For the past two Christmases, my mother has given me vacuums, a gift I try not to take as judgment on the state of my house. And while the Dyson was–and still is–great, my little robotic Roomba continues to make me positively giddy as it whirls around my house.
But, look out Roomba, there’s a new vacuum in town and this guy really sucks. It sucks so much in fact that I’m hoping to score a hat trick by finding another vacuum under the tree again this year.
The best thing about any robotic vacuum is, hello! It’s a robot! Cleaning my house! Nothing has made me feel closer to The Jetsons or more like the uber-wealthy must feel with their live-in housekeepers.
For those of you who are familiar with the Roomba, one difference between the newer Neato XV-11 robotic vacuum and iRobot’s Roomba is evident from the start. While my Roomba, Lucy (everyone names their Roomba) kicks off with a happy little beep, the Neato revs up like a jet. I was so surprised to hear its motor starting up, I took a step back and had to bite my lip from screeching It’s gonna blow! But, both vacuums basically hum as they move around the room so no worry about the decibel level.
The Neato moves in straight lines up and down the room as it has a laser mapping system that gives its computer brain a constant picture of its surroundings. This is a bit different than the Roomba which spins and moves about in a seemingly haphazard manner. I’ve found both vacuums do a thorough job and reach (almost) everything in time, though the Neato seems to have a bit more oomph.
The Neato, like the Roomba, will vacuum under beds, couches and pieces of furniture to grab dust bunnies, Cheerios and Lego pieces. This is a feature I love so much that I purposely bought a new couch that had enough clearance for my vacuum to fit under easily.
While I found the performance of both robotic vacuums to be very close, where the Neato totally rocks is in how it will return to its base when its charge is low, recharge and then go back where it left off and finish the job. Pretty amazing. Also, something my 500-series Roomba does not do. It is also programmable so that I can have my floors cleaned daily, weekly or anything in between.
Yes, both the Neato and the Roomba sometimes miss spots, get stuck on cords or little obstacles (though both can vacuum to the edge of a stair and not fall down), and neither will lift up socks off the ground and put them in the hamper. But now that I’ve gone robotic, I’m never going back. Though I still plug in my Dyson from time to time: I need it to clean my stairs.