The Robot Vacuum Arms Race Has a New Front: Self-Washing. Is It Worth $1,500?

samsung bespoke jet vacuum
Courtesy of Samsung

CES 2022 is the biggest stage in the world for new consumer technology, and we’ve been reporting on the latest innovations and product announcements from CES all week long. One of the biggest trends at CES this year? Self-cleaning vacuums.

That’s right, the best luxury vacuums of 2022 are self-charging, self-cleaning, self-emptying and self-everything.

These household robots are smart, sleek and futuristic. They’re also, undoubtedly, status symbols. And all that new tech comes with a very steep price tag — new robot vacuums are now priced as high as $1,500 or more.

We’re so old, we remember when owning a robot vacuum was cool and futuristic. Roombas were like something out of The Jetsons, which is a reference most Gen Z folks probably don’t even understand. Of course, that was all the way back in the Obama years, before the plague and a million other crises. Today, you can find $99 robot vacuums for sale on Amazon, and while we wouldn’t recommend most of them, you can easily find intelligent eufy robot vacuums for as little as $150.

In order to keep consumers interested, the top robot vacuum companies have been competing in a household hygiene arms race. Superpowers like iRobot, the makers of Roomba, have rolled out newer, smarter, and cleaner bots to tidy up your home, and innovative companies like Dyson have turned cordless vacuums into trendy, must-have household appliances.

Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni on hard floor. Courtesy of Ecovacs.

First, it was all about intelligent room mapping. AI-assisted robot vacuums would use a system of lasers and machine learning to create a map of your home.

When that wasn’t enough, we got self-charging vacuums.

Self-emptying came next. While it was charging, your trusty robot vacuum would empty its own dust bin. Now, there are tons of self-emptying vacuums.

Next up: robot vacuums that could also function as robot mops. Sure, a lot of electric mops are glitchy and require a lot of cleaning themselves, but rather than perfect that technology, the market has already moved on to the next innovation: self-washing robot vacuum mops.

At CES 2022, companies unveiled a few new luxury smart vacuums with self-cleaning technology and $1,500+ price tags.

If you can afford to drop $1,500 on a new vacuum, then good on you. The rest of us are thinking, “$1,500 for a robot vacuum? In this economy?”

  

Meet the Luxury Vacuums of the Future

The Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni takes Roomba’s self-emptying and raises it with self-washing. Ecovac’s new robot vacuum has been getting a lot of attention at CES 2022 for this new feature. The X1 Omni comes with a sophisticated “car wash style dock”. After emptying the dust bin and filling the mop’s water reservoirs, it will also clean the mop pads automatically.

Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni charging bin in room. Courtesy of Ecovacs.

Shop Ecovacs Deebot Vacuums

The new Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra is self-washing, self-cleaning (yes, those are listed as two different features since the mop and vacuum components require different cleaning methods) self-refilling and self-emptying. It’s also fast-charging, which actually is a handy feature, as in our testing, we’ve found that electric mops, especially vacuum/mop hybrids, tend to run out of power before you finish cleaning, which is a major pain point in more affordable products.

Courtesy of Roborock.

Learn More About Roborock S7 Max V Ultra

Meanwhile, Samsung has developed some genuinely impressive luxury appliances in recent years. We’ve previously written about the Airdresser, an at-home dry cleaning closet, and the company’s BESPOKE smart refrigerators. For CES 2022, Samsung introduced the BESPOKE Jet vacuum, a high-end vacuum and luxury appliance featuring a charger stand that doubles as a “All-in-One Clean Station”. This feature lets users empty the dust bin by pushing a button.

samsung bespoke jet vacuum with stand Courtesy of Samsung

samsung bespoke jet vacuum Courtesy of Samsung

Shop Samsung Jet Vacuums

No release date for the BESPOKE Jet has been announced, and Samsung only says that it’s “coming to global markets in 2022.” However, concept art for the vacuum shows a sleek and futuristic vacuum that’s designed to be given pride of place in your home. After all, if you spend $1,500 on a vacuum, are you really going to shove it in a closet with your winter coats? Heck no. That’s no way to treat a status symbol. Like other premium vacuums from Roomba and Dyson, this is a futuristic vacuum that’s designed to be part of your home decor.

Finally, there’s the BONA BV351AA, “a laser navigating robotic vacuum cleaner specially designed for large-size households”. The new BONA bot doesn’t offer the advanced self-washing docks we’re seeing at CES, but it does offer one of the other biggest trends in the tech world right now — sanitization via UV lights. Ever since COVID ruined everything, we’re seeing a lot more built-in UV sanitizers hit the market.

BONA BV351AA Robot Vacuum Cleaner on table, CES 2022 Courtesy of CTA.

Learn More ABout BONA Vacuums

  

Is There Such a Thing as Too Much Vacuum?

Vacuums have come a long, long way from the clunky vacuums our parents used. Remember vacuum cleaner bags? Like VHS tapes, the entire concept of vacuum bags seems old-fashioned and slightly silly in retrospect. Now, flagship vacuums from iRobot, Dyson and Samsung have seriously raised the bar for household hygiene. And in the COVID-19 era, there are certainly a lot of people willing to invest in a clean and sanitary home.

But let’s be honest about something: a $1,500 vacuum is as much a status symbol as it is a vacuum. We don’t begrudge people for buying luxury appliances. Who doesn’t want nice things?

But we have to wonder how big the market really is for these premium robot vacuums.

The new Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra will retail for $1,400. The Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni costs $1,550. iRobot’s flagship self-emptying Roomba s9+ retails for $1,299, although you can usually find it on sale via Amazon for less.

There’s no doubt that the latest robot vacuums carry some seriously impressive technology, and we included many of them on our list of the Best of CES 2022. However, we do wonder if there are enough customers to support a luxury vacuum market that’s this crowded, especially when you find perfectly good smart robot vacuums for $150-$350.

  

iRobot Roomba i3 Smart Robot Vacuum

There are Roombas for every budget, but we’re big fans of the mid-range Roomba i3, which is a Wi-Fi-connected vacuums with smart features. This robot vac won’t self-empty, but it will self-charge, and it can be controlled via app or voice command. It has plenty of suction power, is great for pet hair, and works on a bunch of different surfaces.

roomba i3 robot vacuum Courtesy of Amazon

iRobot Roomba i3

$299.00 $399.99 25% OFF

  

eufy by Anker, BoostIQ RoboVac 11S MAX

Anker produces the eufy line of robot vacuums, and it’s our favorite budget option in this product category. The eufy RoboVac 11S MAX has a few features we love: it’s super thin for slipping under furniture, boasts 2,000pa of suction power, and it’s always on sale.

eufy by Anker Courtesy of Amazon

eufy RoboVac 11S MAX

$249.99

  

The Coolest Tech Gadgets You Can Buy Today

  

Love what you’re seeing? Follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and be the first to hear about new product launches, the latest trends and can’t miss deals you won’t find anywhere else.