Our current favorite budget robot vacuum is currently $95 less than the usual price on Amazon. Roomba 694 by iRobot normally retails for $274 but sees a 35 percent discount, just $4 off its all-time low of $174, which the VAC fell to before Black Friday. If you’ve been curious about automatic floor cleaning but have been waiting for a good deal, now might be a good time to see if a robot vacuum is right for you. We’ve tested a number of these machines over the years, and this model is our current “best overall pick” in our guide to budget robot vacuums.
What really sets the Roomba 694 apart from other budget vacuums is the easy-to-use app. While the device has three physical buttons that you can use to start, stop, and dock the device, you primarily control it through the app using a WiFi connection and your smartphone. After following the setup instructions, you can set schedules to keep the vacuum running regularly, keeping your floors clean with minimal effort on your part.
The 694 can run for 90 minutes on hard floors, but we vacuumed about half of that on a mixed landscape of carpet and tile. It automatically returns to the dock when the battery is low, so it can handle larger households with a pit stop for a recharge. We found the Roomba 694 picked up dirt and debris well, but it tripped when charging cords were on the floor. Getting these out of the way and emptying the device when it’s full are two of the times you need to physically interact with the device. Keep in mind that this one doesn’t come with extra brushes. You must order them in due course.
If you want to interact with your robot vacuum even less often, you can opt for a self-draining model like this iRobot Roomba j7+. You also get better obstacle detection and custom room mapping options. Of course, you pay more for these upgrades, but right now the j7+ is 25 percent cheaper, bringing the $800 unit down to $600. the Roomba s9+ is also for sale. It’s our current pick for a premium robot vacuum in our guide, and right now the $1,000 unit is down to $800, or a 20 percent discount.
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