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9 Tips for Using a Roomba on Multiple Floors

Roombas are awesome vacuums. Instead of finding time to drag a vacuum around to pick up all the crumbs and dirt from kids, pets, and whatever else, you can program the Roomba to do all the work for you while you’re away for the day.

What’s even better about Roombas is that they’re getting better with time. While they used to be very basic devices with mixed results, now they do a great job.

roomba in the living room

But what if you live in a house with more than one story? No, unfortunately, Roombas can’t climb stairs just yet although I’m sure they are working on that option as we speak.

If you want coverage across all of the levels of your house, you’re going to need to make some adjustments to keep all of the bedrooms and living areas clean.

But can a Roomba be used on multiple floors? Absolutely! We’ve put together 9 tips on ways you can get the most out of your Roomba if you live in a house with multiple floors.

Tip 1 – Program Your Roomba for Every Other Day Use

You can still use the Roomba every day, but you can just alternate between upstairs and down.

Thankfully, Roombas have programming features now that make this possible. You can choose which days you want your Roomba to work and what areas you want it to clean.

For some people, that will mean moving the charging station between two floors. If you’re wondering if a Roomba can have two home bases, the answer is yes.

If you have the money to spare, you can always buy more home bases so your Roomba will have somewhere to go on each floor when the job is done.

Tip 2 – Don’t Worry About the Stairs

Roombas are built with cliff sensors inside. They’ll know when they are getting too close to the steps and back away. A Roomba falling down the stairs rarely happens.

Instead, it will back away and keep cleaning up the rooms on the top floor or wherever it’s working.

puppy dog lookikng at roomba near stairs

Tip 3 – Moving Your Base to a Different Floor

What happens if I move the base to a different floor? This can be done, but you’re going to need to program your Roomba on the second floor for the best results.

If you just pick up the Roomba and the home base and head upstairs, the Roomba will do a decent job, but it may have a hard time getting back to the base.

As a result, your vacuum may run out of battery and won’t be able to do the work the next day.

Tip 4 – Create Unique Floor Plans with Your Roomba

Newer Roomba models can fit up to 10 unique floor plans in their memory. That means it can vacuum an entire floor or parts of your floors depending on what you need to be done.

If, for example, you know that part of your home is occupied during the week, then you can program your Roomba to skip those rooms on that day. It all depends on how deep into the details of programming you want to get.

woman with phone programming her roomba

Tip 5 – Don’t Interrupt Its Cycles

Interrupting your Roomba mid-cycle before it has finished its programming is a great way to confuse your vacuum.

To make things easier, wait until the Roomba is done with whatever floor plan cycle it’s on. Then take it upstairs and get it started.

Tip 6 – Make Sure There Is Good WiFi Coverage

Your Roomba needs the house wifi to communicate with the homebase and respond to prompts from your mobile app. If there is a part of the house in the basement or the top floor with poor signal, then it’s easier for your Roomba to go AWOL.

Before you get your Roomba vacuuming far-off areas, extend your home internet to guarantee that there is good coverage throughout the house.

wi-fi signal

Tip 7 – Buy Another Roomba!

Yes, a lot of people end up buying two or more Roombas depending on how big the house is. Moving the vacuum up and down the stairs, every day works, but it gets old quickly. Most of the time, people buy another one to save them the trouble.

Having two or more Roombas means your house gets good coverage every day, and forgetting to move it won’t mean you’re missing out on much-needed vacuuming.

Tip 8 – Make the Move Early in the Morning

Roombas usually charge overnight and run while everyone’s out at work or school. That means they are fully charged in the morning before they start their daily shift.

If you’re going to be switching floors regularly, then you will want to move the Roomba early in the day when it has a full battery. This helps ensure your upstairs or basement gets a good vacuum as opposed to it running out of batteries mid-cycle.

hand programming a roomba

Tip 9 – Do Some Prep

While it’s possible to program your Roomba however you want, most people want to know whether they can toss the Roomba onto another floor and have it figure things out.

Yes, it will do a fairly good job at this, but there are things you can do to make it easier on your machine and get better results.

For example, you can tell the kids to clean the clothes off of the floor, lean chairs up so it’s easier for the Roomba to get through, and make sure all of the doors are open.

If you don’t want it to go into certain areas but don’t have the time to program it, you can create physical barriers in a pinch out of shoes or pillows or something.

Final Words

Finding ways to get your Roomba to work on multiple floors is easier with each new product that iRobot releases.

They are always coming out with smarter machines with more features that are easier to control.

Who knows, maybe in the near future your Roomba will have legs and will march up the stairs while you’re gone.