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. You may want a robot 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 roomba alternative, you’ll notice that the price is higher than you might have expected.
Most people can’t necessarily spend so much money on robot vacuums, no matter how well it works. That’s just reality.
That doesn’t mean that you can’t have your very own best 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: Roomba alternatives. No, they aren’t exactly like the Roomba, but they aren’t inferior models either. Each Roomba alternative option below has its own features to clean your household and comes at a better price point too. Some may have features best iRobot Roomba doesn’t offer, but chances are they’re on the same playing field, just with a much more affordable price.
Check out these Roomba alternative options below for a quick look, and read on for full details on each potential best roomba alternative robot vacuums.
Best iRobot Roomba Alternatives in 2020
- Neato Botvac D7 – TOP PICK Roomba Alternative– This is our top pick and it really impressed us with its surprising navigation abilities. It’s worth every cent and its cleaning abilities is truly top notch.
- iLife A8 – Good Budget Pick Roomba Alternative – If you’re new to robot vacuums and don’t want to fork out too much right off the bat, this is a good choice. Get started with this one and it’s good enough with its functions and features.
- Eufy RoboVac 11s – Cheap and Affordable Roomba Alternative – A great affordable choice that will clean your house well nonetheless. Cheap doesn’t mean useless and you’ll see what we mean with this Eufy.
- Samsung Powerbot R7070 – Best Roomba Alternative For Pets – For pet owners, this Samsung Powerbot is truly a lifesaver. And the great thing is, you won’t have to fork out as much for other Roomba equivalents.
- Xiaomi Mi – Best Roomba Alternative For Hardwood – Have lots of hardwood flooring through your home? The Xiaomi Mi is the robot vacuum you need. It cleans your hardwood floor really well without any damage.
- bObsweep Pethair Plus – Impressive Programs and Features – We know you’ll be impressed with this bObsweep’s range of features and programs. You can control so much and customize it so well.
- iLife V5S Pro – This is an upgraded version of the original V5 Pro design and has much longer lifespans and better cleaning prowess.
- iLife A9 – This A9 is much shorter than other alternatives on the market which means it can get under furniture and clean really well!
Details about the ILife
A lower price with amazing feature: that’s the ILife A8. It’s much less expensive than some best 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 feature you can expect in the ILife as an alternative.
- Navigation system 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: strong 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 low pile 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 one 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 charging base
- 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 robot 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 robot vacuums struggle with. It is capable with Alexa and Google Assistant. 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 Alexa and Google Assistant
- Wifi compatible
- Connects to a special app for more features
- Tangle-free and easy to clean (side brushes 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 best robot 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 time
- Connects to an app for more controls also has a remote control
- 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 modes 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 modes 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 performance 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.
ILife V5S Pro
Details About the ILife V5S Pro
As mentioned above, the ILife V5S Pro is an upgraded version of the original V5 Pro design. It has many features that have been improved and upgraded to give the robot vacuum a longer lifespan and work more efficiently. The biggest upgrades were done to the battery and the motor. An extra battery has been added for a total of four and the little vacuum is now equipped with the second generation brushless motor that lasts longer than the original. With these two upgrades alone, the vacuum can now run up to 150 minutes at one time.
The great thing about this vacuum is that it doesn't run into furniture as hard as other models because of its suction. It still uses the IR sensors to detect objects and with a lower speed, it doesn't hit or scuff furniture. The vacuum even comes with a remote control and determine what kind of cleaning you need your robot vacuum to do.
- Uses IR sensors to prevent the vacuum from running into furniture hard and scuffing it.
- Comes with batteries included in the box.
- Has an incredibly powerful suction power on hardwood floors.
- Has really good edge cleaning abilities and suction.
- It is not loud when running.
Details About the ILife A9 Robot Vacuum
The one A9 robot vacuum comes ready for use with multiple different tools and batteries included in the original box at no extra cost. It's almost half an inch shorter than most other robot vacuums on the market which allows it to get under low clearance furniture easily. It has an upgraded motorized brush that doesn't have bristles, meaning it is much easier to maintain but still efficient. The rows of rubber "blades" pick up dirt efficiently and you don't have to worry about hair or other things getting caught up in it like with bristles.
The A6 robot vacuum by ILife also comes with a virtual wall capability. This allows you to close off areas of the house to the robot vacuums without having to set up physical barriers. It's fairly easy to operate and has a reach of ten feet. What's even better is that the device required for setting up the virtual wall is already included in the box when you purchase the robot vacuum.
- Virtual wall capabilities that come with the robot vacuum.
- One rubber motorized brush to pick up fine dust without getting wrapped up in hair or other debris.
- Features a new Gen 2 motor that has better suction abilities and a longer runtime.
- Larger dirt box than the previous A4 model.
- Can schedule cleaning times and set up areas ahead of 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 roomba alternatives, 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 ensure 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. Finding a model with a low clearance shouldn't be difficult but if you have furniture that is exceptionally low, you may have to look a little harder.
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 avoid 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 cycle, your robot vacuum cleaner should leave its dock, completely do the cleaning your whole space, then return to its dock without any issue. Not all vacuums have the ability to return to their docks, self-docking as it's called, but most modern models will.
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 multiple 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.
Some cleaners will have newer versions of sensors whereas others will continue to rely on previous versions. Not all sensors are the same so ensure you read about the sensor of your vacuum before purchasing it. While it may say improved, it may not be as good as the sensor on a different model that hasn't been upgraded.
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 Roomba models, or one of roomba 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 modes even if you’re not at home. You can even check how full the cleaner is when cleaning, or how much battery life remains after cleaning.
If you find a model that does not require an internet connection, ensure to thoroughly read the reviews. It's entirely possible the cleaner will work just fine while cleaning, but there may be problems with it you hadn't thought of before. Reading reviews can also make it easier for you when it comes to setting up your cleaner with an internet connection. Some people may offer advice and instead of struggling like they did, you'll be able to start your cleaner right up for cleaning even the medium pile carpet.
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 robot vacuum cleaner that has great cleaning.
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 for cleaning up spills and keep your floors looking spick and span. Some brands may have videos demonstrating how well their robot vacuums cleaning or how much dirt it can pick up in one sweep. These can be incredibly helpful so if the option is available, take advantage of it.
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. If you're looking for it, you could even find a robot vacuum that has mopping abilities as well as vacuuming.
However, a reality check here, a robot 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 robot vacuum for your needs can keep those errands fewer and further between.
Also read: Roomba 650 vs Roomba 860
How much does a Roomba cost?
It’s hard to let go of the best 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 best 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 the best Roomba. There are less expensive models which is a Roomba alternative. 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 robot vacuums. Read more about Roomba Comparisons here.
So...Which Roomba Alternative is Best?
After reading through each of the factors above of Roomba Alternatives, 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