Home: a Review of the iRobot Roomba Robot Vacuum Cleaner

The iRobot Roomba is the most effective vacuum cleaner I've ever had, and I don't even need to do the cleaning!

My kids have been on at me for months now about getting a dog. They will walk it; they will pick up its poo; they will feed it; and they will get up in the night when it cries/vomits/poos/needs a wee.

Yeah, right.

I have just about managed to come through the fog and exhaustion of early parenthood. Why would I want to go back to the chaos of broken nights, and cleaning up of bodily fluids? With the added bonus of no big holidays, and no spontaneous weekends away, because what would we do with the dog? No. There really is no point in a dog.

Besides, I’ve got something so much better!

Why the Roomba vacuum cleaner makes me happy

We recently took delivery of an iRobot Roomba. It may sound like an automated dance partner (which I admit would be pretty cool) but it is, in fact, a vacuuming robot. Yes, I know, I thought it sounded too futuristic to be true as well, but true it is. And why would a cleaner be better than a dog? Just watch this, and you’ll see:

Told you. Just as cute as any dog, but way, way better. Here’s how:

What I love about the iRobot Roomba

  1. It’s seriously clever. Whenever the Roomba goes out on a cleaning mission it maps the terrain and stores a record of where’s it’s been, so that it can do the job more efficiently the next time. I can’t tell you how much that appeals to my sense of perfectionism. In a house full of absent-minded and disorganised individuals, I feel like the Roomba is my ally in keeping a lid on the chaos.
  2. It looks very sleek. I ‘m not one for clutter, and if I don’t use a gadget often enough, it gets firmly stowed in a cupboard. I did worry that the Roomba might take up too much space/get on my nerves/under my feet. But it doesn’t at all. Whenever it’s not out in the field it sits in a corner looking understatedly cool and classy.
  3. It can handle complex instructions. Ok, so a well-trained dog can perform serious tricks, if you put the training in. But a quick tour of the app settings will pre-programme the Roomba to go out and clean at a set time every day, at different times It will then happily get on with the job. You can even leave the house, and it will still perform its set tasks, without ever needing a chocolate button or a pat of reassurance.
  4. It’s very responsive. When the Roomba has a problem (a full bin, or a blockage) it will return home to its docking station and send you an alert. If you’re home, you’ll hear it play an inoffensive tune for attention; if you’re out, you’ll get a notification on your phone. Then it will wait patiently (without barking to annoy the neighbours) for you to come and sort it out. After which it will wag its tail and resume the task. And if you need to know where it is in your house, you can use your phone app to search for it, and Roomba will play a tune until you arrive.
  5. It’s seriously powerful! I was concerned that Roomba might be lacking on the suction front. Not so. The first time I got an alert that something was wrong, I came in to find the Roomba in its docking station flashing the bin symbol. When I unclipped the bin, I found the problem – the Roomba had vacuumed up a stray crisp packet kicked under the sofa by the kids. Interestingly, they’ve become much more diligent about picking up their LEGO since then!
  6. It can cope with spontaneity. Let’s say I’ve set the Roomba to clean the floors twice a week, at 6pm. But then I get a call while I’m at work letting me know that my mother in law is in town and is calling in for tea. I can simply call up my iRobot app, and send my trusty helper an alert to head out and do some cleaning right away. I told you. Man’s best friend.
  7. It’s helpful with allergies. As well as cleaning up in corners and under sofas, the Roomba traps microscopic particles of dust on its travels, helping to create a purer atmosphere for asthma sufferers.

Oh, and you can call it whatever you want: Fido, Techfriend, G&T Slave – whatever makes you happy!

App screenshots iRobot Roomba

You can find out more about the Roomba on the iRobot website. We were sent the Roomba 980 – which retails at £899.99 – for the purposes of review. Now, I’m lucky. I’ve been sent the Roomba free of charge, and it is expensive. But would I buy it, if I could afford it? Absolutely. We have good quality vacuum cleaners, but nothing I’ve ever used before could stand up to the cleaning the Roomba 980 has done since it joined us. And I don’t recommend products I’m reviewing lightly – I’ll generally give you my opinion and tell you the facts, but in this case I’m willing to put my blog on the line; if you can afford it, get it.

All opinion and imagery is my own. You can find out more about how I work with brands here.

Can a robot really do a good job of the cleaning? Click through for our review of the iRobot Roomba

19 thoughts on “Home: a Review of the iRobot Roomba Robot Vacuum Cleaner”

  1. this vacuum haa been my wish list for ages. With a super furry cat, a baby and carpets all over the house, I hoover twice a day. It is a waste of half an hour a day x

  2. It really is clever in the way that it cleans your house and while I would love a dog the roomba vacuum would definitely be a great substitute!

  3. What a clever little contraption! I love anything that’s going to save time doing chores so this would be amazing. It’s great that you can programme it to clean at a certain time every day too.

    • Well that did worry me too, but it seemed fine picking up all their rubbish 😀 Just toddled off back to base and sent me a memo to say it needed attention!


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