Best Robovacs for 2020
Find the right Robovac and create some quality time for yourself.
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Who Likes to Clean?
There are many reasons to consider buying a robot vacuum, or robovac, these days, least of which is: Who doesn’t want to spend less time cleaning house? Robovacs have evolved so much that most rival the performance of conventional vacs. Many can be operated or programmed from your phone, and they’re all increasingly affordable. But you’ll soon be confronted with the shopping dilemma of the 21st century: With so many options, which one should I buy? There are hundreds of robovacs to choose from, and within the next five years robotic vacuums will make up more than 20 percent of the market. So here is a list of robovacs that excel in the most commonly searched categories.
The Best of The Best: iRobot Roomba S9+
The S9+ is the flagship of the Roomba line, and you may not want spend this kind of money. But it has all the latest and greatest robovac features, and shows us where future trends are leading. iRobot has “V-slam” camera technology that maps more than 230,400 data points per second. It pairs that data with sensors to smart-map your home, allowing it seamlessly navigate every room while learning and adapting to the cleaning needs of each. The smart mapping features can be controlled from the iRobot app on your phone. You can even map “Keep Out” zones that prevent the robot from toppling your Ming vase.
On the bottom of this Roomba you’ll see two wide rubberized brushes designed to be clog free and flexible when adjusting to different floor types. There’s also a spinning side brush that captures debris from edges and corners. This side brush, along with the D shape of the chassis, allows for best in class cleaning in corners and along walls.
Directly behind the floor intake is a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filter in a sealed system that captures a large percentage of mold, pollen and other allergens. Most robovacs return to their base station to charge, but this one also empties its dust bin into a larger dust bag that’s integral to the base. Combine all of these features with a quality solid build that rivals any old Electrolux and you have a vacuum that far exceeds the Jetsons’ wildest dreams.
Most for Your Money: EUFY Boost IQ 15C Max
You can find a robovac these days for under $100 and you might be satisfied — temporarily. But if you double that investment you can buy an Eufy 15C Max that has many features of a robovac twice its cost. The 15C Max navigates with 15 infrared sensors that keep it from tumbling down your stairs. Connected to WiFi, you can control vacuuming from your Alexa, Google assistant or smartphone, and even set up a cleaning schedule.
Eufy’s boost IQ feature automatically increases suction power when transitioning to carpet or other areas that require extra strength. With two side brushes, a center roller and powerful suction, this vacuum will pick up plenty. A generous 36.5 cubic inch dustbin means you won’t have to empty it as often. And it’s really no louder than a microwave. The run time is around 90 minutes on hard floors and about an hour on carpet. There is just a whole lot going on here for the money, so if you’re looking for the gateway to robo-hoover heaven, this might be it.
Best for Allergies: Neato D7
The air quality inside your home is key if you’re an allergy sufferer. Dust, dog and cat allergens and pollen are all better controlled when your vacuum has an HEPA filter. The Neato D7 excels at trapping all that nasty stuff. Its extra-large HEPA filter captures dust mites and allergens as small as 10 microns, and is easy to clean. Neato suggests you replace the filter every month or two, but during interim periods you can clean it with a hand-held vacuum.
This Neato vac is fully connected so you can program and control its large menu of cleaning options with your home assistant or smartphone. With a run time at around two hours and its quick charge system, this is a great vac for a larger home. The price point on this Neato is a bit higher than average. But it’s an investment that will bring better air quality for allergy sufferers, and also get you one of the top performing robovacs out there.
Best for Homes with Kids: eufy IQ RoboVac 30C
If you have kids and find yourself tripping over their stuff, you’re probably wondering how a robovac can clean around that mess. Not to mention picking up that cereal on the floor in the kitchen. This Eufy robovac uses laser technology that redirects its path around any obstacle. It has larger wheels than most, allowing easy transition to different surfaces. The 30C is also super slim at slightly under three inches, so it can get underneath furniture and clean the unseen. It comes with a set of boundary strips that you place to be sure it cleans only where you want.
Further control is possible using the EufyHome smartphone app or connecting to Alexa or Google assistant. With 1500 pascals of suction — hint: that’s a lot — the 30C will easily take care of the biggest messes. And its generous dustbin capacity means it’s less likely to quit in the middle of those larger jobs. The most kid-friendly feature of this robovac: Its über-efficient cleaning capabilities give you more quality time to spend with your kiddos.
Best for Pets: bObsweep bObi Pet
For many, the main reason to get a robovac is managing the pet hair that can invade every square inch of a home. Most robovacs will help but the bObsweep bObi Pet was specifically designed for it. This is a basic robovac that excels in its simplicity. It comes with a full command remote that’s intuitive and easy to operate if you’d rather not use the illuminated touch screen buttons on the unit’s face. Eighty touch sensors inside the silicone bumper on the front of the vac give it a soft touch guidance. You can keep the bObi out of cluttered areas using its beacon that projects digital barriers.
The real magic with the bObi Pet is its dual brushes and powerful vacuum that work together to eradicate pet hair. The dust bin is washable so you can get all the dander out. If your dust bunnies are mostly pet hair, this is the robovac of choice. With a two-year warranty and five years of subsidized service, they are proud of their official motto: “Go Ahead. Shed.”
Best on a Budget: ILIFE V3s Pro
If you’re on a budget but must have a robovac, the ILIFE V3s Pro is the best choice. It lacks WiFi capabilities but has just about everything else. Using the V3’s remote you can select different cleaning modes and make a schedule. After its run time of more than 90 minutes, it automatically recharges. Infrared sensors keep the V3s from bashing your furniture or falling down the stairs. It cleans so well this robovac came in a close second in the pet hair category. You can certainly spend less money, but you may end up spending more time touching up with your conventional vacuum.
Best on a Budget Connected: Ecovacs DEEBOT 500
You’re on a budget but still want to control the world from your phone. Ecovacs DEEBOT 500 will give you the connectivity you want with many of the features of more expensive robovacs. Basic features include anti-collision and anti-drop sensors, four cleaning modes, auto return charging, a high efficiency filter, a decent-sized dust bin and large wheels that roll easy over floor transitions. There is a max power mode for heavy-duty cleaning you can order up from your phone or with a voice command to Alexa or Google Assistant. Even with this truckload of features, the DEEBOT 500 goes for less than $200. Nothing better than your vacuum pinging your phone to let you know the house is clean!
Best Mop/Vac Bot: Roborock E25
A thorough cleaning usually involves a light mop after you vac. You could buy two bots for these separate tasks, but there are robovacs that double up in their duties. The Roborock E25 handles both chores capably. You can choose to just vacuum, or vacuum and mop at the same time. Roborock uses a dual gyro-system for its navigation, and its 13 sensors provide drop protection, anti-collision and trap prevention.
The E25 also auto-senses carpets, switching to a higher suction power to clean your rug. If it returns to the re-charge dock during its cleaning schedule, it’s self-mapping abilities will bring it back to where it left off cleaning. The mopping feature automatically absorbs water into the fitted mop cloth as needed to avoid messy puddling. You can reach the water reservoir and dust bin without turning over the robot. The Roborock E25 is a methodical and thorough vacuum, a perfect choice for a home with lots of wood floors.
Quietest: Eufy 11S
If you’re more comfortable having your robovac do its work while you’re at home, you’ll appreciate one that’s quiet. Have you ever tried to watch TV, talk on the phone or listen to music with the vacuum running? The Eufy 11s runs consistently around 55 decibels, making it one of the quietest robovacs. The 11s lacks a WiFi connection but has all the best features other Eufy vacs offer, including a three-point cleaning system, Boost IQ power, a HEPA air filter, long run time and a large dustbin. The Eufy11s operates quietly but has every reason to make some noise: It’s one of the highest-rated robovacs available and comes at a reasonable price.
Best Overall: iRobot Roomba 675
In all the research I did the iRobot Roomba 675 consistently came out on top for cleaning ability, user interface and reliability in operation. Founded in the late 1990’s by members of MIT’s artificial intelligence lab, iRobot has been defining and refining robovac technology for almost two decades.
This Roomba 675 represents the best of what iRobot has accomplished in that time. Its multi-brush three-stage cleaning system works with an auto adjusting cleaning head that automatically fits different floor heights. The sensing technology intelligently navigates the ins and outs of your home and identifies concentrated areas of dirt, alerting the Roomba to work harder. The iRobot app is flawless in scheduling or monitoring cleaning, and you can also exercise voice command from Alexa or Google Assistant. Critics love this robovac and consumer ratings are consistently high. If you’ve been reluctant to bust a move, maybe this Roomba will get you on the dance floor.