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If you’re looking for the latest and best robotic vacuum cleaner, the IRobot Roomba 880 is definitely worth a close look. With upgraded technology, it cleans twice as much dirt as other models. As an added bonus, it also does great on pet hair and has a HEPA allergy system to not only take care of the hair but the dander as well.

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Daily Use

Having a robotic vacuum is a welcome relief and will spoil you if you’re used to the regular upright or canister push or pull around variety. It goes easily between hardwood floors, linoleum and carpeting without you having to make any adjustments.

As for battery life, this Roomba runs about 3- 3.5 hours before it needs a charge, so unless you have an unusually large home, you won’t need to worry about it stopping before the floors are clean.

As for how well it works, one great feature is the little bristles that stick out from the edges of the IRobot. The bristles rotate to get the dust and dirt out of corners and under edges, like those of kitchen cabinets. For this reason, you won’t need to do any additional cleanup in corners after the 880 is finished running.

In review after review, users are very impressed with the amount of dirt and dust picked up by the 880. It is strong and powerful enough to pick up every day dirt and also hearty enough to pick up small particles like sand, bird seed, breakfast cereal or food bits from braided rugs where the surface isn’t even.

Pet Hair & Kitty Litter

According to user reviews, the IRobot Roomba 880 does a great job of picking up dog and cat hair as well as kitty litter and small bits of food on both hardwood or bare floors and on carpet. One user says he has 2 cats and a Golden Retriever (talk about shedding!), and it does a great job, and the bin is full of pet hair every time. Additionally, it has a strong HEPA filter, which will get rid of pet dander, dust, mold, pollen and other common allergens.

Some people considering getting their first robotic vacuum are concerned about how their pets will react to it running around in “their space”. Strangely enough, if you look on the internet, you’ll see many videos of cats happily going for a ride on the vacuum (which doesn’t hurt it).

Since the Roomba 880 isn’t anywhere near as noisy as a regular full-sized cleaner, it doesn’t usually bother pets too much, though you may need to let the dog know it’s okay and give him or her some extra attention or soothing the first few time it runs while your pet gets used to the new action in the home.

irobot roomba 880Long Hair

If you’ve ever vacuumed with an upright with a spinning brush roll, you know how much of a pain it can be to untangle long hair from around the brush roll. Usually, it requires not only some mechanical skill, but also a sharp knife or pair of scissors.

The iRobot Roomba 880 has a removable rubber roll, so if your hair does get tangled around it, you just need to slide it off, making the whole process much easier. Unlike its predecessor, the 770, it doesn’t have real brushes at all, so it can pick up hair and dust without it getting tangled up.

What You Get

  • iRobot Roomba 880 vacuuming unit
  • 2 Virtual Wall Lighthouses (blocks off areas you don’t want vacuumed and acts as a gate to automatically open and block rooms for maximum efficiency)
  • XL HEPA Filter
  • Remote Control

Specs

  • Scheduling: Up to 7x per week
  • Full Bin Alert: Beeps
  • Battery: Advanced Ni-MH

Maintenance

How much maintenance the 880 requires really depends on how often you use it and how much dirt is around your house. Generally, you’ll want to check it about once per week to make sure there is no hair stuck in the brush roll (it pops out for easy cleaning) and to empty the dirt container.

If you forget to empty it, it will alert you if the container is full (with a beep) or if there happens to be a clog, so you don’t even need to remember to check it. You will also want to remove the HEPA filter occasionally and give it a good tap against the side of the trash can to keep it running efficiently.

Pros

  • Powerful suction
  • Easy maneuverability
  • Very low maintenance

Cons

While overall, users love the Roomba 880 in reviews, there are a few things that may concern you. First, one user review stated that his dog had made a mess in the house, and the Roomba smeared it around. Yuck! This is just a lesson to make sure there are no wet messes around before you run the vacuum.

The Roomba may also get tripped up on things like a long fringe on a rug (more than 3-4 inches long), so if you have those in your home, you’ll want to tuck in the fringe prior to running the machine. Though it will go around small items like toys, it’s better to pick those up so the Roomba doesn’t expend extra energy and battery power going around them. In other words, the clearer you can make the floor space, the better.

Consumer Ratings

Overall, people who bought the 880 and use it on a regular basis give it 4.5 out of 5 stars, a very high rating. They love how easy it is to use and maintain and that its powerful enough to suck up everything from fine dust to cereal to pet hair.

With the included infrared remote, the only time you really need to touch it is to empty the dirt container. It comes with Virtual Wall Lighthouses, which will keep it confined to an area if you wish, and it can be scheduled to clean up to 7 times per week, so you can let it run every day if you need to.

The bottom line is that this Roomba is a very worthwhile investment if you want to do less housework (and who doesn’t?!). Though the price of robotic vacuums is a bit on the expensive side, if you’re looking for a long-term solution to housecleaning and it’s in your budget, the iRobot Roomba 880 is a great investment. If you’re interested in buying one, Amazon has it on sale right now, and you get free shipping.