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Thinking about getting a reasonably priced robotic vacuum? You can find capable models in CR’s robotic vacuum ratings for $300 or less. That's a welcome development in a category where you can easily spend two to three times that on a product that serves as a backup to your full-sized vacuum.
“Robotic vacuums are best at taking care of light debris and the daily dust pileup,” says Sue Booth, who oversees Consumer Reports’ vacuum testing. “Many of these models can be scheduled to run every day, provided you’ve set up your home to accommodate their movements.”
Because robotic vacuums have become much better at cleaning, we’ve upped our testing. Booth and her team built a multiroom lab to evaluate how well each robotic vacuum removes surface debris on low-pile carpet and bare floors, whether it can get into tight corners, and how well it navigates and cleans multiple types of rooms. Our experts also evaluate the data privacy and security of each connected vacuum.
Looking for a specific model? Browse our ratings of more than two dozen robotic vacuums from manufacturers such as Bissell, Ecovacs, iRobot, Samsung, Shark, and more.
Here, in alphabetical order, are the best models if you’re shopping for a robotic vacuum within a budget of $300.
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CR’s take: The bObsweep PetHair earned a Fair rating for picking up Maine Coon cat hair from our floors within the first 10 minutes of making its rounds. It’s not the cheapest on this list, and its taller robotic vacuum profile of 4.75 inches means it will have more difficulty squeezing under furniture. But if you have enough clearance under your couch, you could consider this model, which earned an Excellent in our bare-floor test and is better than average on carpet. It’s also one of the quieter robotic vacuums we’ve tested.
CR’s take: The Eufy RoboVac 11s earns a Very Good rating in our carpet cleaning test and does even better on bare floors. Though it’s not the most efficient cleaner—testers noted that it sometimes scatters debris—it does the job, operates quietly, and has a cliff sensor, so it won’t tumble down stairs. It left very little pet hair on carpeting, which is good for those who plan to use this vacuum to help with a shedding pet. This robotic vacuum isn’t WiFi-enabled and can’t be used with a smartphone app, but that also means it isn’t vulnerable to privacy and security problems.
CR’s take: The Eufy 30C is an extremely quiet vacuum. Our testers noted that they couldn’t tell if it was on or running, which makes it a great choice for those who might need to run a robotic vac while they’re home. This is one of the cheaper vacuums that really does the job: It earns an Excellent rating for bare floors. It’s compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, and you can program the robot through the manufacturer’s app. Because Eufy discloses very little information about its data privacy policies, this vacuum earns a Fair rating in our privacy tests. In terms of security, it earns a Good rating. Eufy is the weakest manufacturer in this department because it hasn’t confirmed with CR that it has a security oversight panel, a vulnerability disclosure program, or security updates over time, which other robotics companies have.
Eufy RoboVac 11S Max
CR’s take: Another stellar Eufy vacuum, the 11S Max has a longer average run time than both the 11S and the 30C, at 95 minutes. (The other two run about an hour, on average.) It doesn’t have the same cleaning capabilities that the two vacuums above have; it struggled to pick up a gram of Maine Coon cat fur on medium-pile carpet. Still, it earns an Excellent rating for cleaning bare floors, which is no small feat. This robotic vacuum isn’t WiFi-enabled and can’t be used with a smartphone app.