May 14, 2020 8 min read

Vacuuming is one of the most loathed household chores. While it does not come with the ick factor of cleaning the toilet or the tedium of pushing, dusting, and dragging a noisy, cumbersome vacuum is its type of torture. Robot vacuums do not have unwieldy pushing or cords to contend with, and they need little effort from you. You can run one from your couch using a smartphone app or physical remote, and the higher-end models can be programmed to wake up and start cleaning without any intervention at all. Robot vacuums simply dispose of the common household detritus food crumbs, pet hair, dust, perfect for routine maintenance, and rapid cleanings, all what you can expect from company.

 

A robotic vacuum cleaner that does all your vacuuming and cleaning for you at house sounds such as a fantasy. But with the sophistication of today's robot vacuums, which are packed with smart features, smart sensors, electronic eyes, and even lasers that provide enhanced computing and cleaning power, that fantasy can be your reality. The costs have ballooned, so that fantasy does come at a cost. Few robotic vacuum models will even set you back a staggering 4 figures. Spending that much is extravagant, but it does net you next level vacuum cleaning with dust and dirt busting power. Those cleaning features involve dustbins that empty themselves, turbo mode, multiple rooms, and floor plan mapping, plus elegantly designed hardware. Our top pick is not the most expensive model on the market, though it is cost tag is up there. If you are working with a more modest budget, we have a strong recommendation in that category as well.

 iRobot Roomba S9 Plus

Irobot Roomba S9+

If somebody were to give you a blank check and told you to buy the good robot vacuum, this’s the bot to get. The iRobot Roomba S9 Plus prices a whopping $1,399. For that staggeringly steep sticker cost though, this bot delivers powerful suction and superb dust and dirt removal cleaning power. On hardwood floors it picked up an average of 93% of our test sand, the high amount in our test group. The Roomba struggled to work a bit cleaning sand from low pile carpeting and area rugs, earning a low average sand and dust pickup of 28%.

That said, the Roomba robot vac eliminates an average 71% of sand from our mid pile carpet while vacuuming. Again, this’s the good result that we saw on this specific test. It also cleaned up more pet hair, allergens, and pet dander than any vacuum in this test group, and the bot navigates and maps multiple floors and rooms. iRobot has also updated its app to let you designate keep-out zones to designate places you need the S9 Plus to avoid when cleaning. The app also lets you use voice commands to instantly clean a room using Alexa or Google Voice Assistant.

The robot zipped via our test room in a short average time of 25 mints, too. You can link the S9+ to the Roomba application and your house WiFi as well. Best of all is the Roomba S9+ CleanBase docking station. The charging docks both charge battery of the robot and empties its dustbin automatically, creating cleaning even easy and keeping you from worrying about battery life. Now that is convenient. Read our 1st impressions of the Roomba S9 Plus.

Pros:

  • Outstanding suction
  • Accurate mapping and zoned cleaning
  • Carpet boost
  • Runs quietly
  • Smart home connectivity

Cons:

  • Confusing app
  • Larger than other models

iRobot Roomba i7+

Irobot Roomba i7+

The iRobot Roomba i7+ Robot Vacuum is as automated as it gets with automatic dirt disposal and the ability to clean specific rooms on the schedule you set. One of the more annoying maintenance tasks of a robot vacuum is emptying the dustbin after every cleaning. iRobot, the maker of Roomba, which has become synonymous with robotic vacuum prides itself on staying ahead of the curve and finding solutions to customer pain points. That is why it introduced the game-changing iRobot Roomba i7+ Robot Vacuum. Before the i7+, no vacuum was capable of emptying its dustbin. But, with the introduction of the Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal the i7+ transfers its collection to a container in its dock owners can now go up to 2 months before the disposable bag fills up and requires to be replaced.

 

The i7+ is operated using an intuitive app that iRobot is always improving, so you can importantly set your Roomba and forget it. This’s the good robotic vacuum I have ever used, but it did not make our top spot because the cost point is a bit much though it has come down a bit in the 2 years since it was introduced. If your budget permits, you should consider this on your shortlist. You can read my full review of the i7+ here.

Wirecutter recommended the Roomba i7+ is the good robot vac money can buy when it was 1st introduced. It found it was the easy robotic vacuum to use thanks to its ability to clean rooms on command and the self-emptying bin. However, it did note some instances of the unit straying from the cleaning directions that were programmed into the app. And, PCMag recommends the vacuum due to its good camera-based navigation.

Pros:

  • Automatic dirt disposal
  • Remembers that multiple floor plans
  • Scheduling and zoned cleaning
  • Avoids places you want it to avoid.

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Zoned cleaning has questionable accuracy

Eufy RoboVac 11s

Eufy Robovac 11S

Quiet, low-clearance cleaning and suction on all floor kinds make this ideal for apartment dwellers. Cleaning is annoying as it’s you should not have to strategy your vacuuming schedule about someone else's TV time or your next-door neighbor's weird sleeping patterns. Vacuuming can ultimately be quiet with the Eufy Robovac 11s, which is reportedly one of the quietest bot vacs even on higher suction mode.

 

For less than $300, the Eufy 11s packs a serious punch just do not expect any whistles and bells. The vacuum uses 1300A of suction power and can clean both hardwood and carpets, but its cleaning paths are extra aimless bobbling than they’re methodical. There is no room scanning tech and schedule is limited, but infrared sensors do make sure that it is not falling stairs or running into corners. If you live in a confined space with limited furniture. The S stands for slim. At a mere 2.8 inches tall, it is ace for sneaking under low sitting furniture.

Pros:

  • Quiet Works on hard floors and carpet
  • Features infrared obstacle sensors

Cons:

  • No room-scanning tech
  • The Bottom Line
  • This quiet Robo vac works on difficult floors and carpet and is best for apartment living.

 

Roborock S6

Roborock S6

The Roborock S6 is designed to be smart than its predecessor, which means for further control of the map through the Mi Home app. Well, that is once you have turned on the Map Saving mode, which is buried a couple of levels deep in the Settings menu. With this option, the S6 will remember where it will zone your house into rooms, so you can clean a room when you want to. If you prefer, you can segment the founded rooms using the slightly fiddly on-screen controls. Why you can ask, will you do this? Well, it makes for simple cleaning. For instance, segmenting my kitchen into cooking and dining zones, you can rapidly get the S6 to clean up after preparing food, without having to do the complete room.

 

And room by room control, the S6 also allows you to set a specific zone to clean, allowing you to mop up a particular mess easily. It is this level of flexibility that ups the S6 into a high and smart category of cleaner. Control of the map extends to the ability to add no-go places. The app allows you to define easy barriers, to prevent the S6 from entering a room, and complete zones. No-go places and barriers are accurate sufficient for most uses, though if you have a delicate bit of furniture that you do not want to be touched then making the zone a small larger is better. Once a map is in memory, the S6 can take a smart route about the area, ensuring it is covered the complete ground in the great way possible.

 

If you move the robot into a new place that it does not recognize, a new cleaning cycle is started. The map is then restored when the robot is put back on its charger. That is the best news, since it makes the S6 a flexible product that you can place where you need it.

Pros:

  • Good vacuuming performance
  • Smart map control
  • Long battery life

Cons:

  • Basic mopping
  • Alexa Skill simplistic

 

Shark IQ with Self Empty Bin

Shark IQ with self empty base

The Shark IQ Robot is a great robot vacuum that you can schedule to clean your carpets and tough floors for you so you do not have to do it yourself. But unlike 99.9 percent of the other robot vacs on the market, the Shark IQ Robot dumps its dirt bin so you do not have to do it after every cleaning session at least not for some weeks. As far as how the Shark IQ Robot vac looks, it looks such as a robot vacuum. It is made of black plastic. On top of the vacuum are a status LED and buttons that you may press to start a manual (rather than scheduled) cleaning session and a dock button for sending the IQ back to the dock for charging as well as automatic dirt bin emptying. If you flip the vacuum over, you will see the 2 main wheels and a small wheel upfront in the center. You will also see the brush. Lots of brushes. The main brush has a plate about it with a brush on the edge that aids keep the main brush from getting clogged with hair, threads, etc. The actual brush is beautiful little lengthwise compared to other robot vacuums. It has yellow plastic fins and brushes that let you use the IQ on a variety of floor surfaces such as carpet, tile, etc. If you look close, there’re 2 short brushes built right into the bottom of the vacuum slight forward of the 2 main wheels. And we are yet not done with brushes.

2 magnetic whisker style brushes attach to the front of the unit. On one side of the vacuum is the power switch. And on the back is where you will discover the removable dirt bin and the port where the dirt is sucked into the main dirt receptacle on the docking station. The Shark dirt IQ bin slides out from the back of the unit if you need to manually dump it yourself. T has a replaceable filter. The thing that sets the Shark Robot apart from other robot vacuum cleaners is the charging and dirt bin emptying docking station. Included in the package is a plastic mat that you place on the floor for the charging or dirt sucking docking station. This setup does not take up much more floor space than other robot vac’s charging docks, but it does need some more vertical space. When you want to empty the dirt bin inside the docking station, you press the button on the side which unlatches the top part of the bin. The bin can hold some weeks’ worth of dirt. Obviously that all depends on how dirty your floors are. This assembly has a filter to ensure none of the dirt and dust gets back into your home when the IQ is being automatically emptied. When the bin is full, you remove it from the dock, hold it over a trashcan and press the button so that the bottom latch falls opens and the dirt falls out.

Pros:

  • Self-emptying dirt bin

Cons:

  • Suction needs to be improved
  • Cleaning speed needs to be improved

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