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Best robot vacuums 2024: small, smart cleaners for quick, light maintenance

I've tried and tested the best robot vacuums from Shark, iRobot, Dyson, and more, so that you can sit back and relax

A Shark robot vacuum cleaning hard wood floor beneath a dresser.
(Image credit: Shark)
Best robot vacuum 2024: Jump Menu

An eufy robot vacuum cleaning flour off a hard wood floor.

(Image credit: eufy)

1. The list in brief ↴
2. Best overall: iRobot Roomba j9+ Combo
3. Best combo: Proscenic M8
4. Best for pet hair: iRobot Roomba j7+
5. Best on wood: Shark AI Ultra 2-in-1
6. Best on carpet: eufy X8 Pro
7. Best self-empty: Shark IQ Robot XL
8. Best power: Dyson 360 Vis Nav
9. Best quiet: Narwal T10
10. Best budget: VacTidy Nimble T7
11. How we test
12. Meet the team
13. Best robot vacuum FAQs

Make no mistake: a robot vacuum is no replacement for the real thing. Short and sleek, robot vacuums are designed for cleaning in corners and under furniture. They aren't the most efficient or effective cleaners for wide open spaces, but a little robot vacuum could help you out with light maintenance. 

There's a robot vacuum to suit each floor type and every sort of stain or spill. Some robot vacuums work better on carpet, while others are better on wood. Many of the best robot vacuums incorporate smart technology to map out your home for efficient, effective cleaning, or self-empty the vacuum base to keep your hands clean. With so much on the market, it can be hard to split the difference between the products.

We've tested some of the world's best vacuums, from sleek cordless numbers to handheld models, including the best robot vacuums. I know my way around a machine, and I know what I'm looking for: a quick, quiet cleaner to help with light maintenance and handle deep cleans.

Each of these robot vacuums is tried and tested by a member of the H&G team and assessed against the same criteria: power, performance, and the all-important price. Where relevant, I've evaluated any special features and reviewed each robot vacuum app to help you decide whether robot vacuums are really worth it

The quick list

If you've already got your eye on a particular robot vacuum, you can skip straight to that section using the jump menu. If you'd rather slow down and take stock of your options, browse the best robot vacuums below. 

Best robot vacuums 2024

You can trust Homes & Gardens. Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing the latest products, helping you choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

The best robot vacuum overall

The best robot vacuum overall

Specifications

Dimensions: 17.2 x 18.1 x 17.5"
Noise: 50 dB
Dustbin capacity: 0.26 gallons
Weight: 8.98lbs

Reasons to buy

+
Great mop function
+
Excellent suction
+
Quiet operation

Reasons to avoid

-
Loud self-emptying
-
Struggles to clean circular objects
-
Not a perfect clean
Buy it if

✅ Your home features several floor types: the Roomba j9+ Combo excels across carpet, linoleum, and wood.
✅ You want to vacuum and mop: this robot has a fully automatic mopping function.
✅ You want something self-emptying: this will vacuum for two months before you need to empty the dock. 

Don't buy it if:

❌ You're short on space: you'll need to clear a few feet of floor space to use this robot vacuum.
❌ You have nosy neighbours: the sound of the self-emptying function might just get you a noise complaint.
❌ You're on a budget: this is one of the most expensive robot vacuums ever made.

The bottom line

🔎 For powerful suction and pet hair pick-up, it doesn't get better than the iRobot Roomba j9+ Combo. 

Any robot vacuum worth its salt can dig up dust. It takes a special sort of machine to tackle bigger bits of dirt and debris. For a deep clean across carpet, linoleum, or hard wood floors, you need something like the iRobot Roomba j9+ Combo. 

A lot of robot vacuums claim to be automatic, but aren't, really: you still have to manually switch between vacuum and mop settings, and get your hands dirty as you empty the base. The iRobot Roomba j9+ Combo allows for hands-free cleaning. Once you've filled up the water tank for the mop to function, you don't need to touch it for months. Our tester Alex has been using it since last year and hasn't needed to refill the water once. 

When you download the iRobot app, you can schedule cleanings, monitor progress, map your home and empty the bin, all through remote access. It's a user-friendly interface with cleaning prompts written in plain language that anyone can understand: you don't need to be a tech whiz to use it.  

There's not much I don't like about the iRobot Roomba j9+ Combo, apart from these two major considerations: cost and noise. Retailing for more than $1,000 outside of sales season, this little robot is seriously expensive. Although it cleans quickly and quietly, the iRobot Roomba j9+ Combo reaches 80dB as it self-empties. You can't hear yourself talk over it. 

You can find more detail in our iRobot Roomba j9+ Combo review.

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Test results
AttributesNotesRating
PowerIdeal for quick, deep cleans★★★★★
PerformanceUnparalleled★★★★★
Special featuresUseful app★★★★★
PriceOne of the most expensive on the market★★

The best combination robot vacuum and mop

The best combination robot vacuum and mop

Specifications

Dimensions: 14 x 14 x 14"
Run time: Up to 150 minutes
Capacity: 280ml
Weight: 8;bs

Reasons to buy

+
Incorporates smart technology 
+
Customizable home mapping
+
Great pet hair pick up

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the most capacious 
-
Imperfect mopping
-
Gets caught on cables and wires
Buy it if

✅ You're tight on time: you can schedule cleaning sessions in the Proscenic M8 app.
✅ Your home features diverse floor types: this combination robot vacuum and mop can clean carpets, wood, and linoleum floors.
✅ You have pets: the Proscenic M8 boasts excellent pet hair pick-up.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You don't like to get your hands dirty: you'll have to empty this dust bin yourself (and often, too).
❌ You want to clean larger piles of dirt and debris: this robot vacuum is better suited to light maintenance.
❌ You have a lot of wires and cables hanging around: the Proscenic M8 struggles to navigate around such long, thin objects.

The bottom line

🔎 If you're looking for a competent cleaning companion to navigate carpet, linoleum, and hard wood floors, you've found it in the Proscenic M8.

There is such a thing as too much smart tech. No one needs to know the exact size of the particles and pathogens your robot vacuum has cleaned, down to the micron. The Proscenic M8 uses smart technology the right way to map an effective and efficient cleaning route for your home.

This robot vacuum relies on a laser navigation system, as well as two anti-collision sensors, to keep track of stairs, walls, and corners and keep from knocking against the kickboard. When you download the Proscenic M8 app, you can see what the robot sees, and choose to divide your home into distinct areas for regular cleans.

Like any good combination cleaner, the Proscenic M8 is as adept a mop as vacuum, though it struggles to dig up bigger bits of dirt. Occasionally, cereal flakes and paper clips get caught in the brushes. You'll need to manually remove this debris, which sort of defeats the point of hands-free cleaning.  

The Proscenic M8 is ideal for quick, light cleans, and surprisingly effective at picking up pet hair. For more localised stains and spills, you might want to reach for the best handheld vacuum, instead. 

You can find more detail in our Proscenic M8 robot vacuum review.

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Test results
AttributesNotesRating
PowerIdeal for quick, light cleans★★★★
PerformanceGreat on fine dirt★★★
Special featuresJust the right amount of smart tech★★★★★
PriceReasonable RRP★★★★

The best robot vacuum for pet hair

The best robot vacuum for pet hair

Specifications

Dimensions: 15.8 x 13.3 x 11.9"
Capacity: 0.42 gallons
Run time: 75 minutes
Weight: 7.49lbs

Reasons to buy

+
Smart home mapping
+
Accurate obstacle detection
+
Low-profile design

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited runtime
-
Just the one speed
-
iRobot app is a little glitchy
Buy it if

✅ You have pets: this is the best robot vacuum for pet hair.
✅ You like your machine to do the work for you: this robot vacuum incorporates smart technology to make a map of your home.  
✅ You suffer from allergies: there's a HEPA filtration system to capture dust, dirt, and dander. 

Don't buy it if:

❌ You like to keep control while you clean: the iRobot Roomba j7+ has just the one speed.
❌ You're a bit of a technophobe: the iRobot app can be a little glitchy.
❌ You want to clean in longer sessions: the iRobot Roomba j7+ has a limited runtime of 75 minutes.

The bottom line

🔎 The iRobot Roomba j7+ isn't quite as good as the j9+ Combo, but it comes pretty close. 

Until a few months ago, the iRobot Roomba j7+ was the reigning champion of our 'best robot vacuums' buying guide: that is, until its younger sibling, the j9+ Combo, came out on top in recent tests. The iRobot Roomba j7+ is no longer the best robot vacuum in town, but it's still the best for smart mapping. 

The iRobot Roomba j7+ incorporates something called PrecisionVision navigation. This robot vacuum uses a combination of cameras and sensors to chart the quickest, neatest cleaning route around a room. There's a wall follow sensor to protect your kickboard, as well as several floor tracking sensors to keep your robot vacuum from falling down the stairs. 

The iRobot Roomba j7+ uses soft-bristle rubber brushes to dig up dust and dirt from carpet, hard wood, and linoleum floors. There's a special edge-sweeping brush to coax out dirt from awkward corners and the gaps between floorboards. The iRobot Roomba j7+ should clean all the same dirt you'd pick up with a standard vacuum, though it might take a little longer to get round to each spill and stain. 

There are two things I don't like about the iRobot Roomba j7+: they concern time and money. With its limited runtime of 75 minutes, I wouldn't recommend you rely on your Roomba to clean the whole house in a single session. You'll need to use it regularly to get your money's worth, at any rate: this is one of the most expensive robot vacuums on the market.

You can find more detail in our iRobot Roomba j7+ review.

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Test results
AttributesNotesRating
PowerLimited runtime★★★★
PerformanceGood against walls and round corners★★★★★
Special featuresIncorporates smart mapping★★★★★
PriceOne of the most expensive on the market★★

The best robot vacuum on wood

The best robot vacuum on hard wood floors

Specifications

Dimensions: 12.9 x 12.6 x 3.5"
Runtime: 120 minutes
Dust capacity: 0.26 gallons
Weight: 14.5"

Reasons to buy

+
Self-empty function
+
Impressive mop
+
Navigates obstacles and awkward corners

Reasons to avoid

-
Limited run time 
-
On the heavier side
-
App has room for improvement
Buy it if

✅ You don't like to get your hands dirty: this self-emptying dust bin holds up to 60 days of dirt and debris.
✅ You like your machine to do the work for you: the Shark AI Ultra 2-in-1 rarely gets stuck or needs assistance.
✅ You're looking for a top-quality mop: this combination cleaner can scrub hard floors 100 times a minute.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You're a bit of a technophobe: the Shark Clean app is quite complicated.
❌ You want to clean in a hurry: the Shark AI Ultra 2-in-1 takes several hours to fully charge.
❌ You want to clean your whole home in one session: you might need to recharge your vacuum halfway through.

The bottom line

🔎 Shark AI Ultra 2-in-1 Robot Vacuum and Mop is one of the best combination cleaners you can buy, but it takes an age to charge.

This combination cleaner is that rare thing: a robot vacuum that's just as good as a robot mop. The Shark AI Ultra 2-in-1 Robot Vacuum and Mop performs well across all floor types, but is particularly impressive on hard wood and linoleum floors. 

The Shark AI Ultra 2-in-1 is short, sleek, and deceptively capacious. It comes with an extra-large base to hold up to 60 days of dirt and debris. There's even a self-empty function to save you getting your hands dirty. 

A lot of self-proclaimed robot mops don't really deserve the name: all they do is drag  a wet cloth across the floor. The Shark AI Ultra 2-in-1 does things differently: for starters, it comes with a bottle of cleaning solution to freshen up the floors. This combination cleaner incorporates sonic mopping to scrub hard floors at a rate of 100 times a minute. You can select the Ultra Mop setting to better lift stubborn stains.

There isn't much I don't like about the Shark AI Ultra 2-in-1. It all comes down to one key consideration: time. This robot vacuum works hard and fast, but its limited runtime means it runs out of steam pretty quickly, and it takes several hours to charge up again.

You can find more detail in our Shark AI Ultra 2-in-1 Robot Vacuum and Mop review.

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Test results
AttributesNotesRating
PowerTakes several hours to charge★★★
PerformanceParticularly impressive mop function★★★★★
Special featuresPrecision mapping and self-empty function★★★★
PriceReasonable RRP★★★★

The best robot vacuum for carpet

The best robot vacuum on carpet

Specifications

Dimensions: 13.9 x 13.9 x 3.9"
Run time: Up to 3 hours
Dustbin capacity: 2.5L
Weight: 20lbs

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent obstacle detection
+
Incorporates anti-tangle technology
+
Reasonable RRP

Reasons to avoid

-
Instructions leave a little to be desired
-
Occasionally collides with walls
-
Struggles to clean between floorboards
Buy it if

✅ Your home has lots of obstacles and awkward corners: the eufy X8 Pro expertly navigates obstacles.
✅ You're on a budget: this is one of the more affordable robot vacuums on the market.
✅ You have pets: the eufy X8 Pro boasts excellent pet hair pick-up.

Don't buy it if:

❌ You're precious about your kickboard: this robot vacuum occasionally collides with the walls.
❌ You're a bit of a technophobe: the eufy instruction manual is a little lacking.
❌ You have a lot of hard wood floors: the eufy X8 Pro struggles to clean between floorboards.

The bottom line

🔎 Whether you've got low-pile or high-pile carpets, you can trust the eufy X8 Pro Robot Vacuum to dig up the dirt.

As a combination cleaner, the eufy X8 Pro can vacuum and mop across all floor types, but it really shines on carpet. This robot vacuum can dig up fine dirt from deep within high-pile carpets and store it inside its capacious dust bin. 

The whole point of a robot vacuum is hands-free cleaning. If you feel the need to run around after your robot, picking up wires and cables, then you might as well grab a vacuum and do the cleaning yourself. 

The eufy X8 Pro is remarkably self-sufficient. It deftly maneuvers around obstacles to clean what needs to be cleaned and leave what needs to be left. Bar a few minor knocks against the wall, it performed almost perfectly. 

I'd recommend the eufy X8 Pro to pet owners, and anyone who has long hair. Out of all the robot vacuums I've ever tested, the eufy X8 Pro is one of the best for pet hair pick-up. This machine incorporates anti-tangle technology to keep you from picking out the hairs with your fingers. 

My main complaint with the eufy X8 Pro is their app. It's fully functional, with options to schedule cleanings and adjust intensity, but it's a little overbearing for my taste. It wants to know the location of your phone all the time, not just when you're on the eufy app. If you're a bit of a technophobe, you might feel more comfortable with a basic cleaner.

You can find more detail in our eufy X8 Pro Robot Vacuum review.

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Test results
AttributesNotesRating
PowerLong, deep cleans★★★
PerformanceExcels on high-pile carpets★★★★★
Special featuresApp requires a lot of information★★★★
PriceReasonable RRP★★★★★

The best self-emptying robot vacuum

The best self-emptying robot vacuum

Specifications

Dimensions: 12.9 x 12.6 x 3.5"
Runtime: Up to 120 minutes
Capacity: 1.95 qt.
Weight: 5.9lbs

Reasons to buy

+
Self-empty function
+
Capacious
+
Great on area rugs

Reasons to avoid

-
Charging base takes up floor space
-
Struggles to navigate floor boundaries
-
Less effective with larger debris
Buy it if

✅ You don't like to get your hands dirty: this robot vacuum features a self-empty function.
✅ You have a lot of area rugs: the Shark IQ Robot XL can detect the difference between floors and rugs and clean accordingly.
✅ You like a bit of smart tech: this robot vacuum connects to Amazon Alexa for voice compatibility. 

Don't buy it if:

❌ You want to clean in a hurry: this robot vacuum takes six hours to fully charge.
❌ You want to clean larger debris: the Shark IQ Robot XL is more effective for light maintenance.
❌ You're short on floor space: you'll need to make some room to house the charging base.

The bottom line

🔎 Shark IQ Robot XL is super smart, with a self-emptying base: it's just a shame it takes so long to charge.

If you're looking for a competent cleaning companion for a little light maintenance, look no further than the Shark IQ Robot XL. I wouldn't use it to clear larger piles of dirt and debris, but it's ideal for daily dusting.

Like a lot of smart robot vacuums, the Shark IQ Robot XL incorporates smart mapping to navigate your floors and clean in straight lines. It comes with a roll of BotBoundary Strips that you can cut and stick around furniture, power cords, and anything else you wouldn't want your robot to damage. You only need to keep the strips for a day or two, while your robot learns its way around the home.

Perhaps the strongest feature of the Shark IQ Robot XL is the self-emptying base. Shark claims that there's enough space for 30 days of dust and dirt inside this little vacuum, but you can set it to empty as often as you like: I recommend once a week, but you can peer through the little window to decide for yourself. 

To empty, the robot vacuum drives itself into the dock, aligns with the debris intake channel, and lets go. Although it makes a loud noise, it shouldn't last longer than a few seconds, and it's nowhere near as loud as the iRobot Roomba j9+ Combo.

You can find more detail in our Shark IQ Robot XL Vacuum review.

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Test results
AttributesNotesRating
PowerNot quite as powerful as a Roomba★★★★
PerformanceStruggles with larger debris★★★
Special featuresSelf-emptying base and smart mapping★★★★★
PriceReasonable RRP★★★★