The best Amazon Prime Day 2021 deals on robot vacuums, cordless vacuums, and upright vacuums

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prime day 2021 best corded cordless robot vacuum deals
Cordless vacuums from brands like Shark and Hoover always go on sale during Prime Day.

Amazon Prime Day 2021 has begun, which means if you’re in the market for a vacuum, today is the perfect time to find one on sale.

Every year, Prime Day features significant deals on robot vacuums, upright vacuums, cordless stick vacuums, and handheld vacuums. Right now, there are discounts on robot vacuums from Shark, Bissell, and Roborock, as well as cordless vacuums from Tineco.

Several of our top picks from our best vacuum guides are on sale:

  • The best robot vacuum overall: Roborock S6 is down to an all-time low price of $380 at Walmart (originally $650)
  • The best robot vacuum on a budget: Moosoo MT-720 is down to an all-time low price of $109 at Walmart (originally $160)
  • The best robot vacuum for pet hair: Bissell SpinWave is down to an all-time low price of $200 (originally $400)
  • The best robot vacuum for carpet: iRobot Roomba i3+ is $160 off, bringing it to $440 (originally $600)
  • The best cordless vacuum for pet hair: Tineco Pure One X is down to an all-time low price of $183.20 (originally $229)
  • The best cordless vacuum for carpet: Hoover OnePWR HEPA+ is $50 off, bringing it to $250 (originally $300)

If you haven’t figured out what vacuum you need yet, check our guides to the best vacuum cleaners, robot vacuums, cordless vacuums, and budget vacuum cleaners to help narrow down your search. Each of them has been recently updated with our latest fully tested picks and guidance on how to shop for the best vacuum for your needs.

To shop Prime Day deals, you’ll need to be a member. Sign up for a free 30-day trial to gain access to all of the deals and many other perks.

The best Prime deals on robot vacuums

Robot vacuums, after some initial set-up, are mostly hands-off and do all the cleaning work for you. Keep in mind they can’t climb stairs (yet) so they’re best for one-story homes. We’ll be on the lookout for deals from iRobot, Eufy, Roborock, Ecovacs, Moosoo, and more.

S6 Robot Vacuum (medium, Preferred: Walmart)SpinWave Robot Vacuum (medium, Preferred: Amazon)S6 MaxV Robot Vacuum (medium)MT-720 Robotic Vacuum (medium, Preferred: Walmart)Roomba i3+ (3550) Robot Vacuum (medium, Preferred: Amazon)BoostIQ RoboVac 11S (medium, Preferred: Amazon)

The best Prime deals on cordless vacuums

Cordless vacuums are very convenient and usually lighter and more compact than corded vacuums. The downside is you might need to charge them often depending on the size of your space. Dyson cordless vacuums are notoriously expensive, but a few models are usually on sale during Prime Day. You’ll also see deals on cordless vacuums that are already pretty affordable, like those from Tineco and Hoover.

Pure One X Cordless Vacuum (medium, Preferred: Amazon)OnePWR HEPA+ Vacuum (medium, Preferred: Amazon)

The best Prime deals on corded upright vacuums

Corded upright vacuums are good for large homes and long cleaning sessions where you don’t want to worry about battery life. They tend to be powerful and have large dustbins to collect lots of dust and particles. They’re also more affordable than cordless and robot vacuums. Shark, Bissell, and Hoover often discount their corded upright vacuums on Prime Day.

Pet Hair Eraser Turbo Plus Lightweight Upright Vacuum Cleaner (medium)

You can read more about the different types of vacuums and their pros and cons in these buying guides:

What vacuum deals to expect during Amazon Prime Day

There will be deals on all kinds of vacuums, whether you’re looking for a traditional upright vacuum, lightweight cordless vacuum, or time-saving robot vacuum.

We’re expecting (and already seeing) vacuum deals from most major vacuum brands, including iRobot, Shark, Hoover, Dyson, Eufy, and Bissell. Amazon already confirmed there will be deals on the Shark and Bissell brands.

The brand Tineco, the maker of one of our favorite cordless vacuums, has also confirmed with Insider Reviews that it’s offering up to 30% off its vacuums. Discounted models will include the Tineco A11 Hero Cordless Vacuum and the Tineco Floor One S3 Vacuum.

How we vet deals on vacuums on Amazon Prime Day

We see deals on vacuums all year long, but the discounts are the most significant on Prime Day and Cyber Weekend. We use historical price data to compare how the newest deals compare to those of past years. We’ll recommend the deal if the new deal is the same or better than in previous years.

In addition, we like to recommend deals on the best products from our buying guides. At their normal price, they already provide great value and top performance. We want to help you get even more value out of these high-quality products by highlighting any applicable Prime Day deals.

For vacuums specifically, we also take into account whether the deal includes additional attachments or bundled offerings that aren’t ordinarily included.

Learn more about how we vet deals and terms like “MSRP” and “street price” you might see in our deals roundups.

Where to shop more vacuum deals on Prime Day

Retailers like Walmart, Target, and Best Buy will also have competing vacuum deals that are comparable if not better than Amazon’s deals. Here’s when you can shop their sales:

We’ll be covering these competing sales on Prime Day as well. And no, you don’t need a special membership for these retailers’ deals – just for Amazon Prime.

Other Prime Day FAQs

What is Amazon Prime Day?

Prime Day is Amazon’s annual sales event, featuring millions of deals across all categories from fashion to tech. During the event, prices drop to all-time lows, often beating out prices we see over Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

When is Amazon Prime Day?

Prime Day starts at midnight PDT on June 21 and ends at 11:59 pm PDT on June 22. Some deals are only available on one of the two days, while others are available during the entire event.

Do I need to be a Prime Member?

Yes, deals are exclusive to Prime members. If you’re already a Prime member, there’s nothing additional you need to do. If you’re not a member, you can sign up for a 30-day trial to access Prime Day. You can activate your trial now in time to shop for Prime Day deals.

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The best robot vacuum deals for Walmart Deals for Days 2021

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irobot robot vacuum 1

While Amazon Prime Day is the headline event in deals this week, Walmart’s Deals for Days sale is offering its own incredible savings on big brands. The sales event kicked off today and there are a number of excellent deals on robotic vacuums from the top names in the industry. The sales run through June 23, and are constantly updated, so come back often to find the latest discounts. We’ll also be tracking Amazon’s robot deals when Prime Day kicks off tomorrow, June 21.

iRobot‘s Roomba is the most recognizable brand in the robot vacuum space for good reason. It’s the only brand to land two models in our guide to the best robot vacuums: the s9+ and i3+. However, there are several other manufacturers approaching iRobot’s innovation and quality. We also love models by Ecovacs, Roborock, Bissell, and more.

If you’ve been thinking about getting a robotic vacuum to automate your floor cleaning, Walmart’s Deals for Days event is the ideal time to shop around for an affordable option.

Walmart Roomba and robot vacuum deals right now

Here are the best Deals for Days sales currently available for Roombas and other robot vacuum brands:

S6 Robot Vacuum (medium, Preferred: Walmart)MT-720 Robotic Vacuum (small, Preferred: Walmart)

What’s the best robot vacuum to buy?

These days, you can get a solid robot vacuum for $150. From there, the prices go up as you add high-end features, many of which are actually quite useful. Above, we’ve outlined deals on our favorite models, all of which have great suction and a variety of helpful features.

Roomba is still considered a premier robotic vacuum brand, but the Roborock S6 is our top overall pick. It performed well in our carpeting and hardwood tests, allows you to set virtual no-go zones, and mops. During the Deals for Days event, the Roborock S6 is marked down to $379.99 – $270 off its regular price of $650.

As for Roombas, we’re specifically a fan of the models that have a self-emptying docking station. This feature automatically empties your Roomba’s dustbin so you don’t have to – you just toss the disposable dirtbag in the trash every month or so. A good rule of thumb in recognizing the self-emptying Roombas is that they all have a + in their model number.

If you mainly have hardwood floors and are looking for a “set it and forget it” vacuum, consider the Roomba s9+. This is iRobot’s fanciest Roomba with a unique D-shaped design that allows it to get deep into corners. It has the aforementioned self-emptying dock, and the vac maps your house so you can set no-go zones or choose to clean one room at a time. It’s not currently on sale, but we’ll update this story if we find any noteworthy Roomba deals.

For more detailed recommendations, check out our guide to the best robot vacuums.

Which is better: robot vacuums or regular vacuums?

Unlike your average vacuum, robotic vacuums are virtually autonomous. They clean your home on the schedule you set and return to the charging dock when done. All you have to do is empty the dustbin, clean the filter, and perform other routine maintenance tasks.

Yet, since they have to fit a strong battery and self-propulsion system into a small footprint, robot vacuums have a smaller dustbin size and weaker suction compared to traditional vacuums. Plus, they cost hundreds of dollars more.

So, most upright vacuums outperform even the best robot vacuums. You’ll still have a difficult time beating a Roomba when it comes to automating your floor cleaning and Walmart’s Deals for Days event is the perfect time to get a deal on one.

Other Walmart Deals for Days FAQs

Will Walmart hold a sale during Amazon Prime Day 2021?

Walmart is holding its Deals for Days event now through Wednesday, June 23, an extra day before and after Amazon Prime Day 2021.

If this sounds familiar, Walmart did the same thing last year. Walmart’s Big Save Event in 2020 ran from October 13 through 15 – a full day longer than Prime Day. The event featured a wide variety of deals available around the clock, with many going out of stock well before the sale ended, so it’s smart to shop early to take advantage of the discounts.

Are Walmart’s Deals for Days worth buying?

Yes. If prior sales events are any indicator, many of Walmart’s Deals for Days deals will likely be worth buying. Many directly compete with the sales we see via Amazon and retailers like Target and Best Buy during the event. Some are even the best prices we’ve seen for certain products.

Do I need a Walmart Plus membership?

Though Walmart hasn’t mentioned any event-specific perks Walmart Plus members get during Deals for Days, they’re still able to reap the same benefits they do year-round when shopping the sale. That includes free same-day delivery, two-day shipping, next-day shipping, and the newly-added Rx for less.

If you’re interested in sampling the membership, Walmart offers a free 15-day trial for new members. If you sign up now, you’ll be covered during the Deals for Days event on June 20.

15-Day Free Trial (small)

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The best Amazon Prime Day 2021 early deals on robot vacuums, cordless vacuums, and upright vacuums

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prime day 2021 best corded cordless robot vacuum deals
Cordless vacuums from brands like Shark and Hoover always go on sale during Prime Day.

Amazon Prime Day 2021 is happening from June 21 through June 22 and if you’re in the market for a vacuum, it’s a good idea to hold out until then to buy a new one. Every year, the sales event features significant deals on robot vacuums, upright vacuums, cordless stick vacuums, and handheld vacuums.

There’s already a great deal on our pick for the best robot vacuum overall, the Roborock S6. It’s currently at an all-time low price of $380, down from the usual price we see of $600.

Amazon has also confirmed that there will be discounts on robot vacuums from Shark and Bissell.

In 2020, brands like iRobot, Shark, and Hoover offered discounts of up to $200. We also saw discounts of up to $150 off a couple of Dyson cordless models.

If you haven’t figured out what vacuum you need yet, check our guides to the best vacuum cleaners, robot vacuums, cordless vacuums, and budget vacuum cleaners to help narrow down your search. Each of them has been recently updated with our latest fully tested picks and guidance on how to shop for the best vacuum for your needs.

To shop Prime Day deals, you’ll need to be a member. Sign up for a free 30-day trial to gain access to all of the deals and many other perks.

Retailers like Walmart, Target, and Best Buy will also have competing vacuum deals that are comparable if not better than Amazon’s deals. Walmart’s Deals for Days event runs from June 20 through June 23, while Target’s Deal Days event runs from June 20 through June 22. We’ll be covering these competing sales on Prime Day as well. And no, you don’t need a special membership for these retailers’ deals – just for Amazon Prime.

The best early Prime deals on vacuums that you can shop right now

S6 Robot Vacuum (medium, Preferred: Amazon)S6 Robot Vacuum (medium, Preferred: Walmart)

What vacuum deals to expect during Amazon Prime Day

There will be deals on all kinds of vacuums, whether you’re looking for a traditional upright vacuum, lightweight cordless vacuum, or time-saving robot vacuum.

We’re expecting vacuum deals from most major vacuum brands, including iRobot, Shark, Hoover, Dyson, Eufy, and Bissell. Amazon already confirmed there will be deals on the Shark and Bissell brands. Amazon has released some deals a couple of weeks early, which we’ve shared above.

What vacuum deals we saw last year

Though they’re not currently on sale, these are actual vacuums that were discounted last year. The same or similar models may be on sale during Prime Day 2021.

How we vet deals on vacuums on Amazon Prime Day

We see deals on vacuums all year long, but the discounts are the most significant on Prime Day and Cyber Weekend. We use historical price data to compare how the newest deals compare to those of past years. We’ll recommend the deal if the new deal is the same or better than in previous years.

In addition, we like to recommend deals on the best products from our buying guides. At their normal price, they already provide great value and top performance. We want to help you get even more value out of these high-quality products by highlighting any applicable Prime Day deals.

For vacuums specifically, we also take into account whether the deal includes additional attachments or bundled offerings that aren’t ordinarily included.

Learn more about how we vet deals and terms like “MSRP” and “street price” you might see in our deals roundups.

The best deals on corded upright vacuums

Corded upright vacuums are good for large homes and long cleaning sessions where you don’t want to worry about battery life. They tend to be powerful and have large dustbins to collect lots of dust and particles. They’re also more affordable than cordless and robot vacuums. Shark, Bissell, and Hoover often discount their corded upright vacuums on Prime Day.

The best deals on cordless vacuums

Cordless vacuums are very convenient and usually lighter and more compact than corded vacuums. The downside is you might need to charge them often depending on the size of your space. Dyson cordless vacuums are notoriously expensive, but a few models are usually on sale during Prime Day. You’ll also see deals on cordless vacuums that are already pretty affordable, like those from Tineco and Hoover.

The best deals on robot vacuums

Robot vacuums, after some initial set-up, are mostly hands-off and do all the cleaning work for you. Keep in mind they can’t climb stairs (yet) so they’re best for one-story homes. We’ll be on the lookout for deals from iRobot, Eufy, Roborock, Ecovacs, Moosoo, and more.

You can read more about the different types of vacuums and their pros and cons in these buying guides:

Other Prime Day FAQs

What is Amazon Prime Day?

Prime Day is Amazon’s annual sales event, featuring millions of deals across all categories from fashion to tech. During the event, prices drop to all-time lows, often beating out prices we see over Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

When is Amazon Prime Day?

Prime Day starts at midnight PDT on June 21 and ends at 11:59 pm PDT on June 22. Some deals are only available on one of the two days, while others are available during the entire event.

Do I need to be a Prime Member?

Yes, deals are exclusive to Prime members. If you’re already a Prime member, there’s nothing additional you need to do. If you’re not a member, you can sign up for a 30-day trial to access Prime Day. You can activate your trial now in time to shop for Prime Day deals.

Read the original article on Business Insider

The 4 best cheap vacuum cleaners we tested in 2021

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • Bissell, Hoover, and Moosoo make excellent affordable vacuums that don’t compromise quality.
  • The handheld vac in our guide is under $100, while the corded, cordless, and robot vacs are under $200.
  • See also: The best vacuums

These days, many vacuums come with bells and whistles like Wifi compatibility, advanced particle detection, and a whole army of specialized attachments.

But if you don’t need or care for these features and you’re working within a budget, you can still get an effective vacuum for much less money.

Suction power and ease of use are the most important factors to focus on, and all of our cheap vacuum cleaners below tick those boxes. Though we use the word “cheap” throughout, what we’re really referring to is value – the best performance and utility you can get for the least amount of money.

We’ve tested all kinds of vacuums, including those in the $600-$800 range, and it turns out $100-$200 can get you a great vacuum, too. Here’s how we tested each of our budget vacuum contenders. For help on how to shop for a cheap vacuum and when to find the best deals, check out these tips.

Here are the best affordable vacuums:

The best cheap corded vacuum

best cheap corded vacuum cleaner 2021 bissell pet swivel

The Bissell Cleanview Swivel Vacuum is a bit on the large side, but it’s powerful and operates smoothly. It even comes with multiple attachments to pick up pet hair and clean hard-to-reach spots.

Pros: Powerful suction, large cleaner head, large and hygienic dust bin, comes with attachments, convenient foot controls 

Cons: A bit heavy and clunky, loud  

Bissell’s Cleanview Swivel Pet Vacuum is your classic corded upright vacuum. As restrictive as the cords are on these kinds of vacuums, Bissell builds in many thoughtful design features to make up for the inconvenience. 

The large, square cleaner head has a brushroll that effectively lifts and removes small and large debris, passing all of our cleaning tests with flying colors. From whole Cheerios to fine flour, the vacuum sucked up all the particles cleanly and quickly. It worked well with pet hair as well. 

It has five settings for different floor types, which you must bend down and adjust at the top of the cleaner head. But turning on the vacuum is as easy as pressing a lever at the base with your foot. There’s also a separate foot pedal to tilt the vacuum and allow it to swivel in different directions. 

The dust bin is a generous size and easy to remove by simply clicking the release button at the top. The contents empty out at the bottom so you’ll have minimal or no direct contact with all the dirt and dust. The bin has a handle on top, letting you carry your vacuum downstairs or to different rooms with ease. 

For its consistent, powerful suction and easy maneuverability, the vacuum is already a great deal. Even better, it comes with a few attachments, which you affix to the 6-foot-long hose to clean upholstery or get into crevices. For these cleaning tasks, we might still prefer a cordless handheld vacuum, but it’s nice to have the option here. We do love that the attachments are stored directly on the vacuum so you’ll never lose them.

The best cheap cordless stick vacuum

best cheap vacuum cleaner 2021 cordless budget Hoover

This affordable Hoover vacuum impressed us with its quiet but strong cleaning power. It feels light and easy to maneuver since the dust bin is located at the base of the vacuum, though this design also prevents you from cleaning under low spaces.

Pros: Quiet, cleans well on all surfaces, less tiring to use because dust bin is located at base of vacuum, large dust bin 

Cons: Doesn’t come with attachments, dust bin location means you can’t get under low spots, a little heavy 

You won’t compromise cleaning ability or price in this convenient cord-free vacuum. It picks up most small and fine particles effectively on carpet, hardwood, and tile. It has a harder time with large particles like Cheerios. 

The vacuum is on the heavier side compared to cordless competitors, but it doesn’t feel like it because the dust bin is located near the cleaner head, rather than the handle. This makes vacuuming feel more comfortable and less tiring. It’s also quiet and smooth as it cleans, and you can barely tell it’s picking small particles up (rest assured, it is). 

As a cordless vacuum, it’d be even more convenient to use if the dust bin placement didn’t obstruct access to low spaces under furniture. Unfortunately, you’ll need to figure out another way to clean under your bed and couches. Another small drawback is that the power and various mode buttons are located on top of the dust bin, so you need to bend down any time you want to turn your vacuum on and off or change modes. 

Still, I loved this vacuum for its consistent and reliable cleaning ability, reasonable battery life, and quiet motor. If you don’t want to spend more than $200 or you only need a basic cordless vacuum, this one will meet your needs and exceed your expectations.

Shop more of the best cordless vacuums here.

The best cheap robot vacuum

best cheap vacuum cleaner 2021 robot vacuum moosoo

If you’re looking for a cost-effective vac that cleans well on a variety of surfaces, gets deep into corners, and runs quietly, the Moosoo MT-720 Robot Vacuum is your best bet.

Pros: Good performance on carpet and hardwood, excellent corner cleaning, quiet operation, compatible with Google Assistant and Alexa, low-profile design

Cons: Gets stuck easily, can’t set no-go zones

For a low price, the MT-720 offers plenty of smart features and a user-friendly design. It costs less than many corded and cordless vacuums, plus it’ll do all the cleaning work for you so you can get back some time in your day. 

It’s easy to set up and start using in just five minutes. The app lets you schedule the vacuum to clean at the same time every day or mix it up. You can also choose smart, wall follow, spiral, random, and manual control cleaning modes. The app creates a map of the area cleaned, but you cannot set no-go zones as you can with other room mapping robot vacs.

The MT-720‘s performance is good on hardwood and carpet, picking up almost all of the coffee grounds, cat litter, and pet hair. It does an outstanding job in corners, coming within an inch of the corner and picking up 70% of the flour on carpeting and 85% on hard flooring. It’s also small enough to get into tight, low spaces that other models might miss. 

Counterintuitively, the strong suction doesn’t translate into loud operation. On high suction, the sound meter registered 66 dB, or a little louder than a business office. On low, it was 59 dB, which is quieter than normal conversation. 

The biggest negative with the MT-720 is that it tends to get stuck easily. During testing, it regularly got stuck on the one-inch threshold between the living room and kitchen of the testing area.

Shop more of the best robot vacuums here.

The best cheap handheld vacuum

best cheap vacuum cleaner 2021 handheld bissell pet hair eraser

The compact Bissell Pet Hair Eraser vacuum is convenient to keep in your car or on hand for small and short cleaning tasks. It’s not too heavy and picks up everything from fine pet hairs to ground coffee.

Pros: Comes with attachments, compact and relatively light 

Cons: Short battery life, disposal method could be more hygienic, weak suction for large particles  

Sometimes you don’t need a full-sized vacuum cleaner. A small handheld vacuum is a useful addition to your cleaning kit because you can store it in your car, desk, or closet. 

Bissell‘s handheld vacuum is powerful and cleans most particles up completely (it struggles with large particles like Cheerios). We’ve noticed that you need to hold it at about a 45-degree angle to the surface for the suction to be most effective. 

For my hand, which is admittedly on the smaller size, the grip is large and a little uncomfortable to hold after a long time. But with a short 15-minute battery life, you won’t be grasping this portable vacuum for too long anyway. You also don’t need to hold down a power trigger — there’s a simple on/off button. 

We love that it’s a convenient tool to have nearby when you notice some debris around you or if you spill something and want to clean it up immediately without lugging out your traditional upright vacuum. An added bonus: the included attachments. The motorized brush is our favorite and effective at removing stubborn, embedded dirt. 

The downsides of the vacuum are that it emits a loud and high-pitched whirring noise when in use, and it’s difficult to clean. There are a few steps to accessing the dust bin, and once you pull it out, dust and other fine particles tend to release into the air. If you’re not prepared, they’ll fly right into your face.

What else we tested

best cheap vacuum cleaner 2021 what else we tested shark tineco

What we recommend and why: 

Shark Navigator Lift-Away Upright Vacuum: Overall, this popular upright vacuum has solid cleaning performance and it’s easy to use, but it didn’t outperform the Bissell and it felt slightly heavier to handle. Its cleaning head is also smaller.

 Tineco Pure One X Smart Vacuum: We love the lightweight and smooth maneuverability of this cheap cordless vac, which somehow also manages to include all the works, including a paired app and a few attachments. It was our pick for the best cordless vacuum for pet hair. If you’re okay with a small dustbin and weaker carpet performance, you’ll like the Tineco.

Our methodology

best cheap vacuum cleaner 2021 testing methodology
  1. Vacuuming ability: I tested each of the vacuums against five materials (flour, ground coffee, cat litter, whole Cheerios, and dog hair) on three different surfaces (carpet/rug, hardwood, and tile). I scattered half a cup of each material on each surface — resulting in 15 tests for each vacuum — and rated each vacuum on its ability to suck up the material powerfully, cleanly, and thoroughly. Our robot vacuum testing also included corner cleaning and obstacle avoidance. If the vacuum came with attachments, I also tested the attachments on appropriate surfaces (e.g. crevice tool on furniture cushions and car seats) and rated their effectiveness. 
  2. Battery life: If the vacuum is cordless, I used it until its battery died and compared the actual battery life to the advertised battery life. 
  3. Comfort and ease of use: I noted the ergonomics of each vacuum: how tiring it is to hold, how easy it is to maneuver, and the effort required to activate the power button. I also noted whether it could fit under low spaces and any additional helpful features like a headlight to illuminate your cleaning path. 
  4. Disposal method: I evaluated the cleanliness and ease of emptying the dustbin after a cleaning session. How is the bin opened? Do I have to reach inside and touch dirt and dust that didn’t empty out completely? 
  5. Storage: I noted how the vacuum breaks down into multiple parts and whether it comes with a wall mount or docking station. 
  6. Warranty and customer service: I registered each vacuum, noted warranty terms, and spoke to customer service reps to evaluate the ease of registration and quality of service.

What we’re testing next

best cheap vacuum cleaner 2021 testing next eureka hoover canister vacuum

To round out the vacuum types in this guide, we’re testing canister vacuums next. They’re easier to maneuver since the canister is separate from the hose and cleaner head, and many have powerful, thorough cleaning suction. They tend to be more expensive than uprights, around $300-$400. One of Miele’s well-known canister vacuums is $1,500.

Eureka Mighty Mite Bagged Canister Vacuum Cleaner: Weighing 8.6 pounds, with a long hose and cord, this Eureka canister vacuum is easy to carry around the house. It comes with multiple attachments and even has a blower port to help you clean your oft-neglected garage and outdoor spaces. It’s one of the most popular options on Amazon. 

Hoover PortaPower Lightweight Commercial Canister Vacuum: Hoover’s canister is a tiny bit lighter, at 8.3 pounds, and it’s compact enough to sling over your shoulder. Its cord is 33 feet long, making this vacuum especially suitable for large spaces.

FAQs

best cheap vacuum cleaner 2021 faqs how to shop deals

How do I find a good cheap vacuum? 

Not all cheap vacuums are created equal. Often, shoddy construction results in your vacuum parts or motor breaking down within months of use. Here are some features to look for in a vacuum, even if you’re being budget-conscious:

Motor: The motor is the most important contributor to suction, and thus, cleaning ability. Edward Chudleigh, a former Dyson engineer of 11 years, recommends a brushless motor: “Brushless motors are very efficient and translate much more of the available power from the battery to cleaning the floor. The trouble with brushed motors is that there is more friction in the system which in turn eats some of the battery power and, amongst other things, makes the machine less efficient.”

Type of brushroll: The size, placement, and type of brush on the vacuum affect how much dust is swept up, and also whether the brushes can dig into various surfaces to lift up dirt and debris. 

Type of filter: Look for HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filters, which are allergy-friendly. They trap and remove at least 99.97% of dust, pollen, dirt, mold, bacteria, and other airborne particles with a size of 0.3 microns. 

Battery life (if applicable): Cheaper cordless vacuums may not have as long as a battery life as more expensive competitors. You may need to charge your battery more often, or consider buying a replacement backup battery to keep on hand for longer cleaning jobs. 

Cord and hose length (if applicable): Long cords and hoses reduce the need to hunt around the house for an open outlet. The average cord length of an upright vacuum is 25-30 feet. 

Warranty: Even budget vacuums should come with at least one year of warranty on parts and labor. All our best cheap vacuum picks come with 1-3 years of warranty. Make sure to register your vacuum online to speed up the warranty process later.


How often should you clean and change your vacuum filter? 

The guidance varies model by model and there are different kinds of filters (cartridge, disk, foam, cloth), so you should check your product manual. Generally, you should wash and dry it when you notice a smell or if you observe a decline in vacuum performance. Some vacuums will also alert you when you need to change the filter. A clean filter is important for effective cleaning; a dirty filter restricts airflow and decreases suction power.


Where and when are the best vacuum deals?  

Prime Day (usually in the summer) and Black Friday/Cyber Monday (also known as Cyber Weekend) are the best times to find all-time-low prices on top vacuum brands like Shark, Dyson, Hoover, and Bissell. They’re usually discounted across all major retailers, including Amazon, Target, Walmart, and Best Buy. 

Glossary

best cheap vacuum cleaner 2021 glossary brushroll attachment

HEPA: Stands for high efficiency particulate air. A HEPA filter traps and removes at least 99.97% of dust, pollen, dirt, mold, bacteria, and other airborne particles with a size of 0.3 microns and can be found in air purifiers and vacuums. 

Whole machine filtration: The entire machine is sealed to prevent unfiltered particles from escaping. All air passes through the filter before it is expelled. 

Dustbin: Where all the dust, dirt, and hair are stored as you vacuum. The dustbin should be emptied out into the trash after you’re done cleaning. 

Brush roll: A cylinder with bristles located in the cleaning head that rotates and helps release dirt from carpets and rugs. The bristles of a brush roll may leave scratches on hardwood and tile, so you should turn off the brush roll if possible. Replace your brush roll when the bristles wear out (like on your toothbrush). 

Crevice tool: A long, flat attachment with an angled tip. It’s good for getting into tight corners including baseboards and stairs and between couch cushions. 

Dust brush tool: A small attachment with soft bristles. It’s good for blinds, windowsills, and delicate objects. 

Upholstery tool: A wide, flat attachment that allows for strong suction. It’s good for furniture with fabric upholstery like mattresses, chairs, and couches.

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The 4 best vacuum cleaners we tested in 2021 for carpet, hardwood, and even pet hair

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Depending on how you feel about it, vacuuming can be the most dreaded chore of all, or a therapeutic ridding of all that dust, dirt, and whatever else might be hiding on and within your floors and carpets.

We’ve tested plenty of vacuum cleaners over the years, and we have written several in-depth guides focused on everything from the best robot vacuums and the best affordable vacuums to the best vacuums for pet hair and the best cordless vacuums. But here, we have our top picks from each of these respective guides for an easily digestible look at the best of the best.

Apart from our testing, we’ve also spoken with experts during our research phases, including former Dyson Optimization Manager and engineer Edward Chudleigh about some common vacuum cleaner pitfalls and how to shop for a reliable appliance, which can be found here.

A good vacuum cleaner should have no trouble tackling both carpeting and hardwood, and the best ones we’ve tested can automatically detect the difference between the two and adjust their suction accordingly. Ease of use, cleaning, and maintenance are all important too – in fact, one of the most common losses of suction in a vacuum is a clogged filter or airway.

Whether you’re more of a set-it-and-forget-it robot vacuum type or you prefer to do it yourself with the ease and mobility of a cordless vacuum, or somewhere in between, you’ll find what you need below.

The best vacuum cleaners in 2021

The best cordless vacuum

best cordless vacuums 2021 best overall shark anti allergen

The Shark Anti-Allergen Cordless Vacuum is a strong performer all around, picking up particles of most sizes on a variety of surfaces in a smooth and efficient fashion. We also love the light that illuminates your cleaning path and the flexible hose that lets you reach under low spaces better than any other cordless vac.

Pros: Versatile, strong suction, cleaning path light, great for under-furniture cleaning, comes with attachments 

Cons: Loud and high-pitched noise, thick grip that may be uncomfortable for small hands, weaker on high-pile carpet and rug  

This Shark vacuum had the best overall cleaning performance of all the cordless vacuums we tested, picking up every bit of flour, cat litter, ground coffee, and dog hair from hardwood and tile with ease. It also does well with large particles like whole Cheerios. It’s less effective on high-pile rug. 

It’s not the lightest cordless vac out there, but it’s really smooth to operate and easy to use. There are distinct settings for hardwood and carpet located near the grip and they’re easy to slide between. There’s also a power boost trigger that you can hold down whenever you need some extra suction power. 

Rolling the cleaning head around hardwood and tile feels very smooth and soft, instead of clunky and abrasive. The cleaning head also has two useful features: a light that shows you exactly what you’re cleaning and highlights small particles you might’ve otherwise missed, and a green alert button that turns red when a blockage occurs, so you can address the problem right away. 

We also love how it can get lower and flatter than any other cordless vac. The middle of the stick can bend into a flexible hose “elbow,” allowing the entire bottom half of the stick to lay flat and get under beds, couches, chairs, and other tricky spots. 

Read our full guide to the best cordless vacuums.

The best on a budget

best vacuum 2021 sharkvac

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away offers solid performance, a useful set of tools, and best of all, a reasonable price tag.

Pros: Low price, superior performance, five-year warranty, lift-off canister and hose

Cons: The hose is a bit short at five feet, the electric cord is also relatively short at 25 feet (but an extension cord will fix that)

A canister vacuum offers powerful suction and versatility while an upright vacuum offers the convenience of easy navigation. The Shark Navigator Lift-Away offers the best of both worlds and its versatility has earned it the top spot in our guide to the best budget vacuum cleaners. It easily operates like an upright vacuum, but when you need to get under low furniture, vacuum the stairs, or even clear high cobwebs from your ceiling, the canister lifts off the base and becomes a much more portable machine.

The hose allows you to reach into tight places and anywhere the broad brush head won’t go, though it’s a bit short at just five feet, so you’ll have to carry the canister with you as you clean. Hose attachments include an eight-inch upholstery tool and two different crevice tools.

The vacuum cleaner has two settings, one for hardwood and one for carpet, which activates the brush roll. The bagless dust bin is quite large at 2.2 quarts and is sealed with a HEPA filter — a requirement of a good vacuum these days — to ensure airborne allergens don’t escape.

While a budget vacuum may not have the longevity offered by some of the more expensive models on the market, Shark offers a five-year limited warranty which all but guarantees you’ll get your money’s worth out of the machine. The filters are also easy to clean, so you’ll be able to maintain your machine’s suction.

Read our full guide to the best affordable vacuum cleaners.

The best for pet hair

best vacuum 2021 Dyson Ball Animal 2 Upright

The Dyson Ball Animal 2 prioritizes maneuverability, but the tangle-free brush setup is really what sets this machine apart for pet owners.

Pros: Powerful suction, great maneuverability, keeps dust and allergens in the machine, tangle-free turbine tool gets into tight spaces

Cons: Rollerball prevents you from getting under furniture, heavy, power cord does not retract

A vacuum specialized for pet hair should boast an easy-to-clean brush head, HEPA filtration to lock in allergens, and a removable hose with an upholstery attachment so you can suck up pet hair wherever it happens to land. The Dyson Ball Animal 2 checks all the boxes.

This upright vacuum easily handles both hardwood and carpet — with a rotating brush head that gets deep into area rugs and low-pile carpet very well. The self-adjusting head helps the vacuum create a tight seal against any type of flooring for a better clean.

The large-capacity bagless dust bin is sealed with a HEPA filter, locking in dust, hair, and pet dander. To empty it, simply lift it off the base and press a button on the canister handle to release the bottom and let the dust fall out. The filter is easily removable and washable.

Where the Ball Animal 2 really stands out is in its wand attachments. Not only does it come with a combination brush for hard-to-reach places and a specialized stair tool, but it also comes with its unique tangle-free turbine tool specifically formulated for pet hair. Chudleigh actually had a hand in developing the design, though we had already selected the vacuum as among the best before we ever reached out to him for this guide. The tool features counter-rotating spinner brushes which sucks up hair without giving it the chance to get tangled. It’s great for furniture, curtains, pet beds, and any other fabric you need to detail.

The Ball Animal 2 has a couple of downsides, the largest of which is that the roller ball makes it difficult to fit under furniture. When pet hair floats around the house and settles in hard-to-reach places like under the couch, the Dyson might have trouble getting there. The wand will be helpful, but you won’t get as thorough a clean you would with the brush head. It’s also a heavy machine at 17.5 pounds.

But overall, the powerful suction, tangle-free brush tool, and deep-cleaning spinning brush head make this the best overall pick in our guide to the best vacuums for pet hair. If you’re looking for other options in this category, check out our full guide here.

Read our full guide to the best vacuums for pet hair.

The best robot vacuum

best vacuum 2021 Roborock S6

The Roborock S6 has excellent suction power, runs quietly, is easily programmable, and comes with a bunch of extras that make cleaning up cat hair, cereal, and dust a breeze.

Pros: Excellent suction, works with Amazon Alexa, extra attachments, mopping capabilities, quiet, one-year warranty

Cons: Loud when on the highest setting, too tall to clean under some furniture

Insider Reviews’ James Brains has tested 25 robot vacuums, putting them through rigorous tests to see how well they pick up coffee grounds, cat litter, flour, and pet hair on both carpet and hardwood floors, and the Roborock S6 tops the list. 

Not only does it handle both hardwood and carpeted flooring with ease, but it also gets deepest into the corners of any robot vacuum we tested. It also did a good job navigating its cleaning paths, getting stuck very infrequently.

The Roborock S6 is Alexa compatible and comes with an app that allows you to set your cleaning schedule, determine varying suction levels, and set no-go zones once the vacuum has had a chance to map out your space.

The S6 also comes with a mopping tank attachment that allows you to transform it from a robot vac to a robot mop. According to Brains, the mopping attachment works well and the tank can be set to disperse just enough water, so you won’t have to worry about accidental flooding.

His complaints were minimal and mainly centered around the higher profile of the S6 when compared to other robot vac models. It can be a tight fit under some low-profile furniture which can lead to it getting stuck.

Read our full review of the Roborock S6.

Read our full guide to the best robot vacuums.

What to look for in a good vacuum

Like any home appliance, there are certain things to watch out for as you shop, certain boxes you should be sure to tick, and a good amount of homework to do before making a decision. Edward Chudleigh, a former Dyson engineer of 11 years, walked us through some of the common pitfalls of vacuum cleaners and how to shop for the best machine for your needs.

Here are some more specifics to look for:

A brushless motor: A vacuum’s motor is, of course, what powers the mechanism, ultimately providing suction and ensuring a clean home. Motors fall into two categories: brushed and brushless. Chudleigh recommends sticking to brushless motors: “Brushless motors are very efficient and translate much more of the available power from the battery to cleaning the floor. The trouble with brushed motors is that there is more friction in the system which in turn eats some of the battery power and, amongst other things, makes the machine less efficient.” He said brushes can also wear down over time and may emit carbon pollution into the air. Both Dyson models and the Roborock we recommend use brushless motors, but we were unable to determine what type of motor the Shark uses.

A well-designed brush head: “It’s all good having efficient motors and batteries, however this only works with a well-designed pick-up head,” said Chudleigh, who was involved in developing Dyson’s Tangle-Free Turbine Tool — a key feature in our recommendation for the best vacuum for pet hair. A well-designed brush head ensures the dirt and dust on your floor is actually making its way into your vacuum. You can see a good example of how we test vacuum pick-up in our guide to the best robot vacuums.

A bagless design: “Bagless every time,” said Chudleigh. Vacuum bags have tiny holes that allow air to pass through them and act almost like a filter, trapping dust and dirt. But over time, those tiny holes get clogged. “The suction of the vacuum then decreases as more holes get blocked. It’s essentially like strangling a vacuum cleaner,” said Chudleigh. Bagless designs employ a cyclonic system that “spins the particles out of the airflow” allowing clean air to pass through the motor without clogging anything or impeding suction. All of the vacuums we recommend are bagless.

A lightweight machine: This one’s pretty simple. You’d want a vacuum somewhere around 10 to 15 pounds that you can easily carry around your home, up and down flights of stairs, and even out to your car.  

A strong warranty: Chudleigh said that the most common parts that fail in vacuums are hoses and batteries, so ensure the warranty on any vacuum you buy has a suitable guarantee to replace those parts should issues come up. He also recommends you look for a good money-back guarantee that ensures you can return that machine for any reason if you’re unhappy with its performance.

Types of vacuum cleaners

Robot vacuum: A robot vacuum is an autonomous vacuum cleaner that roams around your house with no effort on your part aside from maybe setting a scheduled cleaning time or freeing it when it gets tangled in a power cord or stuck behind a piece of furniture. They’re not as powerful as other types of vacuum cleaners and need to be emptied regularly, but they can’t be beaten when it comes to convenience.

Canister vacuum: A canister vacuum has its motor and dust bin in a standalone canister with the brush head attached by a long suction hose. The canister is usually on wheels, and it follows you around a bit like a lost puppy. Canister vacuums are known for their superior power and excellent suction, but they don’t offer much versatility and are particularly difficult to move around the house given that you’re tethered to a separate piece that you have to tote around with you.

Upright vacuum: An upright vacuum is what you likely picture when asked to imagine a vacuum — if you’re in the US, that is. (If you’re in the UK, you’ll likely picture a canister vacuum.) Unlike canister vacuums, upright vacuums have the motor, dust bin, and head all aligned in one package. The vacuum stands upright on its own and the body of the machine tilts back when you need to vacuum. Upright vacuums balance power and versatility, but can still be clunky to operate in some cases. They are often equipped with a removable hose to reach places the main brush head can’t go.

Stick vacuum: Stick vacuums prevail when it comes to convenience and portability, but they often do so by sacrificing power. Often rechargeable and cordless, the batteries they’re equipped with simply can’t generate as much power as corded vacuums and they need to be recharged often. The dust bins are often smaller than upright or canister vacuums as well. But it’s the most lightweight category of vacuum, and a low profile makes it easy to slide under almost any furniture.

Handheld vacuum: Just like Jell-O became synonymous with gelatin desserts, so too did Black & Decker’s Dustbuster become synonymous with handheld vacuums. A handheld vacuum is ultra-compact and good for spot cleaning — think of a spilled box of cereal, stray kitty litter, or picking up dust after sweeping. You certainly won’t want to clean your whole house with one, but they’re good to have around for quick messes.

Vacuum parts

Head: This is the part of the vacuum that moves across your floor and picks up dirt and dust.

Brush roll: The brush roll is situated in the head of the vacuum and should be activated when cleaning carpet. It spins to help agitate the carpet pile to dislodge dust and dirt.

Dust bin: A canister on the main body of the vacuum where trapped dirt and dust is stored.

HEPA filter: A high-efficiency particulate air filter or HEPA filter must filter 99.97% of airborne particles in order to meet HEPA standards. Most high-quality vacuum cleaners contain HEPA filters. Many are washable and reusable and should be cleaned regularly.

Wand: Often featured on upright vacuums, wands detach from the main body to allow you to reach spots the head can’t go. They’re useful for cleaning stairs, corners, and upholstery.

Crevice tool: A long, flat attachment with an angled tip. It’s good for getting into tight corners including baseboards and stairs and between couch cushions. 

Dust brush tool: A small attachment with soft bristles. It’s good for blinds, windowsills, and delicate objects. 

Upholstery tool: A wide, flat attachment that allows for strong suction. It’s good for furniture with fabric upholstery like mattresses, chairs, and couches. 

Lithium ion battery: A type of rechargeable battery that uses lithium ions and can store high amounts of energy and deliver higher voltage than nickel-based batteries. It doesn’t display memory effect, but it is less stable than nickel-based batteries and has a tendency to overheat. 

Nickel battery: A type of rechargeable battery that comes in either nickel-cadmium (Ni-Ca) or nickel-metal-hydride (Ni-MH) form. It can store high amounts of energy, is more difficult to damage than Li-ion batteries, and suffers from memory effect.

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The 6 best robot vacuums we tested in 2021

  • A good robot vacuum cleans floors with little work from you, clearing debris with a button push.
  • We tested 25 robot vacuums and consulted three experts to find the best options for different needs.
  • The Roborock S6 Robot Vacuum is the best robot vac because it cleans well, mops, and has a helpful app.

A robot vacuum can remove the small but time-consuming task of vacuuming from your never-ending to-do list. However, you’ll want one that’s powerful, relatively quiet, and doesn’t require constant attention. 

That’s why I’ve tested 25 robot vacuums to find the best ones and consulted health experts and engineers on how to use them properly. A robot vac needs maintenance like any other small appliance, so while using it takes just a press of a button, all our experts stressed the importance of regularly cleaning brushes and filters, and running the vac when no one is in the room to keep the indoor air quality clean and avoid resuspended particles. We get into details over here

I tested each robot vac’s cleaning abilities along with their extra features and app. You can find the details of how we tested, what else we recommend, what we don’t recommend, how to shop for a robot vacuum, and more at the end of our guide.

Here are the best robot vacuums in 2021

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

The best robot vacuum overall

Best Robot Vacuums 2021_Roborock S6 Robot Vacuum

The Roborock S6 Robot Vacuum performs well on carpet, hardwood, and in corners. It can map your space for more efficient cleaning and mops floors for extra convenience.

Pros: Excellent on hardwood and in corners, good on carpeting, does not get stuck, has mopping capabilities, can be scheduled and set no-go zones in the app, Alexa compatible

Cons: Gets loud on the highest suction setting, larger than most vacuums making it hard to get into tight spots

The Roborock S6 Robot Vacuum performed well in every test we put it through. On carpeting, it picked up more than 90% of the flour, coffee grounds, kitty litter, and pet hair I laid out for it. On hardwood, it did even better picking up everything except for a little flour. The S6 gets within half an inch of corners — the deepest of all the vacuums we tested.

The vacuum also rarely gets stuck. It returned to its charging dock after a cleaning cycle without getting stuck along the way approximately 75% of the time. In fact, it even somehow managed to keep going despite a floor strewn with Nerf darts after an epic battle with my kids.

The Roborock S6 comes with a variety of extras, including an adjustable water tank that can be installed in place of the dustbin and a mop cloth to mop your floors. The mop function worked well and I appreciated that you can adjust how much water the tank dispenses so you’re not creating mini floods everywhere. I recommend running the mop after vacuuming to minimize the chance of spreading dirt and dust around your floor. There’s also a damp-proof mat attachment on the charging dock so your floors don’t have prolonged direct contact with moisture. Unfortunately, extra brush heads aren’t included. 

If you like smart gadgets, the Roborock app can be scheduled for cleaning sessions via the app or Amazon Alexa. You can also adjust the suction power and set how many passes the unit completes in a certain space. After a few runs, the S6 will have enough data to make a map of your home so you can set no-go zones.

Including scheduling, the set up of the S6 took about 15 minutes. All you need to do is charge the vacuum on the dock, pair the vac with the app, and you’re ready to go.

There are a couple of things to consider with the Roborock S6, specifically noise and size.

On high suction power, it recorded 70 decibels, which is similar to city traffic. However, it does sport a Quiet mode, which is only around 56 decibels according to the manufacturer; I wasn’t able to measure the noise output of this robot vac by the time I had to send it back to the company. At 14 inches in diameter and four inches high, it was also the largest vacuum we tested. This means it will have trouble getting under low-clearance furniture and into other tight spots. These aren’t deal breakers if you’re able to compromise noise in favor of power and convenience.

Read our full Roborock S6 Robot Vacuum review.

The best affordable robot vacuum

Best Roboto Vacuums Moosoo MT 720

If you’re looking for a cost-effective vac that cleans well on a variety of surfaces, gets deep into corners, and runs quietly, the Moosoo MT-720 Robot Vacuum is your best bet.

Pros: Good performance on carpet and hardwood, excellent corner cleaning, quiet operation, compatible with Google Assistant and Alexa, low-profile design

Cons: Gets stuck easily, can’t set no-go zones

After an initial round of testing, we realized many of our top picks are quite expensive. For the most recent update of this guide, we tested five budget models. Of the models that performed well, the Moosoo MT-720 has the lowest price. It replaces the Eufy RoboVac 15C Max as our budget pick because the MT-720 does a better job of getting deep into corners. 

The MT-720 comes with an extra filter, extra side brushes, a cleaning tool, and a remote control, which worked well. Setting up the vacuum took five minutes. 

The app lets you schedule the vacuum to clean at the same time every day or mix it up. You can also choose smart, wall follow, spiral, random, and manual control cleaning modes. The app creates a map of the area cleaned, but you cannot set no-go zones as you can with other room mapping robot vacs.

The MT-720’s performance was good on hardwood and carpet, picking up almost all of the coffee grounds, kitty litter, and pet hair. In corners, it did an outstanding job, coming within an inch of the corner and picking up 70% of the flour on carpeting and 85% on hard flooring. At 12.5 inches in diameter and 3.25 inches high, the vac is small enough to get into tight spaces that other models might miss.

Counterintuitively, the strong suction didn’t translate into loud operation. On high suction, the sound meter registered 66 dB, or a little louder than a business office. On low, it was 59 dB, which is quieter than normal conversation. 

The biggest negative with the MT-720 is that it tends to get stuck easily. During testing, it regularly got stuck on the one-inch threshold between the living room and kitchen of the testing area.

The best robot vacuum and mop

Best Robot Vacuums 2021 Ecovacs T8 AIVI

The Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo Pro Mopping System thoroughly cleans floors as opposed to pushing a wet cloth around. When paired with the Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI Robot Vacuum, the two make easy work of time-consuming chores.  

Pros: Excellent performance on carpeting and hardwood, automatically empties the dustbin, HD video surveillance, impressive deep-cleaning mop attachment, quiet operation

Cons: Got stuck on the threshold in our tests, doesn’t get deep into corners

The Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo Pro Mopping System attachment is the best mopping system I’ve tested. Thanks to its 480-vibrations-per-minute scrubbing motion, it’s able to provide a deep clean whereas other robot vac mops just push a wet cloth over your floors. It’s compatible with the T8 family of Ecovacs, which made the powerful Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI Robot Vacuum even better. 

In my testing, the 240mL water tank was large enough to complete at least two passes over the 500-square-foot test floor. With the app, you can choose from four water flow levels to reach a balance of moistness and quick drying, and two mopping patterns. The deep scrubbing option is good for a more thorough cleaning, but for the most part, quick scrubbing is my go-to for regular mopping — and even then, it’s a very thorough cleaning. 

When the Ozmo Pro Mopping System encounters carpeting, it automatically avoids it so you don’t get wet carpeting. In testing, I found the carpet detection sensor worked well.

As for the robot vac itself, the Ozmo T8 AIVI has HD video and a microphone so you can keep tabs on your pets or check for open windows and doors from your phone. I didn’t find the home surveillance features particularly useful but they could be handy for people who are often away from the home and concerned about security. 

The more useful feature is the auto-empty station. With this dock, you don’t have to empty the dustbin after cleaning sessions — the charging station does it automatically. You just need to replace the disposable pouch every month or two. 

On both carpeting and hardwood, the Ozmo T8 AIVI was among the best at removing all of the debris types we tested. Plus, it remains fairly quiet at just 67 decibels on the highest Max+ cleaning setting and 58 decibels on Quiet mode. 

However, the vac consistently got stuck on the one-inch lip between my living room and kitchen. It also wasn’t able to come within two inches of corners so you may need to do occasional touch-ups using a hand vacuum or broom.

When it comes to set up, the process was seamless. I plugged in the dock to charge the vacuum, connected the app, updated the firmware, and set a schedule for cleaning. Once the vacuum mapped out my floor plan after a couple of cleanings, I was able to set no-go zones to keep the T8 AIVI away from sensitive areas.

The unit is on the bigger side measuring 13.75 inches in diameter and 3.5 inches high. This was just low enough to fit under my chairs and couches, but if you have radiators or low-clearance furniture, you may want to measure to make sure there’s enough clearance or set no-go zones. The main brush of the vacuum is around 6.25 inches long, which is about average.

The best robot vacuum for hardwood floors

Best Robot Vacuums 2021 Roomba S9+

The D-shaped iRobot Roomba s9+ Robot Vacuum did the best in our hardwood floor tests and features a self-emptying dustbin, impressive app that lets you set no-go zones, and large main brushes that pick up debris on the first pass.

Pros: Cleans well on hardwood flooring, good performance on carpeting, rarely gets stuck, comes with a charging dock that empties the dustbin, large main brushes, has a useful app with virtual no-go zones

Cons: Loud, poor performance in carpeted corners

As iRobot’s top-of-the-line model, the Roomba s9+ Robot Vacuum is another feature-packed vac. Like the Ecovacs T8 AIVI, the s9+ empties itself and is supported by an app that allows you to effortlessly schedule cleanings, set no-go zones, and customize your cleaning experience, including pairing it with the iRobot Braava Jet M6 (sold separately) to mop after it finishes its vacuum cycle.

In testing, the Roomba s9+ performed the best of any robot vac on hardwood flooring, likely due to the two large 9.5-inch main brush heads — the biggest we tested. After the cleaning cycle, there was only a trace of flour left. Its D-shaped design came within an inch and a half of the corner, picking up everything it could reach. On carpeting, the performance wasn’t as impressive, but it was still solid with only about 10% of the flour left, 5% of the kitty litter, and no coffee grounds or pet hairs to be found after testing. The unit didn’t get stuck in our testing area either. 

At 77 decibels (about as loud as a busy city street) on high suction power, the s9+ was by far the loudest model we tested, and even in Quiet mode, the vacuum is a not unnoticeable 64 decibels (a little louder than a normal conversation). 

Additionally, the vac got within an inch of the carpeted corner, but it left behind about 70% of the flour, which suggests it doesn’t do as well picking up fine debris on carpeting, especially in areas the main brushes have trouble reaching.

Installation was easy, but it took about 25 minutes. Most of that time was spent installing firmware updates after connecting to the app. I liked that the s9+ comes with plenty of extras, including an additional filter (which needs replacing every two months), side brush (every three months), and dirt disposal bag for the self-emptying base (every month or so.) 

These extras mean you get several months of use before you need to replace parts that wear down. The app features tutorials on how to care for your Roomba, including the seamless purchase of replacement parts.   

The overall unit is around 12.5 inches in diameter and the 3.5-inch height should also fit under most furniture.

The best robot vacuum for carpet

Best Robot Vacuums 2021 Roomba i3+

With its strong suction and large main brushes that adjust to stay in contact with your carpeting, the iRobot Roomba i3+ Robot Vacuum is a great solution for carpeted homes.

Pros: Excellent performance on carpeting, cleans well on hardwood, pairs with the app and Alexa, comes with an automatic dirt disposal base, doesn’t get stuck easily

Cons: Loud, virtual wall barriers cost extra, not impressive in corners 

The iRobot Roomba i3+ Robot Vacuum is fairly new and is iRobot’s most affordable option with automatic dirt disposal.  

In our carpet tests, the i3+ picked up all of the coffee grounds, kitty litter, and pet hairs we laid out, and left behind only about 5% of the flour — the best performance of all the robot vacs we tested. In corners, it came within an inch of the wall but left behind about half the flour. The i3+ performed better on hardwood floors, picking up all of the coffee grounds and pet hair, and only left behind 5% of the kitty litter and about 10% of the flour. The robot vac didn’t get stuck going back to its base after it completed its cleaning sessions.

Whereas some robot vacuums sense carpeting and boost suction, the i3+ provides consistently strong suction, and when it detects excess dirt, it will automatically perform multiple passes to ensure it gets all of the debris. There are two main brushes measuring 6.75 inches and each one adjusts and flexes to keep in constant contact with carpet and hardwood so it picks up more debris quickly. 

Though it doesn’t come with a tool for cleaning the brushes and dustbin, the i3+ comes with an extra filter and disposal bag, which only needs to be replaced every month or so. Plus, setup is a breeze only taking about 10 minutes, including connecting to the user-friendly app. With the app, you can easily schedule your unit and connect to Alexa or Google Assistant.

Unfortunately, the app doesn’t allow you to set up no-go zones, so you have to buy virtual wall barriers. It’s a small 2 by 4.5 inch-high battery-powered device that creates a virtual barrier up to 10 feet long or a 12-inch radius that the Roomba avoids. In my experience, the barriers work as advertised, but at around $40 each, I’m more likely to use common household objects to create physical barriers to keep the Roomba out of areas I want to protect.

The other negative with the i3+ is how loud it is. My sound meter recorded 68 decibels, and you can’t adjust the suction power for a quieter clean.

The overall dimensions of the vacuum are larger than most at 13.25 inches in diameter and 3.75 inches high. This can make it hard to get into tight spots, though I didn’t experience any issues in my testing.

The best robot vacuum for pet hair

Best Robot Vacuums 2021 Bissell Spinwave

The Bissell SpinWave Robot Vacuum picked up all the pet hair on carpet in our tests and has a great assortment of mop attachments and accessories. The company is also committed to helping homeless pets and helps them find loving homes. 

Pros: Excellent job on hardwood and corners, picked up all of the pet hair in our tests, great mop attachment and accessories, app connectivity, small size, quiet operation

Cons: Can’t set up no-go zones, gets stuck easily

In general, the robot vacuums we tested did an excellent job of picking up pet hair. However, the Bissell SpinWave Robot Vacuum is created specifically for pet hair and has a 5.75-inch tangle-resistant main brush, a useful mop attachment, and powerful suction. Specs aside, a portion of each sale also goes to the Bissell Pet Foundation, which is committed to finding loving homes for pets.

The Bissell SpinWave picked up all of the cat and dog hair we laid out on carpeting and hardwood and did a great job on hardwood and in corners. On the hardwood, it only left a trace of kitty litter and flour. In corners, it came within two inches of each and picked up more than 60% of the flour on both the carpet and hardwood. When you consider that it’s among the quietest vacs we tested – 58 decibels on Quiet mode (slightly quieter than a normal conversation) and 65 on high suction – its performance is even more impressive. If you have particularly skittish pets, the low-decibel output is less likely to startle your fur friends. 

The vacuum also included a lot of useful extras and attachments that can help any pet parent, such as a mop tank attachment, spinning mop pads, and a trial-size bottle cleaning formula. Plus, you receive an extra filter, an extra set of side brushes, and a cleaning tool that helps remove hairs from the brushes and clean the filter.

In testing, the mop attachment worked seamlessly. You just fill the tank with water and some of the cleaning formula and attach it to the vacuum in place of the dustbin. The mop pads spin to scrub away stuck-on debris while the soft surface avoidance sensor keeps it away from area rugs or carpets.

The SpinWave has a quick set up taking all of five minutes, including installing the app and connecting the unit. With the app, you can schedule cleanings and customize the suction strength based on your preferences. Unfortunately, though, the app doesn’t let you set up no-go zones.

At 12.75 inches in diameter and 3.25 inches high, it has a smaller and lower frame that can squeeze into small areas. The biggest limitation we found was it tended to get stuck easily. In our tests, it consistently got stuck on the one-inch threshold leading into the kitchen. We had to put up a physical barrier to get it to stop trying.

What else we tested

Best Robot Vacuums 2021

We’ve tested 25 robot vacuums and counting, here are the ones that didn’t make our top picks.

What else we recommend and why

Eufy RoboVac 15C Max ($259.99): Formerly our pick for the best affordable robot vacuum, the 15C Max offers an impressive suite of high-end features for its reasonable price, including smart connectivity and powerful suction on carpeting and hardwood. We dropped it from our guide because the Moosoo MT-720 performed similarly, including doing a better job in corners, and it’s currently $11 cheaper. However, the 15C Max doesn’t get stuck as easily. If that’s important to you, you may want to choose this model instead when on a budget.

Ecovacs U2 Pro ($299.99): Of the eight vacuums I’ve tested since the last update, this was the best. It did excellent cleaning hardwood and carpeting and rarely got stuck. The U2 Pro also comes with a mop attachment, which didn’t do a good job of cleaning up dried Tang on linoleum. Despite good performance, it couldn’t compete with our current top picks, and was too expensive for consideration as our best budget pick. Other negatives include loud operation, poor corner cleaning, and boundary strips for setting no-go zones are sold separately.

ILife A10 ($279.99 with coupon/$349.99 without): If setting no-go zones is important to you, then the A10 might be a good option. After it maps your house, you can set up virtual barriers in the app. This model also does an outstanding job of cleaning hardwood and carpet. But, there are plenty of cons: The A10 barely picked up any flour in carpeted corners, it runs loudly, and it gets stuck easily.

Proscenic M7 Pro ($479): I enjoy the automation afforded by self-empty charging docks, and the M7 Pro has one that works well. You can also set no-go zones in the app. Plus, the vac didn’t get stuck easily and performed well on carpeting and hard flooring. Yet, it had trouble cleaning corners and was loud. Plus, with a height of four inches, it doesn’t fit under low-clearance furniture.

Moosoo R3 ($249.99 with coupon/$299.99 without): If you mainly have hardwood flooring, the Moosoo R3 may be a smart choice for you, especially if you can get it on sale. It performed excellent on hardwood in our tests, ran quietly, and you can set no-go zones in the app. The vac did well on carpeting too, but it had trouble cleaning corners. And, it got stuck easily.

Proscenic 850T ($209 with coupon/$239 without): When it comes to cleaning hard flooring, the 850T is outstanding. It picked up almost all of the debris on hardwood in our testing, got deep into the corners, and got all of the grounds, hair, and litter on the carpet. However, it left 20% of the flour behind, got stuck easily, and runs loudly. Plus, in my long-term testing, the vac regularly disconnected from the app and required my attention to run on schedule.

Roborock S4 ($339.99): There’s a lot to like about the Roborock S4. However, the main reasons it didn’t make our top picks are because it’s loud, doesn’t come with many extras, and at 3.75 inches high, it doesn’t fit under low-clearance furniture. It’s pretty similar to our top pick, the S6, but lacks many of the features, such as a mop attachment. However, the S4 was excellent on carpeting, hardwood, and in corners, and it rarely got stuck. This is a more affordable alternative to the S6 if you’re not interested in a mop attachment. 

Roborock S6 MaxV ($699.99): For the most part, Roborock is doing a terrific job in the robot vac space. We recommend the S6 MaxV because of its excellent performance in our carpeting, hardwood, and corner tests. It also has video surveillance and a two-way microphone if you’re looking for additional home security, no-go zones, and a useful app. But it has the same large dimensions as the S4 and it kept getting stuck on the one-inch lip leading into the kitchen of our testing course. It isn’t as loud as the S4, but louder than others we’ve tested. 

iRobot Roomba i7+ ($799.99): The Roomba i7+ was the first robot vacuum to feature an automatic dirt disposal charging dock. Since then, iRobot has introduced two other models that improve upon the i7+. Though this Roomba has great high-end features, its performance doesn’t justify its price. It only did a satisfactory job on carpeting and hardwood, and it got stuck fairly often. If you find the i7+ on sale, we recommend picking it up. Otherwise, consider the s9+ or i3+ instead. Read our full review.

Eufy RoboVac G30 Edge ($239.99): Eufy usually makes more affordable robot vacuums, so at this price, the G30 Edge is considered the company’s top-end model. The variety of extras — no-go zone strips, a user-friendly app, and Alexa and Google Home compatibility — make it worth the price, but you’ll have to compromise some power. It performed poorly on carpeting and in corners during our testing, and it was in the middle of the pack on hardwood. Despite the underwhelming performance, it remains a good value for the price.

Eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 11S ($149.99): This model didn’t perform as well as the RoboVac 15C Max, doesn’t have the same Wi-Fi connectivity, and can’t be paired with an app. It’s a good basic vacuum that does well on carpeting — which is surprising since it didn’t perform well on hardwood floors or in corners. You can often find it on sale for under $200, which we recommend grabbing if you’re in the market for a more affordable robot vac. Read our full review.

What we don’t recommend and why

Eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 11S ($149.99): At one time, the RoboVac 11S was our budget pick, but after putting it through our testing alongside other affordable options, we no longer recommend it. The 11S doesn’t have Wi-Fi connectivity, which has become standard in the industry at every price point. The vac performed well on carpeting but left a lot of debris behind on hardwood and in corners. You’d be much better off with the Moosoo MT-720. Read our full review.

Proscenic M6 Pro ($299 with coupon/$369 without): After testing two other Proscenic models that I recommend, I was surprised by how poorly the M6 Pro cleans. It left significant debris behind on carpeting, hard flooring, and in corners. The vac also got stuck easily and ran loudly. Plus, the app is slow to respond to finger taps and commands. 

Yeedi K650 ($129.99 with coupon/$149.99 without): The attractive price doesn’t make up for the fact that the Yeedi K650 does a poor job cleaning any surface. It also gets stuck often, is noisy, and doesn’t have many of the features we like, such as the ability to set no-go zones.

iRobot Roomba e5 ($299.99): This appears to be iRobot’s attempt to make a budget Roomba, but it’s the worst-performing Roomba I’ve come across in my years of testing. It didn’t come with any extras – not even an additional filter. You can schedule it easily in the app and it’s compatible with Alexa and Google Home, but you have to buy virtual wall barriers separately. Also, it gets stuck easily and doesn’t clean well on hardwood.  

Neato Botvac D7 Connected ($479.99): We’re dropping the Neato Botvac D7 Connected from our guide this time around because it’s relatively big, got stuck about half the time during our original testing, and it only comes with two extra filters and a magnetic barrier, which isn’t necessary since you can set no-go zones in the app. We think there are more affordable alternatives that perform better and are more feature-rich in our guide. Read our full review.

Eufy RoboVac 11S Max ($249.99): The 11S Max is an update to the 11S, but we feel the original 11S is better. Ultimately though, if you’re spending this much, the 15C Max performed much better in our testing. The 11S Max did poorly on carpeting, hardwood, and in corners. It also relies on a remote controller rather than app connectivity, which means you need to turn to and keep track of another device.

Roborock E35 ($349.99): At one point, we recommended the E35 as a good robot vac at this price, but since then, we have tested several others in this price range that outperform and have better features. The E35 doesn’t do well with hardwood or corners and is big and loud. Read our full review.

Roborock S5 Max ($549.99): The S5 Max is loud, big, and it did poorly in corners and on carpeting in our tests. 

Our methodology

Best Robot Vacuums 2021

I’ve been reviewing vacuums for the past few years, writing numerous buying guides and reviews, so I leaned on my background when developing our testing methodology. I also consulted three experts and took their advice and expertise into consideration — Dr. Luis Javier Peña-Hernández, a lung and sleep health specialist at the Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Disorders Institute of South Florida; Andrea Ferro, Ph.D., a professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Clarkson University and the current president of the American Association for Aerosol Research; and Jill Notini, the Vice President of Communication and Marketing for the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers.

In addition to using each robot vacuum daily for at least several weeks, I tested each one for its suction on various types of flooring including corners, ability to maneuver around obstacles, noise, and special features. Our testing methodology has gotten more comprehensive over the years, so for any models that I’d previously tested but didn’t have the vacuums on hand anymore, I extrapolated the data as best as possible based on previous testing and manufacturer info. Those vacuums are the iRobot Roomba i7+, Neato Botvac D7 Connected, Eufy 11S Max and 15C Max, and Roborock S4, S6, and E35. 

Here are the main attributes we look for and how we test them

Size: I note the specs of the overall unit, main brush, and side brushes. This gives me an idea of how well a vacuum can clean floors and carpet — the larger the brushes, the more they can usually sweep up. The main brushes are often somewhere between 5 to 10 inches long and side brushes are usually 2 to 3 inches long. Of the vacs I’ve tested, only Roomba models have two main brushes; others just have one. I’ve noticed that longer brushes tend to facilitate faster cleaning. If this appeals to you, consider a unit with a longer brush, such as the Roomba s9+.

Carpet cleaning: I poured a tablespoon each of flour, coffee grounds, and kitty litter on 18-inch-square sections of carpeting. To make sure I had enough pet hair, I also collected pet hairs from my rat terrier and two cats to place on carpeting. I ran the vacuum on its most powerful mode for two cleaning cycles and compared before-and-after photos to estimate the percentage of each material picked up or left behind.

Hardwood floor cleaning: This is the same test as the carpet cleaning test, but on hardwood flooring.

Corner cleaning: To test corner cleaning abilities, I poured a teaspoon of flour in an approximately four-inch-radius in a corner on hardwood and carpeting. I took pictures of the messes before and after running the robot vac for two cleaning cycles to compare how much flour was left over. I also measured how close to the corner the vac was able to reach.

Obstacle avoidance: You don’t want your robot vac to get stuck while it’s cleaning or when it’s returning to its charging dock, both of which force you to hunt it down while it’s sending you notifications or making annoying error sounds. I tested the vacuum in an approximately 500-square-foot room with several obstacles, including stairs, a one-inch threshold to a kitchen, and a table with chairs.

Loudness: I used a sound meter to measure the decibel output of each of the robot vacuums from 12 inches away as they ran on the highest and lowest settings. For vacuums I no longer had in my possession for testing, I relied on manufactures’ info and my previous notes. 

Brushes: I noted the lengths of the main and side brushes as they’ll likely indicate performance in our cleaning tests.

Robot vacuums work using a combination of suction and brushes. There are two types of brushes on a robot vacuums: the side brush and the main brush. Units have either one or two side brushes that are about three inches in diameter and protrude from the forward portion of the vac. They move in a circular motion, get into corners, and feed debris to the main brush. There appears to be little difference in the performance of vacuums with two side brushes versus those with one.

The main brush is between five and ten inches long, located under the unit, and is made of a rubber-like material. The vacuum sucks debris into the main brush which spins to feed the materials into the dustbin. Of the vacs I’ve tested, only Roomba models have two main brushes. Other models just have one. I’ve noticed that longer brushes tend to facilitate faster cleaning. If this appeals to you, consider a unit with a longer brush, such as the Roomba s9+.

Extras: I note if the vacuums included extras such as filters and side brush replacements, mop attachments, a cleaning tool, and more.   

Special features: All of the vacuums featured some method for scheduling and returning to their charging dock on their own, so those weren’t useful differentiators. Auto-dirt disposal, voice control, and home surveillance aren’t universal, so you may want to consider if those are important. (There’s more information on those and other features here.)

What we’re testing next

LG CordZero
Amazon

We’re constantly testing new vacuums to update our guide. Below are a few models we are currently testing or will be testing soon:

LG CordZero ThinQ ($1,199.99): Whereas most robot vacuums are good for daily light cleanings, LG bills this CordZero ThinQ as “powerful enough to be your primary vacuum.” The vac has an inverter motor that adjusts to the debris levels and a large main brush that picks up more on the first pass. It also has cameras for obstacle detection and avoidance and home surveillance. The biggest negatives appear to be the expensive price and the 5.6-inch height, which may keep it from fitting under furniture.

Samsung JetBot 90 AI+ (price not yet available): Samsung just announced the release of an AI-based robot vac at the 2021 CES trade show and we’re looking forward to testing its smart-learning capabilities to avoid obstacles. It also has cameras and can be connected to the brand’s SmartThings hub for another layer of home security. 

Samsung Electronics R7040 ($312.94): The R7040 was in a previous version of our guide based on positive reviews by other sites, but we weren’t able to get a unit in time to test in this round. We’re looking forward to seeing how its unique flat front-edge design works in corners.

Trifo Lucy ($699.99): In addition to powerful suction and an outstanding app, Lucy has HDR video, a two-way microphone, and the ability to detect noise and people in your home as part of a home security set up. I’m interested to test its vacuuming abilities alongside the home security features.

Why we don’t measure Pascal Pressure Unit

Best Robot Vacuums 2021

A robot vacuum’s suction power is measured in Pascal (Pa). Generally speaking, the higher the Pa, the better, but that’s a misleading metric of comparison. 

When I talked to engineers at iRobot about a year ago, they told me that there are several ways to measure suction power, but there are no industry standards. They viewed the reported Pa measurements as essentially useless, hence why it’s nearly impossible to find suction power for iRobot vacs. It’s also difficult to find the Pa for Ecovacs, though Eufy and Roborock report the measurements for their models.

Due to the inconsistent reporting from manufacturer s, we don’t include Pa as a part of our testing methodology and criteria.

How to shop for a robot vacuum

Best Robot Vacuums 2021

While using a robot vacuum is easy enough, shopping for one can be overwhelming. Here are the main aspects to look for when considering which one to buy. 

Size: If you have furniture that’s hard to move or low-clearance pieces like sofas or bed frames, you’ll want to pay attention to the height of a robot vacuum; the other dimensions are usually within the range of reason for a normal household. For example, I have several radiators in my house with a 3.5-inch clearance that slim vacuums can get under, while just-slim-enough models sometimes get stuck, and too-thick models bump up against and go elsewhere. If you want your robot vacuum to get under your low-clearance furniture, make sure you choose a model that is slim enough to do so. 

Features: It’s important to think about what features you actually need. For instance, if you work from home and are rarely away, HD cameras aren’t useful since you can keep tabs on your home with your own eyes. If your floors are covered with carpet, you don’t need your robot vac to mop. I also almost never use voice control out of personal habit, but if you use Alexa or Google Assistant for everything, then compatibility with those services is a must.

Extras: You can easily purchase extra filters or brushes for robot vacs, but we think having them included with the unit is better. All of our top picks include useful extras like brushes or dirt disposal bags.

Price: Robot vacuums go on sale often, and the discounts are steepest during Amazon Prime Day, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. We expect most of the models we recommend in this guide to go on sale so it pays to wait until those sale days.

How to use a robot vacuum

Best Robot Vacuums 2021

Robot vacuums make keeping your house clean easier, but there’s still some regular maintenance needed to improve the performance and longevity as well as help your indoor air quality. 

Run your robot vac when no one is around: Andrea Ferro, Ph.D., a professor at Clarkson University and president of AAAR, and Dr. Luis Javier Peña-Hernández, a lung and sleep health specialist at PCSI, both recommend running your robot vacuum in unoccupied areas. The robot vacs can kick dust, pollutants, and microbes back into the air as it vacuums floors, which can lead to subpar indoor air quality. “Every vacuum, including a robot vacuum, has the potential to release some dust, particles, and allergens back into the air, but the benefits still outweigh the risks,” said Peña-Hernández. 

And run it regularly: Ferro and Peña-Hernández agree that you should run your robot vac at least once per week and more if you have pets and heavy-traffic areas. Ferro even suggests that daily cleaning isn’t a bad idea. I generally set my vacuums to run in the early morning before I wake up or when the level of my house where the vacuum is running will be unoccupied, especially since I live in a large house with three pets and no HVAC system.

Clean the dustbin and filter: If you’re regularly vacuuming your space, you’ll need to make sure to empty the dustbin and clean the filter. According to Peña-Hernández, you should clean the vacuum’s filter at least once a week, or twice a week if you have a pet.  

You’ll also need to replace the filter and brushes every few months. Manufacturers usually give guidelines in the vac’s user manual on how often you should replace these components, but a good sign that it’s time to replace your filters or brushes is if they appear to be damaged or if your vac just isn’t doing as good of a job of cleaning as it once did. 

Fortunately, many models come with extra filters and brushes, but eventually, you’ll have to purchase replacements. Manufacturers usually link to their parts store in your robot vac’s app, but you can also usually find parts on Amazon so it’s worth shopping around. Just make sure that you are buying the right parts for your model.

Use it in addition to a traditional vacuum:  Despite how far robot vacuums have come in the last decade, they won’t replace your stick and upright vacuums anytime soon.

FAQs

Do you still need another vacuum if you have a robot vac?

While the dream is to set your robot vacuum on a schedule and have it do all the floor cleaning for you, it’s just not the reality at the moment. Robot vacuums don’t clean as much dirt and debris as upright vacuums. “I think you’d still need a stick or upright vacuum for spots that the robot vac can’t reach,” Ferro said.

Robot vacs function best as maintenance cleaners. Having them run a couple times a week will make your floors less gunky, especially if you have pets. But these vacuums also need babysitting. You need to clear their path of anything that might get tangled in their wheels, and some have trouble getting into or out of tight spaces. Their bins are fairly small, so you’ll need to empty them more regularly than an upright or stick version. 

Even squarish robot vacuums — as opposed to round ones — aren’t perfect at getting into corners. Some are too tall to fit under certain types of furniture. They obviously avoid stairs, too. Upright vacuums typically come with attachments that are useful for cleaning things like drapes or furniture, which robot vacs can’t handle. 

“Research indicates that robot vacuums are not meant to replace upright vacuums,” Peña-Hernández said. “That likely has to do with their smaller motor size. They’re good for touch-ups and in-between uses.”

When it comes to robot vacuums, expect maintenance not miracles.


How have robot vacuum cleaners improved?

Since iRobot’s first Roomba came on the market in the early 2000s, robot vacuum technology has improved a lot. You can now find square-ish models in addition to round ones, and the mapping technology is much better. 

Cameras and optical sensors can help with obstacle recognition, and LiDAR-based navigation uses lasers to detect objects. These capabilities aren’t perfect, but vacuums are now more adept at finding their way back to charging docks than they were even a few years ago. Another new feature is self-emptying bins, which suck the debris out of the robot and into a canister in the charging dock. 

Many robot vacuums are now smart, letting you start a cleaning session from an app or by asking a smart speaker. Some, like Roborock S6 Robot Vacuum, let you block off entire rooms in an app, so you don’t have to worry about them getting stuck on your kid’s clothing piles. With cameras and connectivity come some privacy concerns. 

Some interesting features aren’t universal, such as auto-dirt disposal and home surveillance. To get more guidance on these features, I spoke with Jill Notini, Vice President of Communications and Marketing for AHAM.

A few of the new features she’s excited about — and that are found in many if not all of the models in our guide — include:

  • Advanced navigation: “Many of today’s models have the ability to map a home and remember how to get around objects and stay out of tough spots. You can also program the robots to vacuum specific areas of the home.” You can also set no-go zones that the vacuum should avoid on your phone via the app.
  • Mopping ability: “Robots are evolving into floor care multitaskers,” said Notini. “In addition to vacuuming, some models now have the ability to mop, both wet and dry.”
  • Voice control: “Robotic vacuums can now respond to voice commands, either directly or through an outside system like Amazon Alexa.”
  • Remote operation: “You can start, stop, or control your robotic vacuum with your mobile device.”
  • Cameras: “Cameras have been incorporated into some models to help the robot map the room and allow you to get a robot’s eye view of cleaning and keep an eye on your house while you’re away.”
  • Fall prevention: “Even with all of the new features and technological advances, robotic vacuums still have not gained the ability to climb stairs. Many models now utilize sensors to prevent themselves from taking a tumble down the stairs or off a higher level.” All of the robots in our testing were able to sense cliffs and avoid falling down stairs.
  • Automatic dirt disposal: One of the most useful features that’s becoming more ubiquitous is the charging dock that automatically empties the vacuum’s dustbin. Even the largest bins need to be emptied with regular use so it’s a maintenance task you’ll need to perform once a week — at best. But with the self-emptying dock, the chore is no longer necessary. You just throw away and replace the disposable dirt bag every month or two.

Can a robot vacuum prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus?

The novel coronavirus is most easily spread through face-to-face interactions and in close quarters, and if someone in your household has been sick — even if it’s not with COVID-19 — it’s recommended to clean and disinfect the area.  

“Currently the CDC recommends that we take precautionary measures for vacuuming during the COVID-19 outbreak although there are no reported cases of COVID-19 associated with vacuuming,” Peña-Hernández said. “It recommends using a vacuum with a HEPA filter, opening outside doors and windows to increase air circulation, and not vacuuming areas with people in it.” 


How do you clean a robot vac?

Though robot vacuums automate cleaning your floors, they are not completely hands-off. There are several care and maintenance steps you should take to ensure your vac operates properly for many years to come. Manufacturers provide clear instructions for how to clean and maintain your robot vacuum in the user manual or app. 

Here are some general maintenance tasks:

  • Empty the dustbin: Depending on how dirty your home is, you will want to empty your robot vacuum’s dustbin after every use. If you run your vac on a daily basis and don’t have pets, you can get away with doing this chore once a week.
  • Clean the filter and dustbin: This is a weekly task. Cleaning the filter is important because the vacuum doesn’t clean as well when the filter is dirty. Most models’ filter and dustbin can be cleaned with water. I usually clean and thoroughly dry the dustbin while letting the filter air dry. While the filter is air drying, I insert the extra filter that most units come with. Whatever you do, make sure the filter and dustbin dry completely before you use them again.
  • Clean front wheel, brushes, sensors, and charging contacts: You should do this every two to four weeks. Most robot vacuums come with a cleaning tool with a brush on one end and a cutting blade on the other. Use these to cut out hairs that are wrapped around the brushes and wheel and to brush away debris. Use a soft dry cloth to dust the sensors and charging contacts per the manufacturer’s instructions.

Additionally, after about two months of use, it’s time to replace the filter. The front caster wheel and brushes — both the main brush and side brushes — should be replaced every year or so.


Can you fix a robot vac?

This depends entirely on the problem. In my years of testing robot vacuums, I’ve probably ran into every problem a robot vacuum can experience: falling down stairs (surprisingly uncommon), running through pet accidents, attempts at taking up crocheting, etc. I’ve learned that these machines are resilient. 

That said, any attempt to fix a problem with your robot vacuum should start with consulting customer service. After I determined there was no chance I could clean the pet waste off my robot vacuum, I reached out to the manufacturer. And, even though the warranty specifically states these accidents aren’t covered, they still provided me with a replacement unit for free. 

The most common problem I face is the vacuum finding my wife’s yarn and wrapping it around its wheels and brushes. When this happens, you can usually work the thread free if you’re patient. I usually just cut it free. 

Check out our guides to more great vacuum cleaners

best cordless vacuum 2021 dyson v11 outsize vacuum review

The best vacuum


The best affordable vacuum cleaners


The best cordless vacuums

Read the original article on Business Insider

The best Dyson vacuum deals happening now, including $100 off the Dyson V11 and Dyson Ball Animal 2

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

best vacuum 2021 Dyson V11
  • Dyson vacuums are popular because of their impressive performance and convenience.
  • However, the above-average price makes them out-of-reach for most consumers. We see sales on these much-sought-after devices regularly.

Well-designed, super-convenient, and easy-to-use, it’s no wonder why Dyson vacuums are some of the most sought-after products in the home space. In fact, Dyson vacuums routinely rank among our favorites. 

For instance, we consider the Dyson Cyclone V10 to be the best cordless vacuum you could own and The Dyson Ball Animal 2 to be the best overall vacuum to tackle pet hair. Dyson’s offerings aren’t limited to just vacuums either, the home appliance company also makes highly-rated fans and hairdryers as well. 

However, Dyson’s higher-than-average price can often be a significant barrier for most shoppers. Luckily, these vacuums regularly see discounts. Right now, you can get up to $100 off select models from Dyson’s online storefront.

These are the best Dyson deals happening right now

V11 Outsize Cordless Vacuum (medium, Preferred: Dyson)V11 Torque Drive Vacuum (medium, Preferred: Dyson)V7 Motorhead Cordless Vacuum (medium, Preferred: Dyson)Ball Animal 2 (medium, Preferred: Dyson)

Read the original article on Business Insider

The best vacuum cleaners in 2021

  • No matter what kind of flooring or carpet you have, you need a good vacuum cleaner to keep them tidy.
  • We like vacuums from Dyson, Shark, and Roborock for their strong suction and long battery life.
  • Read more: The best robot vacuums 

Depending on how you feel about it, vacuuming can be the most dreaded chore of all, or a therapeutic ridding of all that dust, dirt, and whatever else might be hiding on and within your floors and carpets.

We’ve tested plenty of vacuum cleaners over the years, and we have written several in-depth guides focused on everything from the best robot vacuums and the best affordable vacuums to the best vacuums for pet hair and the best cordless vacuums. But here, we have our top picks from each of these respective guides for an easily digestible look at the best of the best.

Apart from our testing, we’ve also spoken with experts during our research phases, including former Dyson Optimization Manager and engineer Edward Chudleigh about some common vacuum cleaner pitfalls and how to shop for a reliable appliance, which can be found here.

A good vacuum cleaner should have no trouble tackling both carpeting and hardwood, and the best ones we’ve tested can automatically detect the difference between the two and adjust their suction accordingly. Ease of use, cleaning, and maintenance are all important too – in fact, one of the most common losses of suction in a vacuum is a clogged filter or airway.

Whether you’re more of a set-it-and-forget-it robot vacuum type or you prefer to do it yourself with the ease and mobility of a cordless vacuum, or somewhere in between, you’ll find what you need below.

The best vacuum cleaners in 2021

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

 

The best cordless vacuum

best vacuum 2021 dyson v11 outsize vacuum review

With a bin that’s 150% larger than the previous model, strong suction power, and a two-hour battery life, the Dyson V11 Outsize is made for cleaning large homes with ease and efficiency.

Pros: Lightweight, very powerful for a cordless vacuum, stores almost anywhere, long battery life for a cordless vacuum, large dust bin, easily reaches under furniture

Cons: Very expensive, batteries aren’t removable, heaviest of Dyson’s cordless vacuums

Cordless, compact, battery-powered “stick” vacuums are ideal for homes and apartments where space is precious. They’re slim, lightweight, and easy to store, but in the past, we’ve hesitated to recommend them to folks with larger homes due to limited battery life.

But the Dyson V11 Outsize solves this issue by improving its battery life to up to 120 minutes, and it complements the longer run time with a full-size dust bin and large cleaning head. Collectively, the Insider Reviews team has tested a host of cordless vacuums, and senior editor Jada Wong and senior reporter Connie Chen both agree that the Dyson V11 Outsize has impressed us the most.

“The V11 Outsize has all the features you could want in a high-tech vacuum: it’s big and efficient, but it still looks sleek, and it can get into low, tough-to-reach areas. Outside of the core cleaning task, it’s easy to empty, maintain, and store. If you want to invest in an effective cordless vacuum, I can’t imagine a better choice,” said Chen.

If you’re not ready to financially commit to the V11, Dyson’s other cordless models including the V8 and V10 are still excellent performers that will suit you well, especially if you have a smaller home.

Read our full review of the Dyson V11 Outsize.

Read our full guide to the best cordless vacuums.

The best on a budget

best vacuum 2021 sharkvac

The Shark Navigator Lift-Away offers solid performance, a useful set of tools, and best of all, a reasonable price tag.

Pros: Low price, superior performance, five-year warranty, lift-off canister and hose

Cons: The hose is a bit short at five feet, the electric cord is also relatively short at 25 feet (but an extension cord will fix that)

A canister vacuum offers powerful suction and versatility while an upright vacuum offers the convenience of easy navigation. The Shark Navigator Lift-Away offers the best of both worlds and its versatility has earned it the top spot in our guide to the best budget vacuum cleaners. It easily operates like an upright vacuum, but when you need to get under low furniture, vacuum the stairs, or even clear high cobwebs from your ceiling, the canister lifts off the base and becomes a much more portable machine.

The hose allows you to reach into tight places and anywhere the broad brush head won’t go, though it’s a bit short at just five feet, so you’ll have to carry the canister with you as you clean. Hose attachments include an eight-inch upholstery tool and two different crevice tools.

The vacuum cleaner has two settings, one for hardwood and one for carpet, which activates the brush roll. The bagless dust bin is quite large at 2.2 quarts and is sealed with a HEPA filter — a requirement of a good vacuum these days — to ensure airborne allergens don’t escape.

While a budget vacuum may not have the longevity offered by some of the more expensive models on the market, Shark offers a five-year limited warranty which all but guarantees you’ll get your money’s worth out of the machine. The filters are also easy to clean, so you’ll be able to maintain your machine’s suction.

Read our full guide to the best affordable vacuum cleaners.

The best for pet hair

best vacuum 2021 Dyson Ball Animal 2 Upright

The Dyson Ball Animal 2 prioritizes maneuverability, but the tangle-free brush setup is really what sets this machine apart for pet owners.

Pros: Powerful suction, great maneuverability, keeps dust and allergens in the machine, tangle-free turbine tool gets into tight spaces

Cons: Rollerball prevents you from getting under furniture, heavy, power cord does not retract

A vacuum specialized for pet hair should boast an easy-to-clean brush head, HEPA filtration to lock in allergens, and a removable hose with an upholstery attachment so you can suck up pet hair wherever it happens to land. The Dyson Ball Animal 2 checks all the boxes.

This upright vacuum easily handles both hardwood and carpet — with a rotating brush head that gets deep into area rugs and low-pile carpet very well. The self-adjusting head helps the vacuum create a tight seal against any type of flooring for a better clean.

The large-capacity bagless dustbin is sealed with a HEPA filter, locking in dust, hair, and pet dander. To empty it, simply lift it off the base and press a button on the canister handle to release the bottom and let the dust fall out. The filter is easily removable and washable.

Where the Ball Animal 2 really stands out is in its wand attachments. Not only does it come with a combination brush for hard to reach places and a specialized stair tool, but it also comes with its unique tangle-free turbine tool specifically formulated for pet hair. Chudleigh actually had a hand in developing the design, though we had already selected the vacuum as among the best before we ever reached out to him for this guide. The tool features counter-rotating spinner brushes which sucks up hair without giving it the chance to get tangled. It’s great for furniture, curtains, pet beds, and any other fabric you need to detail.

The Ball Animal 2 has a couple of downsides, the largest of which is that the roller ball makes it difficult to fit under furniture. When pet hair floats around the house and settles in hard-to-reach places like under the couch, the Dyson might have trouble getting there. The wand will be helpful, but you won’t get as thorough a clean you would with the brush head. It’s also a heavy machine at 17.5 pounds.

But overall, the powerful suction, tangle-free brush tool, and deep-cleaning spinning brush head make this the best overall pick in our guide to the best vacuums for pet hair. If you’re looking for other options in this category, check out our full guide here.

Read our full guide to the best vacuums for pet hair.

The best robot vacuum

best vacuum 2021 Roborock S6

The Roborock S6 has excellent suction power, runs quietly, is easily programmable, and comes with a bunch of extras that make cleaning up cat hair, cereal, and dust a breeze.

Pros: Excellent suction, works with Amazon Alexa, extra attachments, mopping capabilities, quiet, one-year warranty

Cons: Loud when on the highest setting, too tall to clean under some furniture

Insider Reviews’ James Brains has tested more than 16 robot vacuums, putting them through rigorous tests to see how well they pick up coffee grounds, cat litter, flour, and pet hair on both carpet and hardwood floors, and the Roborock S6 tops the list. 

Not only does it handle both hardwood and carpeted flooring with ease, but it also gets deepest into the corners of any robot vacuum we tested. It also did a good job navigating its cleaning paths, getting stuck very infrequently.

The Roborock S6 is Alexa compatible and comes with an app that allows you to set your cleaning schedule, determine varying suction levels, and set no-go zones once the vacuum has had a chance to map out your space.

The S6 also comes with a mopping tank attachment that allows you to transform it from a robot vac to a robot mop. According to Brains, the mopping attachment works well and the tank can be set to disperse just enough water, so you won’t have to worry about accidental flooding.

His complaints were minimal and mainly centered around the higher profile of the S6 when compared to other robot vac models. It can be a tight fit under some low-profile furniture which can lead to it getting stuck.

Read our full review of the Roborock S6.

Read our full guide to the best robot vacuums.

What to look for in a good vacuum

Like any home appliance, there are certain things to watch out for as you shop, certain boxes you should be sure to tick, and a good amount of homework to do before making a decision. Edward Chudleigh, a former Dyson engineer of 11 years, walked us through some of the common pitfalls of vacuum cleaners and how to shop for the best machine for your needs.

Here are some more specifics to look for:

A brushless motor: A vacuum’s motor is, of course, what powers the mechanism, ultimately providing suction and ensuring a clean home. Motors fall into two categories: brushed and brushless. Chudleigh recommends sticking to brushless motors: “Brushless motors are very efficient and translate much more of the available power from the battery to cleaning the floor. The trouble with brushed motors is that there is more friction in the system which in turn eats some of the battery power and, amongst other things, makes the machine less efficient.” He said brushes can also wear down over time and may emit carbon pollution into the air. Both Dyson models and the Roborock we recommend use brushless motors, but we were unable to determine what type of motor the Shark uses.

A well-designed brush head: “It’s all good having efficient motors and batteries, however this only works with a well-designed pick-up head,” said Chudleigh, who was involved in developing Dyson’s Tangle-Free Turbine Tool — a key feature in our recommendation for the best vacuum for pet hair. A well-designed brush head ensures the dirt and dust on your floor is actually making its way into your vacuum. You can see a good example of how we test vacuum pick-up in our guide to the best robot vacuums.

A bagless design: “Bagless every time,” said Chudleigh. Vacuum bags have tiny holes that allow air to pass through them and act almost like a filter, trapping dust and dirt. But over time, those tiny holes get clogged. “The suction of the vacuum then decreases as more holes get blocked. It’s essentially like strangling a vacuum cleaner,” said Chudleigh. Bagless designs employ a cyclonic system that “spins the particles out of the airflow” allowing clean air to pass through the motor without clogging anything or impeding suction. All of the vacuums we recommend are bagless.

A lightweight machine: This one’s pretty simple. You’d want a vacuum somewhere around 10 to 15 pounds that you can easily carry around your home, up and down flights of stairs, and even out to your car.  

A strong warranty: Chudleigh said that the most common parts that fail in vacuums are hoses and batteries, so ensure the warranty on any vacuum you buy has a suitable guarantee to replace those parts should issues come up. He also recommends you look for a good money-back guarantee that ensures you can return that machine for any reason if you’re unhappy with its performance.

Types of vacuum cleaners

Robot vacuum: A robot vacuum is an autonomous vacuum cleaner that roams around your house with no effort on your part aside from maybe setting a scheduled cleaning time or freeing it when it gets tangled in a power cord or stuck behind a piece of furniture. They’re not as powerful as other types of vacuum cleaners and need to be emptied regularly, but they can’t be beaten when it comes to convenience.

Canister vacuum: A canister vacuum has its motor and dust bin in a standalone canister with the brush head attached by a long suction hose. The canister is usually on wheels, and it follows you around a bit like a lost puppy. Canister vacuums are known for their superior power and excellent suction, but they don’t offer much versatility and are particularly difficult to move around the house given that you’re tethered to a separate piece that you have to tote around with you.

Upright vacuum: An upright vacuum is what you likely picture when asked to imagine a vacuum — if you’re in the US, that is. (If you’re in the UK, you’ll likely picture a canister vacuum.) Unlike canister vacuums, upright vacuums have the motor, dustbin, and head all aligned in one package. The vacuum stands upright on its own and the body of the machine tilts back when you need to vacuum. Upright vacuums balance power and versatility, but can still be clunky to operate in some cases. They are often equipped with a removable hose to reach places the main brush head can’t go.

Stick vacuum: Stick vacuums prevail when it comes to convenience and portability, but they often do so by sacrificing power. Often rechargeable and cordless, the batteries they’re equipped with simply can’t generate as much power as corded vacuums and they need to be recharged often. The dustbins are often smaller than upright or canister vacuums as well. But it’s the most lightweight category of vacuum, and a low profile makes it easy to slide under almost any furniture.

Handheld vacuum: Just like Jell-O became synonymous with gelatin desserts, so too did Black & Decker’s Dustbuster become synonymous with handheld vacuums. A handheld vacuum is ultra-compact and good for spot cleaning — think of a spilled box of cereal, stray kitty litter, or picking up dust after sweeping. You certainly won’t want to clean your whole house with one, but they’re good to have around for quick messes.

Vacuum parts

Head: This is the part of the vacuum that moves across your floor and picks up dirt and dust.

Brush roll: The brush roll is situated in the head of the vacuum and should be activated when cleaning carpet. It spins to help agitate the carpet pile to dislodge dust and dirt.

Dust bin: A canister on the main body of the vacuum where trapped dirt and dust is stored.

HEPA filter: A high-efficiency particulate air filter or HEPA filter must filter 99.97% of airborne particles in order to meet HEPA standards. Most high-quality vacuum cleaners contain HEPA filters. Many are washable and reusable and should be cleaned regularly.

Wand: Often featured on upright vacuums, wands detach from the main body to allow you to reach spots the head can’t go. They’re useful for cleaning stairs, corners, and upholstery.

Check out our other vacuum buying guides

best vacuum 2021 Bissel cordless vacuum
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Roborock’s top-of-the-line robot vacuum has powerful suction but its video surveillance is an expensive novelty – I’d wait for it to go on sale

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Roborock S6 MaxV   Product Photo 3.JPG

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Roborock may not be a household name yet, but the company makes some of the best robot vacuums in our buying guide. Since launching its first unit in 2016, Roborock has focused exclusively on robot vacuums but has added mopping capabilities and even home security features so they can be more useful than getting rid of dust.

The Roborock S6 MaxV is one of the brand’s latest models. It’s an update of the S6, the top pick in our guide. The improvements include stereo cameras that help it avoid common obstacles and provide HD surveillance footage, up to three hours of battery life, stronger 2500 Pa suction, and multi-floor mapping.

I tested the S6 MaxV for several months, and while I still prefer the S6, there are many reasons why others might want to choose the S6 MaxV instead. 

Specs

The robot vac is larger than most I’ve tested at 13.75 inches in diameter and 3.75 inches high, though this isn’t a big deal. It’s only a factor if the clearance between your furniture and the floor is less than four inches. In this situation, you can measure the clearance to ensure the vac will fit under furniture or at least won’t get stuck. Or if you can, push the furniture back a bit so the vacuum can do its work.

The main brush is 6.5 inches long and maintains direct contact with the surface it’s cleaning. The main brush is fed by one side brush at the front-right of the unit.

The 2500 Pa suction is impressive, but this number should be taken with a grain of salt since there isn’t a standardized way to measure suction in the robot vacuum industry. Still, during testing, the suction appears to translate to better cleaning – and extra noise (more on that in a bit).

The S6 MaxV comes with an additional HEPA filter, 458-milliliter dust bin, 297-ml water tank, mop attachment, mop cloth, and a pad that attaches to the charging dock to protect your floors from prolonged exposure to moisture. 

Set-up process

Setting up the S6 MaxV was a fast, seamless job that took about 10 minutes. First, I removed the packaging, plugged in the charging dock, and set the vacuum on the dock to charge. Even if you don’t charge it before your first cleaning session, the vacuum comes with 50% battery power you can use it right away. 

I spent the next five minutes installing and connecting the Roborock app. I created a schedule for the robot to run daily, which proved a little confusing since it’s unintuitively located in the “Timer” section of the menu.

Review of the Roborock S6 MaxV

I recently tested 16 robot vacuums for our guide, and the S6 MaxV consistently performed well in the battery of tests we put each model through. 

During testing, I poured a tablespoon each of kitty litter, coffee grounds, and flour, and some pet hair on separate 18-inch-square sections of carpeting and hardwood flooring. Next, I run the robot vac on its highest suction setting for two cleaning cycles, compare the before and after photos, and assess how much the unit picked up.

The Roborock S6 MaxV Test
I tested the Roborock S6 MaxV by seeing how much flour, coffee grinds, kitty litter, and pet hair it can pick up on hardwood floor and carpet.

The S6 MaxV picked up almost everything. On the carpeting, only about 5% of the flour was left after the cleaning cycles, and there were traces of coffee grounds and kitty litter. On the hardwood, about 5% of the flour and kitty litter were left behind, but the coffee grounds were gone. And, on both surfaces, there was no pet hair to be found after running the vac.

The S6 MaxV also did a good job of cleaning in corners. I sprinkled a teaspoon of flour in carpeted and hardwood corners to see how close the unit could get. On the carpeted corner, the S6 MaxV got within an inch and picked up 70% of the flour, which is excellent. The hardwood performance wasn’t as impressive, but it was still good – the vac came within 1.5 inches of the corner and picked up about 50% of the flour.

The Roborock S6 MaxV Corner Test
Before and after of how effective the S6 MaxV was in hardwood and carpeted corners.

One of the cool things about the S6 MaxV is that it features two HD cameras to help navigate around obstacles and offer remote viewing – as in, home surveillance. You can guide the vac using the joystick-like controller in the Roborock app. It worked smoothly and provided a clear picture. However, I didn’t find the feature particularly useful since we’re living through the novel coronavirus pandemic and have rarely left the house. Still, it might be a useful feature in the future if you’re away and want to check on your pets or make sure doors and windows are closed.

I usually don’t find the mopping function of many robot vacuums to be useful. It’s a pain to fill the water tank, set it up, and remember to remove it again. The hassle seems especially futile since most models aren’t able to scrub your floors for a deeper clean. However, the tank on the S6 MaxV is larger than most so I can go longer between refills. Like other robot mops, the S6 MaxV can also detect and avoid carpeting, and I can also set no-mop zones and adjust the water flow based on the room being cleaned. It’s a good option for regular, light cleaning, but I still occasionally needed to perform deep cleans. 

Cons to consider

I have a one-inch threshold between my living room and kitchen, and it’s the nemesis for the S6 MaxV. On some days, it can handle it without an issue. On others, I will get a notification from the app that it’s stuck on the lip. Most vacuums I’ve tested bump into the threshold and avoid the kitchen altogether. The S6 MaxV can at least clean the kitchen sometimes, but I’ve decided to make the threshold a no-go zone because I don’t like having to save the vac when it gets stuck. You may want to do the same if you have a threshold of similar thickness between rooms in your home.

In my testing of robot vacuums, I’ve noticed the strongest ones are also the loudest and this was the case with the S6 MaxV. On the quiet mode (which you can set in the app), my sound meter registered 63 decibels, which is louder than a normal conversation. On high suction, it was a bit louder at 67 decibels or almost as loud as a busy highway from 50 feet away. This won’t hurt your ears, but it may make it hard to watch TV or have a conversation in the same room as the vac. However, vacuums can resuspend dust into the air while cleaning, so if you have a sensitive nose, you shouldn’t be in the same room when it’s running anyway.

Roborock S6 MaxV   Product Photo 1.JPG

Should you buy it?

Since even budget robot vacs are still considered a luxury item and don’t tend to perform as well as your standard upright vac, I’d say at around $750, the S6 MaxV is mainly for people with expendable income or for techies who need to have the most high-tech gadgets available. This is the top-of-the-line model from one of the most respected names in the robot vacuum industry, but it does come at a high investment.

Though I appreciate the smart mopping options – no-mop zones and scheduling specific rooms – a robot pushing a damp cloth across your floor may only be minimally useful depending on your household. And while the cameras and surveillance features are a nice touch, I didn’t find them all that helpful beyond a fun novelty. However, if you’re looking to boost your home surveillance when you’re away and are in the market for a robot vacuum, then the S6 MaxV may be worth the cost.

If you have the luxury of time and can wait a bit, you’ll typically find excellent deals on robot vacuums especially during Amazon Prime Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and other big sales events.

What are your alternatives?

I tested more than 16 models to determine the best robot vacuums in our buying guide. If you’re interested in Roborock, pay particular attention to the Roborock S6, which is our top pick and usually costs about $100 less than the S6 MaxV when it’s not on sale. It’s the predecessor to the S6 MaxV so you lose the HD camera surveillance but it’s quieter and doesn’t get stuck as easily.

The bottom line

Despite these minor considerations, I was impressed with how well the Roborock S6 MaxV performed in our tests on hardwood floors and carpet and found the vac functioned as advertised.

Pros: Outstanding performance on carpeting and hardwood, mop capabilities, HD camera for remote video surveillance, useful app, cleans deep into corners

Cons: Loud, larger-than-average dimensions, constantly got stuck on a one-inch threshold during testing, video surveillance isn’t as useful if you’re home often

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Dyson’s newest vacuum is more powerful, convenient, and efficient than its predecessors, but I’d only recommend it for large homes

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dyson v11 outsize vacuum review 3

  • Dyson is well known for its powerful, convenient, and well-designed cordless vacuums, and its latest, the V11 Outsize, is the largest and most powerful yet. 
  • It features a large bin, a wide cleaning head, strong and adaptive suction power, and an LCD screen to tell you how much battery is left. 
  • Given its size, it’s best for cleaning large homes and you’ll be able to thoroughly clean each room without worrying about the battery running out, the bin filling up, or weak, ineffective power. 
  • Read more: The best vacuum
  • Sign up for Insider Reviews’ weekly newsletter for more buying advice and great deals.

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

Dyson has come out with another cordless vacuum, and this time, it’s even bigger and more powerful than its predecessor, the V11 Torque Drive vacuum.

Like all of Dyson’s vacuums, the new V11 Outsize cordless vacuum ($800, currently on sale for $700) is quite the investment. But if you find yourself spending way too much time cleaning your floors because your current vacuum isn’t powerful, large, or convenient enough, then the Dyson V11 Outsize could be the solution. 

After testing the V11 for five months, we’ve determined that the vacuum is best for large spaces and family homes. 

Design and specs: What the V11 Outsize looks and feels like 

Compared to traditional corded vacuums, the cordless V11 Outsize is sleek, slim, and not bulky. 

It’s about four feet long and weighs just under eight pounds, with a 12.5-inch wide cleaner head, LCD screen, and rechargeable battery. In addition to the standard cleaner head, it comes with five interchangeable tools for more specialized cleaning tasks and an extra battery pack that brings the total run time up to 120 minutes. 

It also comes with a docking station that you can mount to your wall for easy, organized storage. 

How to use the V11 Outsize 

Even if it’s your first time owning a Dyson cordless vacuum, the set-up and features are intuitive and pretty easy to grasp. After you’ve charged the device fully, click the components together and it’s ready to use. 

dyson v11 outsize vacuum review

You can choose from three different cleaning modes (Eco, Auto, Boost) by clicking the button on the LCD screen. This screen also tells you how much time is remaining on your vacuum’s battery. Eco mode uses the least battery, while Boost mode, for intensive cleaning on stubborn dirt, uses the most. Auto mode is the versatile and adaptive middle ground that automatically senses changes in floor types and adjusts suction power accordingly. 

To start cleaning, simply press down on the handle trigger and release it to stop the suction. My hands are on the smaller side so I sometimes found it tiring to hold the handle while clicking down, but the good news is that you don’t have to press the trigger all the way down in order for the suction to activate.

The cordless stick design and position of the bin are great because you can get under small, narrow spaces without rearranging your furniture. I could reach under my couches and even the oft-missed spot below my piano pedals, simply by bending down a bit and angling the vacuum appropriately.

Vacuuming is also much less cumbersome in the absence of cords. Even though many corded vacuums have admittedly long cords, it’s nice not to deal with tangles or the search for available outlets. I went from room to room, and downstairs to upstairs quickly, saving time and effort on the unpleasant chore. 

dyson v11 outsize vacuum review 2

As the name suggests, the most distinctive feature about the Outsize is its size.

It has a wide cleaner head to capture larger areas of dust and debris, plus a 0.5-gallon bin to store all that dust and make it possible to clean your entire house (multiple times) without stopping to empty the bin.

Senior editor Jada Wong also tested the vacuum and said, “Now that both my husband and I are home all the time, there’s been much more hair, dust, bits of random packaging, small food scraps on the floor, and clumps of soil from my indoor planting projects. We have a Dyson V10 and it’s great, but we have to change out the canister every week. The V11 Outsize has a bigger canister so we can vacuum and dump out the contents more like every few weeks instead, and we can vacuum our entire house in one go instead of stopping halfway. It’s more convenient and efficient for us, though it makes me worry about how lazy we truly are.” 

The bigger features of this model, combined with a powerful motor that spins at up to 125,000 rpm and a filtration system that traps 99.99% of particles, allow for a quick yet thorough cleaning job. 

With everyone in my family indoors most of the day and the increased foot traffic, weekly vacuuming has become even more imperative. The Outsize has been able to pick up all the hair, food crumbs, and dust in our two-story house without a problem, and on a single charge. Once I’ve conquered all the rooms, it’s easy (not to mention more hygienic) to empty the bin directly into the trash can without touching any of its contents. 

Just in case you have very large ground to cover, the Outsize comes with an additional battery pack that you can simply replace the dead one with once the time comes. However, of all the times I’ve used it, I haven’t needed to grab the extra battery pack yet. 

Cons of the V11 Outsize

The Outsize isn’t perfect, and that’s namely due to the extra weight, noise, and price tag. 

  • Weight: The V11 Outsize is the heaviest cordless stick vacuum from Dyson. The whole machine isn’t clunky, but if you spend a long time vacuuming, your hand could still get tired. I suspect it’s because of the bin position, which concentrates the weight on the top of the device and makes your body do more work in carrying it. Since this design is what lets you get into hard-to-reach areas, the weight isn’t the end of the world, but it’s something you should keep in mind. 
  • Noise: “When the vacuum is on the low setting, the noise is bearable. It’s low enough that I can keep the TV on and not worry that I’ll miss what’s being said, but not low enough that I’d want to vacuum our entire house in the morning. When it’s on max, it’s incredibly loud – I can’t hold a conversation and I wouldn’t dare vacuum unless it was the middle of the afternoon.” -Jada Wong, senior editor
  • Heat: “Like the V10, the V11’s battery is by the handle so it generates a lot of heat that gets shot out by the vents. I don’t notice it when I vacuum the floors in big sweeping motions but when I have to maneuver the vac for corners and crevices, I’ll get a shot of ventilated air on my face or hands. It’s a fleeting moment but uncomfortable nonetheless.” -Jada Wong, senior editor
  • Price: As the most recent launch with the most powerful features, the Outsize is certainly not cheap and it retails at $800. Should your budget allow for it and you need a great vacuum option right away, I think it’s worth the cost. However, if you don’t want to pay as much but still want the reliability and efficiency of a Dyson vacuum, I recommend either 1) waiting until a newer model arrives so the Outsize will drop in price, 2) checking out current Dyson deals (the biggest discounts happen around Black Friday and Cyber Monday), or 3) checking out older models, which are usually a bit lighter and less powerful, with less battery per charge. If you want an older model, here’s a quick comparison of the Outsize and the Torque Drive, which is also part of the V11 line. 

Dyson V11 Torque Drive vs. V11 Outsize: Which vacuum should you get? 

Up until now, I’ve been using the V11 Torque Drive (currently $700), so I can compare the two directly.

After testing the two, I would suggest getting the Outsize if you live in a large, suburban family home with many different types of cleaning surfaces. The larger bin, wider cleaning head, and stronger power are perfect for the big cleaning task. Meanwhile, the Torque Drive is better for smaller spaces, such as my small four-person, one-story apartment in Brooklyn.

The Torque Drive is the only other Dyson cordless vacuum that also has an LCD screen. It also features three different cleaning modes, thorough filtration, strong suction power, and a great battery. 

The bottom line

I love using the V11 Outsize to clean my house, but I don’t think it’s for everyone.

You’ll be perfectly fine with an earlier model in the V11 line if you don’t have a large home or you don’t mind recharging your device once a week or so if you’re on a cleaning schedule. You can even get a non-V11 vacuum if you don’t care for the LCD screen that tells you how much battery is left, like a V10.

All in all, however, the V11 Outsize has all the features you could want in a high-tech vacuum: it’s big and efficient, but it still looks sleek, and it can get into low, tough-to-reach areas. Outside of the core cleaning task, it’s easy to empty, maintain, and store. If you want to invest in an effective cordless vacuum, I can’t imagine a better choice. 

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