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 best ones will get the job done.
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.
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Robot vacuums are worth considering if you are someone who doesn’t have the time to vacuum regularly, someone who physically can’t vacuum, or someone who simply doesn’t like to vacuum. 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 carpets. 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 clean every so often. They typically don’t fully replace a standard upright vacuum.
What is the best robot vacuum for the money?
One of the best inexpensive robot vacuums is the Ecovacs Deebot N79S. It’s one of the brand’s older models, so its price often drops down to be pretty affordable at around £180 (that’s about the same price as a pair of AirPods).
If you happen to see any robot vacuums from iRobot, Shark, Eufy, or Ecovacs on sale for less than £250, 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 price.
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 £50. 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 are robot vacuums on Amazon for under £50, but reviewers do not recommend buying them. They generally don’t work on rugs and don’t have enough suction power to pick up hair and larger debris, making them basically worthless unless you are just cleaning hardwood floors that are already pretty clean.
“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 £100 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.
These are six of the best cheap robot vacuums in 2020.
Really affordable • Multiple cleaning modes
Small dust bin • Not good for carpet • Requires some babysitting
With a robot vacuum this cheap you get what you pay for — decent cleaning with minimal features.
The Aiibot is great for someone who is interested in robot vacuums but doesn’t want to drop loads of money.
The most basic robot vacuum on this list is the Aiibot T288. If price is your main concern, this could be your best option, but just know that you won’t get lots of features.
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 at 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 carpets 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 of cycles to fully clean your house. If you’re skeptical about getting a robot vacuum and don’t want to spend loads of money on one, this is a decent starter option. You get what you pay for.
Slim design • BoostIQ technology automatically increases suction power when needed • Quiet cleaning • Anti-scratch tempered glass-top
Navigation could be improved • Cannot handle thick rugs
A strong contender that provides a quiet and effective clean, with automatic recharging so you can relax.
Eufy RoboVac 11S
This clever robot vacuum automatically recharges so it’s always ready to clean.
A robot vacuum cleaner is supposed to make your life easier, so it kind of defeats the point if you’re constantly having to charge your device.
This is not something to worry about with the Eufy RoboVac 11S, as it automatically returns to its charging base when power is low, ensuring it’s always charged and ready to vacuum. It also cleans for up to 100 minutes per charge, so you get to enjoy a completely clean home from a single charge. That’s the idea, anyway.
It’s rare to get a robot vacuum cleaner at this price with so many premium features. The anti-scratch tempered glass cover provides a sleek look and superior protection, while the triple-layer high-performance filter cleans your home thoroughly.
Some reviewers have commented that the navigation could be better, and that is does occassionally struggle with thick rugs or carpets. It’s normal for robot vacuum cleaners to get stuck from time to time, so this isn’t a reason to not invest.
Voice commands • App integration • Good for pet hair
As a name brand at a good price, the Deebot N79S is the robot vacuum to buy.
Ecovacs Deebot N79S
This is a starter model with some advanced features from a high-quality brand.
Ecovacs is one of the most popular robot vacuum brands, so we’re very excited that it has an option for less than £250, as some of the brand’s robot vacuums 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 £250. 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.
Powerful suction • Six cleaning modes • Obstacle detection • Automatic recharging
A powerful robot vacuum that performs like a much more expensive device.
Bagotte’s powerful vacuum cleaner sweeps away hair, debris, and dirt.
Reviews are not always the most reliable source of information, but this robot vacuum has received such excellent feedback that it’s hard to not be impressed.
The Bagotte BG600 is massively popular with users due to its powerful suction and six cleaning modes. The idea is that this vacuum has the guts to get to work on multiple surfaces, including thick carpets. This is made possible thanks to the double-sided brushes and central brush that combine to sweep up everything in sight.
There is no app integration, but it does have infrared capture technology that automatically detects stairs and obstacles, and then re-plans its route to complete the task. Once it’s done, it automatically goes back to the base to recharge, so you can sit back and relax.
Remote control • Good for picking up short hair and dust
No app integration • Doesn’t pick up larger debris • Random cleaning pattern • Not as effective on carpet
This robot vacuum is nothing fancy, but it’s a decent machine for the price.
ILIFE V3s Pro
While this isn’t powerful enough to completely replace a traditional vacuum, it does help with daily cleaning.
The ILIFE V3s Pro is a pretty basic robot vacuum, lacking any bells and whistles. It’s not the best on carpet, especially thicker, high-pile carpet, but reviewers rave about its ability to suck up dirt, dust, and hair on hard flooring.
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.
Quiet • Good on hard flooring
Random cleaning pattern • Not great on carpet • Gets stuck on some things
Though it can’t handle high-pile carpet, the Coredy R300 does quite well with cleaning hard floors.
Stays pretty quiet during day-to-day floor maintenance.
The Coredy R300 robot vacuum comes with a remote control that lets you schedule and customise cleaning preferences. The vacuum has an auto-adjusting cleaning head that increases suction power and adapts its height to transition from hard flooring to carpet.
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. This vacuum is definitely a solid option if that’s not a priority for you.