We updated this article in February 2022 to add more information about each featured product, based on extensive testing done by the Good Housekeeping Institute. Our top-rated picks for best value, best for large houses and best 2-in-1 robot vacuum, selected by the Home Appliances & Cleaning Lab, have been switched to new models from Kyvol, Eufy and Roborock, respectively.
Close your eyes and picture it for a moment: An unassuming appliance going from room to room doing your least favorite chore for you while you put your feet up or maybe even while you’re at work or running errands. Robot vacuums can make this dream a reality, and you don’t need to break the bank to afford one.
There are more robot vacuums than ever on the market today, and they have come a long way from the very first one we tested in our Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab way back in 2002. We regularly test all types of vacuums in our Labs, from stick vacuums to canister vacuums to HEPA vacuums to vacuums for pet hair and so much more.
To find the best robot vacuums, we set them loose in a specially designed obstacle course to observe how well they transition from hard floors to carpet (i.e. if they get stuck or not), how well they nab debris along walls and in corners, and whether or not they can go under and around furniture and from room to room. We measure the particles and pet hair they pick up from carpet and hard floors.
Our analysts also look at how intuitive the controls are, how easy they are to program, how loud each vacuum is and how simple the dust bin is to remove and empty. Whether you want a model you can activate to clean before you get home, or a robot mop that does double duty and can wet-mop your bathroom too, these are the best robot vacuums you can buy in 2022.
Our top picks
- Best Overall Robot Vacuum: iRobot Roomba s9+
- Best Value Robot Vacuum: Kyvol Cybovac E20
- Best 2-in-1 Robot Vacuum and Mop: Roborock S7
- Fastest Robot Vacuum: Miele Scout RX2 Home Vision
- Quietest Robot Vacuum: Bissell EV675
- Best Robot Vacuum for Large Houses: Eufy RoboVac X8
- GH Tested Robot Vacuum: Shark IQ Robot XL Vacuum RV2502AE with Self-Empty Base
Best Overall Robot Vacuum
iRobot Roomba s9+ Robot Vacuum
In our Lab tests, the iRobot Roomba s9+ excelled on hard floors, and impressively picked up 99% of the debris — uncooked oatmeal, sand, baking soda and small nuts and screws — we spread on the floor, and it spot cleaned a small area faster and more thoroughly than the competition. When Roomba detects that it's on carpet, it automatically pumps up the suction for a deeper clean. Its onboard high-efficiency filter traps irritating allergens, while the corner brush reaches deep into corners and along edges to nab stray crumbs.
Robot vacuums can be messy to maintain, but Roomba's double rubber roller brushes didn't clog with pesky pet hair like bristle brushes did. And its automatic dirt disposal system makes clean work of emptying the dust cup: Once cleaning is complete, Roomba returns to its charging base, and the dirt it has collected is automatically transferred from the robot vacuum into the bag-lined dustbin without your having to touch the mess. Its large-capacity bags will last through multiple cleaning sessions, and they seal completely before you toss them so dust and dirt is contained.
One of the smartest robot vacuums we tested, Roomba maps and remembers multiple rooms and floor plans so it's easy to direct it to clean just where you want it to via the app or by voice command. And when its battery is low, even in the middle of a large cleaning job, it'll recharge itself quickly and go right back to where it left off, vacuuming until the job is complete, yet avoiding the spots it's already done. Brilliant!
• Dust Bin Capacity: 400 ml
• Battery Runtime: 75 min
• Features: Self-emptying, Smart Mapping, links to Braava jet robot mop
Best Value Robot Vacuum
Kyvol Cybovac E20 Robot Vacuum
Kyvol calls its E20 model “the best entry-level robot vacuum” — and our experts agree! It offers plenty of high-end features at a price that’s hard to pass up. The three cleaning modes (automatic cleaning, spot cleaning and edge cleaning) and the automatic increase in suction when it detects carpet make this model a standout from other value models on the market.
An app is all you need to control your Kyvol E20 robot vacuum: It lets you set up a schedule for cleaning, control the suction power mode and sync with your Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for voice control convenience. In our tests, it ran for over two hours on a single charge, and the large dustbin means less frequent emptying. Like most robot vacuums, the Kyvol E20 knows when the battery runs low to automatically recharge before the next scheduled cleaning.
• Dust Bin Capacity: 600 ml
• Battery Runtime: 150 min
• Features: Self charging, auto boost carpet cleaning
Best 2-in-1 Robot Vacuum and Mop
Roborock S7 Robot Vacuum
For a robot vacuum that will take care of all your floor-cleaning needs, look no further than the Roborock S7. This gadget can vacuum and wet-mop your floors simultaneously, with an innovative sonic technology that scrubs floors up to 3,000 times per minute. And no need to worry about your rugs and carpets getting wet, the Roborock will automatically lift the mop off the floor to avoid causing any damage! The ability of the rubber main brush to float to meet uneven surfaces sets this robot vacuum apart from the competition.
The Roborock app lets you schedule automatic cleaning for different parts of your home, set boundaries for the robot around where you do and don’t want it to clean and view the exact route your robot vacuum has taken while it cleans. Plus, if a room in your home needs a little extra TLC (like the kitchen after you make dinner), you can easily set up different cleaning intensities with the app too. Other cool features include its ability to create up to three different maps of your home's floor plan while it navigates its way around. Then, through the smartphone app, you can access the maps to set up a custom cleaning schedule and route. The app allows you to remotely start its cleaning cycle even before you get home, and it syncs with Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant.
• Dust Bin Capacity: 470 ml
• Battery Runtime: 180 min
• Features: Sonic floor scrubbing, clean route tracking
Fastest Robot Vacuum
Miele Scout RX2 Home Vision Robot Vacuum
With outstanding maneuverability, the Miele Scout RX2 Home Vision can vacuum through your home for up to two hours, taking care of your floors and carpet without bumping into obstacles. During testing, this robot vacuum tackled every size mess efficiently and more quickly than our other picks. It was speedy at spot cleaning too. Rotating front brushes reach deep into corners and edges. It has multiple modes, depending on the cleaning you need (we found the turbo mode somewhat noisy), and its multiple sensors prevent it from hitting furniture or toppling down stairs. And with this pick, you don’t have to rely solely on the sensors to protect your investment — a handy boundary strip (included) is easily installed to stop the robot from entering a no-go area.
If you want to check that everything is okay at your home while you’re on the go, the two front cameras on the Scout RX2 Home Vision can transmit a live unrecorded image feed (encrypted) via the app to your mobile device while it cleans – the arrow buttons make navigating the robot a breeze. And if you’d prefer not to be connected to your robot vacuum, you can completely remove the Wi-Fi module and use the remote control to schedule cleaning sessions or direct the robot to an area for spot cleaning. A two-year warranty, which is double the usual duration, comes standard, and the cleaning tool for maintenance is installed in the dustbin, so it can’t get lost or misplaced.
• Dust Bin Capacity: 500 ml
• Battery Runtime: 120 min
• Features: 3D object detection, 4 cleaning modes, remote camera viewing
Quietest Robot Vacuum
Bissell EV675 Robot Vacuum
With its wonderfully quiet motor, we almost forgot the Bissell EV675 was maneuvering its way through our test rooms, running for up to 100 minutes before it needed recharging. It uses two edge brushes and a rotating brush roller to quickly clean pet hair and dry messes on bare floors, including along edges and in corners. Its low profile design helped it navigate into tight spaces and under furniture.
Though it's not Wi-Fi connected, it comes with a remote that you can use to direct the robot to clean only the edges or do a quick spot clean, which it did very well. You can also easily set a future cleaning schedule to take care of your home when you’re away. Like others, the automatic sensors detect stairs and drop-offs and alert the robot to low battery levels so that it can automatically return to the docking station to recharge. The Bissell is a great starter robot vacuum for those not into techy gadgets.
• Dust Bin Capacity: 400 ml
• Battery Runtime: 100 min
• Features: Programmable cleaning, remote direction
Best Robot Vacuum for Large Houses
Eufy Robovac X8
The RoboVac X8 stands out among its competitors by quietly cleaning throughout your home, using lasers to map out and navigate instead of bumping its way around your home for a smoother and less noisy operation. The two side brushes and twin turbines boost its cleaning power over its previous versions — perfect for homes with lots of pet hair. And for floors needing a deeper cleaning, the Robovac X8 will automatically adjust the suction to better pick up the debris from your floors. Dustbin capacity for the Robovac is maximized by compressing the debris in the dustbin as it suctions, resulting in far fewer trips to empty as it cleans. The three-hour runtime and multi-floor mapping make this robot vacuum a great choice for larger homes.
• Dust Bin Capacity: 600 ml
• Battery Runtime: 180 min
• Features: Multi-floor mapping, laser navigation, set up no-go zones in app, recharge and resume
GH Tested Robot Vacuum
Shark IQ Robo XL Vacuum RV2502AE
Shark’s newest robot vacuum almost makes you feel like you have someone doing the cleaning for you. Even before the first test, we admired its compact footprint and streamlined design, impressive for a model with a self-empty bin. It was ready to go after only six hours of charging and with just the press of one button, off it went mapping our test spaces and smoothly navigating — not bumping — its way around and under chairs and other objects we put in its path. It had no problem cleaning under kitchen cabinet toe kicks or figuring out how to clean tight spaces without getting stuck.
After methodically covering our test floors, the Shark positioned itself back on the dock and emptied every speck it picked up. And not only did it pick up what we put down, but it went back to nab one straggler that it missed on its first pass. Other notable features include its self-cleaning brush roll. Flexible bristles and fins prevent the hair tangles we see on other robots. The dust bin is extra-large to hold more debris and is easy to remove and empty; its sealed HEPA system is a plus for allergy sufferers. Through the SharkClean app, you can customize cleaning to better match your home and needs. Select which rooms you want cleaned and which you don’t. You can send it out to tackle high traffic areas that need deeper cleaning or messes you need picked up in a hurry with UltraClean mode. And you can even schedule cleaning sessions ahead of time. Keep in mind that you will need to use the app to access all the extra customization features this robot has to offer.
• Dust Bin Capacity: 1000 ml (self-empty base)
• Battery Runtime: 120 min
• Features: Recharge and resume, self-cleaning brush roll, self-empty base
How we test robot vacuums
The Good Housekeeping Institute Cleaning Lab has been testing all kinds of vacuum cleaners for over 100 years. Using testing procedures developed by the International Electrotechnical Commission and ASTM International for testing robot vacuums, we spent almost 300 hours testing 15 robot vacuums, collecting a total of 405 data points that we then used to score each robot. In a 107 sq. ft. barricaded area made up of two rooms, we tested each robot’s performance in straight-line and obstacle pickup on hard floor and carpet as well as the vacuum's maneuverability under couches, around tight corners, over bumps and across hard floor-to-carpet transferring. In addition to performance testing, we tested ease of use, including how easy it is to use the model's controls, whether the initial setup is clear and whether it's simple to remove and clean all parts of the robot after use. We also rate how helpful we find the user manual for each.
For our hard floor straight-line pickup tests, large and small debris is deposited onto a marked area of the floor (based on the width of the opening of the robot vacuum’s nozzle). Then each robot vacuum is allowed 10 minutes to pick up the debris from the floor and the weight of the dustbin is taken to find how much debris is picked up by each. Straight-line pickup tests on carpet are done in an enclosed area where we deposit mixed debris including potting soil, sand and rayon fibers meant to mimic hair. Each robot vacuum is allowed to clean the carpet for a specified length of time, and the weight of the dustbin is taken to find out how much debris each robot can pick up.
Obstacle pickup tests are done across both rooms of our testing area with a mixture of oatmeal, orzo, baking soda and sand spread out around both rooms. Our robot vacuums are set loose, maneuvering under a couch, coffee table and traversing over an area rug and through a doorway to collect as much of the debris as possible. We calculate the pick-up percentage from the weight of the dustbin after the robot vacuum is finished cleaning.
What to look for when shopping for the best robot vacuum
There are a few things to consider when choosing the best robot vacuum for your home.
✔️ Space: How big is your home? If your robot vacuum will have a lot of ground to cover, you'll want to look into a model that has a long battery life and a large dust bin. You don’t want your robot vacuum to have to recharge frequently during a single chore.
✔️ Features: Ask yourself a few questions to determine which features are important to you. Do you want your robot vacuum have automatic carpet recognition, or are you okay with setting up no-go zones manually for your vac? Do you want laser navigation, or is a bumper style of routing acceptable? Do you want a Wi-Fi enabled model that can sync with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant? Do you want a remote control? Would you prefer to be able to schedule cleanings? Is a self-emptying model important? Also consider what kind of messes you want your robot to take care of for you. Some models pick up only dry messes while others can take care of wet messes and mopping too.
✔️ Price: Robot vacuums can range anywhere from $100 to well over $1,000. Your budget will also determine what kind of features your robot vacuum may have — one with all the bells and whistles will likely be more expensive. If you aren’t interested in having a model with floor mapping or self emptying capabilities, you can opt for a robot vacuum in the lower price range.
How do robot vacuums work?
Using navigation tools like sensors, lasers and cameras, a robot vacuum works its way around your home, suctioning up pet hair, crumbs, and dirt into its dustbin from hard floors like wood, tile, and laminate and low pile carpets and area rugs. High-end robots often have the capability to map and learn your space, so you can set the robot to clean only one room or a specific area, while cheaper vacuum models include boundary strips that you place on the floor to keep the robot where you want it. Even inexpensive models have fall-detection sensors that keep them from tumbling down stairs.
Many vacuums are "smart" and work with apps to help you schedule cleaning sessions and some sync with Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant and other digital voice aids for a truly hands-free experience. All robot vacuums automatically return to their charging docks to recharge, and some can even pause a cleaning session, recharge and continue cleaning from where it left off. If you have pets, consider a model with a rubber brush roller. We found it was easier to clean of pet hair and lint than bristle brush rollers were.
Before your robot starts cleaning, pick up small items you don’t want vacuumed (check under the bed!), and ensure that power cords, clothing, rug fringe and window blind cords are tucked away. Unless you’re using a wet-mop vacuum, clean up all wet spills. After cleaning, empty the dust bin and wipe down the sensors and charging contacts with a soft cloth so the robot can navigate more accurately and make a better connection with the charger.
Are robot vacuums worth it?
While no robot can manage stairs, or tackle ground-in dirt and debris as well as a stick or upright vacuum (yet!), the top performers in our tests do have impressive pick-up scores on hard floors and low-pile carpets. They do well at sweeping up fine particles, like sand and baking soda, heavier debris, like oatmeal, orzo pasta, metal screws and nuts and even fluffy stuff, like pet hair.
Consider investing in one if you absolutely hate this chore or want your home cleaned more often than you have the time or energy for. Robot vacuums are great maintenance cleaners. Send them out several times a week, and they’ll nab all the dust and pet hair, lint and surface dirt on your floors before it has a chance to build up or get ground in.
Another benefit is that robot vacuums clean under the bed, behind furniture, along the walls and in the corners that you might often skip or that your regular vacuum can’t reach. (All of the vacuums we tested have brush rollers to lift away pet hair and were slim enough to clean under furniture at least four inches high; most featured side brushes to help scoop dirt from deep corners and edges.) They’ll clean just the kitchen floor after dinner while you catch your favorite show or an entire level of your home while you’re out of the house. Can you get it done faster with your regular vacuum? Sure. But the real question is, do you want to?
How long do robot vacuums last?
On average, most high-end traditional vacuums have a lifespan of about 8 years. In comparison, robot vacuums can last 4 to 6 years with proper care and maintenance. This means that as long as you are cleaning the rotating brushes regularly, replacing parts as needed and using your robot vacuum according to the manufacturer’s instructions, it’ll be helping you keep your home clean for years to come — often longer than the average!
Why trust Good Housekeeping?
Carolyn Forte, the Good Housekeeping Institute's Home Care and Cleaning Lab Executive Director, has a B.A. in Family & Consumer Sciences from Queens College, City University of New York, and is a consumer products expert. She has been testing, speaking and writing about appliances, textiles, cleaning products and more at Good Housekeeping for more than 40 years.
Jodhaira Rodriguez is the Home Appliances & Cleaning Products Reviews Analyst at the Good Housekeeping Institute, where she also writes cleaning how-tos and tips. Her prior experience analyzing environmental samples in a commercial lab has shaped her curiosity about and knowledge of how things work. Lynn Redmile also contributed to the story. Lynn is a testing and product review analyst with the Good Housekeeping Institute, where she's been evaluating products since 2012.