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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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