What Is the Best Roomba To Buy In 2018: Model Comparison Chart
Mar 18, 2018 12 min read
Table of Contents (Jump to)
- iRobot Roomba comparison chart
- The Roomba 614 - Super Basic
- The Roomba 650 - Reasonable Price
- The Roomba 690 - Affordable Robot with a Virtual Wall Barrier
- The Roomba 860 - Powerful Budget Robot
- The Roomba 890 - App-Based Robot With Tangle-Free Rollers
- The Roomba 960 - Editor's Choice
- The Roomba 980 - High-End Vacuum Cleaner With The Best Cleaning Performance
[Update September 2018] iRobot released the newest models the Roomba i7+ and the Roomba e5. The Roomba i7+ will be able to empty itself thanks to its CleanBase dock. Along with that, the robot can hold in memory the map it is created. The app has some updates as well. It comes with zone cleaning meaning that you can make the i7+ work in the specified area such as a living room or a bedroom. The Roomba e5 doesn't come with mapping, but it is equipped with silicone rollers.
iRobot offers a lot of robot vacuum cleaners, so it becomes a challenge which model to buy in 2018. We decided to review the most popular Roomba cleaners on Amazon such as the Roomba 614, 650, 690, 860, 890, 960, and 980. Let's dive in deep and see what makes every Roomba so unique and help you to figure out which home assistant to pick.
UPDATE: check the newest Roomba comparison chart.
November 2018 For someone who is searching for a robot vacuum cleaner that can compete with a Roomba here the list of the best Roomba alternatives you never knew excisted.
iRobot Roomba comparison chart
|Features||Roomba 614||Roomba 650||Roomba 690||Roomba 860||Roomba 890||Roomba 960||Roomba 980|
|3-Stage Cleaning||-||-||-||5x the air power||5x the air power||5x the air power||10x the air power|
|Run Time (min)||60min||60min||90min||60min||60min||75min||120min|
|Navigation Technology||iAdapt||iAdapt||iAdapt||iAdapt||iAdapt||iAdapt 2.0 + Mapping||iAdapt 2.0 + Mapping|
|Amazon Alexa & Google Assistant||no||no||yes||no||yes||yes||yes|
|Recharge and Resume||no||no||no||no||no||yes||yes|
|Deeper Carpet Cleaning||no||no||no||no||no||no||yes|
|Full Bin Indicator||no||no||no||yes||yes||yes||yes|
|Dimensions (dxh)||13.4x3.7in / 34.03x9.39cm||13.3x3.6in / 33.78x9.14cm cm||13x3.7in / 33.78x9.39cm||13.9x3.6in / 35.05x9.14cm||13.8x3.6in / 35.05x9.14cm||13.9x3.6in / 35.05x9.14cm||13.8x3.6in / 35.05x9.14cm|
|Weight (lbs/kg)||7.5 / 3.4||7.9 / 3.58||7.8 / 3.53||8.4 / 3.8||8.4 / 3.8||8.5 / 3.8||8.7 / 3.9|
|Warranty||12 months||12 months||12 months||12 months||12 months||12 months||12 months|
|What is the best for?||the cheapest||basic features with a virtual wall barrier||budget Roomba that supports virtual assistants||powerful motor, new rubber brushes and affordable price||supports virtual assistants, powerful motor||mapping feature, good for pet hair, works on all floor types, longer run time||the most powerful motor, carpet detection, mapping function, good for bigger houses, perfect for pet owners and mostly carpeting households|
|Amazon price||Check price||Check price||Check price||Check price||Check price||Check price||Check price|
Each of the Roomba robots comes with anti-collision and cliff sensors so we won't dwell on this. Just remember that Roomba avoids anything in its way such as chair legs and doesn't drop when it “sees” stairs. All the robots we are going to talk about have an auto-recharging function. When the battery runs low, the vacuum cleaner automatically returns to its base.
Robot vacuums mentioned in the article:
- iRobot Roomba 675 — from $248.00
- iRobot Roomba 860 — from $527.88
- iRobot Roomba 890 — from $399.00
- iRobot Roomba 960 — from $482.22
- iRobot Roomba 690 — from $279.00
- iRobot Roomba 650 — from $219.99
- iRobot Roomba 980 — from $859.99
Spot Clean Mode
In Spot Clean, the robot cleans in a spiral ensuring intense coverage. All the cleaners come with this feature.
Full Bin Indicator
The newest Roomba machines have a Full Bin Indicator that notifies you when the bin is full. The 960 and the 980 models have two options: "Finish Job" and "Pause immediately" so you can manage it from the iRobot Home app. The first one ends cleaning immediately while the Pause feature stops cleaning. Once you empty the bin, the Roomba will continue.
The devices on our list except the Roomba 614 have a scheduling feature. You can program your assistant to work in 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 find dirt and clean in a back-and-forth pattern, prevent it from falling. Roomba prevents hitting walls and other solid barriers by using Light-Touch bumper technology.
However, the Roomba 960 and the Roomba 980 use the upgraded version of iAdapt - iAdapt 2.0. iRobot improved its navigation pattern and added a Visual Localization, a system that uses cameras for mapping and tracking its location while cleaning.
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 it 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 the Carpet Boost feature that increases suction power to its maximum). The side spin brush cleans corners and wedges, transferring dirt to the dustbin. The 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 all previous robots from iRobot only used a side, brush the newest ones can 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 working quicker, you can switch it off on your smartphone.
Recharge and Resume
Once the robot's battery runs low, the Roomba returns to the charging dock. The newest 960 and the 980 Roombas come with a recharge and resume feature. When the cleaner had a low charge but didn't finish its job, the device will recharge and then return to the place where it left off.
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 with rubber instead of bristle brushes.
Why you might want to buy the Roomba with rubber brushes
If you are not tight on your budget, you might look at the latest robot vacuum cleaner, so from here you should know the differences between bristle and rubber rollers and why they matter. It is not a big deal to clean a bristle brush from tangled hair, but it can become annoying at times. I have the iLIFE V7S myself and face the issue of wrapped hair after every cleaning. My wife has long hair which means that the brush needs to be cleaned after every session. By contrast, rubber rollers are tangle-free. Just my opinion, but you might want to know this before buying a robot vacuum.
How to control Roomba?
There are three modes available: app, a remote controller, and voice commands. The robot vacuum cleaners that support Wi-Fi most of the times can be controlled via the iRobot Home app. The previous models work with a physical remote controller. Some of the latest cleaners (usually the same Wi-Fi-enabled models) support Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant and can be controlled by voice commands.
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 track how many square meters the Roomba vacuums, the number of times it cleans, and the amount of time it spends vacuuming in total.
Needless to say that you also can start and stop your robot anytime just using your mobile device.
Virtual Wall is another device that helps 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.
The Roomba 614 - Super Basic
The Roomba 614 is the 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.
- Doesn't support Wi-Fi
- Doesn't have a scheduling feature
In the box with the Roomba 614
Charging station, one extra filter, manufacturer's warranty, owner's guide, and documentation package.
To buy or not to buy the Roomba 614
If you are low on a budget, you might have a look at this one. But with its price and cleaning performance, you would do better to consider buying one of the newest ILIFE V8S or A6 equipped with all the options the Roomba 614 is missing.
The Roomba 650 - Reasonable Price
At the price of $270, the Roomba 650 offers all the necessary options of the 614 with the addition of a single Virtual Wall. It uses bristle cleaning brushes that become a headache when it comes to untangling hair. It has a larger dustbin than the previous series, however. The Roomba 650 works on tile, hardwood, and linoleum flooring as well as on any type of carpeting surface except thick carpets/rugs.
What comes in the box with the Roomba 650
Charging station, Virtual Wall Barrier, extra filter, cleaning tool, manufacturer's warranty, owner's guide, and documentation package.
- Virtual Wall Included
- Reasonable price
- The old type of cleaning brushes
The Roomba 650: Conclusion
The Roomba 650 was rated highly a few years ago but times changed. Other robots offer better cleaning performance with the same price tag: (the (ILIFE V5S Pro, the Ecovac Deepbot N79 or the Eufy Robovac 11+).
The Roomba 690 - Affordable Robot with a Virtual Wall Barrier
The Roomba 690 is the first robot vacuum on 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 650. Still the same cleaning brushes that are not too easy to maintenance.
What’s in the box
Charging station, Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barrier with two AA batteries, line cord, extra AeroVac filter, cleaning tool, user guide.
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 robo has entered the 21st century and you can manage it through your smartphone. iRobot offers enough features, making the 690 cost twice or even three times less than its newest models. If you are ready for bristle 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 860 - Powerful Budget Robot
What makes us love the Roomba 860 more than anything else? Its rubber rollers! The rollers vibrate on the floor shaking dirt and debris into the dustbin. The brushes are perfect for pet owners. They clean pet hair with ease, and the best thing is that the hair won't get tangled, so you don't need to unwrap it that often.
With the AeroForce Cleaning System, the Roomba 860 delivers up to 5x the air power which means the 860 is better for carpeted surfaces than old models.
What you get in the box with the Roomba 860
Charging station, Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barrier (batteries included), extra filter, 1-year manufacturer's limited warranty on the robot, 12-month manufacturer's limited warranty on battery.
What makes the Roomba 860 better than previous models
- New design rubber debris extractors
- Virtual Wall Barrier
- 5 times more vacuuming power making it suitable for carpets
- Still less expensive than iRobot's latest devices
- no Wi-Fi provided
Is the Roomba 860 something you might need?
There are a lot of people who don't care about Wi-Fi or the app. Along with no Wi-Fi enabled, the Roomba 860 has these new amazing brushless rollers and a powerful motor that catches dust, dirt, pet hair, and allergens. With a cost of about $400, you get an excellent robot vacuum cleaner with decent cleaning performance, and if you are okay with no Wi-Fi - go with the Roomba 860.
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 has the iRobot Home app. You can control the 890 using your mobile device or voice commands. You get the same rubber brushes that prevent hair tangling and a powerful motor perfect for carpets or hard surfaces.
What comes in the box with the Roomba 890
Charging station, line cord, Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barrier (2AA batteries included), 1 extra filter, owner's guide, and documentation package.
- Rubber rollers
- Wi-Fi enabled
- Voice-Activated Control
- Powerful motor
- Quite expensive
- No mapping function
What makes the Roomba 890 work well on carpets or a hardwood floor? The rubber rollers along + a powerful motor is a combo that provides deep cleaning. Also, the robovac 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 $500, making it super attractive to get even in 2018.
The Roomba 960 - Editor's Choice
We are getting to the robot that is one of the latest that iRobot produces. It's got the upgraded iAdapt 2.0 navigation system that along with a set of sensors has the local visualization to help the robot create an internal map of your house using your furniture and walls as landmarks. With the new camera sensor, the Roomba 960 is more accurate.
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. Only the latest Roomba 960 and the Roomba 980 have it. There is also a new option where the full bin indicator alerts you when the dust box is ready to clean so you can pause it or finish the job just using your mobile device. 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 carpets and hardwood floors. Besides, this machine correctly handles pet hair and long human hair. Along with the app, the 960 can be navigated by the Virtual Wall Barrier and voice.
What’s in the box
Charging station, line cord, Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barrier with 2 AA batteries included, 1 extra filter, extra side brush.
- 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 considering its price
Why you should buy the Roomba 960
The Roomba 960 is one of the best robot vacuum cleaners among all the models iRobot produces. It cleans longer than previous robotics and has the newest navigation system that ensures better cleaning performance. Do not forget about its rubber rollers perfect for any surface and 5x the air power suction. You can control your device by voice commands using Amazon Alexa, or just using your device to set cleaning modes and also see the map it has built and other things iRobot Home has.
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 just using your smartphone while you are out. Considering the price, the Roomba 960 is one of our favorite robot vacuums to get in 2018, since it has everything you need if you want the best combination of price and features.
The Roomba 980 - High-End Vacuum Cleaner With The Best Cleaning Performance
The Roomba 980 is the latest top robot vacuum cleaner from iRobot. It is the best Roomba device we recommend to buy even though it is quite expensive. The Roomba 980 is the best in cleaning since it has an advanced Gen 3 motor inside that gives 10x more air suction power in Performance Mode or when the robot detects a carpet. The Carpet Boost Mode is a very new feature found only in the Roomba 980. 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 increased time 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 has to recharge two or more times. With local visualization, you can track your Roomba in real-time even if you aren't home. 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 you get in the box with the Roomba 980
Charging station, line cord, Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barriers (batteries included), extra filter, extra side brush.
What is good about the Roomba 980
- Carpet Boost Mode
- Dual Virtual Wall Barriers
- Increased cleaning time up to 120 minutes
- Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
- Powerful motor that provides deeper cleaning
- Wi-Fi enabled
- Mapping function
- The newest iAdapt 2.0 navigation system
- Edge Cleaning Mode allows Roomba to clean tight edges
- The price is high
Why you need to buy the Roomba 980
It is the latest and the most expensive robot vacuum from iRobot. However, for its price, the manufacturer offers the best value. With its high-efficient filters, the Roomba 980 is perfect 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 found only in this model. 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.
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. 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 someone with long hair. This is pretty much it. Not much effort to spend on, huh?