Voice-controlling your robot vacuum with Alexa is a luxury option for the super-lazy

A robot vacuum in front of a sofa with the legs of a person sitting on the sofa visible
(Image credit: CreativePhotography / Adobe Stock)

I'm all in favor of making life easier for yourself, so having a robot vacuum connected to Alexa that you can control with your voice is the dream, right? Well, actually, not really. If you have a robot vacuum roaming around your home then you'll already know that it can clean your floors on demand, controlled via its app. 

Some of the best robot vacuums even enable you to schedule cleaning sessions for when you're out of the home, and can empty themselves before, during and after a clean. They come in all shapes, sizes and colors, with options for a range of budgets. Personally, having used a variety of robot vacuums, if I didn't have one I'd feel like I was missing out, because they're so good at clearing up those small everyday spills.

Granted, a robot vacuum can't (yet) tidy up the larger clutter around your home before it starts cleaning, so you'll need to do this yourself; but still, an appliance that can vacuum and / or mop your floors when and where you want it to is pretty cool.

dreambot l10s ultra on test on wooden floor

DreameBot L10s Ultra on test (Image credit: Jennifer Oksien)

And then we have Amazon Alexa, the voice assistant that's available on hundreds of smart speakers, smart displays and other devices made by Amazon and third-party brands. Devices such as the Amazon Echo Show, Amazon Echo Dot, and Amazon Echo Dot with Clock can act as a hub for controlling all sorts of appliances with your voice.

If you already own one of these Alexa hubs, chances are you're already building a connected home; however if you don't own such a device, and you've just bought a robot vacuum that's compatible with Alexa, I really wouldn't rush out to buy one just so that you can voice-control your cleaner.

I'm in the process of reviewing the DreameBot L10s Ultra, and it has all the bells and whistles I've come to expect from robot vacs, including Amazon Alexa compatibility. I've named the vacuum 'Kevin', for a reason I do not know, but there you have it. To control Kevin with Alexa I need to say 'Alexa, start Kevin', and off it goes – most of the time. My Echo Dot is situated not far from Kevin's base, so the two devices can easily communicate, but I live in a long, old house with thick brick walls, so I can't always easily talk to Alexa..

But when it comes to Kevin, that's not really an issue for me, because I feel that having the ability to use your voice to control an appliance that's already highly automated is overrated.

Robot vacuum cleaners are designed for those of us with limited time to clean our homes, but they're appliances that I would consider nice-to-have, rather than must-have. And controlling your robot vac via Amazon Alexa is only really useful for those who don't have their phone with them all the time, or who just can't be bothered to pick their phone up and press a button or two.

Voice control really is something you can live without – and, actually, you may find that it actually makes things more difficult if you end up having to continuously shout at Alexa from another room, and half the time Alexa can't hear you. In my opinion it's much easier, and probably less stressful, to do things the 'old fashioned' way, and reach for your phone.

Jennifer Oksien
Editor, Top Ten Reviews

Jennifer (Jenny) is currently the editor of Top Ten Reviews, but prior to that, she was TechRadar's Homes Editor. She has over a decade of experience as a digital product writer specialising in appliances, smart tech and mattresses for some of the UK's leading retailers and magazine titles such as Real Homes, Ideal Home and Livingetc. Generally, you’ll find her watching the latest Netflix series, digging around in the garden or attempting to make a cake that is edible.