When it comes to cleaning, there's one thing we can all agree on: vacuuming is no fun. First, there's the setup that requires you to grab a clunky vacuum from your closet, find a nearby outlet, and somehow not trip on a long cord. Then, you pray for the thing to work, considering the lights flicker whenever its power button goes on. When you're finally cleaning up week-old Cheerios or a dust colony, you realize the vacuum doesn't suck up the mess. Oh, and we can't forget about the noise. It's an awful soundtrack of clicking, rolling, and picking up that drives you nuts and scares your pets.
Robot vacuums were some of the hottest products this past Black Friday and Cyber Monday, with nearly every model selling out within a matter of hours at all-time low prices. Luckily, it seems like several manufacturers of the most popular models have been able to secure some more inventory, and Amazon is slashing prices across the board. That doesn't mean every one is a great deal. We test robot vacuums in our lab in Cambridge, MA to find out how well each model picks up dirt as well as how well it can navigate a slew of obstacles--just like the ones it'll confront in your home. Based on current sales, our favorite in-stock pick is definitely the iRobot Roomba 770 ($339.99 at Amazon, SAVE $159.01) which is at a record low price of just $339.99,
Research shows that the robot vacuum market is increasing thanks to a few factors, including a need to reduce allergens in the environment, less time to do house chores, and increasing use of robot vacuums in businesses. Every home in our new development has wood floors on the ground level while family and friends also are making moves to wood flooring as the predominant floor covering in their homes. Wood, tile, and linoleum floors are good for pets and also help reduce allergens in the home. Wood and low-pile carpets are perfect for robot vacuums and as these vacuums improve, their popularity increases. Neato and Ecovacs are two companies who compete with Dyson, Samsung, LG, Miele, ILIFE, and more in the robot vacuum space.
The Neato Botvac D7 Connected represents the best and worst of robot vacuum technology: On the one hand, there's cutting-edge features that let you perform one of the most-loathed household tasks while barely lifting a finger. On the other hand, there's a heart-stopping price tag that makes you question just how much that convenience is worth. Ultimately, we each must solve that conundrum for ourselves, but we can say that the Botvac D7 Connected is an object lesson in "you get what you pay for." The Botvac D7 breaks from the disc-shaped design of every other robot vacuum we've reviewed to date, instead sporting the Botvac line's trademark "D" shape. This isn't just a design cue; those right angles allow it to clean along walls and in corners better than its round competitors.
If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives. Whether you just like the idea of home automation, or you physically can't do the same level of cleaning anymore, a robot vacuum is there to help you pick up. And while the Roomba name is nearly synonymous with robot vacuums, there's a wider variety than you might think, which can make picking the one that's right for you that much harder. Luckily, we make sure to put every robot vacuum that comes into our labs through their paces in a grueling test of their navigation, ability to clean, and ease of use.