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TRYING TO DECIDE BETWEEN A BOBSWEEP VS. ROOMBA ROBOT VACUUM FOR YOUR HOME?
You’ve come to the right place.
In this in-depth comparison, we are going to compare the recently-updated bObsweep PetHair Plus vs. the Roomba 690, which was launched in 2017.
Both of these robotic vacuum cleaners are proven to be sub-$500 automatic floor cleaners, making them great choices if you want good value.
But they vary quite a bit in terms of features and how they clean.
To learn more about each, see my review of the Bobsweep Pet Hair and the Roomba 690.
If you are interested in Roomba models only, then check out my comparison of all the popular Roombas.
The bObsweep Pet Hair Plus comes with many improvements over the original PetHair model – including more suction power, longer battery life, improved controls, and a new virtual barrier.
Some of the features I like most about the Pet Hair Plus include the massive 1-liter bin, the mopping attachment, and UV sterilization – these make the Pet Hair Plus the best choice for pet owners.
However, this robotic vacuum cleaner does not offer Wi-Fi / smartphone remote control.
The Roomba 690 is one of Roomba’s most affordable and most proven single-room robotic vacuums.
This is the best choice if you need to control the vacuum away from home or via Alexa or Google Assistant. The bin on the 690 is smaller, so it fills up faster – especially if you have 2 or more pets.
But the 690 is a proven workhorse. And it’s easier to maintain.
BOBSWEEP VS. ROOMBA COMPARED IN DETAIL
- Midrange in terms of pricing
- Basic navigation systems
- Good on the carpet and hard floors
- Scheduling available
- They come with virtual barriers
|bObsweep PetHair Plus||Roomba 690|
|2 side brushes + roller brush||1 side brush + dual roller brushes|
|Large 1-liter bin||Smaller 350ml bin|
|Control via remote control or buttons on the robot||Control via a smartphone app or smart assistant|
|Mop + vacuum + UV sterilization||Vacuum only|
Neither of these robots has a navigation system, per se, but they manage fine as long as you limit the robot vacuum cleaner to one room at a time.
Both also come with virtual barriers to limit movement.
But that’s where the similarity ends.
BOBSWEEP PETHAIR PLUS NAVIGATION
The PetHair Plus moves around in pre-programmed patterns until the battery gets low, which takes about 75 minutes. But it manages to cover most of the room with few to no missed spots.
You can control its movements by selecting one of the three cleaning pattern modes.
There is a spiral track for spot cleaning, waffle track where the robot covers a small area in a grid pattern and wall track for edge cleaning.
The robot has cliff sensors to avoid tumbling down the stairs, bumper sensors to detect furniture in its way, and dirt detection sensors to find dirty spots.
While the robot lacks advanced floor mapping, it is not totally dumb. It will take longer to clean the same area as a Roomba 980 or Neato D7, but it will still get the job done.
One small downside worth mentioning is the robot’s chunky design. It is 3.9” thick which is on the higher side compared to other robot vacuums.
It will get stuck under furniture with clearance lower than 3.9”.
To limit the vacuum’s movement, use the included Block Plus cube which sends out a signal in two directions. The robot will not clean past those signals.
This is handy when you don’t want the vacuum to clean the pet feeding area or get tangled in the mess of cables under your desk.
ROOMBA 690 NAVIGATION
The Roomba 690 does not include the navigation smarts of pricier Roomba models like the 960 and 980.
But it works fine – as long as you use it in one room.
The 690 is equipped with iRobot’s iAdapt technology, which includes multiple sensors.
Cliff sensors prevent the robot from falling down the stairs, bumper sensors keep it from banging into your furniture, and a Dirt Detect sensor tells it where to focus its cleaning.
The robot uses back and forth movements, going over the same areas several times to ensure it is completely clean. It can also clean along the wall using the edge-sweeping brush to sweep dust and pet hair into the vacuum’s path.
At 3.6” thick, the Roomba 690 is low enough to go under places the bObsweep cannot. So, if you have a lot of furniture with low clearance, the Roomba is a better choice.
The Roomba 690 also comes with a Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barrier, which you can use to limit the robot’s movements on your floor.
While neither of these vacuums has the most powerful suction, they do a great job on hard floors and low-pile carpet.
BOBSWEEP PETHAIR PLUS CLEANING PERFORMANCE
On hard floors, the PetHair Plus deploys its enhanced suction power and brush system to clean up dirt, pet hair, bits of food, and all other kinds of debris.
Two side brushes sweep in dirt from the side into the path of the vacuum while a roller brush agitates dirt and pushes it inside the suction port.
bObsweep says the PetHair Plus has four times the suction power of the base PetHair model. So, it has no trouble picking up dirt and pet hair.
The dirt is captured by a series of 3 filters – a mesh filter, an electrostatic filter, and a HEPA filter – and dumped into a 1-liter bin.
This is the biggest bin among robot vacuum cleaners. You don’t have to empty it as often, even if you have a heavy-shedding dog or multiple pets.
The bObsweep can also mop hard floors. It doesn’t have an onboard water tank; it’s not a true robotic mop like the Braava 380t.
To mop the floor, you wet the included mopping pad and attach it to the robot.
It also has UV sterilization, an especially handy feature for homes with kids and pets.
On carpet, the PetHair Plus uses the beater brush and improved suction to pick up dirt hiding deep in the fibers.
It does a great job on low and medium-pile carpets but struggles with thicker carpets. It especially struggles with fine debris like sugar or flour.
For best results only use it on thinner rugs. Also, watch out if your carpet has fringes. The robot can easily get stuck on them. Tuck them under the carpet until the vacuum finishes cleaning.
ROOMBA 690 CLEANING PERFORMANCE
On hard floors, the Roomba 690 does a great job cleaning up dirt and pet hair.
It has a side brush to sweep in the dirt along the wall edges and a dual roller brush to agitate stubborn dirt and push it inside the vacuum.
The suction is not as powerful as that of its pricier siblings, but it gets the job done on hardwood floors, tile, and vinyl floors.
The main downside with the 690 is the small 350ml bin. Expect to empty the bin often, sometimes even in the middle of a cleaning session.
On carpet, the Roomba has an edge on the bObsweep mostly because of the dual roller brushes.
The counter-rotating bristle brush does a better job of bringing up hidden dirt and forcing it inside the vacuum.
For the best cleaning performance, stick to low and medium-pile carpets. Beyond that, the robot will struggle, especially with finer debris.
Both models have just enough battery life to clean 2-3 medium-size rooms. When the battery gets low, they are programmed to go back to the charging station automatically. But it does not resume its cleaning cycle.
BOBSWEEP PETHAIR PLUS BATTERY LIFE
The PetHair Plus has a battery life of around 75 minutes. This is a huge improvement from the previous model, which only lasted a measly 40 minutes.
The new 3500mAh lithium-ion battery means the robot can clean a larger area before it has to go back to the dock.
ROOMBA 690 BATTERY LIFE
The Roomba 690 has a run time of 90 minutes. That’s long enough to clean a couple of small or medium-size rooms. And since it’s a one-room cleaner, that means you can let it run a few times between charges.
Like the PetHair Plus, the 690 automatically returns to the dock to recharge when the battery gets too low. But it doesn’t have auto-resume.
The Roomba 690 is definitely the louder of these two vacuums. It is not as noisy as an upright vacuum cleaner, but you can’t really enjoy TV in the same room while it’s cleaning.
I don’t recommend running the 690 at night or when your baby is trying to sleep.
The bObsweep is quieter, but you still have to crank up the TV to hear clearly when it is cleaning.
None of these robots have an Eco mode, which some vacuums use to reduce suction power and noise. You’ll have to put up with the noise until they finish vacuuming.
Luckily, you can set both on an auto-schedule so that they only clean when no one’s home.
Neither of these units is the most efficient robot vacuums.
Their lack of intelligent navigation and floor mapping means they spend more time covering the same area compared with more advanced vacuums.
The Roomba 690 is especially slow in cleaning. But it’s a single-room cleaner, so not really that big of a deal.
If you have a large home or multiple levels, neither of these are the right robot vacuums for you anyway.
Buy a more capable alternative such as the Neato Botvac D7 or the Roomba 980.
SCHEDULING AND CONTROL
The big difference here: the Roomba 690 lets you control it and set a schedule using your smartphone or a smart speaker, while the bObsweep comes with dedicated remote control with a screen for selecting cleaning modes and creating a cleaning schedule.
BOBSWEEP PETHAIR PLUS SCHEDULING AND CONTROL
The most common complaint you’ll see online re. the PetHair Plus is how confusing it can be to set up and control.
The problem is its user interface. The screen on the robot displays too much information, and the buttons are not intuitively designed.
It will take a little time to get used to everything.
I suggest you first learn how to set a schedule. That will be handy when you are not home.
You can set the robot to clean every day or only on some days.
Then slowly explore the other functions with the help of the detailed user guide.
ROOMBA 690 SCHEDULING AND CONTROL
The Roomba 690 can be connected to your home’s Wi-Fi, which means it also connects to your smartphone over the internet.
The configuration process is a bit tedious, but once you are done with it, you’ll have an easy time using the iRobot Home app on your phone.
Using your smartphone, you can remotely start/stop cleaning, set a schedule, or locate the robot.
If you use Alexa or Google Assistant, the 690 can be controlled using either.
Roombas are known for their easy maintenance, and the 690 is no exception. The brushes don’t get tangled that much, and it’s easy to access various components like the bin and filters. The only downside is the small bin which needs to be emptied daily. But that’s a small sacrifice.
bObsweep is a combination mop + vacuum, so it requires a bit more work to maintain and requires more replacement parts than the Roomba. This includes replacing the mop pad, two side brushes, and filters.
If you are looking for a robot with almost effortless maintenance, go with the Roomba.
Both the bObsweep and Roomba are mid-range models that cost less than $500.
bObsweep lists the PetHair Plus for $899 on its website, but don’t pay that. Tons of better and smarter robot vacuums cost less. Even the best Roombas don’t cost that much.
Amazon prices for the Pet Hair Plus are far more reasonable.
Roomba 690 is the more affordable model and, in my opinion, the one that provides the best value for your money.
As long as you don’t care about the mop. It is also cheaper to maintain.
HOMES WITH PETS
- If you have just one pet, the 690 is good enough
- If you have 2 or more pets, then buy the bObsweep
The bObsweep PetHair Plus is my best choice of these two vacuums for homes with pets. It sucks up pet hair and dander with ease, using its set of 3 filters to ensure your home is allergen-free.
The huge 1-liter bin means you don’t have to bother emptying the bin every day.
The UV sterilization feature is a nice bonus for pet owners. It ensures the floors remain clean, especially after an accident.
The mopping feature, though not as good as a full robotic mop (see our roundup here), is also handy when you need a quick wipe up of a pet accident.
The Roomba 690 is also good for pet and dog hair, through the small bin can be frustrating to have to frequently empty.
The 690 robot shines best on low-pile carpet, where the dual brushes pick up pet hair with ease.
HOMES WITH KIDS
bObsweep’s mopping function and UV sterilization again give it an edge over the Roomba for homes with kids.
It can keep your bare floors cleaner and more hygienic.
The Roomba 690’s advantage is its slightly better carpet-cleaning performance and ability to crawl under beds and furniture to reach hidden allergy-causing dirt.
Roomba is also less likely to get tangled up in toys and other kids’ items strewn on the floor. bObsweep gets stuck a bit too easily on cables and action figures.
Both models are less-than-ideal choices if you have a large home. Here’s why:
- They have basic navigation systems that are only ideal for single room cleaning. You have to move the robot from room to room manually.
- Battery life is too short to clean more than a few rooms. They cannot manage an entire level before the battery runs out.
- They lack auto-resume which is handy when cleaning large areas
- They work best in small and medium-size homes and apartments
Both models do a great job cleaning low and medium-pile carpets. They pick up pet hair, food crumbs, and other debris.
But the Roomba 690 performs slightly better thanks to the dual counter-rotating brushes.
HARD FLOORS WITH AREA RUGS
Both robots easily climb onto a rug without getting stuck. And as long as the rug is not shag, they’ll vacuum it almost as well as hardwood floors.
The only problem is if the rug has long fringes.
If you have any area rugs with tassels or fringes, then tuck them out of sight when either vacuum is cleaning.
The bObsweep is especially vulnerable to getting stuck on longer threads, so keep an eye out.
ABOUT BOBSWEEP AND IROBOT
bObsweep is a Canadian company that has been making robotic vacuums since 2015. They currently sell six robot vacuums, including bObi Pet and bObi Classic.
This company is known for its excellent customer service. If you are having trouble with your vacuum, they’ll promptly offer to repair it or send you a new one (sometimes even beyond the warranty period).
iRobot is an American company that is 30 years old. But they only started making consumer robot vacuums in 2002. Before that, iRobot made robots for NASA and the military.
Their Roomba lineup includes some of the best and most popular robotic vacuums in the market. They also make a robotic mop, the Braava 380t.
As you can see, there are many differences as well as similarities between these two robot vacuum models. Down below, you will find summarized points in each category to further break the information down for you.
THE BOBSWEEP DESIGN
The bObsweep design is bulky when compared to other models, but it also allows for a much larger dust bin which means you can go longer between emptying the dust bin.
It also features an LED screen, sensor, bumper, and dust bin release.
It has a round body which makes it much easier to make 360-degree turns; however, corners do prove to be a challenge because of its larger size.
THE ROOMBA DESIGN
This robot vacuum has a much simpler and sleeker design when compared to its counterpart. It features a matte black body with silver accents.
User interface areas are highlighted with bright green, making them easy to see.
It has an on/off clean button, handle, bumper, and dust bin release.
CLEANING WITH THE BOBSWEEP
This robot vacuum utilizes a roller brush as well as a side spinning brush and suction.
The dirt is easily pushed into its cleaning path so that the roller brush can pull the debris in and send it to the dust bin.
It also features blindfold stickers to help clean darker floors and carpets. These stickers can be placed over the sensors on the bottom of the robot vacuum, so these areas aren’t missed during a cleaning cycle.
However, many feel that this is still a problem with navigation that needs to be solved.
CLEANING WITH THE ROOMBA
Like with other robot vacuums, the Roomba uses powerful suction technology for a better clean. It also features a spinning side brush to better reach corners and edges.
It features drop and dirt detection, which allows the Roomba to actually learn as it cleans.
Both of these models take advantage of infrared light; however, the Roomba doesn’t have the dark floor types issue that you often find with the bObsweep. No blindfold sensors are needed for the Roomba.
When it comes to cleaning performance on different types of floors, both bObsweep and Roomba do an impressive and fine job.
But when it comes to features, there’s a lot of difference.
bObsweep Pet Hair Plus is the more robust cleaner. It includes a mopping function, an extra-large bin and UV sterilization.
The Roomba 690, on the other hand, is a workhorse vacuum that you can control using your phone or a smart speaker assistant.
BUY THE BOBSWEEP PETHAIR PLUS IF…
- You are constantly dealing with pet and dog hair
- You need a robotic mop, too
Designed to deliver the best cleaning for homes with pets, the bObsweep Pet Hair Pluss combines three cleaning functions into one unit: vacuum, mop, and UV sterilization.
BUY THE ROOMBA 690 IF…
- You want the excellent, reliable cleaning ability Roombas are known for
- You want to control your vacuum away from home – or via a smart speaker.
If you want a vacuum cleaner and mop you can control and schedule from anywhere, at any time – then choose the Roomba 690.
OUR TOP PICK
The Roomba 690 is our top pick overall. It has excellent cleaning ability, longer battery life, and is easier to configure and maintain. It’s also more affordable.
However, if you have 2 or more pets, we recommend buying the bObsweep PetHair Plus.
WHAT KIND OF SURFACES CAN THIS ROBOT VACUUM CLEAN?
It can be used on a variety of different flooring surfaces, including carpet and hardwood floors. Unfortunately, it is not designed to be able to handle shag carpeting.
WHAT IS THE COVERAGE AREA FOR THE BOBSWEEP ROBOT VACUUM?
This robot vacuum can cover up to 1000 square feet in just one cleaning session. However, if you have a much larger space, then you will find that more than one cleaning session may be required.
CAN YOU SET UP BARRIERS?
Yes. You can set up digital barriers with a variety of bObsweep robot vacuum models.
HOW OFTEN DO YOU HAVE TO EMPTY THE DUST BIN?
Many bObsweep robot vacuum models can complete approximately six cleaning sessions before you have to empty the dust bin. You will find that the dust bin has a larger capacity than some other models.
CAN YOU USE A ROOMBA ON HARDWOOD FLOORS?
Yes. Roombas can be used on a variety of different flooring surfaces, including hardwood floors, thick carpet, and tile.
HOW DO YOU CARE FOR A ROOMBA?
To care for your Roomba, simply make sure that the brushes are cleaned regularly, and the dust bin is emptied. You can also check the filters regularly as well. Doing this will ensure that your Roomba continues to perform at optimal levels.
ARE THERE DIFFERENT CLEANING MODES?
The Roomba has three different cleaning modes, and these modes will change depending on the selections you make. There is a clean option, spot clean option, and a programmable option for cleaning.
WHAT IS AN ANTI-TANGLE SYSTEM?
This system is put in place to help prevent the machine from becoming tangled on loose carpet fibers or tassles.
GENERAL ROBOT VACUUM FAQ
DO ROBOT VACUUMS WORK WELL FOR PET HAIR?
Yes. Robot vacuums can actually pick up a lot more than you may realize. However, there are some models that are better suited for collecting pet hair than others. But you will find a robot vacuum with a good combination of cleaning performance and relatively low maintenance.
CAN A ROBOT VACUUM COMPLETE MULTIPLE TASKS?
Yes. Many robot vacuums today can clean, remember the layout of the home, and even dump the dirt they are collecting. They are also smart enough to be able to find their own way back to the docking station to charge.
CAN YOU SET BOUNDARIES ON YOUR ROBOT VACUUM?
They are definitely programmable so you can schedule your cleanings, set boundaries for where you do not want the vacuum going at certain times, and you can also limit its scope while you are away, so it doesn’t scare your pets at home.