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, but 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 Roomba robots 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.
The new Roomba i7+ and s9+ can be also ordered to clean a particular room or two at a specific time, not the whole house.
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/s9+ use 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, s7+, and s9+ have 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, i7+, and s9+ 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, i7, and s9+ 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, 900 series, i7, and s9 models. 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 and much effortless to maintain.
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 iRobot HOME 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 the Roomba 690 good for?
- Small homes. Because of random navigation, the Roomba 690 would be suitable for small places.
- Homes with a mixed surface. The robot does a good job on thin carpets and bare flooring and not as good on thicker carpets and not suitable for homes with mostly carpeted surface.
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.
What is the Roomba 890 good for?
- Small homes. Because of short battery life, the Roomba 890 is not suitable for average and big homes
- Pet hair only if you don’t have carpets. The silicone rollers are the best at handling pet hair picking it up on bare flooring but don’t do well on carpets.
- Homes with bare floors.
What makes the Roomba 890 work well on a hardwood floor? The rubber rollers. Note, the Roomba 890 is not suitable for carpet surface. However, it is great for pet owners who do not have carpets. However, considering its price we would suggest getting a new Roomba e5 which is more powerful and has advanced rollers.
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.
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. 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.
What is the Roomba 960 good for?
- With 75 minutes of battery life and resuming the Roomba 690 is suitable for small and average homes.
- Homes with no carpets or mixed surface.
- Pet owners if there are no thick carpets. The silicone rollers do a great job at picking up pet hair but the suction is not enough to provide deep cleaning on carpets.
- Cluttered homes. With mapping, the Roomba 960 finds its way around better than models with random navigation.
Why you should buy the Roomba 960
It cleans longer than previous robots and has the newest navigation system that ensures better cleaning performance. The tangle-free design makes the Roomba 960 perfect for pet owners. 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 provides deeper cleaning on carpets by boosting air power. The powerful motor, HEPA filter, 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. It is also equipped with two Virtual Wall Barrier accessories instead of one.
What is the Roomba 980 good for?
- Homes with a mixed surface. Even though the Roomba 980 has stronger suction than the 960 series, it would not vacuum thick carpets.
- Pet owners. With brushless rollers, the Roomba 980 is good for pet and long human hair.
- Bigger homes because of 120 minutes of battery life that can cover a big area on one charge.
- Cluttered homes thanks to the built-in camera.
Why you need to buy the Roomba 980
The Roomba 980 was a good robot vacuum to get in 2015 when it was released but it’s a bit expensive now. Yes, it has silicone rollers, strong suction, and camera on the top but for the same price, there is a new Roomba i7 that has more smart features, advanced mapping, and better silicone rollers. In addition, you can buy a self-emptying charging base in the future which the Roomba 980 does not support.
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 platform 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 the Roomba e5 good for?
- Homes with mostly carpeted surface.
- Homes with bare flooring.
- Pet owners because of the advanced brushless rollers.
- Small and average homes.
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
What/who is the Roomba i7+ best for?
- Small and average homes.
- Cluttered homes. Because of mapping and digital virtual walls, the Roomba i7+ is more accurate to navigate around.
- Homes with many rooms.
- Alexa and Google Home owners. Because of more voice commands, the Roomba i7+ is useful in terms of controlling it by voice.
- Pet owners. Because of the full dustbin indicator, the Roomba i7+ automatically returns to the dock to empty itself once the dustbin gets full which happens often if you have pets.
- Parents and busy people. Since the Roomba i7+ empties itself, it is an ideal choice for those who don’t have time for chores, even not going to empty the bin after every cleaning.
- Suitable for both: homes with carpets and bare floors.
- Multilevel houses because of storing up to 10 different maps in memory.
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
What/who is the Roomba s9+ best for?
- Big homes. With 120 minutes of battery life, the Roomba s9+ is ideal for bigger homes.
- Multi-level houses.
- Allergy sufferers (thanks to the HEPA filtration).
- Houses with many rooms.
- Pet owners. The new system allows maintaining the rollers even easier than before.
- Homes with carpets. The Roomba s9+ is the most powerful robot vacuum in the industry and is good at deep cleaning.
- Homes with no carpets. The s9+ rollers do a superb job on bare flooring.
- Houses with minimum furniture. The Roomba s9+ shape is good at getting to the corners but struggles in cluttered homes though digital virtual walls (keep-out zones) partially solve this issue
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?
The newest Roomba i7+ and s9+ are even easier to maintain. They do not need a dustbin to be emptied after every cleaning and the silicone rollers are made the way that do not get hair tangled so it’s convenient to maintain these models.