The best robot vacuum cleaners of 2020: iRobot Roomba, Neato, Eufy and many other vacuum models – CNET

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I have fantasized about houses that clean themselves for a long time. Today's robot vacuum cleaners, this fantasy sounds less and less far-fetched. Current robot vacuum cleaners are full of sensors, electronic eyes – even lasers – and have a correspondingly improved computing power.

Their prices have skyrocketed too. Some robot vacuum cleaner models even drop you four stunning numbers. Spending so much is extravagant, but it brings you next level vacuum cleaner functions. These cleaning functions include multiple rooms and Floor plan image. Trash bins that empty themselvesTurbo mode, plus elegantly designed hardware,

To find the best robot vacuum cleaner, I tested a group of 10 robot vacuum cleaners for torture for over 120 hours. These include brand new models recently launched, flagship models, and compelling options offered by numerous online retailers. I have ruled out older models that will probably not be sold for long.

Continue reading: Your Roomba is going a strange way to clean the floors in your home | The best cordless vacuum cleaners for 2020

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If someone is to give you a blank check and tell you to buy a robot vacuum, this is the bot you need to get. The iRobot Roomba S9 Plus costs a whopping $ 1,399. For this amazingly high sticker price, this bot offers excellent cleaning power for dirt removal.

On hardwood floors, they absorbed an average of 93% of our test sand, the highest amount in our test group. The Roomba struggled a bit to clean the sand from deep-pile rugs and carpets, and achieved an average dust and sand absorption of 28%.

That means the vacuum removed an average of 71% of the sand from our carpet. This is also the best result we saw in this particular test. In addition, more animal hair and allergens were removed in this test group than in any other vacuum, and the bot navigated and mapped several rooms and floors. iRobot has also updated its app so you can set "exclusion zones" to specify areas that the S9 Plus should avoid.

The robot also raced through our test room in a short average time of 25 minutes. You can also connect the S9 Plus to the Roomba app and your home WiFi. The best thing is the CleanBase docking station of the Roomba S9 Plus. It charges the robot's battery and empties the trash can automatically. That is practical.

Read our first impressions of the Roomba S9 Plus.

Continue reading: iRobot Roomba 980: $ 550 for a high-end robot vacuum

Tyler Lizenby / CNET

For half the price of the Roomba S9 Plus, the Botvac D7 Connected from Neato, worth $ 647, sucks in almost as much dirt, dust, and grime. On average, this robot cleaner has taken up more sand (36%) on carpets and low pile carpets than the Roomba.

When cleaning hardwood floors, it just hit the S9 Plus and collected an average of 95% of the sand we deposited. The vacuum cleaner cleaned dirt, dust and sand from carpets from the middle pile less effectively and achieved a pick-up average of 47 percent.

While this cleaning robot can't keep up with Roomba's skill when it comes to removing animal hair or emptying its own dust container, it navigates more efficiently and covers more floor thanks to the integrated lidar laser navigation mapping. You can also control the cleaning robot using the Neato app as a remote control and link it to Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. You can also use the app to mark areas of your home as blocked.

Read our preview of Neato Botvac D7 Connected.

Continue reading: This is how you prepare your house so that your robot vacuum cleaner does not get caught

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Here's a machine that proves you don't have to break your budget to buy a solid robotic vacuum cleaner. Although the Robovac 11S Max only costs $ 219, the floors are cleaned effectively. This applies in particular to the cleaning of parquet floors.

We managed to remove an average of 71% of our test sand from this type of surface. The bot did not handle carp very well and collected an average of 21% and 27% sand on low and medium pile, respectively.

And due to the basic navigation system of this vacuum cleaner, the negotiation of our test room took well over an hour. Nevertheless, the Eufy used its runtime wisely. The vacuum covered the room well, cleaned up and left almost no stains untouched. The Eufy also charges itself.

How we test robot vacuum cleaners

Our method of evaluating the robot vacuum is straightforward, yet exhausting. We do two types of tests. The first try is to find out How well a robot covers the floor, To this end, we have built an industry-standard test room specified by the International Electrotechnical Commission. The IEC is an international standardization organization that is responsible, among other things, for the administration of vacuum test methods for robots from vacuum manufacturers.

Continue reading: The 10 best vacuum cleaners for kitchen cleaning

Obstacles in our test room mimic what robot vacuums are encountered in the real world.

Tyler Lizenby / CNET

This room contains objects that simulate typical obstacles that a robot encounters when navigating while cleaning. This includes wall edges, table and chair legs, sofas etc. as well as flooring made of tiles, hardwood and carpet.

Here is a coverage photo of the iRobot Roomba S9 Plus that moved through our test room. You can see that it covered the ground well, except for a small section in the middle (left, below).

Gianmarco Chumbe / CNET

We attach LED lights to the top of each vacuum cleaner. The dimensions of the lights correspond to the measured nozzle width of each individual robot vacuum that we tested.

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As robots move through the room, a camera takes a long-term image of the entire room in poor lighting conditions. The photo then has a light trail generated by the LEDs, which shows the exact areas in which the robot was driving (and its nozzle position) during its runtime. We can also see areas of the floor where the vacuum may have failed or got stuck.

Continue reading: iRobot Roomba S9 Plus against Neato Botvac D7 Connected

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This is the coverage pattern created by the Neato Botvac D7 Connected. The movement through our test room was very neat, logical and effective.

Gianmarco Chumbe / CNET

The navigation results of all robot vacuum cleaners in our test group can be found in the gallery below.

The second type of test shows exactly how much dirt a vacuum can suck up from the floor. In order to imitate dirt with a small particle size, we use a mixture of play sand and landscape sand. For larger particles, we use uncooked black rice grains. Robots then run in straight mode over three types of flooring (low pile carpet, medium pile carpet and hardwood).

We test robot vacuums on three types of floor surfaces.

Tyler Lizenby / CNET

We also control the specific nozzle width of each vacuum. We have designed an adjustable tool to soil our test floors. This allows us to lay down a strip of precise soil that corresponds to the nozzle dimensions for each robot. The mass of the floor is also not chosen at random. We measure a proportional amount related to the flooring, the type of deposits and the nozzle width of each vacuum.

With our specially made tool, we can adapt the floor area to the nozzle width of a robot vacuum.

Tyler Lizenby / CNET

We carry out at least three cleaning runs per floor type. We also test separately with sand and rice. This corresponds to at least 18 tests per vacuum. We weigh the robot's dust container before and after each run. From there we can calculate the percentage of dirt pick up for each run and the average amount of dirt a machine can remove. In addition, we conduct anecdotal (visual) animal hair tests for every robot on all three floor types.

We run robotic vacuum cleaners in a straight line during the dirt pick-up tests.

Tyler Lizenby / CNET

The following table shows the performance data for fine dust cleaning for all robot vacuums we have tested. It should give you a pretty good idea of ​​their performance on different types of flooring. Our medium-sized particle test based on rice did not show a sufficient distinction between the individual cleaners, which means that they can all handle larger particles without any problems. We made anecdotal judgments about the fur removal for pet owners.

Percent dirt removed

Neato Botvac D7 connected

Neato Botvac D4 connected

Neato Botvac D6 connected

Legend:

Low-pile sand

Hardwood sand

Medium pile sand

Note:

The results listed are the average percentage of the total material removed from the test surface

Would you like more options for the robot vacuum cleaner? Here is a list of the other robotic vacuum cleaners we've tested alongside the models listed above.

Originally released earlier this year.