Most robot vacuums look exactly the same. They’re monochromatic discs that wander around the floor, bumping into your side table, doing their best to pick up crumbs, pet hair, and flecks of dried mud. But despite their similar appearances, there are important differences that dictate which model is best for your abode. You have to consider battery life, the size of the trash compartment, bonus “smart” features, and—of course—price. Since I’ve gotten to see some of these suckers in action over the last few months, I thought I’d write up some of my favorites.
Warning: make sure you don’t have wires laying all over the floor. Not that I needed a landline anyway.
1. iRobot Roomba 980
It’s the most expensive option on this list, but its performance justifies the price.
It boasts multiple-room navigation and 10 times the suction power as earlier models. In order to pick up as much dirt as possible, the Roomba 980 agitates, brushes, and then sucks. The Roomba 980 is voice-activated—so it will work with Alexa and Google Assistant—and cleans hardwood floors and carpets. The 3.6-inch-tall unit also fits under most furniture, so you won’t have to get on your hands and knees to swipe under the sofa. One of the most clutch features is that it automatically recharges itself once it is done with a cleaning cycle. Each charge provides up to 2 hours of cleaning.
2. Eufy 30C robot vacuum
Set cleaning schedules from your phone and set up boundaries to keep the device out of certain rooms.
The 6-pound Eufy 30C is super short (2.85 inches high) and much quieter than previous models. Despite the decrease in sound, it features more powerful suction. Plus it can clean for 100 minutes on a single charge, allows you to steer and set cleaning schedules from your phone, and automatically returns to the charging base when it’s finishing cleaning. This Eufy vacuum doesn’t let ledges or small bumps get in the way of its mission. If it senses a large drop, it turns around. If there is a change in floor height—less than .63-inches—the robot’s large wheels can maneuver over it. If you’re worried about breakables, use the included, 13-foot boundary strips to keep the vacuum out of certain areas.
3. Eufy RoboVac 11S
This robot vacuum can clean for 1.5 hours continuously.
For a slightly cheaper option, Eufy’s RoboVac 11S is thin—also only 2.85-inches tall—and can clean for more than an hour and a half without needing a recharge. It recognizes the type of floor it’s trying to clean and automatically adjusts its suction level for maximum pickup. It uses an infrared sensor to avoid obstacles like furniture or your pet. The vacuum won’t take orders from a smartphone but it does come with a remote that can create cleaning schedules.
4. Shark S87 Robot Cleaning System
This robot cleaner also comes with a handheld vacuum.
If you opt for the whole cleaning system, the Shark ION robot vacuum comes with a handheld vacuum that can reach the spots that the rounder, robot’s sensors won’t allow it to go. Both the cleaning devices connect with the same dock to charge. The robot features an extra large dustbin, is designed to handle pet hair, and has a “Max Mode” for increased suction power. It cleans using side-sweeping brushes.