If you’re looking to buy a robotic vacuum, check out the best robot vacuum brands first and take it from there.
The robotic vacuum cleaner market has gone from a niche industry to a billion-dollar business in a matter of years. The primary reason was that the technology that powers robot vacuums became cheaper and more accessible as the years went by.
Robotic vacuums of today employ cameras, Artificial Intelligence, remote sensing, and other technologies to navigate and clean the home. Robot vacuum manufacturers compete to deliver the best mix of functionality and pricing for the practical consumer.
Before giving you the leading automatic vacuum cleaner brands in the industry, let’s take a trip down memory lane first and learn more about the history of robot vacuums.
Brief History of Robot Vacuum Cleaners
Robot vacuum cleaners have gone a long way from what it once was in the mid-90s. The first ever robotic vacuum cleaner was released in 1997 and manufactured by Electrolux, a Swedish household and professional appliances manufacturer. The first robot vacuum was called “Trilobite,” named after an extinct marine arthropod.
The Trilobite worked reasonably well, but it had issues with navigation. It was observed bumping with objects constantly and leaving uncleaned areas. It was later discontinued.
In 2001, British tech company Dyson made the DC06, which was said to be a 5% vacuum cleaner and 95% robotic intelligence. It was too expensive, costing around $4,000, so it never reached the point of mass production.
A year later, in 2002, iRobot made the Roomba. It was reasonably priced and had a slew of useful features. The Roomba can recognize unclean spots on the floor and detect steep drops, preventing it from going down the stairs. It quickly gained popularity and had several manufacturers thinking big about robovacs once again.
As Roomba set the stage for a global robot vacuum cleaner boom, the company now offers around 40 models across various price points. Most robot vacuum manufacturers follow the same route– they offer budget products and high-end robots with a lot of smart capabilities.
Budget models are often priced at $200 and below. Most of them have basic functionalities and usually work best on flat floors. High-end robot cleaners support scheduling and feature cutting-edge navigation and mapping technologies, voice support, and self-cleaning capabilities.
However, robot mops and vacuums are not supposed to replace upright vacuum cleaners and old-fashioned elbow grease as deep-cleaning maestros. A robot cleaner is meant to be a tool for dealing with health conditions (such as allergies) and regular upkeep. That way, you always come home to a mostly dust-free and pet hair-free environment.
Top Vacuum Cleaner Brands Today
- iRobot Corporation
iRobot, as mentioned, brought us the Roomba. Their headquarters is located in Bedford, Massachusetts. The company is in the business of creating and manufacturing robots, and robot mops and vacuums are right up their alley. It is one of the four major players in the robovac industry that cumulatively have a 50% share in the market.
Some proprietary technology iRobot invented are the AeroForce Cleaning System, Genius Home Intelligence, Imprint Smart Mopping Technology, and iAdapt Responsive Cleaning Technology.
Best iRobot Product Recommendation: iRobot Roomba i3+ EVO
The Roomba i3+ EVO is the most affordable self-emptying robot in the iRobot product line. There are several higher-priced models, but you don’t have to go that route to get yourself an excellent robot vacuum cleaner.
With this unit, you can still schedule cleaning hours and direct it to clean any room you want without lifting a finger for months! The i3+ EVO even learns your cleaning habits and offers suggestions during seasons when you have to clean more.
Roborock, or the Beijing Roborock Technology Co., sold over 15 million units in 2021. That makes Roborock the top robot vacuum manufacturer in the world in terms of sales during that span. Together with iRobot, they make up 80% of the global market share in this industry! Roborock is the undisputed leader, though, in terms of high-end models in the $500 and above range.
So they must be doing something right, yes? Some of the proprietary technology of Roborock is the VibraRise Mopping System and ReactiveAI2.0. On top of that, their high-end robots are equipped with LiDar navigation, AI-powered cameras, and cutting-edge obstacle detection.
Best Roborock Product Recommendation: Roborock Q7 Max+
The Q7 Max+ gets the vote for the best overall robot cleaner from Roborock. It has 30 water flow levels suited for any type of flooring, from hardwood floors to carpets and tiles. The unit will map out your home using its PreciSense LiDAR Navigation, avoiding furniture and other obstructions as it works.
The suction power is no joke, either. At 4200 Pa, it can handle all types of debris, automatically detects carpets, and adjusts the power accordingly. After the robot vacuums and mops, you literally don’t have to worry about anything else. The 2.5 L dustbin lasts up to seven weeks and supports Alexa and Google Assistant for voice controls.
- Ecovacs Robotics
Ecovacs Robotics is a Chinese company founded in 1998. Since 2006, the company has invested in developing over 20 new robotic products per year. Their robot mop and vacuum cleaner line is called Deebot, which is one of the most popular in the market. Ecovacs had the largest market share in China in 2018, accounting for 41% of the total market revenue in that year.
Ecovacs’ proprietary tech includes AIVI (Artificial Intelligence and Visual Interpretation Technology), TrueMapping Technology, All-in-one OmniStation, and more. The company’s patents total around 1,200 in China and overseas.
Best Ecovacs Product Recommendation: Deebot X1 Omni
The best Deebot product performance-wise, the X1 Omni comes at a high price tag, but absolutely worth it for the right household. Its technology is in a class of its own, with superior navigation, cleaning performance, and usability. The OMNI station does your daily upkeep, so you never have to get your hands dirty.
- Neato Robotics
Neato Robotics is a company based in Newark, California, that develops robotic-based household appliances. It is primarily funded by venture capitalists and goes on to become one of the leading brands in the industry. Neato’s first product is, you guessed it, a robotic vacuum cleaner. Neato is now part of the German company Vorwerk since September 2017.
Best Neato Product Recommendation: Neato Robotics D9
The Neato D9 is a tech-loaded robot vacuum suited for bigger homes. On a single charge, it can go 200 minutes on a 1,600 sq. foot home. The D9’s performance is comparable to Roomba J7+ and the Eufy X8 Hybrid. Impressively, the D9 can map out the house entirely on its first go-round and even improve with subsequent trips.
Other mention-worthy brands:
The benefits and importance of regular floor cleaning cannot be understated. Thankfully, the technology surrounding the robotic vacuum industry has improved over the years. The efforts of industry leaders like iRobot, Roborock, and Ecovacs have contributed significantly to the rise of these appliances and, hopefully, will continue to be so in the future.