Bobsweep vs Roomba: Battle of the two robot vacuums

bobsweep vs roomba

The robot vacuum tech race has been progressing for many years. Two manufacturers that have stuck out for most of this duration are Bobsweep and iRobot, who are the creators of the Roomba. Bobsweep’s BOB line includes the well known PetHair model and its older brother the PetHair Plus, the proclaimed “MVP” of the brand. This comparison will breakdown these two brands for you and will label the importance of their features. Also, read our in-depth comparison of the best Roomba models for more information on the brand.

Roomba has a much larger line of products than Bobsweep, so this comparison of these brands will pick out the similarly matched Roomba 690 against the BOB PetHair as well as the Roomba 980 against PetHair Plus. We don’t cover the Roomba 960 much in detail here, but you read more in our Shark ION and Roomba head to head comparison.

iRobot Roomba s9+ (9550) Robot Vacuum with Automatic Dirt Disposal- Empties itself, Wi-Fi Connected, Smart Mapping, Powerful Suction, Anti-Allergen System, Corners & Edges, Ideal for Pet Hair, black
  • The World's Best Robot Vacuum: Empties on its own, Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal...
  • Superior 3- stage cleaning system. Delivers up to 40x the suction for our deepest clean...
  • PerfectEdge Technology and a specially designed Corner Brush optimizes cleaning deep into...

Roomba vs Bobsweep

View on AmazonDesignMODELNavigationMotorMopBattery Life (mins)Voice RecognitionSelf-rechargeSelf-resume
Check PriceRoomba 960Roomba 690iAdapt
3-Stage Cleaning
60✔️ ✔️ 
Check PriceRoomba 980Roomba 980Smart Mapping
Gen 3 Motor120✔️ ✔️ ✔️ 
Check Pricebobswee pethair Bobsweep PetHairSelf-Navigation System
Infrared Sensors
-✔️ 80✔️ 
Check Pricebobsweep pet hair plus cobaltBobsweep PetHair PlusImproved Navigation System-✔️ 180✔️ 

Roomba: The best brand of robot vacuums available with the best reputation. Their newer models have Wifi connectivity and work with iRobot Home app making them smart devices. The 980 is at the top of the range and is the best robot vacuum in 2019 because of its navigation technology, motor strength, and smart features. This does come with a higher price though.

Bobsweep: A solid budget brand of robot vacuum that is well equipped to deal with pet hair and hard floors. A perk of PetHair range is the built-in mop, something that Roombas do not have. They don’t have Wifi connectivity or as strong motors. Overall they aren’t quite as good as the best Roombas but they are significantly cheaper.

1.Design & Dimensions

Purchasing a smart home device that is good looking while keeping all of its functionality is always important. While the design language on both devices is pretty great there are some differences. Both devices keep the classic robot vacuum round design while adding new features. The PetHair comes in two variants. The two colors are champagne and rouge, which is a pleasant, nice shade of red. The Roomba comes in just a single color, a silver-greyish center, with black edges, giving it a real robot look.

Roomba 690 & 980

iRobot Roomba 690 Robot Vacuum-Wi-Fi Connectivity, Works with Alexa, Good for Pet Hair, Carpets, Hard Floors, Self-Charging
  • Sleek, premium design complements your home décor; Includes 1 dual mode virtual wall...
  • 3 stage cleaning system and dual multi surface brushes pick up everything from small...
  • Patented dirt detect sensors alert roomba to work harder on concentrated areas of dirt,...

The dimensions of the two vacuums are also very alike. The Roomba 690 weighs 7.8lbs, which is about 3.5 kg. It has a height of 3.6 inches in and a diameter of 13 inches. This is identical across the Roomba range in general as they all measure to the same height with little variation in diameter. The weight of the  690 is very typical for a robot vacuum. The 690 goes for simplicity by only having three buttons; power, clean and home.

  • Weight 7.8lbs
  • Height 3.6 inches
  • Diameter 13 inches
  • 3 buttons: power, clean and home

iRobot Roomba 980 Wi-Fi Connected Vacuuming Robot
  • Power Lifting Suction delivers 10X the air power for improved pick up performance;...
  • Patented iAdapt 2.0 Navigation with VSlam technology allows the robot to map its...
  • Ideal for homes with pets; Premium 3 stage Cleaning System cleans the dirt and pet hair...

The Roomba 980 comes in a classic glossy black robot design with the standard circular shape. The 980 stands at the standard brand height of 3.6 inches tall as it optimized to get under low objects. Compared the 690, it is wider by almost an inch with a diameter of 13.9 inches, and 1lb heavier at 8.7 lbs. Minimalistic and high-performance comes to mind when observing the 980. It just hosts a few buttons like the 690 to make its use simple and also encourages the use of the Home App.

  • Weight 8.7 lbs
  • Height 3.6 inches
  • Diameter 13.9 inches
  • 3 buttons: power, clean and home

PetHair & PetHair Plus

bObsweep PetHair Robotic Vacuum Cleaner and Mop, Rouge
  • Sweeps, vacuums, mops, and filtrates
  • 1100 mL dustbin holds pet hair and dirt
  • Programmable 7-day cleaning schedule

The dimensions of PetHair are 13.8 x 13.8 x 3.9 inches, which gives for a very similar overall size to the Roomba. It weighs 7.7lbs which is very close to the Roombas weight close to 3.5kg. There aren’t any major differences in the design as the round shape of robot vacuums is standard as it prevents the devices from getting stuck in corners. The PetHair is a little bulkier, but it will certainly go unnoticed. The PetHair has an LCD panel on top, showing performance stats and more detailed controls such as program, charge, start, and mode.

  • Weight 7.7 lbs
  • Height 3.9 inches
  • Diameter 13.8 inches
  • LCD screen display user interface

bObsweep PetHair Plus Robotic Vacuum Cleaner and Mop, Cobalt
  • Extra long main brush and side brush spin in tandem to pick up large scraps and bits
  • Ferocious 4x boosted suction power-lifts fur off floors
  • Extra large 1000 mL dustbin packs pet hair, dust, and dirt

The PetHair Plus is available in two extra color variants, compared to the original – Cobalt blue and Charcoal. Design-wise, the most striking thing about the PetHair Plus is these colors. The PetHair Plus is 13.8 inches in diameter and 4.5 inches tall, quite the bit bulkier due to the height. It is one of the tallest robotic vacuums on the market and it is unlikely this extra inch will make the difference in your cleaning. If you have some low gaps for your robot vacuum to clean under you might find there are circumstances where the 980 will be able to fit where the PetHair Plus may not. It is 7.2 lbs, making it slightly lighter than its counterpart but such a difference will go unnoticed.

On the top, there is the LCD display, a few control buttons, and the signal transmitter which is the same style as the older version. The front houses the infrared sensor and bumper, whilst the removable dustbin and the replaceable filters are in the back of the vacuum. The power switch and charging inlet are located on the right side.

    • 2 colors
    • 13.8 inches diameter
    • 4.5 inches tall
    • 7.2 lbs weight
    • LCD Display

2. Navigation Features

Critical to how these robot vacuums find the mess in your home on their own, Navigation technology is one of the most important features of any robot vacuum.

Roomba 690 & 980

The Roomba 690 uses iAdapt Navigation technology which consists of a gallery of lasers to the allow the bot to smartly navigate around obstacles. This is a relatively random mode of navigation, a form which gets outdated by the more current Smart Mapping & VSLAM used in the Roomba 900 series. This means that cleaning routes will less time efficient and therefore it will take longer to clean your home.

iadapt navigation

Also, a Cliff Detect feature driven by sensors is used in order to prevent the robot from falling down the stairs and any costly breakages. There are also advanced sensors that enable the robot to “hug the walls” and clean using angled side brushes that push the dirt into the path of the Roomba. The 690 will self-autonomously return to Home Base when running low power, which is a standard feature across every Roomba model. The 690 does not have a manual driving option. The only options as indicated by the buttons on the machine are to start it up or return it to the Home Base station.

  • iAdapt Navigation is sensor-driven
  • Cliff Detect prevent Roomba falling downstairs
  • Angled side brushes eliminate dirt on corners
  • Return to Home Base when on low battery

The Roomba 980 uses some relatively cutting-edge technology for a robot vacuums. The navigation method used by this Roomba involves Smart Mapping & VSLAM, which involves image mapping in your home using a camera. iAdapt 2.0 Navigation combines this with laser and sensor navigations, to guide the 980 to take intelligent and efficient cleaning routes.

This Smart Mapping approach provides the basis for the Clean Map Reports found in the Home App, hence why the 690 does not produce such reports. This will be explored more in the next section. The newer navigation technology combined with self autonomously resuming cleaning lets the 980 resume the job exactly where it left it.

This addresses this gap that was seen in the Roomba 690 against the PetHair. Some of the older technologies of navigation such as Cliff Detect and “wall hugging” for the side brushes still apply in the 980. This is simply because they are highly effective.

  • Smart Mapping & VSLAM
  • iAdapt 2.0 Navigation
  • Self-recharge and self-resume cleaning
  • Cliff Detect prevents falling down the stairs

PetHair & PetHair Plus

The PetHair uses a self-navigation system that combines various software and hardware. It is driven by infrared sensors that constantly send out signals that detect objects leading to a change of direction. This is a very similar principle to the iAdapt Navigation in the Roomba 690. WIth any robot vacuums be careful covering them in stickers or any other accessories as these can interrupt the navigating process. The Bobsweep PetHair does self autonomously return to the docking station when the battery drops below 15 percent, like the 690. One advantage that the PetHair has over the 690 is its ability to resume cleaning on its own. This is especially useful if you’re popping out of the house.bobsweep dustbin

It has an equitable cliff detect system to the Roombas, but it has been reported by a few users to not be so effective in practice with some of their robot vacuums getting stuck and falling downstairs. Some find that the PetHair could not often find its docking station. Other than a few reported slip-ups that, the software is mostly at a standard so the Bobsweep can clean independently. 

It comes with an infrared remote control which mimics the functions and buttons found on the robot vacuum itself. This remote allows a manual control option with the Bobsweep PetHair, unlike the 690. Don’t expect too many thrills though, it isn’t a speed demon.

  • Self-Navigation System is similar principal to the iAdapt Navigation
  • Self-recharge by returning to the docking station can be unreliable
  • Self-resume of cleaning after recharging
  • Cliff Detect System is not as reliable as Roombas
  • Manual Control lets you take the wheel

The PetHair Plus has a significantly superior software to both the BOB Classic and the PetHair. It can detect obstacles and avoid them much more successfully than its predecessors. The PetHair Plus successfully addressed the navigation issues seen with the original PetHair such as finding its charging dock when a low battery has been detected. The cliff avoidance issue mentioned with the PetHair was also dealt through this upgrade successfully. This model has remote is included in the box allowing you to drive your bot manually if you want to do small jobs or deal with specific patches that aren’t being cleaned effectively.

  • Detect obstacles and maneuver around effectively
  • Addressed issues in original model
  • Manual driving mode for specific dirt patches

3.Connectivity and Voice Control

Apps, WiFi and Alexa are all components that mediate how robot vacuums interact with the smart home.

Roomba 690 & 980

The Roomba 690 and 980 can be controlled via the iRobot Home app, available for both IOS and Android. It is one of four Roombas that are Wifi enabled and arguably “smart robot vacuums”. Once you have downloaded the app the connect process takes just a couple of minutes, and you are ready to go. The Home app is pretty jam-packed with features, although some of them just apply to the 900 series Roombas. The app is intended to act as the principal user interface for the 690, in place of the buttons on the vacuum itself. This involves power on, play and plus cleaning, scheduling and more.

irobot home app wifi enabled roomba

The Wifi enabled Roombas can also be hooked up to Alexa, the smart assistant. Just download the Home app, update the software and search for the iRobot HOME skill in the Alexa app.

  • Home app on IOS & Android
  • Roomba 960 is Wifi enabled
  • Alexa voice control is available

PetHair & PetHair Plus

The PetHair & Pet HairPlus does not come with Wifi connectivity and therefore any IOS or Android app. This also means it does not come with the option of voice control. As mentioned before, the PetHair has a remote that can be used to drive the device around your home manually. The PetHair Plus

  • No Wifi or app

Cleaning Capabilities

Quality of cleaning features, systems and their outcomes define the ability and effectiveness of robot vacuums.

Roomba 690 & 980

The Roomba 690 uses the Aerovac 3-Stage Cleaning System, the most common motor in the range although now it is a little outdated. Newer models such as the Roomba 890, 960 and 980 come equipped with the Aeroforce 3-Stage Cleaning System or 3rd Gen Motor which are 5 and 10 times stronger respectively. It has an intelligent system of cleaning to target areas which have high levels of dirt. This is labeled as Dirt Detect Technology that is currently patented. It prioritizes spots that that are detected dirtier than others, ensuring a thorough cleaning. Given how robot vacuums are sub-par to regular vacuums, on the whole, dirt detect features can help fill this hole.

The 33-watt motor is pretty solid for this price range, certainly, at the level, you need for pet hair and hard floors. It also comes with an angled side brush and a rolling brush mechanism to push dirt on edges into the path of the Roomba. Like all Roomba models, it does not have any mopping capabilities. If you are desiring this feature from iRobot you can look at their Braava range of robot mops. The Roomba 690 comes with a 600ml dustbin which is significantly smaller than the Bobsweep PetHairs. It can hold an adequate amount of dirt and debris. This is traded off with the fact the 690 is a more compact device than the PetHair.

  • Aerovac 3-Stage Cleaning System is slightly outdated but still practical
  • Dirt Detect identifies and spot cleans areas with extra dirt
  • Angled Side Brush pushes dirt from corners into the path of the Roomba
  • A 600ml dustbin can hold a decent amount of debris

The Roomba 980 uses the 3rd Gen Motor and second most powerful motor. This power of this motor makes the Roomba 980 the best robot vacuum you can get your hands on in 2019. A new Carpet Boost technology identifies target areas using Dirt Detect and then actions a spot clean which pumps up the suction of the vacuum to full whack. This is especially useful for thicker and deep carpet pile which robot vacuums generally struggle on. The 980 will not stop this spot clean until the job is done. As with all Roombas, there are side brushes to deal with corners.

3 - stages cleaning

The Gen 3 Motor is 10 times as powerful as the 3 Stage Cleaning Aerovac System seen in the Roomba 690 as well as many other models. It is equipped with the newest generation HEPA filters and a 600 ml dustbin. This has been a relatively powerful step towards bridging the gap of the capabilities of robot vacuums and regular vacuums. Roombas have always been proficient at collecting light debris such as pet hair on hard floors, but some debris in rugs and carpets have often proven more challenging. The 980 has the feel of a heavy-duty piece of machinery rather than being a flimsy robot vacuum. This comes with a tradeoff of noise; more powerful suction makes more noise. It is a pretty unavoidable side effect of cleaning but this can be managed by scheduling cleaning for when your away from home.

  • 3rd Gen Motor very powerful
  • Carpet Boost effective on thicker carpets
  • Dirt Detect identify areas of high dirt and put in extra effort

PetHair & PetHair Plus

The PetHair, as the name states, is directed to help people with pets maintain a clean home. It does do a good job on the whole at fulfilling this promise. Overall it has most of the elements which are similar to the Roomba 690 and even outperforms and offers additional features in some circumstances. It is equipped with one of the largest dustbins in the industry, with the capacity of 1 litre meaning it should require less frequent bein emptying. It simultaneously vacuums, mops, sweeps, and UV sterilizes the cleaning surface, and it performs very when dealing with hard floors. It has two side brushes just like the 690 to cover dirt on edges.bobsweep brush

One of the major perks of the PetHair over the Roomba 690 is the inbuilt microfiber mop. This will as stated on the tin, mop your floor. The mop can be used both as damp for mopping and as dry for a more polished look. The robot uses highly sensitive dirt detecting sensors and a “spot cleaning mode” that mirrors the Dirt Detect found in the Roomba. Following the detection of large amounts of dirt, it will zigzag over it to make sure the job is done. The suction mechanism and motor are medium powered, similar to most robot vacuums in this price range. Overall the strength of suction is not as good as the 690. It is suitable for hard floors, as well as low to medium piled carpets. The filters are modern HEPA filters, a feature the 690 does not actually have. It also has a powerful rolling and spinning brush mechanism.

  • 1 Litre dustbin is very large
  • 2 side brushes for corners
  • Microfiber mop for cleaning floors
  • Spot cleaning deals with high concentrations of dirt

bobsweep vs roomba dirt detection

The pet hair plus performs to a very high standard when it comes to cleaning various hard surfaces, and even corners. The maximum power is not on par with the Roomba 980 so high pile rugs and carpets will not be as effectively cleaned. If you have carpets and rugs then some additional manual cleaning may be required, although the 980 will not have a 100 percent success rate either. A distinctive feature of the PetHair Plus is the microfiber mop. As discussed previously in this article, no Roomba has a mop and instead, iRobot created the Braava range of products which are dedicated robot mops.

The dustbin is 1000ml is the same size as the original, which is again, much larger than Roombas. It can cover a very wide area and it does do a good cleaning job on pet hair and hard floors. It also has UV light cleaning and sterilization, in order to keep those surfaces extra clean. It is certainly an upgrade from the original PetHair although it is generally not up to the cleaning capability of the Roomba 980, as a vacuum at least.

  • Not as powerful as Roomba 980
  • Mopping inbuilt
  • The dustbin is very large.

4.Battery Life

An important feature to be aware of is the battery life, although modern navigation and self recharge/resume features make this a little less important.

Roomba 690 & 980

Roomba 690 comes with a lithium-ion battery, with a capacity of 2100mAh. This takes 3 hours to fully charge and give you a solid 60 minutes of cleaning. As mentioned previously, when reaching a low battery level, the 690 will make it back to the Home Base station on its own to charge. If your cleaning area isn’t huge this should be long enough to get a good round of cleaning done. Unlike the newer Roomba 960 and 980, it will not restart cleaning on its own, something that the PetHair will do.

  • 3 Hours charging time
  • 1 Hour battery life
  • Self-recharge but no self-resume

The battery life of both of these devices has improved over the last generation. They both have a lithium-ion battery, but they are more efficient than last-gen batteries. The Roomba 980 has a 3000mAh battery, and last for 2 hours which is decent. The self-recharge and self-resume function make the importance of battery life less than it used to be. The Roomba 980 recharges over a 3-3.5 hour period.

  • 2 hours battery life
  • Self-recharge and self-resume function
  • Recharge takes 3-3.5 hours

PetHair & PetHair Plus

The PetHairs battery is on the same level as the Roomba 690. It is slightly bigger, using an X-AMPlified lithium-ion 2200mAh battery that also takes 3 hours to charge. The battery capacity is not crucially important as various factors affect how long it will run. Although it is just 100mAh bigger, it has a proportionally longer battery life of 75-80 minutes before returning to charge. One advantage of the Bobsweep is that it will resume cleaning on its own (if set to) after recharging. It is important to note that battery life can vary between cleans as carpet requires more attention due to the debris being harder to extract compared to hard floors.

  • 3 Hours charging time
  • 75 – 80 minutes of battery life
  • Self-recharge & self-resume

The PetHair Plus has a 2200mAh battery, which does not sound like a lot, but the robot vacuum is well optimized, so the battery has a very solid 3 hours of battery life. It can self-recharge and resume too. The PetHair Plus recharges in 3-4 hours.

  • 3 hours of battery life
  • self-recharge and self-resume function
  • Recharge takes 3-4 hours

Final Word

Weighing these two brands of robot vacuum up and dissecting their model highlight that they are actually a quite varied set of devices. Each of the brands has its advantages and disadvantages. In order to help you choose we will go over a summary of the points.

Rombas are the leaders of the robot vacuum market and offer the best quality features, although at a higher price. Another similar brand to read up on for comparison with Roomba is Neato, the article can be found here.

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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