When you invest in a Roomba robot vacuum, you can expect it to clean your floors without any fuss. But what if you’re in a home or building with more than one floor? Can a single Roomba unit do multiple floors?
Yes, a Roomba can clean multiple floors. The robot vacuum will automatically map any new floor that it doesn’t recognize. Some Roomba models can store up to 10 unique floor plans in their onboard memory. However, the device cannot climb up and down staircases by itself, so you’ll have to carry it between floors manually. For a more seamless experience, invest in additional home bases for each floor.
This guide will help you understand the most crucial parts of using a Roomba to do multiple floors. You’ll learn how a Roomba functions when it has more than one floor to work with, and you’ll also discover its limitations.
How To Use A Roomba On Multiple Floors?
You should understand that your Roomba is perfect for cleaning multiple floors from the get-go. Some models even have special features designed specifically for that kind of use.
Still, there are a few crucial considerations to keep in mind if you’d like to get the best performance from your Roomba.
- How the Roomba will travel from one floor to the other
- How the Roomba will map and remember more than one floor
- Relying on one or more home bases or docks
- The limitations of using a Roomba to do multiple floors
The following sections will explore each of those topics in great detail so you can get the most from your Roomba as it cleans multiple floors in your home or building.
How Does A Roomba Travel Up And Down Staircases?
Unfortunately, no Roomba model can climb up and down a staircase by itself. Of course, the same is also true for any other robot vacuum brand, so this is not a problem that’s unique to the Roomba. At most, a Roomba can move up a ramp or a slope, but it can’t climb staircases.
So, how does a Roomba get from one floor to the other?
Your only option here is to carry the device manually and transfer it to a different floor. Once you place it on the ground on a new level, the Roomba will continue its cleaning tasks as usual.
Alternatively, some homes or buildings might have an accessibility ramp that leads from one floor to the other. In that case, the Roomba might be able to find its way up that ramp to the next floor.
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Can A Roomba Map Multiple Floors?
Yes, a Roomba can learn the different layouts of multiple floors and clean each one without any problems.
Better yet, some Roomba models like the i7 and several others can store up to 10 different floor plans in their onboard memory.
In other words, the Roomba only needs to perform a Mapping Run once before being able to remember a new floor’s layout. Then, the device can recognize the floor each time and proceed to clean it efficiently with every new cleaning cycle.
Still, there’s one thing you need to remember about that Mapping Run. Your Roomba will perform a Mapping Run when you place it on an unfamiliar floor. That process will take a bit of time, and the Roomba will not clean as it moves around to explore the area.
When the Roomba finishes mapping the entire floor, it will likely return to the home base to recharge before starting its cleaning cycle.
Can One Roomba Have Two Home Bases On Different Floors?
Yes, a single Roomba unit can work with two or more home bases on different floors. That’s because the Roomba is not tied exclusively to only one home base or dock. Instead, it’ll search for the nearest available home base when it needs to recharge.
Investing in additional home bases for different floors will also make the entire process more efficient. That’s because the Roomba can continue to work uninterrupted and dock with the home base whenever necessary.
For example, once the Roomba battery starts to get low, the unit can search for that floor’s home base to recharge. Then, it’ll continue on with its cleaning cycle until the whole floor is complete.
So even though you have to move the Roomba vacuum manually between floors, you do not have to do the same for the home base. As long as there’s another home base on that floor, the Roomba will dock with it to recharge.
What Are The Limitations Of Using A Roomba To Do Multiple Floors?
As you can see, using a Roomba to clean multiple floors in your home is quite straightforward to do. Still, there are some limitations that you need to keep in mind.
Here are some of the limitations of using a Roomba to do multiple floors and how you can manage those limitations for a better cleaning experience:
The challenge: If you’re making full use of Roomba’s WiFi connectivity and its related features, you must also understand the limitations in WiFi coverage in your house.
Remember: the Roomba can only connect to WiFi if it’s within 150 feet of your router (on the 2.4 GHz frequency). That range is even less if you’re using the 5.0 GHz frequency instead.
A house or building with multiple floors will naturally have weak or dead WiFi signal zones. So when it cleans in those areas, your Roomba will struggle to stay connected to WiFi.
How to manage it: You have two options to manage this issue.
The first option is to ignore it, as your Roomba can continue working even without a WiFi signal. However, you’ll temporarily be unable to connect to the Roomba using your mobile app.
Secondly, you could move your WiFi router to a different location. The best spot would be somewhere in between floors where the WiFi signal would reach your Roomba no matter where it goes.
Battery Life and Dust Capacity
The challenge: The battery on a Roomba will last for up to 2 hours before needing to recharge. Besides that, its onboard bin can only accommodate approximately 0.5 liters of dirt before it needs to be emptied.
In other words, your Roomba will only clean until it needs you to recharge its battery or empty its bin. That can be pretty frustrating if you’re expecting the Roomba to clean multiple floors, as the cleaning process will stop several times throughout the process.
How to manage it: Firstly, you can invest in additional Roomba docks or home bases for every floor you want to clean. It can recharge itself and continue cleaning immediately without your help.
You can also invest in the iRobot Clean Base if your Roomba unit is compatible. The Clean Base not only recharges the Roomba when it docks but also helps to remove dirt from its bin automatically.
By having a dock or Clean Base on each floor, your Roomba can finish cleaning much faster. Then, the only input needed from you is to move the Roomba to the next floor manually.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are a few more questions and answers about using a Roomba to clean multiple floors:
Can Roomba Work With Multiple Home Bases?
Yes, a Roomba robot vacuum is not exclusive to one home base. Instead, it can dock and charge with any nearby home base that it finds.
Will Roomba Fall Off A Staircase?
No, your Roomba will not fall off a staircase. That’s because the unit has several cliff sensors that detect when it’s about to fall over a staircase. When that happens, the Roomba will move away from the edge safely.
What Is The Roomba Mapping Run?
When the Roomba senses that it’s on an unfamiliar floor, it will perform a Mapping Run. That’s when it pauses its cleaning activities to explore the area’s layout and save it in its memory. Once the Mapping Run is complete, the Roomba will then start a new cleaning cycle.
Can A Roomba Map Multiple Floors?
Yes, a Roomba can map multiple floors, even if some of those floors are in a separate building. Some Roomba models can save up to 10 unique floor plans in their memory.
How Long Does It Take Roomba To Learn Your House?
Your Roomba will usually need 3-5 Mapping Runs and cleaning cycles to learn your house in great detail. At first, it’ll perform a Mapping Run to understand the overall layout of your home. The Roomba will clean your home much more efficiently with each subsequent cleaning cycle as it continues learning your house.