Self-emptying robot vacuums are now being introduced by multiple manufacturers across the world, and for a good reason: The internal dust bins cause a mess each time they need emptying, and since they’re tiny they need frequent handling in order to keep running. With self-emptying robot vacuums you get an added layer of automation, which means less maintenance and more time saved.
Our top picks
|Best overall||iRobot Roomba i7+|
|Best on a budget||Shark IQ Robot XL R101AE|
|Best splurge||iRobot Roomba s9+|
|Also great||iRobot Roomba i3+|
|Also great||iRobot Roomba i6+|
|Also great||HONITURE Q6|
|Also great||Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 Aivi|
We have been monitoring the market for more than a year already, and reviewed some of the best self-emptying robot vacuums right now. As part of our review process we considered the following factors as part of the overall rating:
Performance is measured by the ability to remove dust, dirt and debris on any surface. Robot vacuums utilize equal parts suction and rotating to pick up as much as possible.
- Noise level
Because robot vacuums might run for more than an hour each day, you may want to consider the noise level. Quiet robot vacuums are the best choice for anyone staying at home during the day.
- Ease of use
Robot vacuums should be easy to use, as it’s the whole idea of getting one. We don’t want to read through a 200-page manual just to turn it on and make it run smoothly.
- Build quality
The durability should be prioritized when choosing the best self-emptying robot vacuum. It’s going to bump into furniture from time to time, so you want one with a robust casing and proper bumpers around the sides.
- Running cost
Self-emptying robot vacuums come with a combined charging station and dirt disposal, which makes use of filter bags to suck out the contents of the dirt bin. You seldom want a robot vacuum with cheap bags and a low energy consumption, otherwise it might get expensive in the long run.
Best overall: iRobot Roomba i7+
iRobot Roomba i7+
The iRobot Roomba i7+ self-emptying robot vacuum is our top pick for multiple reasons. It boasts a great range of smart features, and the performance is excellent on various surfaces.
Pros: Intelligent navigation system improves over time, great suction, filter bags ensures a no-mess emptying process, works with most floor types, work well with little to no interference.
Cons: Expensive with relatively high running costs, cleaning the bristles and brushes takes time, although it’s smart it still manages to get stuck from time to time.
Verdict: The iRobot Roomba i7+ is the best mid-range self-emptying robot vacuum. It performs well and doesn’t disappoint, but with its price tag we wouldn’t expect anything less. It does have a few flaws, especially the high running costs could spell trouble for someone with a lot of pets and/or small kids. The smart features are amazing, although some users reported that they had frequent sync issues and had to restart the app from time to time.
All in all, we believe this is the best self-emptying robot vacuum on the market.
Best on a budget: Shark IQ Robot XL R101AE
Shark IQ Robot XL R101AE
For those on a budget we recommend the extremely popular Shark IQ Robot XL R101AE. The base is bagless, which means less running costs, and it does very well on most surfaces.
Pros: The self-empty station works very well and doesn’t require a bag, great suction means great performance on most surfaces, durable build quality, very easy to set up and get started with the smart mapping system.
Cons: Although it’s advertised as a “smart” robot it still manages to get stuck in random places, the app needs a little more it seems, hair seems to get stuck in the rotating brushes quite often.
Verdict: The Shark IQ Robot XL is a great entrylevel vacuum, suitable for those who want the self-emptying capability without shedding a fortune. We were quite amused by the title of the top critical review on Amazon calling it the “poor man’s Roomba i7+”, which we somewhat agree with but not in a bad way. It does actually perform quite well, and if you want to save a couple of hundred bucks this one is worth considering over the more expensive Roomba i7+.
Best splurge: iRobot Roomba s9+
iRobot Roomba s9+
If you want nothing but the best of the best, iRobot Roomba s9+ is the best choice. It’s the most advanced Roomba at the time of writing, and specially designed to reach into every corner of your house.
Pros: Design works well for corners, great battery life, unparalleled mapping capabilities, extensive smart features, great app integration.
Cons: Bags are expensive, still manages to get itself stuck from time to time, doesn’t navigate well around all obstacles, rubber rollers seem to wear quickly.
Verdict: Finally iRobot made a Roomba that isn’t round. The rectangular front comes with a great set of benefits, including the ability to reach farther into corners, as well as a wide cleaning path. If you want the best of the best, there’s no doubt you should get the Roomba s9+.
Also great: iRobot Roomba i3+
iRobot Roomba i3+
If you want an iRobot with self-emptying capabilities at the lowest price possible, the Roomba i3+ is the most affordable choice. And it works great as well.
Pros: Rotating rubber brushes work well on most surfaces, great suction, follows a straight-line pattern, most affordable self-emptying Roomba on the market.
Cons: Doesn’t have a smart mapping system like the more expensive models, doesn’t have as many smart features either.
Verdict: If you live in a small to medium sized house and want an efficient robot vacuum with a great self-emptying system, the iRobot Roomba i3+ is without a doubt the number one choice. It may not pack as many features as the more expensive Roombas, but it gets the job done as well the more expensive models.
Also great: iRobot Roomba i6+
iRobot Roomba i6+
Being virtually identical with the Roomba i7+, the Amazon exclusive Roomba i6+ is a great purchase. It doesn’t have the same amount of accessories included, which is why it’s sold at a reduced price.
Pros: Amazon exclusive product, identical with the Roomba i7+ but cheaper, great mapping system, does a great job on most floor types.
Cons: Still a bit pricey, running costs add up due to the use of bags, lacks a few spare parts that you’ll have to buy yourself, hair still gets tangled around the brushes.
Verdict: The iRobot Roomba i6+ is an Amazon exclusive self-emptying robot vacuum. It is identical with the slightly more expensive Roomba i7+, so if you’re shopping for the i7+ you could sometimes save money if one model is cheaper than the other. It’s a great mid-range robot vacuum with great smart features, and it’s worth buying for the self-emptying capabilities alone.
Also great: HONITURE Q6
Apart from being a Chinese brand and suspiciously identical with the Neabot Robot Vacuum, it features a larger dust bin and a bigger accessory pack.
Pros: Very large accessory pack included, app works surprisingly well, great no-go area capabilities, goes in straight lines instead of a random pattern, easy to set up.
Cons: Brush doesn’t come off without the use of a screwdriver, not the best customer support, dust bin requires a bag to work, spare parts are not widely available.
Verdict: The Chinese HONITURE Q6 is a proper self-emptying robot vacuum with an affordable price tag. If you want your money to stretch as far as possible yet don’t want to live without the self-emptying capabilities, this robot vacuum is the best choice. It works quite well on most surfaces and has great suction, but if something breaks or you need spare parts you might have to wait for a while since the customer support seems to be solely located in China, according to their website.
Also great: Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 Aivi
Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 Aivi
At the time of writing the Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 Aivi was the most expensive robot vacuum of them all. And it’s probably the best robot vacuum money can buy.
Pros: Great mapping features mean that it easily avoids bumping into obstacles, has a built-in security camera, unbeatable suction, great battery life.
Cons: Very expensive, disposable dirt bags ramp up the running cost, doesn’t do well with corners, mopping feature is a bit disappointing.
Verdict: This is the flagship robot vacuum from Ecovacs, and it’s a great self-emptying robot vacuum. However, it’s expensive and has high running costs due to the required use of single-use bags. The suction is unparalleled though, so if you want a powerful robot vacuum with the best smart features in the market, this is the one for you.
Are the self-emptying robot vacuums worth it?
Robot vacuums are autonomous and intelligent. These vacuums have been tested and equipped with motherboards, laser, sensors, and can even navigate through the WIFi network around your home without additional assistance. The thing that makes the self-emptying robot vacuums ideal is because they are simply ejected and empty in the nearest garbage can.
When you are answering if they self-emptying robot vacuum is worth it, the reality is that these gadgets are of a higher price than the traditional vacuum. Not everyone likes to vacuuming, and thus makes it vacuuming such a mundane job. Depending on the size of the house, you’ll be able to save minutes or even hours of cleaning tome weekly. If you’re not keen to do the vacuuming, then it would make sense to purchase the self-emptying robot vacuum.
The good thing about robot vacuums is that they are now as good and even as powerful as regular vacuums. The side brushes, spinning brushes, and filters can do the same cleaning job that makes your house equally clean. The other fantastic thing is that with such a gadget, you’re able to clean underneath tables and couches without your input. For you, that means that you don’t have to rearrange the sofa for when you’re cleaning. Additionally, there’s the fact that the gadgets can map a home, so they know where they are going. The other fantastic thing is that robot vacuums these days tend to be Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant voice-activated.
Why you shouldn’t buy a self-emptying robot vac
The reality with some of the self-emptying robots in the industry is that they need you to do some prepping. In as much as the robot can do some mapping, one of the truths about it is that it is not always able to get through some of the wires and other obstacles such as toys. On your end, you do have to do a bit of cleaning up so that you can let the robot vacuum do its best job. The truth is that if you don’t do that, you’ll find that there are areas of your home that the robot vacuum has not to be able to.
If you don’t have the budget, you’ll also not be too happy when you have to bring out your heavy-duty vacuum cleaner to get the job done. The reality is that a self-emptying robot vacuum will not be able to get some of the things such as spills and the like. There is also the fact that when the robot does get stuck in a thick rug when you’re not around, it is going to get stuck. There are also instances when the cat litter is spilled over; the brushes of the vacuum are going to end up making more of a mess than cleaning up the problem.
Why you SHOULD buy a self-emptying robot vac
There is equally an excellent reason to get the self-emptying robot vacuum. That’s because if you don’t have obstacles in your home, then it can do the cleaning it requires. The vacuum robots in the market can clean in a gird fashion instead of a random pattern. That said, they are more efficient and equally more comfortable to clean. Some robots let you specify spots that need additional cleaning and thus choose how many passes to make for thorough cleaning to do.
The other fantastic feature of the robot vacuum is that it can recharge itself when it gets too low battery when cleaning. After, it can go back right where it stopped. There is also the factor that most such vacuums can move from hard floor to the carpet without compromising suction. You should also remember that the robot vacuum is meant to be a gadget that supplements cleaning. The most significant advantage above the typical vacuum cleaner is that you can, this kind of vacuum, you can vacuum your house while you’re away. You can do all that through scheduling.