Trusty Joe’s Top Picks
In a hurry? Here’s a glimpse of the two best products you can get.
If you’ve got a bit more time you can find the full reviews and buying guide below.
How to pick the best budget robot vacuum cleaner
Do you have a love-hate relationship with your upright vacuum cleaner? I sure do!
If you’re like me, you love the feeling of having a freshly vacuumed floor in your home but hate the act of lugging the vacuum cleaner around in order to achieve it.
Keeping a clean floor is seriously a lot of work.
I remember when my kids were young and I had two dogs in the house the amount of vacuuming I had to do on a weekly basis drove me nuts. My floors were always covered with dirt, crumbs and pet hair, no matter how much I cleaned.
It’s no wonder why I’m so thankful for the invention of the robotic vacuum cleaner!
This product has truly saved my life.
Up until I got one of the cheapest robot vacuums, it was a never-ending battle to keep my house in shape. Now that I have one, my floors are always spotless and I never have to lift a finger!
It’s been more than great.
Buying a budget vacuum is one of the best things you can do for yourself because it lets you enjoy a super clean home at all times. Once you own a robo vac, you’ll kick yourself for not buying one sooner. I definitely did!
Although high-end robotic vacuum cleaners like the Roomba can cost between $400 to $900, you’ll be happy to know that there are many less-expensive options ($99 to $200) that can clean your house just as well as those pricey vacs.
But how do you find the best budget robot vacuum that’s super cheap, yet still good enough to tidy up your home?
That’s where I can help!
As your trusty companion, I’ve put more than 23 robotic vacuums to the test and sent them through an obstacle course of dirty rooms to see how well they work. All for the purpose of putting together this guide to help you find the top cheap robot vacuum cleaner for your needs.
We’ll first look at the features that really matter in these products, then I’ll show you my top five picks and what makes them so great.
Features to look for in the cheapest robot vacuums
Before we jump into what you really came here for, the inexpensive robot vacuum reviews, there are a few things you’ll want to consider when buying your own.
Paying attention to these features will help you find the best device for the long haul.
It’s no surprise that the main reason you want to buy a robot vacuum cleaner is so you don’t have to do this job yourself. Clearly, that’s why they exist.
However, one of the most important aspects for how thorough these vacuums can clean your floors is the total run time on a single battery charge.
When you’re looking to purchase an inexpensive robot vacuum, you definitely want to make sure it’s reliable. You’ll get very annoyed, really fast, if you’re vacuum only lasts 15-20 minutes before it has to be recharged and can never finish a room in a single pass.
To save you from that headache, the only products you’ll find in my list of reviews below have a run time of at least 50 minutes. This is the bare minimum you’ll want for any vacuum that you’re considering.
Keep in mind that several of the vacs I recommend also go above and beyond that spec and run for 1.5 hours or more!
Just as important as the run time is for your vacuum cleaner, the length of time it takes to charge is another important factor.
I once tested a robo vac that took 6 hours to charge!
At first, I didn’t think that would be a big deal because I planned on charging it at night and letting it run when I left for work. In the end, it was one of the worst purchases I ever made.
The vacuum cleaner never could complete a whole room in one charge and it would just sit idle until I got home to recharge it. Since it took two days to finish a simple job the rooms in my home were only ever half clean at a time. Needless to say, I returned it.
This story also brings up another point you’ll want to think about when looking at the best affordable robot vacuum cleaners, which is if the device includes a base charging station or not.
If it does have this feature, the vac will make its way back to the base when the battery gets low in order to recharge itself. If it doesn’t have it, you’ll have to find the vacuum when the battery dies and manually plug it into the wall to charge it.
3 of the 5 products I recommend below come with a convenient charging station. The cheapest robot vacuums on the list, unfortunately, don’t include it.
Smartphone app or remote control
One of the biggest reasons why so many people are drawn to expensive robot vacuums like the Roomba is because they can be controlled by a smartphone app.
I’ll be the first to admit that this handy feature was a top factor in my final decision for which robot vacuum cleaner I bought for my own home.
Because mobile apps give you the ability to control the vacuum from anywhere in the house and come with a lot of extra nifty features.
Keep in mind, however, that lower-priced robo vacs do exist out there that offer mobile app control. You just have to hunt to find them. My top pick below is one of the best.
If apps aren’t your thing, you’ll be happy to know that some cheaper vacuums instead come with a remote control. While this may not seem as fancy as a smartphone app, the end result is the same – it lets you operate the vacuum from a distance and set up things like a cleaning schedule.
Only two of the cheapest products I review below don’t include an app or remote. You’ll have to decide on if this matters to you or not.
When robot vacuums first came out only the most expensive models had a scheduling feature.
That’s no longer true.
In fact, many of the top budget robot vacuum cleaners now have this helpful feature built right in. This means you can set up a time for your vac to automatically clean your home each day and keep it spotless.
What’s also great about this functionality is that you don’t have to buy a vacuum cleaner that uses a smartphone app to get this luxury. There are many affordable robot vacuums that use a remote control which allows you to easily set up a schedule.
My top 5 list below contains several products that give you the power of scheduling.
HEPA is an acronym that stands for “high-efficiency particulate air”. Basically, what this means is that it’s a type of filter that can trap super-fine particles.
This includes things like microscopic dust, pet dander, bacteria and other allergens that linger around your home and triggers allergies and asthma. Vacuums that don’t have a HEPA filter are known for recirculating harmful particles back into the air during the cleaning process.
Some lower priced robotic vacuums cut costs by not including this type of filter.
When you’re comparing the best cheap robot vacuum cleaners, you’ll want to make sure you look for a HEPA filter because it leaves your home much cleaner. To help you with this, I’ve pointed out which devices do an do not come with HEPA filters in each of my reviews.
If there’s one thing that’s become standard for all cheap robotic vacuums, it’s the type of flooring that these machines can handle.
You can rest assured that all robotic vacs will work on hard floors and low-pile carpets.
When I was testing out vacuums for this guide, I searched long and hard to find one that could work with thick carpets. Unfortunately, at the lower price levels, this feature just doesn’t exist.
The technology required for the device to transition from hard flooring to thick carpet is just too expensive. You’ll have to pay top dollar for this type of operation.
While that may sound disappointing, the truth is that for 90% of homeowners this functionality really isn’t a problem. Many robo vacs can handle the standard carpets inside a home. It’s only the super thick, plush carpeting that these machines have trouble making their way up on to clean.
The Top 5 Products
During my testing, I uncovered a lot of good (and bad) products when putting together this list of budget robot vacuum cleaner reviews.
After dirtying up my house, and cleaning it over and over again for the purpose of this guide, I was finally able to narrow down the top five winners for you. Just know that all of the devices below are excellent robotic vacs and will get the job done without breaking the bank.
I hope you find the best inexpensive robot vacuum cleaner for your home among this list.
This is the best affordable robot vacuum you can buy and it’s the same one I use in my own house.
I’m so happy I have it!
It gives you all of the benefits of a more expensive device like the Roomba for a fraction of the cost.
The mobile app is my favorite feature because it lets you control everything from your smartphone. You can set up cleaning schedules, track cleaning sessions, see the battery life and receive error alerts.
For those of you who don’t care about the app, a remote control is also included and works very well.
Run time is great at 100 minutes, and charging time is good at 3 hours. What’s even better is that this vacuum has a base charging station. When the battery gets low it automatically returns to the station to recharge.
A HEPA filter is also included for maximum cleaning power and it has three cleaning patterns: random, spiraling out from the center of the room and edge cleaning.
If you want the lowest priced top robotic vacuum, this is it!
This is my second favorite robo vac and I almost bought it instead of the ECOVACS DEEBOT N79.
Because it offers something no other vacuum in this price range does: wet mopping.
In addition to vacuuming your floors, this product can also mop them! How convenient is that?
Other top features you’ll enjoy are a remote control, base charging station, the ability to program a hands-free cleaning schedule and 5 cleaning modes: spot, auto, edge, turbo boost and scheduled.
Run time is on par at 90 minutes, but charging time is a little lengthy at 4.5 hours.
I was surprised that this vacuum also includes a HEPA filter. I would have expected Deik to cut costs by removing it since it has mopping capabilities but luckily they didn’t.
If this sounds like everything you’re looking for in a robotic vacuum cleaner, you should give it a try!
ILIFE is an excellent brand and this vacuum cleaner has the longest running time out of any other choice – 140 minutes.
That feature more than makes up for the 4 hour charging time.
You’ll also be happy to know that it does have a base charging station for it to return to when the battery gets low.
The remote control lets you set a cleaning schedule too, which makes it a truly hands-free device.
Like the other products on this list, this vacuum cleaner comes with a HEPA filter for stripping your floor of fine dust and allergens. The cleaning pattern is random, yet works quite well for any room.
If I had to offer one complaint, it’s that you can’t schedule the robot to clean more than once per day. That can be kind of annoying if you want to do several cleanings in short period of time without having to touch it.
Hopefully, you can live with that given all of the other great featuresit has!
Are you looking for a super cheap robot vacuum that can still get the job done?
If so, you’ve found it!
Granted, this device doesn’t have as many bells or whistles as the other products on this list, but for the budget price, you wouldn’t expect it to.
Nevertheless, it does do a wonderful job of cleaning your floors.
One reason this device is so affordable is that it’s designed for small to medium size rooms. There are two options for how long you can run it – 30 or 50 minutes.
That’s not the best trade-off for a 3 hour charging time but if you want to spend the least amount of money possible on a robo vac, you’ll have to settle for it.
Some other things you’ll have let go of are that it doesn’t have a smartphone app, remote control or HEPA filter. And, it must be manually plugged in for recharging.
But perhaps you don’t really need all those fancy upgrades in a vacuum cleaner. Do you?
My final recommendation for the best inexpensive robot vacuum cleaner is this device right here.
At first glance, it may not seem like there’s much of a difference between the Housmile product above and this vac. The pricing is about the same, too.
However, there is one thing to keep in mind when comparing the two devices. This is one of the cheapest, best robot vacuum cleaners I have ever reviewed that also includes a HEPA filter.
As I pointed out in my buying guide above, a HEPA filter is essential for getting rid of particles in the home that cause asthma and allergies. If anyone in your house has trouble with these conditions, you’ll want a robot vacuum that has it.
Also, if you love to find a bargain and want a high-quality robo vac for your home, this may be the better investment.
These are just a few articles I found that relate to robotic vacuums.
- How Robotic Vacuums Work (HowStuffWorks.com)
- Can a Robot Vacuum Replace Your Upright? (HowStuffWorks.com)
- What is a HEPA Filter and Do I Need One for My Vacuum (TheSpruce.com)