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Talk to me about robot vacuums

It’s time for an Ask the Readers post, and this time, the question is from me!

robot vacuums

Lisey is really wanting us to get a robotic vacuum because she is tired of crumbs on our kitchen floor.

In fact, she decided that that would be her Christmas gift to the family as a group.

(I personally would probably not ever buy one of these, because a broom seems fine to me. The person assigned to sweeping just needs to actually do the sweeping more often. Ahem. But I’m fine with it if Lisey really wants us to have one.)

There are a million and one options out there, and she got pretty overwhelmed trying to figure out what would be the best one for us.

Pertinent info:

  • we mostly have hard surfaces (tile and wood), but also a little bit of carpet and a few rugs
  • we have steps going down from our main level, so it needs to know how to not tumble down the stairs
  • we don’t need the fanciest, highest-level option. Mainly, she wants it to sweep the hardwood floors

I know there have to be FG readers out there who own robotic vacuums, so, tell me the good, the bad, and the ugly!

What have you liked? What have you hated? What features do you wish you had?

And thank you in advance!

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Monday 11th of January 2021

I bought the iRobot at Costco - because of their return policy - after I saw one in action at my Mom's house. I am a single gal with no pets and Rosie works great for me. I have hardwood floors minus a few rugs. I love that she gets under the couch and I don't have to. I saw what you wrote about the broom - I am a frugal gal who loves her broom and I would rarely get out the vacuum and just sweep things up. The vacuum was such a hassle. Bur Rosie is so much better than a floor and my floors just feel cleaner under my feet.

Rosie is a dream. Do I have to prep the house? Yes, but except for lifting cords off the floor and moving the living room trash can, it's all normal pick up stuff anyway.

I also feel like there is something to be said for being able to wash clothes, wash dishes, and to vacuum all the while sitting in my living room knitting with a movie on. For me the price of the Roomba was worth not spending my time moving furniture to vacuum under it.

Jennifer Y.

Monday 4th of January 2021

Sorry for the late comment, but I am such a fan of our vacuums that I wanted to share. Very sweet of your daughter to gift the family with such an appliance.

We have a DeeBot that I would highly recommend. We have had it about 4 years. We have hardwood floors and carpets. It works great on both. It does not fall down steps. We used to run it everyday and it really did a great job of keeping the floors clean. It likes to eat cords, so it works best if everything is off the floor, even small mats. This is the first and only e-vacuum I have ever owned and feel it is worth the price. This is a set it and forget it type of tool.

We also have a Shark stick vacuum. We use this for the kitchen and messes. This is my preference for quick cleaning.


Monday 4th of January 2021

No need to apologize! I see all the comments that come through, even on really old posts; I check them on my blog dashboard.

Marge Hannapel

Friday 1st of January 2021

I owned an early version of a simple Roomba. I liked it because I could delegate sweeping a room to it while I did another chore. After a few years it had trouble holding a charge, so after my engineer husband nursed for a while, we got rid of it. About a year ago, I picked up an inexpensive robot vac from Aldi. It's great for our tiled areas, and decent with carpet, and even senses when it approaches a dropoff, like a stairway. Sadly, it did not come with electronic beam "gates", like the Roomba. The gate allows you to fence off areas that you don't want the vacuum to enter. I have to put up physical barriers, which is a hassle. Hope these tips help.


Tuesday 29th of December 2020

I'm late to the party, but I've owned a Roomba for several years. To help my "Baby" clean under the furniture, I've put some of rubber furniture cups under the shorter pieces. Yes, I really do have a stack of 3 rubber furniture cups under each dresser leg. Now my Roomba runs right under it without problem.

I also put my chairs up to help it run around easier. Anything to help it clean for me.

My Roomba is called, "Baby," because when it fails to make it back to the charging station I'll frequently call out "Baby, where are you?" Then when I find it I usually say, "Baby, did you fall asleep right here? Let me put you to bed." Ridiculous I know, but it really does remind me of an exhausted young child who simply goes to sleep where ever they are at the time.


Tuesday 29th of December 2020

We have a big house and I wasn't vacuuming as often as I should -- our Roomba allows me to keep the house pretty well vacuumed on a regular basis (we have limestone plus a little bit of carpet). It does not replace what I would ordinarily do (use a suction wand on a regular vacuum to go along the edges of all the rooms, vacuum stairs, etc.). I don't use all the bells and whistles, preferring to just turn it on when I'm home, do one room, empty it, then recharge for another day. I don't have the laser blocker thingies, so I just put something in front of the stairs so Roomba doesn't tumble down. I wouldn't say it's a replacement for a regular vacuum, but it's a fantastic supplement.

On a side note, it scares the heck out of the dog (she's afraid of most cleaning tools, as am I apparently) -- I'm afraid adding googly eyes to Roomba would just send the dog over the edge.

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