Choosing the right robot vacuum cleaner is tricky with so many options. Our team has reviewed multiple models and compiled a list of the best ones, along with tips to help you find the perfect fit for your home or office.
The best robot vacuum cleaner compared
Buying an automated vacuum cleaner requires careful consideration, especially for a tech-savvy audience. It's important to avoid models that require excessive maintenance or lack essential features.
Important features to consider are stable Wi-Fi connectivity, robust software support, and a focus on privacy. Below, we detail the primary characteristics to assess when selecting a robot vacuum cleaner.
Most smart vacuum cleaners today offer support for both Apple's iOS and Google's Android operating systems through a dedicated app. In addition, they work via voice commands with smart assistants like Google Assistant and Alexa on Google Nest Home and Amazon Echo devices, respectively.
Manufacturers like Roborock and Ecovacs also offer support for Siri Shortcuts, allowing you to connect the robot vacuum cleaner with the Siri voice assistant on Apple's HomePod speakers.
One aspect worth considering is compatibility with the Matter smart home standard. While the initial release did not support vacuum cleaners, Matter 1.2 includes support for them.
The type of robot vacuum cleaner you have can affect how it connects to the internet. For the best experience, it's important to meet certain requirements. Most robot vacuums need to connect to a Wi-Fi network, either 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz.
Also, some brands, like the Lefant F1 model we looked at, have specific rules about the Wi-Fi name (SSID) and password. For example, with the Lefant F1, both the SSID and the Wi-Fi password need to be under ten characters long to connect properly.
Robot vacuum cleaners can map your house to clean each room automatically. Some models use LiDAR sensors, which are like laser scanners, to make a detailed map. This helps the vacuum clean efficiently without missing any spots.
The technology used for mapping, called SLAM, also keeps track of where the vacuum is in your home. This way, it knows which areas it has already cleaned. If you have extra charging stations, some vacuums can even map and clean more than one floor of your house.
Some robot vacuums have cameras to help them see and map your home. They can identify rooms and avoid obstacles for better cleaning. But having a camera on a vacuum cleaner can raise security and privacy concerns for some people.
I count myself among those concerned, especially after the incident involving iRobot's Roomba J7 in 2020. During this incident, a third-party company violated people's privacy by sharing private images taken with the device in their homes. By the time, iRobot excused this breach by claiming that clients had given permission for pictures of their homes to be taken.
Robot vacuum cleaners are like athletes with different strength levels: light, medium, and maximum. Think of the premium models as elite athletes who have an extra level, making it four in total. Just like an athlete adjusts their effort based on the challenge, these vacuums can change their suction strength automatically, like when they roll onto a carpet.
In simple terms, suction power is often shown in either Watts or Pascal (Pa), similar to measuring temperature in Celsius or Fahrenheit. They're different scales, but both tell you how strong the vacuum is. Most modern vacuums range from 2,000 to 3,000 Pa, enough to pick up most dust and debris.
Remember, the stronger the suction (like a more powerful engine), the more expensive the vacuum usually is. Also, a stronger suction can mean a louder vacuum, much like a louder engine in a powerful car.
Vacuum robots are also like explorers with smart eyes (sensors) that help them navigate. They can dodge everyday obstacles like tables, chair legs, and toys. The fancier models are even smarter, recognizing small items like socks, cables, and avoiding unpleasant surprises like pet accidents.
Think of these robots as ground-level explorers that can't climb stairs. Some might handle tiny bumps up to 1 cm high, but repeatedly doing this can wear them out, like a hiker's shoes getting worn down on rough terrain.
When it comes to carpets, it's a bit like a car driving on different roads. Cheaper and mid-range vacuums struggle on this 'rough terrain' because they're like cars with less powerful engines. For instance, the Yeedi 2 Hybrid, around $300, shows this in our tests. So, for carpets, it's better to stick with traditional vacuums or really high-end robot models, which are like off-road vehicles equipped for challenging surfaces.
If you're not keen on frequently emptying the dust bag, consider investing in a model with a self-cleaning station. This feature includes a larger dust bag at the base, where the robot vacuum periodically deposits dirt, reducing the need for manual emptying.
This convenient feature is typically found in upper mid-range models and above, but many devices under $1,000 now offer it, increasing their popularity.
The higher-end models, especially those with a mopping function, come equipped with separate tanks for clean and dirty water, and even cleaning products. Future models are even expected to have a permanent water connection, similar to a dishwasher, eliminating the need for refills and making cleanups effortless.
We've tested a dozen models and put together a list of the best robot vacuums out there. Our selection covers different categories and price ranges. So, based on your budget, you can quickly find the right model by choosing a category from the list above.
On our review states that the Dreame L10s Ultra—or its twin model, the Xiaomi Robot Vacuum X10+—is the best vacuum robot with a mopping function out there. With its powerful suction and two rotating mopping pads, it ensures that floors are not only clean but also sparkle.
During nextpit's test, the device offered solid battery life and featured both mapping and live camera functions, integrating seamlessly with either the Dreamehome or Xiaomi apps. As is expected in the premium category, the Dreame L10s Ultra includes a cleaning station, which also functions as reservoirs for clean and dirty water, essential for the mopping feature.
The Xiaomi X10 robot vacuum offers an easy setup and excels in cleaning smooth surfaces with its reliable mapping and excellent suction performance. Integrated seamlessly with Xiaomi's Home app, it provides a commendable user experience and value for its price.
However, the device faces challenges on carpeted surfaces, with a notable decline in suction power and an ineffective mopping function. Its mopping plate's inability to adjust to carpets and the inclusion of only one side brush further limit its versatility, making it more suitable for homes with mostly smooth flooring.
The Ecovacs Deebot X2 Omni stands out for its practical and flat square design, offering strong suction and good mopping performance for efficient cleaning. Enhanced by the user-friendly Ecovacs Home app and convenient voice control, it promises a seamless user experience with its quick and easy setup.
On the other hand, the vacuum's mapping accuracy is not as precise as expected, and the lack of storage for cleaning solution in its docking station might be a drawback for some. Additionally, its tendency to leave carpet edges wet could be a concern for households with extensive carpeted areas.
The Narwal Freo distinguishes itself with a fast, straightforward setup and a user-friendly touch screen on its base station, making it a modern and convenient choice for home cleaning.
It excels in both precise mapping and solid suction and mopping performance, efficiently handling different surfaces. Additionally, its long battery life ensures extended cleaning without frequent interruptions for recharging.
That said, it's worth noting that the Narwal Freo might show slight weaknesses when dealing with carpets, which could be a consideration for homes with extensive carpeted areas.
The Ecovacs Deebot T20 Omni stands out for its simple setup and minimal maintenance requirements, making it a practical option for busy households. It excels in navigation and offers great software support, ensuring a smooth and efficient cleaning experience.
The vacuum's good suction and decent wiping performance are commendable, efficiently handling a variety of surfaces. However, its large base station may be cumbersome for those with limited space, and its inability to clean corners perfectly could be a drawback for users seeking meticulous cleaning in every nook and cranny.
The Yeedi Cube distinguishes itself with a simple and fast setup, excellent navigation, and a notably flat design, making it ideal for reaching under furniture. It boasts a large 1L water tank and solid vacuuming performance, supported by a powerful 5,100 Pa suction capability. The user-friendly Yeedi app further enhances the experience.
Nevertheless, the vacuum's initial mapping is not entirely error-free, and its mopping performance could be improved. In addition, the loudness during vacuuming might be a drawback for those sensitive to noise, making it more suitable for vacuum-focused cleaning tasks.
Robot vacuums are an easy way to automate cleaning at home. They can last a long time with proper care and maintenance. However, different models vary in their cleaning efficiency. Prices range from $200 to over $1000, and higher prices generally mean better quality. Models may need to be specific for homes with many carpets or pets.
Despite their convenience, robot vacuums can't completely replace manual cleaning. It's advisable to also use a smaller vacuum or canister for dusting corners, baseboards, ceilings, and areas behind large furniture where the robot can't reach.
Overall, robot vacuums can save time in our busy lives by helping with household chores. While they are helpful, they don't fully replace the need for human involvement in cleaning.
So, do you already have a robot vacuum cleaner? Would you recommend buying the model with the mopping function? Which is your favorite brand? Share your opinion on the topic in the comments below.
The article was updated in November 2023. Please note that comments made before the update might pertain to earlier versions of the list.