The robotic cleaners from iRobot have outperformed even such giants as LG and Samsung. Their smart yet simple functionality has conquered millions of users all over the world. Due to numerous sensors, they are smart enough to provide a thorough cleaning.
In September 2002, the first Roomba cleaner was introduced to the market. Since then, the brand has expanded steadily, and it now includes eight series: 500, 600, 700, 800, I, E, J, and S.
There is a great range of Roomba bots on the market, ranging from the most basic models with only a few functions to the models that use the latest technologies. So, it's fair to say that everyone can find their perfect Roomba.
For this review, we have chosen the Roomba models, ranked as the best ones, and will compare them across six categories. Read on and choose the model with the right features just for you.
The majority of models have at least two cleaning modes:
Advanced models have acoustic-based dirt sensors and optical sensors that let the machine detect dirty areas automatically, so there is no need to activate the Spot or Max mode manually. Some cleaners also have other operating modes (Auto, Eco, etc.). All Roomba robots have side brushes for cleaning along walls and in corners.
If you compare Roomba models in terms of their cleaning tools, you will notice that the older models use bristle brushes. More advanced ones have rubber extractors that pick up a lot more dirt.
Except for the first-generation models, vacuums allow for scheduled cleaning. The duration of the cleaning session depends on the room size and the model itself.
The Roomba suction power comparison has shown that the cleaners have a suction power that starts from 600 Pa. Expensive, high-end models can have up to 2,500 Pa of suction power.
The vast majority of Roomba cleaners are capable of cleaning any type of surface. Nonetheless, only several models can handle deep-pile carpet/rug cleaning. This is because most cleaners are too thin for this kind of work.
Starting from the 700 series, Roomba models come equipped with efficient HEPA filters that remove around 99% of tiny particles and allergens during cleaning. The AeroForce cleaning technology in the 800 series cleaners is 5x more effective.
For example, the iRobot Roomba 692 has a mediocre cleaning performance. It's equipped with simple, bristle cleaning brushes and a suction level of only 600 Pa. The iRobot Roomba i7+ (7550), in its term, features dual multi-surface rubber brushes and a great suction of 1800 Pa.
So, in this part of our Roomba comparison, the iRobot Roomba i7+ (7550) comes out on top.
Some Roomba models can remove pet hair in different ways. The models that have bristle brushes aren't effective against pet hair and may tangle the brush. Moreover, such brushes cannot penetrate deeply enough into the pile of the carpet to pick up all of the hair.
Models with a rubber brush are more effective because they can go deep into the carpet piles and "stick" all hair to themselves. It also cannot become tangled.
If you take the Roomba models and compare their suction levels, you will notice that the cleaners from the I series have the most powerful suction (more than 1500 Pa, as usual), which is also very important for battling against pet hair.
If you want a cleaner that will be able to cope with pet hair on your floor and carpet surfaces, don't go for models with weak suction and bristle brushes, like the Roomba 614. Choose a model with powerful suction and rubber brushes, like the iRobot Roomba i3+ (3550). It has an 1800 Pa suction level and advanced rubber brushes.
That is why the iRobot Roomba i3+ (3550) can be considered the best for pet owners in this part of the iRobot comparison.
All Roomba cleaners have a set of smart sensors that help them navigate the room/house. They detect obstacles such as dirt patches, steep slopes, and so on. The high-end models are equipped with cameras. Such models automatically move from one room to the next (the others can be moved to another room only manually). However, Roomba vacs that use cameras don't map a room in the dark.
It also should be noted that the Roomba models may get stuck in front of electrical cords and rugs. However, according to my observations, this issue is typical only for older models.
Advanced vacs with a mapping feature automatically create the map of the floor using floor-tracking sensors (this map can be viewed via the iRobot Home app). Such cleaners move in the back-and-forth pattern that evenly covers the floor surface.
Some of the I series vacs use the vSLAM navigation system that automatically improves the floor map after each cleaning session. Older models that lack a mapping feature come with iAdapt technology, which uses special algorithms to navigate the room. Such models usually have a random cleaning pattern, so they are not so effective and take longer to clean than a human would.
This way, the iRobot Roomba i7+ (7550) with the vSLAM technology easily outperforms the iRobot Roomba 614 that features the iAdapt navigation.
The iRobot Roomba i7+ is the top model in this category of our iRobot Roomba comparison chart.
Almost all Roomba cleaners are disc-shaped (except for the models from the S series that are D-shaped). They measure from 13.3 inches to 13.9 inches in diameter and from 3.4 inches and 3.7 inches in height. The D-shaped models are narrower (around 12.2 inches in height). As you can see, most models are slim enough to get under most types of furniture.
If we compare iRobot Roomba models in terms of design, the D-shaped models appear to be more ergonomic. They are narrower and clean better along the edges of the walls.
Most cleaners have a recessed handle on top and are propelled by two wheels. They operate independently and can turn in any direction. Almost all models have 3 control buttons on the top panel ("Clean", "Spot", and "Dock").
Many cleaners ship a virtual wall. This accessory is used to prevent the bot from accessing certain areas. The packages of more advanced models are supplied with a dual-mode virtual wall that can also create a round barrier.
Some models include a remote control (however, if the bot allows for app control, you won't actually need it). Because side brushes tend to wear out quickly, the cleaner's kit may also include a few extras. A spare filter may also be included in the kit.
The iRobot Roomba i3+ (3550) is 3.63 inches high and comes with one extra filter. The iRobot Roomba 981 is 3.9 inches high and doesn't include any special accessories in the kit.
So, the iRobot Roomba i3+ appears to be better in terms of design and included accessories.
Almost all the Roomba models have a plastic housing and a protective bumper at the front to prevent mechanical damage. However, some models have additional protective panels. For example, the top surface of the Roomba 981 is made of anti-scratch tempered glass. This way, it appears to be far more durable than the iRobot Roomba E5 (5150) with its all-plastic housing.
So, the Roomba 981 has shown the best results in this category of the Roomba chart comparison.
Earlier, Roomba's automatic cleaners were quite expensive. Many of the older models (600, 700, and 800 series, for example) are now available at steep discounts. In general, the cheapest model costs around $150. At the same time, top Roomba models may cost more than $1000.
If you are searching for a top-notch model, regardless of the price, the iRobot Roomba i7+ (7550) may be right for you. If you have a limited budget, the iRobot Roomba 692 can be your best model since it is inexpensive but has all the necessary functions: app control, smart sensors, etc.
In this part of the Roomba comparison, the Roomba 692 appears to be an unbeatable model.
As you can see from the iRobot Roomba model comparison chart, its lineup offers a great variety of models, so everyone can find a suitable one. What unites them all, regardless of price, is autonomous work and a plethora of intelligent sensors.
You can compare all specs in more detail in the Roomba vacuum comparison chart above.