What Is the Best Roomba To Buy In 2019: Model Comparison Chart

By Michael Fisher·Mar 18, 2018· 11 min read

[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 has 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.

If you are curious what are the main differences between the latest Roomba 960, 980 and the Roomba i7, please read our article with a comparison chart.

Read our article if you want to know more about the Roomba e5 and what makes it different from the Roomba 690.

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

FeaturesRoomba 614Roomba 650Roomba 690Roomba 860Roomba 890Roomba 960Roomba 980
3-Stage Cleaning---5x the air power5x the air power5x the air power10x the air power
Run Time (min)606090606075120
Cleaning TechonolyAeroVacAeroVacAeroVacAeroForceAeroForceAeroForceAeroForce
Navigation TechnologyiAdaptiAdaptiAdaptiAdaptiAdaptiAdapt 2.0 + MappingiAdapt 2.0 + Mapping
Mapping Functionnononononoyesyes
Virtual Wallsnoyesyesyesyesyesyes
FilterAeroVacAeroVacAeroVacHEPAHEPAHEPAHEPA
Auto Rechargeyesyesyesyesyesyesyes
Schedulingnoyesyesyesyesyesyes
Wi-Fi Supportnonoyesnoyesyesyes
Smartphone Appnonoyesnoyesyesyes
Amazon Alexa & Google Assistantnonoyesnoyesyesyes
Tangle-Free Brushnononoyesyesyesyes
Multi-Room Cleaningnonoyesyesyesyesyes
Recharge and Resumenononononoyesyes
Deeper Carpet Cleaningnonononononoyes
Full Bin Indicatornononoyesyesyesyes
Built-in Cameranononononoyesyes
Dimensions (dxh)13.4 x 3.7 in / 34.03 x 9.39 cm13.3 x 3.6 in / 33.78 x 9.14 cm13 x 3.7 in / 33.78 x 9.39 cm13.9 x 3.6 in / 35.05 x 9.14 cm13.8 x 3.6 in / 35.05 x 9.14 cm13.9 x 3.6 in / 35.05 x 9.14 cm13.8 x 3.6 in / 35.05 x 9.14 cm
Weight (lbs/kg)7.5 / 3.47.9 / 3.587.8 / 3.538.4 / 3.88.4 / 3.88.5 / 3.88.7 / 3.9
Warranty12 months12 months12 months12 months12 months12 months12 months
Amazon priceCheck the priceCheck the priceCheck the priceCheck the priceCheck the priceCheck the priceCheck the price

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.

Robot vacuums mentioned in the article:

Spot Clean Mode

In Spot Clean, the robot moves in a spiral way ensuring intense coverage. All the Roomba cleaners support spot cleaning mode.

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.

Scheduling

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 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 newest 960 and the 980 Roombas come with a recharge and resume option. It makes the vacuum to resume 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.

Virtual Walls

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.


The Roomba 614 - Super Basic

roomba-614

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.

Click here to see customers reviews about the Roomba 614 on Amazon

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 650 - Reasonable Price

roomba 650

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 you need to untangle hair. The Roomba 650 works on tile, hardwood, and linoleum flooring as well as on any type of carpeting surface except thick carpets/rugs.

Pros

  • Virtual wall included
  • Reasonable price

Cons

  • The old type of cleaning brushes

Click here to see customers reviews about the Roomba 650 on Amazon

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 (Xiaowa E2](https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07F8ZTR2J/?tag=omgrobotpartn-20), the Ecovac Deepbot N79S or the Eufy Robovac 11+.


The Roomba 690 - Affordable Robot with a Virtual Wall Barrier

Roomba-690

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 maintain.

What is good about the Roomba 690

  • Upgraded Virtual Wall
  • Compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant
  • Comes with iRobot Home app
  • Reasonable Price

Cons

  • Still the same old brushes

Click here to see customers reviews about the Roomba 690 on Amazon

Verdict

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 cost 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 860 - Powerful Budget Robot

roomba-860

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.

What makes the Roomba 860 better than previous models

  • New design rubber debris extractors
  • Virtual Wall Barrier
  • 5 times more vacuuming power

Cons

  • no Wi-Fi provided

Click here to see customers reviews about the Roomba 860 on Amazon

Is the Roomba 860 something you might need?

Even though the Roomba 860 has silicone rollers, we recommend you to go with the Roomba 890. It is WiFi enabled and has a price of $450.


The Roomba 890 - App-Based Robot With Tangle-Free Rollers

roomba 890

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 same rubber brushes that prevent hair tangling and are perfect for pet hair.

Pros

  • Rubber rollers
  • Wi-Fi enabled
  • Voice-Activated Control
  • Powerful motor

Cons

  • Consumers complain about carpet performance however the robot does a good job on bare floor
  • No mapping function

Click here to see customers reviews about the Roomba 890 on Amazon

Bottom Line

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 $500, making it attractive to get even in 2019.


The Roomba 960 - Editor's Choice

roomba-960

We are getting to the robot that is one of the latest that iRobot produces. It 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.

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 Roomba 980 have it. There is also a new option where the full bin indicator shows when the dust box is ready to clean so you can pause it or finish the job just using your mobile device to empty the container. 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.

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • Short cleaning time
  • Is not as efficient on thicker carpets

Click here to see customers reviews about the Roomba 960 on Amazon

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 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.


The Roomba 980 - High-End Vacuum Cleaner With The Best Cleaning Performance

roomba-980

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 carpet. The Carpet Boost Mode is a very new feature found only in the Roomba 980, 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
  • 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

Cons

  • The price is high

Click here to see customers reviews about the Roomba 980 on Amazon

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 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 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.


Maintenance

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?

Where to buy
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