Feel like there isn’t enough time in your day to check off all the chores on your list? Do you have hardwood floors and spend time trying to keep them pristine? Well, help is on the way.
A robot vacuum can help you stay on top of those responsibilities while giving you back some of your time.
We’ve put together an in-depth list of the best robot vacuums for hardwood floors currently on the market and what to consider while you shop.
- Our Top Picks
- Why Use Robot Vacuums for Hardwood Floors?
- Advantages of Robot Vacuums for Hardwood Floors
- Types of Robot Vacuums
- Choosing the Best Robot Vacuum for Hardwood Floors
- The Best Robot Vacuums for Hardwood Floors of 2020
- Detailed Comparison
- Tips for Using Your Robot vacuum
- The Perfect Robot Vacuum for Your Home
Why Use Robot Vacuums for Hardwood Floors?
A robot vacuum is designed to vacuum a designated space on its own. Today’s advanced versions allow you to set your vacuum and walk away from it. While you go about your day, the robot continues to move and clean on its own.
Most of these devices use a rechargeable battery system. When you’re finished with your vacuuming, you simply place the unit on its charge station. Then when you need to use the vacuum again, it’s charged and ready to go.
Robot vacuums can be used on multiple types of surfaces. If you have hardwood floors at home, though, you know they can have special needs.
Robot vacuums designed to handle hardwood floors won’t scratch or damage your floor (1). They’re also capable of vacuuming up fine dust and particles that can settle on hardwood floors.
Advantages of Robot Vacuums for Hardwood Floors
Robot vacuums can make your housekeeping duties a little easier. Here are some of our favorite reasons to use a robot vacuum:
- Free up your time: Your time is precious and there are likely already several demands on it. So, being able to turn on your vacuum and walk away is a huge advantage of robot vacuums.
- Easy to vacuum in tight spots: Have you ever struggled when trying to vacuum under a dining table or sofa? Robot vacuums, in comparison, move easily under your furniture, cleaning hard-to-reach areas.
- They don’t take up much room: Have limited storage? Lugging your full-sized vacuum from place to place to keep it out of view can be annoying. A robot vacuum stores easily in anything from a bookshelf to a storage ottoman.
- Simple to use: Robot vacuums have never been easier to operate. You simply turn them on and they get to vacuuming — some even have remotes. Empty them when they need to be emptied and recharge as needed to keep your vacuum cleaning.
- Can work on multiple surfaces: Have an area that includes rugs and bare floors? Robot vacuums transition between floor types and work efficiently on multiple kinds of surfaces.
- A great option for those with limited mobility: Whether short term or long term physical restrictions, a robot vacuum can help you maintain your space. They’re easy to use, even for those with limited mobility.
Types of Robot Vacuums
All robot vacuum models frequently have a lot in common due to their design and intended purpose. Still, there are some main differences that create the two different types of robot vacuums.
Basic Robot Vacuums
This type of robot vacuum is a straightforward unit. It can be turned on and manually recharged when needed. Most basic robot vacuums also are not capable of mapping or “remembering” where they should vacuum.
Early robot vacuum models used additional pieces to determine boundaries. Some had no outside boundary indicators at all and would continue to move until they ran into an object. However, even today’s “basic” models are more advanced than these early models.
Looking for an affordable robot vacuum without additional bells and whistles? A basic model may be right for you and your hardwood floors.
- Straightforward to use.
- Cuts down on vacuuming time.
- Affordably priced.
- No off-site control.
- Won’t learn your floor plan.
High-Tech Robot vacuums
Technology has made its way into every part of our lives. Daily household maintenance isn’t any different. Many robot vacuums offer “smart” technologies to keep up with the changes.
Some robot vacuums on the market are Wi-Fi and Alexa or Google Home compatible. Smart devices can even learn the rooms they clean. This can make them more efficient and prevent them from becoming trapped or damaging furniture.
High-tech robot vacuums can certainly be a great addition to your hardwood floor cleaning routine. However, they may be more complicated and take a longer time to learn how to navigate. They might also cost more during the initial purchase.
Once you’ve learned how to work with these high-tech units, though, they’re likely to work more quickly. Without needing to do a follow-up cleaning pass, you may find they save you a tremendous amount of time. You may also find that more expensive units come with additional incentives that are worth the price.
- Offers many cleaning and programming options.
- Can be started remotely.
- Learns the layout of your home for faster cleans.
- Not always compatible with existing devices.
- Relies on a solid Wi-Fi connection.
Choosing the Best Robot Vacuum for Hardwood Floors
When shopping for the perfect robot vacuum, you’ll want to keep the following in mind:
- Battery life: Your needed battery life will depend on how frequently you plan to charge your unit. You’ll also want to factor in how large your space is. The larger the area (as with an open floor plan) the more battery life you’ll need.
- Your floor type: Some robot vacuums are well-equipped for multiple kinds of surfaces. Do you expect yours to work on other floors besides hardwood? Then keep that in mind while you shop.
- Pets in the house: Robot vacuums can help you keep up with day-to-day cleaning. They may not, however, totally replace your need for a large vacuum. This is especially true when you have pets who shed or high-traffic areas.
- Suction power: If you expect your robot vacuum to have a serious workload, you’ll want a more powerful unit. But if you’re looking for light- or occasional-duty, you may need less suction power.
- Height: Robot vacuums come in different sizes. Some are quite thin and may fit well under your furniture, but they may also need more frequent emptyings.
- How many robot vacuums you need: Do you plan on having one robot vacuum on each floor, or moving your unit from place to place? Knowing how many robot vacuums you want can help you narrow things down.
- Your budget: Robot vacuums have come a long way since they were first created in the 90s. They can still be found with a hefty price tag, but there are more affordable options as well. Know what you’re willing to spend ahead of time to identify key candidates for your new robot vacuum.
The Best Robot Vacuums for Hardwood Floors of 2020
No one knows more about the robot vacuum options out there than those who have purchased them. So we’ve connected with real-world owners to learn about their experiences with their chosen robot vacuums. We also looked into manufacturers’ specs and have chosen our top five robot vacuums.
1. Eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 11S
This robot vacuum offers an ultra-thin design at just 2.85 inches tall. It’s slender enough to fit easily under most furniture, which keeps the unit from becoming stuck. It also works to ensure your space gets clean even when you’re out of the room.
This unit is able to move between hardwood floors and carpeting. So, it’s a great choice for rooms with area rugs. It operates quietly and offers 1300Pa suction power.
If needed, this unit can increase its regular suction power in just 1.5 seconds. This can give you a better clean when dealing with tricky messes. Even better, this unit is able to automatically adjust to the mess it’s facing.
This robot vacuum weighs in at 5.73 pounds and offers up to 100 minutes of cleaning. It’s suitable for hardwood floors and can handle up to medium-pile carpeting.
Why We Love It
The Eufy BoostIQ comes with a separate docking port. After your robot vacuum has finished vacuuming, it returns to the docking port. Once there, it initiates charging and will be fully charged for its next cleaning session.
A self-charging feature adds convenience and takes one more responsibility off of your plate. The docking station also allows the robot vacuum to put itself away. That way, it’s always in the same location when not in use.
Gives a Quiet Clean
Vacuums aren’t known for being quiet. But, at only 55 decibels, this robot vacuum works quietly. That’s powerful and efficient cleaning at just about the volume of your running microwave.
If you have a busy household where you’re juggling early bedtimes or midday naps, this might be the right vacuum for you. It makes it possible to get the clean you need without interrupting your regular schedule.
Needs Less Frequent Emptying
This unit offers a larger-than-average dirt receptacle. At a capacity of 0.6 liters, this unit has plenty of space to collect dust and debris. This can allow you a greater amount of time in between emptyings.
We think this is a great feature for pet owners, especially if your pet sheds a lot. You won’t need to worry about your cleaning session being interrupted to empty the bin. Plus, you’ll have the clean floors you’re looking for.
Keep In Mind
The Docking Port Needs a Significant Amount of Space
Though this vacuum and the port are compact, there does need to be a significant amount of room around the port. This ensures the robot vacuum can get safely back to its port to charge properly. So, you may have difficulty finding a good docking space for your unit if space is limited.
This Unit Does Not Offer Mapping
Looking for a unit that can really learn and remember your space? If that’s important to you, you’ll want to look for a different robot vacuum. This particular model does not offer a sophisticated mapping system.
Instead, this device appears to move in a random manner, covering the exposed area. This may make the unit less efficient, but the vacuum will continue to make its way through the entire area.
|Battery Life||100 minutes|
|Package Includes||Docking base, AC power adapter, remote control, high-performance filters, cleaning tools, user manual|
2. amarey Robot Vacuum
While this unit doesn’t offer mapping, it does come with four different cleaning modes. You can choose auto, spot, single room, or edge, depending on your specific needs. Simply select your needed mode and let the robot vacuum get to work.
We love the easy-to-empty dirt receptacle. There’s no need for additional bags to collect the dirt and it’s suitable for collecting dirt, debris, dust, and pet hair. Cleaning schedules can be programmed ahead of time to get your robot vacuum up and running even when you aren’t there.
This is a quiet robot vacuum that works at 58 decibels. It has an intelligent sensor system and is able to transition between different floor types. It also features anti-collision and anti-drop technology.
At only 2.7 inches tall, this robot vacuum has a thin body that’s perfect for going under low-to-the-ground furniture. This unit weighs in at 5.7 pounds.
Why We Love It
Room Transitions and Floor Changes Are Easy
This robot vacuum is able to easily navigate surface changes as it goes about its vacuuming. Even higher-pile carpets like bath mats are easily navigated by this unit. Significant thresholds and surface changes won’t impede the vacuum’s progress or cause your vacuum to become stuck.
Programmable with Multiple Cleaning Modes
The different cleaning modes give you control over where your vacuum is cleaning. Selecting a cleaning mode can make your robot vacuum more efficient and keeps cleaning time down.
Being able to program your robot vacuum in advance means you can set cleaning for when it’s convenient. That may be in the middle of the night or while you’re working late at the office. That’s one more thing you can automate to keep things moving smoothly — and keep your home clean.
Long Battery Life
This unit is advertised as having a 100-minute battery life. However, many users who use this vacuum report they got more time out of a single charge. If you’re dealing with a larger space, you may find the extended battery life helpful.
Keep In Mind
Can Only Be Controlled with the Remote
All of your cleaning customizations happen through the use of the remote, including cleaning mode and scheduling cleans. This model cannot communicate remotely or with a downloaded app. Should you lose the remote, you won’t be able to program the unit.
Cleaning Sessions May Take a While
This model does not offer an intelligent mapping system. This means it cannot learn or remember your floor plan in the area it’s cleaning. As a result, cleanings are less methodical and it may take longer for the robot to complete its vacuuming.
|Battery Life||100 minutes|
|Package Includes||Charging station, remote control|
3. Pure Clean Robot Vacuum
This vacuum model is a great option if you’re looking for an automated cleaner that won’t break the bank. It works well on hardwood, tile, and low-pile carpeting.
This unit also features a HEPA filter. So, it can be a good option for people who suffer from allergies and pet owners.
Two side-sweeping brushes extend its cleaning path. This can mean cleaning happens in a shorter period. The expected charge time for this unit is 4 hours.
We love that it features anti-fall technology. It can be a good option for second stories, split levels, and other floor plans with elevation changes. Plus, the multiple cleaning options on this unit will help you get the best clean in the shortest time possible.
Why We Love It
The HEPA Filter
This vacuum features a HEPA filter that’s great for allergy sufferers. It helps trap fine dust particles and pet dander. The filter reduces the number of fine particles that make their way back into the air while preventing clogging in the vacuum.
Additionally, the filter is washable and a spare filter is included with the unit. You can expect to replace the filter every few months to maintain its effectiveness.
Programmable Cleaning Modes
This robot vacuum offers preset cleaning modes. These modes include an edge-cleaning mode, a spot-cleaning mode, and a general randomized cleaning mode. You can choose the cleaning mode depending on your current cleaning needs.
An included remote control allows you to make changes as needed. You can also use the remote to direct your robot vacuum to particular areas.
Good for Pet Hair
This unit is well-suited to collecting pet hair — especially lightweight and finer dust and dirt. It can be a great tool for maintaining the space your pets occupy.
Regular cleaning with this model can prevent the pet hair tumbleweeds that hardwood floors are known for.
Keep In Mind
Small Dustbin Capacity
Despite this model’s height, the dustbin is quite small and won’t be able to handle larger messes. The dustbin offers only 0.2 liters of space for storage and will need frequent emptying. While it’s great for picking up fine and lightweight messes, you should plan on dumping the dustbin after each use.
Better Suited for Light Cleanings
This unit isn’t as powerful as some of the other robot vacuums on the market. It won’t be as successful at cleaning larger messes or debris. If you anticipate needing something for heavy-duty cleaning, a different model may suit your needs better.
|Battery Life||90 minutes|
|Package Includes||Charging port, AC adapter, cleaning tool, HEPA filter, remote control|
4. Shark Ion Robot Vacuum
This unit from Shark works with Alexa to give you voice control. Using voice control or an app, you can schedule cleanings or have your robot clean a new mess that needs attention.
It is equipped with smart-sensing technology that allows it to learn where furniture is. This causes fewer accidents and leads to your vacuum becoming trapped less frequently. Additional proximity sensors allow the robot to know when it’s close to obstacles and lets it adjust accordingly.
This unit does include a brush to more thoroughly gather debris and dirt on the floor. It also has a self-grooming system that can untangle hair, string, and other long pieces that are prone to becoming obstructions. Thankfully, the bristles on the brush work well on both hardwood and carpeted areas.
Featuring a low-profile design and an easy-to-empty dustbin, this model is user-friendly. It’s not likely to become stuck under furniture and the dustbin can hold 0.5 liters of collected debris.
Why We Love It
Longer-Than-Expected Battery Life
This model is advertised as having an hour’s worth of active vacuuming time. Many users reported their vacuum was capable of cleaning for closer to two hours before returning to its charging dock.
Worry-Free Brush System
Having a brush can give you a better clean. If you’ve ever dealt with a rotating brush on, though, you know it can be a hassle to keep clean. The self-cleaning feature on this bot makes keeping your space clean even easier and keeps your robot in working order.
Voice Command Capabilities
With the ability to connect to Wi-Fi and an Alexa device, this robot is convenient to use. Once your system is set up, you can make changes and schedule cleanings on the go. When you don’t have your phone handy for the accompanying app, you can just give your information directly to Alexa.
Keep In Mind
This Unit Is Best for Light Cleaning
This robot vacuum doesn’t have a tremendous amount of suction power. Though its dustbin is large enough to handle more substantial messes, the power may not be. For best results, therefore, you’ll want to plan on using this robot for mostly light-duty messes.
There Is No Way to Direct the Vacuum
Though you can schedule cleanings through the app or with voice control, you can’t physically direct the robot. If there’s a particular mess you need your robot to get to, you’ll have to physically move it to the area. You can also wait for the vacuum to get there on its own, but you won’t be able to assign it an accompanying cleaning mode.
|Battery Life||60 minutes|
|Package Includes||Charging dock, filter, side brushes, botboundary connectors, 9 feet of botboundary tape|
5. iRobot Roomba 675
This unit features a three-stage cleaning approach. First, it loosens and lifts, then it adds in suction to collect both large and fine debris. A patented dirt-detecting technology alerts this model to areas where the vacuum needs to work harder.
You can expect 90 minutes of run time from this model. It also returns automatically to its docking station when needed. This model is compatible with the Roomba cleaning app and allows you to schedule cleanings remotely.
Great for hardwood floors, this model can move easily between different surface types. An auto-adjusting head changes positions according to the floor your robot is traveling on. It’s also able to move over flooring transitions on its own.
This unit weighs in at 6.77 pounds. It has an edge-sweeping brush that helps it perform thorough cleanings along walls and through corners. Its dustbin has a capacity of 0.35 liters.
Why We Love It
Offers Wi-Fi Connectivity
This is a high-tech unit that can connect with your Wi-Fi network. A corresponding app also allows you to stay in communication with your robot. This makes scheduling and starting cleaning sessions easier than ever.
When it comes to platforms, you have options with this Roomba. It works with both Alexa and Google and is compatible with Android and iOS operating systems.
Advanced Cleaning System
Suction power is great when it comes to vacuums. However, we love that more thought has gone into this product than just having more suction force. The unique three-stage cleaning system makes cleaning sessions more productive, even if there’s less suction power involved.
Navigates Floor Changes Easily
The auto-sensing cleaning heads on this unit make surface transitions a breeze for this robot. It won’t get stuck and wear its battery down as it moves from area to area. It’s also equipped with anti-falling sensors. So, it won’t attempt larger drops that could damage the unit.
Keep In Mind
Less Powerful Suction
This model has many technological advancements. When it comes to suction power, however, it only has 600Pa to offer.
However, the unique three-stage cleaning approach does loosen and lift dirt so less suction is needed. Still, you may find there isn’t enough power there to deal with larger or heavier debris.
This Is a Larger Unit
This robot vacuum is both taller and has a greater diameter than some other models on the market. You may find it is too large to fit under certain pieces of furniture.
Regardless, the greater diameter does allow the robot to cover more space in a single pass. This can be an asset if you’re vacuuming a larger open area. An additional side sweeper further expands the amount of floor this model can clean in a single pass.
|Battery Life||90 minutes|
|Package Includes||Docking station, extra filter, owner’s manual|
|Eufy BoostIQ RoboVac||Best For a Quiet Clean||1.3 kPa||2.85″||12.8″||100 min||Docking base, AC power adapter, remote control, high-performance filters, cleaning tools, user manual|
|amarey Robot||Best For Under-Furniture Cleans||1.4 kPa||2.7″||12.7″||100 min||Charging station, remote control|
|Pure Clean Robot||Best Budget Buy||1.2 kPa||2.9″||11″||90 min||Charging port, AC adapter, cleaning tool, HEPA filter, remote control|
|Shark Ion Robot||Best For Wi-Fi Connectivity||1 kPa||2.6″||12.6″||60 min||Charging dock, filter, side brushes, botboundary connectors, 9 feet of botboundary tape|
|iRobot Roomba 675||Best High-Tech Option||0.6 kPa||3.5″||13.4″||90 min||Docking station, extra filter, owner’s manual|
Tips for Using Your Robot vacuum
Prep Your Area Ahead of Time
A robot vacuum can make things easier for you. However, there are some things you can do to keep things running smoothly while using it.
These vacuums are only robots and don’t have common sense to fall back on. So you’ll need to remove any items they can accidentally suck up or get stuck on from the floor. If you’d prefer they focus on a certain room, you may need to close off that area.
Use Your Robot Vacuum Often
These units are designed to make your life easier. One way they’re able to do that is by tackling light messes before they become out of control. Once there’s a significant amount of dirt or grime involved, your unit may not be able to clean it well.
To avoid this, you can schedule many frequent cleanings. Even short sessions or sessions that don’t clean the whole space are useful. They’ll increase the overall effectiveness of your vacuum.
Clean Your Robot Vacuum Frequently
Keeping your vacuum clean will improve its performance. It will also increase the longevity of your unit.
Many vacuums come with a cleaning kit or brush to better maintain your unit. So, make sure to empty the dustbin cavity frequently and clean the cleaning mechanism regularly.
The Perfect Robot Vacuum for Your Home
A robot vacuum can make your daily house chores a little easier. But finding the best hardwood floor robot vacuum means taking a good look at your space and cleaning needs.
Opt for a unit that’s easy to operate, has sufficient battery life, and a dustbin capacity that works for you.
We’d love to hear which model you end up going with. Let us know in the comments section below.