The Product That’s Had the Biggest Impact on Our Editor’s Wellbeing This Year

The time we used to begrudgingly spend cleaning is now spent on activities that are good for the soul.

We get to test a lot of cool products as part of the job, from compression boots that speed-up training recovery to the best leak-proof period undies and even a device that helps to restore the brain’s natural sleep patterns through sound technology.

But the product that’s had the biggest impact on my wellbeing this year was an unexpected one: the Ecovacs Deebot X1 Omni, a robot vacuum that now has a permanent place in our family (my husband’s words to our almost-two-year-old).

But before I go into why, let me paint what is likely to be a very familiar scene to many of you. According to the latest stats from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), women are spending an average of three hours and 23 minutes a day on domestic activities (like housework, cooking and childcare), while men are spending two hours and 38 minutes (this article isn’t about exploring the inequality between the sexes but if you want to see how it affects your relationship, read this).

The ABS tells me I’m part of a demographic that feels like there’s never enough hours to tackle an endless to-do list: 55.1 per cent of 35- to 44-year-old women consistently feel rushed or pressed for time, compared to 49.3 per cent of 25- to 34-year-olds and 42.8 per cent of 45- to 54-year-old women.

That’s where our new family member, our beloved Deebot X1 Omni, has stepped in. When it comes to robot vacuums, this one is at the premium end of the market at $2,499 RRP, but the time-saving features more than make up for the price tag. It doesn’t just sweep and vacuum (it’s powerful, too, with suction power at 5,000Pa, compared to 1,300Pa in some entry-level models), it also mops the floors. But it doesn’t stop there: After cleaning the floors, it then cleans itself by emptying the dustbin and then washing and drying the mop pads.  

Other big pluses of the Deebot X1 Omni include 3D house mapping, a complex sensor that allows the vac to detect obstacles and avoid carpets and rugs while in mopping mode, and an app that makes it easy to schedule cleans, custom clean certain areas, or even start a clean when you’re out of the house.  

The downsides aren’t many. It has gotten stuck a handful of times over the past six months – once behind the toilet and another time because it ate the cords of our blinds – but it isn’t a regular occurrence. The voice-controlled assistant Yiko doesn’t understand me when I try to talk to it, although it does work if you put on an American accent, but I prefer using the app anyway. The biggest pain point is having to lug the vac and station up and down stairs as the station needs to be on the same floor as the vac to work, but we’ve gotten used to it.

Just a few things we did with our time instead of cleaning the floors: went to the beach; built a home gym; exercised; played in a ball pit.

Here’s why this product has made the biggest impact on my wellbeing more than any other this year: The time we used to begrudgingly spend sweeping and mopping our floors and vacuuming our rugs each week is now spent on activities that are good for the soul. You’ll find us playing in ball pits with our daughter, going to the beach, sitting on the couch using those cool compression boots mentioned above, sleeping (the best time to schedule the vac to run, because you wake up to a clean house), exercising and building our home gym (more on that one soon). It’s given us some of that much-needed time back. My husband tells me – quite often – that if it ever breaks, we’ll be getting another one. No question about it.

Now, if someone could just get it to climb the walls to clean our windows, we’ll be sorted.

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