Key Takeaways

  • Robot vacuums clean faster but still need prep; best for singles or couples without kids or pets.
  • Pricey options have hit-or-miss software, and don’t provide perfect cleaning results.
  • Brands like Shark, iRobot, ECOVACS, Yeedi make the best-selling robot vacuums on the market.

I could say many great things about robot vacuums, as I get to test these and other excellent products that aim to make our lives easier. I mean, that’s the real purpose behind technology, isn’t it? We’ve known that it evolves to meet human needs or try to solve problems. However, in the process of making our lives easier, we sometimes come up with ideas or solutions that will eventually give us more headaches than the ones we had at the beginning. This brings us to a very important question: do we really need to have a robot vacuum in our homes in 2024?

I must be one hundred percent honest with you guys. I truly believed that robot vacuums were extremely popular and one of the bestselling smart-home products you could get, but my research says otherwise, and my experience eventually led me to realize that I was mistaken big time. Just for context, the first robot vacuum was released back in 1996, when Electrolux launched the Trilobite, the first robotic vacuum cleaner. It seems it wasn’t a bad product, but it had some issues avoiding obstacles, and apparently, it wouldn’t do an excellent job of keeping your floors spotless, as it would not clean some areas, especially if they were close to walls.

Roborock S8+ in white

So now, we must fast-forward to 2024 and find out that twenty-eight years of evolution haven’t been so great with the robot vacuum market. Data reveals that 14.2 million US households had a robotic vacuum cleaner by 2018, 1.2 million more than in 2017. And even though those numbers keep growing, only an estimated 14 percent of all American homes are making room in their homes for a vacuum cleaner in 2023. Indeed, surveys suggest that 13 percent of current households intend to buy one, but I can tell you right now that a robot vacuum won’t eliminate all your problems, especially if you’re married and have kids.

They’re a very convenient tool, but unfortunately, they still have a long way to go

I honestly believe that they’re a very convenient tool, but unfortunately, they still have a long way to go before they can truly deliver squeaky-clean floors. Sadly, they don’t do the job as efficiently as Rosey the Robot or WALL-E. Heck, I’d also love it if they could head over to the fridge to make me a sandwich or bring me something to drink. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, and let’s get back to basic cleaning. I’ll start with the things I like, since this growing segment has more rights than wrongs.

The Good

  • – Cleaning gets done faster
  • – Robot vacuums can easily pick up debris in tough-to-access spots
  • – An excellent help for the elderly
  • – Bragging rights

White roborock S8+ cleaning floors

One of the best things about robot vacuums is that they will help you clean your home faster, as you only need to select the area you want vacuumed, and that’s it. You can also configure your device to work with voice commands and your favorite digital assistants, but I’d rather use the app to select specific areas to get clean, which mostly include the kitchen and dining room. This is extremely useful if you live alone or if you don’t have that much time to clean up all the time.

One of the best things about robot vacuums is that they will help you clean your home faster

Some vacuums are extremely quiet and will get the job done while you’re out working or while you’re asleep, even though you might want to program the robot vacuum to make two passes to make sure it picks up everything, as a single pass will sometimes leave some stuff behind here and there.

Getting rid of all the junk under your bed and furniture might also be a pain, especially if you’re trying to clean everything with a broom or a regular vacuum. However, robot vacuums will easily go under your bed, your favorite couch and any other tight space that might accumulate dust over time. You would only need to be careful not to have shoes or toys in those spots, as that will definitely stop the robot vacuum from picking up as much dust as possible.

As I mentioned above, I believe that robot vacuums are perfect for the elderly. My mother is almost 68, meaning that she loves to spend time having fun, instead of being concerned with cleaning and other household chores. Her robovac takes care of most of the cleaning, and she likes to make it work as much as three times every day. Still, you could say that she has a love-hate relationship with her vacuum. Indeed, it helps take care of most of the dirt that gets carried inside her home, but things get a bit more complicated when she has her grandkids over, as stains get a bit tougher to handle.

And of course, having a robot vacuum will always be great to show off, especially if you have visitors. You can easily tell them that it has come to help you keep your floors clean, and you won’t have to worry about any mess left behind after a small get-together. Just make sure you pick up any food remains, or stuff that might damage your product.

The bad

  • – You still have to clean up before using your robot vacuum
  • – Not the most affordable option to keep your home clean
  • – Cleaning isn’t perfect
  • – Software can get tricky

streaks on floor after being cleaned by the roborock S8+

First, you must understand that I’m a father of three beautiful kids, two of whom excel at making a mess whenever they can, meaning that my floors constantly see dirt, mud, juice, milk, water, and more. This also means that there are toys on the floor almost all the time. You will also find shoes, a sock, bottles, toys, crayons, and more stuff lying around most of the time, which brings me to the first problem: robot vacuums can’t tell the difference between Lego pieces and debris, meaning that you must pick up everything before telling your robot vacuum to start cleaning. You must also put away cables and other stuff that might get stuck in your robot vacuum, as, yes, this will also affect your investment negatively.

Robot vacuums can’t tell the difference between Lego pieces and debris, meaning that you must pick up everything before telling your robot vacuum to start cleaning.

The second problem is the price tag. I’ve been covering excellent deals on some of the best robot vacuums on the market for quite a while now, and I can tell you, they’re not precisely the most affordable product you can buy. Indeed, you will find options for as low as $110, but these options lack suction power; they usually arrive without self-cleaning stations and sensors to help them navigate your home without bumping on your furniture and anything that might be lying around your floor. You will also have to buy replacement brushes, dust bags, filters, and more, eventually adding to your initial investment and making it even more expensive.

The software can also be a hit or miss, depending on the brand of your robot vacuum. I honestly have to say that roborock has some of the best software I’ve tried, and the vacuum always knows where it is within my home. The experience received from ECOVACS was also superb, but other brands will have you pick up your robot vacuum to place it in front of the charging station after they “got lost” while cleaning your home. The funniest part is that I also forget to mention this small, but irritating incident, but luckily, my mother’s robot vacuum reminded me just in time as I was getting ready to wrap up things. I also wish apps would follow certain guidelines to make the cleaning process easier. Some of these apps won’t let you edit the maps after they’ve been scanned, you know to separate the dining room from the kitchen, and more. So we have to go back to selecting the area we want directly from our phones, when it would be easier to tell your digital assistant to clean a specific area in your home.

Finally, the results aren’t excellent, as simple as that. Don’t get me wrong, I love that most of the dirt and debris gets picked up, but I own a Roborock model that normally sells for $1,000, and it doesn’t pick up everything on the floor, especially in the kitchen and dining room area. It comes with a mop combo, and I believed that it would also help to keep everything neat, but even after a couple of passes, the floor is left with streaks that could easily be explained by a dirty mop, but not after several passes. I’ve also seen the results from other brands, including ECOVACS and Yeedi, which also deliver the same results. Ultimately, my wife or I have to grab the mop and clean the floor again to leave everything as it should be, clean.

Robot Vacuums: Final thoughts

roborock S8+ with charging base in the back

To conclude, there are a couple of things you need to know about robot vacuums. These products will take care of most of the cleaning in your home if you don’t have kids or pets, making them the perfect option for single people or couples who aren’t planning on having kids soon. Anyone who lives in a small apartment in the city will be more than pleased with their performance. However, I can’t recommend these products to families with babies, toddlers, or young kids, as they will make the job a bit tough for your robot vacuum, meaning that you will most likely feel disappointed after getting one, especially if you went for the higher-end models, which arrive at prices that can easily go over the $1,000 mark.

Anyone who lives in a small apartment in the city will be more than pleased with their performance.

In the end, I believe that robot vacuums are still a work in progress, and I hope they keep improving and evolving to deliver an excellent cleaning experience. Until then, I’ll keep testing various models until I find one that gets the job done how it’s meant to be. But if you’re still dying to get your hands on one, I strongly suggest you check out options from Shark, iRobot, ECOVACS, Yeedi, and eufy, as they make some of the best-selling robot vacuums on the market.

roborock S8+ Robot Vacuum in black with self cleaning station
Roborock S8+ Robot Vacuum

$760 $1000 Save $240

The roborock S8+ arrives with a powerful Sonic Mop, self-emptying dock that will hold up to 60 days of dust, 6,000Pa suction power, carpet detection and other excellent features that make it perfect for any home.