Operating Time (hours)
Warranty and Support
Summary : Despite its complexity, the Roomba 870 is surprisingly user friendly. No configuration is needed – you just pop it together, charge it, and press the “On” button. It’s easy to set up, it cleans exceptionally well, and there’s a 1-year warranty included.
Roomba is the leader in robotic vacuuming, and the 800 series is its latest release. Two models are available – the 870 and the 880. On this page, we’ll cover the 870. You can see our review of the 880 here.
Instead of just going through the features one by one, we’ll do it in an interactive way. This is exactly what you’ll experience when you purchase the 870 and let it rip.
Part 1: The ordering and unboxing
The cheapest price for the Roomba 870 is on Amazon. (Well, free shipping will take 5-8 days, or you can pay a couple of extra bucks for expedited shipping. Prime members get free 2-day shipping on it.)
Okay, now, it should be at your doorstep. When you open it up, you’ll see the following things…
- The Roomba itself
- The battery for the Roomba (called a iRobot XLife battery, it lasts for 2x longer than previous Roomba batteries)
- 2x HEPA filters (the best vacuum filters on the market as of 2015)
- 1x side brush (to remove debris from around walls and furniture legs)
- The “home base” (you plug this into the wall and the 870 charges itself here)
- 2x Virtual Wall barriers (you can create invisible straight “walls” for the Roomba with these)
- 2x AeroForce extractors (these provide extra suction)
You also get the warranty card (1-year for the unit, 6 months for battery) and the setup manual. The setup manual isn’t really needed – you just snap everything together and you’ll see it light up.
You have to charge the 870 right out of the box. This takes around an hour. Once it’s done, we move onto part 2…
Part 2: The first run
Despite its complexity, the Roomba 870 is surprisingly user friendly. No configuration is needed – you just pop it together, charge it, and press the “On” button.
After you do, the unit will begin to clean the room… but not necessarily like a human would. It uses more of a random pattern – not a parallel back-and-forth like you’d do if you were manually vacuuming.
You won’t notice a lot of sound. The 600 and 700 series were both fairly noisy, but iRobot has made some adjustments in the 800 series. One reviewer claims that he can easily have a conversation with someone else from across the room while the Roomba is cleaning in that same room.
Furniture isn’t a problem. The Roomba moves relatively slowly, so if it does hit any furniture, it’s just a soft bump. It’s definitely not enough force to cause any damage or scuff marks.
Now… let’s say you’re cleaning a large room that’s particularly dirty. The 870 might not be able to handle it in one charge. If it starts to run out of charge, it makes its way back to home base, and from there, it waits until it’s at full battery. Then, it resumes the task without skipping a beat.
Once the room is clean, the Roomba docks itself, awaiting further instruction.
It’s a fairly simple process – the only thing that’s remotely complicated is part three.
Part 3: Scheduling and maintenance
The scheduling is a nifty feature. It’s sort of like you have a maid showing up at your house right on time every single day… except you don’t actually have to let a stranger into your house.
You can set it to run on a certain time every day of the week. If your house gets dirty quickly, run it every day. If you’re a bachelor who is rarely home, once or twice a week will be plenty. When the scheduled time hits, the Roomba 870 will start itself up and go to town on your floors.
And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for (and maybe dreading)… the maintenance.
Due to the 870’s compact size, you’ll have to change it after every clean. You can get away with cleaning the HEPA filter every couple of runs, and you’ll have to change the filter completely every two months or so. Changing it is as easy as snapping in the new one, and cleaning it only takes a minute or two. iRobot dubs the 800 series as “virtually maintenance free” because of how easy it is to clean.
That wasn’t so bad, was it?
The only downside of the 870 is…
…the fact that it can only clean one room at a time. If you have multiple rooms in your house, you’ll have to move the unit and home base to each new one you want cleaned.
This isn’t a big deal if you have a small house or any-sized apartment. For those with larger houses, you may want to consider the 880. Here’s our review on it – the only difference is the fact that it can clean multiple rooms at a time. That convenience comes with $100 more tacked onto the price tag.
Worth the buy?
If you’re living on a shoestring budget, then a Roomba isn’t a smart buy. You can get a manual vacuum for much cheaper.
But if you’re looking to make an investment, an 800 series Roomba is the way to go. Consider how much time (and effort) you put into vacuuming – you free up all of that time with a one-time purchase. It’s easy to set up, it cleans exceptionally well, and there’s a 1-year warranty included.
Get the 870 if you have a smaller house, or a house with just a few separate rooms. If you have a lot of walls (and a lot of rooms as a result of that), we’d recommend upgrading to the 880. It’ll save you a lot of headache in the long run.