Roomba Comparison 2019 with a Chart

roomba comparison

The iRobot Roomba is the best-recognized brand of robot vacuum, known for its high-quality reputation and cutting edge technology. Their range of robot vacuums offers a variety of features and prices to cater to many different needs. You want to get your hands on a Roomba but feel unsure about the countless models available? This Roomba comparison has been made for you.

iRobot has been on top of frequently and incrementally upgrading their devices in every area of features which can cause this confusion. Many Roombas have been long discontinued, yet there are so many 600, 700, 800, 900, e5 and i7 series models with many subtle differences.

We compare Roomba models to help you find the best option for your circumstances, whether your home is big small, you have a pet that sheds hair or you have carpets of hard floors.


Roomba Comparison Chart


How to find the best Roomba for you

There is no one size fits all approach to choosing the right Roomba. The characteristics of your home and your needs from your robot vacuum will determine which Roomba model is the best one for you.

For example, hard floors are easier to clean than carpets, and accordingly choosing  Roomba with a weaker motor will be sufficient.

A larger home will benefit from the newest navigation technology as it will ensure the quickest cleaning time. You would want to go for either the Roomba i7+, Roomba 980 or Roomba 960.

Last but most importantly is your budget which is the most limiting or enabling factor. Some of the models you will see in this comparison article are very expensive and may be out of range. Not to fear though, as you will find out there are many more reasonably price Roomba models too.

We will take a look at smart home compatible options, but will also look at some of the older options as they are generally more budget-friendly albeit less “smart”.


What are the best Roombas?

The Roomba i7+ is the most complete and technologically impressive Roomba. This is thanks to upgraded Navigation and Self-Dispoal technology, a feature unique to this model.

Next is the Roomba i7 model, the same device a the Roomba i7+ with one major differing factor. The difference is simply the i7+ has a Clean Base charging station which allows it to automatically self-dispose up to 30 cleans. This can be bought seperately an added retrospectively.

In the 900 series are two Roombas that used to be the best, the Roomba 980 and the Roomba 960. When compared to the Roomba 980, the Roomba 960 is almost on par except for having a slightly weaker motor. Compared to the Roomba i7+ they have a slightly less precise mapping and navigation technology, and of course no self-disposal unit.

The WiFi connectable budget pick is the Roomba 690, as it also has the functionality of the iRobot Home App just with the lowest grade vacuum motor for a cheaper price. The Roomba 890 offers a middle ground compared to the 600 and 900 series models in regards to pricing and motor strength. We have done a more specific comparison of the Roomba 690 and 890 in another article as they are closely matched with features.

The Roomba e5 is a new robot vacuum that is similarly matched with the Roomba 890 with a few little upgrades.

Finally, we believe that the Roomba 614 is the best non-smart budget option as it is significantly cheaper than the other models. Admittedly, the features of the Roomba 614 do not compare to the newer and wirelessly connectable models.


Roomba i7+ – Best Roomba in Every Sense

Roomba i7+
Roomba i7+

The Roomba i7+ is a brand new robot vacuum from iRobot thanks to some new and very impressive features. Not only is the Roomba i7+ the best model from iRobot, it is the best robot vacuum on the market.

The key difference is the new Automatic Dirt Disposal which holds up to 30 robot bins worth of rubbish. This eliminates the relatively frequently emptying of the bin that you saw with the previous Roombas. 

This lets you disengage from your home vacuuming completely for weeks or months. This is the only Roomba that has this cutting-edge feature.

One issue with the Roomba i7+ self-emptying technology is the noise produced. This answer to deal with this issue is to keep the Clean Base in a side room and expect the odd bit of noise as a tradeoff for the ease of use.

The bin empties into is quite large too, although as you can see from the images of the Roomba i7+, it is as slick looking as it could be for a bin. In fact, it sort of looks like a good coffee machine!

The Roomba i7+ convenience factor of self-emptying is a big and exciting jump from the 900 series models. Once again, iRobot is pioneering the market.

What’s Included 

  • iRobot Roomba i7+
  • Clean base Automatic Dirt Disposal
  • 2 Dirt Disposal Bags
  • Line Cord
  • 1 Dual-Mode Virtual Wall Barrier
  • 1 Extra Filter
  • Extra Side Brush

Key Features

  • iAdapt 3.0
  • Imprint Smart Mapping,
  • iRobot Home App
  • Auto Disposal
  • Voice Control
  • Recharge & Resume

The Roomba i7+ comes with an upgraded iAdapt 3.0 navigation with vSLAM. This is an improved Smart Mapping approach that the Roomba 900 series introduced. A  camera to build up a map of your home. Such a map is used by the Roomba to remember exactly where everything is in your home to enable efficient navigation.

The i7+ and i7 are the only Roombas that have iAdapt 3.0. Rather than remapping your home completely when anything is moved, this version can adjust any objects within an existing map. Overall when it comes to comparing the performance of the i7+ to the 900 series, there is unlikely to be a huge difference in the outcome. The self-disposal is the true upgrade in this model.

The 3-Stage Cleaning System can suck the dirt and pet hair into the filters, as well as the invisible dust and allergens. All Roombas share this technique of cleaning although they vary in the suction power of the motor. Roombas i7+ has a 3rd gen motor which is the same as the Roomba 980 but a cut above the rest. It is tested to capture 99% of the mold, pollen, and other micro dust you see. The Dual Multi-Surface Rubber Brushes also help keep the i7+ tight to the floor to ensure all dust is collected. This is useful when the front of the Roomba is projected up when moving onto carpets.

Imprint Smart Mapping is unique to the Roomba i7+ and allows the robot vacuum to know your different rooms. You can command it using Alexa or Google Assistant to clean one room without cleaning the others. 

Pros

  • Best Roomba
  • Cutting edge Self Disposal
  • Best smart mapping technology
  • Autonomous recharge and resume
  • Home Apps Feature
  • 1 Virtual Wall Barrier included

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Self-Disposal is loud

Roomba i7 – I7+ Without Self Disposal

The Roomba i7 was released alongside the i7+ to offer all of the new technology other than the auto disposal. One key perk is the lower price which will likely be far more appealing to many customers. The Roomba i7 is, in fact, the exact same robot vacuum as the i7+, the difference is just the Clean Base. With the i7 you get the fine-tuned features of the i7+ such as iAdapt 3.0, Imprint Mapping and a 0.7L dustbin. The major differences in navigation and cleaning technology that apply between the Roomba i7+ and other models are also relevant to the i7 too.

One important thing to realize is that the Roomba i7 can be upgraded effortlessly to the Roomba i7+ as the robot vacuum is the same and you can purchase the self-disposal system is sold as a separate piece of kit. If you are unsure it would probably be best to go with the i7 over the i7+ as the flexibility is there.

What’s Included

  • iRobot Roomba i7 robot vacuum
  • Home Base Charging Station
  • Line Cord
  • 1 Dual-Mode Virtual Wall Barrier
  • 1 Extra Filter
  • Extra Side Brush

Key Features

  • iAdapt 3.0
  • Imprint Smart Mapping
  • iRobot Home App, Clean Map,
  • Voice recognition,
  • Recharge and Resume

Pros

  • Same robot vacuum as the i7+
  • Cheaper than the i7
  • Easy to upgrade to i7+
  • Best smart mapping technology
  • Autonomous recharge and resume
  • Home Apps Feature
  • 1 Virtual Wall Barrier included

Cons

  • Expensive
  • No self-dispoal

Roomba 960 – A Well Priced But Highly Effective Robot

Roomba 960
Roomba 960

For the all round best balanced product that takes price into account, you should consider the Roomba 960. It has the features to do an effective cleaning job although doesn’t have the finer features of the i7+. When you compare the Roomba 960 with the 980, the latter does have slightly superior features and an extra Virtual Wall Barrier which. It will likely make a negligible difference when it comes to overall performance.  The Roomba 960 has a much more reasonable price tag with a $200 saving over the 980. When taking into account price, quality, and smart features, the Roomba 960 came out as a top contender.

What’s Included

  • iRobot Roomba 960 robotic vacuum cleaner
  • Home Base Charging Station
  • Line Cord
  • 1 Dual-Mode Virtual Wall Barrier
  • 1 Extra Filter
  • Extra Side Brush

Key Features

  • Smart Mapping & vSLAM
  • iRobot Home App
  • Voice recognition
  • Recharge and Resume

The iRobot Roomba 960 has the recharge and resume function Critically with the iRobot Roomba 960, you still get access to the IOS and Android iRobotic Home App. This is optimal for smart home interests as the majority of Roombas (excluding the 900 series) do not have this feature although they still have scheduled cleaning features. The Aeroforce motor is not as good as the i7+ or 980, but will do as good of a job on hard floors.

Pros

  • Features almost rival the more expensive 980 
  • Visual Mapping
  • Autonomous recharge and resume
  • Home Apps Feature
  • 1 Virtual Wall Barrier included

Cons

  • Still quite expensive 

Roomba 980 – Used To Be The Best

Roomba 980
Roomba 980

This is the objective second best after the Roomba i7+ as you get the best quality, motor and battery life come with this high-end model. However, the money is not worth it over the Roomba 960 and it is not as good as the i7+. If you got the bucks and are willing to commit, this is one of the best on the robot vacuum market but is admittedly not that superior to the 960. 

What’s Included

  • iRobot Roomba 980 Vacuum Cleaning Robot
  • Home Base Charging Station
  • Line Cord
  • 2 Dual-Mode Virtual Wall Barrier
  • 1 Extra Filter, Extra Side Brush

Key Features

  • Smart Mapping, vSLAM,
  • iRobot Home App
  • Voice recognition
  • Recharge and Resume

The iRobot Roomba 980 Vacuum Cleaning Robot takes the edge over the 960 by some subtle improvements which include; a better motor, 45 minutes more battery, a carpet boost function and by coming with two Virtual Wall Barriers instead of one. All of these features are better in terms of specifications, but whether this is necessary for practical living is a different matter.

This is a key consideration to take into account as the 960 model is a significant $200 less than the iRobot Roomba 980 and will likely get the job done. The Gen 3 motor is significantly more powerful on dense carpets. This is great, but only if the 960 won’t do the job when realistically it will be able to do the majority on all other surfaces and lighter carpets.

If you have high pile dense carpet then it might be a useful feature. The 2 Virtual wall barriers allow you to control your iRobot Roomba 980 movement around your house, choosing where it can go. These are pretty useful but again not necessary and the 960 model comes with one.

The iRobot Roomba 980 is Wi-Fi enabled with the use of the iRobot Home App. For all you passionate smart homers we recommend either getting one of these models. If you want the convenience of scheduling, monitoring activity, pausing and playing your robot, viewing stats and many more functions from the ease of your phone then these models are for you.

If you use IFTTT you can programme for your iRobot Roomba 980 Vacuum Cleaning Robot (as well as other models) to vacuum when you leave the house via your Ring Video-Doorbell so you never have to deal with the sound. 

Pros

  • Most features
  • Visual Mapping
  • Autonomous recharge and resume
  • Home Apps Feature
  • 2 Virtual Wall Barrier included

Cons

  • Features marginally better than 960 model

Roomba 690 – Budget Smart Home Option

Roomba 690
Roomba 690

The iRobot Roomba 690 robot vacuum is a capable piece of equipment for a much more realistic price tag for most people. It was released in 2017 to fill in a gap in the iRobot product line, a mid-range smart robot vacuum cleaner.

While the 900 series models are the highest quality, they are also much more expensive and for some slightly more modest features, you can still get the job of cleaning your home done.

When you compare the Roomba 690 with the 900 series, the major difference comes from motor power and smart mapping. For less than half the price of 980, the iRobot Roomba 690 robot vacuum can still connect via Wi-Fi to the Home app and is our top budget smart pick in this series.

Accordingly, this is potentially the most popular choice due to its lower price balanced with some of the newest features.

What’s Included

  • iRobot Roomba 690 Robot Vacuum
  • Charging Station, Line Cord
  • 1 Virtual Wall Barrier
  • 1 Extra Filter
  • 1 Flat Cleaning Tool, Manual

Key Features

  • iAdapt Navigation
  • Dirt Detect sensors
  • Amazon Alexa & Google Assistant compatible
  • iRobot Home App

The iRobot Roomba 690 features are practically the same as the classic 650, just with Wi-Fi connectivity and access to the Home app.

The cleaning motor is therefore slightly weaker compared to the 900 series and may struggle with high pile rugs and carpets. It will be suitable for lower carpet pile, as you can see here!

The iRobot Roomba 690 just uses dirt detection lacking Smart Mapping and VSLAM so cleaning routes will not be as efficient.

It has a 1 hour battery life but can take up to three to charge, so relying on dirt detection only with one hour each round may not be enough if you have a large house.

This model also has the potential to use voice recognition assistants Amazon Alexa & Google Home, a much sought after feature. If you compare the 690 with the other smart feature Roombas, it is a more realistic option for many purchasers due to the price.

Pros

  • Wi-Fi & iRobot Home App enabled
  • Voice recognition
  • Comes with virtual wall barrier
  • Manual docking and recharging

Cons

  • No Smart Mapping and vSLAM
  • Weaker motor – may struggle with high pile carpet on occasion

Roomba 890 – Smart Connected Roomba With Moderate Price

Roomba 980
Roomba 980

The iRobot Roomba 890 Robot Vacuum offers a smart home compatible vacuum which is a middle ground between the 690 and 980 in terms of price and motor power.  Most of the mind power and functions of Roombas come from the iRobot Home App which is equal to any model that can connect it.

If you want better home mapping and motor power go for a higher end 900 model and if you would sacrifice motor power for a lower price go for the 690. If you want a balance then look no further than the iRobot Roomba 890.

What’s Included

  • iRobot Roomba 890 Robot Vacuum
  • Charging Station
  • Line Cord
  • 1 Virtual Wall Barrier
  • 1 Extra Filter
  • 1 Flat Cleaning Tool
  • Manual

Key Features

  • iAdapt Navigation
  • Dirt Detect sensors, Stair fall prevention
  • Amazon Alexa & Google Assistant compatible
  • iRobot Home App

The iRobot Roomba 890 features and functions offer a middle ground between the 980 and 690. The main difference is the motor power when comparing Roomba models in the 800, 900 and 600 series.

The iRobot Roomba 890 motor uses the Aeroforce 3-Stage Cleaning system, about half the power of the 980’s max output and five times the 690 ‘s output.

The critical difference here will be how effective the robot vacuum is with dealing with carpet mess, higher carpet pile or the density of fibers.

The iRobot Roomba 890 can return to Home Base to charge but it will not resume on its own like the 980 or 960.

The smart home side of features are enabled with the iRobot Home App, so all of the standard perks apply. 

Pros

  • Wi-Fi & iRobot Home App enabled
  • Voice recognition
  • Comes with virtual wall barrier
  • Manual docking and recharging

Cons

  • No Smart Mapping and vSLAM
  • Weaker motor – may struggle with carpet on occasion
  • No resume after recharging

Roomba e5 – New Roomba Similar to 890

The Roomba e5 is a new mid-range Roomba that fits in somewhere around the level of the Roomba 890. 

It shares many of the same features with some subtle improvements, such as having a slightly larger battery life and a larger and washable dustbin.

The Romba e5 was released alongside the Roomba i7 and i7+ models but it is not on the same level and unfortunately misses the best features. It doesn’t have any form of smart mapping technology which is a shame as the older Roomba 900 series models even have this.

What’s Included

  • iRobot Roomba e5, 
  • Home Base Charging Station,
  • Line Cord, 1 Virtual Wall Barrier,
  • Manual

Key Features

  • iAdapt Navigation
  • Dirt Detect sensors, Stair fall prevention
  • Amazon Alexa & Google Assistant compatible
  • iRobot Home App

The Roomba e5 is on a very similar level to the Roomba 890, so much so that it is hard to distinguish the differences. The main technologies such as navigation technology and motor used are the same. they are also both Wi-Fi enabled with connectivity to the iRobot Home app.

The subtle differences are the battery life and the dustbin size. With the Roomba e5 you get an extra 15 minutes of clean time which totals 90 minutes. The battery life does have some benefit here as there is no resume cleaning after recharging as seen with the newer models.

The dustbin is also a little larger and washable.

Pros

  • Longer battery life and larger washable dustbin than 890
  • Good value
  • Wi-Fi & iRobot Home App enabled
  • Voice recognition
  • Comes with virtual wall barrier
  • Manual docking and recharging

Cons

  • No Smart Mapping and vSLAM
  • Weaker motor – may struggle with carpet on occasion
  • No resume after recharging


Roomba 614 – Cheap And Cheerful

Roomba 614
Roomba 614

The iRobot Roomba 614 vacuum cleaning robot is a cheap and cheerful robot vacuum relative to the other products explored here. A comparison of Roomba Models 614 and 980, you have opposite ends of the spectrum within the product range in terms of price, functionality, and features.

At a price under a third of the top of the range Roomba 980, the iRobot Roomba 614 vacuum cleaning robot is certainly a much more comforting purchase decision compared to the other models. If you are buying a robot vacuum for pet hair without being fussed about smart home compatibility, the iRobot Roomba 614 is your best option!

The iRobot Roomba 614 vacuum cleaning robot is, in essence, the same as the 690 with no smart home features.

It shares the same motor, edge sweeping brushes, automatic recharging, the navigation method, and dirt detect technology.

What you can’t do is schedule cleans, connect to the iRobot Home App and therefore voice recognition.

A simple click of the “Clean” button on the iRobot Roomba 690 gets it going.  As a smart home blog we recommend getting a model which can connect to the Smart Home App, but still, consider this choice the right decision for someone just looking for a simple robot vacuum. Due to its price, we believe the 614 is one of the top choices.

Pros

  • Cheapest Roomba 
  • Same cleaning technology as 690
  • Good for pet hair

Cons

  • No Smart Mapping and vSLAM
  • Weaker motor – may struggle with carpet on occasion
  • No resume after recharging
  • Can’t connect to smart home

Roomba 650 – The Old Legend

iRobot Roomba 650 Vacuum Cleaning Robot
iRobot Roomba 650 – The classic Roomba

The iRobot Roomba 650 robotic vacuum cleaner is the best-known model of robot vacuum there is and quite possibly the best selling. Having first been announced in 2012, this model is slightly outdated with new models outshining it with their cleaning and technological ability. The reliable and sturdy iRobot Roomba 650 robotic vacuum cleaner is still a great choice for a tidy price compared to its older siblings and a great choice if you want something to get the job done. The Roomba 650 is very similar to the 690, the only difference is just smart technology found in the newer version. One distinct disadvantage of the iRobot Roomba 650 robotic vacuum cleaner is the lack of Wi-Fi connection and therefore lack of access to the Home App, making this model less efficient than the 690. When you compare the Roomba 650 with the latest release by iRobot there is quite a difference. Now it would be much wiser to go for one of the newer models. But please, stand with us in recognizing the other model’s heritage found with this absolute classic, the Roomba 650.

Pros

  • Classic product
  • Good enough for easy cleaning
  • Cheaper Option

Cons

  • Not connectable to smart home
  • Not controllable by the functional iRobot Home app
  • Not as good as new models

Roomba 880 – An Outdated Power House

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The iRobot Roomba 880 robotic vacuum cleaner has been replaced by the 890 that adds the smart features. It has been discontinued by iRobot although still available on Amazon used. The Roomba 880 and the 890 the $120 difference is justified in the long run. The ease of use and control that comes with iRobot Home App makes it a worthwhile purchase. On that basis, we probably wouldn’t suggest buying this model over the others Roombas.

Included: iRobot Roomba 880 robotic vacuum cleaner, Charging Station, Line Cord, 1 Extra Filter, 1 Flat Cleaning Tool, Manual

Features: iAdapt Navigation, Dirt Detect sensors, Stair fall prevention, Recharge (No resume), 3.6 inches high, Aeroforce 3-Stage Cleaning System, Dual Multi-Surface Brushes, Filters

The iRobot Roomba 880 is the older and non-smart version of the 890. Features shared are pretty identical in regards to cleaning ability and navigation. The fundamental difference is a lack of the Wi-Fi connection and associated app functions.

Pros:

  • Cheap

Cons:

  • Discontinued
  • No Smart Mapping and vSLAM
  • Weaker motor – may struggle with carpet on occasion
  • No resume after recharging

Final Word

The Roomba product range offers enough variety to make it attractive to quite a range of customers. When you compare the Roomba i7+960, 980 with all the other models on show, they are a clear cut above the rest.

The i7+ is without a doubt the best in every aspect, and it has a unique disposal system as well as iAdapt 3.0 Navigation. However, it is expensive and another Roomba may suit you better because of the price aspect.

There is an inevitable feature and price trade-off applies which in the case of robot vacuums is to be much more considered. This is because they can be very expensive.

We hope you enjoyed this article!

DESIGNMODELAVAILABILITY
roomba i7+ with self disposal stationROOMBA i7+
i7 roombaROOMBA i7
Roomba 980ROOMBA 980
Roomba 960ROOMBA 960
Roomba 980ROOMBA 890
roomba e5ROOMBA e5
Roomba 690ROOMBA 690

Check out some of our other articles to compare Roombas against alternative brands:


FAQ

This section answers some questions you may have about Roombas in a short concise manner.

What is a Roomba?

Roombas are a robot vacuum manufactured by robotics company iRobot. They are the original commercial robot vacuum and have been leading the market for the last 15 years. Such devices are aimed to replace any human effort put into vacuuming.

How does a Roomba work?

Roombas use a mixture of technologies to navigate around floorspaces, suck up dirt off the floor and store it until it needs to be disposed of.

How much is a Roomba?

Roombas come in old and new versions, as well as varying in features. Their range is typically priced between $200-$900.

What is the difference between the Roomba models?

The main difference between the Roomba models are the power of the cleaning motor, efficiency of navigation technology, included accessories and the ability of Roombas to recharge, resume and self dispose after cleaning. The higher the series number the generally better, except the i7+ which is the best.

Which Model of iRobot is the best?

There is no one size fits all approach to choosing the best Roomba model. The Roomba i7+ has the best features objectively, but it also the most expensive. A cheaper Roomba will be perfectly adequate for a smaller home with hard floors. It all depends on your personal situation.

Which robot vacuum is best?

The iRobot Roomba is the most solid brand of robot vacuum and the Roomba i7+ is leading the market at the moment. There are other brands such as Dyson, iLife, Neato and Bobsweep which provide robot vacuums, although they are not as well reviewed as Roombas.

Is a Roomba good for hardwood floors?

Hard floors present an easy task for a Roomba. All models will have no problem cleaning up dirt and debris on harder surfaces, even the cheaper ones such as the 614.

Which robot vacuum is best for pet hair?

This article reflects the best robot vacuums for pet hair. All Roombas are designed to capable at cleaning up pet hair. Inevitably the newest and best Roombas will be the most consistent for picking up fur. Read this article for more information on Roombas and pet hair.

Can Roomba clean entire house?

This depends on the size of your home, which Roomba you have and how many floors their in your home. In general, the newer models with better mapping technology will be able too.

Can you use Roomba without WIFI?

The smart home enabled Roombas; i7+, 960, 980, 890 and 690 all connect to WiFi but can be used without it. The older Roombas can only work without WiFi.

How long is a Roomba cleaning cycle?

This depends on the cleaning job size. Typically you can expect it to last around 60 – 120 minutes.

How long do Roomba batteries last?

This depends on the Roomba model, anywhere from 45 – 120 minutes.

What kind of battery does a Roomba use?

Various rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.

What is a Virtual Wall for Roomba?

An accessory which the Roomba interprets to be a wall and therefore not clean past. This prevents the Roomba going in any room you don’t want it too.

Are robot vacuums worth it?

In our opinion, absolutely! yes

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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