Looking for Roomba replacement batteries, brushes, rollers, and filters and not sure what to buy? We've got the answers.
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|Guide Series: Roomba Help, Tips, & Tricks
We're big fans of Roomba floor cleaning robots here at LookInto.com and use them daily in our homes and office. They're a great way to keep floors clean and can be scheduled to do the dirty (or annoyingly loud) work of vacuuming during off times when you're not around. They're virtually flawless machines except that they require regular maintenance and replacement parts to function properly. If you're new to the Roomba world, be sure to read our Roomba Tips For A Cleaner Home first.
If you're buying from iRobot, who manufacturers Roombas, the price for replacement parts can be very high. But is it worth it to pay those high costs for OEM parts? What happens if you buy cheap (inexpensive) parts instead? That's what we're here to find out so we set out to test a variety of third party Roomba replacement parts to let you know what works and what doesn't.
But First, A Warning
iRobot strongly advises against the use of parts they didn't created. The reasons for this are pretty obvious. First up, they lose out on the sale of non-OEM parts and that doesn't work with their razors-and-blades business model. Second, if they didn't make the part there is the potential for quality control issues. Meaning, junky parts that could damage your Roomba.
With that said, using non-OEM parts may void your warranty so proceed with caution and at your own risk. Also, note that the items we list in this article are what we've found that work (or don't work) from our own, personal experiences (often over many months of testing). Your own experiences may differ.
While we're not claiming to have tested these items at a lab like level of quality and supervision, we have tried to be pretty scientific with our research and results. Our testing involves the use of two identical Roomba 880 units (see our Roomba 880 Review). One runs only on a carpet floor while the other runs only on a tile floor. This allows us to see if some part perform better on hard surfaces versus software surfaces.
Next up, any time we try a new part we run the Roomba on a schedule three times weekly for a few months (sometimes longer). In many cases we will then replace the part with a new one (same non-OEM manufacturer) and repeat the test to see if the results are the same.
We make notes and then add them here when we can make some sort of conclusive result and product recommendation. Now, on to the results!
Which Roomba Battery Is Best?
At some point, your Roomba will require a replacement battery. Just like every battery, they only have so many "charge cycles" and will eventually not hold a charge at all. If your Roomba keeps telling you it needs to be charge after running for just a few minutes, first try our Roomba Dead Battery Fix. If that doesn't work it's time for a replacement battery.
The battery is probably the most expensive replacement part you'll ever buy, but fortunately it should last for a couple of years or longer. A new Roomba battery from iRobot runs around $50 on Amazon which isn't too bad. We highly recommend using this original iRobot battery if you run your Roomba on carpet. Running on carpet produces more drag on the moving parts of the Roomba and we've had better luck with these in that situation.
Alternative: Powerextra 3.5Ah Ni-MH Battery for iRobot Roomba is around $25. We've purchased several of these over the years for several Roombas. The results are generally good but there are some important notes. First up, you must follow the "break in" directions which involves a full charge, running the Roomba down completely, and repeating that process a second time. Miss this step and it won't last long.
Of the many of these non-OEM batteries I have purchased only 1 has caused me issues. After 2 months of use, the run time on carpet is sometimes as low as 10 minutes before the Roomba heads to the charger. Others have lasted years so we suspect possibly getting a bad battery pack. Generally, we still recommend buying the Powerextra 3.5Ah Ni-MH Battery for iRobot Roomba if you're Roomba runs on hard flooring (wood, tile, etc) even if you have a few rugs in place.
Another option is to use a Lithium Ion Roomba Battery if you want longer run times, especially on carpeted floors that cause more drag on the moving parts and thus can reduce run times.
Which Roomba Roller / Brush Set Is Best?
I've tried many, many non-OEM rollers for my Roombas and absolutely none of them impress me. They generally work better on tile than on carpet but even on tile all that we have tried have failed eventually. The failure is always the same, the ends of the rubber roller (the part that spins against the floor) gets chewed up and they jam. On carpet, the same happens but you have the added frustration of the Roomba stopping dozens of times thinking there is a roller jam until they break in.
While the iRobot site sells an OEM roller set it comes with air filters and side brushes and costs around $50. Skip that high prices and buy the Authentic iRobot Parts - Roomba 800 & 900 Series Tangle-Free AeroForce Extractor Set from Amazon instead. This one is an actual iRobot OEM part but doesn't include the air filters and side brushes (saving $20) for an overall price around $30. Pricey, but they work flawlessly on carpet and tile.
Which Roomba Air Filter Is Best?
A pack of 3 iRobot air filters is around $25 if purchased from the manufacturer ($8 per filter). Considering you're supposed to replace these every month, that's expensive!
Instead, what we do is replace them every 2-3 months (or as needed) and use these Buti-Life 10 pcs HEPA Filter Replacement for iRobot Roomba which run around $20 ($2 per filter). We've had no trouble with these filters but chances are good almost all of the non-OEM filters on Amazon will work fine.
Which Roomba Side Brush Is Best?
A 3 pack of side brushes from iRobot runs around $15 ($5 per brush). That's not a terrible price but consider what these are, it feels a little steep. It's also odd that the same OEM brushed are slightly cheaper if purchased from Amazon.
Still, when I can purchase 8 of these 3-Armed Side Brushes for around $10 why wouldn't I? We've actually had good luck with many of the side brushes that you can find on Amazon but usually just use up the "bonus" side brushes included with battery packs and air filters.
So There You Have ItNow you know which non-OEM Roomba parts to buy and when to splurge for the good stuff. Next up, be sure to read our Roomba Tips For A Cleaner Home to get the most out of your Roomba.
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