The iRobot Roomba i4 EVO works well in most homes, large or small, because it drives in orderly, back-and-forth rows, keeping track of where it has or hasn’t been, so that it doesn’t miss any big patches of flooring. It also has smart mapping, so you can tell it to clean or avoid specific rooms.
The Roomba i4 EVO is sturdy and repairable—you can reasonably expect to own and use it regularly for years.
It’s also better at cleaning rugs than most other bots, and hair doesn’t get tangled in its brushes as quickly.
You can remotely turn the robot on or off and optionally set an automatic cleaning schedule. The downside is that it doesn’t work quite as fast as some competing models.
Another neat option: The iRobot Roomba i4+ EVO adds a charging dock that automatically sucks the debris out of the robot and stores it in a disposable bag.
iRobot also sells a few models that are very similar to the Roomba i4 EVO and are worth buying instead if you find them on sale, including the iRobot Roomba i3 EVO and Roomba i3+ EVO (with dock), which are identical to the i4 EVO/i4+ EVO but have smaller batteries, and the older Roomba 900 series.
Like our top pick, the Roborock Q5 can map multiple levels of your home, so it knows where to clean and where not to clean. Its maps are slightly better than our top pick’s.
The Roborock app is easier to use, and it has a larger dustbin and a battery that runs more than twice as long as that of our pick.
But the Q5 is a slightly weaker cleaner than our pick, especially on carpet.
The Roborock Q5+ performs exactly the same as the Q5 but comes with a charging station that can empty debris from the robot right into a disposable bag.
Cheaper robots usually have semi-random navigation systems. (We like to call them bump-and-run bots.) That’s fine for cleaning three or four rooms per session (or a little more if you’re patient), though the bumbling aimlessness gets on some people’s nerves and makes such models inconsistently effective at tidying larger areas.
The iRobot Roomba 694 is our first budget pick, but really, any model in the Roomba 600 series is a good choice, since they are all strong cleaners, especially on rugs, thanks to the dual-brush and dirt-detection systems. They are also sturdier than any bump-and-run models from any other brand we’ve tested, which more than offsets the Roomba line’s slightly higher sticker price. The Roomba 694 is the most current model with Wi-Fi (for on/off remote control through a smartphone app).
Also consider the Eufy RoboVac 11S, which is so quiet and nimble that it blends into the background like no other robot (apart from the dozen or so clones from Eufy itself and other brands). This basic, bump-and-run bot sounds more like a desk fan than a vacuum—even if you’re home while it works, you’ll barely notice it running. It’s shorter than most bots, which lets it glide under more furniture, picking up plenty of hidden debris. The big downside is that the RoboVac 11S and other bots like it don’t seem to be built to last for more than a couple of years on average, and we’ve heard about plenty of unrepairable breakdowns that happen even sooner.
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