Robot vacuums are great, but they can be expensive!
If you're considering a robot vacuum, you have likely heard the word "Roomba" thrown around. They are a leader in their niche, but once you dig a bit deeper, you'll soon discover that these units can be quite expensive.
Now, this isn't to say they aren't worth every penny, just a lot of people can't afford to drop so much money on a vacuum.
There's no arguing this.
To help bring the joys of a robo-vac to everyone, we compiled a list of the best Roomba alternatives.
Here is a quick preview of what we will cover in this post. If you want more details on any particular model, just click "jump to more details" and we will carry you on your way!
Cheap Roomba 650 Alternative
Best For Pets
Best For Hardwood
What Does a Roomba Cost?
The Roomba 980 is currently their most expensive model, coming in at just around $700 according to their website. If you're still interested in the Roomba 900 series, we wrote a great review of the 2 most popular models in that series. You can read about them here.
The less expensive 960 model comes in at right under $600, making it not too far behind.
However, there are some models that are much less expensive than this. The Roomba 690, for example, is a Wifi enabled vacuum and includes some of the features that make Roomba great, such as 3 stage cleaning and intelligent sensors.
Prices always vary depending on where you look, but you can typically find this model for under $375 (and sometimes it's on sale!). This is a much more digestible price point for a lot of people. If you're curious if the lower-grade Roomba are worth considering now that you know how much they cost, you can read our article comparing the 600 series to the 800 series: Roomba 650 vs 860.
Features To Consider
Whether you are thinking of buying a Roomba or any alternatives, you need to consider the features you get and at what price point.
1. Navigation Ability:
Your vacuums ability to navigate can make or break it. A good vacuum will be able to efficiently navigate a room, avoid obstacles, and return to its dock.
2. IR Sensors:
Most of the products on this list will cap their cleaning ability at 2 rooms. This is due to budget constraints not allowing for a more advanced navigation system and proper sensors. If you have a house with more than 2 rooms, paying the extra money for advanced navigation sensors is worth it. If you have a smaller house or apartment, you can get away with the basic IR navigation.
You want a vacuum that cleans well. That's pretty obvious. A good vacuum should have the suction that is capable of removing dirt from carpets, wood, and tile. However, if you are expecting deep cleaning, you aren't going to get that from any robot vacuum. They are just too small and lack the power to deep clean so make sure your expectations are in check.
4. Wifi Connectivity:
In this day and age, everything is connected to the internet. This is especially true if you have a smart home. Your vacuum is no different! Having wifi connectivity will allow you to access your vacuum even when you aren't home. All you need to do this is an internet connection and a router. Additionally, if your vacuum is wifi enabled, you'll be able to see all the important stats such as schedules and battery life within the app.
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- Incredibly efficient. It can clean a room in under 10 minutes
- It is a very low profile unit, meaning it can fit under most furniture without an issue
- It has decent cleaning ability, although it does sacrifice quality for efficiency in some cases.
- Works well on carpet as well as bare floors
- Has more features for its price point than the Roomba 960
- Sacrifices attention to detail for speed
- It does not come with a smartphone app. To control it, you need to use the included remote control
- Lacks edge cleaning ability
More About The ILife 8
The ILife A8 is not considerably less expensive than some Roomba models, but for the features you get, it is arguably a better bargain.
ILife is making a pretty big name for itself in the past 2-3 years. This is due to a superior line of products coming in at a price most people can afford.
Let's find out how this robot performs, and what you can expect.
- Camera navigation system
- 3 built-in data chips to help with route planning
- 3 stage cleaning which includes suction, two side brushes and a motorized brush
- Voice prompt for status updates, such as cleaning or error codes
- Out of the box, you get a bristle brush for carpets and a double V brush that can be used on bare floors.
One of the biggest considerations with the ILife A8 is its advanced navigation system. With the combination of a camera and the 3 data chips, the A8 is able to clean in a predictable pattern, rather than in random directions.
- Strong suction power
- Doesn't get stuck on medium pile carpet
- Can clean for almost 2 hours straight without needing a charge
- Docks itself when it's done the cleaning
- Powers itself off if it gets stuck on high pile carpet or under a cabinet to preserve battery life.
- Is not wifi enabled and must be controlled via the included remote control
- No virtual walls to block the vacuum from entering specific areas
More About The Eufy RoboVac 11s
If price is your primary concern, the Eufy RoboVac 11s provides you with a reliable, entry-level robot vacuum that will clean your floors, so you don't have to.
Let's talk a bit about what you can expect from this vacuum.
- "Endurance Cleaning" allows for up to 100 minutes of cleaning per charge
- 1300pa suction power, one of the strongest on this list
- Daily scheduling available
- Multi-surface cleaning (wood to medium pile carpet)
- 55db running noise
One of the most important features to note for the Eufy Robovac 11s is that it is powerful, quiet, and smaller than a lot of other models. It is excellent if you are looking for a no-frills robot vacuum that cleans thoroughly without having to pay extra for bells and whistles.
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- Removes pet hair across multiple surfaces and the hair does not get stuck in the brush
- Thorough cleaning, even in corners and high pile carpeting
- Smart navigation means it clean efficiently and effectively
- On sale often
- Larger unit means it has trouble getting under low furniture
- Smaller dustbin means it needs to be emptied more frequently
More About The Samsung Powerbot R7070
If you have multiple animals, fur bunnies left all over the floor can be a constant battle. Not all robot vacuums are equipped to handle hair/fur, so if you have pets, the Samsung Powerbot R7070 is one to consider.
Let's dig into the details of this model.
- Wifi and app-enabled
- Easy to clean and hair/fur does not get stuck
- Onboard camera and sensors for top tier navigation ability
- Compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant
- Strong suction, especially great at removing pet hair on all surfaces
- Self-cleaning brush
- Squared-off front allows for superior corner cleaning
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- Although it will clean most surfaces, it works especially well on laminate and hardwood floors. If you have mostly wood floors, this is a great plus.
- Inexpensive but impressive. It has comparable features to the Roomba 980 but at a fraction of the price.
- Good suction power
- Low maintenance
- Chinese made, so the default language is Chinese and will need to be changed in the app.
- It struggles with smaller debris items such as fine dirt on low pile carpeted surfaces.
More About The Xiaomi Mi
The Chinese-made robot vacuum, Xiaomi Mi is making quite a stir in the past few years. Packing nearly all of the features as American-made competitors but at almost half of the cost, this little guy is an exceptional value.
Let's dig into the details of this model.
- Laser distance sensors to map out its navigation
- 5200mAH Long-life Li-Battery (Lasts 2-2.5 hours)
- Anti- collision sensors mean it won't get stuck or run into furniture
- Specializes in hardwood floor cleaning
- App controlled
Well, that's it! Regardless of the reason you're looking for a Roomba alternative, be it price, features, or you are just looking for a smaller brand, these four robot vacuums are a great pick.
Now it's your turn.
What features do you look for when considering a robot vacuum? Let us know in the comments section below!