Are Robot Vacuum Cleaners Worth It? The Pros and Cons
What's one essential task needed to keep your house spick and span? Vacuuming. Having to deal with the dust, hair, and mess from everyday life is inevitable. Fortunately, the days of brooming are long gone. Powered vacuums have replaced a lot of the labour that was once required. However, they won't do everything for you - they still need to be manually taken around the entire house. What if a robot could do it for us? While they've been around for a while now, robot vacuum cleaners are finally a viable solution to a spotless interior.
Now, it's fair to be sceptical of such devices. The manufacturers can make huge claims, such as their robot vacuum being every part as powerful as the latest Dyson handheld. When you receive the vacuum, you not only find out this isn't the case, but it's not smart either. This deficiency required you to adjust it regularly. Defeating the whole purpose...
Yes, there are potential negatives to robot vacuum cleaners. However, if you buy smart in 2020, it could be the best time-saving investment you've ever made. Robot vacuum technology is the best it's ever been, so it's essential to know the facts when deciding if it's right for you and your family. Let's take a look at the current top pros and cons of robot vacuums.
5 Cons to Robot Vacuum Cleaners
- You have to set your house up for success.
Depending on the vacuum, you'll need to make sure to remove any tricky obstacles from the vacuum area. Robot vacuums deal with significant barriers fairly well by sensing where and when to stop, move, or go around. However, smaller items such as shoes, socks or toys can give the sensors a hard time. These items will potentially cause errors, slowing down cleaning time and effectiveness.
- Frequent emptying is usually required.
Robot vacuum cleaners are lean, mean machines. While elegant, this also means that their dust canister can't carry too much. This lack of space is something you'll need to consider, especially if you have a lot of carpet or pets that shed hair. You may have to empty the canister every day, or more. Regular vacuums have larger storage space and can accommodate more dust, meaning you'll only have to empty them after multiple uses.
- Robot vacuums take longer.
Robot vacuums take a lot longer to clean than if you were to do it manually. They need to calculate where to go, can only move so fast, and need to ensure they clean sufficiently. Typically it takes a robot vacuum about three times longer than a manual clean. If you plan on leaving the vacuum on while you're out of the house or don't mind how long it takes, this won't be an issue.
- You might still need to vacuum.
The design of robot cleaners ensures an efficient, general automated clean. They're not meant to clean each nook and cranny with flawless precision. This means that now and then you'll need to clean the hard to reach places manually. If general cleaning is all you need, then robot vacuums may be perfect for you.
- Raised surfaces and finding its way home.
In a flat, easy-to-register environment, a robot cleaner excels. Things can get a little tricky when there are multiple levels, steps, or raised surfaces. Robot cleaners cannot go up or down stairs, and the sensors may struggle with raised or lower surface. Better robot vacuums with a superior sensor may not have this problem, but it's still a consideration, as is returning to base. If the vacuum loses battery or loses its position, it will remain stranded until you move it back to its base charging unit.
5 Pros of Robot Vacuum Cleaners
- It's (mostly) set and forget!
Schedule your cleaning times. You don't have to think about or remember to clean the house. A robot vacuum will follow any instructions you give it. Program it to do a quick, general clean every day while you're out at work and enjoy always come back to a spotless house.
- They're brilliantly intelligent - for a machine at least.
A robot vacuum will 'map' your house and optimise its cleaning area. The AI will learn where obstacles are, and where it is relative to its home (charging base). This data not only means a more efficient clean. It also means you'll be able to see exactly where the vacuum has been, and plan where to target in future days.
- Easily clean under furniture.
When you manually vacuum, you probably go around furniture, not under it. Even if you could reach, you probably don't bother. It's too much effort for an area you don't see. But there's still dust and dirt accumulating under there. As long as there's enough clearance height, a robot vacuum can quickly zip through these areas, ensuring a complete clean of some otherwise inaccessible areas.
- Wi-fi connectivity lets you control it through your phone.
Modern robot vacuums integrate with your home hub (think Alexa, Siri, Google Home etc.) This impressive feature means you can tell them what to do using just your voice! Better yet, if you're out and about, but need to do a last-minute clean. There's an app for that! Just tell the robot vacuum to get started, in as little as two taps of the screen.
- Save time when you want a quick spot-clean.
Quick! Your child's dropped some of their food on the carpet, and it needs cleaning fast before it stains. A heavy, cumbersome handheld vacuum might be downstairs far away from the spill. Instead, a robot vacuum can whiz over in a matter of seconds. Just ask it to with the help of the app or voice control. Disaster averted!
The Final Word on Robot Vacuum Cleaners
There's a lot of considerations needed when buying a new vacuum cleaner. At the potentially high price point of a great robot cleaner, you must understand the pros and cons to make the right decision for you and your family. This article touched on just some of the reasons why a robot vacuum cleaner might be a good fit for you or not. For a complete, high detail clean, you'll still probably have to whip out a traditional vacuum. If a regular, general clean is what you're looking for, robot cleaners stand to be a fantastic investment. Comment below your thoughts, or please get in touch if you have any questions about robot vacuum cleaners.