price: $150 - 600
I know you've seen the Roomba in action by now. It's been around for years (I don't mean to offend you if you haven't, so click here to see mine in action in our kitchen). But I'm here to tell you this: Make the investment. Do it for even a used Roomba if you like saving time, if you like clean floors, and especially if you have a pet (my wife and I have a cat).
This is the name I've given our Roomba Pro, the original floor-vacuuming iRobot creation.
Now I'll tell you straight-up my Father-in-Law gave this to my wife and I, after buying it for $5.00 at a tag sale. It had a weak battery, so I purchased a new one from iRobot for about $65. So our investment was less than yours will be, but I would definitely pay at least $300 to buy a new unit, knowing what I know about how much it has helped us keep our home clean and saved me time.
Part of my excitement about the Roomba has to do with the fact that cleaning floors is my job at our house. :) My wife and I divvy up the chores and I chose floors because I have a thing about clean floors. I can't stand it when the floors have crumbs or dirt on them. We don't wear shoes in our house (my rule). There's probably some aspect of this which isn't healthy, but I usually reason that a clean home is a happy home. :)
But even if you're not as clean-floor-obsessed as I, you know that vacuuming rugs and sweeping / mopping floors is a pain in the neck. It's always an hour or two of dragging the vacuum around the house, plugging it in, moving it, unplugging it....What if I told you buying a Roomba would mean you could go from running your regular vacuum once every two weeks to once every two months... or more?
This is the way it is at our house now. The Roomba, in fact, does such a great job of vacuuming the open areas that I haven't run our cannister vacuum in about three months. And I don't even have to be home while the Roomba is running.
I run it three times per week: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I start it up as I'm leaving the house for work and find it when I come home. I usually start it up in a different part of the house each time, so the Roomba covers different rooms each time. But I've also watched our Roomba in action and it often touches every room in our one-floor ranch. And keep in mind we own the original. The newer Roombas are smarter and actually keep track of where they are and what they've done thus far.
Now while the Roomba will do amazing things like clean both carpet and bare floors and get into hard-to-reach places like under the couch (awesome for this), it will not be able to get into all of the crevices in your home. You'll still need to run a regular vacuum every couple of months, to get the dust in the corners. But this is definitely way better than having to run it more often.
Seriously, get one. Buy a new one to the latest technological enhancements or an older, used one, to get the time savings. You can purchase them new or used at Amazon. You can buy Roombas which will vacuum, wash your floors, those specifically for pets, those which will clean your pool, and even clear out your gutter!
Leave a comment here or on my Facebook page when you've seen what yours has done for your time and cleanliness. I'd love to hear it!