The iRobot Roomba robotic vacuum cleaners have been around for 15 years. But the debate on whether we really need autonomous robots has not gone away.
Critics claim robotic vacuums are not powerful, require too much maintenance work and are expensive. Proponents say they are convenient and a big help in keeping a home clean.
For someone buying a robotic vacuum cleaner for the first time, the arguments can be confusing. Are robotic vacuums worth it? Will it clean my home properly? Should I buy one?
Where Robotic Vacuums Excel
1. Daily cleaning
With a traditional vacuum, you most likely need to use it only once or twice a week. But your bare feet or socks will still pick up some pet hair, lint or even dust in between cleanings.
No matter how good your vacuum is, small particles and allergens will still find their way inside your house. A robotic vacuum cleaner takes care of the time in between the main vacuuming sessions.
You probably don’t have the time to push around a vacuum cleaner every day. So just leave a robotic cleaner to do its thing. Many come with a scheduling feature. They can start cleaning even when you are not around.
2. Keeping allergens away
The little pet hair and dust that accumulates on your floor in between vacuuming sessions can cause a lot of trouble for allergic family members.
It can be even worse in rooms like the bedroom where you spend a lot of time.
Instead of struggling to vacuum every day to reduce allergens, get a robotic vacuum cleaner to do it for you. Robotic vacuums are excellent at picking up those tiny particles that cause allergic reactions. They even vacuum under the bed and sofas.
3. Cleaning under furniture
Unless you have a cordless vacuum cleaner, you are going to be leaving layers of dust under your furniture. And even with a cordless vacuum, you have to strain to properly reach those hidden areas.
Most robotic vacuum cleaners have a disk shape that can fit under almost any furniture. They can clean under tables, under the bed and under the sofas.
This ensures there is no hidden nook or cranny where allergens and dirt are accumulating unnoticed.
4. Apartments and open-plan homes
Robotic vacuum cleaners are great for apartments and open-plan homes where there are fewer obstacles and no steps.
But modern robotic vacuums are much smarter. They can easily navigate in tight spaces, around obstacles and away from stairs.
5. Homes with pets
While a robotic cleaner may not be as good at picking up pet hair as a traditional vacuum, it can help with the little hair that accumulates on the carpet and flooring every day.
I know how hectic it can be to keep your flooring and rugs clean when you have pets around. A robotic vacuum cleaner ensures you don’t have to keep dragging out that tedious upright vacuum everyday.
Robotic vacuum cleaners cannot clean the stairs. Most have sensors that automatically detect a stairway and turn the unit around immediately.
Robotic vacuums are also not the ideal tools for deep cleaning. They cannot remove tightly embedded dirt, especially on a carpet. Many also have problems cleaning shaggy carpets.
Are Robotic Vacuums Worth It? – Our Advice
Robotic vacuum cleaners are still behind traditional vacuums when it comes to cleaning stairs and walls. Despite years of technological research, no manufacturer has yet to come up with a robotic vacuum that can clean the stairs or climb a wall.
It is also true that most robotic vacuums have lower suction power than non-robotic vacuums. Many have trouble with removing excess pet hair and cleaning thick carpets. However, newer robots such as the Roomba 980 are getting more powerful.
Dyson also sells a powerful (but unreliable, according to customers) robotic vacuum called the 360 Eye.
But it is also true that robot vacuum cleaners are immensely convenient. It’s no wonder they have gotten so popular in the last decade.
When it comes to normal everyday cleaning, most do a superb job. They also help a lot in a home with pets and for people with allergies.
Most customers say that a robot vacuum cleaner was worth it. It saves them time and effort, keeps their home cleaner and reduces the need to use a traditional vacuum cleaner often.
Our recommendation is to buy a good robotic vacuum cleaner but don’t throw out your old beast. She’ll come in handy for the stairs, walls and for deep vacuuming.