Household chores like ironing, washing and vacuuming are never particularly enjoyable. In fact, most people hate them and the few that might enjoy them are probably getting paid to do so.
Don't worry though, there is something that could make your life a little easier and make one of these three chores a little more fun – a robotic vacuum cleaner.
These little smart bots are designed to ease the misery of household cleaning. They cannot replace the traditional vacuum cleaner in terms of cleaning power, but regularly scheduled cleaning with these bots often results in a satisfactory clean and keeps your house looking far more presentable.
We're running down the very best robot vacuums we've seen to help you with your purchasing decision.
Best robot vacuums for under £500
Roborock S5 Robot Vacuum cleaner
- Intelligent mapping system via 13 sensors, LDS scan tech and accompanying app
- 480ml dustbin/140ml capacity water tank
- Scheduled, zone cleaning and mopping system with multiple suction levels
- Up to 150-minutes cleaning time
- 5200mAh lithium-ion battery
- Automatic carpet detection and 2000Pa suction power
The Roborock S5 Robot Vacuum cleaner is a real hidden gem. Roborock might be a brand you've never heard of, but don't let that put you off. The company is backed by Chinese technology giant Xiaomi, which speaks volumes. The product itself though, speaks for itself.
The S5 is an affordable, capable and intelligent robot vacuum cleaner that does as good a job as bots that cost twice as much and it does it with more style too. A gleaming white finish hides plenty of tricks underneath, including an intelligent mapping system that tracks the layout of the home every time it goes out.
It's smartphone app controlled, has multiple cleaning settings and is supported by numerous sensors which we found made it one of the least likely to get unexpectedly stuck during use. The S5 also includes a wet mopping system for hard floors and numerous clever design features that make it a really great option to consider.
Roborock S6 Robot Vacuum cleaner
- Remote control functionality
- 5200mAh lithium-ion battery
- 2000Pa suction power
- 480ml dustbin/140ml capacity water tank
- Scheduled, zone cleaning and mopping system
- High precision laser-detection scanning
- Real-time mapping system and customisable zones
- Multi-floor capable with virtual barriers and no go zones
The Roborock S6 Robot Vacuum cleaner succeeds the S5 and while it is a little more money, it stays under £500 and it's nicely improved over its predecessor, with clear signs of nearly all the design aspects having been carefully mulled over during the creation process.
This bot is more than capable of delivering impressive cleaning results throughout the home. Its intelligent mapping system is one of the best we've seen and it is remarkably easy to use and customise. The result is a bot that works for you, with very little hassle and plenty of customisation options.
All told, the Roborock S6 is one of our favourite robot vacuum cleaners. We wholeheartedly recommend this robot vacuum cleaner to anyone looking to add some automated cleaning to their home and it's also a lot less cash than you'll have to pay out for some of the big-name brands' competitors.
Ecovacs Deebot 710 Robot Vacuum
- Infrared anti-collision sensor
- 520ml dust bin
- Smart Navigation 2.0 camera
- Floor mapping
- 110 min run time
- 240min charge time
- Manual control with remote
- Google Assistant/Alexa compatibility
The Ecovacs Deebot 710 is an excellent cleaner with a large dustbin and its smart navigation systems make it efficient enough to cover a lot of ground every time you turn it on.
Its shortcomings aren't so much in what it does do as what it doesn't. The mid-range price does not pay for interactive mapping or the creation of no-go zones. It's brilliant at getting around, but it's ability to learn and remember your layout is limited and there's no mopping skills here either like the Roborock S5 and S6.
The only significant weakness is its battery life and charge time. They're somewhat mitigated by the superb Smart Navigation system, but they could be better. The Ecovacs Deebot 710 does have Google Assistant and Alexa compatibility though and it offers great cleaning and excellent coverage for a great price.
The best robot vacuum for suction performance
Samsung VR7000 Powerbot
- 'Self-cleaning' brush system and washable filters
- Auto, spot, manual, repeat and point cleaning modes
- FullView Sensor 2.0 for scanning and in-app mapping
- 30/60/90 minute cleaning times
- Edge cleaning system thanks to flat-fronted design
- Compatible with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and Bixby voice assistants
When it comes to cleaning performance, the Samsung VR7000 Powerbot is one of the very best robot vacuums we've seen. This robot cleaner has incredible suction thanks to it's "CycloneForce" design, resulting in us emptying the dust tray with far more regularity than with other bots we've tested.
It's not just cleaning performance though. Samsung's robot vacuum cleaner boasts a number of great features that make it worth looking at including Google Home, Amazon Echo and Bixby compatibility, as well as integration with SmartThings. It also features a clever "self-cleaning" brush system which means it rarely gets clogged up with hair or fur as other vacuums might.
This robot has has a unique point cleaning mode that allows you to use the remote control to physically point to any area that needs special attention. It has a high price tag, but this robot vacuum is one of the very best around.
Best high-end robot vacuum cleaners
iRobot Roomba i7+
- Automatic dirt bin disposal
- Cliff Detect sensors
- 75-minute battery life
- Imprint Smart Mapping
- Customisable maps for scheduling individual room cleaning
- Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barrier
- Scheduling and app control
- Google Assistant/Alexa compatible
The iRobot Roomba i7+ is an absolutely brilliant robot vacuum cleaner. The Imprint Smart Mapping system is fantastic, allowing you to schedule the cleaning of specific rooms, while the Automatic Dirt Disposal function is brilliant - well, when it works as it should.
Really the only things that let the i7+ down are its mighty expensive price tag and the size of the Automatic Dirt Disposal base, which requires a pretty large space to function properly, as well as proximity to a plug, making placement options fairly limited in many homes.
Overall, though, if you can swallow that hefty price, the Roomba i7+ offers superb cleaning capabilities, pretty much hassle-free use and setup and some excellent functions like the dirt disposal and smart mapping that make it an absolute dream addition to the home.
Neato Robotics Botvac D7
- LaserSmart scanning technology for home mapping
- Ultra Performance Filters
- Multi-floor mapping capabilities
- Up to 120 minutes of cleaning time
- No-Go Lines for area blocking
We had some setup troubles, but there's no denying that the Neato Robotics Botvac D7 Connected is a class act and once setup, the app is very simple to use whether setting regular cleaning times or just telling the cleaner to start.
The virtual no-go lines work well and the D7 is at home on all floor types. It's also very flat so it can go under most furniture. The D7 doesn't have the screen of the older and cheaper Neato Connected model, but it's easy to set off without the app and you'll get a cleaning map after it's finished through the app.
There's an eco mode on board too and the D7 allows mapping of multiple floors, with the possibility of purchasing extra charging base stations. The intelligent mapping system not only includes the ability to add no-go lines to each floor but also supports "Quick Boost" charging mode to help to robot dock for extra juice mid-clean.
Dyson 360 Heurist
- Intelligent Simultaneous Localisation and Mapping (SLAM) and 360° navigation system
- Dyson digital motor v2: 78,000rpm (20% more suction than 360 Eye)
- Allergen blocking filters
- Stiff bristle brush for edge-to-edge cleaning
The Dyson 360 Heurist is a distinctly Dyson device through and through. It immediately strikes thanks to a big, bold, blue design, powerful suction and impressive smarts too.
This robot's cameras and sensors allow it to easily navigate around the home while it cleans and it's supported by a powerful and detailed app that includes plenty of functionality.
The Dyson 360 Heurist is taller than other bots due to the inclusion of Dyson's Radial Root Cyclone technology. This means it can't slip easily under furniture but it has some seriously impressive suction capabilities.
Despite that, it's still one of the best robot cleaners we've seen. It does, however, come with quite a hefty price tag - as you'd expect from a Dyson product.
Best value for money robot cleaner
Roborock E2 Xiaowa
- Automated cleaning schedules
- Dual-action tangle-free main brush system
- Android/iOS companion app
- 640ml dust bin with washable filters
- 2600mAh lithium-ion battery capable of 1.5 hours cleaning
- Advanced wet/dry mopping system
- High precision laser-detection scanning with 13
The Roborock Xiaowa E25 is a surprisingly nifty little cleaner with plenty of brilliant features and cleaning capabilities for its price. It's not quite as feature-rich as the superior Roborock S5, but as a budget cleaner, it's surprisingly good.
This affordable robot cleaner offers automated cleaning with standard and spot cleaning modes as well as an easy-to-use mopping system for cleaning hard floors. We loved the large dust bin, the washable filters and the accompanying cleaning tool with this bot.
We also were impressed with the sensors and tracking system that ensured the bot managed to return to its charger with ease - even when it was tucked away in a tight corner of the room. At this price, it's well worth a purchase.
Best robot vacuum for offices and small businesses
Makita DRC200Z robot vacuum
- 2.5-litre large capacity dustbin
- Time delay cleaning options - one, three or five hours
- 500m squared max cleaning area
- Powered by two 18V 4,000mAh Lithium-ion batteries
- 0.3 m/sec running speed
- 30 mins charging time per battery/three hours cleaning time
When you realise this robot vacuum cleaner is made by a power tool company, you get an idea of how powerful and effective this one is likely to be. It's big, heavy and capable in the right environment too.
This Makita robot vacuum cleaner boasts a 2.5-litre capacity dustbin, two 18V 4,000mAh Lithium-ion batteries and a cleaning time of roughly three hours. It's not as intelligent as other robot vacuum cleaners we've seen, but if you have a large wide open space to deal with then this is the perfect tool for the job.
We found the Makita DRC200Z struggled with thick carpet, but works incredibly well on hard floors, tiles and thinner hardwearing carpets - making it perfectly suited to use in an office, warehouse or workspace.