a4angus 5


Add to my Circle of Trust

Subscribe to reviews

About me:

Member since:01.01.1970



Robotic Roomba Vacuum


Fully automated; saves hours a week; works


Recommendable Yes:

Detailed rating:





Value for money

How much did you pay?£147.90

Special features?

15 Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful See ratings
exceptional by (25%):
  1. Soundsexciting
and 3 other members
very helpful by (75%):
  1. mumsymary
  2. atlantis140
  3. simo7uk
and 15 other members

View all ratings

The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.

Share this review on

Roomba by iRobot - vacuum cleaner of the future

Roomba is the second generation of this amazing robotic vacuum cleaner. In this form it is green in colour, circular and about 30cm in diameter. It weighs a few kilos but is not too heavy. It is designed to automatically vacuum your flat or house.

Prices started a few years ago at stratospheric levels (typically £700-£1000). Thankfully this is now down to a much more consumer friendly level.

I purchased this from www.electricshopping.com for £147.90 including delivery in January 2006.

It is now the largest selling robotic vacuum cleaner.

The top has several buttons to activate various cleaning modes and power on and off.
There is an inbuilt carry handle and a release button for the collection bin.

Why Buy?
Saves hours of cleaning time each week and encourages cleaning on a far more regular basis.
Cool toy to show off to the mates (ok, that maybe a bloke selling point).
Hours of fun watching the dogs play with Roomba (or is it the other way round).

Put Roomba in the room, pick up any loose objects, cables or obstructions, press 'Clean' and come back 45 minutes later. It is that easy.
I would not recommend leaving it in the company of pets or children for safety reasons.

It begins by spiralling around until it finds a wall. It follows that wall and calculates how long it will take to clean a room. In practice this works on square rooms but not weird shaped or obstacles when you may need to tell to max clean.

Roomba will move in a seemingly random mode but does eventually cover all spaces.

There is a spring front edge to the vacuum to protect objects it runs into. So far no problems with this at all and no damage at all. The system appears to work.

The Cleaning Mechanism
This is a 3 stage process. The first is a small horizontally rotating brush on the underside that sweeps debris into the main vertically rotating main brushes.
The main brushes are preceded by 2 small rubber strips that help gather on hard floors.
Finally the main vacuum sucks up all material found.
The mechanism will automatically change for different floor types.
We have used it on laminate wood, solid wood and carpet from short to medium pile. All entirely successfully.

Cleaning Modes
Roomba has 3 cleaning modes - room, spot and max.
The basic setting will clean an average room in about 45 minutes. Roomba spirals and follows walls to eventually cover the whole floor. It will go under beds, tables, and so on.
Spot cleaning is for dry spills or high dirt areas and Roomba will intelligently clean the area for 1-2 minutes.
Max cleaning keeps Roomba going until it runs out of battery, unlike normal mode when it will stop once it has completed a cycle. Max mode will clean up to 300sq.m.

How Good a Clean?
We were amazed just how much dust and hair the Roomba picked up (and continues to do so). It is superior to the Vax upright we have.
The floors and carpets really look quite impressive.

As a round object, it cannot get into tight corners nor right up to the wall. You will need to periodically cover these areas with another vacuum.

Overall really impressive and quite surprisingly so for such a compact machine.

Collection Bin
Easily removed by pressing a button on the top of the unit, it slides out to reveal the debris.
Inside the collection bin is also the filter, which you also need to remove to remove the larger bits.
Version 2 of the Roomba apparently can pick up 3 times as much dirt as the first model - nevertheless, it is still a small bin and needs emptying after each cleaning session.

Virtual Wall Unit
In order to stop the robot wandering outside a designated room or area, iRobot supply a virtual wall unit. Basically this is an infra-red beam projector that the Roomba can sense and will not pass through the beam.

Remote Control
Ok - this seems like a gimmick and is definitely aimed at the lads. You can turn the machine on and off, move it around, tell Roomba to intensely clean a specific area. This is probably more useful if you have invested in the optional charging stand and you want to start up the Roomba from you chair.
In reality I find this less useful other than to turn off the unit once seated or to chase the dogs around the room (not really) :)

The Charging
Again, the newer model contains an improved battery. Claimed cleaning time is up to 2 hours but in our experience it is nearer 1 hour. I think this depends on the configuration of your room. The more the robot has to turn, backup and manoeuvre seems to eat up the power much faster.
Charging time is long.. We find that it takes 7 hours to charge up the battery (so overnight is optimal). The SE model has a 3 hour charger.
Claimed performance is 3 average sized rooms. We find 2 is more reasonable.

The Cleaning Tool
A small pick and cutting blade to keep the brushes clean and moving without burning out the motors.
This is an essential maintenance operation. We tend to clean the machine after each cycle. The combination of wife's long hair and dog hair makes for a formidable challenge.
This would actually be an excellent tool to include with all vacuum cleaners.

Unfortunately this is an area Roomba cannot cover. It does however sense the step (with 4 built in sensors) and will not fall over.
We have found that a shallow step does confuse it and it will 'have a go' at crossing the step. This usually ends up with Roomba on it's back crying for help (literally). The main stairs are not a problem.
I would recommend supervision on the first clean until you know where Roomba will and will not go. Use the virtual wall unit to block those steps that Roomba wants to 'have a go' at.

Roomba handles pet hair really well. With 2 shedding dogs it is a boon and really helps on keeping the hair under control.
Pets react to Roomba less well. It is a noisy machine that seems to follow them around. I would not let Roomba alone with my Labrador - she has a tendency to try and grab poor Roomba by the infra-red sensor and I would not want to come back to a pile of 'spare parts'.
Hopefully with a little more time, she will become used to it.

Definitely a weakness of the Roomba, at 80dB you cannot comfortably have it running whilst in the same room for long. Best to let it get on with cleaning whilst you do other things.

What's In The Box
Manuals in many languages
The unit and rechargeable battery
Charging unit and power lead
Hair cutting and cleaning device for the rollers
3 filters
Remote control (no batteries - takes 2 * AA size)
1 virtual wall unit (no batteries - takes 2 * D size)

Other Notes
Roomba cannot handle water or wet (you need the Scooba for that).

Roomba is not HEPA filter certified and I notice it with my hayfever. Seems to be getting better though as the cleaning becomes more frequent. It does have the advantage of cleaning under things where you might not ordinarily vacuum.

The UK Roomba comes with a 2 year warranty.

Do not activate an infra-red alarm system with Roomba active in the room (obvious I know) but ….. you learn the hard way otherwise :(

I can highly recommended this vacuum. Not only a great time saver but really does a great job keeping the house clean.

Very few cons, perhaps the noise being the worst aspect.

Pros are many but the best is the robotic use - just set it going and go and have a cup of tea, put your feet up. A win every time :)

I am now seriously considering the floor cleaning companion (Scooba) and a robotic lawn mower.

Pictures of iRobot Roomba 555
iRobot Roomba 555 Picture 2801199 tb
Roomba 2
  Write your own review

Share this review on

  Next review »

Rate this review »

How helpful would this review be to a person making a buying decision? Rating guidelines

Rate as exceptional

Rate as somewhat helpful

Rate as very helpful

Rate as not helpful

Rate as helpful

Rate as off topic

Write your own review Write a review and you will earn 1p per rating if other members rate your review at least helpful. Write a review and you will earn 1p per rating if other members rate your review at least helpful.   Report a problem with this review’s content

Comments about this review »

psychstudent1 25.03.2006 17:19

These really are just a gimmick as there is no way they can cover all the tasks a regular vac with attachments can handle. I'm just toooooo impatient to have a machine like this. Get the vac out, quick run over the carpet, pack it away, done! Good review though. Trish x

WillyWumbo 25.03.2006 17:06

Great review, so informative and insightful. :) WW

Soundsexciting 24.03.2006 12:42

great review. I've been waiting for someone to write a comprehensive review before I jumped in and bought one. Nice one

Add your comment

max. 2000 characters

  Post comment

Similar offers for iRobot Roomba 555 »

1 to 3 out of 11 similar offers for iRobot Roomba 555 Show all similar offers
HQRP 3300mAh APS Battery for iROBOT Roomba 521 / 531 / 534 / 555 / 564 / 581 Vacuum Cleaning Robots

HQRP 3300mAh APS Battery for iROBOT Roomba 521 / 531 / 534 / 555 / 564 / 581 Vacuum Cleaning Robots

Compatible with iROBOT Roomba 521 / 531 / 534 / 555 / 564 / 581 Vacuum Cleaning Robots

 Visit Shop  >
Amazon Marketplace
Postage & Packaging:  refer to website
Availability:  refer to website

Product Information »

Manufacturer's product description

Keep your home as clean as can be ? with virtually no additional effort on your part! Roomba is the futuristic home...

Product details

Long Name Roomba 555, iRoomba 555
Manufacturer iRobot
Type / Shape Robotic


Listed on Ciao since 20/09/2009

Show all Product Information

More reviews »

Review Ratings »

This review of iRobot Roomba 555 has been rated:

"very helpful" by (75%):

  1. mumsymary
  2. atlantis140
  3. simo7uk

and 15 other members

The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.

Products you might be interested in »

iRobot Scooba 450

iRobot Scooba 450

Robotic Cleaner - Rechargeable Power Supply - Bagless - without HEPA Filter

Rate it now

Buy now for only £ 349.00

iRobot Roomba 650

iRobot Roomba 650

Robotic Cleaner - Rechargeable Power Supply - 33 Watt - Bagless - without HEPA Filter

Rate it now

Buy now for only £ 329.99

iRobot Roomba 980

iRobot Roomba 980

Robotic Cleaner - Rechargeable Power Supply

User reviews (1)

Buy now for only £ 400.00

Are you the manufacturer / provider of iRobot Roomba 555? Click here