Robot vac vs regular - who wins?

Robot vacuum cleaners are popular items for consumers looking to bust dirt the easy way in the home. However, do they work as well as a regular vacuum, and can you rely on them all the time?

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A robot vac works on random sweeps of a floor…with the hope that over the operating cycle it will cover all the floor. It however won’t clean in corners as the robot vacs are usually round in shape leaving a corner (room, furniture, mats etc). They also can’t walk over the edge of thick rugs and will take such rugs as an obstacle…thus not cleaning the rugs.

The other potential issue with robot vac is they are either the sweeping kind (still call vacs) or are the vacuum kind. The ones that do vacuum currently have less suction power than regular vacuums and are possibly best placed to remove light dust.

In my view, robot vacs currently don’t replace regular vacuums, but may be used to assist in the cleaning of some areas in between normal regular vacuuming.

Would I buy one, no. This is because we have many obstacles and also rugs which would make the robot vac not very effective/assist in cleaning very much.


If you have pets and don’t have carpets they do well at keeping the shedding in check but don’t negate the need to use a real (non robo) vacuum. Of the people I know that have a robo vac they still need to vacuum regardless just its not as often as they used too. If you don’t have pets or particularly dusty kids I’d say its unlikely reduce regular vacuuming enough to warrant the expense, even if you have those its a definitely luxury purchase more than anything.


There are plenty of models out on the market that map out the room and only go over an area once.


I have booth and honestly I have not used my regular vacuum cleaner in months, why? Because I do not have the time to vacuum. I use my robot vacuum every day in my timber floor and every third or fourth in carpets and I believe it replaces what I used to clean with the regular vacuum once per week.
However a point of consideration is the quality of the robot vac, I had an aldi one and my review would have been different if I was talking about it, but I now have a rumba 980 and the difference between both models makes worth the price difference.


I have a Samsung Powerbot (bought after reading Choice’s reviews) and I love it. I bought it with my frequent flyer points - it would be very expensive to use real dollars for it, but it was a great use of FF points.
I disagree with phbriggs2000. My Powerbot does not do random sweeps - you can see that it has mapped out the room and goes up and down in a straight line. You can see the map in the wi-fi app for the Powerbot. It has an ‘edge suction’ feature where it puts down its suction bar to do wall edges and corners, so it gets into corners really well.
I have only timber (and tile) floors, so carpet is not an issue for me.
The only thing the Powerbot can’t do is in spaces that are too small for it to get into, such as around beside the toilet or between the bed and bedside table. I still use my old vacuum for that. I also still use my old vacuum for tasks such as vacuuming dust of lampshade and getting old/stale beans out of the coffee machine when I’m cleaning it. The Powerbot can’t do that!


Great to hear people are having some success with their robot vacuums. Generally speaking, our testing found that robot vacs tend to struggle getting dirt out of carpet and may have trouble in tight spaces or corners, but that they can work well on hard floors and can cut down on cleaning time.

If it’s a head to head battle, the regular vacuum still seems to win but the robot vac comes with its own benefits and seems to be gaining ground. We’d love to hear more discussion on your robot vac experiences, please share them below.