iRobot Roomba 805 Review [2019]

iRobot Roomba 805 Review [2019]

12 minutes Last Updated: 06/17/2019

One of the original round robot vacuums, you’ve probably seen an iRobot Roomba 805. They’re a flat, round little gadget on rollers with brushes and sensors that navigate your home, cleaning along the way. They travel around powered by a lithium-ion battery that recharges every time the robot returns to its dock.

The iRobot Roomba 805 is an earlier release of the robot vacuum cleaners sold by the company but is still very much on the market. It’s a more price-sensitive alternative to the latest and greatest if you are looking to venture into the world where artificial intelligence cleans up after you and your pets! The robot vacuum cleaner has the potential to simplify the cleaning process, but are they right for you?

Roomba 805

Roomba 805

  • Navigation system with multiple sensors to detect stairs and other obstacles
  • Supports setting several cleaning schedules
  • Easy to start cleaning – just hit the “Clean” button
  • Possibility to set virtual walls
  • Compact design makes easy to clean hard to reach areas
  • Includes Aeroforce 3-stage cleaning technology
  • Best on hard floors because of its suction
  • Does not have Wifi capability to integrate technology in your home
  • Will not have as much suction power as new models
  • Utilizes an older style lithium-ion battery and will not hold as much charge
  • Restarts its cleaning cycle over again each time it finishes a charge -- it cannot pick up cleaning where it left off
  • Can lose its battery charge if it becomes stuck because it repeatedly beeps and shows error messages until recovered. It does not automatically shut down
8.4 lbs
14 × 14 × 3.6"
WiFi Control:

Battery Life:
200 minutes
HEPA Filter:

Number of Cleaning Brushes:

Our Review

Robotic vacuums utilize artificial intelligence and programming combined with a motor to travel around an entire floor of your home or a designated area. These devices are equipped with roller brushes and suction motors that remove dirt, dust, pet hair, and other particles from your home’s floors as they travel around. It all gets stored in an onboard waste compartment. Sensors prevent the vacuum from running into things like furniture or tumbling down the stairs. They also allow the vacuum to track its cleaning path, find its charging base after a cleaning cycle, and to detect if an additional cleaning pass is needed.

The Roomba 805 is a round flat cylinder weighing about 8.5 lbs. It is surrounded by a soft wall bumper to protect surfaces and furniture in your home. Unfortunately, the Roomba 805 is taller than most Roombas so it may not fit under all your furniture.

The Roomba 805 utilizes iAdapt navigation sensors to help it adapt to changes in your home, such as furniture getting moved or other adjustments. It also comes with two dual-mode devices with the ability to set up a “Virtual Wall” in your home to keep the Roomba away from areas of the home where you know it may get stuck or cause issues. This technology can be used to confine the Roomba to one room or zone or keep it from passing through an opening or area up to 7 feet wide. The virtual wall device sends out a signal the vacuum will avoid.

The AeroForce 3 phase cleaning technology is a step up from the prior AeroVac technology in models older than the Roomba 805. In addition, the AeroForce cleaning system offers better performance with a high-efficiency filter that the manufacturer claims will capture most particles as small as 10 microns, including pollen, most pet dander, and hair. Dual rubber extractor wheels work together with a spinning side brush to pull dirt up from the floor and send it into the vacuum. Because the rubber wheels are not brushes, they are less prone to getting longer hair and carpet fibers tangled or wrapped around them.

When cleaning, the Roomba can run up to 200 minutes in a cleaning cycle. It will need about two hours of charging time for each hour of cleaning time. We don’t like that it does not start where it left off before as more advanced Roomba models will. It begins entirely over again on its cleaning cycle after each charge. This may not work as well for a larger home that needs more cleaning.

The Roomba 805 can turn instantly and transition from one type of floor to another and can tackle most edges-but it does sometimes struggle with tiny corners or hard to reach areas. The level of suction on this unit is stronger than its predecessors but will need to be sanitized regularly to maintain its level of cleaning performance. If you own a vacuum of any sort and have a pet or shed hair yourself, you know that the rollers of a vacuum cleaner can often get this stuff wrapped around them, requiring cleaning and sometimes partial disassembly of the vacuum cleaner. A Roomba is no exception to this unspoken requirement for keeping any vacuum cleaner operational.

The Roomba 805 utilizes two rollers to prevent particles and debris on the floor from scattering, but this may sometimes happen. When it does the vacuum will usually tackle it on a subsequent pass, but it may not happen right away. Because the Roomba does not use the same cleaning pattern as a human might do with overlapping passes of a vacuum cleaner row by row cleaning a room, it may not come back to the mess it made right away. A Roomba may go around the edges and seemingly go in random zig-zag or diagonal patterns, making little adjustments and turns as it comes near a surface. In a larger home, the Roomba will need to be run daily as it may not get the entire home in just a day.

It does have a smaller dust/waste collection receptacle, and depending on the level of cleaning needed, you will need to empty this frequently.

It will charge on its dock, then begin cleaning your home on the schedule you have set for it, and return to recharge when its battery is low. The Roomba 805 has an older-style battery, and it will not hold a charge for as long, and batteries may need replacement more frequently. The Roomba can be scheduled at different times every day, and to start its cycle, you touch the button.

The Roomba 805 is reasonably quiet, measured around 60 decibels.

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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.

In Summary

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.

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