You might not be ready to invest a ton of money to try out a robot vacuum cleaner. Luckily, you don’t have to either.
With that in mind, we decided to review the Roomba 650 and Roomba 655, two of iRobot’s vacuums from the 600 series.
While you could assume that they’re fairly similar, since they’re in the same series, there are some differences you’ll want to know about. That’s why we’ve created a detailed review and guide to these two iRobot 600 series vacuums; then, you can see which will be the best for you.
Roomba 655 vs 650 comparison
With your Roomba 650 purchase, you’ll get
- Main vacuum body
- Virtual wall
- Specialized cleaning tool (flat)
- Aerovac bin
- Single additional filter
- Charging base (self charge)
- Rechargeable battery
With the Roomba 655, you’ll receive:
- A beater brush
- Additional bristle brush
- An exra side brush
- Additional rubber brush
Roomba 650 vs 655 Power and Performance
While the newest Roomba vacuums use rubberized extractors to sweep, the 600 series does not; you’ll find regular brushrolls instead.
The 650 model cleans by way of flat brush alone, while the 655 uses both the flat brush, and the round brush. Flat brushes will sweep, while round brushes do more actual picking up of debris.
Most people assume more is better, right? With that in mind, you’d assume that having the flat brush only would take the Roomba 650 out of the running. However, you might be surprised at how the cleaning tests turned out.
The 600 series vacuums use the three stage process that Roomba installs in all its robotic vacuums. These steps include:
- Agitating: brushes stir up particles to loosen them for easier pick up.
- Brushing: the brushroll sweeps any particles away from the surface.
- Suctioning: all the debris on the brush is sucked away and into the dust cup.
When we tested the Roomba 650 and Roomba 655, we tried all different surfaces: hardwoods, tile and stone, and carpet. They both did a good job, but nothing to write home about.
With that in mind, if you’re looking at an entry level robot vacuum, this is standard performance. Changing from different surface types didn’t present any problems, either.
Our advice for pet owners is to opt for the 655 Pet Series Roomba. That’s because the rubberized brush makes maintenance much easier (in particular, getting pet hair off the brush).
Read: Best Roomba for Pet Hair
While both Roomba 655 and Roomba 650 include sensors to find dirt to clean, they both also sometimes miss a spot or two. Since they both have side brushes, both models do a good job keeping edges clean too.
Both vacuums work very similarly, and do a near equal job. With that said, the 655 does come with more tools, and is therefore our winner on cleaning performance.
Since they come from the same series, you can expect the navigation for the 655 and 650 to be fairly similar. In fact, it’s pretty much the same, and they both just kind of just run around randomly, unlike the more recent Roomba series. Luckily, they both have ‘bumper technology’ to help since they run into many objects.
The Roomba 655 doesn’t seem to have many issues getting stuck, while we did notice that the 650 does get stuck sometimes.
As we mentioned earlier, they do have dirt detection sensors, but the 650 can run out of battery quickly when it doesn’t realize a spot has been cleaned. Since they both miss areas on occasion, you’ll still need to do a little clean up yourself.
It’s also important to make room for the Roomba 655 and 650 to clean, since their navigation isn’t very advanced. For example, the Roomba 650 might not be able to dock and recharge at the base if something is blocking the ‘view.’ However, the Roomba 655 still seems to do fine either way.
Both of these Roombas include a virtual wall, so you can keep them out of certain areas. They also come equipped with edge sensors to keep them from tumbling down the stairs. However, you can’t program them to clean multiple rooms or even an entire level; you’ll have to move the Roomba to where you want it to clean.
The navigation for both 655 and 650 is fairly equal, although the 655 doesn’t get stuck as often, so it wins the navigation test.
Neither the 650 nor 655 uses a HEPA filter, although both do use the Aerovac filtration system. It’s designed to keep allergens in check in a similar manner.
Filters do need to be replaced every 90 days or so, to keep your Roomba working with optimal power. However, the filters are washable, which is convenient too.
Battery Life: Roomba 655 or 650
Both the 655 and 650 have the same suction power, and therefore use the same amount of energy. The 650 can run for about an hour on the Nickel Hydride battery, while the 655 uses an XLife Extended Life battery. The 655’s battery is also going to last longer before a replacement is needed, and will clean for a lot longer. You can expect several rooms to be cleaned before the battery gets low, and it takes less time to charge.
This is a no contest win for the 655.
The Roomba 655 and 650 have a fairly large dust bin capacity, although it’s the same for each model. However, it’s really not big enough to take care of huge homes and high traffic areas. Most people may use them for spot cleaning, so that’s not an issue. However, neither includes an indicator to tell you when the dust bin is at capacity.
The problem is that you more or less have to guess as to when the bin is full. In effect, you’re not really sure just how long the vacuum can keep going without being emptied. While that may not be a huge deal, it can be bothersome, since you need to ensure the bin is empty before each cleaning. There’s no shortcut for emptying the bin either, it all has to be done by hand.
Both of these 600 series Roombas allow you to pre-program cleaning schedules every day of the week, at times that you specify.
Another thing they both do is self charge. However, as previously noted, they may have trouble making it to the docking station. The nice thing is that they self charge when the battery is low; the downside to that is that there isn’t any light or alert to tell you when they’re fully charged.
Roomba 655 vs 650 Design
The 655 and 650 look fairly similar when it comes to their design profile, although the 650 is black while the 655 is more of a silver color. However, the 650 is quite a bit heavier at just under 12 lbs, while the 655 weighs in at under 8 lbs. This wouldn’t make much of a difference, except that neither vacuum can go from room to room; in short, you have to carry it, and lighter is better.
The 655 wins this one.
Which Roomba wins?
There are plenty of things to consider, but it really depends on you and what you need in a vacuum. There’s no doubt the 650 is a great pick (it’s one of the all time best sellers). That said, the 655 is a more self sufficient upgrade that doesn’t need as much babysitting.
If you have a busy house with pets and kids, you might find yourself leaning toward the 655 for the extended battery, extra tools, and all around less maintenance it offers.