iRobot Roomba Series Comparison

Roomba Comparison

iRobot is a popular brand of robot vacuum. The company comes up with new models of America’s favorite self-cleaning vacuum - the Roomba - on a regular basis, constantly expanding the variety of robots on the market.

According to our tests, hands down the best Roomba currently available is the Roomba i7. It is Roomba's newest model, and offers a dock that cleans your robots dust bin. This means you can let your Roomba clean significantly more before having to do any dust bin cleaning.

VAcuum

Summary

Roomba 960

Roomba 960

The Roomba 960 can be conveniently put to work with the installation of an iRobot home app. It utilizes an updated pick up system to get the job done the right the first time.


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Roomba 980

Roomba 980 RoboVac

This sleek Roomba includes a handy wi-fi connectivity capability and can be paired with Amazon Alexa. Its intelligent voice control and understanding makes use a breeze.


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Editor's Choice

Roomba i7+

iRobot Roomba I7

This highly-efficient Roomba comes with automatic dirt disposal technology. It’s also able to distinguish between different areas of the home, proving to be smart as well as handy.


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Roomba 675

The Roomba 675 uses a multistep cleanup system and can be programmed to have its own cleaning schedule. Enjoy a dust free home every day when you put the Roomba 675 to work.


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Roomba 650

Irobot Roomba 650

This eco-friendly refurbished version of the original Roomba is a hit. With all of its original hardware included and the ability to do schedule cleans multiple times a week, this version is one of the best.


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More About These Popular Roomba Models

If you have a Roomba, you know how helpful they are. They can whisk away pet hair, clear dust bunnies, and do away with sock fuzz within seconds. The best part is that they can do all of this while you do the dishes or fold the laundry.

In addition to being extremely useful, they are small and can be stored easily when not in use. They are also virtually noise free and won’t disturb any other members of the household while they do their job.

However, it can be hard to decide which model of Roomba your household needs. If you’re in the market for your first or a new Roomba, you’ll be surprised by how many there are to choose from. To help you make the big decision, we’ve compiled a short comparison of some of iRobot’s best Roombas, including the pros, cons, and most unique features.

Pros:

  • Compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant
  • Automatically recharges and docks
  • Suitable for use in tight spaces

Cons:

  • Has been known to struggle with thick pet hair

More About The ​Roomba 960

The Roomba 960 is the perfect model if you want both affordability and efficiency within a single home cleaning device. As with any good Roomba, it comes with wifi connectivity capabilities. It can be paired with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant products and be controlled from the screen of your smartphone through the iRobot home app.

Using multi-surface rubber brushes that bend and flex and sitting at under 4 inches tall, the Roomba 960 can fit underneath couches, beds, and furniture with ease. Its highly efficient powerlifting suction function means that it can be used on both hard floors and carpet with no quality reduction.

Adding to its efficiency is its ability to navigate through your home using iAdapt 2.0 navigation and trusted vSLAM technology for a thorough, multi-room clean.

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Pros:

  • Alexa and Google Assistant compatible
  • Long battery life
  • Efficient AeroForce cleaning system

Cons:

  • Occasionally leaves stray particles

More About The Roomba 980

The Roomba 980 boasts incredible convenience. It can be controlled through the user-friendly iRobot home app and can be paired with virtual assistants such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

With a long battery life in comparison to other models, the Roomba 980 can run for 120 consecutive minutes before automatically docking to recharge. The clean that this Roomba provides is always thorough. The device uses navigation technology and an AeroForce cleaning system that kicks into high gear when carpet is detected.

The iRobot app allows you to check in with your Roomba to see what rooms have been cleaned and to receive any important cleaning updates that may arise so that you can keep your robot on track.

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Pros:

  • Automatic dirt disposal
  • Imprint Smart Mapping and iAdapt 3.0 navigation for smart cleaning
  • 3 stage cleaning system

Cons:

  • Long charging time

More About The ​Roomba i7+

The Roomba i7+ is ideal for anyone with a busy schedule. This Roomba features handy automatic dirt disposal technology and a dirt bin that can hold the dirt from up to 30 whole house cleanings.

The i7+ is smart enough to determine which area of the house it is cleaning and adjust its cleaning settings to provide that area with the best clean possible. This is made possible by the Roomba’s iAdapt 3.0 navigation and Imprint Smart Mapping, as well as the highly-efficient filter that eliminates 99% of debris.

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Pros:

  • Dirt detection system
  • Wi-fi connectivity options
  • Angled brush for corners and edges

Cons:

  • Occasional navigation errors

More About The ​Roomba 675

The heavy duty 3 step cleaning system and flexible multi-surface brushes make this Roomba ideal for households with children and pets. The Roomba’s unique dirt detection system notifies the device of which areas of your home are generally the biggest challenge so that the Roomba can spend more time perfecting those areas.

The Roomba has a 90-minute run time and automatically docks and charges when the battery life runs out. It also makes use of wifi connectivity capabilities, pairing options, and an auto-adjust cleaning head that sits at a 27-degree angle to get stubborn debris out of corners and edges.

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Pros:

  • Virtual wall capability
  • 7 whole house cleanings per week
  • Trusted navigation for thorough cleaning

Cons:

  • Short battery life

More About The ​Roomba 650

The refurbished Roomba 650 traps a substantial amount of dirt and debris thanks to its patented 3 stage cleaning system. It also has the ability to be programmed for up to 7 cleanings per week. It uses technology to detect dirt to thoroughly clean the messiest areas of the home.

The Roomba 650 uses iAdapt technology to navigate and reach every room of the home. Its most unique feature is its virtual wall, which allows its user to add a virtual wall anywhere in the home to block the Roomba from cleaning there.

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How do I Know When My Roomba is Not Charging Properly? 

Roombas use lights to indicate their charging status. This is true in the case of charging errors as well. When there is a charging error such as an overheating battery, your Roomba will use a series of blinking lights that you have to decode.

Can the Roomba avoid stairs?

Yes. Your Roomba has a built-in feature to handle stairs. The feature, known in many models as Cliff Detect, prevents the Roomba from tumbling down the stairs. In models that don’t have Cliff Detect, the Virtual Wall feature can come in handy, as it can serve virtually the same purpose when set up correctly.

Can the Roomba be used on shag carpet?

Technically it could be used on shag carpets. However, due to their thickness and length, Roombas often have trouble cleaning them. In addition, your Roomba has to work harder to clean the area which can effectively burn out its motor.

Can Roombas clean wet floors?

Roombas are not designed to handle moisture. Therefore, any surface that your Roomba is going to clean should be dry. A wet floor can ruin the device’s internal workings or damage its cleaning brushes.

Can Roombas replace traditional vacuums?

No. Although your Roomba does a great job of lifting surface dirt and debris, it does not penetrate far enough into carpet fibers to do any deep cleaning. With regular use, your Roomba will help keep your floors clean. But you should not get rid of your traditional vacuum, which is designed to get the hard-to-reach debris from deep within your carpets.

How long do Roombas take to charge? 

Depending on the model of Roomba you purchase your device can take anywhere from 1-2 hours to charge. Most Roombas will take the full 2 hours to reach a full charge, but the first time you use the Roomba it will need to be charged overnight.

Can the Roomba be used without wifi?

Yes. The Roomba can be used without a wifi connection. However, opting out of this feature means that you are unable to remotely access your device.

The Benefits of Owning A Roomba

There are a number of great benefits to owning one of these handy cleaning machines. Here are a few of them.

Efficient

Roombas are very efficient. They do more than just clean, thanks to today's technology. They clean, create a mental map of your home, dump the dirt, and go back to their charging dock all by themselves.

Some of iRobot's newer models even come with highly-advanced internal sensors that can distinguish between carpet and hardwood/tile floors without human intervention, automatically switching between the two modes when necessary.

Roombas, regardless of model, are also efficient in the way that they work - that is, the back and forth circular motions that the device moves in. These unique motions ensure that every inch of floor space is covered.

Easy to use

Roombas are one of the easiest self-cleaning machines to use. Once they are programmed, there's little need for any manual changes. In fact, they pretty much run themselves.

Even Roombas with the option for manual settings are easy to use. The buttons and levers that control the adjustments are easy to understand, with clear symbols and simple language that makes adjusting a breeze.

Ideal for all levels of dirt build up

One of the best benefits of the Roomba is that it can be used in rooms where dirt and debris rarely occurs, as well as in areas like mudrooms that are susceptible to more dirt on a regular basis.

The Roomba can handle relatively thick dirt buildup, providing the same great clean that is expected from a room with very little that needs to be picked up.  

Upon detecting an area of particularly thick dirt or debris, the Roomba will go over the area until it's clean, even if it means going over it three or four times. After the cleaning is complete, the Roomba will take note of the area. The next time it cleans there, it will take special care to make sure that it gets special attention.

Quiet operation

Roomba can be used at any point of the day thanks to its virtually silent operation.  This means that once the household is in bed the Roomba can go to work cleaning up the day's mess without causing a disturbance or interrupting anyone's beauty sleep.

It also allows the device to go its work while a big football game is on TV, while the children do their homework, or while you make important phone calls.

Remote operation

The most convenient things are those that can be controlled from a smartphone or other smart device. Roombas fit in this category. Generally, even the cheapest Roombas and oldest models can be controlled remotely from your smartphone.

They use the iRobot home app, which you can use away from the home as long as you have either a wireless connection or mobile data. Using the app remotely allows you to put your device to work outside of its regular scheduled times (if applicable).

Saves you time

Using a Roomba to control the level of debris on your floors can make the process of deep cleaning or traditional vacuuming much faster. Because the Roomba rids your home of the loose debris, your traditional vacuum has less to pick up, resulting in less frequent vacuum bag changes and a shorter overall cleaning process.

Minimal maintenance required

When properly taken care of, your Roomba will last years. This being said, another great benefit is that the Roomba doesn’t require much more than regular charging to stay in good condition and running properly.

In fact, some say that owning a Roomba is even less work than owning a goldfish. There’s no cleaning, washing, or battery changing required, and the advice can even be programmed to escort itself to its charging station.

Features of a Roomba

The iRobot Roomba is the top of the line in vacuum cleaners right now. It is an innovative, stress-free and hassle-free way to keep your floors clean. Roombas are quiet, safe around pets and small children and operate almost entirely on their own.

There are many different models of the Roomba, and iRobot is constantly coming out with new, innovative designs – but they all share the same common features that make them great for any home.

Here are some of the top features of the Roomba vacuum.

Intelligent Navigation Technology

On average, an active Roomba vacuum is making about sixty decisions per second as it cleans. The Roomba is equipped with advanced navigation technology. This allows it to guide itself around the house and – for most recent Roomba models, which have an onboard camera and the most advanced navigation technology – remember its path for future cleaning.

Upon the first cleaning, a Roomba with an onboard camera will scan the floor and create a virtual map so that it can easily clean the same area again. Its intelligent sensors guide it smoothly around furniture and obstacles in the room as it cleans.

Some Roomba models are capable of creating and storing multiple maps so that they can clean multiple spaces or levels in a home without having to create a new map every time.

Smart Sensors

All Roombas have sensors to guide them around obstacles in their path. They can sense and adapt to shifting furniture and feet to effectively clean the entire area. Many are equipped with additional sensors that can sense the dirtiest spots in your home.

This Dirt Detection technology helps the Roomba to spend more time cleaning areas that tend to be dirtier, like entryways, places where a lot of pet hair collects or kitchen floors that are prone to spills. You can be sure the biggest messes will be thoroughly cleaned.

Effective 3 Stage Cleaning

The Roomba is not only popular because it is easy to use and lightweight, but it also cleans more effectively than most other vacuums on the market. As it roams the floor, it picks up messes in three stages: sweeping, grabbing and suctioning. The three stage process ensures no mess is left in its path.

The sweeping stage is specially designed to work in tight corners and hard-to-reach spaces, sweeping dirt, dust and hair from the edge to the center of the vacuum to effectively pick it up. The grabbing stage uses rotating brushes to pick up larger grime and debris as it passes over it, and then the powerful suction stage sucks up the rest, leaving the floor spotless beneath it.

Some Roomba models are better than others at picking up pet hair, food and other messes. When doing a Roomba comparison, be sure to look at different cleaning capabilities and select the model that fits best to the most common messes in your home.

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Control From A Smartphone

Most newer Roomba models come with Wi-Fi connectivity. This means you can download the iRobot home app on your smartphone or smart device and control your Roomba remotely. Through the app, you can schedule cleanings, pause or cancel a cleaning, and track your Roomba’s cleaning history and battery life from anywhere.

If you’re stuck at work and have guests coming over soon, you can start your Roomba through the app while you are away and come home to a cleaned floor.

Excellent Battery Life

While there are variations according to different Roomba models, you can expect most Roombas to run for about ninety minutes before they need to be charged. Charging can take up to an hour and a half, and many Roombas are capable of charging themselves when the battery runs low. The idea is to have to do as little maintenance as possible.

Maximizing the life expectancy of your Roomba

If you are considering purchasing or have recently purchased a new Roomba vacuum, you want to make sure you get the most out of it. While the Roomba is designed to be a low-maintenance tool, there are still some things you can do to keep it up and running for as long as possible.

Keep it Clean

It sounds a little silly to have to clean your cleaner, but it is an easy chore and one you only need to do every once in a while. After every cleaning cycle, you should empty the Roomba’s dust bin to prevent build up or clogs and lightly blow on or tap the dust filters to shake out any extra dust.

Once a month or so, you should give your Roomba a more serious cleaning. This includes taking the vacuum apart and deep cleaning the inside, replacing the filters, and removing any tangled hair or clumps from the brushes. This occasional deep cleaning will keep your Roomba happy and running as it should.

Use it Often

A Roomba runs best when it gets plenty of use. Schedule cleanings once a day or every other day, and allow every cleaning to fully drain the vacuum’s battery. Draining the battery with every use actually helps improve battery life. Afterwards, charge it fully before using it again.

Put it in idle when not using it

If you are going away for a long time, moving or otherwise not using your Roomba for upwards of a week, don’t just leave it sitting on the charger. Put it into idle or “vacation” mode, allowing the battery to stay alive and functioning while you are away without burning too much energy. A battery that is dead for long stretches of time will not be as healthy in the long run.

Conclusion

The iRobot Roomba vacuum is a fantastic home cleaning option. There are several models on the market with different features to accommodate your home’s needs. After doing a Roomba comparison and exploring your options, select the model that is right for you, use it often and take good care of it. The right Roomba vacuum will keep your house clean with minimal effort.

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