I adore my robot vacuum. It has revolutionized my life and allowed me to have more time and freedom to do other important tasks throughout the day while keeping my house clean at the same time.
But the best Roomba for me isn’t necessarily the best model for you. You might have specific household cleaning needs that I don’t, such as pet hair removal, hardwood floor care, or a type of carpet that I don’t have.
For example, if want the best value for the money, you can’t go wrong with the Roomba i3. You will get excellent overall experience and performance without breaking the bank. The i3 has powerful cleaning and suction power, smart navigation, and it works great on pet hair. It also vacuums efficiently in straight lines. Overall it is an excellent robotic vacuum cleaner.
However, if you have a higher budget and value a deeper cleaning, the Roomba S9+ is your best bet. It has 4 times the suction of the i3. Its corner-reaching brush features 5 arms that reach deep into corners and crevices. And it will run completely independently for up to 60 days before needing to be emptied.
Note: now is a great time to buy a Roomba because of all the Black Friday deals:
I’ve seen Roombas up to 54% off on Amazon
Walmart has great discounts on many of the iRobot products
And if you’re interested in getting a bundle, the iRobot site has the best offers for those. It also has discounts on single Roombas and the option to pay with a payment plan.
Table of Contents
- Here’s How I’ve Determined the Roomba Models
- Our Top Picks for the Best Roomba Models of 2021
- Which Roomba Should I Buy?
- What Features Do All the Roombas on This List Have?
- Specific Roomba Models Compared
- How Does Roomba Compare to Other Brands
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Are Roombas worth the money?
- How does a Roomba handle bumps and rugs?
- How does a Roomba handle corners? Will it do a good job on my corners?
- How long does it take a Roomba to clean a room?
- Can you move a Roomba from one floor to another in a multi-story home?
- Does the Roomba resume cleaning where it left off when the battery is low?
- Do I need a Wi-Fi network to use a Roomba?
- Will I need to download the iRobot app?
- What are Roomba virtual walls? How do they work?
- What are Roomba lighthouses? How do they work?
- Verdict: YOUR Best Roomba Model
If you are anything like me, you are likely someone who wants to maintain a clean home but does not want to spend a significant amount of time and energy doing it. When it comes to household chores, the list can seem endless at times. Thankfully, however, there have been several inventions and technological advancements that have come into play to make this part of life easier, quicker, and more enjoyable.
Possibly one of the most innovative and exciting household chore helpers was introduced to the market back in 2002 by a company called iRobot. Their smart, robot vacuum named Roomba took the market by storm and has quickly become a staple in thousands of American homes today. I personally own a robot vacuum, and it has revolutionized my life and allowed me to have more time and freedom to do other important tasks throughout the day while keeping my house clean at the same time.
In this article, I will provide you with an in-depth look at the best Roombas on the market today and giving you all of the information you need to know to choose the best model for you and your home.
Choosing the right kind of Roomba for your home’s specific cleaning needs is very important. Here I will take a look at specific household cleaning needs such as pet hair removal, hardwood floor care, and carpet type and length to help you choose the best model for your space.
Today, there truly is a Roomba on the market for everyone, and this article will lead you to the perfect one. Not only will I be looking at the iRobot Roomba specifically, but I will also be comparing the iRobot to several other models on the market manufactured by other well-known makers such as Shark and Dyson.
In today’s world, nothing is more important than conserving your time and energy so that you can keep them for what matters most to you, like your family. Robot vacuums are the way of the future and are working all around the country to give families the clean homes they deserve while saving them time to enjoy the things that are most important to them.
Here’s How I’ve Determined the Roomba Models
Here I have developed a list of the top 5 best Roomba vacuums on the market today. To construct this list, I reviewed the sentiments of several certified buyers and users, assessed the products’ abilities to handle different circumstances such as pet hair and hard-to-reach corners, and noted each product’s price point to develop a list of the best Roomba models for a variety of different needs and budgets.
Let’s get into our top picks below so that you can easily find your way to working smarter and not harder with a robot vacuum.
Our Top Picks for the Best Roomba Models of 2021
#1: Roomba i3 (Best Value and All-Purpose)
The Roomba i3 is my choice for the best value option because it provides the user with the best overall experience and technology for the overall price.
Dirt Detect Technology
This Roomba comes with a wide variety of unique features and technological capabilities for its relatively smaller price tag compared to some of the other Roomba models. With a Dirt Direct Sensor, the i3 can focus on cleaning the dirtiest places and most high-traffic places of your home. Its Reactive Sensor technology also sends signals and information about the surrounding area back to the Roomba so that it knows where it can and cannot fit, keeping it from getting stuck.
Smart Mapping System
The Roomba i3 also creates custom maps of your home and can be completely controlled through the iRobot home app or voice assistant technology. It also learns your unique cleaning rituals to offer your personalized schedule cleanings so that your home can be at its cleanest without your having to even lift a finger.
Allergy and Pet Friendly
The i3 is also a great fit for pet owners. Its multi-purpose brushes easily catch and trap pet hair while its high-efficiency filter captures up to 99% of pet dander and allergens, making your home clean and safe for everyone, including your pets. This Roomba is also fully compatible with the clean base automatic dirt disposal system. However, unlike several of the other models I have reviewed, it is sold separately for the i3.
This Roomba features 10 times the suction power of the 694 model (my low-cost pick below) to provide you with the ultimate cleaning experience on both carpeting and hard floors. The i3 also features floor tracking sensors, which are used to provide a seamless transition between carpeting and hard floors. It is gentle enough to use on hardwood floors as well.
Like some of the other Roomba models, the i3 also comes as a more expensive i3+ model. The only difference between these two models is that the i3+ comes with its own automatic dirt dispensing base, which will automatically clean out your Roomba’s dust bin upon its arrival at its charging dock. Like a regular vacuum, the dirt is then emptied into a disposal bag in the base and can be emptied about every month or so.
While most of the customer reviews given to the Roomba i3 were overwhelmingly positive, there was one complaint that tended to show up in several reviews: this referred to the Roomba i3’s short battery life. Because of this, you may find that your Roomba will need to take frequent charging breaks which, means this model may not be the best option for those with large homes and more square footage to clean.
#2: Roomba s9+ (Best Premium)
If you are looking for a robot vacuum to become a member of your family and provide expert cleaning services any time of the day or night, the Roomba s9+ is the perfect choice for you. Many families love their Roomba so much that they give it a name! The Roomba s9+ is the perfect example of that type of robot vacuum because it is the smartest and most highly efficient vacuum that money can buy.
This type of cleaning ability and high level of technology does not come at a small price, however. The Roomba s9 is iRobot’s most expensive vacuum. However, if your budget allows, this vacuum will provide you with everything you need and more in a smart, robot vacuum so that you will never have to think about vacuuming again.
Let’s take a closer look at the specs that make this vacuum so impressive. Here I will break down some of the main reasons to choose this product. I will also do a Roomba comparison between this model and the i3 model shown above, so you can see some of the main differences between the two.
Three-Stage Cleaning System
Like other Roomba models, the Roomba s9+ comes equipped with iRobot’s patented three-stage cleaning system. However, this system has been given a major boost in the s9+ model.
This particular model comes with dual, multi-surface rubber brushes that adapt to the type of carpeting or flooring they are cleaning. These tangle-free debris extractors flex and spin appropriately for both high-ply and low-ply carpets as well as hard floors, picking up virtually every piece of debris on the first pass.
This expert cleaning system also comes with 40 times the suction power of other models such as the 600 series, which means that it can extract dirt, pet hair, and dander from deep within the fibers of carpeting where other vacuums cannot reach. Users can automatically switch their Roomba into power boost mode, which provides an even strong degree of suction for those messes that are deeply stuck into the carpet.
Its corner-reaching brush features 5 arms that reach deep into corners and crevices. If you have a higher budget and value a deeper cleaning, the Roomba s9+ may be the perfect fit for you. This incredible vacuum is guaranteed to perform optimally every time and provide you and your home with the most advanced clean possible.
Automatic Dirt Disposal
The automatic dirt disposal system is a unique feature of the Roomba s9+ and is often not found on iRobot’s advanced models. This disposal system, called the Clean Base Disposal System, is built into the charging base of the vacuum, and it allows the s9+ to empty itself of dirt, pet hair, and debris upon charging.
It allows the vacuum to run completely independently for up to 60 days before needing to be emptied. The self-emptying clean base transfers its contents into the base of the vacuum’s wall charger, which is then collected into an easy-to-dispose bag.
Unlike some of the other models on this list, the s9+ comes with the Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal System as a standard feature. This is the main and really only difference between the regular s9 and the s9+: the standard s9 does not come with the automatic disposal system. Other models in the S line require you to buy this base separately. However, it is important to note that the Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal System is only compatible with the S-series and I-Series Roombas and not the 600 or 900 series.
If you live in a home with allergy sufferers, the Roomba s9+’s expert cleaning ability may work to greatly help eliminate symptoms, making your home an overall cleaner and healthier place to live. Each S9 model comes with a high-efficiency filter that is known to capture up to 99% of dander and allergens that an upright vacuum, as well as older Roomba models, cannot. While the lower cost Roombas will do a sufficient job at removing pet dander and other allergens, they do not contain the same degree of suction and the high-efficiency filter to really make a significant difference for allergy sufferers in the home.
The Roomba s9+ features the most highly advanced navigation system among all Roomba models. It allows the s9+ to learn the exact layout of your home to build a personalized cleaning schedule that fits your custom cleaning preferences.
Imprint smart mapping allows the device to build personal smart maps and provide a professional-grade clean to every room in your home. It can even be set to provide those satisfying carpeting lines that we all strive to achieve but never have the time to do.
As the Roomba s9+ is in operation, it is capturing over 230,400 data points per second to build an exact measurement of your home, which is then digitally shown on your iRobot home app where you can adjust and change certain preferences to your specifications.
Compatible with Google Assistant and Alexa, you can command your Roomba to perform a quick clean-up in any room of your house through voicing a simple command such as “Alexa, tell Roomba to clean under the dining room table.”
Notifications from your Roomba are also sent directly to your phone through the Home app so that you can be in the know about the battery life, location, and status of your Roomba s9+ at all times.
While the s9+ and the i3 Roombas are quite similar models from the outside, there are some major differences that make the s9+ stand out dramatically from the i3. One of these differences has to do with the battery life of the units. With the i3 holding the ability to run for 75 minutes on a single charge, the s9+ can run for over 120 minutes on a single charge, which makes it a great fit for those with larger rooms and houses.
The s9+ also includes virtual wall technology, which will give you the ability to block your Roomba from entering certain rooms as well as keep it in one room for a period of time. The i3 does not have that technology and will need to be manually blocked from certain areas if needed.
Overall, the s9+ received hundreds of five-star reviews. Customers raved about its longer battery life of 120 minutes per session and its ability to provide smart mapping.
As can be found with many of the Roomba models, customers complained of the s9+’s noise level. While it functions very efficiently, it tends to also function quite loudly, which can be a drawback for parents with young children or for those who want to run their vacuum cleaner overnight. It has also been known to take a significantly longer time to charge compared to other Roomba models.
#3: Roomba j7 (Best for Use With Pets)
For families with fur babies, nothing is more important than keeping your furry friends happy and healthy while also keeping your home healthy and free from a build-up of pet hair and dander.
Obstacle Identification Technology
We have all heard horror stories about Roombas making a mess of epic pro”poo”rtions when it comes into contact with doggy doo-doo. That is why iRobot has specifically developed a Roomba made for pet owners and their unique needs. They have listened to and heard the pet parents that have had to clean up after the nightmare collision of their Roomba and their pet’s poo. This is why they have created P.O.O.P: The Pet Owner Official Promise that the Roomba j7 will not (and I repeat) will NOT come in contact with any pet messes — guaranteed. This Roomba is sure to make your home cleaner and not messier.
iRobot is so confident in their obstacle identification technology that they will replace your entire Roomba for free if a pet waste incident occurs within a year of the purchase date.
The Roomba j7’s obstacle sensing technology comes from its built-in precision vision navigation technology, which recognizes objects such as charging cords and pet waste long before any contact occurs. The Roomba documents this information and knows to stay clear of that area until the obstacle is cleaned up.
It is important to note that the j7 and j7+ models are the only Roomba models that come with this exclusive obstacle avoidance technology; this is why it is my best choice for pet owners.
Spot Cleaning Capabilities
This great robot vacuum also includes several other unique features, including spot cleaning capabilities through its connection to the iRobot home app or voice assistant devices. When you give your vacuum a simple command and tell it when and where clean up, it will take care of small messes in an instant so that those messes can easily become a distant memory.
This spot cleaning feature can also be found on other Roomba models that are equipped with smart capabilities and voice commands. Other models, such as the 900 serie,s will need to be manually moved and placed over specific areas to spot clean.
Cleaning Performance and Smart Mapping
The Roomba j7 also includes 10 times the powerlifting suction of some of the other Roomba vacuums, such as the 694 below. Its powerful suction reaches deep into even the thickest carpeting and area rugs to suck up dirt and pet dander that could easily have been otherwise trapped within the carpet for years.
Its dual rubber brushes attract pet hair and carefully sweep it up into the dust bin without tangling. One certified customer with two large and very fluffy dogs was extremely impressed with the performance of the Roomba j7 against her dog’s shedding. She explained that in one swipe across her floor, the Roomba picked up virtually every hair that could be seen in its path.
Like some of the other Roomba models, the j7 also completely maps out your home, allowing you the choice of when and where you want it to clean. The smart recharge and resume technology featured in the j7 also allows the vacuum to resume cleaning after a charging session that is long enough only to complete the remainder of the job. This ensures that your cleaning job will be completed successfully and efficiently every single time.
Amongst its majority of 5-star reviews, customers were pleasantly surprised by the low noise level of this particular Roomba. While some of the other models we reviewed were known to be loud, this particular model were reviewed as quieter and less distracting, which is a great feature for pets who may be scared of the device in general. Amongst the noise level of Roombas, there seems to be a trend that correlates a Roomba’s noise level with its level of technology. Typically, the more technology a Roomba possesses, the louder it will be overall. For example, the s9+, possibly the smartest Roomba on the market, performs at over 70 decibels on hard floors. The j7 and even the j7+ operate at a much quieter noise level than the s9+.
One complaint about the j7 that seemed to be shared by a majority of customers regarded its small dust bin capacity. Even though it does come with self-emptying capabilities for up to 60 days, pet owners may find themselves needing to empty the debris container much more often if they have a home that produces a significant amount of pet hair, which can be a minor inconvenience for some.
Surprisingly, despite all of the technological advancements that the j7 and s9+ offer, they both hold the smallest dust bin capacities amongst the entire iRobot Roomba collection. For example, the j7 and j7+ only hold about 300 mL of dirt, while the 600 series (a much older series) holds much more at 600 mL.
iRobot has also released a plus version of the j7, much like some of their other models. However, the only main difference between the j7 and the j7+ is the presence of a Clean Base Automatic Disposal System. We found that the j7+ is $200 more than the j7 and is really the same except it has the Clean Base. If the Clean Base is an important feature to you, I highly recommend looking into the j7+; however, if you want exceptional cleaning power without having to spend a fortune, the j7 will do an amazing job.
For pet parents who have a lot of pet hair to deal with and want the confidence of being able to run their Roomba while they are away, the j7’s cost could easily pay for itself in convenience and time-saving capabilities.
#4: Roomba 694 (Best Low Cost)
The iRobot Roomba 694 is part of the iRobot’s 600 series of robot vacuums. This robot vacuum is the most affordable amongst iRobot’s line of vacuums, and it has received our best value pick because of its excellent quality, smart connectivity skills, and excellent price. While there are some Roomba models that have more advanced technological developments, I believe that the Roomba 694 includes an excellent array of features for its affordable price.
The Roomba 694 is a small vacuum, weighing only about 6.5 pounds. However, it quickly makes up for its small size with its incredible ability to maneuver around and under furniture and pick up dust and debris within seconds.
Here I will explore several of the top reasons to choose this product as well as some of the most important specs to consider before purchasing.
Smart, Versatile Cleaning
This affordable little vacuum comes with some very impressive, advanced features that make it an excellent value all around.
The Roomba 694 can connect to your phone through the iRobot smartphone app, where you can control your vacuum from anywhere while you are on the go. Nothing is better than coming home to a clean house after a long and busy day. The Roomba 694 can offer exactly that through the touch of a single button and even at the sound of your voice through its connections with Google Assistant and Alexa.
The Roomba can be the personal assistant you have always wanted! It even learns and records your cleaning habits to better itself and provide a more improved service to you each time it is used. With iRobot’s patented Dirt Detect technology, your Roomba will learn to identify which areas of your home need more frequent cleaning, such as entryways and other high traffic areas.
The 694 even takes the environment of your home’s location into account in its cleaning scheduling. It will alert users and suggest extra cleaning sessions during allergy season and pet shedding season so that you can keep on top of the health and safety of your home.
Compared to the other choices on my list, the 694 performs just as well as some of the more expensive picks. However, it may not be the best option for pet owners because of its lack of obstacle recognition, which is included in the j7.
The Roomba 694 is equipped with several specialized sensors located around the entire vacuum to help it properly detect furniture and tight corners, allowing it to clean virtually every inch of your home, even those hard-to-reach places like under the couch and around the dining room chairs.
Specialized “Cliff Detect” technology keeps you and your Roomba safe by allowing the device to detect a fall before it occurs. This ensures that your Roomba will not fall downstairs.
It is important to note, however, that the 694 includes a more baseline navigational system compared to the more expensive models such as the s9. Rather than smart mapping the layout of your home like the s9 does, the 694 works with iAdapt technology, which is the well-known “bump and adapt” technology that many robotic vacuums possess. The 694 will gently bump into objects throughout your home and adjust its course accordingly.
After your Roomba has completed its cleaning task, it will navigate itself back to its charging dock where it will automatically recharge itself for another cleaning session. This Roomba comes with excellent battery life, meaning that it can perform non-stop for up to 90 minutes on a single charge.
Brushes to Reach Every Nook and Cranny
This Roomba comes with dual multi-surface brushes that work to pick up even the most stubborn of dirt and pet hair. These brushes are equipped to accommodate multiple surface types that may be present throughout your home, such as carpeting, hard floors, and area rugs to provide an even clean throughout your entire home.
The auto-adjust cleaning head allows your Roomba to easily shift between different floor types without skipping a beat, staying on its cleaning schedule with precision and expertise.
The 694 may not be quite as effective at picking up pet hair as some of the more advanced models, and its dual spinning brushes (one rubber and one bristle) are prone to more hair tangles than some of the other models on my list. But there is no need to worry about the dust build-up in the corners of your home because the Roomba 694 includes edge cleaning brushes that provide deep cleaning by reaching into the corners and other hard-to-reach areas of your home.
The Roomba 694 is an excellent robot vacuum with amazing cleaning performance and reliability for a great overall value. This particular model also comes with a 2-year warranty, so you can receive assistance as well as compensation for any unforeseen malfunctioning that may occur.
Overall, customer reviews of the Roomba 694 were overwhelmingly high, with many customers being very impressed by the vacuum’s cleaning performance and advanced features. However, some customers did share that this particular model can be quite noisy, so those who like to run their robot vacuums at night while they are asleep may be disappointed when they are awoken by the loud, running sound of the machine in action. Other customers also complained of the unit having a rather small dust bin capacity, which means more frequent emptying and monitoring of the machine will be needed to ensure that it is working at optimal performance.
However, for almost every customer who purchased the Roomba 694, these small and minor inconveniences far outweighed the lasting effect that his Roomba vacuum had on their life and time management.
#5: Roomba E5 (Best Choice for Allergy Sufferers)
Allergens in the home can come from a wide variety of places, such as pets and their dander, outside elements such as pollen, and dust and dirt spread throughout your home.
Allergen Sensing Technology
If you or someone in your family is an allergy sufferer then you know, firsthand, the importance of keeping a clean and dust-free, allergen-free home. The iRobot Roomba e5 has been specially designed with allergy sufferers in mind, and it will quickly become your go-to cleaning tool for safe and effective cleaning both during and outside of allergy seasons. The Roomba s9+ also comes with this allergen sensing technology. However, the e5 is a much more affordable option at over $300 less expensive than the s9+.
The Roomba e5 is equipped with allergen sensing technology that alerts you to the increased presence of allergens found in high pollen counts and increases in pet hair. It will then suggest a more frequent and rigorous cleaning schedule during these times to keep you and your family safe and protected.
Dirt Detection Sensors
Specialized dirt detection sensors built into the Roomba e5 itself also alert the vacuum to the presence of increased dirt in high traffic areas. The technology of the Roomba learns and remembers this information so that it knows to clean these dirtier areas more intensively.
The Roomba e5 features 5 times the powerlifting suction of the 600 series so that the deepest allergens and remnants of dust are sucked up into the vacuum and out of your home for good.
With its auto-adjust cleaning head and flexible rubber brushes, the Roomba e5 can capture even the smallest pieces of dirt and dust while maintaining complete contact with your carpet or hard floor.
Like the other Roombas we have reviewed, the e5 is also compatible with the smart iRobot home app and voice assistant so that you can give it cleaning commands and control it entirely from your smartphone or voice assistant.
Certified customers were impressed with this Roomba’s extended running time of up to 90 minutes per cleaning session. It will also automatically dock and charge itself when its battery life is declining.
Washable Dust Bin
Another unique feature that is great for allergy sufferers is the washable dust bin that this model comes with. This means that upon emptying the dust bin, you can both rinse out and wash the remaining dust and debris from the bin, so each use can begin with a perfectly clean vacuum, preventing trapped dust and debris from getting introduced back into the air of your home. The Roomba S series also comes with this unique quality.
Overall, the Roomba e5 received many 5-star reviews for its precision in cleaning and its high-efficiency filter, which captures up to 99% of dust and allergens and can be changed frequently. However, amongst these positive comments there was a rather significant number of reviews that stated that, while the e5 is great, its maneuverability can be sketchy at times, requiring it to be carried from time to time. This is where a model such as the s9+ or the j7 would work better with its smart mapping capabilities and virtual wall technology.
Which Roomba Should I Buy?
Before purchasing a Roomba for your home, it is important to consider a variety of factors that will prove to be important in your purchasing decision. All Roombas come with a set of standard features, which we will discuss in-depth in the section below; however, some important features are specific to particular Roombas and will likely provide a further benefit to you and your specific cleaning needs.
Here I will discuss some of the main criteria to consider before making your final decision on a Roomba. It is important to find the model that works best for you and your home and will provide you with the exact cleaning capabilities you need to bring your home to the desired level of cleanliness you desire.
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Size of Your Home
The size of your home holds an important correlation to the exact type of Roomba that will work best for you. This mainly relates to the battery life that the entire unit comes with.
If you have a larger home with a significant amount of square footage to cover, you will want to choose a Roomba with longer battery life, so it can get through an entire cleaning in one charge. Choosing a model that can operate for 90 minutes or more at a time would be ideal for a larger home.
However, if your home is smaller or you are only using your Roomba for one floor at a time, a model with 60-minute battery life or less would be sufficient.
Type of Flooring
While most, if not all, Roombas have been made to adjust to several different floor types including hardwood floors, some perform just a little better than others on certain types of flooring.
For instance, if you have a type of flooring in which debris can get caught in the cracks of the tile and grout, you will want to make sure that you find a Roomba with a fully adjustable cleaning head and flexible brush arms so that it can reach down into the cracks of the tile and get all of the debris.
If your home is mostly carpeted, it will be important to find a Roomba that has significant suction power to lift dirt and debris deep from within the fibers of your carpet.
Just as not all vacuum cleaners are completely equal, Roombas have their differences as well. We hope that this article can highlight those main differences for you and help you make an informed decision.
Robot vacuums are truly great all around; they save you precious time and energy and help to make your entire life easier. However, there is one common problem that some people have with robot vacuums, including the Roomba, and that is the noise level that they produce.
Just like your traditional vacuum cleaner, Roomba vacuums have to use significant suction power and energy to achieve the level of clean that you desire and, unfortunately, just like upright vacuums, this comes with some added noise.
For most users, the noise level of the Roomba is not a major issue; they simply run their vacuum while they are not home. However, for some families, the noise level of their Roomba can pose a problem. For example, if you are a family that has young children in the house, the Roomba could cause some disturbance during nap time.
Some users also like to run their Roomba at night while they are asleep, and for some users, this may not be possible because of the noise level of the Roomba. Some particular models are known for being quieter than other Roombas, but most of them do make some level of the sound overall.
If you are a household that has pets, this is a major factor to consider when purchasing a Roomba because some of the Roomba models have been specially designed with pet parents in mind. For example, the Roomba j7 is likely the best model that iRobot offers for pet owners.
Coming from a dog household myself, I know firsthand how difficult it can be to keep up with vacuuming, especially during shedding season. During these times, I often find myself vacuuming multiple times a day because the hair just seems to never end.
Having a Roomba can be a huge help to pet owners for hair and dander control. It is also extremely helpful to allergy sufferers as well.
If you are a pet owner looking for a Roomba to help with hair control in your home, it is important to look for one that features excellent suction power to get the deeply embedded hairs out from the fibers of your carpet, as well as rubber brushes that will attract pet hair and not make it become tangled within the rotating brushes.
Obstacle avoidance is also very important when it comes to Roombas that are used with pets in the household. The Roomba j7 is specifically designed to avoid obstacles such as pet waste so that the nightmare of a poo and Roomba collision never has to occur for you.
What Features Do All the Roombas on This List Have?
While several features make each Roomba model stand out amongst the crowd of its Roomba counterparts, there are several features that all of the Roombas on our list come with.
Here I will be listing each of these features and why they are important for you as the buyer to have in your purchase.
Three-Stage Cleaning System
The three-stage cleaning system is a patented feature that is included in virtually every iRobot Roomba product.
The three-stage cleaning system on the Roomba combines the use of an edge sweeping brush, two counter-rotating brushes located underneath the machine, and a powerful suction vacuum that grabs dust, dirt, hair, and even large debris from both carpeting and hard floors.
Smartphone and Voice Assistant Compatibility
Most Roomba models, if not all of them, come equipped with specialized smart features that allow you to connect your Roomba vacuums to your smartphone through the iRobot home app. All Roombas are also capable of connecting through Wi-Fi to voice assistant technologies such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant.
These smart capabilities allow the user to control their Roomba with either the voice or the simple touch of a button. The Smartphone app allows you to control your Roomba from virtually anywhere as well as track its progress and receive real-time updates throughout the cleaning process.
All Roombas come with a home dock where your Roomba will “park” to rest and recharge. This dock is plugged into a wall in your home and provides power to recharge the lithium-ion battery found in your Roomba.
All Roombas can drive themselves to their dock when they are finished with a cleaning job and some are even capable of recognizing their low battery and going back for a quick recharge before resuming.
Cliff Detect Technology
All of the Roomba models on our list come with a specialized cliff detect technology that keeps your vacuum from falling down steps in your home. This can give you the peace of mind you need to leave your vacuum unattended, knowing that it will be safe from damage and falls.
Specific Roomba Models Compared
Roomba e5 vs i3
The Roomba e5 and i3 are both very similar models that come from a similar price point. The main difference between the two models lies within their smart capabilities. When compared to each other, the e5 is a much more standard model whereas the i3 is more technologically advanced. Here are some of the main differences we have found between the two:
- The Roomba i3 features up to double the suction power of the e5.
- The e5 cleans in a random cleaning pattern while the i3 cleans intelligently and in neat rows.
- The e5 features a longer battery life at 90 minutes per charge compared to 75 minutes for the i3.
- The e5 takes longer to recharge overall than the i3.
- The i3 comes with the recharge and resume technology while the e5 does not.
Both models include full smartphone and voice assistant compatibilities as well as adaptation for all floor types. Both models work great for pet owners; however, I lean more toward the Roomba i3 for its more advanced technological features and higher suction power.
Roomba j7+ vs s9+
Both the Roomba j7 and s9+ include all of the technological features that are well known amongst Roomba vacuums such as smart mapping, voice command technology, and personalized cleaning. However, there are some differences:
- The j7 includes precision navigation, which allows it to detect and notify you about objects or hazards that are in its path. It will identify these obstacles and avoid them, something the s9+ is not capable of.
- The s9+ comes with 30 times the suction power of the j7 and can provide a deeper clean to carpets and thick area rugs.
- The s9+ features 3D imaging technology to learn the layout of your home.
- The s9+ comes with a self disposing charging dock, while this feature is sold separately for the j7.
Overall, both models have unique features that make them stand out from one another. I recommend the j7 for users who have pets because it is the best at obstacle avoidance, keeping you, your pets, and your home safe from the dreaded pet waste collision issue.
The s9+ would be a great fit for those with a large home who do not want to worry about frequent dust bin cleaning. The s9+ self disposes, and the main disposal cartridge located within the charging dock does not need to be changed for up to 60 days at a time.
Roomba j7 vs i7
Both the j7 and Roomba i7 are very similar robot vacuums. Both feature the same amount of suction, 90-minute battery life, voice command technology, and imprint smart mapping. However, there is one major difference that could be a make or break it for you, and that relates to their obstacle detection technology:
- The Roomba j7 comes with Precision Vision technology, which allows it to detect obstacles that lie within its cleaning path and avoid those obstacles while also sending you smartphone notifications about them. From the app, you can tell your j7 what to do about these obstacles and if it should avoid them indefinitely.
- The Roomba i7 features vSlam technology, which will keep your Roomba from colliding with furniture and other large objects; however, it is unable to detect smaller obstacles such as pet waste.
- The Roomba j7 also features more smartphone capabilities, such as a better cleaning performance as it learns your cleaning habits.
Overall, I recommend the j7 over any other model for pet owners because of its highly developed obstacle detection technology. No other Roomba model on the market seems to compare to this model when it comes to this capability. However, if you live in a home without pets, the Roomba i7 would likely be perfect for you. The interesting thing is that even though the j7 includes more advanced features than the Roomba i7, then j7 is more affordable than the Roomba i7, which may play a major factor in your overall decision.
Roomba 980 vs 960
Both the Roomba 980 and 960 are similar robot vacuums with the ability to clean multiple rooms throughout several floors of your home. Both of these models would make a great fit for people with larger homes. However, there are some differences that we must note:
- The 980 features 5 times the suction power of the 960, making it better equipped to handle thick carpets and area rugs.
- The 980’s battery can operate on a single charge for up to 120 minutes while the 960’s battery life is 75 minutes.
- The 980 features two virtual walls compared to the 960’s one virtual wall.
While both vacuums will do an excellent job of cleaning, the Roomba 980 may have a slight edge over the 960 due to its increased suction and battery power.
Roomba i3 vs 694
The Roomba 694 is part of iRobot’s 600 series, which is their baseline of smart robot vacuums. This vacuum features all of the necessary and smart features that the other higher-end models possess, but it does lack a few features that the Roomba i3 has.
- The i3 features 10 times the suction of the 694, making it much more reliable at lifting trapped dirt and dust from thick carpets.
- The i3 comes with anti-tangle rollers, which ensure that hair and other debris do not become tangled within the rollers while cleaning. The 694 does not have this feature.
- The i3 features smart navigation while the 694 comes with standard navigation features.
- The 694 has a longer battery life than the i3 at 90 minutes per single charge.
The Roomba 694 is much more affordable than the i3, which makes it a great choice for users who want to remain within a certain budget. For its affordable price, it also comes with a wide variety of smartphone features and technological capabilities. The i3 is just a step up in overall cleaning performance compared to the 694; however, for the overall price, there is not much of a major difference between the two, making the 694 a more affordable choice overall.
Roomba e5 vs e6
The Roomba e5 and e6 are very similar models, almost identical in many facets. However, the big difference lies within a couple of main features.
Both models are standard Roombas with iAdapt navigation, which is not the smart navigation that some of the other models have; rather, it is a navigation type that carefully bumps into objects and adjusts its path accordingly.
There are a couple of main differences between these two models which have to do with how many virtual walls and high-efficiency filters they come with.
The e6 model is virtually the same as the e5, but it comes with an extra virtual wall to keep your Roomba in and out of certain rooms. The e6 also comes with an additional filter. The e5 only comes with one of each of these add-ons. This is always what dictates the price difference between the two models.
So, overall, I recommend either model for those looking for a baseline model Roomba that is both affordable and effective. However, I recommend the e6 specifically for those who have a larger home and have several different rooms they want their Roomba to clean. The extra virtual wall and filter that the e6 comes with will quickly come in handy for a homeowner who must maintain a large home.
Roomba e5 vs 692 vs 675
For this Roomba comparison, we will be looking at three different Roomba models: the e5 (which is the previously discussed model), the 692, and the 675, both of which come from iRobot’s 600 series, which is one of their older series. We will break down the differences between the 692 and 675 in more detail below.
The 692 and 675 are both parts of iRobot’s 600 series, which is one of their earlier, baseline series. These Roomba vacuums are great and will surely get the job done right. However, the e5 is like the new and improved version of the 600 series, with a few more of the bells and whistles that make Roombas so great.
Let’s get into some of the main differences below:
- First, the e5 is equipped with rubber brushes, which allow for better traction control, debris removal, and the prevention of hair tangles. The 675 and 692 come with the standard bristle brushes, which can quickly become embedded with pet hairs after just a few uses.
- The e5 also features a larger dust bin which allows the Roomba to provide several cleanings before needing to be emptied.
- The e5 includes a smart navigation system as well as virtual walls, which will keep the Roomba in the room of your choosing and allow it to navigate the room and its contents such as furniture and other obstacles with ease, almost as if it has eyes of its own.
- The 675 and 692 feature a much more standard navigation system with a gentle bumper that bumps into objects and signals the Roomba to correct itself and move to a different area. This type of navigation system can leave behind missed spots.
- The 675 and 692 feature a bit longer battery life than the e5, likely because they are not using smart navigation while in use.
Overall, while both types of Roombas are great, we recommend spending a little bit extra to get a whole lot more in the long run with the Roomba e5. You will be so thankful for the smart navigation system and the ability to leave your Roomba to finish its job all by itself while you get in some much-needed self-care or family time. In addition, the e5 just provides an all-around better cleaning performance, which is one of the most important considerations when buying a new Roomba.
Roomba 675 vs 692
Both the Roomba 675 and 692 come from iRobot’s 600 series, which is an early series of the development of their robot vacuum. While these two Roombas will provide a much more generalized cleaning than some of iRobot’s newer models, the 600 series certainly should not be overlooked.
Both the 675 and the 692 are very similar in both design and capabilities. Some even say that the two are almost indistinguishable. However, some key differences are important to note before deciding to purchase:
- First, the 675 is a slightly older model, which means that you are likely going to be able to find it on sale or at a better price in some instances.
- The 675 also comes with a built-in carrying handle, which is a convenient feature since both the 675 and the 692 lack the imprint smart mapping that the newer and more expensive models possess. This means that these Roombas may need to be carried from time to time when they get stuck or need to be moved to a different area of the house. The 692 does not have this carrying handle feature.
- The 692 features a slightly larger dust bin, which means it will not need to be emptied quite as often as the 675.
While both of these Roomba models are a great choice and will make an affordable and highly valuable addition to your home, we recommend sticking to the tried and true 675 when choosing between the two. The carrying handle that the 675 comes with is a great feature and the amount of additional dust bin capacity on the 692 is just not significant enough to make much of a difference for a larger price tag.
How Does Roomba Compare to Other Brands
Roomba vs Shark
Roomba and Shark are both well-known vacuum and cleaning supply manufacturers and both companies have come out with their version of the best robot vacuums. However, unlike Shark, iRobot has been in the robotic cleaning sector throughout its entire existence, which gives them a major step up in overall experience and expertise compared to Shark.
After several years of development and market research, Shark hopped on the robot vacuum bandwagon and set out to make their version of the Roomba.
While both the Roomba and the Shark robot vacuum will get the job done, the Roomba wins our vote over Shark because of its specialized technology such as dirt detection and overall better cleaning performance as well as usability.
Roomba vs Eufy
Both Roomba and Eufy entered the robotic cleaning world around the same time. However, Roomba is a much more widely known brand. Eufy vacuums are extremely similar to the features modeled by Roomba. However, there are some key differences between the two manufacturers.
- First, Eufy tends to have its version of virtually every Roomba model there is. Each model differs in very small ways and Eufy always seems to have a more affordable price.
- Roomba vacuums are known for their technology and longevity, which is something that Eufy is still trying to figure out. While their vacuums do feature some of the same technological features that the Roomba does, the vacuum itself may be prone to more wear and tear than the Roomba.
- The Eufy tends to be a bit more simplistic to use and many of the models even include a built-in mop for a much smaller price tag than the Roomba models with this capability.
Overall, both brands would work great. In the long run, however, for people who own a large home and have pets, we’d have to go with the Roomba as our winner again. The Roomba just cannot be beaten for this high performance against pet hair and dander. The Eufy may be a better choice for doing a specific room at a time.
Roomba vs Roborock
Both Roomba and Roborock are excellent companies that are working tirelessly to perfect the craft of the robot vacuum. While each company has its strengths and weaknesses, in terms of performance, these two companies are very similar.
There are a couple of differences to note however, the first including the year that the companies were started. Roomba began its journey in 1990, giving it a large head start on Roborock, which was founded in 2014. iRobot has had more overall experience in the field and has learned the art of perfecting its craft, which can make a major difference in the overall quality of the product.
When it comes to performance, Roombas tend to do much better than the Roborocks at powerlifting suction. The suction of a Roomba simply cannot be compared.
However, the Roborock is more well known for its 2-in-1 vacuum and mopping system. This is a great feature for those looking to get two jobs done at the same time. Roomba has struggled to nail this feature down, which means that Roborock has an advantage here.
However, despite all of these findings, we find the Roomba to still be the premier robot vacuum for its smart navigation, smartphone connectivity, and overall user-friendliness.
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Roomba vs Dyson
Dyson is another very well-known manufacturer of vacuums and other cleaning products. They, like many other houseware companies on the market today, have taken a crack at the robotic vacuum market and have done a satisfactory job.
While Dyson manufactures an excellent vacuum with the amazing suction power the company is known for, Roomba is continuing to grow and develop by constantly adding more choices and feature options for the buyer.
Roombas also come with a rubberized, dual-action brush that allows it to catch virtually every hair and piece of debris on its first pass, compared to the bristle brush rollers featured on the Dyson.
Overall, Roomba still receives our top vote because Dyson, while a great company, is missing some key features when it comes to their robot vacuum, including recharge and resume technology.
Roomba vs Neato
The main difference between the Roomba and the Neato is its overall shape. As we know, all Roombas come in a circular shape. However, the Neato comes in a letter “D” shape, which allows it to fit tightly into corners and other crevices to remove dirt, dust, and debris effectively.
If you have a home with a lot of tight corners, you may benefit from a Neato over a Roomba for that reason.
Other than that, though, the two are virtually the same.
Roomba vs Deebot
Both the Roomba and the Deebot are similar vacuums in a variety of ways. However, there are a few differences that are important to note. While both the Roomba and Deebot can be connected to their app system, which becomes the “hub” for all information regarding the status of your vacuum robot, it is believed that Roomba’s iRobot Home app works much better and more smoothly than the Deebot app.
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While this may not be a major concern for some people, for others it can make or break the purchase. iRobot makes it extremely easy and convenient to stay connected to your vacuum from anywhere in the world with just the touch of a button.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Roombas worth the money?
The answer to this question depends on you and the cleaning that your home requires. For people who own a larger home, or are out and about throughout the day and do not have time to keep up with the daily chore of vacuuming, a Roomba can be a lifesaver. There is nothing better than coming home to a clean house after a long day at work.
Roombas are extremely versatile and independent, and the more you are willing to spend on one, the smarter and more independent it will be. For some homeowners, this type of vacuum may not be necessary. However, if you have pets and small children and have to clean up multiple messes throughout the day, your Roomba may just become your most trusted sidekick.
How does a Roomba handle bumps and rugs?
Almost all Roombas are designed with an automatically adjustable cleaning head that adjusts itself automatically to the height of your carpet or area rugs.
The traction built into their wheels as well as the spinning brushes will help to easily propel your Roomba from hard floor to carpet in no time at all.
However, it is important to remember the arch-enemy of the Roomba. It is the same energy of virtually every vacuum cleaner — the tasseled rug. Be especially careful with these types of rugs or even manually clean them to avoid difficult tangles and snags in your rug.
How does a Roomba handle corners? Will it do a good job on my corners?
iRobot has taken many steps to ensure that their machines will provide the deepest clean throughout every square inch of your home. Because of the circular shape of the Roomba, many people are curious about its performance in reaching corners and other tight spots.
iRobot has solved this problem by fitting virtually all of their Roombas with special edge cleaning technology that allows a custom-sized side brush or edge brush to come out from underneath the unit, reach into corners, grab debris and pull it back under the unit and into the dust bin.
Users are truly amazed at the Rooma’s ability to pick up every crumb, pet hair, and piece of debris on its first pass. It powerlifting suction is also to thank for this.
How long does it take a Roomba to clean a room?
Depending on the size of the room it is cleaning, your Roomba can take anywhere from about 10 minutes to an hour or more to finish one room. Roombas are very meticulous in their work and are designed to get every spot in the room, which means that it may take longer than you expected for it to finish its complete cleaning job.
However, several Roomba models come with a quick clean-up mode in which you direct your Roomba to a specific area of your home for a quick clean, such as under the dining room table after dinner time or under your toddler’s high chair after a particularly messy breakfast.
Can you move a Roomba from one floor to another in a multi-story home?
Yes, you can easily use your Roomba on multiple-story houses. It will require you to manually move your Roomba up and down the stairs, however, because the Cliff Detect technology installed within them will not allow them to go down steps. Maybe that will be the next additional feature that iRobot will add to their Roombas.
But until then, you must manually pick up your Roomba and move it from floor to floor. However, just like on your main floor, it will use its navigation technology (depending on what model you have) to learn the layouts of your rooms on each floor and clean according to your specifications.
Some people with multiple-story homes prefer to purchase a Roomba for each floor of their home so that they can have two machines working simultaneously, which makes quicker work of the total job.
Does the Roomba resume cleaning where it left off when the battery is low?
This depends on the model that you choose. While most Roombas are equipped with this recharge and resume technology pre-installed, some of the older versions, such as those in the 600 series, do not possess this skill.
If this is a feature that is important to you, we recommend spending a little extra money to find a newer model that includes this feature.
Do I need a Wi-Fi network to use a Roomba?
While you technically do not need a Wi-Fi network to use your Roomba, the Roomba has been designed with unique features and abilities that can only be applied when it is connected to Wi-Fi. So, to get the full benefits that your Roomba has to offer, it is highly recommended that you connect it to Wi-Fi.
With a Wi-Fi connection, you can connect your Roomba to your voice assistant device and enable it to use many of its smart connection capabilities, which make it such a unique and amazing product.
Will I need to download the iRobot app?
Your Roomba will work best when you download the iRobot app. Through the app, you can have complete control over your Roomba from virtually anywhere in the world. The app also allows you to monitor the progress of your Roomba’s cleaning routine, and it allows your Roomba to send you notifications on its status.
It is a great and informational tool that connects you directly to your Roomba, allowing you to stay in the know and change cleaning preferences, schedule unique cleanings, and adjust cleaning power for specific locations throughout your home.
What are Roomba virtual walls? How do they work?
Roomba virtual walls are small, rectangular devices that you can set up in different rooms or areas throughout your home. They work by sending out a signal to your Roomba that communicates a need for the Roomba to stay away from that specific area.
For instance, let’s say you are working on a puzzle on the floor in your living room. It would be very bad if your Roomba were to clean in the living room and suck up the pieces to your puzzle as well as roll over the finished portions you have been working so hard on. By placing a virtual wall by your puzzle, your Roomba will know to stay away from this area.
What are Roomba lighthouses? How do they work?
Roomba lighthouses are very similar to a virtual wall, but their main purpose is to direct your Roomba according to its job list and ensure that each section of the house is completely clean before your Roomba moves on to the next room.
Think of the lighthouse as a supervisor of sorts for your Roomba. The lighthouse stands watch over Roomba’s performance and makes sure that it is cleaning rooms in the order and fashion that you desire.
The lighthouse can also be used very similarly to a virtual wall, by blocking off certain rooms or areas of rooms from the Roomba’s path.
Verdict: YOUR Best Roomba Model
Finding the best Roomba for your home and family is certainly not an easy feat. I hope that this article was able to give you some clarity as you make your decision on robotic vacuums. Here I will take a brief moment to review some of our main findings so that you can narrow down your search and begin the exciting process of shopping for your best robot vacuum.
If you want the best value for money, pick the Roomba 694. This little robot comes with virtually all of the features you would need to have in a traditional robotic vacuum, and it is known for its ease in setup and operation.
If you need a Roomba that is great for pets, pick the Roomba j7. This is iRobot’s most pet-friendly Roomba because it gives pet parents everything they could need in a pet vacuum. From alerting you to higher shedding seasons to avoiding stinky obstacles, the Roomba j7 will fit right in with your pack.
If you want to keep the spend under $350, pick the Roomba i3. Its dirt detection sonar identifies and takes note of the busiest and most high traffic areas in your home so that these areas can achieve a more frequent and deep clean. Its high-efficiency air filter will also trap dust, dander, and allergens away forever.
The age we live in today is truly remarkable! It is amazing to see all of the products that are introduced every day to help improve our lives and make everyday tasks easier and more enjoyable. The Roomba from iRobot does just that and then some, allowing you to spend time with what matters most to you, saving you precious time and energy.