The Best Robot Vacuums for Every Surface: Hardwood, Tile, & Carpet
The Roomba and other robot vacuums help busy households keep their floors clean. They can be very helpful for families, or anyone who wants their floors swept daily but has long work hours or other challenges to getting it done.
But the prices? Although once formidable, the costs of many robot vacuum models have actually come down, making them a much more realistic choice for those of us who can't really justify the purchase of a $700-800 autonomous tiny vacuum — but could, perhaps, do half (or a third) of that price.
But which ones are best, and how well will they clean my floors?
We've done our research, and found out how each robot vacuum performs on each type of flooring — from wood to tile — as well as the most reasonable prices and where you can find each model. The following vacuums are best for:
- Hardwood floors: iRobot Braava jet 240
- Tile: ILIFE V5s
- Carpeting: Eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 30C
- Heavy pet hair: Samsung Powerbot R7070
Best robotic vacuums for hardwood floors
For hardwood floors, we've narrowed our picks down to 2 top-shelf robot vacs:
Let's see what each have to offer for our beloved hardwood-floored homes:
iRobot Braava jet 240
The Braava jet 240 not only sweeps, but also mops your floors. With its precision jet spray, this innovative robot vac loosens stuck-on dirt, then gently scrubs it away with the vibrating head.
It maps and tracks the area, remembering where it's already been and still needs to go, ensuring your whole room gets clean. When it's done, just hold it over the trash and eject the cleaning pad. Your hands never even need to get dirty!
Price/Where to buy: $199.99 on the iRobot website, or $179 on Amazon. You'll also need to buy the cleaning pads, which are $7.99 per pack of 10. You can get 15% off select iRobot items with one of these iRobot promo codes.
Battery life: 2-6 hours depending on which mode you're in.
- There's a 3rd cleaning mode with the Braava 240, ideal for hardwood floors, called 'damp cleaning', which uses less water and promises less damage to your beautiful hardwood
- Comes with 3 different cleaning pads designed specifically for each task (dry sweeping, wet deep cleaning/mopping, and damp cleaning)
- Provides an ergonomic handle for easy transport
- Gets into hard-to-reach places
- Works great for tile and stone as well as hardwood floors
- Great price
- Effectively cleans up to appx 200 square feet - but not much more
- Cleaning pad costs add up - but you can try the washable/reusables here if they get too costly otherwise
The Braava jet 240's price is inviting to anyone, expected to draw in those who've been curious about robot vacs but haven't been able to afford one until now. Take the chance! When properly maintained, iRobots can last up to 5 years or longer. If you've got hardwood, tile, or stone flooring to keep clean, the Braava jet 240 is a great pick for you.
The bObi Classic
One of the best alternatives to Roomba, the bObi Classic, is an intelligent floor cleaner created by Canadian-born bObsweep. Choose from its 'Go' mode for regular cleaning, or its 'Waffle' mode to focus on a smaller, messier spot.
Programmable, the bObi does it all — from vacuuming and sweeping to even mopping — and also has an ultraviolet sanitizer to boot. Perfect for any type of flooring, the bObi works on carpeting, linoleum, tile, hardwoods, and more - and knows when it needs to spend more time on a certain area.
Battery life: 1.5 hours on full charge (the bObi detects when its battery is low and returns itself to the charging base; it will finish its scheduled work once charged).
- Extremely quiet
- Fitted with 80 radio frequency sensors help it stay where you want it to be
- Comes with 2 cleaning mops which can be washed/reused
- Side brush pulls debris from close to wall into its path, cleaning closer to walls than other robo-vacs
- 84% positive 4 and 5-star ratings on Amazon after 600 reviews
- Gets caught up on carpet tassles and fringe (you'll want to remove those carpets before setting up)
- Hepa filtration helps to remove allergens, but needs to be changed or cleaned every 1-3 months (here's a how-to)
- Some robot vacuum reviews reported their bObi did not seem to cover the whole room, but rather went over the same few strips again and again throughout the whole week of scheduled cleanings
- Has trouble recognizing the color black (i.e. black furniture - however, it's noted this is true for all robo-vacs)
Program the bObi Classic to clean as you wish, even set her for overnight, and then sit back and watch her get the job done. The bObi is an affordable cheaper alternative to the Roomba, but if it doesn't do what you expect, there's a 30-day money back guarantee here. Does she miss her charging station at times? Pick her up and place her on it manually - they'll have to work that bug out in future models. Overall, she's a gem - but, believe it or not, the iRobot Braava jet 240 is still cheaper and might be your best bet.
Best robot vacuums for tile floors
For tile floors, where dirt and debris is most visible, we've chosen the:
ILIFE V5s Pro
The ILIFE V5s sweeps, mops, and scrubs in a way tile flooring can handle. Since tile is often easily cleaned but also easily scratched, a gentle method is recommended, as well as rubber or otherwise solid footing since tile can also become very slippery when wet.
Battery life: 2 hours.
- Can detect its own low battery level and travel to the base for charging
- Provides two replaceable microfiber napkins, which can be attached moistened for a more thorough cleaning
- You can schedule a daily cleaning for times when you aren't home
- Infrared sensors recognize proximity and height of obstacles
- Ok to use where there are stairs; can detect edges
- Set the spiral icon on the console for more intensive cleaning in a certain area
- Its 7 cm high and 30 cm diameter frame allows the ILIFE V5s to fit into tiny areas missed by others
- Built-in rechargeable battery
- Some reported the ILIFE gets stuck randomly and needs someone to watch it and keep it free
- Works on smooth floors, but not anything with rugs or carpeting; remove rugs before use to avoid tangling and the need for replacement brushes
- Some were unhappy that replacement brushes, filter replacements, and microfiber pad replacements add a significant amount annually to the cost of the ILIFE
The ILIFE V5s has great battery life, is programmable to work when you aren't home, and able to do a focused, intensive cleaning in certain areas. Although you may need to babysit the ILIFE to get the whole floor clean, you'll be impressed by how well it gets under and around hard-to-move furniture. If that's a big thing in your room(s), you'll enjoy this.
Shark ION Robot Vacuum
When you like a little more tech to your smart home, set the ION Robot Vacuum from Shark to work on your tile floors. (While it actually works great on both hard floors and low-pile carpeted floors, the rule of thumb with this model is generally 'the barer the better.)
WIFI-connected and compatible with Alexa, this household cleaning treasure has smart sensor navigation and proximity sensors to help it get around.
Pull debris in from corners and edges with dual side-brushes for a more thorough cleaning.
Battery life: 1 hour.
- Self-cleaning brushroll gathers both long and short hair, dander, allergens, and more
- Optional cleaning/scheduling from your smartphone or with voice control via the Shark skill for Amazon Alexa
- Keep track of the Shark using the app, schedule cleanings, notifications and time log
- If it gets stuck, it will send you a notification and power itself off
- 2 brushes allow it to work in half the time
- Maintains 4.1 out of 5 stars after over 500 reviews on Amazon
- Gets stuck on thicker carpet (hence the 'best for tile' category)
- Some had trouble with the app; had to uninstall/reinstall several times
- Gentle around furniture
The Shark ION Robot Vacuum is a superb choice if you have little time to spend on housework and prefer not to use it all up on vacuuming. For best results on this cheap Roomba alternative, stay within peeking distance in case the Shark robot vacuum gets stuck and remove carpeting with longer fibers or tassles/fringe. Also: if something doesn't work contact Shark support right away. They'll likely make it right if they can.
Best or carpeting or floors with heavy pet hair
For the top choices on robo vacs for carpeted floors or those with heavy pet hair, we selected:
Samsung Powerbot R7070
The Samsung PowerBot R7070 has a HEPA filter for removing allergens, a self-cleaning brush to automatically detangle human and pet hair that collects around the brush, and works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, as well as Samsung's SmartThings connected home system.
With 40 times more suction power than comparable robot vacuums, the Powerbot cleans anything from smooth surfaces to medium-pile carpeting to random long tufts of dog, cat, or human hair.
Price/Where to buy: Here from Samsung for $499 or get financing from Samsung for payments as low as $84/month. (or you can get a Certified Refurbished model on Amazon for $299 here.) Find Samsung promo codes here.
Battery life: 90 minutes — 2 hours, then returns itself to charging station.
- Easy to clean large areas in half the time
- It maps your floorplan, then you can assign it which rooms to clean - "set it and forget it"
- Seems to have more suction power than other robot vacs, including the iRobots - picks everything up even on the lowest setting
- Large dustbin
- Works with Alexa and Google Assistant
- Control it with the remote or app
- Slightly taller height makes it difficult to fit under certain furniture
- Does not recognize/will not cross the color black; if you have black rugs or black edges, lift or remove them before starting the Samsung R7070
- Some reported it did not provide deep enough cleaning for their preferences
With its impressive suction, even on low settings, the Samsung R7070 can pick up all the debris or pet hair you need cleaned up and then some. Although some may need to catch up on things with an upright vacuum from time to time, most should maintain impressively clear floors between those times quite easily with this baby.
Eufy RoboVac 30C
Superb for cleaning any surfaces from hard floors up to medium-pile thick carpet fibers, the Eufy RoboVac 30C has remarkably powerful suction, a triple filter system, and a substantial 0.6-liter dustbin for collecting debris.
Got pets? Their hair is no match for Eufy. What's more? You can direct Alexa or Google Assistant to tell RoboVac to begin cleaning just with your voice.
Battery life: 100 minutes.
- Chic, stylish design
- Can be programmed for once daily cleanings
- Picks up debris efficiently across multiple floor surfaces, including thick carpeting
- Sleekly fits under furniture for thorough cleaning
- Just started working with Alexa
- Comes with magnetic boundary strips to stay in designated areas
- Some models have trouble returning themselves to charging base if they finish far "from home"
- Some reported their charging station stopped working; customer service invited them to exchange it for a new one
As long as you don't mind finding the Eufy RoboVac 30C to the iRobot Roomba tuckered out a ways from home on occasion, you'll be happy with this option. Reasonably priced, it ticks all the boxes, clears debris optimally, and doesn't leave a pet hair behind to complain about.
Best Overall Roomba Alternative
Ecovacs DEEBOT M88 Robotic Vacuum Cleaner
Having been compared to a "mobile Swiffer," the Ecovacs Deebot M88 can sweep or mop for you, has smart features, and is available for appx half the price of more expensive robot vacuums. For pet hair, carpet and bare floors, this version is WiFi connected, as well as compatible with Alexa.
Ideal for any type of surface from bare floors to carpeting, this robot vac has 4 distinct cleaning modes, interchangeable suction technology for households with pets, WiFi capability for scheduling your cleanings via the downloadable phone app, and Smart Move Technology for cleaning your floors' surfaces with maximum efficiency.
Battery life: 90 minutes.
- Above average cleaning
- Easy to operate
- Operates well without brushes
- Great room-mapping
- Does great as a vacuum, sometimes needs help as a robot (has trouble w/getting stuck on things)
Comparable to Roomba. Some reviews noted it gets stuck easily and needs assistance to free itself; this being said, it might be best to run the vac when you're home and within earshot so you can set it back on track if this occurs.