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The best robot vacuum 2023: brilliant cleaning that saves you tons of time

Best robot vacuums: quick list

The best robot vacuum cleaners do all the work so you don’t have to, and some are packed with useful features that go above and beyond. They can integrate with your favorite voice assistant and your smart home ecosystem, identify the best times to clean, and in many cases even clean themselves. 

That means they’re not just great dust busters; they’re superb time savers too. The tech is getting better with every generation, but there are still a few trade-offs compared to the best upright vacuums and the best cordless vacuums. Robot vacuum cleaners typically have less powerful motors (although the gap is closing) and less bin capacity than their human-controlled counterparts.

The big developments in the latest robot vacuum cleaners tend to be around object and obstacle detection and navigation, with top models boasting the very latest LiDAR sensors and GPS mapping. Improved suction and quieter performance are also big selling points, and while most robot vacs already deliver pretty good battery life, there’s always room for improvement. They also can’t get into the same nooks and crannies that the best vacuum cleaners can, and if you have pets of the shedding variety, it’s wise to look specifically for one of the best robot vacuum cleaners for pet hair: models that aren’t designed for homes with pets soon fill up with fur and fluff.

We test robot vaccums in real homes, not labs. We do that because that’s where your robot vacuum needs to do its thing – and that means you need to know how well it cleans, how easy it is to control, and whether there are any little niggles that’ll become big irritations over time. That means we can say with confidence: these are the best robot vacuum cleaners you can buy today.

Quick List

The best robot vacuum overall

(Image credit: Future)

The best robot vacuum for most people

Specifications

Runtime: up to 120 minutes

Bin size: 14oz / 0.4-liter

Self-emptying: Yes

Wi-Fi control: Yes

Reasons to buy

+

Mops and vacuums

+

Accurate room mapping

+

Easy setup and use

Reasons to avoid

Very expensive

Side brush flicks debris

Self-emptying bin is very noisy

The Roomba Combo J7 Plus comes with something iRobot calls the P.O.O.P. promise. It’s short for Pet Owner Official Promise and it means that if this Roomba robot encounters pet waste and doesn’t avoid it, they’ll replace your entire robot. 

It shouldn’t come to that, however, because this iRobot has very effective obstacle detection and avoidance. We found that it vacuumed very well and mopped much better than many combination models, but we did have some problems with dry spillages such as oats: with those, the brush attachment threw them around rather than brushing them. up.

The Roomba works with all the key smart speakers and its app is both intelligent and easy to use. It maps your floorplan and enables you to create specific cleaning zones, and it’s constantly checking and learning: it’ll send you a notification if it thinks a particular space needs more attention.

The Roomba is mainly very quiet but the self-emptying feature is a loud 90dB, albeit only for ten to thirty seconds. And that’s our only real niggle about an otherwise excellent robot vacuum and mopper; it’s not the cheapest, though, so it’s worth looking out for special offers and discounts.

Read our full iRobot Roomba Combo J7 plus review

The best budget robot vacuum

(Image credit: TechRadar)

The best robot vacuum for those on a budget

Specifications

Runtime: 100 minutes

Bin size: 20 oz / 0.6 liter

Self-emptying: No

Wi-Fi control: No

Reasons to buy

+

Most affordable robot vacuum we’ve tested

+

Good pick-up on hard floors

+

Slim design

Reasons to avoid

No app or voice control

Small capacity dust bin

If you’re looking for a robot vacuum on a budget, the Eufy 11S is worth considering. It has a reasonable price and that price is often discounted, so you’ll be hard pushed to find a rival that’s such good value for money.

Affordable pricing doesn’t mean corners have been cut, at least not when it comes to cleaning. When we tested this Eufy it picked up dry oats from a medium-pile carpet and a hard floor with ease, and finer dust made from flour and cookies was also no problem for it on a hard floor. Like most robot vacuums, though, it wasn’t quite so impressive on carpets. 

The Eufy’s slim size means it has no problems cleaning under furniture with low clearance. However, that slimness means it has a smaller dust bin than many other models on the market.

The main difference between this Eufy and pricier robots – including ones from the same brand – is in the software. There’s no app control or integration with smart speakers, and it doesn’t take the same logical path around the home when cleaning as other more expensive Eufy models do. Sometimes it’ll go in straight lines and sometimes seek out the edges of a room, while on occasion, it’ll travel in circles, which means it may take slightly longer to clean the whole room or floor. We also found that it wasn’t always great at moving around objects such as deep-pile rugs, piano pedals, and pet food bowls.

If you’re looking for the ultimate in AI-powered cleaning this Eufy isn’t it. But if you want a cheap, cheerful and very effective cleaner, it’s hard to beat at this price.

Read our full Eufy RoboVac 11s review

The best premium robot vacuum

(Image credit: TechRadar)

A premium robot vacuum that expertly cleans corners

Specifications

Runtime: Not stated

Bin size: 14 oz / 0.4 liter

Self-emptying: Yes

Wi-Fi control: Yes

Reasons to buy

+

Good suction on hard floors

+

Cleans corners efficiently

+

Self-emptying

Reasons to avoid

Expensive but worth every penny

Dust bags have an ongoing cost

The iRobot Roomba S9+ is the best robot vacuum you can buy right now, so why have we put it at number three? That’s because it’s also one of the most expensive ones, with a price that will put it out of reach for many. If you can afford it, however, it’s exceptionally good.

We found the S9+ to be very simple to set up and use, and it impressed us when it came to sucking everything from fine dust and biscuit crumbs to cereal on hard floors. It has strong suction but its pick-up on carpets wasn’t quite as good as it is on much less challenging hard floors. That’s not unique to robot vacuums, though: our cordless stick vacuum also struggles with the same deep pile pick-up.

The Roomba S9+ is self-emptying and deposits the debris from each clean into the 14.9oz / 440ml replaceable dust bag in the charging and emptying station – meaning you won’t have to empty the robot vacuum regularly. Instead, you’ll get an alert on the app when it needs replacing, and the vacuum offers integration with Alexa and Google Assistant. It’s not the cheapest robovac you can buy, but we think it’s the best.

Read our full iRobot Roomba S9 Plus review

The best robot vacuum for hard floors

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

Particularly good at washing hard floors and vacuuming

Specifications

Runtime: 190 minutes

Bin size: 0.3L (3L in base)

Self-emptying: Yes

Wi-Fi control: Yes

Reasons to buy

+

Thorough vacuuming and mopping

+

Great room mapping

+

Hot water mop washing is a nice addition

+

Nice feature set including its own voice assistant

Reasons to avoid

Not the best with edges

Pricey

Dirty water tank needs regular emptying

The Ecovacs DEEBOT T20 is pricey but has a lot to offer including generally great vacuuming and mopping. It runs fairly quietly as well. Like most robot vacuums, the edge cleaning leaves something to be desired. And, though its hot water mop washing is a nice addition and more than a gimmick, it does create a lot of dirty water that needs to regularly be emptied.

A big part of the Ecovacs DEEBOT T20 Omni’s design (and price) is that self-emptying charging station. It’s pretty large, about 22 and a half inches tall (57cm) and 17 inches wide (43cm) – certainly not ideal for smaller spaces. However, it’s big for a reason. It contains four liter clean and dirty water tanks for not only mopping but for cleaning the mop pads as this particular station uses hot water to remove oil and stains. 

Unlike rivals whose mapping is often hit-or-miss, it’s on point here. So, if you want something that does a great job and requires little map-editing, then consider this model.

While the Ecovacs DEEBOT T20 Omni is not unique in the fact that it both vacuums and mops, it’s a bit rarer in that it does both well – although if you don’t need the mopping feature we’d recommend looking for a more single-minded robot instead, as it’ll be simpler, take up less room and most likely cost less too. 

Read our full Ecovacs DEEBOT T20 Omni review

The best robot vacuum for pet hair

(Image credit: Future)

The best robot vacuum for pet hair

Specifications

Runtime: 60 minutes

Bin size: 14.9oz / 0.4 liter

Self-emptying: Yes

Wi-Fi control: Yes

Reasons to buy

+

Daily cleans keep dust at bay

+

Smart navigation

+

Self-emptying

Reasons to avoid

Sits at the expensive end of the market

Dust bags have an on-going cost

As much as we love our four-legged pals, we don’t love cleaning up their hair or the messes they make. So we really like this Roomba, which excels at cleaning up after your pets.

At heart it’s very similar to the Roomba S9, with the same mapping technology and Alexa and Google Assistant integration. It uses the same high capacity dust bags, which typically need replaced every 30 days, and you can buy it without the self-emptying base (that version is the i7 without the plus) if you want to keep the price down a bit. 

We wouldn’t recommend cutting that corner if you have hairy or shaggy dogs, however: the reason we think this is such a good choice for pet owners is because its automatic emptying solves one of the big problems of vacuuming up after dogs, which is the sheer amount of hair they manage to shed. Our greyhound isn’t exactly hairy, yet somehow she seems to shed her own body weight in fur every couple of days so we’re constantly vacuuming it up and traipsing to the bin. This Roomba does that for you. The use of bags also helps reduce the presence of dog dander and other potential irritants, which is handy if like us you have family members who are allergic to it.

This Roomba doesn’t quite match the suction power of its more expensive siblings, and in our tests we found that we tended to get the best results when we activated the dual-pass feature, which retraces its steps to vacuum an area twice. That’s particularly handy for pet hair, which can be tricky to catch in a single sweep. At around 65dB it’s nice and quiet, although the self-emptying system is much louder at around 82dB for the ten to thirty seconds it takes to complete. 

Read our full iRobot Roomba i7+ review

The best robot vacuum for edges

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

The best robot vacuum for cleaning right to the edge of your floors

Specifications

Runtime: 110 minutes

Bin size: 0.26gal / 1.18 liter

Self-emptying: Yes

Wi-Fi control: Yes

Reasons to buy

+

Vacuuming and mopping work very well

+

App is a pleasure to use

+

Can be set to clean when you’re not home

Reasons to avoid

Expensive, whether bought with or without the bundle

Battery life and charging speed is disappointing

Starter cleaning solution may not last a long time

The Shark AI Ultra 2-in-1 Robot Vacuum and Mop is a sleek-looking robot vacuum that’s available to buy either on its own or as a bundle with the bagless self-emptying charging base. It comes with two different dustbins, one that just collects debris and another with an attached washable mop pad. The 2-in-1 functionality comes courtesy of that second bin, since it holds the water and cleaning solution mixture used for mopping.

It can be set to vacuum in a matrix pattern – which Shark calls “Matrix Clean” – where it will vacuum in straight lines both along the width as well as the length of a room to ensure all spots have been cleaned. The robot vacuum also has “CleanEdge” technology for removing dirt closer to walls. The floor after a clean feels glorious to walk on barefoot. And its judicious use of water and cleaning solution meant that our reviewer’s floor was dry in a matter of minutes. 

As with many similar models, you’ll need to move some objects to get the best cleaning performance. Nevertheless, this vacuum does a decent job of avoiding small objects, so you won’t have to worry about it getting stuck – although it does struggle a little bit when it comes to dealing with thick rugs.

Read our full Shark AI Ultra 2-in-1 review

The best navigation

(Image credit: Future)

The best robot vacuum for navigation

Specifications

Runtime: up to 210 minutes

Bin Size: 101 oz / 3 liter

Self-emptying: Yes

Wi-Fi control: Yes

Reasons to buy

+

Automatically detects the change in floor type

+

Empties itself after every use

+

Onboard camera

+

Easy to use app

Reasons to avoid

Super-loud when emptying

Not so great at cleaning spillages on hard floors

The Dreametech L10s Ultra is a high-end, high spec robot vacuum and mop with an appropriately high price tag. It has 5,300Pa of suction power, self-emptying, AI with an RGB camera and “3D structured light” to quickly map your home, a range of programmable cleaning strategies and automatic path generation based on the kind of flooring, room and obstacles it sees. On paper at least it’s pretty spectacular.

So how does this tech actually work in the real world? During our months-long testing we found that it was fantastic at removing daily dust and crumbs from the deep-pile rugs, and lightly mopping the tiled kitchen floor. However, spillages on the tiled floor, or larger debris such as cereal, were more of a problem: the latter was often moved about rather than picked up. We also found that the suction was too much for some lightweight rugs. 

It’s an impressive device with excellent navigation, but it’s louder in operation than the equivalent Roomba and cleaning performance isn’t up there with the best vacuums. We’d definitely recommend you check out the equivalent iRobots because at this price there’s some seriously capable competition.

Read our full Dreametech L10s Ultra review

The best quiet robot

(Image credit: Sharmishta Sarkar / TechRadar)

A quiet robot vacuum cleaner that’s pretty good at mopping

Specifications

Runtime: 180 mins

Bin size: 350ml

Self-emptying: Yes

Wi-Fi control: Yes

Reasons to buy

+

Large 4L dust bags

+

Powerful suction

+

Accurate mapping and navigation

+

Excellent app

Reasons to avoid

Very basic mopping capabilities

Scatters lightweight dirt and hair

The Tapo RV30 Plus is TP-Link’s flagship robot vacuum cleaner model in its smart home range. It can vacuum, mop and then self-empty its dustbin into one of the biggest dust bags that we’ve seen in any robot vacuum cleaner brand. That means the number of times you need to replace it reduces, potentially saving you money in the long run.

From no-mop zones to customized cleaning routines, the Tapo app is excellent and the robovac follows all the instructions perfectly. If you have mixed floor types – hard floor as well as carpet – you can set no-mop zones and the RV30 won’t even enter that zone to vacuum if the mop plate is still attached. You can later remove the plate and send the machine back to do a spot clean. You can vacuum a space up to three times, meaning you will have a clean floor when it’s done.

Mopping is good rather than great: there’s no agitation here like there is with some other robot vacuum cleaners like the Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni or the Deebot X1 Turbo. But overall it’s an impressive package and that large capacity makes it particularly well suited to larger homes.

Read our full TP-Link Tapo RV30 Plus review

The best affordable robot vacuum and mop

(Image credit: Future / James Holland)

The best affordable robot vacuum and mop combo

Specifications

Runtime: 150 minutes

Bin Size: 12.2 oz / 0.36L

Self-emptying: Yes

Wi-Fi control: Yes

Reasons to buy

+

Good price for what you get

+

Self-emptying for both vacuum and mop

+

Good cleaning ability

+

Large-capacity dust bag and water tank

Reasons to avoid

Room mapping needs work

Requires careful assembly

Trouble with edges and corners

The Yeedi Cube might have a few issues such as its imperfect mapping where it’s a pain to create different rooms. And, it has trouble with edges and corners, though most robot vacuums have yet to solve that issue.

But, there’s much more positive than negative here. The dust bag and water reservoirs are fairly large and the self-emptying base station means you can run this vacuum for a month without having to touch it. When testing, we found that the Yeedi Cube did a great job both vacuuming and mopping, leaving our floors free of pet hair, dander, and small debris. 

Considering everything that’s on offer from its 2-in-1 functionality and self-emptying charging station, the price is one of the best parts as getting all of that in one robot vacuum will usually cost you a lot more and that’s not considering the fact that Yeedi regularly discounts its products from the already reasonable retail price.

Read our full Yeedi Cube review 

Another fantastic robot vacuum and mop

(Image credit: eufy )

Another fantastic robot vacuum and mop combo

Specifications

Runtime: 150 minutes (on standard vacuum / mop setting)

Bin size: 13.9oz / 410ml

Self-emptying: Yes

Wi-Fi control: Yes

Reasons to buy

+

Impressive mopping ability

+

Base station cleans the mops

+

Easy-to-use app with intelligent mapping

Reasons to avoid

Expensive

No self-emptying dust bin

Mediocre pick-up of larger messes

While it might be the company’s top-of-the-line model, the Eufy Clean X9 Pro is cheaper than many of the alternative flagship robot vacuums out there, even if it’s still fairly pricey. That’s okay as its mopping ability is impressive, able to pick up all sorts of sticky messes. 

And, its self-cleaning base station washes and dries the mopping pads so that they’re cleaning your floors instead of spreading messes around – the only Eufy model with this feature. Perplexingly, it doesn’t self-empty so you’ll have to take care of the dustbin from time to time.

When tested, we found that it didn’t do so well with larger cleanup jobs, which is unfortunate, since it does a great job otherwise of keeping the encroaching day-to-day dust and debris at bay. At least, it has intelligent mapping so you can easily send it to certain rooms or zones to clean through the app or even a voice assistant.

Read our full Eufy Clean X9 Pro review 

How to choose the best robot vacuum for you

There are several aspects you should consider when choosing the best robot vacuum cleaner for you. 

As well as deciding whether you want a robovac that just vacuums or one that mops, it’s also important to consider battery life, as nobody wants a robot vacuum that runs out of power halfway through cleaning your home. Similarly, look for robot vacuums that have large dust canisters or those that empty their dust bins, meaning it really can be left to clean your floors unaided.

Some robot vacuums take a methodical path across your floors, ensuring the vacuuming process is quick and efficient. However, these tend to be more expensive than robot vacuums that employ a random route when cleaning your floors. 

Also, look for a smart mapping feature that ensures the robot vacuum learns the layout of your home and can clean specific rooms or areas at the touch of a button, and those that allow you to set no-go areas that the robot vacuum won’t even attempt to clean – ideal if you have teenagers, which leave their clothes all over their bedroom floor.  

irobot j7+ on a rug in the living room (Image credit: TechRadar / Emily Peck)

Frequently asked questions

Are robot vacuums worth it?

Yes. We’re not going to pretend that robot vacuums aren’t often more expensive than upright or cordless vacuums – but they’re often smarter too, and of course part of what you’re paying for is the convenience of not having to do the vacuuming yourself or worry about how often you should vacuum. Robot vacuums are an excellent solution for busy people who don’t have time to put the vacuum around. And they also offer a good alternative for those with mobility issues because all you need to do is switch them on. And we know some happy buyers with ADHD who’ve found their scheduling abilities to be real game changers. With many robot vacuums suitable for programming from your phone, you’ll be able to switch these devices on when you’re out and about and come home to clean floors. 

Most robot vacuums cope well with hardwood floors and carpeted areas, but they don’t do stairs – so you’ll still need something to deal with that if your home isn’t on just one level.  

How much does a robot vacuum cost?

Robot vacuum cleaners can cost anything from between $200 / £150 for models such as the Eufy RoboVac 11S to well over $1000 / £1000 for models such as the iRobot Roomba S9+.

How much you spend depends on your budget and your must-haves in a robot vacuum cleaner. As a rule of thumb, the more features and functions a robot has, the more expensive it will be. This doesn’t mean that the performance you are getting with a robot vacuum will be any less, though.

Do robot vacuums work on pet hair?

Like other types of vacuums, many of the best robot vacuums on this list and other models we’ve tested are effective at collecting pet hair, fine dust, and larger debris from floors. 

Designs that offer a Boost or Turbo mode are ideal if you have thick-pile carpets or rugs as they ensure you can temporarily increase the suction power, ensuring no fur remains after cleaning. 

The best models to choose are ones that have rubber brushes that are free from bristles, so the pet hair doesn’t get trapped around them. Although that’s not to say robot vacuums with bristled brush bars aren’t as effective at collecting the hair. If you choose one of these, look for a design with a tool to help remove pet (or human) hair that’s got tangled to make your life easier. 

Can a robot vacuum replace a normal vacuum?

Robot vacuums can offer a very impressive clean, even on thick carpets, making them an excellent alternative to upright or other vacuums. They’ll be more convenient too as you can set them to work when you’re busy doing other things. In addition, the dust cups on robot vacuums are often smaller than you’d expect to find on a canister or an upright vacuum cleaner. 

While robot vacuums don’t have crevice tools that work well down the side of your sofa or stairs, these machines usually have small brushes on the outside of their shells. The brushes do an excellent job of getting close to baseboards and ensuring that any crumbs or dirt on hard floors don’t escape the vacuum’s suction. However, as of yet, they can’t clean the stairs. 

Read more on this subject by reading can a robot vacuum replace your existing vacuum cleaner?

How do robot vacuums work?

Robot vacuums have a series of brushes on the underside of the machine that work together to collect dirt and dust that they come in contact with. The dirt is then sucked into the dust cup, which is fitted into the vacuum’s body. Most are equipped with smaller brushes that extend past the circumference of the vacuum, and the purpose of these is to reach dirt that’s settled against baseboards or in awkward places. 

More advanced robot vacuums have lasers on the front of the machine and some on the underside of the device too. These lasers detect where furniture, objects, and edges are in your home, helping avoid bumps, and cliff detection prevents the machine from falling down the stairs. Read our article on how do robot vacuums work to find out more. 

What is the best robot vacuum?

After reviewing all ten robot vacuum cleaners in this guide, our number one is the iRobot Roomba Combo J7 Plus. Combo means it’s also a robot mopper, which makes it great for homes with tiled or other hard floors as well as carpets or rugs.

The Roomba works with all the key smart speakers and its app is both intelligent and easy to use. It maps your floorplan and enables you to create specific cleaning zones, and it’s constantly checking and learning: it’ll send you a notification if it thinks a particular space needs more attention.

Like its recent Roomba siblings the Combo J7 Plus is usually very quiet but the self-emptying feature is a loud 90dB, albeit only for ten to thirty seconds. But that’s our only real niggle about an otherwise excellent robot vacuum and mopper that we think is the best option for most buyers.

How we tested these robot vacuums

To identify the best robot vacuums, we put models from big brands such as Shark, Dyson, and Roomba to the test and smaller names, including Eufy and Roborock. We evaluate the dirt pick-up of each model covering fine dust and cookie crumbs, along with larger particles, including cereal, while also looking at whether its pick-up on edges and crevices is as good as on large surface areas.  

As well as assessing how effectively the robot vacuums clean floors, we also compare how easily they maneuver on the carpet and hard floors, as well as whether the robovac takes a logical path around a home or cleans in a random pattern means you could easily miss areas. We also looked for robot vacuums that can learn the layout of your home, meaning they can be dispatched to clean a particular room or space in just a few taps. 

We rate each robot vacuum on how easy it was to empty, how loud it was in use, and how long the battery lasted between charges. 

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