Robot Vacuum: Does It Really Work?

Considering a robot vacuum? Read this first.

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As someone who owns a robot vacuum myself, the first thing I’ll tell you is that nothing beats a handheld or canister version. But, with that said, there’s more to it than just that.

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The reason I purchased a robot vacuum was simply because I am a clean freak. I want even the tiniest particle picked up on a daily basis without having to get out the vacuum and make a big deal out of it. I also like that I can sit back and let the robot do its thing while I work, cook or watch TV. Furthermore, I love that the robot vacuum can get under hard to reach places that my handheld vacuum simply can’t, including under beds and couches.

A robot vacuum is an autonomous device meant to clean carpets, tiles and hardwood floors just like any other vacuum cleaner. A standard version typically comes with a docking station that it returns to in order to recharge for the next session. It will also come with a plastic dustbin or bag for easy cleaning and emptying, has various brushes under the cleaner and different sensors to ensure the best cleaning for different floors. Newer versions may have preprogrammed virtual walls or barriers set to ensure specific locations are paid attention to or avoided. They can also have dirt detecting sensors, automatic dirt bin emptying and even the ability to mop and dry hard-surface floors.

You can expect cleaning brushes, standard or HEPA filters, cleaning cloths or wipes for the robot vacuum and a remote control or designated app for your phone to come with the vacuum.

I happen to own the Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo 930 Robotic Vacuum. Its sleek design gets under my couches and beds just fine, its resilience gets over thresholds and thick rug edges with ease and it picks up the surface dirt, which is what I want it to do. However, if I use my handheld vacuum just after, there’s still dirt to be picked up. Robot vacuums simply don’t have the suction of a standard vacuum, but if you’re looking for everyday surface dirt pick up, I think it’s worth the purchase.

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Furthermore, while it can get under my couch and beds, my robot vacuum can’t get into the nooks and crannies where a lot of dirt in my kitchen hangs out.

Almost all of these high-tech vacuums are bagless, and provide a plastic bin or tub used to store dirt, dust and other debris that should be emptied (unless you purchase one that automatically empties), every three or four cycles. You should also change your filter every three to six months depending on how often you use the robot vacuum. Your best bet is to purchase one that uses a HEPA filter, which capture minuscule particles, making these filters ideal for people with allergies. These filters also washable and reusable.

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The idea of a vacuum being robotic might seem intimidating at first, but they’re actually extremely easy to use. The first time I used mine, I simply pressed the ON button, it informed me it was learning my house, and it began cleaning, learning areas it should avoid and finding areas that require more attention. I can also go on the app and program it to clean at certain times and block off certain areas.

If you want some serious suction power, I highly suggest purchasing the Dyson Cyclone V10 Motorhead Vacuum.

As the robot vacuum cleans, it uses a methodical back-and-forth motion, finding its route to ensure your floors are cleaned efficiently. In turn, you save yourself time while keeping surface dirt at bay. I would definitely recommend this type of vacuum for the handicapped and elderly, thanks to its ease of use and hands-free operation that people with mobility issues can benefit from. The busy person who wants to get their home tidied up while at work will enjoy this type of vacuum as well.

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Alexa Erickson
Alexa is an experienced lifestyle and news writer, currently working with Reader's Digest, Shape Magazine and various other publications. She loves writing about her travels, health, wellness, home decor, food and drink, fashion, beauty and scientific news. Follow her traveling adventures on Instagram: @living_by_lex, send her a message: [email protected] and check out her website: