The Best Robot Vacuums
A full guide is coming soon.
These are our latest updated rankings:
Premium Robot Vacuums
For this category, we put a strong emphasis on automation features like automatic bin emptying, automatic mop cleaning, and obstacle detection and avoidance.
Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra
The Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra is the only premium robot vacuum we’ve tested that offers
- Automatic dust bin emptying
- Automatic mop cleaning
- Small obstacle detection and avoidance
And has all of these features working properly without any issues. Competitors like the Ecovacs X1 Omni have the same features, but don’t have all of them working properly as they should. The X1, for example, does not have properly functioning obstacle detection and avoidance. It didn’t consistently detect and avoid any of the obstacles we use to test this functionality.
The S7 MaxV Ultra is also a very good robot vacuum, in general, outside of its premium features.
It generally vacuums very well, mops well, and navigates without issue.
It’s the best premium robot vacuum we’ve tested and it’s also one of the best robot vacuums we’ve tested, overall.
Ecovacs X1 Omni
The Ecovacs X1 Omni is the runner-up for this category. It has more airflow and suction, and deep cleans carpet slightly better than the S7 MaxV, according to our testing. However, it struggles picking up certain types of surface level debris – specifically, larger pieces of debris like cheerios and tufts of pet hair. It also doesn’t navigate as precisely or efficiently as the S7 MaxV.
The biggest negative though, for this robot, is its small obstacle detection and avoidance feature. It didn’t properly detect and avoid any of the obstacles we use to test this functionality.
Because of this last negative, especially, we only recommend this robot at a heavy discount.
Midrange Robot Vacuums
For this category, we put a much stronger emphasis on value. We also emphasize mapping ability, and look for good general pickup ability without any major issues.
The Q5 is a terrific all-around performer. It’s one of few options at its price that offers above average general pickup ability and above average navigation. Most similarly priced competitors do not navigate as well.
The Q5 vacuums and navigates just about as well as the best premium robot we’ve tested, the S7 MaxV. It’s just missing extra features – like small obstacle detection and mopping (with automatic mop cleaning, etc.).
So you can see the Q5 as the less feature-rich but much more affordable version of the S7 MaxV. It is currently recommended as the best midrange robot vacuum we’ve tested.
We recommend the stand-alone Q5 if your budget is more limited.
We recommend the Q5+ if you have the budget to buy the robot with a self-empty docking station.
Note: the Q5 cannot mop but you can upgrade to a variation of this robot that adds this functionality.
The Q7 adds limited mopping functionality (no app control of water flow and a smaller 180 mL water tank) and so is recommended if you primarily need to vacuum and only occasionally need to mop.
For the Q7, see price on Amazon. For the Q7+, see price on Amazon.
The Q7 Max adds more complete mopping functionality (app control of water flow and a larger 350 mL water tank) and is recommended if you need to vacuum and mop frequently.
For the Q7 Max, see price on Amazon. For the Q7 Max+, see price on Amazon.
iRobot Roomba j7
The j7 is usually more expensive, doesn’t deep clean carpet as well1, doesn’t navigate as well2, and has worse battery life and higher noise output than the Q5. It also had some trouble in our pet hair pickup test, getting certain tufts of hair stuck underneath it instead of pulling them all the way up into its dust bin.
Despite these shortcomings, it's still a very good robot vacuum overall. And unlike the Q5, it is able to detect and avoid small obstacles. With its dual brush roll design, it also doesn’t tangle as easily with longer hair.
Accounting for all ranking factors – and especially considering the Q5’s superior general navigation and usual lower price – we give the edge to the Q5 as the best midrange robot vacuum we’ve tested, but the j7 is in a close second place.
We recommend the stand-alone j7 if your budget is more limited.
We recommend the j7+ if you have the budget to buy the robot with a self-empty docking station.
1The j7 only has one power setting on which it picked up 6g of 30g of embedded debris in our carpet deep cleaning test. The Q5 has multiple power settings. On default power it picked up 6g, like the j7, but on maximum power it picked up 8g of debris.
2The j7 is limited to camera based navigation and so doesn’t navigate nearly as precisely or efficiently as the laser equipped Q5.
Note: the j7 cannot mop but you can upgrade to a variation of this robot that adds this functionality.
The Combo j7 is essentially identical to the j7 but adds mopping functionality.
Budget Robot Vacuums
For this category, we only put a strong emphasis on value.
Wyze Robot Vacuum
Compared to midrange options, the biggest negative for the Wyze robot is that it’s not compatible with a self-empty docking station.
It is mapping capable with keep-out zones, but it can’t save multiple maps for multiple floors. It also has less battery life and higher noise output than top rated midrange robot, the Q5.
On the positive side of things, it does navigate very precisely and efficiently – just as well as the Q5 – because it also uses LIDAR to navigate. It also vacuums just as well as the Q5.
It’s the best budget alternative to the Q5, and it’s our top pick for the budget robot vacuum category.
Unlike the Wyze robot, the E4 can’t map at all, and so it doesn’t have critical mapping features like keep-out zones. It is priced accordingly though – it’s usually cheaper than any other robot in our top rankings.
It’s also an excellent vacuum with terrific carpet deep cleaning performance. And despite not being able to map, still navigates logically in neat rows.
If you’re looking for the best cheapest option available, it’s our recommendation.
Add a Comment
Have a question or comment? Let us know below.