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Best robot vacuum 2021: Roomba isn't your only option

The year's best robot vacuums so far — single and multi-function — at a range of affordable prices. These powerful cleaners handle pet hair and hard floors with ease without you lifting a finger.

I have tried 40 robot vacuums for the office and home over the past few years, and some of them really stand out with their superb features and capabilities. Vacuuming is important to remove dust, debris, and allergens from your space, and keep your floor looking its best. If you have never tried an automatic robot vacuum to sweep, mop, or scrub your floors, here are some of the best robot vacuums for all floor types and floor plans. These blow the iRobot Roomba S9, the iRobot Roomba 675, and the Eufy Robovac G30 out of the water. 

You will not go wrong with any of our top pick devices that will take you into the new age of vacuuming.

ILife V9e robot vacuum

Affordable single-function robot vacuum with cyclone technology

ILife V9e robot vacuum review super strong suction with Cyclone dustbin zdnet
iLife

The Ilife V9e robot vacuum is a single-function affordable robot vacuum that departs from the usual roller brush technology.

This vacuum uses cyclone technology to give a really powerful 4000Pa suction on carpets. 

It also has a soft silicone mouth that dislodges pet hairs as it rubs over them into the suction fan. It is incredibly efficient over carpet, but a little louder than other robots.

Key features:

  • Soft silicone mouth.
  • 4,000 Pa suction.
  • 700ml dust bin
  • Cyclone technology.

Pros:

  • Three-stage filtration system
  • Returns to dock when its battery is low
  • TrueDetect obstacle avoidance technology and LiDAR navigation

Cons:

  • Will only sweep, no mopping capability
  • No LIDAR
  • Louder than other robot vacuums

ILife Shinebot W450

Single-function floor cleaning robot

ilife-w450-shinebot-eileen-brown-zdnet.png
ILife

If you are looking for a dedicated floor washing robot that scrubs the floor and collects the dirty water, then the Ilife Shinebot W450 is the robot vacuum to buy.

With a long battery life, two-fabric cleaning/scrubbing roller, one-handed tank removal and a radar to map the floor, you can set it to work and forget it.

Key features:

  • Two tanks for clean and dirty water
  • Single-handed operation
  • Room mapping

Pros:

  • Easy to fill and empty clean and dirty water tanks
  • Good sized water tank
  • Excellent cleaning capability

Cons:

  • Must be manually placed in position
  • Challenges connecting to app
  • No auto-empty station

Dreametech L10 Pro

Multi-function sweeping and mopping robot vacuum

Dreame Bot L10 Pro robot vacuum review Two-in-one sweeping and mopping with Turbo power zdnet
Dreame

If you do not want an auto-empty station, try the Dream Bot L10 Pro multi-function sweeping and mopping robot vacuum.

It blew me away with its 4000Pa suction power, LIDAR mapping, object avoidance and the functional app.

Its roller brush construction means that it hardly ever needs cleaning, and a large on-board dustbin means it can cope with several days of cleaning before needing to be emptied

Key features:

  • LIDAR navigation technology.
  • 4,000Pa suction power.
  • Large 570ml on-board dustbin and 270ml water tank.

Pros:

  • App can store multi-level maps
  • Large 5,200mAh battery
  • Returns to dock for top up when its battery is low

Cons:

  • No auto empty station.
  • Uneven mopping

Kyvol Cybovac S31

Affordable multi-function robot vacuum

Kyvol Cybovac S31 robot vacuum review ultra-powerful quiet two-in-one cleaning and long battery life zdnet
Kyvol

The Kyvol Cybovac E31 is an affordable multi-function sweeping and mopping robot vacuum with the added bonus of an auto-empty station – a boon if you hate emptying the on-board dustbin.

It is super quiet in use and has a fairly powerful 300Pa suction when in use. It will sweep and mop your floors at the same time, and return to its station to empty. The app is easy to connect to and functional

Key features:

  • Laser Distance Sensors (LDS)
  • 3,000Pa suction.
  • 5,200mAh battery gives four hour cleaning
  • Auto-empty station

Pros:

  • Quiet in use at 45dB
  • will automatically return to top up charge
  • A large capacity 470ml dustbin.

Cons:

  • Small 110ml mopping module
  • App could be more sophisticated

Yeedi Vac Station

Multi-function sweeping and mopping robot vacuum with auto-empty station

Yeedi Vac Station review multi-function robot vacuum with auto empty station and long battery life zdnet
Yeedi

With two-in one mopping and sweeping action and visual SLAM mapping of the room the Yeedi Vac station is a streamlined, efficient mid-priced multi-function sweeping and mopping robot vacuum.

It has a reasonably useful app, zone cleaning and an auto-empty station too. For a powerful clean, this vacuum is certainly worth the investment.

Key features:

  • 3D visual SLAM mapping.
  • 3000Pa suction.
  • 280ml dustbin.
  • Connects to both 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi

Pros:

  • Auto-empty station
  • Remote control and app
  • Will auto-boost when on carpet

Cons:

  • App needs improvement
  • Will not mop heavily soiled floors

Ultenic T10 robot vacuum

Multi-function robot vacuum and auto empty station

Ultenic T10 robot vacuum review smart mapping two-in one self-emptying robot with 3000Pa suction zdnet
Ultenic

The Ultenic T10 is a multi-function sweeping and mopping robot with an auto-empty station and Lidar mapping of rooms.

Its app connects easily, and gives an accurate representation of your space, and has lots of configurable settings to get the clean you want.

It will sweep and mop the floor at the same time and will clean for around four hours before needing to be recharged

Key features:

  • LIDAR mapping.
  • 3000Pa suction.
  • 280ml dustbin.
  • Restricted zones and invisible walls.

Pros:

  • Auto-empty station
  • Remote control and app
  • Can set no-go and no-climb areas.

Cons:

  • No protective plate at dock for mop to sit on
  • Mop will also mop carpet if fixed

Neabot NoMo Q11

Multi-function futuristic robot vacuum

neabot NoMo Q11 review zdnet
Neabot

With a futuristic design and self-emptying dustbin the Neabot NoMo Q11 is a multi-function sweeping and mopping robot vacuum.

It has really powerful 400Pa suction and Lidar obstacle avoidance – very useful if you leave items lying around.

The combined roller brush and silicone strip ensures that pet hairs are efficiently swept up during its daily clean.

Key features:

  • TrueDetect 3D obsctacle avoidance technology.
  • 240ml water tank.
  • 5,200mAh battery

Pros:

  • Auto-empty station optional accessory
  • Excellent fully-featured app
  • Vibrating mop pad optional accessory

Cons:

  • Expensive with both accessories

Ecovacs T8 robot vacuum

Multi-function sweeping and mopping with accessories

Ecovacs Deebot T8 robot vacuum review multi-function mopping and sweeping with superb accessories zdnet
Ecovacs

Moving towards the more expensive range of Robot vacuums the Ecovacs Deebot OZMO T8 is a multi-function mopping and sweeping robot with accessories.

An optional extra is a high-frequency vibration oscillating mopping system which will scrub your floors as it sweeps. 

It also has an optional auto-empty station so with a small adjustment, you can replace your docking station and empty your dust bag less often.

Do you need to use an app with a robot vacuum?

Not necessarily. Some robot vacuums can be programmed using a remote control or directly on the robot vacuum itself. However, there are a host of other features that can be set to get the most out of the robot vacuum.

How often do you need to empty the robot vacuum's dustbin?

It depends on how much debris is on the floor. Generally, for average rooms, the dustbin will require emptying every 3 to 4 days. If this is too often for you, consider getting a robot vacuum that has an auto-empty station.

How long will a robot vacuum's battery last?

Most robot vacuums will clean for about two hours before returning to charge. Some robot vacuums have a feature that will return the robot vacuum to its charging dock when the battery gets low, recharge itself, and when fully charged again, will return to the last place it cleaned and resume its cleaning session.

How did we choose these robot vacuums?

We have selected these robot vacuums based on several criteria:

Are they single-purpose or multi-purpose robot vacuums?

Some robot vacuums only sweep and some only mop. Multi-function robot vacuums can sweep and mop at the same time. 

How powerful are robot vacuums?

More powerful suction power, measured in Pascals (Pa) will pick up more ingrained dust from carpets, and loose carpet fluff.

Some robot vacuums can detect when they are on the carpet and will increase the suction power when sweeping the carpet.

How easily do robot vacuums connect to the associated app?

You need to use 2.4GHz to connect the robot vacuum to the app. Very few robot vacuums are able to connect using 5GHz.

How well will robot vacuums sweep or wash floors?

Newer robot vacuums can sweep and wash floors at the same time, older robot vacuums can either sweep or mop. Some robot vacuums are designed for single use.

Some robot vacuums use a mopping cloth and gravity-fed water to wipe the floor. Other robot vacuums control the amount of water via the app.

Some robot vacuums have a vibrating mop that scrubs the floors.

How well do robot vacuums avoid obstacles?

Obstacle avoidance means that the robot vacuum will move around the obstacle it detects in its path.

Some robot vacuums have a database of objects detected and will mark the object on the map -- with a degree of certainty indicated on the app.

How well do robot vacuums map rooms?

If the robot vacuum has SLAM or LIDAR technology then an accurate map can be created and stored in the app.

Some robot vacuums can store up to 10-room layouts so that when moved, you will not need to redraw the map.

How well do robot vacuums manage power?

Some robot vacuums will go back to their base station to recharge and will go back to the last place cleaned when the battery has been recharged. Other robot vacuums will clean until the battery is low and return to its base station where it will end its cleaning cycle.

Which is the right robot vacuum for you?

There is a bewildering array of robot vacuums in the market with multiple features, different functions and a massive price range. But to choose the most appropriate robot vacuum for your space you will need to think about the type of flooring you have.

  • If your space is predominantly carpeted, then the mopping function of a multi-function robot vacuum may not get used too often.
  • If you have porous hard flooring -- such as wood -- leaving the mop module attached to the robot vacuum will damage your floor.
  • Do you want to mop some areas and vacuum other areas? If so, then a robot vacuum that will recognise carpets and avoid them when mopping, or will lift the mop when it vacuums the carpet.
  • Do you have pets? A robot vacuum with object recognition features will avoid any pet poop and stop any smears from occurring.
  • Do you hate emptying the onboard dustbin? If so, then consider getting a robot vacuum with an auto-empty station.
  • Do you have long hair? Consider a brushless robot vacuum that uses cyclone technology to stop the roller brush from getting tangled.