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Robot vacuum cleaners have grown in popularity with a huge range of options to choose between making them one of the best smart home products to buy in 2021.
They are getting smarter and smarter, with most top end products now incorporating mapping, voice control and using AI to navigate and clean unlike anything we’ve seen before.
In this guide, we’ll take you through the key considerations when buying a robot vacuum and share our view on the top 9 devices currently on the market in the UK.
If you’re in a rush, here are the top 3 vacuums. Keep reading below for the full list.
Best Overall: Ecovacs DEEBOT N8 Pro+• Excellent at obstacle avoidance due to additional lasers
• Comes with a self-emptying base
• Reasonable price compared to other vacuums with similar features
Runner Up: Roborock S6 Pure• 2-in-1 vacuum and mop with highly customisable mop settings
• Longest run time of 180 mins with recharge-and-resume
Best Self-Emptying: Roomba i7+• Self-emptying base stores up to 30X the onboard dustbin
• Advanced integration with Alexa and Google Assistant to issue room-by-room cleaning instructions
Are Robot Vacuum Cleaners Worth It?
Robot vacuums are still slightly more expensive than traditional upright vacuum cleaners on average, so are they worth the extra cost?
Well, personally I hate household chores so I am more than happy with my decision to buy a robot vacuum. Whilst it hasn’t removed the need for an upright vacuum altogether, it has certainly reduced the frequency that I need to get it out.
If you opt for one of the very best robot vacuums such as the Roborock S6 and the Ecovacs Deebot N8 Pro+ below, you could get away with never vacuuming again, unless you have stairs that is.
Best Robot Vacuum Cleaners
These are the best robot vacuum cleaners in the UK:
- Best Overall: Ecovacs DEEBOT N8 Pro+
- Runner Up: Roborock S6 Pure
- Best Self Emptying: Roomba i7+
- Best for High Pile Carpet: Neato D8
- Best Cleaning Performance: Roomba S9+
- Smartest Vacuum: Ecovacs DEEBOT T8 AIVI
- Great for Thresholds: Dyson Heurist
- Budget Pick: Eufy G30 Edge
- Frugal Pick: Coredy R750
Below are our in-depth reviews of each product to highlight the pros and cons, plus why we think it deserves a place in our recommendations.
Note! After the reviews is a full comparison table with my ratings and key specs.
Best Overall: Ecovacs DEEBOT N8 Pro+
|Value for Money||8/10|
The Ecovacs DEEBOT N8+ is the best robot vacuum cleaner available in the UK right now scoring 8.25 out of 10 in our review which is higher than any other vacuum to date. The N8+ isn’t the most premium vacuum from Ecovacs, however, when you weigh up the price and features, it makes a great purchase.
Unlike the more premium Ecovacs Deebot T8 AIVI, it uses solely lasers for navigating and mapping your home which it will do on the first run. You’ll then be able to access your floor plan in the app where you can name each room for room-by-room cleaning and create virtual no-go areas.
However, it can only store two floor plans so if you have more than two floors where you plan to use it, you would be better off looking at the Roborock S6 which can store up to 3 plans, or the Roomba i7+ which can store up to 10.
As the vacuum moves around your home, it’s the best vacuum I’ve seen to date when it comes to obstacle avoidance and will rarely even bump into any objects. This is due to the extra lasers in the front that uses 3D scanning when it encounters an obstacle.
Its cleaning abilities are very good, scoring 8 out of 10 in my review. It performs well at picking up all types of debris and the two spinning front brushes get to the corners fairly well. Where it falls down is pet hair which can frequently get tangled in the brush. Check out the Roomba i7+ or S9+ if you have pets.
The N8 Pro+ has the same mop as the more expensive T8 AIVI. This includes a 240ml water tank which you can leave on the vacuum, however, you’ll need to attach a pad when you want it to mop. The mopping function will clean most stains from your floor with a few runs although I prefer the S6 Pure for its mop.
Finally, I need to mention that it’s a self-emptying robot vacuum which is quite a big deal for anyone wanting a hands-off experience. The robot will empty itself into the base which can hold up to 30 times the onboard bin so you probably won’t empty it more than once a month.
Runner Up: Roborock S6 Pure
|Value for Money||7/10|
The Roborock S6 Pure is part of their flagship S6 line that are some of the most intelligent robot vacuums currently available in the UK. This was previously my top-rated vacuum for over a year until the Ecovacs Deebot N8+ came and knocked it off the top with its self-emptying base.
The S6 Pure is still a great choice and comes in slightly cheaper than the N8+. It has stand-out navigation with Lidar and cameras working in tandem to map and manoeuvre around your home.
With 180 minutes of runtime, the S6 Pure has the longest battery life of all the vacuums compared in this article. At 3.8 inches tall and 13.8 inches wide, it’s larger than the average robot vacuum. It boasts 1 floor brush, 1 side brush, a 480ml capacity dust bin, and a microfiber mop.
Unlike the N8 Pro+, this vacuum only has 1 side brush, however, this isn’t too noticeable from the result. The impressive 2,000 pascals (pA) of suction power works wonders on both hard floors and carpets, picking up even the smallest particles of dust. It’s not as powerful as the more expensive Roborock S6 MAX V but offers better value for money.
Similar to the N8 Pro+, it’s both a robot vacuum and mop so it can easily robot can switch between the two modes thanks to a built-in 180ml water tank. The mopping function is superior to the N8 Pro+ because there is more control over the water flow and you can set up both no-mop and no-vacuum on the map. You can also set different suction power or water levels for each room.
Best Self-Emptying: Roomba i7+
|Value for Money||7/10|
iRobot are the most established name in robot vacuums with their Roomba range. Of their current lineup, the one we have to highlight is the Roomba i7+, a high-end vacuum that comes with their Clean Base that allows the vacuum to automatically empty itself.
The Roomba i7+ has a low profile that allows it to navigate easily under low furniture. As with all of their products, it uses their dual rollers in place of standard bristle brushes, these are great for deep cleaning and much better at avoiding hair tangles.
Unlike the two previous devices, this one uses vSLAM (cameras) to map out your home rather than Lidar. The downside to this is that it can take several cleans to achieve a full map and can often be fooled by darker areas of your home such as wardrobes. Once it has mapped your home, you can name each room or area of your home and set virtual barriers (aka no-go zones) for the robot to avoid.
One thing I love about Roomba is that you can use the robot’s name and the names of rooms or objects in your home for highly personalised commands. For example, you can say “Okay Google, tell Jarvis to clean around the sofa”. (see my full list of Roomba name ideas for some inspiration)
The self-emptying base works seamlessly and, like the N8 Pro+, it can also hold 30x the onboard dustbin for about a month’s worth of cleaning. However, unlike the N8 Pro+, the i7+ does not have a mop or advanced obstacle detection.
Its intelligence doesn’t stop at mapping, when it automatic mode, it can adjust the height of its cleaning head for different floor types and can change the suction power according to how dirty the floor is thanks to its Dirt Detect feature.
It has the joint-lowest battery life of all the vacuums here at 75 mins (matched by the Roomba S9+), however with recharge-and-resume, this doesn’t matter as it can always pick up where it left off.
See more robot vacuums that work with Google Home.
Best for High Pile Carpets: Neato D8
|Value for Money||5/10|
Neato’s excellent D4, D5, D6, and D7 devices have been staples of any list featuring the best robot vacuum cleaners since they were launched. However, in 2021, Neato announced a brand new generation of vacuums, the D8, D9, and D10.
The D8 is the most affordable of the 3 and makes the most sense from a value perspective. As you’d expect from a Neato, it retains the D-shape which is more effective for edges and corners than a traditional round shape, plus it’s short enough to fit under low furniture.
Neato have long used lidar for navigation which is contained in the circular turret visible on top of the robot. This is very accurate and gives you extra functionality in the app such as zone cleaning and no-go lines.
Along with the new D8, Neato have also launched a redesigned MyNeato app which replaces its older version. TheNeato D8 is a great robot vacuum for Amazon Alexa so that you can issue voice commands. to begin cleaning. However, there is currently no Google Assistant support despite many of the older devices having this feature.
It has a 100-minute battery life which is about average compared to the other vacuums here. It has a huge 700ml onboard dustbin which is the largest of all those reviewed here, however, still can’t compete with a self-emptying base.
Best Cleaning Performance: Roomba S9+
|Value for Money||6/10|
When it comes to cleaning performance, the Roomba S9+ is easily the best vacuum in 2021.
Not only does it have 2,500pa of suction power which outperforms all of the other vacuums here, it does an excellent job of capturing the airflow to collect particles of all shapes and sizes.
Unlike previous Roomba’s, for the S9+ they have adopted a D-shape body. Neato have been shouting about the improved edge and corner performance of a D-shape for years and seemingly, iRobot now agree with them.
This is another robot vacuum with mapping and similar to the Dyson Heurist and the Roomba i7+, it uses the vSLAM technology. As mentioned before, I find this to be slightly less accurate than Lidar and it takes longer to map your home initially.
The S9+ also comes with the same self-emptying base as the i7+ and features the same advanced voice assistant integration for instructing the bot to clean specific rooms or zones via Alexa or Google Home.
The main downside to the Roomba S9+ is the price point. Whilst it’s undeniably the best at cleaning your home, many of the features are similar to the cheaper Roomba i7+ mentioned above so I’d recommend this to anyone concerned about cost.
Smartest Robot Vacuum: Ecovacs Deebot OZMO T8 AIVI
|Value for Money||6/10|
The Ecovacs Deebot OZMO T8 AIVI is the most advanced robot vacuum cleaner on the market in ”2021”. Whilst all of the other vacuums here have opted for lasers or visual cameras, the T8 AIVI has both.
AVIV is an acronym for artificial intelligence and visual interpretation which means that it uses AI to analyse the inputs from the cameras and lasers to help it manoeuvre around obstacles. Whilst its object avoidance is on par with the lower-spec N8 Pro+ share earlier, it has a nifty feature called Missed Object Notifications which send you an alert of areas it couldn’t clean so that you can move obstacles ahead of its next run.
It has 1,500 pA of suction power, which is slightly lower than other top-end devices, however, the high levels of airflow are also a big contributing factor to cleaning performance and I can confirm that it does a stellar job at picking up debris of all sizes. The T8 AIVI has a much better battery life than the N8 Pro+ and at 175 Mins, it’s almost on par with the Roborock S6 Pure.
The OZMO T8 not only vacuums well, but it has a very advanced mop that allows you to adjust how much water it uses in each area of your home.
As you’d expect from such a premium device, it has Alexa and Google Home support, the ability to store multiple floor plans and set room-by-room schedules and it features a HEPA filter for allergens that allows it to capture every tiny particle, as small as 0.3microns and up to 99% of them.
One other feature worth mentioning is the live camera that allows you to see a feed from the robot via the app, this is ideal if you want to keep an eye on your pets whilst away from home.
With such great features, you might be wondering why this isn’t my top pick. First of all, it doesn’t have a self-emptying base like the N8 Pro+ (although there are rumours of it coming to the UK soon) and the second reason is the price. This vacuum is a lot more expensive than the N8 Pro+ so value-for-money is lower.
Best for Thresholds: Dyson 360 Heurist
|Value for Money||7/10|
The Dyson 360 Heurist is 2nd generation Dyson. Its distinctive feature is the tank treads instead of wheels that help it get across thresholds and up onto rugs with ease. It’s taller and narrower than most robot vacuums which means it can weave between objects such as chairs and tables with ease, although won’t be able to go under lower furniture. It also has handles by the side for picking up.
As you’d expect from a Dyson product, it excels at suction power. They have used their patented cyclone technology that you’d normally find in their regular vacuum cleaners which makes it incredibly powerful. It does well with small particles, however, larger particles and fine hair particles aren’t its strong point. They can get tangled in the bristles of its brushes or block the filter sometimes so I wouldn’t recommend this if you have pets.
As for navigation, it uses the same vSLAM method as the Roomba i7+. However, you might remember I mentioned that this was a problem in darker parts of the home, but, Dyson have got around that with a ring of LED lights on top of the device to help it see in the dark.
Once you have mapped your home, you can choose schedules for each room or mark out no-go areas on the map which the robot will avoid during cleaning.
The Dyson runs at high power mode for 45 minutes and low power mode for 75 minutes. The short battery life is helped by the fact that it can resume from where it stopped cleaning before stopping to recharge. The robot is integrated with Google Home and Alexa and that allows you to start the cleaning via voice commands.
Budget Pick (Under £400): Eufy G30 Edge
|Value for Money||7/10|
Any robot vacuum under £300 falls in the budget price range so you should expect fewer features than the mid or high-end vacuums. That being said, the Eufy G30 Edge has ‘borrowed’ some features from the more expensive vacuums I shared before.
Unlike the other vacuums here, the G30 Edge doesn’t use mapping for room-by-room cleaning. However, it’s not as basic as the low-end random path vacuums. Instead, it uses Eufy’s Smart Dynamic Navigation 2.0 which uses gyro technology so that the G30 can take logical routes around your home.
This also provides cleaning history maps in the companion app and enables the recharge-and-resume technology which I haven’t seen on a vacuum of this price before.
How does the G30 Edge fare with the basics of cleaning your floor? Well, not too bad. It manages to pick up most light debris and certainly outperforms all of the other robot vacuums in its category. BoostIQ is similar to Roomba’s Dirt Detect feature and works well to increase suction when required. The large 600ml dust bin is also a nice feature.
Make sure you choose the G30 Edge instead of the G30, this gives you the ability to create no-go zones with the included magnetic boundary strips which the standard G30 does not have. Run time is 110 minutes on low power, and this should be enough for a cleaning session in a small-mid size home.
Frugal Pick (Under £300): Coredy R750
|Value for Money||8/10|
If you’re on an even tighter budget, this next recommendation is perfect for you coming in at less than £300. The vacuum does a decent job at picking up most light debris so that you can get the upright vacuum out less frequently.
The main downside you’ll notice about this vacuum compared to all the others on this list is that it has the most basic navigation. There’s no lidar, visual cameras, or even gyroscopes. It uses random path navigation which means it will zig cag around your home until its algorithms predict that it has achieved a good level of coverage or the battery runs out.
One thing this vacuum does have is the ability to set no-go zones. This is done using magnetic boundary tape which you place on the ground. This method is very common among cheaper robot vacuum cleaners that don’t have virtual boundaries.
Similar to the two Ecovacs devices and the Roborock S6 shared earlier, this one can also function as a mop. However, it cannot mop and vacuum at the same time because you need to take out the dustbin and replace it with a water tank. Overall, the mopping experience is quite poor so I can’t recommend it based on this alone.
The R750 is actually the most premium device from Coredy and unlike the lower-spec devices, it has a companion app for changing the settings and can be integrated with Alexa and Google Home for very basic start/stop commands.
If you want something even cheaper, see my full side-by-side comparison of Coredy robot vacuums.
Here is a comparison table of the best robot vacuum cleaners:
|Ecovacs DEEBOT N8+||Roborock S6 Pure||Roomba i7+||Neato D8||Roomba S9+||Ecovacs T8 OZMO AIVI||Dyson Heurist||Eufy G30 Edge||Coredy R750|
|Best Overall||Runner Up||Best Self-Emptying||Best for High-Pile||Best Cleaning Performance||Smartest Vacuum||Best for Thresholds||Budget Pick||Frugal Pick|
|Value for Money||8||7||7||5||6||6||7||7||8|
|Navigation Method||Lidar||Lidar||vSLAM||Lidar||vSLAM||Lidar||vSLAM||Gyro||Random Path|
|Run Time||110 Mins||180 Mins||75 Mins||100 Mins||75 Mins||175 Min||75 Mins||110 Mins||120 Mins|
|Recharge & Resume||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Where to Buy?||Amazon||Amazon||Amazon||Amazon||Amazon||Amazon||Dyson||Amazon||Amazon|
Buying a robot vacuum cleaner is no easy task, there are so many features to consider and different brands claiming to be the best. So, what should you look out for?
- Cleaning performance and floor types: Key features that will affect cleaning performance include suction power (measured in pA which means pascals), the shape of the device with D-shape generally better for edges and corners, and how well it can cope with different floor types.
- Combo vacuum and mop: Some robot vacuums have a built-in mop for hardwood or vinyl floors, but you should ensure no-mop zones are available if you have both hardwood and carpeted areas.
- Mapping (cameras vs lasers): One of the key features that determines a robot vacuum is their mapping capability. The most basic models will not have any mapping and will simply bounce around your home randomly until they have covered it all. A better vacuum will use either lasers (lidar) or visual cameras (vSLAM) to create a floor plan that you can then segment in to rooms. The very best devices will use both lidar and vSLAM along with AI to get around.
- Battery life: If you have a larger home, then battery life will be a key consideration to ensure it can do a full clean. Most robot vacuums clean for an average of 90 minutes which is fine for small to medium-sized homes, but for larger homes look for 2 hours or more. Alternatively, look for recharge-and-resume technology which allows the vacuum to recharge then return to the same point to continue the clean.
- Budget: As with everything in life, you get what you pay for. Anything under £300 is considered a budget device so you may have to make compromises, see my full guide to the best cheap robot vacuums for some recommendations. Generally £300-500 will get you a mid-tier device that’s usually good value for money, whereas the more advanced features cost in excess of £500 and sometimes into four figures too.
Of course, there are plenty of other features that make each device stand out including self emptying bases, room-by-room cleaning and HEPA filters.