Looking for a very good robot vacuum? Get the Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni! 🍒

Reviewing the best robot vacuums in the UK: our winners

Best robot vacuums stands on the floor

Last updated: 07.12.2023

Vacuuming is a chore we’d all rather skip. 😭

Wouldn't it be handy if there was a robot hoover that could do the floor cleaning for you?

The good news is: there is!

We’ve reviewed and compared tons of robotic vacuums and continue to do so as new models come onto the market.

In this article, you’ll find our test winners, the best budget robot vacuum cleaners, robot vacuum-mop combos, and more!

So read on and find out which robot vacuum cleaner you should buy. 👇

Best robot vacuums stands on the floor

Overview of the best Robot Vacuum in the UK in 2023:

Best alternatives

Find out more about our favorites now

Our favourite

Roborock S8 Pro Ultra

Experience top-tier cleaning with the Roborock S8 Pro Ultra, boasting the standout Ultra Station.

Enhanced automation and quality set this model apart from its predecessor, the S7 series.

The Roborock S8 Pro Ultra makes a bold promise: "Forget cleaning - really!" and it does a good job living up to that.

This robot cleaner is packed with top-notch features, with the Ultra Station being the star. ⭐️

This handy station does four things for you:

  • Cleans the mop
  • Dries the mop
  • Empties the mobile dust tank
  • Refills the water tank

functions of the ultra station

Essentially, it makes daily cleaning mostly hands-off. ✋🏻

It's evident that the makers have taken the best parts of their older models and added some neat improvements.

Highlights include a new way to dry the mop, an improved brush system, better obstacle detection, and two mop settings for a thorough clean.

This model feels more like a polished version of the previous ones rather than a brand-new invention.

During our tests, its wiping function worked extremely well. 🧽

wiping function of the Roborock S8 pro Ultra
© Smart Home Fox
wiping test of the Roborock S8 Pro Ultra
© Smart Home Fox

Its strong suction was commendable too.

suction test of the Roborock S8 pro ultra
© Smart Home Fox
Suction test of the Roborock S8 pro ultra
© Smart Home Fox

The device also showcased good navigation skills, especially in obstacle detection.

map building through laser navigation
© Smart Home Fox
obstacle detection of the Roborock S8 Pro Ultra
© Smart Home Fox

On the downside, its side brush could be better on carpets and edges, and the use of throwaway dust bags seems a bit old-fashioned.

Plus, it's on the pricier side. 🤑

So, if you're after the latest in robot cleaning and don't mind the cost, this is a great pick.

But if you're looking to save a bit, considering the slightly older S7 series might be a good idea.

Check Amazon*


Powerful battery for extended cleaning sessions

Quick battery charging

Energy-efficient with "off-peak" charging times

High Suction Power (6000 Pa.) for optimal cleaning results

Ultra Station handles multiple tasks: extraction, mop head washing & drying, water tank filling

Efficient brush system with two rubber brushes

Can store up to 4 cards

Enhanced object recognition

User-friendly mobile app

Superior data handling with no built-in camera

High-quality build


High price point

Ultra Station occupies substantial space

Ultra Station doesn’t automatically add cleaning fluid to the mobile water tank

Uses disposable dust bags in the extraction station

Three-arm side brush has difficulty manoeuvring corners and performing on carpets

No spare parts are provided

Underdeveloped voice control

Non-removable wiping module

Good for carpets and hard floors

Dreame L20 Ultra

The Dreame L20 Ultra stands out as a versatile, multifunctional cleaning solution.

It enhances the cleaning experience with unique features such as self-cleaning and extendable wiping pads.

The Dreame L20 Ultra boasts a range of impressive features for home cleaning. 

It features extendable mops for edge-to-edge wiping, and its practical settings enable it to transition smoothly between hard floors and carpets. 

Extendable mops for edge to edge cleaning
Extendable mops for edge to edge cleaning. © Smart Home Fox

The multifunction station is a significant addition, taking care of mop washing, drying, water tank refilling, and dust tank emptying. 

Functionality of the base station

It reduces maintenance to almost zero when connected to a water supply, offering near-complete autonomous floor cleaning. 💯

This device vacuums and wipes effectively but also has some limitations. 

Dreame L20 Ultra vacuuming function
© Smart Home Fox
Dreame L20 Ultra wiping function
© Smart Home Fox

The app experience, slightly bulky design, and occasional coordination issues between the hardware and software need improvement. 

However, its price-performance ratio is highly commendable. 

The Dreame L20 Ultra provides a breadth of functionality that is rare to find at this price. 

This makes it a compelling choice for those seeking a comprehensive cleaning robot.

Buy on Amazon*


Strong carpet suction power

Mopping functionality

Edge-to-edge cleaning with extendable pads

Includes a suction station

Self-cleaning wiping pads

Pads dry automatically

Mops retract for carpet cleaning

Precise wiper cleaning control

Connects to external water supply

Advanced monitoring and communication features

Robust battery life

Great price-performance ratio

Easy maintenance


Limited capacity of mobile dust tank

Uses disposable bags in the station

Hardware and software coordination needs improvement

Inconsistent obstacle detection

Confusing mobile app interface

Bulky size of station and robot

Hot water washing technology

Ecovacs Deebot T20 Omni

A robotic vacuum and mop with advanced features and automated functionality.

The Ecovacs Deebot t20 omni features innovative technologies like hot water mop washing and automatic mop lifting.

The Ecovacs Deebot T20 Omni stands out with its innovative features. 

A key feature is its hot water mop washing technology, which cleans the mops at 55 degrees. 🌡️

The mops of the Ecovacs Deebot T20 Omni being washed with hot water.

This effectively removes stubborn stains and improves your mopping result.

It has also introduced an auto-mop lifting function, allowing carpets and hard floors to be cleaned in one go.

The robot vacuum has a powerful 6000 Pascal suction, delivering excellent cleaning results on hard floors and carpets.

Hard floor cleaning

Suction result of Ecovacs Deebot T20 Omni on hard floors
© Smart Home Fox

Carpet cleaning

Carpet cleaning by the Ecovacs Deebot T20 Omni
© Smart Home Fox

The "YIKO" voice assistant further enhances user experience with easy-to-use voice commands. 

Additionally, the all-in-one OMNI cleaning station automates many tasks, contributing to a high level of convenience. 🏝️

Despite its strengths, the Deebot T20 Omni has a few drawbacks: the size of the OMNI station is quite large, and the mobile dust bin is relatively small. 

Small mobile dust conatiner of the Ecovacs Deebot T20 Omni
Small mobile container on the Ecovacs Deebot T20 Omni. Image © Smart Home Fox

Also, its higher price range may not be suitable for all budgets.

Overall, the Ecovacs Deebot T20 Omni offers a comprehensive and advanced cleaning package, although it might be a significant investment for some.

Check Amazon*


Effective mopping with 6000 Pa suction power

Mops lift for efficient obstacle navigation

Low-maintenance rubber brush

Quiet operation

Mops cleaned with hot water

Mops dried with hot air

Integrated YIKO voice assistant

Durable rechargeable battery

Includes a suction station


Limited capacity of mobile dust container

Lacks a built-in mobile water tank

Higher water usage

App experiences minor glitches

Best mopping ability

Dreame L10s Ultra

This robot vacuum-mop combo has everything you need from a little household helper!

The base station can: Wash & dry mops, refill the water tank, add cleaning solution and empty the mobile dust container.

No need for the Dreame L10s Ultra to shy away from comparison with the top dogs in the industry. 💪

The base station is particularly noteworthy. It performs the following tasks:

  • (1) Adding cleaning solution
  • (2) Self-cleaning of the mops (incl. extraction of dirty water) (cleaning station)
  • (3) Emptying of the dust container (emptying station)
  • (4) Drying the mop pads 
  • (5) Filling water tank

Functions of the base station

As you can see, daily floor cleaning is automated to a large extent. 🤖

Dreametech avoids flashy extras and focuses exclusively on providing a high-quality, intelligent cleaning solution.

You’ll particularly like this Dreamebot if the mopping ability is a top priority for you. 🤩

The mopping test result on laminate floor can be seen.
The mopping test result on the PVC floor can be seen.

Conclusion: You get plenty of features for the price. ⚖️ 

Check Amazon*


Fair price

Excellent mopping ability

Mops are cleaned during the cleaning session

Mop can be lifted 7 mm to avoid carpets

Strong suction power, especially on carpets

Good climbing performance (approx. 2.1 cm) 

Mop cleaning intervals adjustable to m²

Dries mop pads

Detection of flat obstacles

Home monitoring via camera

Automatic emptying of the mobile dust container

Quiet operation

Base station is easy to clean

Detergent is automatically administered during mopping 

Quick mapping

Battery power


Corner cleaning not optimal

Approx. 6 cm remains unmopped along skirting boards (vacuuming does reach, though)

Disposable dust bag in the base station 

Limited voice control

Design and quality of workmanship could be better

Good battery life

Roborock S7 Pro Ultra

Stands out as one of the most innovative and best on the market at its launch, offering a more affordable option than its successor, the S8 Pro Ultra.

The vacuum impresses with its Ultra Station, elevating automation and ensuring outstanding mopping results.

The Roborock S7 Pro Ultra is one of 2023's finest and most innovative suction-mopping robots. 🏆

The standout feature, its Ultra Station, takes automation to new heights.

It cleans the mop, fills up the water tank, and empties the dust bag.

Functions of the Roborock S7's Ultra station
Image © Smart Home Fox

This ensures an exceptionally high level of automated floor cleaning. 

The robot vacuum is especially good at mopping, even when tricky stains need dealing with. 🧼

Think of it as the smaller sibling of the S7 MaxV Ultra

It has fewer features (for example, no front camera), but that also means it costs less.

Dubbed like a luxury vacuum-mopping robot, the Roborock S7 Pro Ultra certainly lives up to this title. 

Although not the cheapest, the Roborock S7 Pro Ultra has some nifty features that are worth considering.

It can save you loads of time when it comes to cleaning your floors, and it also does a top-notch job. 🏡

-3% on Amazon*


Mop gets cleaned halfway through the job

Water tank refills itself on the move

Suction station performs well

Sucks up dirt brilliantly on both hard floors and carpets

Mop vibrates during cleaning

Does a great job at wiping

Can store four different maps

Handy mobile app with lots of features

Wiping plate can be lifted by 5mm

Battery lasts a long time

Top-notch build quality


Suction station uses dust bags that you have to throw away

Quite expensive

Ultra Station is pretty big

The box it comes in doesn't have many spare parts and uses lots of plastic packaging

Mop doesn't dry itself (it just lifts to air dry)

No tool to get rid of hair

Cannot detect flat surfaces or objects

Platform isn’t detachable for rinsing

High tech features

Ecovacs Deebot X1 OMNI

Luxury Robot Vacuum-Mop Hybrid (designed by Jacob Jensen)

Numerous premium features leave nothing to be desired with this Ecovacs model. 🎉

At first glance, you immediately notice the robot’s unique and attractive design. 👀 

And this is no coincidence because Jacob Jensen (famous Danish industrial design studio) is responsible for its look.

Top features of the Deebot X1 OMNI

But it's not just the look of the premium vacuum mopping robot that is impressive. The Ecovacs Deebot X1 OMNI is packed with top features:

  • Emptying station
  • Rotating mopping pads
  • Washing station for the mop cloths 
  • Obstacle detection
  • Integrated voice assistant ("Ok Yiko")
  • …and more!

However, the numerous functions come at a price: this luxury robot is certainly not for bargain hunters... 💸

Mopping ability

The Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni has many highlights. One of them is its mopping capabilities. 💧

Let’s have a look at the role the station plays in the cleaning process.

After a predetermined interval (10, 15 or 25 minutes), the two mopping pads are wrung out and rinsed at the station.

The Ecovacs Deebot X1 OMNI clean and dirty water tanks are held up.

The benefit here is that your floors are always cleaned with freshly rinsed mops. The collected dirt ends up in the dirty water tank (and not on your floors).

Furthermore, the mobile water tank is refilled at the multifunction station.

So you are spared this (annoying) task as well.

The two mopping pads rotate in opposite directions, creating a "scrubbing effect". This results in a more thorough cleaning of your home. 🧼

And don't forget: when the job is done, the two pads are blown dry at the station (with hot air). 🍃

The two Ecovacs Deebot X1 OMNI mopping pads are seen from below.

All these functions together mean that the wet floor cleaning process runs almost completely independently, so you can sit back and relax. 🏖️

And the mopping performance also impressed us. 👇 

(Even if stubborn, dried-in stains take a bit more effort).

The combination of an impressive mopping ability and a huge range of other premium features makes the Deebot X1 a compelling option.

Although that’s only if you have the necessary funds: because the price will set you back a bit... 💸

Check Amazon*


Greatly improved mopping ability

Mopping pads are automatically wrung out, rinsed and dried at the station

Water tank is refilled automatically

Auto-empty station

Elegant design by Jacob Jensen

Gently skirts furniture (hardly any collisions)

Obstacle detection (also of flat objects)

Can detect objects even in poor lighting conditions

Floor cleaning (vacuuming and mopping) is mostly automatic

Integrated voice assistant ("Ok Yiko")

Quick mapping

Security features (surveillance camera)

2-way video calls possible


Mobile phone app with many functions


Very expensive

Emptying station uses disposable bags

Station is beautifully designed, but quite large (not everyone's cup of tea)

AIVI 3D obstacle detection sometimes causes difficulties with navigation

Individual features are sometimes not perfectly coordinated

App has minor bugs

Best alternative

Yeedi Vac 2 Pro

This affordably priced robot vacuum offers good mopping capabilities along with a range of other useful features.

With vibrating mopping plates and a 3D-Laser for obstacle detection, the Yeedi Vac 2 Pro provides a diverse range of features at a reasonable price point.

At a reasonable price, the Yeedi Vac 2 Pro offers high quality and a variety of features: 

The vibrating mop feature ensures a great mopping performance.


Yeedi Vac 2 Pro mops the laminated floor.


Yeedi Vac 2 Pro mops a tiled floor.

3D Laser for obstacle detection:

The Yeedi Vac 2 Pro navigates around obstacles.
Image © Smart Home Fox
The Yeedi Vac 2 Pro navigates around obstacles.
Image © Smart Home Fox

At the same time, this robot vacuum mop combo is reasonably priced. 

If you're looking for a good and affordable vacuum robot while not missing out on any luxury-features, the Yeddi Vac 2 Pro could be the right choice for you. 👀

Buy on Amazon*


Self-emptying robot vacuum with suction station

Flat design

Vibrating mop feature

Excellent value for money

Relatively quiet operation

Durable battery life

Good cleaning performance


Inadequate obstacle detection in tests

Limited to one map storage per floor

Simplistic map details

Flaws in VSLAM navigation

Available only in white color

Uses disposable bags in suction station


Automatic hoovers are becoming increasingly popular, and for good reason. Because consumers can no longer deny the wealth of advantages they bring.

Below, we’ve summarised the most important advantages for you.

Time saving and convenience

Who doesn't dream of having a hard-working robot to do all the household cleaning for you? Thoroughly, reliably and without any need for you to pitch in?

The vacuum robots can't do everything yet, but they can do a lot. 💪

You come home from work, et voilà, the entire flat is vacuumed.

No need to worry about your floors any more. You can devote your valuable time to the finer things in life.

And let's face it, vacuuming floors is not one of those things.

So with the help of these little robots, housework doesn’t have to be such a drag any more!

Give your back a break

Vacuuming is not exactly good for your back and joints. Dragging a heavy hoover across your home or crawling under beds on your hands and knees can put extreme strain on your back and joints.

You can avoid all that as the proud owner of a robot vacuum cleaner. These little household helpers do their job reliably and without any need for you to take part.

These hard-working household helpers provide enormous relief for elderly people or people with limited mobility in particular.

Cleaning in your absence

The absolute genius of a robot vacuum cleaner is that it does the floor cleaning even when you’re not around!

You no longer have to be bothered by the annoying hoover humming noise:

  • Simply open the smartphone app,
  • And let the robot do the work in your absence.

Or even more practical: Create a weekly cleaning schedule:

Setting the cleaning schedule in a robot vacuum cleaner mobile app.

Then your home will be cleaned at fixed times (e.g. while you are at work).

Come home from a hard day's work and enjoy your freshly vacuumed (and mopped) home. 🙌

Great results on hard floors and short-pile carpets

The robot vacuum cleaner market has developed rapidly in recent years. Most of today's good models have one thing in common: all in all, they do their job excellently.

The days of these little household helpers wandering disoriented around your home and bumping into all your furniture are well and truly gone.

Whatever your floor type: A good robot hoover is a true all-rounder. You’ll be surprised how powerful the current top models have become.

And one thing is for sure: your home will be vacuumed much more often than if you had to do it yourself.

This automatically ensures a cleaner home. 👏

We use our little robot vacuum cleaner at least every other day.

Mopping ability, self-emptying station, air freshener - these household helpers are true "all-rounders"

Modern robot vacuums are constantly evolving to become true all-rounders (in addition to doing the vacuuming):

  • Mopping capabilities 🧺
  • Self-emptying stations
  • Air fresheners 🌺

These are just a few of the extra functions you’ll find in the best robot vacuums that make household management even easier.

Affordable options: robot vacuums for every budget

If you can live without the high-tech features, then there’s no need to spend a lot of money on a decent robot vacuum cleaner.

High-performing models are now available at reasonable prices.

A small household helper will save you a lot of work and, above all, time. So these devices are truly a worthwhile investment.


But as so often is the case in life, not all that glitters is gold. Robot vacuum cleaners also have their weaknesses.

Let’s take a look at a few of these disadvantages below.

Low capacity of dust containers

The capacity of the mobile dust bin is usually quite small (400-500 ml). This means you’ll constantly have to empty the robot at regular intervals.

Mobile dust bin of a robot vacuum cleaner is emptied by hand over a rubbish bin.

Premium suppliers such as iRobot, Ecovacs and Roborock are equipped with a self-emptying ability. This ensures that the mobile dust container is emptied automatically.

Small objects lying around

Small objects lying around (e.g. cables, socks, shoelaces, etc.) can cause the robot vacuum cleaner brush to become blocked.

Meaning you would have to rush to the rescue and free your little household helper any time it stumbled across your belongings on the floor.

So it’s best to put all these small objects away before the cleaning session begins.

P.S.: You’ll also have to face this struggle if you use a conventional hoover.

That being said, manufacturers are also aware of this challenge.

Robot vacuum cleaners are gradually being developed with new technologies that independently detect and avoid flat obstacles.

Long-pile carpets

There isn’t a robot vacuum cleaner out there that doesn’t have problems with very high pile, shaggy carpets. The main brush gets caught in the long carpet fibres.

Therefore, we advise you to create a "no-go zone" around carpets like these. Then they will be left out of the cleaning session.

That being said, modern robot vacuum cleaners are perfectly capable when it comes to low and medium-pile carpets.

The cleaning results produced in our tests have been super impressive in these situations.

Robot vacuum and mop combos

The concept behind robot vacuums with mopping capabilities is so simple... yet so ingenious at the same time.

In addition to dust boxes, they also come equipped with water tanks. This way, your floors can be both vacuumed and also mopped with a damp cloth. 🧺

Water tank and mop cloth of a robot vacuum cleaner lie behind the device.

The good news is that the built-in mops have now become established as the "standard".

So it's no surprise that 5 out of 6 of our best robot vacuum cleaners feature mops.

Now for the big question: How effective is the mopping ability of robot vacuum-mops? 🧐

Our experiences have made one thing clear: robot vacuum-mops can not (yet) entirely replace manually mopping.

But the results are still impressive. Mopping floors removes additional light dirt, dust residues and light stains.

A vacuum-mop robot vacuums and mops the floor at the same time.

Your home feels a little bit cleaner and fresher.

But still: The focus of 2-in-1 devices is clearly still on the vacuuming ability. Mopping is a nice bonus feature that we’re happy to benefit from.

And let's not forget: The latest robot vacuum-mops use innovative new features that significantly improve the mopping performance. These include:

  • Vibrating mop heads that replicate "scrubbing" action
  • Special mopping modes: The robot mop will move slower and provide a deep clean
  • Different water flow levels
  • Heavier weight and special pressure mechanisms to provide more contact pressure between the mop and the floor

And if you're looking for more tips and tricks to improve the mopping performance of your combo robot, check out the Tips and Tricks chapter in our review of robot vacuum-mop combos.

We’ve been using a robot vacuum-mop for years now, and we couldn’t live without it.

Below you will find the best robot vacuum-mop hybrids. 👇

Robot vacuums with self-emptying stations

Self-emptying stations are another very popular feature.

And rightly so.

They save you a lot of effort and automate the cleaning process a great deal more.

How does an emptying base work?

As soon as the robotic hoover has finished cleaning, the charging dock / emptying base is activated.

The entire contents of the robot’s mobile dust container are vacuumed out once it enters the base.

Functionality of the suction station of a robot vacuum cleaner is shown.
© iRobot

The dirt is stored in a large dust bag (located in the emptying station).

Advantage of a self-emptying station

The most frequent maintenance task with a robot vacuum cleaner is (regularly) emptying it.

Thanks to auto-empty stations, this task is a thing of the past.

The only thing you still have to do: Empty the dust bag in the extraction station every 2-3 months (depending on how dirty your home is).

Dust bag is replaced in the self-emptying station.
© iRobot

Another positive effect: contact with harmful household dust is completely avoided.

This makes self-emptying stations an absolute must-have for allergy-sufferers.

Find out more in our comprehensive review of the best robot vacuum cleaners with self-emptying bases.

You can find a compilation of the best models below. 👇

Which robot hoover is best for pet owners?

Many robotic vacuum cleaners have difficulties with hair. Hairs get tangled around the main brush and have to be removed manually.

That’s why many brands include a small cleaning tool as part of your order. This tool can help remove tangled hairs in no time at all.

Hair is removed from the main brush of a robot vacuum cleaner using the cleaning tool.

Other models include special nozzles specifically for tackling hair (e.g. Ecovacs Deebot OZMO 950). This attachment does not have a brush. This means that hair won’t have anything to wrap around and will be guided directly towards the suction opening.

Attachment without cleaning brush is attached to a robot vacuum cleaner.

Alternatively, some models feature a rubber brush (e.g. Roborock S7 or iRobot Roomba i7). The big advantage here is that hair won’t get tangled in the bristles of a rubber brush, meaning maintenance is reduced enormously.

Hair is removed from a rubber brush.

We have dedicated an entire article to the topic of robot vacuum cleaners for pet hair (and human hair 👩). You’ll find everything you need to know there.

We’ve rounded-up a number of robot vacuums that are best suited for households with pets:

Which robotic vacuums are suitable for allergy sufferers?

Allergy sufferers are all too familiar with watering eyes and runny noses. 🤧

Clean, freshly mopped floors contribute significantly to greater well-being in households with allergies.

And who is best suited to this task? That's right: a good robot vacuum-mop combo!

P. S.: You can find more information on the topic of robot hoovers for allergy sufferers in our detailed review.

But robo-vacs must meet some basic requirements to be considered suitable for allergy sufferers. The most important are: HEPA filter, mopping ability, timer function and self-emptying station.

Why these properties are so fundamentally important for allergy sufferers is explained below. 👇

HEPA filter

HEPA filters are a core feature of a robot vacuum cleaner for allergy sufferers.

They filter out the smallest pollutants (and allergens) from the air.

This means they don’t get inhaled, avoiding the onslaught of typical allergy symptoms.

The cleaning process of the air by a HEPA filter in a robot vacuum cleaner is illustrated.

Mopping ability

This is another feature that should not be missing in a robot vacuum cleaner for allergy sufferers.

Mopping removes any remaining dirt from your floors (e.g. dust, simple stains, etc.).

A dirty mop of a suction-mop robot is being held.

This way, your home will be even cleaner.

As we know, the formula for allergy sufferers is simple: more cleanliness = fewer allergy symptoms = better well-being. 👍

Timer function

The act of vacuuming itself can trigger severe allergy symptoms in sufferers.

This is mainly due to the fact that the dust (i.e. allergens) is stirred up during cleaning... and ultimately inhaled.

The result: Watery eyes. Runny nose. Discomfort.

This does not have to be the case.

Simply set your robot hoover to clean your home on fixed days and/or times.

Preferably in your absence.

This allows the whirled-up dust to have a chance to settle before you come home, meaning it’s not inhaled, and the allergy symptoms do not occur.

A self-emptying station

A "luxury feature" for most of us. But absolutely necessary for allergy sufferers.

The big advantage: the mobile dustbin is emptied automatically.

All you need to do is replace the large dust bag in the base station every 2-3 months.

This way, contact with harmful (allergenic) house dust is completely avoided.

Which robot hoover can cross doorways most easily?

First of all, there’s no need to panic: Most robot vacuum cleaners can overcome obstacles of 1.8 to 2 cm without any problems.

So ordinary doorsteps are not a major challenge for a modern robot vacuum cleaner.

A vacuum robot overcomes a doorstep.

But what do you do if you live in an older house with higher thresholds?

Special doorstep ramps or transition strips are a great solution. These can also be used to help robots cross higher thresholds.

A robot vacuum cleaner crosses a doorstep with the aid of a doorstep ramp.

You can find more about the topic here: "The best robot vacuum cleaners for high thresholds."

Robot vacuum cleaner for multiple floors

Robotic hoovers cannot yet fly or climb stairs. 🚀

But you can still use the household helpers in multi-storey houses.

The most important feature here is: the robot vacuum cleaners must be able to create and save multiple maps (for multiple floors).

Multiple maps can be stored in the mobile phone app of a robot vacuum cleaner.
© Ecovacs Robotics

With this feature included, nothing stands in the way of using a robot vacuum in a multi-storey home.

You can find further information in our comprehensive guide on buying a robot vacuum cleaner for multiple floors.

Can robot vacuum cleaners climb stairs?

No, robot vacuum cleaners do not have the climbing ability for stairs cleaning. To clean your stairs, we recommend using a cordless vacuum cleaner. There are even options with built-in mopping ability. You can check out our review of the best models here.

Robot vacuum cleaner for carpets

Hardwood floors are no great obstacle for the most powerful robot vacuum cleaners.

The cleaning performances in our tests have been impressive.

Carpets, on the other hand, are more of a challenge for the little household helpers.

You can find all the details of our tests in our review, the Best Robot Vacuum Cleaners for Carpets.

On both short and long-pile carpets, many robot hoovers are capable of delivering excellent results.

When it comes to super shaggy carpets, however, even the best robot hoovers won’t do. In this case, we recommend a powerful cordless hoover.

We’ve tested the best cordless vacuum cleaners and laid out the best options for you in our review. This will give you some inspiration! 💡

Systematic navigation is a must!

Outside of cleaning performance, quick, systematic navigation is the most important feature of a robot vacuum cleaner.

Because if it wanders around your home for hours, bumping into all the furniture or even leaving out rooms, then the robot vacuum cleaner is nothing more than an expensive, useless "toy".

Therefore, our advice is to go for a robot hoover with an "efficient" navigation method.

This means: Avoid vacuum robots that rely on bounce or gyro navigation.

But which navigation systems are the most efficient?

Laser navigation

Currently, the best navigation method for robot vacuum cleaners is laser navigation.

The term Lidar navigation technology (Light detection and ranging) is often used to refer to this navigation method.

So it's no surprise that >90% of the best robot vacuum cleaners on the market rely on this technology.

The way it works is quite simple: a Laser Distance Sensor (LDS sensor) scans the surroundings, normally from the laser tower on top of the device.

Laser navigation of a robot vacuum cleaner.
© Ecovacs Robotics

This creates a detailed floor plan of your home. The robot vacuum cleaner will then always know where it is and where it wants to go.

Your floors will be cleaned in a quick, seamless, systematic manner. 👍

Which robot vacuum cleaner with laser navigation is the best?

Models from Roborock but also from Ecovacs have always really impressed us in our navigation testing.

For our 80 m² flat (approx. 40 m² cleaning area), cleaning takes around 40 minutes on average. These models didn’t leave out any rooms or areas. ✔

So we recommend these laser navigation models wholeheartedly:

Camera-based navigation

An alternative to laser navigation is navigation with the aid of a camera.

Camera-based navigation of a robot vacuum cleaner.
© iRobot

This method is rather rare.

And there is a reason for this: The system has some disadvantages.

For one thing, navigation is quite slow. On the other hand, good lighting conditions are required for optimal navigation.

Which is the best robot vacuum cleaner with a camera?

The robot pioneer from America, iRobot, relies on camera-based navigation.

We have tested the iRobot Roomba i7. Navigation worked quite well in practice. The iRobot Roomba i7 is also impressive in itself. You can read more about the device in our iRobot Roomba i7 review.

Automatic obstacle detection

Automatic obstacle detection is currently the "latest thing" on the robot vacuum cleaner market.

Flat objects (< 10 cm) are usually overlooked by robot vacuums. So the little household helpers often get caught on phone chargers or socks.

So it is advisable to clear away any objects lying around (cables, socks, shoelaces, etc.) before starting to clean with robot vacuum cleaners that don’t feature automatic obstacle detection.

Robot hoovers with "object recognition" solve this problem by themselves. With the help of an additional camera or laser, the floor is scanned for objects lying around.

Camera-based obstacle detection technology of a robot vacuum cleaner.
Camera Technology © Ecovacs Robotics
Laser-based obstacle detection technology of a robot vacuum cleaner.
Cross-Laser Technology © Ecovacs Robotics

These objects can thus be spotted and avoided independently.

These kinds of robot vacuums make particular sense for larger households with pets/children or for less organised households.

These are the best models with obstacle detection: 👇

Suction power

Is it true that robots with higher suction power (or higher Pa. readings) are always better than ones with low suction power?

Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.

Robot hoovers with greater pick-up power do not necessarily achieve the best cleaning results.

Muscles alone are just not enough. 💪

The vacuuming performance depends on many other factors outside of powerful suction alone. The following questions are important here:

  • How well is the main brush incorporated?
  • What’s the quality of the main brush like?
  • Where is the suction opening located? How well does the side brush do its job?
  • How does the robot perform on hard floors (laminate, parquet, tiles)?
  • What's the suction performance like on short/long-pile carpets?
  • How good is the cleaning performance for light, heavy, coarse and fine dirt?
  • Does the vacuum cleaner perform well in corners and along edges?
  • What is the capacity of the mobile dust bin?
  • Does the robot vacuum cleaner have a HEPA filter (highly recommended, especially for allergy sufferers)?

We look at all these points in detail when carrying out our reviews. Cleaning performance is a decisive factor in our evaluation of robot vacuum cleaners.

Battery life - runtime is important

Robot vacuums vary wildly in terms of battery life, too.

Battery life, and thus how long your robot can clean for at once, differs depending on the model (and the selected suction power setting).

Please also note that the size of the area to be cleaned is normally much smaller than the size of the room itself. Furniture and furnishings reduce the suction area enormously (by about half).

The charging time of the battery should also be taken into account.

Another important feature (especially for larger living spaces) is the "recharge and resume" function.

This function allows the robotic hoover to return to the docking station automatically to charge its battery (in case it runs out in the middle of a cleaning trip) and will then return to the exact spot where it stopped vacuuming before.

Even larger living areas can be cleaned without you needing to lift a finger with this feature.

Our test winners have runtimes of several hours. An area of between 100 - 200 m² can be tackled in this amount of time.