The 5 Best Robot Vacuums for Carpets of 2023, Tested and Reviewed

Our top pick is the iRobot Roomba 694, for its impressive ability to suck up hair, cereal, and sand from carpets.

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A robot vacuum on a colorful rug

Real Simple / Henry Wortock

A vacuum is one of the hardest-working appliances in your home, but a robot vacuum for carpets can make dust, crumbs, and household debris virtually disappear with little effort on your part.

To find the best robot vacuums for carpets, we tested 31 models in our Lab and at home, evaluating them on effectiveness, maneuverability, features, and more. Our tests involved scattering pet and human hair, Cheerios, sand, and more on the floor to see how well each robot vacuum worked on carpets and hard surfaces.

We also spoke to three experts—Jennifer Rodriguez, chief hygiene officer at Pro Housekeepers; Kevin Huang, founder and CEO of Ambient Home; and Robert Johnson, marketing director at Coast Appliances—for tips on how to choose a robot vacuum for carpets. They also gave us some insight into how robot vacuums work, and how you should incorporate them into your cleaning routine.

“The brushes at the bottom of [a] robot vacuum are made to compare with a broom,” says Rodriguez. “It will remove debris, dirt, pet hair, and any other small particles without overcleaning the same spot.”

Our top pick is the iRobot Roomba 694 Robot Vacuum. It’s extremely effective at cleaning carpets and rugs, especially when it comes to pet hair. You can even put it on a cleaning schedule using the app, so vacuuming becomes a set-it-and-forget-it task.

Here are the best robot vacuums for carpets.

Our Top Picks
Best Overall Robot Vacuum for Carpet:
iRobot Roomba 694 Robot Vacuum at Amazon
Best Budget Robot Vacuum for Carpet:
ILIFE V3s Pro Robot Vacuum Cleaner at Amazon
Best Robot Vacuum for Carpet and Pets:
Ecovacs Deebot N8 Pro+ at Amazon
Best Robot Vacuum for Carpet and Hardwood:
iRobot Roomba J7 Robot Vacuum at Amazon

Best Overall Robot Vacuum for Carpet

iRobot Roomba 694 Robot Vacuum

4.5
iRobot Roomba 694 Robot Vacuum

Amazon

Whom it’s for: People who want a simple yet reliable robot vacuum that connects to WiFi.

Whom it isn’t for: People who want a robot vacuum with smart mapping capabilities.

iRobot Roombas are probably the most well-known robot vacuums, so it’s no surprise that the 694 model earned the top spot on our list. Our tester found it very simple to set up this robot vacuum, putting it to work right away on the carpet, where it did an “excellent job” of picking up pet and human hair. It swept up all the spilled Cheerios after just one or two passes, and it even impressed our testers with its ability to suck up sand from the rug—making it great for anyone who lives near the beach.

In our testing, we also found that the Roomba 694 moves around chair legs easily, so you won’t have to worry about how well it maneuvers around furniture. However, you’ll want to keep stray items out of its way. (It “ate” a pair of socks in our testing, and it went right through the pile of chocolate pudding.) Still, when it came to more solid obstacles, our testers noted that the robot vacuum was quite agile and moved very quickly. A glance at the instructions was all it took to easily remove the dustbin.

“I only run it when I'm home, but it's so nice to be able to set the vacuum to run while I focus on other cleaning chores,” one tester says. “I don't have to babysit it at all, unless I don't want it to go into a certain room, but it's great at navigating through my apartment and docking itself once it's done cleaning.”

The Roomba 694 isn't too noisy when it’s working on your floors, but you might want to refrain from using it during nap time if you've got little ones. Aside from connecting to WiFi, there aren't any extra features, though the basic ones that are present perform very well. “I would absolutely recommend this vacuum,” says one tester. “It's made cleaning my floors so much easier, and it's great at what it does.” This robot vacuum isn’t perfect at transitioning from the edges of a rug to hardwood floors, but we think its ability to suck up hair, cereal, and sand from carpet still makes this an excellent device.

Price at time of publish: $274


Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 13.4 x 3.5 inches
  • Weight: 6.8 pounds
  • Bin Capacity: 0.35 liters
  • Battery Life: 90 minutes
  • WiFi Connectivity: Yes
  • Smart-Home Connectivity: Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
iRobot Roomba 694 Robot Vacuum

Real Simple / Henry Wortock

Best Budget Robot Vacuum for Carpet

ILIFE V3s Pro Robot Vacuum Cleaner

4.3
ILIFE V3s Pro Robot Vacuum Cleaner

Amazon

Whom it’s for: People who want a no-frills robot vacuum that comes at a budget-friendly price.

Whom it isn’t for: People who want to control their robot vacuum from an app.

Robot vacuums can be quite pricey, but the iLife V3s Pro is much more affordable than many of its competitors, yet still very effective at cleaning your carpets. In fact, it works so well at cleaning up household grime from your floor that our tester says, “It definitely left me speechless.” Not only did this budget-friendly robot vacuum not get stuck anywhere on the floor, but it also avoided obstacles—including the chocolate pudding.

Our tester found it super easy to set up (it took less than two minutes for it to be ready to vacuum), though they do recommend reading the manual first if you’ve never touched a robot vacuum before. At first, this iLife model did struggle to climb up the edge of a carpet that was a bit offset, but the fact that it gave it another go and was successful on the second try was impressive to our tester. We also liked its low noise level: You could still carry on a conversation with someone in the room where it’s running, according to testers.

Even though this pick does not have the bells and whistles that other robot vacuums do, it was very effective. Even though the robot vacuum doesn’t have WiFi connectivity or the ability to connect to an app, our tester liked that the included remote was very easy to use.

Price at time of publish: $160

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 11.8 x 3.2 inches
  • Weight: 4.9 pounds
  • Bin Capacity: 0.3 liters
  • Battery Life: 90 minutes
  • WiFi Connectivity: No
  • Smart-Home Connectivity: No
ILIFE V3s Pro Robot Vacuum Cleaner

Real Simple / Henry Wortock

Best Robot Vacuum for Carpet and Pets

Ecovacs Deebot N8 Pro+

4.8
ECOVACS Deebot N8 Pro+ Robot Vacuum and Mop Cleaner

Amazon

Whom it’s for: Pet owners who are tired of constantly vacuuming their floors.

Whom it isn’t for: People who need a more budget-friendly robot vacuum to clean carpets only.

If you have pets and are tired of vacuuming your carpets every day, the Ecovacs Deebot N8+ will make your cleaning routine so much more efficient. It has all the features you’d need, like smart mapping, cleaning schedules, and a self-emptying station, to name a few. Our tester found this robot vacuum to be very effective, removing “nearly everything” off the floors and carpets. In our tests, it navigated the edges of the rug very easily and was able to vacuum the surface well with “no visible mess remaining.” Best of all? Our tester reported that there was no hair stuck in the vacuum when the cleaning was done, which is important for pet owners.

This robot vacuum for carpets navigated easily around chair legs and under the couch, though it did get stuck on cords. (The cords were easy to remove, but this is something you’ll want to clear out of the vacuum’s path before cleaning each time.)

As for noise level, our tester noted that the vacuum was not too loud while it was cleaning, but it was quite noisy when auto-emptying its dustbin into the base. Still, this pick was able to dock itself easily on the first try,, and since you don’t have to empty the bin for 30 days, you might be willing to deal with the little bit of extra noise. This robot vacuum can also mop hard floors: Despite some sticky residue left behind on the floor and brushes, this feature was pretty effective in our tests—although it probably won’t be able to fully replace your regular mop.

All in all, we think this robot vacuum is great for pet owners because of its ability to suck up everything we threw at it—including pet hair—without getting stuck or tangled. “It works well, has great mapping, the object avoidance works, and the mopping would work well with a few adjustments,” says our tester.

Price at time of publish: $700

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 13.8 x 3.7 inches
  • Weight: 7.8 pounds
  • Bin Capacity: 0.42 liters for vacuum, 2.5 liters for base
  • Battery Life: 110 minutes
  • WiFi Connectivity: Yes
  • Smart-Home Connectivity: Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
Ecovacs Deebot N8+

Real Simple / Henry Wortock

Best Robot Vacuum for Carpet and Hardwood

iRobot Roomba J7 Robot Vacuum

4.2
iRobot Roomba J7 Robot Vacuum

Amazon

Whom it’s for: People who have a mix of hardwood floors and carpets in their homes.

Whom it isn’t for: People who want a robot vacuum that comes with a traditional remote.

We were impressed with how well the iRobot Roomba j7 Robot Vacuum cleaned the carpet in our testing. It navigated the edges of the rug well, and our tester says the transition to hard surfaces was “smooth,” so you don’t have to worry about this vacuum getting stuck. We also found that it works really well on hard floors, so we think this is a great option for anyone with a mix of floor types in their home. The robot vacuum moves in lines (or grids), and was “super effective to make sure it picked up everything,” according to our tester.

Although this robot vacuum doesn’t come with a remote, our tester loved that there is just one button to start and stop the vacuum. You can download the app to control it from there, which allows you to take advantage of some of the fancier features.

One thing to note is that this versatile robot vacuum is quite loud. There’s also a bright white light on the camera, which our tester found odd at first. But when they saw how well the Roomba navigated around furniture legs and stray socks, it all made sense. Emptying this robot vacuum was easy, too—all it takes is the click of a button.

Due to its smaller dustbin and somewhat short battery life, we think the Roomba j7 would be better for smaller homes with a mix of carpets and hard floors. It’ll still work in larger spaces, though you might have to let it recharge it and empty the dustbin before it finishes cleaning.

Price at time of publish: $600

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 13.3 x 3.4 inches
  • Weight: 7.5 pounds
  • Bin Capacity: 0.4 liters
  • Battery Life: 75 minutes
  • WiFi Connectivity: Yes
  • Smart-Home Connectivity: Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
iRobot Roomba J7

Real Simple / Henry Wortock

Best Self-Emptying Robot Vacuum for Carpet

Samsung Jet Bot+ Robot Vacuum With Clean Station

4.2
Samsung Jet Bot+ Robot Vacuum With Clean Station

Amazon

Whom it’s for: People who want a robot vacuum that empties itself, so there’s no need to touch any dirt or debris.

Whom it isn’t for: People who want a robot vacuum that doubles as a mop for hard floors.

In our tests, the Samsung Jet Bot+ Robot Vacuum With Clean Station performed very well at cleaning up the mess of hair, Cheerios, and sand. There was no problem at all when the vacuum made the transition from the hard surface to the carpet, and it did a great job cleaning both surfaces. (It might struggle a bit on the corners of tasseled rugs, though.) Our tester found the vacuum to be “a little bit loud overall,” though they noted the noise would likely disappear into the background over time.

Testers like that this robot vacuum empties itself into its base, which is a high-end feature that not all models have. You can also download the app to get more advanced features, like the ability to schedule cleanings and set off-limit areas.

While it did maneuver around the couch and chair legs quite well, it did try to go over socks and, unfortunately, the chocolate pudding. Overall, our tester noted that the Samsung cleaned the floor well, thanks to it using a grid and line pattern of vacuuming that prevented it from mindlessly running around. “​​This Samsung one beats my other [robot vacuum] by getting a little bit more into corners with its fan brush to pull debris into it,” says our tester.

Even though it’s on the expensive side, if you’re looking for a robot vacuum that empties itself, the Jet Bot+ could turn out to be money well spent for your household.

Price at time of publish: $799

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 13.8 x 3.9 inches (vacuum only)
  • Weight: 7.5 pounds (vacuum), 10.4 pounds (base)
  • Bin Capacity: 0.3 liters for vacuum, 2.5 liters for base
  • Battery Life: 90 minutes
  • WiFi Connectivity: Yes
  • Smart-Home Connectivity: Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Bixby
Samsung Jet Bot+ Robot Vacuum With Clean Station

Real Simple / Henry Wortock

Final Verdict

Our best overall pick is the iRobot Roomba 694 Robot Vacuum, which impressed our testers with its ability to suck up all the hair, cereal, and sand we scattered across carpets. We also like that it comes at a reasonable price, since so many robot vacuums can be quite expensive.

Our Testing Process

To find the best robot vacuums for carpets, we tested 31 models in our Lab before sending them home with our testers for at-home use. In our Lab tests, we started by evaluating the setup of each robot vacuum. Testers followed the instructions for basic assembly and connected to WiFi to test the app function on smart models.

Our testers also evaluated each robot vacuum's effectiveness at vacuuming. We spilled a pinch of wig hair, a tablespoon of Cheerios, and a tablespoon of sand onto a hard floor and rug and assessed how well each vacuum cleaned the mess in two minutes. For vacuums with mopping capabilities, we spilled a tablespoon of coffee and a drizzle of sticky syrup on the hard floor and again evaluated how well it cleaned the mess in two minutes. We also used a decibel meter to measure the noise level of each robot vacuum while running it in a small room with the door closed.

Throughout the testing process, we made sure to try out all available features on each vacuum—including smart mapping, voice command, object avoidance, and more—and evaluated how intuitive they were to use and whether they work as advertised.

To test the maneuverability of each model, we set up an area with a medium-pile rug, couch, coffee table, and dining table. Our testers then ran the robot vacuum and took note of how well it slid under furniture, navigated around chair and table legs, and transferred from a carpeted surface to a non-carpeted one. For robot vacuums with object-avoidance technology, we placed chocolate pudding (to simulate pet waste) in the path of the vacuum to see whether it would avoid it or not. We also repeated this test with a USB cable and a baby sock. In our testing, we found that the iRobot Roomba j7 was able to maneuver around small objects quite well.

After the above tests were complete, testers evaluated the ease of emptying each robot vacuum by doing whatever it takes to prepare it for the next use (like switching out the bag, dumping the dustbin, or swapping the mop pad).

Once all of our Lab evaluations were complete, testers received the price of each robot vacuum and were asked to score its overall value, considering its performance in the above tests. Then, we sent the vacuums home with testers and had them give their honest feedback on their performance after one and three months of use. We plan to follow up with testers again after six months of at-home use.

A man taking out the trash compartment of the vacuum

Real Simple / Henry Wortock

How to Shop for Robot Vacuums for Carpet

Floor Compatibility

Most robot vacuums can handle hardwood floors and carpets, though going from one to the other—the edge of an area rug can trip some up—might be a challenge.

“The new generation of robot vacuums have built-in sensors and are programmable,” says Huang. “They can detect surface differences and adjust their cleaning according to the program set.”

Robot vacuums will seldom get stuck on low-pile rugs and carpets, but they can get tangled in a rug’s tassels or stuck in a high-pile carpet, like a shag carpet. To prevent your robot vacuum from getting stuck, you can roll the tassels underneath the rug or tape them down. You can also program robot vacuums with smart mapping to avoid the carpet entirely, or block it off so the vacuum can’t access it.

WiFi Connectivity

If you’ve got a smartphone or tablet, you can look for a WiFi-compatible robot vacuum for the ability to control it while on the go. Whether you want to set schedules using the brand’s app or connect it to a virtual assistant like Amazon Alexa, these smart robot vacuums are very convenient and easy to use.

Features

Any vacuum’s main job is to suck up dirt, dust, and debris. But if you want to program it to turn on every Sunday at 10 a.m., learn how to stop at the top of the stairs, or do any other “tricks,” you’ll want to make sure you choose a robot vacuum that’s loaded with the features you want. Some of our testers’ favorite features were smart mapping and the ability to set cleaning schedules from an app.

Keep in mind, though, that the “smarter” your vacuum is, the higher the price tag will be. Whether you’re ready to splurge on something with lots of bells and whistles—like the self-emptying Samsung Jet Bot+ Robot Vacuum With Clean Station—or just want a basic model that saves you from doing the work yourself—like the iLife V3s Pro—there’s one on our list that you’ll like.

eufy by Anker, BoostIQ RoboVac 11S

Real Simple / Henry Wortock

Noise

Traditional vacuums are known for being loud appliances, but luckily, robotic vacuums can be a bit quieter though certainly not silent. Depending on your household’s needs, you might want to look for a robot vacuum that’s quiet enough to avoid waking up a baby, scaring your pet, or annoying a downstairs neighbor.

Battery Life

Like with all devices powered by battery, you’ll want to consider how long the battery lasts and how long it takes to charge. If you live in a small space, your robot vacuum’s battery will likely last long enough to clean the whole place on a single charge. In larger homes, the robot vacuum might need to pause and recharge before finishing up the task.

More Robot Vacuums for Carpet to Consider

iRobot Roomba i3 EVO: Our testers found this robot vacuum to be effective, and it was even quieter than other models on our list. However, at about $100 more than the iRobot Roomba 694 that did top our best robot vacuums for carpet list, it’s tempting to purchase the more inexpensive model, especially if pet hair isn’t a concern for you.

iRobot Roomba i3 EVO

Real Simple / Henry Wortock

Questions You Might Ask

Can a robot vacuum ruin your carpet or rug?

“Modern robot vacuums don’t harm carpets and rugs, provided the suction you set isn’t too strong,” says Johnson.

Rodriguez recommends choosing a vacuum with at least 2,000 Pa in suction. Pascal Pressure Unit is the measurement for suction—the higher the number, the more powerful. If you’ve got a more powerful vacuum, be careful using it on old carpets. “If the rug is old or has loose fibers, it is [more] likely for the robot vacuum to tear apart your carpet,” she says. “The robot will confuse the loose fibers with dirt.”

Should you still occasionally use a regular vacuum on carpet if you have a robot vacuum?

In an ideal world, you wouldn’t need to use a regular vacuum in addition to a robot vacuum. Some of our long-term testers found that their robot vacuum worked so well, they decided to get rid of their regular vacuums to save space. “If used correctly and supervised, a vacuum robot is efficient, and you won’t need a vacuum backup,” says Rodriguez.

However, many others choose to keep a small cordless vacuum on hand to clean up messes that the robot vacuum simply can’t reach. “Upright vacuum cleaners are still important to clean hard-to-reach areas,” says Johnson, who adds that a robot model can't fully replace your traditional vacuum.

Ultimately, whether you need both a regular vacuum and a robot vacuum comes down to you and your household’s cleaning needs.

How do you prevent a robot vacuum from getting stuck?

The best way to prevent your robot vacuum from getting stuck is to ensure that there’s nothing for it to get stuck on. “Ensure you choose the right size of the robot vacuum cleaner, and reduce clutter in the room before vacuuming,” says Johnson. “Clean the brush regularly to remove pet and human hair entangled in it.

Take Our Word for It

Barbara Bellesi Zito is a freelance home and lifestyle writer from Staten Island, NY. To find the best robot vacuums for carpets, we tested 31 robot vacuums and evaluated them based on their ease of setup and use, effectiveness, noise level, features, and maneuverability. For expert advice on what to look for when shopping for a robot vacuum, Barbara also consulted Jennifer Rodriguez, chief hygiene officer at Pro Housekeepers; Kevin Huang, founder and CEO of Ambient Home; and Robert Johnson, marketing director at Coast Appliances.

What Is Real Simple Selects?

Next to each product on this list, you may have noticed a Real Simple Selects seal of approval. Any product appearing alongside that seal has been vetted by our team—put through tests and graded on its performance to earn a spot on our list. Although we buy most of the products we test, sometimes we do get samples from companies if purchasing a product ourselves isn't an option. All products go through the same rigorous process, whether they are purchased or sent by the company.

Love our recommendations? Check out more products that have earned the Real Simple Selects, from humidifiers to cordless vacuums.

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