Skip to main content

How to set up Roomba to map different floors

If you’ve purchased an iRobot Roomba robot vacuum, you already know it has the power to clean by sweeping and vacuuming your home all on its own. With some of the newer iRobot bots, they use sensors that can see their way around your home and map the space so you can fine-tune your cleaning preferences.

Can Roomba map different floors?

Roomba generating a map.
iRobot Roomba i7+ smart mapping Image used with permission by copyright holder

There are many reasons you might need different levels of mapping. Perhaps you’ve moved, or want to bring your Roomba along to clean a guest house or vacation home. Maybe you have a multi-story house and want to keep it swept and tidy. iRobot has made it pretty simple to create floor plans for all your spaces. You can label rooms and even set cleaning schedules for each area.

The iRobot Roomba bots, including the newer i6 to i8+, s9, and S9+, the brand new iRobot Roomba  j7+, and even the m6 mopping robot can create multiple maps for different floors and spaces.

How does iRobot map different floors?

The newer iRobot bots have plenty of smarts and a host of sensors that help the robot navigate your space. Basically, Roomba robots use a technology called vSLAM, or visual simultaneous localization and mapping. As the robot moves around a room, it looks for unique areas that it considers landmarks. The bot remembers the location of those landmarks, so it can orient itself every time it goes out. It uses vSLAM to create what iRobot calls Imprint Smart Maps and a Smart Map can store multiple maps in its memory.

How to set up Roomba to map different floors

You might be thinking there’s lots of technology and work on your part involved in adding new maps or instructing the robot to map a different floor. In truth, Roomba is smart enough to figure this out on its own. Here’s how to set your robot up so it can take care of your whole home.

To create a map for a new floor plan of your home, place the Roomba somewhere on that floor and send it on a job to clean everywhere. You can press the Clean button on the robot vacuum or start the job from the iRobot app.

Keep your charging or base station where it is, since the robot uses the base station as its main point of reference for the house. If you want to add another charging or base station (or one of iRobot’s Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal units) to another floor, it is possible to get an additional one from the company.

How long does it take Roomba to map a floor?

Often it takes several passes for the Roomba to map a new floor, so you can send it out multiple times in a day, or schedule it to clean regularly. There’s also the option of a mapping-only run where the robot will patrol the house on low power, which offers a faster way to vSLAM a space. Even so, it will take a couple of mapping runs before it gets the complete picture. If your bot happens to seem a bit off, here’s how to reset your Roomba.

Having different maps of each floor of your home can allow you to clean the bedrooms on one day, the common areas on another, while keeping areas like hallways spic and span daily. Whatever kind of cleanup you need is customizable inside the iRobot app, and it all starts with building those Smart Maps.

Editors' Recommendations

Erin Lawrence
Erin has over 20 years of experience as a journalist in the media and news industries, with time both on camera and behind…
Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra vs. Narwal Freo X Ultra: Which is the best premium robot vacuum?
Narwal Freo X Ultra with dock in home

Few robot vacuums and mops are as well-rounded as the Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra and Narwal Freo X Ultra. The two premium robots will vacuum and mop entirely on their own, before returning to their docks to automatically clean their mopheads and empty their dustbins. That sort of functionality doesn't come cheap, with both products carrying hefty price tags that'll put a big dent in your budget.

Because they're so expensive, you'll want to pay close attention to the differences between these two robot vacuums. Both are great additions to any household, but one might be a better fit for your needs than the other.

Read more
Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra vs. Roborock S8 Pro Ultra: Which is the best robot vacuum?
The Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra placed in its dock.

The Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra and Roborock S8 Pro Ultra share a lot of similarities -- the least of which is their brand name. Along with the capacity to vacuum and mop in a single cleaning cycle, the two robots can automatically empty their dustbins and clean their dirty mops once the cycle is complete. That alone makes them two of the best robot vacuums on the market.

But while there are plenty of similarities between the S8 MaxV Ultra and S8 Pro Ultra, there are a few key differences that could make one better for your home than the other. From pricing and vacuuming power to navigational skills and more, here's a comprehensive look at the Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra and Roborock S8 Pro Ultra.
Pricing and availability

Read more
Narwal Freo X Ultra vs. Narwal Freo: What’s the difference between these robot vacuums?
Narwal Freo X Ultra smart robotic vacuum with family

The Narwal Freo X Ultra is the latest addition to the Narwal roster, offering big improvements over the old Narwal Freo. Along with more suction, an improved dustbin, and an updated sensor array, it also picked up a hefty new price tag. That begs the question: Is it worth upgrading to the Narwal Freo X Ultra? Or should you opt for the (now discounted) Narwal Freo?

From vacuuming and mopping skills to additional features and more, here's everything you need to know about the Narwal Freo X Ultra and Narwal Freo before adding one to your home.
Pricing and availability

Read more