Back in the 90s, the idea of having a little device zooming around your home cleaning up dirt and messes on its own was something straight out of a sci-fi novel. But since the release of the Roomba in 2002, having an affordable robot vacuum in your house suddenly became a reality. Technology has advanced by leaps and bounds since then, and so have the features and specifications of robot vacuums.
While the latest models certainly are miles ahead of their early predecessors in terms of effectiveness and extra bells and whistles, they still have their fair share of downsides. In this article, we’ll break down the pros and cons of using a robot vacuum so you’ll have a clearer picture as to whether or not it’s the right purchase for you and your household.
To start things off, let’s take a look at the highlights of owning a quality vacuum cleaner. Here are some of their major advantages:
Customized Cleaning Schedules
One of the best things about owning a robot vacuum is the ability to dictate exactly when you want it to clean your place. Most decent models allow you to set the date and time it should operate, so it can tidy up your home with minimum inconvenience and you won’t have to set it up time and time again. For example, you can set your robot vacuum to do its job while you’re at work or when you’re kids at school. That way, it can freely roam around without disturbing anyone.
Many robot vacuum models have a feature that allows you to specify exactly which areas the device should clean in, down to specific spots in a room. That way, you can call the little guy over to clean up a soda spill or patch of dust without having to get up from your seat. You can also have the device clean in a different area of the house so it won’t bother you when you have company over.
Access Hard-To-Reach Areas
Most robot vacuums sport a very similar design. They’re flat, disc-like machines that are a few inches thick, allowing them to scuttle under couches and other areas that would be otherwise tough to reach when cleaning by hand. No more sore backs from getting on your knees to sweep or vacuum under tables, chairs, couches, and desks.
Added Mopping Capabilities
Cleaning up spills by hand can be a pain in the neck, which is why some robot vacuums come with a mopping feature to take care of that for you. Unfortunately, they’re not nearly as good as just cleaning up messes with a conventional mop, but it works well for minor spills and it’s definitely better to have the feature than be without it.
Save Yourself a Lot of Time and Energy
Having to sweep up your floor every other day can be a tiring chore, especially after a hard day at the office or if you still have a million other things on your to-do list. Having a little gizmo take care of routing cleanings for you every day can be a massive time saver and it’ll give you peace of mind knowing that you can tick a tedious chore off your checklist.
If you’re in the market for a robotic vacuum, then give our round up of the best ones a read by clicking here.
Robot vacuums are not flawless, however, as they come with some pretty significant disadvantages. Here are some of the things you should be aware of before investing in one:
Struggles With Certain Objects
Similar to regular vacuums, robot vacuums can often get stuck when trying to move over certain things, such as kids or pet toys, small articles of clothing, or other little objects. Normally, you’d just pick this stuff up and your device will go on its merry way, but if you’re not around, the robot vacuum will end up spending all its time being unable to get past these small obstacles.
Automated Return Feature Doesn’t Always Work
Some robot vacuums have a feature that automatically signals the device to return to its dock when the battery is close to empty. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always work the way it should. While this issue is a lot more prevalent in some models than others, there are times when the machine doesn’t make it back to home base and ends up stranded in the middle of your living room or some other part of your house.
Gets Stuck Sometimes
This depends more on the size and shape of the robot vacuum in relation to the furniture inside your home. Certain models might be able to slide underneath your couch without issues, while other models that are just a quarter of an inch thicker might end up getting stuck. Make sure you go for a model that can fit under the furniture that you want it to.
You’ll Probably Still Need To Clean
While robot vacuums can take care of cleaning the majority of the living space, there are still a lot of places it won’t be able to reach, like corners, for example. They also can’t handle larger messes. That being said, you’ll likely have to do some vacuuming and sweeping the old-fashioned way every now and then.
Robot vacuums aren’t particularly loud. In fact, a lot of them are quieter than the average vacuum. Problem is, the vacuuming sessions performed by robot vacuums are often WAY longer than when you do it manually. That means that you’ll have to endure the noise for a lot more time.
Maintenance & Cleaning
Robotic vacuums will clean and maintain your home, but unfortunately, they cannot clean and maintain themselves. These are relatively complicated devices with a lot of moving parts that from time to time will require, cleaning or replacing.
Thankfully, it’s easy to do and we have a robotic vacuum cleaning guide that will talk you through the entire process.
Despite there being a lot more affordable options nowadays when it comes to robot vacuums, they’re still fairly pricey devices that are kind of considered a luxury. Even the cheaper ones will likely set you back more than a couple of hundred dollars, while the higher-end models can go for more than $1000.
At the end of the day, whether or not you should purchase a robot vacuum really depends on your home, financial situation, and overall expectations. If you feel that the pros outweigh the cons and you have some extra cash lying around to invest in one, then it might just be time for you to get yourself a robot vacuum.