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?

Roomba robot vacuum cleaners work on carpets, but not all Roomba models are equally efficient. The higher-end models have the suction power to clean high-pile carpet, while the lower end models are only sufficient enough to clean low-pile carpet. 

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 even 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. They’ll pick up the dirt that’s embedded deeper 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.

How to Get Roomba to Go On Rug

Roomba vacuums can sometimes have trouble with rugs that have black or dark edges, or if the height is too high and it sees the rug as a barrier. Here are a few solutions to try that will help get the Roomba to go on a rug: 

1. Cover the Sensors – Tape a white index card over the cliff sensors. This will prevent the Roomba from seeing a tall rug edge as a barrier. But it’s not a good idea if you have stairs or drop-off areas that the Roomba could fall off of. 

2. Install a Floor Transition Strip – This works well for transitioning between a room with hardwood floors to a room with carpet. You can also use a transition strip with rugs. It’s best to use a non-black strip to avoid sensors not correctly identifying it.

3. Use White Paper as a Transition – Putting white pieces of paper to act as a transition from the floor to rug will help the Roomba transition. Using a stiffer material like posterboard, will make it easier for Roomba to go on the rug. 

Is Roomba Good for Carpet?

A Roomba vacuum cleaner is a very useful tool for cleaning carpets. The Roomba i, j, and s series models will provide the best cleaning performances on carpeted floors. In addition to their recharge and resume feature, they also have rubber brushes that will not rip out carpet fibers as a bristle brush would. These brushes are designed to be used on thick pile carpets and will help agitate and remove the majority of the dust and debris trapped in the fibers.

How Does Roomba Work on Carpets?

Roomba works on carpets by with iRobot’s 3-stage Cleaning System. When the Roomba is on carpet, the dual brush rollers will rotate in opposite directions to agitate the debris and dust in the carpet fibers. The suction will then vacuum the debris into its dustbin. The brush rollers will also adjust up and down depending on the height of the carpet, so the Roomba will work on high and low pile carpets.  

Does Roomba Work on Carpet?

Yes, the Roomba works on carpet. Not all Roomba models will work equally well though. The i, j, and s series models will work the best on carpets because of their self-adjusting brushes and the extra suction power. 

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 

The Roomba 614 is an entry-level model in the iRobot lineup of robot vacuums. It’s a great option for a first foray into the world of robot vacuums.

The 614 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

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 

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)

One of the latest models in the Roomba range. The e5 is able to clean effectively across a range of surfaces, from hardwood to 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. The e5 does a good job on low pile carpets, but not as good of a job on medium pile carpet. It’ll need additional passes to 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

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+

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?

Roomba on Carpet Final Thoughts

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.

FAQs Frequently Asked Questions

Best Robot Vacuum for High Pile Carpet

The Roomba s9 from iRobot is the best Roomba for high pile carpet. The s9’s 40x suction power and smart cleaning features will be able to get down into the carpet pile. Wide brushes will loosen dirt and debris from the carpet pile to be sucked up.

Best Robot Vacuum for Thick Carpet

The iRobot Roomba s9 is the best Roomba for thick carpet. To get down into the dirt and debris in thick pile carpet, you’ll need the s9’s powerful 40x suction power. The s9 has wider brush rollers than others, so it can disrupt the carpet pile and loosen the debris to be sucked up.

Photo of author

Written by:

Michael Hoyt
Michael Hoyt, a seasoned expert in smart home technology and robot vacuum specialist, is renowned for his contributions to home automation. With a deep-seated knowledge of smart devices, he has dedicated his career to enhancing living spaces with advanced technology. Michael's expertise extends from in-depth reviews and recommendations to practical advice on fully automating homes with smart home solutions.