Are Robot Vacuum Cleaners Any Good?

Are Robot Vacuum Cleaners Any Good?

Robot vacuum cleaners are in the early stages of their evolution when it comes to usability. And while some do an adequate job around the home, it will be impossible to get one that can do a better job than you can do with a conventional vacuum cleaner.

Some are good for a general sweep-up and can be effective when tackling dust. But don’t expect your robot vacuum cleaner to get into all the nukes and crannies or the staircase. Sure they have their downfalls, but as I said, they are in the early stages of their evolution and will only get better in the future.

If you’re deciding whether to go ahead and purchase one, we would say you should choose wisely, so you are not left disappointed, as many on the market are unfit for purpose.

Things To Consider Before Buying:

Before buying, there are a few things to consider before making up your mind.

Dustbin capacity And Battery Go Hand In Hand

When buying a robot vacuum for the first time, it’s easy to focus on one thing while looking over another, which was a mistake I made the first time. 

Both the battery and the dustbin capacity are only as good as the other. And by this, I mean there’s no point in having a vacuum with long battery life while the dustbin is too small to last the duration. The vacuum will give up and dock itself before the battery has had the chance to run the distance of the home.

Vacuums tend to run from about 75 minutes to 150 minutes, and depending on the area you wish to cover, this will be an important factor to consider.

The battery life of even a lower-end model should be enough for the average home. But if you have a large house with lots of areas to cover, you’ll probably need to spend a little more and get a more expensive vacuum with a larger battery capacity.

Tests have shown that most vacuums on the market will last long enough to complete an intended cleaning session without the need to be recharged. And if this is a concern for you, some vacuums come with the recharge and resume feature that is brilliant for larger homes. When or if your vacuum’s battery does run low, it will simply return to its dock, charge up, then finish the rest of the job. 

Which battery life for large homes?

For your robot cleaner to clean a 200 sq meter house, you will want a model with a battery life of roughly 120 minutes, which is enough to clean 100 – 150 sq meters. But because you will have furniture taking up a lot of the space, it should be enough for your 200 sq meter space. If you have any doubts, go for a model that came with the charge and resume feature.

What Size Of Dustbin Is A Good Size For A Robot Vacuum Cleaner?

Due to the design of the robot vacuums, their dustbins are going to be small. And if you read the above and decide you need long battery life, you will want a vacuum with the dustbin to match.

Some vacuums come with a dustbin capacity which is useless and not capable of doing the job. But generally, most will be suitable for a couple of uses before needing to be emptied. A larger capacity dustbin also comes with the advantage of saving you the hassle of emptying the dustbin so often, which is something to consider if you’re buying it to save time in the first place.

Some will fail to let you know when needing the dustbin emptied and stop cleaning up until you do.

. A dustbin capacity of around 1 litre is considered a good size and will be enough for most people.

Anything under 0.6 litre in capacity will force you to empty it too often and can become an issue if you don’t want to be bending over all the time. If, for any reason, you are struggling to find the capacity of the dustbin before buying, try searching for the online manual or reaching out to a customer service rep for help.

The height and size:

The height and size of your robot cleaner are both important for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the bigger the machine, the bigger the dustbin will be in most cases. But this can also be a problem as you’ll want your cleaner to reach those hard-to-reach spaces, such as under low-clearance furniture, couches, and kitchen cabinets, etc.

There is no size fits all, and the best size for you will be determined by the area you intend to use the robot cleaner. The most common measurements you’re likely to encounter are 13-14 inches and 3.5 to 4 inches in height.


If you want your robotic vacuum cleaner to clean next to stairs, you’ll want a machine equipped with a good set of cliff sensors. The cliff sensors measure the distance from the base of the vacuum to the floor. And when there’s a sudden increase in the distance from the robot to the floor. The sensor tells the robot to back off, which is why your little friend won’t fall down the stairs when you’re out doing the shopping.

And if you don’t want your vacuum bumping into your antique furniture every day, you’ll want one that comes with a reliable bump sensor. The wall sensors are similar to the cliff sensor, using infrared light to follow along the wall or other objects. And

if you are wondering how your robot vacuum know how far it has gone. It uses optical encoders, which are a sensor on the wheels. They use light sensors to detect how many times the wheels have rotated and let it know how far it has traveled.


Some vacuums come with wf-fi capability, which is perfect if you want to control it through an app on your smartphone. Although it’s a handy feature to have, it’s probably not the factor that will determine which machine you purchase. But some models do come with apps that allow you to edit floor maps for better navigation and view detailed cleaning histories. These can prove handy features to have, especially if you have large spaces to clean.

What is the best robot vacuum for pet hair?

There are a few robot vacuum cleaners that stand out when it comes to cleaning up pet hair.

One is the Botvac D7. It does a fine job at lifting pet hair and produces results on par with the iRobot Roomba S9. Although it doesn’t feel as well built as the Roomba S9, it does come with fewer parts that need maintenance, so it is an option to consider.

The maneuverability of the Botvac D7 is good, and it does a similarly good job of cleaning pet hair from low and high pile carpets.

If you are a fan of gadgets, you can download the app for the D7, which will allow you to operate it remotely. And even if you run it on turbo mode continuously, you’ll still see around about 100 minutes of runtime. Not too bad and good enough for most rooms.

You can check out the iRobot range at amazon here

Is There A Good Budget Friendly Robot Vacuum Cleaner?

Yes, there is. A surprisingly good budget-friendly robot cleaner we came across is the Roborock E4. It can clean both bare floors and carpets effectively and is a well-built machine for the price. And with a battery that gives you two-three hours of runtime, the Roboreck e4 is worth considering.

If you want one that is easier to maintain, the Neato may be a good fit.

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