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Robot vacuums have become smarter than ever with more and more brands jumping on board. Whilst there are plenty of high end products for those with money to spend, in this guide we’ll focus on the budget robot vacuum cleaners that can automate your cleaning without spending too much money.
Just because you’re choosing a cheaper device, that doesn’t mean it’s performance as a vacuum has to be reduced. However, you will generally have to forego some features like mapping, room-by-room cleaning and other intelligent additions.
Are Cheap Robot Vacuums Any Good?
Yes, if you’re looking for a robot vacuum cleaner to compliment your upright vacuuming, then a cheaper device will definitely be worthwhile.
As the market has progressed, the cheaper vacuums have become better thanks to more advanced algorithms and by mirroring features from the more premium devices. They often know where they have cleaned, can change suction power according to the floor type and can usually be controlled with your voice assistant.
However, the cheaper robot vacuums tend to be poorer at deep cleaning, so you will still need to vacuum yourself, although this will be less frequently than you’re used to.
You’ll also have to forego feature such as mapping your home and room-by-room cleaning schedules as this requires Lidar or visual camera navigation which the cheaper devices don’t have.
Best Cheap Robot Vacuum Cleaners
These are the top budget-priced robot vacuum cleaners in the UK:
- Best Overall: Roborock E4
- Runner Up: Eufy Robovac 15C MAX
- Best for Hardwood: Coredy R650
- Best for Pet Hair: Roomba 671
- Best Under £200: Ecovacs Deebot N79S
- Best Under £150: Eufy Robovac 11S
Below are full reviews of my recommendations along with the pros and cons of each device.
BEST OVERALL: Roborock E4
The Roborock E4 is the newest addition to Roborocks E-series which is their more affordable offering compared to the S-series.
The major difference between the two is that the budget priced E4 doesn’t have lidar navigation, instead it uses a system of navigation powered by dual gyroscopes and an OpticEye motion tracking system which remembers where it’s cleaned and helps it navigate in more logical routes.
As for cleaning performance, it packs a punch in suction power with 2000Pa and an automatic boost when it detects carpet and would actually rival some of the S-series equivalents in this respect.
Its compact size allows it to go under low couches and tables, however the lack of any mapping or no-go lines means it can get stuck in some harder places. Debris is emptied into a large 640ml bin which is actually larger than some of their high end vacuums, and it comes with a HEPA filter too.
Its 5200mAh battery can last as long as 200 minutes in quiet mode and even 120 minutes in ‘max’ mode. However, battery life isn’t a major concern with the E4 because it’s had a major upgrade with the ability to recharge and resume the same cleaning cycle.
The Roborock E4 comes with a companion app that allows you to schedule cleaning time, check maintenance status, and cleaning history among other things. The robot is also integrated with Amazon’s Alexa and allows for voice control. There’s an additional mopping system for the Roborock E4 that can be purchased on Amazon.
RUNNER UP: Eufy Robovac 15C MAX
The 15C MAX is one of Eufy’s most popular devices and offers incredible value for money. Its slim 72.5mm height makes it ideal for getting under low furniture in the home. With the BoostIQ mode, it can adjust its suction power according to the floor requirements, up to its maximum of 2000pA. Even at max power, it’s only 55dB which is quiet compared to other models.
Considering its budget price, the cleaning performance is great on low and medium-pile carpet, although still not comparable to the higher-end devices when it comes to deep carpet cleaning so you’ll have to get the regular vacuum out every once in a while.
There’s no sophisticated navigation but the 15C MAX is one of the few in the range that has optical tracking which helps it navigate in straight lines rather than zooming all over the place. It has 4 different modes of cleaning – Auto, Spot, Edge and Quick which can be set in the companion app, there is also Google Assistant and Alexa support.
BEST FOR HARDWOOD FLOOR: Coredy R650
Although Coredy isn’t the first name that springs to mind when you think of vacuum cleaners, the R650 is a budget priced robot vacuum that has some impressive specs including a built in mop.
It has 1600pA of suction power and can clean for 120 minutes on a single charge. As you’d expect from a vacuum at this cheap price, there is no mapping so it uses a random path navigation until it’s cleaned your home.
The vacuum is known for being particularly quiet and very slim so it can get to the hard-to-reach areas of your home. The vacuum packs in a triple filter system that includes a HEPA filter. This filters out allergens including pet hair, dust, and mould.
It is very compatible with hard floors as it comes with a mopping feature, although the water tank and cloth are sold separately. All you need do is remove the 500ml dustbin and replace it with the 300ml water tank. The Coredy app allows you to schedule cleaning times.
You can create boundaries with the strips which the dual-hall sensors on the robot will recognize. The robot is compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa and this means it supports voice control. The robot lacks sophisticated navigation, however, you can control using the smart App. You can also monitor cleaning and battery status using the app.
For more details on this device, see my Coredy R650 review.
BEST FOR PET HAIR: Roomba 671
iRobot has the most experience with robot vacuum having launched the first commercially viable device over two decades ago. Even today, the Roomba is going strong with devices for every budget.
The 600-series is their cheapest range with the Roomba 671 a popular pick. It packs in some of their best cleaning features such as the patented dual rollers and their auto adjusting cleaning head, but without any of the fancy mapping or intelligent features that allow it to compete at a budget price.
While the multi-surface brushes grab all dust and debris, the automatic cleaning head adjusts the height as it deems fit to keep multi-surface brushes in contact with the floor. Its Dirt Detect feature enables it to concentrate on the very dirty areas by making multiple passes until it’s cleaned properly.
After it is fully charged, it can go a maximum run time of 104 minutes before it returns to the charging dock. It offers app control and is integrated with Google Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa for voice control.
BEST UNDER £200: Ecovacs Deebot N79S
The Deebot N79S has been around for a couple of years but still manages to keep in good stead with the other devices here and can be picked up at a very low price when you compare it to other Ecovcacs products.
Although it’s suction power and airflow are lower than others here such as the two Roomba devices, it still does a good job at cleaning considering it price point.
The N79S is suitable for hard floors or low pile carpets. It has two front brushes to sweep up the debris and it has one of Ecovacs deep reach main brushes which cope well with hair as well as particles of all sizes. One watch out is that the front brushes spin particularly fast which can scatter larger, lighter debris.
With no onboard mapping whatsoever, it navigates in a random path, avoiding objects and falls with its anti-collision and anti-fall sensors. The 520ml dustbin is interchangeable with a 300ml water tank for mopping.
It comes with a HEPA filter that captures 99.5% of allergens including pet hair, mould, and dust. The 2600mAh battery will last for about 110 minutes before the robot returns to its charging dock automatically for a recharge.
The robot can be connected to the ECOVACS mobile home app via WiFi where you can control its functions. It is compatible with Alexa and you can schedule and monitor a cleaning session anywhere starting with a voice command.
BEST UNDER £150: Eufy 11S
I’m sharing another Eufy device, but this time it’s one of their cheapest robot vacuums aimed at those on a really low budget. You’ll have to forego a number of features to achieve this price point so it doesn’t have any WiFi or app control.
Instead, you must use the included IR remote control to set the different modes and cleaning schedules. The lack of any app also means there is no voice control.
With sensors located in its front number and underbelly, the Eufy 11S navigates its way around the room in a random path, successfully avoiding obstacles it encounters. It’s 1300 pA of suction power is below average for a vacuum, but for it’s price range the vacuum will pick up light debris in to it’s 600ml dust bin.
The BoostIQ feature automatically increases suction when the robot comes in contact with the carpet. It has the same modes as the 15C MAX and the same battery life of 100 minutes on low power.
It has no problems switching between floor types and is suitable for hardwood floors, tiles, and low to medium-pile carpets. We wouldn’t suggest it if you have high pile carpets as the performance is not as great.
When buying a budget robot vacuum, you need to go for one that’s suited to your needs. A good robot vacuum might not be good enough for you if it doesn’t match the expectations you have for cleaning your home or office. What are those things you should always consider?
- Cleaning performance – The most basic task of a robot vacuum is to clean your home so naturally this is the most important factor to consider. Especially at the budget end of the market, you’ll need to ensure a good level of suction (measured in pA which means pascals) and ensure it can cope with hairs or smaller particles. A few models also have HEPA filters which are good for allergies.
- Navigation – None of these cheaper robot vacuum cleaners offer mapping or floor plans, however they do have slightly different navigation methods. Some will use a logical cleaning path to complete each section before moving on to the next, whilst others will use a completely random path. The former is preferred as it results in better coverage.
- Battery life – The battery capacity is more important at the budget end of the market as they usually don’t have recharge-and-resume capability like the higher tier vacuums. A battery life of 90 minutes is about average for a small or medium sized home.
- Dustbin size – A larger dustbin size means less frequent intervention from you and is better for larger homes or those with pets. A typical bin capacity would be around 400-500ml, but some now offer much larger capacities as a point of difference.
- WiFi– Whilst you might expect all robot vacuums to have built in WiFi in 2021, this isn’t the case for cheaper models. WiFi enables app control and often voice assistant integration. Only 5 of the 6 models here have an app so look out for this.