Table of Contents
- Roomba models comparison chart
- Spot Clean Mode
- Dirt Detect
- Full Bin Indicator
- What technology does the Roomba use to navigate the robots? iAdapt Cleaning Technology & Navigation.
- What is the AeroForce Cleaning System?
- Edge Cleaning Mode
- Recharge and Resume
- Rotating Double Brushes
- Why you might want to buy a Roomba with silicone brushes
- How to control a Roomba?
- What you can do with the iRobot Home app
- Virtual Walls
- Keep Out Zones
- Clean & Schedule By Room
- Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal
- The Roomba 614 - Super Basic
- The Roomba 690 - Affordable Robot with a Virtual Wall Barrier
- The Roomba 890 - App-Based Robot With Tangle-Free Rollers
- The Roomba 960
- The Roomba 980
- Roomba e5
- Roomba i7/Roomba i7+
- Roomba s9/s9+
iRobot was founded 19 years ago and became the most significant and innovative player on the robot vacuum cleaners market. They've made a lot of successful products that got famous around the world. If you are planning to buy a Roomba, it can be hard to decide which model is better for your needs. Do you really need to pay $1299 for the high-end Roomba s9+ model or the budget Roomba 690 which you can buy for less than $300 will cover all your needs? In this article, we are going to compare all the Roomba robot vacuum cleaners, determinate what the difference between Roomba models (comparison chart included).
To understand better the important features of each device, let's take a look at the comparison chart below.
Roomba models comparison chart
Compared to Roomba 600 Series
|-||-||5x the air power||5x the air power||10x the air power||5X the air power||10x the air power||40x air power|
|Run Time (min)||60||90||60||75||120||90||75||120|
|Cleaning Technology||AeroVac||AeroVac||AeroForce||AeroForce||AeroForce||3-Stage Cleaning System||3-Stage Cleaning System||3-Stage Cleaning System|
|Navigation Technology||iAdapt 1.0||iAdapt 1.0||iAdapt 1.0||iAdapt 2.0 + Mapping||iAdapt 2.0 + Mapping||iAdapt 1.0||iAdapt 3.0 (Imprint™ Smart Mapping)||Imprint and PerfectEdge Technology, 3D sensor + Mapping|
|Mapping Function||no||no||no||yes (camera-based)||yes (camera-based)||no||yes (camera-based)||yes (camera-based)|
|Keep Out Zones||no||no||no||no||no||no||yes||yes|
|Clean & Schedule By Room||no||no||no||no||no||no||yes||yes|
|Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal||no||no||no||no||no||no||yes||yes|
|Amazon Alexa & Google Assistant||no||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes|
|Recharge and Resume||no||no||no||yes||yes||no||yes||yes|
|Deeper Carpet Cleaning||no||no||no||no||yes||yes||yes||yes|
|Full Bin Indicator||no||no||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes||yes|
|Dimensions (dxh)||13.4 x 3.7 in / 34.03 x 9.39 cm||13 x 3.7 in / 33.78 x 9.39 cm||13.8 x 3.6 in / 35.05 x 9.14 cm||13.9 x 3.6 in / 35.05 x 9.14 cm||13.8 x 3.6 in / 35.05 x 9.14 cm||13.3 x 3.6 in / 33.78 x 9.14 cm||13.34 x 3.63 in / 33.88 x 9.22 cm||12.25 x 3.5 in / 31.75 x 8.89 cm|
|Weight (lbs/kg)||7.5 / 3.4||7.8 / 3.53||8.4 / 3.8||8.5 / 3.8||8.7 / 3.9||7.2 / 3.26||7.44 / 3.37||8.15 / 3.69|
|Warranty||12 months||12 months||12 months||12 months||12 months||12 months||12 months||12 months|
Which Roomba would be the best for you?
If you are low on budget, we would recommend getting the Roomba 690. It is very similar to the Roomba 614 and Roomba 675 but has Wi-Fi, and virtual wall barrier in the box yet costs the same. Remember, it would not remember your home layout and navigation not efficient, which makes the robot suitable for smaller homes.
If you have pets but not ready to spend more, have a look at the Roomba e5. It costs the same as the Roomba 890, only is more powerful and has the same construction as the flagship Roomba i7/i7+ only with no mapping and smart navigation. It takes a few moments to clean the silicone rollers and will not get hair clogged, which is what you might be looking for if you have a pet.
For those who are looking for a robot vacuum with mapping and don’t have many carpets or want to get one as an additional vacuum to a traditional cleaner, go with the Roomba 960. It is the cheapest mapping model, performs excellently on bare floors and thin carpets, but has not enough power to provide deep cleaning on carpet.
If you want a Roomba to clean your carpets but not ready to spend $1,000+, have a look at the Roomba 980. It might be a bit expensive, but for those who want mapping and good carpet cleaning performance, the Roomba 980 would be an ideal option.
Finally, if you are ready to spend $1,099+ on a robot vacuum, live in a multi-level house, and don’t want to waste time to clean the cleaning rollers or empty the dustbin, consider buying the Roomba i7+ or s9+. Because of the self-emptying charging base and keep out zones, the latest Roombas might not have other competitors. These are almost maintain-free machines thanks to the base and brushless rollers.
The Roomba i7+ is more suitable for small to medium houses with pets and carpets/bare floors.
The Roomba s9+ is ideal for bigger homes, and the shape provides better cleaning performance on corners and edges, it has the strongest suction power in the industry and is one of the best robot vacuums that performs flawlessly on thin and thick carpets.
The cliff and anti-collision sensors become a standard in the industry. All the robot vacuums are equipped with them, which prevents bumping into things and falling from stairs. All the iRobot cleaners have them.
All the robots we are going to talk about have an auto-recharging function; it automatically makes the vacuum to go to recharge once the battery runs out of energy.
Spot Clean Mode
In Spot Clean, the robot moves in a spiral way, ensuring intense coverage. All the Roomba cleaners support spot cleaning mode.
Patented Dirt Detect sensors alert Roomba to work harder on concentrated areas of dirt, such as high-traffic zones of your home. The sensors recognize problematic areas and boost up suction power to provide deeper cleaning.
Full Bin Indicator
The newest Roomba machines have a Full Bin Indicator that notifies when the bin is full. The Roomba 960 and 980 models have two options: "Finish Job" and "Pause immediately," which you can manage from the iRobot Home app. The first one ends cleaning immediately while the Pause feature stops cleaning temporarily. Once you empty the bin, the Roomba will continue.
The Roomba i7+ and s9+ automatically return to the charging dock when the container gets full, empty themselves, and resume cleaning.
The devices on our list except the Roomba 614 have a scheduling feature. You can program it to work at a specific time up to 7 times per week using a remote controller or the iRobot Home app.
What technology does the Roomba use to navigate the robots? iAdapt Cleaning Technology & Navigation.
iAdapt Navigation is a set of sensors that help the robot cleaner to move around without falling using a random navigation pattern. Roomba prevents hitting walls and other solid barriers by using Light-Touch bumper technology.
However, the Roomba 960 and Roomba 980 use the upgraded version of iAdapt - iAdapt 2.0. iRobot improved its navigation pattern and added the Visual Localization, a system that uses a camera sensor for mapping. The Roomba 960 and 980 move in straight lines.
The newest Roomba i7 uses an advanced navigation system - iAdapt 3.0.
What is the AeroForce Cleaning System?
All Roomba robots use the AeroForce cleaning system. How does it work? Dual counter-rotating tangle-free brushes grab dirt and debris from carpets and hard floors. The airflow accelerator boosts suction power to catch dust, debris, and allergens, transferring them into the dustbin. The latest models use a more powerful vacuuming system that increases air power up to 5 and 10 times. (The Roomba 980 has a Carpet Boost feature that increases suction power to its maximum when recognizes carpets). A side spin brush cleans corners and wedges, transferring the dirt to the dustbin. Anti-tangle system will not allow the robot to get stuck between cords, carpet fringe, or tassels. If it does, the system stops the side and main brushes of the vacuum to try to escape.
Edge Cleaning Mode
All the 900s models come with Edge Cleaning Mode. While the previous cleaners from iRobot only used a side brush, the newest ones clean tight edges after they finish the job on the floor. This feature is always on default, but if you want your Roomba to end the job quicker, you can switch it off on your smartphone.
Recharge and Resume
Once the robot's battery runs low, a Roomba returns to its charging dock. The Roomba 960, 980, and i7 come with a recharge and resume option. It makes the vacuum to continue cleaning from the place it left off after its battery is powered up.
Rotating Double Brushes
Two brushes located on the bottom rotate in the opposite direction to grab and break down dirt and debris, preventing hair tangling. This technology was upgraded in the 800, and the 900 series. They come with rubber instead of the bristled rollers.
Why you might want to buy a Roomba with silicone brushes
If you are not tight on your budget, you might look at the latest robot vacuum cleaner. You should know the differences between bristled and silicone rollers and why it matters. It is not a big deal to clean a bristled brush from tangled hair, but it can become annoying at times. I have had the iLIFE V7S myself and faced the issue of hair wrapping around the brush after every cleaning. My wife has long hair, which means the brush needed to be cleaned after every session. By contrast, rubber rollers are tangle-free.
How to control a Roomba?
There are three modes available: app, a remote controller, and voice commands. The robot vacuum cleaners that support Wi-Fi can also be controlled via the iHome app. The previous models work with a physical remote controller. If you have a WiFi-enabled Roomba and own Amazon Alexa or Google Home, you can control the robot with voice.
What you can do with the iRobot Home app
The app helps you control your Roomba, set a cleaning schedule directly from the phone, or switch between cleaning modes. The app also alerts you when the dust bin is full and needs emptying.
If you are a happy owner of the latest robots that have a mapping feature, you can see cleaning history at the end.
Needless to say that you also can start and stop your robot anytime just using your mobile device.
The Roomba i7+ and s9+ are different. When the map is created, you can divide it into separate rooms, so the robot knows where each room is located. If you want the Roomba to clean a kitchen, you can choose the kitchen in the app or simply say: «Roomba, clean the kitchen» (if you have an Alexa-enabled device or Google Home) and let the vacuum do the job. Also, those models store up to 10 different maps, and you can interact with them by setting keep out zones, name each room, or choose which one you want to be cleaned.
Virtual Wall is another device that helps to navigate the Roomba. Only elementary budget models come without it. It enables you to control where you want the robot to go. You need to place it somewhere in the room, and your home assistant won't cross it.
Keep Out Zones
iRobot is the first manufacturer that introduced digital restricted areas on robot vacuums based on a camera. It is still in beta and only presented in the Roomba i7+ and s9+. In the map, you can set zones which you don’t want the robot to clean. This option makes the latest Roombas much more valuable than other models.
Clean & Schedule By Room
The Roomba i7+ and s9+ have a new option that allows cleaning a separate room or two instead of the whole house. Some rooms get dirtier sooner than others like a kitchen or living room, so there are times where you need to clean only one room. By simply tapping on the map, you can make the Roomba clean a certain room and schedule the robot to clean the room at a specific time.
These are the first models that are compatible with Amazon Alexa or Google Home in a way that allows to command it to work within a particular room. By saying: «Roomba, clean the living room,» you make the cleaner understand what to do.
Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal
The latest Roombas come with the self-cleaning base. It has a disposable bag inside that holds up to 30 Roombas bins. When the robot’s container gets full, or it has finished the job, the Roomba returns to the base where the dirt gets sucked up into the bag. The base set you free from emptying the dustbin for about a month depending on usage.
It is presented in the Roomba i7+ and s9+.
The Roomba 614 - Super Basic
The Roomba 614 is a very basic budget robot vacuum cleaner you can find for the best price - about 270 dollars on Amazon.
It is the only model that doesn't have a scheduling feature, which is quite disappointing. It will randomly navigate around your house, absorbing dust and dirt on its way.
However, we do not recommend this model because of the high price for what it offers.
Also, you might find the Roomba 675, which is similar to the Roomba 614 in many ways, only the 675 model has Wi-Fi connectivity.
To buy or not to buy the Roomba 614
With its price and cleaning performance, we'd recommend considering buying one of the newest Xiaowa Lite that is equipped with all the options the Roomba 614 is missing.
The Roomba 690 - Affordable Robot with a Virtual Wall Barrier
The Roomba 690 is the first robot vacuum in our list that supports Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Also, the robot can be managed by iRobot Home app. These things and a slightly upgraded Virtual Wall accessory make the Roomba 690 different from the Roomba 614. Still the same cleaning brushes that are not too easy to maintain.
What is good about the Roomba 690
- Upgraded Virtual Wall
- Compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant
- Comes with iRobot Home app
- Reasonable Price
- Still the same old brushes
The Roomba 690 is finally Wi-Fi enabled, which means that the robot has entered the 21st century, and you can manage it through your smartphone. iRobot offers enough features, making the 690 costs twice or even three times less than its newest models. If you are ready for bristled brushes, which means you need to get rid of tangled hair after every session, have a look at the Roomba 690.
Update November 2018 What you can get instead of the Roomba 690 for under $300? Take a look at the top 5 best Roomba 690 alternatives.
The Roomba 890 - App-Based Robot With Tangle-Free Rollers
The Roomba 890 is basically the same 860, but with the Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barrier and Wi-Fi enabled. It is compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant and comes with the iHome app. You get the rubber brushes that prevent hair tangling and are perfect for pet hair.
- Rubber rollers
- Wi-Fi enabled
- Voice-Activated Control
- Powerful motor
- Consumers complain about carpet performance however the robot does a good job on bare floor
- Short battery life
What makes the Roomba 890 work well on a hardwood floor? The rubber rollers along and a powerful motor is a combo that provides deep cleaning. Also, the robot can be managed via the app or by voice commands, which makes it more fun to clean with the Roomba. Amazon offers a good deal selling the Roomba 890 for $400, making it attractive to get even in 2019. Note, the Roomba 890 is not suitable for carpet surface. However, it is great for pet owners who do not have carpets. But if you are looking for a robot that would run on your carpets daily, consider buying the Roomba 890 but do not expect deep cleaning on a carpeted surface.
The Roomba 960
The Roomba 960 has the upgraded iAdapt 2.0 navigation system that along with a set of sensors has the local visualization helps the robot to create an internal map of your house using your furniture and walls as landmarks. With the new camera sensor, the Roomba 960 is more efficient than other robots that randomly move around.
It also has a battery that lasts up to 75 minutes in one charge, and what's more important - the new “Recharge and Resume” feature. There is also a new option: the full bin indicator shows when the dust box is full to let you know it should be emptied. The device supports Wi-Fi and is compatible with the iRobot Home app and Amazon Alexa/Google Assistant. With the multi-surface rubber rollers and 5x the power-lifting suction, the Roomba 960 is perfect to use on thin carpets and hardwood floors. Besides, this machine is ideal for pet hair. Along with the app, the 960 can be navigated by the Virtual Wall Barrier.
- Better cleaning performance
- The upgraded navigation system provides more accurate cleaning
- Powerful robovac good for pet owners
- Compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant
- Virtual Wall Barrier included in the box
- New Edge Cleaning Mode
- Short cleaning time
- Is not as efficient on thicker carpets
Why you should buy the Roomba 960
It cleans longer than previous robots and has the newest navigation system that ensures better cleaning performance. Do not forget about its rubber rollers that are perfect for any surface. You can control your device by voice commands using Amazon Alexa.
The tangle-free design makes the Roomba 960 perfect for pet owners. One of the most important things to remember is the fact that you can control the whole process by using your smartphone while you are out. Considering the price, the Roomba 960 is one of our favorite robot vacuums to get in 2019, since it has everything you need if you want the best combination of price and features. Keep in mind; the Roomba 960 would not provide deep cleaning on thicker carpets; it struggles with small particles. The robot is suitable for small to medium homes with a mixed surface.
The Roomba 980
The Roomba 980 has an advanced Gen 3 motor inside that gives 10x more air suction power in Performance Mode or when the robot detects carpet (compared to 600series). The Carpet Boost Mode is a very new feature; it provides deeper cleaning on carpets by boosting air power. The powerful motor and rubber rollers capture 99% of dust, mites, and allergens as small as 10 microns. Also, it works up to 120 minutes on one charge instead of 75 or even 60 minutes offered by previous models. With iRobot’s newest feature, the device will get back to its charge station and then finish its job. Does the longer battery life even matter? If you are not home, who cares if it takes a break after 75 or 120 minutes to recharge? For people with a big household, it makes sense to spend money on the Roomba 980, since it will recharge once to clean the whole area while the Roomba 960 would recharge two or more times. It is also equipped with two Virtual Wall Barrier accessories instead of just one. It supports Wi-Fi, has the iRobot Home app, and is compatible with Alexa or Google Assistant.
What is good about the Roomba 980
- Carpet Boost Mode
- Increased cleaning time up to 120 minutes
- Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
- Powerful motor that provides a deeper cleaning
- Wi-Fi enabled
- Mapping function
- The newest iAdapt 2.0 navigation system
- Edge Cleaning Mode allows Roomba to clean tight edges
- Very limited features in the app
Why you need to buy the Roomba 980
For its price, the manufacturer offers good value. With its high-efficient filters, the Roomba 980 is good when it comes to catching allergens and picking up pet hair. Besides, it features excellent cleaning performance on carpeted surfaces thanks to the newest Carpet Boost Mode. The increased cleaning time makes it ideal for people who own a big house because it can recharge and resume until the whole household is clean. You can control it when not at home, which is great when you have guests coming, but your floors are not as clean as you'd like. If you have some extra money to spend on something that will make your life easier, especially when it comes to cleaning floors, the high-end Roomba 980 is the robot you need.
In our opinion, the Roomba e5 is the most underrated robot in the model line. It has upgraded silicone rollers and carpet identification. Unlike the Roomba 890 that is also equipped with silicone rollers, the Roomba e5 increases suction power on carpet flooring, making it suitable for carpets. Also, it gives you 90 minutes of continuous cleaning instead of 60 minutes. This model provides the best cleaning performance among other Roombas that do not have mapping. In short, it has the same planform as the Roomba i7 only with no premium features such as mapping and smart navigation.
The Roomba e5 is the best model in the line among others with random navigation
What is good about the Roomba 980
- Upgraded silicone rollers, the same that are inside the latest Roomba i7+
- Carpet identification
- Excellent cleaning performance on carpets and bare floors
- Strong suction
- Perfect for pet owners
- Compatible with Alexa and Google Home
- No camera onboard
Why you need to buy the Roomba e5
The Roomba e5 has a $400 price tag. The Roomba 890 costs the same but do not provide deep carpet cleaning which the Roomba e5 does. The robot is ideal for pet owners, small to average households with carpets or bare flooring.
Roomba i7/Roomba i7+
The iRobot Roomba i7 was released at the end of 2018. It is one the most expensive robot vacuum on the market and one of the most powerful robot vacuum from iRobot. This model is very similar to the Roomba 980 but has a few innovations such as advanced brushless rollers, a quieter motor, improved navigation technology iAdapt 3.0, selected room cleaning, washable dustbin, etc.
There is also a more expensive option, the Roomba i7+; it comes with a self-emptying dock station that automatically empties the robot’s bin each time it docks or whenever its container is full and is designed to hold 30 robot bins of dirt and debris so you can forget about vacuuming for weeks at a time. Alternatively, you can buy the self-emptying dock separately later.
Keep the Roomba i7+ out of certain areas by using the new «Keep Out Zones» feature
With the Roomba i7, you can divide a created map into zones, name each to make the robot clean in a particular room further. The i7 can remember up to 10 floors layouts, which is a useful feature for multi-floor houses. The new feature that is called «keep out zones» allows you setting restricted areas in the app. iRobot is the first company that has this feature in camera-based robot cleaners.
The Roomba i7+ is ideal for multi-level houses
The Roomba i7 has a new feature that allows cleaning a certain room or two. When the map is created, you can divide it into separate rooms and name each to be able to run the robot within one or more rooms.
Say «Roomba, clean the kitchen» to make the robot work within the kitchen only
- Easy to maintain
- Ideal for pet owners
- Carpet identification
- Selected room cleaning & scheduling
- Self-emptying base
- More efficient navigation
- Accurate mapping
Who is the Roomba i7+ for?
The Roomba i7+ is pricey but worth every penny. It is suitable for small and medium homes because of 75 minutes of battery life. Thanks to carpet identification, good climbing ability (0.79 in / 20 mm) and strong suction, the robot is perfect for homes with carpets. Because of the newest charging base and brushless rollers, you don’t have to spend time to maintain the machine, it takes a few seconds to clean the rollers and you effort to empty the disposable bag of the base once a month. Also, if you own a multiple-level house, the Roomba i7+ would be suitable since it stores up to 10 different floor plans.
The most powerful robot vacuum cleaner on the market
The Roomba s9 is the newest and might be the best model iRobot has ever released. It has a D-shape similar to the Neato’s body. With this body, the robot gets closer to walls and corners. This model got new brushless rollers that are 30% wider (compared to Roomba 600 Series). Even though the Roomba i7+ is powerful, the latest s9+ has even more powerful motor.
The Roomba s9+ is the strongest robot vacuum in the industry
The Roomba s9/s9+ has the same features the Roomba i7 does. It has become stronger, got a new shape and wider rollers and extended battery life. If the Roomba i7 only has one cleaning mode, the s9+ allows adjusting suction depending on your needs. Because of redesigned construction, now cleaning rollers get closer to the floor providing deeper cleaning on carpets.
The Roomba s9 is a bit cheaper than the Roomba s9+; the base can be bought separately. The robot stores up to 10 different floor plans, can be scheduled to work within one or more certain rooms and identifies carpet flooring by boosting suction to provide deeper cleaning.
With the new wider silicone rollers and self-cleaning charging base, the Roomba s9+ is maintainless
- The strongest in the industry
- Ideal for pet owners
- Safe for allergy and asthma sufferers
- Performs great on thin and thick carpets
- D-shape provides better cleaning along walls and corners
- Can clean in a particular room or two
- Needs less effort to maintain
- Suitable for multi-level houses
- Perfect for big homes
- The most expensive in the industry but worth the cost
Who is the Roomba s9+ for?
The Roomba s9+ is ideal for those who have carpets all over their place. With 120 minutes of battery life, the Roomba s9+ is ideal for big homes. Because it stores 10 floor plans, the robot is essential for those who own a multi-level house. Brushless rollers make the s9+ perfect for pet owners. In the end, keep out zones feature gives the machine much more value than any other robot vacuum which mapping technology is based on a camera. Also, the self-emptied charging base is a new feature you never thought you wanted.
Even though iRobot does everything for you to make floor cleaning more manageable than ever before, you still need to do some maintenance to make your Roomba work longer. Clean the dustbin from all the dirt and dust collected. Try to do it after every cleaning or as often as possible if you want your machine to last longer. The most important point is to remove all the hair from the bristle brushes (hello to the newest rubber ones), especially if there is a pet running around your home or your family member has long hair. This is pretty much it. Not much effort to spend on, huh?