There is a lot that you can do with a robot vacuum cleaner that’s just not possible with a regular upright, stick, or even hand-held model. The fact that you can program them to operate even when you’re not home is the biggest selling point, but their incredibly small size also gives them a distinct advantage over traditional vacuums, letting them clean under furniture rather than you having to move it.
On the other side of things, though, Roombas aren’t exactly cheap. The newest models cost around $800, a significant investment for a single piece of equipment. This can lead many potential buyers to wonder: are Roombas worth it?
Compared to traditional vacuums, Roombas are certainly worth purchasing, specifically because of the advantages listed above. While the newest Roombas are kind of pricy, you can get a Roomba 690 for less than $300—a comparable price to a mid-range upright.
While models from the 600 series don’t have extra features you’ll find on the more recent models, like Alexa connectivity and included Virtual Wall Lighthouse barriers, they’ll still give you an excellent clean on a variety of floor types. If you have a lot of hard floors, you’ll likely find a Roomba is superior to upright or stick vacuums at the same price point. The Roomba’s light weight means it’s less likely to scratch or damage floors, while the three-stage cleaning process snags more dirt in less time.
There is also another level of this question, however: are Roombas worth it compared to other robot vacuums? While iRobot was the pioneer of the robot vacuum industry, several other brands have come out with their own take on the technology. These models can range in price from a grand or more to less than a hundred bucks. Some of these come with similar programming options and Wi-Fi connectivity as the iRobot line, while others are simpler in their operation and only offer hands-free cleaning.
Generally speaking, when it comes to robot vacuums you should expect to get what you pay for. If you have a small home with mostly hard floors or very low-pile carpet, you may get all the clean you need from a cheaper vacuum.
For users with thicker carpets or larger and more complex home layouts, the Roomba is the best option to get the cleaning power you need at a great value. While many high-end robot vacuums come with Wi-Fi apps or compatibility with smart home and voice control systems, the Roomba versions of these tend to be the most comprehensive and reliable across the board.
So are Roombas worth it? For most users, the answer is a resounding yes. Even if your vacuum budget isn’t quite in the neighborhood of the $799 you’ll likely spend for a Roomba 960, you can find many more affordable options that are closer in price to what you’d spend for a reliable, high-quality upright vacuum, anyway—with the added benefit of hands-free cleaning. The most important thing is to consider the size and material of the floors in your home to make sure you pick the right Roomba for your circumstances.