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Robot vacuums are great, but they can be expensive!
You don't need to spend $700+ on a Roomba, but if you have that sort of budget, there are a handful of other options that are far superior. The Roomba is by far not the best robot vacuum.
According to our tests, the best Roomba alternative is the Neato Botvac D7. While its not much cheaper, it's a far a better quality vacuum for its price point. It is smarter, has a better battery, and will give your floors a more consistent clean than any Roomba model on the market.
While most of the more high end Roomba models are impressive, they aren't the best of the best at their price point. If you're going for cheap, the Roomba 600 series model is probably one you're considering, but for the technology and what that robot vacuum can do, there are cheaper alternatives.
Here's a quick preview of the handful of robot vacuums we tested that we felt were superior to Roomba.
Best Entry Level
Cheapest Roomba Alternative
Best For Pets
Best For Hardwood
Most Programmable Features
iRobot Roomba Alternatives We Recommend:
If you're looking for an alternative to Roomba, we have a few choices. Here is a quick summary.
- iLife A8 - Best Entry Level Roomba Alternative - This robot vacuums isn't that much less expensive than other entry level Roombas, but you get a better value for what you pay for.
- Eufy RoboVac 11s - Cheap Roomba Alternative - If you're just looking for an inexpensive robot vacuum to clean up around your home, this low-cost option is a great pick for its price point.
- Samsung Powerbot R7070 - Best Roomba Alternative For Pets - If you have a home with pets, the Samsung Powerbot is a great alternative to the pricier Roomba models that acomplish the same thing.
- Xiaomi Mi - Best Roomba Alternative For Hardwood - If you're looking for a Roomba alternative that is great on hardwood, this Chinese-made robot vacuum is a great choice. It is gentle, but effective on hardwood.
- Neato Botvac D7 - Editor's Choice - If you're looking for the top of the line Roomba alternative, this bad boy should be your first choice. It has intelligent navigation, and a great app interface that makes keeping your floors clean a breeze.
- bObsweep Pethair Plus - Most Programable Features - This robot vacuum has a slew of programmable options to completely customize the cleaning process. If you like lots of options for cleaning, this is a great choice for you.
- 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. This super slimline robot vacuum is great for its price point. Unlike other models under $300, this robot vacuum has a camera-powred navigation system, so it actually knows where it's going.
If something goes wrong with the vacuum, it will literally let you know. It has a voice prompt for status updates so you always know what your vacuum wants...who knew that would be something to look forward to?
- 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.
If you're on the fence between this vacuum and another slightly cheaper option, bare in mind that 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.
Some other vacuums that may be $50-$100 cheaper lack this. Generally speaking, super cheap vacuums use the "hit a pivot" methods which means they go strait until they hit something, then change directions. This leads to a pretty random clean that misses areas almost every time it cleans.
- 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 when looking for a robot vacuum cleaner, 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 cleaner that cleans thoroughly without having to pay extra for bells and whistles.
Another robot vacuum cleaner that is very similar in style, function, and price to the Eufy Robotvac is Ecovacs Deebot. The Ecovacs Deebot offers similar suction power, navigation and cleaning power. They are both entry level robot vacuums that are worth what you pay for them.
- 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're looking for the best robot vacuums for pets, the Samsung Powerbot R7070 is one to consider.
This robot vacuum is big, but thats because of it's power. It has significantly stronger suction that any other vacuum on this list. Being made by Samsung, you can also rest assured that the technology inside it matches.
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
- 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. This particular robot vacuum is one of the best robot vacuums for wood floors. It has gentle brushes and does a great job cleaning dirt effectively on hard surfaces.
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
- Easy to set up
- Laser guided smart navigation
- In app "no-go" lines allow you to block off areas of your home without physical barriers
- Sends text alerts for maintenance and troubleshooting
- Louder than most other robot vacuums
- Socks. It always gets stuck on socks!
More About The Neato BotVac Connected
The Neato Botvac D7 connected is truly the best of the best. While it is much more expensive than just about every other robot vacuum out there, you definitely get a superior product. Where the Botvac D7 Connected really shines is its navigation ability. This vacuum will take an initial scan of your home then use that when its cleaning in the future.
Within the app, you have the ability to set areas of your home where you want your Neato Botvac to avoid. This means that if you have a room that is always messy, you don't have to worry about keeping up physical barriers or having to clean up before your robot can vacuum the area.
One key thing to note about this vacuum is that it is LOUD. It cannot run while you're home without it disturbing you. That being said, its suction power is incredibly strong and it will leave your floors looking beautiful.
Another great feature of this vacuum is its scheduling and zone cleaning. Say you have a cat and you want the vacuum to clean around the litter box every day, just set up a zone in the app and schedule it. The Botvac D7 will clean this specific area on a schedule as often as you'd like. You can sprinkle zone schedules in with full home cleaning schedules as well.
- Large dustbin
- Comes with a remove control
- The onboard screen gives you all the stats of your vacuum without having to go into an app
- Can be set to run on a schedule and clean autonomously
- Higher/bulkier than other options and may have trouble going under low furniture
- User interface can be intimidating if you aren't tech savvy
More About The bObSweep Pethair Plus
When it comes to robot vacuums, performance and navigation are the most important aspects to consider. The bObSweep Pethair Plus is a great option if you want to skip all the hassles that go along with being connected to wifi without sacrificing performance.
Just by looking at the bObsweep Pethair Plus you can tell it is cut from a different mold. Since it is not wifi connected, this vacuum displays everything you need to see right on the robot itself. It has all the programmable features that more expensive, wifi connected competitions have but without as big of a price tag.
This vacuum is best for people who don't want to have everything connected to their phones, but also need a robot vacuum that can get the job done consistently and effectively.
What Does A Roomba Cost and Why Do People Love Them So Much?
The Roomba 980 is currently their most expensive model, coming in at just around $700 according to their website.
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.
Roomba have been around for years, and people love them because they were innovative. However, the technology behind them has gotten cheaper, which makes room for a variety of great Roomba alternatives.
Features To Consider When Looking At Roombas & Other Robot Vacuums
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.
What Is The Best Roomba Alternative?
With so many different robot vacuums out there, it's genuinely difficult to answer this question. The best Roomba alternative for you depends on what you're looking for. Do you want something with more power? More features? More affordable? Once you know what you want, it's easy to select the best Roomba alternative for your lifestyle.
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!