compare roomba models

Date: October 09, 2018.

iRobot Roomba vacuum cleaners are very popular robot vacuums. There are many compare roomba models on the market today and even more in use, and it is sometimes hard to figure out which model is the best for individual requirements. We hope that these charts, reviews, and comparisons will help you to find the best Roomba model for your needs, without hurting your budget.

What is the difference between iRobot Roomba models?

iRobot Roomba Models Comparison Chart – Current Models

Following comparison chart shows the similarities and differences of the current iRobot Roomba models – these models can be found on iRobot official website. However, ‘older’ models can be found new (or refurbished) at local stores or online shops. These models clean thoroughly, too, but since these vacuum robots are being phased out, their prices are lower than before.

Roomba Model iRobot Roomba 690 iRobot Roomba 890 iRobot Roomba 960 iRobot Roomba 980
Photo roomba 690 w125 - compare roomba models roomba 890 w125 - compare roomba models roomba 960 w125 - compare roomba models roomba 980 w125 - compare roomba models
Floor Types All All All All
3 Stage Cleaning Yes 5x 5x 10x
Hard Floor Run Time Up to 60 min Up to 60 min Up to 75 min Up to 120 min
Self-Charging Yes Yes Yes Yes
Battery Type Lithium Ion Lithium Ion Lithium Ion Lithium Ion
WiFi Connected Yes Yes Yes Yes
iRobot HOME App Yes Yes Yes Yes
Dirt Detect Yes Yes Yes Yes
Tangle-Free Rollers No Yes Yes Yes
High Efficiency Air Filter No Yes Yes Yes
Side Brush Yes Yes Yes Yes
Navigation iAdapt Navigation iAdapt Navigation iAdapt 2.0 Navigation iAdapt 2.0 Navigation
Drop Sensors Yes Yes Yes Yes
Multi Room Cleaning No No Yes Yes
Recharge and Resume No No Yes Yes
Clean Map Reports No No Yes Yes
Custom Cleaning Preferences No No Yes Yes
Deep Cleaning on Carpets No No No Yes
Dimensions (D x H) 13.0 x 3.7 inches
33 x 9.4 cm
13.9 x 3.6 inches
35.3 x 9.2 cm
13.8 x 3.6 inches
35.0 x 9.2 cm
13.8 x 3.6 inches
35.0 x 9.2 cm
Weight  7.8 lbs (3.53 kg) 8.4 lbs (3.8 kg) 8.5 lbs (3.85 kg) 8.7 lbs (3.94 kg)
Amazon Link iRobot Roomba 690 iRobot Roomba 890 iRobot Roomba 960 iRobot Roomba 980

Amazon affiliate links open in the new window – feel free to check the best offers of these Roomba models.

Few Notes:

Floor Types – All current Roomba models adjust to clean various types of floors, including carpets, rugs, hardwood and laminate floors and similar. However, when cleaning carpets, the best results are achieved on low- and medium-pile carpets, while thick, soft and high-pile carpets are not the best surfaces for Roombas.

Multistage Cleaning – Roomba vacuums use a 3-stage cleaning system – they loosen, lift and suck the dirt and debris off the floor. Note that Roomba 890 and 960 deliver 5x more air-power than Roomba 600 and 700 series, while Roomba 980 deliver 10x more air-power than Roomba 600 and 700 series.

Operating time depends on the model of the Roomba vacuum cleaning robot and battery life varies from 60 to 120 minutes. Note that this is the time measured while cleaning flat, hard surfaces. When cleaning carpeted areas and when the unit has to traverse from flat to carpets and back, operating time is shorter. Fortunately, after the battery is almost discharged, all models return to the charging station for a full recharge, but only Roomba 960 and 980 models resume their work after being fully recharged – thanks to their iAdapt 2.0 Navigation.

Battery Type – All Roomba vacuums use lithium-ion batteries. A lithium-ion battery provides plenty of energy and longer battery life, without increasing the weight of the vacuums. Good lithium-ion batteries don’t come cheap, but for high-end units like these, NiMH batteries just can’t deliver the required energy and power, without adding more weight and volume.

irobot home appWiFi Connected – at the moment, all Roomba models are operated using the iRobot HOME App. The iRobot HOME App enables the user to remotely clean and monitor Roomba vacuum and to access support using a smartphone. The Amazon Alexa and the Google Assistant are supported, too.

– Dirt Detect system uses sensors to detect concentrated areas of dirt, with the unit providing additional cleaning in those areas. Roomba 690 uses acoustic, while Roomba 890, 960 and 980 use acoustic and optical dirt sensors.

Tangle-Free Rollers – Roomba 890, 960 and 980 use dual counter-rotating rollers which incorporate a rubber tread that grabs the dirt from any floor type while reducing hair tangles and brush maintenance. So, these are not ‘tangle-free’ rollers, but if you have issues with pet hair and human hair, go for at least the Roomba 890 model. To improve cleaning of the corners and edges, Roomba vacuums come with the Side Brush, which pushed the dirt in the path of the main cleaning system.

Air Filtration – Air filtration is good, even in Roomba 690 model, which doesn’t use ‘High-Efficiency Air Filter’ like Roomba 890, 960, and 980 models. Thanks to the ‘High-Efficiency Air Filter,’ Roomba 890, 960, and 980 vacuums captures 99% of allergens, pollen, and particles as small as 10 microns. Personally, this is still too far away from true HEPA air filtration (99.97% of particles down to 0.3 microns) – iRobot should consider improving air filtration in these new models.

Remember that certain ‘old’ Roomba vacuums (for example – 770, 780, 790, 880) use/used true HEPA air filters. Some companies offer HEPA air filters for new Roomba vacuums – I didn’t test them (it should be done in the lab, after all), but if the whole vacuum as the unit is not designed as HEPA vacuum cleaner, adding HEPA filter will help, but it will not turn the unit into the true HEPA vacuum cleaner.

On the other hand, HEPA air filters have a higher pressure drop and require more motor power for the same airflow, especially when they get dirty. New Roomba vacuums, especially 890, 960 and 980 models have much stronger air power levels than older Roomba vacuums (600 and 700 series), leading to better vacuuming.

Multi-Room Cleaning – Roomba 690 and 890 come with iAdapt Navigation and it enables the cleaning of one single room. Roomba 960 and 980 come iAdapt 2.0 Navigation system – this new navigation system allows multi-room cleaning, ‘recharge and resume,’ clean map reports and in the end, more efficient and faster cleaning. The older iAdapt Navigation system was simple and reliable, but for the whole room to be cleaned, old Roomba vacuums required more time with many spots being cleaned several times.

Custom Cleaning Preferences enables the user to set custom cleaning settings like the number of passes, edge cleaning and similar. It is available on Roomba 960 and 980 models (again, thanks to the iAdapt 2.0 Navigation system).

Deep Cleaning on Carpets enables the Roomba 980 model to clean more thoroughly on carpets, by increasing the cleaning power. Although this option draws more power from the onboard battery and decreases the area that can be cleaned with a single battery charge, Roomba 980 comes with ‘recharge and resume’ feature – if the battery is almost discharged before cleaning task is finished, robot vacuum will stop the cleaning task, recharge itself and continue its task where it stopped.

iRobot Roomba 690 Wi-Fi Connected Robot Vacuum Cleaner

roomba 690 w250 - compare roomba models

iRobot Roomba 690 is robot vacuum cleaner based on the proven Roomba 650, very popular robot vacuum.

Roomba 690 includes:

– cleaning of all floor types, although it performs best on hard surfaces and low-pile carpets,

– the cleaning system is a patented 3-stage cleaning system (loosens, lifts and sucks in the dirt), with a maximum runtime of 60 minutes on a single battery charge,

– when the battery is almost entirely drained, Roomba 690 returns to the charging station, but since it comes with a simpler iAdapt Navigation system, Roomba 690 doesn’t resume the task after recharging,

– the air filter is good, but not as good as in Roomba 890, 960 and 980 models,

– Roomba 690 is very light and compact robot vacuum cleaner, enabling the unit to clean under the furniture and beds, avoiding obstacles and object, especially if they can damage the unit (drop or cliff sensors),

– using acoustic sensors, it detects concentrations of the floor dirt and cleans it more thoroughly,

– one of its newest features includes a Dual Virtual Wall Barrier which ensures that your robotic vacuum cleaner does not stray away. This particular Virtual Wall technology can also set the Roomba 690 robotic vacuum cleaner into halo mode which prevents it from bumping into protected items.

– Roomba 690 is Wi-Fi enabled unit, enabling the user to control and monitor the unit using the iRobot HOME App.

For short, Roomba 690 is a great and affordable robot vacuum cleaner – it comes with many great features, but personally, don’t expect it to be your only vacuum at home. IMHO, at least 2-in-1 cordless/corded stick vacuum cleaner should complement iRobot Roomba (and other robot vacuums, not just Roombas!) vacuums – people having larger homes should consider even some larger, full-size canister or upright (with extension hoses) vacuums to complement the Roomba and other robot vacuums.

Compare Roomba Models: iRobot Roomba 650 vs 690

roomba 650 vs 690 - compare roomba models

These are two very similar models – Roomba 690 design is based on the Roomba 650. Both models are also equipped with the Roomba Virtual Wall Technology. Main differences between these two models are:

– 690 model is Wi-Fi enabled unit,

– 650 model uses NiMH and 690 uses a lithium-ion battery,

– 650 is wider, lower and somewhat heavier – 650: 13.39 x 3.6 inches, 7.9 lbs; 690: 13 x 3.7 inches, 7.8 lbs,

– 650 has a voice prompt feature that notifies the user when to charge the vacuum or when to empty the dustbin.

– 690 is Amazon Alexa and Google Home compatible, while 650 is not.

Which one to pick, 650 or 690? 690 model comes with several new, significant features, making it IMHO better choice. On the other hand, since 650 is being slowly phased out, it can be found new, on sale, for cheap.

For more reviews and recommendations, check Roomba 650 and Roomba 690 Amazon links (links open in the new window).

iRobot Roomba 890 Wi-Fi Connected Robot Vacuum Cleaner

roomba 890 w250 - compare roomba models

iRobot Roomba 890 sits between Roomba 690 and Roomba 960. Like Roomba 690 it uses iAdapt Navigation system – it is controlled and monitored via iRobot HOME App, delivers up to 60 minutes of operation on a single battery charge and can return to the charging station when the battery is almost drained. Like 690 model, 890 model can’t resume cleaning task after automatic recharging.

Also, 890 can detect areas with a larger amount of dirt, but it uses both acoustic and optical sensors for detection. Air filtration is improved by using a high-efficiency air filter, which is not a HEPA grade air filter. Rollers are of a novel design to prevent, or at least, reduce hair tangles and brush maintenance.

The 3-stage cleaning system is combined with 5x more air power suction (compared with 600 and 700 series), delivering 50% better cleaning. Thus, this gives the Roomba 890 vacuum cleaning robot quite an impressive suction power.

Compare iRobot Roomba models: iRobot Roomba 780 vs. 890

irobot roomba 780 - compare roomba models

iRobot Roomba 780 is not available via official iRobot site, but it can be found at local and online stores.

Roomba 780 doesn’t come with Wi-Fi connectivity, and it can’t be integrated with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. It is controlled via remote control and delivers features which I miss on new Roombas, especially 690 and 890 models:

– iAdapt Multi-Room Navigation enables Roomba 780 to clean several rooms at once,

– true HEPA air filtration!

Most of the other features of these vacuum robots are practically the same or very similar – cliff sensors, obstacle sensors, cleaning schedule, etc. On the other hand, Roomba 890 has stronger air power and due to improved rollers, better cleaning capabilities.

For short, if you have pets and are constantly dealing with pet hair or issues with asthma and allergies, you can buy the new Roomba 780. Don’t give up on it right away, just because it is an ‘older model.’

If you interested in Roomba 780, feel free to check our Roomba 780 article or check Roomba 780 Amazon link (link opens in the new window).

iRobot Roomba 880 vs 890

irobot roomba 880 w250 - compare roomba models

Roomba 880 is an older model of robot vacuum cleaner that share many similarities with 890 model. Also, there are few, significant differences.

Roomba 880 iAdapt Multi-Room Navigation system in combination with a full suite of sensors, enables it to clean up to 3 rooms with the included Virtual Wall Lighthouse beacons. The Virtual Wall Lighthouse feature is a new advancement in the Roomba Virtual Wall Technology.

Both 880 and 890 models include Self-Charging, Scheduling, Tangle-Free Debris Extractors (IMHO, ‘almost-free’), AeroForce 3-Stage Cleaning System with 5x the air power found on 600 and 700 series vacuums.

Roomba 890 is Wi-Fi enabled unit, and that means the iRobot HOME App, option for integration with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistance.

Note: some sites claim that Roomba 880 comes with HEPA filter, but both models (880 and 890) use the same AeroForce High-Efficiency Filters – they provide excellent air filtration, but they are not HEPA air filters.

For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check Roomba 880 Amazon link (links open in the new window).

iRobot Roomba 960 Wi-Fi Connected Robot Vacuum Cleaner

roomba 960 w250 - compare roomba models

Roomba 960 is Wi-Fi connected robot vacuum cleaner. Thanks to the iRobot HOME App, it can be controlled and monitored using a smartphone – not required, but recommended.

This model uses an improved iAdapt 2.0 Navigation system, which enables the multi-room cleaning, recharge and resumes operation, clean map reports, custom cleaning options, etc.

It has a somewhat better maximum operating time than 890 and 650 models (75 vs. 60 minutes), but shorter when compared with the Roomba 980 model (75 vs. 120 minutes).

Roomba 960 also uses AeroForce High-Efficiency Filter for air filtration, which provides acceptably good air filtration.

Tangle-free brushes handle pet hair and human hair relatively ease. Thus, the brushes require less manual maintenance.

iRobot Roomba 960 has many of the features of more expensive 980 model, except:

– shorter operating time (75 vs. 120 minutes),

– same patented 3-stage cleaning system, but half of the air power (5x vs. 10x, compared with 600 and 700 units),

– both Roomba robots adjust their cleaning heads, depending on the surface type, but 980 also additionally increases cleaning power on carpets.

All in all, Roomba 960 is an excellent robot vacuum cleaner, and it gets its job done. Unless you really need features found only on Roomba 980, Roomba 960 is highly recommended.

For more reviews and recommendations, feel free to check the Roomba 960 Amazon link (link opens in the new window).

iRobot Roomba 980 Wi-Fi Connected Robot Vacuum Cleaner

roomba 980 w250 - compare roomba models

At the moment, Roomba 980 is top Roomba model, offering great and rather interesting features, but it also comes with a respectable price tag.

Like other compare Roomba models, it is suitable for cleaning all floor types, with the best cleaning on the hard floors, laminate, tiles, low- to medium-pile carpets, etc. High pile carpets and deep, thick rugs can prevent the unit from traversing such floors.

It is a Wi-Fi connected unit, and the use of the iRobot HOME App is highly recommended with this model – in combination with an advanced navigation system, dirt detect, cliff and other sensors, recharge and resume system, unit can clean the entire level of the home or apartment (up to 120 minutes of operation n the single charge).

Roomba 980 has the strongest air power available – it is adjustable, with the maximum air power of 10x air power found on 600 and 700 series. Such cleaning power let the unit to clean even the thicker carpets and rugs deeply.

Roomba 980 uses the same High-Efficiency Filter (just like Roomba 890 and 960), having good air filtration, but not HEPA air filtration.

Note: HEPA filtration requires more power due to larger pressure drop on such filters, and this would need larger and heavier batteries for the same cleaning power or drop in available cleaning/air power.

For short – Roomba 980 is great robot vacuum cleaner, but not with the most affordable price 🙂

For more reviews and recommendations, check iRobot Roomba 980 Amazon link (link opens in the new window).


Final Review of the Best iRobot Roomba Models

iRobot Roomba vacuums are for good reasons some of the most popular robot vacuums for years, not only in the US but also worldwide.

There are many other brands on the market today, some offering robot vacuums with even better performances and more features for less money, at least on the paper. One of the best alternatives to Roomba robot vacuum cleaners is the Neato Botvac D80. Although the Neato Botvac D80 utilizes a different style in their navigation system, its features can easily be likened to the majority of Roomba’s mid-level robot vacuum cleaners.

But, Roomba vacuums have been in use for a long time, and they will continue to be used for many years to come.

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