UPDATE: January 20, 2023, 12:00 PM EST This story has been updated with the best deals on robot vacuum cleaners from iRobot, eufy and more. Here are the ones that are up for grabs from January 20:
There are only three certain things in life: death, taxes, and a few days a month when you need to vacuum but just don’t have the time. Whether you hate the chore or hope to lighten up your home’s upkeep, a robot vacuum cleaner is a lifesaver. Shop models on sale below.
Robot vacuum cleaners under $200
Why we like it
A $96 robot vacuum cleaner? With really good reviews? Were sold. This compact Eufy vacuum cleaner is an easy choice for small spaces and inconspicuous furniture. You won’t get smart maps at this price, of course, but current 25C owners are impressed with the navigation when it comes to furniture and walls.
More robot vacuum cleaners under $200
Robot vacuum cleaners under $500
Why we like it
Under $250 is a great price for a self-cleaning robot vacuum, especially from a brand as recognizable as Shark. The EZ vacuum doesn’t map your home, but still maintains room-to-wall coverage by cleaning in methodical rows. It returns to dirty areas that need extra work, then returns to its compact dock to empty its own dustbin.
Multi-stage filter system
70 minutes of battery life in Max mode and 140 minutes of battery life in Eco mode
Self-emptying dock can hold 30 days worth of debris
More robot vacuum cleaners under $500
Robot vacuum cleaners under $800
Why we like it
Grab the smartest Roomba for less than $600 — that’s only about $60 more than its all-time low price, which it’s only reached once. It’s the only Roomba to use PrecisionVision Navigation to detect and avoid obstacles that have previously caused problems, such as phone chargers and pet droppings. The j7+ also drains on its own.
Space mapping, zone cleaning and small obstacle avoidance
Battery life of 85 minutes
The self-emptying dock can hold up to two months worth of debris
More robot vacuum cleaners under $800
Hybrid robot vacuum cleaners and mops and special robot mops
Why we like it
Don’t sleep on this rare discount one of our favourites robot vacuum cleaners and mop hybrids. The Roborock S7 has reliable suction that performs well on both hardwood and carpet. Attaching the mop pad will also give your floor a scrub, but won’t soak your rugs. The S7+ also empties itself and can be sent to specific rooms at your command.
More hybrids and robot mops on sale
Are robot vacuum cleaners worth it?
The control of an upright vacuum cleaner comes with its own kind of satisfaction. But if you’re not one to view cleaning as cathartic, a robotic vacuum cleaner can erase that huge, agonizing task from your to-do list. (And did we mention how nice it is to always have ‘first day clean’ floors?)
But whether robot vacuum cleaners are worth it or not, there’s a caveat: it can’t be just any robot vacuum cleaner. A cheap robot vacuum cleaner that doesn’t do its job properly – spreading dust, bumping into walls, getting stuck on area rugs – can actually make more work for you.
What should you pay attention to when buying a robot vacuum cleaner?
Suction is key
A vacuum cleaner is the only purchase you make heap sucks a lot. Suction is typically measured in Pascals (Pa), with most current vacs being between 1,500 Pa and 3,000 Pa. A stronger vacuum will be needed to pick up heavier pieces of dirt (be sure to set a no-go zone around Legos) and to pull tangled pet hair off rugs.
Know your floor type
Carpet and deep-pile carpets are likely to need stronger suction than hard floors, as well as special features such as an extra-wide or self-cleaning brush roll to prevent hairs from getting caught up and clogging. People in homes with multiple floor types might want to consider a larger, sturdier robot vacuum cleaner that can hurl itself and its wheels over mats, rugs, and transitions from carpet to hard floors.
Consider automatic emptying
Because robot vacuum cleaners are usually less than four inches long, their built-in dust bins are also small, meaning they need to be emptied often. (Trash cans fill up particularly quickly in homes with pets.) A self-emptying vacuum cleaner takes that job off your hands and empties itself into a larger bin in the charging dock. These larger bins can typically hold dirt for weeks without needing to be cleaned or emptied.
Think about the layout of your home
Each robot vacuum cleaner is equipped with sensors and drop detection. But if your home has many rooms, many curves, or lots of closely spaced furniture, you’ll have fewer navigation problems with an advanced model that uses intelligent maps to remember exactly how your home is laid out, including labeling specific rooms, mental notes of stairs and the possibility to use zone cleaning.
Pay attention to inconspicuous furniture
No one should be afraid of what has been accumulating under the couch for the past year. A four-inch or less robot vacuum should be able to get under most low-slung couches and beds.
Assess battery life and square footage
One of the main complaints people have about their robot vacuum cleaner is that it cuts out in the middle of the floor. Larger areas take longer to clean, and it all depends on how annoyed you’ll be if it only finishes a few rooms at a time. Average run times for the list below range between 90 and 200 minutes, which translates to about 500 and 2,800 square feet covered on a single charge.
Look for app controls
WiFi-enabled robot vacuums can be synced with a smartphone app to control scheduling, manual start and cleaning settings, as well as tell your vacuum cleaner to make its rounds when you’re not home. Low-end models that don’t connect to Wi-Fi usually come with a separate remote control. If you’re used to asking Alexa or Google to turn off the lights or tell you the weather, a voice-integrated model fits the bill nicely.