We have tested robot vacuum cleaners and name the Roborock S5 Max as our Best Choice. It is both great value for money and easy to use. It works well on both hard floors and carpets and did not have any problems dealing with pet hair. It cleans efficiently and picks up where it left off should it need to recharge its battery mid-clean.
Our tests are independently conducted and reflect the test editor's honest and objective opinions. Selection of products and test results are in no way influenced by manufacturers, retailers or other internal or external parties.
We carried out the test ourselves and tested all of the products as they are intended to be used in reality. The test was carried out over a period of several months in two distinct stages.
In the first stage of the test we tested the robot vacuum cleaners from the perspective of a fairly normal user. We used them in a variety of private homes to test how they worked in different types of households. Some had pets (both cats and dogs), some had young children, while some had neither. The homes had different amounts of furniture and types of dirt, so we were able to assess the differences in how clean and tidy the floors were once the robot vacuum cleaner thought it had finished cleaning.
The second stage of the test involved a laboratory test in which we put a controlled amount of dirt in a limited area to compared how much dirt the different vacuum cleaner models removed. Both stages of testing were carried out on a mixture of surfaces; wooden floors, stone floors, thin carpets and thick, denser carpets. The results of the laboratory tests were weighted into the final score, but we placed the greater importance on how well the robot vacuum cleaners perform in normal homes as this is where they will most likely be used. We also retained some of the robot vacuum cleaners that performed best for further longer-term testing, including some models for more than a year. This allows us to continuously add updates to our reviews, but also showed that some models that coped well in the laboratory setting don’t work as well under real conditions.
We assessed the robot vacuum cleaners using the following parameters:
Function and dust removal ability: How well does the robot vacuum cleaner deal with different types of hard floors and carpets? Can they clean up hair and sand as well as they clean up crumbs or gravel? What type of room mapping does the robot use? How effective is the motor, the suction nozzle and the brush?
Navigation and accessibility: How well does the robot vacuum cleaner cope with orientating itself and cleaning around furniture, under furniture and in several different rooms? How kind is it on furniture? Can it cope with climbing over thresholds, deep carpets or other obstacles? How does its manoeuvring algorithm deal with particularly difficult situations where there is a risk that it could get stuck in tricky obstacles like cable tangles?
Use: Is the robot vacuum cleaner easy to handle and program? How do you communicate with it? Which accessories are included with it in order to make cleaning easier? How long does vacuuming take and how noisy is the motor? Is the brush easy to clean?
We assessed each robot vacuum cleaners' value for money by looking at how well the model fulfilled our expectations in the above parameters in relation to its price. We have also looked at the exterior condition of the robotic vacuum cleaners after they has been used for a longer period as well as the availability of spare parts – although this factor rarely had a decisive effect on their final score.
Efficient and functional robotic vacuum cleaner with mop
Working time: 2 h Maximum working space: 200 m2 Dust container: 0.5 L Size: 9.64x35.3 cm Stair sensor Yes Included: Filter (washable), side brush, wetroom cloth, water tank Miscellaneous: Google Assistant, Alexa, App support
The Roborock S5 Max is a user-friendly robotic vacuum cleaner, offering good performance, with a range of setting options and functions.
For example, you can set the suction power, which of course will also affect the noise level. You can also point to the map the vacuum cleaner has drawn of your home, and give orders for it to go to a specific place and clean there – in other words, you don’t have to carry it around for spot cleaning like some other robotic vacuum cleaners. Another plus is that you can define your own boundaries using the app, to mark where it should clean.
The app also includes other products from Xiaomi, so for example if you use their smart home products, you can have them in the same interface. This makes the app a bit messy, but you quickly get used to it.
Noise levels are normal in terms of price range and competition.
It's a bit daft to talk about prices because these can change quickly, but at the time of writing, Xiaomi has ramped up the price substantially compared to the S5 Max’s test-winning predecessor. This means it’s now on a par with other medium class models, and that makes the competition between rivals much more even and exciting.
The S5 Max isn’t quite as good as Neato's model in the same price range when it comes to suction power. On balanced suction power, it has a problem getting all the dirt on the first go, and it has to do the same area twice for a satisfactory result. On turbo, however, it does an excellent job and hardly misses anything at all.
On the other hand, the vacuum has problems with cleaning at level differences, for example where carpet edges meet the floor – but this is common with robotic vacuum cleaners in all price ranges.
We’d by no means say the S5 Max offers poor performance; in fact it’s very good when you compare performance with price. But the Neato D6 does do better in this respect. Instead, the real strength of the S5 Max lies in its wide range of functions. For example, it’s equipped with a mop.
The mop can’t deal with tough stains on your floor, but it does get up all the micro-dust that remains after cleaning with the vacuum – and that’s a really useful feature. The mop function is something that none of its competitors offer, at least not at the time of writing and in this price range, though you can get the function by paying a good bit more. If you consistently use the mop function, the overall cleaning result will be first class.
Another plus is how efficiently – but at the same time carefully – it cleans surfaces through its movement pattern. It also has very good accessibility and cleans efficiently in terms of time. The working time of two hours specified by the manufacturer is pretty much spot on.
Nor are thresholds a problem for the S5 Max. For example, it handled a level difference of 2 cm in one of our most complex test environments. The low height also makes it excellent for getting under sofas, coffee tables and so on.
The Xiaomi Roborock S5 Max is ideal for anyone with normal cleaning needs who’s looking for a robotic vacuum cleaner that offers a lot of functions.
Vacuum cleaner that mops, cleans and empties itself
Working area: Max 200 m2 Dust container: 0,42 l Maximum working time: Approx. 2 hrs Height: 93.6 cm Width: 35.3 cm Stair sensor: Yes Accessories: Wet room cloths, water tank, air freshener/fragrance capsule, 4 side brushes and filter Miscellaneous: Associated app
The Ecovac Deebot Ozmo T9+ is a really good buy if you don’t want to have to manually empty the robot vacuum cleaner's container every other day. This robot vacuum cleaner empties itself at its charging station. The charging station sucks the dirt into a container in the station tower. The bag in the container is a regular vacuum cleaner bag which you still have to empty – but only about once a month.
The automatic emptying works well under normal circumstances, but there are times when it fails. For example, if the vacuum has hoovered up longer particles, such as grass or the like, these risk getting stuck in the container. But if you only have normal dust, dog hair and so on, the emptying works fine.
One really big advantage of the Deebot T9+ is how good it is at mopping. The vacuum cleaner vibrates the mop nozzle over the floor and also goes over it twice to ensure that it’s properly clean. The result is better than expectations and better than the majority of other robot vacuum cleaners where we’ve tested the mop function.
When it comes to vacuuming, it performs on par with other robot vacuum cleaners in the same price class. It struggles to get thicker carpets clean, but it does a good job on hard floors and short-pile carpets. It’s also impressively good at cleaning where there are level differences, something many other robots struggle with. In addition, it has double side brushes so it collects a lot of debris that might otherwise elude a vacuum. On the other hand, you’ll still need to clean your carpets with a normal vacuum cleaner about once a month.
There are lots of accessories for the Deebot T9+, including an air freshener for the vacuum cleaner nozzle and reusable mop cloths for the mop nozzle. It can vacuum even if the mop nozzle is in place.
The app for the robot vacuum cleaner contains many functions, such as forbidden zones and spot cleaning. It’s a bit fiddly to use sometimes, but generally easy enough and it’s also pretty easy to set up cleaning schedules.
The Ecovac Deebot T9+ is really good at not getting stuck. It sees things like forgotten socks, cables and the like and in the majority of cases avoids sucking them in and getting stuck. Instead, it’s usually able to navigate around them. If you’re a bit careless about picking stuff up at home, this is a very good feature. Furthermore, it can handle thresholds up to two centimetres.
The Ecovac Deebot T9+ is a robot vacuum cleaner that takes care of itself as much as possible. It’s ideal if you don’t want to have to empty the container too often or save your vacuum from forgotten socks.
Incredibly quiet cleaning with high precision – great value budget robot vacuum
Application area: Not stated (our assessment is 100-150 m²) Cleaning functions: Vacuuming, mopping Navigation: LDS (Lidar) Dust collecting capacity: 0.570 litres Maximum runtime: 150 minutes (up to 280) Height: 97.3 cm Width: 35 cm Stair sensor: Yes Accessories: 1 mop, side brush Other features: No-go zones, no mop zones, spot cleaning Supports: Siri, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa
What impressed us the most during the test was that the DreameBot D10S mapped the entire house to perfection in just 6 minutes! Fortunately, there were other things to be impressed about too – although it didn't quite thrill us to bits.
The D10S navigates via the Laser Distance Sensor (LDS). This means that Dreame can simply go into the middle of a room and scan the entire room. It does this in an instant with reflections from a rotating rangefinder with invisible laser.
The image above covers the test area of 70 m². The round white dot is the robot and the slanted lines are from the mapping. On the finished mapping on the right, the light-blue area with the slanted angle has confused many robots – but not the D10S.
Other robots have to run along the edges, bumping into everything in their path, which can easily take them 30 minutes – perhaps even several trips.
We imagine that you don't live in a museum, where everything always sits in exactly the same place. If a chair is suddenly placed differently from usual, the robot just takes into account the chair’s new location – before it hits the chair leg.
It also offers a very accurate run along the walls, where only the brushes hit the skirting boards.
The big disadvantage of the LDS however is that the laser beams are emitted from the 'tower on top', which makes the robot extra tall. It's already too high to reach under the kitchen cupboards in our free-standing IKEA kitchen. So here, we still have to rely on our regular vacuum cleaner.
We found it adequate to let the D10S run very quietly at the lowest suction level. It still turns itself up when it suspects it is running on a carpet (this function can be turned off). It only struggles to get something up from the floor when it runs with one wheel up onto a doorstep.
In our test home we do not have any large rugs on the floor, but there are some coconut coir mats by the doors. However, they are so small that the D10S has generally already passed them before it turns up the suction power – or decides not to mop the mat. But when it discovers the mats, it effectively spins around with high suction power until it has covered the entire mat.
The D10S is pretty effective with the mop (which only works with clean water). But because the mop simply hangs freely from the robot, it cannot be lifted up when running over carpets or in your 'no-mop' zones. So you need to order a separate vacuuming of the areas where it must not mop.
What's more, there's no protection of the floor at the charging station, so it's important that you remove the mop immediately after washing the floor if you don't want it to get damaged by the damp cloth.
We found the app very easy to use:
At some point, the robot started to run at odd angles across the floor. We discovered that the app had stored several maps crookedly on top of each other.
Our first thought was, "Oh no! Do we have to start all over again?" But no! In a few seconds, we had downloaded the last saved correct version of the map and since then, the robot has been running in straight lines.
Okay: The 280 minutes require the lowest suction power, but you can still use the mop function. In the test home, it handled 70 m² in roughly 50 minutes, so it should in theory be able to handle 200 m² without problems – but it would most likely run out of water for the mop after around 100 m². The large dust collector packs down quite well, so without pets you can probably wait a day or two to empty the container.
A washable filter lowers your costs for a new filter – and it’s better for the environment, too. In front of the high-performance filter is a fine-meshed plastic mesh, which proves to be an advantage.
We did not experience any problems with dust clumping in the main filter, as we've seen with other robots – especially during mopping, where it's inevitable that a little moisture will be sucked up when the robot passes a still-damp track from the mop.
If you’ve ever tried to filter pieces of hair, sewing thread and string out of a robot vacuum, then you'll understand why we’re happy about the small tool under the lid. Here, you'll find a small brush with a safety knife at the other end – that was a good idea from Dreame!
Seriously, you get a lot of robot vacuuming for your money!
If you have a home with smooth floors and low doorsteps – and no narrow (low) spots or socks on the floor – our experience is that you will be very satisfied with the D10S' silent cleaning assistance.
An easy-to-use, cheap robotic vacuum cleaner with a mop
Working area: Max. 150 m2 Dust container: 0.57 litres Max. working time: 2 hrs 30 Height: 9.6 cm Width: 35 cm Stair sensor: Yes Accessories: Wet room cloth, water tank (270 ml), side brush and filter Miscellaneous: Associated app and supports both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa
The Dreame D9 is a budget class robotic vacuum cleaner with several good functions. For example, it has a movement pattern that allows it to clean floors and carpets thoroughly, an easy-to-use app with lots of setting options and on top of all that it has pretty decent suction power.
The suction power is automatically varied when it moves onto carpets. However, it’s also a bit sluggish in terms of reaction time, so on small carpets it can change suction power too late.
The D9 rarely misses areas when cleaning. It divides your home into several smaller rectangular areas, and then vacuums these surfaces back and forth until the entire surface has been covered.
Where it does have a bit of difficulty are corners and thresholds, but here it’s the suction power and length of the brush, rather than the movement pattern, that makes it miss some dust. This isn’t unusual for the price class and the same problem is even found in more expensive models.
This robotic vacuum cleaner is pretty good at getting over thresholds. Lower thresholds are no problem at all, but at thresholds around 1.6 to 2 cm it sometimes struggles and makes a fair bit of noise. However, in most cases it can get over as long as it comes up at the right angle.
The Dreame D9 has the advantage of having a mop function, which means that the slightly weaker suction power becomes a non-problem as the mop gets up any micro-dust. However, you can’t count on it to remove stains and the like.
Nor does this model come with any floor protection for the charging station. The charging station also has no solution underneath to keep it in place should the robot collide with it during cleaning.
Nor are there functions such as the ability to avoid things you may have left on the floor in a room, maps for several storeys or any way of telling when it’s time to empty the dust container. But considering the price, we hadn’t expected any of those functions either.
Overall, though pretty basic, the Dreame D9 does an excellent job at keeping your floors dust-free.
Careful cleaning and great navigation
Running time: 120 minutes Dust container: 250m2 Side spinning brush: 1 pc Remote control: No (app support) Stair sensor: Yes (and boundary setting in the app) Accessories included: Filter, magnetic strip Miscellaneous: App controlled, maps your home, laser controlled (can clean in the dark), supports voice assistants, supports spot cleaning
The Neato Botvac D6 Connected is an intelligent robotic vacuum cleaner that's a neat size too. It easily copes with complicated areas and works carefully – although at a relatively moderate speed. As long as it's allowed to just get on with its job, it's a fantastic robotic vacuum cleaner.
It's only when you interfere that it gets a bit upset. For example, you can't pick it up and move it from one place to another and then start it again, as this makes the coverage map wrong and can cause problems if you want to send it to a particular room.
We'd also have liked the Botvac D6 to switch itself off after a while when it does get stuck. For example, it could have sent an alert, marked its place on the cleaning map and then gone into standby mode. Instead it sits there using power until you come home and rescue the cleaner from obstacles.
But on the other hand, it rarely ever does get stuck. Once it's learned your home, it navigates accurately through narrow corridors, over high thresholds and thick mats and in and out of chair legs.
One advantage of the Botvac D6 is it packs the dirt into the container well. This means that you don't have to empty it as often as with many other robotic vacuum cleaners. Despite the fact that we primarily used it in a home with three long-haired pets, it doesn't need to be emptied more than once or twice a week. Other robotic vacuum cleaners tested in this home have needed to be emptied every day.
At the same time, there's no support for zone cleaning, which is a bit of a shame because it's something pet owners in particular benefit from hugely. Given the price, we think this should have been included.
We'd have also liked to see physical buttons on the actual vacuum cleaner for spot cleaning and to send it home. As it is, you have to find your mobile phone if the vacuum cleaner gets stuck or if you just want to quickly bring it out for spot cleaning.
Maintenance is straightforward. You simply remove the container and press in a tab to release the lid. This simultaneously releases the filter, which you can clean at the same time.
Something else positive about the D6 Connected is how it deals with thresholds and furniture. It most often runs with its side spinning brush towards these things, which means that it picks up more dirt than many other robotic vacuum cleaners. The powerful motor also means that it continues to pick up dirt even if, for example, part of the machine body is on top of the threshold, leveraging it a bit further from the ground.
It's worth noting that the robotic vacuum cleaner is quite noisy when it's working. And that it only communicates via the app – for example, it has no simplified voice instructions, and in terms of the buttons on the outside of the machine, they are limited to start/stop.
The Neato Botvac D6 Connected is a very good buy because of how good it is at cleaning and because it's highly reliable. Despite this, however, there's quite a lot that the manufacturer could improve to make it more user-friendly. But the cleaning results are so good that it gets a top score anyway.
Excellent for households without animals
Running time: 75 minutes Dust container: 0.5 L Height: 9.1 cm Width: 35 cm Weight: 3.9 kg Side spinning brush: 1 pc Remote control: No Stair sensor: Yes Accessories included: Washable filter, side brush Miscellaneous: App controlled, Google Assistant support, Alexa support
The Irobot Roomba 960 gives a high quality impression the instant we unpack it from the box. The build quality is very good, and the level of user friendliness striking. Starting it up and connecting to the network is fast. The robotic vacuum cleaner communicates via voice instructions so that you understand what it expects from you and what you can do with it.
These voice instructions are also very useful if the Roomba 960 runs into problems while it's cleaning. For example, it clearly announces when something gets stuck in the rollers or the dust collector needs to be emptied.
And the dust collector is also the machine’s biggest downside. You have to empty it pretty much after every session because it says it’s full even when it isn’t particularly, as it doesn’t pack the material in. This is despite the fact that we’ve set “continue to vacuum even if it’s full” mode on the dust collector. So you don’t need much dirt for it to stop and alert you – particularly if you have pets. Over time this gets irritating.
The Roomba 960 is relatively powerful. It vacuums up hair, dust and small bits of gravel. It can climb up onto thicker mats, runs smoothly over them and picks up a reasonable amount of hair – the results are good, but not quite perfect.
But it does struggle with dirt along edging strips and thresholds. It only has to lift up a little from the floor on one side to lose a lot of its suction. In these situations, the artificial intelligence also affects the result. It doesn’t always travel with the side brush side against the obstacle (the threshold or wall, for example), which means that sometimes it has to pass over a particular area several times before it does it the right way round – and finally picks up the more inaccessible dirt. If it had always turned the side brush to the obstacle, the results would have been better from the start.
In terms of intelligence, it does a relatively good job otherwise, particularly when it comes to vacuuming large areas and navigating them efficiently. It can cope with thresholds of up to 1.5 cm without problems.
Support for voice assistants makes this robotic vacuum cleaner a good addition to the smart home. The range of commands is extensive. With a smart speaker in your home – or via the voice assistant on your phone – you can name your robotic vacuum cleaner and then tell it to go out and vacuum using voice commands. For example, “Clean the kitchen, Kryten”.
Another advantage of the Roomba 960 is that it's relatively quiet in action. It's no problem sitting and working in the next room while it’s working.
The iRobot Roomba 960 is a very useful buy for anyone seeking a competent robotic vacuum cleaner, provided they don’t have pets – as this entails emptying the dust collector annoyingly often. The reliability of the machine is striking and the cleaning result is generally good.
Robot vacuum cleaner with a focus on mopping
Working time: 3 hrs Max working area: 300 m2 Dust container: 0.47 L Size: 9.65x35.3 cm Staircase sensor: Yes Included: Filter (washable), side brush, wet room cloth, water tank Miscellaneous: Google Assistant, Alexa, App Support
The Roborock S7 is a robotic vacuum cleaner with a strong focus on the mop function. As well as hoovering, the vacuum mops the surface up to three times during the same cleaning session – depending on your settings.
If you buy the plus variant, you also get a charging station that allows the robot vacuum cleaner to empty its own dust container into a larger container in the station tower. The dirt is sucked into this container. You can also buy the charging station afterwards separately, if you bought the vacuum without it.
One big advantage of the charging station is that, unlike its competitors, the vacuum can be run both with and without a vacuum cleaner bag. Running it without a bag is good for the environment and cheaper for you. We think this is a fantastic idea.
The downside is that the robotic vacuum cleaner often fails to empty the entire container of dirt. This happens almost every session if more than half of the container has dirt in it, especially in environments with dog hair. The robot vacuum cleaner also struggles to recognise when it’s full, which means it then continues to vacuum but without picking any dirt up from the floor. One consequence of this is that the mop quickly becomes very dirty. So any joy that the automatic emptying function should bring is quickly lost by virtue of the fact that you still have to check the vacuum cleaner a couple of times a week.
Despite all that, the Roborock S7 is still a very competent robot vacuum cleaner with a very good mop. It mops more or less on a par with the other robots in its family, but as it goes over the floor twice, the end result is much better. Dried coffee and juice stains don’t disappear completely, but stains from bare feet, muddy paws and the like are totally mopped away.
The movement pattern also provides a thorough cleaning. It struggles a bit when there’s a change of level, but it handles thresholds well in terms of accessibility. Our highest test threshold of two centimetres proved difficult for it to handle on the first try, but after repeated attempts it did succeed in climbing it.
Unfortunately, this vacuum tends to get tangled up with cables, socks and other things – in contrast, for example, to its sibling, the S6 MaxV. But you can tell just from the price that a sensor or camera for such things isn’t included in this robotic vacuum cleaner’s specifications. However, it does have an ultrasonic sensor to detect rugs, which is a good idea for a vacuum focused on mopping.
The app is easy to use and has plenty of functions and settings. This is vacuum cleaner that can do a lot.
If Roborock had achieved better automatic emptying, we’d warmly recommend the S7, especially since you don’t have to insert a bag in the container. Until this is the case however, it’s a better buy without the automatic emptying, even if the container in the robot is a bit too small.
Good but falls between models
Working area: Max. 240 m2 Cleaning functions: Vacuuming, mopping Navigation: Laser (360 degrees) Dust container: 0.46 litres Maximum working time: 2h 30 min Height: X cm Width: X cm Staircase sensor: Yes Accessories: Wetroom cloth, water tank, side spinning brush and filter Misc: App with no-go zones, no-mop zones, supports both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa
The ** Roborock S6 Pure ** is a really good robotic vacuum cleaner that both mops and vacuums. Overall, we're actually quite happy with it, but less so with Xiaomi's model strategy.
The S6 Pure is the simpler variant in the S6 series, with the MaxV as the top model. That’s fine, but at the same time Xiaomi is releasing a new top model in the old S5 series, which in some respects – mainly the mop function – is actually better than the S6 Pure. We think this is pretty confusing and not very logical.
Getting started with the S6 Pure is no problem. The app guides you through the entire procedure, and after a couple of vacuuming sessions you can set rooms based on the map it creates, and connect to Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
All of these steps, even after installation, are accompanied by a robotic female voice that clearly tells you what's going on.
In terms of vacuuming, the machine does its job well. There are some problems with corners and edges, where you might find a bit of dirt gets left behind. But for the most part, it works both fairly quickly and efficiently. We also notice that it’s significantly more stubborn than many other robotic vacuum cleaners. It tries to get over thresholds, carpet edges and similar obstacles that are actually a little too high from all possible angles – and usually succeeds. Meanwhile, it doesn’t usually take many attempts by other vacuum cleaners before they give up and call for help.
The same also applies when it’s found its way under a chair or into a corner. It tries out all the angles to escape before asking you for help.
In its quietest mode, the Roborock S6 Pure leaves some dirt behind, but if you turn up the power to medium, the results are a lot better without you having to leave home as a result of the noise.
There’s also an extra water tank and mop to remove micro dust. Not as effective against stains as a regular mop, but it definitely does the job on micro dust.
The Roborock S6 Pure is a really good robotic vacuum cleaner. The sad thing is that the company mostly seems to be competing with itself, with a lot of very similar models and an eccentric naming strategy.
For those of you who have a large home you need to mop often
Hours of operation: 3 h 30 min Maximum working area: 300 square metres Dust container: 0.45 l Size: 31.4x33.4x10.8 cm Sensor stairs: Yes Included: Filter (washable HEPA), side brush, wetroom cloths Other: Docking station that can wash and dry mop cloths and fill the tank with water
Dreame Bot W10 is a robot vacuum cleaner with a huge docking station – the docking station doubles as a wet mop washer/dryer and water tank. So it can fill water into the robot’s water tank, as well as wash and dry the mop cloth between uses. However, it cannot empty the dustbin of dirt.
It does go into the dock and place itself in a wash basin, where it washes the cloth and dries it so that it does not mould. For some reason, it sometimes has difficulty finding its way back to the docking station.
Automatically avoids carpets when mopping The construction quality isn't great. The buttons on the robot vacuum cleaner itself feel a bit fluttery, the laser tower on the top wobbles a little when we pull it. But the large hatch on the docking station is solid and well-built.
You get a really good result from the mopping. It rotates the mop cloths underneath, giving a top-class mopping result. It can not replace your normal mop for more difficult dried-in stains, but if you spray dried-in stains with a little detergent beforehand, it will remove a good amount of it.
The cleaning result is good. It cleans up most things. There is a little left at thresholds and level differences, as with all robot vacuum cleaners, but it has really good suction power and cleans carpets in an acceptable way. It also automatically detects carpets and moves around them, so you don't need to program no-mop zones.
A disadvantage to the cleaning result is, however, the height of the W10, which makes it difficult to get in under low sofas, chests of drawers, etc. Don't expect it to get under all your furniture just because your previous robot vacuum cleaner did. You almost have to measure the ground-height of your furniture and double check that this robot vacuum is not too big.
Despite a huge docking station, it can't empty the dustbin. The second compartment in the station is for dirty water. It’s a bit sad that it can't do the job of emptying the dustbin, especially as the docking station is so big.
The app is easy to use and the robot reacts immediately to commands.
Dreame Bot W10 is for those who are interested in a robot vacuum cleaner with a well-designed solution for mopping. It performs dry cleans like other robot vacuum cleaners, but is among the best robots when it comes to mopping.
No need to tidy up before the robot cleans
Working area: Max. 240 m2 Cleaning functions: Vacuuming, mopping Navigation: Laser (360 degrees) Dust container: 0.46 litres Maximum working time: 2 hours Staircase sensor: Yes Accessories: Wetroom cloth, water tank, side spinning brush and filter Misc: Camera for identifying objects, app with no-go zones, no-mop zones, supports both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa
The Roborock S6 MaxV is a robotic vacuum cleaner that both mops and vacuums. It also has a built-in system for detecting obstacles as it vacuums, such as cables, socks etc.
Cables and other small obstacles have long been a major source of problems for robotic vacuum cleaners. Almost all of them tend to get stuck on this sort of item. Xiaomi claim that they’ve come up with the solution – a camera that keeps track of its surroundings in real time and calculates a new route if necessary.
So how well does this work in practice? Better than vacuums without the system, but still far from 100%. We repeated several tests where we placed cables, socks and other odd things randomly on the floor and then started the robot, and we estimate that about half the time it managed to finish cleaning without dragging these items with it. This figure would most likely increase over time as the AI gets more intelligent.
Another interesting detail is that it then marks the obstacles it’s detected on the map in the app, using symbols such as a shoe, a cable or a sock. Here, too, it’s not quite 100%. For example, it mistook a piece of cardboard for a shoe. But it’s interesting to see where it avoids cleaning.
This robot also has built-in mop functionality, which is useful. As always with robotic vacuum cleaners, the mopping it provides isn’t the same as mopping by hand to remove tough stains. Instead, it's more a really good way to get up micro dust.
It’s also very good at getting in everywhere. The S6 MaxV can handle thresholds of up to 2 cm. It can easily get out of tight spaces and always finds its way home.
The cleaning result is OK, but it does leave some dirt along skirting boards and in corners. Above all, it struggles with dirt where there are level differences.
The app has plenty of functions and is informative and easy to use. For example, you can set separate no-go zones for mopping so the robot doesn’t get carpets and other sensitive items wet. You can also adjust the noise level/suction power.
The Roborock S6 MaxV is suitable for anyone who can’t be bothered to tidy up before starting the robotic vacuum cleaner. With other robots, you first have to pick up loose socks and other items. With this robotic vacuum cleaner, the vacuum is often able to navigate around these obstacles. It also has lots of functions and is easy to operate.
Great machine that even empties itself
Running time: 75 minutes Dust container: Automatic emptying (base holds approximately 30 loads) Height: 9 cm high Width: 31 cm Side brush: 1 pc Remote control: No Stair sensor: Yes Accessories included: Washable filter, side brush, 2 vacuum cleaner bags for the base unit Miscellaneous: App controlled, Google Assistant support, Alexa support
The iRobot Roomba S9+ is a top of the range robotic vacuum cleaner that automatically empties itself in a container when necessary. And this works far beyond our expectations. If the robotic vacuum cleaner’s container fills up during a task, it goes home, empties itself and then continues vacuuming.
Another really good function – even if it may seem simple – is “Find Roomba”. When you press a button, the robotic vacuum cleaner gives off a signal until you've found it. This is really handy because it means you don’t have to crawl around on the floor looking for your S9+ under furniture when it gets stuck, which you have to do with a lot of its competitors – and even with some of this machine's sibling models.
So how often does it get stuck? Not very often, actually. If you've left a sock or something on the floor, it’ll get stuck and the robotic vacuum cleaner will just stay there, but that’s true of all models. In general, it's pretty good at getting itself out of tricky situations such as narrow spaces.
Roomba is very proud of the fact that you can send it to different rooms. Either it learns your home over time after you’ve switched on the function, or you can send it out on training runs. We’d advise against the training runs because each one takes an extremely long time and it has to do several before it's gone through all rooms of the house – a process taking several days during which it doesn’t actually do any vacuuming. A better alternative is to let it vacuum its way to a floor layout. Once you've got this established and the rooms correspond to your floor plan (we had to repeat it the first time), this function is worth its weight in gold.
The function isn’t switched on from the outset. We think it should be on as standard so you realise it’s there from the outset.
We love the fact that the S9+ supports voice assistants. This means that you can say to your smart speaker: “Start Roomba” – or whatever wacky name you've called your robot vacuum cleaner. And then Roomba comes out and vacuums without you having to lift a finger.
One minor disadvantage with the S9+ is that it sometimes thinks the hatch on the top isn’t closed. This often happens after it's got stuck and you’re restarting it. You may need to press the hatch again so the sensor registers that it’s closed, and then press start several times despite the fact that the hatch hasn’t been opened.
The Roomba S9 Plus does a good job of moving around the home. It neatly climbs sideways up slightly higher thresholds, and generally finds its way both out and back to its home, even if you pick it up and move it manually.
The cleaning result is good, but we would have expected it to use its side brush more intelligently. If you have an overhang on your kitchen units and so on, it doesn’t always travel with the brush towards them, and because it only has a brush on one side, it only cleans these more complicated spaces sometimes.
Unfortunately, the price is rather extreme given that the S9 Plus isn’t 100% in terms of its AI when it comes to cleaning complicated spaces. If the software had been a little more sophisticated, we would have scored this machine a couple of points more. But the price means that this type of shortcoming just shouldn’t occur.
The Roomba S9+ is suitable for anyone who wants to avoid having to run around emptying their robotic vacuum cleaner too often. This is a great feature that you quickly get used to, and which it’s then very difficult to be without.
iRobot® Roomba® s9+ connected Robot Vacuum with Automatic Dirt Disposal - PerfectEdge® Technology with Corner Brush - Learns, Maps, Adapts - Clean by Object - Personalized Suggestions
iRobot® Roomba® s9+ connected Robot Vacuum with Automatic Dirt Disposal - PerfectEdge® Technology with Corner Brush - Learns, Maps, Adapts
Compact robotic vacuum cleaner with good suction ability
Running time: 75 minutes Dust container: 0.7 L Height: 9.9 cm Width: 32 cm Weight: 3.4 kg Max. area: 250m2 Side spinning brush: 1 pc Remote control: No (app support) Stair sensor: Yes (and boundary setting in the app) Accessories included: Filter Miscellaneous: App controlled, maps your home, laser controlled (can clean in the dark) supports voice assistants
The Neato Botvac D4 Connected is very much like the D6 model from the same manufacturer, but is perhaps a more suitable choice for anyone who doesn't have a two-storey home or who has lower cleaning expectations. This is partly because it lacks multi-storey mapping and can therefore only remember one layout. And partly because it lacks a side spinning brush.
The fact that it lacks a side spinning brush makes quite a big difference to the cleaning result because Neato's robotic vacuum cleaners are generally good at using their brush to maximise results, which means that this one doesn't do so well although still better than many competitors. But it feels like a poor choice for a robotic vacuum cleaner by a manufacturer whose main selling point is exactly how well it cleans. Particularly given that even the majority of budget models today have a side spinning brush.
The vacuum cleaner can cope with thresholds of up to 1.5 cm. But it's still not 100% suitable for homes with lots of thresholds. Not because it can't get over them, but because it tends to leave a lot of dirt there.
Both installation and maintenance are straightforward. You empty the container with a simple press of a button, and the brushes are easy to clean.
One major advantage with the D4 – and the other robotic vacuum cleaners in Neato's range – is how well they pack dirt into the container. You have to empty it significantly less often than you would with the competitors' containers.
You give commands to the vacuum cleaner through an easy-to-use app, or for example through Google Assistant. However, the latter means you must have it set on English as it doesn't support any other languages - yet.
It would have been nice for the vacuum cleaner to be able to speak so it could say what was wrong with it when it got stuck, instead of having to use your phone to check the app.
The D4 Connected is otherwise good at navigating around the home and maintains high levels of reliability. It can easily get out of narrow spaces and always finds its way back home.
In terms of price, the D4 Connected falls into the intermediate class – just like its big brother, the D6 – and that price range means we have high demands for the smallest member of the Neato family. And even though it's a really good robotic vacuum cleaner, we don't think it quite lives up to its price tag.
The Botvac D4 Connected is most suitable for anyone with a smaller one-level house or apartment. And ideally without thresholds so dirt doesn't accumulate at these spots.
A compact format robot vacuum cleaner with a futuristic design and a strong motor
Run time: approx. 45-75 minutes Charging time: 120 minutes Dust container: 0.4 L Height: 11.2 cm high, 12.1 cm at dome Width: 23 cm Weight: 2.5 kg Side spinning brush: No Brush width, underneath: 20.7 cm Remote control: No App support: Yes Stair sensor: Yes Accessories included: None
The Dyson 360 is a breath of fresh air in the fast growing robot vacuum cleaner market. It has an eye-catching design with characteristic caterpillar tracks and a high-gloss finish. Even its docking station is attractive. The idea behind this model's compact size is that it should be able to navigate between table legs and through narrow passages unhindered. On the other hand, the Dyson 360 is taller than many similar robotic vacuum cleaners and so doesn't easily fit under low furniture. It can just about squeeze underneath the lowest stair of a normal staircase. On the top of the Dyson 360’s chassis is a small plastic dome with a camera that gives the robot a panoramic 360° view. The robot vacuum cleaner divides the room into several smaller zones and systematically navigates itself around the room in a concentric pattern, in roughly the same way that you use a floor mop. It turns at a 90° angle, meaning that it turns quite often. In fact it actually turns so often that this turning ends up using up a lot of its cleaning time. This has a direct impact on its battery life and means that the robot needs to go and recharge itself relatively often.
You can start, stop and reprogram the robot via an intuitive smartphone app. A detailed map of the route covered is shown once the robotic vacuum has finished cleaning. This works well at letting you see what it has done, but we'd rather the app told us if the robot had gotten stuck anywhere. The noise level of the vacuum is also relatively high as its motor is without doubt one of the strongest we tested. Even the filter is impressive and doesn't need to be cleaned as often. However, a lot of hair gets stuck in the brushes and its dust container is small which means that it quite regularly needs to be emptied. The cleaning results are very good on hard floors, but on coarser carpets the vacuum’s brushes didn’t pick up most of the crumbs that other robot vacuum cleaners in the test easily coped with. Missed areas are particularly common around table and chair legs as the robot doesn't run very close to them, instead passing in a half circle around them. There are also sometimes narrow gaps on the floor which the vacuum missed cleaning as its overlapping navigation isn't always 100% accurate.
The caterpillar tracks on its wheels are undoubtedly powerful and effective at helping the vacuum cleaner up onto long pile carpets. However, we found that it couldn’t cope with normal bevelled thresholds. The hardware in the Dyson 360 has great potential, but its current high price isn't really justified in relation to its performance. With an updated, more intelligent cleaning algorithm and better brushes, the Dyson 360 could possibly be able to wipe the floor of its competitors – but that's simply not the case yet.
Great specifications but only so-so results
Dust container: 0.6 litres Maximum working time: 2 hrs 30 Height: 9.8 cm Width: 33 cm Stair sensor: Yes Accessories: Wet room cloth, water tank (350 ml), 2 side spinning brushes and filter Miscellaneous: Associated app and supports both Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa
The Neatsvor X600 Pro is a robotic vacuum cleaner that looks extremely good on paper, but in practice doesn’t deliver as well as we’d hoped. However, it does have some bright spots. For example, the app is very easy to use and has lots of functions. Built into it there’s also a remote control so you can steer the robotic vacuum cleaner to a particular point yourself, if it would have difficulty reaching there by itself.
The navigation is pretty reasonable, but the robotic vacuum cleaner sometimes stops cleaning before it’s actually finished the entire area of the home. It’s also so careful around furniture and other obstacles that it’s sometimes too far away from them to actually collect all the dirt.
It does get extra marks for the X600 Pro double side spinning brushes. At the same time, the brushes tend to get stuck under the carpet while the robot body rides over it, which means it can’t always make the climb. This is a problem we haven’t encountered before, and there is potential for improvement here.
The X600 Pro has a massive 6 000 Pa of suction power, which is more than double that of other robotic vacuum cleaners. But there’s no major difference in cleaning results. We aren’t sure why it struggles to pick up all the dirt – whether it’s the distance down to the floor or how the design works on the inside. But in practice it means it makes your home about as clean as any other robotic vacuum cleaner in the same price class.
For example, larger dirt, such as small pieces of gravel, remains on the floor because it pushes it away instead of sucking it up. Dust and dog hair get stuck along thresholds and other level differences.
Given the specification, the cleaning result should have been better, but given its price it performs much like other budget robots. So the score is pretty much level on this point.
This robotic vacuum cleaner has a stair sensor, but even so it still runs too far over the edge on a couple of occasions.
The installation is really very easy when you know how to do it. But the manual doesn’t correspond exactly to the steps to be carried out, and one of the steps isn’t even included So it takes unnecessarily long to set up as a result.
This robotic vacuum cleaner can handle thresholds of up to 1.5 cm. Higher than this and it usually gives up and stops cleaning. This is slightly worse than the best of the competition.
The price tag is inviting, but the competition in the budget class is now really tough. Although this robotic vacuum cleaner has double side spinning brushes, more suction power and a marginally larger dust container than the competition, it still doesn’t beat them in practice, and in some places it falls short.
We tested some of the most popular robotic vacuum cleaners on the market, including models from Roomba, Neato, Miele, Dyson and LG. Different manufacturers use different types of technology to enable their vacuums to systematically map rooms and their different layouts and sizes. For example, some models scan the ceiling with a camera while others use lasers or infrared technology to do so. The robots' artificial intelligence will then plan the cleaning process together with readings from a number of different sensors including gyroscopes, stair sensors and impact detectors. Some models work according to a structured and predetermined pattern by dividing the room into a number of cleaning zones. Others work on an algorithm involving random movements combined with this zone division. The vacuum cleaner's orientation ability affects how long the cleaning will take and also how well the machine will find its way back to its base station once it has cleaned the room or if its battery is running out of charge. We studied how long it took for the robotic vacuum cleaners to clean a certain area and how long they could clean before their battery needed to be recharged. User-friendliness was another comparable factor that proved interesting. Some models communicated problems or difficulties very clearly, while others are more difficult to interpret and understand. We also investigated how easy it was to clean the robotic vacuum cleaners’ brushes of dust and hair. A few models are almost maintenance free, while others require you regularly remove gathered hair with scissors, which can be slightly irritating. All of the robotic vacuum cleaners in the test have a docking station powered by a mains adapter and all of the models are bagless and wireless.
Regardless of which model of robotic vacuum cleaner you choose it's important that it filters its exhaust air, particularly for people with allergies. Some of the robot vacuum cleaners in this test have HEPA filters, such as the Roomba and LG models. HEPA is a certification based on air quality standard and the certification is voluntary for manufacturers. Others such as Neato don’t have HEPA certified filters but still capture particles as small as 0.3 micrometres, including mould spores or allergenic particles on pet hairs. In other words they are the same level as those with a HEPA certified filter. For the best long-term cleaning results we recommend that you run a robot vacuum cleaner three or four days a week. It’s also good to sometimes supplement this with regular vacuum cleaning and cleaning with a microfibre cloth in the corners of the room and on skirting boards. But thanks to robotic vacuum cleaners the process of keeping your floor clean has never been easier.