Are newer Roombas better than older ones?
May 5, 2018 9:08 AM   Subscribe

We have a Roomba 530 that we bought in 2009. It does... alright. We've never used it too much since it seems like we're always cleaning hair out of the brushes and out of the bearings on the end of the brushes. Do newer Roombas need less maintenance? How about other robot vacuums like the Neato or the seemingly endless variety of other brands available on Amazon and other places online?
posted by zsazsa to Home & Garden (8 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
A $2 seam ripper is an easy way to clean the hair off the roomba bristles. If you have longer hair like me, the roomba is doing what it was designed to do.

I don't know if the robo-swiffer MINT is still a thing, we didn't like it, but certainly anything without bristles might be more to your liking.
posted by jbenben at 9:52 AM on May 5, 2018 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The newer Roombas have rubbery brushes like this instead of the bristly brushes that get all tangled up with hair. I have a 980 and previously had an earlier model; in my experience the newer brushes are indeed much easier and faster to clean (and I have long hair).
posted by lettersoflead at 11:13 AM on May 5, 2018 [5 favorites]

Best answer: A buddy of mine has the patent on that rubbery roller brush. He designed it specifically to defeat the hair-in-the-roller problem.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 11:40 AM on May 5, 2018 [11 favorites]

I don't know if the robo-swiffer MINT is still a thing, we didn't like it, but certainly anything without bristles might be more to your liking.

I really liked the Mint while mine was still working but it is really a different thing from a robot vacuum. Wipes your floor rather than vacuums it. It had certain advantages though - nice and quiet - being the big one but it also was better at collecting dust bunnies than the roomba which just seems to blow them around until it hopefully corners them.

The mint also could also sort of mop which was another chore reduction.

I am intrigued by the brush replacement though!
posted by srboisvert at 12:34 PM on May 5, 2018

Best answer: We have both an old one (that gets clogged like you describe) and one from this year with the rubber sweeper brushes. The new one requires remarkably less maintenance. I still have to clear the ends of the brushes every maybe three to five complete cleaning cycles but it's entirely tolerable. Reference: ~700 sq ft hardwood floor w/ rugs; fluffy dog; one resident with very long hair.
posted by introp at 7:33 PM on May 5, 2018

Best answer: We have an older Roomba, and had problems with the brushes and especially the bearings getting full of cat hair. Like, I would have to stop it every 10 minutes to clean out the bearings.

We were gifted a newer Neato two Christmases ago and have basically had no problems at all with it.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 6:39 AM on May 7, 2018

No. I have a Roomba 950 or something and it's basically useless. If you have pet hair or any actual mess a Roomba is a waste of money.
posted by The_Vegetables at 2:46 PM on May 7, 2018

Can I ask for a follow up? I’m wondering if you got a new one with the rubber rollers, and if so how they compare. (I’m trying to justify getting a new one.)
posted by The corpse in the library at 11:13 AM on July 9, 2018

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