A Roomba is an automatic floor-cleansing robot. A Roomba works on specific routines and schedules and becomes efficient each time it runs. It navigates through the use of specific sensors. We know that a Roomba works on a single floor and performs the job it is best at (cleansing) but, can it run on multiple floors? The answer has been discussed in detail below.

Can Roomba Clean Upstairs And Downstairs?

Stairs as an Obstacle

A Roomba typically has sensors for detecting any obstacle in its way. It is designed to prevent itself from falling off.  A Roomba typically has 4 cliff sensors located at the bottom. These sensors perform the job of sensing any uphill or downhill movement of the floor. The Roomba is specifically designed to detect stairs and move away from them. Each sensor is located in either 4 of the directions, so as soon as a downhill cliff (stair) is detected, the Roomba moves away from it and marks it as a stair on its map.

Falling Down the Stairs

Sometimes, a Roomba falls down the stairs. Falling down the stairs can damage the Roomba externally and internally. To prevent the Roomba from falling down the stairs, the best course of action would be to create a virtual wall at the start of the stairs so that the Roomba avoids going near it in the future and ultimately save itself from falling down. If a Roomba falls down the stairs, even once, then you should consider cleaning its cliff sensors by turning it over and blowing each one with compressed air. The home base should not be kept too close to the stairs.

Multiple Floors

Can you run a single Roomba on multiple floors? The answer is yes. A Roomba can work upstairs as well as downstairs. A Roomba will remember each place it has cleansed. The home base is used as a reference point by a Roomba. If you want it to cleanse each floor efficiently then you will have to put a new home base on each floor.

What happens if a Roomba works on a different floor without a home base?

When a Roomba is brought on a floor without a home base, then it would still operate. This means that the Roomba will still cleanse the floor even if it has no access to the home base. It will begin mapping and cleaning the floor like it always does. But, when the battery runs out, it will stay where it is and stop the cleansing action. Then you will again have to bring it to its home base so that it can charge and work again. So it is convenient to have a home base for each floor.

Can a Roomba go on multiple floors on its own?

No, a Roomba cannot go on multiple floors on its own. The Roomba will have to be picked up manually and brought to a new floor. Then all you have to do is start its cleaning action on the new floor and it will do its job like normal until its battery charge runs out.

Maps of Multiple Floors

A Roomba can store maps of up to 10 different floors! A Roomba will work normally on each floor and map it out accordingly. The map will be stored in the cloud, so that the next time Roomba is brought to the same floor, it will know its location and work much more efficiently. A Roomba takes time to learn a floor, so the first time it is brought to a new floor, it will take at least 3-4 hours to map the entire floor.

Older Roombas

Some older models of Roombas work upstairs the same way they do downstairs. Older models do not save or create a map of the floor they are on i.e. they lack the ‘smart mapping’ technology. So they simply look for open spaces and go there to perform cleansing action. So, bringing an older model upstairs would be no problem at all and it will work with the same efficiency as it did on the previous floor without having to learn the new floor first.

Should I also move the home base with Roomba?

Although it is not recommended to move your home base, you can still move your home base from downstairs to any upper floor alongside the Roomba. A Roomba on a new floor will be more efficient with a home base as a reference point. But moving to a home base has a huge disadvantage. A Roomba uses a home base as a reference point while navigating, it also uses it as an integral part of its map. If you move your home base, the robot will be highly inefficient on the 1st floor and will take time to get back to the status of maximum efficiency.

Effect on Cleanliness

The cleanliness of the robot is not affected in any way while moving the floors. However, the efficiency will be reduced for the first few runs. After the robot has gone through the initial runs, the robot will be as good in cleansing action as it was on the previous floors. A Roomba will not compromise on its cleanliness. Thus, there is no effect on the cleaning action of Roomba by changing its floor.


A Roomba can be brought from one floor to another floor and it will work just as effectively on the new floor. Buying a new home base for a different floor is highly recommended. Some models of Roomba don’t get affected by a change in surroundings as they only look for new open spaces to cleanse, while others are affected by a change of floors as they first need to map it out completely. 

Roombas cannot go on multiple floors on their own and need to be taken manually. It is recommended to create a virtual barrier on the stairs entrance of the floor to prevent the Roomba from falling off. Thus, a single Roomba can be used for cleaning multiple floors.