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When it comes to household chores, vacuuming has to be one of the most tedious and boring. It’s also time consuming – especially when your whole house needs to be cleaned.
Perhaps this is the reason that robot vacuums have taken the market by storm.
While robotic vacuums have come a long way – the best ones are really easy to use, reliable and clean floors better than you can – you may still be wondering if they are worth the investment.
After all, a good robotic pool cleaner will set you back a few hundred dollars.
This article describes the issues and benefits you might want to consider, before making your decision.
Is Vacuuming Difficult or Impossible for You?
Older people, individuals with disabilities, or even those who simply do not have a lot of strength, may find vacuuming their house difficult.
Most regular vacuum cleaners are quite large, bulky, and can be difficult to push around for the average person, so if you have any type of ailment this difficulty can be magnified. A robot vacuum could be just what you need, if you are suffering from a physical disability.
Do you have an aging loved one who wants to remain independent? Because they are so light and easy to use, robotic vacuums can give the elderly a way to keep their independence when they are having difficulty performing everyday chores.
What Type of Flooring Do You Have?
Research and testing has shown that robot vacuum cleaners tend to work better for homes that have short carpet or hardwood floors. Carpet that is less than an inch thick is ideal.
For most robotic vacuum cleaners, high pile carpet is simply too thick for the smaller wheels of the automatic vacuums to get through.
If you one on thick carpet you will probably have to “save” it from its stuck position quite often and you will have to reset it, which can be a bit annoying.
The one exception we know of so far is the iRobot Roomba 980, which can tackle thick shag using a power boost function. But you’ll pay a price for that luxury.
How Much Is Your Time Worth?
The most common reason for someone to purchase a robot vacuum is as a maintenance appliance. They are great for keeping your house presentable, but they won’t clean everything spotlessly, at the time.
These devices replace the “every other week” mopping, sweeping and vacuuming that most people do in their homes with an “every other day” quick once-over.
And, programming a robot vacuum to give your floors a once-over every other day – or a heavy spot cleaning once in a while – is really easy.
But, no matter how often you send your robot cleaners out, some tough stains and spills will still need manual intervention. You’ll still need to pull the big vacuum and mop out every so often.
Just a lot less often.
That said, saving one or two hours a month can really add up – especially when it’s your time off.
How much is your free time worth to you?
How Big is Your Home?
Another important consideration is the size of your home.
Most of the original robotic vacuums like the best-selling Roomba 650 were designed to clean one room, not an entire home.
Today, multi-room cleaners exist, but one robotic vacuum will not clean a large home (>3,500 sqft) by itself.
In addition, if you own a multi-level home, you’ll need at least one robot cleaner per floor – because no robotic vacuum today can climb stairs.
The good news is that some of the pricier Roombas can clean an entire floor of rooms.
If you live in a smaller home or in an apartment, however, one automatic vacuum cleaner will work just fine.
Do You Own Pets?
If you have a pet, then you know how difficult it can be to try to keep pet hair from taking over your home.
For pet owners, owing the right robotic vacuum can save a lot of time.
Because an automatic vacuum will regularly pick up cat and dog hair, you will have more time to fully enjoy your companions.
But keep in mind that all robotic vacuums have smallish filter bins that can fill or become clogged. So make sure you check your bins daily, and empty them as needed.
There are many great robot vacuums available today, and some of them offer great features such as a remote control, flexible scheduling, whole-floor cleaning, HEPA filters and other tools that save you a ton of time and will keep your home cleaner than manually vacuuming can (seriously).
However, it is important to note that these machines can be defeated by furniture, heavy carpet, doorways, and tend to clean the same spots over and over again at times.
Overall, if your home’s floors are covered in long and shaggy carpet, then a robot vacuum is not the best choice.
But if you live in a small apartment or have a house covered mostly with short carpet or hardwood floors, then buying a robotic vacuum can be a great investment.
These robots will automatically keep your floors clear of dust, dirt, and other debris, which will make deep cleaning much easier when it is time for it.
With the prices of these devices continuing to drop, they are well worth considering by anyone who needs help cleaning their floors on a regular basis.
The amount of time you save is considerable.
How much is your time worth?
If you’d like to learn more about the best robot vacuums selling today, check out the following buying guides on this site:
- Best Robotic Vacuums for Any Type of Floor
- Best Roomba Vacuum Models Compared
- Best Robot Vacuum for Pet Hair and Allergies
Best of luck on your purchase!