Best Robot Vacuum Cleaners of 2023


Each robot vacuum cleaner we consider for recommendations is tested at our test lab located in Louisville, Kentucky. In addition to the test floor where we perform controlled pickup tests, each robot vacuum is monitored in a special test room filled with simulated furniture to measure how well it can avoid common obstacles. Additionally, we check each robot vacuum's ability to suck up pet hair without clogging or leaving loose hair, take into account its mopping capabilities, and check how well it deals with fake dog stains. Masu.

Let's take a closer look at the main considerations, starting with performance testing.

Robot vacuum suction power

When it comes to vacuum cleaner capabilities, how effective is each robot against general dirt and other debris, and how can they deal with very small particles such as dust, dirt, and sand? I would like to know. To test this, use dry, uncooked black rice as a substitute for breadcrumbs and sand instead of finer particles.

In each case, controlled amounts were applied to the three test floors (low pile carpet, medium pile carpet, and hardwood floor). It then picks up a robot vacuum, completely empties the bin, sends it to clean the affected area, and finally weighs what it manages to pick up. This gives the recovery percentage for the total amount. From there, repeat each run two more times and average the results.

The bar graph shows how much sand and black rice on average 20 different robot vacuums were able to remove from a hardwood floor in a test lab.  The iRobot Roomba Combo J7 Plus leads with a near-perfect pick-up rate, followed closely by our product.

Ry Christ/CNET

Speaking of results, the graph above shows how each cleaner we've tested over the past few years accumulates on hardwood floors. The iRobot Roomba Combo J7 Plus is our most tested cleaner for its surfaces, removing an average of 98% of crumbs and an amazing 100% of sand. Right behind that is our top recommendation, the Dreametech DreameBot D10 Plus, which is a close second on hardwood floors despite costing less than half the price of the top-of-the-line Roomba Combo J7 Plus. I won the first place.

The bar graph shows how much sand and black rice on average 20 different robot vacuums were able to remove from a low-pile carpet floor in a test lab.  Roborock S7 led the way, recovering 96% of the black rice and 64% of the sand. The bar graph shows how much sand and black rice on average 20 different robot vacuums were able to remove from a low-pile carpet floor in a test lab.  Roborock S7 led the way, recovering 96% of the black rice and 64% of the sand.

Ry Christ/CNET

Next is short pile carpet. Besides the fact that the orange bars are quite short (it's more difficult to vacuum sand on carpet than on hardwood floors, as the sand can stick to the fibers) ), note that the order of the cleaners is different. Roborock S7 is currently leading the charge. Different robot vacuums have different advantages and disadvantages based on their design, so our various tests help us make the most informed and comprehensive recommendations possible.

The bar graph shows how much sand and black rice on average 20 different robot vacuums were able to remove from mid-pile carpet in our test lab.  The Neato D9 led all vacuums in this test, vacuuming an average of 98% of black rice and 63% of rice. The bar graph shows how much sand and black rice on average 20 different robot vacuums were able to remove from a mid-pile carpet in a test lab.  The Neato D9 led all vacuums in this test, vacuuming an average of 98% of black rice and 63% of rice.

Ry Christ/CNET

Finally, here are the results for mid-pile carpet. Neato cleaned up in this test, and out of all the cleaners tested by CNET, his Neato D9 came in first overall, with his less expensive Neato D8 taking his third place overall. Between them is the iRobot Roomba Combo J7 Plus in second place. Notice that, similar to the low pile test, most of the cleaners in the top half of the graph are relatively close to each other. It's not until you reach the bottom of the pack that these bars really start to shrink. . This is good for consumers. That's because you'll be able to choose from a variety of robot vacuums that offer comparable cleaning capabilities at different price points.

One more thing to note: These charts cover robot vacuums we've tested over the past few years. The robot vacuums we tested before that time period used slightly different test settings, so the data from those tests cannot be directly compared. I've always pointed out past products that are still great deals, but the iRobot Roomba S9 Plus in particular performed particularly well on mid-pile carpets and remains one of our top recommendations.

These overhead long exposure shots show the trajectory of the Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra as it cleans the test room. Attach a glow stick to the top of your vacuum just above the vacuum inlet to get an idea of ​​how much area your vacuum covers and how intelligently it moves. In this case, the S7 MaxV Ultra is as thorough and consistent as a robot vacuum.

Gianmarco Chumbe/CNET

Robot vacuum cleaner navigation skills

A robot vacuum only deep cleans as much of your home as it can move. The ideal vacuum cleaner facilitates the task of easily finding its way from room to room and automatically avoiding obstacles along the way, resulting in proper and low-maintenance automatic cleaning.

We make sure to observe each robot vacuum while it's cleaning to get an accurate idea of ​​how well it travels, but to give you the best comparison from vacuum to vacuum, we test it in the dark. Take long exposure shots of each robot vacuum from overhead as it cleans. A glow stick is attached to the top of each directly above the vacuum inlet. The resulting image shows light trails as the robot moves through the room and cleans around the simulated furniture. His GIF above shows three images of him in quick succession of his ultimate luxury item: his Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra. As you can see, it's incredibly thorough and consistent from run to run, and is an expert at running circles around the legs of our test furniture.

Gianmarco Chumbe/CNET

Then compare this to the following GIF. This GIF shows his three runs of the iRobot Roomba Combo J7 Plus, a top mopping contender. Did you notice a difference? The Roomba was less effective at covering the entire room, missing the bottom left corner two out of three times. I also had quite a bit of difficulty getting proper coverage around the legs of the mock dining table.

So what gives? It mainly depends on the technology used. Over the years, we've always noted that robot vacuums that use laser-guided LIDAR navigation tend to be very good at mapping their environments and finding ways around them. Meanwhile, 3D mapping cameras with smart object recognition capabilities can give robot vacuums special capabilities to identify and adapt to obstacles in their path. Roborock S7 MaxV uses both technologies, which helps explain why it performs so well. Roomba, on the other hand, relies only on cameras and sensors, and does not consider lasers.

The iRobot Roomba J7 Plus delivered on its promise to avoid dog poop (fake or not).

Gianmarco Chumbe/CNET

Still, these cameras are definitely useful. Take a look at the GIF above. Here's what happened when we tested the iRobot Roomba J7 Plus, specifically its effectiveness at identifying and avoiding pet waste. With various (I swear, fake) dog poop strewn across the small, enclosed test floor, the Roomba did its best to vacuum the area without touching any of it. . It was a success and didn't hit any of our disgusting looking test manure.

The Samsung JetBot AI Plus consistently failed solid pet waste tests. Every time I run I end up running over or pushing one of his dog poop models.

Gianmarco Chumbe/CNET

Now, let's compare this to the Samsung JetBot AI Plus. The Samsung JetBot AI Plus also promises to use its camera to spot and avoid pet poop. The results were, well, not very good. Every time I ran a test, I ended up hitting one of the piles of tests. Thankfully, they weren't real.



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