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Robot Vacuums vs. Regular Vacuums

Robot Vacuums vs. Regular Vacuums

At Robot Specialist, we’re all about making your life easier with robots. But how can we know for sure which is better: the trusty upright regular vacuum, or the advanced robot vacuum cleaner? 

It’s the clash of the household titans, so keep reading to determine which one is the best for you. After all, more expensive doesn’t always mean better.

Comparing Suction and Cleaning Efficiency

When comparing robot vacuums against traditional vacuums, it's crucial to consider cleaning factors such as: 

  • suction power, 
  • filtration efficiency, 
  • ability to pick up pet hair,
  • extra features like mopping,
  • and adaptability to different surfaces. 

Based on what you value most, let's see how regular vacuums and robot vacuum cleaners stack up for each one. 

Suction Power

Robot vacuums have come a long way in terms of suction capabilities, with some models rivalling traditional vacuums. However, due to size constraints, some may still lag behind in sheer power. 

Traditional vacuums, especially upright and canister types, typically offer more suction capabilities, making them more effective for deep-cleaning tasks, like thick carpets.  

If powerful suction and automation are what you crave, then you’ll need to pick a specialised robot vacuum, like the Roborock S8 Pro Ultra Robot Vacuum Cleaner. This has HyperForce® suction with 6,000 Pa, about double that of other robot vacuum cleaners, so it can keep up with the big boys of handheld vacuums. 


Filtration is key for trapping dust, allergens, and small particles. Many high-end robot vacuums now feature HEPA filters or similar technologies, ensuring a high level of air purity post-cleaning. 

Traditional vacuums also offer advanced filtration systems. The effectiveness largely depends on the model and the quality of the filters used, making it a critical factor to consider for allergy sufferers.

Coping with Pet Hair

Managing pet hair is a challenge for any vacuum. Robot vacuums are designed for daily use, which helps in regularly collecting pet hair and dander. 

Their brushes and suction channels are specifically designed to pick up hair without tangling. Traditional vacuums often have stronger suction and specialised attachments for pet hair, making them suitable for thorough cleanings, so both types are a good bet. 

Switching Between Surfaces

Adaptability to various flooring types is essential for an efficient vacuum. Modern robot vacuums are equipped with sensors and algorithms to automatically adjust their settings when transitioning between surfaces like hardwood floors and carpets. 

Regular vacuums may require manual adjustments, but their powerful suction and variety of attachments offer a more tailored cleaning experience for each surface type, you’ll just need to keep switching out the parts by hand. 

Portability and Storage

Now we have the convenience of robot vacuum cleaners versus the storage capacity of the larger regular vacuum.

How Portable are Regular Vacuums?

Regular vacuums, such as upright, canister, and stick models, vary in portability. Upright vacuums tend to be heavier and less manoeuvrable, making them more challenging to carry upstairs or around the house. 

A cordless vacuum makes it much easier to clean multi-floor houses. Maybe even better than a robot vacuum cleaner as they can’t go upstairs by themselves and you’d have to carry it anyway. 

How Much Can a Robot Vacuum Hold?

The dustbin capacity of robot vacuums is typically smaller than that of traditional vacuums, due to their compact design. 

This means they need to be emptied more frequently, depending on the size of the area being cleaned and the amount of debris. 

Most robot vacuum dustbins can hold between 0.4 to 0.7 litres (depending on the model) which is plenty for daily cleaning in average-sized homes. 

Can A Robot Vacuum Empty Itself?

One of the advancements in robot vacuum technology is the self-emptying feature. Certain premium models can dock themselves and transfer the collected debris into a larger bin located within the docking station, and even clean the docking station regularly. 

This significantly reduces the frequency of manual emptying, making robot vacuums even more convenient for busy individuals. The larger bin in the docking station usually needs to be emptied every few weeks to a month, depending on usage, which is a considerable improvement over daily emptying. 

Maintenance and Lifespan

The maintenance and lifespan of vacuum cleaners are crucial for their long-term performance and reliability. This encompasses how they are emptied, the extent of maintenance they require, and how long they can be expected to work. 

If you run into any problems with your robot vacuum cleaner, then you may need to get it professionally repaired

Emptying a Regular Vacuum vs a Robot One

Emptying a traditional vacuum typically involves detaching the dustbin or bag and disposing of the contents directly into a trash can. This process can be messy with bagless models. 

Robot vacuums usually have a simpler process, where the small dustbin is removed and emptied, although it needs to be done more frequently due to its smaller size. 

Does a Robot Vacuum Cleaner Require More Maintenance?

Robot vacuums might seem to require more maintenance due to their sophisticated technology. 

However, traditional vacuums also require consistent maintenance, such as filter cleaning/replacement, brush roll cleaning to remove tangled hair, and occasional checks for any blockages. 

The maintenance level for both types depends significantly on how they are used and the actual model itself, so it’s a good idea to read reviews before making your choice.  

How Long Does a Regular Vacuum Cleaner Last Compared to a Robot One?

Traditional vacuum cleaners typically have a longer lifespan, often ranging from 5 to 15 years, depending on the brand, model, and maintenance. 

Robot vacuums, with their more complex electronics and constant use, usually have a shorter lifespan, averaging around 4 to 6 years, though this can be increased (and protected by warranties). 

Proper care, regular maintenance, and timely replacements of parts like filters and batteries for robot vacuums or belts and bags for regular vacuums will help them last longer.

Cost Analysis Over Time

Assessing the cost of vacuum cleaners over time involves the initial investment, potential savings, and how these factors balance with the convenience of each type. 

Regular Vacuum Cleaners

The price range for traditional vacuum cleaners varies widely, from budget-friendly models under $200 AUD to high-end versions exceeding $1000 AUD. 

Factors influencing price include brand, technology (bagged vs. bagless, corded vs. cordless), and additional features like HEPA filtration and specialised attachments for pet hair, mops or industrial-level models. 

Robot Vacuum Cleaners

Robot vacuums typically start at around $500 AUD for basic models, with premium versions featuring advanced navigation, mapping, and self-emptying capabilities reaching the appropriate $2000 AUD area. 

The investment reflects the convenience of automated cleaning and the technological sophistication of the device as it does everything for you. 


Let’s see what you can save depending on your choice: 

Regular Vacuum Cleaners

Traditional vacuums can offer long-term savings due to their durability and lower initial cost, especially for higher-end models known for longevity. Savings also come from the user's ability to perform maintenance and repairs, potentially extending the vacuum's lifespan without the need for professional services.

Robot Vacuum Cleaners

While robot vacuums have a higher upfront cost, they can provide savings in terms of time and effort, particularly for busy households. The efficiency of maintaining cleanliness with scheduled cleanings can also prolong the life of your carpets and flooring, saving costs in the long run. 

Now that you have a good idea of the pros and cons of each type of vacuum, feel free to reach out to us at Robot Specialist for all your cleaning needs. We’re always happy to talk tech and help you make the right choice for your home, with world-class customer service for your device’s entire lifespan. 

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