As I sit typing this, I’m also cleaning the house. That is to say, my robot vacuum and mopping robot are doing it. In a few minutes, the robot litter-box will also clean itself.
For someone who grew up watching Rosie the Robot Maid on The Jetsons, this is a dream come true! I still wouldn’t mind having a flying car like theirs, mind you. But I’m patient. We’ll get there.
Still, the fact is that I haven’t vacuumed or mopped a floor or scooped the litterbox in months thanks to my cleaning robots. I can’t tell you how amazing that is.
Are Cleaning Robots Worth It?
Cleaning Robots Save So Much Time
If you ask, most people would say they would love an extra hour in their day. Most people would also say they’d love to have a clean house without lifting a finger.
With cleaning robots, you get that extra time and, while they don’t eliminate 100% of the housework, they definitely lighten the load. Yes, they take longer to vacuum or mop, but that’s time that you aren’t spending on those chores. That means you’re free to do other things — or nothing at all.
They Reduce Dust, Too
Frequent vacuuming and mopping are two of the most important ways to reduce household dust. But who wants to do it every single day? Your robot does, and it won’t ask for treats or extra spending money! (Related: How to Reduce Household Dust.)
Plus, most vacuum or mopping robots have low profiles, which means they can get beneath furniture you might otherwise skip. You know, like under your bed. If you’ve got a bad back, it’s wonderful not having to bend over to clear out those dust bunnies.
You Wake Up to a Clean House
Probably my favorite part of owning cleaning robots is waking up to a kitchen floor that got cleaned while I slept. Coming home from running errands to a freshly-vacuumed floor? Awesome.
You Can Schedule Them or Not
Say you’ve got a new puppy and are (validly) worried it might leave a mess on the floor that the robot will smear around. Or your kids just had a popcorn fight in the family room, but your robot isn’t scheduled to vacuum until tomorrow morning. No problem!
Running your robot manually — even if you’ve also got a schedule programmed — is a one-button operation.
The Best Cleaning Robots I’ve Used
I love a clean home. But, the truth is, if I can get out of doing a chore, I will. There are so many other things I’d rather do besides clean.
So, over the years, I have bought several robots that promised to vacuum or mop my floors or deal with my cats’ litter box. Most of them have been big disappointments. Huge. But that didn’t stop me from continuing my search — yes, I am that determined to offload this work!
The floor cleaning robots that I now rely on are less expensive than other models I’ve tried in the past, but work even better. As for the cat litter robot? Well, it’s not a cheap one, but I now use a fraction of the litter we once did.
The Best Vacuum Robot for the Money
If you’ve tried and hated robot vacuums before, I’ve got great news for you: they’ve improved dramatically. The price has gone down, too.
Tips on Using a Robot Vacuum
Here are a few tips on using a robot vacuum:
- The newer versions don’t get tangled in cords or try to eat curtains, but you should probably keep an eye on your new robot the first time you run it to see how it does in your home.
- Empty the dirt trap after use.
- Wash the roller brush in the sink every few uses to keep it in top shape.
- Clean the washable filter after each use and tap the HEPA filter to remove excess dust. (The iLife comes with a spare HEPA filter and side brushes, which are nice to have on hand.)
- Run it often. As with any vacuum cleaner, frequent use means it has less to pick up. That results in a deeper cleaning, so you’ll see less dust and pet hair flying around.
The Best Floor-Mopping Robot
But the cheaper version doesn’t have a cleaning tank, so you’re stuck buying single-use mopping pads. It doesn’t take long before you’ve spent the same amount of money, so I sent it back and splurged on the higher-end version.
I am so happy that I did! Here’s a video of my mopping robot in action. Yep, it’s that quiet!
Even better, you can use any mild cleaning product in it — even my homemade floor cleaner. The pads are washable, too, so you aren’t shelling out for new ones every time you clean.
Tips for Using a Floor Mopping Robot
- Deal with dirt first. You’d vacuum or sweep before using a regular mop, and should do so with the robot mop, too. I just run my robot vacuum in the morning, then my robot mop at night while I’m in bed. Boom — clean floors!
- Use it often. Any mop will leave streaks if your floor is particularly dirty. That’s true with a robot mop, too. The more often you use it the less mess it has to clean, and the happier you’ll be with the results.
- Don’t worry about floor mats or carpeting. This thing is smart, so it just scoots around them. Ditto with kids’ toys, cords, and pet beds.
The Best Robot Litter-Box
I’m not going to lie; the Litter-Robot is not cheap. At $499 (half that for a refurbished one) it is a significant investment, so I put off purchasing one for a couple of years. Then I spent money trying different litter-box robots that didn’t work.
Disappointing Self-Cleaning Litter Box #1: I tried this rolling litter box which worked okay, but frequently just dumped litter on my floor and did nothing to contain the smell.
Disappointing Self-Cleaning Litter Box #2: I replaced that with another company’s “self-cleaning” litterbox which did better at controlling the smell. I didn’t like the pricey crystal litter you have to use with it, though. Also, it made a disgusting mess when one of my cats had an upset stomach.
I’d just about given up on finding a good self-cleaning litterbox. Then I heard about this one. Since it came with a 90-day money-back guarantee and a 3-year warranty, I decided to take a chance. That was four years ago, and I’m still thrilled with the thing.
Is a self-cleaning litter-box a splurge? Yes. Worth it? Absolutely.
Tips on Using a Self-Cleaning Litter-box Robot
- This litter-box robot cycles eight minutes after your cat exits the box. Set it for less time if you want, or even 8-hour periods if you don’t want to hear it while you’re sleeping.
- I found that lightweight clumping litters didn’t work as well, though — they don’t absorb quickly, so my cat would come out of the box with yucky paws. So we went back to Tidy Cat Multiple Cat version (not the lightweight one), and that problem stopped.
- Change the bag once a week for each cat you have. I have two, so I put in a new bag on Sundays and Wednesdays. It takes 2 minutes each time.
- You don’t have to buy their pricey bags. A kitchen trash bag works just as well.
- You don’t need to buy their sealing strip replacement, either. Fuzzy weatherstripping from the hardware store works great.
With all of these cleaning robots doing my least-favorite chores, you might think I do nothing but sit around watching Netflix these days. You’re not far off the mark, though I do still have to clean the bathrooms myself. For now.