Robot vacuum cleaners are getting more and more popular thanks to their ability to clean large spaces in a somewhat autonomous manner. But are these futuristic cleaners all they are cracked up to be or are they another gimmick that will one day be replaced by something much better?
Sold for as little as £12, and as much as £1,700 robot vacuums come in all shapes and sizes and proclaim that they are the ideal tool to help sweep up pet hair, dust, crumbs, and anything else that we may drop on the floor from time to time.
A few issues with robot vacuum cleaners
The idea is that these mini robots travel slowly around your home making it cleaner than ever before, without the owner needing to lift a finger, but there is one major problem with these cleaners: They don’t like stairs.
1. The stair issue
After approximately 15 years on the market, no-one has yet developed a cleaner that can travel down a flight of stairs. This means that if you don’t live in a flat or a bungalow, your new but expensive cleaner will only ever clean one area of your home.
2. You still need to vacuum
Another issue that almost defeats the purpose of buying a robot vacuum cleaner in the first place is that you still need to vacuum. Robot vacuum cleaners won’t always be nearby to clean up that pile of crumbs you recently dropped.
If you have visitors about to pop by, you’ll have to get your regular vacuum cleaner out and clean the crumbs up before your guests set foot through your door. This does make your shiny new robot cleaner a little surplus to requirements
3. They don’t like thick carpets
Robot vacuums are not ideal if you have thick carpets, many models will refuse to clean any surface that is more than an inch thick as the wheels find these surfaces too hard to travel on. You’ll also find that if your robot vacuum cleaner gets stranded behind a thick bit of carpet it will need to be reset every single time.
What they are good for
1. Keeping your floors clean
If you want to come home to clean carpets or wooden floors after a long day at work these mini robots are absolutely ideal. They will need to have enough battery power to travel around your home while you’re out all day every day, but with enough power, it means that you’ll have less housework to do after a busy day at the office.
2. Gadget lovers
If you love gadgets and anything remotely futuristic then one of these fancy-looking cleaners may be exactly what you need. Some of them do have a space-age look about them and can be quite pleasing to anyone who loves the latest gadgets, plus they can make your home a little cleaner, and that’s always a good thing.
3. Pet owners
If you have pets you’ll know how hard it can be to stay on top of those pesky cat or dog hairs. This is where one of these little vacuum cleaners can come in very handy. Your new robot can make its way around your home sweeping up those hairs with relative ease. Please bear in mind that if you have a lot of hairy pets or they tend to malt a lot you will need to empty your robot cleaner quite frequently.
Are Robot Vacuum Cleaners Worth it?
The answer to this question is: “It depends”. If you live in a flat or a bungalow that is completely void of stairs and thick carpets then they are worth it. You could have your home cleaned all day every day, resting in the knowledge that you have one less job to do around the home.
If you live in a home that has a flight of stairs you may need to buy two robot vacuum cleaners: One for upstairs and the other for downstairs.
A robot vacuum cleaner may be worth it if you’re prepared to charge it frequently, and the idea of someone or something else keeping your floors clean makes you smile.
At the end of the day, if you think the advantages of having a robot vacuum cleaner outweighs the disadvantages, you may want to invest in these futuristic machines. However, if you are unsure as to whether they are worth the money you may want to consider sticking with your current vacuum cleaner for the time being.