Can a Smart Robotic Vacuum Cleaner Replace an Upright Vacuum?

Sam Harris
written by Sam Harris
part of Robot Vacuums
created on March 18, 2019
updated on August 8, 2019

First thing you’ll learn in today’s article are the major differences and similarities being shared by the two robot vacuum types.

Other than that, you’ll be educated on the potentials and benefits of a smart robotic vacuum cleaner.

One more thing, in the concluding part of this article, I gave a verdict as to whether or not a smart robotic vacuum cleaner can replace an upright vacuum. Be on the lookout for this too.

Smart Robotic Vacuum Cleaner vs Upright Vacuum

Size & Look

Smart robotic vacuum cleaners, aka robovac (autonomous robotic vacuum), are round- or D-shaped devices with sleek designs and compact sizes. As a result, intelligent robot vacuum cleaners will not take up additional space in your home.

Conversely, upright vacuums come in a variety of shapes and sizes, usually big and bulky. Consequently, they’re trouble to move around, plus they end up occupying space in your garage or anywhere else you’re keeping them.

Power Source & Consumption

The smart robot vacuum cleaners are battery powered (therefore draws lesser power) and can be used out of the plug.

The traditional vacuum is electricity-powered (therefore draws greater power) and can’t be used outside the plug.

Programmable Cleaning

With an automatic robot vacuum, you can plan cleanings in advance using your cell phone. Actually, via the device’s application. This means you can focus on more important things in your life and never have to worry about messy floors for the most part.

On the contrary, an upright vacuum doesn’t have programmable highlights. Not being able to plan cleanings in advance means occasionally (or maybe frequently) you’ll miss your cleaning schedule. During this time, enduring an untidy floor is inevitable.

Autonomous Cleaning

It’s worth bringing to your notice again that robot vacuums work independently of their owners.

This is more freedom to do different undertakings without disregarding your home’s cleanliness.

With a manual vacuum cleaner, however, you can’t anticipate that the cleaning will naturally occur without your availability and input.

This means you need to physically immediate and move it to zones where you need to do the cleaning, making the whole thing both time and vitality devouring.

Not only that, you’ll find yourself being occupied for at least four hours every week. Four hours you should’ve channeled into something profitable and rewarding.


Unless you’ve got the need for very specific features or are bent on splashing lots of cash, you should be able to get a decent, quality robot vacuum for 200 dollars or less. Coincidentally, some of the best-rated upright vacuum cleaners–to include the Shark Navigator Lift-Away Deluxe NV360 Upright Vacuum–are selling within the $200 price point.

Accessibility and Reach

Upright vacuums can be used on ceiling, curtains and draperies, typically tall/long items.

Automatic vacuums, on the other hand, work best on flat surfaces and items with low clearance to include furniture, toilet, kitchen cabinet, etc.

By implication, where the robot vacuum can access and spot clean, the upright vacuum can only try. Likewise, the areas the upright vacuum can comfortably reach and deep clean, the robot vacuum will struggle at best.

At the end of the day, your cleaning needs will inform your choice.

Debris Bin Size

Upright vacuum cleaners have larger debris bin than robotic vacuum cleaners.

As a result, a robot vacuum will need to be emptied rather frequently. You won’t have to worry about this though if you’ve got the Roomba i7 plus, as it does this automatically.

Set-Up & Ease of Use

A smart robotic vacuum cleaner can be used straight out of the box. A manual vacuum cleaner, however, requires some coupling of some sort.

The coupling of the standard vacuum cleaner is done on the body parts while the configuration of a robot vacuum is done via an app.

That mentioned automatic vacuums move around on their own while the regular vacuums need to be pushed or dragged. This feature makes robotic vacuums to be easier to use.

Noise Level

The noise level is debatable in both types of vacuum cleaners but in my experience both make noise. Although a few smart robot vacuum cleaners such as the Icoco, Roomba 780 and Eufy 11S are quieter.

Cleaning Frequency and Efficiency

Since the robotic cleaner can be scheduled (you can’t schedule a traditional vacuum cleaner) to clean even when you aren’t there, it tends to have the tendency to run more often and, therefore, clean more thoroughly. This means you’re able to clean wherever and whenever.

Cleaning Result

Assuming you avoided one of the worst robot vacuums. Either of the two vacuum types should clean satisfactorily well.

While upright vacuums rely on their powerful suction for the result. Robotic vacuums rely on the fact that they run frequently.

Are Smart Robotic Vacuum Cleaners Any Good?


Yes. A smart robot vacuum cleaner can be programmed to start running at a particular time (even when the programmer is miles away); the robot vacuum launches, cleans, and when it runs out of charge, would return to its charging base. Most robot vacuums are smart enough to know where they last cleaned, so would resume cleaning from there. While at it, if the robot vacuum in question is a top of the line item such as the iRobot i7 plus or the s9 plus, there’s an opportunity to select specific rooms for cleaning, plus a robot vacuum in this category will self-empty its dust container.

Are Robotic Cleaners Worth it? Are They Effective?

robot vacuum cleaner

Vacuuming by hand, although mildly annoying, and maybe just as quick as a robotic cleaner, will struggle to go under beds or couches without significant effort and energy that most people don’t usually possess.
In contrast, the robotic vacuum cleaners because of their size will effortlessly go under beds and couches.

Plus, you used to have to vacuum by hand twice a week. Now you can clean once every two weeks.

For me, getting rid of X% of the chore makes robotic cleaners worth having.

Time is saved, and there’s a general improvement in house cleaning.

(Keep in mind, if you live in places where dust traffic in higher volume you may have to schedule more frequent cleanings in between possible–albeit limited–sweeping and mopping.) Regardless, an automatic robot vacuum keeps things looking better.

Or maybe as a way to spot clean the house on your way out? Automatic vacuums are excellent for this purpose.

Whichever way you see it, you’ll own a home cleaning tool that helps to keep things tidier while making your life easier.

Which Smart Robot Vacuum Cleaner is Best for Me? Which Should I Buy?


Answer to this question will depend, for the most part, on your budget, needs (which includes your apartment size, floor type, etc) choice, and lifestyle.

Elsewhere, if what you want is just a quality robot you can trust with your home cleaning, then I recommend you check out the Goovi robotic vacuum cleaner.

Final Thought

Price-wise, and unless you’re up for a robot vacuum with very specific features, you should get a decent robot vacuum in the same price range as an upright vacuum.

Or if you consider that both vacuum cleaner types seem to be at par on the noise level.

Ditto, on the reach and accessibility level. This will usually depend on your needs. If your cleaning needs are floor only, a robot vacuum is more than perfect. A robot vacuum being compact can penetrate under your couch, the kitchen cabinet, and other hard-to-reach spots that your Shark or Dyson may not.

Take caution however as the robot vacuum has a tendency of getting stuck. But even at that, you should be fine with any of the latest models as they come with intelligent and advanced navigation features.


So, can a robot vacuum replace an upright vacuum?

I wouldn’t necessarily consider the robot vacuum a replacement for an upright cleaner.

Rather, I’d consider the robot vacuum a better alternative than the upright vacuum due to the fact that the technology of the robotic cleaner is constantly being improved upon.

Another reason I’d choose the robot vacuum: 20% of vacuums produced worldwide are robots. Something tells me homeowners and users are deriving serious value from them.

Lastly and most importantly, you should be considering a smart robot vacuum cleaner on the basis that it’s everything the upright vacuum isn’t:

  • A time saver
  • A lifesaver (especially for homeowners with large apartments)
  • A productivity booster
  • A  trusted, hard-working, reliable cleaning assistant
  • A pet-, user-friendly, loyal homeboy


Are you ready to replace your big, bulky upright vacuum with a super slim, versatile robot vacuum, one that will not miss reachable spots and that can work quietly, perfectly and autonomously? Get a head start with this list of the top 3 best-selling robot vacuums for 2019