Cleaning the house has become so much easier since the rise in popularity of robotic vacuum cleaners. While robotic vacuum cleaners have been around for a while, they are really starting to take off and are now a staple in many households. Robotic vacuums make it possible to simply tell a tool to clean for you; you don’t even have to lift a finger to clean your house.
While there are many companies out there developing and marketing these revolutionary cleaning tools, two companies that have become major players in the world of robotic vacuums are Roomba and Ilife.
The goal of this article is to compare iLife vs Roomba. We will look at multiple factors regarding each brand’s innovations, capabilities, research level, and popularity. Overall, Roomba seems to be the superior brand.
Have a look for yourself to decide which progressive brand for revolutionary robotic vacuums you prefer.
iRobot Roomba – About the Brand
Roomba has become a household word over the past multiple years, even in houses that do not own one. In fact, when most people are referring to robotic vacuums, they usually just call them “Roombas” regardless of what brand they actually are.
But while iRobot’s Roomba has certainly been a popular and progressive robotic vacuum, it was not the first, even though many people think it was. In fact, the first robotic vacuum came from a brand called Electrolux back in the 90s. However, their version of the robotic vacuum never gained popularity based on major problems and the product was discontinued.
In 2001, Dyson made another attempt at creating a robotic vacuum, but this attempt failed as well. Dyson’s robotic vacuum never even hit the sales floor due to expenses. But finally, in 2002, iRobot came out with the Roomba. The Roomba, although not the first, is now probably the most popular robotic vacuum on the market.
Products and Innovations
iRobot has been credited with achieving many great technological advances in the field of robotic cleaning. From building in visual sensors into creating apps for controlling and programming robotic vacuums, Roomba iRobot has consistently worked to improve on and better their products.
The Roomba company has also achieved many great feats in robotic home cleaning since its founding 20 years ago. iRobot was started in 1990, but they didn’t come out with the Roomba until 2002. Ever since iRobot has come out with over 40 vacuum cleaners from the original Roomba to the latest Roomba 980.
The Roomba 980 is Roomba’s most advanced model of a robotic vacuum. This newest Roomba model comes equipped with great features, including virtual wall barriers and cameras to detect and avoid cord tangling, find debris and avoid the furniture.
Ilife: An Analysis
With the primary goal of making high-quality robotic vacuums more affordable, Ilife has worked hard to create the advanced, state of the art vacuum cleaners for an accessible price. Founded in 2010, the Chinese company is a lot newer than iRobot. But in a short time, they have been around, Ilife has created some great robots competitive with many on the market.
Ilife’s first robotic vacuum cleaner, the X500 introduced some really great new features and technologies that had never been seen before. All these years later, their newest model, the Ilife A6 is still a great robotic vacuum that has the same features as all the top robots.
Products and Innovations
Ilife’s innovations have spanned multiple areas of home cleaning. Their robotic vacuum cleaners have an advanced infrared detection system to find dirt and debris. But beyond robotic vacuums, the company also has worked toward developing robotic mopping systems.
A fantastic creation of theirs is a 3-in-1 mopping, sweeping and vacuuming cleaner. This is just one example of Ilife’s technological advances in mapping technology.
But beyond that, one of the best things about Ilife is their long-lasting battery. Ilife’s products all operate from a Lithium-ion battery, a type of battery that is used in a wide variety of items. These batteries give Ilife products an incredibly long run time that outdoes other robotic cleaning products.
ilife and iRobot Similarities
The two brands have quite a lot in common and as a result, the products of the two companies often end up very similar. Many of their features are similar or exactly the same, and it seems that Ilife has used iRobot as an example in many instances. Here are some examples:
- Both companies sell robots that clean a variety of floor types and move from one-floor type to another without getting stuck or caught
- Each company has worked on developing robotic vacuum cleaners and mops
- Every robotic vacuum from both companies uses a three-stage cleaning system
- Both have remote control possibilities to control, schedule, and manually clean using the robotic vacuums
- Robots from both companies have dirt-detecting sensors
- Robots from both companies have wireless barriers
- Each company designs robots that are sleek with a low profile
- Certain robots from both companies will return to their docking stations to charge when they are running low on battery
Roomba Vacuums vs. iLife Vacuums Differences
- iRobot Roomba uses mobile apps you can download onto your phone and smart home technology while Ilife uses a remote control designed for the robot.
- In order to avoid crashes and prevent damage, iRobot vacuums look around with acoustic and visual sensors. Ilife robots use infrared light sensors.
- iRobot robotic vacuums will give a cleaning report, but Ilife does not.
- Where Ilife has worked to develop robots that can do both vacuuming and mopping, iRobot has only worked on individual robots for each job.
Also read my Best Roomba for Pet Hair guide
Things I Love About iLife
iLife is a new company that has entered the realm of home automation. There are a lot of companies out there bringing the robotic age to us, and I for one find that exciting.
One of the best things about iLife is its battery. Unlike other major companies out there, iLife uses a lithium-ion battery rather than the typical Nickle Metal Hydride batteries. This means that iLife will experience a smaller self-discharge rate, and will take less time to recharge.
The biggest difference is that iLife can run for nearly twice as long as other machines.
iLife also uses infrared sensors to scan for and detect edges so that it won’t drop off or fall down stairs and other high areas. Don’t worry though, this iLife technology is invisible to the naked eye so you won’t have to worry about lasers or other lights when it’s dark.
This vacuum is also more versatile than other vacuums on the market because it can clean and mop. The caveat is that you have to swap out the mop head and water tray with the dustbin, but I find this to be a small price to pay considering all of this is consolidated into one machine rather than two.
Things I Don’t Like About iLife
While iLife is a great automated vacuum, it does have some weaknesses.
For starters, the iLife remote control could undergo some improvements. Personally, I would like to see iLife do away with a remote control altogether and go the route that other companies have gone and create an app for my smartphone.
Unfortunately, iLife vacuum has not created an app. While the remote control should have felt intuitive, it did not. I often found myself repeatedly reading the manual in order to figure out how to use it. This may seem minor, but for me, this was a big deal because the spot cleaning feature is entirely done with the remote control.
Adding to this, some people have reported the infrared sensors sometimes get stuck between dark lines and surfaces leaving it stationary. Other owners went on to report that the acoustics of the machine failed to prevent it from falling from high places.
While having to swap pieces around on a single machine may be a small price to pay, this sense of freedom vanishes when I have to stand by the machine while it mops to make sure it doesn’t somehow drown itself. Moreover, the machine cannot be charged while in mopping mode.
Finally, iLife vacuum is based in China. So if you find yourself in need of parts, it will likely take several months to get them. Luckily, there is a support line based in the United States that is toll-free though, so that is helpful.
Things I Love About iRobot
iRobot is leading the competition and doing everything they can to maintain that lead. The Roomba, a product created by iRobot, has built not only brand trust but belief in their performance. You can easily start your home automation by iRobot Roomba and continue about your day worry-free.
The iHome app allows you to take control of your robot vacuum to a whole new level. I love that I can be anywhere and take control of what is happening in my home from my smartphone. This app allows you to use voice commands through advanced technology like Amazon Alexa or Google Home. You will be about to name your robot, and some people come up with clever names or do more productive commands like checking the current progress or scheduling cleanups.
Why is this Roomba feature so convenient?
If you are away at work or an important appointment and suddenly find out that you are going to have unexpected guests over that night, you will probably be worried about the state of your home. This app will allow you to take the necessary steps in order to get your vacuum prepared to start a cleaning routine. You will not have to wait until you get home to rush and clean – why add that unnecessary stress when you can just have a robotic vacuum take care of you?
Another feature that I enjoy is the virtual wall barriers. Both iLife and iRobot have this feature; however, iRobot has packed this nifty design into a more compact design. Obstacles, like furniture, can easily be avoided with the large radius size.
One of the most exciting features for me are the brush-less extractors. The Roomba, for example, no longer use the bristles and brushes, which has cut down on maintenance time and frustrations. I don’t have to cut out all of the hair and other junk anymore.
Maintenance is something that I don’t want to have to worry about. I am the kind of person that likes to set the machine to work and forget all about it. In this regard, iRobot’s takes less than five minutes per week to maintain and clean up, which is perfect.
What I Dislike About iRobot
I have a few complaints about the Roomba as well. After all, nothing is perfect. Similar to ILIFE, the Roomba also struggles with dark spots and area rugs with dark or intense patterns. Effectively, these dark spots trick the Roomba into sensing a drop off point, and so it will just sit in place or turnaround.
Unlike the ILIFEs versatility, the Roomba can only be purchased to mop or vacuum, which means that in order to get both done in your automated home you would need two machines.
Finally, when the Roomba was busy vacuuming the floors, it would sometimes stray to a point far away from the docking station. It would either have trouble finding its way back, or it would just stop where it was at. This meant that it would effectively die somewhere in the house. Then I would have to take it back to the docking station. I experienced a similar problem when the battery was too low.
Which One Should You Pick?
Which vacuum is right for you depends on your particular situation, and my own experiences may not be the same as others who have tried both the Roomba and ILIFE. First, the ILIFE is a good machine for those looking to start their home automation journey, and is good for those on a budget.
ILIFE is committed to improving their machines, and their products do as they are marketed to do. With over a decade of experience in developing machines, they’re a good option to go with. Best still, the machines are quality products but lower in costs which makes them a very cost effective choice. Again, this is truer considering their machines can do two different functions so you don’t have to spend twice as much to complete the same tasks.
See the iLife range here on Amazon and check prices.
The Roomba is a quality product, very popular, but more expensive. iRobot has been around for a while, and if you believe that popularity and price determine quality, you’re probably right when it comes to Roomba. These machines are very reliable, built to be very durable, and the customer service is amazing.
Additionally, some of the more expensive models have Wi-Fi compatibility and a visual mapping feature. This means that you can truly put the machine to work and forget about it. This what home automation is all about.
Roombas also utilize other features such as voice commands, customer support based in the United States, and a mobile app rather than a remote control. iRobot is a dominant force in the home automation industry specifically because of these innovations, and why shouldn’t they be when they’ve been around for more than 20 years.
See the iRobot range here on Amazon and check prices.
If you want to check out the different models that ILIFE and iRobot have to offer, Amazon has great assortment where you can compare different models for both brands.
The Wrap Up
I have a hard time basing my decision between models of different companies. It’s important to consider your own budget and needs in determining which model, or company, to go with.
iLIFE came close for me because of the versatility built into one machine, and because the company has a great future ahead of them. But when it comes down to it, iRobot boasts more experience, better quality, and well-established features that allow me to forget about the machine while it does its thing.
Every machine has its cons, and iRobot isn’t immune to those. The level at which iRobot is user-friendly and my overall experience with it tells me that these machines are worth every penny. I expect that ILIFE will continue to develop their products and will be a force to be reckoned with in the future, but they’ve still got a distance to go.
If you’re new to home automation, or just curious about how these machines work, you should go with ILIFE. They’ll get the job done. You’ll get to experiment, and save yourself a lot of money. If you’re ready to have a machine clean your house automatically while you forget about it and do other things, then you should go with iRobot.