Have you tired of fighting dust, lint and hair and do not have time or desire to sweep every day? The robot vacuum cleaner has been on the market for more than a decade and has evolved a lot in that time.
The first ones were not the most effective system in the world. They cleaned, but sometimes they stayed banging against a corner or spinning senselessly in a corner of the house.
Today you can find intelligent robots that identify the level of soil dirt and scan the house so that there is not even a clean base. There are those who aspire when you are not, who avoid the stairs and identify areas where you do not want them to enter, or even pass a wet mop so you do not have to scrub as often.
Also, prices have been democratized, and what was once an appliance only for people with great purchasing power, today begins to be of common use, with prices that can go below one hundred pounds.
In this guide, you will find the best robot vacuum cleaner in quality-price according to our expert analysts and user opinions, from basic models at low cost to those with advanced navigation system.
At the end, you will also find a useful comparison chart and a complete purchase guide so you do not have any doubts before making your choice.
Best robot vacuum cleaners
These are the most recommended models of today for their unbeatable value for money. Any of them is an excellent purchase, but make sure before it is the most suitable for your needs.
You do not always need the best vacuum cleaner in the market. Sometimes you just need extra help in cleaning, so that daily maintenance is a little more comfortable.
That is, neither more nor less, the intention of the Taurus Mini Striker: a robot vacuum cleaner with the just and necessary benefits to clean the floor of any house.
Therefore, do not expect complicated programming, virtual walls or a complete scan of the house. What we have here is a robot of small size (23.5 cm in diameter) as simple to operate as it seems, with an on and off button.
The operation is also simple and effective: two side brushes drag dust and dirt to the vacuum cleaner located at the bottom. You can attach a mop to polish the floor, although it must be taken into account that the spare parts are disposable. They are easily found in supermarkets and large stores, and they are not expensive. It also has:
3 fall prevention sensors to avoid obstacles and stairs.
A side protection band to avoid grating the furniture.
Its small size allows it to move freely in small spaces or very full of furniture. It also occupies little storage space and is loaded directly by plugging a transformer into the electrical network. In that sense, the Taurus Mini Striker is presented as the solution for houses with space problems, were even leaving the load base fixed can be a problem.
Cecotec Conga 990 robot vacuum cleaner
While most robot vacuum cleaners offer three cleaning modes, the Conca Series 990 from Cecotec goes further and offers a 4 in 1: sweeps, vacuums, mops and scrubs. For this, it has a small water tank of 300 ml that moistens the soil by dripping, eliminating the most difficult spots.
Although it is comfortable, this scrubbing system is still improvable, and will not prevent you from having to pass the normal mop from time to time. Where the Conga Series 990 does respond is in daily cleaning:
On the one hand, it incorporates two systems -Extra power Suction Pro and Turbo Boost- to maximize suction of the robot vacuum cleaner and guarantee results even on very dirty floors.
It also has a special rotating brush, which thoroughly cleans carpets and carpets.
The control is done by means of remote control with LCD screen, which allows programming the weekly cleaning with five different modes. When the cleaning is finished, or when the battery runs out, the robot automatically returns to the charging base.
With sensors of proximity, distance and anti-fall, the robot goes through the rooms until it is clean to the last corner.
A little cheaper, the Conga Excellence is the previous version and has virtually the same benefits. The operating system is 2.0 (the 890 Series is 3.0), and the water tank is a bit smaller but may compensate for the price difference.
We are facing the benchmark in the sector, and one of the most basic models in its catalogue. The iRobot Roomba 605 is a very simple robot vacuum cleaner, almost like a Roomba “of initiation” at a very cheap price by the standards of the company.
However, as elementary, as it is at the programming level, it is a Roomba and with that is almost everything said: we are before an excellent robot that responds to what is expected of him.
The three-phase cleaning system has two multi-surface brushes, a special edge brush and a powerful suction. When the battery runs out or has finished cleaning it automatically returns to the charging base.
It works very well in houses with pets, it adapts to all types of surfaces, whether hard floors or carpets and the side brush has a 27 ° angle that guarantees total cleaning of corners and edges.
As we say, this is one of the most basic models of the brand. It works simply by pressing the Clean button, while the Roomba 680, for example, offers the ability to schedule weekly cleaning.
And if we compare with more advanced models such as the Roomba 960, we miss the WiFi or the possibility of scanning the entire house with a navigation system of its own to have controlled to the last corner.
In short, without ever having a robot vacuum cleaner, the Roomba 605 is going to change your life. If you go over extra features and you want a simple and efficient cleaning, This one it’s perfect.
With very competitive mid-range characteristics, the Deebot N79S of the Ecovacs Robotics brand is a robot vacuum cleaner that achieves very satisfactory results in cleaning the floor, in addition to being able to schedule work sessions thanks to the application of the mobile and the control from a distance.
It has four operating modes: Automatic, Corners, Intensive (MAX) and Spot, the latter for cleaning specific spots in a certain area, for example, if something has spilled on the floor.
It works with two side brushes that drag the dirt to the robot vacuum cleaner, while the main brush takes care of the deeper cleaning, like the carpet activating the MAX mode.
It works well on any type of surface, and responds correctly in houses with pets, thanks to the suction system without entanglement that prevents the mechanism from getting stuck (although, as with all appliances of this type, it must be cleaned and the tank emptied periodically).
Although it does not have a navigation system to map the house, it has the usual functions such as:
Fall protection sensors for stairs and obstacle detection to avoid colliding with furniture,
Automatic return to the station when the battery is running low.
The operation is very correct, and the possibility of programming the hours of operation, even when we are not at home, makes the Deebot N79S Robotics Robotics a perfect ally of daily cleaning.
iLife is a Chinese brand that is making its mark in the vacuum cleaner market, offering great features at a surprisingly low price. The V5sPro model is one of the best results obtained from its catalogue, in the price range of £200. Without going into high-end features such as WiFi or home navigation system, the V5sPro excels the basic functions, offering a powerful aspiration in two speeds: normal and max, for dense carpets or pet hairs.
But in addition, this robot has a tank of 300 ml of water that allows passing the cloth in wet, complementing the daily cleaning of the floor.
It is possible to choose between three cleaning modes: spiral for large surfaces, normal for medium-sized rooms and manual guiding the movements from the remote control.
The remote control allows you to program for hours, although it does not distinguish between different days of the week. If you do not want to have programming, you can put it on the brand by simply pressing the Clean button.
It is especially interesting for small houses because if you have no place to leave the charging station in a fixed hole, you can directly plug the V5sPro into the network thanks to a simple cable.
For those who do not want to mess with complicated programming, the Smart Force Essential brand Rowenta is an intuitive robot vacuum cleaner, suitable even for less technical users.
It can be used manually, with a simple play/stop button, or use the remote to program hours and operating modes. It allows to choose between three cleaning modes:
Random, to move randomly through large areas;
Random room, vacuumed in a specific area for short periods of time, preprogrammed to thirty minutes;
Edge, for edges or corners, in which the robot moves following the sockets.
To orient itself, it incorporates an infrared sensor technology and six anti-fall sensors. It also has bumpers to protect furniture, although the fact is that infrared do their job very well and the robot vacuum cleaner does not touch any object while working.
With a motorized central brush and two lateral ones, the Rowenta Smart Force Essential goes great for hard floors, even the most delicate wooden ones.
It includes a magnetic strip of two meters in length (cut-outs) that works as a virtual barrier to prevent the robot from entering concrete rooms, for example, if they are full of cables, or to prevent them from going out into the garden in houses on the ground floor.
Also, the long-life battery (up to 150 minutes at low power) allows you to clean large surfaces in a single session.
iLife A6 Robot vacuum cleaner
An extra-powerful robot vacuum cleaner for all types of floors.
Another of the star models of the iLife brand, the A6 robot vacuum cleaner incorporates a new extra powerful suction system that works very well on all types of floors, even the thickest carpets.
The different cleaning modes are very useful, which allow the robot’s work to be customized much more. The most typical are the Automatic mode for rooms, Edge for corners and sockets and Spot for areas with localized dirt.
But it also includes a Manual mode, in which you guide the robot with the remote control, a Mini-room mode, which schedules the time and automatically cleans in closed rooms, ensuring that the stay is perfect.
And of course Max mode, one of the great successes of ilife, which provides an aspirate up to five times more intense than normal, for soft or very dirty floors.
The mechanism consists of two side brushes and a central one, made of rubber, which works beautifully with pet hair and lint.
Finally, the battery is long-lasting, up to 140 minutes. And the charging base is the second generation, which reduces recharge times and extends battery life. It also includes:
Remote control to program for hours.
A virtual wall to prevent the robot from entering specific areas.
And, of course, anti-fall and anti-obstacle sensors.
iRobot is the leading brand in the vacuum cleaner market. The Roomba is not the cheapest but they have become the reference that all manufacturers have in mind. In fact, it has become generic of this type of appliances: no matter the brand, one has “a Roomba” at home.
The iRobot Roomba 680 meets the standards of the brand in terms of quality of construction and finishes. Although there are other models with more technological extras (for example the Roomba 960), the internal mechanism and the quality of the brushes are the same in all models so there will be no complaint in the daily operation.
In addition to starting up with a simple button, this robot allows you to program the next seven days, automating cleaning even when we are not at home.
It works well on any house floor, thanks to a self-adjusting system that adjusts the height of the brush to clean hard floors or thick carpets.
And although it does not map the entire house exhaustively, it has a Dirt Detect system that alerts the robot to work more thoroughly in the dirtiest areas of the house, such as the passage areas.
All this, combined with a set of sensors that guide the Roomba 680 under and around the furniture, guarantees cleanliness even in the most hidden corners.
Xiaomi Mi Robot Vacuum 2
As the Xiaomi brand has accustomed us, its Mi Robot Vacuum 2 model (Roborock S50) presents a price that, although it does not turn it into a cheap vacuum cleaner, is more than adjusted for everything it offers.
It is the renewal of its predecessor, the Mi Robot Vacuum Cleaner, which improves mainly in suction power (2,000 Pa), with a lower noise level, and the new scrubbing function thanks to the microfiber mop that it has incorporated into its base and the 100ml water tank that moistens it.
These are some of the most remarkable features:
Its intelligent cleaning system creates a virtual map of the house to use in each use and perform the work in the most efficient way possible.
Its 12 sensors (collision, slope, ultrasonic, accelerometer, gyroscope) do a great job and even allow the Xiaomi robot to adjust its height to better suck soil dirt.
The laser sensor placed at the top of the device is responsible for scanning the environment creating a 360º image of the room.
Also, the device can be easily controlled through its Mi Home application, which is available in Spanish.
Regarding your battery, you will not suffer or have a very large floor, because it lasts 150 minutes and in that time is able to clean up to 250 square meters.
Other improvements added in this new model, is that it is able to climb obstacles of 2 cm in height, compared to 1 cm from its predecessor, which facilitates the proper cleaning of carpets, which is able to automatically recognize to change to a mode of more power (MAX) and clean them better.
However, if your budget is not enough to buy this model and you love the Xiaomi brand, you can take a look at the new vacuum cleaner Xiaomi Xiaowa, a cheaper version that inherits the technology of its older brother but with fewer benefits :
Its power is 1600 Pa
Your battery lasts between 60 and 120 minutes (depends on the mode of use)
It incorporates 6 sensors (loses the laser sensor of the upper part in charge of mapping the house)
With its price, the iRobot Roomba 960 gives us an unequivocal clue: this is a high-end model that exceeds the typical performance of a normal vacuum cleaner robot.
Even so, it is important to make clear that the basic system of brushes is the same in all Roomba models, so the difference in price is justified by the quality of the sensors, the programming possibilities and certain technological improvements that affect the efficiency and comfort.
In the case of the Roomba 960, one of the most striking features is the WiFi connection, which allows the vacuum cleaner to be operated with an application not only to program the week but also to see reports of each session, to know if there is a problem or to indicate specific changes depending on the house, how to influence a specific area or avoid a room. In addition, it saves the programming and if it runs out of battery, it returns to the charging base and resumes cleaning when it is ready.
The iAdapt 2.0 navigation system is another feature that is most noticeable, as it maps the entire house and knows where it has been cleaned and where not so that no corner escapes. It also distinguishes specific areas where you should not enter, for example, to protect the feeder of your pet, thanks to the Virtual Wall system.
Finally, the entire 900 range of Roomba incorporates the AeroForce cleaning system, which provides five times more suction power than usual. In short, a high-end robot vacuum cleaner with the best features and designed to last many, many years.
Our final recommendations
These are the most recommended models according to the budget you have:
A robot vacuum cleaner for less money? Yes, here you have it: the Taurus Mini Striker is a small and powerful cleaner that will keep your floors clean without any effort.
Logically, for that price, we can not expect internet connection, weekly programming or mapping of the house, but an effective vacuum cleaner that also passes the mop to polish the floor.
The Taurus Mini Striker has no remote control and is operated with a simple on/off button, so you have to be at home to start it up. Fortunately, it is quite silent and does not bother too much when it is working.
It is perfect for houses with space problems because it is not only small (and therefore runs very well in the corners and under the furniture) but you do not need to allocate a fixed space for the load base since it has a cable to plug directly into the network.
In summary, if you are short of budget, the Taurus Mini Striker is a very affordable robot vacuum cleaner that gives neither more nor less what is expected of it: maintenance cleaning so you do not have to take care of daily cleaning the floors.
This was a close match between the Ecovacs Deebot 300 and the iLife A6, but we decided on the Ecovacs Robotics because of the price difference, which leaves us with an excellent quality-price ratio.
It is true that the A6 has more cleaning modes, virtual wall and a maximum mode of aspiration that emerges victorious against any surface, but the Deebot 300 also has plenty of power, a perfect anti-fouling system for houses with pets and three cleaning options that They are more than enough in any normal home.
The Ecovacs remote control allows you to set the on and off times so that you can work when you are not at home.
In addition, this model allows cleaning with water to pass the wipe in wet, a small extra that suits us for specific spots or areas that get dirty more usually.
He has also finished convincing us:
The air filter (although it is a pity that it is not HEPA
The battery of up to 100 minutes of autonomy
The automatic return mode to the charging base when it runs out of power
Without becoming high-end, the Ecovacs perfectly fulfils its function with an unbeatable price.
Here there are no surprises: the best vacuum cleaner on our list is the most expensive, but that price is more than justified when you start looking at the technical features of the iRobot Roomba 960.
Because it has everything: WiFi connection, an intelligent navigation system to not leave a corner without cleaning, virtual wall, more powerful vacuum with the AeroForce system, which includes a filter very similar to HEPA. and of course the system of brushes and extractors that have made the brand famous.
And for that price do not scrub? Well, no. It is interesting to note that most vacuum cleaner robots that offer wet cleaning do so as an extra and do not substitute, by far, the mop of a lifetime. In iRobot have chosen not to do the 2 in 1 and, if you want to use water you have to go through the box again and buy an appliance from the Braava range.
It is good to get the complete pack, but if you decide only for the Roomba 960 you will have already made an excellent investment and you will have the floors like the jets of gold.
Robot vacuum cleaner – Buying Guide
If you are one of those who think that with a broom, dustpan and mop you already have more than enough to keep the floors of the house in conditions … you do not lack reason.
This is the basic thing, but surely you have a vacuum cleaner that you take out from time to time, probably a mop to polish the parquet or the floor, etc.
Think for a moment about the amount of junk you have at home, just to clean the floors.
All that can be reduced considerably if you invest in a robot vacuum cleaner, which will finally keep the lint on the ground at bay, without you having to invest time or effort. It’s going to go pearl if:
you have little time (or little desire) to take care of cleaning at home
you have small children who crawl and it is necessary to have impeccable soil
you have pets at home that loose hair everywhere
you are allergic to dust and you have to take special care with dust and dirt
Unless you invest in a very high-end appliance, keep in mind that a robot vacuum cleaner will not work in depth. Come on, you do not have to do a general cleaning from time to time, but it is not the same to attack the house when you can no longer use the dust to go over a “clean over clean” because the maintenance is up to date. And besides, a robot vacuum cleaner at home can be a source of extra fun! Here is a sample:
How much a good robot vacuum cleaner worth?
As always, it depends. But this is one of the cases where there is usually no cheating, and the price is a good indicator to know the quality of what you take. The better the mechanism is, the more it will cost you, that simple. And that’s why you find robots on the market around a hundred pounds and others that are dangerously close to a thousand.
Does that mean that the cheapest one is not going to serve you? Not necessarily, but it does suppose that you are taking home a very simple appliance, which serves as a vacuum cleaner but will not give you all those features you find in a high-end robot: exhaustive programming, intelligent scanning of the entire house, WiFi, etc.
So you have to find the balance between your budget and all the technical advances that you will probably want as soon as you see them.
If you’re just budget, you can try a simple robot vacuum cleaner to see how far you take advantage. and eventually, make the leap to a more expensive one that gives you more options and customization.
Technical characteristics to take into account
Type of floor
A tile floor is not the same as parquet or a carpet. It is something that you must take into account when choosing the model of your robot vacuum cleaner since there are some that do not respond well in soft soils or have rollers that can be too aggressive for a delicate wood.
If you have very thick carpets or pets that loose hair, you will be interested that the robot has an extra vacuum mode, to be able to apply maximum power in these specific areas.
Go ahead that from time to time you have to bend down and clean the robot vacuum cleaner. You have to empty the dirt container and clean the rollers to ensure the best performance.
However, some robot vacuums include an anti-hook system that avoids jams, especially when facing large carpets or very dirty areas.
If you have hairy pets do not hesitate: you are interested.
The bigger your home, the more you care about the battery life. Most models are around 60 minutes, more than enough for daily cleaning, but there are some that can exceed two hours.
As usual, when we talk about batteries, the duration is given by the manufacturer is estimated and depends on whether you are using the robot in eco mode or at full power.
Most models include a charging base, which is left plugged in and fixed somewhere in the house. Many robots return alone when they notice that they are running out of battery, so the base must be in an accessible place without obstacles that prevent the passage to the machine.
If you do not have too much room at home, there are some vacuum cleaners that allow you to dispense with the base and load directly by plugging in through a cable.
A cleaning robot is usually much quieter than a traditional vacuum cleaner, but it does not stop making noise. If you are going to be at home when the appliance is working, look for a sound level that is tolerable. The resistance threshold of each person is different, but from 65/70 dB it starts to be considered noise. Remember the significant advantage of these appliances: you will be doing something else. Do not let the mess stop you.
If you have little room at home is something to consider, since the diameter can vary enough from one model to another (and that also influences the capacity of the tank and the periodicity with which you have to empty it).
However, the most important fact is the height, since that will determine if the vacuum cleaner can clean under your furniture or not.
Do not forget to check it before buying, so as not to take the unpleasant surprise that the robot does not enter under the sofa by an inch.
Dry cleaning or wet cleaning
Although the concept of a robot vacuum cleaner is to work in dry, some models incorporate a water tank that performs a function similar to scrubbing. Some work by drip, others incorporate a mop that works in the wet.
It is important to say that this does not replace a good traditional scrubbing, but it is an extra cleaning that will keep the floors brighter and stains at bay.
The brushes of the robot vacuum cleaner will raise dust and particles, which can remain in the air you breathe or sneak into the robot’s mechanisms and damage them over time. That is why it is important that they have some type of filter, much better if it is HEPA, which besides avoiding these damages purifies the air while it is working. The Roomba brand uses the AeroVac filters, which are manufactured in-house, very similar to HEPA.
Remote control / WiFi
The simplest vacuum robots are handled with a simple power button, but it is increasingly common to find a remote control in the box. With it, additional functions are controlled, such as cleaning mode or programming, which allows you to worry about cleaning even when you are not at home.
The most advanced models have a WiFi connection and are controlled by an app on the mobile. There you can do more exhaustive programming, monitor the efficiency of each cleaning session, or receive a warning when there is a problem, such as jams in the engine.
It determines the way in which the robot moves to clean, and is one of the elements that most influence the price. The simplest models move randomly through the available space, have a small bumper that prevents them from being damaged when stumbling against a piece of furniture, and when this happens they change direction.
One step further, most have infrared sensors that warn them when they have an object in front. If they are of good quality, avoid knocks on furniture (and possible brands) making the navigation a bit more intelligent.
Some even incorporate a sensor of dirt, that allows them to recognize the areas that need special attention, such as the areas of passage or under the dining table.
Finally, the most advanced models have a navigation system that maps the house, creating a plan of the entire surface to be cleaned. Thus, the robot perfectly controls the areas through which it has passed and why not, making sure not to forget any.
Fall protection sensors
Essential if you have a double-story house, or there is the slightest possibility that your robot may fall down some stairs.
Some cleaning robots also have a kind of “vacuum sensor”, interesting to prevent them from falling through a hole or step. The bad thing is that, if you have a black carpet, you can confuse it with a hole and it will not clean there.
It allows us to delimit a specific area in which we do not want our robot vacuum cleaner to work. It is very useful to protect the feeders of the pet, for example, or prevent it from entering more complicated rooms, with many cables or delicate material on the ground. It also prevents you from going out into the garden if there is not a socket that stops you.
There are several systems to create a virtual wall, usually with infrared sensors that the robot identifies as an insurmountable obstacle; or by means of a magnetic strip, which is placed as a barrier. Some brands incorporate the “halo” option, which generates a circular security area around the object to be protected.
What is the best brand of robot vacuum cleaner?
Until recently the only brand to contemplate was Roomba from iRobot. In fact, more than one will hear you say you have a Roomba at home, regardless of the brand you put on the label.
Roomba is the cleaning robots like Apple to computers: impeccable performance but high prices. And, why not say it, there is a certain social status that is associated with the brand.
However, as in most appliances, the democratization of technology means that lately, other brands have appeared on the market that faces the almighty Roomba: LG, Philips, Rowenta, Taurus, Vileda …
And of course, Chinese companies have put their batteries and have begun to compete strongly, not only in the sector of low-end or white brands but with features that do not have much to envy the most cutting- edge models: Xiaomi, iLife or Ecovacs are great examples of this trend.