Friday, October 3, 2014

iRobot Roomba 870 Vacuum Cleaning Robot Review

Teddy & Harvey Checking Out Roomba

Watch Teddy Chase & Bark at Roomba

As a Bzz Agent I was really super excited to receive an offer for a 35% discount off the iRobot Roomba 870 Vacuum Cleaner. I ordered it online directly from the manufacturer at on Sunday and it arrived via UPS five days later on Friday. I also received an additional 3% cash back from Mr. Rebates. It came with two room dividers & their C batteries, two HEPA filters and it's charging station. I will also be receiving two more HEPA filters in three to five weeks for a thank you for registering my iRobot.

I had an older iRobot model about ten years ago that I used almost every day due to messy parrots and it lasted about two years. I really missed it and wanted another one! Since they are pricey and never went on sale as it did before, I didn't purchase another one until now. It comes with a limited one year warranty on the robot and six months on the battery. I'm very happy to see that they have made some wonderful improvements! This one is much quieter than my previous one. Now you can run it and still hear the TV! The previous one was just as loud as my regular vacuum and since it was so slow, sometimes I felt like just using my regular vacuum to get it over with. It looked like it was cleaning the room four times and while spotless, it took what felt like forever. This one appears to clean the room twice and take half the time. The virtual walls also called room dividers are better than the previous version also. They create a border for Roomba that is seven feet long which is a helpful improvement for sure!  I have an open concept house, so I need that line to be as long as possible. I managed to use just the two dividers to keep Roomba in my great room. I have four large openings to the great room and with the use of the furniture, one dog gate, and the two dividers, I managed to keep Roomba in the room. I'm glad I won't have to purchase another divider. It took about forty minutes to clean my great room which is nineteen feet by almost fifteen feet. I'm not sure how long it takes to charge Roomba, but it was ready to go after about an hour on the charger. This version allows you to program it to clean by the day and hour which is another wonderful improvement. This version can maneuver over cords & rug tassels while the last version I had could not. I prefer to move everything out of the way just be careful, but I did test it and it did not get tangled in the cord. I did forget one bully stick (dog chew toy) that was behind a chair and it got stuck behind the wheels as it was too large to go into the trash bin. I was very happy that it was easy to remove the rollers and pull it out. The 870 model is made for people with pets and has rollers that do not have brushes so the pet hair does not get stuck on them. Roomba's HEPA filter really does work unlike my Oreck vacuum who's filter does not work and is quite stinky. I had to run Roomba twice since it didn't have a full charge when it arrived. So it ran about one & a half times before the room was clean. On the days I wash the dogs, trim their hair and blow dry them like yesterday, I may need to use it twice. Their hair really sticks to my low pile IKEA area rug. Roomba did a better job than my Oreck at brushing the pile and making it stand back up and it did an excellent job on my hardwood floor. It has tons of positive reviews on Amazon, though some reviews said the trash bin was filling up too quickly and needed emptying prior to finishing the room. I did not have that issue, but I would recommend emptying it after each room.

As you can see in the above video Teddy was quite concerned about our new visitor. The video was taken the very first time I used it. Issy can be heard in the background barking also. Leo & Harvey were quietly watching every move Roomba made. By the third use, all the barking had ceased.  Harvey & Issy were around when I had the other version ten years ago. Though Issy doesn't have a good memory and tends to be afraid of new things. Harvey was unconcerned about Roomba's movements so much so that he was laying on the area rug and would simply move out of the way when Roomba got close to him.  Leo & Harvey didn't even watch Roomba after the second use while Issy & Teddy watched cautiously from the safety of the sofa. I'm very happy the barking stopped because Teddy tends to bark at everything and doesn't usually stop.

I highly recommend the Roomba if you can afford it. Its price tag is $599.99 but a lower model is on sale today at for $299.95. Normally I'm not someone who gets excited about a new vacuum, but this is a vacuum to get excited about! It's like having an assistant or a maid who quietly does their job and then leaves as quietly as they arrived.

Update October 2017 - it started acting up at 2 1/2 years of age. In the middle of the night, it would ask to be charged while it was on the charging station with a full charge. Then five months later, while picking it up the handle broke and now it refuses to charge and keeps asking to be charged. It lasted almost three years. This is my 2nd one and neither lasted past 3 years. I really wish they would make them last especially since they are SO expensive! Update July 2018 - I bought a new battery for $60 and I'm happy to report that Roomba is alive again. He's currently busy cleaning our dining room.

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Have a PEACEful Day!

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