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HousingFor the Israeli Homeowner: Traditional Vacuum Cleaner vs Robot Vacuum

For the Israeli Homeowner: Traditional Vacuum Cleaner vs Robot Vacuum

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Last Updated on September 1, 2023

When I could no longer get a spare hose, and duct tape patch repairs were a nuisance; I was faced with replacing my much loved and trusted Hoover wet-and-dry vacuum cleaner purchased before our Aliyah in 1989. I researched the vacuum cleaner arena thoroughly, as I usually do — my family joke and say I don’t need to do a thesis for every significant purchase I make. So, I am sharing my experience with other olim.

portable vacuum cleaner or robot vacuum

As I got older and bending down became more of a mission, the idea of an upright vacuum cleaner was very appealing. Lo-and-behold, I discovered, that significant technological advances in the upright vacuum cleaner commercial space had taken place since I last purchased a vacuum; they no longer weigh a ton, have bags – paper or otherwise that collect the ‘dust-bunnies,’ they are portable, light-weight, cordless, and do not look like the work-horses of yesteryear.

Like most of us in Israel, I work full-time, and housework does not appeal to me, so after looking into state-of-the-art vacuum cleaners, I discovered the robot vacuum, or iRobot, as it is often referred to. The iRobot is ‘smart,’ and there is an option to control it remotely via an app. Even if I was willing to settle on a ‘not-so-smart’ model that I controlled manually, the idea of sitting on the couch drinking coffee and not having to walk behind a vacuum cleaner appeals to me.

I read and watched every vacuum review online, and posted my questions on tens of Anglo-Aliyah Facebook groups and even on a few Hebrew groups.

So, what are the advantages of an upright vacuum cleaner?

  1. It’s upright
  2.  It’s portable
  3.  It’s light
  4.  Not too noisy
  5.  It has a small ‘dust-bunny drum,’ an advantage, as it means you must empty the drum regularly.
  6.  The drum is transparent, so you can easily see if you have sucked up an earring or precious object.
  7.  The flexible hose has been replaced by an extendable rigid pipe.
  8.  It can be used as a hand vacuum, so you can vacuum countertops, the car, or any small, less accessible areas
  9.  Price point – from 700 shekels to 3,000 for a top-of-the-range Dyson

Disadvantages of an upright vacuum cleaner

  1. It’s rechargeable – if you do not keep it connected to a power supply, an emergency will arise, and you will discover that the device has no power.
  2.  The vacuums are intended to be wall-mounted so they can be connected to a power supply nearby. The mount is just another thing that needs to be fitted and drilled into the wall. If you are not drill-handy, you’ll need a handyperson to attach the bracket to the wall. That could set you back 150 shekels or even more for the call-out fee.

Now, the iRobot

  1. Do not think of an iRobot as a powerful vacuum cleaner – it is a sweeper. I made this mistake. It is a time and labor-saving device, and you can do something else or even be out of the house while the iRobot is working – a huge advantage.
  2.  You cannot use it in small, less accessible places.
  3.  It isn’t quiet, and takes a fair amount of time to sweep the entire house. Being subjected to the noise while the iRobot completes its cycle (your entire home), is annoying.
  4.  The dust-bunny-drum is very small and needs to be emptied each time.
  5.  Original iRobot parts are expensive; the brushes and filters are, but AliExpress is cheaper, and I have not had any quality-related issues from my ‘Ali’ purchase.
  6.  It needs to be constantly connected to a power supply. The wall plug mine is attached to, is in the living room, which is not exactly decoratively appealing.
  7. Price point: 500 shekels upwards

Could I manage with only one of these appliances?

Yes, I could only manage with the upright vacuum, but my life is easier with the iRobot.

I bought an iRobot Roomba. It was expensive, and in retrospect, I could have bought a cheaper brand. Even if the more affordable brand was inferior quality, I could replace it four times compared to the cost of the iRobot.

I make it a rule; whichever appliance I buy, I never buy a top-of-the-range model. I had experience with this once, and I was forever having to replace the digital panel and the sensitive electronics. A simple on/off switch and essential features are my go-to criteria.

I hope this article is helpful. Do a price check on Zap or Zabilo before you buy. There is no shame in purchasing last year’s model to save your hard-earned money.

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