Best robotic vacuum cleaner

Best robotic vacuum cleaner *Est. $400 Compare Prices
Overall, experts say, robotic vacuums can't replace a full-size vacuum. Still, robovacs work well for light daily cleanups, and they're fun to use. Though expensive, the $400 Neato Robotics XV-11 gets the best reviews and it holds an edge over the similarly priced iRobot Roomba 560 in two professional tests. Reviewers say the square-edged Neato Robotics XV-11 gets into corners better than the round Roomba, but the Neato robotic vacuum is taller than the Roomba, so it won't fit under some furniture. The Neato XV-11 can clean about three rooms on a single charge, and it automatically returns to its docking station to recharge and finish the job. In addition, it can be scheduled to clean automatically up to seven times per week. On the downside, some owners say the Neato's magnetic navigation strip can be easily damaged. We read some complaints about noise, although many say the Neato is quieter than a traditional vacuum cleaner.

Budget robotic vacuum cleaner

Budget robotic vacuum cleaner *Est. $100 Compare Prices
Although it doesn't get the same volume of reviewer feedback as the Neato Robotics vacuum cleaner, the much cheaper Infinuvo CleanMate offers some unique features, such as a UV light to disinfect floors, a compartment to hold a scent packet and a remote control. Owners say a single charge lasts about 70 minutes, but it takes approximately four hours for the unit to fully recharge. The Infinuvo CleanMate robotic vacuum cleaner emits a warning beep when the battery is low and it returns to its docking station. Reviewers say the CleanMate is louder than other robotic vacuum cleaners, and that it works best on hard flooring and low-pile rugs rather than on plusher carpet. It comes with three reusable, washable filters that cut down on maintenance costs.

Do robotic vacuums really work?

Robotic vacuum cleaners are hands-free, battery-powered gadgets that seek out and suck up dirt, debris and dust from carpeting and hard floors. Robot vacuums are generally squat and round, some with squared corners. While it would be nice to think that a robotic vacuum could keep your whole home clean with no human intervention, reviewers say that's just not yet the case. You'll still need a regular vacuum for deeper cleaning, and for getting behind furniture and appliances and vacuuming stairs. So while robotic vacuum cleaners do work, they are more of a fun splurge than vacuuming nirvana.

While many manufacturers (including Samsung and LG) are selling robotic vacuums in other countries, the two main competitors in the U.S. right now are iRobot (which makes several Roomba vacuums) and Neato Robotics, which makes just one model. We found the most comparisons between the iRobot Roomba 560 (*Est. $350) and the Neato Robotics XV-11 (*Est. $400). While it's certainly not a landslide victory, the edge in the most recent reviews goes to the Neato robotic vacuum.

What To Look For
  • Robot vacuums won't replace regular vacuuming.
  • Under-furniture cleaning can be an issue.
  • Scheduling features vary.
Read More

The two robovacs are compared in reviews on Engadget.com and BotJunkie.com. Editors at Engadget.com say the Neato Robotics XV-11 has a few distinct advantages over the Roomba 560:  It has two square corners, allowing for more efficient corner and edge cleaning, and it vacuums more efficiently. While the iRobot Roomba vacuum uses a more meandering approach, bumping into obstacles and changing direction, the Neato robotic vacuum first scans the room with a laser eye; it then maps out the most efficient cleaning path. In Engadget.com's test, the Roomba 560 took 45 minutes compared to just 12 minutes for the Neato vacuum to clean the same space. On the other hand, some reviewers argue that the iRobot Roomba 560 does a more thorough cleaning job, since it ends up vacuuming over the same spots multiple times.

The Neato Robotics XV-11 is also capable of vacuuming an infinite number of rooms without human interference. Because it maps out a room in advance, it knows the exact location of its charging station and returns to it promptly to recharge when its battery runs low. The Roomba 560 also returns to its charging base, but after the Neato vacuum refuels, it returns to the exact spot it left off to finish the job. Both the Neato Robotics XV-11 and the iRobot Roomba 560 transition well from carpeting to floors, say reviewers, but the XV-11 wins again when it comes to cleaning the unit: Pet hair and other large debris tend to become tangled in the Roomba 560's brushes and bearings, which user reviews say is a pain to clean. The Neato robotic vacuum, on the other hand, remains tangle-free, and owners posting to Amazon.com who've owned both vacuums say the dust bin doesn't have to be emptied as frequently.


Cheap robotic vacuums: Few options

Even the least expensive Roomba robotic vacuum, the iRobot Roomba 510 (*Est. $280) costs almost $300. If you like the idea of a robotic vacuum cleaner but don't want to invest that much, there aren't many options.

The Infinuvo CleanMate QQ-1 (*Est. $100) and CleanMate QQ-2 (*Est. $100) are the least expensive robotic vacuums we found. Neither is widely available, and the QQ-2 is too new to have user reviews, but the QQ-1 robotic vacuum cleaner gets decent feedback in two dozen reviews posted at Amazon.com. The Infinuvo QQ-1 has a few unique extras: a compartment for a scent packet to freshen your home as it vacuums, a remote control and an ultraviolet light to disinfect floors. It's noisier than other robot vacuums during use, and it doesn't automatically return to its charging station (the newer QQ-2 does return to the charging base). Owners say the Infinuvo QQ-1 works better on hard floors than on carpeting, and many say they wish the battery lasted longer (it runs for about 70 minutes on a single charge, and it takes about four hours to fully recharge). The Infinuvo QQ-1 comes with three reusable, washable air filters that cut down on maintenance costs over time. The overall consensus is that the QQ-1 does an adequate job and is far less expensive than the Roomba or Neato robotic vacuum cleaners.

Expert & User Review Sources

We found helpful comparison reviews covering the Neato XV-11 and iRobot Roomba 560 at Engadget.com and BotJunkie.com. CrunchGear.com covers the Neato XV-11 and offers limited comparison to iRobot Roomba vacuums in general. Gizmodo.com offers in-depth coverage of the iRobot Roomba 610 Professional Series. We found hundreds of consumer-written reviews for robotic vacuum cleaners at Amazon.com, and many models have several dozen reviews or more on Viewpoints.com and Epinions.com.

image
iRobot 560 Roomba Vacuuming Robot, Black and Silver
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $449.99   
Average Customer Review:  
image
Neato XV-11 All Floor Robotic Vacuum System
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $399.00   
Average Customer Review:  
image
iRobot Roomba 510 Vacuuming Robot
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $249.99   
Average Customer Review:  
image
Infinuvo QQ-1 CleanMate 365-Intelligent Robotic Vacuum Cleaner, Red
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $219.00 $139.00   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
image
Infinuvo CleanMate QQ-2 BASIC Robotic Vacuum Cleaner
Buy from Amazon.com
from Amazon.com
New: $199.99 $129.99   
In Stock.
Average Customer Review:  
Sponsored Links

Back to top