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. No wonder most of us only break it out the bare-minimum-recommended once a week.

It’s no shocker, then, that robot vacuums are all the rage. There are no 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. They 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 October 23, 2018with our review of the Ecovacs Deebot N79S, which has several features typically found only on much more expensive robot vacuums. In fact, we liked enough to name it our favorite budget-priced robot vac, displacing the very slightly less expensive Eufy RoboVac 11S. 

Latest robot vacuum news

The world’s first 2-in-1 vacuum robot is here. Coral has unveiled the Coral One, which not only dusts up around the house but also has a detachable handheld vacuum cleaner for the places the bot can’t reach. This first-of-its-kind vacuum robot is available for pre-order at the discounted price of $495. We’ll publish a hands-on review soon.

coral bot Coral

The Coral robot vac features a docking hand vacuum for cleaning surfaces other than floors.

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 almost pricey as as the Roomba 960 above, but it’s 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.

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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