In this article, I compare the five best robot vacuums under $400.
Robotic Vacuums that sell for around $400 are all mid range models, based on the fact that the most expensive models can be bought for around $800.
The comparison chart below displays my 5 best vacuums for under $400 and what features each model has.
In this article, I examined the best robotic hoovers that you could buy for less than 200.
So what sort of features can you expect to get with this price of vacuum that you cannot get on cheaper robot vacuums?
I think that the four features that set these robotic vacuums apart from their cheaper rivals, are;
- Laser Mapping
- Auto Charge and Resume
- Suction Power and Carpet Boost
Laser Mapping vs Random Bounce
This is the most important difference with cheaper models.
When automatic vacs first came on the market they moved around the floor using a very simple set of rules. It was the anti collision and anti drop features.
First and foremost they were programmed to move into a straight line until they hit an obstacle. They are programmed to bounce off the object and rotate randomly and start travelling in a straight line until the hit the next obstacle.
This process was repeated, most often until the battery ran out.
Over time, navigation systems have evolved and today’s leading robovacs use a method called VSLAM (Vision Simultaneous Localization and Mapping.)
This method uses infrared beams to create a map of your floor so that they know where they have been and where they need to go next.
Three of the five vacuums in this comparison have the advanced mapping function.
This technology enables the vacuums to move around with much more confidence and not to collide with as many obstacles.
This increased sophistication in navigating also unlocks other functions, which I will explain next.
Auto Charge vs Auto Charge and Resume
Many cheaper robotic vacuum cleaners can auto charge- return to its home base or docking station when its battery is low to recharge.
Once recharged the vacuums would start cleaning again but because they had no idea where they were, some parts of the floor would be cleaned for a second time.
Three of the models in this comparison which have mapping capabilities,once recharging has finished, resume cleaning from the same point as it left. There is no repetition.
This feature is only made possible because of a robovacs mapping capability.
Remote Control vs WiFi
Cheaper robotic vacuum cleaners can’t connect to WiFi and tend to be controlled by a remote control- like the devices that we still use to control our TVs.
Robotic vacuums that cost about $400 do no use traditional remote controls because they can connect to WiFi. The remote control has been killed off and replaced by an app.
The same functions that were on the old fashioned remote controls were now placed inside apps that can be downloaded onto a smartphone.
And although there is not too much difference between the functions on a remote control and the functions within an app, there is a massive difference in how both methods can be used.
Many of the cheaper automatic vac models come with a remote control, which enables a user to control their bot without touching it. But you still need to be in the same room as your vacuum.
Apps provide real remote control because you could be on the other side of the world and still connect with your vacuum.
Suction Power & Carpet Boost
I was surprised to see that the running times of some of the cheaper robot vacuums were higher than the more expensive robots.
Many of the vacuum cleaners in my under $200 comparison have running times of about 100 minutes, whereas the robovacs in this comparison tend to running times of around 60 minutes.
There are two exceptions. The Eufy 11+ has a running time of 100 minutes and the Xiaomi Mi has a running time of 150 minutes.
The reason for this is because the more expensive models have greater suction power and features like “carpet boost” where the device detects when it is travelling on carpet and increases the power.
However, there are some common features between a robot vacuum under 200 and a robot vacuum under 400 where there is not much difference between them.
Firstly both sets of devices can clean on all surfaces but it is recommended that they are only used on hardwood, tile or laminate flooring and low pile carpets.
Secondly, there is not much difference the filters on any of the models.
Although the filters are all known by different names, they are designed to filter out the smallest dust particles and allergens possible.
What No Voice?
Something that does surprise me is that only one of the vacuums in my $400 comparison is compatible with the Amazon Echo and Google Home smart home systems.
And that model is the Samsung Powerbot.
Having looked the differences and similarities between cheaper priced automatic vacs and more expensive models, I want to now move onto to look at each of the $400 models in more detail.
Option 1: Eufy 11+
* Eufy’s Power Boost Technology automatically increases suction power whenever needed, ensuring the best results possible with every use.
*Premium features, such as an anti-scratch coating and high-capacity battery life allow for buyers to get a great value for their money.
*The Good: Customers are generally satisfied with the premium look and feel of this product. Additionally, the Eufy 11+ has been said to clean hardwood floors especially well.
*The Bad: Many buyers have commented on difficulties with Eufy Customer Service in certain situations. With this being said, a strong 12-month warranty may be enough for buyers to overlook these issues.
*The Ugly: This unit has a particularly large design, with a height of 4 inches. While this might not seem like an issue, such a design makes it nearly impossible for the robot to clean under most couches or lounge chairs.
Most Unique Feature?
A strong, 12-month warranty and solid reputation make the Eufy 11+ an enticing option for those looking to spend less than $400.
With this being said, those wanting to clean rooms with couches or similar furniture might want to find a sleeker robot vacuum to ensure the best outcome.
*Self-charging abilities allow for minimal maintenance throughout the week, leading to a hassle-free cleaning experience.
*iRobot’s patented Virtual Wall Lighthouse technology allows for users to effortlessly designate areas of the home, such as a flight of stairs, as areas that the Roomba should avoid.
*The Good: Generally, customers are thrilled with this Roomba’s ability to clean all types of flooring, even when pesky pet hair is present throughout each room.
*The Bad: Mixed feedback usually stems from the fact that users feel this is a lot of money to spend for a vacuum cleaner. However, for those passionate about home automation, the upfront cost is much easier to justify.
*The Ugly: Isolated cases of Roombas getting tangled with phone chargers and breaking have been reported. It should be noted that affordable spare parts and great customer service help to mitigate this issue for most customers.
Most Unique Feature?
The Roomba 877 is a great opportunity for buyers to get a premium device at a reasonable price. When one considers that iRobot has a strong reputation in the home automation industry, this model becomes a clear choice for any customer willing to pay a little extra for high quality.
Samsung PowerBot R7040
*Seamlessly integrates with Amazon’s Alexa, adding another valuable layer to your smart home set up.
*Samsung’s FullView 2.0 Sensor assists in creating the optimal cleaning path from room to room. Over time, the PowerBot will clean more efficiently and effectively.
*The Good: Users are extremely satisfied with the integration of Amazon’s Alexa, as this feature is typically lacking in other models at this price point.
*The Bad: Some have complained that Samsung’s native smartphone app for the PowerBot doesn’t work well, but continuous software updates have helped to alleviate this problem.
*The Ugly: As is common for these devices, many consumers have reported receiving defective units, with spotty customer support reported in isolated cases.
Most Unique Feature?
For those looking to add a robotic vacuum to their current smart home setup, the Samsung PowerBot R7040 offers a great opportunity to do so. Seamless integration with Amazon’s Alexa service, combined with Samsung’s stellar reputation is enough to make any smart home enthusiast consider the PowerBot.
ECOVACS DeeBot 900
*Daily cleaning scheduling combines with a Smart Navi laser-based navigation system so your home will never be dirty again.
*Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant are fully compatible, ensuring the best smart home experience possible regardless of your preferred smart assistant.
*The Good: Strong support for two of the most popular smart assistants available today has proven to be a crowd favorite.
*The Bad: Integration with the ECOVACS application has been reported to be frustrating and confusing.
*The Ugly: Some have complained of an inability for the DeeBot to clean a one-story home on a single charge. While this is certainly frustrating, automated recharging helps to mitigate this annoyance.
Most Unique Feature
While there isn’t one particular feature that sets the DeeBot apart, it is a strong contender for best-value thanks to its well-rounded nature. This is complimented by extremely strong support for the leading smart assistants of the day.
*Long-term durability is ensured with a protective rubber bumper around the robot vacuum’s housing.
*The Xiaomi Mi is able to easily maneuver around your home thanks to its specialized obstacle climbing feature.
*The Good: Consumers are generally satisfied with their purchase, as Xiaomi fulfills their reputation for affordable, quality products with this robot vacuum.
*The Bad: As is the case with some Xiaomi’s products, strange (yet minor) quirks have been reported, like the user manual being inaccurate. However, intuitive setup helps to make this issue largely disappear.
*The Ugly: No extremely negative reviews were found, suggesting that this is a product that leads to very high customer satisfaction!
Most Unique Feature
If the Xiaomi Mi had to be summed up in one word, that word would be reliability. Despite a lack of breath-taking features and a non-premium build, customers are consistently impressed with the unit’s ability to clean day-in and day-out.