I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the technology in robot vacuum cleaners blows my mind! And in regards to technology in robotic vacuum cleaners, the Roomba 870 is not far off the most advanced robot vacuum cleaner on the market today.
I’m a bit of a tech geek. I love reading all sorts of advancements in technology, from self driving cars, to delivery drones, to the internet of things. The technology in this Roomba model also excites me! The iAdapt Navigation, the AeroForce 3-Stage Cleaning System,, and the Virtual Wall Technology will make any gadget lover weak at the knees.
What it will also do is make anyone who desires a clean, well-vacuumed house, excited to finally be able to buy a high quality robot that will ensure your home receives a thorough clean. Let’s take a look at how the iRobot Roomba 870 performs, and why it is one of the best robot vacuum cleaners we have reviewed this year.
- Longer battery life thanks to the iRobot XLife Extended Life Battery
- AeroForce 3-Stage Cleaning System ensures a thorough clean on any floor type.
- Dirt Detect Series II technology uses sensors to detect areas of high dirt concentration for focused cleaning where it is needed most
- The small size means the dust bin needs frequent emptying
- Some people would consider it too noisy to use at nights
Robot vacuum cleaners have come a long way in the past few years. The iRobot Roomba 870 is jam packed full of cutting edge technology that ensures this vacuum cleaner does the best job possible in cleaning your home.
If you want a high quality automatic vacuum cleaner I would seriously give consideration to this model. If you would like a slightly cheaper model, check out our review of the iRobot Roomba 650.
Are robot vacuum cleaners any good?
They are certainly better than they were a few years ago. Many people buy a robot vacuum cleaner hoping it will be 100% automated and maintenance free. If you are expecting this you may be a little disappointed! Don’t let that put you off however….let me explain!
The technology in these machines is great. They can be automated to have scheduled cleaning sessions up to seven times per week. They can also begin cleaning at the push of a button. Virtual Wall technology ensures they won’t go into rooms or areas of the house you restrict it from. Finally the iAdapt technology means sensors in the machine give the ground a thorough cleaning in the extra dirty patches.
But at the end of the day robotic vacuums cleaners are simply robots. They will never have the knowledge or decision making capability a human will have. For this reason, they may occasionally miss areas of your flooring, or get tangled in power cords and require a little bit of held to get free and back to work. Some items may also clog the vacuum and it will give an error message. If you are happy giving the robot a bit of help here and there occasionally, then buying a robot vacuum cleaner may be a good option for you!
With all that said, even with the robot requiring a bit of help now and then, they are still a great addition to any household. If you are in a constant battle with pet hair, the robot vacuum will help in minimising the about of manual labour in vacuuming up the mess. Every time you empty the units dust bin you will have an appreciation for the amount of dirt it picked up, that you didn’t have too.
Feature & Performance Analysis
XLife Extended Battery Life
The Roomba 870 comes with the iRobot XLife Extended Battery which delivers twice as many cleaning cycles as previous Roomba batteries. As with all Roomba vacuum cleaners, the 870 model will still automatically return to its docking station when it needs to be recharged.
iAdapt Navigation Technology
This technology is exclusive to the iRobot range of robot vacuum cleaners, and in my technology-loving mind is truly innovative. The Roomba 870 is equipped with sensors which help it make dozens of decisions per second on where to clean. Typically robotic vacuum cleaners will not have the knowledge to clean the same area of floor multiple times, but the Roomba 870, with iAdapt technology, can use its logic to clean the same area of floor multiple times to ensure it gives your home a thorough clean. This doesn’t mean the Roomba will leave your floor 100% spotless, like a human operated alternative might, but it doesn’t mean it is capable of doing a much better job than many of the alternatives available to this model.
Roomba 870 Performance on Pet Hair
It’s no secret that Roomba robots do an adequate job of vacuuming pet hair, and this model is no exception. The basic rule to keep in mind is this: If you want an automated vacuum cleaner that picks up the majority of pet hair, then you will be happy with an iRobot product.If you have asthma or allergies, and want every corner of your house to be thoroughly cleaned from pet hair on a regular basis, you may like to consider an upright or canister vacuum cleaner with a rotating head attachment.
Another point worth noting is that the dust canister in the Roomba 870 is reasonably small, as can be expected from a small robot vacuum cleaner. This means that if you have a pet that leaves behind a lot of hair, you may find yourself emptying the dust canister more frequently than you would like. In saying that, with a cat, and young child, this doesn’t seem to bother my brother too, who has been using a iRobot product for a number of years now.
Size of the 870
Many reviews of the iRobot Roomba 870 will comment on its small size as both a benefit, and a negative. It is a benefit because it means that when docked, the vacuum isn’t an ugly sight in the corner of one of your rooms, and also allows the robot itself to get under furniture to get your home as dust free as possible. Getting under all the low furniture is a great benefit for those with allergies or asthma and are sensitive to dust and allergens.
The downside of having a small vacuum cleaner is that it can only hold so much dust. If you live in a house that needs regular vacuuming to pick up a larger than normal amount of dust, crumbs, and pet hair, then you may find yourself emptying the Roombas dust canister more often than you would like too. Unfortunately this can’t be avoided, so if you have a house that does require lots of regular vacuuming, you may want to consider a type of vacuum cleaner that can hold a larger volume of dust and dirt.
Performance on Stairs
I’m asked this a lot, but I always feel a bit weird answering it! No, your robot vacuum cleaner will not work on any stairs. It’s like asking if your toaster can cook rice! If you have stairs in your house, and are considering buying a robot vacuum cleaner, you need to consider buying a traditional canister or upright vacuum cleaner for your stairs. Alternatively, you could purchase a small handheld vacuum cleaner to ensure all the places your Roomba can’t reach can still be vacuumed and stay free from dust.
Other Buying Considerations
The Roomba 870 comes with a one year manufactures warranty on the robot, and a six month warranty on the battery. Be sure to buy from a reputable retailer who will make returning the product easy. Both big name online stores, and your local appliance retailer, should be able to help you with returns. As with all warranties, if you damage the product out of negligence, you are unlikely to be covered by the manufactures warranty.
At the time of writing the iRobot Roomba 870 is available online for just under $600. Check online to find the current price of this product. This is no small investment for the average consumer, but you can buy in confidence knowing iRobot are a reputable brand who honour their warranties. The technology and investment in R&D to create this product is significant, and features such as Virtual Wall, iAdapt, and XLife and are what you are paying for. If your want a robot vacuum cleaner, but the 870 model is out of your price range, you may like to consider the iRobot Roomba 650 as an alternative which is a few hundred dollars cheaper.
- I’ve heard the small dust canister can fill too quick from other reviews, but am happy that in my household of two (and no pets) it doesn’t need emptying frequently enough for it to become annoying.
- I love the scheduling feature, and have it set to do the rounds of my lounge and kitchen while I am on my drive home from work.
- Mesmerising to watch as it darts around my lounge in what seems like a random pattern.
- I was disappointed that the roomba makes more noise than I expected. For some reason I imagined it to be silent. We no longer schedule it during the nights, but day performance is great.
- Not 100% hands free as I find myself needing to help it along at times or return it to its dock
When you buy from Robot you are buying from one of the pioneers of the robot vacuum cleaner industry. They have been around since the early days, and are one of the most trusted and well known brands in the industry. You can buy in confidence knowing that millions of dollars of R&D have gone into your purchase, and that it is supported by a warranty from a large legitimate organisation. Having the iRobot brand on any robot vacuum cleaner is a big big plus, similar to having the Audi or BMW brand on your vehicle.
Overall Summary of iRobot Roomba 870
This vacuum cleaner is leading the way in robotic vacuum cleaner technology. It automated scheduling and Virtual Wall technology make automating your home cleaning so simple and intuitive. No complex programming is required as you will find with some cheaper models from other lesser-known brands. The small size of this vacuum means it will get in all the nooks, and under furniture and bedding, to give your house a thorough clean. It works just as well on carpet and rugs as it does on hardwood floors and tiles.
If you are not short on money, and want automated vacuuming, this is the product we recommend. If you are on a budget, consider this unit’s little brother, the Roomba 650.