The rise of the robot vacuum is well and truly here! I think it all started with the Roomba which is awesome. However, I know that the price tag of that and other robot vacuums can be a little off-putting.
We are now entering the age of the budget-priced robot vacuum as there are a few models on the market right now that are much lower in price.
I have had the chance to look at three of the contenders for the best budget robot vacuum under £200 award. I was very interested to see how they compared to their more expensive counterparts.
My house is ideal for testing vacuum cleaners as I have two kids and two dogs so each of these little robot workers is going to be given a real hard work out.
Hopefully, they will not feel insulted, become self-aware and decide to take over my house!
Best Budget Robot Vacuums Under £200 Reviews and Recommendations For 2020
ILIFE A4s Robot Vacuum – Best Budget Robot Vacuum
The first robot vacuum that I tested is the very popular ILIFE A4s Robot Vacuum. This is seen as one of the best when it comes to an alternative to the Roomba. Now let’s address the first issue, the price.
While we are looking for robot vacuum cleaners under £200, this one is very, very close to that £200 mark so it is at the high end of what we are looking for, but this is one of the more popular robot vacuum cleaners on the market right now.
The way that you operate this robot buddy is with a very easy to use remote control. This remote control actually gives you a lot of control over your little robot helper. You see you can actually set it to clean at a specific time and with a specific program.
So you can set it to go and clean the kitchen at 10 AM when the house is empty. It will go and do what you have programmed it to do and then return to the charging dock.
Different Settings For Different Cleaning Tasks
What I like about this robot vacuum is the way that it has different settings. These are spot, edge, and auto. It has an extra setting that is called MAX.
MAX is where the power is increased for a short duration and the idea is that for a really stubborn spill, MAX has that extra power to get it up. Spot focuses on a specific spot, edge specialises on the edges and auto lets it just wander around cleaning as it goes.
I really like how smart the ILIFE A4s Robot Vacuum is. It is able to detect things like walls, chairs, and other obstacles so it very, very rarely will get itself stuck.
Actually the whole time I was testing it, it never got stuck once. It will also detect what kind of surface it is on and adjust its suction power accordingly which is clever.
In my living room, we have a rug and you can hear the difference in suction when it goes over the rug compared to the carpet. I even used it to go over the sofa and beds as it can detect when it is near the edge so it won’t go for a joyride down the stairs.
It is a very clever device if only I could program it to take the kids to school and make dinner! The battery life is around the 2-hour mark depending on the level of suction and it will take itself back to the charging dock when it needs to.
Cleans All Floor Types Well
So it is smart, easy to use and has different modes, but what about the actual cleaning?
Well, it cleans very well. We have a good mix of surfaces in my house such as carpet, hardwood floor and lino in the kitchen and it handled every surface very well. It uses a system of a powerful roller and suction system along with side brushes.
It is able to pick up even more stubborn messes. It has been said that it struggles on really thick carpet, but my living room carpet is not the shortest and it managed just fine on that.
I was impressed with the amount of dust and other mess that this was able to pick up before I needed to empty the bin. Which is very easy to do, even things like pet hair and cereal do not get caught up inside it which I was very happy to see.
It also has a very good filter so you do not have to worry about this spitting nasty dust out all over your house.
I think that the ILIFE A4s Robot Vacuum is a fantastic budget robot vacuum cleaner. I know that it is close to the £200 mark, but I think it is excellent and really one of the closest matches to a Roomba you can get, but at a much lower price point.
- Up to 140 minutes of cleaning time
- Automatic cleaning scheduling and battery charging
- Smart sensors to avoid walls and stairs
- Small dirt bin – needs emptying regularly
- May struggle with larger pieces of debris
Eventer Robotic Vacuum
At around the 150 pound mark, the Eventer Robotic Vacuum is a very interesting robot vacuum cleaner and one that I had never heard about before. I was excited to get this out of the box and let it take on the challenge of cleaning up after the kids and my dogs!
The first thing I noticed was how thin it was which is great as it means it will have no trouble getting into those awkward areas.
This robot vacuum has different settings that you control with the included remote control. They have made this so it is as easy to use as possible. You can take it out of the box, set it up and just let it go if you want. Or you can use one of the specific cleaning modes that it has.
4 Different Cleaning Modes
Spot cleaning mode is when it will focus on a specific area. for example, if the dogs have shed really bad somewhere or if the kids have made a mess with cookies. Edge mode is when it will focus on the edges and other hard to reach areas.
Zig Zag mode is pretty awesome as it will literally go in a zig-zag to cover as much of an area as possible. There is also an auto mode where it just goes and cleans where it sees fit.
The auto cleaning mode is where you realise how smart the Eventer Robotic Vacuum cleaner is.
You see it is able to detect dirt and parts of the floor that are high traffic areas and it can focus on them and even parts that may be ignored by you when you are vacuuming. It is very clever stuff indeed and as this is taking care of it, it means you do not have to.
As far as the performance goes I will admit that out of the box I was a little concerned with how much power this would have at the price point it is.
However, the power is actually very good. They do tell you that it is not suitable for high carpet and I can see why, but for lower carpets, hardwood floor, and lino it works like a charm.
My living room I would describe as a little bit high carpet and it still worked on there. It actually changes the amount of power it is using depending on the surface it is on which is cool.
HIGH-QUALITY BRUSH ROLL AND VIRTUAL BLOCKER
The brush roller they have used has been designed with pet hair in mind. This means that you do not have to worry about it getting all tangled up all the time. The main brush roller and the side brushes are high quality and handled pretty much everything that my kids and dogs could throw at it.
You get some great extras with this as well. First of all is a little cleaning tool which is great for keeping debris out of the brush roll. But the thing that I got a real kick out of was the Virtual Blocker.
This does require its own set of batteries. But when you place this on the floor it creates a virtual line that the vacuum will not cross. So you can set it at the top of the stairs or at the door of a room you do not want it to go into.
The bin is nice and large and you will be impressed by the amount of rubbish that it can hold before you have to empty it. Which by the way is very easy to do. They do not give much information about the filtration system, but as I was not coughing and sneezing up a storm I can tell you from experience that it is very good.
I was very happily surprised by the Eventer Robotic Vacuum. It did a fantastic job, is a great price and I think it is well worth considering. The only thing that you need to consider is how thick your carpet is.
If you have really thick shag carpet I would not recommend this as they themselves state it is not designed for carpet like that.
Fine Dragon Robot Vacuum
Last but not least, we have the Fine Dragon Robot Vacuum which is the most budget-priced product in our quest to find the best robot vacuum under £200 as this one costs under £80! That is crazy to me!
If you had told me just a few years ago that robot vacuum cleaners would come down in price this much I would never have believed you. This is available in two colours gold and red. I was sent the gold version and it looked pretty cool.
Read More: Which robot vacuum is best in the UK?
Now, this is a self-described entry-level robot vacuum so you have to take that into consideration here. It is almost half the price of the Eventer model and over half the price cheaper than the ILIFE model so keep that in mind going forward.
Right off the bat, Fine Dragon tells you that this is not designed with carpet in mind and that hardwood floors and other surfaces that are flat are what it is made for. So if you have a carpet that is even just an inch or two high that is something to consider before buying this.
GREAT FOR HARD FLOORS
Amway, I decided that I would test it out on my hallway hardwood floor first of all. It is very easy to use. You turn it on and it just goes about its business. There is no large choice of settings or anything like that with this one.
You turn it on and it will go and find the mess that needs cleaning up. It has sensors so it can detect if there is a wall nearby or if it is in danger of falling off something. It also has a sensor so that it can find its way back to the charging dock which at this price I did not expect.
As far as the actual cleaning goes I found that it did a decent job. I let it go about its business in the hallway for a little while and was impressed with how good it did. I tested it in the kitchen and again it managed just fine on lino.
My curiosity got the best of me and I put it upstairs in the hallway where we have carpet, but really thin and it did manage to work there, but for some reason, it could not detect the stairs!
HIGHER LEVEL OF MAINTANENCE REQUIRED
The brush roll is pretty good and I did not encounter this, but they give you specific instructions on how to cut pet hair out of it! This to me means that there must be a high chance that pet hair can get caught around it.
To be fair this is a chance you take with any vacuum when you have a pet, but I have tested other robot vacuums and never had an issue so it is a bit weird that they draw attention to it here.
I think that if you were to keep on top of cleaning this that you would not have any kind of issue with pet hair or other nasty mess getting stuck in it.
The bin is a decent size and it is very easy to remove and get rid of what it has picked up. I was very happy that even at this price point they have used a filter that keeps in all of the dust as I have bad allergies and can tell when dust is all around so that was nice to see.
I think for well under £100 the Fine Dragon Robot Vacuum is a very interesting robot vacuum and if you are looking for something to specifically clean hardwood or lino floors you will be happy with it.
For those who want something that can handle that as well as carpet, I feel you would be better spending the extra money on one of the other models.
What To Look For When Buying A Budget Robot Vacuum Cleaner
It can be easy to get caught up in the hype when you see a robot vacuum cleaner for close to 50 pounds.
However, there are a few things that you need to watch out for and that is what I want to draw your attention to.
What Can It Clean?
One of the vacuums that I reviewed actually said it was not designed to clean carpet at all and the other suggested only using it on low carpet.
So before you click that buy it now button, make sure the robot vacuum cleaner you are looking at is capable of cleaning the floors in your home.
Can You Program It?
One of the best things about having a robot vacuum cleaner is having the ability to set it to clean at a certain time and on a certain program.
Not all of the lower priced models allow you to do this. However, programming is something that many people think all robot vacuums have. Maybe in a couple of years, even the lower priced robot cleaners will offer this, but for now not many do.
Does It Come With Extras?
What I am talking about here is a cleaning kit, a sensor to keep it out of certain places and so on.
I am always looking to get as much value for my money as possible so be sure to see if any models that you are interested in have any extras. It does not have to just be physical things either.
One of the vacuums that we have looked at today is much cheaper than the others, but it does not have all of the extra modes the others have and that is something to consider.
Why A Robot Vacuum Is A Great Purchase
Some people may see a robot vacuum cleaner as a luxury.
However, if you are looking for the best robot vacuum cleaner under £200 you must know how cool they are! As well as being cool a robot vacuum cleaner can be a great asset to your cleaning arsenal and I want to tell you why.
It Makes Your Life Easier
It really does. If you set the robot vacuum to clean a room or two each day, you will find that the amount of time you spend vacuuming yourself is greatly reduced!
The more you use it the more you will learn just how to get the best out of it.
Read More: Check out these top rated garden vacuums
They Are Not As Expensive As You Think
We have proven today that you can get a good robot vacuum cleaner for under 200 pounds pretty easy and best of all you can get a good one.
So do not just think an expensive Roomba is your only option.
They Clean The Hard Spots
No one likes to have to move the sofa or the coffee table to vacuum, it sucks not in a vacuuming way but sucks in a way that makes it a horrible job.
A robot vacuum cleaner can sneak under there and get into those awkward spots that are a hassle for you to do so.
Read More: Best vacuum cleaners in the UK by category
Robot Vacuum Cleaners Are Easy To Use
When some people hear the term, robot vacuum cleaner they may think you need to work for NASA in order to use it.
I counter this by saying that robot vacuums are designed with being very easy to use in mind. Even the ones that have many different programming options are not hard to get the hang of.
They Will Clean How You Want Them To
I have already told you how you can program them, but the ones that have different programs allow you to get really specific with how you want them to clean.
You can have them focus on a really specific spot which was something I actually did with the ILIFE model as one of the dogs knocked over a plant pot and got mud all over. So you can have them just generally cleaning a room or you can tell it exactly what to do.
What Is The Best Robot Vacuum Cleaner Under £200
Look I am realistic and know that at closer to 50 than 100 pounds the Fine Dragon Robot Vacuum was never going to rival the other two robot vacuum cleaners that are on this list.
Still, while it is incredibly low priced it is really designed with not working on carpet so I would advise that you only purchase that if you know for a fact you will never want your robot vacuum cleaner to work on carpet.
As far as the other two go things are a little harder but as much as I think the Eventer Robotic Vacuum cleaner is great, I actually preferred the ILIFE A4s Robot Vacuum.
Not only does this model meet my needs, but when you look at many other lists for what is the best budget robot vacuum under £200, this will feature on it most of the time.
It is very easy to use, has a lot of power, has all the different modes you will ever need and in general it is a fantastic robot vacuum cleaner and I would suggest that spending that extra 30 to 40 pounds to get this would be worth the money. The Eventer Robotic Vacuum is a fine vacuum, but I do feel the ILIFE just edges it.