Vacuuming can feel like a never-ending task, which is why the help of a robotic vacuum cleaner sounds like a sci-fi dream come true. Thanks to recent developments in technology, they are now not only a reality, but also increasingly efficient and affordable. But do robot vacuums really work and are they good value for money? In this article we weigh up the pros and cons to help you decide whether or not to invest in a cleaning robot.
A robot vacuum’s sensors are usually only able to detect and avoid large objects, so avoid clogging up and potentially damaging the machine by tidying up any string, coins, buttons or other small objects from the floor before pressing ‘go’. Before vacuuming, read our tips on How to Tidy Up and Organise Your Living Room.
What is a Robot Vacuum Cleaner?
A robotic vacuum is a small device that uses sensors to navigate around a floor space, vacuuming as it goes. Robotic vacuum technology has been around for over 20 years, but the gadget was only brought to the commercial market in 2003. Since then, many well-known technology companies have released their own models, with prices becoming increasingly competitive.
How Does a Cleaning Robot Work?
Most vacuum cleaning robots available today run on a rechargeable battery that can take 3-10 hours to fully charge, giving approximately 2 hours of cleaning time. They are equipped with self-navigation systems that help them to travel around a room, using multiple infrared sensors to avoid obstacles and to calculate the space that needs to be vacuumed.
What are the Pros of a Robotic Vacuum?
Robot vacuums are at the top end of vacuum price ranges, so make sure the benefits are worth the investment.
Most importantly – there’s less human effort involved! It’s as easy as pressing ‘go’, meaning that you can save time and energy.
Models that allow you to schedule and activate the robot vacuum from an app on your mobile phone mean that you don’t even need to be at home to get the vacuuming done.
They are low in height, meaning that they can easily slip under and around furniture, which traditional vacuums can struggle with.
Robot vacuums are particularly good at picking up small particles of dust and allergens, making them effective in homes with family members who have allergies.
They can take the cleaning load from those with disabilities or visual impairments.
Some models not only vacuum, but also sweep, mop and sterilise the surface area.
What are the Cons of Using a Robot for Cleaning?
Like any technology, the robot vacuum isn’t without its limitations. Ask yourself if the downsides outweigh the positives before you purchase.
They are small, so they take a longer time to cover ground than traditional vacuum cleaners.
Likewise, because of their size, they can require more frequent emptying, so they are less appropriate for large houses.
Manufacturers recommend using a robotic vacuum to supplement a normal vacuuming regime, rather than replace it, so you’re not completely off vacuuming hook!
Vacuum robots’ small wheels can struggle with fluffy or high-pile rugs. They also have a tendency to get stuck on tassels or loose upholstery like curtains.
Is a Robot Vacuum Cleaner Right for My Home?
If your answer is yes to the following questions, a robotic vacuum cleaner could be your new favourite gadget:
Do you have a relatively small home with smooth rugs and floors?
Do you have a pet?
Are you physically impaired and struggle with regular vacuuming?
Do you have limited time available for cleaning because of your busy schedule?
Do you or your family suffer from dust allergies?
Once you’ve decided if a robot vacuum is for you, all you need to do is choose a model and enjoy stress-free cleaning in your home!
Before you buy your robot vacuum, make sure you establish exactly what it is you are looking for. Do you want it to be able to cover large spaces and thick rugs? Or would you like it to be remotely operable and energy saving?
Set your budget, bearing in mind that it will still be necessary for you to also have a regular vacuum cleaner.
Read reliable customer reviews before making your final decision.
Aim to visit a store so that you can test several models of robot vacuum, ensuring that your selection meets your needs and is easy to operate.