BEST DEALS ON ROBOT VACUUMS (updated Nov. 18, 2021):
iRobot Roomba 692 — $199.99
Shark IQ Robot Vacuum AV970 — $344.99
iRobot Roomba j7+ — $699.99
ionVac SmartClean V4–Self-Emptying Robot Vacuum — $199
Roborock E4 Robot Vacuum — $269.99
Grab a drink, kick your feet up, and watch as your hardest-working home appliance puts in the work so you don’t have to: That’s the reality of investing in a highly rated robot vacuum. And as technology advances, there’s even less for us humans to take care of when it comes to ensuring our floors stay spick-and-span.
Self-emptying robot vacuums take the convenience of the traditional robot vacuum to another level: they actually allow you to forego regular maintenance for months on end—without sacrificing sparkling clean floors free of dirt and debris.
Instead of emptying the dustbin manually, a self-emptying vacuum actually takes that job out of your hands, emptying itself into a larger dustbin that has the capacity to manage weeks of dirt without needing to be cleaned or dumped out on your end. Not only does this allow you to keep your floors clean, it means you can literally set it up and forget about it.
How do robot vacuums compare to canister and upright vacuums?
While robot vacuums are getting more and more advanced by the day, not everyone agrees that they can completely replace your canister or upright vacuum. If you’re worried about your robot vacuum not doing the job well enough to completely replace your upright vacuum, consider scheduling your robotic vacuum to run twice a day — or pick up a hand vacuum to spot clean any problem areas you might notice. iRobot, for example, claims that robotic vacuums can save owners up to 110 hours of manual floor maintenance per year — or about two hours per week.
What’s the battery life like on a robot vacuum?
The battery life on most robot vacuum cleaners is just about exactly what you’d need to get a full clean in a single run. Most vacuums have a minimum of a 90-minute run time — which allows the vacuum to pass through a typical household.
If you’re worried about the battery life lasting through your home (especially if it’s particularly dusty or on multiple levels) you might want to invest in a robot vacuum that features a mid-cycle charging option. This way, your vacuum will return to charge before finishing the areas of the home it didn’t quite get to before.
How do self-emptying robot vacuums work?
The idea behind the self-emptying robot vacuum sounds pretty sci-fi and next level, doesn’t it? Not having to vacuum or do any manual maintenance whatsoever sounds like a dream come true! And while it is, in all honesty, a pretty neat concept, there is still maintenance and a little bit of leg work required to keep your vacuum working properly —including emptying the dustbin every now and then.
A self-emptying robot vacuum works the same way a regular robot vacuum does — it maps out the layout of your home, sucks up all the dust and debris from your flooring, and returns to charge between cleaning sessions without your involvement. But unlike traditional robot vacuums, which require emptying after every second or third vacuum, a self-emptying vacuum deposits all the dirt and debris into a separate bin that doesn’t need to be manually emptied (by you) for upwards of a month.
Are robot vacuums worth it?
Are robot vacuums worth the price tag? While it has become more affordable to pick up a robot vacuum, they’re still significantly more expensive than most of their manual counterparts. That being said, not having to lift a finger when it comes to floor maintenance is a pretty good feeling and is well worth it for anyone who just doesn’t have the time — or the interest — in pulling out a vacuum and manually cleaning the floors every couple of days.
Not only are these handy devices extremely practical for anyone who wants to cut down on the mental load that comes with keeping the house clean, but they actually allow you to run the vacuum more frequently. For those reasons alone, a robot vacuum — and especially a self-emptying robot vacuum — is worth the investment if you’re looking to spend a bit more on a vacuum.
When to shop for a deal on robot vacuums
Robot vacuums receive more front-page attention in Black Friday ads each year, but even more deals are exclusively scattered across the internet. We’re tracking them from October all the way to Cyber Monday and beyond, including early Black Friday robot vacuum deals that are already live. Keeping your options open is the best way to guarantee a vac that has the features (automatic emptying, mopping, specific room targeting) at the budget you’re comfy with (whether that’s under $300 or over $1,000 if it’s really nice).
What to look for in a self-emptying robot vacuum
What to look for in a self-emptying robot vacuum really depends on exactly what your household needs are. Do you have a dog or a cat that sheds? Are there kids in your household? Do you live on a particularly dusty street? These are all serious factors to consider when deciding how much you’ll really need to spend or what features to prioritize when shopping for a self-emptying robot vacuum.
Power and battery life: If you’re shopping for a self-emptying vacuum, chances are you’re looking for something that you can set and forget—and that includes a healthy battery life. Look for a minimum of 90 minutes to ensure your vacuum can cover your home or apartment or consider a robot that can be programmed to charge halfway through its cleaning cycle and resume where it left off once it’s fully juiced up.
Size: Whether you’re living in a condo or a larger house, you’ll want to make sure the size of your external dustbin is large enough to make the self-emptying feature worth your while. Most external bins can hold up to 60 days of dust and debris — but if you’re working with a particularly high traffic home or you really don’t want to empty it all that often, look for an XL option.
Floor surfaces: Are you working with carpeted flooring? Hardwood? Look for a robot vacuum that is made to suit your specific needs. Certain vacuums are equipped with added sensors to ensure rugs and carpets are properly taken care of, while others have special brushes that ensure dust and debris don’t get pushed around on hardwood flooring.
Smart home integration: Most self-emptying robot vacuums come with smart home and app integration that make your job even more simplified. If you’re hoping to schedule cleans or have access to maintenance issue reports from your phone or you want something that is Alexa-enabled and equipped with voice control, be sure to look for a vacuum that specifies smart home integration.
What is the best self-emptying robot vacuum?
Interested in learning more about self-emptying robot vacuums? We don’t blame you! Below, we’ve laid out some of the absolute best self-emptying robot vacuums on the market. From the little guys to big-name brands, here are the best options out there in 2021.