Should You Get Swept Away by a Robot Vacuum?

You probably won’t give up your traditional vacuum for a robotic one any time soon but falling prices and increasing functionality are putting more of these R2D2s into homes. Robot vacuums are great for those who need a little light daily vacuuming to keep pet hair and small messes under control. They are best suited for hard floors and low-pile rugs, although they can run on carpets. If your carpet is deep pile, you may find their battery power runs out before the job is done.

You’ll still need an upright or canister vacuum for cleaning that goes deeper than sucking up loose dust and debris, according to Consumer Reports tests. But robotic vacuums are great at the light, automatic maintenance you want for every day. 

Your new little dust buddy also beats the old traditional vacuums hands down when it comes to cleaning beneath furniture. The robot will just glide right under your sofa and coffee table. Be sure to take note of the heights of different robot vacuums when you’re shopping and make sure they will clear under your furniture.

A robotic vacuum can be programmed to run every day for routine maintenance. Many are WiFi-connected so they can find their way back to the charging dock when they’ve finished. You can also instruct the smartphone-connected ones to vacuum while you’re away from home.

With options that are more affordable and capable than ever, there’s a robot vacuum that’s just right for your home. Here are some top-rated models, priced lowest to highest.

Eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 11, $

Good Housekeeping says this is the best value for 2019, while Consumer Reports 2018 listed it as one of four “best buys” for combined high functionality and low price.

Ecovacs Deebot N79S, $229,

PCMag editors rank this as the choice for best features for the price, and iMore votes this as the affordable robotic vacuum. The Deebot is Amazon’s number one best-selling robot vacuum, with almost 3,900 customers giving it 4 out of 5 star reviews.

This robot vacuum is compatible with both Google Assistant and Alexa voice commands. This model’s companion app gives you several extra features including advance scheduling and “status updates.” Depending on the settings you choose, the bot can sweep and vacuum an entire floor or a smaller area.

Ecovacs Deebot M88$

Consumer Reports says its combination of high functionality and low price earned this vacuum a place among its 2018 “best buys” vacuums.

iRobot Roomba 690, $

One of the four vacuums Consumer Reports 2018 lists as a “best buy” for their combination of high functionality and low price, this vacuum is also voted by iMore as staff favorite and best for the most in 2019.

 iRobot Roomba 560, $300,

This is the Good Housekeeping Institute’s 2018 top pick for a robotic vacuum.

Miele RX1 Scout Robotic Vacuum$

This vacuum picked up the 2019 Good Housekeeping Seal star.

iRobot Roomba 980, $795,

This vacuum is choice for Good Housekeeping’s top lab pick for 2019, voice-activated by Popular Science, and Most Reliable by IMore editors.

You can see more rankings here from Good HousekeepingPCMag, and Popular Science.

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