The famous video of a cat riding a Roomba in a shark costume will have been online five years in November—eons ago in internet years. It’s been about as long in robot-vacuum years. No offense to #sharkcat, but the product category that Roomba popularized is no longer just a novelty, as you can tell by the performance of the latest models CR tested.

"We've seen these products become smarter over the years," says Susan Booth, the CR test engineer who oversees our vacuum lab. "There have also been a few interesting exterior design changes among the newer models."

How We Test RoboVacs

CR recently tested and rated 13 new models for a combined rankings list of almost 30 robotic vacuums. Roomba and Samsung’s newest releases are in the mix again, along with models from manufacturers such as Bissell, Black+Decker, Ecovacs Robotics, Eufy, Hoover, iClebo, LG, and Neato Robotics. It's notable that all three tested models from Hoover seem to be attracted to the bottom of our ratings.

Each robotic vacuum CR tests is evaluated on how well it removes surface debris on a low-pile carpet and on bare floors, whether it can get into tight corners created by walls and furniture, and the exact length of time it takes to clean an area. That’s right; our engineers sit and watch each robot perform a full cycle, carefully tracking every minute of its obsessive odyssey.

For each of these tests, roughly a half-gram of Maine Coon cat fur, 85 Cheerios, and two teaspoons of rice are distributed in a test area meant to resemble the typical layout of a bedroom and living room. Then our test engineers record what the robot detects and cleans, and what it misses or simply redistributes.

If part of the perk of owning a robotic vacuum is to reduce the amount of time spent on the chore of cleaning your floor, wouldn’t you want to know which bot reached its docking station without needing to be prodded along? Read on to discover the best recently tested models and a few that aren't up to snuff.

The Best From Our Newest Tests

iClebo, iRobot, and Samsung all make models that place well in CR's rankings, and that didn't necessarily change with this new batch of vacs. Here are the most notable among the newly tested models, in alphabetical order.

Ecovacs Deebot M88
Price: $450
In automatic cleaning mode, the Ecovacs Deebot M88 excels at cleaning debris from both carpeted and bare floors. Tassels on rugs, which can be troublesome for some robotic vacuums, do not get caught in the Deebot M88’s brush roll. One notable drawback: The small dirt bin may require frequent emptying if you have lots of debris on the floor.

Eufy Robovac 11
Price: $250
The Eufy Robovac 11 has no problem cleaning bare floors or navigating around a typical furniture setup. And with a low profile of 3.5 inches, it easily maneuvered under the test furniture, though it did miss some of the debris in those areas even after making a pass underneath. When it came to the pet hair, it did a decent job sucking up the bulk of it, though a few strands were left when it finally docked. #sharkcat would not have been terribly impressed.

iRobot Roomba 890
Price: $500
Equiped with two rubber rollers that can easily be removed and cleaned, the iRobot Roomba 890 was notable for picking up much of the debris from the floor within 30 minutes. We also noticed that it didn't get caught on the tassels of our rug and its cliff sensors avoided a tumble down the stairs.


Not all of the newly tested robotic vacuums performed well. The Bissell SmartClean 1974 slots in toward the low end of CR’s rankings, as does Hoover’s Quest 800, joining two other cellar dwellers from Hoover.

Bissell SmartClean 1974
Price: $300

The Bissell SmartClean 1974 struggled when cleaning medium-pile carpet. It also left debris on both bare floors and carpeted surfaces, even after taking a few passes over the same sections. Most notably, it spread pet hair over the carpet instead of sucking it up.

Hoover Quest 800
Price: $450

The Hoover Quest 800 is another model that struggled to clean the in-lab carpeted surfaces. And for an appliance that’s supposed to be relatively low maintenance while it runs, CR's test engineers had to clean its brush roll twice to remove Cheerios.

Want to see how all the robotic vacuums CR's tested stack up? See our full robotic vacuum ratings and recommendations.