Ballpark estimate: $10 to $800+
In today’s hectic world, who has time to vacuum on a daily basis? With busy work, school, and sports schedules, today many Americans find it a struggle to stay on top of all of their responsibilities and as such, cleaning their home—including vacuuming—often falls by the wayside. The good news is that now there’s a gadget that can save you time and energy and allow you to keep your home spotless, without any effort involved. The robotic vacuum, or Robovac, is an automated cleaning tool that comes in many shapes and sizes and can clean all types of floors. It’s good on carpet as well as on tile and wood.
Why Use a Robovac?
There are many reasons to use a Robovac, but the most common one is for time savings for a busy lifestyle. This can also be an appealing option for people who cannot lift or get around as easy as they used to, as well as for pet owners who can’t keep up with the shedding of their pet’s hair and want to just set a device and let it go to town cleaning all around. Another benefit of using a robotic vacuum is that many models are low and compact, which means they can get under furniture and into tight spaces where hand-held vacuums can’t quite squeeze.
How it Works
Robotic vacuums rely on intelligent programming to automate the process of vacuum cleaning. The first such Robovac available for the public was the Roomba that was launched in 2002 by iRobot. Since then, a variety of robotic vacuums have hit the marketplace, offering an array of features including longer battery life, faster charging, memory of your home’s layout, and the ability to empty themselves.
Where to Shop
When shopping for a robotic vacuum, you can look to stores that sell small appliances and electronics. Some of the popular places to check include Best Buy, Target, Walmart, Ebay, Amazon, BJ’s, and more. You can also check with The Vacuum and Sewing Dealers Trade Association to find reputable dealers.
Cost for a Robovac
When selecting a Robovac, what you’ll need all depends on the size and set up of your residence. For instance, there are small, counter-top robotic vacuums that cost as little as $10 to $25. If you want to use a robotic vacuum for an apartment, dorm room, or other place with smaller square footage, these can be in the $25 to $100 range. These smaller units tend to have less battery charge and need to be emptied more frequently.
For a typical home setting, it will be worth it to invest in a stronger robotic vacuum that can run from around $100 to $800+, depending on what you select. These stronger vacuums or robovacs will be able to stand up to the square footage involved and the amount of dust and dirt that can be generated. If you want extra features, it’s worth noting that there are also very high-end, high-tech models that can cost three or four times more than the more standard units.
The Difference is in the Details
Top Ten Review has a list of the best robovacs that they tested. The gold winner is the Neato Botvac Connected. The cost for this one is in the upper $700 range, but it may be worth the investment as it gets closer to furniture and walls with its D shape than its competitors. This was rated 9.8/10. Number 2 on the review list is the iRobot Roomba 980, which cost $787 and has a 9.4/10 rating. The best buy selection on the list is the bObsweepbObi for $287. This came in with a review of 8.38/10. Further, the best seller is the iRobot Roomba 650 for $310. This was rated 8.08/10.
The vacuum package is different from each manufacturer, but the standards are the vacuum, brushes, battery and filter, and charging station. Options that can be added are bumpers to keep the vacuum out of certain rooms or areas and cleaning tools.
There are many accessories that you can buy for your robovac and here is a list of the extras you can purchase. Replacement batteries can run $25 to $100. There are also aftermarket batteries that you can get in the range of $40 that fit most sizes. Power supplies and charging stations go anywhere from $25 to $75. Filters range from $10 to $25 depending if you need HEPA filters. Lastly, bumpers are between $10 to $20. With the newer models, you can control the robovacs with your smart phone or computer. The module for this runs around $100.
You can buy refurbished units on Amazon and buy used ones on eBay. Also, buying clubs like BJ’s have discounts available and outlets can have sales.