Best Roomba For Pet Hair 2020 With Chart

Best roomba for pet hair

This article will go into detail to explain the ins and outs of the technologies used by each Roomba, in a way that is particularly relevant to cleaning pet hair. Robot vacuums are a fantastic technological solution that takes the effort out of cleaning. If excessive pet hair is an issue in your home buying a Roomba can make a big difference in keeping on top of the cleanliness of your home. Here is the quick rundown of the best Roomba models for cleaning up pet hair:

  • Best Overall. Good for large homes with thick carpets. The Roomba S9+ is a state of the art robot vacuum with some very impressive features. A very recent Roomba, the S9+ has the most powerful motor, advanced navigation, smartest D shaped design, and is the all-round best performing. The motor is four times strong than the next best from iRobot. Not just that, the S9+ comes with the luxury of iRobots Clean Base included a unit that can allow the robot to self dispose of up to 30 cleans without you having to do a single thing. You can purchase the Roomba S9 without the self disposal.
  • Second Best. Good for large homes with carpets. The Roomba i7+ is a very recent and groundbreaking robot vacuum that was the first from iRobot to have the ability to self dispose of using the Clean Base. Most of the features are the same as the S9+, except for the D Shaped design and motor power. The Roomba i7 is the robot vacuum without the Self Disposal. The Base can be bought after and will still work with the robot vacuum. This is our recommended pick as it has many of the best features without the full cost of the S9+.
  • A Smart Choice. Good for large homes with hard floors. The Roomba 960 is a very capable robot vacuum that has some of the best hardware and software that iRobot offers. The differences between this Roomba and the more recent Roombas is the weaker motor and marginally less advanced navigation. Although it just has iAdapt 2.0m and not 3.0, it still uses Smart Mapping & VSLAM to create perfected cleaning routes. It’s placing in the product range means that is very well priced for the features it has. Although the Roomba 980 is an equal level model with a couple of better features, the additional money isn’t worth it in our opinion.
  • Budget Smart robot. Good for smaller homes and hard floors. The Roomba E5 is the cheapest Roomba you can get that has WiFi capability and is connectable to the iRobot Home app. It is relatively basic and doesn’t have access to some of the features enabled by the app as this requires the more advanced navigation, iAdapt 2.0, and 3.0. With the price it is hard to go wrong and going for a new and smart connectable Roomba is highly recommended.

Comparison Chart

ModelROOMBA S9+ROOMBA i7+ROOMBA 980ROOMBA 960ROOMBA e5
Designroomba s9roomba i7+ with self disposal stationRoomba 980Roomba 960roomba e5
iAdapt
Version
iADAPT 3.0iADAPT 3.0iADAPT 2.0iADAPT 2.0iADAPT 1.0
Mapping
Technology
IMPRINT
IMPRINTSMARTSMART
Cleaning
Motor
SUPERIOR
(40x Stronger)
GEN 3
(10x Stronger)
GEN 3
(10x Stronger)
AEROFORCE
(5x Stronger)
AEROFORCE
(5x Stronger)
Recharge/
Resume Cleaning
Automatic Dirt
Disposal
Bottom LineThe most
advanced Roomba
with the
best features
Recommended
Pick for the
best features
and balanced price
Good on
Carpets
Recommended
Pick for the
mid price
range
Recommended
Pick for
budget option
Check PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price

The Best Roomba for Pets Key Features

Pet owners will know all too much about how animals can shed huge amounts of hair. Whether you have a cat or dog or any other animal, there is an effective solution to this which will require little to no effort from you. Say hello to robot vacuums and more specifically iRobot’s Roomba, the premium brand of robot vacuum.

One of the most common specific applications of Roombas is for pet hair. Generally, more expensive Roombas have the best quality suction systems and motors, and therefore will do a better job. This includes one of their most common uses; cleaning pet hair. Not only are these devices the best of their brand, but iRobot’s Roombas are also some of the best robot vacuums on the market.

However, this is an expensive kit and the chances are most pet owners would settle for something a little cheaper. This article will compare Roomba models and help you find the model which will best suit your needs.

Automatic Dirt Disposal

Roomba i7+ self disposing system

Roombas which are the “+” version comes with an extra unit called the Clean Base. Not only is this a charging station, but it is also a dust bin where the Roomba can self empty its waste into. The only models that have this are the Roomba S9+ and i7+. This is a very new technological development that has reduced the maintenance required for these robot vacuums as other models need frequent emptying. The Clean Base can hold up to 30 cleans worth of dirt. The dust bin size is also important to know as this has to be emptied frequently. With the i7 and S9+, it is less important as they can empty themselves.

SALE
iRobot Roomba i7+ (7550) Robot Vacuum with Automatic Dirt Disposal-Empties Itself, Wi-Fi Connected, Smart Mapping, Works with Alexa, Ideal for Pet Hair, Carpets, Hard Floors, Black
  • Empties on its own - you don’t have to think about...
  • Power-Lifting Suction delivers 10X the air power* for...
  • Imprint Smart Mapping enables the robot to learn, map...

Cleaning

One of the most important features is suction power. As iRobot has improved their Roombas over time, developing new cleaning motors has been a key part of the upgrade. Here is a list of the motors that different Roombas have:

  • 3-Stage Cleaning System: 600 Series.
  • Aeroforce Motor (5 times stronger): Roomba e5, 890 & 960.
  • Gen 3 Motor (10 times stronger): Roomba 980 & i7+.
  • Superior Motor (40 times stronger): Roomba S9+.

The more powerful the motor, the better the more powerful suction and the more pet hair that will be cleaned. This is especially true on carpets where they are more likely to get tangled. Each Roomba uses Dirt Detection which identifies areas that need to be concentrated on. Dirt Detection makes the Roomba repeatedly go over the same spot until it is spotless as it can be.

Navigation

There are three levels of iAdapt in Roombas; 1,2 and 3.Here is how each one works:

  • iAdapt 1.0: uses random sensors to navigate.
  • iAdapt 2.0: uses a camera to build smart maps and calculate the most effective route.
  • iAdapt 3.0: uses a camera to build smart maps and calculate the most effective route and identify individual rooms.

iadapt2

More advanced navigation suits larger homes. In a small apartment, iAdapt 1.0 will most likely be fine as it will be able to navigate the floorspace despite its relatively random choice of route. Smart Map-based navigation is required in bigger homes as it needs to plan the optimal route to ensure no spot is left is untouched and in a timely manner. Here is an overview of each models iAdapt level:

  • iAdapt 1.0: Roomba e5, 690 & 90
  • iAdapt 2.0: Roomba 960 & 980
  • iAdapt 3.0: Roomba S9+ & i7+

All Roombas will return to their charging station when low on battery. The models with iAdapt 2.0 or 3.0 will then resume cleaning where they left off on the smart map. This feature makes the battery run time a less important feature than it used to be.

iRobot Home app

irobot home app

Every model (except the 614 later on), we have mentioned so far has WiFi connectivity. This new form of connection protocol made Roombas smart devices and part of the smart home. The Home app is available on iOS and Android is a point of control for the Roomba. From here you can do a range of tasks such as scheduling, setting preferences, and accessing more advanced features for the newer models. This includes seeing your homes Smart Map and other statistics.

Related: Shark ION ROBOT Review


What do you need to consider when choosing your Roomba?

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. Such factors include your flooring, your pets breed, the size of your floor space, and your budget. Your personal context will choose which robotic vacuum cleaner is best for your home. There is no one size fits all.

Which 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. Certain pets species and breeds will need a Roomba with more powerful suction power because of this. Also, if your malting frequency is especially high and requires daily cleaning, you will want a more advanced Roomba with solid navigation. Going for one of the newer iRobot Roomba motors such as in the 900, i7 or s9 series is suggested if this is the case.

Floorspace Size

Larger homes with multiple rooms are more suited for the best Roombas with Smart Mapping & VSLAM, as these navigate more effectively. Some with extra virtual wall barriers which may be useful in preventing the Roomba from going in certain rooms you don’t want it too. Older Roombas with more basic iAdapt 1.0 are not recommended as the relatively random navigation paths used mean each clean will take disproportionately longer the greater the size of the living area.

Budget

The selection of Roombas on this page reflects the widest range of features available and therefore some of these are expensive. Purchasing a Roomba to clear up pet hair is a hefty investment as in reality these robot vacuums are very advanced. The combination of advanced sensors, cameras, and complex AI means that the most advanced Roombas are very expensive. However, iRobot has released so many Roombas that there are some to cater for the lower end of the market.

Floor Types

Hard floors can be cleaned by relatively weaker robotic vacuum cleaners with less suction power, whilst thicker and denser carpets will require a stronger motor. If you have a large carpeted home you will want to for one of the more powerful Roombas as you might find that an old one with a weaker motor may struggle to fully clean your home.

Combining these factors

Taking into account each and every one of these factors is essential to make sure you get the right Roomba for you. If you have a big dog that sheds a load of hair daily, many carpets, and a large home, you would be crazy not to go for a newer model. If you have a small pet and a small apartment with hard floors, you could probably get away with an older model as simple navigation technology will be sufficient and your pet’s hair won’t be too difficult to clean.


Roomba S9+ – The Best Robot Vacuum for Pet Hair

roomba s9
Roomba S9+

Brand new and incredibly high performing, the Roomba S9+ is a state of the art when it comes to robotic vacuum technology. The best of all hardware and software from iRobot has been placed into this robot or even specifically made for it.

Why Roombas S9+ is the best

First off, the power of the motor is second to none in iRobot’s line of Roombas. The Superior motor by iRobot has 40 times the power of the motor found in the 600 series vacuum and 4 times that of the next best. This translates into a suction PA of around 2500 which is like nothing else seen in a robot vacuum. iRobots previous Gen 3 Motor is capable of around 1700 Pa, and most of the other models have around 1000 Pa. More suction will only help when it comes to vacuuming shedded pet fur.

Perfect Edge is a new design approach adopted by iRobot, reverting from the traditional perfectly circular robot to a D shape. This has multiple benefits when it comes to performance; underbrush that is 30% wider and far more able to get into corners. It also means that the side brush is much closer to the main brush and can retain greater flex and more consistent cleaning. The image below highlights how the D shape adds to the improves performance:

perfect edge technology comparison

Point 1 highlights how much closers the brush is to the wall and point 2 shows how the side brush is next to the main brush. Point 3 is sat between the two main brushes, which you can see the S9 is much wider. This all translates into more effective cleaning of pet hair, especially those closer to corners of rooms.

The Clean Base, which allows for self dirt disposal is a stand out feature of the S9+. This first arrived with the Roomba i7 series and was a huge innovation for the industry. Self disposing of up to 30 cleans, the Clean Base makes robot vacuums as hands-off as they can be.

clean base

 

The S9 (minus the +) is the robot vacuum component without the Clean Base and therefore self dirt disposal technology. The Clean Base and this technology should really be looked as, as a standalone unit as new models will have cross-compatibility with it. This can be purchased additionally later if you are unsure for now. As of now, the best Roomba for pet hair is without a doubt the S9+. Whether you want the self-disposal technology is a preference as it is a permanent fixture and can be loud when in action. The ideal solution is to have it based in a side room.

Pros

  • Best Roomba
  • Superior motor power
  • iAdapt 3.0
  • Imprint Smart Maps
  • Home App
  • Auto Disposal
  • Voice Control
  • Recharge & Resume
  • Voice Control with Amazon Alexa or Google Home
  • 0.4 Liter dust bin

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Self-Disposal is loud

Takeaway Points

The MVP of Roombas, nothing else is quite like the S9+ on the market. When it comes down to each and every category of features, the S9 quite simply has it all.


Roomba i7+ – Good for large homes and carpets

 

Roomba i7+
Roomba i7+

The Roomba i7+ was released only a few months before the S9+ made its way onto the shelves. It was with this model that the first self disposing technology and Clean Base came with. The software side of the i7 is basically the same as the S9, as it has iAdapt 3.0 with IMPRINT Maps and the associated controls found with the Home app. The only difference is the cleaning hardware, the circular design rather than the D-Shape, as well as the having the Gen 3 Motor rather than the Superior one.

As mentioned, the i7 has the same iAdapt 3.0 navigation as the S9. It is the newest and best navigation technology ever made by iRobot, and it is hard to imagine how they could improve it any more. As part of iAdapt 3.0, IMPRINT maps are a feature that can distinguish and clean rooms individually. This can also be done with an Amazon Alexa or Google Home command. An example of how that would work is: “Alexa, clean the living room”.t is also important to know that Amazon Alexa can be used with the S9 to clean specific rooms, and all Wi-Fi connectable Roombas more generally. The Roomba i7 (minus the “+”) is the same without self disposal, which just like the S9, can be added later.

Pros

  • iAdapt 3.0
  • Imprint Smart Maps
  • iRobot Home App
  • Auto Disposal
  • Voice Control with Amazon Alexa or Google Home
  • Recharge & Resume
  • 0.5 Liter dust bin

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Self-Disposal is loud

Takeaway Points

The Roomba i7 has the best of most features although the design and power of the motor isn’t quite as good as the S9. In reality, this will be more than enough of a robot vacuum for most people.

SALE
iRobot Roomba i7+ (7550) Robot Vacuum with Automatic Dirt Disposal-Empties Itself, Wi-Fi Connected, Smart Mapping, Works with Alexa, Ideal for Pet Hair, Carpets, Hard Floors, Black
  • Empties on its own - you don’t have to think about...
  • Power-Lifting Suction delivers 10X the air power* for...
  • Imprint Smart Mapping enables the robot to learn, map...


Roomba 980 Good for large homes and carpets

Roomba 980
Roomba 980

Worth a mention is the Roomba 980, a high tech and well-rounded robot vacuum, that many considered the best for years after its release. It has the same motor as the i7, the Gen 3 which is useful for those with carpets, especially for those with deeper and dense carpet pile. As mentioned in the earlier sections, thick Pet hair tangled in such carpets may not be effectively covered by the weaker motors.

The 980 did not get a mention at the top of this article because the 960 is arguably better for its price and the newer models are more advanced. Although high spec than the 960, the navigation technology and ability to recharge and resume cleaning is the same.

The 980 has iAdapt 2.0, which uses Smart Map& VSLAM making it better suited for larger living spaces with multiple rooms. The camera used for smart maps allows the 980 to effectively maneuver and clean very efficiently. This can be used with daily schedule will keep on top of your pet’s shedding hair as every single part of your floor space will be consistently cleaned. The Roomba 980 has a large dust bin at 0.6 liters.

Although the Roomba 980 doesn’t have self-disposal it does have a self recharge and resume function. This means it will return to the base station to charge before restarting cleaning exactly where it left. When you head out you can rest assured that the task will be done and every spot of pet hair will have been covered. It does have more battery life than the 960, but this has been made less significant due to the self-recharge and resume cleaning enabled by iAdapt 2.0.

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

A really useful article to read is our Roomba 980 vs 960, as it delves deeper into the differences between the two and why the 960 is better.

Takeaway Points

A strong robotic vacuum cleaner that has a powerful motor and advanced navigation, the Roomba 980 is however admittedly a little lost here. Not that it isn’t a good robot vacuum, its just there is more suitable choices available in the form of the i7 or 960.

Roomba 960 – Good for large homes and some carpets

Roomba 960
Roomba 960

The Roomba 960 is perhaps the best all-rounded choice for cleaning pet hair when considering the price. This robot vacuum shares almost all the key features that made the Roomba 980 such a solid device for cleaning pet hair. For example, shares many of the perks make it suitable for larger cleaning areas, such as the iAdapt 2.0, Smart Maps & VSLAM navigation.

The Aeroforce 3-Stage Cleaning System is decent but not the best from iRobot. It is around 5 times the strength of the 600 series 3-Stage motor. As mentioned before the newest Superior 3-Stage motor is 40 times more powerful. Given the advanced navigation technology but the limited motor, this model would work well for large homes with predominantly hard floors.

For those who have large homes, thick and dense carpets with a lot of pet hair mess, the more powerful Gen 3 is recommended. Even better, get your hands on the S9’s superior motor if you can.

Although the battery lasts for 75 minutes, it can still recharge and resume on its own to finish the job of cleaning pet hair. The real advantage of the Roomba 960 is the price, which is typically $200 less than the Roomba 980.

  • Almost as good as the Roomba 980
  • Aeroforce 3-Stage motor may not do as good of a job as the Roomba 980 Gen 3 Motor on carpets
  • Smart Maps & VSLAM navigation is more efficient, especially larger homes
  • 75 minutes, recharge and resume ensure the largest cleaning areas are covered
  • 0.6 litre dust bin
  • Around $200 less than the Roomba 980

Takeaway Points

One of the most popular choices of Roombas, the 960s price, and features places it as a favorite.

Related: Roomba vs Shark


Roomba 890 – Good for smaller homes and hard floors

Roomba 890
Roomba 890

In the mid-price ranged is the Roomba 890 which is still well equipped for cleaning pet hair although lacks some of the advanced technologies of the previous models discussed. The Roomba 890 shares the same motor as the 960, so it will achieve the same suction performance of pet hair on carpets, but is better suited hard floors

For thicker and denser carpets with more tangled pet hair, it will struggle compared to the best models already mentioned. The shorter battery run and iAdapt 1.0 Navigation make it less suitable for very large cleaning areas too.

iAdapt Navigation is sensor-driven and relatively more random than Smart Maps & VSLAM, meaning that cleaning takes relatively much longer. Homes with widespread pet hair aren’t guaranteed to have every spot covered during every clean.

It also only has 60 minutes of battery run time and cannot resume cleaning on its own, again proving not suitable for a large home with lots of shedded hair. If it does not cover the whole cleaning area in one go you will have to restart the cleaning manually, and unlike the 900 or i7 series Roombas, it will not return to exactly where it was to resume cleaning.

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

Also Read: Roomba 890 vs 690

Takeaway Points

With solid motor power but more basic navigation, the Roomba 890 is a solid choice for those with some carpets although ideally in a smaller home.


Roomba 690 – A budget-smart option good for hard floors

Roomba 690 Review
Roomba 690

The Roomba 690 is a cheaper option from iRobot in the low to the mid-price range that is WiFi connectable. Not far behind the 890, the only real difference is the cleaning motor it uses, which is the standard 3-Stage Cleaning System. It uses iAdapt 1.0 which involves infrared sensors and a relatively random cleaning path. Just like the 890, iAdapt 1.0 can work well in a smaller living space but not so well suited for larger homes.

As it uses the standard motor, it performs effectively on hard floors although it may struggle relatively when cleaning pet hair in carpets. Using the iRobot Home app provides additional control with scheduling, dirt events, and collecting some basic metrics. However, as the case with the 890 and any connectable Roomba that uses iAdapt 1.0, the advantages of the finer features of the Home app are not present. An example of this is detailed reports, maps, and individual room cleanings. The ability to use voice control is consistent across any Roomba that can connect to the Home app.

  • Almost the same quality 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 smaller cleaning areas
  • Around $100 less than the Roomba 890

Takeaway Points

iRobots Roomba 690 is the cheapest option that is connectable to the smart home although it is best kept to small living areas and hard floor.

Related Article: Roomba vs Eufy


Roomba e5 – Somewhere around the 690 & 890

Roomba e5
Roomba e5

The Roomba e5 is a very new addition in the iRobot family. Released to address some of the issues found with the 890 and 690, iRobot has held back on providing the newest and sharpest features to the robot. Most specifically, the e5 is on a par with the Roomba 690 with a few minor differences which include its design and battery run time. The difference in design is pretty self-explanatory, but on its own doesn’t justify reproducing the 690 in a slightly different form.

The key difference is the battery run time, which is 90 minutes compared to the 60 minutes of the 890, or 690, for that matter. All of these models use iAdapt 1.0 which lacks the very useful feature of self-recharge and resume.

It seems that the 60 minutes of battery run time falls short for some households. iAdapt 2.0 and the complex expensive hardware and software that comes along with it pushes the price up significantly. Beyond this, it seems to be the same device as the 690 as it has the standard 3-Stage Cleaning systems and Wifi connectivity.

Takeaway Points

If you feel in danger of 60 minutes not being enough to clean your home, why not try the e5’s 90 minutes of battery run time. Or be wise and bite the bullet by getting your hands on iAdapt 2.0 or higher.


Roomba 614 – Budget Option

roomba 614
Roomba 614

Cheap and cheerful, the Roomba 614 is a bargain that can handle thinner pet hair on hardwood floors in small living areas. It is the same as the Roomba 690, with the only difference being it not having a Wi-Fi connection and therefore smart home capabilities.

In this comparison of the best Roombas for pet hair, it is the only model not to have this, making it a little outdated. Its cleaning features mean it is equally suited to cleaning up pet hair in a small home as the Roomba 690. It has many positive reviews that cover a range of different pet species and breeds. Typically available for under $300, this is the option if you’re on a budget.

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

Takeaway Points

Although very cheap, the Roomba 614 is somewhat capable. Admittedly, if your around this budget I would recommend looking at some other brands which are more catered for the price. Unless you really, really want a Roomba.

Related Article: Best Vacuum for Pet Hair


Final Word

Finding the right Roomba for your pet’s hair requires careful thought of your situation. Depending on your floor types, 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 S9+ as it has all the best features. This comparison of the best Roombas for pet hair should have provided you with some clear options to go for given the nature of your home. We hope you enjoyed reading this article and would highly recommend checking out our robot vacuum section of the website.

Related: Roomba for Hard Floors

FAQ

In this section, we will answer a few of the most commonly asked questions about Roombas and pet hair.

Are Roombas as good as regular vacuums for pet hair?

The most advanced Roombas with the most powerful components such as the Roomba S9 with the Superior Motor can rival some regular vacuum’s performance. Those with the Gen 3 motor, the Roomba 980, and i7 will also be capable of cleaning pet hair on a range of surfaces. Many of these questions also depend on the floor surface. Hard floors tend to be the easiest to clean and most models will do a fine job, as good regular vacuums. Whilst some of the older and cheaper models may not be as good as a regular vacuum on softer surfaces, it must be remembered that Roombas are mostly there for luxury and reducing the effort that is required to clean. This is something that a regular vacuum can’t do as it will also have to be used manually.

Which Roomba is good for pet hair?

All Roombas are designed to be able to clean up pet hair as this is one of the most common purposes of robot vacuums. They can all deal with pet hair on hard floors but for rugs and carpets, it is recommended to use a Roomba with a more powerful motor, including the S9, i7, and 980. If your home is mostly hard floors then you will do fine with a cheaper model that has a weaker motor and save yourself money in the meantime. Included examples of models that fit these criteria are the Roomba e5, 890, and 690.

Do Roombas really work for pet hair?

Yes, pet hair is one of the main applications of robot vacuums and as a result, they are all designed to be able to do this.

Can a Roomba handle dog hair?

Yes, Roombas are designed to deal with multiple types of pet hair. As dogs are one of the most common pets they are able to clean up their hair.

Do Roombas work with Alexa and Google Assistant?

Yes, Roombas that connect to WiFi work with both Alexa and Google Assistant for basic controls such as starting cleaning. The S9 and i7 can also be commanded to clean individual rooms.

Rupert Pople

Rupert is the founder of this website and a smart home tech enthusiast fascinated by the power of connected devices. Within his Business Management (BSc) degree at the University of Nottingham, he studied the technological impact of the Internet of Things.

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