There’s a new robot vacuum in town and it might put all others to shame. The Dyson 360 Heurist – a next-gen attempt at perfecting the robot vacuum cleaner for the home. We’ve only had a first look at the Dyson 360 Heurist robot vacuum. But its amped-up processing power and advanced navigation systems mean it might top our list when we’ve had chance for a full review.
The best robot vacuum cleaners have advanced remarkably in just a few short years – and if you’re looking to outsource some labor to helpful little gadget, these top robot vacuums are more than willing to help with your dull cleaning duties.
Robot vacuums may not be as smart as humans – yet – but they’re more than capable these days of sweeping floors, with some even able to mop and clean spills too! Thanks to built-in sensors, the top robovacs can also navigate furniture and walls with relative ease, alongside all sorts of other smart features helping them work autonomously and in tandem with other devices in your home.
There’s some debate about whether you’d get a deeper clean if you put in the effort and cleaned your home yourself – with one of the best vacuum cleaners and lots of elbow grease. But the reality is most of us don’t have the time and energy for this kind of cleaning most days, which is why robot vacuums are a great option for those who want dust-free spaces.
If you haven’t used any robot vacuums before, you’ll be surprised by just how sophisticated they can be. The best robot vacuums don’t just wander off in a straight line. The best robot vacuum cleaners you can buy are able to sweep up dust, attack stains, navigate obstacles and clean up spills in circular motions, or hug the corners of a room to prevent any dirt from collecting in the corners.
The problem we’ve found when testing a range of robot vacuums: they’re not all created equal. This makes it difficult when it comes to finding the right one for you. It’s not always clear which robot vacuums are really cleaning and which are just moving dirt around, or which don’t quite have the smarts or stamina to make a dent in your household dirt. Well, that’s where we come in.
The TechRadar team has tested a number of the latest and greatest robot vacuums, meaning we could put together a definitive list of the best robot vacuum cleaners available today.
If you’d rather clean your home yourself, we have a separate guide to the best cordless vacuum cleaners instead. Otherwise, read on for our recommendation for the best floor-cleaning, dirt-sucking and labour-saving robot vacuum cleaners around.
The best robot vacuums at a glance:
- iRobot Roomba 980
- Neato Botvac D7 Connected
- Ecovacs Deebot N79S Robotic Vacuum Cleaner
- Eufy RoboVac 11
- Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo 930
- Shark ION Robot 750
Roomba is synonymous with robot vacuums, and this is never more exemplified than in the iRobot Roomba 980.
With smarts to keep from crashing into objects and environment mapping so it quickly learns every nook and cranny of your home, the Roomba 980 is an impressive cleaning machine. (We’ll be keeping our eye on the iRobot Roomba i7+ in the coming months though to see if it could possibly be usurped.)
At 35.05cm in diameter, the Roomba 980 is wider than your average vacuum head, but thanks to its circular design and rotating body, it’s able to manoeuvre through narrower areas than you’d initially think possible.
The Roomba 980 robot vacuum works magnificently on floorboards, tiles and other hard surfaces (operating relatively quietly while doing so), but it kicks things up a notch when entering carpeted territory. It automatically senses it’s rolled onto carpet, and its motors whir into high gear to get in between every fiber.
Just as impressive as its cleaning abilities is the Roomba 980’s battery life; it’s an impressive two hours long. When it runs low or its bin is full, the 980 returns to its home dock.
Like most robot vacuums, the Roomba 980’s bin is on the small side, though we were still impressed with how much it packed into the compartment during our testing.
Read our full review: iRobot Roomba 980
The Neato Botvac D7 Connected is a robot vacuum to rival the Roomba 980, and we mean that. It’s a good looking vacuum that more than gets the job done, but its laurels don’t rest there.
The revelatory feature with the Neato Botvac D7 Connected are so-called ‘no-go lines’, which allow you to cordon off areas of your home that you don’t want the vacuum to venture into. This could be your desk, which is moated by wires that would normally spell treachery for a robotic vacuum.
Creating a boundary for robot vacuums isn’t unique to the Botvac D7, but it’s really nifty in this application because you can draw a line using the app while the vacuum is in use to, say, keep the D7 from venturing into a room you want it to stay out of.
The biggest draw back with the D7 is that its bin isn’t as big as the original Botvac Connected, and it doesn’t have a ‘bin full’ sensor, so it ends up overfilling.
Read our full review: Neato Botvac D7 Connected
Not all robot vacuums are shiny, whirring pucks from the future. Some, like the Ecovacs Deebot N79S, are more subdued. This isn’t an ugly vacuum by any means, but possibly one that’s a bit on the plain side. Still, it’s really about how it cleans that matters, not how it looks.
You have several modes to choose from with the Deebot N79S, and it comes with a remote that it’s quite responsive to. Yes, you can use your smartphone to control the N79S, but the vacuum seems to prefer using the paired remote.
In our tests, we were impressed with the Deebot N79S’ ability to not plunge to an early end at the bottom of our steep stairs, so its world-sensing abilities are up to snuff. It did tend to get stuck under furniture, however, so you may come home to find your Deebot wedged under a coffee table, unable to get itself free.
Don’t expect a deep clean with this robot vacuum, but it will suck up enough to get surface dirt and dust off of your hardwood floors and carpet. Nicely, the Deebot N79S is rather quiet, making night vacuuming possible.
It’s also compatible with Alexa, so you can set the Deebot N79S robot vacuum cleaning using just your voice.
Read our full review: Ecovacs Deebot N79S Robotic Vacuum Cleaner
The Eufy RoboVac 11 isn’t the most tech’d out or high-end robot vacuum, but it isn’t afraid to get down and dirty and get the cleaning job done.
The best part about the RoboVac 11 is that it’s cheaper than most robot vacuum cleaners on the market, so you can get the convenience of a vacuum that works on its own at a fraction of the cost.
Unfortunately, that low price means you miss out on things like a companion app, so you have to use a remote instead, and overall the RoboVac 11 is more… manual than we would have liked. The more recent RoboVac 30C fills in these gaps with an app and smart assistant capability, but there’s still something to be said for the bargain vacuuming on offer here.
What’s more, battery life leaves something to be desired, though while it’s not as long-lasting as higher-end models, it’s probably plenty of juice to satisfy your cleaning needs.
Read our full review: Eufy RoboVac 11
Where the Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo 930 stands out from the rest of the best robot vacuum cleaners competition is in its ability to mop your floors.
Sure, you won’t get an elbow-grease effort out of the robot vacuum cleaner as it slushes water over your linoleum, but it can whisk away footprints and other surface-level stains in a snap.
In other words, the Deebot Ozmo 930 isn’t the most effective mopper in the world, but it can do a quick job if you like. That’s in addition to its “traditional” vacuum cleaning abilities, which are admirable.
Space mapping is also excellent with Ozmo 930 (though only for one level), and you can control it using either Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
All-in-all, the Deebot Ozmo 930 robot vacuum cleaner gets the job done, and it’s quiet as it goes.
Read our full review: Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo 930
We’ve been testing the Shark ION Robot 750 for some time now and it continues to impress us with its strong suction and mapping smarts. Just when we think the ‘bot is going to bump into something, it quickly pivots and carries on its way.
This robot vacuum cleaner works well on both our hardwood floors and thinner area rugs, though it struggles to crest above thicker rugs in our home. What it does get over, it cleans very well – we swear there’s a sheen to our floors after the Shark ION gets done with them.
It’s also on the quieter end of the best robot vacuums we’ve tested, and its whir often fades into the background while we’re doing chores elsewhere in the house.
We wish the bin was a bit bigger as it can only go about 12 minutes before needing to be emptied (we do have dogs, though, which makes for a lot of dirt and debris). The bin may be just fine if you don’t have as dirty floors as we do.
Not only does it perform well, but it looks great, too. The Shark ION Robot 750 is a statement piece, which we never thought we would say about a vacuum cleaner.