Is a Roomba worth it?
Should I get a Roomba?
If you have a small living space without pets and a vacuum you already use regularly, a robot vac may not be worth the investment. However, for many people with busy schedules or dust and pet hair that accumulates quickly, vacuuming is a necessary chore that gets put off too often. That's where Roomba, iRobot's popular robotic vacuum, comes in to save the day.
The Roomba works to eliminate the need to manually vacuum by learning your home’s layout and running on a programmed schedule. When compared to cleaning the floors yourself, Roomba can be a home life-saver.
Once you’ve decided a Roomba is worth that upfront big-ticket price tag, the question becomes: which one should you get?
What makes a Roomba worth it?
Whether the Roomba you choose is their newest model (s9) or a recent series (i3, 15 or 17), most Roomba models share similar features.
All current models can sense and avoid objects or stairs and clean multiple floor types, including carpet and hardwood, though the s9 handles carpets best.
With some exceptions, newer models have the capabilities to:
- Respond to your voice
- Avoid getting tangled
- Filter allergens
- Charge themselves
- Use powerful suction
- Make patterned movements
- Connect to an iRobot mop
- Empty their own bin
Create specific routines
While there are many kinds of robotic vacuums, iRobot’s Roomba has continued to dominate to the point that the brand name has become synonymous with its function.
Less expensive models are most likely part of an older series, but the naming system isn’t exactly intuitive if you haven’t been following Roomba’s many updates.
If you’re looking for a model made within the last few years, you’ll be looking at the Roomba e, i and s series. The “+” distinction simply indicates the product comes with a self-emptying bin, while the bin is sold separately for other models.
While most of the newer models have similar benefits, the s9 model has additional features that make it stand out.
More powerful suction
The Roomba s9 has four times the suction power of the i7 and i3, eight times the power of the Roomba e5 and 40 times the suction power of the Roomba 694.
Deep cleaning in tough areas
The Roomba s9 can deep-clean carpets unlike previous models and specializes in cleaning tough-to-reach corners and room edges.
How much do Roombas cost?
Cheap Roombas from an older series, such as the 675, can be found for less than $200 at select retailers. The 694 model is currently around $250.
The Roomba e5 costs between $250 and $300.
The Roomba i3 costs between $300-$450; refurbished ones cost less, running between $300-$350. The Roomba i7 runs between $450-$650. The higher-end models come with a self-emptying bin, which may be worth the upgrade.
The most expensive model, the Roomba s9+, costs just under $1,000.
The best Roombas for your living space in 2021
Best of the best Roomba
iRobot Roomba s9+: available at Amazon
Our take: With its unique D-shape giving it the capability to deep clean in corners and along edges, the Roomba s9+ beats out previous circular models.
What we like: Four times more powerful than cheaper and older models. Deep cleans carpeted areas with customizable cleaning and control. Connects to the Braava jet m6 robot mop, which is sometimes sold cheaper in a bundle.
What we dislike: Expensive model.
Best bang for your buck Roomba
iRobot Roomba i3+: available at Amazon
Our take: Bought with the self-emptying dock, this Roomba is just as powerful as the i7 series but less expensive.
What we like: Great price with or without the self-emptying dock. Plenty of refurbished options. Connects to the iRobot mop.
What we dislike: You can’t create “keep out” zones or see where it has already cleaned.
Honorable mention Roomba
iRobot Roomba i7+: available at Amazon
Our take: If you’re most interested in the voice control and customization features, the Roomba i7 series is a capable step up.
What we like: Except for deep cleaning, it has all the benefits of the Roomba s9+, including connecting to the iRobot mop.
What we dislike: Lacks in power compared to better models.
Ashley Clayton Kay is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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