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Are Roombas Worth It In 2022? 17 Advantages & Disadvantages

Are Roombas Worth It

I’ve been looking into good anniversary gifts for my parents lately.

My friends have suggested a lot of possible presents.

But the one that stood out?

Roomba.

Why?

Because it gives my parents one less thing to worry about.

Question is…

Is it the right choice for you as well?

Keep reading to discover:

  • Which Roomba model is best for you.
  • What features do you get with a Roomba.
  • How Roomba fares against their competition in price.
  • 8 reasons why and 9 reasons why not to buy a Roomba.
  • And so much more…

Are Roombas worth it?

Roombas are worth it. With one, you’ll get smart features like mapping, voice control, and scheduled cleaning. It also comes equipped with cliff and edge sensors and self-emptying docks. But it’s also not pet-friendly, noisy, and can’t stand hot environments. Roomba also tends to get stuck.


8 Roomba advantages


#1: Scheduled cleaning

Look, most of us here are adults.

We have errands to complete, bills to pay, and work that needs doing.

Naturally, we can’t always attend to household chores.

Man, growing up sucks sometimes.

But our lack of time doesn’t always mean a messy home.

And that’s thanks to Roomba.

Do you know that you can configure your Roomba to clean your home unattended?

That’s right.

You can even forget about setting it up over and over again. Your Roomba will always clean your home on schedule by itself if you’ve set it up once.

Fortunately, setting up a schedule for your Roomba is no hassle at all.

All you have to do is:

With Wi-Fi

  1. Connect your smartphone and Roomba to the same Wi-Fi network.
  2. Download and open the iRobot HOME app. (Available on iOS and Android.)
  3. Select your Roomba device on the menu.
  4. Go to Schedule.
  5. Select which day and time you want your Roomba to clean.
  6. Press OK to confirm.

It’s that easy.

Now, what if you don’t have Wi-Fi?

Without Wi-Fi

Setting up a cleaning schedule without Wi-Fi depends on your Roomba model.

Here’s how you can do it on 4 of their most popular models:

500 and 600 Series
  1. Press the Clean button.
  2. Hold the Schedule button.
  3. Use the Day, Hour, and Minute button to set a schedule.
  4. Let go of the Schedule button.
700 and 800 Series
  1. Press the Clean button.
  2. Press the Schedule button.
  3. Use the Day, Hour, and Minute button to set a schedule.
  4. Select OK to confirm the schedule.

Are you a visual learner? 

In that case, you can watch this video to understand how to use smart scheduling fully:

#2: Smart mapping

Do you want to hear something cool?

Do you know that Roombas are so advanced that you can even teach them the layout of your home?

This is achievable through an iRobot feature called smart mapping.

Okay, I know you’re curious:

“Why would I want to let my vacuum know my house?”

Typically, a Roomba navigates your home through its sensors. (We’ll talk about that later.)

But, with smart mapping, it can also use the layout of your home as instructions on where to go.

Excellent application of technology, if you ask me.

Now, let me teach you how you can enable this feature:

  1. Locate and select the Map button on your Home screen.
  2. Press the + logo on the upper right corner of your app.
  3. Select Create New Map.

#3: Can clean tight spaces

Look under your couch.

Are there years worth of collected trash and dust under there?

Don’t worry. I won’t judge.

Before I got a Roomba, I once had gunk in the hard-to-reach spaces in my house too.

Thankfully, someone told me to stop making things hard for myself…

And just buy a Roomba.

Now every space in my home is pristine.

Even the spots that don’t see the sunlight.

#4: More free time

Roomba can also give you the most valuable resource on Earth:

Time.

Without having to vacuum your home for an hour…

You’ll have more free time to pursue your hobbies.

So press the CLEAN button on your Roomba…

And catch a movie. Or get together with friends. Or go to dinner with your special someone.

The time is yours.

#5: It can function as a mop

Are you clumsy like me?

I feel like I spill liquids more often than other people on any given day.

But I’ve stopped cleaning up the mess.

My Roomba can do it for me.

Now, all I do is press the Mop option on my iRobot HOME app.

And my floor’s good as new.

#6: Obstacle detection

Sometimes, I like to follow my Roomba around.

Why?

It’s pretty cool to watch a vacuum navigate my home by itself.

Seeing it steer clear of obstacles…

That’s thanks to cutting-edge technology. With it, your Roomba can avoid walls and cliffs.

Thereby also avoiding repair costs from damage.

#7: Clean Base

The part I hate most about vacuuming is the emptying of bags.

Not only is it tiresome, but this part also triggers my allergies due to dust.

Luckily, you can skip this step altogether with a Roomba.

Although, you’ll have to spend a little bit more cash.

But it’s worth it. I swear.

Clean Base is Roomba’s self-emptying dock.

You can program your Roomba to empty its bag after cleaning when you have one automatically.

#8: Compatible with smart home devices

People always like to point out that I’m bossy.

I don’t blame them. It’s true.

So it’s no wonder that I really liked this 1 feature of Roomba:

Voice control.

And I promise you. You’ll like it as well.

I know you might be asking:

“How does voice control work? Do I just shout anything, and my Roomba will do it?”

Well, yes and no. Allow me to elaborate…

First, here’s a complete list of commands that your Roomba can do:

  • Check status.
  • Start mopping.
  • Locate Roomba.
  • Return to Home Base.
  • Start and stop vacuuming.
  • Pause and resume vacuuming.
  • Clean by room, zone, object, or favorites.

Great, right? But, hold your horses before yelling at your Roomba.

You have to pair it with either Alexa or Google Home first.

Google Home

  1. Open the iRobot HOME app.
  2. Go to Smart Home.
  3. Select Connected Accounts & Devices.
  4. Press Google Assistant.
  5. Complete the setup.

Note: This won’t work if your Roomba, app, or smartphone isn’t updated.  

Amazon Alexa

  1. Open the iRobot HOME app.
  2. Go to Smart Home.
  3. Select Connected Accounts & Devices.
  4. Press Alexa.
  5. Complete the setup. Your Alexa app should open.
  6. Select Link to confirm.

Pro tip: Name your Roomba. This will make it more fun to start yelling commands because you’ll need to call its name first.


9 Roomba disadvantages


#1: Battery dependent

Battery Dependent

According to iRobot, a Roomba should last up to 2 hours when fully charged.

But, that’s often not the case.

Some users report that their Roombas die after half an hour of use.

However, that’s not necessarily iRobot’s fault.

iRobot released a list of battery tips to prevent that scenario from happening. These tips are:

  • Use the Roomba frequently.
  • Clean your vacuum regularly.
  • Recharge immediately after use.
  • Charge in a cold, dry environment.
  • Always keep the device plugged in.
  • Don’t use unapproved batteries by iRobot.
  • Charge your Roomba at least once every 6 months.

#2: Susceptible to heat

iRobot powers Roomba using Lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries.

In fact, Li-ion probably powers most of your devices, like:

  • Tablets.
  • AirPods.
  • Laptops.
  • Smartphones.

And for good reasons.

Li-ion batteries are known to have/be:

  • Lightweight.
  • Rechargeable.
  • Non-hazardous.
  • Longer shelf-life.
  • Maintenance-free.

But on the other hand, Li-ion batteries erode under high temperatures.

Why?

Li-ion batteries self-discharge under heat. And at a fast rate too. 

For every 10°C increase, the rate of discharge doubles.

So if you live in a tropical country during the summer…

You should use the Roomba minimally and store it in a cool place.

#3: It can get stuck

Do you ever wonder how your Roomba avoids walls?

It’s because of sensors.

See, your Roomba has 2 primary sensors: bump and cliff sensors. (More on cliff sensors later.)

But, the technology isn’t perfect.

The most common complaint I see of Roomba is its tendency to get stuck.

Furthermore, when your Roomba’s battery dies, it won’t return to Home Base.

Instead, it’ll just stop wherever it’s at currently.

So, if you’re going to buy a Roomba, ready yourself for the many times you’ll have to carry it.

#4: Prone to falling

Speaking of cliff sensors…

Do you know that your Roomba can fall as well?

Let me explain…

Cliff sensors are hardware on your Roomba devices that detect edges so they won’t fall.

But, like all hardware, it tends to malfunction.

And, when it does, prepare to hear a loud thud after your robot splits into several little pieces.

Pro tip: Buy a virtual wall barrier with your Roomba.

This can prevent your vacuum from going into places it shouldn’t be.

You may also be interested in: Will Roomba Fall Down Stairs?

#5: Noise

Anyone who owns a vacuum knows how noisy it can be.

Imagine that noise for a longer period.

That’s what owning a Roomba sounds like.

To prove this, a Roomba user measured how loud his device was in decibels.

And the result?

64 dB while cleaning and 85 dB while on the self-emptying docks.

How loud is that?

Let’s put it this way:

  1. Breathing: 10 dB.
  2. Whisper: 30 dB.
  3. Normal conversation: 60 dB.
  4. Heavy traffic inside a car: 80 dB.

It’s that loud.

In fact, CDC themselves classifies any noise around 70 dB as “damaging to your hearing.”

#6: Home needs to be vacuum-proofed

Owning a Roomba doesn’t mean you can just press a button and let it loose.

You also need to vacuum-proof your home.

See, the thing is:

A Roomba isn’t at the same level as human eyes yet.

For example, when you see a lego, you think of a toy.

But when a Roomba sees a lego brick, sometimes it sees trash.

These little mistakes can make your Roomba suck everyday objects. 

And, if the object is solid, it can break your Roomba.

So, what can you do?

For starters, vacuum-proof your home by picking up big objects littered on your floor.

#7: Your Roomba can get lost

Okay, this one’s weird, but bear with me.

Apparently, a user once left his door open accidentally while his Roomba was on.

He didn’t notice this for the first few days, but after a while, he wondered:

Where the hell is his Roomba?

And he’s not alone.

Roomba users who live in an apartment or condominiums have lost their devices the same way.

So, when using your Roomba, always make sure that your door is locked.

Note: Enable the smart mapping feature to avoid this from happening to you.

#8: Not pet-friendly

Now, for the least fun part of being both a Roomba and a pet owner.

They don’t mix.

Why?

Instead of explaining, allow me to tell you a story.

A friend of mine owns an adorable little Maltese named Loki.

Loki’s a well-behaved dog, but he’s yet to be potty-trained properly.

And sometimes, my friend wakes up to a dump in the middle of his living room.

But that’s okay. He expects this from a dog.

His new Roomba, on the other hand, doesn’t.

One day, he wakes up to what can only be described as an oil painting of feces on his floor.

I’m sure you can guess what happened there.

Pretty gnarly, right? But don’t fret.

You have POOP.

No, not that one. POOP stands for iRobot’s Pet Owner Official Promise.

With POOP, iRobot offers a replacement when you send them proof of a “pooptastrophe.”

Note: Unfortunately, this promise only covers Roomba users from the USA or Canada.

#9: Cost

It’s time for the reason why Roombas aren’t more popular:

They’re expensive.

Really, really expensive.

But, don’t believe me when I tell you…

Instead, let me show you.

Here’s a list of the best-selling Roombas compared to its competitors:


Which Roomba is best for me?


The Roomba that’s best for you depends on your priorities.

Allow me to expand on this with this table of my Roomba recommendations and some of its features:

Roomba i3 Evo

You can buy this model for $349.99.

Navigation

  • Cliff sensors.
  • Clean by schedule and preference.

Cleaning

  • 10x suction power.
  • High-efficiency filter.

Smart features

  • Voice Control.
  • Cleaning Routine.
  • Seasonal Cleaning.
  • Scheduled Cleaning.

Roomba j7

This model is available on the market for $449.99.

Navigation

  • Cliff sensors.
  • Object remembrance.
  • ‘Clean and Keep Out’ zones. 
  • Clean by schedule and preference. 

Cleaning

  • 10x suction power.
  • High-efficiency filter.

Smart features

  • Voice Control.
  • Cleaning Routine.
  • Seasonal Cleaning.
  • Scheduled Cleaning.

Roomba s9+

Lastly, you can snag this 1 for $899.99.

Navigation

  • Cliff sensors.
  • Careful Drive.
  • ‘Clean and Keep Out’ zones. 
  • Clean by schedule and preference. 

Cleaning

  • 40x suction power.
  • High-efficiency filter.
  • Deeper carpet clean.

Smart features

  • Voice Control.
  • Cleaning Routine.
  • Seasonal Cleaning.
  • Scheduled Cleaning.

Now, I know some of those words can be confusing.

So here’s a short explanation of them:

  • Seasonal cleaning: Cleans harder during allergy season.
  • Careful Drive: Uses 3D technology to avoid objects taller than 2.5 cm.
  • Clean and Keep Out zones: Creates virtual barriers in some places of your home.
  • Object remembrance: Avoids objects, then remember where it is for the next cleaning.

Other Roomba devices I also recommend:

Pro tip: Are you still confused about what Roomba to buy? Use their comparison chart to get a clearer picture before buying their device.