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The best robot vacuums you can buy in 2024: Expert tested

We've tested nearly every popular robot vacuum on the market from brands like Roomba, Dreame, Narwal, Roborock, and more. These are my favorite models.
Written by Elizabeth Mauder, Editor and  Maria Diaz, Staff Writer
Roomba j7+ | Best robot vacuum overall
Roomba j7+ vacuuming on tile.
Roomba j7+
Best robot vacuum overall
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Dreame X30 Ultra | Best 2-in-1 vacuum and mop
Dreame X30 Ultra mopping with its MopExtend arm.
Dreame X30 Ultra
Best 2-in-1 vacuum and mop
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Yeedi M12 Pro+ | Best powerful robot vacuum
Yeedi M12 Pro+ robot vacuum and mop
Yeedi M12 Pro+
Best powerful robot vacuum
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Roomba s9+ | Best robot vacuum for pet hair
Roomba s9+ vacuuming on carpet.
Roomba s9+
Best robot vacuum for pet hair
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Narwal Freo X Plus | Best robot vacuum for hard floors
Narwal Freo X Plus robot vacuum and mop
Narwal Freo X Plus
Best robot vacuum for hard floors
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Shark ION AV751 | Best budget robot vacuum
Shark ION AV751 vacuuming a rug.
Shark ION AV751
Best budget robot vacuum
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We've tested dozens of robot vacuums in homes with kids, dogs, and cats. We know the feeling of spending countless hours a week trying to clean the pet hair and mini fingerprints scattered around the home, yet feeling like it's impossible to keep up with everything.

Also: The best early Amazon Prime Day 2024 deals

Enter robot vacuums. Robot vacuums aren't a one-size-fits-all affair, and the right for you depends on many factors. ZDNET spent countless hours evaluating factors like floor mapping abilities, battery life, price, and, more importantly, cleaning efficiency to help you make the best choice, especially with Prime Day sales emerging.

What is the best robot vacuum right now?

Our pick for the best robot vacuum overall is the iRobot Roomba j7+, thanks to its self-emptying capabilities, ability to move across carpet, tile, and hardwood floors, and its easy-to-use app. The fact that it's discounted for $664 ahead of Prime Day is a bonus. It's the robot we go back to repeatedly after testing others. Read on for the rest of our picks for the best robot vacuums. 

The best robot vacuums of 2024

Pros & Cons
  • Self-emptying
  • Intelligent
  • Auto-empty base
  • Easy-to-use app
  • Loud
  • Unimpressive battery life
More Details

The Roomba j7+ is one of my favorite robot vacuums throughout my house, whether on carpet, tile, or rugs. After a few initial runs, the j7+ can map a home's layout. Next, you can use the iRobot app to choose your cleaning method. You can select which rooms you want cleaned, in what order, and how many times you want each room cleaned. 

There aren't many robot vacuums that I trust to remove ingrained pet hair from my carpet, but the j7+ is an exception to that rule. It gets a complete run of my house and does a great job on different floor surfaces. What sets Roomba vacuums apart from others is intelligence. The j7+ uses PrecisionVision Navigation to recognize and avoid everyday household objects like socks, cords, shoes, and pet waste. 

Review: Roomba j7+

If you're a new pet owner, iRobot's P.O.O.P. (Pet Owner Official Promise) guarantee will make you feel comfortable enough to leave your Roomba j7+ and pet in the same area. I love knowing that, no matter what my house looks like, I can send the j7+ out to clean, and it won't suck up something that it shouldn't. The peace of mind is worth every single penny. Amazon customers also rave about this feature, one saying, "The object identification system is a wonderful addition for pet owners or anyone with loose wires. Having gone through three [poop apocalypses] with our dog and old Roomba over the past five years, the poop avoidance system is a welcome assurance!"

The Roomba j7+ doesn't have mopping capabilities, but it does pair beautifully with the Braava Jet m6. The two iRobot products use the same technology to tag team your vacuuming and mopping needs. I tested both of these robots out, so be sure to check out my full reviews.

Roomba j7+ features: PrecisionVision Navigation | P.O.O.P. guarantee | Easy robot integration | Price: $664

Pros & Cons
  • Quiet self-emptying
  • Dual oscillating mop heads
  • MopExtend mop pads
  • App isn't as user-friendly as it could be
  • Expensive
  • Recurring costs
More Details

The Dreame X30 Ultra is the best two-in-one machine money can buy, and you'll need a lot of money to score this latest and greatest machine. It sits at $1,700 and is regularly priced, but let me tell you why you need this machine if you have kids, pets, or both. 

The X30 Ultra can do it all -- vacuum, mop, avoid obstacles, self-empty, self-refill, self-clean (both the mop heads and the washboard), self-dispense the cleaning solution, and self-dry. The robot can even determine your floors' dirt level and will automatically go over them again (if this feature is enabled). As someone who only walks around her home barefoot, I mean it when I tell you the dual oscillating mop heads truly scrub my floors. They look fantastic after a cleaning run. Are you convinced yet? 

Review: Dreame X30 Ultra

The mopping is superb, but the vacuuming also does a great job. At 8,300Pa suction, the X30 Ultra easily handles my carpet and rugs, suctioning up my pet hair and dirt while leaving pretty vacuuming lines behind. The auto-empty feature is also incredibly quiet, and I never wake my son up after he's gone to bed and I run the machine. It features a built-in light and impressively cleans well at night with only a lamp or two in my house. This is my favorite two-in-one machine and a must-have if you can justify the price.

Amazon reviewers also feel overwhelmingly positive about the X30 Ultra, one saying, "The most impressive part is how well it cleans. I love coming home to a house that [is] swept daily and mopped twice a week (my settings)." Waking up every morning and starting with freshly vacuumed and mopped floors helps give me the best start to my day possible. I love this machine and think you will, too.

Dreame X30 Ultra features: MopExtend cleaning capability | 8300Pa suction power | Multi-functional base station | Price: $1300

Pros & Cons
  • Self-washing mop pads
  • Inexpensive by comparison
  • Strongest 11,000Pa suction on the market
  • Mop pads lift 9mm, which isn't enough to keep medium-pile rugs dry
More Details

The Yeedi M12 Pro+ truly has no business being this cheap. A 2-in-1 robot vacuum and mop with a self-emptying and self-washing system, the M12 Pro+ has 11,000Pa of suction power, a leader on the market. It features a specialized roller system to prevent hair tangles when vacuuming.

This new M12 Pro+ has minor issues, such as struggling to avoid obstacles and getting its brush stuck, though it performs better than other more expensive options. It also lifts its mop pads when going over carpet or rugs, and this feature performed pretty well with my short-pile rugs, but the 9-millimeter lift isn't enough to keep my medium-pile rugs dry. 

Review: Yeedi M12 Pro+

Despite these minor issues, the M12 Pro+'s robust cleaning features and compact all-in-one charging station make for a high-quality cleaning solution. 

"The Yeedi M12 Pro+ has not only met but surpassed my expectations," one reviewer said about the robot vacuum and mop. "It's a robust, efficient cleaning tool that has taken the chore out of vacuuming. If you're in the market for a robot vacuum that offers great performance and ease of use, look no further than the Yeedi M12 Pro+."

Yeedi M12 Pro+ features: TruEdge deep mopping | 11000Pa suction power | Zero Tangle technology | Price: $749

Pros & Cons
  • D-shaped design to clean corners
  • Incredible suction power
  • Auto empty base
  • Expensive
  • Battery life
More Details

If you're like me and have a lot of dog hair lying around, I promise you won't be disappointed if you invest in the Roomba s9+. This is Roomba's most powerful robot vacuum to date. It comes in a D-shaped design, allowing the robot to fit in the corners of your home. Once the s9+ gets going, the dual multi-surface brushes suck up everything in their paths. Even on my carpet, the ingrained dog hair and dirt get sucked away and into the robot. One Amazon customer says, "The Roomba not only works really well from a vacuuming perspective, but it has done a remarkable job learning the house."

As an iRobot vacuum, the AI inside the s9+ can recognize shoes, socks, cords, and more, so you don't have to worry. And Roomba does a great job keeping your devices up to date, so they're always learning and getting smarter through continued software updates. 

Also: How Roomba's $1,000 robot vacuum handled my house of children and pets

The s9+ comes with an auto-empty base that doubles as a charging station, so once the robot picks up all of your dirt and debris, it's sucked right into an enclosed bag so it stays trapped away. The s9+'s auto-empty base is much smaller than the j7+'s, making it easier to tuck away and blend in with your home decor. 

Because this is an iRobot device, the Roomba s9+ will pair with the Braava Jet m6 to clean your floors thoroughly.

Roomba s9+ features: 30% wider dual multi-surface rubber brushes | Delivers 40x power-lifting suction | Dirt Detect technology | Price: $1048

Pros & Cons
  • Great for pet owners
  • Fast, efficient navigation
  • Outstanding on hard floors
  • Up to 7 weeks without emptying
  • Not a hands-off mopping feature
  • Could do better on carpet
More Details

The Narwal Freo X Plus is the best midrange robot vacuum I've tested. At $400, this robot vacuum and mop excels on hard floors, handling debris, crumbs, and hair without tangling. Though it doesn't have a self-emptying dustbin, the built-in dust compression feature lets you go up to seven weeks without emptying the Freo X Plus dustbin. 

The dustbin can hold up to one liter of debris, and its heat-drying mechanism ensures no odors or bacteria growth. I've had issues with odor from self-emptying vacuums in the past, but not once from the Narwal Freo X Plus while I've tested it. 

The Freo X Plus has strong LiDAR mapping and obstacle avoidance capabilities, ensuring swift and effective navigation across your home. It performs exceptionally well on hard floors, but its performance on carpet is less impressive, leaving a few crumbs on its trail. 

Also: I tested my favorite two-in-one robot vacuum's new model, and it's better in almost every way

That said, I've found this to be one of the best robot vacuums I've tested, and most buyers agree. One verified customer noted, "Having two cats and two litter boxes, I have to constantly vacuum the floor for litter and pet hair. This product does its job to clean the floor with minimum noise and I love the fact that it can detect carpet and adjust the height accordingly."

Narwal Freo X Plus features: Up to seven weeks without emptying | 7800Pa suction power | Effective tangle-free technology | Price: $400

Pros & Cons
  • Great suction power
  • 120 minute run time
  • No mapping ability
  • Doesn't alert when full
More Details

If you're overwhelmed by the technology and features that come with several of the new robot vacuums, this Shark ION would be an excellent option for you. You don't need an app to get this robot vacuum going: Press the Clean button, and it's off. The tech inside is minimal -- this Shark doesn't map where it's been or have the AI capabilities to avoid cables or shoes, but it makes up for it with its suction power. 

Review: Shark ION AV751

You'll want to remember that by not having mapping capabilities, it just drives around and may clean the same room repeatedly. From my experience, though, running the AV751 daily kept my entire house clean. One day, it may clean my kitchen and living room; the next, it may clean my laundry room and bathroom. The important thing was that the Shark could keep up with my two dogs and cat, which is a massive task.

The Shark ION Av751 has no auto-empty base, so you must manually dump the dirt and debris into the trash can. But that means the charging station is significantly smaller than many other robot vacs on the market. Shark is a brand name most known and trusted in the cleaning industry, so you can rest assured that this budget-friendly option will be a safe one. Amazon reviewers love the price, one saying, "In my opinion, this is the BEST budget vacuum at the price point." 

Shark ION AV751 features: Tri-brush system | Stair/cliff edge detection | Alexa and Google Assistant integrated | Price: $160

What is the best robot vacuum?

The Roomba j7+ is one of the smartest, most advanced robot vacuums I have tested on the market. Its PrecisionVision navigation ensures that it's cleaning the rooms you want to be cleaned and gathers an accurate map of your house. The ability to add Cleaning zones for particularly dirty areas or Keep-out zones where you may not want the robot to go is an added bonus. 

Pet parents everywhere can agree that the P.O.O.P. guarantee will help them sleep easier at night, knowing their home will get vacuumed without smearing through any accidents. And, of course, being a Roomba device, you know that the robots are always getting new software updates, so your robot vacuum is always getting smarter.

Robot vacuumPriceObstacle avoidanceMapping technologyAuto-empty baseTwo-in-one vacuum and mop
Roomba j7+$729YesYesYesNo
Dreame X30 Ultra$1,700YesYesYesYes
Yeedi M12 Pro+$799YesYesYesYes
Roomba s9+$1,000YesYesYesNo
Narwal Freo X Plus$400YesYesNoYes
Shark ION AV751$230NoNoNoNo

What is the right robot vacuum for you?

After spending the last two years testing numerous robot vacuums, the one feature that distinguishes them the most is their intelligence. Some individuals are looking for a hands-off approach. They want to set a schedule in the app and not have to worry or think about the robot for weeks at a time. Others may not be that comfortable with tech or want to have more control of where and when the robot is running. Both are reasonable expectations, but you'll be buying two different vacuums.

Choose this robot vacuum…If you need…
Roomba j7+A highly intelligent, AI-driven vacuum. With its ability to recognize up to 80 household objects, your home will get cleaned while your cords and shoes aren't bothered.
Dreame X30 UltraOne to vacuum every surface type in your home while mopping hardwood/tile/laminate flooring. It's truly an all-in-one machine that will keep your home clean with the touch of a button in the app.
Yeedi M12 Pro+You want the top-of-the-line in terms of self-cleaning technology, efficiency, and pure power.
Roomba s9+A vacuum to tackle excessive pet hair, dirt, and debris. It's Roomba's best suctioning robot on the market.
Narwal Freo X PlusAn affordable robot vacuum that performs like a high-end unit on hard floors, with up to 7 weeks between emptying.
Shark ION AV751A simple robot vacuum without all of the bells and whistles. This can be a more manageable option for individuals who don't need a lot of technology in their robot vacuum.

Factors to consider when choosing a robot vacuum:

While trying to determine the best robot vacuum, I kept several factors at the forefront of my testing and research, which can also aid your search.

  • Floor types: Some robot vacuums are equipped to work with certain floor types, like carpet or hardwood. Others may be able to accommodate other floor types, like stone or marble. Before you buy, consider the types of flooring in your home and which vacuum is most appropriate.

  • Mapping: For full automation, your robot vacuum must have a mapping feature to navigate each room. You also want to consider an obstacle avoidance feature that can avoid things like furniture, wires, and even pet waste. This feature is a must-have in my home with strewn about.

  • Battery: A robot vacuum is hardly worth it if it doesn't have the battery to keep it going. Consider the battery time before choosing the best robot vacuum to ensure it has enough power to clean your home. If you select a robot vacuum with the technical capability to pause its job, return to the charging base to refill its battery, and then resume the job where it left off, this may not be as big of a factor as others on this list. 

  • Connectivity: Many of the best robot vacuums offer voice control, some even with Alexa. Others may feature an app that allows you to control your robot from afar, set schedules, track progress, and control the machine's efforts. If you're hoping for voice activation rather than using an app, check and see if the machine is compatible with the home assistant of your choice. 

How do we test robot vacuums?

ZDNET has several robot vacuum reviewers that have tested over 50 units thus far. We conduct tests in real homes with real challenges and in a controlled lab environment for comparison.

Also: How we test robot vacuums at ZDNET in 2024

Here's what we consider when testing robot vacuums at ZDNET:

  • Determine evaluation criteria: For our key evaluation criteria, we consider how robots perform by assessing their suction power, navigation, mapping, and battery life. We also assess the user experience, the robot's versatility, longevity, and whether it delivers on its specifications.
  • Unboxing: During this process, we assess the packaging and setup experience and note any accessories and unique features.
  • Testing environments: We test the robot vacuums on different floor types and see how they navigate various obstacles to test performance.
  • Performance metrics: We test suction power with various debris types and assess obstacle navigation and mapping accuracy.
  • Extra features: When testing robot vacuum and mop combinations, we evaluate their effectiveness at removing stains and overall cleaning quality. We also check how unique features work, like obstacle avoidance and recognition, extendable mop pads, etc.

To top it all off, we gauge the device's longevity and long-term performance by using it over the course of a few months. Our review timelines vary, but we typically test robot vacuums for about a month before reviewing and keep our reviews updated while the device is available.

What is the best self-emptying robot vacuum?

The technology has come a long way since auto-emptying bases were first introduced. That being said, they all have seemingly worked out the kinks and work well. In my testing experience, I haven't had auto-empty base issues. The only thing I would keep in mind is to make sure your self-emptying base is equipped with disposable bags to capture and hold all of the dirt and debris. It makes cleaning up that much easier and ensures that once the dirt is vacuumed up, it isn't being let back out into your home. Once the bag is full, you'll simply pull it away, throw it in the trash, and put in a brand new bag.

Is it worth buying a 2-in-1 robot vacuum and mop?

In my testing experience, you get what you pay for with two-in-one machines. I don't like robot mops that don't use a cleaning solution. My floors are dirty enough that simply pushing around water doesn't get anything cleaned. When looking at purchasing a two-in-one machine, be sure to see what the recommended cleaning solution is. If the manufacturer only wants you to use water, I personally would steer clear.

You also want to make sure the robot comes with the AI technology that can differentiate carpet from hardwood flooring. It is not worth guarding your favorite rugs every time you use the machine to keep the robot from ruining them. Both Roomba and Roborock do an excellent job of this. 

Also: The best robot vacuum mops you can buy

Do robot vacuums work well on carpets?

If you have a lot of carpet and rugs in your home, you're going to want to look for a robot vacuum that has a higher suction power, or Pa (Pascal Pressure Unit). The higher the Pa, the better the suction power is. For example, the Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra has a 5,100 Pa while the DreameBot D10 Plus has a 4,000Pa.

Other robot vacuums we've tested:

There are hundreds of robot vacuums on the market, so naturally, I couldn't include all of the top performers. Here are a few standouts that I've also tried:

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