Can’t Afford a Roomba? 8 Cheap Robot Vacuums That Really Work
Whether you live in a tiny apartment or an expansive house, you probably don’t like cleaning. You wash the dishes, scrub the kitchen, clean the bathroom, collect your laundry, and straighten up the rugs and sheets. But at least occasionally, you also have to vacuum the floors — a task that’s mildly annoying in a pet-free home or an aggravating experience for you (and a traumatic one for animals) if you have a cat or a dog at home. Fortunately, a robot vacuum can clean your floors for you — at least if you have a few hundred dollars to spend to purchase one.
The famous Roomba 880 costs $600 while the Roomba 980 costs $900 — which isn’t exactly the right price for a budget-friendly household just looking for an easier way to keep up with the dust, dirt, and pet hair that accumulates far too quickly. Fortunately, there are some robot vacuums that cost less than a Roomba, and will help you keep your home clean without breaking the bank. Read on to check out our recommendations if you’re looking for a robot vacuum that you can purchase for less than $600.
1. iClebo Arte YCR-M05
Consumer Reports researchers write that the iClebo Arte YCR-M05 demonstrates that “you don’t have to pay large for a top-performing robotic vacuum.” This model is “fairly thorough” at cleaning carpet surfaces and “especially thorough” at cleaning bare floors. The publication’s product reviewers also found that this robot vacuum is easy to program, operates quietly, and has a brush roll, wheel, and sensors that are easy to clean. However, they noted that the device moved its charging base around while cleaning, wobbled forward and backward while transitioning from bare floor to carpet, and lacks a full bin indicator. Nonetheless, the reviewers reported that they liked this model, which, at around $400 on Amazon, costs significantly less than a Roomba.
2. Miele Scout RX1
The Miele Scout RX1 is a robot vacuum that earned a respectable score from Consumer Reports’ product reviewers. They liked that this robot vacuum is “fairly thorough” at cleaning carpet surfaces and bare floors, and that it operates quietly. It’s also easy to program, and it was easy to clean the brush roll, wheels, and sensors. Another benefit is that this Miele model can fit underneath obstacles as low as 3.5 inches from the floor. Nonetheless, the researchers warn that this robot vacuum required manual cleaning of cat hair from the brush, and noted that it had some trouble with carpet fringes. In fact, they recommend that if you have a fringed carpet, you consider avoiding this robot vacuum altogether. But if fringed carpets aren’t your style, this model comes in just under $600, at $580 on Amazon.
3. Bissell SmartClean 1605
Consumer Reports researchers write that “you could do worse than” the budget-priced Bissell SmartClean 1605 robot vacuum. They found it easy to program with grid, spot, and random cleaning patterns, and noted that the model fits beneath obstacles as low as 3.5 inches from the floor. However, the researchers noted that there are some compromises that come along with the device’s low price (just $220 on Amazon). Though this robot vacuum performs well on bare floors, it needed several attempts to climb a threshold between two different surfaces. It also lacks a remote control, and only lasted about 45 minutes on a charge. Additionally, the researchers noted that it was hard to clean pet hair and other debris from the brush roll, and recommended that shoppers look elsewhere if they have fringed carpet.
4. Neato BotVac 80
The Neato BotVac 80 is fairly thorough at cleaning carpet surfaces and bare floors, according to Consumer Reports reviewers. It also offers quiet operation; has an easy-to-clean brush roll, wheels, and sensors; and can be set to vacuum for a different period of time everyday. The reviewers noted that while they liked the “impressive cleaning of both carpet surfaces and bare floors” and the “superb” navigational capabilities of this model. However, they added that “there are caveats. Earlier versions–no longer in stores–exhibited technical problems, with the model displaying a code that its dust bin was not in place, preventing operation. Among other issues, this model ran less time on a charge than most other models tested. And we needed to manually clean cat hair from the brush.” But at $440 on Amazon, this robot vacuum is considerably less expensive than a Roomba and offers a variety of interesting features.
5. Neato XV-21
The Neato XV-21 earned a decent score from the reviewers at Consumer Reports. While this robot vacuum works well, they noted that its cleaning of carpet surfaces and bare floors is mediocre, and the lack of edge brushes shows in its ability to clean at the perimeters of a room. However, it operates quietly and can be set to vacuum for different periods each day. This model lacks a remote control, lacks edge brushes, runs for less time on a charge than many other models, and required manual cleaning of cat hair from the brush. But at $300 on Amazon, this model is significantly less expensive than many high-end robot vacuums, including high-end Roomba models.
6. iRobot Roomba 650
Given the high price tags of the Roomba 880 and 980, you might think that all Roomba models are out of reach for a budget-conscious shopper. But the iRobot Roomba 650, which Digital Trends reports is “an effective and entertaining floor cleaning option,” costs just a little over $300 on Amazon. The maximum run time between charges for this robot vacuum is about an hour. The device’s crude navigational algorithm means that this isn’t “the most logical floor cleaner around,” and it takes more time than you might expect to clean a small room. Additionally, the device works best in clearly defined spaces, which means you’ll get the best results if you close it into a room. But the device offers powerful suction, is easy to empty and maintain, and navigates most surfaces and transitions without incident.
7. Moneual RYDIS H68 Pro
According to Tom’s Guide, the Moneual RYDIS H68 Pro is the best robot vacuum if you have hardwood floors. Reviewers at the publication liked that this robot vacuum offers dry and wet mopping options in addition to vacuuming features, and you can even preset the robot to complete both tasks at the same time. You can attach mop pads to the robot’s underbelly, just behind the vacuum opening and two sweepers, and it can carry up to six ounces of water to dampen the mop pads. The hybrid functionality is an attractive benefit, though drawbacks of this model include the fact that the front brush on the device is typically full of hair. Nonetheless, this robot vacuum, which costs about $500 on Amazon, is a multitasking model that can save you time if your home primarily features hardwood floors.
8. Infinuvo CleanMate QQ2
Angie Parkinson reports for TopTenReviews that the Infinuvo CleanMate QQ2 kills bacteria on your floor using an ultraviolet light and has five cleaning patterns. It isn’t equipped with virtual walls to prevent it from going into areas where you don’t want it to go, so Parkinson says that while you can expect clean floors from this vacuum, it “lacks the convenience and versatility of the best robot vacuums.” (For instance, it works well on hard flooring and low-pile carpeting, but isn’t suitable for use on tall rugs or high-pile carpeting.) But with a price tag of just $120 on Amazon, those are tradeoffs that many budget-conscious shoppers will willingly accept if the device’s specifications fit their needs.