A comparison of the best iRobot Roomba models – and how to choose what’s right for you.
The Roomba. You’ve probably known someone who has had one, or at least another of those robot vacuums. They’re quite useful in helping you to clean your home regularly without the hassle of whipping out your vacuum.
If you’re wanting one, you may notice that there’s quite a bit to choose from. They all have a similar, circular shape, but don’t let the similarities fool you. These units have quite a bit of diversity to them. There’s a vacuum for every budget and need.
So in this article, we’re looking at some Roombas for every need, and helping you determine which one is the best for you.
Table of Contents
- Special Notice
- Our Top Picks for the Best Roombas of 2019
- #1: Roomba S9+ Robot Vacuum with Automatic Dirt Disposal (best overall)
- #2: iRobot Roomba 690 Wi-Fi Connected Vacuuming Robot (best for budget)
- #3. iRobot Roomba E5 Robot Vacuum (best for pets)
- #4: iRobot Roomba 890 Robot Vacuum WiFi Connected (best for hardwood floors)
- #5: Roomba 980 (best for carpets)
- #6: Braava 380t Advanced Robot Mop (best for mopping)
- How Does Roomba Compare to Other Brands?
- Your Burning Questions
- Summary – Which Roomba YOU Should Choose
Our Top Picks for the Best Roombas of 2019
#1: Roomba S9+ Robot Vacuum with Automatic Dirt Disposal (best overall)
If you have a budget built for cleaning your home, or you just want to make the mistake of splurging on a new robot vacuum, the Roomba s9+ is going to be your choice. This is one of the best Roomba models out there on the market today. It doesn’t come cheap; the average retail price is about $1,400! However, if you can afford it, you’re in for a treat. Here are some of its features.
With most Roomba models, you have to clean it out yourself. Emptying the dust, dirt, hair, and other pollutants can be a hassle. You have to snap off its waste disposal, empty it out, and sometimes, it spills! Then you have to clean it up all over again.
The s9+ has its own disposal in the charging station, which the Roomba empties into. The dirt goes into bags that trap everything, keeping your home clean.
It’s a Deep Clean
Do you have some deep carpets? Many Roombas aren’t meant for deep carpets, and you’ll have to have a regular vacuum. However, the s9+ has some amazing suction. It cleans over 40 times deeper than the 600 models, which is quite amazing.
Also, they don’t clean corners well. This Roomba? It doesn’t cut corners… literally! It has some powerful side brushes to make sure your corners are nice and clean.
Cheaper Roombas go in random directions, and while that does work, they don’t learn your house. This Roomba does. Not only can it see obstacles far ahead, but it will map out your house. In addition, you can control which rooms it goes into, and which obstacles to stay away from.
The battery lasts about 2 hours, which should cover most homes quite well. It takes about four hours to charge, which is a tad long, but a small price to pay.
The Deepest Clean
Some people write off Roombas as a novelty item that cleans up your floor a bit, but it isn’t a replacement for an actual vacuum. The S9+ offers an amazing clean that competes with the top vacuum cleaners. It’s actually quite impressive.
No more having to empty out your Roomba. It does all the cleaning for you, and you just have to take the bag out of its charging station and empty it. No having to worry about the Roomba stopping because it’s full of debris. The s9+ does all the work for you.
The s9+ can map out your house to give you the best clean and make sure it avoids obstacles, or rooms it shouldn’t enter. Few Roombas have this technology yet. Since the software is always updating, you’ll be able to have even smarter capabilities in the future.
Are there any disadvantages?
Perhaps the biggest con of the s9+ is the price tag. Few people, unless they’re rich, can justify over a grand for a vacuum cleaner. If you want the best the Roomba world has to offer, it should be worth it, but those on a budget should be satisfied with the more affordable models out there.
With that said, you can always look for Black Friday or Cyber Monday deals, or see if you can find a good refurbished model for cheaper. Just make sure you have protection.
Also, remember that with time, this will go down. Soon, a Roomba that has all of these features may be on the budget side.
Long Charge Time
Four hours to charge can turn some users off. Cheaper Roombas tend to have less of a charging time, but because the s9+ is so powerful, you’ll have to expect longer charge times. Luckily, the battery life is long. As long as you keep it charged, and don’t leave it off its deck overnight, you should be good.
There have been some complaints
Most people love their s9+, but on Amazon, it has a bit more of a mixed reception. Some users have complained about the unit not mapping out their house, getting stuck, and being too noisy. Of course, this may just be a vocal minority. It would be wise to make sure you can return the Roomba if you’re not satisfied, because it’s a huge investment.Click here to see today’s price of the Roomba S9+ on Amazon
#2: iRobot Roomba 690 Wi-Fi Connected Vacuuming Robot (best for budget)
If you can’t afford the S9, I recommend you check out the Roomba 690.
The robot vacuum is something that used to be a luxury item. When you thought about a Roomba doing all the work, you may imagine a polished mansion, or at least an upper-middle class house. However, Roombas are quite affordable these days, with a model for every budget.
You can find an older model for cheap, but which is a good model that’s currently available that’s good for someone one budget? Well, that would be the iRobot Roomba 690, of course! This is quite cheap, going for about $250-$350, depending on where you look. For those who are on a budget, or want a good entry into the robot vacuum world, this is one of the best around. Let’s look at some of its features.
Even the cheaper Roombas have smartphone capabilities. You can use Amazon Alexa, Android, or iOS to schedule and clean. Do it when you’re home, away, or outside. It’s quite convenient, and easy to connect as well.
Good Battery Life
If you think the cheaper Roombas have poor battery life, you’ll be surprised to find out that the 690 goes for about 90 minutes. For most homes on this budget, that’s plenty of time. As with most Roombas, the robot will return to its charging staton when its battery is low.
Comes With a Virtual Wall Barrier
This is a nice little addition. If you don’t want the Roomba to get past a certain area, just whip out this wall barrier, and the Roomba will stay away from it.
It Cleans Well
Despite being a budget model, it’s quite good at its job. It has some powerful, multi-surface brushes for all floor types, and it comes with some other goodies, such as replaceable brushes.
The Smart Features
It used to be that the cheap Roomba models didn’t have the smart features. It’s quite convenient to turn on your Roomba remotely, or make it return to its dock without forcing it to come back. You can make schedules, use voice control with Amazon echo, and much more. It’s a luxury feature that isn’t just for the rich and famous anymore.
Good for General Use
This Roomba works well to clean dirt, pet hair, and other common dirty culprits. If you don’t have a specific need and just want a nice, budget Roomba, this is for you. It does have a dirt sensor, which means that it’ll focus on the dirty areas first, and make sure they are clean. There are better Roombas out there for more specific uses, but this one should have you covered.
We can’t stress how cheap this Roomba is. The 690 goes for under $300 in most stores, and some retailers offer payment plans if you still can’t afford it. If you’re looking for a great Black Friday gift, we can imagine you’ll find this Roomba for even cheaper, which is awesome.
Uses A Random Pattern to Clean The House
Being a budget Roomba, there is no room mapping. You may wonder what this means, if you’re new to the robot vacuum world. Basically, the 690 cleans by going straight, then going another way once it makes contact with an object. As we mentioned before, it does make the dirtiest areas of your home its highest priority, but it can still mess up and avoid some dirty spots altogether.
It never learns the map of your house, which can be a little frustrating. It’s common to see this Roomba miss some spots, yet run over the already cleaned spots multiple times.
It Gets Stuck a Lot
The convenience of a Roomba is that you let the Roomba do all the work. However, if the Roomba is always getting stuck, then that’s a little less convenient. Often, a Roomba will stop because it’s near an edge, yet this model thinks a rug is an edge. With a little trial and error, you can make sure the Roomba gets stuck less, but it’s a little frustrating.
In addition, the Roomba can sometimes forget where its dock is, making you have to return it there yourself. So needy!
It’s Not Object Friendly
This Roomba is infamous for sucking up cords, knocking over objects that get stuck in its brushes, and more. When you purchase this Roomba, you once again have to use some trial and error, and clear up some problematic areas before you run it.
Overall, the 690 is not the best model out there, but if you are someone on a budget, you should be satisfied with all it has to offer. Try it out, and see if it’s for you.
#3. iRobot Roomba E5 Robot Vacuum (best for pets)
We all love our loyal dogs and our cuddly kitties, but unless you have a hairless pet, those animals shed. Hair, pet dander, litter tracking, the list goes on. You have to clean up daily to keep up, and you need to have a Roomba that can handle pet hair and play nice with your pets.
Every Roomba is decent at cleaning pet hair, but some models work better for others. The 690, for example, is good for short-haired animals, but shaggy dogs and long-haired cats need not apply. Also, every Roomba may freak out your pet at first, but they’ll get used to it.
Any of the expensive Roomba models will work for pets, but if you want a good model that’s well-priced, we think the E5 will work for you. This model goes for a little over $300, and it’s great for pets. Let’s look at some of the features.
While not the deepest clean around, the E5 has some powerful suction with a 3-stage Cleaning System attached to it. Pet hair and dander is no match for this Roomba’s cleaning. It’s great for pet hair and pollutants on both hardwood and carpets, making it great for a wandering pet.
A Filter Meant for Pets
It has a nice filter, which eliminates 99 percent of allergens from pets. If you have someone in your home who is allergic, that person and your pets may be able to exist in perfect harmony. Or at least, somewhat harmonious.
Good for Under Furniture
This Roomba also uses some sensors to move underneath furniture, allowing for an even deeper clean. If you have cats or small dogs who love to get under your couch, this Roomba has you covered.
Decent Battery Life
This Roomba can last for up to 90 minutes. Once again, this is perfect for most households.
It’s Great for Pets
As mentioned before, its powerful brushes, access to the tight spots in your home, and its ability to suck up pet hair from both hardwood and carpets make this Roomba awesome for pet hair and dander.
This isn’t the best value around, but the e5 is still quite affordable. It goes for around $300, making it quite cheap.
It Does Lack Some Features
Being a cheaper Roomba, it has some nice features, such as smartphone connectivity, but it doesn’t map out your room like the more expensive models do, and it can’t resume cleaning when it has to charge.Click here to see today’s price of the iRobot Roomba E5 on Amazon
#4: iRobot Roomba 890 Robot Vacuum WiFi Connected (best for hardwood floors)
Many people are switching to hardwood floors. While a shaggy carpet is nice to sit on, the dirt and pet hair that gets stuck in it has made some people switch over. A hardwood floor can be much easier to maintain, but it still requires a special vacuum. Dirt and debris can slide around on a hardwood floor, making it much more annoying to clean.
One Roomba that works well for hardwood floors is the 890 model. Let’s take a look at some of its features.
Picks Up Well
If you’re the owner of a hardwood floor, you want something that picks up the debris with ease. The 890 may be your ticket to success, as it picks up incredibly well. The 890 uses Power-Lifting Suction, a feature that cleans hardwood floors even better. It can take dirt on the ground, loosen it up, and then pick it up with ease. In addition, it has a cleaning head designed to work with hardwood as well as carpets.
It’s Smart Compatible
Just like all the Roombas on this list, this model is compatible with your smart devices. Being able to control your Roomba through your smart device is so convenient, we’re going to mention it quite a few times.
Average Battery Life
Just like most Roombas on this list, it has a battery life of about 90 minutes. Again, that does work for most homes, and if you have a bigger home, you can probably afford a higher end model.
It’s Good With Objects
Many Roombas have a hard time with objects on the ground. When a lower-end Roomba detects an object, for example, it ends up bumping into it and possibly causing a spill. The 890 isn’t like that. While it doesn’t have the smart mapping system other Roombas have, it does have some object detection so that if you’re moving some furniture, it will notice.
The price of this Roomba can vary depending on where you get it from, but we’ve seen models floating for around $300-$400, depending on where you look. It’s overall a mid-range Roomba. It isn’t extremely expensive, but it’s not the most budget-friendly model, either.
It’s Just Decent at Cleaning
While the 890 works best for hardwood floors, if you have some carpet, it cleans that well enough as well. It’s best for a hardwood-dominant floor, however. Floors that have more carpet may need another Roomba.
Dustbin Could Use Some Work
With that said, its dustbin isn’t the best one out there. If you try to remove it, it may spill. It’s a little bit annoying trying to remove the dustbin. Plus, said dustbin is a bit small. You may need to empty it out at least once if your house is particularly dirty, or if you have a bigger house.
It Could Transition from Hardwood to Carpet a Little Better
As we said, this Roomba is primarily meant for hardwood floors. However, if you have a bit of carpet, this Roomba cleans decently, but it doesn’t detect any carpet. That means you won’t get as much suction as you would with some better models.Click here to see today’s price of the on Amazon
#5: Roomba 980 (best for carpets)
The best Roomba for carpets is probably going to be the S9+, but that one is the best for everything. If you can’t afford the S9+, but still have carpets and a bit of a budget, the 980 model may be the best for you. Let’s look at some of its features.
One of the most notable features of the 980 is the Power Boost, which is excellent for carpets. How does the Power Boost feature work? Basically, when the Roomba goes from hardwood to carpet, the Roomba automatically detects that and increases its performance, which is always awesome to see. This means that it can pick up more dirt, dust, and pet hair. If you have carpets and pets, the 980 is for you.
Up to Two Hours Battery Life
The battery of the 980 is quite amazing. It can go up to two hours, and then like the other Roombas, it eventually goes back to its charging station to take a break. What makes this model a little more special, however, is the fact that once it recharges, it resumes the job and makes sure everything is clean.
Great for All Surfaces
Besides being awesome for carpet, it has brushes that are designed for multiple surfaces. These brushes are flexible, adjusting to the texture of both carpets and floors quite easily.
It’s An Awesome Clean
The 980 has some great cleaning power, and it’s no thanks to the fact that the 980 knows the difference between carpets and hardwood floors. This allows the 980 to vacuum appropriately, which is something other Roombas just can’t do very well.
Its Sensors Are Great
The Roomba 980 uses sensors, as well as a camera, to help map your room better and allow for the best clean possible. The 980’s sensors aren’t as amazing as, say, the S9+, but they are quite good at what they do. If you’re looking for a Roomba that can map out your house decently well, this Roomba is for you.
It Comes With Virtual Walls
This Roomba does come with two virtual walls, which are always convenient when you don’t want the Roomba to reach a certain area, but lack the doors or the barricades needed to keep it out.
The 980 isn’t as expensive as the S9+, but it goes for about $900, a price that many may have a hard time justifying, and for a good reason. It’s a great model, but some people may need just the cheaper one, depending on their household.
While it’s not the loudest device in the world, we are a little disappointed with how loud it is, especially considering the price. It’s not too loud, but it’s not something you’re going to ignore when it’s cleaning your house.
It’s Powerful, But Not Ridiculously Powerful
Again, this is less of a fault of the 980 and more of the fault of its pricetag. Many people may expect a bit more suction for the price. It’s powerful, and great for general carpets, but with the $900, it doesn’t clean as great as you would think it is.
#6: Braava 380t Advanced Robot Mop (best for mopping)
If you have hardwood or tile floors, the Roomba is great for cleaning them, but they only go so far. Roombas cannot mop automatically; you have to do it yourself. Some other brands of robot vacuums do have mopping features, which we’ll discuss later.
With that said, there is a robot from iRobot that does mop, and it can work in harmony with your Roomba. That is the Braava 380t mop. At around $250, it’s a way to mop your floors without you having to. But how does it work? Let’s take a look.
It Carries Either Water or a Cleaning Solution
Just put some water or cleaner inside it, and the Braava distributes it across your floor. It has a tank that’s quite decent, using as much as it needs to in order to clean up your mop. It can hold a quarter gallon, which goes far if your robot knows how to distribute it properly.
Cleans a Variety of Surfaces
If you have hardwood, stone, or tile surfaces, the Braava can clean them with ease. It’s not a carpet cleaner, but it works well with all other hard surfaces.
It Charges Fast
The Braava uses a turbo-charge cradle, which means that it charges its battery quite fast. If you’re someone who has a big house, your Braava can get back to action rather quickly.
It Uses Different Cloths
The Braava does come with some microfiber cloths, which are reusable, but other cloths can fit into the Braava as well, if that’s something you want instead.
It’s Great for Those Hard-to-Reach Spots
With the Braava, it can go under furniture, which is something an ordinary mop may not be able to do quite well. This is a plus in our book.
It Has Two Modes
Besides the mopping mode, it comes with a dry sweep mode. This is great for when you want to pick up some spare pet hair and dust. While it’s not as powerful as a regular Roomba, the Braava still is a great cleaner.
Perhaps the best feature of the Braava is that you won’t have to mop as much. Mopping can be annoying. While mops have evolved over the years, and don’t involve dunking a shaggy broom into a bucket of questionable water, they’re still like a hassle. Just like a vacuum, we want to automate the cleaning process as much as possible.
It Doesn’t Replace a Regular Mop
If you’re someone who thinks the Braava will replace the mop, think again. The Braava is great for regular maintenance of your floor, and it cleans up stains well. However, if you have heavy stains, a regular mop is what you need. Robot moppers are a relatively new technology, so it may be a bit before they get as powerful as some of the higher-end Roombas.
The Braava is worth checking out, especially if you’re someone who hates mopping.Click here to see today’s price of the Braava 380t Mop on Amazon
How Does Roomba Compare to Other Brands?
Roomba isn’t the only vacuum brand that creates robot vacuums; brands that are known for traditional cleaners are stepping into the arena with their own take on the robot vacuum. Let’s take a look at a few vacuum brands and see how they compare.
Roomba vs Dyson
Dyson tends to be a heavy competitor in the vacuum world, and they’ve recently created their own line of robot vacuums to compete with Roomba. Let’s take a look at some of the differences between Dyson and Roomba models.
- The Dyson is much bigger, being an inch more than most Roomba models. Size is something that a person may or may not care about. Someone may like a more compact robot, or want something bigger to clean their floor.
- The way they vacuum is different. The Roomba tends to go in a straight line, moving when it hits an object. Meanwhile, the Dyson uses a grid pattern to move around.
- The Dyson tends to have a smaller dustbin. If having to empty out a dustbin more is a dealbreaker, you may not want the Dyson.
- The Dyson’s battery life is much poorer. A Dyson tends to run around 45 minutes before needing a charge, while the Roomba lasts much longer. If you have a smaller home, this may not matter, but for some, it’s a dealbreaker.
- Higher-end Roomba models do adapt to carpets, using more power. The Dyson uses high power all the time, which may not be good if you’re trying to conserve energy.
- They move differently. The Dyson has treads, allowing it to move around like a tank. Meanwhile, the Roomba uses wheels.
- The Dyson is a lot less loved by reviewers than the Roomba models. The Dyson 360 has a mere 2.5 stars on Amazon, while most Roombas tend to have at least 4 stars. Of course, with electronics, the negative reviews tend to be a more vocal minority.
The Dyson does have some unique features, but when comparing them, we have to go with the Roomba. It offers more for the price. Here is hoping Dyson can catch up.
Roomba vs Eufy
Do you want a robo-vac on a budget? Eufy offers robo-vacs for under $200. If you’re someone who is pinching pennies, but you want a robot, Eufy may be a good brand to look at. Here are some features of Eufy vacuums, particularly its RoboVac 11+ lineup.
- The Eufy doesn’t have smart device control. That’s a little less convenient, but people on a budget may not have a problem with its lack of smart features. The 15c model of Eufy does have a WiFi feature, though.
- The Eufy does have a longer battery life than many Roomba models, but the downside is that it doesn’t charge as fast. Both do automatically recharge.
- The Eufy is much lighter. The Roomba tends to be two extra pounds, which isn’t too much of a difference, but some may not like that.
- Eufy boosts its power when it encounters high-soiled areas. Of course, the Roomba is great with soiled parts as well.
Overall, we have to say that the Eufy has quite a bit going for it considering it’s a budget model. Try it out and see if it’s for you.
Roomba vs Xiaomi
Xiaomi, a Chinese smartphone maker, has come out with some cleaning robots that have been getting some rave reviews. These robots compare to higher end Roomba models, such as the Roomba 980. The difference is that the Xiaomi is a lot cheaper, going for a little under $300, while the 980 goes for three times as that. Is the Xiaomi a good rival to the Roomba, or a knockoff? Let’s contrast.
- The Roomba 980 uses a camera to map the room, while the Xiaomi uses a laser. The laser is better for darker areas. If it’s evening, and you scheduled a cleaning, the Roomba may not work as well in mapping out your home.
- The Roomba is better for carpets overall. The Xiaomi cleans up well, but the Roomba offers a smoother transition between hardwood floor and carpet.
- Both use an app, but the Xiaomi does have a live-view mode, allowing you to watch it clean your house when you’re gone.
We’re actually impressed with the Xiaomi. It’s a robot cleaner that may end up competing with the Roomba. It offers some great features for less money. If you find one, you might want to give it a try. Step up your game, Roomba.
Roomba vs Deebot
Deebot is another Chinese-based company that is offering some great robots for a fraction of the price. Some may want to support Roomba because they are an American company, but if the origin of the robot doesn’t matter to you, let’s compare Deebot and Roomba and see which is better.
- Both have many similarities. The higher end Roomba and Deebot do map out the floors in order to get the best clean. Both use side brushes as well.
- The Deebot does have more cleaning options, such as using either direct suction or having the main brush do the work. The main brush is great for carpets, while the suction is good for pet hairs. You can worry less about the pet hairs getting tangled in the brushes, which is always a hassle for the Roomba.
- Both have smart features to make everything much easier for you. You can schedule cleanings, control them remotely, and more.
- The Deebot does have mopping features as well, allowing your hardwood floor to get the best clean possible.
Overall, both are great robots, but we’re honestly impressed with what the Deebot has to offer. Compare models for yourself and see which comes out on top for you.
Roomba vs Neato
Neato sounds like a silly name for a vacuum brand, but don’t let that fool you; they have quite a bit of competition with Roomba, and it’s easy to see why. Neato has various robo-vacs in the market today, each with some unique features, just like the Roomba. Let’s compare some of the features of Roombas and Neatos and see which one comes out on top.
- There are more types of Roombas than there are Neato vacuums, which gives Roomba a bit of an upper hand, unless you’re someone who doesn’t like to choose between too many models.
- The Neato vacuums use a square head. This is useful for cleaning angled areas and walls. The Roomba works well with walls as well, but it feels like the Neato has the upper hand in this case.
- The Roomba is overall better with suction. The best Roomba models around offer some incredible suction power, but even the ones that are lower-end have some great filters to avoid any allergens. The Roomba is also easier to clean. If something is tangled in the brush, it’s easy to remove.
- Both Neato and Roomba use smart features. From smart device connectivity to Alexa, they have it. Both have invisible barriers and mapping features, which are available in higher models. The higher model Roomba does have that self-emptying feature, which is quite convenient, but it’s only available for expensive models. The future may change this.
- The Neato line of Botvacs has some different power saving modes. You can put your vacuum in eco mode, which sacrifices power for energy. This is good if you have light messes. You can switch it to turbo mode if there’s a large mess.
- Both types have spot modes, which clean off particularly messy spots.
- Both models have decent battery lives, and they do return to their charging station when the power is low.
- Roomba has a diverse series of models for every budget. From models that are only a couple hundred to over a grand, there’s a Roomba out there for everyone. Neato’s Botvac line focuses more on the mid-range aspect.
Both of them have their pros and cons. Botvacs are better for walls, but Roombas are better for every other part of the house. We recommend comparing some Botvacs to the Roombas on this list, and seeing which is the best fit for you.
Roomba vs Shark
Shark has been a name in reasonably-priced vacuums for a while. As of recently, they have dipped their toes in the robot vacuum world. Let’s take a look at what you can expect from a Shark robot, dubbed the Ion, when compared to a Roomba.
- The Roomba tends to be a bit bigger and heavier than the Ion. Depending on who you are, this can be a good thing or a bad thing. A heavier Roomba is less likely to fall over and can clean more, but a lighter robot is convenient as well.
- The Ion does have more side brushes, which are great for walls and angles.
- The Ion’s filters tend to be a little bit better, having a HEPA rating. HEPA, or High Efficiency Particulate Air, is a powerful filter that removes 99.97% or more of the particles. A particle that is as low as 0.3 microns will be no match. For reference, a micron is a millionth of a meter. That’s tiny! Of course, higher-end Roombas tend to use HEPA filters as well.
- Both use technology to adapt to your room, but both use different types. The Ion has Smart Sensor Navigation, while the Roomba tends to use iAdapt. Your results may vary.
- The Ion tends to have a slightly longer battery charge time, charging for about an hour more than the Roomba. If you have a big house, this can be frustrating.
- The Ion doesn’t tell you when the bin is full, while many Roomba models will indicate when your dustbin needs emptying.
- Both have similarities as well, using smart technology to allow for remote cleanings and scheduling.
Like the previous one, there is no clear winner. Both models have their pros and cons. Your best bet is to look at some Shark robots and compare them to the Roombas on this list. Chances are, you can find one that works for you.
Roomba vs ILife
Ilife has entered the ring as well, offering robots that go toe-to-toe with Roomba. What do Ilife models have? Let’s take a look.
- ILife robots are even more budget friendly than the Roomba. The Roomba does have budget models, but they are still $300. Meanwhile, the ILife tends to go much cheaper, with some models going in the $100 range.
- The Roomba uses more navigation technology, meaning it moves around the floor much better than the ILife can. The ILife does clean, but it takes more time due to hitting more obstacles. Of course, different models may have more technology.
- ILife’s robots tend to be smaller and lighter. As mentioned before, this is something that you may or may not want. It all depends on your needs.
- Both clean well, but the Roomba does it better. The newer Roomba models have debris extractors and clean much more powerfully. However, the ILife is still nothing to laugh at, having quite a bit of power as well.
- The ILife does have a better battery life. The higher-end models run for two and a half hours. Even the cheaper models go for up to 70 minutes, which is better than some models of a Roomba. Because the Roombas automatically recharge, battery life may not be a concern for you, but it’s understandable if it is. The ILife does recharge as well, but the V1 model doesn’t.
- The ILife does have a unique feature that the Roomba doesn’t, and that’s a wet mopping mode. Switch the dustbin with a water tank, attach the cleaning cloth, and the ILife can wet mop the floor. The V5 and X5 are a few models that offer this.
- Both the ILife and the Roomba use some powerful filters, making sure that you don’t run into any allergens.
- The ILife doesn’t have a full bin indicator, while newer Roombas do.
In conclusion, the ILife models tend to be slightly inferior to the Roomba, but do offer some advantages as well. The fact that there are more budget-friendly models available helps. So does the wet mopping feature. Once again, we can’t stress that you should compare models and make the decision.
Now, let’s look at some frequently asked questions you may have about the Roomba and its features.
Your Burning Questions
How Does The Roomba Work?
The Roomba works in quite a few different ways, depending on which model you get. While we can’t describe the exact science, we can explain it in layman’s terms. Let’s look at how most models work: through randomness.
Most Roombas follow a technique known as the random bounce. This is where the Roomba goes forward in a direction, and then moves in another direction once it hits an object. In addition, the random bounce technique does employ some wall hugging as well. Using a side brush, it will stay across any walls so that it cleans the sides of your home to the best of its ability.
The Roomba isn’t entirely dependent on random movement. It also uses a sensor to help it find its way across the room. This sensor typically sees objects and slows down so it doesn’t get damaged, or knock the object over. This also helps the Roomba look out for stairs and other drops. Sometimes, the Roomba may have false positives on cliffs, stopping for a cliff even if there isn’t one, but that’s better than your Roomba jumping off your stairs like a Lemming.
In addition, the Roomba has a sensor that detects dirt. This is done through a piezoelectric sensor, which causes the Roomba to slowly clean the area and circle around it a few times. For dirty spots in your home, this is an awesome feature.
Another sensor is the virtual wall, which uses infrared lights to tell the Roomba not to clean in a certain area. Again, this is quite a convenient feature.
More expensive models, such as the s9+, can map out your house. They may use cameras to photograph your room, and this helps the Roomba build up a profile. They’ll avoid areas they already cleaned, and have a cleaning style that’s more like you with a vacuum, which is quite nice. It’s a feature still in its infancy, but one day, the Roomba may clean better than you can.
Is It Worth the Money?
This is something that’s going to be subjective. There are different Roombas for various budgets and needs, and some people may find more value out of it than others. Here are some ways that a Roomba may be worth it:
- You have hard-to-reach spots. A Roomba cleans underneath furniture and corners that a traditional vacuum may not be able to reach.
- You require daily maintenance. If you’re someone who has pets, or kids who make messes, the Roomba may be good for daily cleanings.
- You have lots of hardwood floors. The Roomba does have deeper carpet cleaning, but only for the expensive models. The cheaper ones are more suitable for hardwood.
Here are some reasons why a Roomba may not be worth it.
- If you’re someone who has lots of carpets, and doesn’t have the budget to afford a deeper cleaning model.
- You have lots of cords on the ground. The Roomba can make your life quite annoying if that’s the case.
- You’re looking for something to replace your old vacuum altogether. Most Roombas aren’t meant for a total vacuum replacement, especially for larger debris.
My Filter’s Dirty. Can I Wash It?
According iRobot’s website, the filters are not designed to be washed. A filter is something most want to get the longest life of, as replacing them can be a little annoying. With the Roomba filter, you can tap it against a trash can to remove any excess debris.
Some websites say you can wash the filter, but you have to make sure it’s completely dry, or else you risk damaging your Roomba. If you want to be safe, washing it is something you may want to avoid.
Do Roombas Make Noise?
Yes, they are a little noisy. With any vacuum, the cheaper models are going to have louder motors, while the more expensive models may be quieter. However, they’re all going to make some noise. They’re great for running when you’re out of your house, so that’s a plus. However, if you share a building with someone, you may not want to run it at midnight!
Rugs and Bumps: Are They the Roomba’s Worst Enemy?
Rugs can be the Roomba’s worst enemy if you are using a cheaper model. A cheap Roomba tends to have a difficult time transitioning from hardwood to rugs, or to another surface. It may get a little tangled, or think the rug is a cliff. Some Roombas go just fine on rugs, but it’s something you may want to test out. If your Roomba is having a tough time, you may want to remove the rug before cleaning.
As for other bumps, it all depends on what type of Roomba you have. Some Roombas handle them great, and others, not so much.
Then, there are objects such as cords. A Roomba tends to love to suck in a cord, and it ends up tangled up in the brushes. Always put the cords out of harm’s way before you clean. More expensive models have a better time avoiding the cords and learning, but a cheap model may be your cords’ worst enemy.
Summary – Which Roomba YOU Should Choose
It’s been a long journey, and we hope you were entertained by this dive into Roombas, and other brands you may want to consider as well. Robot vacuums are growing more powerful by the year. While not a total replacement for a traditional vacuum, the latest robots deliver powerful suction, smart mapping, and a decent batter life. Let’s summarize each model again.
The best overall is the S9+. It has some of the smartest mapping in any robot vacuum, and so many convenient features. For example, it’s self-emptying, which helps automate the vacuum process more. Plus, it delivers some powerful suction. Many will not buy it because of its steep price tag, but if you have the money, try it out.
The best model for those on a budget is the 690. The 690 still has an impressive amount of features. It connects to your smartphone and has some decent cleaning to go along with it. While not as powerful as the pricier models, those who are on a budget should be satisfied with what the 690 has to offer.
Most Roombas will work well for pets, but the E5 is a great balance between quality and value. It uses a three-stage cleaning system to help remove pet hair and dander like never before. When you have pets, you always need regular maintenance of your home, and the E5 works.
If you have hardwood floors, the 890 does wonders. Its power-lifting features sucks out all the dirt and other pollutants left behind on your floor. It’s powerful, and it does wonders for your floor. What’s not to love?
The 980 is the best one for carpets without having to spend money on an S9+. What makes it awesome is that the 980 can easily transition from hardwood to carpet. Once on the carpet, it uses a power boost feature to suck up as much as it can from the carpet. While not a total replacement for a regular vacuum, it’s close.
If you want to mop your floors, the Braava 380t is for you. It’s not expensive, and it uses an attachable cloth and a container for cleaning fluid. While robo-mops are not a complete substitute for regular mopping, the Braava is great for small maintenance.
That’s it! We hope we cleaned up your burning questions about the iRobot Roombas and how they compare to other brands.