Am I the only one still spending time with my vacuum?

As far as vacuums go, I like mine. It does a great job. But it is a cannister vac and I spend far more time with it each week than I would prefer.

I eyed the Roomba and Roomba-wannabes over the holiday season, but found myself a bit sticker-shocked and decided to keep spending quality time with my sweet little Miele, for now.

This week my router manufacturer sent me Big News that they’ve launched a robotic vacuum, and the launch price doesn’t scare me. Circumstances find me trying to save money rather than spend, but I’m tempted…

If you’re using a robotic vacuum, what do you like about yours, what do you wish was better, and what are the must-have features?

If you’ve not yet bought one, what’s holding you back?

I had a Roomba years ago. The battery only lasted a year and, at the time, a replacement battery cost more money than I wanted to spend if it were to only last another year. Maybe they’ve improved since then. It seemed to do okay as a vacuum, but didn’t have great capacity. It was nice for getting under the furniture and nice for terrorizing the cat. Now we pay a nice lady to come and clean every couple weeks. As a bonus, she’s a great baker and we end up with an endless supply of pies and other treats.

We’ve had a Roomba i7 for a couple of years. We like it a lot. When first installed, it ran all over the house making an amazingly accurate map which we then were able to divide up and give names to each room. It also works great with Alexa, so we can say, “Alexa, tell Roomba to vacuum the kitchen,” and off it goes. It will also vacuum the entire house if we want; if it’s battery runs down, it will go park to charge up and then go right back to where it left off. When it’s done it sends a cheery text message and parks itself on the charger.

I do have some recommendations:

  1. Get the self-cleaning base. It costs extra, but the vacuum picks up an amazing amount of dust and hair, and it would be nice to not have to empty the bin so often. Roomba names the vacuums with the self-emptying bins with a “+”. Thus, we wish we had purchased the Roomba i7+.
  2. Apparently there are two types of vacuuming action; one just does a kind of random roll-around, and the other does the map and then vacuums in rows and it knows where all the furniture and walls are. The one that vacuums in orderly rows from the map is definitely best.

We’ve had no problems of any kind in the time we’ve had it, the batteries are still strong and none of the other parts have worn out yet. (There is a little square filter that they want us to replace from time to time, but we learned to just vacuum the dust out of it with a little hand-held vacuum, so we haven’t had to purchase anything since we got it.)

When first installed, it ran all over the house making an amazingly accurate map which we then were able to divide up and give names to each room.

Ooooh. This sounds useful. The one I’m looking at has “high-efficiency zigzag path planning” but doesn’t mention mapping out individual rooms.

Get the self-cleaning base.
Also something the one I had in mind seems to lack.

I’m glad I asked. These are things I would not have thought of!

Also, the availability and time between times to replace the brushes (if the data is available) would be a consideration.

I had a Roomba too. My home has mostly hardwood floors and it did a decent job. My dog shed quit a bit and the wheels had to be cleaned of dog hair all the time. Frankly, I prefer my 40+ year old Hoover PortaPower. Hoover still makes this super powerful little jewel.

Wait, @jBen, I’ve never replaced vacuum brushes in my life. Is this something unique to robotic vacuums, or have I been neglecting regular maintenance on my traditional vacuums?

And @BillG, interesting point about the dog hair. That would definitely be a problem here.

Looks like Roomba even states a couple of time a year, our older el cheapo brand called for every 3 months. It seems that with the lower suction, a lot depends on the side sweeping brushes to bring in the dirt for the roller brush and vacuum to pick up, and they wear out faster.

I think the brush they are talking about replacing is the little three-prong spinner brush that sticks out one side to pick up dust along the edge of the wall. It’s quite inexpensive and they do provide a couple of extras in the box, but in our case we’re still on the original brush that came with the Roomba. There are also two larger rubber roller brushes that are replaceable, but those don’t seem to wear much.

Shark IQ vs. Roomba S9+ vs. Roomba i7+ article from Modern Castle