Best robot vacuum cleaner US 2019: Clean up with the best robot vacuums you can buy
Robots have yet to take over the world, but for household chores, they're definitely making in-roads. The robot vacuum cleaner has to be the best of the drudge-busting tech that's been invented in the past few years.
They can cost a small fortune, but if you’re after an easy and effort-free way to keep your floors clean, then buying one of these robotic helpers could be one of the best investments you ever make.
Even the most expensive models won’t completely overtake a regular cleaner for suction and power, and none of them can clean the stairs, but as long as you don’t expect them to perform miracles, robot vacuums are a brilliant way to get your house spick and span.
Thanks to the use of built-in cameras and sensors, they’ll find their way around your home without fuss – and the more expensive models come with different cleaning modes and advanced features such as the ability to produce maps of where they've cleaned and for how long.
But with some costing over a thousand bucks, it’s worth knowing exactly what you’re getting before you buy.
How to buy the best robot vacuum cleaner for you
How long do the internal batteries last?
Most cleaners have a minimum battery life of 60 minutes, although some high-end models can last for up to two hours.
Most on this list come with their own charging docks, and can find their own way back to top up their battery when they’re running low on juice. More basic models, however, have to be manually charged which makes them less useful.
Can they deal with household obstacles?
That really depends on the model. The cheaper versions will have a random cleaning pattern, while the pricier ones will use sensors to find their way around your home, stop when an obstacle is close and then move around it.
Having said that, even the basic ones will have a “cliff sensor” which means it won’t go crashing downstairs. Whatever one you buy, though, it’s probably best to make sure you put away anything that could obstruct its path or get sucked up by accident.
Which robot vacuums give the best cleaning performance?
When looking at robot vacuum cleaners there are two brush types to think about.
The cheaper ones will come with spinning brushes. They move clockwise and counterclockwise at the front of the body, and drag the dirt in. We’d also recommend looking for a model that has a wider brush as that means it can get right into the corners of rooms or, even better, one that’s squared at one end.
If you’re prepared to pay a little more, some models have up to three different brushes that make them even more effective.
The best robot vacuum cleaners to buy
1. AEG RX9.2: Best robot vacuum cleaner for corners and edges
Price: £649 inc VAT |Buy now from Amazon
The AEG RX9.2 is unique among robot vacuum cleaners because it breaks free from the standard hockey puck circular design with a more triangular shape. It’s a stroke of genius, because it lets the corner brush reach all the way into the corners – an operation that is hampered by the curved edges of circular robots.
It uses a camera and lasers mounted on its front edge to weave its way around your furniture, carefully stopping in front of table and chair legs, and moving around them with minimum contact. This makes it a bit slower than robots with a more aggressive attitude to obstacles but your tables, chairs – and pets – will thank you for it.
The robot is app controlled and we found its initial mapping a little fiddly to complete but we got there in the end. Once it’s all set up, however, the RX9.2 proved to be one of the best performing robot vacuum cleaners we’ve tested to date.
Read our full AEG RX9.2 review for more details
Key specs – Size: 320 x 270 x 85mm; Weight: 2.5kg; Battery life: 40mins; Charge time: 2.5hrs; Bin capacity: 0.7l; Wi-Fi connectivity: Yes; Decibel volume: 75dB
AEG RX9.2 RX9-2-STN, Robotic Vacuum, Space Teal, 0.7 liters, 75 Decibeles£525.81 Buy now
2. Neato Botvac D7 Connected: The best robot vacuum cleaner
Price: $699 |Buy now from Amazon
There's no doubt in our minds – the Neato Botvac D7 Connected is the best robot vacuum cleaner money can buy.
Despite not being a huge upgrade to its predecessor, the design is well-thought out: the D7's low profile of 3.9 inches means it can easily duck under sofas, beds and other low-sitting furniture. The 0.7-liter dust container is ample enough that you won’t have to clear it out for at least a few days.
What really sets the Botvac apart from its rivals is the laser scanner on top of the vacuum. This allows the robot to build up a detailed map of its surroundings and avoid obstacles – whether the light's on or off.
Another useful feature is the ability to set virtual “no-go zones” via the apps. Bear in mind, though, that these only work if you use the app to start cleaning.
If you press the physical power button on top of the vacuum, you'll have to lay down the included boundary-marking strips.
So, bells and whistles aside, how effective is the Neato Botvac D7 Connected at actually cleaning? In a word: very. It goes about its business in an amazingly methodical way that ensures every bit of floor space is covered. In short, it's the full package – albeit an expensive one.
Read our full Neato Botvac D7 Connected review for more details
Key specs – Size: 12.5 x 13.2 x 3.9in;Weight: 8 lbs;Battery life: 2hrs;Charge time: 2-3hrs;Bin capacity: 0.7L;Wi-Fi connectivity: Yes;Decibel volume: 67
Buy now from Amazon
3. Dyson 360 Eye: The best high-end cleaner
Price: $1,449 |Buy now from Amazon
With twice the suction power of any other robot vacuum cleaner, the Dyson 360 has a genuine claim to being the only one out there that could replace your standard upright.
The full-width brush on the underside of the body means it can take in more dirt, while the 360-degree camera means it knows where it has been and where it needs to go.
After a full charge – which takes almost three hours – you’ll get 45 minutes of runtime, and the Dyson app means you can remotely start, stop, and schedule cleans.
The size of the vacuum itself suggests it could struggle to get under some sofas, and the small bin size of 0.33-liter means it does need emptying often. Altogether though, the power behind this vacuum far outweighs a couple of drawbacks.
Read our full Dyson 360 Eye review for more details
Key specs –Size: 9.4 x 9.1 x 4.7in;Weight: 5.38 lbs;Battery life: 45mins;Charge time: 2hrs 45mins;Bin capacity: 0.33 L;Wi-Fi connectivity: Yes;Decibel volume: 70
Buy now from Amazon
4. iRobot Roomba 690: The best bang-per-buck vacuum
Price: $297 |Buy it from Amazon
The iRobot 690 is one of the cheaper models, and yet it is quite impressive in regards to cleaning capabilities. With two multi-surface brushes and a third fan-like brush that sweeps dirt out of tight corners and crevices, this robot vacuum is designed to do an especially thorough job.
It’s mildly quieter than several of the models in this list but if you still find the sound to be too grating, you can schedule cleanings or turn it on when you’re not home from an app on your phone.
The 690 has Dirt Detect technology so it will run over a mess multiple times in order to ensure a thorough cleanup. Luckily, the sizable bin can hold up to three days of dirt before you have to empty it.
Its sensor capabilities aren’t the best so you might hear it bump into a wall every now and then, and it will have some trouble differentiating between a stair and the edge of a carpet.
That being said, you can set invisible barriers so that it won’t go anywhere you don’t want it to. It doesn’t have the most impressive battery life, but it automatically heads back to its base to recharge so you won’t have to worry about it dying on you too frequently. Despite a few headaches, this vacuum will do a solid cleaning job for a great price.
Key specs -Size: 13 x 13 x 3.6in;Weight: 7.8 lbs;Battery life: 90mins;Charge time:hrs;Bin capacity: .59 L;Wi-Fi connectivity: Yes;Decibel volume: 65
Buy it from Amazon
5. Eufy RoboVac 30C: The best mid-range robot vacuum
Price: $300 | Buy it from Amazon
You might not have heard of Eufy, but don't let that put you off: The well-priced RoboVac 30C is a solid choice.
The compact size allows it to slip under most furniture and even clean the carpet under your bed. When the battery is running low, it will make its way back to the charging base for a fill-up.
With up to 100 minutes of cleaning per charge, though, it should be able to cope with even the largest of rooms before having to do that.
Other features include Alexa and Google Assistant support (so you can tell it to go clean via your Echo or Google Home speakers), a companion app so you can control it via your smartphone, and a useful remote control that lets you direct operations when your phone isn’t handy.
Despite having 1,500Pa of suction power the Eufy RoboVac (which makes it very powerful for the price), it’s reasonably quiet.
If you’re looking to dip your toe in the water of automatic vacuum cleaning but don’t want to spend in the region of $500, this is the next best thing.
Read our full Eufy RoboVac 30C review for more details
Key specs – Size: 12.8 x 12.8 x 2.9in;Weight: 6 lbs;Battery life: 1hr 40mins;Charge time: 3hrs;Bin capacity: 0.6L;Wi-Fi connectivity: Yes;Decibel volume: 55
Buy it from Amazon
6. iRobot Roomba 980: The best for extra features
Price: $867 |Buy now from Amazon
The iRobot Roomba 980 is another premium-priced robot vacuum, but for that hefty outlay, you get plenty of features to rival the Dyson 360.
Like the Dyson, the Roomba 980 uses cameras to find its way around your home and travels in parallel lines to make sure it collects every speck of dust.
The low profile means it can get right under every bit of furniture and the longer side brushes make sure every corner and skirting board is spotless.
The iRobot Home app allows you to schedule cleaning, and when you’re not home it automatically travels back to its station to charge up for the next run.
If you’ve got a pet, the brushless extractors will collect even the longest hair in its 0.6l bin, and to give the best cleaning results, the Roomba 980 automatically ups the power output when it detects that it’s travelling over carpet rather than hard floors.
Key specs –Size: 13.9 x 13.9 x 3.6in;Weight: 8.7 lbs;Battery life: 1hr;Charge time: 3hrs;Bin capacity: 0.6L;Wi-Fi connectivity: Yes;Decibel volume: 70
Buy now from Amazon
7. Neato Botvac D5 Connected: The best for a thorough clean
Price: $526 |Buy now from Amazon
Although the Neato D7 Connected is our pick of the best robot vacuum cleaners to buy at the moment, this Botvac D5 Connected from Neato gives it a serious run for its money.
It’s only 3.9 inches tall, so doesn’t struggle to get under furniture like the Dyson, has twice the bin capacity at 0.7 liters and is almost $1000 cheaper.
The flat front edge means it can get right up to skirting boards, and although the brush doesn’t stretch all the way along the underside of the body, it has a small spinning brush on the right-hand side for gathering dust in tricky-to-reach places.
In terms of cleaning performance, it’s not as powerful as the Dyson, and it uses a laser to scan your rooms rather than a camera, but for the price this comes highly recommended.
Read our full Neato Botvac D5 Connected review for more details
Key specs –Size: 12.7 x 3.9 x 13.2 in;Weight: 14.7 lbs;Battery life: 1hr;Charge time: 2-3hrs;Bin capacity: 0.7L;Wi-Fi connectivity: Yes;Decibel volume: 70
Buy now from Amazon
7. Ecovacs Deebot N79S: Best on a budget
Price: $230 |Buy now from Amazon
It may be one of the least expensive options on this list but the Ecovacs Deebot N79S offers a moderately broad feature set and, surprisingly, comes with both app-based control and an infrared remote.
It supports Amazon Alexa voice commands, too, so you’ll soon be yelling at it from a room away – just like you would your children. Unlike your real children, however, the N79S is reasonably quiet.
It isn’t the most thorough of cleaners – it goes about its business rather randomly and isn’t as methodical as, say, the Neato D7 Connected – but its 100-minute battery life at least ensures it will, eventually, get to most parts of your floor.
All-in-all, it’s not bad for the price, though we’d encourage you to spend a little more and buy a Neato instead.
Read our full Ecovacs Deebot N79S review for more details
Key specs -Size: 33 x 33 x 7.8in; Weight: 7.05 lbs;Battery life: 1hr 40mins;Bin capacity: 0.45L;Wi-Fi connectivity: Yes
Buy now from Amazon
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