Are Robot Vacuums Worth It?

Are you thinking about buying a robot vacuum?

Are you wondering whether to believe the hype?

I know exactly what you feel. Even though robot vacuums have been around for a while, it can be a bit difficult to wrap your head around the idea of a hands-free vacuum.

Is it just a gimmick or does it actually clean as well as a regular upright vacuum?

The truth is, robot vacs have some downsides, but depending on your cleaning needs, you might find that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.

I have owned two robot vacuums and I will use my experience to answer the popular question: are robot vacuums worth it?

The Time Saving Can Add Up

I am yet to come across someone who loves vacuuming. The fact that I can have someone (or something) else vacuum for me is one of the biggest reasons why I love my robot vac. My most recent one is an irobot Roomba 690 and I like that I can program it to clean on certain days of the week. I just set it and forget it and it does its thing faithfully every time. Since my robot is wi-fi enabled, I can get it to clean even when I am away from home. Needless to say, coming home to clean floors is always a delight.

For a busy household where everyone is away for work or school and there is little time for vacuuming, a robot vacuum can be a major saver. If this is the case for you, the benefits that come with being able to save time might trample the cost of buying one.

Cleans Pretty Well

How to use roomba vacuum
Robotic vacuum can get underneath furniture

Like most, my Roomba vacuum can get underneath furniture, clean along the edges of the wall, and get to those hard to reach corners with impressive ease. Many of these bots have a sensor that detects particularly dirty spots so it spends more time cleaning these areas.

While mine is thin enough to get underneath furniture, some might be slightly thicker, could get stuck under there, and will not get themselves out without your intervention. Obviously, this is not an ideal situation especially if the bot is stuck while you are away and expecting to come to a clean home.

Something else I have noticed is that some robot vacs are more adept at cleaning certain types of floors than others. For example, my previous Neato BotvacuumD3 was very good at picking up dirt and debris from hardwood floors but it often left some food particles and pet hairs on the thick pile rugs.

The one I currently have is a great robot vacuum for pet hair. It sucks up pet hair and other debris really well whether it is vacuuming the hardwood floors or carpets.

One downside with robot vacuums is that most will not pick up tiny particles like flour or sand. Instead, they tend to just spread that stuff around with no end in sight, so in this case, it would be nice to have a regular vacuum cleaner on standby.

It takes about sixty minutes for my vacuum to clean my entire apartment, after which it goes back to its docking port to recharge. Battery life is an important factor to consider if you are on the market for a robot vacuum.

If yours is a larger home, it will not make sense to buy a cheaper vacuum that can only clean for 30 minutes before it needs to stop and recharge for another hour before resuming the cleaning cycle. Look for one with a longer battery life; even if you have to pay a few extra dollars, the convenience will be worth it.

They Are Only Supplementary

iRobot Roomba 650 vacuum cleaner
Robotic vacuum cannot climb and clean stairs

Handy as robot vacuums are, I have found that they do not eliminate the need for a regular vacuum. For example, I usually find myself needing to use a stick vacuum for quick cleaning of messes in the kitchen.

As mentioned earlier, robot vacs do not do a very good job of sucking up small particles and you will likely need a normal vacuum for this. Once in a while, you would want to deep clean the house and for this you would need your usual vacuum cleaner.

Another thing is these bot obviously cannot climb and clean stairs and until there is an actual vacuum for stairs in the market, a regular vacuum is your best bet for keeping those steps spotless.

Lastly, robots cannot clean anything past the floor level. So, for your upholstery, curtains, and ceiling corners, you will have to go with your stick vacuum.

All in all, I would say that a robot vacuum is a wonderful companion for maintaining clean floors and saving you time but you will certainly need a regular vacuum for more demanding cleaning needs.

Should You Get A Robot Vacuum?

robot vacuum hardwood
Pet hair robot vacuum

So, to wrap up, a robot vacuum is worth it if:

  • You would like to maintain clean floors at all times without too much effort
  • You have a smaller space that does not have demanding cleaning needs
  • You only have one or two pets (it is a plus if they are house-trained)
  • Your house is relatively clutter-free to allow the robot to move with ease

It might not be worth it if:

  • You have a busy household with demanding cleaning needs
  • Your house is large and you need to clean more than two rooms
  • The rooms in your house are cluttered
  • Your household is pet heavy
  • You have extra thick carpet that a robot vacuum might struggle to clean


Are robot vacuums worth it? While they do not always come cheap, robot vacs can take the hassle out of keeping a home clean. However, they do have their own limitations and cannot entirely replace a regular vacuum cleaner. Before buying one, consider your cleaning needs, the size of your house, and your lifestyle to see whether the benefits outweigh the costs.

Do you have any questions or comments? Please leave them below!