The Best Cheap Robot Vacuums (Under $250) on Amazon in 2018

A robot vacuum isn't a miracle appliance. Sometimes vacuums get stuck or smear a wet mess (yes, like dog poop). The dust bin needs to be emptied occasionally and even great vacuums will struggle with heavy dirt and hair. My point is that robot vacuums may reduce housework, but they don't eliminate it.

You can find a decent robot vacuum for less than $100. These low-end models clean well enough, but they need to be manually charged and the tradeoff isn’t always worth it. People with pet hair allergies might prefer a vacuum that works by itself throughout the day.

Self-charging vacuums are one step closer to being a set-it-and-forget-it appliance. Some vacuums have intelligent features like room mapping, stair detection and Alexa compatibility. These high-end models can cost between $400 and $1,000, but that added expense won't necessarily get you a vacuum that cleans better.  That said, pricier vacuums tend to work better on carpet.

No robot vacuum is truly quiet. Some make a snoring sound on hard surfaces. If you live in an apartment with hardwood floors, your downstairs neighbors might complain if you buy a loud model.

Here are the best-reviewed robot vacuums selling for less than $250 on Amazon:

eufy [BoostIQ] RoboVac 11+ (2nd Gen: Upgraded Bumper Suction Inlet) High Suction, Self-Charging Robotic Vacuum Cleaner, Filter Pet Fur, Cleans Hard Floors to Medium-Pile Carpets

Avg. Price: $229 | Bargain Price: $170

Eufy's robot vacuum is very quiet and cleans hardwood floors well, according to several Amazon customers. This vacuum has no rhyme-or-reason to its cleaning pattern and gets stuck sometimes, according to critical reviews. For best results, consider prepping your home by adjusting chairs and furniture.

ILIFE V3s Pro Robotic Vacuum, Newer Version of V3s, Pet Hair Care, Powerful Suction Tangle-free, Slim Design, Auto Charge, Daily Planning, Good For Hard Floor and Low Pile Carpet

Avg. Price: $154 | Bargain Price: $119

ILife's V3s robot vacuum is great for dog hair and especially effective on hard floors, according to several Amazon reviews. Some reviewers said this model is ineffective on carpet and noisy to run.

ILIFE A4s Robot Vacuum Cleaner

Avg. Price: $174 | Bargain Price: $125

Many Amazon customers described ILife's A4s robot vacuum as effective-yet-maddening-to-watch (because it bounces around while it cleans). This vacuum is supposed to return to its charging dock, but it often cleans until its battery runs out, according to several reviews.

Pure Clean Vacuum Cleaner-HEPA Filter Pet Hair Allergies Friendly Robotic Auto Home Carpet Hardwood Floor-Automatic Bot Self Detects Stairs-Upgraded V2

Avg. Price: $100 | Bargain Price: $94

This robot vacuum cleans single-floor homes with hard floors effectively, but you should probably look elsewhere if you have rugs, carpeting or stairs. (You get what you pay for.)

John DeFeo