The Best Robot Vacuums of 2018

Looking for the latest and greatest robot vacuum to keep your floors sparkling? After tons and tons of research, we picked the 11 best models out there and pitted them against each other to see which robot really reigned supreme. We've spent over two years reviewing these products and refining our testing methods, so we can confidently say that our award winners are the best you can get. We ranked and scored the performance of each vacuum at navigating through your home and avoiding obstacles, as well as their competency at cleaning both hard and soft floors. Additionally, we also looked at the newer smart features on these products, such as how they interact with various smart ecosystems. Check out the full review below to see which robot vacuums came out on top and which ones got swept under the rug.

Read the full review below ≫

Test Results and Ratings

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Awards          Best Buy Award 
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Pros Good at navigating, solid set of smart featuresGreat at cleaning hard floors, good at picking up pet hairRelatively inexpensive, surprisingly proficient at navigatingSolid at navigating, respectable set of smart featuresInexpensive, decent set of smart features
Cons Abysmal at collecting pet hair, cleaning performance isn’t as good as the top modelsMediocre at navigating, pricey for its performanceSemi-random cleaning pattern, unimpressive at cleaning hard floors or picking up pet hairLackluster cleaning performance, struggles with pet hairMediocre cleaning abilities, poor at picking up pet hair
Bottom Line This middle-of-the-road robot vacuum retails for about $200 less than the top products, but its performance is definitely second-rate.While the POWERbot does have some impressive cleaning powers, we found its navigational abilities to be wantingThis bare-bones Roomba model is a little on the pricey side for its performance and overall is quite lackluster in performancePerforming like a budget vacuum but priced like a mid-tier one, we weren’t enamored with the SharkIf you absolutely have to have a robot vacuum and our shopping on a tight budget, then the Ecovacs is your best bet
Ratings by Category Roomba 960 POWERbot R7070 Roomba 690 ION Robot 750 Deebot N79S
Navigation - 30%
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Home Coverage - 20%
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Carpet Cleaning - 15%
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Hard Surface Cleaning - 15%
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Pet Hair - 10%
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Smart Connect - 10%
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Specs Roomba 960 POWERbot R7070 Roomba 690 ION Robot 750 Deebot N79S
Bin Capacity .6L .3L .6L .6L .55L
Dimensions 13.8" diameter
3.6" high
13.4" x 3.8" x 13.7" 13" diameter
3.7" high
12.7" diameter
2.7" high
13" diameter
3" high
Measured Weight 8.3 lbs 9.2 lbs 7.6 lbs 5.2 lbs 5.2 lbs

Analysis and Award Winners


Review by:
David Wise and Austin Palmer

Last Updated:
Wednesday
June 13, 2018

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Updated June 2018
For this update, we completely revamped our entire review and completely redesigned our test plan based on everything we have learned over the past two years of testing and reviewing these products. We started over scoring these products from scratch, buying 11 new vacuums to test side-by-side and really determine which robot vacuum truly reigns supreme. Check out the full review below to see which handled cluttered homes the best, which is the all-around top 'bot, and which ones to look for when shopping on a tight budget.

Best All-Around Vacuum


Neato Botvac D7 Connected


Editors' Choice Award

$799.00
at Amazon
See It

Multi-Room Navigation: Yes | Smart Capabilities: Yes
Exceptional cleaning abilities on hard and soft floors
Solid at cleaning up pet hair
Allows you to draw virtual barriers
Not the most competent navigator in cramped areas

The newest flagship of the Neato line, the Botvac D7 Connected is our new favorite, all-around robot vacuum. This smart vacuum will create maps of your home after it cleans, allowing you to track its progress and even draw virtual walls to delineate areas where you don't want the robot to venture into it. It does an excellent job at cleaning up most types of mess from both hard and soft floors and will even do quite well at picking up pet hair.

However, it can get itself stuck when cleaning around the most confined areas of your home and it can be a little rough on furniture, backing into it and contacting it with its bumper. You can turn on "Gentle Navigation" in the app to somewhat mitigate this, but it still might be something to take note of it you have extremely valuable furniture or other items that aren't terribly durable. It also is a bit on the pricey side, but is definitely one of - if not the absolute — best you can get.

Read Full Review: Neato Botvac D7 Connected

Best Navigational Abilities


Xiaomi Mijia Roborock V2


Editors' Choice Award

$521.46
at Amazon
See It

Multi-Room Navigation: Yes | Smart Capabilities: Yes
Handles cluttered rooms with ease
Easily covers the majority of your home when cleaning
Lots of smart home functionality
Didn't do amazing at cleaning hard or soft floors
Struggled to pick up pet hair

Matching the overall score of the D7, the Roborock V2 by Xiaomi distinguished itself by being the best navigator by far. This robot easily flitted in and out of the most confined areas around various types of furniture, never once getting stuck or requiring assistance to be freed in our tests. It covers the largest percentage of your home out of any of the other products we tested, never omitting an area if the Xiaomi physically could fit there. It also has an impressive set of smart features.

Unfortunately, it doesn't quite match the cleaning power of the D7 and fares very poorly when tasked with picking up pet hair. However, it is definitely the vacuum for you if you have a cramped furniture layout and only have light to medium messes to clean up.

Read Full Review: Xiaomi Mijia Roborock V2

Best Bang for the Buck


Neato Botvac D80


Best Buy Award

$398.00
at Amazon
See It

Multi-Room Navigation: Yes | Smart Capabilities: No
Great at cleaning hard flooring
Solid at cleaning soft floors
Great value overall
No smart connect capabilities
Mediocre at collecting pet hair

If the idea of spending $600-$700 on a robot vacuum is causing you to panic, then you should consider the Botvac D80 by Neato. This robot has a list price of about $500 — and usually can be found for less — all while sharing many of the identical traits to the D7. It navigates just as well, covers the same amount of your home, and cleans hard floors the same, only performing a tiny bit worse on the carpet.

However, the major concession that keeps the price down is the omission of any sort of smart or connected feature, meaning you need to control the robot and set a schedule from the device itself, rather than your smartphone. It also doesn't do amazing at picking up pet hair, performing much closer to average. If you are looking for the best bang for the buck when shopping for a new robot vacuum, then the D80 should be your first choice.

Read Full Review: Neato Botvac D80

Best on a Tight Budget


Ecovacs Deebot N79S


Best Buy Award

$249.98
at Amazon
See It

Multi-Room Navigation: Yes | Smart Capabilities: Yes
Inexpensive
Does a decent job at navigating
Mediocre at cleaning carpets
Below average at cleaning hard floors

If the D80 is still outside your budget and you absolutely have to have a robot vacuum, then you should consider the Ecovacs Deebot N79S. While this robot definitely left much to be desired, it does a decent job of navigating your home and has a respectable set of smart features.

It isn't the best at cleaning and can't reliably clean multiple rooms at once, but it does an alright job at cleaning up light messes. If you want a robot vacuum and our shopping on a tight budget, then the Deebot N79S is an excellent choice, if you don't expect too much.

Read Full Review: Ecovacs Deebot N79S

select up to 5 products
Score Product Price Our Take
69
$800
Editors' Choice Award
While this robot struggled cleaning around the tighter spaces in your home, the cleaning power of the D7 can't be beat
69
$700
While the Connected was previously our favorite, it has since been eclipsed by newer offerings
69
$600
Editors' Choice Award
While this robot handles complicated room layouts with ease and practically never needs assistance, it might take two passes to get your home acceptable clean
66
$900
The 980 has isn't the best overall in terms of cleaning power and navigation skills, but does very well in both, rather than excelling in one and being deficient in the other
62
$500
Best Buy Award
If you are shopping on a budget and don't want to sacrifice a ton of performance, then the D80 is the best value you can get
61
$700
The Roomba 960 isn't a bad robot vacuum, but it definitely did not impress us overall.
59
$700
While this robot tends to blunder around rather than navigating with finesses, it does do an impressively good job cleaning hard floors
49
$375
Delivering a wholly unremarkable performance, the Roomba 690 easily gets lost in the crowd
49
$380
Delivering an entirely lackluster performance, the Shark ION failed to make much of a statement in our tests
46
$250
Best Buy Award
If you are looking to spend the absolute least amount of money on a robot vacuum, the Ecovacs is the best option for you
42
$250
While it is one of the more inexpensive options, it performed quite poorly in most of our tests

Analysis and Test Results


To rank and score these robots, we bought all the best and tested them side-by-side, scoring their performance in over 30 different tests. We divide these tests into six weighted rating metrics — Navigation, Home Coverage, Carpet Cleaning, Hard Surface Cleaning, Pet Hair, and Smart Connect — each weighted based on their overall significance for these products. The final scores ranged from 0-100, with the sections below describing how each vacuum performed. Additionally, we also consider the price of each product and how that connects to its performance.

Value


Right off the bat, it's clear for these products that great performance comes at a great price and you should expect to spend a few hundred dollars. If you are shopping on a budget, then our top recommendation is the Neato Botvac D80. We found this robot vacuum to offer the best value in terms of performance dollar for dollar, doing a great job at navigating your home and cleaning up most types of messes. If this product is still too pricey, then the Ecovacs Deebot is your best bet if you are shopping on a tight budget and just have to have one of these products. However, there is a significant drop in performance when comparing this model to the D80 or our other top award winners. If you are searching for the best of the best, you can expect to pay between $500-$700, but these robots will do a much better job of cleaning and become stuck much less frequently than the less expensive products.

Navigation


Our most important testing metric, Navigation constitutes 30% of the overall score for each product. The majority of each robot's score for this metric is based on how it performed in our furniture navigation challenge. For this test, we constructed a set of simulated furniture — dining room table, four chairs, a lamp, sofa, coffee table, and a comfy armchair — and set them up in a room to see how well each robot handled cleaning around them. We were primarily focused on if the robot could navigate the room without assistance, rather than on how much of the room it cleaned. Robots also lost points for exceptionally erratic behaviors, such as repeatedly cleaning under a table for the bulk of the time. Our next metric covers the effectiveness of each robot at cleaning your home, so a robot failing to clean under a piece of furniture would be penalized there.


In addition to this navigation test, we also compared and scored the docking abilities of each robot, testing if they could find their way back home from a different room, and how well each one navigated over a dark carpet. Some of the edge detection sensors can read a false-positive when driving over the transition between light and dark carpets, causing the robot to refuse to clean darker carpets and back away from them repeatedly. The chart below shows which robot vacuums are the superior navigators and which ones tend to get a little turned around.


Earning the top score overall and delivering by far the best performance that we have seen to date, the Xiaomi Mijia Roborock V2 earned a 10 out of 10 for its essentially flawless performance in this tests. This robot easily navigated around all of our test furniture in each of the three trials that we conducted, failing to get stuck in any of them.


This model drove in and out of the tightest of spaces in our test furniture layout and was also very delicate in its maneuvers. Other robots would be much rougher with the furniture and back into it quite aggressively, where the Xiaomi would very carefully navigate around it and negotiate tight spots without crashing into it.

This robot also handles docking exceptionally well, quickly and easily finding the dock when it is in the same room as the robot. On top of that, it also delivered the best performance we have seen at locating its dock and returning home when the dock is in a different room — a much more difficult test that stymied a handful of robots. It also cleans darker carpets with ease, with the edge sensors failing to falsely trigger a single time in any of our tests.

Following the Roborock, the Roomba 960 and the Roomba 980 by iRobot both tied for the runner-up position, meriting a 7 out of 10 for their solid navigation skills. These robots both performed identically in each of our tests. They never got stuck in our furniture test, but both navigated the room with noticeably less finesse than the Roborock.


These robots would occasionally make a bunch of extra passes around various furniture items and would struggle a bit more in finding a clear route out from furniture when they were surrounded, such as under chairs, but always finished their cleaning passes reasonably quickly. We also noticed that this pair is a bit rougher on the furniture than the Xiaomi Roborock, relying a bit more on the contact sensor than the vision sensor when cleaning around smaller obstacles, such as our fake chair legs.


This pair of robots also did very well in our docking tests, beelining straight for the charging base regardless if they were in the same room or in a different room. However, these wouldn't drive over the border between light and dark carpeting, thinking it was a drop-off.



After this top group of vacuums, the bulk of the robots all scored an overall 6 out of 10 for this metric. This group is comprised of both systematic and random navigation robots.

Of this group, the Botvac Connected, Botvac D80, and the Botvac D7 Connected by Neato are the systematic cleaners. We were a little disappointed with the performance of this trio in our furniture navigation challenge, as they all required some amount of human interaction to complete their cleaning cycles. These all choked up around the simulated dining room table and chairs, becoming entrapped in the tight spots. Also, these were exceptionally rough with furniture, even pushing some of the items around as they struggled to free themselves.

The Neato D80 would take a little bit of time to figure out a small space but eventually would escape.
The Neato D80 would take a little bit of time to figure out a small space but eventually would escape.

However, this trio did redeem themselves in the other two tests in this metric, heading straight for the dock when directed to return home and being unaffected by the transition between light and dark floors.

The remainder of the robots in this group — the Ecovacs Deebot N79S, the Eufy RoboVac 11+, and the Shark ION Robot 750 all essentially clean your room randomly. They do avoid and navigate in and out of obstacles, but don't map out their overall cleaning plan. Surprisingly, these robots are quite adept at not getting stuck, though it may take them a substantial bit of time to locate a clear path to free themselves from tight spaces. It's basically trial and error for them to locate the correct path, but none of these robots ever needed our assistance if we were patient enough or they would simply avoid any confined areas and skip cleaning them. All three of these robots also successfully navigated the transition from light to dark flooring without issue.

However, neither the Ecovacs nor the Eufy nor the Shark were particularly adept at navigating back to their docks in our tests. This trio would do alright if they were sent home while they were in the same room as the base, only bouncing around for a bit before finding it and returning home, with the Ecovacs Deebot taking the least amount of time. If any of these robots were in a different room, they would eventually find the base, but it could take quite a bit longer than the other vacuums, on the order of 3-5 minutes.


Finishing at the back of the group, the Samsung POWERbot R7070 earned our lowest score of 5 out of 10 for this metric. This robot suffered quite a bit in our furniture test, avoiding most of the problem areas right from the start. Despite that, it still managed to get stuck to the point of needing assistance to be freed, as well as being trapped in a — seemingly — endless loop the one time it did venture under the table. You can see in the time lapse photo below that it overexposed the shot under the table with its repeated passes as it struggled to free itself.


It also refused to cross the transition between light and dark carpet, fearing that it was the edge of a step or other drop off, but it does navigate back very quickly to its charging base when commanded to.

Home Coverage


Following our Navigation metric, Home Coverage is the next most important set of tests, accounting for 20% of the overall score for each vacuum. For this metric, we evaluated and scored how much of your home each robot could actually clean, rather than just seeing how well they could navigate autonomously. We tested the size and ease of use of the spot cleaning functions of each robot, as well as their abilities at cleaning multiple rooms and recharging if necessary. We also looked at how much of the room each robot cleaned in our furniture test, as well as the effectiveness and ease of use of barriers to create a no-go zone and cordon off areas that you don't want the robot to clean. This can be particularly useful in areas where the robot is likely to become trapped or suck up something it shouldn't, such as around a shoe rack or pet food bowls. Below you can see which 'bots are the best at covering the majority of your home and offer the most control of where they clean and which ones tend to only half clean your floors.


The Xiaomi continued its reign in this metric, again earning the top score of 8 out of 10 with its unmatched performance. This model repeatedly cleaned every last spot around the furniture in our test, never avoiding a location because it was too cluttered and only failing to clean areas that were physically impossible to fit the robot. This robot also handles multi-room cleaning very well, finding its way easily between rooms in a systematic way. The Xiaomi will also stop cleaning, return to its base to charge, and resume cleaning automatically.

This robot doesn't include any barriers, requiring you to purchase them separately. It utilized magnetic strips as a way to signify no-go zones. This isn't our favorite method, as it is hard to place them in a secure and discreet way, but they are effective. Finally, we evaluated the spot clean function of this product. It's only mediocre when activating it from the robot directly, doing a single pass over a square area of about 5.5 sq. ft. in size, but it is excellent when using the companion app on a mobile phone.


The app allows you to set up to five zones in any of the rooms that the robot has mapped of any size and initiate a spot clean of them. The robot will travel to each of the zones and clean them with the prescribed number of passes, ranging from 1-3. This is particularly handy, as we found that the Xiaomi didn't quite pick up as much debris as the other products did in a single pass, making it quite handy to set it to complete multiple passes.

A group of products tied for the runner-up position following the Roborock, with the Neato Botvac Connected, Botvac D7, D80, Roomba 960, and the Roomba 980.

All of these robots are highly capable when it comes to cleaning multiple rooms of your home, systematically cleaning each room before moving on to the next one. These will also all return to their docking station to charge if their battery becomes too depleted while in the middle of the cleaning cycle.


The Roomba 960 and the Roomba 980 covered slightly more ground than the Neato robots did in our single-room furniture test, nimbly cleaning around all of our simulated furniture.


The Neato robots got a bit more jammed up in the tighter spaces and didn't enter some of the more confined areas that the Roomba robots happily ventured into.


However, we did like the barrier methods on the Neato D7 the best, followed by the pair of Roomba models and then the remaining two robots from Neato. The D7 also relies on a physical, magnetic strip to signify no-go zones, but also allows you the ability to set virtual barriers in the mobile app.


This can take a little bit of time to set up, requiring you to run a special cleaning cycle and follow a series of prompts, but they are quite useful in practice.

The Roomba 960 and the Roomba 980 both have a virtual barrier system that can be placed on the ground. This small box can either generate a virtual wall about 10' long or a do not enter circle about 4' in diameter.


The Neato D80 and the Botvac Connected are restricted to a physical strip of magnetic material, lacking the app-based capabilities that the D7 has.

For our spot clean check, we found the pair of Roomba models to have the worst spot cleaning ability, only cleaning about 12 sq. ft. Both of these robots would spiral out and in from the location where you initiated the spot clean and didn't do an amazing job of collecting debris.


The Neato Botvac D80 came next, cleaning a much larger rectangle of about 35 sq. ft, but again only does one pass. This performance was outmatched by both the Botvac Connected and the Botvac D7, which cleaned about 56 sq. ft. and 49 sq. ft., respectively. However, both of these robots can be set to clean a much larger area in their companion mobile apps, boosting the coverage to almost 170 sq. ft. — though you still can't set them to perform multiple passes.


The Samsung POWERbot R7070 came next, delivering the worst performance out of any of the systematic cleaning robots in this metric and earning a 6 out of 10 for its efforts. This robot seems to very purposefully avoid areas that are cluttered and can become quite easily trapped if it does venture into them, resulting in many areas of your home not being cleaned while other may be cleaned relentlessly. This robot also utilizes magnetic strips as barriers, without any option to set up virtual ones in the app. Additionally, we also weren't terribly enamored with the spot clean feature on this product. While it did clean a comparable area to the Botvac D80, it left a decent amount of debris behind in our tests.


However, this robot does handle cleaning multiple — relatively clutter-free — rooms quite well and does have the ability to pause cleaning to recharge and automatically resume, like the other top products.

Finishing out the back of the group for this metric, the Roomba 690, Shark ION, Deebot, and Eufy RoboVac all earned a 4 out of 10. All of these products clean in a random fashion, meaning that none of them particularly impressed us when it came to cleaning our furnished room. These robots all bounced around, missing quite a few spots unless left to clean for an exceptionally long time — orders of magnitudes more than the systematic cleaning robots.


The Shark ION uses a magnetic strip to define no-go zones — again, not our favorite method — while the Roomba 690 uses the much more preferable virtual barrier methods. The 690 uses the same item as the 960 or the 980, allowing you to create a virtual wall or circle. The Deebot and Eufy both lack any sort of way to specify no-clean zones.

None of these robots can stop cleaning to recharge and resume and all have mediocre spot cleans of about 12-15 sq. ft.

Carpet Cleaning


After all of our tests assessing how well each robot moved throughout your home, we moved on to scoring how proficient each robot is at cleaning your floors, starting with carpet. We tested on both low-pile and medium-pile carpets, using flour, rice, oats, and Mini-wheats as our sample messes. Additionally, we also scored how closely each robot could clean against the walls and edges of a room. This metric is responsible for 15% of the overall score, with our results shown below.


Toppling the Xiaomi, the Botvac Connected and the Botvac D7 both tied for the top position, earning an 8 out of 10 for their superb performance at keeping carpets clean. These robots started off with an excellent showing in our edge cleaning tests, performing almost identically. This pair both cleans up to about an inch away from the walls, but struggle a little in the corners.


However, these robots did falter slightly, leaving a small wedge of leftover debris about 1.5" from the wall at its widest point. This pair continued their dominance into our flour collection challenge, though the Botvac Connected had a slight edge on the D7. We only did this test on the low-pile carpet, as expecting any of these products to collect flour from fluffier carpet is a tall order — a task much more suitable for a more powerful stick or upright or canister vacuum. Both of these vacuums picked up the majority of the flour, showing a clear distinction between the areas they cleaned and the ones they didn't. While these vacuums looked like they performed very similarly at first, we did find that there was slightly more residual flour left behind by the D7 upon closer inspection.


This pair delivered a phenomenal performance in collecting rice on both flat and fluffier carpet, collecting the vast majority of the grains with residual grains numbering less than 10.


The results were the same when it came to picking up oats, with both the D7 and the Connected delivering top-notch performances and easily collecting practically all of the oats.

For the final test of this metric, mini-wheat collection, our top performers both faltered slightly. These vacuums usually got 4 or 5 of the 6 mini-wheats left out, with at least one becoming jammed or just getting pushed around by the vacuums.

Following the top performers, the iRobot Roomba 980 and the Botvac D80 came next in terms of carpet cleaning prowess, both earning 7 out of 10 for their great showings.

The D80 started off with a fantastic performance in our edge cleaning test, matching that of the Connected and the D7. The Roomba 980 struggled a little bit more, leaving a strip of residual debris about 1.5" wide around the edges of our test pen.


It's round design also meant that it left quite a bit more area uncleaned in the corner, measuring about 5" across at the widest point. Neither of these robots could match the performance of our top choice when it came to cleaning up a floury mess, with the 980 leaving a noticeable amount of flour behind and the D80 leaving significantly more.


Both the D80 and the 980 redeemed themselves in the rice and oat cleanup test, delivering excellent performances on both flat and fluffy carpet — though the 980 did leave a tiny bit more residual rice behind on the fluffier carpet than we would have liked, about a teaspoon.


These both finished out this metric with above average showing at sucking up mini-wheats, with the D80 tending to miss a few and the 980 usually getting them all.

Next, the Roomba 960, Roomba 690, and the Samsung POWERbot R7070 all earned a 6 out of 10 for their solid cleaning performance. Starting off with our edge test, both the 960 and the 690 didn't do an amazing job, matching the performance of the 980. However, the POWERbot is by far the best out of any vacuum that we have seen at cleaning the corners of a room. This robot left a strip of leftover debris less than an inch wide and cleans right into the corner, leaving essentially no residual mess.


The Samsung delivered another solid performance in our flour cleaning assessment, outperforming the 690 and the 960, but falling short of the Neato D7 and the Botvac Connected.


The 690, 960, and the Samsung all did quite well in our rice test, collecting almost all of the debris on the flat carpet and only leaving a tiny bit of rice behind on the fluffier carpet.


The 690 and the 960 did equally well at collecting oats, while the Samsung totally fell flat in this test, doing very poorly on both the low-pile and medium-pile carpet.


This robot pretty much did the worst of the entire group, leaving behind tons and tons of oats. The 690 and the 960 finished out this metric with an excellent performance in our mini-wheat collection test, easily collecting all of them without issue. The POWERbot didn't fare quite as well, usually leaving 1 or 2 behind, regardless if it was on flat or fluffy carpet.

The Shark ION Robot and the Xiaomi came next, both earning a 5 out of 10 for their rather middling performance. The Shark did quite poorly at cleaning edges and corners, leaving a considerable amount of debris behind. The Xiaomi did a little better, but not by much — quite a fall from grace for this robot after its unmatched performance in the prior two metrics.


The Xiaomi and the Shark again disappointed in our flour collection test, both leaving behind quite a bit of residual flour, the Shark slightly more so than the Xiaomi.


These robots redeemed themselves in our rice collection test, doing a great job at getting the bulk of the rice and an average one in our oat collection test, leaving a bit more debris behind on both flat and fluffier carpets. These finished out with a substandard performance in our large object collection test, being very hit or miss when it came to sucking up the mini-wheats.

Finishing out the back of the pack, the Ecovacs and the RoboVac 11+ tied for the lowest score of the group, both earning a 4 out of 10 for their sub-par carpet cleaning abilities. These both didn't clean in very close to the edges of the room, leaving a strip of leftover mess that was at least 3.5" wide. It also left a large wedge in mess in the corners of our testing pen, measuring over 6" at the widest point.


This pair also delivered a below average in the majority of our other tests — oat, mini-wheats, and flour — only doing a decent job at collecting rice. Both of these products retail at a much lower price than the top products, but there were definitely concessions made to their carpet cleaning abilities.

Hard Surface Cleaning


Similar to our set of soft floor cleaning test, our Hard Surface Cleaning metric is also responsible for 15% of the total score for each robot vacuum. We repeated the same tests as above, though this time using a section of hardwood laminate floor. Cleaning hard floors is much easier for these products, meaning that many of these products scored quite a bit better, as shown below.


The Botvac Connected, the D7, the D80, and the Samsung POWERbot all earned an 8 out of 10 for their stellar performances. These robots all did about the same in our edge test on hard floors as they did in the carpeted version, with the Neato robots leaving a little bit in each corner and the Samsung doing the best by far of the entire group, getting practically everything.


The POWERbot continued its dominance in our flour collection test, collecting virtually all of the flour we laid out and outperforming all of the vacuums in the entire group. The Neato D80, D7, and the Connected did a little better than average, all leaving a little bit of flour on the surface and failing very much of the flour that had fallen in the cracks between the boards.


These robots all did an excellent job at collecting rice and oats though the Samsung did leave behind 3 leftover oats that evaded collection. However, it did do an abysmal job at collecting mini-wheats, pushing them around indefinitely rather than collecting them. The D7 fared quite a bit better, while the D80 and the Connected did the best, usually collecting all of the mini-wheats, though they might become caught for a brief moment in the undercarriage of the robot before breaking loose.

Following this top quartet of products, the iRobot Roomba 980 earned a 7 out of 10 for its second-tier performance. This model delivered one of the best performance out of the round robots at cleaning close to the edge in our robot pen, but still left a strip of residual mess up to about 4" wide.


This model also did a very good job at cleaning up flour, getting most of it on the surface, but failing to really clean into the cracks between floorboards and tracking a little bit of flour around with its wheels.


It did an awesome job in the next two tests, collecting all of the rice and oats with ease, but failed to collect any mini-wheats, earning a poor score for that final test.

Next, the Shark ION Robot and the Robot 960 both earned a 5 out of 10 for their average showing at cleaning hard floors. These both left reasonably wide strips of residual debris in our edge test, with the Roomba 960 leaving a considerable amount of brush marks behind.


The Roomba 960 also did very, very poorly in our flour test, leaving behind tons of flour. However, at least it didn't drag the flour around that much, simply leaving it be. The Shark did a little better, but failed to clean anything besides the surface flour.


The 960 did redeem itself in our rice and oat collection assessments, delivering an excellent performance and collecting all of the debris that we laid out. The Shark did very well in the oat test, but did quite poorly at collecting rice, leaving over an eighth of a teaspoon behind.


Both of these vacuums did very poorly at collecting larger pieces of debris, pushing around all of the mini-wheats in our test indefinitely, as it lacked the clearance to successfully suck them up.

Finishing last in the group, the Ecovacs Deebot, the Eufy RoboVac, the Roomba 690, and the Xiaomi Roborock all earned a 4 out of 10 for their rather undesirable performance when it came to cleaning hard floors. The Xiaomi and Eufy did the best of this group in our edge cleaning test, doing a fairly good job overall and leaving a strip of leftover mess about 3.5"-4" across.


The Ecovacs and the Eufy left slightly wider strips of leftover mess. None of these vacuums did very well in our flour cleaning test, with the 690 doing the best and the Xiaomi doing the worst. However, they were all less than average overall.


The Xiaomi, as well as the other three robots in this group, all improved significantly in our rice collection tests. The Xiaomi collected almost all the rice, only leaving a few grains behind. The Roomba 690 did almost as well, though it lost some points due to its rotating side brush tending to fling the rice around. The Ecovacs flung around a bit more rice, while the Eufy did the worst of the group, leaving a little over a quarter of a teaspoon behind.


The Eufy did do the best of the group at cleaning up the oats, with the other three performing slightly worse. However, all of these robots did an abysmal job with larger debris, failing to collect any of the mini-wheats in our tests.

Canine tester Chewie felt that the D5 could have done a slightly better job at collecting pet hair.
Canine tester Chewie felt that the D5 could have done a slightly better job at collecting pet hair.

Pet Hair


For our final evaluation of the cleaning performance of each of these products, we ranked and scored how well each one cleaned up pet hair. This metric is responsible for 10% of the score, with some robots handling our tests far better than others.


To test these products, we used pet hair kindly donated by a local groomer, then spread a measured amount out on both low-pile and medium-pile carpet. Each vacuum was scored on the percentage of hair it collected, as well as how much of the hair actually ended up in the collection bin, rather than tangled up in the brush or on the undercarriage of the robot. This is a somewhat hard test for these robots and is a task much more suited for a more powerful upright or stick vacuum, so the numbers are a little on the lower side, but you could always run the robot vacuum multiple times if you must use them to clean up pet hair.

The Neato Botvac Connected led the group in this metric, earning the highest score of 7 out of 10. It got the most hair out of any of the vacuums on both the flat and fluffier carpet, collecting just shy of 40% of the hair we laid out.

This was followed by the Samsung POWERbot and the Neato D7 collecting around 30-35% of the hair we spread out on the carpet and both earning a 6 out of 10. This was followed by the D80 which collected about 20% of the hair on the fluffy carpet and 27% off of the low-pile carpet and earned a 5 out of 10.

The D80 is a great choice if you are looking at getting a robot vacuum to clean up after your furry friend.
The D80 is a great choice if you are looking at getting a robot vacuum to clean up after your furry friend.

The remaining robots scored very poorly, with the Roomba 980 earning a 3 out of 10 and the Ecovacs, the Eufy, the Roomba 960, the Roomba 690, the Shark ION, and the Xiaomi all meriting a 2 out of 10. These all collected less than half of the hair that the top vacuums collected.

Smart Connect


For the final metric of our test, worth the remaining 10% of the overall score, we looked at how each vacuum interacts with various smart home ecosystems, the functionality of the companion app for each robot, and how reliable and usable the network connectivity of each robot is.


The Xiaomi, the D7, the Roomba 960, and the Roomba 980 all tied for the top score of 7 out of 10. Both of the Roomba models performed very well in our WiFi reliability test, as we never had to reset the network or restart the app to establish a connection over the course of our testing period. The Xiaomi did a little worse, as we occasionally had to quit the mobile app and restart it before the robot would appear as connected. We found the Neato D7 to be very problematic, requiring multiple resets and we struggled to get it to reliably connect.

However, the Neato D7 did have the most functional app of the entire group. You can adjust the suction power, view a cleaning map, set maintenance reminders, control the robot and draw virtual barriers. This is a unique feature to these products and is exceptionally convenient.


The mobile apps for the other three robots are quite functional. You can manually drive the Xiaomi around, adjust the suction levels, and view a cleaning map of your home.

The Roomba 960 and 980 also allow you to view a cleaning map of your home, as well as track the life of various accessories on the robot, so you know when you should replace them.

It's very easy to set a schedule on all of these robots on the app, though you can't set it on the robots themselves. However, you can send the robot home or start a spot clean on the robot itself. The D7, Roomba 960 and 980 are a little more fully-featured when it comes to interacting smart home ecosystems, working with Alexa, Google Home, and IFTTT, while the Xiaomi only worked with Alexa, but we found it to be a bit flawed in practice and quite prone to errors.

Following this top group of products, the Ecovacs Deebot, the Roomba 690, the Neato Botvac Connected, and the Shark ION all earned a 6 out of 10.

We found the Ecovacs, Roomba 690, Botvac Connected, and the Shark ION Robot all to be very reliable when connecting to WiFi. The Connected allows you to control it remotely through the app, adjust the suction, and view a map of the house, but you can't set virtual barriers. The Roomba 690 is about the same, but you can't manually control the robot. We found the Ecovacs and the Shark apps to be quite lacking, though you can manually control the Ecovacs through the app, as well as its remote.


The Connected and the Roomba 690 will also work with Alexa, Google Home, and IFTTT, while the Ecovacs will only work with Alexa and the Shark ION only works with Alexa and Google Home. It is supremely easy to set up a schedule for each of these robots on their mobile apps and you can even use the handheld remote for the Ecovacs to set one, if you don't feel like pulling out your phone.

These robots all have some basic onboard functionality, allowing you to initiate a spot clean and send them back to their docking stations from the device itself. Rather than having buttons on the robot, the Ecovacs lets you do this from the handheld remote.

Next, the Samsung POWERbot R7070 came next, earning a 5 out of 10. We didn't find connecting to the Samsung to be terribly reliably over WiFi requiring a handful of resets where we had to delete the robot from the app and reconnect it. It can work with Alexa, Google Home, and IFTTT and offered average functionality, allowing you to adjust the suction and set maintenance reminders. This robot has both remote and onboard controls and you can set the schedule from both the app or the remote.

The Eufy RoboVac and the Neato D80 finished at the back of the group, both earning a 2 out of 10 for their limited smart connection abilities. Neither of these robots have Wifi capabilities, meaning there is no mobile app or the ability to connect to a smart home. The Eufy has a handheld remote to control the robot and set the schedule, while the D80 relies on onboard controls to set both.

Conclusion


Hopefully, this has helped you decide which robot vacuum is the best fit for your needs and your budget. For more information on these robots, check out our Buying Advice guide — linked below — to see a breakdown of the different types of these products and their pros and cons or read through our comprehensive How We Test article to see a more thorough explanation of our testing and scoring procedures.
David Wise and Austin Palmer

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