Holiday Gift Idea: The Vacuuming Robot Roomba


When the Roomba first hit the market back in 2002, the word on the street was that the vacuuming robot was not all it promised to be. This is no longer true. The technology has greatly improved and the Roomba is available with more and more options.  The biggest challenge today is figuring out which model of Roomba to purchase.  Prices can vary from $275 to over $1,000, so it pays to do a little research to understand how to best meet your needs.

Here are some things to consider:

Type of flooring. Although all the models claim to adjust for different types of flooring, some Roombas do better than others in this area.

Suction Power.  The more expensive models tend to have more power.  As you might imagine, more power means more particles get sucked up.

Battery Life.  Some Roombas run for about an hour and other models can clean for as much as two hours. Consider the size of your home and whether it matters to you how long it takes the Roomba to vacuum your entire house.

Recharge and Resume feature.  All Roombas have self charging features; however, only the more expensive models have a recharge and resume feature.  This may be important to you if your home is large enough that the Roomba will need to recharge to finish cleaning all areas.

Controls and Programming.  More expensive models allow for more complex programming.  You might consider the upgrading if you have the following needs:

• You have different cleaning preferences for different rooms (the Multi-Room Cleaning feature)

• if you would like to adjust the power setting, the number of cleaning passes, the final edge clean, and cleaning modes ford different rooms (the Custom Cleaning Preferences feature) 

• if you want to see where the vacuum cleaned, the coverage and duration of each completed cleaning job (the Clean Map Report feature)

• if you want to start your Roomba from your cell phone while you are not home.  

Tangle-Free Roller feature.  Look for this feature if you have a pet that sheds!

High Efficiency Filter.  If you have allergies you might find this feature a must.

Most experts will tell you to use the Roomba for light cleanings and use of a traditional vacuum cleaner for more deep cleanings.  However, if your deep cleanings are infrequent (or never happen) then you might consider the more expensive models which offer better suction or better cleaning.

Read Cleaning Green Guide and Why It Matters.