Can A Robot Vacuum And Mop Replace An Upright Vacuum?

2021-06-23

When to use an upright vacuum and when to use a robot vacuum

If you have no time to clean your house or just truthfully don’t like cleaning, you’d likely benefit from a robot vacuum. Robot vacuums have advanced significantly and many today are equipped with top-notch features for the most elevated clean yet - including mopping, object avoidance and even auto-empty features. They are great for convenience and even smart-home compatible, but can they replace an upright vacuum? 


It depends. Let’s break down both vacuum types below so you can determine which vacuum best suits your needs.


Are robot vacuums worth it? 

Absolutely! But, not every robot vacuum is created the same so it’s important to invest in one that is technologically advanced to guarantee a precise, spotless and truly hands-free clean (more on that below). To determine if a robot vacuum is right for you, it’s important to consider the different advantages of robot vacuums. 

Advantages of robot vacuum cleaners

  • Your first robot vacuum cleaner – a basic robot vacuum may not have all of the tech savvy features as higher-end ones, but it can still get the job done! Benefits include: 
    • Save time | We can’t stress enough how time saving robot vacuum cleaners are. You can run them while you cook, work, run errands and even sleep. Instead of stressing about cleaning the house before hosting friends or missing out on your favorite show because you have to clean, you can just set the robot and forget it
    • Space saver | For apartment dwellers, robot vacuum cleaners save a TON of space. No need for taking up the entire hallway closet with a clunky vacuum when your robot can fit smoothly under your couch. 
    • Automation | With full-automation control, robots like ours allow you to clean right from your phone, even if you’re grocery shopping or on vacation. In fact, in a recent ECOVACS survey, over half of respondents who upgraded to an ECOVAS robot vacuum from an upright vacuum said that the biggest benefit is automated cleaning.*
  • Next step of your cleaning journey – a mid-range robot vacuum cleaner builds upon the entry level robot with added bonuses to enrich your clean, perfect for families, such as:
    • All-in-one mopping + vacuuming | Say goodbye to the Swiffer because the best robot vacuums today come equipped with vacuuming AND mopping. You can knock out two chores with one appliance that will do it all for you – hands free! Pro tip: look for robot vacuums equipped with carpet detection. This will allow the robot to avoid your carpet while mopping. 
    • Customized cleaning | You can schedule cleaning anytime with app control, set virtual boundaries for targeted cleaning areas and even create no-go zones for rooms you don’t want the robot in.
  • Top-of the-line – technologically rich robot vacuums like our T8 AIVI are perfect for smart-home lovers and include: 
    • Smart-home compatibility | “Ok Google, run the robot.” Yep, it’s as simple as that! Robots like ours can connect to Alexa, Google and other smart-home devices to make cleaning easier than ever. 
    • Quietness | Most upright vacuums are noisy and disruptive, but advanced robot vacuums come with options that allow you to select suction power and set the robot to “quiet” mode when you want to relax or sleep.
    • Self-emptying | Today’s advanced robots, like our DEEBOT N8 Pro+, come with an Auto-Empty Station to guarantee thirty days worth of maintenance free cleaning. With the Auto-Empty Station, you never have to worry about emptying your vacuum’s dust bin.
    • Video monitoring |  With an HD camera, the most advanced robots offer live on-demand home monitoring.
Advantages of upright or cordless vacuum cleaners

While we’re clearly #teamrobotvacuum over here, we understand there are some tasks that require an upright vacuum cleaner. Below are some advantages of an upright vacuum:

  • Spot cleaning | If you need to clean a shelf, tight corner or door frame, you’ll want an upright vacuum with attachments that can provide a detailed clean.
  • Stairs | As robot vacuums can’t climb stairs, upright vacuums are good for uses in multi-level homes who crave an extra clean on their staircases.
  • Remove stubborn debris | Sometimes you need a little extra suction power to remove debris stuck in the carpet. While an upright vacuum is likely the better option in most cases, there are some advanced robot vacuums like our N8 Pro+ that come with above industry standard suction power to get rid of dust.
  • Large bin capacity | For robot vacuums not compatible with an auto-empty station, an upright vacuum will have a bigger capacity to hold dirt and debris.
  • Tools | Most upright vacuums come with an accessory kit full of attachable tools to enhance your vacuum for a more detailed clean.
Can I use both an upright vacuum and a robot vacuum? 

Sure! While a robot vacuum can likely save you some peace of mind (and storage space!) if you already own one, it doesn’t hurt to keep your old upright vacuum around once you make the switch to a robot. You’ll likely use it far less than before, but it can be handy to have around for spot cleaning.  For example, before owning an ECOVACS DEEBOT, 80% of our users used their upright vacuum weekly. Once they upgraded, less than a third continued to use their upright vacuum weekly.

Tips for replacing an upright vacuum with a robotic vacuum 

If you’re ready to upgrade to a robot vacuum, yay! To guarantee a smooth transition, we’ve put together some tips:

  1. Make an investment instead of a purchase. While not everyone needs all the bells and whistles, it’s important to invest in a feature rich robot that will provide a spotless and consistent performance.
  2. If your space is especially large or complex, look for a robot that has continuous cleaning, which allows it to return to the charging dock when the battery is low and resume cleaning where it left off after the battery is charged.
  3. For those with furry friends, be sure to look for a robot that has a silicone, tangle-free brush and a large dustbin to effectively tackle pet hair and dander with less maintenance.
  4. When you first run your vacuum, make sure all of the doors in your house are open so that the robot can properly map your home.
For more tips, visit our blog on what to look for in a robot vacuum. 
*According to a April 2021 ECOVACS survey of over 200 respondents