Featured Product: iRobot Roomba i3+ with Dirt Disposal | $550 | Amazon
Spending loads more time at home over the last year means we’ve all been leaving a lot more dirt and dust in our wake, whether we notice it or not. Chances are good that you have noticed it, though, which means you might be looking for a little help around your place.
Robot vacuums are no longer purely a high-end luxury: there are many affordable automated cleaning helpers now, and some of them even add perks like mopping and automatic dust disposal. If you’re on the hunt for a robovac that can help tame your dusty space, here’s a look at today’s top options.
Best Overall: iRobot Roomba i3+
The iRobot Roomba i3+ was named one of Gizmodo’s Coolest Gadgets of 2020, and our colleagues appreciated this robovac particularly for its skills with sucking up pet hair, among other talents. It’s a mid-tier option with some premium features in the mix, such as the optional base station that automatically sucks the dirt out of your Roomba i3+ after each cycle. That means you don’t have to manually empty the robovac every single time.
Gizmodo’s Catie Keck said the Roomba i3+ helped her tame the dog fur tumbleweeds that previously dominated her space:
“I’d assumed that short of vacuuming my house virtually every day, multiple times a day, I’d have to come to terms with living like this, surrounded on all sides by my good girl’s no good shedding. That was until I met the Roomba i3+, a destroyer of dust bunnies and my secret to floors so clean I feel like I’m living in an entirely new home—no thanks at all to my pup.”
Best for Pet Hair: Yeedi K650
Dawn McCarthy, a TV personality and a lifestyle advisor, is also a dog mom. When she started to shop for a vacuum, she wanted to make sure it would be excellent with pet hair, with a big enough chamber that it would have enough room. Yeedi quickly rose to the top of her list.
“With the dual chambers, it truly does a great job. I like that it works on hardwood floors, and easily glides over many of my thicker rugs as well,” McCarthy told me. But that wasn’t the only reason she bought it. “This was selling on Amazon for about half the price as others on the market.”
Although the vacuum does occasionally get lost, McCarthy says that she wishes it had a “Find my Yeedi” function. In spite of that, she’s smitten. It’s quiet and gets the job done daily.
“For me personally, this has lived up to the hype, and again for dog parents who tend to have more hair everywhere in the house with their pets, this truly does a great job,” she told me.
Best According to Consumer Reports: Eufy RoboVac 11S
Jeanne Sager is a pet owner in Upstate New York. She tells me about getting the Eufy RoboVac 11S. “I got sick of constantly having to either drag a vacuum around or to sweep in order to keep up with the tumbleweeds of hair, Sager said. “A robot vacuum seemed like a good option since I could essentially ‘set it and forget it.’”
Vacuums are an investment, so Sager did a lot of research before settling on the Eufy vacuum cleaner. It was well rated for fluffy pet hair, but it also stood out for another reason. “I was looking for a vacuum with a low profile that would still be able to get underneath the couch and capture the dust bunnies and fur that collects there without me having to move the furniture.”
Like any vacuum cleaner, it isn’t perfect, but for $220, it’s worth the money despite some minor qualms. Sager says the Eufy didn’t work so well with her area rugs. In fact, she tells me, “I eventually had to rid my downstairs of all area rugs because I was constantly having to jump up and disentangle the vacuum and rug.”
“I don’t use it every day anymore,” Sager shared with me. With area rugs and a family that lease socks and other small items around, it’s not as easy as she thought it would be to use. “That said, I do still like it over a big traditional vacuum.”
The RoboVac 11S MAX boosts the suction power from 1,300Pa to 2,000Pa for extra force. The base 11S model is down to $150 right now, while the 11S MAX edition isn’t too much more at $192 when you clip the coupon on the page.
Best Hybrid Vacuum/Mop: Ecovacs Deebot N8 Pro+
If you have the money to spend on a versatile, premium cleaning robot that can suck up dirt, wipe the floors clean, and dump all of its dust into a bin at the end of its routine, then the new Ecovacs Deebot N8 Pro+ is one of the best options today. I recently tested it for The Inventory and was very pleased with its capabilities, especially since it can handle multiple tasks on its lonesome.
With hearty 2,600Pa suction power, it does a great job of picking up dust and dirt, with laser mapping and a time-of-flight sensor used to map out your space and avoid bumping into or sucking up the surroundings. The mopping functionality is pretty lightweight, admittedly, and can’t compare to a serious manual scrub—but it left my floors looking cleaner than normal. And its ability to deposit dust into the auto-empty station saves the hassle of cleaning out the robo-vac after every session.
It’s certainly not cheap at $700, and there are budget-friendlier vac/mop hybrids without the auto-empty station (keep reading). But if day-to-day cleaning is a hassle and you don’t mind investing in a robust ally, the Ecovacs Deebot N8 Pro+ is a great roommate. It’s down to $560 as of this writing when you clip the coupon on the page.
Best Budget Hybrid Vacuum/Mop: Eufy RoboVac G30 Hybrid
If you don’t want to drop several hundred dollars on a robot vacuum with mopping skills, you’re thankfully not without options. Eufy’s RoboVac G30 Hybrid is a more affordable pick that’s only $329 at Amazon right now when you clip the coupon on the page. Gizmodo’s Wes Davis admits that it’s not the most precise robot vacuum he’s used, but it’s still a good value if you want one with mopping capabilities.
“With a clean, fairly robust app interface, extremely quiet operation, and easy maintenance, the Eufy RoboVac G30 Hybrid sits pretty comfortably at its price point… a good value for those who keep things tidy enough to be cleaned on a schedule by a little geometric friend.”
Best Reviewed: Roborock S4
Kellie McGinnis and Natalie Craig both own and love the Roborock S4. Both are pet parents and that was one of the many reasons that they invested in the vacuum.
“The reviews for the Roborock were hard to beat—barely any complaints, so that made me feel secure in my decision to go with that brand,” McGinnis said to me. “I love that I can clean the whole house, a specific room, or even a specific zone. I also love the no-go zone, especially during the holidays when I don’t want it to go near my Christmas tree.”
Craig, a Chicago based blogger, has a messy bird. Eventually, she got tired of cleaning up after it multiple times a day, and a robot vacuum made perfect sense.
“I did a lot of research on robot vacuums and I was impressed with the smart mapping features of the Roborock S4,” Craig tells me, as well as the suction force and the sweeping bristles.”
It’s these smart features that set the Roborock S4 from the more budget-friendly alternatives. “I knew it would be a smart and intuitive vacuum per the reviews,” Craig says. “I am even more impressed than I thought regarding its intuitiveness.”
“This is one of the best purchases I’ve made all year,” McGinnis says. “The only downside to the model I went with is that it is not self-emptying, but that was something I chose to compromise on to save some money.”
This story was originally published by Chaya Milchtein on 12/15/20 and updated by Andrew Hayward with new information on 07/12/2021.