There’s no way you haven’t heard of the Roomba. Even if you’ve never looked for a robot vacuum until now, Roomba has become a household name. But should it become your household cleaner?
It’s true that Roombas work well and have many amazing features that are meant to make your life that much easier, but when you start looking into one, you’ll notice that the price is higher than you might have expected.
Most people can’t necessarily spend so much money on a vacuum, no matter how well it works.
That’s just reality.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t have your very own robot vacuum though. We know that robot vacuums can save you a lot of time and effort, which is why we’ve put together a list of the best Roomba alternatives.
That’s exactly what they are: alternatives. No, they aren’t exactly the same as the Roomba, but they aren’t inferior models either. Each option below has its own features to clean your household and comes at a better price point too.
Check out these options below for a quick look, and read on for full details on each potential robot vacuum.
How much does a Roomba cost?
It’s hard to let go of the Roomba dream. They are a household name after all. You might be tempted to pick out the Roomba 980, perhaps until you look at the price.
The Roomba 980 is the most expensive model right now, clocking in at around $700 on the Roomba website. This doesn’t mean it’s a bad vacuum, just one that comes at a high cost.
Check out the features of the 980 and other Roombas in the 980 series with the reviews we’ve done of the 2 most popular models in that series.
Those other models may not be the most expensive in the series, but even the 960 model is still just a little bit below $600.
That doesn’t mean you can’t get a Roomba. There are less expensive models. For instance, the Roomba 690 includes the great features you’ve come to expect out of the Roomba, like Wifi, 3-stage cleaning, and intelligent sensors.
You can usually find an option like this for around $375, a price point that many more people can handle when buying a vacuum. Read more about Roomba Comparisons here.
Details about the ILife
A lower price with amazing features: that’s the ILife A8. It’s much less expensive than some Roomba models you’ll find out there, with many of the features you might expect.
You may have heard of the ILife in these past 2-3 years actually. It’s slowly becoming more popular with the high-quality line of products that are still at a doable price point for most people. Take a look to see what features you can expect in the ILife.
- Navigate using the camera, along with the 3 built-in data chips, which will help the vacuum plan its route
- You have three stages of cleaning: suction, two side brushes, and a motorized brush
- Give your ILife a voice prompt for status updates like cleaning errors
- Pull the ILife out of the box to see the bristle brush for carpets and another one for bare floors.
The navigation system is what makes the ILife A8 unique, with 3 data chips to help it navigate around your home in a predictable pattern. It shouldn’t move in random directions thanks to these chips.
Affordable Roomba 650 Alternative – Eufy RoboVac 11s
Details about the Eufy RoboVac 11s
When you’re thinking about price, the Eufy is a wonderful option. It’s reliable, works well, and is a great option to choose if you haven’t used a robot vacuum before. What else can you expect?
- Thanks to the “endurance cleaning,” you get about 100 minutes of cleaning in one charge
- With 1300pa of suction power, you’ll get a lot of power
- Schedule the vacuum to work on a daily schedule
- Cleans on every surface from wood to carpet
- It’s quiet, with only 55db of noise
The Eufy is powerful, quiet, and smaller than many of the other robot vacuums out there. It’s a great option if you want just a vacuum without all the fancy features that make other vacuums more expensive.
Best Choice For Pets: Samsung Powerbot R7070
Details about the Samsung Powerbot R7070
This vacuum takes care of the messes that many other vacuums struggle with. Namely, pet hair. Shed hair can be tough to keep up with, so the Powerbot can make keeping your home clean easier. Also read about the Best Roomba for Pet Hair
- Cleans corners well because of the square design
- Voice capable with Google Assistant as well as Alexa
- Wifi compatible
- Connects to a special app for more features
- Tangle-free and easy to clean (brush roll is self-cleaning)
- Superior navigation ability
- Designed with extra suction power to efficiently clean up pet hair
Best Choice For Hardwood Floors: Xiaomi Mi
Details about the Xiaomi Mi
This robot vacuum has increased in popularity and recognition for a few years now. That’s because while it comes from a Chinese manufacturer, it comes at a lower price point without sacrificing the features that come in more expensive American made vacuums.
All in all, this makes for a quality product that is packed with value.
- Extra long battery life lasts up to 2 ½ hours
- Connects to an app for more controls
- Wifi compatible
- Navigation mapping uses laser distance sensors to direct cleaning
- Works best on hardwood and hard floors
- Prevents itself from getting stuck or running into objects
The Top Smartest: Neato Botvac D7 Connected
Details about the Neato Botvac Connected
This robot vacuum is definitely a premier model, and as such, it definitely comes at a higher price point than many other robot vacuums out there.
The Neato Botvac Connected includes just about everything you could want, and things you didn’t even know you could get from a vacuum. One of the most impressive things it does starts as soon as you set it up:
It gets to know your home by completing and storing a map that it scans of your home. It then uses this map as a reference when cleaning later.
You can keep this vacuum on track through the app, where you can program how and where you want the Botvac to clean, including areas you don’t want it to go.
Simply set it as a no go area, and your vacuum stays out of there without having to actually block off the area.
It comes with superior suction power, so you know you’re floors are going to be entirely clean. That said, the suction power comes at a price because this robot vacuum isn’t exactly quiet. Here’s a tip: if the noise is too much for you, just program cleaning for when you’re out.
Easy To Program: bObSweep Pethair Plus
Details about the bobSweep Pethair Plus
Wifi connected, app-controlled robot vacuums aren’t for everyone; so if you’re the type of person that wants the perks of a smart robot vacuum, but doesn’t want to have to use an internet connection to use it, this is a vacuum you’ll want to check out. Read my bObsweep vs roomba showdown
It still delivers the cleaning power and smart mapping you expect, without needing wifi access.
This is a unique take on the robot vacuum, which you’ll notice right away. It’s more budget-friendly than most robot vacuums you’ll find out there, but still includes tons of features you can customize.
Without relying on an app, you see all the information and programming on the built-in display panel.
For those in the market for a robot vacuum that prefers to leave their appliances out of their phones and their wifi, this is a great option.
It delivers performance and features that don’t compromise simply because you’re not controlling your vacuum through an app. This is a robot vacuum that gives you plenty of programming options that you can count on to get the clean you need every time.
Features to Consider
Keeping your home clean is crucial to a healthy lifestyle and vital for your peace of mind. A Roomba can be an invaluable tool to help you achieve that, without any additional manual labor or time invested.
You can go about your day and finish your tasks sans worrying about the mess waiting for you at home.
So, whether you’re considering purchasing the Roomba itself, or one of many alternative models, there are some factors you should consider before you go to buy.
There’s plenty of features to look out for, and of course, there’s your budget to consider. We’ll go through some of those other qualities below to help you get closer to finding the model that best fits your needs.
Cleaner Navigation Ability
Just as with your standard manual vacuum cleaner, you’ll want to make sure you can easily maneuver throughout your dorm room, apartment, or home. If you can’t get to all those hard to reach places, your cleaner isn’t doing its job properly.
Whichever model you choose, the ability for the vacuum cleaner to navigate through space is essential to overall success.
Make sure the cleaner you choose can sense obstacles in your space and maneuver around them easily, so the automation you’re purchasing this type of cleaner for doesn’t become obsolete each time you have to move it around a chair or table.
Ideally, for each cleaning, your vacuum cleaner should leave its dock, completely clean your whole space, then return to its dock without any issue. But when we say ‘whole space,’ that can vary too, depending on your vacuum of choice. We’ll explain more on that below.
2. Vacuum Cleaner Sensors
Each vacuum comes with predetermined settings and limits to what it can do. For most models, that means a maximum distance capacity of about two rooms.
The technology each cleaner is designed with can only handle a certain amount of navigational information at a time. That standard navigation ability can be upgraded, for a cost.
If you live in an apartment or condo, the standard tech will likely suffice, but if you live in a larger home, you may want to spring for more a more advanced series of sensors. In technical terms that you might read online or on a box, these sensors are called ‘IR navigation’ tools.
IR stands for infrared. These sensors, depending on the model, either emit or detect infrared radiation, as well as detecting motion. This way, they can form an awareness of their surroundings. Higher quality sensors equate to faster response times.
3. Internet Connectivity
Owning a Roomba, or one of its alternatives is just one step in the growing home automation trend. Ditching a manual vacuum puts you that much closer to a fully ‘smart’ home.
However, those automated devices and tools usually require some type of internet connectivity.
The most advanced vacuum options will have the capability to be accessed remotely. By connecting to your home wifi network, you can start or stop your cleaning process even if you’re not at home. You can even check how full the cleaner is, or how much battery life remains.
4. Overall Cleaning Performance
This factor seems like a bit of a no brainer. But it’s still worth reiterating that you should be looking for a vacuum cleaner that cleans well.
Make sure the bells and whistles of wifi don’t distract you from the basics; you need a cleaner that will remove dirt and dust, help clean up spills and keep your floors looking spick and span.
That means setting your expectations high, but realistically. The vacuum you choose should have stellar suction for use on carpet, tile, or hardwood floors. That way, you can combat pet hair, crumbs, and dirt literally without lifting a finger.
However, a reality check here, a robotic vacuum cleaner does not serve as a hardwood polisher or a deep carpet cleaner. Those higher maintenance tasks still require special devices and a little bit of elbow grease.
We can say that finding the proper robotic vacuum for your needs can keep those errands fewer and further between.
Also read: Roomba 650 vs Roomba 860
So…Which Roomba Alternative is Best?
After reading through each of the factors above, there’s no one right answer to that question. Hopefully, taking your budget, space, and desires into consideration, you can find the best model for your specific needs.
Are you looking for power, high-end features, or budget-conscious value? Once you can answer those questions, you’ll be able to match a model to your home.
Read my comparison of Roomba 960 vs 980