The Best Robot Vacuums for Small Spaces 2021 [Reviews]

written by Sam Harris
part of Robot Vacuums
created on May 24, 2021
updated on May 24, 2021

Features like floor mapping and obstacle avoidance have the most applications in busy, multi-level homes with kids.

But what if you live alone in a ~1000ft² house (being the average size of an apartment in the US)?

This is why getting an intelligent cleaning robot for a small area like this will not only keep your floors and sanity intact but will as well save you time and money seeing as plenty of features, many of which you don’t need, usually equals higher price + increased risks of something going wrong.

You’re therefore in the right place if you’re looking for the best robot vacuum for your studio apartment home.

Reviews of three of the highest-rated robot vacuums for apartments

The iRobot i3(+), Roborock E4, and Deebot Ozmo U2 Pro are the three items that will feature in this list. All reasonably priced (typically within $350) with excellent performance on multiple floor types/suitability for different cleaning tasks, added to some decent run time on top of the auto-resume feature. Without further ado, below are the top three robot vacuums for small apartment homeowners.

Deebot Ozmo U2 Pro vacuuming & mopping robot

ecovacs _deebot_ozmo_U2_Pro_vacuuming_and_mopping_robot
deebot u2 pro

The Ecovacs Deebot U2 Pro is the first item on this list and is often on sale for a few hundred bucks.
Despite its affordability, however, the U2 Pro doesn’t skimp on the most important things. It cleans in straight, efficient lines: gentle, precise with the ability to cross strips up to 0.79″ tall. The U2 Pro handles hard floors just as well as it does low- and medium-pile carpets.
In standard mode, the U2 Pro can run up to 150 minutes. With its 300ml water tank, the U2 Pro can cover up to 1200ft². It doesn’t have the auto-empty dock of the Roomba i3 (#3 on the list) but compensates with an 800ml dust cup to help for prolonged cleaning while reducing the hassle of manual emptying. The U2 Pro bot also has an all-rubber brush design to help with pet hair detangling plus an edge cleaning mode to help catch all of the hair hiding away in corners and along walls.


Here are a few things to keep in mind about the Deebot U2 Pro droid.

  • Mats with black patterns may trigger the cliff sensor causing it to spin in circles or shut off completely. You can use white tape to cover the sensors but this is at risk of a fall if you live in a multistory house.
  • It doesn’t self-resume or supports in-app barriers; uses boundary strips instead.
  • It doesn’t support targeted cleaning or map saving.
  • It doesn’t support automatic dirt emptying or obstacle recognition and avoidance.
  • There’s no scrubbing effect to its mopping plus the water reservoir doesn’t support the use of sanitizer or disinfectant solution.
  • Its mopping isn’t ideal for dried-on stains. Plus, no mop lifting or automatic carpet avoidance. So you’ll have to keep an eye out while physically moving to rooms or zones that are on the opposite side of a rug.

Because there are no bells and whistles, the U2 Pro is simple but effective at cleaning. Therefore onsider getting one if you…

  • Live in a house up to 1200 ft²
  • Have long hair or shedding pets
  • Have primarily hardwood, tile, laminate, or marble floors
  • Have light mopping requirements
  • Don’t want custom settings such as room divider, room scheduling, or zone cleaning
  • Don’t have a cluttered setup or live in a multi-level house
  • Don’t plan to run on a schedule or totally unattended

Continue reading: Ecovacs Deebot U2 Pro review (includes details on its mobility in addition to a complete list of pros and cons)

Roborock E4 vacuuming & mopping robot

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roborock e4

Featuring #2 on this list of the best robot vacuum for small apartments is the Roborock E4. Similar to the U2 Pro (number #1 on the list) and to avoid needless repetition, think of the E4 as the U2 Pro with a smaller dustbin but with the self-resuming ability. Also, caveats/limitations associated with the U2 Pro applies in the E4 as well. Unlike the U2 Pro though the E4 has the combo style brush which may not be as ideal for pets and human hair. The E4 regardless is affordable, capable, and reliable. Consider the Roborock E4 if you…

  • Live in a house up to 1200 ft²
  • Don’t have cluttered a setup, heavy shedding pet breeds, or long hair
  • Don’t live in a multi-level house
  • Don’t want custom settings such as room divider, room scheduling, or zone cleaning
  • Have light mopping requirements
  • Have mostly hard floors (tile, hardwood, laminate, etc.) with fewer low- and medium-pile carpets

Continue reading: Roborock E4 robot vacuum cleaner review (includes details on its mobility in addition to a complete list of pros and cons)

Roomba i3 (plus) robotic vacuum cleaner

roomba_i3_plus_vacuuming_robot
roomba i3 plus

The Roomba i3 (i3 plus is the bundle with the base) concludes this list of the best robot vacuum for small apartments. Following the trend in the U2 Pro and Roborock E4 (number #1 & #2 respectively on the list) and to avoid needless repetition, the i3 plus is better described as the U2 Pro with reduced run time (120 vs. 75 minutes) but with the automatic resume and dumping abilities. Caveats/limitations of the U2 Pro applies in the iRobot i3 as well. Unlike the Roborock E4, however, its dual all-rubber center brush makes it better suited for pets and human hair. This brush design added to its extra suction also ensures deeper brush penetration as such improved carpet cleaning performance. With the base, the i3 plus is quite pricey at more than $500. Getting the base is however optional (particularly if you don’t have pets or long hair) and is available as an add-on.
Pricey but capable and reliable, consider the Roomba i3 plus if you…

  • Live in a house up to 800 ft²
  • Don’t have a cluttered setup, heavy shedding pet breeds, or long hair
  • Don’t live in a multi-level house
  • Don’t want custom settings such as room divider, room scheduling, or zone cleaning
  • Don’t want the mopping feature
  • Have a mix of hard floors (tile, hardwood, laminate, etc.) and full-length low- and medium-pile carpets.

Continue reading: Roomba i3 Plus self-cleaning robot vacuum cleaner review (includes details on its mobility in addition to a complete list of pros and cons)

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Conclusion

It turns out you won’t be needing all the bells and whistles in the advanced models that tend to complicate usability and increase the listing price if you live in a house measuring ~1000ft². For this reason, today’s article featured the Deebot U2 Pro, Roborock E4, and iRobot i3 (plus). From different manufacturers, any one of these three robots should meet your primary needs EXCEPT there could be secondary ones as well, like mopping, pet hair, or carpet cleaning.
Talking about carpet cleaning, the Roborock E4 and Roomba i3 makes perfect sense owing to their brush design that supports free air movement alongside a strong suction. For mopping, pay attention to the U2 Pro with a 300ml water tank which is adequate for light stains and dusty floors as there’s no scrubbing effect. The U2 Pro and i3 plus suffice if you have a couple of shedding pets as they have brushless rollers with detachable tips. Similarly, while the U2 pro has a larger bin of 800ml, the i3 has the self-emptying base (available as a bundle or an add-on) with a disposable bag that’s capable of holding a month’s worth of debris.