Robot Vacuum Reviews
Below is a complete list of all robot vacuum reviews on Modern Castle. Click here to jump down the page to see how we review robot vacuums, popular robot vacuum brands (and their differences), and also how robot vacuums work.
|Roomba 980||$$$||95%||Buy Now||Read Review|
|Roomba 960||$$$||95%||Buy Now||Read Review|
|Roomba 690||$$||95%||Buy Now||Read Review|
|Roomba 890||$$||95%||Buy Now||Read Review|
|Roomba 650||$$||94%||Buy Now||Read Review|
|iLife A4||$||93%||Buy Now||Read Review|
|Roomba 870||$$||93%||Buy Now||Read Review|
|Deebot N79||$||93%||Buy Now||Read Review|
|Pet Hair||$$||92%||Buy Now||Read Review|
|RoboVac 11||$||91%||Buy Now||Read Review|
|POWERBot R7010||$||91%||Buy Now||Read Review|
|Xiaomi||Xiaomi Mi||$$||89%||Buy Now||Read Review|
|BotVac D3||$$||86%||Buy Now||Read Review|
|Pure Clean||$||84%||Buy Now||Read Review|
Robot Vacuum Comparisons
The following table lists our current robot vacuum review comparisons. In these reviews we put two robot battles to the test in a head-to-head battle to see which is the better vacuum.
|Roomba 960||VS.||Roomba 980||Read Comparison|
|Roomba 690||VS.||Roomba 960||Read Comparison|
|Roomba 650||VS.||Roomba 690||Read Comparison|
|Roomba 690||VS.||Roomba 890||Read Comparison|
|Roomba 890||VS.||Roomba 980||Read Comparison|
|Roomba 890||VS.||Roomba 960||Read Comparison|
|Roomba 690||VS.||Botvac D3||Read Comparison|
|Roomba 690||VS.||Pet Hair||Read Comparison|
|Roomba 690||VS.||A4s||Read Comparison|
Our process for our robot vacuum cleaner reviews is substantially similar to all other vacuum reviews on Modern Castle. The testing process is rooted in our standard 8 scoring factors, including:
Each scoring factor has a series of questions or criteria that we look at in order to determine the score that should be awarded. For each question we analyze a combination of objective data based on performance testing alongside subjective analysis of that performance.
Below you’ll see the relative weight that we apply to each scoring factor.
We take our vacuum cleaner review process pretty serious and do our best to document exactly how we test, measure, and analyze data. We’ll cover each robot vacuum review scoring factor individually below, but for a more exhaustive explanation of our testing process please see our vacuum reviews page.
The cleaning scoring factor makes up 25% of the total scoring weight.
Our cleaning scoring factor is as simple as it sounds, how well does the robot vacuum complete our standard cleaning performance tests? We look at 3 different floor types, including hardwood, low pile carpet, and high pile carpet, and test how the vacuum can handle 4 different debris types, including rice, kitty litter, cereal, and sugar.
For each test we measure each debris type on each respective floor type, for a total of 12 different tests. Our tests aim to show what percentage of the debris field the robot vacuum cleaner is able to remove from the respective floor types. The 12 test results are analyzed based on the vacuum’s design and comparisons to other vacuums, which is finally used to determine the bottom line score for cleaning.
The usability scoring factor makes up 15% of the total scoring weight.
The usability scoring factor breaks down into 2 components, how easy is the robot vacuum to use on a day-to-day basis? And how easy is the initial setup?
Easy of use and setup include a variety of factors, with slight variations depending on the design of the vacuum. Important questions we consider are:
- Does it have a scheduler? If so, how easy is it setup the scheduler?
- Does it have smartphone / WiFi integration? If so, how easy is it to use?
- How easy is it to manually start and stop?
- Does the robot vacuum dock itself when its battery is low?
- Does it do a good job of avoiding serious obstacles (notably, those that could potentially damage the unit or damage the obstacle)
The value scoring factor makes up 15% of the total scoring weight.
Modern Castle believes that value is the average of all performance, service, and quality attributes divided by the price. As a result, both cheap, mid-range, and expensive robot vacuum cleaners can be a good value.
Value considers design, how it cleans, size & dimensions, accessories & parts, cleaning performance, usability, maneuverability, maintenance, noise, and battery. The summation of all of these factors provides an average which is then compared to the overall cost.
That being said, the exact value of robot vacuum cleaners depends widely on the personal preference of the user. One of the most valued qualities about robot vacuum cleaners is convenience. People who own or are shopping for robot vacuums likely do not have the time, patience, or ability to vacuum their home as frequently as they would like. A robot that cleans their floor for them and drives itself back to the charger may be worth its weight in gold to the right user.
By the contrary, a person who likes to do the vacuuming themselves or is particular about the way that it’s done, may not see the added value in spending such top-dollar for a task they could easily do themselves. Generally speaking, a quality upright vacuum will run you about $200-$500 while a quality robot vacuum ranges anywhere from $300-$1000.
The maintenance scoring factor makes up 12% of the total scoring weight.
Robot vacuum maintenance is quite similar to the maintenance of any other typical vacuum. Ultimately, there are 2 factors we look at for maintenance:
- How much time does it take to properly maintain the robot vacuum?
- How much does it cost to maintenance the robot vacuum?
Many robot vacuums have a higher than average number of replaceable parts that need to be periodically maintained and / or replaced. As a result, this is an important factor.
The maneuverability scoring factor makes up 12% of the total scoring weight.
For most robot vacuums maneuverability is an area where they inherently excel in. However, in order to provide consistency in how we score and rank vacuums we include it here for comparative purposes.
Even so, maneuverability for robot vacuum cleaners is important. Software, both figuratively and literally, drives much of the maneuverability for robot vacuums. Great software means great maneuverability, while poor software can create mobility issues. As a result, software and AI (artificial intelligence) is a maneuverability component that is scored uniquely for robot vacuums.
Lastly, shape, weight, and dimensions are all considered for maneuverability. All of these factors are important when determining how success (or not) mobility is for the vacuum.
The company scoring factor makes up 7% of the total scoring weight.
How trust worthy is the company? Do their honor their warranty? Do they file frivolous lawsuits against consumers or lawsuits that could be considered anti-consumer?
All of the above are important factors and questions that we consider. The company score aims to provide high level insight into how bad, average, good, or great the company is.
The returns scoring factor makes up 7% of the total scoring weight.
To score returns we look at the return policy at the most prominent retailer where the vacuum is sold. Because retailers can have very different return policies, we don’t think it would be fair to look at the worst return policy. Instead, we try to identify the retailer where you would be most likely to purchase the product from and we base our score on that single retailer’s return policy.
Just like with many of our other scoring metrics, the returns score is a comparative assessment.
The warranty scoring factor makes up 7% of the total scoring weight.
The warranty score is a simple comparison of the warranty for a particular robot vacuum compared to other robot vacuums. Warranties are unfortunately one of the less glamorous topics to score, but still important.
To score warranty we look at the following:
- How long is the warranty?
- Are the warranty terms fair and reasonable?
- Does the company tend to honor their warranty?
We look at all of the above and compare these to other popular products to determine where the warranty should be scored at.
When many people think “robot vacuums” they generally think of the iRobot Roomba. Roomba was the first to really make a big hit for automatic vacuum cleaners. However, today there are a litany of good robot vacuum options on the market. Below we’ve listed the most popular robot vacuum cleaner manufactures:
iRobot manufactuers a variety of different robots, including those that vacuum, mop, clean pools, gutters, and more. The iRobot Roomba is their vacuum cleaner line. Over the years iRobot has had a large variety of models and improvements to their Roomba vacuum series. Today, the Roomba model series is comprised of just 5 models.
- Roomba 614 – the most basic model, but still covers most of what you’d want in a robot vacuum. Self-charges and has dirt detection.
- Roomba 690 – a slightly more advanced model over the 614. Has everything the Roomba 614 has, but also includes scheduling and WiFi connection.
- Roomba 890 – a considerable step up over the 600 series. The Roomba 890 does everything the 600 series does, but also includes a better filter and debris rollers that are less likely to get tangled.
- Roomba 960 – The Roomba 960 is a significant step up, both in terms of price and features. It does everything that the 800 series does, but has a longer run time, can recharge and restart itself, and is better equipped to clean multiple rooms.
- Roomba 980 – Lastly, the Roomba 980 is the most advanced model. It includes all of the prior series features, but has a more powerful cleaning system that can clean carpets more deeply.
Samsung sells a variety of robot vacuum cleaners under the POWERbot name. Prices range from $400-$1,000. The Samsung POWERbot line of vacuums is fairly complex, with the differences not being as clear as I would prefer. However, in my opinion the Samsung robot vacuums break down into a good, better, best type of a classification.
- Good – Samsung’s least expensive POWERbot robot vacuums include the POWERbot R9000, R7040, R7010, and Essential Robot. All of these have many similarities to each other. These are all around $400.
- Better – Next, we have the “better” tier. The models here are the POWERbot R7070, R7065, and WiFi Robot. This tier has many of the same features as the “good” tier, but generally with better suction power. You also see WiFi connectivity on all of these. These robot vacuums are all around $600.
- Best – Last we have the “best” tier, these as the most expensive at $800-$1,000. The models within this tier include the POWERbot SR20H9051, Turbo Robot, R9250, and R7090. The biggest differences in this tier are the improved suction, sensors, mapping, and control mechanisms.
Dyson has decided to take a more simplistic approach. They only sell a single robot vacuum, the Dyson 360 Eye.
The Dyson 360 Eye is an ultra high-end robot vacuum priced at $1,000. As such, it has all of the typical features you’d expect for that price, including:
- Sensor – As the 360 name suggests, the Dyson 360 has a sensors that constantly observes the environment
- Smart Phone – You can connect to your Dyson 360 through the Dyson Link app, which lets you control and schedule the robot vacuum
- Cleaning – Full-width brush, tank tracks, digital motor, fine dust / dirt capture, and a 75 minute run time
- Voice Control – You can control your Dyson using the Amazon Echo
The Neato Botvacs come at a variety of prices, ranging from $400-$800, offering varying levels of performance and features.
- Botvac D3 – Neato’s least expensive model at $400, the Botvac D3 cleans spaces up to 1,800 square feet, uses laser navigation, self charges, and connects to WiFi for smartphone control. The Neato Botvac D3 is one of the least expensive WiFi enabled robot vacuum cleaners available.
- Botvac D80 / D85 – This is a step up in both price and performance vs. the Botvac D3. The D80 / D85 has many of the same features, but includes a higher performance filter and cleans spaces up to 3,000 square feet. The biggest detractor to this model is it is not WiFi enabled so you cannot control it via your smartphone.
- Botvac D5 Connected – Priced at $600, the D5 is a more advanced version of the budget-friendly D3. Compared to the D3, the D5 cleans over twice the square footage (up to 4500 sf) and comes with boundary markers and spot clean technology.
- Botvac Connected– The Botvac connected is priced at $700. It can clean up to 5,000 square feet and is substantially similar to the Botvac D5 in terms of features. The major difference is that it includes a spiral blade brush, which allows for deeper cleaning.
- Botvac D7 Connected – At $800, the D7 is is Neato’s most advanced robot vacuum to date. It offers many of the same features of the lesser models, but also includes ‘no show’ lines and a cleaning summary available on the Neato app once the vacuum has finished.
Eufy manufactures two robot vacuums ranging from $200-$300, which are both named the RoboVac- the 11/11+ and t he 11c.
- RoboVac 11/11+ – The most popular Eufy robot vacuum is the Robo 11 and the RoboVac 11+ (Power Boost). The RoboVac 11 is available for $219 and the 11+ with Power Boost is available for $239. Both of these vacuums use a three point cleaning system (rolling brush, side brushes and suction) for an advanced clean. This vacuum is recommended for hardwood and thin carpets.
- RoboVac 11c – With most of the same features as the 11, the 11c also has smart Wi-Fi connectivity and the ability to schedule the cleans.
BObsweep offers another competitive option, ranging in price from $400-$900, with 2 robot vacuum collections- Bob and bObi.
Both the Bob Standard and Bob PetHair have features like auto-charge, remote control, infrared communication, edge detection, etc.
- Bob Standard: $599
- Bob PetHair: $899
In comparison, the bObi introduces the use of radio frequencies instead of infrared, dual underbelly brushes, a touchscreen and a slimmer body style. BObi is available in Classic or Pet and also offers bObi blocks which help quarantine off certain sections of rooms or open areas.
- bObi Classic: $849
- bObi Pet: $749
EcoVacs has a vast and wide collection of robot vacuums, but one name is consistent- DEEBOT. All of these robot vacuums have slight variations, but they are generally an expansion to or newer version of previous DEEBOTs.
The most recent models include the DEEBOT R95, R98, M88, M81 Pro, Mini 2, and Slim 2.
- DEEBOT R95 – The DEEBOT R95 is considered one of EcoVac’s flagship models is offered at $549 and represents the partnership between Amazon’s Alexa and EcoVacs. The R95 can be controlled with Amazon Alexa and offers a vacuum and mop combo for variable cleaning options.
- DEEBOT R98 – The DEEBOT R98 is offered for $700 and boasts an all-day cleaning machine, able to clean, return to the base, empty its dust bin, and clean again. Additionally, the R98 includes a handheld unit for any tight space the robot might miss.
- DEEBOT M88 – The DEEBOT M88 is a multi-surface robot vacuum that sweeps, lifts, vacuums, and includes an optional wet and dry mop. This vacuum is also Wi-Fi compatible and offers scheduled cleaning.
- DEEBOT M81 Pro – The DEEBOT M81 is $300 and offers Wi-Fi compatibility, 5-stage cleaning that sweeps, lifts, vacuums, mops, and dries in a single pass. This vacuum offers a 100 minute runtime.
- DEEBOT Mini 2 – successor of DEEBOT Mini – The DEEBOT Mini 2 is a small, low-profile robot vacuum available for under $200. It offers many of the same features as the other models, like scheduling, auto-recharge and remote control use.
- DEEBOT Slim 2 – successor of DEEBOT Slim – The DEEBOT Slim, available for $300 is one of the slimmest robot vacuums on the market right now, standing at only 2.2 inches tall. This makes it even easier to slide under furniture or hard to reach places. In addition to being slim, this robot vac also has scheduling capabilities, remote control, and smart anti-collision sensors.
The next collection of robot vacuums are slightly older models, but have many of the same features of newer models, at a fraction of the cost.
- DEEBOT M80 Pro – The M80 Pro is offered at $230 and is one of the most affordable robot vacuums that can be controlled by connection via Amazon Alexa. This vacuum can also be used as vacuum or mop and can be scheduled for cleaning cycles.
- DEEBOT M82 – The DEEBOT M82 is priced at $269 and offers up to 150 minutes of cleaning time and a larger dust bin for longer cleaning runs before having to return to the charger. The M82 utilizes Obstacle Detection and Stair Safety technology.
- DEEBOT M81 – The DEEBOT M81 is priced at $256 and and is a combination vacuum and mop offers scheduling and remote control. Additionally, the M81 offers 4 different cleaning path styles for the robot vacuum to follow to help it adapt to certain environments.
- DEEBOT 63S – The DEEBOT 63S is priced at $249 and offers many of the same functions as the robot vacuum models above. The 63S offers the same 4 cleaning modes as the M81 and utilizes dust detection technology to automatically adjust to areas that need a bit more attention.
- DEEBOT N79 – At $199, the N79 is one of the most affordable Wi-Fi enabled robot vacuum with the ability to also schedule cleanings. The N79 offers 3 different cleaning path styles for different environments.
- DEEBOT N78 – The DEEBOT N78 is priced at $179 and although it doesn’t offer Wi-Fi, this robot vacuum is self-charging, has 3 different cleaning path styles and 110 minute run-time.
Bissell offers a mid-range robot vacuum cleaner, called the SmartClean. This vacuum is priced at $300 and offers scheduling, dirt detection, lithium-ion battery, self-charging dock station and the ability to automatically adjust to varying flooring types and heights.
Types of Robot Vacuum Cleaners
Within the world of robot vacuum cleaners there are many different types. The three main types of robot vacuums include: dry vacuums, wet vacuums, and submersion vacuums.
- Dry vacuums are designed to pick up dry debris, ranging in size. These generally can be used on all indoor floor types.
- Wet vacuums use an on-board supply of water to essentially mop the floors, hands-free.
- Submersion vacuums are commonly used in pools to clean the bottoms and sides of underwater environments.
In addition to these overarching categories, there are many robot vacuums designed for a specific type of cleaning like allergy robot vacuums or robot vacuums for pet hair. These specialty vacuums generally have unique brushes, shape, or software that helps the robot tackle those tough areas.
It’s a simple enough question, how do robot vacuum cleaners work? At its core, a robot vacuum is an automatic vacuum cleaner programmed by the manufacturer to systematically (and autonomously) clean your home. The method of cleaning is determined by the software. That said, there are fundamentally only 3 different types of automatic cleaning:
- Bump and continue
- Bump, learn, and continue
- Sensor mapping
Many robot vacuum cleaners fall into category #1. These types of robot vacuums are more simple in their programmed software. They are designed to simply drive around and clean all spaces that are driven over. When it comes into contact with an object it stops, changes directions, and continues cleaning until it comes into contact with another object.
These types of vacuums are simpler, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they are worse. It’s simply a different type of automatic vacuuming.
Category #2 is substantially similar to category #1, with one exception. Each time the robot vacuum comes into contact with an object it makes a note within its memory. More simple robot vacuum cleaners simply note that location of an object for that session and will avoid hitting it again. More complex software systems will create a map of your floor plan and store this in their memory until reset (or they learn something new). These more complex sensing and mapping systems allow the robot to prevent striking objects in your home, since they know exactly where most furniture, walls, appliances, and other large objects are.
Lastly, we have sensor mapping robot vacuums. These are the most advanced robot vacuum cleaners and they are designing to dynamical sense and understand the area within bumping into objects. These are also the most expensive robot vacuums.
Robot Vacuum Pros & Cons
- Scheduling: Ever wish you could schedule a house cleaner to come to your house every day just to vacuum? With many robot vacuums, this is a reality with their intuitive scheduling software. Select a day, select a time, and the robot will do the rest. Many models even can return themselves back to the charging station so they’re ready to go for next time.
- Compact: Generally, robot vacuums are significantly smaller than traditional upright vacuums and sometimes even smaller than canister or handheld units. This can make a great option for people with smaller homes/offices or areas with limited storage.
- Hand-free: Many robot vacuums have a small ‘clean’ button somewhere on the unit which allows the vacuum to automatically begin its cleaning cycle from anywhere in your home.
- Cleaning Frequency: Homes with pets or those who suffer from allergies may benefit from vacuuming more often than average. Robot vacuums can help ease the burden of more frequent vacuuming and keep dirt, dust and dander at a minimum in your home.
- Wi-Fi Compatible: While not every robot vacuum falls into this category, Wi-Fi is a big deal for robot vacuums because its essentially the only type of vacuum where it’s even an option. With a WI-Fi enabled robot vacuum. you can schedule a cleaning remotely (via a mobile app), stop a cleaning cycle, or even check out a summary of an entire cycle once it has returned back to the dock.
- Can Be Expensive: Robot vacuums can typically range from $300-$1,000 (with a few exceptions between $100-$200), depending on quality, model, and features. Depending your budget, this may simply be out of reach. For comparison, a typical upright ranger from about $100 to $500 or more.
- Can Get Lost: If the technology isn’t top notch or if your house has quite a bit of ‘obstacles’, navigation may be a problem for a robot vacuum. Getting stuck in cords, under tables, locking itself in rooms; these can all be normal behaviors of a robot vacuum. Some higher end robot vacuums use sensor mapping as a way of learning the distinct navigation patterns of your home. It may take a little bit of time, but eventually the robot vacuum should get better at moving about the cabin.
Should I Buy A Robot Vacuum?
Robot vacuums have really come a long way in the past 10 years. What started as an expensive dream and tech-lover’s machine is now a reasonable and affordable solution to a cleaner home. The market of robot vacuums is continuing to grow as manufacturers and makers to develop new ways to build a better (and smarter) robot vacuum.
Still not sure if a robot vacuum is a good choice for you home? Drop us an email on our contact form. We’d be happy to help!
Derek Hales is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of ModernCastle.com. He is a passionate perfectionist when it comes to testing and reviewing products for the home. When he is not testing new products, Derek enjoys golf, tennis, and PC gaming. Derek lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife, Samantha, and poodle, Tibbers.