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The Complete iRobot Roomba Review: Is it the Vacuum for You?

I’m not afraid to admit it; I’ve fallen in love with Rosie. She’s small, she’s pretty, and she’s oh-so -helpful. She loves to hang out with me at home, isn’t demanding of my time, and doesn’t judge me when I spend countless hours in front of Netflix. She can be a little loud, but no one’s perfect, right? Rosie’s our little Roomba and I couldn’t imagine life without her.

The Complete iRobot Roomba Review

I’m not joking; I really do love the Roomba iRobot980 (that we’ve named Rosie after the maid in The Jetsons). Robot vacuum cleaners have been around for a while, but until recently I had no idea what I was missing out on. The freedom of clearing the floor of cat toys and other obstacles, pressing a button on the Roomba, and going about my morning reading emails or making breakfast while the floor gets cleaned is actually really amazing.

Our house is so much cleaner, because vacuuming is no longer something I put off until the rugs have adopted the fur coat of our cats and there are dust-bunnies chasing me down the hallway. The floors barely even look like they need a vacuum anymore as long as I let Rosie do her thing a couple times a week.

We’ve had Rosie for about a month now, and I still just stand back and marvel at the ease of it all. Let me tell you why she’s so good.

irobot rumba review robot vaccum cleaner review on the life creative


Roomba features

The Roomba 980 is WiFi enabled and has a companion app which is used to set a cleaning schedule, start and stop jobs, check the battery charge and monitor for service issues. It also links you in to purchase any replacement parts or contact support if something does go wrong (it hasn’t for us). It’s a very useful little program that matches the smarts of the robot itself.

The people who invented and programmed this thing are magicians; they’ve figured out how to stick a camera inside a little black disk and teach it to navigate around furniture, turn corners and go back to where it started and tell you when something is wrong.

The Roomba handles most surfaces with ease. Our house is a mix of floorboards, carpet, tiles and rugs and all end up clean. The only problem Rosie has is with an ugly little shagpile rug under my desk (don’t judge me). Other than that, she moves around easily, adjusting suction (and noise levels) between hard and soft surfaces.

You can also use the Roomba for spot cleaning if you want, it will move back and forth over any messy areas it finds until the surface is pretty. It manages stairs well. By that I mean, Rosie senses when she’s at the edge and reverses to safety. You’ll need to carry it up and down between floors and I’d recommend you move the home base with it (it clicks into a home base charger that plugs into the power point).

One thing I was a little sceptical about was how well it would clean along the edges of the rooms. You’ll notice there’s a little brush sticking out the side of the device. The Roomba is smart enough that once it has mapped the room it will run along the edges with the brush side, spinning and sucking debris up into the bin. It does as good a job as I would doing it with a manual vacuum.

More Info

You can find a full list of features for all the models here but our version, the 980, comes with:

    • Self-Charging – takes itself to sleep
    • Multi-Room Navigation – moves between rooms and then back home
    • Entire Level Cleaning – finds its way around everywhere
    • Recharge & Resume – docks for power if it needs to mid clean
    • Scheduling – for the routine driven among us
    • Tangle-Free Debris Extractors – hair shouldn’t cause any problems
    • iRobot HOME App – control it from your phone
    • 3-Stage Cleaning System – agitates, brushes and sucks everything up
    • AeroForce® 3-Stage Cleaning System – really powerful
    • AeroForce® High-Efficiency Filter – filters 99% of small particles
    • Carpet Boost – works harder on carpets


Are there any drawbacks?

As I’ve already mentioned, it’s a little noisy. Not as bad as pushing around a vacuum yourself, but it’s not something you put on while you watch a movie. It also does take a fair while to clean the house and if you have pets or haven’t vacuumed in a while, you might need to empty the dust bin more than once. That’s nothing new for us though, our bagless vacuum needed emptying at least once mid-clean.

Speaking of pets, ours hate it almost as much as they hate the manual vacuum. Yours might be different though, YouTube has plenty of videos of cats and dogs more curious about the little robot than afraid.

The Roomba is heavy. Heavier than it looks  – it needs to be to pack in all the technology and motorised power into such a competent cleaning machine. I’m not talking call in your burly neighbours to help you lift it heavy, but you’ll be surprised when you try to pick it up. Use the little handle and you’ll be fine.

The battery charge is lacklustre, but being a smart little robot, the Roomba takes itself back to its charging dock to power up if it needs some more juice to finish the job. So, no real problem there.

The iRobot Roomba Review Verdict

Honestly the only thing about the Roomba that really gives me pause is the price. The model we have retails for $1499 dollars, so it’s an investment worth some thought. But given I hate vacuuming, I love gadgets and it does what it claims really well, it is without a doubt value for money.

Did you find this iRobot Roomba Review useful? If you have any questions for me, list them below and I’ll do my best to answer them for you.

Click here to find out more on the Roomba website.


Chris Carroll

Outside of writing this blog, Chris is an interior designer, presenter and author. He’s also spent time on TV, on Channel 10’s Changing Rooms, as well presenting segments on Channel 7’s Sunrise and The Morning Show. If you’d like to book a design consult with Chris, you can find out more here

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I’m interior designer Chris Carroll, and at TLC Interiors we’re all about helping you create an amazing home without breaking the bank. It’s affordable designer style at its best, and we make the whole process easy and fun for clients & readers alike!

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