Best Robot Vacuum 2020 – Buyer’s Guide

You may absolutely love modern, smart technology which helps you out with those day-to-day tasks. Or you may find it all a little too much. But we have no doubt that every single person reading this finds vacuuming, sweeping and dusting your floors tiring and time-consuming.

We now live in a world where a robot can do that for you. Don’t worry though; they aren’t the robots of nightmares. They are just compact, low-lying devices which move around your floor and pick up everything in their path which isn’t meant to be there. You don’t even have to be in the house for it to work, and you probably don’t have to take it to its charging port either as most will return themselves.

Sounds appealing, right? There is a lot to consider before you make the switch. Have a read of our buying guide to make sure they are for you, and then take a look at our picks of the best robotic vacuum cleaners on sale right now.

The Best Robot Vacuums – Our Top Picks

Best Robotic Vacuums

Eufy RoboVac 11S

Eufy are seen as the biggest rival to the likes of Miele and iRobot, having come onto the market with more affordable options which still gave you all of the basics. If you’re unfamiliar with the name, then telling you it was created by the same team as Anker should clear some things up.

This particular model is still a great price, but a lot more advanced than their first few models. It was awarded the “Best Robot Vacuum of 2018″ title by various tech mags, and definitely gives the big guns a run for their money.

BoostIQ Technology automatically increases suction power within 1.5 seconds when extra vacuuming strength is needed to get the best clean, so it is clever at assessing the job at hand. It is only 2.85” tall, so will be able to get under your furniture with ease.

It returns to its docking station when the battery is running out which saves you the hassle of having to go on a Vac Hunt. Battery life is around 90 minutes which is a nice amount for getting the job done. The side brushes, rolling brush and powerful suction work together to make a difference.

There are around 100 minutes of cleaning on the standard mode which is good for hard floors, and when in BoostIQ mode (for carpeting) provides approximately 60 minutes of cleaning. The ability to tackle both surfaces with just one product is very good.

Specifications

  • Capacity: 0.6L
  • Charge Time: 5-6 hours
  • Run Time: 1.5 hours
  • Sensor Technology: Drop-sensing technology

We like

  • Can tackle different surfaces without input from you
  • Sensors to prevent damage
  • Generous cleaning time

We dislike

  • Can get stuck if furniture is in way
  • Not Wi-Fi compatible

Final Verdict

Despite not being a huge leading name, this is by far one of the best robot vacuums around at the moment

Miele Scout RX2 SLQL0

An update for the RX1, which was Miele’s first robotic vacuum, but didn’t take the market by storm the way their other vacuums have. So when the RX2 was released, we thought they’d have made some big changes to appeal to the masses. We weren’t wrong.

We liked the RX1, saying that there weren’t really any faults or issues, other than the fact it sometimes got stuck if the room was messy, and that it didn’t have the suction power of a manual upright. These aren’t surprising faults, and quite common with robotic models, but updates make the RX2 a worthy entry onto our list.

It has Quattro Cleaning Power’s four special features. Swing-out side brushes carry coarse dirt under the appliance, while a roller brush then catches the dirt and carries it to the front suction opening. The rear suction opening makes sure that fine dirt is removed thoroughly. A powerful fan ensures the dirt then lands in the dust box, to be emptied frequently.

Turbo mode gives you the option of a quicker clean, using the same paths as usual but more spaced out for rapid cleaning. It picks up all sorts of bits and pieces, from biscuit crumbs to dog hairs and general dust and dirt, making it one of the best robotic vacuum cleaners on the market at the moment. It is also able to negotiate height differences of up to 17mm, so is ideal for rooms with rugs.

Auto mode lets you leave it to its own devices, cleaning all accessible rooms. If the charge runs out, it will return to its base automatically and continue again once ready after charging for 150 minutes. The remote control and smartphone app will allow you to take control if you want it to do certain things.

It is rated A for dust pickup on hard floors and C for carpets, so it is definitely better if you have the former. But it is one of the few robot vacuums which are almost capable of replacing your upright, so if mess is usually at a minimum in your home anyway, it could mean a vacuuming-free life for you.

Specifications

  • Capacity: 22 oz bin
  • Sound Level: 60 dB
  • Battery Life: 60 mins

We like

  • 4 easy-to-program cleaning modes
  • 2 front cameras for high-precision 3D object detection
  • Generous battery life
  • Silent mode for working at night or during television sessions

We dislike

  • Works best in rectangular rooms - odd shaped ones can confuse it a little

Final Verdict

One of the latest models, and you can really tell the difference between this and the older ones. Worth spending that bit more

iRobot Roomba I7558+

From one single charge, you can get up to 75 minutes of running time with this robotic vacuum cleaner. Perfect for covering one floor of the home at the very least.

If you’re worried about it missing all those crumbs and dog hairs which manage to find themselves right to the edge of your flooring, then multi-surface EdgeSweep™ brushes have you covered. They reach right up to your skirting boards to guarantee a more thorough clean.

iAdapt™ Navigation ensures it doesn’t bang into anything, from settees to coffee table legs and your ornamental plants. Then there is an Imprint™ Smart Mapping system, which learns the layouts and dimensions of each room and stores this data. As they are saved by name, you can simply ask it to clean the living room next time it needs vacuuming, and it’ll go straight there, giving it all the attention.

With a robot vacuum cleaner, the worst part of using it is definitely emptying the dust compartment at the end. But thanks to the Clean Base™ dirt disposal unit, it can be emptied up to 30 times without the unit needing a clean.

Just as with every other product of its type, this unit does need emptying rather frequently, especially when comparing to an upright. Thankfully, it is an easy process though. It still isn’t one which can replace weekly vacuuming but is still one of the more advanced out there hence the price tag.

Specifications

  • Power: 240V
  • Capacity: 0.4L
  • Noise level: 58 dB

+ Downloads

iRobot Roomba I7558+ Bagless Robotic Vacuum Cleaner User Manual

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We like

  • Advanced technology
  • Safe to leave to its own devices
  • Good charge
  • App easy to use

We dislike

  • Price

Final Verdict

A clever piece of kit which solves many of the usual niggles and issues with robot vacuums. It is still not able to replace your upright but can certainly handle those in-between once overs

Miele RX1 Scout Robot

Robot vacuum cleaners are both space and time saving, and the Smart navigation feature of this machine means it can get to work with little surveillance. With a huge 120-minute battery life, it can easily cover a lot of ground.

There are an integrated gyro sensor and a high-quality digital camera on board, which registers all movements and continually scans the ceiling to ensure all area of the room is covered. There are also seven infra-red sensors which persistently scan the 180° area in front so as not to cause any collisions and three sensors which safeguard it from tumbling down any steps. It is also able to handle any height differences of up to 2cm, so any rugs which are in its path won’t be overlooked.

Two long brushes around the outside of the device pick up any debris sitting on the edge of the room or furniture, which is then pushed towards the centre of the appliance. From here, it is picked up by a beater bar and fan and transported into an internal dust box. The inclusion of an AirClean filter makes sure even the smallest dust particles are taken care of. The Scout RX1 features a timer, so you can set the machine to start working and have the job done before you return home from work. It is very quiet, so will not disturb you even if you are in the same room.

Although it is not substantial enough to replace your powerful non-robotic cleaner, it is a good option for those in-between dust-busting cleans.

Specifications

  • Power: 200W
  • Sound Power Level: 60dB
  • Energy Efficiency: A
  • Capacity: 0.6L
  • Weight: 2.9kg
  • Floor Types: Hard/Carpet

+ Downloads

Miele RX1 Scout user manual

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We like

  • Packed with safety features
  • Will continue relentlessly – battery permitting
  • Great on hard floors
  • Timer feature

We dislike

  • Sometimes gets stuck if room is messy
  • Less suction power than a manual hoover – to be expected from such a small device
  • Wouldn’t replace an ordinary vacuum cleaner

Final Verdict

A novelty item that takes the effort out of quick cleans and constant monitoring.

iRobot Roomba 965 Bagless Robotic Vacuum Cleaner

Thanks to bagless cleaning and 75 minutes of run time from a single charge, cleaning your floors has never been quite so simple.

An iAdapt® 2.0 navigation system remembers where it’s been in your rooms, so it won’t waste the battery life going over the same spot in your room over and over again. Every inch of dirt will be collected. When it needs a boost or a rest, it can take itself to the charging point, do the job, and then pick up where it left off again.

If you do want to give it some instructions, then the iRobot Home app allows you to control it from anywhere. Whether it be your sofa, while your in the bath or the same time every single day when you’re at work, just tell it to get going or set a schedule.

Cliff detection sensors should keep it safe if you have split-level rooms or are doing the landing. It is also pretty quiet when in use; you certainly won’t notice it over the TV or talking.

The dust compartment isn’t huge, and it can fill rather quickly, so while it can indeed be left to its own devices, this needs frequently emptying which can stop it in its tracks. It is quite shallow in height so can get under the sofas, chairs and tables which may otherwise be neglected, so naturally can fill up a lot.

Having said that, it is a minor issue and does not change our minds about the fact it is one of the most efficient robot cleaners on the market.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 9.1 x 35 x 35 cm Capacity: 0.6L

We like

  • Seems reliable
  • Scheduling

We dislike

  • Small dust collection tub

Final Verdict

Robot vacuums still have a while to go in terms of efficiency, but this is one of the most advanced to date.

Dyson Robot 360eye Robot Vacuum Cleaner

Dyson has recently revealed they are only going to be working on cordless vacuum cleaners in the future after their success, but this 360eye is their first exploration into the robotic vacuum world – and it seems to also be a success. It is super powerful for a product in its category, which is great if you want a device which can tackle the majority of your day-to-day mess. In fact, suction levels are twice that of the majority of others.

The 360-degree vision system ensures no spot is missed, creating a calculated cleaning pattern and remembering where it’s already seen to. The V2 spin motor will pick up dirt from any floor type, automatically adjusting all of the necessary settings. It is built for carpets and hard floors and can flow seamlessly between the two.

You can set a timer to get it working while you are at work, still in bed or simply got other things to be doing. There are still a few problems as with all robot vacuums, such as having to accident-proof your home and it occasionally getting stuck or lost, but it is the start of a great advancement we feel. Yes, it is expensive. But as seeing 17 years of work and engineering went into making it the best it can be, it could be worth paying that.

Specifications

  • Power: 160W
  • Capacity: 0.3L
  • Weight: 3.7kg
  • Noise level: 70dB

+ Downloads

Dyson 360eye robot vacuum user manual

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We like

  • Powerful
  • Easy to set up

We dislike

  • Can only work during daylight hours

Final Verdict

If a robot vacuum is a must, then this one will be the best at tackling the dirt despite its few downsides

Neato Botvac Connected Robot Vacuum Cleaner

If you want a smart robot vacuum cleaner, then this WiFi-enabled option is a great choice.

Firstly, its unique D-shape design makes it easier to get into all those hard to reach edges and corners, rather than the traditional round design. Using LaserSmart navigation, it scans the room and detects the areas most in need of attention, as well as avoiding furniture and other obstacles.

The Botvac Connected app lets you control it from anywhere. So if you are at work and fancy the floor being clean for when you return home, simply power it on. You can also set schedules, and it will give you notifications. Or, you can ask it to clean one area twice for an extra boost. Just look at the coverage map to see where has been attended to already, from the past 21 cleans.

It is great at picking up pet hairs and has two different modes depending on the level of clean needed. Eco mode saves energy and is quieter, whereas Turbo mode is a lot more powerful and will tackle trickier tasks.

The lithium-ion battery lasts longer than a lot of other models we reviewed, and it will return itself to the charging dock when needed. The dust collection bin is also on the more generous side.

Specifications

  • Power: 36W
  • Capacity: 0.7L
  • Weight: 3.7kg
  • Noise level: 70dB

+ Downloads

NEATO Botvac Connected Robot Vacuum Cleaner User Manual

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We like

  • WiFi and iOS/Android compatible
  • Automatic multi-room cleaning

We dislike

  • Expensive (but understandable why)
  • Notifications to phone can be delayed

Final Verdict

An innovative vacuum which has resolved the problems of a lot of traditional robot vacuums, with a technological boost - the future of vacuuming

Deik Robot Vacuum Cleaner

With a wide brush to minimise trapping rugs and two side brushes, this Deik robotic vacuum will collect most things in its path thanks to the powerful suction.

There are five in-built cleaning modes – the new S-shaped route enabled by a built-in gyro sensor, auto cleaning, spot cleaning, wall follow cleaning and Turbo boost cleaning. So whatever the cleaning needed or shape of your room, the vacuum can optimise its cleaning technique and adapt.

The sensors have also been improved compared to older models, so there is less chance of it bumping into any furniture and walls as it moves. It can also sense a change in floor materials, adjusting its height and power moving to laminate and hardwood from carpets or rugs.

If you want it to work at certain times in the week, such as 9pm every weeknight, simply programme the settings. It will return itself to the charging bay when needed, and the larger than usual 900ml dustbin means it can go for longer before being filled.

There is a HEPA filter included for anybody with allergies.

Specifications

  • Power: 30W
  • Capacity: 0.9L
  • Weight: 4.78kg

+ Downloads

Deik Robot Vacuum Cleaner User Manual

Download

We like

  • Works well with pet hair
  • Great price
  • Strong suction power

We dislike

  • Still gets confused in small spaces - best with open plan living

Final Verdict

No robotic vacuum is perfect, but this one comes very close for an absolute steal of a price

iRobot Braava Jet 240 Mopping Robot

If you have only hard floors in your home, sometimes a vacuum isn’t the most ideal option. You’ll glance over once it is done and realise you still have to go over some of the tougher dirt with a mop or cloth.

So an intelligent mopping robot, which collects dirt on the pads and wipes away stains, could take away some of that worry. It will cope with hardwood, tile and stone in kitchens, bathrooms, and other small spaces, no matter how difficult they are to navigate, whether it be under a table, around cabinets or around the loo.

The Braava automatically selects the correct cleaning mode based on the fitted jet pad type, choosing from wet mopping, damp sweeping and dry sweeping. So before you set it to go, you can assess the situation and pick the best for the job.

You won’t find it abandoned in the middle of the room as it returns itself to the starting point after it is done and turns itself off. If it encounters a problem it will also shut down to avoid further damage.

It isn’t overly extremely pricey, which is good as you have to bear in mind that you’ll have replacement pads to buy. But it still is far off being a replacement for your manual mopping, unfortunately. It does collect the dirt as opposed to vacuuming it and collecting it in a bin, but this still makes it easier to get rid of. As a plus, at least it is quiet.

We would say it is the best mopping robot vacuum out there, although don’t expect perfection.

Specifications

  • Capacity: N/A
  • Water Tank Capacity: 0.15L
  • Charge Time: 2 hours
  • Run Time: 20 mins
  • Sensor Technology: Sensors

We like

  • Price
  • Dry and wet collection

We dislike

  • Maps and barriers will disappear after every wash
  • Can be a little slow and difficult

Final Verdict

We love the idea, and even though it isn’t quite there yet, if you just want a device which helps you out a bit with the mopping and dust collection then it is still handy to have

Robot Vacuum Buying Guide

What To Look For In A Robot Vacuum Cleaner

Capacity

A robotic vacuum will likely just stop right in its tracks if the dust bin gets too full. You don’t want to be waiting for it to finish for an hour to realise it stopped after just three minutes in the middle of the kitchen.

They will need emptying after every use ideally, and they certainly won’t hold as much as a non-robotic model, but still try to get one which reflects how much it will have to pick up.

App Capability

You probably already know they’re smart devices which use Wi-Fi to work. But if you want a vacuum you can control when you aren’t in the home, or you want to set up a schedule, you’ll need one with an app which works with your phone or tablet. Most will be available on iOS and Android, but check just in case.

You may also wish for an app which tells you certain information, such as where the vacuum is, or one which lets you pick the rooms and areas which the vacuum cleans. Some can also send you diagnosis information if something is wrong.

Floor Type

Whilst most robotic vacuums, like their cordless counterparts, will work best on hard flooring, some are fine on carpets. However, the general rule of thumb is that they aren’t the best option, especially for deeper piles. There may be issues on other flooring as well, such as stone or linoleum which can be a little uneven at times.

We have mentioned any issues in our reviews, as well as the types of floor every model is best for.

Sensor Technology

You don’t want the vacuum constantly crashing into your table legs, which could damage both parties. Nor do you want it falling down the stairs, or trying to suck up a dirty bedroom-floor sock before breaking down with exhaustion.

A robot vacuum with sensor technology could help avoid falls, bumps and damage. But do be aware that the technology each model has isn’t standard – some will come with cameras, and others with lasers, and some with both. Try to assess your home before you decide what you need to look for.

Mop

Robot vacuums with mops are an actual thing, would you believe. You can buy robot mops separately, but it could be worth grabbing a model which can do both if you know you’ll mostly be using it on areas such as the kitchen or bathroom. Do bear in mind that the likelihood a 2-in-1 will work as well as two separate appliances, or that it will be a complete replacement for your vacuum/steam mop in terms of germ-busting, is not great (but we have hope for the future). Also be aware that there is more which could go wrong so maintenance will be high.

Price

They are more expensive than your standard vacuum, as you’d imagine thanks to the technology they possess. There are still a few available for around £200 rather than close to £1000, but be prepared to have to forego some popular features such as Wi-Fi connectivity, the ability to set schedules, and cameras and 3D technology which will prevent damage.

Try to settle on a budget before you buy and find the best option within that category. If you go into it without knowing how much you could spend, you may see the pennies add up.

FAQ’s

Can A Robot Vacuum Replace My Upright?

Probably not just yet. They don’t have as much suction power, and can also struggle reaching corners. They also can’t vacuum upholstery, stairs or up high, and can sometimes stop in their tracks if you happen to have left a pair of shoes in their path.
But they could be a replacement if you don’t always have a lot of vacuuming to do.

Say you live by yourself, with no pets or kids, everything is on one level, and you have hardwood flooring everywhere (such as in a flat or apartment). Everything is minimalistic, there is little clutter on the floor, all of your furniture sits off the ground and everything is pretty dirt-free. A robot vacuum could be all you need.

We’d say to keep an upright to hand if demands go beyond this, but robot vacuums may also be great for anyone who likes to have a bit of help on those in-between cleans where the floor just needs a quick once-over.

Are They Good For Pet Hair?

It could depend on the pet hair they need to pick up. Fine, standard dog or cat hair from the everyday shedding will likely be okay, but if Tinkerbell leaves clumps of fur about the place, or Fido has thick curly hair, then it could struggle. A model with brush bars could be the best option as it will give it a bit more collection power.

Does It Matter How Big My House Is?

Some robot vacuums work well in small environments like apartments and flats, as they can navigate more difficult floor spaces and layouts using sensor technology. There are some which are better-suited for larger rooms, or minimal layouts. They are generally all best for larger open spaces, but a few will be able to get under sofas and around furniture with ease. If you do have a large home, then battery life and bin capacity will be essential to look at to ensure it can all be tackled in one go.