Roomba Alternatives: Top Robot Vacuums You Should Consider

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There is an ever-increasing range of home technology that aims to do away with the monotony of everyday housework, with one of the most well-established segments being that of the robot vacuum. iRobot's Roomba was the first line of robot vacuums to really propel the tech into the mainstream, and as a result, they're still the first brand many people think of when it comes to buying one. However, there are now so many worthy alternatives out there that anyone who assumes that a Roomba is automatically the best option is almost certainly missing out.

Buying a robot vacuum can often be a large investment, especially for anyone looking for a high-end device with all the latest in intelligent features and design improvements. The market is always changing, with plenty of innovative products set to launch in the near future. For now, however, these eight vacuums are among the best you can buy.

Best for carpet: Roborock Q7 Max Plus

The Q7 Max Plus sits at the top of Roborock's Q line and occupies a middle ground between more affordably priced robot vacuums and the top-end devices that will be out of budget for most buyers. It's still pricey, retailing on Amazon for $869.99, but its higher price tag is reflected in its improved capabilities over lesser models in the line. For starters, it's one of the most effective at cleaning sub-surface grime in carpets, matching the capabilities of many top-end models.

As well as vacuuming, it also mops floors with consistently strong performance. There is one downside with the mop, however. The mopping pad will require cleaning on a regular basis, and since only one pad is included, that leaves the Q7 Max Plus partially out of action when the pad is in the wash, although extra pads can be purchased from Roborock. The vacuum's multi-level LiDAR mapping is another highlight, with the ability to create exclusion zones on maps through the app. It might be one of the more expensive Roomba alternatives, but the Q7 Max Plus is a solid contender for best in its price bracket.

It's worth noting that anyone looking to get their hands on the latest and greatest Roborock vacuum would do well to wait until October, as the company unveiled its next-gen Q8 Max at IFA 2023. It boasts even more iterative improvements, but there's no word on pricing yet.

Best midrange 2-in-1: Shark AI Ultra

Shark's vacuums have historically been a little more hit-and-miss than many of its competitors, but the AI Ultra is the former of the two. It occupies the midrange of the 2-in-1 vacuum and mop price spectrum, retailing for $599.99, although it's currently heavily discounted to just $349.99 on Amazon. Like most of the best robot vacuums, it comes with a self-emptying function and will drive back to its base when it gets low on battery.

It also quickly maps a house after its first few cleans, and after that, the Shark app offers a variety of useful functions including remotely activating the vacuum when you're away from home. It's not without its flaws – the lack of a sensor to detect when the base's bin is full is an annoying omission, and battery life and charging times are far from the best in class. However, as a cheaper alternative to the usual raft of vacuum/mop devices, there's a lot to like.

Best for multiple floor types: Ecovacs Deebot T20 Omni

A key problem with many cheaper robot vacuums with mopping functions is that when vacuuming carpet the mopping pads can drag across the surface, leaving it damp. The Ecovacs Deebot T20 Omni gets around that by including mopping arms that automatically raise when carpet is detected, but that's not the only trick up its sleeve. It also offers both hot and cold mopping — one of the only cleaners to do so. However, buyers pay dearly for these innovative features. At $1,099.99, even the occasional Amazon discount still won't make this anywhere close to being affordable.

It's a premium product, then, but one that delivers suitably high-end results. Even some of the priciest vacuums come unstuck in houses with multiple different types of flooring, but the Deebot T20 Omni has no trouble transitioning from hardwood flooring to carpet to tiles. In fact, it's arguably one of the best robot 2-in-1 cleaners out there, even if few people will be able to justify such a steep upfront price.

Best high-end 2-in-1: Roborock S8 Pro Ultra

It takes an eye-wateringly expensive vacuum to make the Deebot T20 Omni look reasonably priced, but the Roborock S8 Pro Ultra does just that. It's among the most expensive 2-in-1 robot cleaners on the market and a step above anything that the Roomba line can offer when it comes to hassle-free everyday cleaning. It's able to self-clean, self-empty, and refill its water reserves from its base, all without any intervention.

It deals with short-pile carpets and all types of hard flooring with ease, although it's not quite as flawless when it comes to deep-pile carpets. Pet hair, dust, and small bits of debris are all no match for the vacuum, which boasts a 6,000 Pa suction rating, one of the highest on the market. 

It's about the most hands-free robot vacuum out there, but there's one big catch — it retails on Amazon for $1,599.99. Nonetheless, as a wallet-busting, top-tier cleaner, it's tricky to beat.

Best budget vacuum for technophobes: Eufy Robovac 11S

Thankfully, there are plenty of great robot vacuums on the market that don't command four-figure price tags, and the Eufy Robovac 11S is one of the best. It retails on Amazon for a much more budget-friendly $249.99, yet it punches above its weight in terms of features and effectiveness. The biggest flaw with many budget robot vacuums is that they struggle to pick up more stubborn bits of dirt from floors, but the Eufy has no such problems.

There's no mopping function, no smartphone control, and no intelligent mapping. However, there's still a scheduling function and a choice of modes to either prioritize battery life or cleaning power. Without the suite of sensors that high-end vacuums offer, the Robovac 11S is a lot more prone to bumping into things or getting stuck, but that's par for the course for any budget-oriented cleaner. It's also better at cleaning hard floors than carpet, although most short-pile carpets won't cause it too much trouble. 

While it might not come with the bells and whistles that make the top-end cleaners stand out, for everyday vacuuming that's easy to set up and use Eufy's entry-level robovac ticks all the right boxes.

Best budget vacuum for tech features: Eufy RoboVac 30C

A lot of budget robot vacuums miss out on features like smartphone control and voice assistant support, but not the Eufy RoboVac 30C. It boasts support for both Alexa and Google Assistant as well as a smartphone app to control it or set up scheduled cleaning times. A separate remote control is also included for anyone who's not so keen on using the app, but if that's the case, the even cheaper Eufy RoboVac 11S is probably a better pick. Not that the RoboVac 30C still isn't great value — at a retail price of $259.99 or an even cheaper renewed price on Amazon of $149.99, it's one of the best budget vacuums around.

A vacuum this affordable does come with some compromises. There's no self-emptying function, so it'll have to be emptied by hand after every round of cleaning, and weaker Wi-Fi signals can cause it to stop midway through a route and return to its charging base. The obstacle avoidance system is also exactly what you'd expect from a budget-oriented vacuum –- patchy at best and prone to bumping into things. Still, it delivers impressive suction for its price bracket, dealing with both short-pile carpets and hard floors well.

Best for hard floor: Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni

Another expensive but feature-packed option is the Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni, with its dual-pad mopping system making it ideal for hard floors. The 5,000 Pa vacuum delivers more than enough suction to deal with stubborn dirt that cheaper vacuums can't touch, and its LiDAR system means that it shouldn't bump into objects while it's going about its routine. Like all good high-end robot vacuums, mapping is available with the ability to set no-go zones through the companion app, although the supposedly "intelligent" furniture detection system is patchy at best.

Its mapping systems might not be the best in class, but its built-in voice assistant makes it one of the smartest robot vacuums on the market. It works with your smart home assistant of choice and can be summoned to clean spills, with the robot using cameras to work out exactly what it needs to clean. Strangely enough, those cameras can also be used to spy on pets or family members while you're not at home through the companion app. You can even use the vacuum to speak to said family members through the built-in speakers if you want, although it's safe to say that will be a step too far for most people. 

Like many of the most intelligent robot vacuums, the Deebot X1 Omni is a serious investment –- at a retail price on Amazon of $1,549.99, it's more vacuum than most people will ever need.

Best midrange vacuum: Roborock Q5 Plus

Anyone who's not fussed about the mopping function present in many high-end vacuums may well want to consider the Roborock Q5 Plus. It's the cheaper sibling of the Q7, and the primary difference is it's only a vacuum rather than a 2-in-1. However, it still keeps the impressive cleaning power and many smart features that make its pricier brother a top pick.

With 2,700 Pa of suction, it's a ways off what the best on the market can offer, but it will still deal with all but the toughest bits of dirt and debris. When it's done with its cleaning routine, it docks back to the charging base and self-empties, so there's no manual unloading required. The built-in LiDAR system is generally reliable and can both navigate obstacles and generate floor maps accurately. It lacks many standout features that top-end cleaners use to justify their high prices, but for many people, it's probably the sweet spot between added tech and higher prices. 

The Roborock Q5 Plus retails for $699.99, but at the time of writing, a renewed version is available on Amazon for a significantly reduced price of $374.99.