Does Roomba Work on Carpet?

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The chances are that you don’t have just one type of flooring in your home. There’s probably going to be a mix of tile, wood, carpet, linoleum, maybe even a rug or two. But the flooring that is the mortal enemy of many vacuum cleaners is carpet and that’s the focus here.

Does Roomba Work on Carpet? In a word, Yes. In a few more words, some Roomba models are better than others.

The Roomba s9+ is the best on carpets in my experience due to its 40x suction power and advanced cleaning features. The s9+’s wide brushrolls are also a large advantage as it covers more surface area on each pass.

All Roomba vacuums do a good job on carpets. How well Roombas work on carpets depends on a couple of factors: the carpet thickness and the Roomba model. Not all Roombas are created equal, otherwise, there’d be only one Roomba and one price to clean them all.

Yes, the s9+ is the most expensive Roomba. The good news is you may not need the expensive model. It depends on your situation at home and what’s best for you. Take a look at the factors at home.

Assess Your Home

Do Roomba Models work well on carpet and hardwood floors
Assess your home

Which Roomba is best for you depends on your home. What type of flooring covers the majority of your home? If you’re reading this, I’m going to assume that you have carpet at home.

How Thick is Your Carpet?

If you have thin carpets, majority of Roomba vacuums won’t have any issues. It’s when you get into the thicker carpets that you’ll need the more powerful Roomba models.

Do you have Pets Living at Home?

Cats, dogs, and other pets will shed their fur and hair all over. Heck, even my wife and daughters shed their hair all over the place. When there’s hair and carpet, the hair will inevitably get caught in medium-thick pile carpet. The s9+ does well with digging into medium-thick pile carpets.

That’s why we ended up upgrading to a s9+ when it came out. We have the s9+ continually running and the big advantage is it self-empties, so we’re not emptying ourselves. The hair adds up quickly.

iRobot Roomba 960 has a HEPA filters that traps dust and allergens
iRobot Roomba 960

One note, even though the s9+ will self-empty into the Clean Base unit, you should still double-check the brushrolls and the wheels for any hair. You’ll want to clear out the hair or it could ruin the rollers.

Next, think about what you want your vac to do? Sure you want it to clean the floor, but does your lifestyle involve other elements that will affect as to what ends up on your floors?

Do You Have Kids at Home?

Pets and Kids (and adults) both track dirt and debris at home. If you have thicker carpet, you’ll want to get the s9+ or the i7+ because they have more suction power. That’ll pick up the dirt that’s embedded in the carpet.

Do You Wear Shoes Inside the House?

Wearing shoes inside will inevitably result in dirt and other debris getting into the carpets. That’s one reason we have a strict rule of not wearing shoes inside the house.

Individual Roomba Model Cleaning Abilities

Roomba leads the pack when it comes to automating your cleaning routine. They research, design, and manufacture a comprehensive range of award-winning robot vacuums that can effectively and efficiently navigate their way around and clean up a wide variety of floor surfaces.

What follows is a quick overview of some of the models in the Roomba range and in particular their ability to tackle carpet.  

Roomba 614 

iRobot Roomba 614

The 614 can be regarded as an entry-level model in the Roomba range and is a great option for a first foray into the world of robot vacuums. It does a good job on hard floors and picking up pet hair. With low pile carpets, the 614 will do the job, but if you have anything higher, you’ll want to go with a more powerful model

Roomba 670

An efficient and thorough cleaning tool that can successfully handle dirt, dust and general household debris across a wide range of floorings. It handles carpet well but is definitely more comfortable on the low pile variety. It might need an extra pass or two sometimes too on carpet.

Roomba 671

The 671 is equipped and capable of cleaning up on all floor types including low pile carpets. This is similar to the 670.

Roomba 675

iRobot Roomba 675

Widely considered as being probably the best 600 series robot vacuum, the 675 does a good job on low pile carpet. The 675 offers a methodical but quick and efficient automated cleaning option for homes with pets (particularly of the hairy variety). It comes with Dirt Detection, so it’ll know when there’s more dirt to clean in a specific area.

Roomba 690 

iRobot Roomba 690

Featuring advanced ‘Dirt Detect’ technology the 690 intelligently determines which areas of your home need more attention and will focus its efforts to ensure that those areas are kept particularly spic and span. As with all the 600 series, it’s best-suited for low or thin pile carpets.  

Roomba e5 (5150)

iRobot Roomba e5 (5150)

One of the latest models in the Roomba range, that in addition to being able to clean effectively across a range of surfaces, including a variety of carpet types, it can also be controlled remotely from your phone or other smart devices, meaning you can come into a clean house every day. It does a good job on low pile carpets. Doesn’t do as good of a job on medium pile carpet, but give it additional passes, it’ll do the job.

Roomba 805

Another good option for pet owners with a carpet clad home, the 805 will get on and do what it needs to do with minimal intervention or input from you. Similar to other models it does prefer a low to medium carpet pile.   

Roomba 890

Effective on all types of flooring including low to medium pile carpet. This model is a good choice if you suffer from dust or microfiber related allergies as it does well with picking up the finer dust particles and allergens.

Roomba 960 

Transitioning smoothly between wood, tile, lino and carpet, the 960 is more than comfortable tackling floor rugs and can quickly get to removing dirt and debris from around the home. It is probably one of the best performing robot vacs on thicker pile carpets due to its powerful suction capabilities. The 800 and 900 series models all have the AeroForce cleaning system that does a great job of getting the dirt and dust.

AeroForce™ Performance Cleaning System | Roomba® | iRobot®

Roomba 980

The 980’s AeroForce cleaning system with Power Boost intelligently increases the level of suction power where ever and whenever required. It is effective on the vast majority of modern household floor coverings and is comfortable on low to medium pile carpets.  

Roomba 985

iRobot Roomba 985

Featuring a sophisticated navigational system that would be the envy of many modern cars, this robot vac creates a virtual map of your room’s layout and then sets about methodically cleaning your home and it’s various surfaces. It may struggle a bit on thick pile carpets though.  

Roomba i7 & i7+

iRobot Roomba i7+

Both models feature the same impressive range of high spec gadgetry with the main differentiator being the i7+ can empty its own bin. Similarly, either model is a great choice for homes with high or thick pile carpets. The self-empty option is handy, so you’re not always manually emptying the dustbin yourself. This also allows the i7+ to keep cleaning while you’re not at home because there’s no need for you to empty the bin.

Roomba i7+ cleaning really, really thick rug

Roomba s9 & s9+ 

Undoubtedly two of the best robot vacs on the market today. Similar once again in design and their cleaning capabilities. The s9+ version adds the ability to empty its own dustbin automatically to the Clean Base unit, which will hold up to 30 bins worth of dirt, dust, and debris. The s9 range offers the best option for deep carpet cleaning.

Here’s a video test where 1 pound of rice was put down in thick carpet. The s9+ ran and guess how much of that one pound of rice was picked up:

iRobot Roomba S9+ - Thick Carpet TEST 1 POUND of Rice ON HIGH POWER! Can it beat the i7+ this time?


Does Roomba work on carpet and hardwood?

The best answer to that question is “yes, but it depends on your home.”

There are the questions above about your home and lifestyle that’ll help determine which Roomba is best for you.

There’s no getting away from the fact that robot vacuums perform best on a hard, flat surface like wood or tile. Most can cope well with low to medium pile carpets, but thick or high pile carpets continue to present a challenge.

If your home was all hardwood or another type of hard, smooth floor, any Roomba will do a good job. The higher-end ones with more suction power will do a better job, but the others will still do a good job. Check out this post for a Roomba comparison chart.

Short or low pile carpets also won’t present any major problems for any Roomba model.

Medium pile carpets are where things start to get a little more challenging for the lower end models. I’d suggest getting at least a 900 series and if you have room for a higher budget, go with the i7 or s9 series.

With a deep or long pile carpet, you’re going to need to go with the Roomba s9 or s9+ with the Clean Base unit.

iRobot Roomba s9+