Over the years, automated floor cleaners, or robot vacuums, have become affordable for the average person. We’ve tested the best robot vacuums at every price point, and we’ve found some exceptional low-cost models.
These budget robot vacuums may not have cutting-edge cleaning technology, but not everyone needs the latest and greatest—especially if you’re just looking for one to give you a helping hand between regular cleaning sessions.
Every robot vacuum on this list has undergone testing in our custom-built obstacle course, which simulates household obstacles from table legs to throw rugs. We also ensure that every robot vacuum that gets our approval can handle dirt, crumbs, and pet hair.
After evaluating dozens of entry-level models, our tests show the Eufy Robovac 11S (available at Amazon) tops the charts, both in terms of performance and value.
These are the best budget robot vacuums we tested ranked, in order.
Eufy Robovac 11S
The Eufy Robovac 11S tops our budget rankings because it combines power and good navigation. On our robot vacuum obstacle course, the 11S did well on both low-pile carpets and on bare floors.
The test results show that this robot vacuum picked up around 11.6 grams of dirt per cleaning session. That puts the Eufy on the same level as most Roombas, which are generally pricier.
This Eufy robot vacuum also does a good job of navigating under furniture. In fact, the S in 11S stands for slim. At just three inches tall, this Eufy lives up to its name. Being shorter than its competitors allows the 11S to slip under furniture with ease and get at dust that is normally beyond reach.
Overall, if you’re looking to get the best value for your budget, the Eufy 11S delivers. It does lack a smartphone app, but there are a lot of consumers out there who will be fine with a completely disconnected appliance.
The Eureka Groove NER300 impressed us with its powerful suction and ability to climb high thresholds. During testing, the Groove suctioned up enough dirt and debris to stand toe-to-toe with robot vacuums that cost twice as much.
The NER300 did a bang-up job transitioning from hardwood floor to thick carpet and back again. It also works with an app, allowing you to start, stop, and schedule cleanings from anywhere.
We did find that the Groove was a bit rough on furniture. Not dangerously so, but since there’s no way to keep this robot vacuum from entering sensitive areas (aside from shutting the door), it was a cause for concern.
The iRobot 694 is one of the most affordable Roombas on the market. If you’ve owned a Roomba 692 or 675, this is the upgrade that won’t cost a fortune.
During testing, the 694 picked up an average of 11 grams of dirt per run before returning to its charging dock. Any amount above 10 grams means a robot vacuum is going to significantly help maintain your floors.
We also liked the Roomba 694 because it can start, stop, and be programmed via a free app or remotely controlled with voice commands. Anyone looking to create a low-cost smart home should check this robot vacuum out.
The only major fault we found with this Roomba robot vacuum is that its obstacle avoidance leaves a lot to be desired.
Jacks of all trades may be masters of none, but they do tend to be cost-effective. The Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo 601 stands as a shining example. It’s a combination robot mop and vacuum that handles both in stride.
On average, the Ozmo 601 picked up a respectable 10.6 grams of dirt per run. There may be robot vacuums that can outdo this Deebot in debris pickup on this list, but none of them also double as a dusting mop at this price range. A water tank slightly dampens the included mopping pads to tackle dust that adheres to hardwood floors.
The oddly named Bobsweep Bobi Pet (stylized as bObi Pet) comes with a ton of extras, including a virtual wall, a dry mop attachment, and a UV light on its underside that Bobsweep says can kill germs.
All these goodies will cost you: The Bobi Pet was one of the most expensive robot vacuums in our budget category, retailing for around $300.
For that price, it gave a mixed performance. While it cleaned 75% of the pet hair we laid out for it, it also got stuck on the edges of a doormat multiple times, requiring human intervention to get moving again. This defeats the purpose of an automated cleaner, which is why we're on the fence about recommending it.
The Yeedi K650 is one of the most affordable robot vacuums on the market. During testing, it put up some competitive numbers, including picking an average of 9.3 grams of dirt per cycle.
That’s as good as the Eufy G30, but at half the price. The K650 also boasts an anti-scratch top, so it’ll keep looking good long into the future.
The major downside that we saw with this Yeedi is that in order to cut costs, the box is pretty empty. It’s compatible with a magnetic boundary strip, which keeps it out of sensitive rooms, but that’s sold separately. Overall, if you’re looking to see if a robot vacuum is right for you, the Yeedi K650 is a solid pick.
Hey, I'm Jon Chan, the senior lab manager at Reviewed and our resident vacuum expert. Since starting at Reviewed, I spearheaded our efforts in testing robot vacuums. When I test an automated floor cleaner, I’m interested in whether it's a good smart device, suitable for pet owners, or just a good cleaner.
Most of the tests involve our custom-made, in-house robot obstacle course. The area contains analogs for furniture legs, shelves, and thresholds. Each robot vacuum has exactly three chances to prove itself.
For the first two runs, we place cork pellets under the shelves and between the furniture legs. We let the robot vacuum loose to see how long a cleaning cycle takes, what obstacles it can clean thoroughly, whether its HEPA filters (if it has them) grab onto dust and other allergens, and the overall debris pickup performance.
For the final test run, we replace the cork with pet hair and run another test. We also consider each robot vac's battery life and build quality.
How to Choose the Best Budget Robot Vacuum
When it comes to saving money on robot vacuums, it’s about what you’re willing to sacrifice. For example, if you want a robot vacuum cleaner with excellent object avoidance, you’re probably going to get one that doesn’t clean as well because it avoids places where dirt hides. Getting one with great suction power may mean sacrificing battery life.
However, we do have some tips on how to shop for a quality robot vacuum. First, stay away from gimmick features. Things like UV sanitation are just add-ons to grab your attention.
Cheap robot vacuums tend to have more powerful suction, since their power isn’t going into the “robot” features like navigation or object avoidance. However, great suction may not be as exciting as it seems if the navigation is too poor to direct the vacuum to where it’s actually needed.
Overall, our biggest recommendation is to look for good navigation over power, and make sure the features you’re paying for those you actually want to use.
Should You Even Buy A Robot Vacuum?
At first glance, you might think a robot vacuum is something that someone on a budget or fixed income shouldn’t get. However, you can get a lot of value out of a robot vacuum if you purchase the right one.
First off, it frees up more of your time from regularly cleaning your floors. A good robot vacuum helps maintain your floors between manual cleanings. If you or a loved one have mobility issues, a robot vacuum can also be a cost-effective aid to aging in place.
Jonathan Chan currently serves as the Lab Manager at Reviewed. If you clean with it, it's likely that Jon oversees its testing. Since joining the Reviewed in 2012, Jon has helped launch the company's efforts in reviewing laptops, vacuums, and outdoor gear. He thinks he's a pretty big deal. In the pursuit of data, he's plunged his hands into freezing cold water, consented to be literally dragged through the mud, and watched paint dry. Jon demands you have a nice day.
Our team is here for one purpose: to help you buy the best stuff and love what you own. Our writers, editors, and lab technicians obsess over the products we cover to make sure you're confident and satisfied. Have a different opinion about something we recommend? Email us and we'll compare notes.