//Roomba Comparison Guide

Roomba Comparison Guide

In this Roomba Comparison guide, we’ll talk about the best Roomba models and the key differences between each one. If you’d like to get a more detailed review of any model, please feel free to visit the individual review guides. The purpose of this guide is to show a bird’s eye view of what separates each model from one another.

The iRobot Roomba company has been a leader when it comes to smart robot vacuum technology. They’ve paved the way for competitors to come in and replicate what they had originally perfected, an automated cleaning robot. If you’re looking to get some help around the house, the Roombas are a great tool since they completely automate vacuuming.

What is Roomba?

A Roomba is a smart robot vacuum. It is a circular device that runs on its own. It’ll make its way around the house and suction all unwanted grime and dirt. The Roomba doesn’t need to be calibrated or anything of the sort. The base models pretty much perform autonomously and without much supervision needed. Simply start up the device and click the CLEAN button and it’ll go to work.

However, you might have a larger budget and would like to know what kind of new features the more advanced models offer. Some of these include camera mapping and home layout recognition. Additionally, the later Roombas offer increased suctioning power which is useful for certain types of floor surfaces commonly found in homes.

You might be wondering why there are so many Roomba models on the market and what the different price points might mean in terms of features. We’ve chosen five of the best performing Roombas and will go more in-depth about what makes each one unique in this Roomba comparison guide.

Roomba Comparison Table

FEATURESRoomba 690Roomba 890Roomba 980Roomba i7
Roomba 980 review
Carpet/HardfloorCarpet BoostCarpet Boost
3-Stage Cleaning System5x Suction10x Suction10x Suction
Dirt Detect TechnologyAdvanced Dirt DetectAdvanced Dirt DetectAdvanced Dirt Detect
iAdapt Navigation+vSlam Technology+Imprint Smart Mapping
Automatically RechargesRecharge & ResumeRecharge & Resume
Wi-Fi Capable
Virtual Wall Included
Battery Run time90 minutes90 minutes120 minutes120 minutes
Visual Mapping
PricingCHECK AMAZONCHECK AMAZONCHECK AMAZONCHECK AMAZON

Roomba 665

One of the entry level Roomba models, the Roomba 665 offers many of the features that you’d expect a smart robot vacuum to have. For the price point, you’ll still get a fully functional automated cleaning robot. Keep in mind it won’t have all of the advanced features of the later models, but it still offers a pretty efficient clean.

It isn’t the FIRST Roomba model that was made and for this reason, it is a good start. That isn’t to say that the Roomba 614 or the 650 isn’t capable of providing good cleaning because it will. The 665, however, comes with an integrated scheduling system where you can set the Roomba to clean on a regular basis. You simply program the schedule right from the device itself and you won’t have to worry about starting/stopping clean sessions.

Another feature is the introduction of virtual wall technology sensors. What this does is enable you to create virtual walls where the Roomba will avoid. This is good if you are worried about the Roomba falling off of stairs or going into unwanted rooms in the house.

The Roomba 665’s battery was also upgraded when the model came out. The new lithium-ion battery is a mainstay when it comes to energy and the longlasting benefits of it are seen with this Roomba. This particular model can run up to 60 minutes at a time.

If you’d like a more in-depth review of the Roomba 665, please click here.

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  • Scheduled Cleans

  • Virtual Wall Mode

  • iAdapt Navigation

  • Lithium-ion Battery

  • Self-Charging/Docking

  • 3-stage cleaning system

Roomba 665 Review

Roomba 690

A step up from the 665, the Roomba 690 offers something that advanced models only offered, wifi-capability. This wifi-capability allowed the later Roomba models to work with an app that allowed users to schedule cleans. This feature fully automated the cleaning robot and allowed people to start/stop cleans even when they weren’t home.

Before these models were introduced, you would have had to go to a Roomba competitor to enjoy these features at lower price points. Thankfully, the Roomba saw this weakness in their arsenal and deployed the 690 model which finally offered Wifi-connectivity and App capability. If this is a feature that you’d be interested in having, then upgrading from the 665 to the 690 would definitely be a better option than having to upgrade to a pricier model.

The next remaining changes that were added was an upgraded virtual wall accessory and an upgrade in battery quality. The battery from the Roomba 665 was a Ni-CD and it was upgraded to a Li-ion battery.

If you’d like a more in-depth review of the Roomba 690, please click here.

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  • App Capability

  • Upgraded Virtual Wall Accessory

  • iAdapt Navigation

  • Lithium-ion Battery

  • Wifi-Connectivity 

  • 3-stage cleaning system

Roomba 860

We’ve reviewed some of the most popular entry-level models to the Roomba world. You’ll find that there’s not much difference when it comes to cleaning effectiveness. Where you really feel the difference is coming into the 800 series and higher.

The Roomba 860 offers a few new features but the most important thing is that they come at a much lower price point that the 900 series. If you’ve never owned a Roomba, you might consider the 860 as a good starter model since it isn’t too pricey. However, if you’ve owned a 600 series before, you might want to check in with the later models in case they offer something you’d like to try, like camera mapping.

As for this model, the key difference is the brushless rollers. Originally, the older models came with traditional rolling brushes which you’ve probably seen in old vacuum cleaners. Hairs would get stuck in between and the maintenance would be a headache. The Roomba 860 uses brush-less rollers which loosen the grime and drive it right into the path of the suction device.

The Roomba 860 also comes equipped with a virtual wall barrier accessory. This allows you to choose which rooms the Roomba will be able to go into.

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  • Virtual Wall Accessory Included

  • iAdapt Navigation

  • Lithium-ion Battery

  • 5x Suction Power

  • Tangle Free Brushes

Roomba 890

The Roomba 860 is a formidable model but it lacks one of the best features that smart vacuums provide, Wi-Fi capability. Roomba’s competitors, the Botovacs from Neato first introduced this feature in their models. It was the last factor that truly made a smart vacuum “smart”.

In comes the Roomba 890 with Wi-fi capability and an app that goes along with it. The iRobot home app adds to the versatility of the Roomba. You can schedule and stop cleans even when you’re not home. Additionally, you can view past cleans and other statistics such as the square footage it traveled as well as the duration of the clean.

Lastly, the Roomba 890 has upgraded its battery to a Lithium-ion battery, giving it a higher quality and long lasting lifespan. It still won’t resume after recharging, which is a drawback if you’d like to have this feature. However, with the app functionality, this wouldn’t be too much of an issue since you can start it from anywhere.

If you’d like a more in-depth review of the Roomba 890, please click here.

CHECK AMAZON
  • Virtual Wall Accessory Included

  • iAdapt Navigation

  • Lithium-ion Battery

  • 5x Suction Power

  • Tangle Free Brushes

  • Wi-fi capability 

  • iRobot Home App

Roomba 960

Now we’re getting to the top of the shelf. The Roomba 960 revolutionized smart robot vacuums because it introduced the camera mapping ability. Even after a few years of being released, the Roomba 960 remains as one of the top Roomba models. The app is a bit more advanced, offering features such as an alert for when to empty the bin. Also, you can find out when there’s additional maintenance to be done.

The visual sensors that come equipped with this model use your furniture and house layout to come up with an internal map of your home. Before this feature was introduced, Roombas would use a sort of a random cleaning pattern which would result in a less efficient clean. That isn’t to say that the cleans weren’t effective, because they were, but this feature has streamlined it even further. The vSlam technology upgrade has also allowed this Roomba to take care of more than one room in your home.

The next best feature is to recharge and resume cleaning. Previous Roombas would automatically dock themselves whenever they ran out of battery. However, they wouldn’t continue to clean after being fully recharged. You had to manually activate a clean again. The Roomba 960 has a resume feature which allows it to go back to cleaning once its recharged.

If you’d like a more in-depth review of the Roomba 960, please click here.

CHECK AMAZON
  • Lithium-ion Battery

  • Camera Mapping

  • Wi-fi capability 

  • iRobot Home App

  • Recharge and Resume 

  • Multi-Room Cleaning

Roomba 980

You might have read about the Roomba 960 and asked what could possibly be better than that? Well, the answer is, the Roomba 980. It might not be a COMPLETELY different device, but it certainly has its own distinctiveness. The improved battery life, new motor, and carpet booster all add to the marketability of this device.

We all know Roombas and other smart robot vacuums have difficulty cleaning high-pile carpets. They still do a hell of a job on them but it’s safe to say that this type of flooring gives the Roombas the most trouble. The Roomba 980 has a carpet boost feature which allows it to clean these types of surfaces more effectively.

Couple the carpet boost with a 10x suction power upgrade, the Roomba 980 packs one of the most powerful cleans available on the market. It has a new motor which allows for more power as well as a higher battery capacity that allows it to run for up to 120 minutes. After the 120 minutes, the Roomba will dock and recharge itself. Once it is done recharging, it’ll resume cleaning on its own.

If you’d like a more in-depth review of the Roomba 980, please click here.

CHECK AMAZON
  • 10x Suction Power

  • Upgraded Battery Life

  • Camera Mapping

  • Carpet Boost 

  • iRobot Home App

  • Recharge and Resume 

  • Multi-Room Cleaning

Roomba 980 review

Roomba i7

The i7 was one of the newer Roomba models to come out into the market. The Roomba 980 was such a huge increase from the previous models that many people thought the i7’s features wouldn’t justify the price. However, the i7 actually offers a BARGAIN price for the quality of new features that you’ll be using.

This model does a lot better on carpet surfaces due to the motor being repositioned. This helps the carpet boost feature that was first introduced in the Roomba 980. It allows the Roomba to pick up a lot more debris. This, along with the fact that the dustbin container has been enlarged, helps the Roomba clean for longer and with less maintenance.

We were first introduced to the iAdapt navigation technology with the first Roombas. Over the years, this feature has been upgraded multiple times. The Roomba i7 was the first model that installed the iAdapt 3.0 version which means a number of new features for the Roombas. The first of which is the ability to differentiate between rooms in the home. You can tell your Roomba to clean the kitchen and it would be able to find it on its own.

This new feature is called “Imprint Smart Mapping” and the Roomba would be able to tell if it is downstairs or upstairs. It becomes more aware of the mapping of your home and the dirt detection sensors benefit from this capability. When it comes to Roombas and the most bang for your buck, the i7 is the leading choice and by far. If there’s any perfect choice in our Roomba comparison guide, it is clearly the Roomba i7.

CHECK AMAZON
  • iAdapt 3.0 Navigation

  • Imprint Smart Mapping

  • Specific Room Cleaning

  • Carpet Boost 

  • iRobot Home App

  • Carpet Boost

Roomba i7+

The Roomba i7 is a revolutionary model when it comes to smart robotic vacuums. The iRobot Home company has always delivered on quality and these two latest editions do just that. The Roomba i7+ comes at a higher price point and for good reason. The key difference between the Roomba i7 and the Roomba i7+ makes a world of a difference and is the number one pick in our Roomba comparison guide.

The latest Roombas would auto-dock and resume after charging fully. The i7+ does that of course but the docking station was specially made to allow it to self-empty the bin. This really reduces maintenance time and makes the Roomba cleaning even more automated. This is called the Clean Base bin feature and it is specially designed so that the dock can easily suction the contents from the Roomba’s bin container.

If you’d like to have this feature, it would be worth it to opt for the i7+ over the i7. However, if you’d prefer NOT to have this feature, there’s no reason why you’d get this model. The self-empty feature is the only thing separating the i7 and the i7+. Keep this in mind as this model comes at a higher price point.

  • Self-Empty Docking

  • iAdapt 3.0 Navigation

  • Imprint Smart Mapping

  • Specific Room Cleaning

  • Carpet Boost 

  • iRobot Home App

  • Carpet Boost

Surface Types

In this Roomba comparison guide, we briefly went over each model and the new features that they’ve added through each one. We haven’t yet spoken about floor surfaces but its definitely something you’d be considering as each home is different. Keep in mind, Roombas have all been made to handle any type of floor surface but certain models are better suited to specific floor types.

Hard Floor Surfaces

When we say hard floor surfaces, we’re including Hardwood, Tile, Marble, and Vinyl floors. The reason is that the Roombas all operate effectively over these surfaces. From the Roomba 650 all the way up to the Roomba i7+, you’ll find that they tackle hard floor surfaces rather effortlessly. Of course, the later models DO offer better suctioning power, but this isn’t a necessity if you have these types of surfaces in your home.

Carpet

Carpet has usually been a tough opponent for any vacuum cleaner. If you have low-pile carpet in your home you wouldn’t have to consider any later models as all Roombas can handle this floor type. However, if you have high-pile carpets then you might want to opt for Roombas 900 and higher. The reason is that they offer Carpet Boost as well as a more powerful cleaning solution. Additionally, the advanced HEPA filters can help with very fine debris particles.

Home Layout

Depending on the layout of your home, you might only need a lower model since it wouldn’t have to map out your home. However, you might have multiple rooms that you’d want to clean or even a room where you wouldn’t. We’ll go over which Roombas are best for each type of home layout in this Roomba comparison guide.

Single Room

This might be for anyone living in a studio or 1-bedroom apartment. You might not need one of the more extravagant Roombas and for this reason, you could opt for one of the earlier models like the Roomba 665 or the Roomba 860/880. 

Multi-Room

For any home with multiple rooms, you’ll want to get a Roomba in the 900 series or higher. The reason is these Roombas have camera mapping ability and can learn the layout of your home. They’ll also begin to recognize rooms and have a navigational path that is optimized because of this. The earlier Roombas can handle multi-rooms but their path is often random and therefore it can take a while before it makes itself to other rooms.

Multi-Floor

The day when a Roomba can haul itself up the stairs has not come yet, unfortunately. For now, some people have opted to have 2 separate Roombas for this purpose. This isn’t totally necessary as you’d be much better off just carrying it up and down whenever you need to have the floors cleaned. The devices themselves usually weigh no more than 10 lbs and also all have a carrying handle so that you can easily transport them.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of manufacturer warranty does the Roombas have?

All of the Roomba models come with a 1-year manufacturers warranty.

How do you operate a Roomba without using wi-fi?

You simply have to press the CLEAN button in the middle of the device. The DOCK button will send it back to the base while the SPOT button will have the Roomba focus on a specific area.

Are Roombas good with handling pet hair?

Yes, all of the Roombas have been designed with the pet owner in mind. The later models offer more suctioning power and larger bins which you might want to opt for.

Does the Roomba detect stairs?

Yes, the sensors will scan the path in front of the Roomba and they’ll be able to tell if there are stairs in front of it.

What devices is the app compatible with?

You can download the app on either iPhone or Android.

How loud is the Roomba while it cleans?

The Roombas are pretty quiet by vacuum standards. It is louder on a hardwood floor vs carpeting and you can watch T.V easily while it cleans. However, having them clean while you sleep might be troubling and is not recommended.

Can you replace the battery?

Yes, there are 5 screws holding the battery case.

Can you program the Roombas manually or do you need Wi-fi/App?

The later Roombas allow you to manually schedule recurring cleans. This means its a one-time setup for you to schedule cleans on your device, without ever having to use the app or connect to Wi-Fi.

Do Roombas scratch hardwood floors?

Roombas rarely every scratch hardwood floors and you’ll find they actually perform best on these.

By |2019-02-22T00:18:57+00:00February 10th, 2019|Money Articles|0 Comments

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