Sweep Up the Savings (And Pet Hair) With These Budget Robot Vacuums
Robot vacuum cleaners are here, ready to scurry around your house, sucking up dirt and debris. What was once a dream of science fiction is now a reality, and thanks to budget robot vacuums, it’s not just a reality for wealthy individuals.
From the original iRobot Roomba to lesser-known brands, many robot vacuums are available on the market. But where should you start? To make your job easier, we’ve rounded up the best cheap robot vacuums for you to consider.
What Is a Robot Vacuum Cleaner?
Round or D-shaped, robot vacuums can navigate your home, vacuuming up dirt and debris as they move. Some robot vacuums bump around your home to navigate, while others use sophisticated lasers and mapping systems.
Once your robot vacuum has cleaned your floors, you must manually empty its bin into your trash. More advanced robot vacuums can empty themselves into a base station, but those models don’t fall into our budget roundup.
However, we have a few great robot vacuums to consider if you’re shopping on a budget. The selected robot vacuums can navigate your home on preprogrammed schedules, cleaning as needed. One robot vacuum even sports a built-in mop for hardwood floors.
Best Budget Robot Vacuum: iRobot Roomba 694
It should be no surprise that an iRobot Roomba vacuum takes our top spot in our best cheap robot vacuums roundup. iRobot popularized the idea of the robot vacuum with its original Roomba in 2002. Prices have come down, and the Roomba 694 is an excellent option for price-conscious consumers.
Coming in at around $250, the iRobot Roomba 694 isn’t the cheapest option on our list, but if you’re looking for excellent value on a budget, it is a strong contender. The robot vacuum features a strong suction and brush system that is perfect for pet hair.
Underneath this Roomba robot vacuum, you’ll find dual multi-surface brushes and an edge-sweeping brush to get into tight corners. The vacuum is perfect for cleaning hard floors and carpets, and thanks to its sensors, it won’t fall down stairs — phew.
You can program a schedule for the Roomba 694 to run or, using a smart assistant such as Alexa, you can simply issue a voice command to begin a cleaning session. When finished, the robot vacuum will return to its charging station to top itself back up.
We particularly love Roomba’s Dirt Detect technology, which allows the robot vacuum to notice particularly dirty areas of your home. The Roomba will make sure to focus on those spots until they are nice and clean.
Runner-Up Budget Robot Vacuum: Yeedi K650
You may not have heard of Yeedi, but you’ll soon be glad you learned about its products.
A stellar robot vacuum for under $200, the Yeedi K650 is perfect for homes that need cleaning help on a budget.
Featuring a tangle-free brush design and a triple-filter system, the Yeedi K650 robot vacuum is perfect for homes with pet hair. Whether you have carpets, hardwood floors or tile, the K650 can navigate your home, eliminating dirt.
Like more expensive units, the K650 robot vacuum features sensors, so you won’t find it falling down stairs. Anti-collision sensors also help to ensure that the robot vacuum won’t spend the entire day bumping into your furniture.
Cleaning times can be prescheduled. But if you need a last-minute cleaning during quiet time, the K650 from Yeedi features a quiet operation mode, so you can go about your day without being disturbed.
The Yeedi K650 can also be summoned into action using a virtual assistant, such as Alexa or Google Assistant. If you need an area cleaned, issue a command and your robot vacuum will work while you relax.
Most Affordable Robot Vacuum: Eufy RoboVac 11S
Even budget robot vacuums can be pricy, so we were thrilled to find the Eufy RoboVac 11S. At about $150 for Amazon Prime members (normally $199), this robot vacuum is a perfect companion for any budget-conscious smart home.
Featuring a moderately powered suction mechanism, the Eufy RoboVac 11S can take care of hard floor surfaces and carpets in your home. The RoboVac 11S robot vacuum even knows when it should turn up its power to clean filthy areas.
The Eufy RoboVac 11S includes a sophisticated remote control. You can either manually control your robot vacuum or preprogram it for automatic cleaning.
Eufy didn’t cheap out on areas that count. The Eufy RoboVac 11S includes fall detection sensors, so you won’t need to worry about the vacuum falling down stairs in your home. When finished, the RoboVac 11S will also automatically recharge itself with assistance.
We are particularly impressed with two features of the RoboVac 11S, with the first being its slim design. At only 2.85 inches tall, the robot vacuum can easily clean under furniture. The second feature we enjoy is the quiet cleaning mode, perfect for not disturbing a sleeping baby in the next room or you during a Zoom meeting.
While the Eufy RoboVac 11S does include a triple-filtration system, it is not our first choice for cleaning up pet hair due to its weaker suction power. If you have pets, we recommend examining one of our other suggested cheap robot vacuums.
Best Budget Robot with Navigation: Wyze Robot Vacuum
Most robot vacuums use advanced algorithms to “bump” their way around your home, cleaning as much space as possible. However, more advanced robot vacuums feature precise navigation abilities. One option to consider on a budget is the Wyze Robot Vacuum.
Available for under $200, the Wyze Robot Vacuum can build a precise map of your home using lidar technology.
More precise navigation allows robot vacuums to clean in more effective patterns and ensure they hit every square foot of your home. More effective cleaning patterns enable robot vacuums to clean faster than their more basic counterparts.
Beyond the Wyze’s advanced navigation, it features strong suction power (great for pet hair), a high-torque primary brush and a side brush for edges. The Wyze Robot Vacuum also has additional sensors, so you won’t need to worry about it falling down stairs.
The Wyze Robot Vacuum is, without a doubt, the most advanced option in our roundup and perfect for homes that need precision cleaning. Thanks to the robot vacuum knowing exactly where it is at all times, it can stop cleaning and recharge, then return to where it left off when needed.
Using the Wyze app for iOS and Android, homeowners can specify areas for the robot vacuum to clean. If you have places you wish the robot vacuum to stay away from, such as pet food bowls, you can specify “no go zones” within the app.
Best Hybrid Budget Robot Vacuum: Eufy RoboVac L35
The Eufy RoboVac L35 is the most expensive robot vacuum we recommend, but at around $260 for Amazon Prime members (normally $399), it still falls squarely into the budget category for robot vacuums. But why would we recommend this more expensive option? Well, because it is a hybrid.
No, it doesn’t run on electricity and gas like a hybrid car. Instead, this hybrid robot vacuum is not only a vacuum cleaner but also a robot mop. The RoboVac L35 has a built-in mop and water tank for making your floors squeaky clean.
Underneath the RoboVac L35 robot vacuum is a cloth mop kept moist by an inbuilt 200-milliliter water tank with a water flow that you can customize to suit your home. Fill the tank and begin vacuuming as usual — now your hardwood and tile floors can truly shine.
In addition to the mop, the RoboVac L35 includes a powerful vacuum cleaner with a power of up to 3,200 pascals — that’s three times the power of some other robot vacuums we have recommended. With such strong power, this robot vacuum is perfect for thick carpets and homes with lots of pet hair.
The RoboVac L35 uses advanced lidar mapping to know where it is within your home at all times. You can schedule specific times for the robot vacuum to clean using a smart assistant or the included app. You can also tell it to clean particular areas of your home on demand.
When selecting the best budget robot vacuums, we combined hands-on testing with detailed research to present options that would likely best suit your home. Whether you need robot vacuums that can handle pet hair or those that can also mop your floors, we made sure to include options for all our budget-conscious readers.
Specific factors we looked at when selecting cheap robot vacuums include their overall suction power, brushes, navigation systems and additional features. Every robot vacuum we chose offers suction power and brushes that can tackle everyday homes. We selected specific robot vacuum models with increased suction power for homes with pet hair.
Most robot vacuums we selected use advanced algorithms to navigate your home, but select units (all priced under $300) include advanced lidar navigation for precision cleaning. Affordable robot vacuums with additional features, such as inbuilt mops, were also included for homes with specific needs.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Our favorite robot vacuum cleaner for those on a budget is the iRobot Roomba 694. Built on two decades of experience, the Roomba 694 is a powerful robot vacuum at about $250. While it's more expensive than other budget options, it delivers a solid cleaning experience thanks to its suction power and brush system — perfect for homes with pets.
Our favorite non-Roomba robot vacuum cleaner is the Yeedi K650. At under $200, the K650 can clean hard and carpeted floors. The Yeedi even sports sensors to help it avoid bumping into obstacles or falling down stairs. It is one of the best cheap robot vacuums we examined.
Whether affordable robot vacuums are worth the money depends on how much you value convenience. We have found that robot vacuums can do an excellent job at keeping hardwood, tile and carpet floors clean. You need to ask yourself: How much would I pay so that I don't have to worry about vacuuming?
Michael Archambault is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder specializing in technology.