Best Roomba Models Compared

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Wondering which Roomba robotic vacuum cleaner to buy? 

You’ve come to the right place. 

Roomba robot vacuum cleaners, by iRobot, are some of the best in the market. They are well built, offer excellent vacuuming performance and newer models are becoming increasingly smart (making for faster, better and more efficient cleaning). 

In this in-depth buying guide, we compare the top Roomba models in 2021. We also throw in a couple of their Braava robotic mops if you are looking for a complete floor cleaning package. 


What’s In This Guide? 

In this 15-minute guide, we look at the key similarities and differences of popular Roomba models. We also recommend the best Roomba for specific situations and give you tips on how to choose the best Roomba for your needs. 

We also compare Roomba against other brands like eaufy, ILIFE and Shark. 


Roomba Vacuum Cleaners Compared 

Here’s a summary of our top picks. 

iRobot Roomba i7+ (7550) Robot Vacuum with Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal Bags
  • Roomba i7+

  • Best overall

  • Navigation:


    Smart mapping + sensors
  • WiFi:


    Yes
  • Cleaning surface:


    Hard flooring and carpet
  • Recharge & resume:


    Yes
  • 13.3”W x 3.6”H

roomba comparison
  • Roomba s9+

  • Most powerful

  • Navigation:


    Smart mapping + sensors
  • WiFi:


    Yes
  • Cleaning surface:


    Hard flooring and carpet
  • Recharge & resume:


    Yes
  • 12.2”W x 3.5”H

roomba comparison
  • Roomba i3

  • Cheapest self-emptying

  • Navigation:


    mapping + sensors
  • WiFi:


    Yes
  • Cleaning surface:


    Hard flooring and low pile carpets
  • Recharge & resume:


    Yes
  • 13.26”W x 3.63”H

roomba models comparison
  • Roomba e5

  • Best for the money

  • Navigation:


    sensors
  • WiFi:


    Yes
  • Cleaning surface:


    Hard flooring and low pile carpets
  • Recharge & resume:


    No
  • 13.3”W x 3.6”H

irobot roomba comparison
  • Roomba 675

  • Best budget

  • Navigation:


    sensors
  • WiFi:


    Yes
  • Cleaning surface:


    Hard flooring and low pile carpets
  • Recharge & resume:


    No
  • 13.4”W x 3.5”H

comparing roomba models
  • Braava Jet M6

  • Best for mopping

  • Navigation:


    Smart mapping + sensors
  • WiFi:


    Yes
  • Cleaning surface:


    Hard flooring
  • Recharge & resume:


    Yes
  • 10.6”W x 3.5”H

irobot roomba comparison
  • Braava Jet 240

  • Most affordable for mopping

  • Navigation:


    sensors
  • WiFi:


    No
  • Cleaning surface:


    Hard flooring
  • Recharge & resume:


    No
  • 6.7”W x 7”D x 3.3”H


1. Best Roomba Overall: Roomba i7+

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While the Roomba S9+ (which we review next) is the most powerful in the iRobot lineup, we think the i7+ is the best choice overall. 

The i7+ strikes a great balance between price, features and cleaning performance. It cleans better and has more advanced features than most other robotic vacuum cleaners in the market, but is not as crazy expensive as the s9+. 

Pros

  • Powerful vacuum cleaner – great for carpets and pet hair. 
  • Self-emptying. 
  • Uses a high efficiency filter to capture allergens. 
  • Smart mapping allows fast and efficient vacuming. 
  • High level of customizability.
  • Great for multi-room cleaning. 

Cons 

  • Costs more than most other robotic vacuums. 
  • Has trouble with certain types of carpets. 

Our Review 

Self-Emptying Bin

With every new Roomba, iRobot makes their vacuum cleaners more and more autonomous. With the i7+ (and s9+), they’ve achieved almost complete autonomy.   

You can have the i7+ vacuum your home for weeks without you having to lift a finger. 

The centerpiece of the autonomous functionality is the self-emptying bin. The Roomba i7+ comes with a separate base that holds up to 60 days worth of dirt and debris. 

When the bin in the Roomba fills up, it automatically navigates to the base, hooks up to it, and empties dirt into it. The base comes with disposable bags, making it easy to empty it once it fills up. You never have to touch any dirt. 

Smart Mapping

The Roomba i7+ is a whole lot smarter than previous Roombas. When you first deploy it, it maps every room in your home. 

It then uses the generated map to identify and clean specific areas in your home, move from room to room and avoid obstacles such as furniture. 

Smart mapping also allows you to enjoy customized cleaning. You can send the robot to clean a specific room, or tell it to keep out of certain rooms and areas. 

Powerful Cleaning

best roomba model

The Roomba i7+ does an impressive job picking up debris and dirt on any kind of floor, including hardwood and carpets. The brush head automatically adjusts in height when moving from the hard floor to the carpet, to ensure maximum contact with the floor surface.  

It’s double brush rollers and powerful suction makes it especially suited for homes with pets. It makes it easy to keep up with your shedding pets. 

If the battery gets low during cleaning, the i7+ will automatically recharge and resume cleaning as many times as it needs until it finishes cleaning.  

Easy to Use App

You won’t find a Roomba today that’s not WiFi connected, the i7+ included. That means you control it mostly through the iRobot Home app. 

The app has been updated to add more customizability and make it easier to use. You can start and stop vacuuming from wherever you are. And with the smart mapping feature, you can send the i7+ to vacuum a specific room.  

The app also lets you set highly customizable schedules. 

You can also control the i7+ via a smart assistant, either Google Assistant or Alexa. 

Issues & Limitations 

We’ve seen a few complaints regarding the i7+ leaving clumps of pet hair on the carpet. But this seems to occur only with certain types of carpets, mostly shaggy or extra-thick carpets. 

Overall, most carpet owners say they are satisfied with how well the i7+ vacuums. 

The other issue with the i7+ is the fairly high price. If you are shopping on a budget, it’s probably not the right choice. Consider one of the other Roombas or the base Roomba i7 (not self emptying) that’s about a couple hundred bucks cheaper.  

The Roomba i7+ is best for: Anyone looking for a self-emptying Roomba that’s not too expensive. The i7+ is also a great choice for homes with carpets or pets.

 


2. Most Powerful Roomba: Roomba s9+

roomba compared

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The s9+ is the top-of-the-line Roomba, decked with advanced features and powerful suction to pick up dirt and pet hair from any kind of flooring. 

As expeted, it’s also the most expensive Roomba, and one of the priciest robotic vacuum cleaners overall. 

But if you have multiple pets that shed a lot, or want a vacuum that can handle a large home, the s9+ is worth it. 

Pros

  • Powerful cleaning performance. 
  • Self-emptying debris bin.
  • Smart mapping. 
  • WiFi connected – allows app control and compatibility with smart assistants.
  • Better at edge and corner cleaning thanks to the D-shape.
  • Auto recharge & resume. 

Cons

  • Expensive.
  • Loud when set to max power. 

Our Review

Lots of Power

roomba compared

The big question you probably have is whether the s9+ is worth the high price tag. At first glance, there doesn’t seem to be much of a difference with the cheaper i7+. They both have smart mapping, and a self-emptying bin. 

Look deeper, however, and the s9+ is on another level in terms of power. While the i7+ is 10x more powerful than the Roombas in the 600 series, the s9+ is 40x more powerful. 

All this power makes a huge difference on the floor. The s9+ does a great job picking up pet hair, even on thick carpets. It cleans up messes and dirt in no time, and has no trouble picking up large pieces of debris. 

New Design for Edge and Corner Cleaning

All other Roomba vacuums are round. The s9+ is the first to spot a D-shape. The flat edge allows it to vacuum right up to the wall and gives it better reach into corners. 

Combined with the wider roller brushes and the edge cleaning brush, the Roomba s9+ sweeps and picks up dirt from every inch on the floor. 

Smart Mapping

Similar to the i7+, the s9+ maps your home to clean faster and more efficiently. It can clean an entire level, going methodically from room to room. 

It also allows you to send the s9+ to clean a specific area or room, or set up no-go zones. 

Self-emptying Bin 

One of the best parts of the s9+ is that it does all the dirty work for you, from vacuuming to emptying the debris bin.

The included Clean Base, holds up to 60 days worth of debris and works with disposable bags so you never have to touch any dirt.

WiFi Connected

You’ll need to download the iRobot Home app to control and monitor the s9+. On the app, you can remotely start and stop the s9+, monitor its progress, select cleaning program, set no-go zones, and creat an auto-cleaning schedule. 

You can also control the s9+ by voice through Alexa or Google Assistant. 

Issues & Limitations

Looking for a budget, or even a midrange robot vacuum cleaner? The Roomba s9+ is probably not the right choice. It’s pricey, and don’t forget you need to regularly buy bags for the Clean Base. 

Another issue is that the s9+ is loud. This is mostly a problem when you adjust suction to the max setting, and when the s9+ is emptyign debris into the Clean Base. But many people say the improved cleaning performance is worth a bit of noise. 

If the noise level is a big problem for you, the s9+ has a quieter mode, though it’s not as powerful or thorough. It works best for everyday cleaning especially on hard flooring. 

The Roomba s9+ is best for: Anyone looking for a powerful Roomba and doesn’t mind the price. If you want a Roomba capable of cleaning a large house, and cleaning up after multiple pets, the s9+ is an excellent choice. 

 


3. Cheapest Self-emptying Roomba: Roomba i3+

roomba comparison

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If you’d like the convenience of a self-emptying Roomba but the i7+ and s9+ are out of your budget, the Roomba i3+ is a cheaper alternative. 

The reason it costs less is that it lacks smart mapping. Unlike the i7+ and s9+, you cannot designate specific zones in your home for it to clean or keep out of. 

The i3+ is basically an old-fashioned Roomba with a self-emptying feature. But many customers are happy with it. It cleans well, has no trouble navigating around obstacles and even has auto recharge and resume. 

Pros

  • Affordable. 
  • Self-emptying bin. 
  • Excellent cleaning performance on hard floors.
  • Auto recharge & resume.
  • App and voice control. 

Cons

  • Struggles with pet hair on carpets. 
  • Noisy whens elf-emptying. 
  • No smart mapping. 

Our Review

Self-emptying on a Budget

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to enjoy Roomba’s self-emptying feature. The i3+ is much more affordable and offers the same hands-free convenience. 

The self-emptying bin of the i3+ works the same way as the i7+ and s9+. The vacuum does its work and automatically navigates to the Clean Base where it dumps its contents while making the noise of a jet engine. 

Great Choice for Pets

roomba comparison

The powerful suction power (comparable to i7+) and the double roller brushes make easy work of pet hair especially on hard flooring. 

The i3+ also does a great job picking up debris and dirt. The auto-adjusting brushhead allows the brushes to maintain contact with the floor as the robot moves from the hard floor to the carpet. 

Easy Navigation 

While the i3+ lacks the smart mapping functionality of the i7+ and s9+, it still has a basic mapping capability. 

It knows how to evade obstacles, move from room to room, and make its way back to the charging base. If the battery dies midway through cleaning, it’ll automatically recharge then resume cleaning. 

WiFi Connected 

You can connect the i3+ to your home network, then control it from the iRobot Home app wherever you are. You can turn the vacuum on or off, set an auto-cleaning schedule, and receive personalized cleanign recommendations. 

Issues & Limitations

The most common complaint among customers is the robot’s inability to clean pet hair off the carpet. If you have pets and your home is carpeted, we highly recommend the s9+ instead. It has the best carpet vacuuming performance. 

Like other Roombas with the self-emptying feature, the i3+ is loud when it empties debris into the Clean Base. But this lasts only a few seconds. 

One major limitation of the i3+ is the lack of smart mapping. This means you cannot set up specific cleaning or no-go zones. 

If you want the i3+ to clean only a specific area, or you want it to keep out of certain rooms, you either close the doors or get a dual mode virtual wall barrier.

The Roomba i3+ is best for: Anyone looking for an affordable self-emptying Roomba. 

 


4. Best Roomba for the Money: Roomba e5

roomba models comparison

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With the Roomba e5, we leave behind advanced features like self-emptying and smart mapping. You have to empty the e5 yourself, and manually block off areas you don’t want it to go. 

But for the price, the Roomba e5 offers plenty of value for money. It vacuums really well, even on carpets. And it’s great for homes with pets. 

Pros

  • Great value for money. 
  • Fairly good navigation using sensors. 
  • Long run time (90 minutes). 
  • WiFi connected. 
  • Great for vacuuming pet hair. 

Cons

  • No recharge & resume.
  • Gets confused by black surfaces. 

Our Review 

A Bare Bones Vacuum that Cleans Great

Compared to the features in the i and s series Roombas, the e5 is quite barebones. 

But while smart mapping and a self-emptying bin are great features, they are not essential to cleaning performance. When it comes to what matters most – sweeping and picking up dirt, debris and pet hair – the Roomba e5 does an impressive job. 

It shines most on hard flooring, but also does well on low and medium pile carpets. Where it may struggle is picking pet hair from a thick carpet. 

The auto-adjusting brushes maintain contact as the robot goes onto the carpet. A high-efficiency filter ensures that all the debris collected, including fine allergens like pet dander stay trapped in the bin. 

Sensors for Navigation 

roomba models comparison

Sensors will have to do when you get the e5. It lacks the smart mapping of pricier Roombas. That means you cannot designate zones for the robot to clean or keep away from. 

But the sensors work great. The e5 manages to navigate around objects and won’t tumble down the stairs. 

90-minute Runtime with Auto-recharge

You may have noticed we did not mention the runtime of previous Roomba models. That’s because it doesn’t matter since they have auto recharge and resume. So no matter how big of an area they have to vacuum, they’ll finish it. 

The e5 has only auto recharge and no resume (this is because it doesn’t map your home, thus cannot resume where it left off). 

Thankfully, it has a big lithium battery with a 90-minute runtime. That’s long enough to vacuum a large room or a couple smaller ones.   

And when it’s done, or if the battery gets low, it’ll automatically find its way back to the charging base. 

WiFi Connected 

WiFi conenctivity is a basic feature nowadays and so it’s not surprising the Rooba e5 has it. You can control it via the iRobot home app – including setting an auto-cleaning schedule – or command it using your voice via Alexa or Google Assistant. 

Issues & Limitations

The lack of mapping in the Roomba e5 means you have to lock doors or buy a virtual wall barriet to keep the robot in or out of certain areas. It also limits the e5’s ability to clean multiple rooms. It works best if you lock it in one room. 

No mapping also means no recharge and resume. If the 90-minute runtime is not enough to finish cleaning, you have to wait for the robot to recharge then carry it back to where it left off. 

Another issue is that the Roomba e5 struggles with black surfaces. Sensors under the robot will assume the black surface is a dropoff and refuce to go forward. This is a problem if you have black flooring or a carpet with black patterns. The i3+, i7+ and s9+ don’t have this problem. 

The Roomba e5 is best for: Anyone looking for an affordable Roomba that cleans well, can handle pet hair and is WiFi connected. 

 


5. Best Budget Roomba: Roomba 675

irobot roomba comparison

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If you want a pocket-friendly Roomba, choose from the 600 series. They don’t have as much pwoer or smarts as pricier Roombas, but they do a great job keeping your home clean. One of the cheapest options is the Roomba 675. 

It comes with sensors for easy navigation, and connects to WiFi, letting you control it via app or a smart assistant.

If you just want a basic Roomba that cleans well and doesn’t cost much, the e5 is a great choice. 

Pros

  • One of the cheapest Roombas. 
  • Great for hard flooring and carpets (low and medium pile). 
  • Picks up pet hair. 
  • WiFi connected – allows scheduling via app. 
  • Auto recharge. 

Cons

  • Not enough suction power for thick carpets. 
  • Haphazard navigation – misses some spots.  

Our Review

One of the Cheapest Roombas with WiFi

The Roomba 675 is one of the cheapest Roombas you’ll find that offers WiFi connectivity, allowign remote app control and cmpatibility with smart voice assistants. 

Apart from WiFi, all other features are pretty basic, but they work. 

For navigation, the 675 relies on a host of sensors to detect obstacles and find its way back to the charging base. It moves randomly, but it cleans most of the floor. 

The battery offers a 90-minute runtime, and the robot will automatically recharge when the battery gets low. 

Multi-Surface Vacuuming 

irobot roomba comparison

The Roomba 675’s dual brushes are designed to work on both hard flooring and carpeting. Together with the edge sweeping brush, the brushes loosen and lift dirt. 

The Roomba 675 does its best work on hard flooring. It’ll pick up pet hair, food crumbs, dander, dust and any other dirt. 

It’s also does a good job on the carpet, though do not expect a deep clean. We recommend manually vacuuming the carpet and floor at least once a week.

The robot has no problem climbing onto the carpet, and will even adjust the brushes to maintain close contact with the floor. 

Issues & Limitations

The Roomba 675’s average suction power is not suited to thick and shaggy carpets. It especially struggles if there’s pet hair on the carpeting. 

The other limitation is the lack of mapping. You’ll notice the Rooba 675 moves in a random, sort of haphazard manner. And while it’ll eventually vacuum most of the room, sometimes it’ll miss some spots. 

But if you use it everyday, eventually it covers every inch. 

The basic navigation also means you cannot set cleaning or no-go zones. You either have to lock the door or use a virtual wall barrier to contain the Roomba within a specific area. 

Another thing – the Roomba 675 is not very good for multi-room cleaning. It navigation is not smart enough for that and the lack of recharge & resume means it cannot finish vacuuming a large area. We recommend it for smaller homes and apartments. 

The Roomba 675 is best for: Anyone looking for a cheap Roomba that cleans well on hard floors and carpets and has WiFi connectivity.  

 


6. Best Roomba for Mopping: Braava Jet M6 

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The Braava Jet M6 is like a Roomba i7+ or s9+, but for mopping. It uses the same smart mapping feature and you can control it remotely via app or smart assistant. 

If you already have an i series Roomba (i3/i3+ or i7/i7+) or s series (s9/s9+), you can link it to the M6 and they’ll work in tandem to keep your floors clean. 

Pros

  • Great for light mopping on hard flooring. 
  • Smart mapping for easy navigation and cleaning customization. 
  • Links with some Roomba vacuums. 
  • WiFi connected – app and voice control. 

Cons

  • Not suitable for deep cleaning. 
  • Requires iRobot-approved cleaning solutions. 

Our Review

Best for Light Mopping

The Braava Jet M6 pairs perfectly with your Roomba vacuum cleaner. After vacuuming the floor, let the M6 do a light mop to eliminate any remaining fine dust and get rid of marks and stains on the floor. 

The M6 comes with a tank where you add water and a cleaning solution (Note: you have to use an iRobot-approved cleaner). 

As it moves on the floor, the M6 emits a precision jet of cleaning solution than wipes in a back and forth motion. 

If you do not have a Roomba vacuum, we recommend manually vacuuming the floor before starting the M6. If the floor is not too dirty, you can first attach the dry sweeping pads, then finish with the wet mopping pads. 

Unlike most Roomba vacuums, the M6 has a square shape that work really well for sweeping and mopping along walls and in corners.  

Smart Mapping for Navigation and Customization

comparing roomba models

Similar to i7 and s9 Roombas, the Braava Jet M6 maps your home for easy navigation. With these maps it cleans in precise straight lines, ensuring every inch of the floor is covered. 

You can also use the stored maps to designate different rooms and zones in your home. You can tell the M6 to clean specific areas, or have it stay out of certain zones such as a carpeted room. 

WiFi Connectivity 

Once you connect the M6 to your home network, you can control it through the iRobot home app or send voice commands via Alexa or Googl Assistant. 

Tandem Cleaning with Roomba

One of the best features of the Jet M6 is its ability to link up with a Roomba vacuum. iRobot calls this Imprint Smart Mapping. 

Once the Roomba finishes vacuuming, it communicates with the M6, telling it to get started with the mopping. You get your home vacuumed and mopped without having to press a bunch of buttons. 

Compatible Roombas include the i3/i3+, i7/i7+, and s9/s9+. 

Issues & Limitations

We’ve seen many complaints regarding the M6 dragging dirt across the floor or leaving streaks. The problem is that most people are overestimating the M6’s mopping capability. 

The Braava Jet M6 is not meant to mop a dirty floor or deep cleaning messes in your kitchen. It’s for light mopping. 

It works best on an already vacuumed floor. After vacuuming, let the M6 run, and run it daily to ensure the floor doesn’t get too dirt. But you’ll still need to occasionally mop the floor yourself to deep clean it. 

One thing we don’t like about Roomba mops is that you have to use iRobot-approved cleaning solutions, some of which are pricey. Using a different cleaner can void the warranty. 

iRobot also says to use their cleaning pads, but there are plenty of cheaper third party dry and wet pads that work just as well. 

The Braava Jet M6 is best for: Anyone looking for a Roomba mop to pair with their Roomba vacuum.

 


7. Most Affordable Roomba for Mopping: Braava Jet 240 

irobot roomba comparison

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If the Braava Jet M6 is out of your budget, the Braava Jet 240 is a cheaper Roomba for mopping. You have to give up smart mapping, WiFi connectivity and the smart link to Roomba vacuums. 

But if you are looking for an affordable robot mop that works, the Jet 240 is a great choice. iRobot recommends it mostly for bathrooms and kitchens. 

Pros

  • Affordable. 
  • Mopping and sweeping modes. 
  • Ideal for all types of hard flooring. 
  • Easy to use. 

Cons

  • Basic navigation. 
  • Only suitable for light mopping. 

Our Review

Basic – but easy to use – Robot Mop 

The Jet 240 is very basic when it comes to features and functionality. You even have to remove the battery to charge it. 

But this basic design has a big upside – the Jet 240 is incredibly easy to operate. You don’t need to connect it to your router or download a map. You don’t need to designate rooms or no-clean zones. 

Just add water and cleaning solution, attach the right pad, and press the CLEAN button. 

Multiple Cleaning Modes

irobot roomba comparison

You can choose from three cleaning modes depending on how dirt the floor is and the type of floor you have. 

There’s the mop mode, where the robot emits a fair amount of cleaning solution then mops in a back and forth pattern. The dap mode is ideal if you are concerned about over-wetting a wooden floor. The Jet 240 emits less cleaning solution. 

You can also choose the sweep mode where the robot sweeps the floor without any water to clean up dust and pet hair. 

Note that each mode uses a specific type of pad. 

Issues & Limitations

If you have a Roomba i3, i7 or s9, you’ll find the Braava Jet 240 to be pretty basic. It has no WiFi connection, no smart mapping and no auto-recharge. If you like these features, we recommend the Braava Jet M6 instead. 

Note that because the Jet 240 doesn’t do any mapping, you may need to buy a virtual wall barrier to keep it out of certain areas. Or just close the door or put a physical obstacle. For the carpet, some people roll up the edge to keep the mop from climbing over. 

Similar to the M6, the Jet 240 is not suitable for deep cleaning. Use it for daily light mopping, ideally on an already vacuumed floor. It’s also great for cleaning up light and medium floor stains. 

Also, remember you need to buy iRobot-approved cleaning solutions, some of which are pricey. 

The Braava Jet 240 is best for: Anyone looking for a cheap Roomba for mopping. 

 


Why Buy a Roomba?   

While Roomba was one of the first companies to launch a robotic vacuum cleaner, many more brands have popped up in recent years. In fact, most of these brands like Roborock and iLife are cheaper. So why should you buy a Roomba? 

Here are some benefits Roombas offer over most other brands. 

  • Quality & reliability – Roombas cost more than other robot vacuums, but they tend to have better build quality. We’ve not heard cases of the motor failing or parts breaking prematurerly. As long as you take proper care of your Roomba, it’ll serve you for several years with minimal maintenance.
  • Longevity – There are customers who’ve heard their Roomba for five years or more, replacing it just becauce they want the improved features in newer Roombas. 
  • Protection Plan – iRobot offers a standard 1-year warranty for their vacuums. They also offer extended protection plans (at a fee) for up to 4 years. The extended plans cover things like accidental damage and battery replacement. 
  • Advanced features – Roombas are usually the first robot vacuums to spot advanced features like a self-emptying bin. If you want the best, and most advanced robot vacuum, your best bet is a Roomba. 
  • User-friendly – while many other brands have adopted Roomba’s advanced features, they don’t have the smoothness and ease of use of Roombas. This is especially the case with smart home mapping and setting up cleaning/no-go zones. 
  • Excellent cleaning performance – Most importantly, Roombas work as well as advertised. They are some of the best robot vacuums for pet hair, carpet vacuuming and cleaning hard flooring. Most Roombas use three brushes (two roller brushes and an edge cleaning brush) plus powerful suction to keep your floor clean. 

It’s also worth mentioning that iRobot offers excellent customer support. Whether you are having trouble connecting your Roomba to your home network, or you need a repair, their customer service is very responsive.


Roomba vs. Other Brands

Still not sure about getting a Roomba? Here’s how Roomba compares with other popular brands. 

Roomba vs. Shark

roomba models compared

The Shark brands is mostly associated with traditional vacuum cleaners. Recently, they’ve introduced several robot vacuums. 

Compared to Roombas, Shark robo vacs are cheaper. Even their most advanced model – the Shark IQ Robot Self-Empty robot vacuum – is roughly half the price of a Roomba s9+. Here are the main differences between Roomba and Shark vacuums. 

  • Shark sells three categories of robotic vacuums. Standard vacuums, self-emptying vacuums and 2-in-1 robotic vacuums and mops. Roomba has the first two as well, but doesn’t have a combined vacuum and mop, yet. 
  • As for navigation, the cheapest Sharks are very much like 600 series Roombas. They rely on cliff and proximity sensors to move around the house and avoid obstacles. For a bit more, you can get a Shark with IQ navigation that cleans in neat rows. At the top-end you have Roomba i7+ or s9+ like Sharks with laser-based smart home mapping and navigation. You can set clean and no-go zones, though customers say these features don’t work quite as well as with Roombas. 
  • Cleaning performance for Shark vacuums is impressive. They have no trouble picking pet hair and most are great for carpet vacuuming. Several models even feature a self-cleaning brushroll for easier maintenance and to prevent pet hair from tangling around the brush.
  • If you find the self-emptying Roombas too pricey, Shark has a several self-emptying models as well complete with home mapping. They don’t work quite as smoothly as Roombas, but they are getting better. The current second generation self-emptying Shark is a serious competitor to Roomba i7+/s9+.   
  • All Sharks are WiFi connected, and come with remote app control. They are also compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant. 

Our verdict: Shark robot vacuums are an excellent alternative for anyone looking for something cheaper than Roomba with similar cleaning performance and tech features. 

Roomba vs. Ecovacs Deebot 

roomba models comparison

Ecovacs Deebot share many similarities, including pricing and features. 

  • Similar to Roomba, Ecovacs Deebot models run the gamut in terms of prices. At the lower end, you have basic robo vacs such as the Deebot 500 that have sensor-navigation, WiFi connectivity and decent suction power. 
  • In the midrange are models like the Deebot OZMO U2 with laser navigation, more suction power and an impressive runtime of over 2 hours (compared to 90 minutes for most Roombas).
  • At the top end, Ecovacs Deebot robots share several features with the Roomba s7+ and s9+ including home mapping (laser-based, not visual like with Roombas. This gives Deebot cleaners better low-light performance) and the ability to set cleaning and no-go zones.
  • Ecovacs also has a self-emptying robot vacuum, the Ecovacs Deebot N8 Pro+.
  • Several Ecovacs Deebot robots have combined vacuuming and mopping options, something Roomba doesn’t offer. 
  • Other features unique to Ecovacs include live video (great for checking in on pets) and AI object recognition of things like cables and toys, eliminating the need to do a pre-cleanup.  

We are impressed with Ecovacs Deebot robot vacuums. For the same or a lower price compared to Roombas, you get more power, more cleaning time and more features. Our opinion is that you’ll get better value for your money with an Ecovacs Deebot. 

Roomba vs. Eufy 

roomba compared

Eufy is a great choice if you are shopping on a budget. Almost all Eufy robot vacuums under $400. The lower prices, of course, come with fewer features and lower cleaning power. But if you have mostly hard flooring and thin carpeting, they clean great. 

  • Eufy robot vacs navigate mostly using sensors. They cannot map your home, but will easily navigate around obstacles. And because they are thinner than Roombas (2.8” compared to the 3.5” height of a Roomba), they can clean under almost any piece of furniture. 
  • Some Eufy models have 2-in-1 vacuuming and mopping. It sems Roomba is the only brand not offering this option. 
  • Most Eufy vacs have WiFi with remote app connectivity. A few models don’t, and come with a physical remote control instead. 

Overall, Eufy is a great choice if you are looking for a cheap, barebones robot vacuum that does a great job on hard flooring and thin carpets. It’s also great if you have low furniture that other robot vacuums struggle to clean under.


What To Consider When Choosing a Roomba

roomba models compared

Here’s what to consider when deciding which Roomba model is right for you.  

Price

The first thing to decide is how much money you want to spend on a Roomba. The cheapest Roombas are around $200, while the most expensive costs close to $1,000.

At the bottom of the scale are older models (600 series, mostly) with average suction power, sensor-based navigation and WiFi connectivity in select models. 

In the midrange you get more suction power, improved navigation, and remote app/voice control. You can even get the self-emptying Roomba i3+. 

If you don’t mind the price tag, premium models like the i7+ and s9+ offer smart mapping, cleaning & no-go zones, and a self-emptying bin. 

Cleaning Performance 

Generally, all Roombas do a great job on the floor. They use roller brushes to loosen and pick up dirt and pet hair, an edge brush to sweep dirt from along the walls and in corners, and powerful suction to pull the debris into the bin. 

However, different models differ in suction power. For instance, the i7+ is ten times as powerful as 600 series Roombas while the s9+ is 40 times more powerful. 

The added power translates into improved cleaning performance, especially when it comes to picking pet hair and vacuuming carpets. 

If you have pets that shed a lot, get a Roomba with more power such as the i7+. If you have thick carpeting in your home, the s9+ (or s9) is your best option. If your home mostly has hard flooring, a cheaper model like the Roomba i3+, e5, or 675 will do. 

Robot Mop

Do you need help mopping your floors as well? You’ll need to buy a mopping Roomba; one of their Braava Jet models. 

We recommend the newest Braava Jet M6, because of its advanced navigation, remote app control and smart mapping. It also links with i3, i7 and s9 Roombas, allowing the robo vac and mop to work in tandem.

We hope iRobot will introduce a combined vacuum and mop, a common feature in other brands like Neato and Eufy. A combined robot is cheaper than buying the two separately. 

Navigation and Home Mapping 

Roombas have three levels of navigation. 

The cheapest models such as the Roomba 675 and e5 navigate using only proximity sensors. They move randomly around the house, avoiding obstacles and using a cliff sensors to avoid tumbling down the stairs. 

Though affordable, these models take longer to clean a room, suck at multi-room navigation and they lack auto recharge & resume (they only have auto recharge). 

Mid-range models like the Roomba 960 and i3+ have the same sensors and they can also map your home. The mapping function allows them to clean the floor in neat rows. They can also auto recharge and resume from where they left off. 

High-end models like the s7 adnd s9, have what iRobot calls smart mapping. They map your home and generate a map that you can use to designate cleaning zones or no-go zones. No need to close the door or use virtual barriers as with other Roombas. 

Roombas with smart mapping can easily navigate an entire level of your home, and you can send it to vacuum a specific area or room. 

Self-emptying  

Finally, decide whether you want Roomba’s self-emptying feature. We think it’s worth it. It makes the Roomba trully autonomous. Once you set a cleaning schedule, you can go for weeks without touching the robot.

If you find emptying the bin after every vacuum to be a hassle, get a self-emptying Roomba (i3+, i7+ or s9+). 


Roomba Robot Vacuum FAQs

Which is the best Roomba for pets? 

Both the Roomba i7 and s9 are great choices for pets. They have plenty of suction power and their roller brushes easily pick up long pet hair on the floor. 

Can a Roomba replace a conventional vacuum?

Not yet. Even the Roomba s9, the most powerful model doesn’t compare to the airflow of a handheld vacuum cleaner. 

A Roomba is great for everyday vacuuming, but you’ll need to get out your old vacuum cleaner every now and then for a deep clean especially if you have a carpet. 

If you only have hard flooring, you can make do with just a Roomba. 

How often do I need to run Roomba? 

It depends on your home situation; e.g., if you have pets, how many kids you have and how dirty the floors get. 

But for the average family, running the Roomba once a day is smart. It ensures dirt and pet hair doesn’t build up. If your pets shed a lot, you may need to run it twice a day. 

Most Roomba models have remote app control. Go to the iRobot Home app and set up an auto-vacuuming schedule that works for you.

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