Best robot vacuums 2019: Reviews and buying advice


It’s not surprising that robot vacuums are all the rage. Vacuuming is one of the most loathed household chores. While it doesn’t come with the ick factor of cleaning the toilet or the tedium of dusting, pushing and dragging a noisy, cumbersome vacuum is its own kind of torture.

Robot vacuums don’t have unwieldy cords or hoses to contend with, and they require little effort from you: You can run one from your couch using a physical remote or smartphone app, and the higher-end models can be programmed to wake up and start cleaning without any intervention at all. Robot vacs easily dispose of the most common household detritus—food crumbs, pet hair, dust—making them ideal for routine maintenance and quick cleanings when you’re expecting company.

Our top pick isn’t the most expensive model on the market, though it’s price tag is up there. If you’re working with a more modest budget, we have a strong recommendation in that category as well. 

Updated July 2, 2019 to add our take on the new Ecovacs Deebot 500. We like this new budget-priced model very much, but we didn’t see enough added value for the price for this robot vac to displace our current favorite in the budget category: Ecovac’s own Deebot N79S. See the bottom of this article for links to all the recent robot vacuums we’ve reviewed.

Best all-around robot vacuum

iRobot’s Roomba brand has become as synonymous with robot vacuum as Q-tips is with cotton swabs. The Wi-Fi-enabled Roomba 960 is ample evidence why. It turns a tiresome chore into something you can almost look forward to. With three cleaning modes and dirt-detecting sensors, it kept all the floor surfaces in our testing immaculate, and its camera-driven navigation and mapping were superb. Its easy-to-use app provides alerts and detailed cleaning reports. The ability to control it with Amazon Alexa and Google Home voice commands are just the cherry on top.

Runner-up

The Botvac D7 is even pricier than the Roomba 960, but it’s still a strong value. Its excellent navigation and mapping system includes the ability to set up virtual barriers on its detailed floor maps, so it doesn’t tread into areas you don’t want it to. Its elegantly designed companion app makes it easy to manage multiple cleaning modes, a pair of suction settings, and detailed maps and histories of your last 20 cleanings. And it works with Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and IFTTT. If that’s not enough, its unique D-shape design lets it get into corners and along wall edges better than most circular robot vacuums.

Most sophisticated robot vacuum

iRobot has taken the robot vacuum to the next level by creating a model that can empty its own dustbin. A second powerful vacuum in the Roomba i7+’s docking station automatically sucks the dust and debris out of the vacuum when it docks, storing as many as 30 dustbins full of dirt. And it stores it all in a filter bag, so that nothing escapes in your home’s air when you eventually need to change the bag. We recommend this model to all who can afford its $950 price tag.

Best budget robot vacuum

Don’t let the low price tag fool you. The Deebot N79S from Ecovacs delivers several of the features typically found only on robot vacuums costing hundreds more, including navigation mapping, a smartphone app, and support for smart home devices such as the Amazon Echo series. It’s a terrific value.



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