While the first robot vacuums were pretty basic, the technology’s hugely improved in recent years. The latest designs boast advanced Artificial Intelligence, piles of sensors, voice control, app control, self-emptying, clever room mapping, and even mopping. They take it one step further than the best cordless vacuum cleaners. Where cordless vacs let you clean all over the house, these little guys take it hands-free, doing all the work for you. Need help choosing? No worries: we’ve rounded up our fave buys (below) from the best vacuum brands featuring the likes of iRobot, Shark, and Roborock in this guide, so there is an option to suit all budgets and needs. We also keep on top of the best deals to save you time and money. 

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Best robot vacuums 2023

Why we love it The Roomba j7+ is the most stylish Roomba to date, and it’s jam-packed with iRobot’s latest technology, including brand-new obstacle avoidance detection, called use PrecisionVision Navigation. Dare we say it’s one of the most intelligent robot vacuums we’ve come across? It captures pet (and human) hair with ease, avoids cords and small clutter, and is overall pretty easy to control.  It replaces the i7+, offering the best cleaning for pet hair, smart room mapping, and navigation, and easy-to-create no-go zones using the app. The Neato D8 is another one of our top-rated vacs, especially for getting into corners. It’s at the lowest price we’ve seen. The Neato uses laser smart mapping to navigate around your home and to create no-go zones for sensitive areas. It can cover up to 750 square feet on a single charge. Shark’s newest robot release offers both vacuum and mopping capability. Sith new cleaning features like Matrix Clean navigation, it covers multiple angles to make sure no spots are missed, and CleanEdge Technology for better edge cleaning. There’s corner recognition to remove debris from edges, and UltraMop for deeper floor scrubbing to remove stains. The  j7+ uses Imprint Smart Mapping Technology, armed with a camera and a suite of sensors to create a floorplan of your space that it utilizes to most efficiently clean your home. Within the iRobot app, you will be able to track and see where the robot cleaned, note any particularly dirty areas, confirm any obstacles the j7+ detected, and of the course schedule. The brain of the vacuum, is the iRobot Genius Home Intelligence, available in any wifi-enabled iRobot, can anticipate your needs by learning your schedule and using unique intelligence to understand where and when your robot is most useful.  It also has a high-quality air filtration system to help keep dust particles and allergens from being returned to the room. But best of all is the Roomba j7+CleanBase docking station that charges the battery and empties its dustbin automatically, making cleaning even easier and more reliable, and you’ll no longer have to empty the vacuum mid-clean or come back to half a finished job. Each dust bag has enough room for 60 full vacuum bins of dirt.  Good to know The Roomba j7+ utilizes an onboard camera, which may raise some privacy concerns for some, but iRobot emphasizes data security and uses end-to-end encryption. The camera takes static pictures of obstacles to report each run back to you and does not offer a live feed,  where you can opt in to send found obstacles to iRobot’s database.  We did have some glitchy moments with the iRobot app and getting it to properly link up, but overall the robot exceeded our expectations. Our iRobot j7+ review has more details.  Why we love it The Shark AI Ultra 2-in-1-Robot with Self-Cleaning Base is remarkably self-suffieicent to operate, enabling you to set, and forget about your vacuum routine. It offers smart mapping, personalized cleaning schedules, and a self-emptying base that makes it a convenient choice for those thinking about getting a robot vacuum.  The Shark AI Ultra utilizes LIDAR technology, which uses light to detect and arrange your space as well as detect obstacles. The robot operates in Shark’s special Matrix Grid, which covers the floor from different angles and repeat passes. The Shark AI Ultra uses a unique, but extremely effective way for more efficient edge cleaning; CleanEdge Technology, uses blasts of air to loosen dirt and push it into the path of the vacuum. The battery lasted almost two hours, should it need to recharge or empty the dust bin in the middle of cleaning, it will automatically return the dock, and then resume.  For those that opp for the 2-in-1 one design like we tested, it also employs the use of sonic mopping, and includes an attachment to swap in with a water tank and mopping pad that scrubs hard floors 100 times per minute. Though, you will need to be close by to remove the wet parts before it returns to the dock to prevent mold growth.  Shark’s self-emptying base (with a HEPA filter) only needs to be emptied every 60 days, though that differs with how often you run the robot and how messy your floors are.  Final thoughts The Shark AI Ultra Series is a powerful little workhorse. Its navigation technology is superior to the previously reviewed Shark IQ, which cleans row by row to navigate as opposed to Lidar technology, and is presumed to offer 50% better hair pick up. It’s available in configurations with and without the self-emptying base as well as with and without the mopping.  Via the SharkClean app, you can schedule cleanings, target specific rooms, adjust suction power, note no-go zones, but there are many different options, which can feel a little overwhelming, determining the difference between a room and a zone.  Why we love it If our previous pick is any indication, the growth of vacuuming and mopping robots is becoming a commonplace feature. Roborock champions some of the most sophisticated mopping technology, as seen in its sonic-mopping ability called Intelligent Mopping, found in the Roborock S7 series. The sonic-mopping technology pulses at over 3,000 cycles per minute to scrub out stuck-on dirt, with a large 300ml water tank suitable for large homes, and instinctively lifts when it comes in contact with the carpet. The S7 is designed for homes up to 300 m² and is powerful enough to deal with everyday dust and dirt with a rated 2,500kpa that lifts dust from floors and pulls grime out of the carpets. It uses LIDAR navigation to create accurate maps of your home with precision route tracking and plans the most efficient route while cleaning in nice straight lines.  Thanks to the Mi Home app it rarely gets lost or confused. Plus you can even designate no-go areas – around the kid’s LEGOs, or near a particularly delicate plant–  which it will diligently avoid.  You can even set it to clean certain areas – around the kitchen table after breakfast – as well as schedule cleaning sessions.  Plus, during a cleaning cycle,  it shows the route it’s taking so you know exactly where it’s cleaned, so you’ll never have to wonder if it missed a spot.  Good to know We wouldn’t throw out the long-handled mop just yet, but the small water tank lets you control the amount of water sprayed and the scrubbing pad leaves floors appreciably cleaner. And we like the fact it has a plastic moisture-collecting tray that sits under the charger, protecting the wet surface until you can get home and rinse out the cleaning pad. Why we love it The S9+ is the most powerful Roomba to date, with a 40x improved suction compared to its base models such as the Roomba 981 (opens in new tab) (note: the j7+ only has 10x the power), making it an excellent choice for picking up pet hair and deep cleaning carpets. Being an iRobot, it also offers smart room mapping and navigation, and easy to create no-go zones using the app. It cleans in neat rows and will pay extra attention to spots that need a deeper clean. The D-shape helps it get into corners too. We’ve watched the S9+ be a determined cleaner, that may move lightweight furniture pieces a few inches until it reads it as an obstacle, but had no issue detangling from cords.  When the S9+ moves from hard floors to carpet the suction increases automatically for a deeper, more powerful clean. It also has a high-quality air filtration system to help keep dust particles and allergens from being returned to the room.  Good to know The S9+ is iRobot’s most premium model, and we can see it from the sleek build to the superior clean. We aren’t worried about letting it roam on its own independently, and are confident that it’ll get the job done. Unlike the j7+ which utilizes a front-facing camera to avoid obstacles,  the S9+ uses vSLAM technology (visual simultaneous localization and mapping) with an optical sensor to capture over 230,400 data points per second, and has a built-in camera that maps the ceiling.  Why we love it The Deebot OZMO combines both vacuuming and mopping features with a powerful 2300Pa suction that automatically adjusts and a runtime of up to 110 minutes. Our favorite aspect was how quickly we watched an accurate smart map form, within minutes using advanced Lidar navigation, and we could see in real-time exactly where the vacuum robot was during a cleaning session, and a summary of everywhere it cleaned. There is also the ability to clean specific areas, set general no-go zones or no-go mopping zones, and develop multiple floor plans.  The mopping system is pretty easy to set up, with the option to clean with a reusable microfiber cloth or disposable wipes. The OZMO mopping system incorporates a 240ml water tank that has an electronic water pump with four different water flow rates. A built-in voice assistant reminds you to remove the mopping parts once cleaning is complete, and shares other alerts as well.  Good to know ECOVACS carries a robust lineup of smart vacuums, several of which stretch into price ranges of over $1,000. Fortunately, the more basic Deebot OZMO N7 Robot Vacuum and Mop Cleaner left us just as pleased with its performance and comes with a more palatable $350 price tag.  The mapping from the map comes out looking a little rudimentary, but highly accurate, especially as it can differentiate between hard floors and carpets. The mopping part only cleans with water, so we don’t quite think it’s ready to fully replace your mop, but useful for scrubbing up any sticky messes or stains. It is a slightly older model too, so it’s not going to be compatible with ECOVAC’s auto-empty bases, but the dust bin was sufficient for getting through a proper clean.    Learn more in our Ecovacs Deebot OZMO N7 Robot Vacuum review. Why we love it Neato’s signature D-shaped body deftly navigates into tight corners to clean up dust, dirt, and pet hair. Our model of choice, the D10 can cover spaces up to 2,700 sq. ft across its lengthy 300-minute run time and has a special MAX mode, while its other models, the D8 and D9 are optimized for small and medium size spaces, respectively.  It uses LIDAR navigation to map your home which works in the dark. To minimize the robot vacuum’s footprint, it also includes a slim charge base, while the roomy dust bin can collect up to .7 liters of dirt, but there is no auto-empty option.  The square front design and 11” Helix Multi-Surface brush bar and spinning side arms enable it to get right into the corners and also has a wide brush bar for efficient cleaning in large open-plan areas.  The 140° brush design reduces brush noise on hard surfaces and excels at dust and debris pickup on all surface types.  Plus, its revamped companion app provides smart control options to optimize your experience. Within the app, you can schedule cleaning cycles, as well as manually start, stop or pause cleaning and choose between two cleaning modes: Eco and Turbo. The app also shows the vacuum’s cleaning path, so you can know that every square foot has been covered.  Here, you’ll also be able to create boundaries or “Virtual No-Go Zones,” but you don’t yet have the ability to instruct the D10 to clean only certain rooms or create multiple floor maps. Good to know Reviews are quite split between those who’ve had excellent experiences and those that struggled with the wifi connection and setup. Luckily, software updates will enable Neato to improve technology and address glitches over time. Our reviewer noted some frustrating moments, like it got stuck on obstacles frequently, was unable to clean multiple rooms at once, and struggled to pick up larger pieces of debris. Our Neato D10 robot vacuum review goes into more detail.  Why we love it The eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 30C MAX operates at a quiet rhythm of about 55 dBa, which is about the same volume as an electric toothbrush while providing a beefy 2000pa in suction power. Using BoostIQ, the robotic vacuum will automatically increase suction power within 1.5 seconds when extra vacuuming strength is needed, such as when moving from hard floors to carpets.  It’s also incredibly slim to slide under low-profile sofas and beds. Good to know At this price point, the eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 30C does lack smart mapping and operates in a random pattern, known as Bounce Navigation. However, it is controllable with both a remote and an app, and if it do find yourself looking for where the vacuum is within your home, you can activate it through the app to make it chime. The large .6L dustbin allows is amply sized to accommodate up to 100 minutes of cleaning without having to empty the dustbin. 

How we choose the best robot vacuum cleaners

At Homes & Gardens, and all the other Homes titles at Future, we like to get hands-on experience with each of the products we test before including them in our buyers’ guides, which you can discover more about in our guide to how we test. This means that we can share our experiences and answer any questions which may be holding you back before committing to making a purchase. We test all types of vacuum cleaners to help you find the most suitable option for your home. Each model we have the opportunity to review undergoes rigorous testing on a range of flooring from hardwood to deep pile and laminate which is what you would find in most homes. Many of the robot vacuums featured here have all been tested in the same way in our own homes for a number of weeks (sometimes months) so they are faced with real-life hurdles and we consider factors such as ease of use, quality of the clean, run-time, emptying of the dust bin and general controls have all been considered against the price tag for what it is exactly you get for your money. If the vacuum is unranked, we’re still working to get our hands on a sample, or may even be in the midst of testing it out. For these instances, we’ve researched and, perused through hundreds of reviews, and deep-dived into their design, special qualities, and who they may suit best.  

What to know about robot vacuum cleaners

With models available from $100 to $1,500, choosing how much you want to spend is key, and while automatic dustbin emptying and Alexa compatibility are convenient it doesn’t necessarily mean cleaner floors.  As a rule, spend as much as you can, but look out for features that are useful for your home. Robot vacuums work best on hard floors, so if you have a deep pile you’ll need a model with extra suction power.  Scheduling features are also essential – generally set via a smartphone app, but onboard controls are available on cheaper non-Wi-Fi models – meaning the cleaner will work when it’s convenient to you. If you or a family member suffer from allergies, we’d suggest you look for designs with a HEPA (or similar) filter that’s washable to trap allergens.  

Are robot vacuum cleaners worth it? 

A good robot vacuum is an investment, and we would suggest avoiding anything under $300/£300 as anything less tends to be more robot floor sweeper than an intelligent cleaner.  Our best buy costs up to $1,300 (or £1,300) which is a lot, but you will notice the difference.  Remember to factor in that you’ll also need a traditional vacuum cleaner - or the best vacuum for pet hair- as no matter how good they become, robot vacuums can’t clean the stairs or the car. Are they worth it? If you have pets, they’re especially useful as they help control the hair and dander, for everyone else, choose wisely and you’ll have one less daily chore to do.

Do robot vacuum cleaners really work and clean properly?

While robot vacuums can easily navigate around a room, they’re no match for a shoelace or a pile of LEGO. If you remember to pick obstacles off the floor before you leave for work, you will come back to a much cleaner house. And the beauty is, it will clean every day, without complaining.  Robot vacuums work best doing routine cleaning and aren’t as effective at quick cleans up or spot cleaning. You’ll still want to have a vacuum, both cordless and corded models work, on hand for picking up larger pieces of debris, getting into nooks and crannies, and cleaning stairs.  Those models with built-in mops can also remove light surface stains on hard floors, but it’s the equivalent of a wipe with a microfiber cloth rather than a deep clean.

What is the best robot vacuum cleaner?

To recap… the best robot vacuum cleaner you can buy is the iRobot Roomba j7+ (opens in new tab). We’ve tried it, tested it, and absolutely loved it enough to award it five out of five stars.  The j7+ is the most stylish Roomba to date and performs like a dream, too. As it moves from hard floors to carpet the suction increases automatically for a deeper, more powerful clean. And it also has a high-quality air filtration system to help prevent dust particles and allergens from being returned to the room. It does this all on its own and is certainly one that we couldn’t live without…

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