The Best Roomba for Pet Hair

Which Roomba is best for pet hair?

One of the most common applications of robot vacuums is to clean up pet hair. Generally, more expensive robot vacuums have best quality suction systems and motors, and therefore will do a better job for most cleaning purposes including pet hair. Given this, the best Roomba for pet hair in practice will inevitably be the Roomba 980.

However, this is an expensive kit and the chances are most readers would settle for something a little cheaper, and accordingly, we have decided to provide you with a range of options of Roombas that best suit your budget requirements.

Since this has been written we have added in the new Roomba i7+, which has self-disposal of waste, into our main Roomba comparison article.

This article will:

  • Present our top 5 picks
  • Explain the features in each model
  • Other important factors to consider in your purchase
  • Provide information on the best Roomba for pet hair in different scenarios

Comparison Chart


Short Summary

Roomba 980: Best Roomba for pet hair packed with the best features. Useful for those who have dense carpets,  frequent malting, thick pet hair, a large cleaning area and a high budget.

Roomba 960: Almost as good as the Roomba 980 and more reasonably priced. Useful for those who have light carpets,  frequent malting, thick pet hair, a large cleaning area and a medium to high budget.

Roomba 890: A solid mid-range Roomba with a decent motor. Useful for those who have light carpets,  frequent malting, thick pet hair, an average to smaller size cleaning area and a medium budget.

Roomba 690: A low to mid-range Roomba that is a good deal. Useful for those who have hard floors,  frequent malting, thinner pet hair, an average to smaller size cleaning area and a low to medium budget.

Roomba 614: A super budget option that many customers are happy with. Useful for those who have hard floors,  frequent malting, thinner pet hair, an average to smaller size cleaning area and a low budget.


You may have noticed that our choices here are the same with a similar rating to those we picked in our compare Roomba models article. The factors that made these the best overall Roombas make them the best for collecting pet hair too.

Our second pick, the Roomba 960, was our top overall pick of best Roomba when taking into account value.  The same principle applies here; it is almost as good as the Roomba 980 but a few hundred dollars cheaper. T

hen we have the Roomba 890 as a solid mid-range option with a favorable price.

Then at the lower end, we have two budget options, the first being the smart home budget pick which is the Roomba 690.

Then we have also chosen a non-smart super budget option which overall has fantastic reviews when it comes to clearing up pet hair, the Roomba 614.

The truth is that Roombas are so well designed and efficient at cleaning that in many cases even the lower end models do a decent job. If your only wish for your Roomba is to clean up pet hair then the budget choices are great options.


Roomba Features

As with all our Roomba comparison articles we have included a table of features to act as a reference point and gain some understanding of what features the best models have. Our Best Roomba for pet hair picks vary somewhat:

Compare Roomba Models 2018

Roomba 980 Features

This is the best Roomba due to it having the best of every possible feature. It uses the superior Smart Mapping & VSLAM camera driven navigation technology. The Roomba uses images to build up a map of your home which informs which routes to take and where objects are.

The Roomba 980, is a smart home enabled robot vacuum as it can connect via Wi-Fi to the iRobot Home App and your smartphone. The navigation technology can create digital map reports to generate cleaning statistics that are relevant to the cleaning job done. The iRobot Home App creates an effortless user interface to view all of this information and schedule cleaning.

As with all the Roombas on the list, the Roomba 980 has built-in Cliff Detect and automatically returns to the Home Base for charging when the battery is low. It also has the ability to resume cleaning when fully recharged. The best vacuum motor is only found in the  Roomba 980, which is the 3rd Generation Motor. This comes into its own with an extra power cleaning mode where more dirt is detected, useful especially for carpets. The Roomba 980 has 120 minutes of battery life.

iRobot Roomba 980
iRobot Roomba 980 – Best Overall
  • Best of all features
  • Makes it overall best Roomba for pet hair
  • Smart Mapping & VSLAM is most efficient
  • Digital map reports and cleaning statistics presented in iRobot Home App
  • iRobot Home App allows scheduling
  • Self-autonomously returns to charging station and resumes cleaning when completed
  • Most powerful 3rd Gen Motor
  • Longest battery life of 2 hours

 


Roomba 960 Features

The Roomba 960 is the second best Roomba currently available, and it marginally comes behind the Roomba 980. It shares most of the features as mention above with a few minor differences.

Instead of the 3rd Gen Motor, it has the Aeroforce 3-Stage Cleaning System, which has half the air power. Secondly, the battery life of the Roomba 960 is 75 minutes rather 120 minutes.

One important thing to consider is that the Roomba 960 can resume cleaning after charging, just like the Roomba 980. This means that 45 minutes difference in battery life is not so important as no effort is required from you to restart to robot vacuum.

One final consideration is the Roomba 960 bundle comes with one virtual wall barrier rather than two. This is useful but not a game changer for your home cleaning.

iRobot Roomba 960
iRobot Roomba 960 – Best including Value
  • Very similar to the Roomba 980
  • Has the Aeroforce 3-Stage Cleaning System instead of 3rd Gen Motor
  • Has 75 minutes of battery life
  • Roomba 960 pack comes with just one virtual wall barrier

 

 

 

 


Roomba 890 Features

The Roomba 890 is a decent robot vacuum that is more in the mid-price range. It is very similar to the Roomba 960, with a few key differences. The main downgrade is the use of iAdapt Navigation rather than Smart Mapping & VSLAM.

This means the cleaning routes are sensor-driven and less efficient. The Roomba 890 still connects to the iRobot Home App but the loss of Smart Mapping means that there are no digital maps or cleaning reports. It also does not resume cleaning after recharging.

iRobot Roomba 890 Review
iRobot Roomba 890 – Mid Range Option
  • Same motor as Roomba 960
  • iAdapt Navigation instead of Smart Mapping & VSLAM
  • Still connects to iRobot Home App via Wi-Fi for scheduling & remote control
  • No digital map reports
  • 60 minutes of battery life

No self-autonomous cleaning restart

 

 

 


Roomba 690 Features

iRobot Roomba 690 Review
iRobot Roomba 690 – Smart Budget Option

The features of the Roomba 690 are exactly the same as the Roomba 890, but with the 3-Stage Cleaning System instead of the Aeroforce system. This will be slightly less effective on carpeted floors or tougher to cleaning dirt and debris

  • Identical to Roomba 890 apart from a weaker motor

 

 

 

 


Roomba 614 Features

Best Roomba for Pet Hair
Roomba 614 – Super Budget Option

The Roomba 614 is at the opposite end of the Roomba product range to the Roomba 980. It has the simplest of all features but it still does a strong cleaning job. It is also very price friendly relative to the other Roombas on our list. It does not have Wi-Fi to connect to the iRobot Home App so it is not truly smart home enabled. We still think it is a fantastic option!

  • Same as 690 without smart home features
  • Best Roomba for pet hair if you are limited by budget

 

 

 


What is the Best Roomba for Pet Hair?

Factors to Consider in Your Purchase

The best Roomba for pet hair is clearly the Roomba 980 when you just take features into account. For a proper comparison, you need to consider personal circumstances as in some scenarios a cheaper and simpler Roomba will do just as good of a job as the top of the range. Such factors include your flooring, your pets breed, the size of your cleaning area and your budget.

Hard floors are less testing of vacuums as dirt and debris than carpets. If your target area of cleaning is hard floored then the budget options with the most basic 3-Stage Cleaning System will do a fine job. These are the Roomba 690 and Roomba 614.

Carpets with thicker and denser carpet pile will need a more powerful motor as the pet hair is far more likely to get tangled. Suitable options include the Roomba 890, Roomba 960 and Roomba 980.

Pet Breed

There are endless species and breeds so it is up to you as a pet owner to understand how much your pet malts and how thick or long the hairs are. Some breeds shed a lot more fur than others and will need a more regular cleaning schedule than others. Some may have thicker and longer hairs that are more likely to get tangled and require greater suction power.

Cleaning Area Size

For a smaller cleaning area, sensor-driven iAdapt Navigation will be able to manage to cover the area adequately. This includes the Roomba 890, 690 and 614. Larger cleaning areas with multiple rooms may be more suited for the Roombas with Smart Mapping & VSLAM as they can navigate more efficiently. They come with extra virtual wall barriers which may be useful in preventing the Roomba from going in certain rooms. This comes with the 900 series Roombas.

Budget

The selection of Roombas on this page reflects the widest range of features available and therefore price. At one end you have the Roomba 980 which costs around $980. At the other end, you have the older and simpler Roomba 614 that sells for less than $300. These prices change on Amazon frequently.


Roomba 980 – Best Roomba Vacuum for Pet Hair

In short:  Best Roomba for pet hair packed with the best features. Useful for those who have dense carpets,  frequent malting, thick pet hair, a large cleaning area and a high budget.

The 980 is the best Roomba for pet hair and the best equipped to take on a real cleaning challenge. It has the most powerful Gen 3 Motor which is useful for those with carpets, especially for those with deeper and dense carpet pile. Thick Pet hair tangled in such carpets may not be effectively covered by the weaker motors.

The Smart Mapping & VSLAM is better suited for larger living spaces with multiple rooms as the camera allows the Roomba to effectively maneuver and clean very efficiently. The regular iAdapt Navigation in the other models would take relatively much longer.

The combination of the longest battery life of 120  minutes and the automatic recharge and iRobot Roomba 980resume speed up the cleaning process of larger areas. The drawback to the Roomba 980 is the price, it often costs towards $900 which is out of many peoples budgets.

  • Gen 3 Motor to deal with thick carpets and thick pet hair
  • Smart Mapping & VSLAM navigation is more efficient, especially large cleaning areas
  • 120 minutes, recharge and resume ensure the largest cleaning areas are covered
  • Generally pricey

 

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Roomba 960 – Best Value Top End Roomba

In short: Almost as good as the Roomba 980 and more reasonably priced. Useful for those who have light carpets,  frequent malting, thick pet hair, a large cleaning area and a medium to high budget.

The Roomba 960 is our top Roomba choice when including value and budget as a deciding purchasing factor. It shares many of the perks of the Roomba 980 that make it suitable for larger cleaning areas, such as the Smart Mapping & VSLAM navigation.

Where it lags behind the Roomba 980 is the motor it uses as the maximum suction is not as good. It still has a high power specific carpet mode, but for those who have thick and dense carpets, we would recommend the Roomba 980.

Although the battery life is 75 minutes, it can still recharge and resume on its own, which means that it will get the job done from start to finish even if it takes a little bit longer. The real advantage of the Roomba 960 is the price, which is typically $200 less than the Roomba 980.iRobot Roomba 960

  • Almost as good as the Roomba 980
  • Aeroforce 3-Stage Cleaning System may not do as good of a job as the Roomba 980 Gen 3 Motor on carpets
  • Smart Mapping & VSLAM navigation is more efficient, especially large cleaning areas
  • 75 minutes, recharge and resume ensure the largest cleaning areas are covered
  • Around $200 less than the Roomba 980

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Roomba 890 – Best Mid Range Option

In short: A solid mid-range Roomba with a decent motor. Useful for those who have light carpets,  frequent malting, thick pet hair, an average to smaller size cleaning area and a medium budget.

The Roomba 890 shares the same motor as the 960, so it will achieve the same performance on carpets. For thicker and denser carpets it may not be up to scratch with the Roomba 980. The shorter battery life and iAdapt Navigation make it less suitable for very large cleaning areas.

iAdapt Navigation is sensor-driven and relatively more random than Smart Mapping & VSLAM, meaning that cleaning areas take relatively much longer. It also only has 60 minutes of battery life and cannot resume cleaning on its own. If it does not cover the whole cleaning area in one go you will have to restart the cleaning manually, and unlike the 900 series Roombas, it will not return to exactly where it was to resume cleaning.

iRobot Roomba 890 Review

  • Carpet mode for light carpets
  • Not as good for larger cleaning areas
  • iAdapt Navigation relatively random and not as efficient
  • 60 minutes of battery life and no automatic resuming of cleaning once recharged
  • Around $200 less than the Roomba 960

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Roomba 690 – Smart Home Budget Option

In short: A low to mid-range Roomba that is a good deal. Useful for those who have hard floors,  frequent malting, thinner pet hair, an average to smaller size cleaning area and a low to medium budget.

The Roomba 690 features are almost identical to the Roomba 890 with the difference being the motor. It uses an older motor that is less powerful and may potentially not do as good of a job on thicker pet hair in thicker carpets.

It is perfect for hard floors and thinner pet hair, although it will be able to handle thicket pet hair most likely too. As with the 890, the Roomba 690 uses iAdapt Navigation and does not resume cleaning after self-charging, so it is probably best used in the smaller cleaning area. iRobot Roomba 690 Review

  • Almost same as Roomba 890
  • Weaker motor means it’s not as suitable for carpets
  • Work well on hard floors with most pet hair
  • iAdapt Navigation is better in smalle cleaning areas
  • Around $100 less than the Roomba 890

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Roomba 614 – Super Budget Option

In short: A super budget option that many customers are happy with. Useful for those who have hard floors,  frequent malting, thinner pet hair, an average to smaller size cleaning area and a low budget.

The Roomba 614 is relatively a good bargain compared to the other models. It is the same as the Roomba 690, with the only difference not having a Wi-Fi connection and therefore smart home capabilities.  Its other features mean it is equally suited to cleaning up pet hair as the Roomba 690. It has many positive reviews which cover a range of different pet species and breeds. It is normally below $300.Best Roomba for Pet Hair

  • Identical to Roomba 690 excluding smart home capabilities
  • Weaker motor means it’s not as suitable for carpets
  • Work well on hard floors with most pet hair
  • iAdapt Navigation is better in smalle cleaning areas
  • Around $100-$150 cheaper than the Roomba 690
  • Best Roomba for pet hair on a tight budget

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Final Word – What is the best robot vacuum for pet hair?

Finding the best Roomba for pet hair requires careful though of your situation. Depending on your floor type, species of pet, size of the area you want to be cleaned and budget, it is not as straight cut as just choosing the Roomba 980 as it has all the best features. We hope you enjoyed reading this article and would highly recommend checking out our robot vacuum section of the website if you want to find out more about the various options available.

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FAQ

What is the best robotic vacuum for pet hair?

The best robotic vacuum for pet hair is without a doubt the Roomba 980. This robot is equipped with the best navigation, vacuum motor and other smart features that you will find in a robot vacuum.

Can Roomba handle pet hair?

Cleaning up pet hair is one of the most popular applications for Roombas, and for a good reason too. Most Roombas are great at picking up pet hair on hard floors and the top of the range such as the 900 series can handle critter mess on carpets too.

Is the iRobot good for pet hair?

Building on from the last question, every Roomba in the iRobot range available today is a fantastic device for cleaning up pet hair.

What is Roomba Pet Series?

The Roomba Pet Series is an old series of Roombas (655 and 595), which was designed for pet hair. These are now outdated and the newer Roombas are far better equipped to deal with pet hair.


Best Roomba for Pet Hair Comparison Table

Best Roomba for Pet Hair

 RatingCommentNavigationMotorMotor RatingBattery Life (mins)Voice RecognitionSelf-rechargeSelf-resumeValue
Roomba 980100Best overall but expensiveSmart Mapping
& VSLAM
Gen 3 Motor10120✔️ ✔️ ✔️ 6
Roomba 96099Best overall including valueSmart Mapping
& VSLAM
Aeroforce 3-Stage
Cleaning System
875✔️ ✔️ ✔️ 9
Roomba 89094Smart home mid-range option
iAdapt
Navigation
Aeroforce 3-Stage
Cleaning System
860✔️ ✔️ 8
Roomba 69094Budget smart home optioniAdapt
Navigation
3-Stage Cleaning
System
660✔️ ✔️ 8
Roomba 61489Budget non-smart optioniAdapt
Navigation
3-Stage Cleaning
System
660✔️ 10

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