iRobot Roomba 880 Robotic Vacuum Cleaner Review ⭐⭐⭐⭐:halfstar:



To Buy Or Not Summary

:star::star::star::star::halfstar: by 2948 customers
4.4 out of 5
  • Amazon Customer Reviews
    :star::star::star::star::halfstar: by 2036 customers
    4.3 out of 5
  • Best Buy Customer Reviews
    :star::star::star::star::halfstar: by 392 customers
    4.5 out of 5
  • Walmart Customer Reviews
    :star::star::star::star::halfstar: by 520 customers
    4.5 out of 5


  • iAdapt Multi-Room Navigation uses a full suite of sensors to navigate and adapt to your changing home
  • Room to room cleaning in up to 3 rooms with the included Virtual Wall Lighthouse beacons
  • AeroForce 3-Stage Cleaning System delivers up to 50% more cleaning performance
  • Tangle-free extractors help prevent hair and debris clogs
  • AeroForce High-Efficiency Filter traps fine dirt and dust
  • Buy
  • Don’t buy

0 voters


Amazon Review by Dawn Tarin :star::star::star::star::star:

2730 people found the following review helpful

Fantastic for reducing allergies, may make you a neat freak!

We bought this Roomba 880 robot vacuum cleaner to help clean our family vacation apartment. The apartment is only about 700 sq feet and is occupied for about 3-4 months of the year, so lots of dust accumulates between visits. I have a very severe dust mite allergy, and I usually sneeze for most of the time we are in the apartment, even if we damp dust and HEPA vacuum it with our Dyson canister vacuum cleaner soon after we arrive. I was very curious (and skeptical) to see whether Minnie (our Roomba) could alleviate these symptoms and reduce our cleaning workload while on vacation.

The apartment has mixed surfaces. About two thirds of it is tiled and the rest is carpet, including the bedrooms. The floor plan is fairly open, except that the 2 bedrooms and bathrooms are separate along a corridor. This is important when considering how to use the robot most efficiently. Now that we have had Minnie for around a month, I have to say that she (has to be a she - the error messages are all given by a female voice!) does a superb job. My husband is an efficient demon with the Dyson, doing a VERY thorough job. However, he insists that Minnie does a better job than he can. My allergies have improved hugely. So much so, that we are going to have to buy a second Roomba for our home.

Now for some nitty gritty:


  1. Does a fantastic job, probably better than most humans
  2. Happily goes under beds, eliminating those dust bunnies which make me sneeze all night
  3. Very easy to use
  4. Very easy to empty the bin and clean the filter - takes about 2 minutes, maximum. Good idea to clean the HEPA filter with a handheld vacuum like the Dyson models, to prolong filter life
  5. Virtual wall lighthouses work very well, once you understand their intricacies
  6. Can be left unattended or scheduled to clean while you are away, once you have Roomba-prepped the area to be cleaned
  7. Massively reduces the dust load in a home, far more than human vacuuming can reasonably do. Be aware that the first few times in a carpeted room, you may need to empty the bin every 15 mins or so. It really is that good at picking up dust. Be prepared to babysit the robot constantly at first!
  8. Much quieter than a standard manual HEPA vacuum, but don’t expect to be able to hold a telephone conversation with someone on a bad cellphone connection when you are 3 yards away from it
  9. Decent battery life. Probably about 3.5 hours on our machine. We can now clean the whole apartment in less than 2 hours - no need to recharge. However the first few cleanings, particularly on carpet areas, took much longer than this, and required an overnight charge to finish.
  10. I have long hair - about 4 inches below the shoulder. Minnie picks it all up, even from carpet. It can wrap around the rollers, but simply removing the rollers and tugging on the hair pulls most of it away in one neat coil. Much easier than brush vacuum cleaners!

Cons (most of these are minor design niggles, and I have tried to suggest a way to work with them)

  1. Instruction manual leaves a lot to be desired. It is fairly brief, and tells you most of the essentials, but it doesn’t help you to understand how to use your Roomba most effectively. The iRobot web site doesn’t fill in the gaps. You either have to learn from experience, or Google and hope that you find the answer
  2. Some of the information in the manual is misleading. For example, the cleaning patterns illustrated are not how the 880 works. If you start cleaning from the Home Base, the Roomba does a sort of random straight line scribble over the whole room, not a spiral and straight edge clean as displayed in the manual. It will pay special attention to edges, but the cleaning pattern is not as illustrated. I am certain that many engineers who own Roombas may be on the verge of a nervous breakdown if they watch this apparently random pattern. Having said that, our Minnie does pick up >99% of “bits” that I have noticed before starting her. This includes bread crumbs, hairs, lint, onion and garlic papery skins, grit from drilling the wall, etc. Just be patient and don’t obsessively watch - she will get it.
  3. Virtual wall light houses are essential for an efficient clean, and their use is very poorly described in the manual. From a combination of experience and reading, I have come up with the following:
    a) Virtual wall lighthouses (VWLH) supplied with the 880 (2 of them) can be used to divide up a complex shaped area to clean it more efficiently. When you start Roomba, it counts how many VWLH are present (seems like it may only be able to count to 3 though!), then immediately starts cleaning the starting area where you first pressed the Clean button. All of the VWLH devices go into Virtual Wall mode at this point, penning the Roomba into the area you designated. According to, the Roomba will clean that first area until it is clean, or for a maximum of 25 mins. With Minnie, this is NOT true. For the first few uses, she would clean an area for over 45 mins, so the online info is not necessarily accurate. Once Roomba has finished the first area, the closest VWLH will then go into “lighthouse” mode, allowing Roomba to cross into the next area. Once she has passed into that area, it becomes a virtual wall again, keeping her in the new zone until Roomba has finished cleaning it. It then reverts to lighthouse mode, allowing the robot to exit the area and proceed to the next area protected by a VWLH, if any. This process is repeated until the segregated zones are cleaned, at which point the Roomba returns to its home base.
    b) Light house placement is somewhat critical. The VWLH and the Home Base both emit a kind of “halo” of a no-go zone around themselves, so that the robot can’t nudge them out of position. It seems to be about 8-10 inches in radius. This means that you must not place the home base too close to a doorway where you intend to use a VWLH, or the two will interfere, and the robot may not clean the room. We have found that the best placement is on the far side of a threshold, behind, but level with the door frame. Experience will teach you what works best for you.
    c) If you are cleaning a narrow hallway, do not put the home base on one of the long walls, as the robot may get confused and stay down one end of the hall for much of the cleaning cycle (yes, I have done this). The halo effect can block a lot of the corridor and make it hard for Roomba to navigate along it past the home base or VWLH. You will know this is happening if Roomba keeps pirouetting on the spot before moving on to an area it has already cleaned. Happens with VWLHs as well as Home base - so place them both thoughtfully!
  4. Blinking lights are not well explained. For example:
    a) A blue starfish light on top of Roomba means that the side brush is slowing down. If the robot is on a deep pile carpet, it may just be friction from that. If not, you need to stop it and untangle any accumulated crud from the side brush under the robot
    b) A flashing blue magnifying glass usually means that Roomba has detected extra dirt. This light will usually change to the signal described in c), but if it doesn’t you may need to clean the counter-rotating rubber rollers as described in the manual, and wipe out the channel under those (when the machine is upside down) to the collector bin. The dirt detector in the 880 is an optical sensor (not acoustic as in older models) above the rollers in the channel to the bin - if it gets very dirty, it can give false signals.
    c) A solid blue magnifying glass means that Roomba is in intensive clean mode. Now this gets confusing… If it goes into this mode itself, it will do a fan-shaped back and forth motion over about a 1 yard area. If it is showing this icon after you pressed the Spot clean button, it will spiral over about the same area, unless it hits something, at which point it will go back to normal cleaning mode. Don’t stress, it is cleaning! :slight_smile:
  5. We have never heard a full bin warning. It would be helpful if it was either used, or nice and loud! The machine does not stop cleaning when the bin is full, so you may want to clean again if you find it with a full bin, as it is obviously not very efficient in this condition.
  6. It is hard to get error messages replayed. The manual says to press Clean once to replay them, but when we have done this, the robot just starts cleaning again. Oh well, I guess it fixed itself?
  7. If you do have severe allergies, you don’t want to be anywhere near this when it is cleaning. I sneeze constantly and get red itchy eyes if I am in the same room. Hardly surprising when you see the side brush spinning - it must throw dust and hair/fur up into the air. Having said that, it is really no worse than a manual vacuum cleaner, which throws up dust mechanically and also from the exhaust disturbing the floor layer. In my case, my husband is the lead babysitter for Minnie when she is cleaning. Nice for me!
  8. Some room prep is really needed for a MUCH better clean. Common sense stuff. Roomba will not suck up thick power cords, but it will tangle on the thinner iPhone/iPad/MacBook charging cables and similar. Also socks, small toys etc. can block the rollers. We lift dining chairs and place them upside down on the dining table (like restaurants) to get the best crumb patrol in the dining room. Light furniture needs to have delicate items moved - Roomba can hit it quite hard the first few times, and your smashed fine porcelain vase may end up in Roomba’s collection bin.

OK, apologies for the long review, but I wanted to convey accurately just how good this device is. The supporting documentation needs extensive reworking, but the vacuum cleaner is outstanding. When it finally wears out, we will certainly buy another. We can’t imagine living without Minnie, now that we have seen what a great job she does. If you follow the instructions for user maintenance, regularly empty the bin and clean the rollers, brush and filters (and wipe down the machine), you may be as amazed as me at how much your allergies can improve with a Roomba in your home. Goodbye Kleenex, hello Roomba! - Customer Reviews: iRobot Roomba 880 Robotic Vacuum Cleaner


Walmart Review by Jack :star::star::star::star::emptystar:

Pretty good vacuum robot, except...

We purchased this roomba 880 about 3 months ago, been pretty happy with it except its navigation technology, sometimes it'd get itself stuck in very simple obstacles (as shown in the video). It can be frustrating at times especially it'd completely drain its battery if nobody is at home to "rescue" it from this situation. The condo we live in is approximately 1100 sqft. with 3 Virtual Wall Lighthouses - Customer Reviews: iRobot Roomba 880 Robotic Vacuum Cleaner


Here is a nice video

iRobot Roomba 880 robot vacuum cleaner review, demonstration and instructions.


Best Buy Review by JensenV :star::star::star::star::star:

Best Roomba Yet

We've owned previous Roombas since the 4200 series and this one is by far the best at 1) picking up all kinds of dirt and pet fur; 2) transitioning successfully from carpet to slate or from slate (or tile) to area rug or from hardwood to area rug, etc. 3) the longest lasting battery.

iRobot completely updated how Roomba picks up the dirt and debris with this model and eliminated all of the brushes that used to do that work, with rubber “fingers”.

This generation Roomba can NOW successfully transition across all kinds of flooring without getting caught-up on any type of threshold (high or tall areas) like from slate/tile/hardwood onto an area rug, and does so without stopping and “asking” for help to get up onto the area rug, etc…

This Roomba can NOW pickup ALL of the dirt and debris on ANY of the flooring surfaces within our house. ALL of the previous Roombas with actual brushes would ALWAYS leave dirt and debris (dog fur especially) in clumps on all of the hard flooring surfaces.

Speaking of leaving clumps of dog fur behind, this is also the first Roomba that does not leave those dog fur clumps (or any other kinds of dirt clumps) behind when transitioning from hard surface flooring up onto an area rug or down from an area rug back onto hard surface flooring. ALL of the previous Roombas did leave dog fur and other dirt clumps behind when making the up or down flooring transitions.

This is also the first Roomba that is extremely easy to clean when compared to all of the previous Roombas (by FAR!).

For Reference: Dog hair that this Roomba encounters daily is: Short, soft, fine fur from a Rhodesian Ridgeback (AMAZING breed, BTW…) short, “wirery” fur from a Labrador/Chesapeake Retriever mix that even our Dyson Animal isn’t thrilled with picking up and this 880 Roomba seems to be just as good as the Dyson Animal at picking up this fur (when our 700 series Roomba was/is terrible at picking up this fur), and a medium-haired American German Shepherd.

We’ve not experienced any of the issues that others may have experienced to here’s to hoping iRobot worked all of those issues out with the models being sold currently. - Customer Reviews: iRobot Roomba 880 Robotic Vacuum Cleaner