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Are Self Emptying Robot Vacuums Worth It?

If you’ve stayed updated on the robotic vacuum cleaner game, then you probably know the latest and greatest, game-changing piece of technology in the robot sphere: self-emptying bases. These bases are great if you don’t want to get your hands all mucked up tiny dirt particles, debris, and endless strands of pet hair.

Roomba i8+
Roomba Comparison

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However, are these self-emptying robot vacuums worth the added cost? Many of these robots function without the self-emptying base, so why not just get that? The main question we’ll answer today is, do you really need a self-emptying robot or not?

What Is a Self-Emptying Robot Vacuum?

If you didn’t’ know, a robot vacuum cleaner is a robot that, well, vacuums your floors. As it travels all over your home and bare floors and carpets, it pulls up dirt and stores it in a tiny onboard dustbin, much like how a traditional vacuum cleaner works. On average, you’ll have to empty out the dustbin once every two to three days, depending on how often you run the robot and how dirty your floors are.

Coredy L900X

Now, a self-emptying robot vacuum cleaner is a robot that comes with a self-emptying base. Consider the base a vacuum cleaner for your vacuum robot—as your robot charges or when its dustbin is full, the base will suction the debris out of the robot’s dustbin through a trap door, thereby leaving the robot’s dustbin completely empty and ready for the next full clean cycle.

Benefits of a Self-Emptying Base

So, why did robot vacuum manufacturers create a self-emptying base in the first place? What sort of benefits does such a system provide to their customers? Let’s take a look at the benefits of a self-emptying base one by one.

Roomba i7 plus
Roomba i7+ Self Emptying Robot Vacuum
  1. No More Getting Your Hands Dirty

    Let’s be honest—manually dumping the contents out of the robot’s dustbin is dirty business. At best, you’ll get dirt all over your hands. Worst-case scenario, you’re looking at dirtied floors that your robot needs to clean up yet again. A self-emptying base eliminates this by storing all of the collected dirt inside of a filter-lined bag that you tie up and toss away.

  2. More Frequent Cleaning

    Because the robot doesn’t have to wait for you to come back home and manually clean its dustbin, it can commence its next cleaning cycle on its own. The collection bag usually has enough space to store up to 30 days’ worth of debris before reaching max capacity. Imagine the convenience of not having to lay a finger on your robot for a month at a time!

  3. Built for Large Homes

    The final benefit is only for those with large homes. Robot vacuums that are compatible with self-emptying bases typically have a mapping system, which it uses to keep track of what areas of your home it’s cleaned and what it hasn’t vacuumed yet.

    If you own a large home—we’re talking over 1,000 square feet per floor—that means having to empty the dustbin out more than once per day. With a self-emptying base, since it holds up to a month’s worth of debris at a time, you won’t even have to look at your robot until its self-emptying base sends out an alert.

Roomba J7
Roomba j7

The Downsides of a Self-Emptying System

Like all things, self-emptying systems have both pros and cons. Below, we’ll quickly go over the various cons of this system.

  1. Physical Size

    On average, a self-emptying base is more than twice, maybe even three times, the size of a standard charging dock. This means you’ll have to dedicate a wider area of your floor plus clearance on all sides just to accommodate this convenience-adding device. If you have the floor space, go for it.

  2. Noise Output

    Robot vacuum cleaners aren’t usually jolt-you-awake loud, but their self-emptying bases can be. These systems typically produce anywhere from 70 to 80 decibels, which can be a huge downside for those that work at home and don’t want to hear the constant whirring of your robot in another room.

  3. Added Cost

    Last and perhaps most importantly is the additional cost of a self-emptying base. Some bases cost half or three-quarters as much as the actual robot vacuum cleaner. The only thing you need to consider is whether you’re willing to spend more on convenience (remember: 30-day dirt storage capacity).

Neabot NoMo

Who Needs a Self-Emptying Robot?

A self-emptying robot can be worth the cost if convenience is a factor. In the end, that’s really what it’s all about. That, and the fact that the filter-lined bag can keep allergens like dust mites and dander away from your airway. Also, the convenience is only worth it if you live in a large home and if your robot requires emptying out more than once per day.

Shark IQ AV1002AE

Recommended Robot Vacuums

Affordable Option The iRobot Roomba 694 is a basic robot vacuum. It feels well-built, offers fantastic battery performance, and can adjust its suction power and brushroll height automatically depending on the surface that it's on.

Best of the Best The Roborock S7+ can vacuum and mop, and does an excellent job at both. It's also the company's most powerful vacuum yet, with 2,500Pa of suction.

Popular Option The Shark AV911S EZ is one of the least expensive robot vacuum with self-empty base. The bagless, self-emptying base holds up to 30 days of dirt and debris.

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About the author

Hi I’m Alex, founder of HouseholdMe.com and I’d like to say thank you for dropping by. Like most of you, the first thing I look at before buying something online is reviews or buying guides. By reading what other people say will help me gauge whether or not a product is good or not.  I am trying to help people find answers, solve problems, and get inspired.

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