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Robot vacuums are a saving grace when it comes to keeping your place neat and tidy. Typically puck-shaped in design, these sentient cleaners employ a handful of sensors, scanners and navigational algorithms to effectively sweep the floors of your residence.
Many robot vacuums are also web-connectable, allowing you to control and customize the way your bot cleans from a handy companion app. A number of WiFi-capable vacs can even be controlled by voice assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant.
All Hail the Mighty Roomba
When it comes to robot vacuums, one of the most widely recognized brands is iRobot — specifically, the company’s lineup of Roomba vacuums. In fact, you’ll often hear folks referring to any robot vacuum as a Roomba.
iRobot Roomba j7+
Roomba vacuums offer some of the most cutting-edge cleaning and performance features, along with some of the most intuitive tech tools that you’ll find in a robot vac. The one drawback is that Roombas tend to be some of the most expensive bot vacs on the market.
Fortunately, there are a number of Roomba alternatives for under $200 that are still excellent robot vacuums. For those of us that can’t afford to splurge on the Roomba name, or an equally high-priced offering from the likes of another company, the best Roomba alternatives are the way to go.
Does a Higher Price Mean Better Features?
Many robot vacuums (regardless of the brand) can run upwards of $500 or more. Of course, higher prices often translate to better features, better cleaning and better reliability. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that a Roomba alternative under $200 isn’t going to do a great job for your house.
We understand that some shoppers may have their reservations about going with an entry- or mid-tier robot vacuum, and we’re here to say that these concerns are certainly not unfounded. There are indeed a number of perks you’ll miss out on by opting for a bot vac that falls under $500. These are things like:
- No home-mapping or navigational tech (infrared sensors only)
- Less advanced cleaning features, such as the ability to adapt to different floor surfaces
- Less battery life
- No WiFi or companion app capabilities
- Less ergonomic designs
While it’s important to understand what you’re giving up, this isn’t to say that there are not some tremendous budget-level vacuums out there. Actually, for your consideration, we’ve gone ahead and rounded up six of the best Roomba alternatives for under $200. And with all of these, you may not have the advanced features of the Roomba, but your place will still be dust bunny-free after use.
1. eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 11S
Rocking one of the slimmest robot vacuum profiles (only 2.85 inches from top to bottom), the eufy RoboVac 11S will have no trouble getting underneath most of the furniture in your home. When you add in 1300Pa of suction power, drop-sensors to avoid a fall down the stairs, and the trademark BoostIQ feature that automatically amps up the suction when the 11S moves from hardwood to carpeting, you get one of the best Roomba alternatives under $200 you can get your hands on.
2. Ecovacs DEEBOT 500
BEST FOR SMART FEATURES
Compatible with both Alexa and Google Assistant, the DEEBOT 500 can be put to work with just a few spoken phrases — a feature you usually don’t see for $150. Another unusual add-on for the price is a decent companion app for your phone or tablet. Once your vac is connected to WiFi, the Ecovacs Smart App allows you to build customized schedules for your bot, remotely start and stop cleaning and change between cleaning modes.
3. Pure Clean Automatic Vacuum Cleaner
THE PET-FRIENDLY OPTION
Extremely versatile and highly convenient, the Pure Clean is great for covering hardwood floors and for hitting all those hard-to-reach areas in your home. With a slim body and extra low profile, it’s able to clean areas that are otherwise avoided. The anti-fall sensors help it detect and avoid falling down stairs, and the excellent onboard HEPA filter can trap airborne pollutants and all that pesky pet dander hanging around your home.
4. iLIFE V5s Pro Robot Vacuum & Mop Cleaner
BEST FOR MOPPING
Slightly higher up on the robotic food chain is the iLIFE V5. Sporting an extra powerful internal motor with the ability to automatically adjust to whatever surface it’s cleaning, this Roomba alternative is also able to mop and scrub your laminate floors.
5. iLife Robot Vacuum Cleaner
This vacuum’s three-step cleaning program offers unparalleled results. With the ability to adjust to any surface, the iLife offers a smarter way to clean. Plus, the internal motor is significantly quieter than other leading robotic vacuums, making it a great Roomba alternative for under $200.
6. iRobot Roomba 692
A ROOMBA FOR LESS THAN $200
Yes, most Roombas tend to cost around $500 or more, but the company’s 600 series is a family of vacs that hover right around $200. The 692 model features WiFi connectivity for mobile controls with the iRobot app, as well as voice assistant support for Alexa and Google Assistant.
This model also features Roomba’s 3-Stage Cleaning System, which combines dual multi-surface brushes, edge sweeping brushes, and powerful suction for one of the most thorough budget-cleanups on the market. The 692 normally sells for $300 but is currently on sale for $180!