Best Robotic Vacuums for Hardwood Floors

Consumer Reports' tests reveal the top-rated models for bare floors

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A robotic vacuum sitting on a hardwood floor. Photo: iStock

When it comes to household chores, a little help is always appreciated. Cue robotic vacuum cleaners.

These autonomous machines are built to pick up debris of all sorts, including crumbs and pet hair, maneuvering through hard-to-reach places like under the sofa or the bed. But not all robotic vacuums are created equal. And the efficiency of a robotic vacuum can differ depending on the primary type of flooring in your home. 

In our robotic vacuum lab, we measure how well each model is able to remove surface debris from bare floors (hardwood and laminate). We also gauge each one’s ability to navigate the nooks and crannies of a room, as well as how adequately it cleans the edges and corners. It’s worth noting that even those robotic vacuums earning high marks don’t quite stand up to the power of upright or canister vacuums. But they’re still a great option for pickups in between full vacuum sessions. 

Here, listed in alphabetical order, are the standouts from CR’s rigorous robotic vacuum tests based on performance on hardwood and bare floors. For complete test results and even more options, CR members can see our robotic vacuum ratings, and anyone can check out our vacuum cleaner buying guide to learn more about how robotic vacuums compare with other types of vacuum cleaners.

You don’t need to shell out a grand for a good robotic vacuum. For a fraction of that amount you can get the Eufy 11S, which earns an Excellent rating on bare floors. While it’s not the most efficient cleaner (testers noted that it sometimes scatters debris), it gets the job done, operates quietly, and has a cliff sensor to keep it from tumbling down stairs. This model isn’t WiFi-enabled, so you can’t control it remotely from a smartphone app, but that also means it can’t be hacked. Eufy robotic vacuums, as a whole, receive a top mark for reliability in our members survey.

Though the iRobot Roomba 960 vacuum isn’t the newest entrant in this category, it has held strong in the top tier of our ratings for almost four years. The model earns an Excellent rating in our bare-floors test. The manufacturer receives mixed results when it comes to protecting your data, particularly for data privacy, although it fares well in data security. To its credit, iRobot is one of the only companies that says it will provide updates to patch security vulnerabilities and establish a vulnerability program open to security researchers. Another selling point: iRobot’s robotic vacuums score well for both predicted reliability and owner satisfaction.

This iRobot vac achieves Excellent pickup scores thanks to its two counter-rotating rubber rollers. It randomly maneuvered around the test floors multiple times, increasing its chances of sucking up dirt. It has a side brush that was able to clean edges well. The dirt bin pops open with the push of a button, and the brush roll is easily removed with a lever arm and a button. This model doesn’t have a remote control, but you can schedule its cleaning times from an app and review its cleaning pattern after it’s finished. 

The iRobot Roomba i3+ earns an Excellent rating in our pet-hair tests, thanks in part to its rubber brush rolls. Beyond that, it excels in its ability to remove debris from bare floors in our tests. It’s one of the bigger models on this list and took on electrical power cords with ease. It comes with a self-emptying docking station, an extra filter, and an extra bag for the docking station. It has Wi-Fi/cellular connectivity, which is always a plus. One downside: You have to purchase replacement vacuum bags for the base.

The iRobot Roomba j7+ is a solid performer in CR’s tests, and that includes an Excellent score on bare floors. The manufacturer says the vacuum has smart mapping technology that allows it to learn, map, and adapt to the areas to be cleaned. Once the robot is docked, a vacuum in the docking station automatically sucks the contents from the bin into an enclosed disposable bag in the base.

One of the latest iRobot models to hit the market, the Roomba S9+ is pricey, but it delivers great performance across the board. The vacuum earns top scores down the line in our cleaning tests, and it’s the best of the best when it comes to cleaning bare floors and edges. This is a self-emptying model that discharges its dustbin into a dirt bag, no hands required. Like the e5 and the 960, the S9+ earns a Good rating for data privacy and an Excellent rating for data security.

The Samsung Jet Bot+ performs impressively in CR’s tests, including our tests on bare floors. This product is round in shape and has a side brush, which is a departure from other robot vacs in the Samsung line. Once the robot docks after cleaning, a vacuum in the docking station automatically empties the contents from the bin into an enclosed disposable bag in the base.

The Samsung POWERbot R7040 earns an Excellent rating for cleaning bare floors. Our testers also found that it’s easier to use than similar models from the manufacturer. Samsung’s SmartThings app allows you to check the status of the bot as well as schedule it and view its cleaning history. Users can delete or request data in the app, though the manufacturer’s robotic vacuums still earn a middling rating in our data privacy tests. Samsung robotic models aren’t as reliable as those from Eufy or iRobot, according to CR’s members survey.

Headshot of CRO shopping editor Anna Kocharian

Anna Kocharian

Based in New York City, I'm a shopping editor for Consumer Reports, writing about home, tech, and everything in between. Previously, I covered interior design and market trends as the digital editor of Domino, which shaped my multidisciplinary background in lifestyle journalism. When I'm not seeking out the everyday essentials worth investing in, you may find me perusing my favorite bookstores, cooking, or wandering around the city.