Robotic vacuum cleaners are rapidly growing in popularity. They are still somewhat of a luxury item given their price, but if you are looking at investing in a quality vacuum anyway, it may not be that much more of a jump.
There is no denying the convenience of a robotic appliance cleaning your home sounds incredibly appealing, but are they quite as amazing as they seem?
Robot Vacuum: The Next Must-Have?
Here are the pros and cons:
They aren’t a replacement for your upright. Yet.
Don’t go throwing away your treasured Dyson Cylinder just this minute. Robotic vacuums are no competition for the high-end upright models which promise to tackle every single speck of dust in your home. But they are great for those in between cleans if you want to limit bringing your Hoover out to every few days.
It is expected that they will start getting more powerful over the next few years, however, so they could well be a serious rival one day.
But they can schedule the cleaning
Find yourself nipping to the supermarket on a Saturday morning and asking your flatmate/child/other half to run the vacuum over the living room while you are away? Only to find yourself returning to a floor which evidently hasn’t been cleaned? Or to see them suddenly start dashing around when you’re unloading the shopping from the car two hours later?
Robotic vacuums are a bit more reliable if you ask them to get to work. As long as they are charged and ready to go, you can often programme in specific days and times for them to start working of their own accord. Perfect if you want it done for when you get home from work.
They can also reach those hard to access areas
Most models have sensors, so will avoid bashing into anything as they go around the floor. As long as it is clear, they will clean it – and this means under sofas, coffee tables and beds, too. Places you often have to strain to get to or move the furniture. Or maybe just don’t ever actually get cleaned…
But you may need to vacuum-proof the house first
Do your socks have a habit of ending up below your bed? Or maybe the cat leaves its toys under the sofa? These items could get caught in any vacuum cleaner, but the only difference with robotic models is that you aren’t there to pick it up before it gets sucked up or, even worse, caught in the rotator brush.
You will need to ensure your floor is relatively clear of large debris before the robot starts, so it could be easier for you to dash your upright around yourself at the same time.
And you will also have to empty it more regularly
The dirt storage isn’t as large in a robot vacuum due to their size. So you will have to see to this more often than with your upright. But this won’t be a problem if there isn’t much to pick up anyway.
They are usually quieter
Leave them to their own devices, and you can barely even hear most robot vacuum models. Which is great as they aren’t disruptive, and could also run when you are asleep or trying to work. Much better than having to disrupt your day and everyone else in the whole house.
Whether a robot vacuum is for you depends entirely on how much cleaning it would need to do. Also consider the layout of your house and rooms. If you have a dog which sheds hair rapidly, or the kids leave their toys lying everywhere, a robotic vacuum is probably not going to be that impactful.
But if you have wood flooring or a low-pile carpet with no ground in dirt, and you keep things relatively clutter-free with little dust build-up, they could be just what you are looking for to complement your busy lifestyle.
Whether you have your heart set on a robot vacuum or have decided to stick to a more traditional style, you can find your perfect model by reading our top picks and reviews here.