Everybody knows that if you want a top of the line robotic vacuum that iRobot is brand to buy from. That said, they have a ton of different products, models, and features to choose from, so while you might know you need one that can clean up pet messes, you still don’t know which one it is.
Not to worry, we’ll help you get it sorted out.
This is the most comprehensive Roomba by iRobot comparison guide out there, so you know you’ll find exactly what you need. We go through all the details so you can be sure of what you’re getting, without worrying about investing in a model that isn’t your perfect fit.
What’s the difference between Roombas?
There are a few features that really distinguish one iRobot Roomba model from another. Even better, these features really show the differences between each product. So what will we be looking at? The main ones are the brushroll design, the size of the dust cup, battery life, filtration system, navigation system, and suction strength.
Is a robot vacuum really a requirement? Well, probably not, but it certainly is a convenient upgrade that you’re unlikely to feel buyer’s remorse over. In fact, many people only regret not making the jump and getting a robot vacuum sooner.
Now that iRobot has come out with an even newer product, the i7 vacuum, there’s even more to look for in their vacuums. That’s great, but it can also make it tough to weigh budget vs features vs convenience, and so on.
Fortunately, we’ve done all the research and leg work for you to create a clear, thorough comparison of iRobot vacuums. Rather than search through the brand’s website (which can be time consuming and fairly unclear), you can use this handy guide. To ensure the most clear information, we won’t bother with discontinued products you won’t be able to find easily. This also means that you can be sure you’re not investing in a shiny new robot vacuum only to find that it’s grossly outdated.
We’ll look at each model and do a side by side comparison to save you time, money, and a whole lot of hassle. If you’re looking for a bird’s eye view of the top Roombas, here’s what you need to know:
Best Budget Option:
If you don’t want to break the bank buying a Roomba, but want to get a good, entry level vacuum that does the job and has WiFi compatibility, this is the Roomba for you,
Best midrange Option:
If you want to get more than what the entry level offers, without stretching your budget too far, this is a great vacuum, and is great for homes with pets.
Best Advanced Option:
If you want the top of the line Roomba that delivers it all, and requires minimal work and maintenance for you, the I7 is a great pick.
This chart is an easy way to see the features of each model and how they compare to one another.
You can also check out this video for a nice overview of the different iRobot vacuums and their main features and differences.
While both of these are great resources to get to know more about the different iRobot products, chances are you want a more in depth look at these vacuums. All of the critical information you need to know about these vacuums is in this guide, so you can have the peace of mind of knowing you’ve picked the perfect helper for your home.
Roomba 675 Vs. Roomba 690
Roomba 675 – The Best Budget Robotic Vacuum On The Market
If you still want a great iRobot Roomba vacuum, but want to work within your budget, the Roomba 675 is a good robotic vacuum that does the job at a price you can live with. Reasonably priced, it still has plenty of power, and it’s got the basic features you’re looking for.
This Roomba really does deliver value with great performance, ample battery life, and an excellent filtration system, at a fair price.
While there are some features it doesn’t have that come with higher priced models (like older navigation technology and a traditional brush roll design), it makes sense considering that this is an entry level vacuum.
This Roomba comes from the previous Roomba 614 product design, but this one is WiFi capable.
Compared to the Roomba 690, the price is lower, but the models are very similar in features and performance. The Roomba 690 comes with a virtual wall where the 675 doesn’t, but you can still buy one separately. Check its latest price here!
The Roomba 675 looks like the others in the Roomba line with a modern, circular design that they’ve become famous for. This vacuum is practical and thorough with an easy pick up handle and soft rubber bumper up front.
- Dust Cup capacity – .3L
- Full/change indicator – No
- Ledge Sensor – Yes
- Weight – 7.8 pounds
- Diameter – 13 in
- Height – 3.6 in
- Cleans after charge – No
- Battery Life – 1 ½ hrs
- Auto charge – Yes
- Brushes – bristles, and blades
- Wifi and Smart features – Yes, works with Assistant and Alexa, iRobot app
- Filter – AeroVac system
- Mapping system – entry level, iAdapt 1
- Virtual Walls – No
- Debris detection – entry level
- Warranty and Return Policy – 30 day returns for online purchases, includes 1 year warranty
- Operation volume – 60 to 70 decibels
- Schedule future cleaning – Yes
- Uses navigation system: iAdapt 1
- Has ledge sensors
The Roomba 675 uses the original iAdapt 1.0 navigation technology to map out your home, while other models commonly use the iAdapt 2.0 system, and the newest model, the i7 uses the newest version, iAdapt 3.0.
This vacuum doesn’t clean in straight rows like people, and the newer models do. The pattern of cleaning can seem fairly random (and the newer navigation technology is more efficient), but it can still bump into furniture and get back to cleaning without trouble. Despite these small obstacles, the 675 does a good job of keeping the floors clean.
It includes special sensors to help it navigate (and clean) under difficult areas like couches and tables. Since it’s shorter than many vacuums at a mere three and a half inches tall, it can easily get to those tight spaces.
Like most robot vacuums, it has ledge, or cliff, sensors that ensure it doesn’t end up toppling down stairs or off ledges.
- Runs for 1 ½ hrs
This Roomba model uses a powerful 1.800 mAh Lithium ion battery to deliver up to an hour and a half of cleaning time. When the battery is low the vacuum returns to the charging dock, where a full charge takes only two or three hours.
- User friendly iRobot Home app
- Use voice controls with Assistant and Alexa
- Use built in buttons on the vacuum
- Use virtual barrier dual control method
This is a vacuum you can more or less start and use, even without the compatible app. If you do choose to use the app, simply download it to your smart device and make sure your Roomba is connected to your home Wifi.
There’s no tech know how needed, even at the very longest setup should take under 10 minutes. From the app you can control scheduling all future cleaning, as well as look at a log of past schedules, return the vacuum to the charging base, and schedule a cleaning everyday of the week if you want.
For an entry level robot vacuum, the WiFi connectivity is a feature that most don’t have, and therefore a huge win.
- Uses Aerovac filter
- Dust cup holds up to .3L
The Roomba 675 uses the AeroVac filtration system, and although it’s not quite as effective as other, previous filter systems (and isn’t a HEPA filter), it can take care of most small particles, and doesn’t pump them out of the air exhaust.
People with severe allergies will likely want to look at a special HEPA filter (or a model like the Roomba e5), since the system isn’t sealed, but in other cases the filtration is more than sufficient.
- Connects to Wifi
- Compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa
You can use voice commands to control your Roomba and schedule cleanings if you use Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.
This Roomba also works with the super user friendly iRobot Home app, which allows you to schedule cleanings, control the vacuum remotely, and find important product and maintenance information and tutorials for your Roomba.
- Brush for dual surface use
- Brush for cleaning edges
- Cleaning head automatically adjusts
- Dirt and debris sensing technology
- 3 part cleaning method
This model uses the special Roomba 3 stage cleaning system that starts with strong suction, adds in a multi surface brush, and uses the special edge cleaning brush to get into tight corners.
When moving from one surface to another (say, from hardwood to carpet or rugs) the cleaning head automatically adjusts itself to height that’s appropriate for the surface it’s cleaning. You’ll never have to worry about one surface getting cleaning than the rest.
With the special Edge Cleaning brush, the Roomba 675 can get tough sides clean and push dirt and dust into the bin. The 27 degree angle ensures that every corner gets clean.
Each brush has a specific function: the bristled brush picks up the freed up dirt that the brush with blades gets out from in your carpets. While the rubberized brushes of the newer e5 and i7 models are more popular, the bristle brush on the 675 keeps it budget friendly.
The dirt detection system is ideal for heavy traffic areas, and anywhere debris tends to pile up, since it can sense the mess.
3. Maintenance Tips
There isn’t much maintenance required, simply replace the filter when required and empty the dust cup as it fills.
- Replace filters on schedule
- Empty the dust cup when full
There’s a certain maintenance schedule for the 675, but annually it adds up to only about 30 dollars, so make sure you take care of it and replace parts as recommended by the manufacturer.
We advice you to try this Maintenance Schedule:
- Brush rolls: annually
- Front wheel: annually
- Battery: 1 ½ year to 3 years
- Filter: every 60 days
- Side sweeper: about 6 months
4. Pros and Cons
While you’ll still need your regular upright vacuum for bigger cleans, the Roomba 675 adds a huge dose of convenience into your life, and helps keep things clean in between chore days.
It isn’t perfect, but it delivers a ton of benefits at a great price point. It may not get every tiny particle, but it will keep your floors clean without a lot of work from you (especially if you have kids or pets in the home).
If you’re looking for the vacuum that includes every single feature, this may not be for you, but it is a good, efficient vacuum that cuts down on extra cleaning duty.
Roomba 690 – Value For Money
The Roomba 690 is perfect for those with a lower budget without skimping on any necessary features. The Roomba 690 is packed with features including a great battery with long running time, WIFI connectivity and a scheduled cleaning setting.
The only difference between the Roomba 675 and the Roomba 690 is the addition of a Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barrier on the 690. There are also some very slight aesthetic differences but they are essentially the same product. Both offer exceptional value for money making them a great choice for those on a budget.
The Roomba e5, 960 and i7 models are slightly more advanced with higher specifications, but the 675 and 690 are extremely functionable and very fairly priced making them more accessible for everyone.
The Roomba 600 series offers exceptional cleaning results without any bells and whistles. The features the models in this series offer are not seen in a lot of other similarly priced vacuums from other brands. The features are a lot more than you would probably expect to find in a vacuum of this price. Check its latest price here!
The design of the Roomba 690 is very sleek, it is the same stylish round design seen in other iRobot type vacuums. It also boasts a very practical carrying handle as well as a bumper to protect anything delicate it may come into contact with in your home.
- Self-Charging: Yes
- Scheduling: Yes
- Runtime: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Cliff Detectors: Yes
- Full Bin Indicator: No
- Resumes cleaning: No
- Navigation: iAdapt 1.0 basic
- Dirt detection: basic
- Bin Capacity: 0.3 liters
- Virtual Walls: 1
- Filter: High-Performance AeroVac
- Roller brushes: bristles and blades
- Connectivity: Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, iRobot HOME App
- Weight: 7.8lbs
- Height: 3.6 inches
- Diameter: 13 inches
- Warranty: 1 year limited plus 30-day money back guarantee when purchased online
- Noise: 60-70 dB surface depending
- Cliff Detect sensors
- IAdapt 1.0
The iAdapt 1.0 Navigation system is the most basic navigation system found on Roomba model vacuums, because of this, it will bump into objects around your home. It will use the feedback it receives from bumping into something to navigate its way around it.
The 690 has quite a random cleaning pattern compared to some other models, so you may find it to be less effective than other iRobot models that use more advanced mapping systems to clean in straight lines.
Even though it is quite a basic system, it works well and the cleaning results are very impressive for a basic model.
- 90 minutes
The 90 minutes runtime the 690 boasts is thanks to its impressive 1.800 aAh lithium-ion battery.
The 690 returns itself automatically to its home base when the battery runs low. A full recharge of the 690 takes approximately 2.5 hours. However, unlike some more advanced models, the 690 does not automatically resume cleaning where it left off when the battery charge is complete.
This may be a deal breaker in a larger home, but in a smaller home, the lack of a resume cleaning function shouldn’t be too much of an issue. If this is a pitfall for you, you may want to consider either a more advanced model or one with a longer battery life.
- Voice control
- iRobot HOME App
- Physical buttons
- Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barrier
You can control the 690 three different ways: via the physical buttons on the robot itself, via your smartphone with thanks to the app, or via your voice through google assistant or Alexa.
You cannot schedule cleaning or check the robots cleaning history by using the physical buttons alone. The physical buttons can only be used to simply start and end a cleaning session. You need to use the app for these more advanced controls.
The app is very simple to use and you should be able to install it on your phone and connect it to your robot in less than 10 minutes. Via the app you have the ability to schedule cleaning sessions and view the cleaning history of your vacuum. You can schedule a maximum of 7 cleaning sessions each week.
WIFI is a nice addition not found in all robots of this price range. Roomba vacuums are known for having a very reliable WIFI connection. Some other models in this price range have been known to have WIFI connections which drop a lot.
If you want to control your robot with your voice you will require either Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. Via either of these you can control your robot with your voice, simply by saying ‘start’ or ‘stop’ or whatever other command you choose.
The 690 has a very random cleaning pattern however you can use the virtual wall barrier to confine it to a more specific area. The 690 comes with one virtual wall barrier and this is what sets it apart from the 650 model.
A virtual wall barrier is a small separate device that you place on your floor. Its function is to form a virtual wall that is either 10 inches long or 4 inches in circumference to stop the robot from passing it.
These virtual wall barriers can also be purchased separately should you need more than one. They are great for blocking access to certain rooms or giving privacy to pets who might be frightened of the robot.
- Bin capacity 0.3 liters
- High-Performance AeroVac filter
The AeroVac filter is not quite as impressive as the filter Roomba had on its previous systems, but it’s still a respectably high quality. It manages to keep out even microscopic particles without having a sealed system.
- Amazon Alexa
- Google Assistant
Thanks to its WIFI connectivity you can control the vacuum via your smartphone with thanks to the compatible iRobot HOME App. Through this easy to use app you can schedule cleaning, control the vacuum and watch a great range of videos and tips to help you get the most out of your vacuum.
The 690 is also fully compatible with Google Assistant as well as Amazon Alexa meaning you can control it with your voice as you sit back and relax.
- Edge-Sweeping brush
- 3-Stage Cleaning System
- Auto-Adjust cleaning head
- Dual Multi-Surface Brush
- DirtDetect Technology 1.0
A dual multi-surface brush, strong suction and an edge-sweeping brush combine to provide the 690’s cleaning performance.
The 690 boasts two separate brushes. One of the brushes have blades while the second one has bristles. The brush with the blades is designed to loosen even stubborn dirt on difficult surfaces while the bristle brush then picks up all the dirt with assistance from the robot’s strong suction.
The bristle brush keeps the price point low enough on this vacuum but it is not the most effective brush out there. The rubberized brush roll that is found in more advanced robots has been shown to be more effective, helping models such as the i7 perform better. However, most users are pleased with the 690’s performance when compared with other models in the same price point.
The cleaning head on the 690 adjusts its height automatically in order to adapt itself to different surface types. This feature allows the brush roll to engage firmly with the surface even where it changes from place to place within the home. This feature results in better cleaning results as the brushes have the ability to reach nearly all the edges and corners throughout your home.
The 690 also boasts an impressive feature known as DirtDetect which gives it an impressive ability to be able to detect the high traffic areas in your home, thus concentrating more on those areas where levels or dirt are higher and which require more time than some other areas in your home.
While the 690 is by no means a top performer, the results are still nothing to be sneered at with excellent results verified by rigorous testing as well as user reviews.
In order to keep your robot performing to the best of its ability, you will need to:
- Make sure the dirt bin is emptied on a regular basis
- Make sure to remove any hair that gets tangled in the brush rolls
The recommended schedule for maintenance is as follows:
- The filter: every 2 months
- The side sweeper: every 6 months
- The front wheel: once every year
- The brush rolls: once every year
- The battery: once every two years
The maintenance requirements for the 690 are fairly simple and straightforward, however, bear in mind that there is a cost to keeping up with your robot’s maintenance, usually of about 30 dollars or so a year. These costs will save you in the long run however as you get a longer life out of your machine.
4. Pros and Cons
If your budget is on the lower scale of things there is no doubt that the Roomba 690 is an excellent choice. It has all the basic necessities without any bells and whistles which hike up the cost.
The WIFI connectivity is a real selling point of a Robot of this price, combined with a great battery life and the included virtual wall barrier. All these features really set the 690 apart from other similarly priced Robots.
As with all robotic vacuum cleaners, the 690 is not going to fully replace your upright vacuum, but you will find yourself having to use it a lot less freeing up more time in your busy schedule for other things besides vacuuming. A clean home and a lot less stress, ideal!
Roomba 675 or Roomba 690? Which Roomba Should I Buy?
The following features are the same on both the 675 and 690 models:
- The overall design
- The height and diameter
- The navigation systems
- The length of the battery life and charge time
- The WIFI connectivity
So where exactly does the difference lie?
Pricewise, the Roomba 690 is more expensive. So what justifies this price difference between the two models when on the face of it they seem so similar?
The answer is the virtual wall barrier that is included with the 690 model and not the 675 model. This virtual barrier will definitely come in useful if:
- You have delicate items in your home which you don’t want the Robot going near for fear it might damage them. If this is the case, the 690 model is the more obvious choice for you as opposed to the 675 model.
- If blocking off any specific areas of your home is not really a concern for you and you are on a tighter budget, then the 675 model will do you perfectly fine so you might as well save money where you can instead of having this extra feature that you are probably not even planning on using.
Even though it does not come with a dual mode virtual barrier in the box, the 675 is compatible with it so you can always purchase one down the line should the need ever arise.
Roomba E5/E6 – Serving the Middle Range
The Roomba e5 has all the essential features that make a great vacuum – especially for those with pets. Along with 5 times the suction, this amazing vacuum comes with wifi connectivity, scheduled cleaning, virtual wall barriers, and long runtime. Along with that inner features that make it excellent, it also comes with a few extras: Larger waste cup, high-efficiency filter, and a better brush roll, perfect for picking up loose hairs.
The e6 is basically the product, but with more. It comes with an extra high-efficiency filter and two virtual wall barriers as opposed to the one that you get with the e5. This vacuum is only available at select retailers, and it is quite a good deal.
This vacuum has smart home capabilities along with powerful performance all at a fair upper mid-price range.
For mid-range options, Roomba seems to be replacing the 800 series with the e5 vacuum. This replacement puts the e5 between the budget friendly 600 series and the more technologically advanced 900 series.
Compared to Roomba 600 series, the e5 is a slightly more advanced product. It has all the better things you really want out of a newer vacuum. For example, it has advanced mapping, a bigger waste bin, improved filtration, and the brush roll technology has been enhanced as well.
Although the e5 sounds like a tempting midrange option, we would mainly recommend it to pet users as opposed to the 675 or 690. As a pet owner, I know the struggle when it comes to shed pet hair. The extra money would be worth it for those with pets, while others will be equally satisfied with the 600 series.
This goes for families with children as well since the extra features will make it worth the extra money. You will get more power in the suction, advanced brush rolls, a bigger waste bin, and a filtration system that is more efficient, making your home and air safer for your children and pets.
On the other hand, the e5 is not as advanced as the 900 series vacuums or the new i7. These vacuums are technologically advanced, so the details are important to cover. The e5 does not have two advanced features – the self-emptying feature or smart mapping.
You will be unable to direct it to one specific area for cleaning. However, it will remember where it has previously cleaned. While this might be a downfall, the e5 still has a longer runtime of 90-minutes when compared to the 960 and i7, both of which has a 75-minute runtime. Shared features include the dual multi-surface rubber brushes and an advanced AeroForce filter. Check its latest price here.
The Roomba e5 has a similar appearance to what we expect to see in a typicaly Roomba vacuum. Its sleek and round design are easy to associate with the brand. The e5 has a convenient handle so you can move it around with ease, a soft bumper that is made to protect the walls and furniture of your home, and three easy access buttons right on top of the machine. You might be wondering about the more technical spectrums of the e5, and I have listed those out below:
- Runtime: 90 minutes
- Navigation: iAdapt 2.0
- Scheduling: Yes
- Cliff Detectors: Yes
- Dirt Detection: Basic
- Dirt Bin Capacity: 0.5 liters
- Full Bin Indicator: Yes
- Self-Charging: Yes
- Resumes Cleaning: No
- Weight: 7.2 pounds
- Filter: Advanced AeroForce filter (HEPA)
- Height: 3.6 inches
- Connectivity: iRobot HOME App, Google Assistant Amazon Alexa
- Roller Brushes: Dual Multi-Surface Rubber Brushes
- Diameter: 13.3 inches
- Virtual Walls Included: 1
- Warranty: 1 year limited warranty
- Return Policy: 30 day return policy if purchased online
- Cliff Detect Sensors
- iAdapt 2.0 Navigation System
Memory mapping allows the vacuum to remember where obstacles lie. It can avoid doors, walls, and furniture. However, you are unable to send it to a specific room or area.
The iAdapt 2.0 system allows for these advanced features. They are not as advanced as iAdapt 3.0 used in higher end models.
Spot cleaning allows the Roomba to remain in one area, especially high-traffic areas, to ensure they are clean before it moves on.
- 90-minute runtime
Before the battery runs out at the 90-minute mark, the Roomba will head back to the Home Base where it will charge for about 2-3 hours.
- Physical buttons (Start, Stop, and Pause)
- iRobot Home Application
- Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barrier
- Voice Control
The physical buttons are the most obvious way to control your Roomba, but you can also control this with your voice with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant or through the smartphone app, iRobot.
You can set the vacuum to run 7-days a week and even create pathways and no-go zones. For example, you might want to set your pet’s feeding area or litter boxes as no-go zones to prevent scaring them.
- Advanced AeroForce filtration
- 0.5-liters dirt cup capacity
The e5 has an advanced filtration system that can capture 99% of allergens from cats and dogs. The e5 has the same filter as the more expensive model, iRobot Roomba i7. However, it does not suffer performance wise despite being a smaller size.
The dirt bin is washable and has a larger capacity than models 675 and 690.
- Wi-Fi connection
- Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa
Like most robovacs in this price range, the e5 has Wi-Fi connectivity. This can be managed through the app for scheduled cleanings or setting no-go zones. Customer support and help videos are housed within the app as well.
Voice commands are easy if you have Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa set up. A simple order can enable your vacuum and get your house clean without you even needing to stand up.
- Edge-Sweeping brush
- Advanced dual rubberized brush
- 3-stage cleaning system
- 5x the suction
- DirtDetect Technology 1.0
- Auto-Adjust cleaning head
This powerful vacuum has 5 times the suction capacity of the 675 and 690. That is a lot of power. This means that you will be able to pick up more allergens and dirt. The rubberized brush roll system is ideal for digging down and lifting up soft, fine pet hairs that are embedded into the carpet. The edge sweeping brush is perfect at moving debris into the suction path of the Roomba. Together, this 3-stage cleaning system will tackle the dirt, dust, and hair sitting around your home.
If you are worried about high-traffic areas, the Dirt Detect feature will ensure that you won’t worry about that much longer after your purchase. This feature will detect high-traffic areas, such as hallways, kitchens, or kid’s rooms, and spend more time cleaning in these areas for the most thorough cleaning. If Spot or Fluffy has a favorite spot to rest, the Roomba will suck up that extra hair with ease.
If you have a home with multiple surface types, do not fret about that either. The cleaning head is capable of automatically adjusting when the vacuum moves to a new surface type. The adjustment will keep the vacuum at the optimum level of firm contact with the floor to ensure a seamless sweep.
Many vacuums have two brush rolls, but the Roomba e5 has two brush rolls that rotate in opposite directions. This may seem odd, but let me explain. The first brush is made to lift dirt and hair up and out of the carpets and floors while the second brush perfect flings the debris up for the powerful suction to take in.
The brush rolls are also designed with grooves on the surface. This special design makes the e5 more efficient at picking up dirt off the floors than lower range vacuums.
These small robovacs are not only convenient by means of cleaning your home for you while you’re free to do other chores or relax, but they also require little maintenance
What are the main things that you will need to do to maintain the Roomba e5?
- Ensure that you keep the brush rolls free from tangled hairs
- Empty the dirt bin frequently
What are the recommended schedules for maintenance?
- Battery: 18-36 months
- Front wheel: 12 months
- HEPA filter: 2 months
- Side sweeper: 6 months
- Brush rolls: 12 months
4. Pros and Cons
Pets and children are no match for this powerful little robovac, and if you are in the market for a Roomba to tackle pet hair, I can’t think of a better vacuum. The extra features that are included with the e5 are going to be more beneficial to you in comparison to the Roombas that are lacking in extra feature; for example, the 675 and 690 iRobot models.
Remember, the e5 has improved filtration system and stronger suction, so allergens will easily get sucked up for disposal. The dual brush rolls, advanced navigation, and bigger dirt cup will also benefit you for tackling pet hair and other debris.
I do not like going back and forth several times to empty out a dirt bin, especially with all the pet hair that ends up embedded in my carpets. The larger bin size is perfect for picking up a bunch of pet hair before needing emptied. Not only that, but smaller bins are notorious for clogging up quickly. The e5 and i7 models have more efficient filters and a bin size of 0.5-liters, making it the winner in this regard when compared to models like the 600 series and the 960 that have a 0.3-liter dirt bin.
Once the Roomba e5 has a chance to pick up embedded debris, you should feel rest assured in letting the vacuum do its thing while you are away from home.
Budget friendly Roombas do exist, however, so if you are trying to stick to a tight budget, Roomba has you covered with other iRobots. I understand the need to stick to a tight budget, especially with kids and pets to take care of on top of everything else.
Just remember that a robovac is an investment that will last. If you stick to a programmed schedule, this will be an investment that will become part of your daily life and it will work hard to make your life easier and your home cleaner.
So, what’s that bottom line?
If you have pets and children, then this is the perfect choice for you. Overall, it is a perfect midrange option for those who simply want to ensure that their home is as clean as possible without breaking the bank on a super high-end model of Roomba vacuums. The extra features will benefit all homes, no matter how furry
Roomba 960 and i7/i7+ – Top of the Range!
Now that we’ve gone over the affordable and mid-range Roomba options, it’s time to take a look at the more expensive models: the “top dogs” as some might say.
The Roomba 17/17+ and the 960 are, by far, the most highly advanced automatic, robotic vacuums that iRobot offers. This being said, they do come at a hefty price that takes a toll on the wallets of those who purchase them but, to make up for it, they also come with high-class features that make their selling price worth it.
If you’ve been searching for the best robot vacuum on the market, I’d suggest that you keep reading.
Roomba 960 – Almost at the Top
A top pick for robotic vacuums that has advanced, modern features but isn’t quite the best vacuum of this kind from Roomba. Boasts great overall performance but lacks the fine tuning that the latest feature updates offer.
- Recommended for: those wanting a high-end robotic vacuum but don’t want to splurge on the latest model, the i7 Roomba.
The latest model in the iRobot 900 series, the Roomba 960 is one of many vacuums that used to be highly sought after, thanks to their advanced features and reliability.
The 960, although not the newest model from iRobot, is still a great option with highly-advanced features that truly give competitors a run for their money. Since the 960, iRobot has taken their vacuum game up a notch, introducing the i7, which leaves the 960 lagging behind a bit.
What i7 offers that the 960 doesn’t is a few new features: an automatic dirt disposal system, more suction power, Imprint Smart mapping technology, and a variety of ways for users to customize the cleaning process. The 960 is, however, a few steps ahead of the previous model, the e5. It brings the Charge&Resume feature as well as smart navigation, which the e5 did not.
This means that the 960 falls somewhere in between the e5 and the i7 in terms of features and, of course, price.
If you’re hoping to get your hands on the newest, best robotic vacuum, you should invest in the i7 but if you’re looking to save some cash? Go for the 960, as iRobot is likely slowly reducing the production of this model. You might find an awesome deal. Check its latest price here.
We’re used to seeing the classic circular shape within Roomba vacuums. This model stays true with what we’re used to, boasting the classic shape and a polished finish. All of iRobot’s vacuums look similar, with a carrying handle on top. In general, colors and small details vary between models, one of which being the small onboard camera that the 960 has.
- Scheduling: Yes
- Resumes cleaning: Yes
- Runtime: 75 minutes (will recharge and resume)
- Cliff Detectors: Yes
- Dirt Detection: Advanced
- Virtual Walls Included: 1
- Full Bin Indicator: Yes
- Navigation: iAdapt 2.0
- Dirt Bin Capacity: 0.3 litres
- Filter: Advanced AeroForce (HEPA)
- Diameter: 13.8 inches
- Height: 3.6 inches
- Rollerbrushes: Dual multi-surface rubber brushes
- Weight: 8.5 pounds
- Connectivity: iRobot Home app, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa
- Warranty: 1 year (limited)
- Noise Level: 60-70 dB (dependant on surface)
- Returns: Includes 30 day return policy for purchases made online
- Cliff Detect technology
- iAdapt 2.0 navigation system
Thanks to vSLAM (visual simultaneous location and mapping) and Smart Mapping technologies, the Roomba 960 can effortlessly navigate the home or work space, keeping track of the areas that have been cleaned and that are yet to be cleaned.
It uses both the iAdapt 2.0 and a small, sleek camera to navigate. This isn’t the most advanced navigation system found within iRobot’s devices, but it is still leaps and bound better than the old systems found in the 600 series of robots. It does make for efficient cleaning, however, since it does not use Imprint Smart Mapping, the robot can’t be sent to certain locations for cleaning.
The included camera allows the device to see obstacles from a distance away, reducing collisions and bumps. The same sensors also detect dirt, thoroughly cleaning areas that need a deeper clean.
This model is able to map its surroundings and keep track of its every location in order to form a cleaning plan and specific path. It can also send out map reports that allow the user to see where the robot cleaned during the cycle.
Really, this system is pretty advanced. Although, the particular system used is starting to become mainstream. If you don’t have a problem spending a bit more, the i7 offers convenient control of the vacuum.
- Runs for 75 minutes
This Roomba 960 can run for 75 minutes on its 2,600 mAh lithium-ion battery. The good thing? It goes back to its base to charge itself automatically. Then, when it’s all charged, it goes back to vacuuming again.
- iRobot Home app compatible
- Tactile, physical buttons
- Voice controlled
- Dual mode virtual wall barrier
The 960, like all of iRobot’s other vacuums, can be controlled in a number of ways.
Users can use the physical buttons found on top of the unit to give simple commands such as start, stop, and return to home. The robot can also be placed wherever there is a need for cleaning and the robot will start spot cleaning. It will move in smooth, circular motions until the area is clean.
By far, though, the most popular method of controlling the 960 is through the smartphone app. The Home app is easy to set up and use, and, as a bonus, it allows users to kick start the cleaning remotely. This is very convenient, as many users prefer that the robot does its work while they are away. Users can also view cleaning history and to schedule cleans.
Thirdly, users can control their robot through voice assistant features such as Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
The 960 vacuum can also be limited to certain areas via the easy-to-use dual-mode virtual wall barrier feature. This is a small, discreet device that is set on the floor and, once placed, creates invisible walls that the 960 will not cross. Don’t want the robot to clean the bedroom? Place the device and use a linear wall to block the door. Not a fan of the robot near the dog’s water dish? No problem; just use the halo barrier to create a round barrier.
- 0.3 litre dirt cup capacity
- Uses iRobot AeroForce filter
The Roomba 960 uses an older model of the AeroForce filter. Although it’s older, it’s still highly efficient and can capture up to 99% of dust, hair, and other particles that may be present in an area. The particles it picks up can be as small as 10 microns.
The filter isn’t the same as the one used in the e5 and i7. In fact, it’s better. Essentially, the only thing that makes these three models different is the size of the filter. In the e5 and i7, the filters are half the size but do not lose any suction power. This means that the e5 and i7 have larger dustbins that can hold 0.5 litres instead of just 0.3.
Another key difference is that the 960 does not have a washable dust bin like the e5 and i7 do. This isn’t a critical feature but for many households, it proves to be highly beneficial.
- Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant friendly
- Uses Wifi
The Roomba 960 boasts easy wifi connectivity, which is something that one should expect at the robot’s price point. It can be connected to the internet and controlled from wherever you may be -the office, school, the grocery store- remotely through the previously mentioned app.
The Home app is super easy to use. You can use it to contact iRobot support and view maintenance video as well as control the vacuum. The app allows users to pre-schedule 7 cleaning sessions per week and to view the cleaning history of each session.
If you have Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa compatible speakers, the 960 can be controlled through either voice control programs, increasing its ease of use.
- Multi-stage cleaning system
- Automatic-adjust cleaning head
- Dedicated edge-sweeping brush
- Advanced rubberized brush (dual)
- Dirt detect 2.0 technology
Like the e5, the Roomba 960, when compared to Roomba 675 and 690, boasts incredible suction. The included multi-stage AeroForce cleaning system uses the strong suction system and dual multi-surface rubber brushes to lift and effectively remove debris.
The brush rollers have been rubberized which means that they are ideal for picking up pet hair and soft, hard to get debris. They spin in opposite directions, with one loosening and lifting the dirt while the other brush roll picks it up, making it easy for the suction to pull it in.
The dirt detection system is also included on the 960. It recognizes areas with more dirt to clean and gives the area more attention during the cleaning process.
To ensure your 960’s best performance, you should:
- Empty the dirt bin regularly
- Free tangled hair from the brush roll
We advise you to stick with this maintenance schedule:
- HEPA filter: 2 months
- Side sweeper: 6 months
- Front wheel: 12 months
- Brush rolls: 12 months
- Battery:18-36 months
Maintenance is fairly straightforward and simple, but you should be aware that following the recommended maintenance schedule will add about 35 bucks in maintenance costs every yea
Pros and Cons
Since it is an older model, it’s easy to assume that Roomba will be fading out the production of it, instead focusing on the ”e” and ”i” series. This being said, you might get a good deal for the 960, but it might be wiser to pick between e5 since they offer updated specs and new technology.
With everything said and considered, the Roomba 960 is a great high-end robotic vacuum that has promising reviews across the board. It has excellent performance ratings and most of Roomba’s cutting edge technology, making it comparable to the newer models.
Roomba I7/I7+ Ultimate Top of the Range!
This type of cleaner is useful for anyone who is looking for the best robot-vacuum on the market. The Roomba I7 and the I7 plus are both robo-vacuums that meet this criteria, however there is a stark difference between the two of them. The I7 plus is more advanced because it includes a self-emptying feature.
The I7+ is accompanied with the Advanced base when you buy it, however if you opt for the I7 instead, it does not have the Advanced base. However, if you feel that you would like an upgrade, you are able to purchase the Advanced base and add it on to your I7 later.
To summarize, if you would like the luxury of a high power, high performance robot vacuum that does all the cleaning for you-including cleaning out its own bin- then the I7+ should be your choice of purchase. However, you can choose to save money by purchasing the I7 instead, if you do not mind emptying the bin yourself.
The I7+ is the top-tier of robotic vacuums. With all of its advanced features, it does come at a high price. The I7+ comes with an amazing Imprint Smart mapping feature that allows it to learn of its surroundings. It is also able to empty itself up to 30 times. Check its latest price here!
- Is it self-charging? Yes
- Does it have built-in cliff detectors? Yes
- Scheduling? Yes
- What is its runtime?75 minutes
- Does it resume cleaning after being fully charged?Yes
- What type of dirt detection does it have? Advanced
- Does it have a full bin indicator? Yes
- What filter does it use? Advanced AeroForce filter (HEPA)
- Roller brushes? Dual Multi-Surface Rubber Brushes
- What type of navigation does it use? iAdapt 3.0
- How many virtual walls are included? One
- What is the dirt bin capacity? 0.5 liters
- Connectivity? iRobot Home Application, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa
- Diameter? 13.3 inches
- Height? 3.6 inches
- Weight? 7.4 pounds
- Size of the advanced base? 19×15.1×12.2 inches
- Warranty policy? 1 year limited warranty + 30 day return policy when you purchase online
- What is the noise level? 70-80 dB depending on the surface that is being cleaned
- It uses the iAdapt Navigation system
- Cliff Sensing detectors
- It uses Imprint Smart Mapping
Both the Roomba I7 and the I7+ utilize a function called Imprint Smart Mapping. This allows your Roomba to map its surroundings and draw an internal floor plan of your home. I have found that you are even able to give names to areas on the floor plan and request that the robot clean specific rooms or room.
The e7 utilizes memory mapping which allows it to memorize walls, doors, large furniture, or any other obstacles that may be in its way.
- It has a 75 battery life
- Charges automatically and resumes cleaning after being fully charged
The Roomba I7’s powerful 1,800 mAH lithium-ion battery allows it to have a runtime of 75 minutes with one full charge. However, it also has a built in Charge and Resume Feature which causes it to return to its Home Base to be charged and resume cleaning when fully charged. It is actually able to do this three times, which lengthens the total cleaning time to 225 minutes.
This feature is very useful for those in larger houses because you will not have to concern yourself with the thought that the battery could run out while it is cleaning. This sets the Roomba I7 apart from other robot vacuums because they don’t have the ability to map and locate the places that they have already cleaned. In all, it takes the Roomba I7 2-3 hours to recharge.
- It has an iRobot HOME application
- You can have it schedule cleaning by room
- There are physical buttons on the Roomba that you can use to control it
- There is dual mode virtual barrier
- You can control it by voice
- Able to customize your cleaning preferences
Like all Roomba models before it, you are able to control your I7 in numerous ways. At the top of your Roomba are physical buttons that you can use to give your Roomba commands such as start, stop, spot clean, and return to the base. You also have these same functions added in the application as well as cleaning reports, clean or schedule by room feature, scheduling, and even customizable cleaning features. The application is very easy to navigate and use, and with your I7’s built-in abilities there are many ways to customize your vacuum.
The flexibility that the roomba gives is worth the cost. While most robotic vacuum cleaners only start and stop cleaning, this is a feature that is even reaching midrange vacuum cleaners. With the I7, you now have the option to decide where you would like it to clean. Think of the possibilities. Why would you have the vacuum clean the entire house when only a certain room is dirty?
Furthermore, if you own speakers for Google Assistant or Alexa, then you are also able to use voice commands to control the I7.
- It has a Dirt cup capacity of 0.5 liters
- Operates with an Advanced AeroForce filter
The Advanced AeroForce filter that the I7 utilizes is provides to ultimate cleaning experience. It will capture 99% of all mites, dust, and allergens that are as small as 10 microns. On top of this, it also allows room for the large 0.5 liter washable dirt.
However, what puts the I7 on top and sets it apart from all other robot vacuum cleaners is the self-emptying Advanced base that it has. The Advanced base in most other robot vacuum cleaners is simply there to recharge the vacuum, however for the I7 it also allows it to empty out the dirt cup.
This feature is very useful because it allows the I7 to be independent of you. In fact, you can even leave your I7+ to clean without your help for longer than a month at a time. This is where the difference between the I7 and the I7+ comes in. The I7+ may have the higher price tag, but it also comes with the Advanced Base included already. However, although the I7 only comes with the Home base for charging, it is still compatible with the Advanced base and you are able to purchase it later.
The Advanced operates by utilizing suction to first empty the dirt bin once it is full. Then it locates its Home Base and uses disposable bags that are able to hold up to 30 full loads of dust and dirt from the I7 onboard dust bin. This new feature is something many have been looking forward to. This will allow your roomba to operate for long periods of time without requiring your help or maintenance. For now, it is the only self-emptying vacuum that is on the market.
- It has access to Google Assistant and Alexa
- It uses Wifi
As expected as a high-quality machine as this, the I7 does have Wifi connectivity. It also allows your Roomba to be controlled from a completely different location utilizing an app on your phone. The app lets you set specific times for cleaning, and you can even control which rooms that your I7 goes to.
- DirtDetect Technology 2.0
- 3-stage cleaning system
- Edge sweeping brush
- An auto-adjust cleaning head
- 10 times suction
- An Advanced Dual Rubberized Brush
What makes the I7 similar to the e7 and the 960 is that is also uses advanced rubberized brush rolls. How it works is that there are two rollers that rotate in opposite directions. The first roll is what agitates the dirt and the second what is what drives the suction function. There are grooves specifically designed in order to allow the system to be extremely efficient on all the surfaces that it is cleaning. It is made to provide amazing cleaning results.
What sets the I7 apart from all other vacuum and Roomba models is that it has 10 times the suction capacity. This allows it to offer even better cleaning results and can also be a great feature for those with carpeted floors or large floor rugs. The robot even utilizes Dirt Detection which tells it which areas are dirty and need more in depth cleaning.
In order to keep your I7 in top performance, you will need to:
- Clean out the tangled hair from the brush roll
- Empty the trash bin regularly
We advise this maintenance schedule:
- HEPA filter: every 2 months
- Side sweeper: every 6 months
- Front wheel: every 12 months
- Brush rolls: every 12 months
- Battery: every 18-36 months
Be aware that the recommended maintenance schedule above will add an average of $35 of maintenance costs every year in order to keep your I7 running in its best shape. If you own the Advanced base, you must also add on the small fee for disposable bags as well.
4. Pros and Cons
The I7+ is literally the best robotic vacuum on the market. It includes the best features and functions. The best part is, it’s the same vacuum as the I7, but just has the added cleaning feature.
Roomba I7 vs. I7+: Our Analysis
As mentioned, the only difference between these two are the self-emptying feature. Furthermore, the I7 is even compatible with the base that gives you this feature. You will need to weigh in your pros and cons and decide if the extra money is worth you not having to empty it out yourself. Compare their price points over here and here.
Roomba 960 Vs. 980? Which One To Pick?
While neither of these models are the new, top of the line options, both the 960 and 980 version of the Roomba are more than capable of cleaning up your home. The 980 model of the Roomba is preferable to the 960 model because it comes with everything that the 960 has and then some.
They both have many great features to keep your floors clean, even with pets and children. But the Roomba 980 also has an additional virtual wall, longer battery life, more powerful motor and a carpet boost mode to make sure it gets every bit of the carpet clean.
The 980 model will cost you more money than the 960 because of the additional features. But because these are now older models, there will be discounts on them, especially during holiday sales.
IRobot Roomba – A Reputable Worldwide Brand
When it comes to hands free cleaning technology there are few brands that even come close to the Roomba. The iRobot company has dominated the industry and the Roomba is such a common household name now that almost everyone can tell you exactly what it is, whether that have one or not.
iRobot has more than 25 years as a company and have been at the forefront of the home robotics game. While the earliest models do not hold a candle to the models of the past few years, the fact that Roomba has constantly improved with each addition means we can expect even greater technology in the next few years. This is especially true since the Roomba itself has only been around since 2002.
Features like navigation are at a whole other level compared to models like the 600’s. You can now not only control where the Roomba cannot go through setting up virtual walls, but also get up to date notifications as to how the cleaning is going and where the Roomba is currently, all from an app on your smart device. The navigation has also made it possible for the Roomba to clean much closer to the edges of areas like stairs without falling off.
While the technology and performance of the Roomba is constantly improving, the popularity of the hands free, robotic vacuum has also kept the pricing more affordable. Rather than paying an arm and a leg for a bulky, low quality robotic vacuum, iRobot has increased the quality while not paying too much.
The constant release of new versions of Roombas also means you see discounts on quality models, simply because they aren’t the newest vacuum. This means that between sales and online deals, you can pay a fraction of the original price for a fantastic robotic vacuum.
While the popularity of the Roomba has sparked many other companies to create their own robotic vacuum, the competition does not hold a candle to the original. There are over 25 million Roombas sold worldwide and iRobot has maintained the title of number one robotic vacuum manufacturer for years. This is no doubt in part due to the value of the Roomba to any homeowner.
They give you back the valuable time and energy you would typically spend vacuuming while being almost entirely hands free. Simply emptying the dirt bin and doing minor maintenance once a month is all you have to worry about.
Roombas can also do a far better job of keeping your floors clean than other methods. Think about when you vacuum. It is usually a task you would rather not be doing and just want to hurry up and finish. But a Roomba is specifically designed to take on this work, with no other purpose than keeping the floors of your home clean.
This means that they take their time. They get every spot, sucking in the dust and allergens that would otherwise end up in the air from the vacuum passing.
And with the features like a long battery life, no cord, smaller size and carpet boost, the Roomba does a far better job than we do.
iRobot has also introduced several other robotic products like the Braava mopping robot and the Mirra pool cleaner. While they have yet to reach the popularity of the Roomba, this company has certainly proved themselves a go to for robotic cleaners.
The newest model of Roomba, the i7+, has taken the Roomba name even further by including a self-emptying dirt bin. This means that you can let the Roomba go as long as you want it to on it’s own without having to stop it when it reaches the dirt bin capacity.
Neato VS Roomba?
While few brands come close to the reputation that iRobot has established for the Roomba, Neato has probably come the closest to being real competition.
Both of these robotic vacuums are self-cleaning and will automatically charge themselves when the batteries get too low. There are no cords, they can handle messes like pets and high traffic areas, and both feature an app that allows you to control and connect with the vacuum from anywhere.
But while these two robotic vacuums have many things in common, there are also distinct differences that affect their overall performance.
Neato has their own navigation system known as LaserSmart. There is a turret on the top of the vacuum, similar to the Roomba, but features a full 360 degree scan, rather than the limited range of the Roomba’s camera. The Neato vacuum maps out the most efficient way to take on your messes, while sensing and maneuvering around things like toys or furniture. It can also navigate is the dark as well.
The control of the two robotic systems are both incorporated into apps on your smart device. But you block off areas in different ways. The Roomba has virtual walls built into the system that you can apply to prevent the Roomba from going in a certain area. One or two virtual walls are typically included in the purchase of your Roomba, but you can buy more as needed. Virtual walls, however, are only available on models over 800.
Neato allows you to create No-Go lines via their app to block off areas. These lines are drawn right in the app and there are no restrictions to how many barriers you make or the shape of the barriers. This makes it easy to add or take away barriers as you need to.
iRobot Roombas – FAQ