Which of these robot vacuum brands is best?
Eufy RoboVacs are a family of robotic vacuums and combo robots from Anker, the consumer electronics company famous for power banks, docks, cables and Soundcore speakers and headphones. Eufy also makes security cameras and upright vacuums. Eufy RoboVacs are known for low prices and frequent discounts.
The BestReviews Testing Lab wanted to know how Eufy RoboVacs compared to Roombas, the well-known robot vacuums from iRobot. We tested several models of Roombas and RoboVacs, grading them on suction power, navigation, features, design and pricing, and found Eufy RoboVacs to be worthy alternatives to Roombas.
iRobot vs. Eufy: What they do well
iRobot and Eufy robot vacuums share a lot of things in common. Each brand does have benefits that they’re particularly known for.
iRobot Roomba benefits
- Double rollers: Roombas all have two rollers, a feature not shared by many competitors. In our testing, the combination of two rollers helped the Roombas pick up dirt and debris better without having to rely solely on suction.
- Durability: Roombas last a long time. iRobot sells parts and accessories for models well after they’ve been retired, and we found Roombas can be easily taken apart with just a screwdriver for quick fixes.
- Carpet performance: While evaluating Roombas, we noticed that their strong suction combined with the dual rollers makes them especially good at cleaning up even tiny particles from carpeting.
- Navigation: Mid-range and high-end RoboVacs are known for their ability to quickly map an area, and we were indeed impressed by their mapping speed and navigational accuracy.
- Quiet: Eufy RoboVacs tend to be quieter than Roombas and other competitors. Some RoboVac models we tested registered at 55 decibels, the sound of a running fan.
- Affordable: Eufy RoboVacs generally cost less than comparable Roombas. Eufy and Anker frequently discount RoboVacs even further.
What they could improve
Despite their popularity and benefits, both iRobot Roombas and Eufy RoboVacs are also known for certain drawbacks.
iRobot Roomba drawbacks
- Suction: While effective overall cleaners, many Roombas don’t top the rankings when it comes to pure suction power.
- Bump and go: iRobot is behind the bump-and-go or bounce navigation people often associate with robot vacuums, where they bump into something, turn around apparently at random and head off in a new direction. While some still navigate that way, many Roombas now come with improved row-by-row cleaning.
- Higher prices: Roombas tend to cost more than competitors at every market segment they compete in.
- Carpet cleaning: RoboVacs have been known to do less well on carpet than on hardwood, which we discovered to be true when we tested them. Eufy doesn’t generally recommend them for high pile or plush rugs at all.
- Battery lifespan: The batteries of Eufy RoboVacs have been known to lose their charge capacity in as little as one year.
- Error beeps: Customers frequently ask about RoboVac error beeps. What these beeps mean aren’t often clear, especially for RoboVac models that don’t pair with an app.
Top Roomba models
Our favorite Roombas are the Roomba Combo j7+ robot vacuum and mop for its versatility and the Roomba s9+ for its powerful cleaning performance.
Roomba Combo j7+
Battery life: 128 minutes | Dimensions: 13.3″ L x 13.3” W x 3.4” H | Dustbin capacity: 0.4 L | Weight: 7.35 lb | Mapping: Yes | Self-emptying: Yes | Object avoidance: Yes | Scheduling: Yes
We loved the mopping feature of the Roomba Combo j7+, which made it doubly convenient in the home. We also loved its lengthy battery life and how well it did when removing pet hair. Its navigation, using a front-mounted camera, allows it to change direction when it encounters obstacles in real time. The Combo j7+ performed effectively on carpet and even better on hard flooring. It carries its mop on an automated arm, so it doesn’t get caught on rugs or carpet.
Battery life: 107 minutes | Dimensions: 12.25” L x 12.25″ W x 3.5” H | Dustbin capacity: 0.5 L | Weight: 8.15 lb | Mapping: Yes | Self-emptying: Yes | Object avoidance: Yes | Scheduling: Yes
The Roomba s9+ is the most powerful Roomba model on the market, but what we loved even more was how its wide rollers and flat-edged U-shape allowed it to clean in corners better than any round robot we’ve tested. We appreciated its power, especially on carpet and when dealing with pet hair, and how efficiently it cleaned once it had completed a mapping run. We also liked how we could send it to clean a specific zone, such as under a dining table if we needed it to.
Entry-level Roomba models
Among mid-range and entry-level Roombas, we like the Roomba i4 EVO and the Roomba 694.
Roomba i4 EVO
Battery life: 94 minutes | Dimensions: 13.34” L x 13.26” W x 3.63” H | Dustbin capacity: 0.5 L | Weight: 7.44 lb | Mapping: Yes| Self-emptying: No | Object avoidance: No | Scheduling: Yes
The Roomba i4 EVO cleans straightforwardly and well. We loved how it handled rugs and carpets of all pile heights, performing well in all our carpet tests. We also liked how it negotiated transitions between hard flooring, carpets and rugs without any trouble. The i4 EVO supports mapping and targeted room cleaning and, unlike some entry-level vacuums, cleans in orderly rows, which we appreciated a lot.
Battery life: 75 minutes | Dimensions: 13.4” L x 13.4” W x 3.54” H | Dustbin capacity: 0.35 L | Weight: 6.77 lb | Mapping: No | Self-emptying: No | Object avoidance: No | Scheduling: Yes
The Roomba 694 still uses the classic bump-and-go navigation that people associate with robot vacuums, and it doesn’t support mapping. Nevertheless, the 694 is built like a tank, and its combination brush and beater rollers help make up for its low suction to provide a surprisingly effective clean on both carpet and hard flooring. A basic model like this is a robot vacuum you can just push a button and leave alone. It’s priced well, too.
Top Eufy models
Eufy RoboVac X8
Battery life: 190 minutes | Dimensions: 13.58″ L x 13.58″ W x 3.85″ H | Dustbin capacity: 0.6 L | Weight: 7.72 lb | Mapping: Yes | Self-emptying: No | Object avoidance: Yes | Scheduling: Yes
Compared to other Eufy vacuums, the RoboVac X8 felt like a luxury item during our testing. Despite the RoboVac’s reputation, the X8 did great on carpet. Its twin vacuum turbines generate a lot of power to dig into even medium-pile carpet while cleaning. It did great on hardwood as well, picking up almost every type of debris with ease. The X8 uses laser navigation to map and make its way around a room, giving it impressive accuracy to clean exactly where we wanted.
Eufy RoboVac G30
Battery life: 105 minutes | Dimensions: 12.8” L x 12.8″ W x 2.85” H | Dustbin capacity: 0.6 L | Weight: 5.29 lb | Mapping: Yes | Self-emptying: No | Object avoidance: Yes | Scheduling: Yes
The midrange RoboVac G30 impressed us most with its navigation. Despite not using a camera or lasers to guide it, its gyroscopic navigation was incredibly accurate even in a home with a complex layout. Also impressively, moving it or its base, even several times, doesn’t faze its navigation, a weakness of many mapping robot vacuums. We also liked its ease of use and setup, and it did well on hardwood floors.
Entry-level Eufy models
One of our favorite Eufy robots is the entry-level RoboVac 11S Max, with a slim profile and a remote control.
Eufy RoboVac 11S Max
Battery life: 120 minutes | Dimensions: 12.8″ L x 12.8″ W x 2.85″ H | Dustbin capacity: 0.6 L | Weight: 5.73 lb | Mapping: No | Self-emptying: No | Object avoidance: Yes | Scheduling: Yes
Like the Roomba 694, the RoboVac 11S Max is a more basic robot vacuum that uses bump-and-go or bounce navigation as Eufy calls it. Despite this, its navigation was one of the things we appreciated most about it during testing, with an infrared sensor that enables it to sense obstructions better than some more expensive models. The 11S Max model had more suction power than expected, doing reasonably well both on carpet and hardwood. Its low profile lets it clean under more furniture than the RoboVac X8 or any Roomba.
Roomba s9+ vs. RoboVac X8
The X8 has dual turbines generating 2,000 Pa (pascals) of suction each, for a total of 4,000 Pa overall, an impressive number for a robot vacuum. iRobot doesn’t make pascal measurements easy to find, but the s9+ has been measured at 2,500 Pa by third-party reviewers. However, the s9+ edged out the X8 in our carpet and hardwood tests, scoring higher with small particles, pet hair and especially larger particles like breakfast cereal.
The X8 uses laser navigation, which gives it fast mapping, while the s9+ uses a camera system. Both worked well during testing, but we especially noted the ability to send the s9+ to clean a specific area within a room, while the X8 had better real-time obstacle avoidance.
Both models can be controlled from a smartphone app, and the Eufy and iRobot Home apps got few complaints from us in terms of usability. The RoboVac X8 supports control by Alexa and Google Assistant, while the s9+ adds Siri functionality as well.
Eufy vs. Roomba functionality
Our testing results for Roombas and Eufy RoboVacs show clear similarities and differences in suction, navigation, features and more.
Based on our testing, we believe Roombas overall do better on carpet, despite Eufy RoboVacs having superior suction values. This may be due to the dual roller system used by Roombas. Roombas and Eufy RoboVacs generally had comparable performance on hardwood, with Eufy edging out Roombas in our scorecards. Eufy RoboVacs also were quieter overall, leveraging around 55 decibels in loudness compared to the 56 to 66 decibels of various Roombas.
A feature shared by Roombas and Eufy RoboVacs is an automated power boost. Roombas and RoboVacs can sense a change in surface, for example from hardwood to carpet, and intelligently increase their cleaning power on their own.
The entry-level models for iRobot and Eufy use bump or bounce navigation, which can be annoying and can miss certain spots in a given job. Low-end Eufy models, however, come with a remote control that lets you steer them where you need to go.
Midrange Roombas and Eufy RoboVacs both have mapping. The Roomba i4 and the RoboVac G30 both use gyroscopes and odometers to track their position and build their maps, and both were effective during tests, with the i4 eking out a higher score than the G30 thanks to better self-extraction from tangles.
Midrange and high-end Roombas use vSLAM (visual simultaneous localization and mapping) with cameras to “see” landmarks and obstacles. The Roombas in the j series in particular have impressive real-time active object avoidance that lets them evade even small items, such as cords and pet poop, with ease. High-end RoboVacs like the X8 use laser SLAM or LiDAR (light detection and ranging), one of the fastest and most detailed mapping technologies available for robot vacuums.
All Roombas have a dedicated spot-clean button on their top panel, making it simple to use them for specific messes. Eufy models also have a spot-clean mode that additionally can be set for a different target point than the robot’s location.
High-end mapping Roombas like the j7+ and the s9+ support zone cleaning, as do Eufy models like the RoboVac X8. You can designate an area within a room, such as in front of the couch or underneath the dining table, and send the robots to clean those areas specifically without having to do the whole room.
Boundaries and no-go zones
Models like the Roomba s9+ and RoboVac X8 support no-go zones, or areas you designate in the app that the robots will ignore. Low-end and mid-tier Roombas like the Roomba 694 or i4 EVO support virtual barriers, which are pods you plug in that create an invisible barrier that the Roomba will respect. Low-end Eufy models make you use rolls of magnetic strips to define areas they can’t go.
Eufy RoboVac docks use brick-style power adapters. This can make it difficult to plug them into tight wall outlets or crowded power strips. Roomba docks have ordinary power cords with standard-sized grounded plugs.
Eufy RoboVacs come with 0.5- to 0.6-liter washable dustbins. They’re a little larger than the norm for Roombas, whose dustbins tend to range from 0.35 to 0.6 liters. Roomba dustbins are also washable, but make sure to keep their filters dry.
Eufy RoboVacs down to the 11S have dustbin filters that include HEPA-type or high-performing, with pleats that trap microscopic particles. Midrange and high-end Roombas also have HEPA-type pleated filters, but the entry-level models use a mesh filter that lets more particles through.
Both Eufy RoboVacs and iRobot Roombas have models that feature self-emptying bins and automatic disposal docks.
Eufy prices start at $249.99 for the RoboVac 11S Max, lower than the $274.99 cost of the Roomba 694. The RoboVac G30 costs $318.99 compared to the Roomba i4 EVO at $364.99, while the RoboVac X8 lists at $499.99 compared to the Roomba s9+ at $999, although the latter comes with a self-emptying dock. Roombas are regularly discounted on retailers such as Amazon, but Eufy is more likely to be discounted at any given time, and come with coupons for even more savings beyond the sale price.
Both Eufy and iRobot are well-represented in price ranges and feature sets. Both have entry-level series, such as the Roomba 600 series or the RoboVac 11S family. Both have solid mid-tier offerings, such as the Roomba i series and the RoboVac G family. Eufy’s RoboVac X line competes in the high end with Roomba’s j and s series.
Roomba design is known for being basic, understated and almost utilitarian, while Eufy RoboVacs have sported glossier finishes including tempered glass. Eufy RoboVacs can come in white, while Roombas generally are black or gray.
Our comparisons have shown that Eufy and Roomba are well-matched. Eufy models cost less in general, while Roombas are more reliable, but the differences aren’t particularly stark. If brand name and dependability are important, and if you need good performance on carpet, we think you should try a Roomba. If price is a factor, and you have mostly hard floors, consider Eufy.
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Jmar Gambol writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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