The latest models can cut cleaning time and go places upright vacs can't. Our pros tested nine models — these got our vote.
iRobot Roomba 880 ($700, )
The Roomba lived up to its renown, clearing 90% of soil on bare floors and 73% on carpets, thanks in part to a side brush that gathers debris from corners.
GOOD TO KNOW: It did poorly in spot-clean mode, scattering debris rather than collecting it.
Neato Botvac 85 ($500, )
This dynamo maneuvered adeptly around furniture and went into tight spots (like corners) more quickly than any other model. Its dust bin was one of the easiest to clear out.
GOOD TO KNOW: It cleaned exceptionally on bare floors, but less so on carpet.
P3 International V-Bot ($150, )
It did well — better than a few pricier models — at clearing oatmeal, sand, and more from bare floors, and navigated around furniture.
GOOD TO KNOW: It had trouble going from bare floors to rugs and picked up less than 30% of carpet debris, and it doesn't include a remote.
Samsung VR9000 ($1,199, )
Yes, it's the costliest of the bunch, but it outperformed all others, even competitors at this price point. Because this marvel has the widest brush bar, it covers more area in its path. It picked up 99% of oatmeal, sand, and more from bare floors, and was one of only two models that did well on carpet. It also scored highest in ease of use.
GOOD TO KNOW: Our largest model, this one couldn't get beneath the sofa.
Watch these robot vacs in action in this behind-the-scenes video of our tests.