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Best robot vacuum 2024: Tried and tested cleaners for carpets, mopping and self-emptying

best robot vacuum irobot roomba j7

We’ve tested the best robot vacuum cleaners and reviewed our favourite options

The best robot vacuums do a great job of keeping your carpets clean with minimum hassle. They use a variety of sensors and sometimes built-in cameras to find their way around your home and even return to base to charge themselves. All you have to do is occasionally empty the dust collection bin – it’s that easy.

Our team of expert testers has reviewed over 100 vacuums, including cordless models, handheld vacuums and even our favourite vacuums for pet hair. On this page, we’ve picked out our favourite fully tested robots. Below, you can find a quick list of our top picks with prices and buying links. Underneath, you’ll find our short reviews of the robot vacuums themselves, with links to our full-length reviews at the end if you’re interested to read more.

We’ve also put together a buyer’s guide at the bottom of this page with all the most important information. So if this is your first time buying a robot vacuum and you need to know what to look out for, we’ve got you covered.

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Deal of the week

The best robot vacuum for pet hair, the iRobot Roomba j7, is now £495 on Amazon, down from an average of £623 on the site.


View deal at Amazon


Best robot vacuum: At a glance

Best overall robot vacuumEufy RoboVac X8 (~£399)Check price at Amazon
Best budget robotEufy RoboVac 15C Max (~£240)Check price at Amazon
Best robot for cleaning power
Dyson 360 Vis Nav (~£1,200)Check price at Currys
Best for pet hairiRobot Roomba j7 (~£599)Check price at Amazon

How we test robot vacuum cleaners

We test each robot vacuum cleaner by installing it in a typical domestic setting. The charging station is always placed in the same location, and the robot is given the same basic floorplan of 58m² to clean, so we can see how elements such as navigation and speed compare between every robot we review. It’s a demanding floorplan that challenges even the smartest robot, with plenty of corners, tight spots, low furniture, surface changes and cable nests.

During our testing, each robot is connected to Wi-Fi and controlled through the supplied app, where available. We test all the features and functions, including self-emptying and navigation to a second floor, to ensure robots can handle switching between multiple maps. If a robot comes with a mop attachment, we also test this by running a basic clean cycle across our floor.

Testing a Eufy robot vacuum cleaner

When it comes to analysing a robot’s cleaning capabilities, we test each robot using 50g of rice and flour and 5g of pet hair. We send the robot to perform a spot clean of each spill on both carpet and hard floor, and measure the amount collected each time. This indicates how effective each robot is at gathering these problematic materials, and allows us to compare the results with every robot vacuum cleaner we’ve ever tested.

READ NEXT: Best Dyson vacuum cleaners


The best robot vacuum cleaners from our testing

1. Eufy RoboVac X8: Best overall

Price when reviewed: £399 | Check price at Amazon

Product image of the Eufy RoboVac X8

If you’re after a good-at-everything robot vacuum, this is the one we’d pick. The Eufy RoboVac X8 is effective at picking dust and dirt off your floor but also supported by solid navigation and a good app. From our testing, we concluded that while it wasn’t the best we’ve ever seen in terms of dealing with serious messes, it’s a solid general cleaner. We also think it has a brilliant app and is excellent at mapping out rooms, which makes it easy to configure and use even for newbies.

Its cameras and lasers build up a detailed map of your floor as it performs its initial clean. This is then saved by the smartphone app (available on Android and iOS), so you can send the X8 to clean individual rooms and set virtual boundaries to cordon off no-go areas. This simple and intuitive operation, accompanying an affordable and capable robot, makes for a compelling package that’s excellent value for money.

Read our full Eufy RoboVac X8 review

Pros

  • Camera and laser mapping
  • Excellent app
  • Long run time

Cons

  • More powerful robots out there

Key specs – Size (WDH): 345 x 345 x 98mm; Weight: 3.5kg; Battery life: 3hrs; Charge time: 4-5 hrs; Bin capacity: 0.6l; Wi-Fi connectivity: Yes; Decibel volume: 75dB; Navigation type: Laser/camera mapping


2. iRobot Roomba j9+: Best Roomba robot with mop

Price when reviewed: £1,249 | Check price at Amazon

irobot roomba combo j9+ review

The iRobot Roomba Combo j9+ sits at the top of iRobot’s current range of robot cleaners. It can both vacuum and mop your floors, with a handy lift-away mopping arm that tucks well out of the way when it detects carpet. As with all recent Roombas, it has a clever object detection system that can avoid a wide range of dropped objects, including its speciality – pet poo, and a dual-roller suction system that did a great job of picking up dirt and dust without getting clogged up during our testing.

There are elements that don’t stack up quite so well against its rivals, though. Because it doesn’t use Lidar to navigate, mapping isn’t as fast or accurate as many robots I’ve reviewed. Also, many similarly-priced robot mops have rotating mopping pads, which seem to do a more efficient job of mopping the floor.

The j9+ has one of the most attractive base stations we’ve seen to date, with a faux wooden top that makes it look a bit like an occasional table. Stick a vase of flowers on it and no-one would know. As well as charging the battery, the base station keeps the robot’s water reservoir topped up and self empties the collection bin into a larger bag, so you don’t need to perform maintenance tasks quite so often.

Read our full iRobot Roomba Combo j9+ review

Pros

  • Excellent object detection
  • Good cleaning performance
  • Looks good

Cons

  • Mop could be better
  • Mapping not as fast as similar models

Key specs – Size (WDH): 348 x 87 x 348mm; Weight: 4.07kg; Battery life: 180mins; Charge time: 4hrs; Bin capacity: 360ml; Wi-Fi connectivity: Yes; Decibel volume: N/S


3. Eufy RoboVac 15C Max: Best budget robot vacuum

Price when reviewed: £244 | Check price at Amazon

Product image of the Eufy RoboVac 15C Max

The superb RoboVac 15C Max is the more fully featured version of our previous favourite budget robot vacuum top pick, the RoboVac 30C. It costs a little more but in our tests, we found the 15C Max provides much more suction power than its predecessors. With 2,000Pa of suction, it is very powerful considering its price but despite the extra power, we found it to be impressively quiet regardless of which of the three settings we used – Standard, Boost IQ or Max and it measured just 55dB on the lowest setting.

We found carpet areas benefited from some of the more powerful settings but during our day to day testing, the standard setting was more than suitable for easy-cleaning hard flooring. One feature we found particularly useful was Boost IQ, which adjusts the suction power automatically as the vacuum cleaner transitions between different types of flooring. The RoboVac 15C Max, according to the manufacturer, should also run up to 1hr 40mins on a single charge on the lowest setting. It’s compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant for a fully hands-off approach to your daily cleaning.

It’s worth noting that this is not quite as feature-rich as some of the other robot vacuum cleaners on this list – it lacks infrared scanning and room-mapping – but for this sort of money, the RoboVac 15C Max barely places a foot wrong.

Read our full Eufy RoboVac 15C Max review

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Quiet
  • Great for low pile carpets and hard floor

Cons

  • Not as effective on thick carpet
  • Lacks room mapping or scanning

Key specs – Size (WDH): 325 x 325 x 72mm; Weight: 2.7kg; Battery life: 1hr 40mins; Charge time: 2-3hrs; Bin capacity: 0.7l; Wi-Fi connectivity: Yes; Decibel volume: 55dB;  Navigation type: Predetermined cleaning pattern


4. iRobot Roomba j7: Best robot vacuum for pet owners

Price when reviewed: £599 | Check price at Amazon

Product image of the iRobot Roomba j7

One of the annoying things about robot vacuum cleaners is that you generally have to tidy up before you set them off. Encounters with charging cables, stray socks or, if you’re really unfortunate, pet poo, can cause them to get stuck or make more mess than they clean up. Thankfully, you don’t need to worry about such things with the iRobot Roomba j7.

It won’t tidy away your mess for you but it will give a wide berth to obstacles that could cause it problems. During our tests, it avoided socks, USB-C cables and fake poo, carefully giving them all a wide berth. It still gets nice and close to furniture but can sometimes bump into chairs.

We were also impressed with its cleaning power. Despite being a bit slower than its rivals, it has a proficient two-roller system that does a good job of sucking up dirt and dust while avoiding hair tangles. If you want a robot that also empties itself, check out our review of the Roomba Combo j7+. It’s a similar robot but comes with a charging station that empties the collection bin after every clean.

Read our full iRobot Rooma j7 review

Pros

  • Avoids obstacles and pet poo
  • Powerful vacuum

Cons

  • Slow
  • Can bump into the odd chair or table

Key specs – Size (WDH): 340 x 340 x 92mm; Weight: 3.3kg; Battery life: 1hr 15mins; Charge time: 2hrs; Bin capacity: 0.25l; Wi-Fi connectivity: Yes; Decibel volume: 55dB;  Navigation type: Laser/camera mapping


5. Roborock Q7 Max+: Best budget self-emptying robot vacuum with mop

Price when reviewed: £499 | Check price at Amazon

Product image of the Roborock Q7 Max+

We don’t expect robot vacuum cleaners that can empty themselves to be particularly affordable but the Roborock Q7 Max+ bucks the trend. It comes with a secondary vacuum built into its charging and self-emptying station, which sucks the dirt out of the robot’s collection bin and into a larger, static 2.5l dustbag. This means you don’t have to empty the robot after every clean and, depending on your usage, might be able to wait up to seven weeks between empties according to the manufacturer.

Despite its budget price, the robot still performed well in our tests. The suction is limited to 4,200Pa, but its roller uses rubber fins rather than regular bristles, which are good on both carpet and hard floor. We also found it to be more resistant to hair tangles than most robot vacuums with regular brushes. However, we did find it wasn’t quite as good at avoiding obstacles as some others we’ve tested, such as the Roomba Combo j7+.

The Roborock Q7 Max+ includes a mopping function, but it’s fairly basic. A cloth is attached to a plastic plate, which is then clipped onto the base of the vacuum cleaner. Water is added to a reservoir in the collection bin and fed out slowly through the mopping cloth as it’s dragged along behind the robot. This does the job but like many in this price range, isn’t the most effective. Nonetheless, we think this is an excellent self-emptying vacuum for the price with good performance and useability.

Read our full Roborock Q7 Max+ review

Pros

  • Self-emptying
  • Affordable
  • Resistant to hair tangles

Cons

  • Sub-par mopping
  • Not great at avoiding obstacles

Key specs – Size (WDH): 350 x 353 x 97mm; Weight: 3.8kg; Battery life: 3hrs; Charge time: 5hrs; Bin capacity: 0.47l; Wi-Fi connectivity: Yes; Decibel volume: 67dB;  Navigation type: Laser/camera mapping


6. Ecovacs Deebot N10: Best budget robot for tricky home layouts

Price when reviewed: £299 | Check price at Amazon

Product image of the Ecovacs Deebot N10

The Ecovacs Deebot N10 has plenty going for it. It’s a decent vacuum cleaner that will do a good job of keeping your floor clean, especially if you send it out regularly. This is easy to set up using the Ecovacs app, which is well-featured and simple to operate.

The best thing about the N10, though, is that it’s an excellent navigator. In testing, it worked its way around our testers’ tricky c-shaped floor plan with ease and was able to vacuum around floor-length curtains without bumping into them. Its LiDAR-based mapping made short work of creating a map of our home and it can manage multiple floors with little difficulty. It’s also gentle around furniture and didn’t become stuck in or around any hazards, such as cables, during testing.

The most disappointing element is the mop, which is a drag-and-wipe affair that didn’t perform as well in our tests. The reservoir is drip-fed clean water as it wipes a cloth over your floors. This isn’t as thorough as robots that add movement to agitate dirt to remove it but it will work for light grime. If a mop is important to you, the Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni is the best robot mop we’ve tested.

Read our full Ecovacs Deebot N10 review

Pros

  • Good for tricky floor layouts
  • Effective vacuuming

Cons

  • Not great at mopping
  • Spot cleaning could be better

Key specs – Size (WDH): 350 x 350 x 93mm; Weight: 7.36kg; Battery life: 5hrs; Charge time: 3-5hrs; Bin capacity: 0.42l; Wi-Fi connectivity: Yes; Decibel volume: 65dB;  Navigation type: Laser/camera mapping


7. Dyson 360 Vis Nav: Best robot for cleaning power

Price when reviewed: £1,200 | Check price at Currys | Dyson

Product image of the Dyson 360 Vis Nav

When it comes to suction power, nothing beats the Dyson 360 Vis Nav, making it, in our opinion, the most powerful robot you can buy. With Dyson’s powerful Hyperdymium motors, there isn’t much loose dirt that can stay on the floor when this beast passes over it.

We think other unique features make the 360 Vis Nav worth considering, too. Although most robots can handle most types of flooring, the soft roller on this model means it was particularly effective on hard floors in our tests, while its bristles mean it’s equally good on carpets. We found it to be more effective at cleaning along edges than most, too. Instead of wispy, spinning brushes that flick dirt into the path of its brush, the 360 Vis Nav has an arm that extends out of the side, to suck it directly under the vacuum.

Despite its obvious strengths, however, the Dyson is very expensive and, for that money, we’d also expect it to have self-emptying and effective mopping. Alas, it has neither.

Read our full Dyson 360 Vis Nav review

Pros

  • Most powerful robot we’ve tested
  • Excellent edge cleaner
  • Effective mapping

Cons

  • No self-emptying function
  • No mop
  • Very expensive

Key specs – Size (WDH): 330 x 345 x 97mm; Weight: 4.5kg; Battery life: 1hr 5mins; Charge time: 2.5hrs; Bin capacity: 0.57l; Wi-Fi connectivity: Yes; Decibel volume: 62dB;  Navigation type: Laser/camera mapping

Check price at Currys

8. Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni: Best self-emptying robot vacuum and mop combo

Price when reviewed: £699 | Check price at Amazon

Product image of the Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni

The Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni is the best-performing combination robot vacuum cleaner and mop we’ve tested but its talents come at a price. One of these is its size. While the robot itself is a fairly standard configuration, its base station is enormous, measuring 448 x 430 x 578mm (WDH).

There’s a good reason for it, though. Not only does the station charge the robot and empty its collection bin into a bigger and easier-to-empty vacuum bag but it also fills the mop cartridge with clean water, and washes the mop pads when the robot has finished its work.

Although we think it’s a good vacuum cleaner, it’s the mopping action that impressed us most in tests. The robot uses two circular mop pads that rotate at 180rpm, which gives the mop more cleaning power than rival robots, most of which simply wipe the floor as they pass. The Omni X1 might be expensive, but it’s worth considering if you’re looking for a proper cleaner that can really do a good job. Keep an eye out for discounts and vouchers on Amazon, because Ecovacs regularly offers both.

Read our full Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni review

Pros

  • Excellent mopping and vacuuming
  • Self-emptying

Cons

  • Takes up a lot of space
  • Expensive when not on offer

Key specs – Size (WDH): 362 x 362 x 104mm; Weight: 4.4kg; Battery life: 4hrs 20mins; Charge time: 6.5hrs; Bin capacity: 0.4l; Wi-Fi connectivity: Yes; Decibel volume: 67dB; Navigation type: Laser/camera mapping


9. iRobot Roomba Combo j7+: Best for dodging obstacles

Price when reviewed: £999 | Check price at Amazon

Product image of the iRobot Roomba Combo j7+

Most robots can navigate around furniture but if someone has dropped a sock or left a charging cable on the floor, a robot that doesn’t notice it could end up in a tangle that stops it in its tracks. In our tests, the iRobot Roomba Combo j7+ tackled such problems with ease. It’s equipped with a front-mounted camera and even has a visual database of common hazards it uses to check whether it should be cleaning or avoiding a problem. This includes socks, charging cables and even poo.

Its skills don’t end at object detection, either. The Combo j7+ also has iRobot’s rubber-sheathed dual roller bars, which are effective at collecting dust and debris, and it self-empties into a base station when the robot’s bin gets full. It also has a mopping function, which is automatically lifted out of the way when it approaches carpets and rugs. Unfortunately, the mopping isn’t as good as it could be and the vacuuming is better on the base model, the Roomba j7. However, if you have an unavoidably messy house due to children or pets, this is worth considering.

Read our full iRobot Roomba Combo j7+ review

Pros

  • Exceptional object detection
  • Self-emptying
  • Includes mopping function

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Better mopping and vacuuming out there

Key specs – Size (WDH): 330 x 333 x 84mm; Weight: 3.3kg; Battery life: 75mins; Charge time: 4hrs; Bin capacity: 313ml; Wi-Fi connectivity: Yes; Decibel volume: 64dB; Navigation type: Laser/camera mapping


10. Eufy Clean X9 Pro: Best robot with mop for smaller spaces

Price when reviewed: £899 | Check price at Amazon

Product image of the Eufy Clean X9 Pro

The Eufy Clean X9 Pro is a compact yet powerful 5,500Pa robot vacuum cleaner with effective rotary mopping pads. In tests, we thought the mop and vacuum worked brilliantly together. When it’s working on carpet, the mopping pads are automatically lifted well clear of the floor, so your carpet stays dry. When it detects a hard floor, if it’s set to perform the mopping function, the pads are lowered so wet cleaning can commence.

One of the best things about this and other Eufy Clean robots is the app. It has matured brilliantly through the generations of robot vacuum cleaners and we think it is currently one of the best robot vacuuming apps around. It has intelligent mapping, fantastic ease of use and great new features arriving through its experimental functions, which you can use or ignore as you wish.

It comes with a docking station that contains tanks for clean and dirty water, used to fill the mop reservoir and rinse the pads through when it’s finished. While large compared to docking stations that don’t clean their own mod pads, it’s the smallest self-cleaning mop dock we’ve tested to date. The only thing it can’t do is automatically empty the vacuum’s collection bin.

Read our full Eufy Clean X9 Pro review

Pros

  • Compact for a mop robot
  • Effective cleaning
  • Great app

Cons

  • Expensive
  • No self-emptying

Key specs – Size (WDH): 326 x 352 x 112mm; Weight: 4.7kg; Battery life: 2-3hrs; Charge time: 4hrs; Bin capacity: 0.41l; Wi-Fi connectivity: Yes; Decibel volume: 65dB; Navigation type: Laser/camera mapping


How to choose the best robot vacuum cleaner for you

What specifications and features are the most important?

Bin capacity: Robot vacuums need emptying more frequently than a regular vacuum but there’s still quite a variation in bin capacity from model to model. The largest we’ve tested has a 0.7l capacity but they can be as small as 0.3l.

Mop attachments: These use a small water reservoir with a cleaning pad attached to the bottom that drags around the floor as the robot makes its way around your room. You’ll still need to use a proper mop to get stubborn stains off, though: a mopping robot is only good for cleaning up light dirt and dust from hard floors.

Self emptying: Most robot vacuums have small dust collection bins and so need frequent emptying but some can empty themselves into a larger base-station bin and then continue to clean. These robots tend to be more expensive, though, and the base stations occupy more space in your home.

Height: One thing robot vacuums are great at is cleaning below low-lying furniture, but some are considerably taller than others. It’s well worth checking out the dimensions before you buy to make sure it will fit if you’re planning on using it to clean under things.

Which robot vacuums give the best cleaning performance?

Although most robot vacuums look the same from the outside, they deliver vastly different levels of cleaning performance. And this is affected by a number of different factors.

Brushes: Our favourite robot vacuums, such as the Dyson Vis Nav, have brushes that span the full width of the unit, allowing them to clean right along the edges of your room and into the corners.

Unfortunately, these aren’t particularly common and most stick with the popular disc shape, with the main brush situated between the wheels and a couple of less effective spinning brushes at the edges to drag dust into the mouth of the vacuum.

Suction power: Next, you need to consider suction power. Typically expressed in pascals (Pa), this is a measurement of how powerful the motor is inside a robot vacuum. For an effective clean, a good number to look for here is around 2,000Pa or above, which all of our tested favourites offer.

How well do they deal with household obstacles?

All robot vacuums employ bumpers and sensors to help them navigate their way around your home and prevent them from coming to grief by falling down the stairs. But some are more efficient at finding their way around than others.

Predetermined cleaning patterns: The cheaper versions run to a random cleaning pattern and bump around your rooms blindly, cleaning as they go. This works up to a point but it can take a while for these types of vacuum to finish cleaning a room and, though they do their best, they often miss spots here and there.

Cameras and laser sensors: The more expensive robots employ cameras and advanced laser sensors to map out their surroundings first before tackling each room. This means they can work out the most efficient route before getting started and don’t need to cover the same spot twice. Even then, advanced sensors can only go so far. A big problem with robot vacuums is that, no matter how good they are at mapping out their surroundings, they often get beached on low-lying furniture and stuck on stray cables.

No-go zones: The best way to avoid obstacle issues is to keep your floors clear of such items. However, in some cases that isn’t possible, in which case you want a robot that comes with the ability to set virtual no-go zones in the accompanying app, such as the Eufy RoboVac X8. That way you can instruct your robot to avoid the places you don’t want it to go near.

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