Difference Between Robotic Vacuums and Regular Vacuums

Difference Between Robotic Vacuums and Regular Vacuums


There was once a time when we used to hoard brooms and dustpans in our homes to keep things clean. However, the arrival of a brand new technology into the housing market - known as a Vacuum Cleaner or a Hoover, forever revolutionized the once tedious task of cleaning, making it quicker and more efficient than ever before.

From being an accessory in Queen’s music videos to making appearances in sitcoms, the vacuum cleaner has become something of a household cultural icon in the last 50 years. Today, all it takes is one internet search to find hundreds of vacuums, each differing in size, price, brand, and function.

The credit for this incredible invention goes to Daniel Hess of Iowa. He invented the first manual vacuum cleaner back in 1860, which was patented as a ‘carpet sweeper’. Fast forward to 1901, when John S. Thurman and Hubert Cecil Booth independently created the first powered vacuum cleaners.

Today, the Covid pandemic has caused a drastic change in our lifestyles, and in a valiant attempt to keep this virus off our doorstep, we have started to consciously live cleaner. As a result, there was a surge in the online purchasing of vacuum cleaners, and this handy device has now become a staple in thousands of households all over the world.

Robotic vacuum cleaners in particular have experienced a massive surge in popularity - with their global market projected to rise by nearly 25%.

Trying to select the right vacuum cleaner for yourself can be quite a task, and the wide range of products available can make it even more perplexing. There are a lot of commonly used vacuum cleaners that each serve a different purpose and would be useful for specific situations depending on your needs.


Traditional Vacuum Cleaner

Traditional vacuum cleaners have been around for decades, and are the most popular type of vacuum.

These vacuums have tons of useful properties; They are easy to maneuver, have long handles that offer a comfortable grip without bending, have powerful motors, and have a wider cleaning coverage than most other vacuums.  They also allow deep cleaning on nearly every surface, with different attachments that can be used to reach tricky corners.

However, these vacuums can be extremely noisy and heavy to lug around. They also have a bulkier design that can make storing them difficult, especially in compact urban living spaces.



  • Easy to maneuver
  • Long handles with comfortable grips
  • No need to bend
  • Allow deep cleaning
  • Come with multiple attachments
  • Powerful, with a large cleaning coverage



  • Can be noisy when in use
  • Heavy and bulky build


Handheld Vacuum Cleaners

As the name suggests, handheld vacuums are portable, lightweight vacuums that are ideal for cleaning smaller areas, such as inside vehicles or on furniture fabric.

They are designed to conveniently suck out dust and dirt from upholstery, curtains, and drapes. They also offer a handy, effortless way to clear crumbs and other objects from tables and chairs. These vacuums are compact and easy to store away. They come with various attachments that allow you to clean multiple surfaces efficiently.

However, since these vacuums are small in size, they can be underwhelming when used to clean larger areas, and generally have weak suction power compared to their full-size cousins.



  • Portable and lightweight
  • Useful for cleaning dedicated corners
  • Compact build that is easy to store away
  • Various attachments that allow you to clean in multiple places
  • Affordable and effective



  • Smaller cleaning coverage than traditional vacuums
  • Cannot clean larger areas


Robotic Vacuum Cleaner

Robotic vacuum cleaners are a new technology that has been gaining traction across the last two decades, along with the rise of AI-powered home appliances.

These vacuum cleaners are different from traditional vacuums because they offer a hands-free experience. They can usually be controlled or customized using an app or a remote, and are sometimes compatible with devices like Google Home and Alexa - allowing you to activate them even when away from home.

These vacuums can navigate rooms with the help of sensors, and do a great job cleaning dirt, dust, and even pet hairs. They work on hard surfaces like wood, and carpets too.

You can even schedule them to clean on specific days or during specific hours, for a truly stress-free experience.


However, robot vacuum cleaners aren’t perfect and can find it a bit hard to maneuver around furniture, which can result in them getting stuck in odd places. They also work best in places with leveled flooring since they cannot navigate stairs.

Robot vacuum cleaners are ideal for people living in small apartments, and for people with busy lives because they require little maintenance, and are extremely time-saving.

Even on a low budget, you can find some incredibly powerful and durable robotic vacuums to make your household cleaning duties an absolute breeze.



  • Hands-free usage
  • Time saving and efficient
  • Can be customized and controlled using apps or remotes
  • Budget-friendly
  • Works on multiple surfaces



  • Can be noisy
  • Can sometimes get stuck under furniture
  • Cannot clean stairs, curtains, and other such areas


Vacuum-Mop Combo Cleaners

Vacuum-Mop cleaners are a more efficient substitute to traditional mops. They offer thorough cleaning, and can even mop up spilled substances with ease.

Some mop vacuums are hand-held, so you can comfortably maneuver them into sharp corners. They are also available in 2-in-1 models that are useful for simultaneously sweeping and mopping.

You can even find robot mop vacuums that will leave you with effortlessly clean and shining floors.

However, these vacuums can be high maintenance since they need to be frequently emptied, as they pick up dirt and grime quite quickly.



  • Clean better than regular mops
  • Can mop up spilled substances quickly
  • Come in various models like hand-held and robot models
  • Also available in 2-in-1 styles that offer both cleaning and mopping services
  • Extremely time-efficient



  • High maintenance ie. they need to be emptied frequently
  • Can be more expensive than other vacuums


Traditional Vacuums vs Robot Vacuums - The Judgment

There is no better or worse when it comes to vacuums - each has its own merits and demerits and it is ultimately a matter of personal preference depending on your lifestyles and requirements.

That said, as most people looking for a vacuum on today’s market are young, busy professionals, we would highly recommend giving robot vacuums a serious look.

That said, remember to consider the following before making an informed decision:



When selecting a vacuum, it is important to take your lifestyle habits and schedule into consideration. If you’re busy but would like the house to be cleaned daily, a robotic vacuum may be a good option. You could simply schedule the cleaning as per your preference before leaving the house and return to a clean space!

If you prefer doing the job yourself and can make time to clean as often as you like, a traditional, regular vacuum could do the job.

It all depends on your definition of a good, thorough cleaning, and on how much time you are able to assign to household chores.



When it comes to vacuums, it could be a one-time investment that shall last for years and you may be tempted to splurge.

However, keep in mind that after you buy the vacuum, you shall also have to put in the effort to maintain it. You may perhaps even need to spend on having it serviced and replacing parts which could get costly, so this is definitely not something to impulse-buy.

Remember that if you buy a handheld vacuum and don’t use it, you’re receiving much less ROI than someone who effortlessly uses and maintains a robotic vacuum cleaner.


Do Your Research

Have a look at the features available - a quick read about reviews and different working conditions may be enough to tell you whether it’s the one for you.

Your budget and basic requirements are all important to consider, but if you shall be splitting the housework with another co-habitant you may want to figure out other basic information.

For example, how often the vacuum may need to be cleaned or the bin may need to be emptied are all important questions when you have to share the burden with someone else.



The difference between traditional vacuums and robotic vacuums is vast, but both are equally useful and each has its own value and provides a different kind of convenience.

If you’re someone with a busy schedule, and can’t make time to clean often, you can invest in a robotic vacuum that can be controlled by a remote and can also move by itself - a priceless advantage when managing a household on a busy schedule.

The amazing thing about technological advancement is that there are always newer features being released and old ones are constantly upgraded. Ultimately, there is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to these appliances - they’re all amazing!