After poking and prodding and testing 14 of the of the most popular and best selling robot vacuums were finally ready give out awards for the best robot vacuums of 2021 in our opinion.
I decided to break this up into 3 categories based on price range. The low end or budget category, mid level and high end robot vacuums. I should mention for the sake of transparency that 3 of the 14 robot vacuums in this competition were sent to me for free to review in the past. However none of those ended up being number 1 in their category so I don’t think it will come into play. We have a lot to do so, links in the description to all the robot vacuums mentioned and lets get started.
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With the budget category we tested 3 of the best selling robot vacuums in this price range the Deebot N79s the Eufy 11s and the Ilife V3s
Although the Ilife had the most raw power or airflow, which we tested with an anemometer, and it did the best with edge cleaning, it didn’t have a standard brush on the bottom, only a suction port for hard floors and so it scored very bad on all the carpet tests including having the lowest score ever on the carpet deep clean test, where we rub sand into a medium pile carpet and weight the dust bins before and after it also had the smallest dust bin I have ever seen at only half a cup.
Between the Eufy and the Deebot. The Eufy had more power, though the Deebot had slightly better battery life, but they were very similar in most other respects. But the reason I chose the Eufy 11s as the winner in this category is because it was slightly better at cleaning both hard floors and carpet, even in its low power setting. It also scored higher in the carpet deep clean test, and its brush was slightly less prone to tangles, though they both had some issues with this.
I also liked that though its navigation system was random like all the others in this price range, meaning it randomly bounces around to clean your home, The Eufys random algorythim seemed more efficient, cleaning in less time and missing fewer spots. Just by the numbers this category was very close so, though the Eufy 11s won the Deebot N79s was a close 2nd place and is still a great robot for the price.
Moving on to the mid level robot vacuums, this was the largest group in the competition with 7 competitors. In this price range you start to see a lot more smart navigation robots which means they use cameras or lasers or other means to navigate in straight efficient lines instead of randomly which save a lot of battery life. Smart navigation bots also tend to have better sensors that help them navigate around obstacles.
Of the seven we tested in this price range only two were still random navigation robots, the Shark R85 and the Roomba 690, so I am going to take them out of the running which is a little bit of a shame in the case of the Shark R85 as it was an excellent robot in many other ways, in the case of the Roomba 690, it was no great loss as it had one of the lowest overall scores of any robot we tested.