Roomba Vacuum Cleaner Review

Review of the Roomba Vacuum

Carpet manufacturers actually recommend vacuuming your carpet every day. Yes, every day.

It would be ideal for the life of your carpet, but who has the time to vacuum every single day? Unless you have a live-in maid, your carpet is probably being vacuumed weekly at most. With technology, however, you might be able to vacuum your carpet every day without much effort.

Back in 2002, a company called iRobot introduced the Roomba vacuum cleaner. It was a robotic vacuum that was designed to take all of the effort out of vacuuming. People who despise vacuuming all over the world were hopeful, but most were disappointed. The Roomba was very expensive, and it wasn’t very smart. It was a cute novelty item, and you can probably get an original Roomba at a garage sale for about $20.

Roomba Red

Several years later, the iRobot company has five new and improved Roomba models. The entry level model is the Roomba Red Vacuum Cleaner. It retails for about $150 and can be found for less online. The Roomba Red takes the longest to charge between cleanings (about 7 hours). It doesn’t use a “MAX cleaning mode,” which means cleaning a room until it’s completely out of battery charge. It also doesn’t come with a “home base.” If you are skeptical about the whole robot cleaning concept, you can start out with the Roomba Red and purchase upgrades separately, but for just a little more, you can get an upgraded model that will clean in the “MAX mode” and have shorter charge periods.

Roomba Sage

The Roomba Sage is about $200 and can be found for less online. It cleans in “MAX mode,” has the shorter charge period, and has the ability to be mounted to a wall. For the extra features, it is really a better buy.

Roomba Discovery

Roomba vacuum cleaners from iRobot also include three more models in its Discovery series. These models offer the same basic features as the Roomba Red and the Roomba Sage, but they are loaded with extra features to make your robotic vacuum even more convenient.

All three models come with a “home base.” This plugs into an outlet and is where the unit charges. When the Roomba vacuum cleaner is done cleaning or the battery is running low, it automatically comes to its base to charge. All three units also come with a remote control. This will let you bail out the Roomba vacuum cleaner if it gets stuck. It’s also convenient for changing the cleaning cycle or concentrating on one area. All three also include 2 “virtual walls.” Virtual walls are battery operated sensors that keep the Roomba confined to an area that you choose. The Roomba vacuum cleaners won’t travel beyond the virtual walls. The Roomba Discovery has a wall mount and the Roomba Discovery SE has a charging wall mount.

Roomba Scheduler

The Roomba Scheduler is the latest Roomba model, and it can be programmed for up to seven different cleaning sessions. You can have it clean once every day automatically. It comes with scheduler virtual walls that only turn on at the time you have them programmed to appear. The Roomba Scheduler also comes with two replacement brushes. Its retail price is $330.00.

Vacuum Cleaner Performance

Even if you use a Roomba vacuum cleaner every day, you’re still going to have to do some maintenance vacuuming with an upright or canister, especially if you use attachments for corners or baseboards. That said, most customer reviews rave about their little cleaning robots. The newer models are quite different from the original Roombas. If you’re considering the convenience of a robotic vacuum cleaner, you should be aware of the benefits and disadvantages.


  • You don’t have to work as hard!
  • The newer models are much better at following the wall and getting close to baseboards.
  • They are programmed to detect cliffs like stairs and avoid falling.
  • Roomba vacuum cleaners now have dirt detect. If they notice they are picking up larger amounts of dirt, they concentrate on that area.
  • They can go from bare floors to rugs or carpets.
  • Roomba suction is much better than you would expect. In tests, it did pick up small particles from both carpet and bare floors.
  • Roomba vacuum cleaner sensors work just as well as ultrasound technology sensors in models that cost several times the price.


  • Roomba vacuums still have problems getting stuck occasionally.
  • The bare floor to carpet transitioning can cause the Roomba to get stuck if the barrier is too high.
  • The wall-following technology doesn’t get corners of the room very well, and also misses areas around door jambs.
  • Roomba vacuum cleaners can shut doors and lock themselves in rooms.
  • Many different components (home base, virtual walls, remote) mean more potential electronic problems, additional batteries required.
  • Some technical savvy is required, especially for scheduling automatic cleanings.
  • You have to check the unit periodically for problems like hair wound in the wheel or brush jams that you might not be aware of if you schedule automatic cleanings.
  • The cleaning patterns appear to be random so some areas are cleaned up to five times and others cleaned only once.
  • The collection container is small and must be emptied often.
  • Technology advances so quickly that your unit might be obsolete in a few years.
  • There is only a one year warranty on Roomba vacuums after which repairs can be expensive and local repair shops difficult to find.

Roomba vacuum cleaners are a great idea, and if you like the idea of having clean floors between vacuuming sessions, you will probably love your Roomba. iRobot has also just launched the Scooba for washing bare floors, and there are several Roomba and Scooba combination deals online.