IRobot is one of the few well-known robotic vacuum manufacturers in the world. Its Roomba vacuums provide top notch cleaning experiences that many users find highly invaluable. Since 2002 when the first robotic Roomba vacuum was introduced into the market, several million units have been sold around the world. Many other versions have also been created and released into the market. Today, there are over 14 Roomba models in existence. Some of these include the Roomba 620, 650, 652, 690, 761, 770,805, 860, 870, 877, 880, 890, 960 and 980. Each version is built with a variety of features that are appropriate for different needs.
With so many models in existence, it can be a daunting task figuring out which Roomba to get. Not to worry, after reading this guide you should be able to determine the best Roomba for your needs based on the features they possess.
Please keep in mind that while each machine has diversified traits, not all features present will be useful to you depending on the environment/nature of cleaning you require.
Another important point with Roomba is: the higher the model number; the more the features. In most cases, this rule goes hand in hand with the price. The model number, however, should not be mistaken to always be a positive indicator of quality. For instance, the Roomba 960 is considered to be the most superior model based on the available features and price although it ranks lower than the Roomba 980. It also costs less – by almost $200!
For simplification purposes, this guide will compare the functionality and the prices of Roomba models instead of offering a breakdown of what each individual Roomba model has to offer. This is because models in the same number bracket e.g. 600, 700, e.t.c tend to share majority of the features and have slight modifications.
In this guide we shall compare the features of Roomba models in the same bracket and in different number brackets.
Roomba 620 vs. 650
The Roomba 620 and 650 are some of the best-selling Roomba models of all time. When they were first introduced, the combination of price and features was unlike any other in the market. That, however, has changed with the release of newer models. Nonetheless, these two models still offer phenomenal features that users will find highly useful in their cleaning operations today.
- Both are easy to set up – Both the 620 and 650 models don’t require any technical expertise to be assembled.
- Attractive design – Both models were built to complement modern home settings.
- Lightweight – Both weigh roughly 12 pounds.
- Both are cheaply priced. The Roomba 620 retails for $328 while the 650 model goes for $374.
So, how is the Roomba 650 better than the 620?
- The Roomba 650 design is more appealing than the 620. It has a sleek dark exterior that makes it highly attractive. This is in comparison to the 620 model which is yellowish. Depending on your home’s décor, the yellow color can stand out like a sore thumb.
- Compared to the 650 and other sophisticated models, the Roomba 620 has a more difficult time mapping out its environment due to its technologically inferior navigation system. This means some form of manual supervision is required in order to ensure the robot doesn’t miss any spots during cleaning. This problem is also in the Roomba 650 but it is experienced at a much lower magnitude.
- Also, both models work by agitating dirt from surfaces with a rotating brush. This works great until hair gets stuck in the units requiring the user to manually cut them off the brushes. In the 650, the brushes are removable which makes the process easier. The same cannot be said for the 620.
Verdict: The 650 is ideal for customers looking for a cheap Roomba model that can deliver decent results without being problematic when vacuuming hair and fur. This model is still among the cheapest in the Roomba catalogue even today. However, if price is not your main concern it is advisable you consider other models in the Roomba collection.
Roomba 650 vs. 770
Based on the model number, the 770 is a more sophisticated unit than the 650. However, does that mean it offers more cleaning value than the 650 or is it simply a hyped model that is not worth the extra investment? Let’s break it down.
- Both the 650 and the 770 model both utilize a 3 stage cleaning process.
- IAdapt technology – Both models are built with responsive technology that enables them to detect and avoid obstacles e.g. furniture when cleaning.
The Roomba 770 is an upgrade of the 650 unit. Although it shares many traits with the 650 model it also boasts a wide variety of enhanced features.
- Just like the Roomba 650 it uses a 3-stage cleaning process. However, the technology used is more advanced and includes optical and acoustic sensors. This means it can get more dust and dirt off floors compared to the 650. IRobot advertises a 98 percent pick up efficiency.
- The 770 is also more adept at eradicating allergens and tiny animal hairs. This helps improve the air freshness and leaves a home feeling cleaner especially for pet owners. This is a huge difference between the 770 and the 650.
- Users of the 770 and 650 can restrict the cleaning area of the robot courtesy of a virtual wall. Unlike the 650 which has only one virtual wall to curtail the robot’s movement, the 770 has two walls.
Verdict: The choice between the Roomba 650 vs. 770, just like with the Roomba 620 vs. 650, boils down to price – for the most part. Generally speaking, both machines have similar features. The Roomba 770 however has an extra virtual wall; comes with HEPA filters and uses advanced technology in its cleaning process. This contributes to the $100 difference between the two models. If you’re looking to save $100 choose the 650 model though this is not recommended. The 770 is a superior brand to the 650 due to its enhanced cleaning capabilities and dual HEPA filters. For the extra perks the extra $100 is well worth it.
Roomba 805 vs. 650
The Roomba 805 and 650 models share a variety of features. However, the 805 is more robust and promises more functionality albeit at a higher price.
- Both models incorporate iAdapt navigation to help the robots maneuver around the home.
- Both models are self-charging.
- Both models can be scheduled to auto-clean.
- The Roomba 805 employs the use of an AeroForce system to deliver more cleaning power. This is absent in the 650.
- The 805 is built with tangle-free dirt extractors which prevent clogs. This is a far cry from the 650 which uses brushes that agitate dirt when cleaning that sometimes allow for debris clogs.
- The 805 possesses HEPA filters that capture 99 percent of dirt and prevents the escape of particles as small as 10 microns.
- The 650 model can detect particle via acoustic sensors only. The 805 model uses both optical and acoustic sensory mechanisms to detect dirt.
- The 805 uses series 2dirt detect technology to support its optical and acoustic sensors. The 650 uses an inferior series 1 dirt detect technology.
Verdict: It goes without saying that the Roomba 805 takes the cake by guaranteeing a better clean up due to its superior AeroForce system that maximizes suction power. It also does a much better job at eliminating hair and other allergens. Its double dirt detect sensory mechanism makes it an awesome step up from the Roomba 650 if you’re more concerned with cleaning prowess and functionality.
However, if you don’t have pets and are looking for a Roomba for some “light” vacuuming then the Roomba 650 is the ideal choice. It costs significantly less than the 805. It is also lightweight compared to the 805 weighing almost 1.5 pounds less.
Roomba 650 vs. 860
- Both models have the auto-scheduling feature.
- Both models perform spot cleaning.
- Both have auto-recharge capabilities. They can detect when the battery is running low, stop the cleaning and proceed to the charging station.
- Both use iAdapt navigation to avoid drop falls and collisions with objects during cleaning.
- Both have the same dimensions i.e. 13.9 by 13.9 by 3.6 inches.
It’s worth pointing out that neither of these two models have the features present in high-end Roombas. For instance, both lack carpet boost mode which makes them inefficient for carpet cleaning. That said; the 860 offers significantly more value than the 650.
- The 860 possesses a HEPA filter. This is absent in the 650.
- The 860 uses AeroForce cleaning system which offers superior vacuuming power compared to the Aerovac system utilized in the 650.
- The 860 comes with a full bin indicator ensuring the user does not have to constantly monitor the bin level.
- Debris extractor – This is present only in the 860 model.
- Carrying handles – This is present only in the 860 model.
- The Roomba 650 brandishes a minimalistic beautiful design that comes in a sleek black color. The 860 Roomba, on the other hand, is also visually appealing and brandishes a silver color. While it doesn’t have that Roomba “look” it has been observed to raise more curiosity in visitors than attention.
Verdict: If you’re concerned about performance, the 860 can vacuum and clean up to 5 times better than the 600 models. This includes the Roomba 650. The 860 is also an ideal unit to have if you’re concerned about battery life. According to iRobot, it can clean “twice as much” as the earlier models.
If you are more concerned about concentrated cleaning then pick the Roomba 860. However, if you’re concerned about the price and are content with less thorough cleaning then choose the 650.
Roomba 650 vs. 880
The Roomba 650 is among the last robotic cleaners that use a bristle and squeegee brush combination to remove dirt off surfaces. The 880, on the other hand, represents a robovac that uses a motorized brush instead of the brush-squeegee combo.
The 880, like the 650, cleans by agitating dirt before sucking it up. However, in the 880, a ribbed design is used to eliminate the need for constant maintenance that is associated with the bristled brushes in the 650.
- Both models are self-charging.
- Both models can be programmed to auto-clean.
- Both use rotating side brushes to agitate dirt onto the vacuum’s path.
- The 880 utilizes tangle-free rubberized extractors to replace the brushes used in the 650 model.
- The 880 uses Lithium –ion batteries which provide twice the charging power as the nickel metal hydride battery of the 650.
- The 880 can be controlled remotely via a remote controller. The remote can be used to initiate a cleaning session, help navigate the Roomba to a specific area or alter the settings of the robovac.
- The 880 has been known to produce a 50% better cleaning performance than its predecessor the Roomba 650. This is credited to its state of the art motor that can produce up to 5 times the suction power of earlier robotic vacuums.
In terms of cleanliness, the Roomba 650 and 880 tend to deliver relatively equal results especially where hard surfaces are concerned. However, the 880 is a much better vacuum to invest in. Its enhanced technology allows it to perform much better than the 650 and also tremendously reduces the need for human intervention courtesy of its rubberized extractors. If you have used earlier Roomba models and you’re all too familiar with the pain of having to pull hairs that get stuck in the vacuum’s brushes then it’s time to consider the 860 model to simplify this task. With the rubber rollers, any stuck hair can be pulled out very easily. This is an excellent machine for removing human and pet hair especially for homes with simple layouts.
Roomba 805 vs. 860
The Roomba 860 is very similar to the 805 model. How do the two compare? Let’s find out.
- Both use the AeroForce system to clean.
- Both models have iAdapt navigation system installed to guide the machines as they work.
- They both weigh the same. 805 weighs 8.4lbs while the 860 weighs 8.0 lbs.
- Both have tangle free extractors.
- Design: The Roomba 805 comes in a canister design that is only available in black. The Roomba 860 comes in a silver color which gives the machine an exquisite appearance.
- The Roomba 805 is slightly larger than the 860. It measures 18.2 by 16.5 by 5.5 inches compared to 13.9 by 13.9 by 3.6 inches.
- The Roomba 860 possesses HEPA filters which allow it to capture particles, allergens and pollen as small as 10 microns. This feature is absent in the 805.
- The Roomba 860 has rotating side brushes while the 805 does not.
- The Roomba 805 has 2 dual mode virtual wall barriers while the 860 has only 1.
- The Roomba 860 is slightly more expensive retailing at $499 on Amazon compared to $469 for the Roomba 805.
Verdict: It is clear that the Roomba 805 and 860 share many similarities. They are both highly efficient in vacuuming as well as carrying out other cleaning duties in the home. The major difference between the two is the absence of HEPA filters in the 805. For pet owners the Roomba 860 is the better choice since it can trap minute hairs and fur. In this case the extra $30 is worth it. However, for users who want a machine just for cleaning floors and other hard surfaces then the 805 is the model worth purchasing.
Roomba 805 vs. 880
How does the Roomba 805 compare to the 880? Let’s find out.
- Both the Roomba 805 and 880 share the circular design that is characteristic of the Roomba brand.
- Both models produce average noise when cleaning.
- Both weigh the same i.e. 8.4 pounds.
- Both use iAdapt navigation sensors as a guide from colliding with objects and to avoid drop falls.
- Both have 2 virtual wall lighthouse devices.
- The 880 contains HEPA filters. This feature is absent in the 805.
- The 880 can be controlled virtually via a remote control.
- The 805 has side brushes while the 880 does not.
- The iRobot 880 comes with an inbuilt multi-room cleaning feature while the 805 does not.
- The 880 costs considerably more than the 805. The 880 is in the $600 range while the 805 is in the $400 range.
Verdict: For customers concerned about cost the Roomba 805 is a considerably cheaper model to acquire than the Roomba 880. However, you get what you pay for. While the 805 does indeed deliver a quality performance, it pales in comparison to the 880. The Roomba 880 can generate up to 5 times more power than the previous Roomba models and sustains up to 2 times the battery life of its predecessors. The enhanced power enables it to work well on a variety of floor surfaces and to keep at it for a much longer duration. Also, the multi-room feature ensures the robot is guided from room to room further reducing the need for human intervention. All in all the Roomba 880 does a wonderfully superior job. Compared to the 805, the price may be a bit hefty but if you’re not on a budget it is well worth the investment.
Roomba 860 vs. 880
These two models are very similar in design and functionality that many people have a hard time deciding which one to pick. Let’s have a closer look at what they share and how they differ.
- Both models share the same core technology i.e. AeroForce and iAdapt navigation.
- Both have a similar design and their dimensions are almost exact.
- Both have a full bin indicator.
- Both have debris extractors.
- Both have HEPA filters.
- Both facilitate spot cleaning.
- The Roomba 860 is cheaper. Approximately $100 cheaper.
- The 880 has an extra virtual wall.
- The 880 has remote control capability.
- The 860 uses a Lithium ion battery.
- The 880 has a suave black finish while the 860 is silver coated.
- The 860 does not have multi-room cleaning feature.
Verdict: Both models are appropriate for people with allergies since they have High Efficiency Particulate Absorbers (HEPA). They are also both great options for removing animal and human hair without having to worry about entanglement due to the tangle-free extractors. In these areas either model can work just fine. However, for people who want extra comfort e.g. ability to control the device via remote controller or want to enjoy the multi-room cleaning feature then they can go for the 880 model. Also, the multi-room feature limits the manual interaction of the user with the 880. Once the robovac enters a room it does not leave until the room is clean. Afterwards, it makes its way out of the room and into another without any physical guidance. If you own a large home then the Roomba 880 is a far better choice due to this feature.
The downside of the 880 though is it does not have an auto-resume feature once the machine has recharged. For this convenience you may have to consider other models such as the Roomba 960 or 980.
Roomba 880 vs. 980
The Roomba 980 is considered to be the most advanced robotic cleaner in the market. It has the smartest AI and features. But how does it stack against the Roomba 880? Let’s find out.
- Both the Roomba 880 and 980 have the same dimensions. They have a 13.8inch diameter. They both have a similar height of 3.6inches and they both weigh 8.4 pounds.
- Both models have multi-room cleaning capability.
- They both have the characteristic canister Roomba shape.
- The Roomba 880 has a different color scheme compared to the 980. It is predominantly black and lacks the bluish finish of its predecessors. The 980, on the other hand, is a combination of black and grey with a few silver accents. This combination has led many to term it as the most beautiful Roomba to date.
- The Roomba 980 has the auto-recharge and resume feature. This feature is absent in the 880.
- Only the 980 can be controlled remotely via an app.
- Conversely, only the 880 can be controlled via a remote controller.
- The 980 has a carpet boost feature which makes it conducive for cleaning carpets.
- The 980 has twice the battery life of the 880.
- The 980 has a more sophisticated navigation and anti-collision mechanism due to the inbuilt camera (iAdapt 2.0). This is a huge upgrade from the 880 which relies on the less efficient iAdapt navigation system (iAdapt1.0).
Verdict: The major problem with the 880 in comparison with the 980 is the weak navigation and sensors. The Roomba 980 does not have any navigation problems. It also has half the power and battery life of the 980. While the 880 does indeed do a good job at cleaning it is no match for the 980 which delivers sharp results and misses no spots. However, the 980 is a bit noisy and very expensive.
If you want the absolute best Roomba in terms of functionality choose the 980.
Roomba 980 vs. 960
The Roomba 980 and 960 are two of the greatest robot vacuums to come from iRobot. They share too many similarities that have led many to wonder if spending an extra $200 (the 980 costs $900 and the 960 costs $700) is worth it. Let’s find out.
- Both run on AeroForce vacuuming technology.
- Both have HEPA filters.
- Both support edge cleaning.
- Both have full bin indicators.
- Both use an advanced version of iAdapt navigation technology that supports an onboard camera for visual localization.
- Both support spot cleaning.
- Both can be scheduled to clean.
- Both can auto-resume cleaning after self-charging.
- Both can be controlled remotely via an app.
- Both weigh roughly the same. The 980 weighs 8.7 pounds while the 960 weighs 8.5 pounds.
- Both are powered by a Lithium ion battery.
- Both have debris extractors.
- Both support Wi-Fi connectivity.
- The 980 supports carpet boost functionality that gives it a significant edge in eradicating dirt, dust and hair off rugs and carpets.
- The 980 runs for almost 2 hrs while the 960 only supports cleaning operations for 1 hour 15 minutes.
- The 980 has 2 virtual wall barriers compared to the 1 that the 960 possesses.
- The 980 costs $200 more than the 960.
Verdict: The 960 incorporates all the meaningful features of the 980 except for a few which can be deemed unnecessary depending on your cleaning needs. Unless you have a large space that requires cleaning or you have heavy rugs and carpets then you need not spend the extra cash for the 980. The 960 has the best price-feature ratio of any Roomba model in existence. Save for the few exceptions stated above, it offers the same functionality as the 980 but at a lower cost.