Smart robot vacuums were all the craze when they first came out. You would simply press a button and your floors would be cleaned automatically. No more lugging around heavy vacuum cleaners around the house or up and down stairs.
The iRobot Home company had revolutionized cleaning and had set the standard for smart robotic vacuums. Being the leader into the field, you were in good hands if you had decided to go with the Roomba models. However, years after and there are new competitors in this market and iLife happens to be one of the leading ones.
In order for this to be the best ilife vs Roomba review, we had to choose the best models to go against each other. Of course, both companies offer lower end models that may not be as expensive. For the purpose of this guide, please keep in mind we’ll be comparing the overall features of the highest end models.
The iLife Company
iLife came into the market and improved on the foundations that made the Roomba so great. They’ve tweaked the design and technology to allow for a more diversified cleaning experience. Their models have continued to upgrade throughout the years and they’ve become a formidable presence in the smart robotic vacuum world.
Being founded in 2010, the iLife company has been researching and testing new models and new cleaning technology to give you the best experience possible. You’ll find that some models are so advanced that they offer floor washing on top of the vacuuming! We’ll delve further into the features and specs of the best ilife robots.
The iRobot Home Company
The truth is, the iRobot Home company is one of the leading manufacturers of smart robotic vacuums. Being one of the first companies in the game, it’s no surprise that the Roomba set the bar high for other competitors. Every new model brings with it the fundamentals from its predecessor as well as new features that separate it from the others.
Choosing a Roomba model is always a safe bet as you can rest assured that you’ll get quality for your money. The best part is there’s a model for every budget and home. Whether you only need a single room cleaned every now and then or you need a smart robot that can learn the formatting of your home, Roomba is definitely a company to keep an eye on.
In a Nutshell
If you’re budget conscious, the iLife series is the best bang for your buck.
We’re going to dive into the details soon. However, if you want the quick answer right away, it comes down to price. The iLife series offers a ton of features at a much lower price point. If budgeting is of concern, you would definitely opt for an iLife model as they’re pretty much all less expensive than the Roombas.
If budgeting isn’t a concern, the Roomba series offers the most effective cleans with less maintenance.
We’ll get into the specifics about this in a bit, but the main takeaway is that you’ll experience more of an efficient clean when it comes to navigation. The Roombas use sensor technology that has been upgraded over time and the latest models really do a great job of utilizing this feature.
When it comes to performance, there’s a clear winner. The Roomba is a higher priced robot and you’d expect it to perform at a higher function. This is true for the most part, but if you’re budget conscious, it really isn’t a make or break it kind of thing. The iLife robots still perform at a high quality and can tackle all of the surfaces that the Roomba can. We’ll get into the iLife vs Roomba performance right now!
The iLife navigation system isn’t as advanced as that of the Roomba. Looking at the iLife clean, it appears that it moves in a pattern that is quite random. Additionally, it won’t remember which rooms it cleaned or the layout of each of the rooms like the advanced Roombas will. The camera mapping feature that the later Roombas share is the key differentiator between these two brands.
iLife has a 3 stage cleaning system that is very similar to the Roomba. This is one of the main contributing factors as to why these robotic vacuums work so well. They loosen the debris and then begin to lift them up so that the vacuum can suction them inside the dustbin compartment. The iLife, in particular, has a center brush with two side brushes which help clean the wall edges.
The key difference is the various cleaning modes found with the iLife models. They have different modes like mini-room, edge, spot cleaning, scheduled cleans, auto cleaning. Also, the battery quality is a bit better than the Roomba models, allowing the iLife models to run for up to 140 minutes+
Recap: The iLife models utilize a 3 stage cleaning system, multiple cleaning modes, and a longer battery runtime.
When it comes to navigation, Roomba is at the top. With camera mapping sensors as well as dirt detect, it can find areas in your home that may need some extra cleaning. This allows for the Roomba to navigate much smarter than before. The first models resembled the navigational patterns of the iLife robot, in that they were pretty random. However, the technology was upgraded and the Roombas will now operate in a more efficient manner.
The Roombas started off with the 3 stage cleaning system and continued to increase its efficiency. The later models use Aeroforce technology which offers up to 10x the suction power. It is no wonder why the Roombas are pricey, their technology demands it.
Although you won’t find 5 different cleaning modes in a Roomba, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a surface that would be difficult for it to clean. Roombas have an advanced HEPA filter which allows them to pick up very fine debris.
The Roomba battery has a lower runtime than the iLife one but it does charge much quicker. Additionally, the later Roombas have the feature to resume cleaning after it auto docks and recharges. This is huge when you consider the hands-off approach of a smart robotic vacuum.
Recap: The Roomba models may have a lower runtime when it comes to cleaning, but they make up for it with stellar suctioning power and less maintenance.
There are a few things you need to replace/clean every so often as with any smart robotic vacuum. They aren’t terribly costly but for increased efficiency, you might be better off keeping some of the parts maintained.
Brushes: The iLife has two removable brushes that you’ll have to clean if they start to accumulate too much debris. They’re easily replaceable and aren’t too costly. These brushes include the spinning brush and the brush roll.
HEPA Filter: The HEPA filter helps with suctioning up the very fine debris particles. You’ll have to clean it at least once a month and possibly replace it once a year.
Battery: The battery life is extremely long and it is a high-quality one. As with any electronic, it might deteriorate over time and you’ll have to replace it. This only happens 1-2 years as iLife includes a 6-month warranty with the battery.
The Roomba maintenance is similar to the iLife models. There isn’t anything you’ll have to do on a day to day basis but you should dust off some of these parts so they can continue to work properly.
Brushes: Just like the iLife, the Roomba has different brushes that you’ll have to maintain. These include the edge sweeping brush and the spinning brush. They’re easy to remove and cleaning them is quick and simple.
HEPA Filter: Just like the iLife, the Roombas have a HEPA filter which needs to be replaced fairly often. It is recommended that it is replaced every 2-3 months which is just about half of the iLife’s replacement time.
Battery: The battery lasts a bit longer than the iLife’s battery and you’ll probably start experiencing issues 2-3 years down the line. At that point you’d have to replace the battery or get a new device altogether so it is really a moot point.
When it comes to choosing the right robot vacuum for your home, a few factors come to mind. Do you need multi-room cleaning? Do you have carpets in your home? These questions are important because they’ll decide which options are the best for you.
Multi-Room Homes: If you have multiple rooms to clean, the obvious choice is a late Roomba model. The reason is the camera mapping ability will help it determine which room it cleaned already. It’ll also be able to tell which room it is in.
Carpet Floors: Carpets have always given smart robot vacuums trouble since its a bit tougher to pick up the debris from them. However, don’t feel like you have to shell out the big bucks to get the Roomba models with the advanced suction power. The iLife models are more than capable when it comes to these and other floor surfaces.
If these factors aren’t affecting your purchase decision, the next thing to consider is the price. Like we mentioned earlier, the iLife models are considerably less expensive than their Roomba counterparts. You’ll get a similar robot vacuum to the Roomba and with the same functionality. There’ll be small differences between each individual models but for the most part, the iLife series acts as a budget-friendly option.
If you’ve had a smart robotic vacuum before, you might want to upgrade to a top of the line model to enjoy all the frills and features that come with it. Or, you might just want to skip to the latest model without ever having tried a smart robotic vacuum! Whatever the case is, the Roomba models offer some of the most advanced features out on the market. They’re a great choice if you want to experience the highest functioning smart robot vacuums.