robot vacuums, what is your experience

Does anyone like these for carpeted areas? What brands are best (are brands other than iRobot good)?

Reviews for the newer 600 and 700 series of iRobot models are usually good, but those models are $400. Older used iRobot models and other brands are closer to $100-200.

What about Neato brand? I’d be looking for something that works on both the carpeted areas and the linoleum in the kitchen.

We had a Roomba (I forget the model). They’re interesting toys, but for us the amount of time spent charging, moving it, setting up the IR barriers, cleaning the pet hair and disentangling it from various places wasn’t worth it. It is literally (and I mean that literally :slight_smile: ) easier to just grab the regular vacuum and run it over the floor.

Maybe they’ve improved in the last 5 years, but we ended up giving ours away. It just wasn’t worth the hassle.

I love my Roomba. But with a few caveats. It really is useless without the electronic walls because it wanders off into other rooms and gets lost.

Also, it’s really good for light cleaning. I have pet birds, so the house needs vacuumed frequently. I can’t haul out my big vac every day, but I can push a button on the Roomba.

I still have to deep vacuum from time to time. (I have a Dyson, which I love so much I want to marry)

The Roomba doesn’t kick much dust up into the air, so the filters are good. Cleaning the filters is a slight pain, and when I empty the dust cup there’s usually a little dust it leaves on the floor.

I’m sorry, I’m not very good at estimating square feet, but my rooms are smallish. I haven’t used any other brands.

I would give it four out of five stars as long as you understand it is for light cleaning. It lost the fifth star because of it being a pain to clean the filters.

However… if all you want is a quick and easy floor cleaner for light cleaning and if it doesn’t have to be 100% automatic, I’d strongly suggest something like the Bissell Natural Sweep. It’s what they used to call “zoom broom.” I’m glad to have the fully automatic Roomba, but the Natural Sweep and similar products are light enough to accommodate most bad backs, work quickly enough to accomodate most schedules, store better than a Roomba, easier to empty and clean than a Roomba, and don’t use electricity and are much quieter.

But Roomba is definitely cooler, and they entertain cats.

Check out the Amazon reviews.

I’ve had 2 different older model Roombas, I think the 1st model and then the 3rd or 4th generation. They are good for light cleaning but not as good as a full-size vacuum. They are definitely interesting and amusing to watch, but emptying the dust bin, getting hair out of the rollers, and replacing the battery after 3 or 4 years makes it less fun.

If you have the money they are fun and do clean somewhat, but they are not a substitute for a regular vacuum.

I used to have Roombas, but have switched over completely to the Neatos. Way smarter, no “bump around randomly a lot” cleaning pattern, and they handle corners much better. Couldn’t be happier with them.

From what I’m reading the Neatos work better on carpets than the roombas, the neatos have more suction.

I would wait until the new generation of robots comes in.

We’ve got a pet hair Roomba, 300 series. We have pocket doors, so we don’t have issues isolating rooms, and use the electronic walls for the room without a door or to keep it away from wires.

Pluses: They go under beds really well, do a good job on the carpet we have, when we do the living room it finds the charging station, and they are launch and forget. I clean it when watching TV, so that is not a big negative. I like that if it vacuums up something it shouldn’t you can get it without tearing up a bag.

The big negative is that they still aren’t very reliable. The battery was mentioned, but it also blows the vacuum pump, they symptom of which is that it gives the clean brushes message on carpet after about five minutes. Their website could be better, but it has improved.
Also you need to take it apart and clean inside from time to time, since the dog hair gets into the works. Not something needed for a normal vacuum. I agree that you still need one.

We just blew another vacuum pump. I hadn’t heard about Neatos, I’ll check them out. How are they on dog hair? We have a golden who really sheds.

Can somebody explain why I keep seeing ads for exercise classes for these contraptions?

The neato has a couple of new models that are good for pet hair (so I’ve read). The XV-21 and the XV signature pro. They are cheaper at amazon than on the website.

I’m hoping this holiday season the XV-11 and XV-12 get clearanced out, I’ve already seen some for $200 or so.

It is becoming harder to tell what is real and fake there anymore.

I was hoping to open this thread and find out what it was like to be a robot vacuum, not to own a robot vacuum.

There are SO many ways to misconstrue this that I am not even going to begin to try to enumerate them.
But, I must say that nobody should ever try to transport any of these wonderful robots through the deep forest from hither to yon, because as we all know…

Neatos weren’t a lot cheaper, and I found a Roomba, new on ebay for less than it. Here’s hoping.

Consumer Reports had an article on robot vacuum cleaners recently (in the last month or two). Their conclusion is that the Roomba cleans the best.


I am pretty sure my Roomba 630 makes its own cat hair just so I am impressed. The cat is far too small to produce as much as it finds.

Absolutely thrilled with mine. Sometimes it declares itself finished with a room in an inconvenient spot (middle of under the bed etc.) but if it bothered me I could just simply move the dock to that zone when I start it.

The first couple of times I used it I was quite disgusted with the age of some of its finds (long hair from a long dead cat etc.), it cleaned our cheapo rugs much better than any amount of regular vacuuming over a few runs.

We have mostly tile or hard wood floors with some low rugs around the place, I can’t speak for it on carpet.

Quite good on carpet we’ve found. And our Roomba did not have to make dog hair - we can comb several dog’s worth out of her, and then when she shakes we can see the hair fly.

We know someone with a golden who brought her while carpet shopping - so she could match the carpet color with the dog hair color. Excellent idea.

I’ve been thinking about getting a Roomba. Any comments on how deep of carpet it can handle? We have to use the high setting on our regular vacuum and it’s still tough to push. Also, how well does it do around dining table and chairs? The thing looks to be about a foot diameter so I’m not sure how it would negotiate a forest of table & chair legs. If I have to move the chairs out I might has well just use a broom.

If anyone is interested, has the Roomba 620 on sale for $340 and the Neato Pet/Allergy for $450 and their next 30% off promotion + Kohls Cash starts 11/8.