When I reviewed my Dyson V6 Total Clean, I started by saying that I don’t enjoy cleaning. I finished by saying that I liked my handheld vacuum because it’s ease of use meant that I could do little bits of vacuuming as I go, rather than it being an event.
As it turns out, nearly two years later, I still don’t cleaning. I have other things that I’d rather do with my time – I struggle to get up early enough to do any housework before work and I’d rather do something fun or else nothing at all during my evenings and weekends. I’m sure I’m not alone in that.
As I saw it, then, I had three options. I could hire someone to do my cleaning for me, but I’d want the place fairly clean before they came. I could stop being lazy but, well… I could buy a robotic vacuum cleaner.
I have now owned a Dyson 360 Eye Robotic Vacuum Cleaner for 3 weeks. I’d read quite a few reviews and decided that that was the one to go for, but reviews would fall in two opinions usually. The first was that the review would prefer the Roomba or the Dyson and be fairly strong on it. The second was that one would fail some things and the other would fail at something else but that they were both pretty good.
What Is It?
The robot in the box, oddly, isn’t quite as circular as it looks according the dimensions. I can only assume that the bit on the front that holds the dust sticks out a bit. It is smaller than I pictured it though, even though it is taller than competitors.
It looks quite good, I suppose. It at least looks like a robotic vacuum cleaner to me, rather than a plastic disc. It has some un-necessarily bright flashing lights, though, so it’s still not pretty enough to have obvious in a room unless you think it will be a talking point.
And the only real talking point anyone wants to mention is the price. Yes, it’s expensive and the lights making it double as a nightlight doesn’t justify that. More on this later though.
This was what I read was difficult. I had no problem at all, although I wouldn’t describe it as intuitive to start with.
The plug, the dock (a white piece of plastic with some black squares on it) and the robot are pretty explanatory. Unfold the dock, plug it in, put the robot on it. I think the problem comes that everyone now wants to use it! My recommendation is to pause and follow the instructions – download the app, put the passwords in and let it charge for a bit.
You’ll have the chance to name your robot. Mine is called Sucky because it sucks.
I was also impatient at the start. Sucky was sat on its dock, the app said “Ready to clean” and there was some charge in the battery. I pressed play.
Sucky reversed off its dock, turned round and trundled about 50cm in to the room. On came the vacuum, and off it went. The Dyson 360 Eye seems to work by vacuuming ever increasing squares like a Fibonacci curve with straight sides. When it reaches a maximum distance, it moves on the next square.
In “Max” setting, it is a little loud. You can put “Quiet” mode on, but it’s not as effective on carpet even though hard floors do look properly vacuumed. Sucky’s little bit of charge was finished, so off went the vacuum and the robot returned to its dock, having to take a good look and some faffing about to successfully park itself for a recharge.
I’ve been testing Sucky in a number of ways. Cluttered, irregular environments take longer to clean as the 360 Eye works out how to get around, which it does. It won’t do right angles, but still gets fairly tight in to table legs by using a lot of little movements. Sucky also gets very close to walls, often looking like it’s going to crash in to obstacles before stopping just in time.
Sucky will take Moo’s mat for catching cat litter on a walk in the same way a manual use vacuum would, but a thick rug is no problem. Sucky’s tank tracks allow it to move from one surface to another very easily. I was concerned that moving from one type and one colour of flooring to another might be interpreted as stairs causing the 360 Eye to stop and reverse, but this isn’t the case.
With chairs under my table, Sucky cleaned 24.35 square metres of my Games Room in 39m. Putting the chairs in a different room, it did 26.4 square metres in 25 minutes.
Dyson say that the 360 Eye “cleans”. I found it a fairly strange assertion for a vacuum cleaner, but I have been really impressed with the amount of dust that the 360 Eye will pull from my carpets on a regular basis. Thick carpets are harder for it to clean but still it does a great job. Harder floors come up spotless.
The bucket for collecting the debris from the floor (and the 360 Eye deals with pet hair, cat litter and other random detritus) is fairly small apparently compared to competitors, but Sucky can vacuum three downstairs rooms in my house every two days without filling it, so it does seem to be practical.
Sucky has got stuck twice so far. On the first occasion it tried to vacuum a sock, which it got stuck in its tracks. I’m not sure what happened the second time, to be honest. It seemed to just get wedged in an uncompromising position up against a funny shaped speaker in the corned of the room. On both occasions it sent me a notification to say that it had a problem.
Should I Get A Robotic Vacuum?
This is the big question, and this is where I couldn’t find a review that helped me. Many reviews assume that you want a robotic vacuum and tell you which to get. Very few actually tell you whether you want one at all.
What I can tell you is that I’m enjoying getting home and not having bits on the floor. Cat hair is no longer accumulating under tables and desks. I bought the 360 Eye assuming that I would need to do a proper vacuum every week but I’m not really feeling that need even when I’m not being lazy. I do need the caveat that again with the note that I mainly have hard floors.
Being a connected vacuum is also useful when you’re out but have a short notice visitor when you get home. Open the app, press play and try to put your friend off until the vacuum is finished!
The thing to remember about a robotic vacuum cleaner is that it is a vacuum cleaner and it has the limitations of a vacuum cleaner, so manage your expectations along those lines. If a manual one or a robotic one is too big for a space, it won’t get in to that space. If you have clutter on the floor, it’s going to have problems or else just vacuum round something it can’t get over.
I checked the dimensions of the 360 Eye against certain points in my house (under sofas, beds, radiators etc) and found that it could get under them all. Reviews that complain about dimensions are just stating the obvious and if you’ve decided that you want a robotic vacuum, then find one that will get where you need it to and decide whether it is worth the money to you personally.
Living with a robotic vacuum is great, and I highly recommend getting one if you like clean floors and carpets but don’t like having to do more than setting up an app to get them that way.
Should I Get A Dyson 360 Eye, though?
A bit like I said about my V6 Total Clean, the 360 Eye is a regular cleaner. The beauty is in setting up the schedule on your phone and then only needing to remember to empty the bucket after its finished doing its thing. I find that every two days is enough for me to enjoy the results, which means I can put it upstairs one day and downstairs the next.
However, its scheduled life makes it a little strange to own. This is a very expensive machine which I find is perfect for use when you’re not in to see it work. All I see of it physically is blue lights sitting in the corner of the room and I really only see those when it’s dark.
I do see the results, though, and they are excellent. I haven’t done a comparison test with another robotic vacuum, but I have been recommending the 360 Eye to friends and family since I got it. It simply does everything I’ve asked it to do. The 360 Eye performs so well I forget about having to do the vacuuming. That makes it worth it to me.