Robot vacuums make it so you have one less chore to do each day. Instead of lugging out a cumbersome upright vacuum and pushing it all over every area of your floor, you can simply press a button or ask Alexa or Google Home to start your robot. While robot vacuums don’t necessarily eliminate the need for an upright vacuum, they do reduce the frequency of required upright vacuum sessions, making them a periodic chore instead of a regular task.
When it comes to purchasing a robot vacuum, one of the biggest deterrents is price. It wasn’t too long ago when you’d be forced to pay $500 or more for a good robot vacuum. But, these gadgets have become more popular, and more competition has entered the market, so the price has drastically declined. We’ve gathered our picks for the best robot vacuums you can buy for $200 or less.
Shark ION R85
The Shark ION R85 retails for $299, but you can often find it on sale for right around $200. It has features you see in higher-priced robots like compatibility with Alexa and Google Assistant, as well as powerful suction and an extra-large dust bin. Although the R85 doesn’t have visual mapping, it does have Smart Sensor Navigation 2.0, which allows it to navigate around obstacles and cover each area of the floor with daily use.
We reviewed the R85 as part of the Shark ION S87 cleaning system, and one thing we loved about the R85 is the included magnetic BotBoundary strips, which block off areas where you don’t want the robot to enter. Don’t want the robot going into your bathroom? No problem. Just place a BotBoundary strip in front of the doorway.
Although the battery could be a bit better on the R85 (and you may need to replace it after a year or so), this affordable robot does an excellent job of cleaning floors. It’s great for homes with pets too, as it picks up those tiny pet hairs from hard floors and carpets.
Ecovacs Deebot N79S
Perhaps one of the most feature-rich robot vacuums on this list, the Deebot N79S boasts a 110-minute battery life and compatibility with Alexa and Google Assistant. Plus, the Ecovacs Home app is one of the better robot vacuum apps when compared to those of other robots in the lower-mid tier price range. In the app, you can control the unit directly, set schedules, choose between different cleaning modes, check the status of the unit and accessories, and more.
It doesn’t have advanced navigation, but it does have exceptional suction power and it will keep your floors clean and tidy with regular use.
The iLife A4S isn’t the fanciest robot on the market — it doesn’t have visual mapping or any special navigation — but it has exceptionally long battery life. The battery will run for more than two hours on a single charge.
The lack of navigation doesn’t mean the iLife A4S doesn’t do a great job at cleaning either. With only anti-fall and anti-collision sensors, the robot is able to provide multi-room cleaning. The double V-shaped bristle brush effectively picks up debris from floors, and the anti-winding system means hair doesn’t easily get tangled in the vacuum. With multiple cleaning modes (including a max mode for better carpet cleaning) and a scheduling feature, the iLife A4S provides a lot for a small price tag.
The iLife A6 is similar to the A4S, offering a remote control, scheduling, multiple cleaning modes, a three-stage cleaning system, a tangle-free bearing system, and a V-shaped brush roll. Overall, the A6 is a sleeker-looking and slightly upgraded version of the A4S. The top of the A6 is black tempered glass. The A6 also offers an upgrade to the cyclone power cleaning system, and it comes with an additional rubber brush roll.
The battery life is slightly shorter (100 minutes), yet still impressive for any robot vacuum. The A6 also boasts an Electrowall feature, which allows you to confine the robot to a particular cleaning space. Because the A4S and A6 have been out for a while now, and iLife has come out with newer iterations of the A-series robots, you can now buy these robots for well under $200.
Eufy BoostIQ Robovac 15T
With multiple cleaning modes (including a max mode), and a long battery life of 100 minutes, this Eufy Robot is a sweet little robot at an even sweeter price. It comes with a remote too, so you can operate the robot from your sofa.
This isn’t the most high-tech robot on the market, but it has exceptional suction power (1500pa), and it does a good job of cleaning hard floors and carpets. It has a slim body design to help it reach under furniture, which helps reduce dust in the home. It will eat cords and other random objects though, so make sure you pick up anything hiding under the entertainment center that you don’t want it to suck up.