The best robot vacuum cleaner you can buy right now is the iRobot Roomba i7+ (£880) because you rarely need to tend to it: it empties itself into a large dirt bag in the charging base when it docks. It also boasts intelligent room mapping and both app and voice controls. Today, we review the Best Robot Vacuum Uk models for you.
best robot vacuum cleaner
View the iRobot Roomba i7+ for £880 on iRobot
Meanwhile, the excellent Roborock S5 Max (£410) is by far the best value design we’ve found, boasting Roomba quality navigation, impressive battery life, supremely simple set-up, and the added bonus of floor mopping. It’s the best budget robot vacuum.
View the Roborock S5 Max for £410 on Amazon
The best robot vacuum for deep cleaning is Dyson’s 360 Heurist (£800). It’s a big improvement on the original Dyson robo vac with powerful suction, the ability to see in the dark and it’s a great performer, especially on carpets that need a deep clean.
View the Dyson 360 Heurist for £800 on John Lewis
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Best Robot Vacuum Uk
iRobot Roomba i7+
WIRED Recommends: The best robot vacuum cleaner
Run time: 75 mins | Power levels: 1 | Bagged or bagless? Bagless robot, bagged base | Accs charging dock
This is the best robotic vacuum money can buy right now for one simple reason: it empties its own dirt container.
The iRobot Roomba i7+ (£880) has a standard 0.4 litre dirt canister but the contents are transferred to a big dirt bag in the charging base when it docks. The bag can hold 30 robot bins, so you won’t need to replace it for weeks on end. Your easy floor cleaning just got easier.
Roomba initially does training runs to create sophisticated maps of rooms. You then name them, set cleaning schedules and tell it which rooms to clean via app or even voice (Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant). So you can say: “Alexa, tell Roomba to clean the dining room.”
Its suction and rubber brushes lift dirt well for a robotic cleaner. There’s just one power level, but Roomba can be set to automatically detect dirt and make extra passes to clean more thoroughly. This works impressively well. As does its object detection: it calmly rejigs plans if there’s a piece of furniture in the way.
Little and often is key with robotic cleaners. The Roomba’s run time is 75 minutes, but charge time is only 90 minutes, so you can schedule it to clean up twice a day or more. Alternatively, command it ad hoc to pick up crumbs after mealtimes.
The self-emptying bin is our favourite feature for sheer convenience, but its smart maps come a close second. You know which rooms need cleaning and which are too cluttered. Simply tell it where to clean as you go out, then leave it to do the housework.
Pros: Self-emptying; smart room mapping; voice control
Cons: Expensive; base station hardly stylish
Price: £880 | Check price on iRobot
Roborock S5 Max
Mopping, control and value in one budget robot vac
Run time: 150min (max) | Power levels: 5 | Bagged or bagless? Bagless | Accs: charging dock, mop plate, onboard detangle knife/brush
Roborock has been around for a few years now, but this is the first time we’ve reviewed one of their vacuum/mop hybrids, and we’re genuinely impressed with its ability to clean and combination of smooth set-up, impressive navigation and useful mapping skills.
The fact that the S5 Max (£410) can mop our floors and has a built-in water tank and washable scrubbing pad just adds to the appeal. It’s also solid value at £410 but hunt hard enough and you can find it for closer to £300, which is a total bargain.
The Mi Home app is nicely designed, and with just two buttons on the vacuum, needs to be intuitive. We had no issues connecting everything and navigating through the options, which, amongst other things, include being able to choose power levels and the amount of water used if you are mopping.
When you first clean a room the S5 Max uses its 32-bit quad-core processor to map out the space in impressive detail, and once completed, you can create ‘zones.’ We were able to direct the robot to clean at full power under a highchair at 8:30am on weekdays after what is always a crumb filled breakfast. You can also make certain areas no-go zones and adjust the water used for mopping or power levels as well as the time it cleans certain areas. It’s comprehensive compared to the competition.
Does it clean well? While it didn’t get as much pet hair up as the Miele or Roombas, it performed well, and adjusts power from carpet to hard floor to maximise results. It works tight to the edges or a room and rarely failed to find its way home again. How well it mops depends on your own cleaning standards, and while it can’t match elbow grease for deep cleaning, we appreciated the difference when returning home, and the filthy colour on the cleaning pad showed our standards up time and again.
We were concerned about leaving a wet mop on our wooden floors, but impressively, Roborock has included a plastic moisture-collecting tray that sits flush with the charger, protecting the surface until you can get home and rinse out the cleaning pad.
The combination of zoned cleaning using different power and mopping levels is impressive and should give the competition real food for thought. Roomba might just pip them still, but we wonder for how much longer.
Pros: Simple setup; great coverage; smart mapping; mopping
Cons: White is a terrible colour for a dust collector; limited charger positions
Price: £410 | Check price on Amazon | Gearbest
Dyson 360 Heurist
The best robot vacuum for deep cleaning
Run time: 70min (on quiet mode)| Power levels: 3 | Bagged or bagless? Bagless | Accs: charging dock
Despite not being able to see in the dark, we were impressed by how well Dyson’s original robotic cleaner, the 360 Eye, cleaned. It picked up brilliantly, especially on carpets, and thankfully the 2.0 version continues, and improves upon, this tradition, with powerful cleaning that puts the competition to shame.
The 360 Heurist (£800) takes the same basic form as the original – albeit with a swanky blue paint job – but most other aspects have been improved. This doesn’t make it the best robotic vacuum available, but it is significantly better than its predecessor. The V2 motor spins at 78,000rpm, generating 20 per cent more suction, battery life is almost doubled to 70min, there’s a new quad-core processor and 10GB of on-board memory for storing and even refining room maps, plus eight LEDs have been added to the camera module so it can finally see in the dark.
Being able to clean properly with the light off, or under the bed, is a big improvement, especially as you’ll ideally be using the Heurist when rooms are empty, although we’re keen not to heap too much praise on Dyson for this improvement. It really shouldn’t have been an issue in the first place.
Connecting the Heurist to our Wi-Fi took a few seconds, and, unlike the original, didn’t require the inputting of serial numbers, just our Wi-Fi password and the Dyson Link app. Once connected and charged, we could map rooms (without cleaning), assign safe zones, adjust the power levels for different floor types, and schedule cleaning jobs. We did have some connectivity issues where the Heurist dropped off the network, but overall, it was there when we needed it.
As mentioned, this vacuum cleans deep, and is especially good on carpets. The 212mm-wide brush bar stretches the full width of the machine meaning more cleaning per pass but given the lack of sweeper arm and the software’s heuristic tendencies, that prevent the vacuum from bumping into anything, it can’t clean right up to the skirting boards.
While the battery life and suction has improved greatly, this is not a fast cleaner, and if you have a large, cluttered house it will almost certainly need a halfway recharge before completing the job. It’s not an issue really, as you can schedule it to clean when you’re not around.
One final hangover from the original remains; its unwillingness to successfully dock and charge after a clean. Frequently, just like a drunk sleeping in his own doorway, the Heurist gets so close to the charger and seems to think, ‘that’ll do’ and just stops. It’s infuriating to find the robot ‘almost’ charging.
Pros: Powerful suction; great on carpet; hugely improved gen 2
Cons: Too tall for some furniture; doesn’t clean right to the edge; docking issues
Price: £800 | Check price on Dyson | John Lewis
iRobot Roomba 980
The most reliable of robot vacs
Run time: 120min | Power levels: 2 | Bagged or bagless? Bagless | Accs: charging dock, digital fencing
When it launched way back in 2015 the Roomba 980 (£499) was iRobot’s top-of-the-range Wi-Fi connected design, and while it now somewhat eclipsed by the i7+, it has more enough cleaning smarts to deserve a place on this list.
The 350dia x H91mm lozenge can get right under all but the lowest furniture, and when it moves from hard floors to rugs and carpet it boosts the motor speed for better cleaning results. The twin rubber brush bar is easy to untangle and exceedingly good at picking up pet hair. This bar doesn’t extend right to the edge of the vacuum like they do on the Dyson, but two spinning brushes sweep dust into its path, so it can clean right up to the skirting boards.
It comes with two battery powered digital fencing devices that prevent the Roomba going where it shouldn’t. We can attest to them working well, but in truth, if the floors are clutter free and there are no trailing wires, the 980 didn’t need the help, and cleaned reliably well day-after-day.
It’s excellent across all floors and while not as simple to empty as some, the robot’s ability to go out and clean according to schedule and make it back to charge without picking up a wayward sock or two, is the best we’ve come across. It is loud though, so being out is a must when it works its magic.
Irritatingly the docking base can only be plugged in from one side, which limits where you can position it. We resorted to using blue tack to keep it in the right position, rather than having it flush against a wall.
According to iRobot, it makes 60 navigational decisions per second, and having watched it work through a tangle of chair legs we’re happy to believe it.
Pros: Reliable; loves pet hair; impressive cleaning on all floor types; auto switches power
Cons: Dock positioning awkward; expensive
Price: £499 | Check price on Amazon | John Lewis
Miele Scout RX2
The best robot vacuum for big houses
Run time: 2hrs (on min) | Power levels: 4 | Bagged or bagless? Bagless | Accs: charging dock, control tape, remote control
Miele make fantastic quality appliances, and their compact vacuum cleaners sweep (ahem) the floor with most of the competition. When it comes to cleaning prowess the Scout RX2 (£539) keep up this tradition.
With two extra-long sweeper arms, a powerful brush bar and maximum two-hour battery life it picks up dust and pet hair brilliantly and the low-profile design scoots under furniture with ease. Admittedly, if you watch it work around a room it resembles a drunk uncle at a wedding reception; bouncing aimlessly around and clattering into furniture. But to give it credit, despite the haphazard approach, we were hugely impressed by the overall results.
The bin is easy to empty, and even comes with an onboard brush to keep the filter clean, the design is neat – with the two front mounted cameras giving it a nice friendly face – and the charging dock is inconspicuous.
It’s a shame then, that the app control is so appalling, and if the cleaning results weren’t so good, we wouldn’t be able to recommend this design. Connectivity is patchy, set-up is overly complicated and the app nowhere near as intuitive as we have come to expect. Embarrassingly we were forced to call the Miele service centre for advice, who told us, “yeah, pairing those things is really annoying.”
Once you do connect to the app, you can watch images of your robot going about its business, which is fun, but be warned, the image quality is blurry at best.
It does come with a remote control that lets you set a very basic timer schedule and start/stop or manually control the Scout, which might appeal to anyone without a smartphone who demands remote deep cleaning. If performance on a budget is what you’re looking for, though, we’d suggest first looking at the identically priced Roborock S5 Max (above).
Pros: Superb deep cleaning; edge clean; 2hr run time
Cons: Awful app; haphazard navigation; blurry video
Price: £539 | Check price on Amazon | John Lewis
Vacuum Cleaner Buying Guide
A comprehensive guide that will give you all the information you need on how to buy a new vacuum.https://www.youtube.com/embed/BO-4WsRd8oY?rel=0
Deciding on the perfect vacuum for your home can be tricky. There are a lot of styles, functions and high-tech features to choose from. So which one is right for you? This guide has been created to make your vacuum shopping experience as easy as possible. So let’s dive in!.Shop Vacuums
There are a few different types and styles of vacuums that we are going to address in this buying guide. We are sure you will find just the one to fit all of your cleaning needs.
This style of vacuum is going to be the most popular type of vacuum that can be found in many households today. It’s the best go-to vacuum for removing dust and dirt from carpeting, and is able to clean large areas of carpet quickly. They also work well on area rugs and hard floors.However, it is good to note that not all upright vacuums can be used on hard floor surfaces, since doing so might cause damage to some floors and vacuums. If this is an important factor it’s smart to do research on the brand of vacuum you are looking into, to make sure it works well on hard floors too. A brush on/off switch is recommended, as it will help protect the finish on bare floors.Some other things to look for when deciding on your upright vacuum are onboard attachment, bag-less or not, and the weight of the unit. Upright cleaners come in a variety of styles and sizes, each varying in weight. Some uprights include edge cleaning, which picks up dirt under the entire area of the head. This is a helpful feature especially when cleaning wall-to-wall carpeting. Suction control is another useful feature to look at when cleaning draperies and upholstery.Shop Upright Vacuums
Canister Vacuums are portable and easy to use. They are well suited for people who clean a variety of surfaces but are most popular for those who have little carpeting and like to vacuum their hard surfaced floors. They tend to be lighter than other vacuum designs, plus they have a highly maneuverable power head that can reach tight spots with ease.Canister vacuums have the motor and bag in a separate unit, which is usually mounted on wheels to help with maneuvering. The canister itself is connected to the vacuum head by a flexible hose. By using a revolving brush system or brush agitator, it can dislodge dirt particles from the carpet so they can be picked up easily; this comes in handy when picking up things like pet hair. Without a built-in revolving brush, canister vacuums use straight suction to clean. Most canister vacuums have a bag that needs to be replaced, however there are bag-less models available, which eliminates the additional cost of buying dust bags.Bottom line, this style is perfect for vacuuming hard-to-reach spots and furniture; it’s also great for cleaning cars and drapes as well.Shop Canister Vacuums
Handheld & Stick Vacuums
These types of vacuums are the smallest and lightest options available, they are often cordless and operate on batteries. They also offer lots of convenience when it comes to a variety of cleaning tasks around the house.Handheld vacuums are perfect for cleaning closets, vents, blinds, upholstery or car interiors, and made mostly for above-the-floor cleaning. They’re best used for tasks such as cleaning up small spills, getting cobwebs out of corners or vacuuming dirt out of windowsills.Stick vacuums are very similar to upright vacuums. The design is the same, but stick vacuums tend to be a lot lighter in weight and usually do not come with any attachments. If you have a multilevel home, a stick model vacuum is great to keep on the second floor and eliminate the need to carry your main one up and down the stairs. Not to mention, there are certain models out now which have been designed with handheld features, making it easy to clean stairs, ceiling fans and more.Shop Handheld & Stick Vacuums
Robot cleaners are completely hands-free, battery-operated vacuums. They seek out and suck up dirt, debris and dust from carpets and hard surface floors. They are a great choice for light, daily cleanings and extremely popular with pet owners, allergy sufferers, busy households, or just anyone who wants their floors to stay constantly clean.A robot vacuum is self-propelled and programmable, so you don’t have to do any extra work when it comes to vacuuming. These nifty gadgets use sensors to avoid obstacles and stairs, while smart enough to still easily clean underneath furniture. If you’re someone who simply does not have enough time to vacuum regularly, a robot vacuum can help you solve this problem.Shop Robot Vacuums
Commercial & Garage (Wet & Dry) Vacuums
Commercial and garage vacuums are often referred to as shop vacs. They offer extra power when it comes to professional-sized messes. These vacuums are the perfect type when it comes to cleaning up things such as sawdust in basements, dirt and water in garages, or any other mess, wet or dry. Many labor workers use them on job sites as they can handle that kind of debris. To choose the right commercial or garage vacuum, one must think about how they will use it and where it will be stored.Smaller models will be easier to move around, but they will not be able to handle larger messes.Shop Commercial & Garage (Wet & Dry) Vacuums
Carpet cleaners come in a variety of different styles ranging from uprights to portable spot cleaners, even smaller handheld carpet cleaners, all of which are capable of cleaning and disinfecting furniture, drapes or rugs.Even if you vacuum your carpets pretty regularly things such as dirt, pet dander, bacteria and dust mites remain deep in your carpet’s fibers. To fix this issue, carpet cleaners use moisture and heat to loosen the dirt and stains that a regular vacuum can’t suction. Not to mention, they can also disinfect carpets by killing unwanted germs. If you’re looking for a deep clean, a carpet cleaner is your best bet.Steam cleaners have become very popular in recent years because they are considered the healthy and “green” alternative to cleaning. Many steam cleaners look like upright vacuums, they have a large tank that dispenses hot water with a cleaning solution, while another tank holds the dirty water. If you or anyone in your home suffers from allergies and chemical sensitivities, a steam cleaner is a healthy way to deep clean a variety of surfaces without aggravating allergy symptoms. You and your family can live healthier and breath better by using a steam cleaner on a regular basis.Shop Carpet/Steam Cleaners
Central Vacuum Systems
Central vacuum systems are the most durable options available. Although they may be a bit more expensive up front, the lack of maintenance and longer lifespan often make up for the cost and then some. Unlike traditional vacuums, the motor and collector of a central vacuum system is installed into the home, typically in the basement or garage. From there, vacuum piping runs through walls, crawlspaces, or other out of the way areas of the home to floor or wall-mounted inlet valves in a handful of locations around the house. By attaching a hose to these inlets, like those used by canister vacuums, you’re able to vacuum all of the areas of your home without lugging around a heavy canister or upright vac. The hoses are typically 30 feet long, allowing you to vacuum multiple rooms from a single inlet. These systems also offer all the same kinds of attachments you’d find on traditional types of vacuum cleaners, from wands to crevice tools to pet brushes.Installing a central vacuum system offers a number of benefits over traditional models. In addition to their longer lifespan, central vacuum systems also provide far greater suction capabilities when compared to other types of vacuum cleaners. More powerful motors translate to greater cleaning potential, allowing you to pull more particles out of thick carpets or upholstery.
Central vacuum systems are also significantly quieter than their portable counterparts. Without the motor roaring next to you as you clean, the only sound is that of fast-moving air. Additionally, central vacs promote cleaner air quality by extracting and containing dust particles, allergens, and other contaminants, whereas other types of vacuum cleaners can end up releasing their smaller particles back into the air, often when being emptied.There are a handful of qualities to look for when deciding between central vacuum systems. First and foremost, you want to be sure to use a trusted brand. While you may save a few dollars opting for a cheap system, you’ll likely end up paying more in the long run with service calls and/or a shorter lifespan. For the best indicator of suction strength look at the Air Watts specification, with higher numbers signifying stronger suction. You also need to make sure the system offers enough suction to cover every corner of your home. Choosing a model that boasts a coverage area greater than the square footage of your home is a good idea as these numbers are calculated with perfect conditions in mind.Lastly, you’ll need to decide between bag systems, those that use filters, a hybrid of the two, or a cyclonic system.
Bagged systems use a bag inside their collector canister to contain debris. Although they don’t require outside venting, using a vent will reduce noise and odor. Filter systems similarly don’t require venting but benefit from it. These systems use one of a handful of filter types to protect dirt from contaminating clogging the motor, filing a canister or bag that needs to be emptied every three to six months. Cyclonic systems are the only ones that require outside venting. Most of the dirt is captured with the canister with a small percentage of tiny particles venting outdoors. Hybrid systems, those that use filters and bags are a great choice. They help keep the motor running clean and offer an easy to dispose of container for debris.Shop Central Vacuum Systems
Useful Features to Consider
Before settling down and picking a vacuum that will work best for you, take a look as some additional features that may be important or become important long-term:
Bag-less designs probably offer the utmost convenience by allowing you to simply detach the container unit from the vacuum. You can then quickly dispose of any dirt inside, without having to pull out and replace a bag. However, bag designs are still nice because they can usually keep dust contained a lot better, since the bag itself seals the dust away. This prevents any further messes from occurring when cleaning out your vacuum. Not to mention, if allergies are a concern the bag is definitely a smarter choice.
If you have a combination of hard surfaced floors and carpets, or lots of hard floors, a multi-surface vacuum is the best way to go. Multi-surface vacuums allow you to turn the brush roll on and off, so you can avoid scratching your hard floors when transitioning from carpets.
Filters are a must-have for anyone who is sensitive to dust or pet hair, as well as allergic to pollen. HEPA filters are considered to be the best because they remove particles such as dust, dander and allergens from the air. Some vacuum models feature a filter that needs to be replaced regularly, while some have started to include reusable filters that allow you to remove, clean and replace the same filter as necessary. Reusable filters would be the ideal kind to use, as they are a great money-saving option.Shop Vacuums
Vacuum Accessories & Attachments
If you’re looking to do more than just vacuum the floors around your home, you may need to consider certain vacuum accessories and attachments. In order to properly clean drapes, sofas and chairs, dust shelves, and get to all the nooks and cracks in your home, you’ll need the right attachments.A crevice tool is great for cleaning corners and tight spaces. A dusting brush can be used to gently dust shelves and tables, as not to scratch them. An upholstery tool is perfect for vacuuming your furniture without causing any damage. Turbo brushes can offer a deeper clean for longer carpets.
The Main Vacuum Types
There are five primary shapes of vacuum cleaners, each performing a slightly different function, although some combine those forms in order to provide more bang for your buck. Being aware of the expectations you have of your vacuum cleaner can help you more intelligently and decisively pick one of the following.
Handheld vacuums are perfect for getting those painfully hard-to-reach areas that desperately need a cleaning. The most common example for use is in vacuuming cars, since, as the name suggests, this model can be held in only one hand. Its versatility makes it a dream for suctioning up dirt and debris in a variety of tight places, but it would not serve well for general flooring cleaning, which would take a long time to clean with a handheld. This type of vacuum cleaner comes in all sorts of different forms with equally different price tags.
Canister vacuum cleaners are a happy medium between the upright model and the stick model. They are powerful like the upright cleaners, but feature a slender frame, like the stick cleaners. In this case, a separate canister is attached to a long wand which can be used to maintain not only carpeted areas but also bare flooring as well. This style of vacuum cleaner tends to be one of the most expensive options, given its technologically-forward and multi-functional design.
These cleaners are perhaps the most popular and sought-after forms of vacuum cleaners. When you imagine a vacuum cleaner or see one advertised in media, the image you picture is probably that of an upright machine. These models provide the most powerful clean-up for your house, and offer the comforting benefit of usually easy-to-understand functions and accessories, since most people have used an upright vacuum cleaner at least once in their lifetime. Most models provide settings that allow these vacuum cleaners to be used not only on carpeted surfaces but also bare floors.
While perhaps the least powerful of the vacuum models, stick vacuums have a knack for getting into narrow places and doing a tremendous job on hardwood floors, area rugs and light carpeting. This type of vacuum features a long stick-like handle and a slender construction. The slimness of this model makes it a perfect addition to any closet space, as it tucks neatly into most corners after its purpose has been served.
5. Autonomous / Robot
Robot vacuum cleaners have gained a lot of popularity in recent years, mainly due to the fact that they require little effort on your end. These vacuums are able to roam freely around your home, sucking up any small mess in its way. They not only save you time, but they are also able to reach places that larger vacuums wouldn’t be able to, such as under the couch. One main drawback of robot vacuums is that they typically come at a steep price.
Location, Location, Location
Do you have primarily hardwood floors throughout your house? Are these floors covered with area rugs, or are they bare? Is your home filled with wall-to-wall carpeting? These are considerations you must make before taking the leap and purchasing your very own vacuum cleaner.
If you have bare floors, you’re better off with models that provide a number of attachments and which don’t have quite as much heft as some of the others. Using a regular upright vacuum on flooring like hardwood poses a number of problems, which includes scratching your smooth and coveted floors and being counterproductive by scattering debris across their surfaces. Some upright vacuums do provide settings that function better on non-carpeted areas, but for the most part your best bet would be with a model like the canister vacuum, which can also take care of your area rugs if you have any. These vacuums usually come with a bare-floor brush, which makes keeping your floors squeaky clean and scratch-free a piece of cake.
On the other hand, if you have wall-to-wall carpeting, it’s definitely worth considering a model with different advantages than a vacuum cleaner suited for hardwood flooring and tiling. You won’t need to worry about scratching the surface of your carpet, and in fact, you’ll want something powerful that pulls up all the lingering debris from the carpet strands. In this instance, an upright cleaner is a great way to go. There are all sorts of extra conveniences that upright vacuums have recently come out with, including a dirt sensor which makes sure you get that last speck of grime.
Know the layout of your flooring and what sorts of surfaces you’ll be dealing with to ensure your needs will be met with your new vacuum cleaner.
To Bag or Not To Bag
The general consensus is that, whether you have a bagged vacuum or a bagless vacuum, your house will be clean either way (as long as you keep using it). However, there are a few small differences that may make or break your decision to buy one or the other.
If you or any of your family members are sensitive to allergens or have asthma, the bagged vacuum is probably more for you. Dust exposure is minimized when the bag is emptied and most bags are guaranteed to trap all but .03% of the dust and pollen in your carpeting. You do have to replace the bags on a regular basis, although these are typically available at most supermarkets.
If you are environmentally-minded and prefer to not have to deal with replacing bags, the bagless vacuum is more for you. These vacuums usually have a see-through canister which gives you perfect access to seeing how full the vacuum is, which can help you determine when you need to empty it out.