The Best Robot Vacuums for Pet Owners of 2018By Jonathan Chan
Dogs and cats shed. It's a fact of life—like how the sky is blue, or that Wednesday is the longest day of the week.
If you're plagued by stray pet hair, maybe it's time to get a robot vacuum. These automated cleaners can be set to run on a schedule so the only thing you have to do is empty the bin once in a while.
The only problem is choice. The number of robot vacuums on the market has exploded over the past few years, as has the number of features they offer. Nowadays, there are robots that respond to voice commands and even one that doubles as a wet mop.
We were confused, too—which is why we've tested dozens of robot vacuums since 2014. In our tests, we learned that dealing with pet hair is about three things: navigation, agitation, and power. The best robot vacuums can find their way around a room, root pet hair out of carpet fibers, and vacuum it up. If you own a pet, these are the robot vacuums you should consider.
Updated October 16, 2018
Neato Botvac D7 Connected
Neato Botvac D7 ConnectedBest Overall
The Neato Botvac D7 Connected stands as a milestone in robot vacuums. It's the first robot vacuum you can tell when, how, and where to clean–all from your smart phone.
With its innovative No-go lines feature, you can draw lines on virtual maps, that the D7 creates, to prevent the unit from going near sensitive areas like pet bowls and beds.
While the No-go feature is cool, Neato also made a robot vacuum that cleans well, where you want it. The D7’s large wheels and D-shaped design allow it to climb high-pile carpet and get flush against walls. On average, the Neato picked up 9.6 grams of dirt per run. To put that in perspective, if you set the D7 to run automatically every day, that equals 67 grams of dirt a week–on par with a light cleaning from a full-sized vacuum.
iRobot Roomba 980
iRobot Roomba 980Best For Cat Owners
When it comes to robot vacuums, iRobot is really the king of the hill. The cream of the crop on that hill is the iRobot 980. Like the Neato, it's Alexa-enabled, Wi-Fi connected, and designed to clean multiple rooms while still finding its way back to its charger. For pet hair specifically, the 980 has tangle-free brushes, so you won't have clean it as often as other models.
This iRobot didn't get the top spot on this list because, unlike the BotVac, it sometimes had trouble transitioning from bare floors to a tall rug. However, it does have one huge advantage that many cat owners are going to appreciate: omnidirectional virtual walls.
Basically, the 980 comes with two virtual walls that can be set to Halo Mode, which creates a no-go circle four feet in diameter. We suggest you put one near the water and food bowl and one near the litter box, two places you never want an accident. If you already own an iRobot, the Dual Mode virtual barriers work with most models, and can be purchased separately.
How we test
Hey, I'm Jon Chan, the Senior Lab Technician at Reviewed. I've been testing robot vacuums for years and have seen them change a lot. In my belief, the term robot vacuum is a misnomer. Robot vacuums are designed to help maintain your floors in between manual cleanings. When it comes to pet hair, that's a big deal because you need to let your machine run cleaning cycles every day to keep the loose fur at bay. I also think that virtual barriers are very important to help keep your robot away from areas that are sensitive for your pet, like their bed or food bowl.
Most of the tests involve our robot obstacle course. The area contains analogs for furniture legs, shelves, and thresholds. We also spent time looking at how each robot vacuum could benefit a pet owner. For example, the LG Hom-Bot Turbo+ can be remote controlled from anywhere and has cameras that stream. When you combine these two features, you gert a mobile pet cam!
Other robot vacuums we tested
Eufy RoboVac 11s
Where To BuyClick for price Amazon Buy
Eufy RoboVac 11s
If your dog is the furriest thing on your floors, the Eufy RoboVac 11s is worth checking out. It's a highly affordable model that also rocks good performance. The Eufy is perfect for anyone who wants to figure out if a robot vacuum and their pets are compatible. The slim design allows the 11s to jam its brushes into places where pet hair often get swept away. This model also boasts quiet operation, so it isn’t likely to irritate your pets.
The RoboVac 11s has a few drawbacks. It has no virtual walls or magnetic strips to ward it off from unwanted areas. Also, during testing, the Eufy was entirely unable to clean high-pile carpet. That means it will do best in homes with bare floors, not thick carpets.
Dyson 360 Eye
Where To Buy$999.99 Walmart Buy
Dyson 360 Eye
The Dyson 360 is the most expensive robot vacuum in our roundup, retailing for around $999. It's as close to the power and functionality of a full-sized vacuum as you're going to get. It has the dual-fiber brushes that can handle hardwood floors and carpets, as well as the same 100-watt motor found on Dyson's cordless models.
Why is this good for pet owners? Well if your floors are covered in pet hair, you're going to want that extra power—the difference between moving pet hair around and actually cleaning it up. This Dyson was also able to muscle its way onto every surface and get to work.
We wouldn't recommend a $1,000 robot vacuum for everyone. But if you've tried another robot vacuum and found it left behind too much fur, the Dyson is worth trying. Aside from the price, the 360 Eye has one other drawback. Its navigational camera requires light to work, so no night time cleaning.
LG Hom-Bot Turbo+ CR5765GD
LG Hom-Bot Turbo+ CR5765GD
For once, a robot vacuum has actually impressed us with its tech. The LG Hom-Bot Turbo+ represents the next step in robot vacuums. It not only did a great job cleaning floors, but it also had an app that was actually useful. See, the Hom-Bot has multiple cameras that you can access anytime through wifi.
It’s those onboard cameras that we think pet owners will enjoy. We see it as a two-for-one deal: you get a robot vacuum and a mobile pet camera to keep track of our furry loved ones.
If you're shopping for vacuums, check out our guide, The Best Vacuums for Every Home and Every Person.