Tell me about your Roomba!

I’m moving into a new house with tile and very short berber carpet. For the first time, I have the option to Roomba. This is very exciting, as I have several dogs and cats. Roomba owners, will a Roomba, if used frequently, keep up with fur? Dirt on tile? Can it manage short, looped carpet? How much area does it really cover? What do you think about your Roomba? Do you like it? Love it? Hate it? Is it worth the money?

Please share your wisdom and experience. Thank you.

Roombas don’t replace full vacuum cleaners but they are excellent at doing day to day cleaning and they can go under a lot of furniture. It is amazing how much stuff they can pick up. That comes with a downside too though. They aren’t that big and their containers fill up easily especially in the beginning.

I would go for one of their mid to high end models for your needs. I got mine refurnished for 50% off and it was basically new. It died after years of faithful service but I am thinking about getting another one now.

I have never used one myself, but I have heard a horrendous/hilarious story of a Roomba user who liked to leave it to run around overnight. Which was fine, until one night when their dog had a little accident on the floor, which the Roomba happily spread around the entire room. Spraying furniture, skirting boards, and of course completely ruining the carpet. So, pro-tip - if you leave the Roomba unattended, maybe best not to do so in the same area occupied by pets!

We’ve had a few. They don’t last forever, and it can be difficult to find a service willing to fix them, so we went in thinking of them as consumable. Right now we actually have a Neato, on which we’ve been able to replace filters, brushes and batteries, the bits that usually wear out fastest. We mostly run it downstairs, on the hardwood and tile, it does a good job with (short) dog hair and my long hair, crumbs and other random detritus.

As mentioned, the most important thing is to empty the bin THOROUGHLY before or after you run it, EVERY time. The Neato has a vertical space under the dust bin, which can get clogged up. Obviously, it doesn’t work if it’s clogged. (Note: this was not obvious to my husband…)

The Neato has cameras to prevent it from bashing into things. Roombas do not, they have a bumper on the front. Once our old Roomba brand vac got stuck in the half bath and bounced off the walls, round and round, until the battery died. There was quite a noticeable black ring of wear on the skirting boards from all the bouncing.

araminty good to know. I will check out the Neato. Thank you for the recommendation!

shagnasty I would have to go for the biggest bin possible, I think, and maybe run it twice a day to keep up.

Dead Cat :eek:

Lots of people refer to changes in technology Paradigm shifts, but the Roomba is the only one that I have ever found to meet the definition.

Vacuuming was once seen as the Homemakers job, a role traditionally filled by the lady of the house. But the Roomba has changed this to a mechanical job, like maintaining the car or other mechanical systems. I am no longer vacuuming, I am servicing the robot, thank you very much.

Seriously though, as stated earlier, they do a great job of ‘floor dusting’… corners are notoriously difficult, and they need to be emptied very frequently. But, they can also be run frequently, without you having to do much more than start it (if you don’t have a model with a scheduler built in), and rescue it when it becomes trapped. They are really good a keeping stuff from accumulating under the couch / bed. But it is no replacement for a good, focused multi-tool vacuuming.

As far as maintaining the Roomba itself, they are well designed, and most functions are ‘compartmentalized’ and can be replaced by someone with medium level mechanical ability. The only thing I have not been able to fix on my Roomba is one of the main Drive wheel assemblies - if that breaks, the whole assembly needs to be replaced (I had one that did not turn well, and figured there was something wrapped around the axle and jamming it. There was no way I could find the remove the wheel to clean it out.) But Brushes / Batteries / Filters - easily replaced with parts found conveniently online. Heck, you can even get After Market Vacuum units to swap in if you find it not up to your needs.

We have a 2700 sq ft 2 story that’s mostly hardwood and tile, a small short haired dog, a standard sized short haired cat, and an above average toddler.

We bought a Eufy Robovac last year to keep things from going completely to hell between visits from the cleaning lady. I don’t remember the model, but it was about $175, so it’s not the fanciest.

It gets the job done. We’ll run it once a week or so on each floor and it picks up a ton of hair and crud. We also picked up a refurb Dyson battery powered stick vac to handle the stairs, furniture, and occasional cereal spill.

I clean/replace the filter every couple of months, and I cut a wad of my wife’s hair from the beater bar at the same time. Given the small size of the dust cup and the fact that it runs mostly unattended, it’s important to keep it reasonably tuned up.

Every run requires that we pre-clear anything that it could inadvertently eat (kids toys and socks) or get stuck on (dangling phone chargers.)

It’s a time saver but not a life changer. Personally I plan on buying a new one every 2-3 years and never spending more than $200.

Oh, yeah. This is vital: clean up obstructions before running it. I actually think it’s a feature, not a bug, because then your house isn’t just less dusty, it’s also slightly tidier, or at least has less stuff on the floor.

That would never work for me. I have crap on the floor everywhere. The book I am reading, the package I am wrapping. A pattern I am cutting out. I am a floor crawler with projects. The grandkids come, we are on the floor playing. Just how I roll. I also wonder what the cats would say about this round black animal running around? I thought I might want one, but I have just changed my mind. The point would be LESS housework. If I have to clean up beforehand it defeats the purpose. Kinda like washing the dishes before loading them in the dishwasher.

It isn’t quite like that. The more sophisticated versions just ignore debris pile. However, loose string is a complete no-go. You will lose the string and have to fix the Roomba afterwards.

Fom what I’ve seen cats love the things…I knew someone with a cat that had the normal cat reaction the the vacumn get one and once the cat figured out it wasn’t going to get eaten it loved chasing it around and would ride on it …

I have a Neato which replaced a Roomba. The Neato is ten thousand times better than the Roomba.

My Roomba would always get stuck. Even setting up the lighthouses, moving furniture around, and making various other annoying home modifications, not once did the Roomba go for more than 15 minutes at a time without me having to manually get it unstuck.

The Neato uses a laser mapping system. It’s virtually perfect–despite my somewhat irregular floorplan, it covers the entire area efficiently and returns to its base to charge (and I can verify this on the maps it uploads to my phone). Maybe 1 in 20 times it somehow wedges itself somewhere and I have to move it, but I can put up with that. It also does a much better job than the Roomba did, since it actually vacuums in rows like a person instead of bounding randomly off the walls.

Like all robo vacs, it does have somewhat limited suction power and a small dust bin, but it’s so reliable that I have no problem running it several times a week. Does fine with cat hair (usually the dominant component in the dust bin).

As soon as the house is relatively orderly after the move I’m going to get one. If this works out, I will giggle like a child. My floor ends up looking like it has snowed fur in between cleanings.

Which models do you all have?

We have a Deebot, and my wife likes it, but I find it unacceptably annoying that it can’t run for more than ten minutes AT MOST without getting stuck somewhere. Usually where an area rug goes underneath a couch - it’s just a little too tall for that space, so tries to go in but gets stuck. Any time we run it, we have to constantly retrieve it about once every five minutes.

Hey, that’s not debris, that’s my stuff. :slight_smile:
I would kill the thing inside a week if string stops it. I am hard on any electronic device, anyway. I have broken many vacs. Stuff just doesn’t work in my world. I think I am allergic to things. Oh, well another dream down the tubes.
Sunny, sounds like you would get good use from one.

I used to have a Roomba, but no more, since I got tired of buying new batteries for it every 6 months or so.

Keep an eye on your pets when you first get one. I had a dog that considered the Roomba The Enemy and would try to bite it. I ended up sequestering the Roomba in the room I wanted to vac, using baby gates to keep it in and the dog out.

I had a look on Amazon and ours is older than I thought, we ordered it in Feb 2015. It’s the Neato XV Signature Pro Pet & Allergy Robot Vacuum Cleaner, apparently, and doesn’t seem to be available any more. It’s not wifi enabled, and we never took the trouble to set a schedule, so to turn it on, you have to go over and push the button. I don’t mind, though, because I’m emptying the bin anyway!

My first one was a cheapo one, and my Golden Retriever killed it with her hair. My second one, a 300 series one specially for pets, had outlasted the dog.
It is quite modular, and when something breaks it is pretty easy to get a part and do it yourself. It is important to disassemble it every so often and clean the parts you can’t get to. I have bought one new battery in six years or so, so I’m pretty happy about that.
We do a room or couple of rooms or the hall at a time. We pick up cords and stuff, and use the lighthouses to keep it from getting behind the TV.
It does not get into corners, or the cobwebs on the ceiling, so you still need to vacuum them, but all in all well worth it.

My Roomba is an older model, about 6 years old or so. For the record, my cats are highly suspicious of it. It is great for getting under furniture and beds, but does not have the suction of an upright (at least my Roomba doesn’t, maybe the newer models do.) It does do a pretty good job though. I use it for supplemental floor cleaning when I can’t get around to sweeping and vacuuming in a timely manner.

Not sure about fur, as we don’t use ours a lot, but it does a good job on pretty much every type of floor surface.