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Best Robot Vacuum 2019 – The Ultimate Buying Guide

It seems every year the marketplace is getting flooded with more new offerings from all the big robot vacuum companies. This is good news for tech-heads, but headaches for regular people looking to keep their floors clean!

The robot vacuum space has become so crowded it is becoming increasingly difficult for potential buyers to sort through the options and find the right robot vacuum.

Comparing all the differences in price and features can be so overwhelming that by the time you have your decision made, that model has become obsolete!

The search for the right vacuum shouldn’t be so difficult.

This guide makes that search much easier!

Zoom Out: Top 7 Best Robot Vacuums For 2020

CategoryProductBattery LifeVirtual WallsDimensionsOther Features 
Low-End90 minsNo12.2” x 2.8”
  • Self-charging (and resumes)
  • Voice feedback
  • Smart navigation and sensors
  • Schedule feature
90-95 minsNo13.9” x 3.3”
  • Self-charging
  • Different cleaning modes
  • Alexa and Google Assistant compatible
  • Smart sensors
  • App support
  • Schedule feature
Mid-End100 minsNo12.8” x 2.9”
  • Self-charging
  • Smart sensors
  • Large dustbin
  • Schedule feature
75 minsYes13.78” x 3.94”
  • Self-charging
  • Smart sensors
  • Limited scheduling feature
  • Attachable mop
  • Long brushes
High-End70 minsYes13.8” x 3.6”
  • Self-charging (and resumes)
  • Smart sensors
  • Schedule feature
  • App support
  • Alexa and Google Assistant compatible
  • Smart navigation
  • Floor mapping
130 minsYes13.2” x 12.7” x 3.9”
  • Self-charging
  • Smart sensors
  • Schedule feature
  • App support
  • Alexa compatible
  • Smart navigation
  • Floor mapping
Super High-End60 minsYes13.3” x 3.6”
  • Self-charging
  • Self-emptying dustbin
  • Smart sensors
  • Schedule feature
  • App support
  • Alexa and Google Assistant compatible
  • Smart Navigation
  • Floor mapping

Low-End Robot Vacuums

A budget robot vacuum can definitely get the job done, but you get what you pay for so you’ll inevitably have to skip on some features and performance. Here are the best cheap robotic vacuums out there in 2020!

iLife A8

About the iLife A8

iLife has a few great offerings at great price points, and although the V3s is cheaper than the A8, the A8 has a few features that make it iLife’s best robotic vacuum offering.

To begin with, iLife’s offerings are some of the cheapest in the market, but that doesn’t mean one is getting a cheap product. The iLife A8 looks fantastic with a black glass top panel, and a simple, single button to press.

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The A8 has an all-new navigation algorithm and comes with a whole bunch of useful features such as auto-charge and resume, smart sensors to avoid stairs and other obstacles, and voice assistance.

The robot also has a relatively low profile, allowing it to reach under most furniture, as well as RoadRover wheels which allow it to clean carpets and rugs without getting stuck.

Cleaning performance can be described as average, and users will likely still have to manually vacuum every once in a while.

Finally, the robot is among the quietest on this list, a feature that can be under-appreciated in a robot vacuum until you’re trying to watch tv or listen to music while it is operating!

Our Input

The iLife A8 is a solid robot vacuum at an affordable price. Making it one of the best value picks on this list.

However, there is a downside to the iLife A8, as some users report the robot not operating correctly. For most, contacting iLife and having their A8 replaced corrected the issue.

Ecovacs Deebot N79S

About the Ecovacs Deebot N79S

If the iLife A8 provides value at a great price point, the Ecovacs Deebot N79S provides incredible value.

That is not a knock on the iLife A8, but rather it is an appreciation of how much the Deebot has to offer at its price point.

While Ecovacs as a company appears to have shifted their focus to vacuum/mop hybrid robots, the Ecovacs Deebot N79S is just a vacuum, but it does that very well.

The Ecovacs Deebot N79S had satisfactory cleaning performance and did so while operating very quietly and unobtrusively.

While it is slightly larger than the iLife A8 it should still fit under most furniture, although it tends to get stuck a little more often than the A8 did.

The Deebot N79S has a phone app that provides users a lot of functionality and is an almost unheard-of feature in this price range.

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The device is also Amazon Alexa and Google Home compatible which is quite nice for those times when your hands are full, or your phone is out of reach.

Finally, the different cleaning modes are helpful when you have a specific cleaning purpose in my mind.

Our Input

There are certain drawbacks with the Deebot N79S. The phone app, while great for the price you’re paying, could probably benefit from some of the functions that other robots offer, such as virtual walls, true floor mapping, and even more feedback from your robot (such as warnings when the dustbin is full). Additionally, the Ecovacs app and robot sometimes have minor connectivity issues, which can usually be fixed by restarting the app or turning the robot on and off.

However, these drawbacks are hardly reasons to say no to this machine, and for all that it offers it is still the best value budget pick on this list.

The Ecovacs Deebot N79S is one of the most popular robot vacuums out there for a reason, and since its release it has only gotten more affordable.

Mid-End Robot Vacuums

Is your budget a little higher? These robotic vacuums offer some better performance and more features.

Eufy Robovac 11S

About the Eufy Robovac 11S

The Eufy Robovac 11S is an alternative option if you’re looking for a robot vacuum in a slightly higher price range than the Ecovacs Deebot N79S and iLife A8.

As far as design goes, the Eufy 11S is as clean and satisfying looking as the A8 with a brushed black glass cover. It also comes with a remote that provides basic functionality.

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It isn’t exactly a smart robot, as it doesn’t have any sophisticated navigation pattern, app support, and its scheduling feature leaves much to be desired. However, the Eufy does clean very well, even switching to its “Boost IQ” mode when cleaning carpets or rugs that require more suction power.

The only issue we noticed with its cleaning performance was a slight inability to clean corners, requiring the user to tidy up corners after the machine was finished.

It runs exceptionally quiet, and with its “slim” profile it can easily fit under almost all furniture.

Our Input

The Eufy 11S is, by all means, a simple machine, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth purchasing. The Eufy offers a runtime and cleaning performance that rivals most high-end models.

The drawbacks come from a general lack of “smart” features or accessories, and an inability to clean corners.

But for some, more options equal more confusion, and if you’re just looking to simply press a button and have a robot do a solid vacuum of a room or home than the Eufy 11S might just be the robot for you.

bObsweep PetHair Plus

About the bObsweep PetHair Plus

The bObsweep PetHair Plus is an interesting robot vacuum to say the least. As far as robot vacuums go, one would be hard pressed to find one that has as much personality as bOb does. Yes, the robot is named bOb.

bOb comes in a variety of colors, which is a surprisingly rare thing in the robot vacuum world, and nice for those home owners that want their robot vacuum to match a color scheme.

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The robot also comes with a bunch of useful and unique accessories/features, such as a mopping attachment, a UV lamp for a deeper disinfecting, a separate virtual wall unit, a remote control, and more.

The robot cleans pretty well, even picking up debris tucked into corners. It also has one of the largest dustbins we’ve come across.

bOb also has a whole bunch of feedback indicators on his top cover, meaning if bOb does get trapped or stuck for whatever reason, the user will know why.

Our Input

If all of that sounds like a lot, that’s because it is. The bObsweep PetHair Plus comes with so much functionality it’s paralyzing, and not very intuitive either.

The setup alone can take upwards of 30 minutes.

The bObsweep PetHair Plus does clean very well and does provide a lot of the functionality one wants in a robot vacuum. However, with the sheer amount of time needed to get it all working properly, the user could vacuum their own floors… twice.

At a price point that generally runs higher than the previous robots on this list, we cannot recommend bOb, charming though he is.

High-End Robot Vacuums

Want the best of the best? Here are the top robot vacuums on the market right now!

iRobot Roomba 960

About the iRobot Roomba 960

iRobot and their Roomba line has generally been considered the best in the robot vacuum world, so what robot vacuum buying guide would be complete without a look at these fantastic machines?

When buying a Roomba, one can generally be certain they’re getting quality, although that quality comes at a price.

The Roomba 960 is definitely quality, and it is definitely pricey.

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Included with the Roomba 960 is an extra side brush and air filter, and also one virtual barrier device.

The nice thing about the Roomba 960, is that setting it all up is so simple.

The Roomba 960 has the dedicated iRobot app, and wi-fi connectivity, so it really is as simple as charging the device up and connecting everything to wi-fi. From there, the robot can be operated through the phone app.

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The robot has a pretty typical design, nothing too eye-catching. But who really buys a Roomba for the design anyway?

The Roomba 960 performs extraordinarily, as is to be expected. Users can expect a good to exceptional clean, depending on the surface. The robot is also very quiet and doesn’t get stuck too often.

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Through the app, the user can click the clean button and set the robot on its way. The robot then follows a navigation pattern, so it isn’t randomly bouncing around the room potentially missing spots.

Actually, the app even provides the user the option to customize how many times the robot will pass over a certain area (or room). It provides feedback such as, total area cleaned, and even displays a map of your home, detailing where the Roomba has, or hasn’t, cleaned.

The features don’t stop there though.

The Roomba 960 also comes with the virtual wall module, which can be set up to stop the robot from entering a certain room or area. It can also be connected to Amazon Alexa or Google Home, allowing for voice operation.

Those looking for more information can see an in-depth review of the Roomba 960 below.

Our Input

The Roomba 960 is a fantastic robot vacuum. It is definitely expensive, and there are even more expensive Roomba models available (such as the Roomba 980). However, we concluded that the Roomba 960 was likely the best value proposition Roomba robot available.

The Roomba 960 has little to no drawbacks, aside from price and upkeep costs (filters, brushes, virtual wall modules).

That being said, you can’t go wrong with the Roomba 960, even given the costly price.

Neato Robotics D7

About the Neato Robotics D7

Coming in at a similar price point to the Roomba 960 is Neato Robotics’ D7 vacuum.

The Neato offers many of the same wonderful features of the Roomba 960, and even has a few capabilities that surpass its competitor.

To start, the Neato offers the longest battery life of any robot vacuum we’ve tested, coming in at a minimum of 120 minutes, and averaging 130 minutes. This means that the Neato is a great choice for cleaning larger spaces.

It isn’t the greatest looking robot, though perhaps its ‘D’ shaped design does help the robot with cleaning corners and tight spaces. It is worth noting that the Neato D7 is also the second tallest robot on the list (outdone only by the bulky bObsweep), so it might have a difficult time getting under low-clearance furniture.

Neato’s navigation patterns are also highly sophisticated, and generally never miss a spot.

When it comes to cleaning performance, the Neato D7 is very similar to the Roomba 960. One flaw we did notice was an undersized dustbin can mean that the long battery life can be obsolete, requiring intervention to empty the dustbin in the middle of a particularly busy cleaning session.

Shark Robot Vacuum

Setup is very easy, and only requires downloading the Neato app and connecting the robot to wi-fi.

The Neato app is a pleasure to use for those that want full control over their device.

The robot will create a map of your home and the app gives you full control of creating “no-go zones”. This can all be done directly through Neato’s app, and does not require additional ‘modules’ be set up and placed around your home, which is a nice feature.

Additionally, the app provides the user with plenty of feedback, and even allows for manual steering, and setting up ‘spot cleaning zones’ for when you only need a small area vacuumed.

Consumer Reports Roomba 690

And if you’re wondering, YES the Neato D7 does also have Amazon Alexa and Google Home support.

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An additional cool feature that Neato offers, that differentiates it from iRobot Roombas, is Neato’s ability to wirelessly update your device and app. This means that if Neato comes out with any new functions for their robots you aren’t forced to upgrade to their latest robot, but instead, you can simply download the latest software update.

Our Input

The Neato Robotics D7 might be one of the very few robots on the market that surpasses the Roomba 960 in features and reliability.

That being said, Neato customer support is notoriously difficult to deal with, whereas iRobot is excellent in that department.

Other downsides include a small dustbin, and the device running quite a bit louder than other robots we tested.

For a similar price, the Neato D7 does offer more than a Roomba 960. It navigates better, the Neato app gives even more control of your robot, it cleans at about the same level, and it runs for much longer.

If you’re willing to test your luck that you won’t have to return or exchange your vacuum (defective robot vacuums are quite common across every brand), then the Neato Robotics D7 is definitely worth the high price.

Super High-End Robot Vacuums

What if we told you that there’s something even beyond the best? If you want the state-of-the-art robotic vacuum, this is the one to get.

iRobot Roomba i7+

About the iRobot Roomba i7+

Now you might be wondering: what is this clunky, oversized charging dock seen above?

But first, let me ask you a question of my own.

It’s 2020… aren’t you sick and tired of being forced to empty your robot vacuum’s dustbin?

If so, then that clunky charging dock above is your expensive solution.

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The iRobot line has taken a step towards the future with their Roomba i7+. Now, when your robot returns to its dock to charge, it will also suck all the debris from the dustbin into an easily disposable bag concealed in the charging tower.

That means no more dusty fingers, and technically, almost no need to interact with your robot vacuum at all. The disposable bag lasts up to 30 full dustbins worth of cleaning, meaning you might not have to even go near your device for weeks at a time.

Pretty cool.

The iRobot app is back, and better than ever. Features include full floor mapping, room recognition, a button to locate your Roomba, a full scheduling function, multiple floor plans, the ability to clean individual rooms, and so much more.

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Really, it would be difficult to give an in-depth review of how much the app offers, that’s how wonderful the app is.

Its navigation is slightly improved, hardly ever getting stuck. It can traverse most surfaces effortlessly and provides more than satisfactory cleaning performance on all those surfaces.

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It, of course, comes with Amazon Alexa and Google Home support, allowing for complete voice control.

The iRobot Roomba i7+ really shines in its ability to be completely autonomous, and after all isn’t that what we all want from our robotic smart devices?

You could theoretically schedule the device to clean individual rooms at specific times of specific days, and never have to lift a finger. Want your kitchen cleaned every weekday right after you leave for work? The Roomba i7+ makes that possible.

And you won’t have to empty the dustbin when you get home after a long day.

The Roomba i7+ is a glimpse into what the future of robot vacuums can be like.

Our Input

It really is difficult to find a flaw with the iRobot Roomba i7+.

The robot looks almost identical to most other Roombas, but this is no ordinary Roomba.

It is incredibly expensive, but it also is an incredible robot vacuum.

It runs quite loud, and the vacuum in the charging dock is even louder than the actual robot. Also, it does have a miserable 60-minute battery life. Though we struggle to call these issues, as the i7+ will charge and resume cleaning, and you will never need to empty its dustbin.

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Additionally, with the control the app gives you over scheduling specific cleaning times and rooms, you can plan to have the robot run when you aren’t home.

Really, you will almost never have to interact with the robot. It is an exciting device that likely shows the path of progress that robot vacuums are likely to aim towards.

All this being said the price is definitely very restrictive, and while it can be justified, we would caution that it is likely that this technology will become much more affordable in the years to come.

If you absolutely have to have it, it will not be a poor investment, but if you are just looking for a high-end robot vacuum, then you can save yourself $300 or more by going with the still very good Roomba 960 or Neato D7.

And also, if you went with a Roomba and experience any problems, be sure to check our Roomba troubleshooting guide.

Conclusion

The robot vacuum space has become extremely crowded, and that can mean confusion and headaches for consumers that are simply looking for a product to vacuum their home for them. We have taken a look at four price tiers of robot vacuums and analyzed the best, and most popular, robots in those tiers.

Let’s summarize quickly.

Low-End

Best Robot Vacuum For Hardwood Floors 2019

Our Pick – Ecovacs Deebot N79S

In the lower end section, we reviewed the iLife A8 and the Ecovacs Deebot N79S. The iLife brand has consistently created affordable and quality robots. They have become one of the most popular robot vacuum (and robot mop) brands out there for a reason. However, the Ecovacs Deebot N79S is by far the greater value pick of these two robots.

The Deebot N79S comes packed with features and functionality that you generally only find in mid or high-end devices.

That is not a knock on the iLife A8 however, as it is still an incredible value offering at this price point.

If you’re looking for a robot vacuum that works well, and don’t want to break the bank getting it, the Deebot N79S is the robot vacuum for you.

Mid-End

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Our Pick – Eufy 11S

The mid-end offerings in the robot vacuum world leave a lot to be desired.

The Eufy 11S and bObsweep PetHair Plus are two of the most popular in this price range, but still, it is hard to see them as ‘value’ purchases. In most cases, one would be better spending less on the above-mentioned Ecovacs Deebot N79S, or a little more to upgrade to a Roomba.

However, the Eufy 11S is by no means a bad robot and is the clear winner when faced up against the bObsweep. Although bOb comes packed with features, he is confusing and difficult to use. The Eufy 11S, although incredibly simple and feature-less, is a well-built, high-performance robot vacuum.

High-End

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Our Pick – Neato D7

When one is spending upwards of $600 on a robot vacuum, they should expect a certain quality of product. There have been a lot of ‘scammy’ robot vacuums over the years that cost exorbitant amounts of money and then end up being a huge disappointment.

The Roomba 960 and Neato D7 do not disappoint.

While the Roomba 980 is an option worth considering in this price range, the Roomba 960 is still readily available, and it costs less doing nearly as much. That being said, it is difficult to choose a clear-cut winner between the Roomba 960 and the Neato D7 as they are both incredible robot vacuums.

The one factor that comes into play is that iRobot’s customer support is years ahead of Neato’s, though it can also be argued that the Neato’s features and functionality surpasses the Roomba 960’s.

Regardless, there is no wrong pick between the two. We just happened to like the Neato a little bit more.

Super High-End

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Recommended only to the techiest of tech lovers (willing to break the bank on a device).

The iRobot Roomba i7+ is by far our favourite robot on this list. That is saying a lot when stacked up against the great value Ecovacs Deebot N79S, or the Roomba 960 and Neato D7.

However, the Roomba i7+ shows us what the next-gen of robot devices are going to look like. Envision a future where self-cleaning your home is a thing of the past, barbarian even!

That is the future that the Roomba i7+ gives us a glimpse into. That being said, it comes with a hefty cost.

Our heart tells us to recommend this fantastic robot to every would-be robot vacuum purchaser, but our brain tells us that for those willing to wait a few years this tech may become commonplace, and affordable.

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