How to Use Roomba on Multiple Floors [Our Tips & Tricks]

If you’ve invested in a Roomba, you already know the immense convenience this smart home gadget brings into your life.

No more dragging around a traditional vacuum cleaner, no more bending and stooping; just pure, effortless, automated cleaning.

But what if you live in a multi-level home? Can one Roomba effectively take care of multiple floors? The answer is a resounding “Yes!”—with a few caveats and strategies that you’ll need to consider.

In this guide, we’ll tackle the very topic that’s probably been niggling at the back of your mind: How do you use a single Roomba for multiple floors effectively? We’ll cover everything from the unique challenges you might encounter, to step-by-step strategies for overcoming those hurdles.

So whether you’re a Roomba novice or a seasoned user looking to get more out of your robotic cleaner, you’ve come to the right place.

Why Use Roomba on Multiple Floors?

The concept of a robotic vacuum cleaner was nothing short of revolutionary when it first hit the market, and the Roomba has been at the forefront of making smart cleaning accessible for everyone.

But why would you want to extend the use of your Roomba to more than just one level of your home?

Let’s delve into the two main reasons: the convenience factor and the impressive technology behind these devices.

DON’T MISS: Learn how to send Roomba to it’s home!

The Convenience Factor

First and foremost, using a Roomba on multiple floors is a huge time-saver. Imagine cutting your house cleaning time in half or even more! Traditional vacuum cleaners require manual operation, which means you spend a significant amount of time pushing or pulling them around, not to mention lugging them upstairs and downstairs. With a Roomba, you can virtually eliminate that legwork.

But let’s talk numbers. Buying multiple Roombas for each floor can be quite an investment. The financial aspect cannot be overlooked. By optimizing one Roomba for use on multiple floors, you can keep your wallet happier while still maintaining a consistently clean home. It’s a win-win situation!

The Efficiency of Roomba’s Technology

Roombas are not just another gadget; they’re designed with cutting-edge technology that makes them highly efficient and adaptable. Features such as iAdapt Navigation, Visual Localization, and vSLAM technology allow the Roomba to create internal maps of your living space. These maps enable the device to navigate through furniture and avoid obstacles with ease, even when transitioning between different types of flooring.

What makes the technology even more suitable for multi-floor use is the Roomba’s ability to save multiple maps. Some advanced models allow you to label different zones and rooms, making it easier for the Roomba to navigate through multiple floors once you’ve moved it. All this is controlled through an intuitive app, which makes the operation a breeze even for those who are not tech-savvy.

Challenges of Using Roomba on Multiple Floors

While using a Roomba on multiple floors comes with numerous benefits, it’s important to acknowledge that it also poses specific challenges.

Being aware of these challenges will not only help you make informed decisions but also allow you to get the most out of your Roomba.

Battery Life

One of the key limitations when using a Roomba on multiple floors is battery life. Most Roomba models are designed to last long enough to clean a single floor thoroughly.

When you begin to introduce multiple floors into the mix, you’re essentially asking the Roomba to do double or even triple duty on a single charge, depending on the number of floors you have.

Here are some challenges related to battery life:

  • Time to Recharge: Moving the Roomba between floors usually means manually taking it back to its charging station, which can be time-consuming.
  • Incomplete Cleaning: If the battery runs out midway through cleaning a floor, you’ll have to recharge the Roomba before continuing, which can be inconvenient.

Navigation and Mapping

Roombas come equipped with various technologies for mapping and navigating through your home. However, these technologies can sometimes get a bit puzzled when dealing with multiple floors. Here’s why:

  • Initial Confusion: Some Roombas might struggle with recognizing that they have been moved to a different floor, leading to navigation issues.
  • Mapping Limitations: While recent Roomba models can save multiple floor plans, older models might not have this capability. This means you’ll need to ‘reintroduce’ the Roomba to each new floor.
  • Virtual Barriers: If you’ve set up virtual barriers or “no-go zones” on one floor, you’ll need to reconfigure these settings when you move the Roomba to another floor.

Knowing these challenges doesn’t mean you should abandon the idea of using your Roomba on multiple floors. On the contrary, awareness is the first step toward finding effective solutions.

How to Overcome These Challenges: A Step-by-Step Guide

Now that we’ve laid out the challenges, let’s dive into the solutions. Having a game plan can make all the difference in getting your Roomba to efficiently clean multiple floors.

We’ll explore three key strategies: manual relocation, using virtual wall barriers and lighthouses, and updating maps. Let’s get started.

Strategy 1: Manual Relocation

The most straightforward way to use your Roomba on multiple floors is to manually move it between levels. Here’s how to go about it:

Step 1: Complete a Cleaning Cycle on the First Floor

  1. Place the Roomba on its charging station on the first floor.
  2. Start a cleaning cycle through the Roomba app or by pressing the “Clean” button on the device.
  3. Allow it to complete the cycle and return to the charging station.

Step 2: Move Roomba to the Next Floor

  1. Once the Roomba is done cleaning and has returned to its charging station, turn off the device.
  2. Carefully pick up the Roomba and its charging station and move them to the next floor.
  3. Place the Roomba back on the charging station to ensure it’s adequately charged for the next cycle.

Step 3: Initiate a New Cleaning Cycle

  1. Start a new cleaning cycle just like you did for the first floor.
  2. Allow the Roomba to complete the cycle and return to the charging station.

This strategy is effective but does require manual intervention. Make sure to move the Roomba and its charging station between floors to ensure it remains charged for its cleaning tasks.

Strategy 2: Using Virtual Wall Barriers and Lighthouses

Virtual wall barriers and lighthouses are specialized accessories that can help Roomba navigate more efficiently.

Step 1: Set Up Virtual Wall Barriers

  1. Place virtual wall barriers at staircases or specific zones where you don’t want the Roomba to go.
  2. Turn on the barrier and ensure it’s aligned correctly to block off the area.

Step 2: Program Lighthouse Modes

  1. Lighthouses help guide the Roomba from one room to another.
  2. Place a lighthouse in the doorway of the rooms you want to be cleaned.
  3. Use the Roomba app to program the lighthouse to guide the Roomba effectively.

This strategy works well with Roomba models that support these accessories, making navigation between rooms—and by extension, floors—more efficient.

Strategy 3: Updating Maps

Advanced Roomba models allow you to save and switch between multiple maps, which can be a lifesaver when dealing with multiple floors.

Step 1: Save Maps of Each Floor

  1. Run a cleaning cycle on each floor to allow Roomba to create a map.
  2. Save these maps using the Roomba app and label them accordingly (e.g., “First Floor,” “Second Floor”).

Step 2: Switch Maps When Changing Floors

  1. Before you move your Roomba to a different floor, open the app and switch to the map corresponding to that floor.
  2. Initiate a cleaning cycle.

This method takes advantage of Roomba’s mapping capabilities and makes it much easier to use the device on multiple floors.

By employing one or a combination of these strategies, you can overcome the challenges of using a Roomba on multiple floors. It may take a little getting used to, but once you have your system in place, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without it.

Maintenance Tips for Multi-Floor Roomba Use

Once you’ve got your Roomba navigating and cleaning multiple floors like a pro, maintaining its performance is crucial.

Proper maintenance ensures that your Roomba continues to operate efficiently and extends its lifespan.

Let’s dig into some key maintenance tips to keep your multi-floor Roomba in tip-top shape.

Keep Roomba’s Sensors Clean

Your Roomba relies heavily on its various sensors for navigation and obstacle detection. When these sensors get dirty or clogged, it could affect the Roomba’s performance.

How to Clean Sensors:

  1. Turn Off the Device: Always make sure to turn off your Roomba and remove it from the charging station before cleaning.
  2. Locate the Sensors: Refer to your Roomba’s user manual to locate the cliff and obstacle sensors.
  3. Use a Soft Cloth: Gently wipe the sensors with a soft, lint-free cloth to remove dust and grime.
  4. Avoid Liquid Cleaners: It’s important not to use any liquid cleaners on the sensors to prevent damage.

Regularly cleaning the sensors—say, once a week—can significantly improve your Roomba’s navigation capabilities, particularly when you’re using it on multiple floors.

Check and Clean Brushes

The brushes on your Roomba are essential for effective cleaning. Over time, these can accumulate hair, string, and other debris that can impede functionality.

Steps to Clean Brushes:

  1. Remove Brush Guard: Unclip or unscrew the brush guard to access the brushes.
  2. Take Out Brushes: Carefully remove the brushes from their slots.
  3. Remove Debris: Use scissors or a brush cleaning tool to remove any entangled debris.
  4. Wash If Necessary: If the brushes are particularly dirty, you can wash them with warm soapy water. Make sure they are completely dry before reinserting them.

Regularly Update Roomba Software

Manufacturers often release software updates that can improve performance, fix bugs, or even add new features like enhanced multi-floor support.

How to Update:

  1. Check for Updates: Open your Roomba app to check for any available software updates.
  2. Wi-Fi Connection: Make sure your Roomba is connected to Wi-Fi to download the update.
  3. Initiate Update: Follow the on-screen instructions in the app to initiate and complete the update.

It’s a good practice to keep your Roomba’s software up to date to ensure you’re taking advantage of the latest improvements and features.

By incorporating these maintenance tips into your regular cleaning routine, you’ll not only extend the life of your Roomba but also ensure that it remains effective when cleaning multiple floors. A little bit of preventative care can go a long way in keeping your home clean and making your life easier.


Using a Roomba to clean multiple floors in your home is not just a pipe dream—it’s entirely feasible with the right strategies and a bit of maintenance.

By manually relocating your Roomba, employing virtual barriers, or leveraging multiple floor plans, you can overcome the common challenges of battery life and navigation.

Don’t forget to keep your device well-maintained to ensure it continues to serve you effectively for years to come.

So go ahead, make the most of your Roomba’s capabilities and embrace the convenience of automated cleaning across your multi-level home!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can Roomba work on different types of flooring?

Answer: Absolutely! Roombas are designed to transition smoothly between various types of flooring, including hardwood, tile, and carpet. Some advanced models even have sensors that detect the type of surface and adjust their cleaning patterns accordingly.

2. How many floor plans can I save with my Roomba?

Answer: The number of floor plans you can save depends on the Roomba model you own. Some of the more advanced models, like the i7+ and the S9+, allow you to save multiple floor plans which can be easily switched through the app.

3. Is it safe to use a Roomba near stairs?

Answer: Roombas come equipped with cliff detection sensors that prevent them from falling off ledges or down stairs. However, it’s still a good idea to employ virtual barriers or physical barriers to ensure complete safety, especially when you’re not around to supervise.

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