Unless I’m missing something, it looks like iRobot has taken away the Roomba for Pets in order to start pushing the new Roomba 500 series. I feel like just had the rug pulled out from under me – I just found out about the Roomba for Pets and now there’s a new one??
The good news is, you can still buy the Easy Clean Brush upgrade kit if you own an older Roomba (mine was the 4210 Discovery). You can also buy a Roomba ($250) from Amazon.com (or a refurbished one for $175) and then purchase the kit ($40) from irobot.com for less than a brand new Roomba 500 ($350). Personally, I am not a fan of the new 500 series designs, all black and funky. I like my little gray and white one. It’s simple and unassuming. The new one looks like someone took it to “Pimp my Roomba” and it’s still waiting on its racing stripes.
I only assume the new Roomba has been designed with the same brush as the Roomba for Pets. I do like that it supposedly has better suction and a larger dust bin. It’s also supposed to come apart more easily so you can clean all the little crevices and wheels where fur would get stuck. Although, I haven’t tried to do that on my Roomba so I don’t know how problematic that really is. My guess is, it’s a pain as taking apart most vacuums are, even the Dyson.
On that tangent, I bought the Animal Dyson (I was determined the control the fur!) years ago and it still works like a charm. I ended up not using a lot of the special attachments that came with the Animal version, so my recommendation is to buy the model one up from the basic one. I think there are some floor tools that don’t come with the basic one that are actually quite useful. I like that I just empty the canister into the big outside trash bin and move along. The suction is great enough that I can get fur off the chairs and couch with just the brush tool. The tools are also designed so that you don’t end up sucking a sheet or drape all up into the vacuum… it kind of get a part of it, but then the vent does something to the suction so it stops pulling it in. I don’t know exactly how it all works, I just know that it does. I also know that you should not buy the handheld unit because the battery only lasts for 6 minutes. Which is great, I guess, if you just want to clean up some crumbs or dirt in one spot, but if you were intent on doing some housecleaning and going from room to room, it wouldn’t last you very long.
So, bottom line:
- Dyson’s are great vacuums but stick with the floor model and wait on the handheld
- Roombas are great for hard floor surfaces and you can now clean up pet fur much easier, but the new one is a bit overpriced considering the old models work very well and are $100 cheaper. Buy an older model from Amazon.com and get the upgrade kit. Unless you like the weird new design, then splurge for the advertised better suction and larger dust bin.