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We Put the Best Robot Vacuums To the Test To Find the Best Bot for Every Job

Remember when robot vacuums first debuted a decade ago? They were haphazard pseudo-sweepers that did an okay job. After years of tweaks and upgrades the “robot vacuum” category has evolved to become a multipurpose floor-cleaning system consisting of self-emptying bots, 2-in-1 combos that double as moppers and even models that clean, refill and maintain themselves.

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That constant innovation means that when you’re shopping for a robot vacuum, whether it’s one of the best Roombas or a Roomba alternative, there are lots of choices. In fact, we’ve even written about the ongoing robot vacuum arms race on SPY before. Top Cyber Monday Deals %title% %title% List Price:%original_price% Price:%price% You Save:%discount_amount% (%discount_percent%) Shop NowCoupon Code: %coupon_code% SPY may receive a commission.

So how do you choose the best robot vacuum for your household?

That’s where the SPY team comes in — we’ve done extensive testing to bring you the best robot vacuums of 2022. Given that the holidays are right around the corner and we’re sure you’re looking to buy the best Christmas gifts to buy, you’ll need to know the best robot vacuums to consider. Remember, SPY before you buy.


The Best Robot Vacuums At a Glance

1. Best Overall: Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni — $1,349.99 at Amazon
2. Runner Up: Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra — $1,399.99 at Amazon
3. Best Roomba: iRobot Roomba j7+ — $599.00 at Amazon
4. Best Home Security Robot: Samsung Jet Bot AI+ — $1,099.00 at Amazon
5. Sleek Design: Ecovacs Deebot N8 Pro + — $699.99 at Amazon
6. Best Mopping Robot: iRobot Braava M6 Mopper$299.99 at Amazon
7. Best Bagless Option: Shark AI Self Emptying Robot Vacuum — $424.00 at Amazon
8. Best Splurge: iRobot Roomba Combo j7+ — $1,099.00 at Amazon
9. Best For Carpets: iRobot Roomba s9+ — $849.00 at Amazon
10. Innovative Mopper: Yeedi Vac 2 Pro — $449.99 at Amazon
11. Efficient Cleaner: DreameBot D10 Plus — $399.99 at Amazon
12. Most Affordable: iLife A11 — $399.99 at Amazon

Some of the robot vacuums tested for this review. Erin Lawrence | SPY.com
best overall

Why It’s the Best: Not only is it an excellent and intelligent robot vacuum, but it even cleans itself.

  • Suction Power 5000pA
  • Obstacle Avoidance Yes
  • Obstacle Crossing Ability: Not disclosed, but was never caught on any tall transitions in my testing
  • Carpet Detection Yes
  • Battery Capacity 5200 mAh
  • Working Time 240 mins

Full Review: Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni Robot Vacuum

The Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni’s premise is bold: A robot vacuum that can mop (using spinning mopping plates, no less), as well as handle all its own maintenance, emptying, and refilling. This all-in-one floor-cleaning crew truly does it all.

It has a powerful and adjustable vacuum that cleans extremely well. It also has an effective mop and, when the robot needs to empty its onboard dustbin or refill its water tank, it will head back to its base station for maintenance. When it finishes cleaning your floors, it will wash and dry its mopping pads to avoid any lingering funky smells. After testing a lot of the robots you are about to see head-to-head, this one comes out on top for me.

In addition to being the best at cleaning, it’s also one of the nicer designs. Plus it comes with a surprisingly effective built-in voice assistant named Yiko, which can hear where you are when you call its name and head right to you for spot cleaning. Did I mention it made our Best of CES list? The future is now!

Pros

  • Effective cleaning
  • Dual vacuum and mop
  • Spinning mopping plates are effective
  • Adjustable suction
  • Wash, dry and refill
  • Carpet detection

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Must remove mopping plates to vacuum carpets
runner up

Why We Chose It: Extra-long battery life ensures that every inch of your home is cleaned properly.

  • Suction Power 5100Pa High Power Suction
  • Obstacle Avoidance Yes
  • Obstacle Crossing Ability 20 mm / 0.79 in
  • Carpet Detection Yes
  • Battery Capacity 3300 mAh
  • Working Time 180 mins

Full Review: Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra

This floor-cleaning system is part of a new legion of robots that go the extra mile, not just cleaning but maintaining themselves too.

Roborock has delivered with the Roborock S7 Max V Ultra robot vacuum and moping combo (it’s been notoriously hard to find on some shopping sites. This bot vac will both vacuum and mop, and it’s smart enough to lift its mopping plate a few millimeters off the surface when it rolls onto carpets to keep from dampening rugs. So far, even the best wet/dry vacuum combinations have been disappointing, but this smart household bot is up to the challenge, setting it apart from even the best robot vacuums of 2022.

When it finishes vacuuming and mopping, it will return to its base station and empty the dust bin, refill the mopping water tank and wash the mopping pad with clean water. Advanced obstacle recognition rounds out this multi-talented bot. This bot was only marginally less effective with the vacuuming and mopping, which is why it’s our runner-up.

Pros

  • Dual vacuum and mop
  • Lifting mopping plate
  • Handles emptying and refilling with ease
  • Good mopping capabilities
  • Big battery, long runtime

Cons

  • Struggles a bit vacuuming carpets
  • Base station looks more utilitarian
  • Expensive
best roomba

Why We Chose It: This robot vacuum has the intelligence to avoid most pesky obstacles while cleaning.

  • Suction Power Not Declared
  • Obstacle Avoidance Yes
  • Obstacle Crossing Ability 16 mm / 0.63 in
  • Carpet Detection Yes
  • Battery Capacity 2210 mAh
  • Working Time 75 mins

Full Review: The Best Roomba Vacuums of 2022

iRobot is the inventor of the original Roomba robot vacuum and while they cornered the market for many years, in our experience, there’s less innovation coming from the brand today. With that said, they still make solid devices with advanced software. The iRobot j7+ is the newest offering and while many manufacturers are opting to add mopping capabilities to robot vacuums, iRobot has stubbornly held on to its dedicated vacuum-only and mopping-only robots, and they do not yet offer a dual-purpose bot.

The j7+ has a redesigned dirt disposal base that’s shorter and gives it a nicer look. The robot can vacuum the house and then return to its base to empty its onboard dustbin into a sealed vacuum bag. Where iRobot spent its development budget is on obstacle detection and avoidance technology.

With massive upgrades over its previous bots, this Roomba will avoid cords and cables, socks and shoes and all manner of other hazards that tend to tangle up and shut down average botvacs. The iRobot team also put a lot of work into poop detection, meaning if you have a pet that’s prone to accidents, the vacuum won’t roll into it and make it worse.

Pros

  • Good cleaning power
  • Smart mapping
  • Industry-leading obstacle recognition
  • Can be teamed with iRobot m6 mop
  • Small battery, short runtime

Cons

  • Vacuum only
  • Very expensive
best home security bot

Why We Chose It: Peace-of-mind assurance with its built-in home security camera that can watch out for intruders and keep eyes on pets.

Samsung elevated itself with the release of the Samsung Jet Bot AI+, featuring a self-emptying docking station, AI-assisted software and the cool feature of patrolling your home. It’s an excellent robot vacuum for tackling carpets and hard floors, but we were also impressed by how well it avoided obstacles given that previous Samsung robot vacuums performed poorly in this area.

What makes it truly stand out is its ability to patrol our home when we’re away. Through the Samsung SmartThings app, we’re able to receive notifications about motion it detected while patrolling a pre-determined route we created. It effectively doubles as a handy home security camera.

Pros:

  • Excellent performance on carpets
  • Doubles as a home security camera
  • Avoids many obstacles

Cons:

  • Bulky design
sleek design

Why We Chose It: For the price, you’re getting an excellent 2-in-1 combo that features a camera to let you see what it’s cleaning.

  • Suction Power 2600Pa
  • Obstacle Avoidance No
  • Obstacle Crossing Ability 20 mm / 0.79 in
  • Carpet Detection Yes
  • Battery Capacity 3200 mAh
  • Working Time 110 mins

Ecovacs is making some pretty solid vacuum and mopping bots. Its N8 Pro+ model has an auto-empty dustbin and a large mopping tank with a plate that has a washable pad. The Ecovacs app lets you schedule a cleaning or see where the robot is cleaning in real time. You can also use the app as a virtual remote control.

The N8 Pro+ includes what’s called TrueDetect, an intelligent 3D obstacle avoidance technology. It avoids objects like shoes and cords so you don’t need to worry about stray fallen objects tangling up and shutting down your Deebot.

I tested this out by deliberately placing shoes, cords and socks in its path. The Deebot N8 Pro+ never got stuck or tangled up and it handled flooring transitions extremely well. It can handle transitions of up to 20mm.

Pros

  • Dual vacuum and mop
  • Sleek design
  • Cleans well
  • Object recognition & avoidance
  • Bot will avoid carpet altogether if mopping plate is installed

Cons

  • Can’t vacuum carpet with mopping plate on
best mopping robot

Why We Chose It: Other robots rely on water, but this one uses a special solution that doesn’t leave streaks.

If you look at most 2-in-1 bots that vacuum and mop, you’ll find that the majority rely on water to clean floors. The iRobot Braava Jet m6takes it to the next level by spraying on a cleaning solution made specifically to tackle hard floors.

We paired it with the iRobot Roomba J7+, so that when it finished cleaning the iRobot Braava Jet m6 mopped the floors. The proprietary cleaning pads we attached to the bottom did a much better job at removing superficial messes, while also leaving fewer of the streaks that are common with water-only moppers. Our feet noticed the difference.

Pros:

  • Uses cleaning solution to mop floors
  • Navigates in straight lines for efficient mopping
  • Smart mapping for multiple floors

Cons:

  • Uses proprietary pads
  • Not a wet/dry vacuum
best bagless option

Why We Chose It: You won’t have to spend extra money on buying bags with this self-emptying robot vacuum.

  • Suction Power N/A
  • Obstacle Avoidance No
  • Obstacle Crossing Ability N/A
  • Carpet Detection No
  • Battery Capacity 3300 mAh ??
  • Working Time 120 mins

Full Review: Shark AI Self-Empty XL Robot Vacuum

Shark’s entry into the robot vacuum plus self-emptying base station category is a surprising hit. Though priced in the more affordable range, it has a lot of power and smart features. While it won’t win any design awards for its utilitarian looks, it cleans well for a vacuum-only robot. It offers cleaning time estimates in the app. Simply choose any rooms you want to be cleaned and the app will tell you how long that will take.

Pros

  • Cleans well
  • Smart, accurate mapping
  • No extra vacuum bags to buy
  • Large

Cons

  • Some may not like the lack of dustbags
  • Can only handle one floorplan (for now)
  • No carpet detection
best splurge

Why We Chose It: iRobot’s newest robot vacuum is its first ever 2-in-1 combo that does both vacuuming and mopping.

  • Suction: 10x power-lifting suction
  • Avoids pet accidents
  • Dimensions: 1.3 x 3.4 x 13.34-inches
  • Weight: 7.35 lbs
  • Battery Type: Lithium Ion

First Look: iRobot Roomba Combo j7+ Perfects the 2-in-1 Vacuum and Mop Design

It took a long time, but iRobot finally came out one product that vacuums and mops — the Roomba Combo j7+. While the wait was indeed a longtime coming, but it was worth it because the Roomba Combo j7+ offers one of the best performances. Most notably, we loved how its mopping pad arms would lift up the pad off the floor whenever it decided to go back to vacuuming carpets. Unlike other moppers, the Roomba Combo j7+ uses special cleaning solution to mop floors, rather than just water that other 2-in-1 bots offers. Topping off the premium experience, we loved how it intelligently navigates rooms with ease and comes with the same, sleek self-empty dock as its sibling in the Roomba j7.

Pros

  • 2-in-1 robot that vacuums and mops
  • Mopping arms moves out of the way automatically
  • Good suction performance
  • Uses cleaning solution instead of water
  • Sleek self-empty bin

Cons

  • It’s a bit loud at vacuuming
best for carpets

Why We Chose It: The suction power is superior and can remove dirt to give carpets that deep-clean feel.

  • Suction Power 2200pA
  • Obstacle Avoidance Yes
  • Obstacle Crossing Ability 20 mm / 0.79 in
  • Carpet Detection Yes
  • Battery Capacity 3300 mAh
  • Working Time 120 mins

Review: The Best Self-Emptying Robot Vacuums for 2022

Until the iRobot j7+ came along, the iRobot Roomba s9+ was the king of robot vacuums. With its D-shape and dual corner brushes, this bot stands out because of its design. With an auto-empty base station that doubles as a charger, it’s able to keep the bot at the ready. This was one of the first robot vacuums to incorporate smart-mapping technology and it’s still one of the best. It does take a bit longer than some other bots to map your space, but what it lacks in processing speed, it makes up for in cleaning power.

The iRobot s9+ is an effective cleaner on both carpet and hard floors with the ability to boost suction on carpets when they are detected. With wider than average roller brushes on the underside, the s9+ is made to power dirt off floors and out of fibers. iRobot also touts its dirt detect technology as being able to see and attack dirtier spaces.

Pros

  • Smart navigation and mapping
  • Can be teamed with iRobot m6 mop
  • Spot clean button
  • Perfect Edge tech cleans corners and edges very well
  • Long runtime

Cons

  • Vacuum only
innovative mopper

Why We Chose It: It cleans carpets well and hard floors even better with its innovative scrubbing mopping plate.

  • Suction Power 200 to 3000 Pa
  • Obstacle Avoidance Yes
  • Obstacle Crossing Ability 9-16 mm
  • Carpet Detection Yes
  • Battery Capacity 5200 mAh
  • Working Time 220 mins

Full Review: Yeedi Vac 2 Pro

Yeedi is one of those brands that doesn’t get a lot of headlines but makes robot vacuums that are affordable and have most of the features shoppers are looking for. While the vacuum’s designs tend to mimic other brands, the technology is all there and they have bots that can vacuum, or vacuum and mop, like the Yeedi Vac 2 Pro.

This robot’s unique innovation is its scrubbing mopping plate that can power off dried-on dirt from hard floors. This oscillating plate is extremely effective at powering dirt and stains from hard floors. As great as the mopping is, it does have a few quirks to be aware of, namely that it will drag the mopping plate across the carpet if it’s left on, and it struggles to empty its dustbin sometimes.

However, at this price point, you won’t find a better vacuum for fighting stubborn stains.

Pros

  • Amazing scrubbing mop
  • Good cleaning power
  • Adjustable water flow and suction

Cons

  • Struggles to fully empty onboard dustbin
  • Mopping plate gets dragged across carpet and rugs
efficient cleaner

Why We Chose It: It’s an affordable combo that offers an efficient cleaning process with detailed maps.

  • Suction Power Up to 4,000 Pa
  • Obstacle Avoidance Yes
  • Obstacle Crossing Ability Not declared
  • Carpet Detection Yes
  • Battery Capacity 5200 mAh
  • Working Time Not declared, but claims 2,900 square feet

I didn’t have the best experience with the Dreame D9, but I’m happy to report the new dual vacuum and mopping DreameBot D10 Plus is a major improvement with strong cleaning power, long-lasting battery and runtime and efficient emptying. It will clean nearly 3,000 square feet on a single charge then return to its base and recharge and empty its onboard dustbin.

While the mopping technology is nothing special, it does a good job of wiping up small spills and keeping dust at bay. It also has extremely fast mapping prowess and claims to be able to do a mapping run to create a smart map of your home in about eight minutes (my home took 15 — still fast!). From there you can label your rooms, create dedicated intensive cleaning zones and adjust water flow, suction and noise level.

Pros

  • Covers a huge amount of space on a single charge
  • Very fast
  • Detailed mapping of the home

Cons

  • Could be better at cleaning carpets
efficient cleaner

Why We Chose It: You won’t have to spend a fortune on a decent 2-in-1 robot vacuum that does wonders for hard floors.

Buying a robot vacuum is easier than ever. Case in point, the iLife A11 robot vacuum that’s priced well under $500 and can also mop hard floors. We like how quiet it was on hard floors and carpets.

What’s also notable is that the iLife A11 performed better than most of the other robots in our test with battery life. It pulled in over 2 hours of continuous cleaning before it headed back to the charging base to recharge. There’s plenty of value with this option given and can certainly fit any budget.

Pros:

  • Affordable cost
  • Long-lasting battery life
  • Quiet performance

Cons:

  • Not as good for thicker carpets

How We Chose the Best Robot Vacuums: About Our Testing Process

Every robot vacuum on this list has been thoroughly tested. I’ve had them in my home, run them on carpet, rugs, and hard floors. I’ve seen firsthand what they are and are not good at and we set up testing criteria and score each robot vacuum according to our criteria and then rank them. Below is how we test robot vacuums.

  • Cleaning power & suction: How well does it pick up dirt, dust and debris? Bots that pick up more or cover areas better score higher.
  • Mopping: Does it have a mop (bonus points if it does) and is it effective?
  • Auto Emptying station: Can the robot dump its internal dustbin?
  • Obstacle avoidance: Does it get stuck on hazards like charging cords, socks and common household items? Robots that can avoid getting tangled score higher.
  • Easy-to-use app: Robot vacuums should be easy to use and hassle-free to set up, control and set scheduled cleanings.

Click here to read more about how we test and review products.

Erin Lawrence

About The Author: Erin Lawrence

Erin has over 20 years of experience as a journalist in the media and news industries, with time both on-camera and behind the scenes in network TV production, plus years of writing for blogs, websites, magazines and newspapers. A winner of two Edward R Murrow Awards for Journalism, Erin has covered everything from daily news to technology, food, travel and architecture and loves to share what she’s working on through her blog (techgadgetscanada.com) YouTube Channel (YouTube.com/ErinLawrenceTV) and across social media. Erin has a Master’s Degree in Journalism from Western University in London and has been named to a Top 40 Under 40 by Avenue Magazine.

Editor’s note: SPY’s tech editor John Velasco also tested prodcuts for this shopping guide.


Why Trust SPY when Shopping for Robot Vacuums

So far in 2022, the SPY product testing team has tested and reviewed hundreds of products. In particular, we’ve tested dozens of robot vacs to find the best robot vacuum in the world — and we believe we succeeded. All of the products featured in this shopping guide were rigorously tested by experienced product reviewers, and use used an objective scoring system to ensure we were fairly comparing the top models.

When reviewing tech products like the best robot vacuums, we are always honest about the benefits and flaws that we find. We would never recommend a product to SPY readers that we wouldn’t buy ourselves, and so we do take price and value into consideration when determining our product rankings. We will continue to update this shopping guide as we test new robot vacuums, and we will always disclose any sponsored relationships with brands featured on SPY. Brands cannot pay SPY for product reviews, and we choose products for our shopping guides based solely on our editorial reviews and testing.


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