The Neato D8 robot vacuum is whisper quiet and learns your home’s layout

Robot vacuums are exceedingly expensive — sure, there are plenty of cool tech-enabled bells and whistles, but spending thousands of dollars for a vacuum isn’t exactly realistic or necessary for most households.

That’s why we like the Neato D8 robot vacuum.

The compact, mid-priced robot vacuum claims to offer just as much cleaning power and efficiency as its big name competitors, making it a good contender for those who don’t want to shell out thousands for a cleaning companion.

Does the Neato D8 manage to get the job done well? Here’s what we thought about its performance, appearance, and reliability.

The slim profile can easily dock out of sight

The slim robot vacuum can get under furniture, and it won’t take up too much space while docked.
Credit: Neato

Robot vacuums are wonderful in many ways, but nobody wants a docking station sitting in plain sight in the middle of their living space. The Neato D8 doesn’t come with a self-empty bin or particularly large docking station which makes it easy to set it up out of the way. Robot vacuums need around three feet of space around the dock in order to find their way back to it, so while you can tuck the Neato D8 away, remember to still give it ample space.

The whisper-quiet device isn’t disruptive

There’s little more disruptive than the sound of a vacuum cleaner doing its thing — especially if you prefer running your vacuum when you’re at home. The first thing I noticed about the Neato D8 vacuum is just how quiet it is while in use. I usually vacuum my house with a supposedly whisper-quiet Dyson V8 but the Neato is, happily, even more subtle when doing its thing.

Bluetooth capabilities and in-app functionality is fun and practical

The last robot vacuum I had did not have Bluetooth capabilities or in-app functionality, so figuring out the ins and outs of the Neato Robotics app was a real treat. My partner and I were fascinated with the app’s ability to map out our entire apartment, designate no-go zones, and target specific areas of our home. We also liked that the app allowed us to start the vacuum from wherever we were — a great feature if you’re having friends over after work and didn’t get a chance to do the floors ahead of time.


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The Neato can impressively climb over horizontal furniture legs

The most annoying part of running a robot vacuum is having to prepare for its voyage. My iRobot Roomba 980 was constantly getting stuck on the stools in my dining room and my piano keyboard legs, but the Neato D8 appears to have much better hydraulics than its competitors. The vacuum was able to spring itself over my stools and keyboard without getting stuck once; not having to vacuum-proof my apartment before firing it up is one of the Neato’s best selling points in my book.

You can program no-go zones (like the Christmas tree or bar cart)

Like many other tech-enabled robot vacuums on the market, the Neato D8 allows you to easily program no-go zones directly from the app. This is especially useful for temporary hindrances, like a Christmas tree, for example. I also opted to use the no-go zone function for my bar cart, which is on wheels and was getting pushed around while Neato was at work.

Downsides: The Neato is very slow to learn a space

The Neato D8 offers a lot of great bang for your buck — especially if you’ve been using an old, less tech-savvy robot vacuum like I had — but it does come with a few drawbacks. The vacuum was very slow to learn the layout of my home and took nearly four hours to fully map out the layout. My apartment is only 600-square-feet and it was quite frustrating to have to watch it go round and round trying to make sense of my simple bedroom and living room.


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The house map could be more accurate

After nearly four hours of meticulously mapping out the layout of my apartment, I was disappointed to see that the perimeter of my space wasn’t extremely accurate in the Neato app. The vacuum will become more precise as it continues to work in my home, but it was disappointing to see gaps and missing parts in my apartment after watching it veer around for hours. 

Should you drop $599.99 on the Neato D8 robot vacuum?

robot vacuum on dock next to a piece of furniture

Thanks to the compact dock, you can keep this robot vacuum from being a huge eye sore.
Credit: Neato

The Neato D8 offers similar cleaning power and even better object sensors than some of its much more expensive competitors. The compact vacuum is stick and efficient — and the small base allows you to easily tuck your vacuum out of sight when not in use.

Whether you’ve been curious to try a robot vacuum for the first time or you’re hoping to upgrade an old model to something a little more precise and efficient without shelling out thousands, the Neato D8 robot vacuum is definitely worth the mid-range price tag. Plus, it’s often on sale at Amazon for a couple hundred dollars off.

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