Robot vacuums today are not the clunky furniture destroyers from yesteryear. Modern automated floor cleaners now connect to the internet, which allows you to control your robot with smart apps, as well as with digital assistants like Alexa and Google Home.
When smart connectivity first debuted, our testing showed it was a bit of a gimmick. However, over time, smart technology has evolved to the point it’s a major plus when done right.
Recent smart robot vacuums have features like onboard cameras so they can act like security cameras as well as floor cleaners. Improved smartphone apps now include virtual maps to help track cleaning, create barriers, and provide more useful information.
We gathered up a dozen of some of the top-selling robot vacuums with smart home features and put them to the test. After spending months having our robot vacuums maneuver our obstacle course, we’ve decided that the LG Hom-Bot Turbo+ CR5765GD(available at Lowe's for $749.99) is the best model to help you keep up with the Jetsons rather than the Joneses.
Here are the best smart robot vacuums we've tested in ranked order:
LG Hom-Bot Turbo+ CR5765GD
Eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 30C
Neato Botvac D7 Connected
EcoVacs Deebot Ozmo 930
EcoVacs Deebot N79S
Neato Botvac D3 Connected
Neato Botvac Connected
Dyson 360 Eye
Samsung POWERbot R7070
EcoVacs DeeBot DM88
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We think the LG Hom-Bot Turbo+ is the best smart robot vacuum largely because of how many useful things it can do. Like other smart robot vacuums, you can control it remotely from your smartphone, telling it where and when to clean.
Unlike other robot vacuums, its HomeGuard feature can also transmit images and video. That means you can instruct the Hom-Bot to park in front of a main entrance and take pictures whenever anything bigger than a dog walks past. If you were ever worried about the safety of your home but don't want to wire your house with cameras—or you just want to see what Fido or Fluffy is up to when you're not around—the Hom-Bot is a good compromise.
Luckily, the Hom-Bot Turbo+ is also a great vacuum cleaner: During our dirt pickup tests, this LG scored in the top 10 percent of all robot vacuums we've tested, averaging around 12.6 grams of dirt pickup per run. Roughly speaking, over the course of a week the Turbo+ can pick up as much dirt and debris as a single clean with a full-sized vacuum.
Its big drawback is that it currently lacks Alexa compatibility—but it does work well with Google Home, and its smartphone app is robust. It will show you a map of where it cleaned, and you can send it to specific rooms via remote control.
When we tallied up all its superior smart features, powerful cleaning, and slick design, we knew the LG Hom-Bot Turbo+ would earn its spot as the overall best smart robot vacuum.
The Eufy Robovac 30C lives where the budget-minded shopper and the smart home enthusiast can meet. This robot vacuum incorporates everything we loved about previous Robovac models and adds even more.
You still get the easy-to-use app. However, this time around, Eufy also includes two magnetic boundary strips that can be used to keep the 30C from wandering off into sensitive areas.
We found the smart features to be both robust and simplistic. From the app, you can dictate cleaning schedules, initial cleanings, and check on the battery status. If you don’t have your phone on you, the 30C can also be controlled via Amazon Alexa or Google Home Assistant. On the cleaning front, the 30C proved to be ahead of the pack. During our cleaning tests, it picked up, on average, over 10 grams of dirt. Over the course of the week, the 30C can keep up with a light cleaning from a regular vacuum.
Hey, I'm Jon Chan, the Senior Lab Technician at Reviewed. If you clean with it—whether it’s laundry detergents or dishwashers—I oversee its testing. This expertise extends to vacuums: upright, canister, handheld, and robotic.
I've been testing robot vacuums for years and have seen them change a lot. 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. Each robot vacuum has three chances to prove itself. The first two runs, we placed cork pellets under the shelves and between the furniture legs. When we let the robot vacuum loose, we look for how long a cleaning cycle takes, what obstacles it was able to clean thoroughly, and overall debris pickup. For the final test run, we replaced the cork with pet hair.
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 get a mobile pet cam.
What You Need to Know About Robot Vacuums
After testing dozens and dozens of robot vacuums, we think the name is a bit of a misnomer. A robot vacuum’s ability to pick up dirt pales in comparison to that of a full-sized vacuum and can only really compete over the course of a week. We found that consumers experience the most satisfaction with their robot vacuums when they view them as floor maintainers in between manual cleanings.
We should also point out that most robot vacuums are designed for bare floors and medium carpet. If you have throw rugs taller than a half-inch, your robot vacuum might not be able to climb atop it, or it may get stuck if it gets up there. This fact is vital for pet owners because it means pet beds are a point of contention.
Avoiding Robot Vacuum Pet Mishaps
Over the years, three technologies have developed to help keep robot vacuums from running amok: magnetic strips, virtual barriers, and app-based barriers. All three of these methods have their pros and cons.
Magnetic strips are the simplest. You lay them on the floor and they create a barrier that designated robot vacuums will not cross. While they don’t require batteries, magnetic strips are cumbersome. Most robot vacuums that included them only ship with one, so you have to cut them if you want to cover multiple entryways.
The next step up is virtual barriers. These battery-powered devices emit an infrared line that tells robot vacuums to turn back. Some specialized barriers, like iRobot’s lighthouse, can create a “halo” or a circle barrier to encompass a piece of furniture or a pet bowl.
The final method, aside from shutting doors, involves specialized apps. New mapping technologies allow robot vacuums to have a better understanding of their surroundings. They can then send that information to your phone. Companies like iRobot, Neato, and Ecovacs all produce robot vacuums were you can draw lines on virtual maps to denote where the robots can and cannot go.
Robot vs. Vacuum
Whenever you have a device that’s battery-powered, you’re going to have to deal with a series of tradeoffs. With robot vacuums, it’s a balancing act between being a good robot and a good vacuum.
A good robot navigates well by not bumping into furniture and getting over thresholds. But a robot vacuum’s worst downfall is when it gets stuck and requires a helping hand, defeating the purpose of an automated floor cleaner. However, being a good robot means drawing power away from the brushes and to the wheels, sensors, and circuit board.
A robot vacuum that cleans well tends to ram itself into furniture. A robot vacuum can’t clean where its brushes haven’t been. They also tend to be noisier as more power is drawn to the suction motor.
The basic rule of thumb is that the more a robot vacuum costs, the better robot it is and the less dirt it will pick up. We’re talking about a 20 percent difference between the best navigators that never get close to a chair leg and a robot vacuum that scuffs everything in your house. The most exceptional robot vacuums do both and they tend to win our Editor’s Choice and Best of Year awards.
Different Types of Navigation
Robot vacuums tend to have two different types of navigation, infrared and optical, or a combination of both. Infrared sensors shoot out beams that give information about distance. Optical navigation involves cameras, usually mounted on the top of the unit. Typically, these cameras utilize contrast and landmarks to decipher where they are. Robot vacuums that rely on optical navigation cannot work in a pitch black room.
How Long Do Robot Vacuums Last?
This is a very tricky question. However, we find that the battery is the shortest-lived part of a robot vacuum. Both nickel and lithium batteries have hard limits on the number of times they can recharge. Nickel batteries suffer from a limitation known as memory loss—basically, over time, they lose the ability to recharge fully. The cathodes of lithium batteries tend to wear after a few years. As a rule of thumb, you can expect to buy a new battery pack for your robot vacuum after two to four years of use, depending on how often you run your device.
Are Robot Vacuums Worth the Money?
If you’re a pet owner, a robot vacuum helps get at balls of fur that are everywhere. As a floor maintainer between manual cleanings, they can save a lot of time and energy. The way to get your money’s worth is to set a robot vacuum to automatically run every day. Getting one with an app is also a bonus for those times you need to give your floors a once-over before coming home to any last-minute surprise guests.
Other Robot Vacuums We Tested
Neato Botvac D7 Connected
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 smartphone. 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.
Testing shows that the EcoVacs DeeBot Ozmo 930 sits ahead of most of the competition. The majority of smart vacuums let you start, stop, and schedule from your phone. The 930 lets you do that with just the sound of your voice, since it’s Alexa- and Google Assistant-compatible.
You can also create virtual barriers—lines you don’t want the 930 to cross. The opposite is also possible. With a single swipe, the app tells the 930 to go over a certain area multiple times. This feature works really well with high-traffic locations in your home.
After testing automated cleaners for so long, we often see the robot in robot vacuum left behind. The Ozmo 930 puts it in the forefront, letting you control, when, where and for how long you want an area vacuumed.
The EcoVacs DeeBot N79S is an amazing value. However, that doesn't change the fact the N79S is the most basic model in our roundup.
The smart app basically transfers the functions from the N79S's remote control onto your smartphone. You can also control this robot vacuum via Amazon Alexa.
Putting the N79S to the test, we found it cleaned well—but sometimes skipped under furniture and shied away from throw rugs. There's no way to keep it out of a room, either. However, the smart functions worked well. Setup was a breeze—just remember you need a 2.4GHz connection.
Neato was the first robot vacuum company to introduce Alexa compatibility and the D3 is the most affordable model with this feature.
We like the D3 Connected because it's both capable and affordable. Like all Neato vacuums, its D-shaped design allows a wider brush to get right up against walls, and it does a good job cleaning. Neato robot vacuums also have sensors mounted on top that give them a clearer view of the room. In our tests, Neato is one of the few brands whose robots can consistently make the transition from bare floors to atop high-pile carpet, and back down again.
The D3 Connected's added smart features allow you to start, stop, and schedule cleanings from a smartphone app or through Alexa, Google Home, or Facebook Chatbot.
The iRobot Roomba i7+ is the first robot vacuum that can empty itself. A vacuum in the charging base suctions everything out of the bin into a sealable bag. That means you don't have to see, touch, or smell what your robot vacuum picks up. Also for your convenience, the i7+ has a whole host of smart features. It’s Alexa- and Google Home–compatible. The i7+ can even make virtual maps that can track cleaning cycles and even keep it out of individual rooms.
Fancy tech aside, the i7+ picks up quite a bit. On average, it picked up 10 grams of debris, so in a week, it can keep up with a mild manual cleaning. The i7+ is expensive, but every penny is accounted for in a large number of features and excellent performance.
For a higher-end robot vacuum, you get real-time remote control cleaning, a smartphone app that shows a map of where it cleaned, virtual barriers similar to the Roomba's, and a bigger battery that lets the Connected clean more than twice the surface area as the D3—up to 5,000 square feet.
An improved brush and edge cleaning features means it picks up dirt and debris as well as the top vacuums we've tested. However, if you're willing to spend this much on a robot vacuum, we recommend getting the D7 Connected. It is quite similar to the original Connected, but its virtual "No-Go" feature is truly unique.
The Dyson 360 Eye is what happens when a vacuum company designs a robot. As a vacuum, the Eye has the same motor and full-size brush a Dyson upright. As a robot, it relies on a panoramic camera and track-like wheels to get almost anywhere. The end result is bulky, but good at cleaning.
In contrast, the Dyson app is streamlined and slick. It lets you start and stop the machine and can display a map of where the 360 Eye has cleaned. There's even a contact number for customer service if something goes wrong. While these features aren't unique to Dyson, we found the app to be easier to use and better designed than many of its competitors.
Still, the 360 Eye has two major drawbacks: price and size. It's hard to justify spending three times as much as the Eufy RoboVac 11c—which cleans nearly as well. The Dyson is also 4.7 inches tall, so it can't get under couches or cabinets.
The Neato D4 is part of the same family as the Neato D7, which we reviewed favorably. It has the No-Go lines and got similar debris pickup numbers. However, during testing, the D4 got confounded by our testing course more often than the average robot vacuum. Because it got stuck and stalled out several times, we couldn't give it a top spot. However, if you have an open floor plan with a sparse amount of furniture, the D4 is a lower cost alternative to the D7.
The Samsung Powerbot R7070 has a ton of innovative features, like an automatically retracting shutter that deploys to scrape debris away from walls. We also really like Samsung's app. With it, you can start, stop, schedule, and see a cleaning map of where the unit has been. It's also compatible with Alexa and Samsung's own SmartThings platform.
However, we found one significant flaw in our tests: It repeatedly got caught on a throw rug, dragging it around the room. Other robot vacuums we've tested had this same problem, but they all cost much less than this Samsung. We think this may be a flaw with the R7070's automatically adjusting suction, and we're hoping that a software update will be enough to fix the issue.
The EcoVacs Deebot DM88 rounds out our list of smart robot vacuums. It cleans as well as other vacuums at the same price point, and its accompanying app is standard fare, allowing you to start, stop, and schedule cleanings. You can also link the M88 to Alexa.
The DM88 sits at an awkward crossroads of affordability and performance. We think the Eufy is a better value, and LG, iRobot, and Neato all make better vacuums. It does have one unique feature: A mop attachment that can polish wood and tile floors.
Jonathan Chan currently serves as the Senior Lab Technician 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.
We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.