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I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while, but I really wanted to give our robot vacuum a long trial period before I penned my thoughts. We bought our Neato back in December and have used it multiple times a week since our purchase, so I think I’m ready to weigh in.

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WHY did we buy a robot vacuum?  That is a great question.  You could vacuum the house yourself for a lot less money!  We decided to shell out the bucks for our Neato because we kept buying $100 vacuums that broke or worn down quickly.  When looking at higher-end vacuums, we realized that a nice upright cost nearly the same as a robot vacuum.  With two dogs, a cat, and a toddler, we do a lot of vacuuming, and the idea of not having to do it ourselves really appealed to the Husband and me.  So I did a bunch of research and ended up purchasing the XV Signature Pro Pet & Allergy Robot Vacuum Cleaner.

 

The reason we went with the Neato brand instead of the more well-known Roomba is that Neato vacuums are more vacuum-like than sweeper.  We have a lot of carpet.  I didn’t need something that was just going to pick crumbs off my hardwoods – I needed a robot vacuum that would function like a real upright over carpet.   And the Neato does!  It’s shaped like head of an upright vacuum because that’s what it is – it looks like a regular vacuum when you flip it over.  This means that the Neato is LOUD – it’s as loud as a regular vacuum.  And it sounds like a jet plane taking off when it turns on!

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First, I’m going to address the Neato’s many, many positives:

 

PRO #1:  My favorite thing about my Neato is that I can vacuum while doing other chores.  This makes cleaning SO MUCH MORE EFFICIENT, especially when I’m running around trying to get the house ready for guests.  Instead of spending 45 minutes vacuuming my house, I can turn on the Neato, which does (almost) all the work for me.  I can vacuum when I’m cooking dinner, watching TV, or playing with Henry.  I value a clean floor (and again, with so many animals and a kid, it gets really dirty), and I love that the Neato does the work for me so I can spend my time doing other things.

 

PRO #2: The Neato uses a laser system to map out the room and then it methodically cleans (versus a random pattern like the Roomba).  This  means that there are perfect carpet lines in your floor when the Neato is done.  There are even little swirly marks around table legs!  I’m one of those people who really enjoy carpet lines, so this aspect of the Neato truly appeals to me (bonus points: when people come over and see my carpet lines, they are always impressed by “my” cleaning abilities… lots of people have remarked on our carpet lines – I do confess the truth, though!).

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PRO #3:  The Neato is pretty good about going under tables, beds, and desks and around chair and table legs.  How often are you going to vacuum under your bed?  Not often.  But the Neato will every single time.  Also, it can navigate multiple surfaces (going from carpet to rug to hardwood).  It doesn’t get stuck very often (and you quickly learn the spots where it is most likely to get stuck and can accommodate for that).

 

PRO #4:  It’s smart.  As mentioned, the Neato uses lasers to make sure the entire room is cleaned.  But it’s also smart in other ways.  It has a hydraulic system, which helps it break free of “stuck” situations without assistance.  It also knows when the battery is running slow and will return to its charging station.  When it’s recharged, it goes back to the spot it left off and begins cleaning again.  Crafty!

PRO #5:  It’s super slow.  You would think this is a “con,” but no – it’s definitely a positive.  The Neato takes its time, slowly and effectively sucking up everything in its path.  It goes way slower than I ever would, which is great because that means it picks up a TON of stuff.  To give you an idea of timing, it can do my upstairs hallway, Henry’s room, and our bedroom in about 30 minutes.  Sometimes, it sucks that it is so slow (like when I’m rushing around trying to get ready for a surprise guest), so I usually break out the upright in those moments.

 

Okay – time for the negatives…

 

CON #1:  The Neato doesn’t take all the work out of vacuuming.  When we first brought it home, I had this fantasy that I would never need to do anything but press a button.  That’s not exactly how it works.  Before you turn it on, you need to tidy up the room.  For example, I pick up pillows, throw blankets, lift up certain curtains, and pick up Henry’s toys.  You have to clear the path, basically.  Also, the Neato is supposed to be able to handle navigating open floor plans, but I’ve found that it works a lot better if I “corral it” into certain spaces so it can clean one or two rooms at a time.  For example, in my large living room /  kitchen, it gets a little lost, so I usually put a magnetic strip divider (it comes with the vacuum) to “tell” it to do one room at a time.  I also usually have it do Henry’s room + the upstairs hallway before turning it loose into the other spare bedrooms.

 

The dust basket holds more dust than you would think, but it’s not as large as a upright’s container, so you have to dump it more regularly.  The basket can handle my living room + kitchen + hallways before needing a dump.  I need to dump it again before it does my upstairs.  You also need to replace the filter every now and then.  We’ve replaced it once in 6 months. 

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CON #2:  Sometimes, the Neato gets stuck.  The Neato has a timer function so you can run it when you’re away from the house, but I prefer to run it when I’m home, both so I can corral it and so I can save it when it gets stuck.  There are certain pieces of furniture that really give my Neato trouble – Henry’s glider, my office chairs, and one side table.  I try to remember to put something in front of these pieces of furniture, but sometimes I forget and the Neato wedges itself into tight spaces that it can’t escape from.

CON #3:  It can’t handle dust in corners or do the stairs.  The Neato does not totally eliminate the need for a vacuum, especially if you have stairs.  I still run our old upright every now and then to get the corners and do the stairs. 

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CON #4:  We had some initial battery trouble.  Apparently, this is a defect with the model because when I called headquarters (excellent customer service, by the way), they knew exactly how to walk me through the battery reset process to get it fixed.  Now, the battery is perfect and lasts about 45 minutes to an hour before needing a charge.  Also, the Neato is supposed to know when the dust basket is filled, but my sensor has never alerted me.  I kind of chalk this stuff up to the fact that Neato is a small company with a relatively new product… I don’t expect stuff like this to be perfect in every way.  I just want it to be perfect at its core purpose (clean my floors), which it is.  And, as mentioned, the company was helpful and responsive to my battery issue.  They offered to send me a replacement for the sensor issue, but I didn’t really care.

 

Another “con” is that my cat Ferguson has not tried to ride it yet.  Haha… 

 

I keep waiting for that!  However, Henry does like to put his toys on top of it as it cleans.  He also knows how to turn it on and off, which is cute.

 

In conclusion, I love my Neato and would highly recommend it to anyone who loves clean floors but hates to vacuum.  It’s not a 100% perfect device, but it excels at what it is designed to do, and I can’t imagine cleaning without it!

 

Do you have a robot vacuum?  If you could have any chore done by a robot, what would it be?

{ 26 comments }

 

Leave a Comment

  • Bobbie May 22, 2014, 9:17 am

    Oh my! That video was hysterical!

    Reply
  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats May 22, 2014, 9:53 am

    oh my gosh, I only have a studio and now I want this so badly!

    Reply
  • Jill May 22, 2014, 10:46 am

    We have a Roomba, and I love it. It’s awesome at picking up the copious amounts of dog hair that our retriever leaves around, and it seems to get everywhere with its little sweepers. The company has one that mops floors and I’m seriously tempted (and lazy. I am also lazy.).

    Reply
  • Amanda May 22, 2014, 10:57 am

    I have always kinda dreamed of having a robot vacuum! This kinda seals the deal that YES I want one!!!! We have 2 kittens, 2 dogs, and 2 kids…….so yeah, we also have to clean the floors A LOT! Thanks for the review :)

    Reply
  • Sara @ LovingOnTheRun May 22, 2014, 11:03 am

    I have never had a robot vacuum, but my brother and his wife do and they love it!

    Reply
  • Rachel May 22, 2014, 11:12 am

    We have a Neato and I’m not quite as thrilled as you are with it. Ours gets stuck all. the. time. I feel like I have to constantly monitor it to get it to keep going. The dust bin fills up so quickly (maybe because we don’t run it as often as you?) so that’s another thing we have to constantly monitor. It’s extremely heavy, so carting it to the garbage to empty the dust bin is annoying. And we have a 3-level house, so carrying it up and down the stairs is a pain. When it comes down to it, though, it sure beats vacuuming myself ;-)

    Reply
  • Claire May 22, 2014, 12:11 pm

    Ok, I just busted out laughing at that video at my desk at work–awkward! That is the funniest video I have seen in a really long time!!

    Reply
  • Shelly May 22, 2014, 12:18 pm

    Is it weird if I ask my husband for one of these for my birthday? I really want one!

    Reply
  • Sarah May 22, 2014, 1:35 pm

    I have alllllways wanted one of these!

    How does it do at transitions from rugs to hardwood? I have an area rug with a pad so it’s nearly an inch in height difference. Although, it sounds like I could set it up like the area rug was a “room” and then do the hardwoods separately.

    Reply
    • Caitlin May 22, 2014, 2:20 pm

      Oh stuff that like is no big deal for it.

      Reply
      • Sarah May 23, 2014, 1:42 pm

        SWEET! It’s on my wishlist!

        Reply
  • Allie Q May 22, 2014, 1:58 pm

    I have a Neato too but it has the wheel malfunction. I haven’t gotten around to calling customer service about it though :x

    Question…how do you keep your furniture (relatively) fur-free? Right now I have my roommate’s old leather couches so I don’t have to worry about fur sticking to them. He’s moving soon and I’d like to get some new furniture, but I reeaaaalllly can’t stand cat hair all over everything. I do have a futon, and I feel like it’s impossible to get cat hair off it. It looks like your couch is microfiber which I heard is good at repelling fur. Any advice?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Caitlin May 22, 2014, 2:21 pm

      LOVE OUR microfiber stuff! I have never had problems with fur on the couches so I’m not sure what kind of advice to give. :)

      Reply
  • Rebecca May 22, 2014, 2:07 pm

    That complaint about uprights not lasting long is hilarious to me, because we’ve had the same vacuum for as long as I can remember! It’s not the prettiest thing, but it’s relatively easy to haul up and down the stairs, and it gets the job done. We also have probably a smaller house than you guys, so it maybe doesn’t take us as long to vacuum. I think I’d rather just use an upright and move some furniture out of the way versus trying to corral a robot. I used to vacuum the stairs at daycare when she’d have us help out, and we always used a handheld vacuum versus an upright. When I worked at the schools, we used one of those backpack-like vacuums to get stairs and corners and edges of hallways. The cords were a little tricky to get around, but it worked better than trying to use an upright–although sometimes we had to use uprights because all the backpacks were being used and we still had stairs to clean.

    I think my mom would prefer a robot do our cooking, but you know. I used to sometimes wish I could have a robot that could do some of my homework for me if I was stuck for ideas–even wrote a journal entry about it for one of my art classes in elementary school–but I’m not sure that will ever happen.

    Reply
    • Caitlin May 22, 2014, 2:20 pm

      I don’t know what the heck we do to uprights but we tear through them. I don’t understand!!

      Reply
  • Suzy May 22, 2014, 2:09 pm

    Question! Do you have to clean the brushes often? And are they hard or cumbersome to clean the pet hair from it?

    We had a Roomba about 7 years ago and I loved it, but with 2 cats back then(now we have 1 cat and 2 dogs) I had to take apart the Roomba and pick and clean the brushes each week. It just got gross and not worth it, because isn’t that to point of a vacuum, letting something else get dirty?

    Reply
    • Caitlin May 22, 2014, 2:19 pm

      I do it occasionally but definitely not that often – maybe once every two months? Similar to an upright.

      Reply
  • Kath May 22, 2014, 2:40 pm

    I debated between my cordless Dyson and a robot vacuum and ultimately went for the cordless for versatility purposes, but man you’re making me want one of these!

    Reply
  • Kelly @ Finding a Skinnier Me May 22, 2014, 3:34 pm

    I really need one! I have all hardwood floors, 1 cat and 3 dogs. Which means there is a layer of fur covering my floor almost at all times (YUCK!), even with the two big dogs outside. Seems like the Neato is worth the extra money spent. Now I must convince the husband :)

    Reply
  • Jess May 22, 2014, 4:45 pm

    I love neato! I have had 3….they don’t last long so it’s definitely worth investing in an extended warranty. Walmart does a 3 year warranty for less than $30.

    Reply
  • Courtney May 22, 2014, 8:08 pm

    I want one of these so bad! I am the worst when it comes to vacuuming.
    My friends also have a Neato and they attached a small sombrero to the top and call him Senor Neato.

    Reply
  • Christyne May 22, 2014, 8:29 pm

    Hi Caitlin,

    I’ve been reading your blog for years. I’m going to a wedding in Asheville this weekend and flying into Charlotte tomorrow. Are there any amazing restaurants that you would recommend for lunch tomorrow. Preferably on my way to Asheville???

    Reply
    • Caitlin May 23, 2014, 10:06 am

      THere’s pretty much nothing in between Charlotte and Asheville (You’ll see what i mean when you drive it) but I would recommend eating at Luna’s Living Kitchen in Charlotte!

      Reply
  • Sandy May 22, 2014, 9:11 pm

    The video was hilarious! I definitely need to invest in one of those, as I hate the heavy duty vacuum I am currently lugging around all up and down in my house.

    Reply
  • Runner Girl Eats May 23, 2014, 6:22 am

    I never really saw the interest in a robot vacuum until recently. It is definitely on my birthday wish list!

    Reply
  • Stephanie @ Whole Health Dork May 23, 2014, 11:42 am

    Thanks for the great review! Definitely a consideration for the future! I used to vaccum once a week (it’s just me, my husband, and our rabbit, and we take our shoes off at the door), but I’ve been stretching it more due to a hectic schedule. Vacuuming is my most favorite chore because it’s so rewarding with not a ton of effort. We have a Kenmore cannister that has gotten heavy use and it’s still going strong. That being said, I wouldn’t mind if a robot did my dishes, from scrubbing the pots and pans, to loading the dishwasher, and emptying when done. That’s something I would totally buy.

    Reply