Here’s the bad thing about self-emptying robot vacuums: They’re ugly. They usually feature a large, unsightly base station that stands out like a sore thumb. For a more attractive option, consider the $599 Neabot NoMo N1. Beyond its classy white-and-silver design, the NoMo N1 offers standout cleaning performance, with strong suction power to effectively remove dust and debris from both hard floors and carpeting. It rarely gets stuck, it boasts better battery life than most of the competition, and, of course, it can empty its own dustbin into a bag, significantly limiting your exposure to dust. Its app isn’t perfect, but it offers more smart features than the self-emptying iRobot Roomba i3+ for the same price. That said, the $599 Shark IQ Robot Self-Empty XL R101AE remains our Editors’ Choice winner for its superior smart capabilities and unique self-cleaning brushroll.
Ample Features, Competitively Priced
At $599 (though often on sale for under $500), the Kickstarter-funded Neabot NoMo N1 is competitively priced for a robot vacuum with automatic-bin emptying and smart mapping abilities. The iRobot Roomba i3+ costs the same and can also empty its own dustbin, but doesn’t support targeted area cleaning or virtual no-go zones.
Neabot, which was founded in 2018, also sells a version of this vacuum with an attachment that allows it to simultaneously vacuum and mop. That version, called the NoMo N1 Plus, is oddly priced the same at $599 (though again tends to be on sale for just a bit more than the standard N1).
The N1’s white-and-silver design easily makes it the best-looking self-emptying robot vacuum I’ve tested. The vacuum itself measures 13.78 by 13.78 by 3.86 inches (LWH) and weighs 20.6 pounds, while the base stands 13.5 inches tall.
On top, the vacuum has a Start/Pause button flanked by a Recharge button on the left and a Spot Cleaning button on the right. In Spot mode, the robot will clean in a roughly 25-square-foot area, then return to its starting position. An indicator light around the Start/Pause button will shine white when the N1 is fully charged, orange when it’s charging, and flash white when it’s cleaning.
Like some new robot vacuums, including the Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI and the Wyze Robot Vacuum, the NoMo N1 has a raised laser mapping and navigation sensor on top. The N1 uses a Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) sensor and simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) technology, a similar combination to what is used in self-driving cars, to map your home and plan an efficient cleaning route.
On the bottom, it has two edge brushes, a main brushroll, and a cliff sensor to prevent it from falling down stairs. On the inside, it has a 13.5-ounce dustbin with a HEPA filter to collect particulate matter in the air as the robot runs.
When the robot docks after a cleaning job, the contents of its bin are automatically sucked into a bag in the base station. The sealed dust bag holds two to four weeks of dust and debris, which will obviously depend on how often you vacuum and how dirty your floors are.
The nice thing about this is that you never have to come into contact with dust and debris. The downside is that you eventually have to buy more bags when you run out.
My review unit came with one dust bag pre-installed in the base and six replacement bags in the box, but a Neabot spokesperson says it typically only comes with two extra bags. When you run out, you can order a six-pack of dust bags for $20, which is relatively affordable (iRobot charges the same price for three). In the box with the NoMo N1, you also get an extra HEPA filter and a set of replacement side brushes. Neabot also sells an all-in-one replacement kit that includes two HEPA filters, two main brushrolls, eight side brushes, and four dust bags for $39.99.
If the thought of running out of dust bags stresses you out, you might prefer the aforementioned Shark IQ Robot Self-Empty XL R101AE, which automatically empties its dustbin into a larger, bagless bin in the base that only needs to be manually emptied once a month. When its large dustbin is full, you hold it over the trash, press the Empty button on the side, and the bottom opens so the contents fall directly into the trash. It’s a relatively clean process, though if you have severe allergies to dust, you might prefer a bagged model like the NoMo N1 or the iRobot Roomba i3+.
The N1 has three suction power levels: Regular (the default setting, which offers 1,200Pa of suction), Strong (2,700Pa), and Small (700Pa). Volume-wise, it operates between 55 and 70db; on the high end, that’s about as loud as a washing machine or dishwasher, according to the CDC. The higher the suction power, the more it will pick up, but the louder it will be. The lower the suction power, the longer it will be able to clean.
The NoMo N1 has a 5,200mAh battery, which Neabot says allows for up to 3.5 hours (210 minutes) of continuous cleaning in a space of up to 2,150 square feet.
In testing, the NoMo N1 cleaned for up to 149 minutes in Regular mode before its battery got too low to start another cleaning job. That makes it one of the longest-lasting robot vacuums we’ve tested, only surpassed by the Deebot Ozmo T8 AIVI, which ran for 170 minutes on a charge.
One full charge gives the NoMo N1 enough juice to clean my roughly 900-square-foot main level three times over. Needless to say, it’s an excellent option for large homes.
Easy to Set Up
The NoMo N1 is super simple to set up. First, unbox the unit and remove any protective packaging. Then, find a spot for the self-emptying dustbin. Neabot recommends setting it up at least 1.6 feet away from objects on either side and at least 4 feet across from anything.
After getting the self-emptying dustin into position and plugging it in, you’ll need to pick up the robot and place it on its base, making sure to align the metal contacts. The robot will light up and make a sound when it’s awake and ready for setup.
The NoMo N1 comes with its own remote that can be used from about 26 feet away, but connecting it to its companion app lets you control and monitor the robot using your phone from wherever you are. The Neabot Home app (available for Android and iOS) lets you start cleaning jobs, switch between modes (Regular, Small, or Strong), create a cleaning schedule, select specific rooms for area cleaning, and create virtual no-go zones so the robot avoids certain areas.
Make sure you have your Wi-Fi password handy, as you’ll need it during the setup process. Note that Neabot only supports 2.4GHz Wi-Fi networks; it doesn’t work with 5GHz.
To get started, download the Neabot Home app, create an account using your email address, and press OK when it asks for permission to use Bluetooth. Next, press the plus sign in the upper right corner of the app to add your robot, and follow the on-screen instructions. During the setup process, the app will instruct you to press and hold the left and right buttons on the top of the robot for five seconds to put it in pairing mode. From there, you then need to select your Wi-Fi network and enter the password, then navigate to your phone’s Wi-Fi settings menu and connect to the NeabotHome hotspot, then go back to the Neabot Home app and wait for it to finish pairing.
In testing, it only took a couple of minutes to get the robot connected to the app. The app then informed me about an available firmware update, which installed without issue.
So-So Smart Features
On its first test run, the N1 will generate a map of your home’s floor plan, which appears in the middle of the app. A green charging icon on the map indicates the location of the base and a blue circle shows the robot’s current location. Alongside the map, it shows the robot’s current battery percentage, and stats for the last cleaning job (total cleaning time and square footage covered).
Above the map, it shows the robot’s current status (charging, cleaning in progress, pause cleaning, return to dock, and more). Below the map is a yellow Clean button along with tabs for Schedule, Smart Maps, Empty Bin, and Settings.
When you press the yellow Clean button, you can select between two options: Clean All or Choose Zones. If you select Choose Zones, it shows a list of the rooms you have labeled in the Smart Maps tab, you can select the ones you want cleaned, then the robot will go right there.
While the robot is cleaning, you’ll see three additional buttons in the app: Pause, Resume, and End. As it works, the robot charts its route on the map, so you can see exactly where it has covered.
When creating a Schedule, you can select the days and times you want it to clean, and whether you want it to vacuum the entire house or just specific zones. After creating them, you can easily toggle your schedules on and off. In testing, the robot reliably started cleaning at the scheduled time.
In the Smart Maps tab, you can then label individual rooms on the map, and mark each one as a single-pass, double-pass, or prohibited zone, a unique feature I haven’t seen in other robot vacuum companion apps. When you mark a room as a double-pass zone, the robot will vacuum it two times in a row. It avoids areas marked as prohibited zones.
In testing, I found the Smart Maps feature a little confusing to use. Labeling each room on the map took some trial and error. After figuring it out, I saved the map and thought I was good to go. But on the next test run, I tapped the yellow Clean button, then selected the option to Choose Zones, but the app said that there were none set up. After relabeling my rooms, I didn’t experience this problem again.
Like most other app-connected robot vacuums, the NoMo N1 keeps a record of all its cleaning jobs. The Cleaning History section is a bit hard to find, but after poking around, I located it in the Schedule tab. In the Cleaning History section, it shows the date and time of each job, along with the square footage covered and cleaning duration. You can click into each record to see a map of where the robot cleaned. In the Settings tab, you can select the suction power and dustbin emptying frequency.
Connecting the N1 with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant and controlling it with voice commands was a struggle, but I ultimately got both to work. To use it with Alexa, you first need to enable the Tuya Smart skill, then sign in using your Neabot account credentials. Oddly, to control it with Alexa voice commands, I have to say “Alexa, turn on Nemo.” When I say “Alexa, turn on NoMo,” it doesn’t work.
The setup process is basically the same for Google Assistant. Search for Tuya Smart in the Assistant app, then use your Neabot credentials to sign in. To start it with Google Assistant, I can say “Hey Google, tell Neabot NoMo to start cleaning.”
Top-Notch Navigation and Cleaning Performance
While its app and voice assistant support leave room for improvement, the NoMo N1 offers standout navigation and cleaning performance. The NoMo N1 works quickly, rarely gets stuck, traverses different flooring types with ease, and offers strong suction power.
Thanks to its LiDAR-based technology, the N1 made quick work of mapping my home. After its first cleaning job, the robot had already fully mapped my main level.
While some older and budget-friendly robot vacuums haphazardly ping-pong from wall to wall, the NoMo N1’s laser navigation allows it to plan a more efficient cleaning route. It first cleans around the edges of a room, then makes straight lines to cover the rest of the space.
In testing, it only got stuck on a long window blind pull cord and behind a curtain. Unlike some other robot vacuums, it never tripped up on a door jamb, flooring transition strip, under furniture, or on phone cords. If it gets lost, you can locate it in the app by looking for the blue dot on the map, or navigate to Settings > Find Neabot. When you press Find Neabot, it will say, “I’m here.”
The N1 can vacuum my entire main level in less than an hour, and leaves my laminate, tile, and wall-to-wall carpeting looking noticeably cleaner. Aside from the time it got stuck behind a curtain and I didn’t realize, it always successfully made it back to its base and automatically emptied its bin. After returning to its base, it makes a loud noise for a couple of seconds as the contents of its bin are transferred to the bag.
After several test runs, I checked the robot’s dustbin and it was completely empty, save for a few stray dog hairs and a single piece of kibble that wasn’t transferred to the bag.
Since it can empty its own dustbin, the NoMo N1 is less needy than many other robot vacuums, but it still requires some maintenance on your part to keep it running at its best. When it’s time to change the dust bag, the indicator light on the top of the robot will flash yellow.
If you see a yellow flashing indicator light, but the bag isn’t full, Neabot recommends cleaning the dust tunnel. To do that, you need to unplug the base, turn it upside down, use a screwdriver to remove the transparent dust tunnel cover, then clean out any foreign items.
Neabot also recommends cleaning the main bush, side brushes, and filter every week. With regular maintenance, you’ll get about six months of use out of the main brush before you need to completely replace it, and about half that time for the side brushes. The filter should last you about two months max before it needs to be replaced.
Also be sure to periodically clean the front wheel, sensors, and charging contacts. Neabot has detailed care and maintenance instructions in the user manual.
Attractive and Relatively Affordable
For $599, the Neabot NoMo N1 offers a lot to like, including laser mapping and navigation technology and a self-emptying dustbin. It’s more attractive than many of its competitors, it delivers top-notch cleaning performance with up to 2,700Pa of suction power, and it has exceptional battery life. Neabot also lets you set up virtual no-go zones, label individual rooms on your map for area cleaning, and set up cleaning schedules.
The N1 is a strong contender against the $599 Roomba i3+, iRobot’s most affordable robot vacuum that can empty its own dustbin. The Roomba i3+ doesn’t support smart mapping features like the N1, but it offers the peace of mind that comes with buying from one of the most reliable and respected names in the industry, whereas Neabot is a newcomer. Ultimately, both are excellent options, especially for allergy sufferers as they both automatically transfer the contents of their bin into a bag, eliminating the dust cloud you must endure with non-auto-emptying competitors.
Slightly edging out both of these models is the Shark IQ Robot Self-Empty XL R101AE, which retains our Editors’ Choice award. Its smart mapping features and voice assistant support are more user-friendly than the NoMo N1’s, and it features a convenient self-cleaning brushroll. Its bagless self-emptying system is more convenient and wallet-friendly, since you don’t have to buy replacement bags, but it requires coming into contact with dust about once a month. As such, if you’re allergic to dust you might want to opt for either the NoMo N1 or the Roomba i3+.