The 5 Best Robot Vacuums for Hardwood Floors of 2023, According to Our Tests

Our favorite is the iRobot Roomba 694 because it’s effective on all surfaces, easy to use, and reasonably priced.

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Best Robot Vacuums for Hardwood Floors

REAL SIMPLE / HENRY WORTOCK

You value a clean home, but it’s OK to admit that you’d rather not do all the grunt work of keeping your hardwood floors tidy and crumb-free (especially if you have pets!). If you’re looking for an easy solution for everyday messes, a robotic vacuum that eats up all the dust, dirt, and debris on your hardwood floors is the way to go.

We tested 31 robot vacuums in our Lab to determine which are best for cleaning hardwood floors—devices that are tough on dirt yet gentle enough not to scratch up that beautiful wood grain. Once our Lab testing was complete, we sent the robot vacuums home with real-world testers and checked in with them months later to see how well they kept their floors clean over time. For more expert tips on how to shop for and use robot vacuums for hardwood floors, we spoke with Forrest McCall, co-owner of the home improvement blog, Mama Needs a Project

The iRobot Roomba 694 topped our testers’ list of the best robot vacuums for hardwood floors. It proved extremely effective at sucking up dust and dirt, but it won’t suck up nearly as much from your budget. 

Here are the best robot vacuums for hardwood floors.

Our Top Picks
Best Overall Robot Vacuum for Hardwood Floors:
iRobot Roomba 694 Robot Vacuum at Amazon
Best Robot Vacuum for Hardwood Floors & Pets:
eufy Robot Vacuum at Amazon
Best Robot Vacuum for Hardwood Floors & Carpet:
iRobot Roomba J7 Robot Vacuum at Amazon
Best Self-Emptying Robot Vacuum for Hardwood Floors:
Ecovacs Deebot T10+ Robot Vacuum and Mop at Amazon
Best Mop-Combo Robot Vacuum for Hardwood Floors:
Ecovacs Deebot N8 Pro+ at Amazon

Best Overall Robot Vacuum for Hardwood Floors

iRobot Roomba 694 Robot Vacuum

4.5
iRobot Roomba 694 Robot Vacuum

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want an efficient and affordable robot vacuum. 

Who it isn’t for: People who want a robot vacuum that won’t run through wet messes.

The Roomba 694 came with very clear instructions, making it easy to set up with the included attachments. Once activated, it took on pet hair, human hair, and Cheerios very well. It also did an excellent  job with sand, so if you’ve got a beach house, this would be the ideal vacuum to have on hand. 

There was a bit of a rocky transition between the edge of the area rug and the bare floor, but this is par for the course with many robotic vacuums, including others that nabbed spots on our list. Again, the fact that it was able to remove sand from the rug is enough to make you overlook the little blip in making the transition from bare floor to carpet. It doesn’t make a lot of noise, either. There are not a whole lot of special features with this Roomba, though it does connect to WiFi for remote access. 

The Roomba 694 maneuvers easily around furniture legs, but it does not have any object avoidance, so if there's something in its way, it will go through it—and yes, that can have disastrous results depending on the mess you’re dealing with. Still, this robot vacuum is pretty agile and moves quickly when it does bump into a solid object.

Overall, this is an excellent vacuum. Pet parents will love that neither human nor pet hair gets tangled up in the brushes. There are other more expensive models with more features on the market, but the iRobot Roomba 694 will more than fit the bill for most people’s needs.

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

Price at time of publish: $274

iRobot Roomba 694 Robot Vacuum

Henry Wortock

Best Robot Vacuum for Hardwood Floors & Pets

eufy RoboVac G30 Edge Robot Vacuum

eufy RoboVac G30 Edge Robot Vacuum

Amazon

Who it’s for: People with pets that shed or people who want to spot-clean pet messes. 

Who it isn’t for: People who need to make a lot of transitions from hardwood to carpet. 

Setup is easy with the Eufy—just download the app, connect to WiFi, and follow the instructions. If remote access is not for you, there are buttons right on this robot vacuum that make it easy to operate without the remote connection.

Our testers loved that it came with additional accessories like an extra filter, a cleaning brush, and an extra side brush. The vacuum talks and even repeats the command so you always know what your vacuum is doing. 

It worked great on hard surfaces and even did a good job navigating corners and edges. Though the transition from hard surface to carpet was a slog, it still picked up everything on the hard surface, so it’s truly ideal for pet hair and food spills. 

Once it is on the carpet it's “pretty effective” according to our testers, too. However, it did slow down significantly as you would expect once it got past the smooth hardwood. 

Overall, this is a pretty quiet machine, though it does get louder when it gets to the spot cleaning feature—which is another thing our testers loved about the Eufy. The remote gives you more control over this robotic vacuum, so if there is an area that you want to concentrate on, you can use the remote to target your vacuum. It’s also easy to empty—just click to open. And it’s reasonably priced to boot, especially considering all the advanced features it comes with.  

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 13 x 2.9 inches
  • Weight: 6 pounds
  • Bin Capacity: 0.6 liters
  • Battery Life: 110 minutes
  • WiFi Connectivity: Yes
  • Smart-Home Connectivity: Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant

Price at time of publish: $350

Eufy by Anker RoboVac G30 Edge

Henry Wortock

Best Robot Vacuum for Hardwood Floors & Carpet

iRobot Roomba J7 Robot Vacuum

4.2
iRobot Roomba J7 Robot Vacuum

Amazon

Who it’s for: People whose homes are fairly split between hard and carpeted surfaces. 

Who it isn’t for: People who want a quiet robot vacuum.  

Our tester found the Roomba j7 to be excellent on bare floors and noted that it did very well around the edges of walls. In general, it grabbed everything in its way: hair, pet hair, dust, and food. It also did extremely well on the carpet. In fact, the transition from the hardwood floor to the carpet was described as “smooth” by one of our testers, which is hard to find in a robot vacuum. It also happens to clean the carpet well, too, thanks to all that careful edge work and its grid-like formation for floor coverage.

Of course, all this hard work doesn't come quietly—in fact, it was quite loud. There's also a bright white light from the camera that struck our testers as odd, but noted that it did make it easier for the Roomba to “see” and maneuver across the floor. It does bump against the furniture in the corners, but it does so gently. It's also easy to empty—just click the button to open the trash bin. 

It does not come with a remote, but you can control it using either the start/stop button or the app. It doesn’t take long to get this vacuum up and running, though if you want to take advantage of the self-docking function, you will have to download the app (which is easy to do). 

Our testers appreciated the easy to remove and clean rubber brushes at the bottom—just pop them out and pop them back in. It did a good job navigating around socks and furniture, too. This is one of the higher priced models on our list, but you can often nab it on sale. 

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

Price at time of publish: $600

Robot Vacuum Testing

Henry Wortock

Best Self-Emptying Robot Vacuum for Hardwood Floors

Ecovacs Deebot T10+ Robot Vacuum and Mop

4.7
Ecovacs Deebot T10+ Robot Vacuum and Mop

Best Buy

Who it’s for: People with allergies who want to keep the contents of their vacuum sealed. 

Who it isn’t for: People who are not in a position to spend a lot on a robot vacuum.

Our favorite of the many features the Ecovacs Deebot 10+ has to offer is its self-cleaning function, which automatically transfers the contents of the dustbin into a sealed, disposable bag once it returns to the docking station, keeping allergens from releasing back into the air.

Our testers were also pleased to find that the Deebot 10+ picked up almost everything except for a few strands of hair. It might have a hard time getting over the bump from the carpet to the floor, but this little guy is determined and will try it again from a different angle. It navigated around furniture well, and it was able to avoid a sock on the hardwood floor (some socks were eaten in tests with other devices). It did, however, get stuck on a USB cord, so you’ll still need to tidy up a bit before you run it. 

It cleaned up syrup and coffee rather well, though there was some residue left over from the syrup. Also, when the mop function is engaged, the whole device will shudder a bit—don't worry, it’s just doing the scrubbing that you would be doing if you didn’t have this little machine.

It's pretty quiet on hardwood floors, but when it's on the carpet and it's using the brushes, it does get a bit loud. Our tester noted that it can be used with air freshener pods that diffuse fragrance, so you can make sure your house smells as clean as it looks. It does take over six hours to charge, so plan accordingly for setup. And it’s the most expensive out of all the robot vacuums on our list, but its many advanced features, including its mopping and self-emptying functions, make it well worth the splurge if you’re able.  

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 13.9 inches x 4 inches
  • Weight: 9.5 pounds (not including base)
  • Bin Capacity: 0.4 liter for vacuum, 3.2 liters for base
  • Battery Life: 260 minutes
  • WiFi Connectivity: Yes
  • Smart-Home Connectivity: Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant

Price at time of publish: $950

ECOVACS DEEBOT T10 PLUS

Henry Wortock

Best Mop-Combo Robot Vacuum for Hardwood Floors

Ecovacs Deebot N8 Pro+

4.8
ECOVACS Deebot N8 Pro+ Robot Vacuum and Mop Cleaner

Amazon

Who it’s for: People who want a vacuum that can tackle wet messes.

Who it isn’t for: People who don't need a robot vacuum with tons of extra features. 

The Ecovacs Deebot N8+ made quick work of removing hair and other household debris from the bare floor in our testing. It picked up nearly everything rather quickly, and it navigated the transition from hardwood floor to carpet with ease—something that we can’t say about many of the vacuums we tested. Our testers found the QuickStart Guide to be exactly that: easy to follow for a super quick start to using your newest favorite household device. 

There was no visible mess as this vacuum trucked along, and even better, hair didn’t stick to the rollers. The mop was also rather effective at cleaning up the majority of the wet messes that our testers put it through. Some residue was left on the floor but it “did much better than expected.” However, the brushes did get sticky from the syrup test, so remember to clean out the mop after the mopping is done.

The vacuum itself isn’t loud, but it’s the emptying and docking that causes the ruckus—keep that in mind if you’re also trying to keep a quiet household as you clean. Despite the noise, our testers were impressed that it docked itself on the first try and self-emptied with little problem. 

Be careful with cords on the floor—you're going to want to remove all of these to get them out of the way of your vacuum. The good news is that if you do get one sucked up it's easy to remove, but tidying up beforehand will save you the trouble. The advanced laser mapping function works well to make adjustments so that you don't make more of a mess by picking up items that shouldn’t be picked up. Based on its excellent results in cleaning up debris, dust, and dirt, as well as avoiding things that shouldn't be picked up, our testers found this to be a great value. 

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

Price at time of publish: $695

Robot Vacuum Testing

Henry Wortock

Final Verdict

Our top pick among the best vacuums for hardwood floors is the iRobot Roomba 694. Roomba has long been known as a top choice in robotic vacuums—but this particular Roomba stands out because it’s as effective on carpets as it is on hardwood floors, as evidenced by all the sand, hair, and debris it sucked out of the carpet.

Our Testing Process

To determine which robot vacuums are the best for hardwood floors, we acquired 31 robot vacuums and tested them in our Lab before sending them home with our testers for long-term use. 

We began our Lab tests by assessing the setup of each robot vacuum, following the instructions for assembly and connecting to the WiFi to test the app function (when applicable). Our testers then evaluated the robot vacuum's effectiveness at both vacuuming and mopping (when applicable). To test each model’s vacuum capabilities, we dispersed a pinch of wig hair, a tablespoon of Cheerios, and a tablespoon of sand onto a hard floor, and recorded how much of the mess each vacuum was able to clean in two minutes . For those mop-combo vacuums, we spilled a tablespoon of coffee and a drizzle of sticky syrup on the hard floor and evaluated how well it cleaned the mess in two minutes (the Ecovacs Deebot N8+ was the most effective at cleaning up wet meses in our testing). During these tests, 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.

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 each vacuum’s maneuverability, or its ability to get around obstacles and transition across different floor types, we set up a testing area with a medium-pile rug, couch, coffee table, and dining table. We then ran the robot vacuum and took note of how well it fit under furniture, navigated around chair and table legs, and transitioned from a carpeted surface to a non-carpeted one. For robot vacuums with object avoidance, we placed chocolate pudding (to simulate pet waste) in the vacuum’s path to see whether it avoids it or not. We repeated this test with a USB cable and a baby sock. 

To test the ease of emptying, our testers prepared each vacuum for the next use, including switching out the bag, dumping out the debris in the dustbin, swapping out mop pads, or, for self-emptying vacuums—such as the Ecovacs Deebot T10+ and the Ecovacs Deebot N8+—directing the product to empty itself. Our testers then received the price of each robot vacuum and were asked to score its overall value, taking into account its performance in the above tests. 

Once the Lab portion of our testing was complete, we sent the vacuums home with our testers and had them give their honest feedback after one month and again after three months, including whether the device had improved their regular cleaning routine. We plan to follow up with our long-term testers a final time after six months of at-home use.

ECOVACS DEEBOT T10 PLUS

Henry Wortock

How to Shop for Robot Vacuums for Hardwood Floors Like a Pro

Floor Compatibility

In general, it’s easier for your robot vacuum to roll along the smooth hardwood floor than it is to dig deep into the pile or your area rug. That doesn’t mean you can’t use them for both, though. Just know that some of these robotic vacuums will have a tough time getting over the hump, as it were, when making the transition from hardwood floor to area rug. In our testing, the Robot Roomba j7 made the smoothest transition from carpeted to non-carpeted surfaces and vice versa. 

WiFi Connectivity

Most robotic vacuums can be controlled by using the buttons right on the device. But if you want to control things remotely or with a voice app, just as you do all the other smart devices in your home, choose a robotic vacuum that connects to WiFi via an app or smart assistant like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.

Features

Above all, the best robot vacuums for hardwood floors are those that pick up messes without damaging the floor. Aside from that, the features—or lack thereof—are up to you.

Keep in mind, though, that there are certain things that even the best robot vacuums will have trouble with just because of the nature of the device. For example, most robot vacuums can’t “see” things like dropped socks, so you might find yourself having to dig out a mangled sock from the device. You’ve also heard the disaster stories with robot vacuums tracking pet “surprises” throughout the house. It will also bump into furniture as it works around legs, and it almost always will have a hard time transitioning from the smooth hard floor to an area rug. Though some vacuums have object avoidance technology and other advanced features to try and counter these issues, it still can’t beat the control you get with a traditional vacuum. 

Noise

Older upright vacuums are known for being loud and obnoxious, but most of the robot vacuums on our list are a bit more polite. They’ll still make some noise, especially when they’re working on a particularly dirty or dusty part of your floor, but in general, they will whirr along without too much trouble or ruckus. Your pets might not love the company on the floor, but there are some products on our best robot vacuums list that are quiet enough for you to run even when your little one is taking a nap (like the Eufy RoboVac G30 Edge). 

Battery Life

The longer the battery life, the longer the robot vacuum can keep on sucking up dirt and hair from your floor. Depending on how dirty your floors are, these vacuums might be able to get through your entire house on a single charge. The good news is that they dock themselves right back in the battery cradle, so it’s easy to get them ready for the next time you clean the house.

More Robot Vacuums for Hardwood Floors to Consider

Shark AI Ultra Robot Vacuum: This vacuum was effective on both hardwood and carpeted surfaces and comes with a self-emptying function. However, there were some problems getting it docked on carpet—the tester had to do it manually. Then there was the issue of it eating a sock while it worked, which doesn’t bode well for any other small obstructions.  

Samsung Jet Bot AI+ Robot Vacuum : This smart vacuum did a good job navigating around small and large objects alike, thanks to its 3D camera and sensors that can identify objects and avoid them in real time. However, it’s one of the most expensive out of all the vacuum cleaners we tested, so it’s not suited to most budgets. 

Shark AI Vacmop spreading chocolate pudding on testing floor

Henry Wortock

Questions You Might Ask 

Are robot mops and vacuums safe for hardwood floors?

When it comes to any mop, you’ll want to be sure that it doesn’t allow too much moisture to sit on unsealed hardwood floors. If a robot mop is billed for hardwood floors, however, know that it will likely dispense just enough moisture—not to mention wipe it up—so that you don’t have to worry about any seepage.

As for robot vacuums, they are “completely fine to use on hardwood floors,” says McCall. “These vacuums are constructed to ensure your floor is safe, with rubber components to avoid scratching your floors.” 

Are robot vacuums better for hardwood floors or carpet?

All the vacuums that made our best robot vacuums for hardwood floors list also do well on carpet, too—the iRobot Roomba 694  even sucked sand out of carpet, which one might consider a feat for any vacuum. Still, the real trouble might come with the transition over the edge of an area rug to carpet—if it’s thick enough, you might have to give your robot vacuum a little nudge to keep on keeping on.

How do you prevent a robot vacuum from getting stuck?

The best way to do this is to clear the floor of any obstacles. This doesn’t mean that you should vacuum the floor with an upright vacuum first; it just means you should remove anything that might get caught up in the wheels of the robot vacuum, like socks, small toys, or cords. Furniture is fine, as the best robot vacuums are skilled enough to scoot around couch and chair legs.

A robot vacuum might stop in its tracks with an error message if it does get caught on something—this is the tricky part of having a vacuum that you don’t control with your own hands. However, as you get to know your robot vacuum and as your robot vacuum gets to know your space, you might find that it has an easier time navigating the floor to clean it.

“If you have any areas where your vacuum tends to get stuck, you can surround the area with a small barrier,” says McCall. “The vacuum will avoid this area using the sensors to detect the barrier.”

Take Our Word for It

Barbara Bellesi Zito is a freelance home and garden writer. She lives in Staten Island, NY, with her husband and their dog, the latter of whom makes maintaining clean floors a bit of a challenge. To compile this list, she dug into the insights of Real Simple’s in-house testing team to see what they had to say about a variety of robotic vacuums from top brands based on their setup, effectiveness, noise level, features, maneuverability, ease of emptying, and overall value. For expert advice on what to know about shopping for a robotic vacuum for hardwood floors, she consulted Forrest McCall, co-owner of the home improvement blog, Mama Needs a Project.

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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