No longer the niche cleaners of only the world’s most lavish homes, robot vacuums are now common sights in residences the world over. While an upright vac may always be your heavy-duty go-to, operating a robot vacuum is a great way to take care of the smaller messes from room to room, offering automated cleaning features, powerful suction and mopping tools, and companion apps chock-full of customization options.
If you’re really into robot vacs though, we urge you to take a look at the best self-emptying robot vacs on the market today. Not only do these bots build maps of your home to reference during their daily sweep of your domicile, when their dirt tanks are full, but they’re also smart enough to dock onto their dust collectors for automatic dirt and debris removal — making for one less step when it comes to vacuum upkeep. Here are five of our favorite self-emptying robot vacs you can buy right now.
At a glance
The best overall: iRobot Roomba S9+
When one thinks of robot vacuums, one of the first names to spring to mind is probably Roomba, and for good reason. Renowned for their excellent vacuum designs, customizable automations, and long-lasting performance, Roomba vacs are always top-shelf picks. We’ve said plenty about the unbelievable Roomba S9+, but there’s always room for even more spotlighting.
In terms of self-emptying tech, the S9+ comes with the Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal charge dock. When the vac finishes a sweep of your home, it returns to the Clean Base and forms a vacuum seal between the debris tank and the Roomba. The debris is suctioned out and stored inside the Dirt Disposal tank, with enough storage for up to 60 days of detritus. When the tank is full, all you have to do is toss out the enclosed dirt removal bag (the Clean Base comes with two removable bags) and stick another one in to start your next 60 days of automatic disposals.
Once you add in advanced vSLAM map-building/navigation, advanced cleaning options, and Alexa/Google Assistant assistant integration, it’s easy to see why the iRobot Roomba S9+ finds its way to the top of countless robot vac roundups.
Read our full review of the iRobot Roomba S9+
The second-best self-emptying robot vac: iRobot Roomba i3+
What the iRobot Roomba i3+ lacks in terms of advanced LiDAR and vSLAM sensors, it makes up for in overall performance, reliability, and its self-emptying abilities. Similar to the aforementioned S9+, the i3+ will automatically dock and send dirt into the Dirt Disposal unit when the vac’s dirt tank is full. Debris can be stored for up to 60 days and once you remove the dirt bag, all you have to do is replace it with another one. Do keep in mind that if your Dirt Disposal dock sounds loud when suctioning from your vac, neither product is defective — they’re just that loud.
Unlike the more advanced S9+, there’s also no way to set no-go boundaries in the vac’s companion app. That means if there’s a room you want the iRobot Roomba i3+ to avoid, you’ll need to create a physical partition between that room and the vacuum. That being said, the Roomba i3+ employs powerful floor-tracking sensors to get your house spotless, along with two multisurface rubber brushes and a side-sweeping brush for nooks and crannies. It’s not the most tech-heavy bot of our roundup, but it’s a close runner-up to its older (and slightly cooler) brother, the S9+.
Read our full review of the iRobot Roomba i3+
The best bagless self-emptying robot vac: Shark IQ Robot Self-Emptying Robot Vacuum Cleaner
Automatic dirt disposal is a convenient add-on for robot vacuums, but physically pulling out the old dirt removal bags to load in new ones can be a pain. That’s why we love the Shark IG Self-Emptying Robot Vacuum. Instead of a dirt bag, the docking station stores the Shark’s debris in a bagless tank that you can easily empty into a trash can after 30 days (just keep your face away from the can when you pop open the tank).
the Shark IQ doesn’t utilize any kind of visual mapping for cleaning your home, but its onboard smart sensors provide an efficient navigation experience. Plus, the vac still creates a detailed map of your home that you can customize in the Shark companion app. Powerful suction, intelligent brush design, and quick-and-easy preference settings in the Shark app are the other great features you’ll be getting. Similar to the Roomba i3+, the vac and charge dock are a bit on the loud side, but for the price and cleaning tech, the Shark IQ Self-Emptying Robot Vacuum is one of our top picks.
Read our full review of the Shark IQ Self-Emptying Robot Vacuum
The best self-emptying vac with a camera: Ecovacs Deebot T8
Unlike the other entries on our list, the Ecovacs Deebot T8 doesn’t come with its Auto-Empty Station, but you can purchase one separately. When your Deebot tank is full, the bot is smart enough to trek back to the emptying station where it will dispose of its contents into a removable bag. Expect up to 30 days of dirt removal for one bag, along with a mobile notification from your Deebot app when the bag is full.
We also love that the Deebot is equipped with an HD camera for remote viewing while you’re away from home. In the Deebot app, you’ll also be able to snap photos of your home and speak to family and pets using two-way chat and the bot’s built-in speaker. As far as cleaning power, the Deebot T8 combines a medley of powerful sensors, great battery life (three hours on a single charge), and a number of automation customizations to give you the exact vacuuming you’re looking for.
While the Ecovacs Deebot T8 is capable of vacuuming and mopping at the same time, this isn’t one of the bot’s finer skills (as experienced by us in our testing of the vac). But if you’re looking for a great real-time camera to keep tabs on your home, the Deebot might be the best vac for you.
Read our full review of the Ecovacs Deebot T8
The best self-emptying vac on a budget: Neabot Robot Vacuum
If you’re dying to get a self-emptying robot vac into your home but hate the idea of spending top-dollar, the Neabot Robot Vacuum is the perfect compromise. It’s hard to find any robot vac for less than $500, so for $400, the Neabot is already enticing. Similar to other entries of this roundup, the Neabot will automatically dock and dispose of dirt using its self-emptying dustbin, giving you up to a month of dirt removal before the internal bag needs to be removed.
That’s not the only reason to opt for the Neabot though. This smart bot uses LiDAR laser-scanning and SMART image mapping to create detailed cleaning blueprints of your home. Once loaded into the Neabot app, you can log in and customize the way your bot cleans your home. Compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant, you can also command both voice assistants to fire up the Neabot without even having to fire up the companion app.
Three different suction modes and an automatic carpet adjuster are the building blocks of cleaning that your Neabot uses to keep your home free of dirt, pet hair, and more. While the two-hour runtime doesn’t match the longer performance of some other robot vacs, it’s tough to find more advanced vac features for this price, making the Neabot Robot Vacuum a solid bet in our books.