I have been researching and writing about consumer electronics for over 13 years.
Most of us like a clean house, but few of us enjoy the chore of keeping it that way. Vacuuming is a time-consuming task, especially when you have fur-bearing pets, and as such, it's one that sometimes gets ignored. With a robot vacuum cleaner, vacuuming becomes effortless and a clean house becomes attainable.
In this article, you will learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of these devices, get some tips on choosing one, and see a few of the more respected models.
What Are the Pros and Cons of a Robot Vacuum Cleaner?
Like all products, a robot vacuum cleaner offers a number of advantages and a few disadvantages as well.
- They allow you to reduce the amount of time you spend vacuuming. In fact, you can schedule them to do the task while you are out.
- They are ideal for keeping pet hair/fur to a minimum. Because they can easily be scheduled to vacuum at least once a day, you can be sure much of the fur is picked up routinely. In fact, some models provide features designed especially for households with pets.
- They can help vacuum in hard to clean spots. Most of these vacuums will clean under beds and even some sofas and chairs. They will also get closer to walls and furniture than some upright vacuum cleaners. Those with side brushes will certainly pick up more debris along the edges of the room.
- They can help reduce the strain on your back. For anyone with an existing back condition, vacuuming can be a difficult or painful task. A robot vacuum cleaner eliminates this problem.
- Because these cleaners can vacuum more frequently than most people find the time to do manually, they can also be useful for people with allergies to dust, pollen, and pet dander. These allergens will be picked up more regularly as described above, but in addition, the person with allergies can be absent while vacuuming is occurring, further reducing their exposure.
- On the downside, a robot vacuum cleaner won't clean stairs. And, if you have two floors in your home, you will either need two cleaners or you'll need to carry it from floor to floor.
- Sometimes you need to do some work ahead of time if you want optimal performance. For instance, you'll want to avoid having a lot of things sitting on the floor or having numerous electrical wires and cables running across the floor. You can try to make permanent fixes to these issues to avoid having to rearrange things each time the vacuum is set to run.
- In addition, one of these robotic cleaners will cost more than the average upright vacuum cleaner, although it will still cost less than some high-end vacuums.
Choosing a Robot Vacuum Cleaner
Before choosing a robot vacuum cleaner, there are a few things to consider:
What surfaces do you want to clean?
First, you need to determine whether or not you want a vacuum cleaner or a mop. Most are designed for vacuuming, but there are a few that will wet mop. If you choose a vacuum, then you'll want to be sure it can handle the types of surfaces you have to clean. Ideally, the vacuum can automatically transition between hard floors like hardwood, tile, vinyl, and linoleum, to carpeted surfaces. In addition, it's best if it can handle going over rugs without getting caught on the edge or sucking up any fringe.
How easy is it to use the vacuum?
There are a number of features that can make a particular robot vacuum cleaner easier to use. Certainly having a bin that is readily accessible and easy to empty will make the task more simple. If you have many pets, you'll probably want to consider the capacity of the bin as well. If you have a multiple cat household, for instance, you could potentially have to empty the bin three times in a single cleaning if the bin is too small.
Another convenience feature is the ability to schedule cleaning times through a timer. This would allow the robot to clean at a specific time each day without any additional action on your part.
Automatic recharging is another convenience feature. If the device automatically charges itself when it's done with its task, you won't have the problem of being unable to use it later due to a drained battery.
What other smart features does it have?
Other ease-of-use features that you can find include WiFi—which will work with Alexa to allow voice control of the device—the ability to program the device remotely through an app on your phone, and intelligent sensors that better control the vacuum and allow it to clean more thoroughly in areas that it senses are dirtier.
How effective is the vacuum?
Certainly suction power matters. Looking at current customer reviews can give you a good idea of how owners of a given robot vacuum cleaner feel about its performance. In addition, you can look for features like side brushes, which help the device get closer to walls and so forth.
What is the vacuum's capacity?
You'll also want to be sure that the area you wish to clean isn't larger than what the device can handle. Of course, you can purchase two vacuums or you can rotate where you use it, but this definitely cuts down on ease of use and how frequently an area gets cleaned.
Note: To help protect against too many allergens, a HEPA filter is ideal on any vacuum.
What Are Some Recommended Robot Vacuums for Pet Hair?
There are a number of good choices. Some of the most highly rated pet-hair vacuums are:
- bObsweep PetHair Plus Robotic Vacuum Cleaner and Mop
- iRobot Roomba 960
- Eufy RoboVac 11+ BoostIQ
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2010 Christine Mulberry
Sandy Mertens from Wisconsin, USA on December 08, 2010:
I wonder what my dog would do. They do look interesting.
chspublish from Ireland on December 02, 2010:
I'm very, very tempted to buy one of these, after reading your great hub. They're not so expensive and it would be fun to see something else doing a job I hate to do. I like other household chores, but something about vacuuming drives me wild. I'm a great believer in the benefits of robots for us humans. Besides, it would give me more time to write hubs.
Thanks for the great hub.
Seakay from Florida on December 01, 2010:
I've seen these in action. Howver, I have tile throughout my house (3 cats!). Good information, however, and a useful write! Thanks Mulberry1 !
joyce.blue on December 01, 2010:
The idea of having a vacuum robot is very tempting. Considering the pros and cons of a vacuum robot, I must say that this good stuff.
I imagine now how relaxing it will be to watch a machine do you vacuuming for you. That is if I ever bought one.
This a good hub, thanks.
prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on December 01, 2010:
This is great invention. I really enjoy the information robot vacuum cleaner. I never thought about this before. Good job, my friend. Rating up!