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Best Robotic Vacuums for $300 or Less

These autonomous cleaning machines are deals on wheels

As robotic vacuums improve in performance and come down in price, it’s getting easier to justify the purchase. Now you can find capable models in CR’s robovac ratings for $300 or less, a welcome development in a category where you can easily spend two to three times that on a product that serves as a backup to your full-sized vacuum.

“Robotic vacuums are best at taking care of light debris and the daily dust pileup,” says Frank Rizzi, who oversees Consumer Reports’ vacuum testing. “Many of these models can be scheduled to run every day, provided you’ve set up your home to accommodate their movements.”

Each robotic vacuum is evaluated on how well it removes surface debris on a low-pile carpet and bare floors, whether it can get into tight corners, and the time it takes to clean a set area—our engineers watch each robovac perform a full cleaning cycle, tracking every minute of its obsessive odyssey. For the cleaning tests, roughly a half-gram of Maine Coon cat fur, 85 Cheerios, and 2 teaspoons of rice are distributed in a test area meant to resemble the typical layout of a bedroom or living room. Then our test engineers record what the robot detects and cleans, and what it misses or redistributes.

Looking for a specific model? Browse our ratings of more than two dozen robotic vacuums from manufacturers such as Bissell, Ecovacs, iRobot, Samsung, Shark, and more.

Here, in alphabetical order, are the best models if you’re shopping for a robotic vacuum within a budget of $300—as well as one in this price range to steer clear of.

1
Black+Decker HRV425BLP
Black+Decker HRV425BLP

    Black+Decker HRV425BLP

    CR’s take: Often on discount, the Black+Decker HRV425BLP did better than average on all of our tests and earns an Excellent rating for its navigation capabilities. At 4.5 inches high, it can slip under low furniture. This robotic vacuum allows you to program daily cleaning with an app, which means you can update or stop its cleaning cycle from anywhere. Our testers found its dustbin to be one of the largest available, which means you probably won't have to empty it after every cycle.

    2
    bObsweep PetHair
    bObsweep PetHair

      bObsweep PetHair

      CR’s take: True to its name, the bObsweep PetHair did a notable job picking up Maine Coon cat hair from our floors within the first 10 minutes of making its rounds. It’s not the cheapest on this list, and its taller robotic vacuum profile of 4.75 inches means it will have more difficulty squeezing under furniture. But if you have enough clearance under your couch, you might want to consider this model, which rates Excellent in our bare-floor test and is better than average on carpet. It’s also one of the quieter robotic vacuums we’ve tested.

      3
      Eufy RoboVac 11
      Eufy RoboVac 11

        Eufy RoboVac 11

        CR’s take: If your home is mostly carpet, the Eufy RoboVac 11 is a good choice: It earns a rating of Excellent on our carpet test, traversing territory like a champ and leaving little debris behind. This Eufy doesn’t do so well when it comes to rug fringe, however; it became tangled in tassels a few times when circling the floor in our vacuum lab. At 3.5 inches high, it won’t have trouble getting under most couches and chairs, and it’s one of the quietest models on this list.

        4
        Eufy 11S
        Eufy 11S

          Eufy 11S

          CR’s take: At about $220, the Eufy RoboVac 11s earns a Very Good rating in our carpet cleaning test, and does even better on bare floors. Though it’s not the most efficient cleaner—testers noted that it sometimes scatters debris—it does the job, operates quietly, and has a cliff sensor, so it won’t tumble down stairs. It left very little pet hair on the carpets, which is good for those who plan to use this vacuum to help with frequent shedding. This robotic vacuum isn't WiFi-enabled and can't be used with a smartphone app.

          5
          Eufy 30C
          Eufy 30C

            Eufy 30C

            CR’s take: The Eufy 30C is an extremely quiet vacuum. Our testers note that they couldn’t even tell it was on or running, which makes it a great choice for those who are sensitive to noise. The Eufy 30C earns an Excellent rating for bare floors. Like a few other robotic vacuums in our ratings, this vacuum is compatible with Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa; you can also program the robot through the manufacturer's app.

            6
            iRobot Roomba 618 (Walmart)
            iRobot Roomba 618 (Walmart)

              iRobot Roomba 618 (Walmart)

              CR’s take: Though iRobot models can be pricey, the Roomba 618, which is sold only at Walmart, is not. Its dustbin is a bit smaller than that of other robotic vacuums, and it doesn’t do as well at cleaning near its charging station. That means you might have to do some extra sweeping near the dock. On the plus side, it scored an Excellent on bare floors, didn't struggle with rug tassels when circling our test room, and picked up most of the debris in our edge and corner tests. But for the lower price you give up a remote, making it less convenient to operate.

              7
              iRobot Roomba 690
              iRobot Roomba 690

                iRobot Roomba 690

                CR’s take: The iRobot Roomba 690 has come down slightly in price since its debut, making it a great option for those who want a full-service Roomba without spending a lot. It earns an Excellent rating on both our carpet and bare floors tests. But on our ease-of-use test, it gets just a middling Good rating. One reason: Its smaller dustbin fills up faster, so you need to empty it more often. Another drawback is that this robovac does not have a remote control. If you have stairs, this guy is a safe bet—the bot’s cliff sensor means it avoids steep drops. 

                8
                Shark Ion 720
                Shark Ion 720

                  Shark Ion 720

                  CR’s take: The Shark Ion 720 is easy to use and does an excellent job at cleaning bare floors. Navigation is Excellent; it detects furniture and obstacles such as electrical cords, and avoids bumping into them. And it doesn’t get caught in rug fringe. But if you have pets that shed and a lot of carpet, you might want to think twice about this model. The Ion dragged loose fur across our carpet before suctioning it up after making a few passes.

                  9
                  One to Avoid
                  Bissell SmartClean 1974
                  Bissell SmartClean 1974

                    Bissell SmartClean 1974

                    CR’s take: Though the price is right and it earns an Excellent rating for bare floors, the Bissell SmartClean 1974 does only a mediocre job cleaning carpet: It spread pet hair over our pile rug without picking it up. It also left debris in the corners of both bare floors and carpeted rooms, and became tangled in the carpet fringe. Our testers noted that when docking, the Bissell redeposited some of the debris it had just picked up. Nobody needs a vacuum that makes you clean up after it.

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                    Haniya Rae

                    I​’m interested in the intersection between design and technology​—whether for ​drywall or robotic vacuums—and how the resulting combination affects consumers. I’ve written about consumer advocacy issues for publications like The Atlantic, PC Magazine, and Popular Science, and now I’m happy to be tackling the topic for CR. For updates, feel free to follow me on Twitter (@haniyarae).