Consumer Reports tests robotic vacuums

Three for $300 or less land near top of ratings

SAN ANTONIO – Increased competition in the robotic vacuum market has brought prices down. Three that cost $300 or less landed near the top of Consumer Reports’ ratings.

Robotic vacuums are not meant to deep clean the way a regular vacuum does, but they can be handy for keeping floors free of surface dirt.

Consumer Reports says robotic vacuums are best for uncluttered rooms with either bare floors or low-pile carpet. Thicker rugs will make the robotic vacuum work harder.

You can pay more than $1,000 for a robovac, but here are three rated highly by CR:

The Eufy RoboVac 11

In tests, it had an impressive run-time: a little less than two hours on bare floors and just over an hour on carpets before returning to its docking station. The Eufy did an excellent job inhaling surface debris on carpeting, and got top marks for quietness.

The iRobot Roomba 618

It did a top-notch job on bare floors. It quietly moved around  picking up dirt even in corners. CR testers noted it did not  get  tangled in the fringe of area rugs.

Shark Ion 720

Shark’s first entry in the robot world, the Shark Ion 720, sometimes scattered Consumer Reports test paper squares as it moved about, but eventually picked everything up.

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