Robotic Vacuum Buyers Guide – Must Have Features For Every Budget
Today on the hookup I’m going to show as quickly as possible what to look for and what to avoid in each robotic vacuum price category to help you find the best deals on big sale days like black Friday and prime day regardless of your budget.
Starting with the under $100 category: it’s my opinion that if you only have $100 to spend you should probably just save your money and buy a decent cordless stick vacuum. However, on big sale days you may still be able to find a decent vacuum close to or under $100, so here’s what to look for and what to avoid:
First, make sure the vacuum has a roller bar because most vacuums at this price point are sweeping robots that rely on suction only which are really only good for picking up large debris. Look through the images to find a picture of the bottom of the robot, and if there’s a suction port instead of a roller bar you should skip it.
Second, try to find a vacuum with a remote control because it’s the cheapest and easiest way for vacuum companies to implement features like advanced scheduling and multiple cleaning modes like edge cleaning and straight line cleaning. These options indicate that the vacuum uses more than just a bump sensor to navigate your home and will usually provide a faster more thorough cleaning experience.
Also, if your budget is tight don’t immediately dismiss renewed options. I agree that the idea of buying a used vacuum sound a little gross, but every renewed product I’ve bought from Amazon has come basically unused. Just make sure it’s coming from the manufacturer themselves or from the Amazon renewed store, and not from a shady 3rd party seller. Worst case scenario the vacuum comes in a state you are uncomfortable with and you can take advantage of amazon’s free return policy.
On big sale days keep an eye out for sales on the budget Eufy vacuums like the 11s and robovac 30 which can get very close to the $100 mark and offer good suction, a big dust bin, and Eufy’s excellent customer service but at this point those models are close to 5 years old and the lack of advanced navigation means they will get stuck more often need significantly more babysitting than newer mapping robot vacuums.
So, if you have $200 to spend here’s what to look for and what to avoid:
First, look for LIDAR navigation. These robots use a spinning laser to quickly map your house and enable other advanced features. LIDAR robots are usually easy to recognize since the laser is housed in a raised area on top, but keep an eye out for sneaky companies that pretend to have lidar by putting a circular design feature in the middle of the robot.
Second, look for the keywords like “no go zones” and “virtual walls”, this app feature lets you virtually block off areas in your house that may have with problematic furniture or loose wiring so you can reduce the likelihood that your vacuum will get stuck and won’t need to babysit your robot.
Some good options at this price point are the Zoozee Z70 and 360 S7 Pro, but on big sale days you might even be able to find robots from a big brand like the Ecovacs N7 and Dreamtech D9 very close to $200.
After LIDAR the next huge step forward in robotic vacuum technology is the auto empty base, and in the last 3 years they’ve come down from around $1000 to under $300, but that of course comes with a few gotchas.
First, auto empty bases used to only be offered with top of the line flagship vacuums, but that trend has shifted and companies like shark and Roomba now offer auto empty bins with their lower end vacuums. But as I said before LIDAR mapping is still the most impactful feature so avoid budget options like the auto empty Roomba i3+ and the Shark and Yeedi camera navigation vacuums, and absolutely steer clear of the Light and Easy which pairs an auto empty bin to a budget sweeping robot and is the worst performing vacuum I’ve ever tested.
Lydsto seems to be the only company to have broken the $300 barrier with their R1, which is a great option but there are lots of good choices around $350 and for $400 you can pick up the dreametech D10+ which is a pretty big name in robotic vacuums that works with the Xiaomi mi home app, and offers a pretty complete feature set.
Above that price point vacuum specs get incrementally better for things like battery life and suction, but the core experience remains the fundamentally same with all the way up to around $900 when mopping becomes a bigger focus with scrubbing mops and auto refill and cleaning stations. I recently did an in depth review of those systems which are overall incredible, but my conclusion was that the performance of the Ecovacs OMNI X1 was the best for purely hard flooring while the Roborock S7 MaxV ultra was the best pick for homes with a mix of hard flooring and carpet.
Because the X1 OMNI and S7 MaxV Ultra are flagship vacuums from name brand companies with extremely new technology any sale price around $1000 would be considered a good deal, but as far as value is concerned they won’t come close to something like the Zoozee Z70 or the Lydstro R1 that get you 75% of the features for 30% of the price.
If you’ve got questions about a specific deal feel free to ask down in the comments, or tweet it at thehookup1.
I’ve got links down in the description for all the vacuums I mentioned in this video as well as some of my other top recommendations and deals. If this video helped you decide on a vacuum I’d appreciate if you use those links since as an Amazon affiliate I do earn a small commission at no cost to you. If you are still undecided here are a couple other robotic vacuum videos I’ve made for further research.
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