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Should you Buy an Upright Vacuum or Robot Vacuum Cleaner?

Published by: Katherine Frame

Upright vs Robot Vacuum Cleaners

Choosing the right kind of vacuum cleaner is not always an easy task. There are a lot of things that you must take into account while getting a vacuum cleaner for your house. Upright and robot vacuum cleaners are two of the most popular choices among millions of customers today. 

While one is the traditional kind that has been in the market for a long time now, the other is relatively new and people are still very much intrigued by it. If you are also caught up between the two, a thorough comparison will most likely make the work much easier for you. 

In this article, we are going to cover different aspects that you need to consider while considering upright vs robot vacuum cleaners…

Upright Vacuum Cleaners

Upright vacuum cleaners are highly common in the market. These vacuum cleaners come equipped with a cleaning head attached to a handle and a bag. Upright vacuum cleaners stand vertically and it is very easy to use them as they are designed as a single unit. 


Upright vacuums usually come with a 360-rolling brush that gets rid of all the dirt and dust present in your house. Mainly, 4 types of upright vacuums are available in the market: 

  1. Upright stick vacuum cleaners. 
  2. Lift out upright vacuums. 
  3. Cordless upright vacuum cleaners. 
  4. Upright pet vacuum cleaners. 

Advantages & Disadvantages of Upright Vacuums

In this section, we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of an upright vacuum cleaner. 


  • It is convenient to use an upright vacuum cleaner as you just need to push them, instead of dragging them. 
  • Upright vacuums are easy to manoeuvre. 
  • Upright vacuums can be adjusted to different heights making it easier for you to clean using them. 
  • Upright vacuum cleaners don’t put a stress on your back as they don’t make you lean often. 
  • These machines come with various attachments to cater to different vacuuming tasks. 
  • These vacuums effectively clean carpets and rugs. 
  • The large head of an upright vacuum cleaner makes it suitable for cleaning large spaces in a short span of time. 
  • Their simple design makes uprights easy to maintain. 
  • Most upright vacuums are bagless, which means that you won’t have to empty the bags often. 


  • Upright vacuum cleaners have a bulky design, and hence, they can take a lot of storage space. 
  • It is not easy to clean hard-to-reach areas with upright vacuum cleaners as they have a large head. So, to clean under low furniture, or to clean stairs, you will require an attachment. 
  • It can be difficult to carry an upright vacuum cleaner especially if you live in a home that has different floors. 
  • Upright vacuum cleaners don’t have a powerful suction power. 
  • These machines usually make a lot of noise. 

Robot Vacuums Cleaners

Robot vacuums are machines that look like small discs. These vacuums move on your floors on their own to perform their cleaning tasks.

In a world where technology is doing wonders, robot vacuums are an invention for those who don’t have the time to go through the process of vacuuming on their own. 

Hence, you won’t have to do anything with a robot vacuum cleaner by your side. The automatic motor of a robot vacuum cleaner performs the task on its own and it has sensors to ensure that it doesn’t bang on the walls, furniture or fall from the stairs. 

Different models of robot vacuums come equipped with different features and each of them has a set of their own pros and cons. You should also note that robot vacuums are not as effective as uprights or canisters. 

Advantages & Disadvantages of Robot Vacuums

In this section, we will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of a robot vacuum cleaner.


  • The robot vacuum works on a schedule. You just need to program it as per your convenience and it will start cleaning at the date and time as specified by you. 
  • Some robot vacuum cleaners also work as a mop. Although they don’t mop like a pro, they are efficient enough to do the task and make it easier for you. 
  • Robot vacuums go under your furniture, bed, and sofa while cleaning. This ensures that dust and dirt particles don’t get accumulated under these things. 
  • Most robot vacuum cleaners come with a spot cleaning mode which can be used to clean a mess or spill in a particular spot. The spot cleaning mode ensures that your robot vacuum only focuses on that area instead of vacuuming the whole house. 


  • Small things like pet tots, and socks can come in the way of your robot vacuum and they can get stuck in it. This also happens with a regular vacuum cleaner but in this case you probably won’t be there to pick these things up. Hence, you need to vacuum-proof the house with a robot vacuum cleaner around. 
  • The robot vacuum cleaner runs on a battery and when it starts to run out, it functions to run to its charging point. It usually works well, but sometimes it is unable to find the spot and it stops in the middle of nowhere. 
  • Robot vacuum cleaners don’t make a lot of noise but they are slow and hence, they take longer to clean the house. 
  • Robot vacuum cleaners can get stuck somewhere due to their shape and size. 
  • These machines need to be emptied frequently as they are small in size and they have a small bag for collecting dust particles. 
  • Robot vacuum cleaners are very expensive compared to other vacuum cleaners as they are technologically advanced. 
  • Robot vacuum cleaners are automated, and they clean properly, but you still need to vacuum yourself as robot vacuum cleaners are not as effective. 

Upright vs Robot Vacuum Detailed Comparison 

Various studies have time to time proven that robot vacuum cleaners fail to reach the standard set by the traditional upright vacuums. However, they are still a decent pick and can do the job just fine.

It is worth mentioning that for quick, easy, and regular cleaning routines, a robot vacuum can truly be a much more convenient option

Robot Vacuum vs Regular Vacuum

They are hassle-free and make the cleaning process much faster as compared to a large-sized old-fashioned upright vacuum. 

So if you are trying to save up some time while also regularly cleaning your apartment, a robot vacuum cleaner can be an ideal pick for you. Moreover, they are also great for reaching tight spots or edges which a bulky vacuum cleaner never can. 

However, if you are aiming for deep cleaning and wish to get a machine with the maximum suction power, an upright vacuum cleaner is the way to go.

Benefits of Upright Vacuum Cleaner

This type of vacuum works best for cleaning large areas of space and features extraordinary performance.  

Final Thoughts 

An upright and robot vacuum cleaner are different from each other in a lot of ways. They are used for different applications, floors, and cleaning routines. You must first take your specific requirements into account and only then decide what type of vacuum cleaner to want to go with. 

If you are looking for a compact vacuum design that you can use for your quick and regular cleaning routines, a robot vacuum will work great for you. However, for broad spaces where you need powerful suction, an upright vacuum is the way to go.  


Is a robot vacuum cleaner as efficient as an upright vacuum cleaner?

According to various tests, it has been found that robot vacuum cleaners are unfortunately not as powerful and efficient as upright vacuum cleaners. If you are looking for a vacuum cleaner to get rid of 100% dirt in your house, a robot vacuum cleaner will probably fail to do the job for you. While they may be a decent appliance, they don’t work as well as the old-fashioned uprights.

Can I use a robot vacuum cleaner for carpets in my house?

One of the best elements about robot vacuum cleaners is their versatility. They are great for use on not only hard floors but also carpets. A lot of robot vacuum models also feature special sensors for identifying the type of flooring. Once it does that, it is going to customize its settings and suction exactly according to that. However, you will also be able to change these settings manually.

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Article by:

Katherine Frame

Katherine Frame is a professional writer and reviewer who worked in higher education for eight years before working on The Hardware Hub. She has written for multiple home magazines and blogs.

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