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Are robot vacuum cleaners any good?

robot vacuum cleaners good

A year ago, I bought a robot vacuum. Specifically, this one. So I’m in a pretty good position to answer something that seems to be a burning question for lots of Googlers: “Are robot vacuum cleaners any good?”

Why would I want a robot vacuum?

Laziness is definitely a factor. Dragging a vacuum cleaner from room to room several times a week, month or year (no judgement here) is a pain – especially if you have one that needs to be plugged in each time you switch rooms. 

But for me, it’s partly because I have two cats that like to shed everywhere. Being able to send a robot vacuum round the house makes it that bit easier to stay on top of things.

To be clear, this doesn’t mean you’ll have no work to do. Not only do you need to empty the dust tray after every use, but maintenance is quite a big part of things. You’ll still have to pick hair out of the roller and deal with dust clogging things up. You’ll also occasionally get messages telling you it’s stuck, which will require you to get up and provide urgent assistance.

Can a robot vacuum replace a normal vacuum?

Unlikely. Perhaps if you live in a single-floor flat or a bungalow, but even then I’d keep a regular vacuum cleaner on hand to get to the tricky bits that robot vacuum cleaners just can’t reach.

For me, the robot vacuum stays on top of things, which means I use the regular vacuum cleaner less.

Can robot vacuum cleaners do stairs?

They cannot. Although most won’t fall down stairs when cleaning (they have scanners to ‘see’ the world around them), nobody has yet invented a robot vacuum cleaner that can climb and clean stairs.

As soon as somebody cracks that, you’d imagine there’d be a new king of robot vacuum cleaners!

Are robot vacuum cleaners good for dog hair?

I only have cats, as previously mentioned, but the answer is a qualified ‘yes’. On hard floors, pet hair (and a lot of it!) is sucked up every time I send the robot vacuum round. It’s slightly less effective on carpets, where pet hair is pushed in deep, but then the same is true for regular vacuum cleaners…

So, should I buy a robot vacuum cleaner?

Yes! I’m a big fan. Being able to send Dusta Rhymes (Neato lets you name your vacuum) round while I’m working is a real benefit, and means that the cat hair doesn’t pile up as it otherwise might.

It’s not an alternative to a regular vacuum, but it does let you spend less time vacuuming overall. And that, to me, is worth the high price of entry.

READ NEXT Should you quantify your cat?

About the author

Alan Martin

Alan has been writing about tech professionally for a decade, and answering tech questions to family members on a voluntary basis for even longer. That should make him an ideal fit for Big Tech Question, then...

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