iRobot Roomba 980 Review: Is a Robot Vacuum Worth It?

For the last month I’ve been testing out the iRobot Roomba 980, a top of the range granddaddy robot vacuum to see how it works, and what benefits it can give me and my home. More importantly is it worth the money and does it live up to to the hype. Read on for the full iRobot Roomba 980 review.

How does it work?

A robot vacuum is exactly what you think. A vacuum that can clean your floors automatically without you needing to lift a finger. Sounds like heaven right? Essentially this large round disc stores itself neatly in its docking station until you manually, or automatically via pre-devised schedule, tell it to clean. It then maps out the area, learning where it’s been and which areas are most dirty, and gives your floors a thorough cleaning, before docking itself back home at the station to recharge.

An app on your phone helps you control it remotely, and reports on recent cleans, sets up the cleaning schedule and notifies you of any problems it encounters at long the way. It can’t travel up or down the stairs – Cliff motion sensors warn it of impending drops – but it is light enough to carry to another floor level if necessary.

Full iRobot Roomba 980 Review:

Roomba 980 Benefits

Well the first and biggest is the most obvious. It cleans your floors unaided.

For anyone, and that’s pretty much all of us I’m sure, who dislikes getting out the vacuum and cleaning up this is going to to be revelation. No more lifting heaving vacuums, no more arm ache as you hoover back and forwards and no more sweating as you lug it up the stairs.

In fact, grab a cuppa and magazine, put your feet up and let the Roomba clean up your floors for you.

This particular Roomba 980 can run for up to 2 hours of continuous cleaning (it will redock and recharge if necessary before finishing a job) and uses sensors to map out and learn its surroundings.

The AeroForce cleaning system with Carpet Boost means it gives your carpets an ultra efficient clean (10x the power of other Roomba models), and the efficiency filter captures 99% of allergens, pollen and particles, while a spinning side brush forces debris into the path of the 3-stage cleaning system.

You can rename it via the app – ours is called Gertrude – and somehow it seems to then become part of the family!
It will connect to an Amazon Alexa, so if you don’t want to even open your phone, you can tell Alexa to start the cleaning.

It looks pretty good. Ok it isn’t going to win prizes for best looking vacuum of the year, but its unobtrusive in colour and it looks and feels incredibly solid and I don’t mind having it on display in its dock (read more about this below).

Are there any downsides?

iRobot Roomba 980 reviewWhat I’ve discovered is that, in my own home which isn’t huge, I don’t have an easy to access inconspicuous corner in which to hide the rather large Roomba. Having said that, the aesthetic and overall design is relatively pleasing so I’m not too bothered that it’s now a ‘feature in my room, but I do wish I could store it in a cupboard.

This is, in theory, possible you’d just have to make sure you open it before any cleaning jobs begin. Ultimately I think the perfect docking location is a utility room if you have one where it can sit neatly in the corner out of the way.

** Update ** I’ve now found I can dock the Roomba under a cabinet near a plug socket so I’m much happier. 

It does have a certain level of noise, but then so do all vacuums right? I’d say it’s definitely quieter than my upright Dyson, but just seems noisy in rooms with hard floors.

It needs emptying pretty much after every job, although I leave mine for 2 or so and it seems fine (my cordless Dyson needs emptying each cleaning time too). It’s going to depend on the type of floors and how mucky they are; carpets will generate more dust/fluff by their very nature.

The price might be prohibitive for some. The Roomba 980 currently retails at £899 at the time of writing, which is probably more than I’d consider paying for a normal vacuum, but then this isn’t just any old ‘normal’ vacuum. You may have to own something else to tackle the stairs, but the Roomba can tackle everything else, and does it very well indeed.

It has the potential to completely change the way you approach cleaning your home.

If this particular model of Roomba isn’t for you, there are less expensive, entry level models available too for around £300.

Summary:

I have been incredibly impressed with the product so far. No errors, no issues (except when a door prevented it from redocking itself at the end of a clean) and just very clean floors.

I have to say, the cleaning is exceptionally thorough and it even manages to go under sofas, tables and cupboards with ease. As long as I lift the chairs and bar stools to ensure a thorough job, it has no problems picking up all the bits from our vinyl floors.

It leaves carpets fluffed and deep cleaned too, even the older ones.

It’s very easy to set up, with clear instructions on how to connect it to the app, and rename it if you want to. The only issue I did have was getting it to charge for the first time, but it hadn’t connected properly into the dock.

The dock light comes on once it is initially in place but then goes off to preserve power, even though the machine is still charging.

Does it mean you never have to manually clean your floors again? Well probably not, but generally you don’t have to manually do it ever if you don’t want to. I do have a cleaner once a week anyway, and have a manual vacuum for her to use.

Why does she not set the Roomba cleaning whilst she does other things? Well, she’s only there for a few hours and the Roomba does take a while to cover all its ground – longer than manually cleaning would take – and she’s just not in the house long enough to make it worthwhile.

If you’re cleaning the house yourself you could definitely do this. Maybe go and clean a bathroom or dust a few bedrooms upstairs whilst the Roomba cleans the floors downstairs. When it’s done you’re ready to mop if necessary.

At around £900 it’s a fair investment. There are less advanced models in the iRobot range if you want to start with an entry level product as I’ve mentioned, but this one gives you CarpetBoost and the incredible cleaning levels which are well worth the money, particularly if you’ve a larger home.

What do you think of the iRobot Roomba 980 review? Would you consider investing in one for your own home?

PIN FOR LATER:
Ever wondered if a robot vacuum is worth it? Check out this full review of the irobot Roomba 980 to see how it performs in a real home and and whether it's worth the investment. #roombareview #irobotlove #roomba980 #irobotroomba #lovechicliving

Where to buy:

Check out the official iRobot website and store for more information and to make a purchase. Click HERE. 

The product was gifted for the purposes of an iRobot Roomba 980 review, but I have been as honest and genuine as possible and all comments and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the the brands that make the blog possible. 

 

15 Comments

  1. February 25, 2018 / 4:14 pm

    A very balanced, interesting review. I’ve always been intrigued by these things so it was great to read how they can actually help

  2. February 25, 2018 / 5:38 pm

    This looks like an answer to prayer! I have a heavy Dyson which works fine, but as I have a back problem I have to be very careful twisting and also carrying it upstairs. This would be perfect for us, I guess you’d just need a little hand held one for the stairs. Love how it sweeps from the side so it can go in the part of the vacuum, very clever.

    • February 26, 2018 / 1:06 pm

      Thanks Becky, yes I think a little hand held would be great for the stairs.. and work for the car too 😉

  3. February 26, 2018 / 12:03 am

    Great review Jen. I’d love one of these as I hate vacuuming. However, I guess I’d still have to spend the annoying 10 minutes picking up all the kid’s tiny toys from the floor before I could set something like this off on its cleaning mission. I think for that price it’s a bit extravagant for me as our flat is tiny and it really doesn’t take long to vacuum at all. But a girl can dream!

    • February 26, 2018 / 1:07 pm

      Shame they can’t invent something that picks up kid’s toys… and packs them away neatly too!

  4. February 26, 2018 / 10:27 am

    What a nifty bit of kit! I wonder how it would cope with the dog hairs all the time….. Great review Jen

    • February 26, 2018 / 1:07 pm

      Thanks. Now I’ve seen some other reviews from pet owners and it’s meant to be quite good for that. Worth checking out.

  5. February 26, 2018 / 4:39 pm

    I’d love one if I could ever afford it! Hate hoovering!

  6. February 26, 2018 / 6:38 pm

    I’m really intrigued by these. Quite an investment but the time it would save is priceless.

  7. February 26, 2018 / 8:49 pm

    I have the cheaper roomba at home ans personally i love it c

  8. February 28, 2018 / 12:19 pm

    I’m wary of these things although love technology. I think its probablt because I reallly dislike the noise of the hoover. Maybe though this could help, turn it on when I walk the dogs!

    • March 1, 2018 / 5:22 pm

      That’s a great idea Mary, I put mine on when I’m out and it works a treat. Good way to scare the husband when I’m not in and he’s in the house alone too ! 😉

  9. March 1, 2018 / 1:15 pm

    Vacuuming is one of the things that I hate most, but that I love after it’s done. Like laundry. Ugh… I would love a Roomba like this!

  10. March 2, 2018 / 6:03 pm

    what an interesting review – I love the look and feel of this (not so little) device and was pleasantly surprised when I read it can vacuum for two hours. The Dyson dies after 15 minutes I believe… I do feel at this price range the relevant audience is going to be very small though and if you can afford a £900 vacuum, you probably already afford and have a cleaner twice a week… I am on the fence with this, mostly because of the price.

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