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The best robot vacuums for pets in 2023

May 05, 2023

Fur and accidents don't stand a chance against these potent, pint-sized pet clean-up contraptions.

The most powerful suction, sonic scrubbing, a self-refilling tank, and a self-drying mop are just some of the many features we love.

An anti-allergen complete seal system traps 99.97% of allergens so you can breathe clean air.

three brushes, boost technology, and smart controls prove that suction on a budget only sucks in the good way.

We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs. Learn more ›

You love your pets like family members (maybe even more than some relatives), but cleaning up behind them can be a hassle—unless you have the right robot vacuum. Whether you have hard floors, carpeting, or a mix of both, an automated assistant can make this chore much easier. With so many options on the market, choosing the right one for your needs can be overwhelming. That's why we did the legwork to find top recommendations so you can just kick your feet up while one of the best robot vacuums for pets does all the work.

As a freelance journalist for over 10 years, I’ve reviewed home and tech products for publications including CNN Underscored, NBC News Select, Popular Mechanics, Architectural Digest, Tom's Guide, The Daily Beast, USA Today's Reviewed, TechRadar, Better Homes & Gardens, and Bob Vila. I brought this experience to the task of narrowing down the robotic pet vacuum options based on various factors.

Some robot vacuums are ideal for vacuuming pet hair and dander, but when you need to add water (or cleaning solution) for stuck-on pet messes on hard floors, robot mops are another option. And then there are hybrid models—or vacuum-mop combos—that can both vacuum carpets and also vacuum and mop hard floors. In addition, some models are self-emptying, while others include features like obstacle avoidance. And if that's not enough, some robot vacuums have cameras that let you remotely see and communicate with your pet—and even schedule which areas of the home you want to clean on which days at which times. Our personal robot vacuums for pets were selected from these categories based on personal testing, extensive research, recommendations from fellow critics, and user impressions.

There are many features to consider when choosing the best robot vacuum for pets; some may be vitally important—others not so much. Regardless of what you’re looking for, one of the following recommendations should make it easy to clean up after your furry friend.

Roborock

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Why it made the cut: The most powerful suction, sonic scrubbing, a self-refilling tank, and a self-drying mop are just some of the many features we love.

Specs

Pros

Cons

The Roborock S8 Pro Ultra is an absolute beast of a robot vacuum for pets. Granted, it won't feed your furry friend or take it for a walk—but it pretty much does everything else. And since the Robotock S8 Pro is a vacuum and mop combo, it can be used on any type of floor. The dual brushes provide a more thorough cleaning while decreasing the chances of pet hair getting tangled. The robot vacuum also has a vacuum level of 6000 Pa (or Pascal unit, indicating the force generated to lift objects)—the most powerful of any robot vacuum we’ve seen so far.

But this is our overall best pick for other reasons as well. The VibraRise 2.0 mopping system scrubs hard floors 3,000 times per minute for an intense cleaning experience. And when carpet is detected, the mop lifts automatically so it won't wet your carpet. Conversely, when in mop-only mode, the brushes will lift automatically. Also, when the robot vacuum is returning to the dock (or when it's climbing over a threshold), both the mop and brush will lift to keep your clean floors clean.

And we’re just halfway through the impressive features of the Roborock S8 Pro Ultra. It uses LiDAR navigation and 3D obstacle avoidance to create maps of your home and find the most efficient cleaning path while identifying and avoiding obstacles on the floor. Using multi-level mapping, the robot vacuum lets you create four different maps on various levels (for example, basement through the third story) and automatically recognizes them. Plus, the 180-minute run-time provides plenty of battery life without having to stop and recharge.

The Roborock S8 Pro Ultra's dock has an empty wash fill dock that stores water and automatically refills the robot's water tank. The robot auto-self-empties when it returns to the deck, and the dust bag holds up to seven weeks’ worth of dust. In addition, the robot vacuum is self-cleaning—when on the dock, the mop's cleaning rollers also clean the dock base. There's also a self-drying mode to prevent mold from growing on the mop.

Using the app on your smartphone, you can control the robot, schedule cleaning, and adjust settings, and you can also issue voice commands from Alexa, Google Home, and Siri.

iRobot

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Why it made the cut: The retractable mop is a game-changer in hybrid robot vacuums, ensuring carpets don't get wet.

Specs

Pros

Cons

We selected the iRobot Roomba Combo j7+ as the best hybrid vacuum/mop for pets, due in part to its ability to automatically lift the mop pad up to the top of the robot to avoid wet messes on the carpet. Other robot vacuums lift the mop slightly, but this is the only machine that completely lifts it up and out of the way. We also like the four-stage cleaning system, which includes dual rubber brushes for multi-surface use, an edge-sweeping brush, power-lifting suction, and the retractable mop. It uses dirt detection to sense which areas are dirtier (for example, where your pet has left muddy paw prints) and provides a more detailed cleaning in those areas.

The PrecisionVision Navigation recognizes and avoids objects in its path, including pet toys, shoes, etc. However, it's also sensitive enough to navigate around pet poop as well. The robot vacuum uses an automatic disposal system to empty both the vacuum and mop. Each dirt disposal bag holds up to 60 days of debris.

With iRobot OS, it's easy to choose cleaning modes, select the number of passes, and even customize the amount of liquid in the mop. Also, the operating system automatically updates to keep the robot current, so you’ll always have the latest features. And with Alexa and Google Assistant, you can issue commands to clean by the litter box, under the dining room table, or other specific areas.

Shark

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Why it made the cut: The True HEPA Self-Empty Base captures 99.97 percent of dust and allergens and keeps them trapped inside.

Specs

Pros

Cons

If you’re sensitive to dust and other allergens, even a self-emptying robot vacuum can leave you sneezing and coughing from pet dander. However, this Shark AI Robot Vacuum Self-Empty XL uses a True HEPA self-empty base. The anti-allergen complete seal system traps 99.97 percent of allergens so you can breathe clean air. The base also holds up to 60 days’ worth of debris. The self-cleaning brushroll avoids getting hair entangled in it, and avoiding this chore also limits your exposure to allergens.

Using 360-degree LiDAR technology, the robot vacuums maps your home and then creates an efficient map for cleaning it. Unlike some robots that clean in rows, the Shark AI Robot Vacuum cleans in a matrix (vertically and then horizontally) and also uses clean-edge technology, which blows air into the corners and edges of your rooms to dislodge debris. In addition, obstacle avoidance can recognize and bypass items left on the floor. Using the SharkClean app, you can control the robot vacuum, schedule cleanings, and personalize settings. It's also compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant.

eufy by Anker

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Why it made the cut: Proof that you can get a good vacuum on a budget, this one uses three brushes, boost technology, and can be controlled via smartphone or voice control.

Specs

Pros

Cons

Here at PopSci, we differentiate between "best value/best budget" and "cheapest." So, we don't look for the cheapest or lowest price option; instead, we choose high-quality, economical options with the features that consumers want. The Eufy Boost IQ RoboVac 30C is our economical choice for the best robot vacuum for pets, as it's one of our favorite approachable priced smart home devices.

It does not have virtual boundaries—you have to place physical boundary strips in front of the areas you want to be avoided—and it doesn't have a self-empty base. But for the price, these features may be negotiable. The robot vacuum does have a slim design that can easily fit under your sofa and other low furniture for a thorough cleaning. It also has 1500 Pa suction power. Plus, it also has a BoostIQ setting for going from hard floors to carpets and nine anti-collision infrared sensors to ensure the robot vacuum doesn't crash into objects on the floor. In addition, it connects with the EufyHome App, which allows you to start or stop the robot vacuum, select a cleaning mode, or schedule cleanings.

Bissell

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Why it made the cut: The rotating mop pads scrub hard floors for a thorough clean, and the choice of formulas can customize the cleaning experience.

Specs

Pros

Cons

The Bissell Spinwave Pet Robot provides the most intensive mopping experience we’ve seen, aside from the Roborock S8 Ultra Pro, which is almost four times as expensive (although it does also vacuum carpet). Bissell uses dual rotating mop pads that are designed to not only clean floors but also scrub them for a deep clean, which makes it a good choice for removing your pet's spills, stains, and tracked-in dirt. The mops can also be tossed in the washing machine, which makes them easy to maintain. In addition, the soft surface avoidance sensor recognizes and avoids carpets and even area rugs while in mop mode. The vacuum feature includes a brush roll and dual spinning edge brushes combined with 1500 Pa of suction power. In addition to vacuuming hard floors, it can also vacuum carpets.

The robot vacuum can also be controlled via the Bissell Connect app. Bissell recommends using its special cleaning formulas, which is both a pro and a con. It's a pro because you can choose from various formulas, such as Pet Clean, Pet Multisurface with Febreeze, Sanitize, and Wood Floors. The only drawback is that the cost of these formulas can add up over a period of time, compared to most robot vacuums that only use water.

ECOVACS

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Why it made the cut: A major competitor to our best overall choice, this one has a camera and two-way audio for remotely communicating with your pet.

Specs

Pros

Cons

If you’re like most pet parents, you wonder what your furry friend is doing when you’re not home. The Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni Robot Vacuum has an AIVI 3D camera for obstacle avoidance. However, the camera also lets you take a look at your home in real-time via your smartphone—and you can even talk to your pet using two-way audio. The turbo-rotating dual mop system, combined with 5000 Pa suction power, provides an intensive cleaning experience.

The robot vacuum can map your home and navigate around obstacles. In addition, it provides a truly hands-off experience with auto dust emptying into a sealed bag that holds 60 days of debris, auto water tank refilling, auto mop washing, and auto hot air mop drying. Control options include the app, Alexa, Google Assistant, and YIKO (Ecovacs’ exclusive Deebot voice assistant, which supports various languages, including English, French, Italian, German, and Japanese).

Depending on the size of your home, battery life is a very important consideration. While 60 minutes is the norm, some robot vacuums have batteries that last much longer. If you have a large home, the robot vacuum should clean in one pass, if possible, instead of having to return to the charging dock before it can finish the job.

But keep in mind that when you choose a higher or more powerful setting, it can drain the battery faster than a lower or regular setting.

"Regular" robot vacuums for pets will vacuum pet hair, pet dander, etc., from carpets and hard floors. Note: hard floors can include hardwood floors, stone, vinyl, laminate, linoleum, etc.—basically, it refers to uncarpeted floors. A mopping robot vacuum (technically not a robot vacuum but is often referred to as such) is great at cleaning up spills, stains, wet messes, and anything that requires water (and a cleaning solution).

Some robot vacuums are hybrids, meaning they can vacuum carpets and hard floors and mop hard floors. However, the hybrid robot vacuum must recognize floor types so it won't try to mop your carpet or even drag the wet mop across the carpeted surface on the way to the dock.

All the robot vacuums for pet hair on this list have smart features. However, such features can vary. For example, some allow you to schedule cleanings via your smartphone (for example, clean the kitchen at 10 am and 4 pm every day, but only clean the master bedroom at 2 pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays). You can also start the robot vacuum remotely at any time via your phone. In addition, some models allow you to issue voice commands via Alexa or Google Assistant.

Other smart features include mapping your house and creating a virtual map for more efficient cleaning. And some models that use cameras can also be used to see and communicate with your pets. Another helpful feature is obstacle avoidance—keeping the robot vacuum from getting tangled in a sock on the floor or smearing your pet's poop. You can also set up boundaries so it won't destroy your kid's science project or train set on the floor, and some robot vacuums even recognize stairs and will avoid toppling down them.

Robot vacuums already make life so much easier by cleaning up after your pet without requiring you to lift a finger. But eventually, you’ll need to empty the contents. Some of the best robot vacuums for pets can hold up to 60 days of debris. Others have self-emptying capabilities—and some even have self-cleaning features.

The size of the robot vacuum you choose for pets will matter for at least two reasons. If you have a large home, it's to your advantage to have a large bin, so the robot vacuum won't have to keep stopping to empty the debris. And if it's not a self-emptying model, you certainly don't want to dump out the contents yourself any more than you have to.

But size matters for another reason as well. While robot vacuums with self-empty bins are convenient, they also take up a lot more space, and this extra bulk could pose problems if you don't have a dedicated space to house it. Size also matters if you have low furniture since a taller option may not fit underneath.

Routinely cleaning your robot vacuum for pet hair can help it to work properly and remain trouble-free. Specific instructions may vary by vacuum. But as a general rule, use a wet cloth to wipe down the main brushes, brush cover, latches, main brush bearing, and main brush caps. Clean the main wheels, sensors, and contact drying areas with a soft, dry cloth. Rinse the dustbin and washable filters under running water.

Yes, robot vacuums for pets work well on hardwood floors. Some of them have washable mop pads, and others, like the Bissell Spinwave, have scrubbing mop pads for a deeper clean and also soft-touch pads for light-duty cleaning and also polishing hardwood floors while cleaning them. The Roborock S8 Ultra uses sonic mopping that scrubs your hardwood floor 3,000 times per minute but is gentle enough that it won't hurt your hardwood.

A robot vacuum for pets will also work well on carpets. The combination of strong suction and brushes loosens and lifts dirt, pet hair, and other debris from carpets.

At the time of publication, the Roborock S8Pro Ultra had the strongest suction: 6000 Pa. The Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni Robot Vacuum comes in second place with 5000 Pa.

All of the robot vacuums on this list will do a great job of removing pet hair, so there was no need to have a separate category because that was the minimum requirement for being on the list. Rest assured, any of these choices will help clean up shedding. Beyond that, you just need to narrow down what type of surfaces you need cleaned, what kind of smart features you want, and what your budget is, and you’ll be able to find the best robot vacuum for pets so you can worry less about gathering up excess fur and more about giving out excessive skritches.

Popular Science started writing about technology more than 150 years ago. There was no such thing as "gadget writing" when we published our first issue in 1872, but if there was, our mission to demystify the world of innovation for everyday readers means we would have been all over it. Here in the present, PopSci is fully committed to helping readers navigate the increasingly intimidating array of devices on the market right now.

Our writers and editors have combined decades of experience covering and reviewing consumer electronics. We each have our own obsessive specialties—from high-end audio to video games to cameras and beyond—but when we’re reviewing devices outside of our immediate wheelhouses, we do our best to seek out trustworthy voices and opinions to help guide people to the very best recommendations. We know we don't know everything, but we’re excited to live through the analysis paralysis that internet shopping can spur so readers don't have to.

As a contributor to Popular Science's reviews team, Terri Williams covers all things tech, from smart doorbells to webcams. She's also provided research for Popular Science's Best of What's New awards.

Best overall: Best hybrid vacuum/mop combo: Best for allergies: Best value: Best mid-price robot mop: Best self-empty with camera: How we chose the best robot vacuums for pets The best robot vacuums for pets: Reviews & Recommendations Best overall: Why it made the cut: Specs Dimensions: Battery life: Object avoidance: Self-emptying: Uses dust bag: Pros Cons Best hybrid vacuum-mop combo: Why it made the cut: Specs Dimensions: Battery life: Object avoidance: Self-emptying: Uses dust bag: Pros Cons Best for allergies: Why it made the cut: Specs Dimensions: Battery life: Object avoidance: Self-emptying: Uses dust bag: Pros Cons Best value: Why it made the cut: Specs Dimensions: Battery life: Object avoidance: Self-emptying: Uses dust bag: Pros Cons Best mid-price robot mop: Specs Dimensions: Battery life: Object avoidance: Self-emptying: Uses dust bag: Pros Cons Best self-empty with camera: Why it made the cut: Specs Dimensions: Battery life: Object avoidance: Self-emptying: Uses dust bag: Pros Cons What to consider when buying the best robot vacuums for pets FAQs Q: How do I maintain a robot vacuum for pet hair? Q: How do I maintain a robot vacuum for pet hair? Q: Do robot vacuums for pets work on hardwood floors? Q: Will robot vacuums for pets work on carpets? Q: Which robot vacuum for pets has the strongest suction? Final thoughts on the best robot vacuums for pets Best overall: Best hybrid vacuum/mop combo: Best for allergies: Best value: Best mid-price robot mop: Best self-empty with camera: Why trust us