Is the Roomba 805 Right for You?
Buying a new vacuum cleaner might be a confusing process. There are so many products flooding the marketplace, all of them claiming to make your life easier and cleaning more convenient. Roomba vacuums were some of the very first in the generation of vacuum cleaners built as robots, designed to automate the process of cleaning the floors in your home.
Maybe you saw a Roomba in a tech-obsessed friend or family member’s home or one of those online videos featuring cats riding around on them. We’re reviewing the iRobot Roomba 805 because it’s still a popular robot vacuum cleaner with some of the features iRobot uses in its newer models, including AeroForce high-efficiency filters and iAdapt cleaning technology. To get a good idea of whether or not the Roomba 805 is right for you, here are things to consider when comparing to other models.
Do You Even Need a Roomba 805?
What kind of floor types does your home have? Is it mostly hardwood floors, tile, laminate, carpet, or a combination of these? How many levels are in your home, and will you want a robot vacuum to be able to clean all of them? Because most Roomba robots “learn” the layout of your home, you would likely need to purchase one for each floor. If your home is primarily carpet, keep in mind that a good deep clean of a carpeted floor requires a strong vacuum with sufficient suction power to pull pollutants like dander, hair, dirt, and other particles out of its fibers. The robot vacuum cleaners may not be strong enough to get the deep clean you need to keep your home as clean as you’d like and the Roomba 805 does better on hard floors than on carpet. It struggles with carpet with rough edges or higher pile, such as rugs with varying heights or borders.
Are you tackling a pet hair problem? The Roomba 805 boasts more powerful suction than its predecessors, but if you own pets, you may still need a traditional vacuum to get to all the difficult to reach areas the Roomba cannot go. A Roomba will only tackle what’s on the floor, and it cannot do stairs, ledges, windowsills, molding, or other areas that tend to pick up pet hair. However, the Roomba vacuums shine on large areas of hard floors that are a pain to sweep and mop. Do you have a beautiful dark hardwood floor and a white dog that sheds 11 months out of the year? A Roomba can help you stay on top of it as long as you empty its dustbin regularly. If you’ve ever tried to do a quick clean of the dog hair before company comes over only you understand the struggle of chasing it around the house. Roomba vacuums are great for keeping pet hair under control but longer or clumping pet hair may cause issues with their rollers so they need to be cleaned out often.
If you are an allergy sufferer, the more dust and particles removed from the home, the better, and while robot vacuums still cannot fully replace a traditional vacuum, they can augment and enhance your housekeeping.
Some users may like the idea of being able to control their robot vacuum cleaner remotely. Unfortunately, the Roomba 805 lacks Wifi capability that allows it to be controlled by an app you install on your mobile device or your computer. This means it doesn’t have a remote control or an online navigation system. The iRobot app is free and quite robust for later models, allowing more comprehensive mapping of your home and control over its functions. If you are interested in utilizing the latest in technology and integrating your vacuum more into your home’s smart features, consider some of Roomba’s newest robot vacuums, including models that empty their own waste bins! Newer models have longer-lasting batteries, stronger motors, and improved suction.
While those are all things to consider, one of the biggest pros of the Roomba 805 is that it is cheaper because you are not paying for all the bells and whistles that the newer models have. If a simple solution without all the added extras is adequate for your needs, the Roomba 805 is a decent choice and its warranty still supported by iRobot.
A Roomba will drive around your home in a pattern to avoid obstacles, furniture, and most other large objects. It will usually sense stairs as a cliff and therefore not drive off of them unless it’s blinded by something it’s picked up on the way. A viral YouTube video shows a Roomba “committing suicide” because a plastic bag was covering its sensors as it drove itself off a landing and downstairs. While it’s hilarious to watch, this is an example of what might go wrong if you do not “optimize” your floor’s home and tidy up everything -and we do mean everything on the floor or within reach of the vacuum.
The Roomba 805 may ensnare itself in exposed power cords or run over things you don’t want to be spread around your floor. As an example, there are viral YouTube videos showing things going horribly wrong when Roomba robot vacuums encounter things like dog poop on the floor. While this is not a common occurrence, you will want to be sure you can “Roomba-proof” enough of your home to give the vacuum a clear path to do its work.
To keep your Roomba from venturing into areas where disaster could strike, it comes with 2 “virtual wall barriers” that will keep it out of zones in your home where you don’t want it to go. While this is certainly convenient, when trying to decide of a Roomba will work for you or not, consider how much of your home you would want to be off limits to the Roomba vs. how much you’d need to be cleaned.
For example, we have an elderly family member who adores elegant furniture and window treatments with tassels, fringe, and other embellishments in every room of her home. She gave up attempting to use the Roomba her children gifted her because, in the end, she was unable to keep it from chewing up her curtains and getting stuck. You too may not enjoy being welcomed home by a beeping robot with a screaming motor dangling from a shredded swag of expensive velvet drapery that it chewed up as it climbed halfway to the ceiling.
If your home is cluttered, or your interior décor may pose a hazard to a wandering robotic vacuum cleaner that doesn’t know the difference between a fringe-trimmed antique sofa and a dust-bunny, you may want to get a more traditional vacuum cleaning solution that allows you to be in control of what gets vacuumed up. We hope one day the technology will evolve, but for now, even the smartest robots can make mistakes that may prove fatal to the fringe.
While you may be completely opposed to the idea of a Roomba at this point, remember that most modern homes are ideal environments for a Roomba with simple furniture, low pile carpet or rugs and lots of bare floors.
With a Roomba in your arsenal of tools, there will be less time spent on general vacuuming, especially when you can have the robot clean while you’re out of the home or busy with other tasks.
Some of the disadvantages of owning a robot vacuum include the initial investment as a quality robot such as the Roomba 805 will be a significant purchase for most consumers. You will need to keep your home clear of all obstacles and sometimes organize things around the Roomba’s capabilities. The Roomba 805 and just about all other robot vacuums on the market are unable to climb or clean stairs. A Roomba may mistake areas of an extremely dark or black floor for a precipice/cliff/stairs as its sensors do not work well on black surfaces.
And lastly, the suction generated by most battery-powered motors in a robot vacuum cleaner cannot compete with the muscle of a vacuum cleaner powered by a constant power source. On the other hand, frequent vacuum cycles run by a Roomba vacuum that’s always on the go and cleaning will reduce the amount of overall mess in the home. If a significant amount of pet hair or detritus is picked up regularly, there’s less of it to become ground into the carpet or accumulate elsewhere.
We still recommend that you use a traditional vacuum to deep clean your home regularly as some particulates and pet hair get stuck deep in a carpet, and you need the power to draw all that garbage out.
Taking all those things into consideration, most consumers that own and love their Roomba vacuums agree that while the Roomba does not necessarily replace their traditional vacuum cleaner, they find that they have to vacuum far less frequently and pesky issues like pet hair accumulating everywhere are significantly diminished with one running. Homeowners with a lot of bare or hard floors enjoy having the convenience a Roomba robot vacuum cleaner offers because it is far easier and more thorough than having to sweep every day.