Best Robot Vacuum 2019 (January 2019)

Robotic vacuum cleaners, sometimes known as robovacs, are automated vacuum cleaners that have evolved greatly from their early, sometimes inefficient predecessors. Today’s robotic vacuum cleaners are guided by more intelligent programming, which means they no longer get stuck in weird places and let their batteries die. Nowadays, they’re smart enough to both dispose of what they’ve vacuumed into a receptacle and then charge themselves when they’re finished. Once a novelty, the best robotic vacuum that is on the market today is a tremendous help to its owners, able to clean your house with minimal supervision and maintenance.

Robotic VacuumReviewRatingPrice
iRobot Roomba 650 Best Value For Money, Great Performance And Vacuuming Ability, Provides Easy To Use Controls And Programming. Check Price On Amazon
iRobot Roomba 980 Newer And More Expensive, Best Performance In The Market, Provides Exceptional Vacuuming And Cleaning, Easy To Use And Control. Check Price On Amazon
Neato Botvac Wi-Fi Enabled Similar To The iRobot 980, Provides Good Quality Cleaning And Vacuuming. Check Price On Amazon

iRobot Roomba 650 Robotic Vacuum Cleaner

iAdapt Navigation

This is one of the Roomba 650’s most important features. iRobot’s iAdapt Navigation sensors allow Roomba to not only easily navigate your home, but also adapt to changes in layout over time. And let’s face it: rooms do change over time, so if you’re looking to keep your robotic vacuum for years to come, this feature is definitely one to take note of.

Easy programming

The Roomba 650 allows the user to program scheduled cleaning up to seven times a week. But maybe you’re thinking, “What happens if I have a mess right now?” Well, iRobot already thought of that. Need to clean quickly? Just press the “clean” button and Roomba will get to work.

3-stage cleaning system

Traditional models just suck up dust bunnies, and that’s it. But iRobot’s Roomba goes beyond simple vacuuming. It features a three-stage cleaning process that starts off with agitating, brushing and then suctioning the floor. This three-stage process gets your floors cleaner, faster.

Automatic floor type adjustment

It’s likely you have more than one-floor type in your house or apartment—maybe you have several different floor types. This can be a concern for some people looking to buy a robotic vacuum cleaner. They wonder, “Can it work on my shag carpet?” or “Will it get the dust off of my hardwood floor?” For Roomba, the answer is a resounding “Yes!” Roomba automatically adjusts to all floor types, so you can rest assured it can handle whatever flooring your house has to throw at it.

Automatically charges

One of the biggest annoyances for people who’ve had a robotic vacuum in decades’ past is that it’d get stuck somewhere inconvenient, beep helplessly and then die. That’s not the case with iRobot’s Roomba. Roomba is able to find its docking station when it knows its battery is low and charges itself, so you don’t have to worry about it dying and getting lost somewhere in your house.

  • Strong: Not only can the Roomba pick up annoying trifles like dust and pet hair, but it can also pick up larger debris like baby cereal thrown by your tantrum-having toddler.
  • It’s short: The Roomba 650 is only 3.6 inches tall, so it’s able to get under really short surfaces your traditional vacuum just can’t manage.
  • iAdapt Responsive Navigation is a great feature; it adapts easily to changes in your home’s layout—great for if you’ve moved recently.
  • 3-stage cleaning provides deeper cleaning than inferior models; the brushes get into corners, which make it a standout amongst robotic vacuum cleaners.
  • Easy to operate with scheduled cleaning and instant clean button features.
  • Automatically recharges without needing a prompt from the user.
  • Virtual Wall Technology keeps Roomba out of rooms you don’t want it to clean.

  • The 650 has a shorter runtime than some of the higher end Roomba models; however, since it recharges itself as needed, this isn’t a problem in the slightest.
  • Per the manufacturer, using 3rd party replacement parts could void your warranty; it’s important to remember that this can be the case with practically anything you buy, so it’s more of an important note than a con.

iRobot Roomba 980 Robotic Vacuum Cleaner


iAdapt 2.0 Navigation

Roomba’s iAdapt technology was a revelation in robotic vacuuming, and the iAdapt 2.0 is a definite upgrade from the original. It can clean and navigate an entire level of your home in one go, making it a definite step up.

120-minute runtime

This is a key feature. While older Roomba models have a lot to recommend them in general, the Roomba 980 has the longest runtime at 120 minutes. This means it can go longer without needing to recharge, upping its productivity.

iRobot Home App

The iRobot Home app allows you to connect with your Roomba 980 from your smartphone and program it from there. This is a huge leap forward in robotic cleaning technology and great for busy professionals that like their home spiffy.

AeroForce Cleaning System

The 980’s AeroForce Cleaning System with Carpet Boost technology does exactly what it sounds like: it gives up to 10 times the cleaning force for carpet and rugs, ensuring cleanliness.

  • Better at cleaning carpet than some of its predecessors with 10 times the cleaning power.
  • The 980 doesn’t get caught up in hair and other tricky debris thanks to its new adaptors.
  • iRobot Home App provides ultimate programming convenience where you can literally leave a dirty home and tell Roomba to clean it while you’re on the road.
  • iAdapt 2.0 builds on the greatness of the previous iAdapt technology, allowing better mapping of your home for ultimate navigation.
  • The 980 has superior runtime compared with other models at 120 minutes without a need to recharge.
  • More air power than previous models for better cleaning capabilities.

  • Some users have problems getting Roomba’s automatic sensors to play well with black carpet. This can be remedied in the settings, or you can always call customer service. Since most people don’t have full black carpeting in their house, this won’t be much of a problem or most, though.
  • The app is for iPhone and Android smartphones. Those who have different phone types may not be able to access the app. However, you can still program it the usual way, so this isn’t a problem.

Neato Botvac Connected Wi-Fi Enabled Robot Vacuum


D-shaped design

The unique D-shaped design with CornerClever technology makes them a standout when it comes to getting close to a wall.

Eco or Turbo mode

Different power modes allow the user greater control of power settings. Eco is quieter while Turbo is what you use when you really need some power to clean a tough mess.

LaserSmart Mapping

Neato’s LaserSmart mapping maps objects in your home in real-time, so it’s not always bumping into important things. This leads to a smarter clean.

Wi-Fi and Neato app

With a Wi-Fi connection in the vacuum, you can connect to it via Neato’s app and program it remotely for ultimate convenience.

  • Unique D-shaped design sets it apart in looks from competitors
  • Handy app allows for remote programming
  • Eco and Turbo mode allow for energy saving
  • LaserSmart mapping allows for more efficient cleaning.

  • Use of 3rd party accessories will void the warranty; however, this is the case for many robotic vacuum cleaners since 3rd party accessories may inhibit performance or damage the machine.

The Benefits Of Buying A Robotic Vacuum

The biggest benefit of buying a robotic vacuum is convenience. Manual vacuuming can be a hassle—and hard on your back. With a robotic vacuum, you just charge it, and let it go.

Robotic vacuums are great for people with demanding jobs who just don’t have the time or energy to vacuum at the end of the day. They’re also ideal for older people who have back problems, and are unable to vacuum using a manual vacuum.

Also, one of the key benefits to having a robotic vacuum lies in their design. Most models are flat and round. This allows them to get under very low surfaces (such as a low chair) that your traditional vacuum just can’t make it under. Modern robotic vacuums are also much better at getting into tight corners than their older generation counterparts who weren’t as nimble.

Whether you have pet hair all over the house or dusty hardwood floors that can’t seem to stay clean, buying a robotic vacuum may be just the right thing for you and your household.

What To Consider When Buying A Robotic Vacuum

The most practical consideration when buying a robotic vacuum is to keep your flooring in mind. Chances are, you probably have multiple floor types in your house. Maybe you have carpet in the great room and tile in the bathrooms and parquet in the foyer. It’s important to know the different types of flooring you have in your house so you can choose the best robotic vacuum for your floor type. Ideally, a robotic vacuum can handle most if not all types of flooring, but some cheap robotic vacuum designs may not be able to, so keep that in mind.

Also, think about the versatility that you require in your robotic vacuum’s programming capabilities, as well as ease of programming for you, the user. If you’re not a very technical person, you’re going to want to have a vacuum that has very clear, easy programming so you can go about your day without having to worry whether or not your house is getting cleaned or not while you’re away. Furthermore, you want to be able to program your vacuum to suit your needs (mainly frequency of cleaning). Ideally, you want to be able to also have it clean on demand whenever there’s a spill, too, so definitely keep programming capabilities in mind when considering the best robotic vacuum for your needs.

If you’re like me, you like for automatic things to actually be automatic. If that describes you, go for a model that can find its charging dock on its own and charge itself. The last thing you want is to be tracking down a dead vacuum, which can be the case with some cheap robotic vacuum models.

Tips On How To Choose The Best Robotic Vacuum For Your Needs

There are a few things to consider when choosing the best robotic vacuum for your needs. Some of these are universal things every prospective robotic vacuum owner should consider while shopping while others may be more individualistic preferences. Here are some tips to get the right robotic vacuum for you:

  • Look for a robotic vacuum that is capable of navigating your home via advanced sensors. After all, many people rearrange and add new furniture over time. To get the best value out of your robotic vacuum, make sure it can accommodate changes in your house over time. Cheap robotic vacuum models may not be capable of advanced navigation, so keep that in mind.
  • Look for a model that can recharge itself when it knows it’s low on juice. Tracking down a dead vacuum is not only annoying, but it’s also inconvenient. The whole point of getting a robotic vacuum is to make your cleaning experience more convenient instead of less, after all.
  • Look for a model that’s easy to program. You shouldn’t have to be a rocket scientist to be able to program your vacuum. It’s just common sense.
  • Go for a robotic vacuum that can get under low spaces and into tight corners. Cheap robotic vacuum models are going to cut corners—literally. You want to get the most bang for your buck, so this is a key feature to consider.
  • Choose a model that’s capable of cleaning most or all floor types. Most people have several different types of flooring in their homes. And even if you don’t now, you might if you end up moving. Keep your current and future needs in mind when choosing the robotic vacuum that’s right for you.

Michael A. Ford

Michael Ford has been a passionate writer and reviewer for most of his life. Discussing, reviewing and taking apart the newest luxury products in homeware, garden and other niches is what he spends the majority of his time doing.

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