roborock S4's powerful suction on rugs and carpet, multi-level floor plan cleaning capability, and unparalleled performance of pet hair removal make this vacuum 100-percent worth it in our book. Lidar navigation results in extremely accurate mapping and therefore a much deeper, more precise clean. We loved the zone cleaning feature which allows you to send the vacuum to one specific room or area that needs attention and then return to the base when finished. The 460-milliliter (.46 L) dust bin is by far the smallest of all the vacuums we tested, but our editor found the size sufficient for her 1,400-square-foot home. A user-friendly, approachable app allows for floor plan customizations like setting up no-go zones, invisible walls and cleaning schedules for the whole house or individual rooms. We were really impressed that the vacuum auto-adjusted its suction power to accommodate the surface. In fact, our tester noted that she distinctly heard a difference in the robot's sound as it transitioned from hardwood to rugs. As for pet hair, let's just say it's no longer an issue for our cat-and-dog-owning tester. The Roborock snagged pet hair buried in carpets, tumbleweeds floating on hardwoods and stray bits of food next to the dog bowl. Overall, we have no complaints about the Roborock S4 Max's performance and features. It's noisier than the eufy G30 but on par with the noise level of our other top picks, like the Neato D4. The biggest downside to this model will be, for most buyers, the price.
Our Editor's Review: "I thought we had the house professionally cleaned after the first time running it. Since we've started running it regularly, I can really see a difference in how clean my house is, specifically from a pet hair standpoint. I honestly wish we had this sooner."
With the most customizations and features of any of the vacuums we tried, the Neato is a great pick if you want more control. Neato uses laser technology to navigate around obstacles and walls which results in a much deeper clean and a smarter, more efficient cleaning pattern. The flat front allows it to clean in corners and edges that circular vacuums can't reach, and the 0.7-liter dustbin holds a substantial amount of debris, allowing for more infrequent emptying. But perhaps the best feature is the ability to draw "no-go lines" in the app that tell the vacuum to avoid tricky areas. Our tester used this feature to keep the vacuum away from rug tassels and tight furniture arrangements. Even though this isn't the most sophisticated Neato model, the D4 gets upgraded every time Neato sends out a software update, so you don't have to buy a new machine every year to stay up-to-date on the latest and greatest technology. Two cons but not dealbreakers of the Neato are its base sensitivity and tendency to get stuck. Even the smallest nudge will confuse the vacuum and prompt you to reposition the base so the vacuum can recognize the floorplan. Our tester keeps the vacuum and base under the couch so it doesn't constantly get knocked around by kids and pets. It can also be a bit finicky with tasseled rugs and tight corners, but most of the time is smart enough to get out of these "sticky" situations. Overall, though, if you want a vacuum with a long battery life, a good-size dustbin and control over your robot's path, then, for the price, the D4 is a solid choice.
Our Editor's Review: "I love the 'no-go zones' feature that allows me to draw lines on my home's floorplan in the app to mark off areas I want the vacuum to avoid, and, bonus, all Neato vacs are made in the U.S."