Neato vs. Roomba: What Is The Best Robot Vacuum To Buy In 2019?

By Natalie Red·Updated: Jul 25, 2019· 7 min read

Both manufacturers iRobot and Neato Robotics produce great high-end machines. They might be a bit expensive yet worth every penny. We understand that it is not easy to choose the best robot vacuum cleaner and so we decided to dive deeper into the best flagship machines on the market to make it easier for you to decide.

In this article, we are going to talk about the latest products from both companies. You can read more about the differences between Neato robots and what are the advantages of each of the latest Roomba robot vacuums.

The best Roomba and Neato robot vacuum cleaners features + comparison chart

Features Roomba 960 Roomba 980 Roomba i7 Neato Botvac D4 Connected Neato Botvac D6 Connected Neato Botvac D7 Connected
Runtime (min) 75 120 75 75 120 120
Carpet Boost no yes yes no no no
Dustbin capacity (ml) 600 600 378 700 700 700
Filter type HEPA HEPA washable HEPA High performance Ultra performance Ultra performance
Mapping technology camera camera camera laser laser laser
Recharge & Resume yes yes yes yes yes yes
Noise level (dB) 65 70 N/A 64 64 64
Cleaning brush type double silicone rollers double silicone rollers double silicone rollers Combo brush Spiral combo brush Spiral combo brush
Dirt Detect yes yes yes no no no
Climbing ability (in / mm) 0.79 / 20 0.79 / 20 0.79 / 20 0.75 / 19 0.75 / 19 0.75 / 19
Full Bin indicator yes yes yes yes yes yes
Clean and Schedule by Room (Zone) no no yes no no yes
Save created map no no yes no yes yes
Manual drive control no no yes no no yes
Virtual Wall Barrier physical physical physical digital digital digital
Scheduling yes yes yes yes yes yes
Amazon Alexa/Google Home support yes yes yes yes yes yes
Warranty 12 months 12 months 12 months 12 months 12 months 12 months

Navigating Sensors

Anti-collision and anti-drop sensors became a gold standard in robot vacuum cleaners. The sensors are sensitive and are able to recognize drop-offs and obstacles. It helps a cleaner to navigate around without damaging furniture and falling.

Battery life

Since each of the robots in our list has recharge & resume, the cleaner continuous cleaning after it's done charging. The amount of time spent on the first cleaning cycle determine a cleaner's battery life.

For example: if the vacuum has 75 minutes of battery life, it runs for 75 minutes before it needs to recharge and finish the job.

Typically 75 minutes of cleaning is enough for small and medium home, the robot manages to finish the job before its battery dies.

Carpet boost

This is technology that is able to recognize carpeting surface and boosts suction power to max once a robot is on a carpet/rug. Neato robots don't have it; instead, they use Turbo mode that you need to turn on manually.

Zone cleaning

Zone cleaning allows a robot to clean by zone (room). You can schedule the robot to work on a particular area by choosing it on a created map. Only presented in the Roomba i7 and Neato Botvac D7 Connected.

Virtual walls

Roomba's dual virtual wall barrier is a physical block that prevents it from crossing a particular area.

The Neato cleaners have magnetic tape in the box that works the same as the Roomba's wall barrier.

Aside from the magnetic tape, the Neato has No-Go Lines. In the app, you can set virtual lines that will block the robot from entering some zones. Unlike the Roomba's barrier, the No-Go Lines are unlimited, you can create them as many as you want.

Dirt detect

It is a bunch of sensors that identify the dirtiest areas providing deep cleaning on those spots.

Full bin indicator

Full bin indicator alerts when the dirt container needs to be emptied.

Camera vs. laser mapping technology

Both Roomba and Neato come with mapping. The robot creates a pan of a room layout to position and navigates around better. When the map is created, the cleaner calculates the most efficient way of cleaning.

Roomba robots use a camera sensor, the Neato vacuums - laser. Laser-based technology allows the robot to work in the dark and on black carpets; also, the LIDAR (laser) system is more accurate.

Please note, that the Roomba cannot work on dark carpets and requires the light on.

Recharge & Resume

Based on a created map, a robot vacuum can remember where it has cleaned and where it needs to clean. When a battery needs to recharge, the robot returns to its docking station, and once it's done charging, the cleaner resumes cleaning from the spot it left off.

Map saving

Some robots are able to store created maps. The Neato D6 and D7 Connected save up to three different floor plans, the Roomba i7 - 10. With this feature, the robot is able to recognize its position in case it mapped the room before.


Roomba silicone brushes

The Roomba 800s and 900s models are equipped with double silicone rollers. These brushes are ideal for pet and long human hair and very easy to maintain. The rollers are tangle-free. Each brush is uniquely designed with rubber treads which is suitable for any type of surface - from hard floors to carpets - to get everything from small particles like dust and dirt to hair and large debris.

Roomba 960

Roomba 960 is a budget robot vacuum with flagship features

The Roomba 960 is the first model from the line with mapping and visual localization. The robot builds a map of home layout automatically calculating the best way of cleaning on its own. The Roomba 960 now remembers where it has cleaned and what spots are left to clean.

The Roomba 960 does not save a created map. You cannot interact with it either. The vacuum is equipped with dirt detect and full bin indicator.

Please note, that the dust container is not washable. In the app, you can schedule the robot to work at a specific time, see cleaning history, and switch between cleaning modes. A HEPA filter is suitable for people with asthma and allergies.

Roomba 980

Roomba 980 - the robot vacuum you need

The Roomba 980 comes equipped with silicone tangle-free rollers, dirt detect and full bin indicator. Aside from that, the robot has Carpet identification. Sensors recognize carpeted surface and boost air power to max providing deep cleaning. Longer battery life makes the robot suitable for medium and large houses.

In the iRobot Home app, you can not do much. Schedule the unit, switch between modes and check cleaning history. Unfortunately, you can not interact with maps.

HEPA filtration makes the Roomba 980 perfect for those who have allergies.

The Roomba 980 has stronger suction than the Roomba 960 does plus carpet boost makes it better for carpeting flooring.

Roomba i7

Roomba i7 is something we haven't seen before

The Roomba i7 is the latest flagship that was released a few months ago. There is the Roomba i7 (7150) and Roomba i7+ (7550). The Roomba i7 is the same Roomba i7+ without the automatic dirt disposal.

It has all the features the Roomba 980 does and some additional options. The dustbin is washable (previous models were equipped with a non-washable container).

The Roomba i7 stores up to 10 different floor plans. When the robot creates a map, you can rename each room (zone) to schedule the robot to clean a particular area in the future. Moreover, you can command it using your voice in case you have Alexa enabled devices or Google Home.

If you are tight on budget but want to get the latest Roomba, go with the Roomba i7. The self-emptying base is sold separately. The station is automatically emptying the container inside the robot once it gets back to recharge after cleaning. The disposable bag holds 30 robot bins.

Neato

All the Neato robots have a D-shape that works best on corners and edges. It also has a wide cleaning brush that covers a more significant area which means the Neato needs less time to clean the floor than round robots do.

Neato robots work quieter than Roomba cleaners.

Neato Botvac D7 Connected

Neato Botvac D7 Connected the robot vacuum cleaner to wish for

The Neato Botvac D7 Connected is a high-end robot vacuum cleaner in the family. It has strong suction and performs great on thin and medium-pile carpets.

In the Neato app, you can control the robot's movements, schedule the robot, switch between cleaning modes, view the created map and where the vacuum been. Also, you can create No-Go Lines that will block it from preventing some areas and set zone cleaning (choose the room you want to clean in the map the robot has created). Zone cleaning can also be scheduled. The app alerts when the air filter and brush need to be replaced.

The robot is great for big multiple-floor homes with pets.

Neato Botvac D6 Connected

Neato Botvac D6 Connected the flagship robot cleaner to buy in 2019

The Neato Botvac D6 Connected is the same D7 Connected without zoned cleaning and manual drive remote control.

It holds in memory 3 different floor plans, can be tracked in the app. The app allows doing the same as the D7 Connected does, except setting Zone cleaning and you are not able to control it manually. The app alerts when the air filter and brush need to be replaced.

The robot is great for any home from small to large with a mostly carpeted surface. It performs excellently on both: bare floor and thin to medium-pile carpets.

Neato Botvac D4 Connected

Neato Botvac D4 Connected a budget yet smart robot vacuum cleaner worth buying

The Neato Botvac D4 Connected is a step-down from the D7 Connected. It does not have a side brush and is not able to store a few floor plans. However, you are able to save one created map.

For about $400 you get a decent robot vacuum cleaner with an accurate home mapping that can work in the dark and has no issues with black carpets. It performs excellently on thin and medium-pile carpets and bare floor.

With the Neato app, you are able to set No-Go Lines, track the cleaning process, switch between Eco and Turbo cleaning modes, schedule it and know when the filter and brush need to be replaced.

The D4 Connected is suitable for small homes.


The main differences between Neato and Roomba robot vacuum cleaners

  1. Neato devices are D-shaped, Roomba robots are round.
  2. Roomba comes equipped with silicone tangle-free rollers. Neato units come with combo brushes that are supposed to work best when it comes to pet hair. However, the silicone rollers are easier in terms of maintenance.
  3. You are not able to interact with a map created by Roomba, except the latest Roomba i7 and i7+. There is no chance of setting digital virtual walls. The Neato has magnetic tapes and the ability to create No-Go Lines as many as you want.
  4. Neato uses LIDAR mapping that is based on a laser. It is more accurate and allows the robot to work in the dark. Roomba works with a camera sensor.
  5. Roomba has carpet identification. Neato has the Turbo mode that provides deep cleaning. Both perform great on carpets, the Roomba switches air power to maximum automatically.
  6. Roomba comes equipped with dirt detect.
  7. Only the Roomba i7 (and i7+) saves created maps. Each of the Neato robot vacuums can store at least one plan. The robot does not need to create a map every time it starts cleaning.
  8. Neato holds a little bit more dust and dirt.
  9. Neato's navigation system is more complete thanks to the LIDAR technology. It bumps into things less than the Roomba does.
  10. Neato robots are cheaper than Roomba devices.

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