Does the iRobot Roomba 560 Really Work?

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Does the iRobot Roomba 560 work?The iRobot Roomba 560 is one of those self-cleaning vacuums with an added attachment that allows it to do thick carpets as well as hardwood floors, without needing to be picked up and moved from surface to surface. It still has all of the functionality that you’d come to expect from an iRobot vacuum cleaner, but with the enhancements that you need if your house has these typical obstacles.

If you’ve seen our iRobot review, you’ll know that we gave the entire product line a generally positive review, and recommended getting them. But taking things down to the model level is the next logical step, and if you’re considering adding this to your home-cleaning arsenal, we’ll help you make the right choice. iRobot vacuums are basically in a class by themselves. You don’t see any other company making a legitimate effort at a self-cleaning vacuum, basically something ripped out of the Jetsons cartoon.

The Claim
The claim of the iRobot Roomba 560 specifically is that it has a bagless dustbin that is easy to empty, that it won’t fall down stairs, and that it powerful enough to pick up the dirt and debris from around your home. This is one of few cordless vacuum cleaner systems, so it not only needs power to move around the room, but it needs the sucking power to pick things up effectively. They say that they’ve figured out its power needs and it comes with a charging base that it sits in between uses.

The Hype
The hype is that this is a very futuristic vacuum, and some people still can’t believe that it gets all of the spots on your floor, because it seems to be operating pretty randomly. But if you watch time lapse footage you’ll see that it knows where it’s been and where it hasn’t and it won’t stop until it gets the entire surface area of your floor.

The Cost
At $400 this is no light matter to consider, and you’d better be sure you’re getting a vacuum that not only works by itself, but also works in picking up all of the dirt, dust, hair, and other debris that makes it to the ground and in the carpet.

The Commitment
This is where the Roomba vacuums make their strongest case. They truly are set and forget style, and all you have to do is empty their compartment when they get full. The Roomba 560 has a digital setting where you can schedule it to vacuum at specific days and times. You could set it up to vacuum while you’re at work, and come home to nice clean floors without lifting a finger. The convenience factor is through the roof on this one.

All you need to do is see the Roomba 560 in action to know that it works, and works well. Once you see it go from a thick shag carpet to a hardwood floor without missing a beat, you’ll know that it’s something special. Once you see the way it actually detects dirt, and gets it all picked up, you’ll be hooked. One problem we thought it would have is getting up against corners and edges, since it’s round in shape. But they’ve got the technology built right into it so it can get up against walls with no problem, and it even knows when it’s up against a wall.

If your home as a staircase, or even a few steps, you might worry that you can’t use your Roomba 560 on the 2nd floor or around the steps, but not to worry because it can detect if it’s on the edge and it won’t go so far over as to tumble, it just puts the breaks on and backs itself away from the cliff. It might be a little unnerving to realize you have such a smart vacuum in your house, and when the robot apocalypse happens, your Roomba 560 should be your first suspect.

The novelty of having a robot clean your floors is definitely worth the extra price. It’s one less thing you’ll have to do, and you can spend the time doing things you enjoy more than vacuuming, or getting other work done so you can be more productive. Either way, it pays for itself in no time.

Final iRobot Roomba 560 Review

We like what we see with the Roomba 560 and are giving it a Thumbs Up review. The price is a little high, and if you don’t mind doing some of the work, you might want to consider a Dyson at this price point. However there aren’t any other viable options if you want to be able to just push a few buttons and have someone, or some thing do your vacuuming for you. The only other option is to buy a standard vacuum and then hire a housekeeper to run it for you, but that will quickly add up to more than the cost of a Roomba.

Our Recommendation
The Roomba 560 is a good model to go with if you have a lot of uneven surfaces in your home, including area rugs, hardwood floors, and linoleum. It’s got little feelers that spring out so that it knows what it’s on and it knows how to switch modes between surfaces. This makes it perfect at getting the whole house done, and not just being confined to the living room, bedrooms, and other carpeted areas.

What do you think? Does iRobot Roomba 560 work or not?

12 Customer Reviews on “Does the iRobot Roomba 560 Really Work?

  1. We saw our neighbor had a Roomba and I had never seen one before. My wife and I were fascinated so they said we could borrow theirs to see what we thought. We had it for a few days and decided this was too good to not have one ourselves. We both work and normally we vacuum each day with our Dyson Ball which we really like. We have two cats, no children and our single level house has a combination of tile flooring and large rugs. We were most surprised at how much this machine picks up each day and we carried out an experiment to compare the amount of debris and hair and fluff and everything else that the vacuum cleaner picks up, against what the Roomba picks up. Each was used over a full separate week. The Dyson Ball is a great machine, but to our surprise the Roomba got more that the Dyson. This is because it gets everywhere…under the chairs, bed and all the places we normally can’t reach. We are always fascinated by the way it gets round chairs and corners. I understand its routing is random, based on its sensors, and I don’t believe it has memory-learning capabilities (I need to check it out), although sometimes it seems to now just where its going next; but it gets everywhere! Our cats sit at a higher level and watch it do its stuff, usually taking an hour and quarter before it decides to go to its dock and settle down. We program it so it does its work while we are away doing ours, and we find it amusing that when we get home its always docked with its container full of the previous days dirt gathering! I think this is a great machine, and would recommend it to anyone contemplating buying a gadget that saves messing about with an upright. We still use the Dyson about once every two weeks instead of daily…but its psychological…we don’t really need to !!

  2. I loved The Jetsons and I love this concept. If I had an extra $400, I’d snatch one up in a heartbeat. Not only does the “coolness” of it intrigue me, but the idea of vacuuming less is a major plus. My mom has a product like this for her pool and it works great. I’d definitely use it. But the hefty price tag is enough to keep me pulling out my Dirt Devil and getting an arm workout for the time being.

  3. I don’t vacuum often enough to make the purchase of a Roomba worth it (prefer sweeping), but I can definitely see the appeal. If I had more kids or pets, and had a demanding job, I would definitely consider this. When I was working, I barely had time to come home and get dinner on the table. By the time the weekend came around, it would have been helpful to have the Roomba doing the vacuuming for me so I could focus on cleaning other things…or have a little me time!

    I watched the video, though, and it seems like its pattern is random, and I wonder if it really does end up getting every spot.

  4. Seems like it’s be a great enhancement to your vacuuming needs. Obviously, you’ll need to vacuum over the places it missed like Xavier said. But it’s also something that needs to be cleaned out often. Which makes sense. Seeing as it can only store so much that eventually it’s not going to be able to hold much more once it has reached its capacity. I can see myself using to supplement my household cleaning needs. I agree with LS that when have a busy schedule, you can’t always get all the housework done to maintain cleanly. That’s where the iRobot Roomba 560 comes in!

  5. I really need one of these, as I have pets that are constantly tracking debris around the house. My concern, however, is that it will not be able to go over saddles between rooms. Can anyone let me know if the vacuum would sense the edge and stop or actually be able to go up and over it into the next room? I would really love to invest in one of these to help me keep my house clean, as my busy schedule often does not allow me to maintain my floors as well as I would like to.

  6. If you’re buying the roomba then you have to realize that this isn’t going to replace your big vacuum. Instead, what it does is it allows you to vacuum once every two to three weeks instead of every week. I had the 1st generation roomba until my nephew decided to play frisbee with it, it’s a long story so please don’t ask. You let it do its thing and it will keep the house very clean for you, but you’ll eventually have to do the dirty work and clean the spot it missed or the ones that it can’t handle. For me it was a winner because it allows me to clean far less often, but who knows what others think of it.

  7. I have 2 Pet Models. 3 Large dogs, 6 cats, 4+/- people. They run every night. one is 5 years old the other 2. I have the Aerovac upgrades. Disabled Vet. LOVE THEM. Its the best money on a vacuum you will EVER spend. Don’t expect miracles, matter can not be created or destroyed, but it can be sucked up. Most people perform 0 maintenance on their normal house hold vac until its a must do. You can not do that with a Roomba. It MUST be cleaned out often (depending on your normal amount of dirt traffic). Cleaning it takes 5 minutes. So, normal vacuum whole floor (x amount of TIme) or clean Roomba, while sitting comfortably for 5 minutes…no brainer.

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