The Best Robot Vacuums

Staff author Sabine Heinlein has been a journalist for over 20 years. She obsesses over take away fur from each nook of her residence and hairballs from her heirloom rugs.

We’ve examined dozens of robotic vacuums since 2012, together with 13 fashions in 2023. We spent greater than 80 hours analyzing the robotic vacuums and testing the highest contenders in a multi-pet, multistory, multi-surface residence.

For this information, we interviewed representatives from corporations that make robotic vacuums, together with iRobot, Roborock, and Ecovacs. We pored over proprietor critiques and talked to robot-vacuum homeowners. We additionally employed the AI device FindOurView to determine vital themes and points in hundreds of buyer critiques.

Anyone who needs to maintain their flooring trying clear can profit from a robotic vacuum. If you’re brief on time, have mobility or dexterity points, or just hate vacuuming, a robotic vacuum can in all probability make your life simpler.

Bots don’t procrastinate or get bored, in order that they spend extra time cleansing. Pet homeowners and folks with younger children particularly appear to realize rather a lot from bots, and plenty of robot-vacuum homeowners have informed us that they’re amazed at how clear their flooring feel and appear after they begin utilizing one frequently.

However, whereas a robotic vacuum is nice at cleansing superficially, it has solely a fraction of the suction energy of a very good upright or canister vacuum. Bots make nice secondary choices, however even the costliest ones go away a lot to be desired: They fail to take away grime embedded deep in carpets and rugs, they usually typically neglect mud near baseboards and thresholds. While obstacle-avoidance expertise has improved in recent times, don’t depend on your robotic to keep away from getting snarled in cords, toys, and socks. You’ll nonetheless need to tidy up earlier than you begin your cleaner.

We weighed the contents of every bot’s dustbin after a cleansing cycle to find out how a lot particles it had collected. Photo: Sabine Heinlein

We examined 13 robotic vacuums in 2023. Here’s what we evaluated:

Cleaning efficiency: For each robotic vacuum we examined, we ran at the least three common cleansing cycles throughout a 600-square-foot house with furnishings, obstacles, thresholds, and a few low-to-medium-pile space rugs. We evenly unfold a mixture of rice, cat litter, and Cheerios round the lounge, hallway, and kitchen. We weighed every bot’s dustbin earlier than and after the cleansing cycle to find out how a lot particles it had collected. We additionally checked how every bot coped with rabbit and cat fur, litter, and strands of hay, and we sprinkled a tablespoon of baking soda alongside baseboards to see how a lot it was in a position to collect. We additionally famous whether or not a robotic’s self-emptying dock labored as meant.

Obstacle navigation: We famous whether or not the robotic was in a position to climb the 0.75-inch threshold to the toilet, how typically it acquired tripped up by obstacles, and whether or not it elicited sure failure messages repeatedly.

App and voice controls: Where pertinent, we assessed the user-friendliness of the mannequin’s app and checked whether or not its options had been helpful and functioning correctly. Where relevant, we assessed a check mannequin’s compatibility with voice assistants like Alexa and Google Home.

Repairability and reliability: We acquire long-term knowledge from the homeowners of our picks and, if relevant, take a look at knowledge from the AI-assisted user-review evaluation device FindOurView.

In addition, we long-term check all of our picks in quite a lot of households, generally for years or extra, to find out sturdiness and efficiency. We additionally checked whether or not substitute elements, corresponding to battery packs and brushes, are simply accessible and reasonably priced.

Our decide

Roborock Q5

A reasonably sensible robotic vacuum

This bot is a top-notch cleaner and a fantastic navigator that avoids (most) obstacles whereas conserving on prime of scattered particles.

Buying Options

Roborock Q5+

A reasonably sensible robotic vacuum that empties itself

This is the Roborock Q5 packaged with a charging dock that sucks particles from its dustbin after it cleans.

Buying Options

Use promo code ROBOROCKS

If your pets shed like they’re planning to affix a nudist colony or your child is a human Cheerios cannon, a robotic vacuum is a superb sidekick to a extra highly effective plug-in mannequin. The Roborock Q5 and the Roborock Q5+ ranked among the many most thorough and quietest cleaners we examined, they usually have helpful sensible options and mapping expertise in addition. (The Roborock Q5+ operates identically to the Q5, but it surely comes with a dock that routinely empties its dustbin right into a bag.)

It’s a wonderful cleaner. In our assessments, the Q5 cleaned higher than another sensible robotic at its worth, sucking up nearly 90% of the rice, Cheerios, fur, and baking soda we put down.

It’s an adroit, speedy navigator. Using its laser rangefinder (lidar) and bump sensors, the Q5 learns your flooring plan in a swift, single session. In our assessments, it rapidly mapped the house earlier than embarking on its cleansing run, which took about half the time of that of many different robotic vacuums.

It can keep away from obstacles and cross (some) thresholds. In our assessments, even when the Q5 ran into an object its lidar turret missed, it course-corrected quicker and extra precisely than different bots.

While you possibly can’t count on this mannequin to run up the steps, it climbed a 0.75-inch lavatory threshold that almost all different bots didn’t even try and cross over. In our assessments, solely the iRobot Roomba 694 and the Eufy RoboVac 11S Max (generally) made it from the hallway into the toilet.

It has a fantastic app and helpful sensible options. Roborock’s app permits you to map your private home quicker and extra precisely than these of most different sensible bots we examined. It is user-friendly and intuitive, and it could actually retailer as much as 4 maps of your private home in each 2D and 3D. The app additionally permits you to activate spot cleansing (to eliminate remoted spills) and auto-boost mode (for fur-covered carpets, for example), in addition to schedule cleansing classes.

It is provided with a distant management and a “Pin n Go” operate, which makes it straightforward to direct the robotic towards spots it could have missed. (We have, for instance, used it in our baking soda/baseboard check.)

Compatible with Siri, Alexa, and Google Home, Roborock’s app typically responds nicely to voice instructions—so long as you pronounce Roborock like Robo Rock, a common complaint amongst customers. For instance, you possibly can say “Hey Alexa, ship Robo Rock to hoover the eating room,” and off it goes.

It has a future time—and cleans quietly. The Q5’s battery lasts for 180 minutes when used on naked flooring in quiet mode, longer than the iRobot Roomba i4’s. If the Q5 encounters the resistance of carpets and is run on Turbo or Max mode, its run time will scale back considerably however will nonetheless be sufficient to hoover a 1,000-square-foot residence. While we needed to cowl our ears and watch our pets bolt when the iRobot Roombas ran or emptied their bins, the Q5+’s emptying dock was comparably quiet.

Its self-emptying dock truly works. Unlike that of the iRobot Roomba i4+ and j9+, the Q5+’s self-emptying dock sucked in even heavy and huge particles, corresponding to rice and Cheerios, leaving nothing behind within the robotic’s bin.

Flaws however not dealbreakers

Unlike the Eufy RoboVac 11S Max, the Roborock Q5 has just one brush, making it much less adept at selecting up particles near partitions and thresholds. Photo: Michael Murtaugh

It misses spots. Like nearly all bots we examined, the Roborock Q5 struggled with particles near thresholds and baseboards. (Only the Eufy RoboVac 11S Max and the Miele Scout RX3 did markedly higher, presumably as a result of they function not one, however two facet brushes.) In our assessments, the Roborock Q5 unfold cat litter and rice alongside a 0.375-inch rug and a 0.25-inch door threshold as a result of its suction wasn’t sufficient to select up particles when one wheel was on the rug or threshold and the opposite wheel was on the naked flooring. We seen that, in some situations, its brush kicked much more particles towards the transition. Similar to most robotic vacuums, its effectiveness in eradicating tremendous mud from the sides of a room is missing.

Roborock’s customer support seems inconsistent. An alarming variety of Amazon critiques report frustration about Roborock’s customer service. When we known as their helpline, nevertheless, our name was promptly answered. We had been placed on a five-minute maintain whereas a courteous consultant researched our dilemma.

It provides an industry-standard one-year guarantee, however few substitute elements. While customers can substitute their Q5’s washable filters, brush, charging cable, and dustbin, in contrast to Eufy (and that iRobot), Roborock doesn’t provide substitute battery packs or motors.

Photo: Michael Murtaugh

Budget decide

Eufy RoboVac 11S Max

An unassuming however mighty robotic

This stable, reasonably priced robotic vacuum has a big bin and wonderful cleansing energy. It may be scheduled to scrub, however it could actually’t be managed with an app.

Buying Options

The easy, reasonably priced Eufy RoboVac 11S Max cleans in addition to the pricier Roborock Q5, but it surely lacks mapping expertise and different sensible options.

It cleans nicely and has a big bin. In our assessments, the RoboVac 11S Max cleaned a tad higher than even the pricier Roborock Q5. It effortlessly eliminated rice, Cheerios, cat litter, and even baking soda sprinkled near baseboards (a rarity amongst even the costliest robotic fashions). Its two facet brushes effectively ferreted out an unholy quantity of fur from the carpet and swept the entire batch into its extra-large, 600-milliliter dustbin. (In comparability, the Q5’s dustbin holds 470 mL.)

In our assessments, it carried out higher near thresholds and round rugs than another bot, aside from the a lot pricier Miele Scout RX3.

It’s quiet and comparatively nimble. The 11S Max is so quiet, you could possibly simply overlook that it’s operating. It skips over half-inch door thresholds (and, in our assessments, it sometimes made it over the 0.75-inch threshold to the toilet), and it could actually keep away from stairs and drops. (We had a number of incidents the place its predecessor, the RoboVac 11S, fell down a flight of stairs, however thus far we haven’t had this drawback with the 11S Max.)

With its anti-collision sensors, this mannequin stays away from most obstacles. In reality, we discovered that it didn’t get snarled any extra typically than the Roborock Q5. (The Q5’s benefit is that the app sends out an alert if it will get caught, making it tougher to overlook such conditions. The 11S Max will simply maintain making an attempt to free itself till it runs out of juice.)

In our check residence, the 11S Max’s low peak of two.85 inches allowed it to easily glide below each piece of furnishings. (The Roborock Q5 is one inch taller, so it could not be capable of slip below low sofas or beds.)

It has three cleansing modes and a decently future time. The 11S Max has three cleansing modes: Standard, Maximum, and Boost IQ. The latter routinely switches from customary to most mode on carpets. Its battery lasts for 100 minutes (as measured on naked flooring in Standard mode).

It lacks an app however has an old style distant management. The 11S Max doesn’t hook up with Wi-Fi, and thus it could actually’t create maps of your private home or be managed through an app. But it does include a battery-powered distant management that permits you to schedule cleansing cycles and direct it to spots it could have missed.

It’s sturdy. Guide creator Sabine Heinlein has had her Eufy 11S (the predecessor of the Eufy 11S Max) for nearly 4 years and needed to substitute its battery solely not too long ago. She’s run it a number of instances every week in a really furry family and is repeatedly impressed with its pickup. Senior editor Grant Clauser and senior workers author Rachel Cericola have additionally owned earlier fashions of the Eufy 11S Max for five-plus years, and their bots are nonetheless going robust. “Twice I needed to fully open it as much as clear out mud and canine hair that was stopping it from operating,” Grant stated, “however apart from that, I simply substitute the filters and brush yearly.”

It’s acquired a mean guarantee, good customer support, and many replaceable elements. Like our prime decide, the 11S Max comes with a one-year guarantee. But in contrast to our prime decide, nearly all of the elements of the 11S Max are replaceable. Eufy sells substitute brushes, brush guards, bumpers, battery packs, charging stations, motors, filters, and extra on its web site, making the 11S Max a extra sustainable alternative than different fashions we examined.

Eufy’s customer support typically will get excellent ratings from Amazon reviewers. When we known as, we waited for 10 minutes earlier than selecting the callback possibility. Our name was returned throughout the hour and our questions had been answered.

Photo: Sabine Heinlein

This will not be a complete listing of all the pieces we examined in earlier iterations of this information—solely fashions that we’ve not too long ago examined and are at present accessible.

If you had been to guage a robotic vacuum by its look and cleansing efficiency alone, the Miele Scout RX3 Home Vision could be the clear winner. With the seems to be of a captivating axolotl, the Miele RX3 was the one mannequin that persistently cleaned baking soda near baseboards and in corners. It is extraordinarily quiet, and whereas its no-frills app is intuitive, it lacks a lot of Roborock’s options. Its built-in reside digicam transmits a grainy picture feed to your app, supposedly so you possibly can control your private home. The bot additionally will get simply caught even on low thresholds, ceaselessly eliciting a “wheel raised” error code. The RX3 is supposedly suitable with Alexa, but it surely leaves a lot to be desired, and Amazon users in Germany, the place the “Saugroboter” has been accessible for over two years, are livid. (We realized, by calling customer support, that Miele doesn’t even present a listing with appropriate voice instructions.) In our assessments, it responded to solely two instructions—begin and cease—regardless of quite a few makes an attempt to get it to hoover particular rooms. (It did considerably higher with Google Home.) One would count on a $1,100 vacuum cleaner to be nearer to perfection.

We appreciated the TP-Link Tapo RV30C. Its app is simple to make use of, but it surely didn’t clear in addition to our picks, forsaking extra particles round thresholds than its rivals. Plus, its high-pitched sound may be grating.

We additionally examined the Eufy RoboVac 15C Max, but it surely wasn’t almost pretty much as good a cleaner because the Eufy RoboVac 11S Max.

The Shark RV2310AE Matrix is simply okay. While it’s wonderful at scaling thresholds, it tended to kick particles round, and it returned to its dock regardless of having missed a number of giant areas.

The Eureka E10S is sort of ridiculously unhealthy. Our overview unit talked incessantly and cleaned shamefully, and we encountered a unique kind of drawback with every run. At first it spoke solely Russian, although we had the nation set to the United States (weirdly, the language operate is hidden someplace throughout the mapping function). Then, after mapping the house, it failed to search out its base. Lastly, it obsessed over an obstacle-free 4-square-foot space for quarter-hour straight. An organization consultant informed us that a number of of those points have been rectified, although we stay hesitant to suggest this mannequin.

In our newest testing cycle, we evaluated the iRobot Roomba 694, the iRobot Roomba i4 EVO (and i4+ EVO, with a self-emptying dock), and the iRobot Roomba j9+. We additionally examined one among iRobot’s new vacuum-mop hybrids, the iRobot Roomba Combo i5+.

(The firm has been within the information: Amazon canceled its planned acquisition of iRobot in early 2024, and that iRobot has introduced that it is going to be slicing 350 jobs.)

Each iRobot vacuum offered its personal set of challenges and caveats.

Roomba 694: Previously one among our price range picks, the 694 was outperformed by our new price range decide, the Eufy RoboVac 11S Max. The Roomba 694 collected solely between a 3rd to a half of the particles that the 11S Max managed to select up, and its dustbin is significantly smaller than that of the 11S Max.

Roomba i4/i4+ EVO: The Roomba i4 EVO and i4+ EVO (with a self-emptying dock) had been former prime picks on this information. Though iRobot has discontinued the i4 EVO and i4+ EVO, they’re nonetheless accessible on Amazon and at another retailers.

Under the fitting circumstances, the i4 is a superb, comparatively cheap cleaner. But the primary i4 EVO unit we tried on this testing cycle fell brief in its app performance, particularly when in comparison with the inexpensive Roborock Q5, which maps considerably quicker and whose app provides extra options. Both the i4 EVO and i4+ EVO initially struggled to hook up with Wi-Fi, with the app crashing sometimes, and it took them greater than thrice as lengthy to map than the Roborock Q5. Furthermore, the i4 repeatedly failed to avoid wasting the map it had created.

Company representatives informed us that they weren’t conscious this was a standard drawback. But our evaluation of Amazon critiques utilizing FindOurView indicated that as much as a 3rd of reviewers complained of mapping points, together with the quantity of time it takes to map, unsaved maps, and inaccurate mapping.

The i4+ EVO’s self-emptying dock additionally did not take away all of the particles it had collected in its bin, forsaking Cheerios and rice.

Roomba j9+: The j9+ cleaned nicely, however just like the i4+ EVO, its self-emptying dock didn’t persistently take away all of the particles from the bot’s bin. Our contact at iRobot attributed this to the Cheerios in our assessments, however we seen related points with different, smaller particles, corresponding to rice. The j9+ additionally ceaselessly ran into furnishings and pushed over a big cup, one of many obstacles we had put in its path.

Roomba Combo i5+: One of iRobot’s latest fashions, the Combo i5+ comes with two separate, exchangeable bins, one for mopping and one for vacuuming.

We confronted a number of issues throughout testing. Initial Wi-Fi connectivity points had been adopted by app crashes, and as with the i4 EVO and i4+EVO, the mapping course of appeared infinite, and its supposedly self-emptying dock persistently failed to totally empty the particles bin.

A significant concern occurred when the app didn’t routinely provide a mopping mode, which requires the scanning of a separate, easy-to-miss QR code, main the dock to inadvertently suck soiled water into its vacuum bag. We reached out to customer support, which couldn’t resolve and subsequently escalated the problem. But decision was gradual and got here solely after we contacted iRobot’s PR workforce. (iRobot says it has since resolved the problem, and no separate QR code is required anymore.) Apparently, we weren’t the one ones with this drawback.

Complaints about iRobot’s customer service are rampant, reflecting a broader concern with its app and product assist.

Though ultimately operational, the i5+ mopped ineffectively, forsaking stains that might simply be eliminated with an everyday mop. The bot additionally repeatedly returned to its dock earlier than it had completed cleansing, and its slanted tray leaked water onto the ground in a single day.

Photo: Sabine Heinlein

While robotic mops have been round for some time, many corporations at the moment are introducing robotic vacuum-mop hybrids. We’re simply starting to check these merchandise, and we’ve discovered that vacuum-mop hybrids are typically much less efficient at mopping than a very good hand cleansing. However, just a few fashions do excel in eradicating gentle stains, small spills, and dirt {that a} robotic vacuum alone can’t deal with. While not one of the fashions we examined had been in a position to sort out previous, dried-on stains, the very best and most costly ones could make routine cleanup simpler.

We have examined the iRobot Combo i5+, the Eureka E10S, the Tapo RV30C, the Shark Matrix Plus 2-in-1, the Roborock Q Revo, and the Ecovacs Deebot X2 Omni.

The iRobot Combo i5+, the Shark Matrix Plus 2-in-1, and the Eureka E10S function swappable bins (or built-in water reservoirs) and small microfiber pads that clip on for mopping. Dragging the moist pad throughout the ground, they regularly burn up the clear water, and since no soiled water is collected, these bots appear to do little greater than redistribute grime. After mopping, it’s important to detach the pads and wash them by hand or within the machine. This, along with their restricted cleansing functionality, makes them a poor funding in comparison with conventional mops.

Another disadvantage of the iRobot Combo i5+ and the Shark Matrix is that they will’t differentiate between naked flooring and rugs, so it is advisable to roll up or block off carpets earlier than mopping. (The Eureka E10S, the Roborock Q Revo, and the Ecovacs Deebot X2 Omni can all carry their moist pads on rugs.)

In our assessments, the a lot pricier Roborock Q Revo and Ecovacs Deebot X2 Omni, with their rotating mop pads, giant water tanks, and self-cleaning options, simply outperformed their Swiffer-like counterparts.

We examined the Q Revo and the Deebot X2 Omni in a unclean basement. While neither fully eliminated heavy, dried stains, each left their assigned areas noticeably cleaner.

Operating quietly at 55 to 59 decibels (with an affordable 70 dB throughout bin emptying), the Q Revo and the Deebot X2 Omni ceaselessly wash their mops and empty their soiled water tank on the base.

Their apps are intuitive, with scheduling choices and a number of cleansing modes, in addition to choices for mop-washing frequency and water stream.

Both apps can help you block off areas, however solely the Q Revo’s includes a handy handbook distant management and a “Pin n Go” operate, for sending the bot again to spots it could have missed. The Deebot X2 Omni’s app, then again, provides choices for deep scrubbing and a number of mopping passes (which got here in useful in our soiled basement).

Like nearly all robotic vacuums and hybrids, the Q Revo and the Deebot X2 Omni go away a dirty body across the room’s margin, because the bots don’t get all the best way to the baseboards and into corners. None of the hybrids we examined had been adept at selecting up particles near thresholds.

Both machines are typically good at avoiding obstacles, however at one level throughout testing, a stray screw acquired caught within the Deebot X2 Omni’s brush bearings. While the app didn’t notify us—which might have been useful had we not been residence—we had been alerted by loud rattling. We opened the brush-roll cowl to take away the new screw, nearly burning ourselves.

We proceed to check robotic mop-vacuum hybrids and can publish our full outcomes quickly.

Basic upkeep, like changing the facet brushes and cleansing the wheel bearings and charging contacts, is a should. Photo: Michael Murtaugh

Before you begin a cleansing session, you must decide up any laundry, charging cables, or light-weight mats. (Expect just a few hiccups through the first handful of classes till you determine the ache factors.)

It’s regular for a robotic to not re-dock every so often. But if that occurs persistently, attempt transferring the dock. For bump-and-run bots, it’s a very good technique to maintain the dock close to the center of your private home (relatively than stuffed within the nook in a again room) in order that the bot will cross the dock’s path extra typically. For all bots, be sure you go away just a few toes open round and above the dock. If the dock is in a cluttered space or below a chunk of furnishings, there’s a very good likelihood the bot won’t re-dock.

In most houses, a bot is prone to keep in good condition for those who preserve it correctly within the following methods:

  • Shake off the filter each few classes.
  • Wash (Q5) or substitute (11S Max) the filter each few dozen classes. You may avoid wasting cash through the use of third-party filters, that are unlikely to hurt the bot, however chances are you’ll void your guarantee for those who occur to ship in your bot for repairs with one among them within the filter slot.
  • Cut away any hair wrapped across the brush roll as vital. Most bots include a device that may reduce after which brush away the fuzz.
  • Clean the bearings on the comb roll, caster, and facet brushes each few weeks (extra typically if in case you have pets). You would possibly want a screwdriver for this job, however many bots allow you to come out the elements with no instruments.
  • Wipe the sensors clear as wanted, in response to the producer’s tips.
  • Keep a can of compressed air useful in case it is advisable to blow mud out of gears or different hard-to-reach nooks within the bot.
  • Replace filters and facet brushes just a few instances per 12 months, the comb roll about yearly, and the battery (if accessible) as wanted.

If your bot breaks down exterior of the guarantee interval, you might be able to restore it, significantly if it’s a Eufy mannequin. Don’t chalk up the bot as a complete loss till you verify to see whether or not the damaged half is on the market as a substitute.

We’re keen to check the brand new Dyson 360 Vis Nav, which has 360-degree imaginative and prescient and, in response to the corporate, “two instances the suction of another robotic vacuum cleaner,” as soon as it turns into accessible in early 2024.

Rachel Cericola and Liam McCabe wrote earlier variations of this text, which was first printed in 2012. This article was edited by Courtney Schley and Ingrid Skjong.

Do robotic vacuums actually work?

Yes. Although robotic vacuums are weaker than conventional vacuums, they will reliably decide up most sorts of flooring particles, they usually work on most naked flooring and carpets.

Do robotic vacuums want Wi-Fi?

No. Although many robotic vacuums do hook up with Wi-Fi so that you could management them remotely through an app or obtain software program updates, most bots even have bodily controls. (Note that it is advisable to join your bot to Wi-Fi if you wish to use options like sensible mapping or voice management.) Some, just like the Eufy RoboVac 11S Max, don’t hook up with Wi-Fi in any respect.

How typically ought to I run my robotic vacuum?

The benefit of a robotic vacuum is that it could actually clear flooring extra typically than many individuals are prepared to hoover. If you schedule it to run each few days, and even daily, mud and crumbs received’t accumulate, leaving your flooring feeling cleaner than they’d with out a bot.

Do any robotic vacuums empty themselves?

Many producers now provide the choice of robotic vacuums with and with out self-emptying docks. Self-emptying robotic vacuums include an enormous charging dock that sucks particles out of the robotic via a trapdoor within the dustbin and shops it in a disposable bag or a bagless bin. You nonetheless need to toss the bag or empty the bin frequently.

The charging stations are huge, noisy, and type of ugly, however the system saves you from having to empty the dustbin on the robotic each time you vacuum. Bagged machines additionally make for higher filtration, because the particles stays contained in a bag, and also you don’t need to inhale any of it when emptying the bin.

  1. Thomas Climer, product supervisor at Ecovacs, in-person interview, September 21, 2023

  2. Warren Fernandez, product chief and class creator at iRobot, video interview, October 17, 2023

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