Roomba 880 Review

Roomba 880 Review
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Does a Roomba meaning the end to manual vacuuming?

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One of my favorite things about life in Hawaii is the excellent weather and gentle breezes we have almost every day. The down side to those breezes is that, depending on your location, you can end up with dust that blows into your home and onto your floors.

It's not a huge problem, and those in dry climates like Arizona have a worse dust problem, and it's fairly easily to deal with if you vacuum often. But who likes to vacuum? Not me so I decided to let our robot overlords handle the job from now on.

I originally bought an iRobot Roomba 700 Series model and it worked great. Days later they announced the 800 Series so I called iRobot up and swapped my 700 for an 800 Series (880 model to be exact) since I was within the 30 day trial period. The iRobot service people made this very easy and even paid to ship the old models back!

My new 800 models arrived fast and work great. The 700 model was great and I would have been happy with it but considering I could get a brand new and (in theory) better model for the same money it just made sense to do this.

The 800 model adds the "revolutionary AeroForce™ Performance Cleaning System" if you want the marketing hype. Supposedly this removes 50% more dirt, dust, hair, and debris from all floor types. I don't know about that but it does work very well. Not sure if I can say it worked better than the 700 model in terms of cleaning as both do a great job.

I can say that the 800 has a better system in general for the rollers that pick stuff up. The old 700 model had brushes that got tangled with hair and string easily. The new 880 model uses rubber paddles that don't get tangled up so much and go right over cords without any problems. I still have to pull string or hair out every now and then but only a fraction as often as with the 700.

The 700 was quiet on carpet but louder on tile. The 800 is actually louder on tile but quieter on carpet. These aren't huge differences and either would wake a sleeping baby if in the same room but neither is as loud as a normal vacuum, not even close.

The best feature is the scheduling feature. My house gets vacuumed every single day without exception. The downstairs robot turns on while we are still sleeping (it's quiet enough down there for that) and then when we go down for breakfast the upstairs model turns on to do its thing.

Each one will vacuum the entire floor of the house for about an hour and then return to its dock to charge up for the next day automatically. Probably once a week a light on the top will turn red to tell us the trash bin is full. Pop it up, dump in your trash, pop it back in. Done.

During cleaning, you can use the included lighthouses to control where the Roomba goes or to restrict it from leaving an area. These lighthouses tell the Roomba where it has been, where it needs to go, how to find it's charging base, and to make sure it cleans one area before moving on to the next. These often aren't as necessary as you might think and the Rooma tends to find it's way into all of our rooms. If it misses a room one day it finds it the next almost all the time.

Roombas aren't cheap and the 880 model runs around $700 but they have other models, like the 600 Series, that run closer to $300 each. My only advice is to get one that has the scheduling feature so it can turn it self on automatically on a schedule you set.

These are not vacuum replacements so you'll still want some sort of regular upright or canister vacuum. For example, the Roomba will avoid falling down your stairs but obviously can't clean them. It also can't clean the tops of floor molding, shutters, and other areas that collect dust over time.

Still, our Roomba cleans the house so well that we probably don't have to touch the old vacuum more than once every month or two. So until it becomes self aware and takes over the house I can't recommend these robot vacuums enough. Be sure to go and read Best Roomba Replacement Parts as well now.