Which Vacuum Robot to Buy? What is the Best Robotic Vacuum for 2017?

Which Vacuum Robot to Buy? What is the Best Robotic Vacuum for 2017?

For this review of the best vacuum robots of 2017, we compared 62 robotic vacuum cleaner from 22 brands. A drastic selection led to only 3 winners in 3 categories:

The Best High-End Vacuum Robots

We grouped in this category the most recent and innovative vacuum robots. They have all new advanced features that ensure best cleaning result, and provide the best user experience.

The 3 best high-end vacuum cleaner robots are:

1. Botvac D5 Connected by Neato Robotics ($599)

The Botvac D5 Connected is the 2017 high-end vacuum cleaner robot by Neato robotics. It is Wifi enabled, and works with Amazon Alexa, Google Home. The smartphone app for iOS and Android allows to remotely control the D5. Besides, both Apple Watch and Android Wear smartwatches, allow access to the vacuum’s features right from your wrist. It is worth noting that beside being the finest robotic vacuum, the Botvac D5 is also the cheapest high-end robotic vacuum robot. You find more details about the D5 in a dedicated article.

Neato Botvac Connected

2. Roomba 980 by iRobot ($899)

The 980 is the most advanced of the famous iRobot Roombas. Its Wifi connectivity allows for voice command through Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant. The iRobot app (iOS and Android) lets you clean, schedule, and customize cleaning preferences from your smartphone. You can find out more in the post dedicated to the comparison with the Neato Botvac Connected. This explains why the Roomba 980 is also a very popular vacuum cleaner robot. Indeed, it ranks 3rd in the “Best Seller Robotic Vacuum Cleaners” category.

iRobot Roomba 980

3. POWERbot R9350 by Samsung ($926)

With a price tag above the $900 bar, the finest robotic vacuum cleaner by Samsung is the second most expensive after the Dyson 360 Eye. However, Samsung made a better job to get closer to the robotic vacuums market leaders, namely iRobot and Neato Robotics. Indeed, the POWERbot R9350 has most of the features of its competitors, including Wifi and a smartphone app. It also supports voice command, but only via Amazon Alexa. Regarding navigation, Samsung emulates the systematic cleaning introduced by Neato. Thanks to an onboard camera sensor, the R9350 creates optimal cleaning path and avoids obstacles.

Samsung POWERbot R9350

4. Star Wars Vacuum Robot by Samsung

Samsung POWERbot Darth Vader

Samsung POWERbot Stormtrooper

Star Wars fans should definitely pick the limited edition of the Samsung vacuum robot. This is actually a customized version of the POWERBot 7000 series. Beside the look, Samsung changed also the notifications sounds. Beeps are replaced with the voice of a Star Wars character, excerpts of the movie’s music and of course the heavy breathing of Darth Vader. Really cool! Check out the video below.

There exist two variants of Samsung’s Star Wars vacuum robots. A white version representing a Stormtrooper (~$600), and a black version representing obviously Darth Vader (~800)$. Each one has sound effects specific to the represented character. The price difference is also due to features unique to the Darth Vader model. It features Wi-Fi connectivity and accompanying Samsung mobile app that allows you to control your robot vacuum cleaner from a mobile device anywhere. Beside start/stop, the app allows to check the cleaning history or schedule cleaning times. So, even while you’re away, you remain deeply connected to Darth Vader.

Best Seller Vacuum Robots

Crowd wisdom is the guide for this category. It gathers the best of best seller robots. Beside being popular, those robots have most important features and accessories to ensure very good cleaning. Moreover, they are easy to operate and maintain, which contribute to high user satisfaction.

The 3 best seller vacuum cleaner robots are:

1. Roomba 650 by iRobot ($299)

The Roomba 650 is a simple to use affordable vacuum cleaner. It has a years-long track record for reliability and owner satisfaction. The prominent feature of the 650 is scheduling. This is very useful since vacuums are noisy, and the Roomba is no exception. It’s better to run it while you are away, for example during work hours. Once your home is cleaned or if the Roomba runs out of battery, it will find its way back to the charging dock. Still, you can launch the cleaning manually by pressing the clean button and clean your whole home or spot a particular area. The Roomba 650 comes with a Virtual Wall beacon that allows you restrict areas covered during a cleaning cycle. It acts as a wall, so the Roomba will bounce away and thus focus on a particular room, or avoid some region.

iRobot Roomba 650

2. Botvac D80 by Neato Robotics ($399)

The Neato Botvac D80 is the most popular vacuum robot by Neato for 2017. As with all Neato robots, the D80 has the unique D-shape that improves cleaning corners. It is nicely complemented with a side-brush, also available on the Roomba. The embedded laser, also a unique feature of Neato robots, allows the robotic vacuum to build a map of your place and localize itself. Thanks to the laser, the D80 performs a more natural systematic cleaning. As opposite to the Roomba 650 that moves randomly and bounces on furniture, the D80 moves methodically all around your place. This much closer to what one does with a manual vacuum. The large dirt bin and the nice screen for scheduling contribute to make the Neato robot vacuum, very compelling.

Neato Botvac D80

3. Roomba 980 by iRobot ($899)

The 980 is significantly more expensive than the two other winners of this category. This is because it is the most advanced Roomba on the market for 2017. A perfect combination of build quality and all the iRobot’s patented technology. The 980 also ranks 2nd in the “Best High-End Vacuum Robots” category. You can find out more about the Roomba 980 in our post dedicated to the comparison with the Neato Botvac Connected. This explains why the Roomba 980 is also a very popular vacuum cleaner robot.

iRobot Roomba 980

Best Budget Vacuum Robots

This category is dedicated to best deals. Criteria used in this selection, are the price, cleaning performance and user experience are also on the menu. Top rated robots here ensure highest ratio of user satisfaction by the price. The cleaning quality and the ease of use are good enough given the price. The even sometimes rival with more expensive brands. There’s a caveat here. These cheap vacuum robots are made by new brands on the market. We don’t have enough data on the durability of their robots nor the quality of their customer service.

The 3 best budget vacuum cleaner robots for 2017 are:

1. Junior by bObsweep ($199)

Junior by bObsweep is not only a vacuum robot with HEPA filters, it also does mop your floor. Its removable mopping attachment located between the back wheels has velcro strips. So, you can use any wet cloth, though microfibre pads are recommended for better results. Regarding motion, Junior roams randomly, and bumps on furnitures as most Roombas. However, depending on angle of approach, it might get stuck in some corners, or tangle in cords if you don’t have them tucked out of the way. At these occasions, it does stop and send distress beeps to call for help. Another down-side shared by all round-shaped vacuum robots is that reach and clean the corners.

bObsweep Junior

2. I3 by JISIWEI ($123)

Although being the cheapest vacuum robot in our selection, JISIWEI I3 is also among those that provide the widest range of accessories and features. Let start with the main functionality, that is cleaning. The I3 does the vacuuming, and also the mopping as some competitors, but has a smaller dirt bin. You manage the cleaning using either the provided remote controller. The manufacturer also provides a smartphone app, that allows to access your I3 vacuum robot remotely. Beyond simply scheduling and supervising the cleaning, the app allows to turn your vacuum robot into a guardian robot. It sends via internet to your smartphone images and videos captured by the oboard HD camera of the robot.


3. BL618 by Rollibot ($170)

The RolliBot BL618 is also a hybrid cleaning robot. It is designed to sweep, vacuum, and mop the floor. Moreover, it is the only one of our selection to introduce UV light sterilization. Though, we have no data on its actual efficiency, this feature is supposed to kill germs and bacteria on every vacuum cycle. Regarding motion, it’s by default like the Roomba: the BL618 wander randomly. However, there are two other interesting modes, namely: edge cleaning and zig-zag. In the edge cleaning mode, the BL616 stays close to walls, where most of the dirt stays. The zig-zag mode cleans in a zig-zag pattern, that is more suitable for open areas and mopping.

Rollibot BL618

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1 Comment

  1. Shinny
    Shinny November 29, 13:35

    We purchased a Roomaba 980 vac back in October, so we’ve been using it for awhile now. It has been a great purchase so far. I’m shocked at how much stuff comes out of “the tick” after every cleaning! We set it for every weekday and clean the bin every night. (we have three dogs and four cats, so our house gets quite furry.) Since we have some many critters running around, we do a deep clean on the rugs once a week too, so supplement.
    One small caveat, the clip to the filter cartridge broke so now its flops open when I pull out the bin. The parts are super flimsy plastic, so be careful!

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