Make sure to check out the new model:
iRobot Roomba 650 Vacuum Cleaning Robot Pets
The Roomba 630 is iRobot’s entry-level robot vacuum cleaner and our recommendation for home owners, who don’t have to deal with allergies.
After purchasing the Bobsweep Robotic Vacuum Cleaner (rouge) – PetHair edition (a top-notch robotic vacuum for pet hair I’ve also reviewed) and falling in love my mother-in-law, Sue, wanted to outdo me by bragging about her Roomba. Now, I’ve heard of the Roomba before, but until I met Bob, which is my loving pet-name for my new robotic vacuum cleaner, I didn’t believe that these little discs could do a very good job of picking up anything – much less pet hair. As it turns out, robotic vacuums designed specifically for eliminating pet hair do a phenomenal job. The iRobot Roomba 630 Vacuum Cleaning Robot For Pets is a completely automated robotic vacuum cleaner, available since 2002 from the market leader iRobot, that uses a series of sensors to help it pick up dirt and debris from different floortypes. It is comparable to Neato, which a lesser-known robotic vacuum brand that is still quite popular.
Introducing the iRobot 600 series:
My First Experience with the iRobot Roomba 630
Anyway, as I was bragging to Sue about Bob and his uncanny knack for finding dog hair, she quickly told me about her iRobot Roomba 630 pet vacuum cleaner. She said she’d had it for a few years, but it was still ticking and making her life easier. She says that it also features rotating brushes that will allow it to scoop up hair close to baseboards, that its slim design allows it to fit into tight spaces, such as under beds and chairs, and that its large tray lets it take care of an entire area before it needs to be emptied. I wanted to know more.
Now, Sue isn’t much of a dog person, but she is the cat lady of the neighborhood. Her three feline friends, Meow, Purr, and Scratch (genius, I know) are her babies, and as she was telling me about her Roomba, I remember thinking to myself that I’d never seen a single cat hair anywhere in her house. Could this little machine really outdo Bob? I had to find out.
I asked Sue to bring her Roomba 630 over for a bit of a sweep-off a few days later. I’d decided that Bob should live upstairs because that’s where all of my kids’ bedrooms are located and my oldest son has some mild allergies to dog hair, and although I was considering another Bob for the downstairs area, I was starting to second-guess myself. After all, Sue is a pretty good consumer advocate and she would never recommend a product that didn’t live up to expectation. She arrived a few hours later with her iRobot Roomba 630 in tow, and she explained that in the last three years of using it, it had never required any maintenance outside of a good cleaning. Like Bob, the Roomba 630 would charge itself when it got tired. This is perhaps my favorite feature of all since I’m notorious for forgetting to plug in cell phones and tablets.
Sue placed her iRobot on the floor, inside of its charging dock, and plugged it into the wall. When she pressed the button to turn it on, the robot vacuum cleaner slid right out of its dock and went to work. Like the Bobsweep, the Roomba went around the room looking for dog hair under the sofa, the chairs, and even along the baseboards. It did a great job of removing the hair, and it was relatively quiet – but not quite as quiet as Bob. I quickly noticed that the Roomba chose a zig-zag motion, which allowed it to sense even the tiniest bits of dirt and debris. I was thoroughly impressed, and I decided to keep the Roomba overnight while I slept to see how it would do. Sue reluctantly agreed, but said she would be back in the morning because Meow, Purr, and Scratch would miss their “playmate”. I know this feeling. Smokey and Bandit, my dogs, get a kick out of watching Bob slide around the floor. With a smile and a promise to return the iRobot Roomba 630 robot vacuum cleaner the following day, I went about my task.
The Amazing Results
That night, after my kids had gone to bed upstairs and I had fully charged the Roomba 630, I turned it on and sent it to work in the living room right before crawling into bed. Because Sue said that the pet vacuum cleaner would only run for about an hour and a half on a single charge, I wasn’t sure that it would be able to handle my large living room. When I woke up the next morning, I found the little Roomba safely nestled in its charging dock. I retrieved it and pulled out the collection tray, and what I found made me laugh. There was enough hair in there to build myself another dog. Considering that the room was just vacuumed a few days prior, I found this to be quite impressive, to say the least.
I called Sue later that morning to give her the results of my experiment, and I think she was more relieved that I was finished with her Roomba than anything else. When she returned to retrieve it, I asked her if she thought her Roomba was better than my Bob. She couldn’t really give me an answer since she’d never owned a Bobsweep of any kind, but she was sure to tell me that Roomba offered several other robotic vacuum cleaners in their line. One of these, the iRobot Roomba 650 robotic vacuum cleaner, was the newest version of her 630. Sue mentioned that she had been considering the upgrade herself, but because her 630 had never let her down, she didn’t really want to part with it. I can’t say that I blamed her. After all, I’d only had Bob for a few days and I was already attached.
Sue took her Roomba 630 home and I was a bit confounded at this point. Just a few days ago, I was ready to order another Bobsweep PetHair edition for the lower level of my home, but now I wasn’t sure it was the best choice. I got online and started doing a bit of research, and I found that Roomba makes several different robotic vacuum cleaners. As always, there are advantages and disadvantages to using a robot vacuum for pet hair.
- Fully automated; works while I’m sleeping to pick up hair and dirt
- The Roomba docks itself to charge when the battery level is low
- Cleans under beds and other pieces of heavy furniture with ease
- Runs parallel with baseboards to remove hair
- Tends to get caught on rug tassels and floor-length curtains
- No pre-programming ability
- Relatively small collection tray
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