You can’t talk about robot vacuums of value without mentioning the Roomba. Each of iRobot’s Roomba robotic vacuums offers a full suite of technology that’s appropriate for the model’s price point. Whether budget-friendly or feature-packed is your main goal, there’s a Roomba for you, like these three.
iRobot Roomba 675 Robot Vacuum-Wi-Fi Connectivity
Affordable and Efficient. Despite its low price, the Roomba 675 gives you the convenience of Alexa/Assistant compatibility and in-app spot and scheduling mode. Dirt detect sensors kick up the cleaning power when needed, and the Roomba 675’s elevation sensors adjust the floor plate’s height for close-contact cleaning.
Two brushrolls work in tandem to lift all types of dirt particles. While the Roomba 675 travels, the fast-processing iAdapt Navigation software, and four anti-cliff sensors keep it safe. The lithium-ion battery lasts for 90 minutes before the Roomba 675 needs to recharge it, allowing the robot vacuum to cover homes with average to large square footage.
Related: Roomba 675 Robot Vacuum Review
iRobot Roomba 891 Robot Vacuum
For Two-Story Homes and Pet Owners. With six fall-prevention sensors and iAdapt Navigation, the Roomba 891 is safe to use on the second floor of your home. It even has a built-in handle that makes upstairs transport easy. The robot also contains a 10-micron filter, auto-increasing suction, and tangle-resistant rubber brushrolls, making it great for pet owners too.
Wi-Fi connectivity means you can control the Roomba 891 with your smartphone, Amazon smart speaker or Google Assistant device. The 1,800-milliampere lithium-ion battery offers a 1-hour runtime between automatic recharges. An angled side brush clears dust from wall edges, and the self-adjusting floor plate enhances the robot vacuum’s lifting power on hard floors and carpets.
Related: Roomba 891 Robot Vacuum Review
Best of the Best
iRobot Roomba i7+ (7550) Robot Vacuum
Enhanced Automation. The Roomba i7+’s main selling point is the dock’s 300-ounce bagged disposal. This robo vac also resumes vacuuming after recharging, and it uses iAdapt 3.0 and vSLAM technology to make deliberate, intelligent route decisions. Plus, dirt is no match for the robot’s two rubber brushrolls and instant suction boost.
You’ll also love the features on the iRobot HOME app. From the app, you can view up to 10 maps and split, merge or label rooms. With the i7+, you also get a dual-mode virtual wall barrier. a high-performance allergen filter and voice command control through Amazon Alexa and Google Voice.
Related: Roomba i7+ Robot Vacuum Review
ECOVACS DEEBOT 500 Robotic Vacuum
Full of Features. Ecovacs added every feature you need for comprehensive, convenient hard floor and carpet cleaning. A pair of side brushes, a V-shaped brushroll and the 65-decibel two-speed motor lift all sorts of debris while a three-media filtration unit and a 17.5-ounce bin contain the allergens and dirt the Deebot 500 collects.
With the remote or the smartphone app, you get the benefit of user-controlled navigation and access to four cleaning modes. The 3.1-inch-tall Deebot 500 responds to basic virtual assistant commands, and it self-docks when the battery gets low, which doesn’t happen until almost 3 hours of runtime.
Related: Deebot 500 Robot Vacuum Review
Roomba Robot Vacuum Buying Guide
Technologies geared toward cleaning enhancement and convenience are what attracts consumers to Roomba robot vacuums. Our guide covers many of the common features found on most iRobot Roombas, such as their dual brushrolls and dirt-detect sensors. We also include information about iRobot’s latest advancements like Imprint Technology.
A pair of brushrolls has become a standard feature for Roomba robot vacuums. Better than a singular brushroll, the dual brushes rotate toward each other, allowing them to lift more debris than their solo counterparts, whether they are cleaning a carpet or a bare floor.
In earlier Roomba models, such as those belonging to the 600 Series, the larger brushroll has thick bristles, which are well-adept at grabbing dirt from carpet fibers. The smaller brushroll has multiple rubber blades to help aid in hard-floor debris pickup. Later models have two rubberized brushrolls, and this setup allows for greater flexibility and tangle prevention.
Angled Side Brush
No matter the model, iRobot includes one side brush. The job of any side brush is twofold. First, it expands the cleaning path of the robot vacuum. Second, it cleans along wall borders. As the brush spins, dirt and dust are pushed toward the suction inlet and subsequently collected by the robot.
While a solo side brush may seem less effective than two sweepers, the side brush is angled at 27 degrees. Superior to non-angled side brushes, an angled sweeper is better able to dig into wall corners and remove dirt from the grooves of baseboards.
The S Series robot vacuums are the only exceptions to having the iRobot 27-degree side brush. These robots feature a straight edge as opposed to a perfectly round housing. Since the S Series’ side brush is affixed to the straight edge, it beats all other Roombas at wall-corner cleaning.
If you have children or pets, you’ll appreciate iRobot’s Dirt Detect’s action in high-traffic areas. Used to increase the cleaning time in extra-dirty areas, Dirt Detect employs acoustic sensor technology. A pair of sensors sit in between the two brushrolls to measure the vibrations of debris contact. When the vibrations increase, the Roomba will re-clean the area.
Self-Adjusting Floor Plate
This is a feature those who have multiple types of flooring will find useful. On virtually all Roombas, the floor plate moves up and down for a close clean of carpets and bare floors alike. The sensors only recognize floor-height differences of at least 0.5 inches, which means you’ll get the best performance during medium-pile-carpet-to-hard-floor transitions or vice versa.
Mapping and logical routing are must-have capabilities in robotic vacuums used in large homes, especially those with complicated layouts. High-end Roombas like the 900 Series, I Series and S Series models are equipped with iRobot’s vSLAM technology, which stands for visual simultaneous localization and mapping.
By employing an optical lens, a navigation algorithm, and an odometer, these Roombas can build a map, move in a straight-line pattern and avoid wasteful redundant cleaning. In comparison to basic infrared collision and cliff sensors alone, iRobot’s vSLAM system promises quicker cleaning sessions and superior room coverage.
There are a few Roombas with Wi-Fi connectivity, including the entry-level models. Roombas that connect to a Wi-Fi network can be controlled via the iRobot HOME smartphone app on an Android or an iPhone. Packed with functions such as weekly scheduling, robot locate, cleaning modes and reports, the app makes using a Roomba much more convenient.
Wi-Fi enabled Roombas also work with Alexa and Google. Start, stop, pause and locate are just a few of the voice commands available. As with the app’s functions, there are additional voice commands for iRobot’s premium Roombas. For instance, the I Series and S Series let you audibly control where the Roomba cleans by naming the specific room.
Imprint Smart Mapping
One of the crown jewels of the S Series and I Series Roomba models is the Imprint Smart Mapping feature, which is exclusive to iRobot. Roombas with Imprint Technology not only create maps but also remember as many as 10 of them. This ability allows for faster and seamless cleaning day after day.
The map is displayed on the iRobot HOME app for real-time viewing. Since it’s editable, you can give each room a label and modify the borders. In turn, you can direct the Roomba to any room of your choice via the app or a virtual assistant, or you can block the robot vacuum from accessing a room.
Was iRobot the First Company to Make Robotic Vacuums?
Even though iRobot was founded in 1990, the company didn’t release its first Roomba robotic vacuum until 2002, and the Roomba quickly achieved high sales. A few years later, iRobot introduced a robotic mop called the Scooba; however, this mop proved less popular.
Before the company became a household name, the researchers at iRobot concentrated on military equipment such as the Ariel – a robot that removes mines on land and in the sea. The heavy focus on military-use robotic technology is probably why Electrolux beat iRobot by one year with its release of the Trilobite.
How Often Do I Need to Empty the Bin on My Roomba?
Ideally, you should get in the habit of emptying the dirt bin each time your Roomba completes a cleaning cycle. Doing so is the best way to prevent clogs. However, you may be able to forgo dumping it until the robot vacuum’s cleaned a few rounds if the robot’s cleaning hard flooring or just one room.
The only exceptions are the i7+ and s9+ models. These Roombas come with a surprisingly compact dirt-disposal tower. Inside the tower, there is a filter bag that holds 30 times the debris volume of a typical integrated Roomba bin. This means you’ll only need to replace the bag and rinse the bin once a month or longer.
Do Any Roombas Have a Mopping Function?
No. Every Roomba is a vacuum-only robot. However, iRobot also makes the Braava Jet, which is a separate line of robotic mops. The newest models are the Braava Jet M6, the 240 and the 380t. Although these wet-mop robots cannot vacuum carpets, they do sweep hard floors, eliminating the need for you to manually prep the floor before they mop.
The Braava Jet M6 goes a step further thanks to iRobot’s inclusion of Imprint Link Tsechnology. When paired to the i7/i7+ and the s9/s9+ Roombas, the M6 will mop after the Roomba vacuums. Currently, this is the highest level of total floor-cleaning automation you can get.
How Much Suction Do Roombas Create?
Robot vacuum manufacturers usually express their products’ suction strength in pascals. Although manufacturers tend to boast about their robo vacs’ suction power, iRobot is one of the few makers that don’t advertise it.
Instead, iRobot compares each Roomba series with the 600 Series, which uses the original AeroVac suction system. To date, the three most powerful Roombas are the iRobot Roomba 960, the i7+ and the S9+. Respectively, these Roombas produce 5 times, 10 times and 40 times the amount of suction than the 600 Series of Roombas.
How Does a Robot Vacuum Know When the Floor Is Clean?
Depending on the technology it possesses, a robot vacuum relies on sensors and/or an algorithm to let it know when your floor is clean or it needs to dock. Many brands, especially well-known robot vacuum cleaners, have a sensor that sends the robot to its dock when the bin is full.
In addition to the bin sensor, robotic vacuums also have a sensor dedicated to the battery. This sensor works similarly to the bin sensor. When the battery sensor determines that the battery level is low, it will let the robot know it’s time to dock. Premium models also have a sensor that monitors the floor’s dirt volume.
Finally, robo vacs that are able to map a home, like some Roombas do, use an algorithm. Besides mapping, the algorithm, in conjunction with other onboard technology, measures other data such as the rate of speed and the distance between walls. Once they learn your home’s layout, these robot vacuums know when they’ve completely cleaned a room.
Are Robot Vacuums Maintenance-Heavy?
As with all other vacuums, robotic ones require maintenance. Luckily, the maintenance isn’t too demanding. The bin needs to be emptied frequently, and you should remove hair from the brushes before it accumulates. Since dust can interfere with a sensor’s effectiveness, wipe off the sensors at least once a week.
Of course, the battery must have enough of a charge to provide power to the robot. However, most robo vacuums dock themselves to the charge. Some even continue cleaning on their own after they recharge. Don’t forget about the filter. Replace the filter per the manufacturer’s instructions – the average lifespan of a filter is 4.5 months.
Are There Any Robots That Use a HEPA Filter?
Yes. If you have allergies, you understand the benefits of HEPA filtration. If you don’t, a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter is the best type of air filter to have in a vacuum cleaner. HEPA filters trap 99.7 percent of allergens that vacuums collect, keeping particles from becoming airborne.
Take the Roomba for instance. Starting with the 700 Series of Roomba robot vacuums, iRobot improved the older-style AeroVac bin by adding a HEPA filter. Designed to target microscopic allergens, the newer AeroVac system captures dust, mold and pollen.
With the i7+ and s9+ Roomba, iRobot offers an extra layer of protection from allergens. The automatic dirt disposable uses an AllergenLock bag. This bag is well-sealed; therefore, only a mere 1 percent of particles escape when you replace the bag.
What Kind of Batteries Do Robotic Vacuums Use?
In a robotic vacuum, you’ll find either a nickel-metal hydride battery or a lithium-ion battery. The newer Roomba models such as those belonging to the 900, E, S and I Series have the ever-desirable lithium-ion battery. Some Roombas contain a nickel-metal hydride rechargeable battery, which comes in second in terms of performance.
Does a Robot Vacuum’s Battery Last a Long Time?
It’s not uncommon for a robotic vacuum’s battery to last 3 years or a little longer. The more often your robot vacuums, the shorter the battery’s lifespan. Another factor that affects battery lifespan is debris buildup, which is another reason that regular robot vacuum maintenance is a must.
To get the most use from your robot vacuum’s battery whether it has lithium-ion or nickel-metal hydride cells, make sure it recharges soon after cleaning. If your robot vacuum has a nickel-metal hydride battery and you plan to store the robot, fully charge the battery first to prevent degradation.
Can Robotic Vacuums Clean Under Furniture?
If the robotic vacuum is short enough and the furniture has a high enough clearance, the robot can certainly vacuum underneath the furniture. Slim robo vacs that are no thicker than 3.2 inches are ideal for under-bed or under-couch vacuuming.
Although they have an impressive number of features, Roomba robo vacs’ height isn’t one of them. Measuring about 3.5 inches tall, Roombas may not be able to fit under a bed frame or sofa. However, they can clean under most tables, including low-to-the-ground coffee tables.
Are Robot Vacuums As Effective As Upright Vacuums?
Robotic vacuums that have the components necessary for effective vacuuming, namely a brushroll, a side brush and a suction inlet, do an excellent job of cleaning floors. Roombas and other robo vacs that have dirt-detecting sensors offer exceptional performance because they take extra time to clean high-traffic areas.
Still, even the most powerful robot vacuum can’t surpass the suction strength of a full-size vacuum cleaner. Most robot vacuum cleaners create up to 3,000 pascals of suction, which is rather strong. However, in comparison to full-size vacuums, upright and stick vacs produce 10,000-plus pascals. This means you’ll need a full-size vacuum for heavy-duty cleaning, like the BISSELL Cleanview Swivel Upright Vacuum.
Can Robot Vacuums Clean Any Type of Floor?
Limitations do exist as far as the types of flooring robotic vacuums can clean. The majority of robo vacs thoroughly vacuum bare floors, Berber and medium-pile carpet. Shag rugs and plush carpet are just too thick for a robot vacuum to handle.
The color of the floor also plays a role. Whether it’s a hard floor or a carpet, black and other dark colors may hinder a robot with infrared cliff sensors. Used to detect stairs and ledges, cliff sensors can mistake a dark floor as a drop-off and refuse to travel onto the floor.
Some robot vacuums can distinguish a dark surface from a step on a staircase. For example, the Roomba i7/7+ and Roomba s9/s9+ are equipped with sensors that emit dual beams, allowing them to behave appropriately when faced with drop-offs and dark flooring.Related Roomba Articles
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Without question, the Roomba is synonymous with quality. Every Roomba comes with two brushrolls and most offer smartphone and virtual assistant control. Some models are so advanced that they take care of emptying the bin and let you alter the in-app map. Although high-end Roombas aren’t the cheapest robot vacuums available, their cost is equal to their value.
|Best of the Best!||Best For Tight Spaces||Budget Pick < $200)|
|Continuous||100 min||110 min|
|12.2 x 12.2 x 3.5 in||17.8 x 13.7 x 4.8 in||33 x 33 x 7.8 in|
|20 pounds||5.73 pounds||7.05 pounds|
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