iRobot Roomba Model Comparison Chart (All-Up-to-Date 2017)

Since my latest comparison of the Roomba 860 versus the Roomba 880, I’ve had a bunch of emails asking me about other Roomba models and like I’ve done with the Dyson comparison chart, I thought I’d make another one for the robot vacuums.

First off, a brief ‘thumbs up’.

iRobot Roomba Model Comparison Chart (All-Up-to-Date 2017)

Since my latest comparison of the Roomba 860 versus the Roomba 880, I’ve had a bunch of emails asking me about other Roomba models and like I’ve done with the Dyson comparison chart, I thought I’d make another one for the robot vacuums.

First off, a brief ‘thumbs up’.

Obviously because you are here you are considering picking up a robot vacuum and trust me once you’ve had one you wouldn't go without one. They just save so much time and the best thing is they have been just getting better and better, and now it’s 2016 - there is some seriously good tech out there. The roomba vacuums of yesteryear are well and truly gone, now even with the cheaper iRobot models you are getting a quality vacuum.

That said, with all the improvement and alterations over the last five years or so, it means there are a tonne of different robot vacuums out there and varying Roomba vacuum versions - with this little comparison guide (and handy charts) just below, I’m to clear up any confusion you might have over the,

- Roomba 650 Roomba 770 Roomba 860 Roomba 880 Roomba 980
Self Charge Returns back to the home docking station after a cleaning cycle. Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
iAdapt Navigation Technology Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes | version 2.0 & vSLAM Technology
Resume after charge? Does it carry on from where it finished the cleaning cycle? No No No No Yes
Guides Does it come with virtual guides? Lighthouses? How many? 1x Virtual Wall 2 x Virtual Wal 1x Virtual Wall 2x Lighthouse (multi-room) Lighthouse (multi-room
Cleaning System Which cleaning system does it work with? AeroVac Series 1 AeroVac Series 2 3 Stage
(AeroForce)
3 Stage
(AeroForce)
3 Stage (Latest Gen 3 Motor)
Self Charge           
Adjustable Cleaning Adjusts from soft flooring (e.g. carpets/rugs) to hard floor (e.g. hardwood) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Filtration System Filters in place to capture allergens and bacteria expelled into the air. AeroVac Filter Dual HEPA HEPA III HEPA III Triple HEPA
Tangle Free Extractors Is it installed with specially designed extractors so it doesn’t get caught up? No No Yes Yes Yes
Bin Capacity & Indicators How big is the bin and does it let you know when it’s getting full? 0.22 litres 0.26 litres
Indication that it’s full.
0.416 liters
Indication that it’s full.
0.416 liters
Indication that it’s full.
0.6 liters
Indication that it’s full.
Dirt Detect Series How it recognizes particularly dirty patches on flooring. I
Acoustic Sensors
II
Acoustic & Optical Sensors
II
Acoustic & Optical Sensors
II
Acoustic & Optical Sensors
II
Acoustic & Optical Sensors
Carpet Boost & Custom Cleaning Preferences Increases vacuum power by 10x air power & you can choose eco, performance and automatic mode No No No No Yes
(35 minutes)
Integrated Camera  No No No No Yes
Edge Cleaning Capable of reaching right along the skirting. No Yes Yes Yes Yes & Specific Mode
Persistent Pass It will run over the same spot repeatedly. Concentrated Clean (Series I) Series II Series II Series II Series II
Brushless No No Yes Yes Yes
Schedule Program Schedule when you want it to operate 7 days/week. Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Battery Life & Type 60 Minutes 70 Minutes 75 Minutes 60 minutes (up to 75 minutes) Up to 120 Minutes (Entire Level)
Dimensions 13.9 x 3.6 inches 13.9 x 3.6 inches 13.9 x 3.6 inches 13.9 x 3.6 inches 13.8 x 3.6 inches
Remote Contro Change settings and operate the Roomba from remote. No Yes No Yes Yes (via HOME App)
HOME App/WiFi Enabled No No No No Yes
Weight 7.9 lbs 8.4 lbs 8.4 lbs 8.4 lbs 8.7 lbs
Warranty This excludes the battery which is covered for six months. 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year

All information sourced from irobot.com (Disclaimer: I’ve tried to be as accurate as possible, but if you do find a mistake please don’t hesitate to get in touch so I can promptly correct it).

All information sourced from irobot.com (Disclaimer: I’ve tried to be as accurate as possible, but if you do find a mistake please don’t hesitate to get in touch so I can promptly correct it).

Currently, I have only decided to compare the main five Roomba vacuums that you should be considering. As you will have probably seen when shopping around for a Roomba vacuum that there’s A LOT of different models out there.

What you will also notice though is that a lot of the models have actually been somewhat discontinued and no longer supported by iRobot (only in the sense that they don’t directly sell them from their home store). In fact, I was debating whether to actually include the Roomba 770 in the comparison as that 700 series has been superseded by the 800 series - but since it is such a popular models and a lot of the emails I’ve been getting have asked about it, I thought it would be worth including.

If the whole “shopping for a Roomba” thing is getting a bit overwhelming with all the different models, these five are basically what you need to boil it down to. Then see from there which suits your budget and your needs the best - I’m also to give a rundown on the overview of each model too, so you can get to better grips on the differences and comparisons that you need to make between them all.

iRobot Roomba 650

The Roomba 650 is the best selling vacuum on amazon and for good reason, although it’s the most basic model of the group - if you are on a particularly tight budget, it’s going to offer you a whole lotta of bang for your buck. A lot of people use it to help supplement their cleaning, leaving it do just the down stairs and couple it up with a standard vacuum or a cordless one (a Dyson V6 or V8 and this would work pretty great actually).

For those who aren’t too sure on the whole “robot vacuum” thing quite yet and don’t want to shell out too much, then the 650 is a great introduction and won’t disappoint. Although, as you can see from the chart above, it’s not exactly got all the bells and whistles like some of the other models - it’s certainly a might fine robot vacuum for sure - nd although there are better bargains to be had out there, you know at least you’re getting a Roomba vacuum and with that a certain quality is expected.

Although it does have a lot of positives, it doesn’t offer some of the aspects that I’d want from it. For instance, the filtration system is a standard AeroVac and basically it’s not a HEPA filtered system like the others so the air it expels won’t quite be “as clean”. Also, although it does do a good job of cleaning your house (better than you will expect), it’s really not quite the performance of the 800 series and above, plus because it doesn’t have tangle free extractors you will find it needs a little more TLC with cleaning it than the more advanced Roombas.

Then there are a few practical aspects that although is good for a cheaper unit, you will probably find that you are emptying more often than you’d like to (given the smaller bin capacity) as well as not actually telling you when it is full. That said, for a reputable vacuum that doesn’t cost a bomb - it’s a really good buy compared to a lot of the other cheaper robot vacuums out there - that quite frankly don’t make the cut in even the core aspects.

It has a solid battery life of around an hour from one single charge and it will take itself off to be recharged again. It’s able to adjust and detect when it’s cleaning a hard floor from a soft floor and will adjust accordingly to make for the most optimum clean plus you can schedule it on a 7 day programmable basis to clean when you want. Besides, it’s not the #1 best selling robotic vacuum for no reason, an all round great buy.

iRobot Roomba 770

As I said above, I wasn’t 100% sure or not to include the Roomba 770, because it is not fully backed by iRobot in the sense it’s on their front store. That said, like the Roomba 650 is a best selling vacuum and I got a bunch of questions asking about it.

Also, I thought it was the ideal bridge robot vacuum between that of the 650 and the next one 860 with a pretty hefty price difference between those two - and in many ways the 770 does slide right between them.

The filtration system uses a Dual HEPA system so captures the smaller particles of bacteria and allergens, meaning generally cleaner air is expelled which is good in general and particularly those who are allergy suffers. You might have also noticed that it comes with a remote control that can come in pretty handy, if you are finding it particularly hard to get off the sofa whilst the football is in (although I’ve found you do have to have a good direct line with it to make sure it connects).

You will have also noticed that it has the next series on the AeroVac series so does offer a slightly better clean in general but it also offers “clean edge” so it makes proper work of your skirting. Of course it still features the adjustable clean, so is ideal for all floor types and like all the Roombas featured (and in general) have been designed to be slim to make sure they are capable of getting under most sofas, beds and other general furniture.

You will have seen from the “guides” that this model actually comes with two virtual walls (so an extra one over the 650) and what this basically allows you to do is prohibit the roomba from cleaning certain areas. So if you have an open plan space but don’t want it to wander off into the hallway, you can set up a virtual wall that will contain it to a certain cleaning space.

It also has the persistent cleaning pass feature, where like you would for particularly dirt parts of your flooring and you will drag the vacuum back and forth, the Roomba will perform the same motion to get particularly dirty parts picked up. If you’ve got pet hair though, I’d recommend going for the model above this, the Roomba 860 as they’ve got the tangle free extractors. Although, the Roomba 770 is good - if you’ve got a bit of a problem for when it comes to cleaning it.

  1. g. bigger bin and indicator to let you know that it’s full + you get a remote control) as well as just being a general better cleaning machine with the improved AeroVac series 2.

Roomba 860

As I briefly mentioned at the start of this comparison, I’ve actually had hold of both the Roomba 860 and 880 when testing mine (the 880) against a friend’s (860). Although, I did come to the overall conclusion that the 880 would still be the one I’d personally go for, simply because of the room to room multi cleaning - the 860 is still an all round great robot vac.

It’s essentially replaced the Roomba 870 (and hence iRobot no longer support it on their front store anymore) due to the improved battery life. Although after speaking to one of their sales reps asking “what’s the point going for the 870 then?” he responded with people might just prefer the cheaper model.

Which I found a little puzzling given that in fact the 860 is cheaper than the 870 - which just goes to show it’s worth investing a little time in researching the Roomba vacuums before splurging.

Now the 860 generally raises the bar a little and is a bigger jump from the 770 to this model than the 650 to the 770 in terms of cleaning performance and is why you are probably going to end up paying a bit more for the 770 -then it’s definitely worth considering upping it again by another little bit because you are getting SO much more from this Roomba.

First off, you will have the vastly improved cleaning mechanism known as AeroForce that basically picks up a whole lot more than the AeroVac series having gone a massive revamp, so the pick up of dirt, grime and dust is much better. A lot of the practical aspects have been improved too such as the even larger bin, plus with tangle free extractors - it’s a much better option if you’ve got a pet hair issue in your house.

That said, I can understand why someone would go for the 770 over the 860, given the fact it is a bit cheaper, but you do get an extra virtual wall as well as the remote control.

Roomba 880

This is the one, I’ve got. And quite frankly, it’s pretty darn awesome. It’s nice coming home to clean and fresh looking floors and I’ve literally just hit a button. The 860 and 880 are very much the same given they are in the same 800 series.

They’ve got the same cleaning power, same bin capacity and so on. However, the crucial difference is that the 880 comes with two lighthouses and what this essentially allows the Roomba to do in once cycle is go for 75 minutes and clean up to 3 rooms. This works perfectly as the bottom floor of my entire house is just three rooms - so it cleans them in one fell swoop.

This means, I don’t have to keep interfering with it once I’ve done one room and then the next. Just for that extra bit of convenience and it’s totally worth it for the multi-room cleaning.

Roomba 980

As of right now, this is probably ‘the’ leading robot vacuum cleaner in the world (that said, the Dyson 360 Eye is soon to be released here soon and is by all accounts a little piece of engineering mastery) and of course that is reflected in the price.

To cut it short though, this robot vacuum is nothing short of fantastic. With every series the amount of maintenance you’ve got to do to keep the vacuum running is less and less - also the cleaning performance just keeps on getting better and better.

First off, it’s got what’s called “Entire Level” cleaning this means from a single run it has the potential to go for almost 2 hours non stop (almost doubling the models before it). It’s integrated with an improved navigation system to actually be smart about where it’s heading (whereas with the previous models, you won’t really have a clue what it is doing) and uses what they term as vSLAM technology (making use of an integrated camera) to create landmarks on a map it produces to know exactly where it needs to clean next.

From this, it means that when it does start to run out of power, it can take itself back to the docking station and then actually carry on from where it started off to then complete the run and the job in hand.

It still uses the AeroForce cleaning system but can also use what’s known as “Carpet Boost” whereby it supplies up to ten times the air power by getting the most of the latest gen motor for carpets, rugs and soft flooring to remove ground in dirt. Literally “dirt doesn’t stand a chance”. It also comes with a customised clean mode, so you can select performance (maximize the clean), eco (run at the lower settings but will conserve energy and will be quiet) and automatic mode (where when it detects heavy dirt, it will boost the cleaning performance where necessary).

You might have noticed it comes with the app and because it’s wifi connected it means you can control it from anywhere within the house, unlike with the remote that you to have a direct line with. You’re free to change settings and even control the robot if you wanted. A truly, fantastic robot vacuum for sure.

Which Roomba to Go For?

It’s all about the budget you’ve got to play with and what you want from the Robot vacuum. If you are looking at something that’s not overly expensive, than the Roomba 650 is the way to go really but if you really need that room to room cleaning ability you’d need to go for an 880 (or buy a lighthouse separately and check it’s compatible with the Roomba you intend to buy). Then of course if you are after the absolute best robot vacuum around in 2016, then that’s pretty easy to work also - the Roomba 980 will be the one for you.

Personally, I went for the Roomba 880 a good few months back and quite frankly I love it. It’s quite a clever little vacuum (well, doesn’t bump into things too often anyway), it doesn’t get itself tangled up as much I thought it would, it’s actual cleaning performance is actually nothing short of excellent and although it wasn’t cheap - to me the extra for the 980 wasn’t quite right for me, given that I’m still living a little in the caveman days so their special “APP” flies a little over my head and most of my flooring is actually hard surfaced so the “carpet boost” feature would also be a bit lost.

However, the room to room feature with the lighthouses was the sticking point for me getting the 880 over (at the time) the 870, but I’d still go for it again over the 860.

Besides though- with any of the models you go for, especially if you are new to getting a robot vacuum, you will be pleasantly surprised just how good these Roombas are. If you have any questions, concerns regarding the Roomba model comparison chart or just want to have a natter, don’t forget you catch me here.