Each robot vacuum in this list sits at the intersection of good quality and an affordable price.
Robot vacuums can get pretty pricey, with some of the more advanced options running upwards of $1,000. If you don’t need all the bells and whistles — like smart home mapping, mobile app integrations, and self-emptying canisters — then you don’t have to spend that much money. There are cheaper robot vacuums out there, and the top ones will get the job done well.
Inexpensive options typically don’t have smartphone app integration and all of the controls are done with a remote. You’re usually able to set a timed schedule with the remote or set it to go off in the moment, so you do have some sort of control aside from just pressing a button on the vacuum itself. Remotes often act as a steering device, allowing you to operate the robot vacuum like an RC car.
Most cheaper robot vacuums can handle sweeping up dirt and debris from hard flooring. But for carpet, you’ll want to get a robot vacuum with a roller brush. The spinning fan brushes that come standard and work well on hard floors can’t dig into the carpet to lift embedded hair and dirt.
Are robot vacuums worth it?
Robot vacuums are worth it if you are someone who doesn’t have time to vacuum regularly, someone who physically can’t vacuum, or someone who simply doesn’t like to vacuum. (All are very valid.) They take the work out of cleaning and can be really useful appliances to have in your home gadget lineup. But that’s only if the robot vacuum actually performs the way it’s supposed to.
That’s a problem you could run into when searching for a budget-friendly robot vacuum since the simple truth is that some forego quality in the name of a lower price tag. Before pulling the trigger on a cheap robot vacuum, make sure you consult reviews to see if anyone is experiencing problems or quality faults.
Some cheaper robot vacuums are not equipped to handle cleaning carpet. They either don’t have enough suction power or don’t have the correct brushes to really dig into the carpet to pull up embedded dirt, dust, and hair. In any case, a cheap robot vacuum is mostly to act as a supplemental cleaning device that does your day-to-day cleaning while still requiring you to do a deep cleaning every so often. They typically don’t fully replace a standard upright vacuum.
What is the best robot vacuum for the money?
The best inexpensive robot vacuum for the money is the Ecovacs Deebot N79S. It’s one of the brand’s older models, so its price has dropped down to be pretty affordable at $169 (that’s about the same price as a pair of AirPods). It’s the only robot vacuum on this list that has mobile app integration, meaning you can run the vacuum from anywhere using your phone.
If you happen to see any robot vacuums from iRobot, Shark, Eufy, or Ecovacs on sale for less than $200, snatch those up. It can be hard to find a good brand for that price, but those ones are definitely worth the money if you can find them for that cheap.
What is the cheapest robot vacuum?
You can find some pretty cheap off-brand robot vacuums, but don’t expect them to be top tier in quality. Be wary of any robot vacuums that cost less than $100. They likely won’t be able to give you a great clean and probably won’t have a very long run life. Some of the cheaper models can’t handle thick carpet or large areas.
There’s a robot vacuum on Amazon for $31.99, but reviewers do not recommend buying it. It doesn’t work on rugs and doesn’t have enough suction power to pick up hair and larger debris, making it basically worthless unless you are just cleaning hardwood floors that are already pretty clean. (Which really defeats the purpose of getting a robot vacuum at all, in our opinion.)
“Cheapest” does not mean “best inexpensive” robot vacuum
For the reasons already mentioned, you can gather that the cheapest option is not the best value. You want to find a good mix of functionality and price. Typically the vacuums that are $150 and up are going to be pretty decent and give you features that will actually leave your home looking and feeling clean.
Keep in mind that underside brush rolls are better for carpeted homes and if you have a big surface area to cover you’ll want to pay attention to the robot vacuums with longer run times to avoid having to recharge before the job is done.
Here are seven of the best robot vacuums for less than $200, starting with the least expensive and working our way up to the most expensive (but still cheap, comparatively speaking.)
1. Aiibot T288
The Aiibot is great for someone who is interested in robot vacuums but doesn’t want to drop a ton of money.
One thing we do like about the Aiibot T288 is the option to have it run in a zig zag pattern. You can also let it roam on random, though you won’t get as thorough of a clean that way.
This vacuum just has side brushes, so it’s not ideal for carpet or hair. It will suck up dust, dirt, and debris on hard floors, though. Sensors keep the vacuum from falling down the stairs or colliding into objects.
The dust bin on this machine is kind of small, so you might have to send it on a couple cycles to fully clean your house. If you’re skeptical about getting a robot vacuum and don’t want to spend a ton of money on one, this is a decent starter option. But be aware that you get what you pay for.
Walmart reviewer Gottagetthegear writes:
“Works decent for the price. It doesn’t have room mapping and cannot dock itself and also it pulls badly to the right so it sort of arcs around the room. But it does the job of keeping the room relatively clean, and keeping the pet fur under control so definitely a good option to consider.”
2. ILIFE V3s Pro
While this isn’t powerful enough to completely replace a traditional vacuum, it does help with daily cleaning.
This vacuum does not have a rolling brush, but rather two spinning brushes. This means it won’t collect long hair very efficiently and will likely tangle. However, short hair and pet fur should not be a problem.
There’s no smart mapping, so the vacuum just sort of runs in a random pattern until it needs to recharge — it does return itself to the charging dock when the battery is low, so that’s nice. You can schedule the robot instead of letting it just run the 90 to 100 minutes that its battery will allow. There is no app integration, so all of the controls come from the included remote.
Unfortunately, the ILIFE V3s Pro gets stuck on cords and cannot easily get over rugs. It’s definitely not the most advanced option out there and it won’t replace a traditional vacuum, but it is good for daily cleaning and maintenance.
Amazon reviewer Kristoffer G. writes:
“We have 4 furry pets and were having a tough time keeping our floors clean as everyone started shedding this spring. The ILIFE V3s has made a huge difference! We run it once or twice a day and it does a great job picking up dust and hair in between major weekly cleanings. Our house looks and smells better with much less effort. The only downside is that it sometimes misses areas (we now block it into certain rooms so that it cleans more thoroughly), but since we run it every day and still do a regular vacuuming and mopping every week, that doesn’t really bother us.”
3. Coredy R300
Keeps pretty quiet during day-to-day floor maintenance.
App integration :
Reviewers did note, though, that the robot might need some babysitting to make sure it doesn’t get stuck. It has a rough time with cords and tends to eat them up if you’re not careful.
There is no main brush roll, just two side brushes, so this vacuum won’t be the best for carpets and hair.
Buyer beware when reading the online reviews: One reviewer posted a photo of a card offering a $50 Amazon gift card in exchange for a positive review. But reviewer photos and videos seem to prove that it actually does a decent job picking up dirt and dust from floors.
Amazon reviewer DEM writes:
“I’ve been pleasantly surprised with this machine. It is much quieter than I expected, not a nuisance at all. When I ran it for the first time, I thought for sure it wasn’t going to do much, as it seemed to bumble around aimlessly. I left the house and upon returning, saw that it had actually picked up things I noticed on the floor, and everything looked really good. It doesn’t do a great job on our carpets, but they are taller. I just pull out the full sized vacuum once a week and get those done.”
4. Ecovacs Deebot N79S
This is a starter model with some advanced features from a high-quality brand and the absolute best option on this list.
Ecovacs is one of our favorite robot vacuum brands, so we’re very excited that it has an option for less than $200 as some of the brand’s robot vacs are pretty advanced and pricey.
The Deebot N79S isn’t the most advanced robot vacuum, but it’s definitely a killer machine for the price. It’s equipped with two side brushes and a main brush roll to sweep your entire floor while also focusing on tough spots and edges. It can actually handle carpet well and won’t get tripped up if yours is a little shaggy.
This robot vacuum comes with a remote, but also has app integration to set schedules and run times. That’s not something you’ll get from most robot vacuums that cost less than $200. It’s even compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant, so you can use your voice to set the vacuum off on its course.
Unfortunately at this price point you don’t get smart navigation, so the Deebot N79S runs on a random pattern.
Amazon reviewer R.C. writes:
“It blows my mind the amount of hair and dirt this thing picks up. We have two dogs and a cat, along with a 2 month old and a 2 year old. I just have to pick up any loose items and wires in the living room, dining room, and kitchen and block the bottom of the fridge (it tends to get jammed under the door and gets stuck), and this little wonder cleans up like a champ.”
5. Goovi D380
A main brush roll makes this vacuum good on carpet and hair, a rarity at this price point.
You’re able to program the vacuum to just clean the edges of your home, and there are max and spot cleaning settings that use more suction power for the really dirty areas.
The vacuum comes with two sets of brushes and two filters so you can swap them out without having to purchase anything.
Overall, this is one of the better robot vacuums on this list.
Amazon reviewer Michaella writes:
“This product is outstanding; it works as advertised and our floors have never been cleaner. It works on wood and carpet and makes the transition very well. Some small throw rugs give it trouble. It gets underneath couches very well and provides good coverage of the entire level with minimal demands from us. You do need to keep cords and clothes picked up or it will catch on them.”
Like most cheaper robot vacuums, this one cleans randomly rather than in a calculated pattern. It does, however, know how to find concentrated areas of dirt and spends extra time on them. The vacuum features both side brushes and a main, underside brush roll, which reviewers note is good for picking up hair.
Some reviewers noted that the Amarey tried to suck up larger items and ended up getting jammed, but once you remove the jam, it’s good to go and ready to keep rolling.
Though this robot vacuum has raving reviews, take them with a grain of salt, because as one honest reviewer points out, the vacuum includes paperwork that offers free parts in exchange for positive reviews.
Amarey promises that you won’t need to babysit the vacuum too much because it can handle transitioning from carpet to hard floors and avoids collisions and drops. However, that same reviewer mentioned some issues with the robot getting stuck, writing:
“Don’t get me wrong, it does work, and it MOSTLY works well, but I have a house with exclusively wood floors that are not difficult for vacuums to clean. That said, I was disappointed to consistently find it jammed into silly places, like face down under the door of the refrigerator, stuck halfway under desks, lying lifeless on top of the legs of our dining table; all places that were advertised as ‘easy’ for the machine to detect and avoid.”
Overall, if you’re OK with decent quality for a good price, the Amarey A800 is an adequate robot vacuum. P.s. We have seen this robot vacuum on sale pretty regularly, so you likely won’t have to pay the full $199.99.
7. Diggro D600
A great option thanks to its main brush roll that can actually handle hair and zig zag pattern that mimics the way you’d vacuum manually.
This robot vacuum moves throughout your home quietly and does a good job picking up hair and debris. It features two side brushes and a main brush roll on the underside to collect dirt, dust, and more from your floors.
Its wheels allow this vacuum to climb over entryways and small ledges while infrared sensors keep it from running into obstacles or falling down stairs. Unlike most cheap robot vacuums, this one does not drive around in a random pattern — it follows a sort of zig zag that you would likely do if you were manually vacuuming.
Walmart reviewer Austin writes:
“Very good job of picking up dog hair, doesn’t get stuck under furniture, very quiet, and great price. 10/10 would buy again.”