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10 Undeniable Disadvantages Of Robotic Vacuum Cleaners

Disadvantages Of Robotic Vacuum Cleaner

Millions of people get robot vacuums each year. 

So, it might feel like you’re missing out if you still don’t have this device. 

But are you really? 

Well, let me show you the cons of getting a robovac.

And why it might not be worth your money. 

Continue reading to find out:

  • 10 undeniable disadvantages of robotic vacuum cleaners. 
  • Why robot vacuums are inferior compared to traditional models. 
  • How robot vacuums raise your energy consumption instead of lowering it. 
  • And this is just the beginning… 

10 disadvantages of robotic vacuum cleaners

#1: Expensive

Here’s the biggest disadvantage of getting a robotic vacuum cleaner:

Having to pay a fortune. 

Now yes, there are affordable robovacs that only cost around $100. 

Take this Pure Clean model, for example. 

However, with robotic vacuum cleaners… 

You can’t deny that the saying “you get what you pay for” stands true. 

See, cheaper models usually have:

  • Smaller dust bins. 
  • Shorter battery life. 
  • Weaker suction power.
  • No mobile app support. 

So, you’ll often find yourself manually interacting or assisting your robovac. Which won’t make your cleaning journey much more convenient. 

If you want a robotic vacuum cleaner that can do the following: 

  • Schedule cleaning routines.
  • Respond to voice commands. 
  • Focus on specific rooms or areas when needed. 

Be prepared to pay between $350-$1500 for your cleaning device. Because anything cheaper than this range won’t be able to clean your house efficiently. 

#2: Weaker compared to traditional models 

A vacuum’s quality is often measured by its suction power (measured in Pa). 

Which is, as the name suggests, how good your device is at sucking up dirt. 

Now, the higher this number is…

The more efficient your vacuum will be at cleaning your floor.

Unfortunately, their suction powers fall short compared to the traditional models. 

See, most upheld vacuums have at least 8000 to 10000 Pa. 

In comparison, majority of robovacs only have 1000-3000 Pa. 

For example, the most powerful Roomba model (s9+) only has 2500 Pa suction power. And that’s not even close to the weakest traditional vacuums in the market. 

That said… 

Don’t expect your robovac to clean as thoroughly as your traditional handheld vacuum.

#3: Robot vacuums take ages to clean 

With handheld vacuums… 

It usually takes less than 30 minutes to clean an area/room. 

Well, at least, in my case. 

Unfortunately, this duration is too short for robovacs to finish vacuuming. 

See, it usually takes 1 hour for my Roomba to thoroughly clean a 200 square feet (18.5 m²) room. 

And that’s double the time I’d take if I did the chore manually. 

Now, I know this isn’t really a big disadvantage, most of the time. 

After all, robovacs are independent cleaning machines. 

So, you won’t have to assist them even when they vacuum for hours. 

However, if you’re pressed for time, like when your guests are coming over in an hour… 

A robot vacuum won’t really be too much help in polishing your floor. 

So, you’ll still need to use a manual model to quickly clean your home. 

You might also want to know: How Often Should You Run Your Robot Vacuum? 5 Facts

#4: Short battery life

Here’s another factor that further delays a robot vacuum’s cleaning time:

A very low battery capacity. 

See, robovacs can only operate for 2-3 hours at most. 

So, they’ll usually recharge in between their cleaning sessions. 

Now, you might think:

“3 hours is still longer than my manual vacuum’s battery capacity, though.”

But remember that, as mentioned earlier…

Robovacs are extremely slow when cleaning compared to traditional models. 

So, a robovac’s 2-3 hours of operating time won’t be enough to clean throughout your home.

#5: Can’t vacuum every spot in the house 

With a traditional vacuum… 

You can clean all corners of your house. Including your:

  • Stairs. 
  • Furniture. 

However, with the robotic models… 

You’ll only be able to vacuum your floor. 

See, robovacs have cliff sensors.

So, they automatically avoid stairs and unleveled floor heights. 

And they also aren’t designed to clean furniture like cabinets or beds. Unlike the handheld vacuum models. 

Recommended reading: Do Robot Vacuums Work in Small Spaces? 3 Things To Know

#6: Easily gets stuck 

Robot vacuums are best known for cleaning without any assistance.

But this isn’t always the case. 

Because it’s very common for robot vacuums to get stuck under low-leveled furniture like your:

  • Bed.
  • Couch.
  • Cabinet. 

Now, this disadvantage causes 2 issues.

First, your robovac can’t clean like it’s supposed to when it’s stuck. 

So, you won’t be able to maintain the house cleanliness that you want. 

Second, you’ll need to retrieve your smart vacuum from where it got stuck in yourself. 

So, that’s another unwelcome task on your to-do list. 

Now, of course…

There are several ways to stop your robovac from getting stuck.

However, they all require you to do 1 or some of the following:

  • Spend more money. 
  • Exert effort and energy.
  • Change your house’s aesthetic.

And for most people, these aren’t really convenient to do. 

#7: Doesn’t always avoid small obstacles 

It’s true that robovacs automatically change directions when there’s an obstacle.

However, this feature is usually only reliable if that object is big.

See, for small scatters like paper, clothes, or toys… 

Your robot vacuum won’t always avoid them. 

So, your device might get jammed by small objects. Unless you pre-clean your space before you use your robovac. 

On top of the object-jamming risks, you should also know that there have been cases of:

Robovacs running through pets’ nasty bits of business. And spreading them across the house. 

Here’s a video that shows an example of this scenario:

So, make sure you still supervise your robovac. Especially if you have a furry friend around. 

Interesting fact: Modern Roomba models (s7 and newer) now recognize and avoid pet waste. 

#8: Regular maintenance 

Sure, a robovac lets you vacuum the house hands-free. 

But that doesn’t mean you won’t have to do anything to help your device at all.

Most robovacs have very small vacuum bins. 

So, don’t be surprised if you need to empty your robovac dock at least 3x a week. 

#9: Can’t avoid liquid 

Unfortunately, robot vacuums can’t avoid water spills on their own. 

And as you know, electronics and liquid don’t really mix well.

So, there’s a chance your expensive robot can go to waste. 

Just because of a spilled glass of water. 

#10: More energy consumption

Some people buy robovacs to save energy. 

But often, getting this machine increases electricity consumption. Instead of reducing it. 

See, according to a study made by environmental Yale students…

Most households continued using their traditional vacuums even when they had robovacs.

Because as mentioned earlier… 

Robot vacuums can’t replicate the level of cleanliness traditional models can provide. 

So, if 1 of your main reasons to get a robot vacuum is to reduce your carbon footprint…

It might be best to think twice. And stick to using your handheld model instead.