The Roomba: Let’s Compare Roomba Models!

Totally automated vacuums are all the rage right now, as well they should be. These things are extremely convenient no doubt. Roomba is currently one of the biggest and best brand names when it comes to these robotic vacuums. You might have your eye on one or some of them, but aren’t too sure which one to get. Well, that is why we are here today. We’re going to do a Roomba model comparison to find the best Roomba for you.

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We are going to compare some key features like the battery life, cleaning pattern, ability to deal with hair, how they work with carpets, and what other special features they might or might not have. Of course, your budget requirements are another thing we are paying close attention to here. Keep in mind folks, we aren’t here to tell you Roomba is the best flat out, but to compare Roomba models and find out which one is the best for your specific needs.


Roomba Comparison Chart

Model

Vacuuming Technology

Scheduling

Auto Recharge

Wi-Fi Support

Battery Type

Edge Cleaning Mode

Weight

(lbs)​

Dimensions

(inches)​

Price

Roomba 650

AeroVac

Yes

Yes

No

Ni-Mh

No

7,9

13,9x3,6

View Price

Roomba 880

AeroForce

Yes

Yes

No

Ni-Mh

No

8,4

13,9x3,6

View Price

Roomba 805

AeroForce

Yes

Yes

No

Lithium-Ion

No

8,4

13,9x3,6

View Price

Roomba 761

AeroVac 2

Yes

Yes

No

Ni-Mh

No

8,4

13,9x3,6

View Price

Roomba 860

AeroForce

Yes

Yes

No

Lithium-Ion

No

8,4

13,9x3,6

View Price

Roomba 665

Cell 6 / 2

Yes

Yes

No

Lithium-Ion

No

7,9

13,7x3,6

View Price

Roomba 960

AeroForce

Yes

Yes

Yes

Lithium-Ion

Yes

8,5

13,8x3,6

View Price

ROOMBA MODELS

Now, let’s compare Roomba models, the best ones out there at this time. We like each of these in their own way and each are top contenders for the title of best Roomba. If you want to quickly compare them, you can always take a look at the Roomba comparison chart above.


Roomba 650

irobot roomba 650 review

The Roomba 650 is one of the older and more basic models that we can take a look at. It is a great Roomba model to take into consideration for several reasons. First off, it is one of the more affordable ones, but don’t worry, because although it is one of the cheaper versions, it does still do a fantastic job at vacuuming floors.

First off, the Roomba 650 uses something called iAdapt Navigation to maneuver around your home. It utilizes a variety of special sensors to navigate its way around your home. It can easily maneuver around corners, from one room to another, and tables and chairs are no problem at all.

This model features a fairly low profile design, specifically meant to allow it to find under hard to reach places. To get to other hard to reach areas such as corners and the edges of floors, the Roomba 650 also has spinning side brushes, so nothing gets missed.

Even better is that the Roomba 650 is designed to go after the spots in your home where dirt tends to accumulate the most. It seeks out areas like under your sofas, beds, tables, and under other objects where dirt and dust tend to build up. It’s a smart automated robot that goes for the areas with the most dirt.

A really neat part about the Roomba 650 is that it has the ability to adapt to all kinds of floor types. It adjusts easily to floors such as tile, laminate, hardwood, and carpet too. More or less, what this means is that it will use more brushes and agitation to clean rugs and carpets. On that same note, the way the Roomba cleans your floors is by utilizing a 3 stage cleaning system.

For instance, when it is on a hard surface, the Roomba 650 will automatically use the suction function to pick up dirt. Now, when it realizes that it is on a carpet, it will use specially designed agitation brushes to coax dirt out of the carpet and into the suction nozzles. It’s quite convenient that the Roomba 650 knows what kind of cleaning it needs to engage in to give the specific floor in question the vacuuming it needs.

While the Roomba 650 does not allow you to set specific cleaning patterns, it can be set to clean up to 7 times per week on its own. The random cleaning pattern, while it doesn’t sound too effective, it does a fantastic job at vacuuming any room from one side to the other. The fact that you can program it to run automatically every single day is definitely something that we like about it. What is also pretty cool is that the Roomba 650 comes with virtual wall technology, which means that you can keep it out of rooms that you don’t want it to vacuum in.

What is also pretty neat is that the Roomba 650 has a pretty good battery life, more than enough to clean a few big rooms before having to recharge. On that same note, this particular model will go back to the charging station on its own when the battery is low, which is pretty convenient if you ask us.

Roomba 650 – Some Of Drawbacks

  • This is one of the older models, so while the battery life is not terrible, if you have a bigger house, chances are the batteries won’t last until the job is completely done.
  • The Roomba 650 uses a virtual wall system which requires batteries. These batteries are sold separately, which you need to be aware of before you make your purchase.
  • While the brushes to agitate dirt out of carpets are somewhat effective, they do tend to stir up dust that can fly all over the place. At the same time, hair is a big problem for these agitation brushes, as it can seriously clog and tangle the brushes.

Roomba 880

iRobot Roomba 880

The Roomba 880 is another really good model to keep in mind. Now, the 880 is substantially more expensive than some of the other models we’re looking at. As you will notice, this one, the 880, is almost twice as expensive as the 650 we looked before. However, this is also because there are some advancements that have been made.

To start off, we like how the Roomba 880 still uses the same iAdapt navigation technology to make its way around your home and get around obstacles. This model is actually quite similar to one such as the 650, but there are several improvements that have been made.

This model, the Roomba 880 still has the ability to adjust between various types of floors like laminate, tile, carpet, and hardwood. The fact that it can adjust its way of cleaning to the floor it is on is defintiely something we like. To be fair, it still does most of the same things as other Roombas, but this one is much more advanced.

For instance, while older Roombas used agitation brushes to whip up dirt out of carpets, this one uses a new AeroForce Performing Cleaning System. This means that instead of brushes agitation your carpet, it’s a mix of air blasts and slight vibrations that agitates the dirt out of your carpet. One of the reasons why this is so much better than the older roller brush models is because hair no longer gets tangled in those brushes. Hair simply gets sucked in, which is a big improvement from the older ones which required you to de-tangle them on a steady basis.

What is also really neat about the Roomba 880 is that it incorporates anti-tangle technology. This means that it wil no longer get stuck on carpet fringes and other objects that may tangle and disable it, something which older models tended to do. Moreover, something which the Roomba 880 has, which some older models don’t is a cliff detection system. In short, it’s smart enough to not launch itself down stairs or off of a balcony.

The Roomba 880 still does a great job at vacuuming and cleaning your floors, especially in those heavy traffic and heavy buildup areas. This model has bumper sensors which allow it to differentiate between hard and soft barriers. So, it won’t try to smash its way through a pane of glass, but it can pass under curtains to clean behind them. At the same time, the Roomba 880 uses an advanced set of visual and sound sensors to determine where the most dirt is. In other words, it knows that it needs to get under your beds and sofas, which it can still do thanks to its low profile design. Just like the 650, the Roomba 880 still has side brushes to get those hard to reach floor edges and corners in the walls.

While the Roomba 880 can still be programmed to operate 7 days per week at the time of your choosing, its methodology has been greatly improved upon. First off, the cleaning pattern for older Roombas was fairly random, but the 880 just goes back and forth in an organized manner until it has covered a whole room. Perhaps one of the biggest improvements made when compared to older models is that the Roomba 880 has a much better battery life for more floor cleaning longevity before it needs to recharge.

Moreover, the beacons and virtual wall barriers included have also become more sophisticated. Instead of just telling the Roomba where not to clean, such as the 650 did, the 880’s beacons and barrier, of which there are 2, actually tell it to clean this room, but not that room. Even better is that unlike older models which could wander from room to room, the 880 will stay in one room until it is totally clean (for up to 25 minutes). Another big advancement made is that the Roomba 880 uses air flow acceleration, or in other words, the vacuum itself is much stronger than ever before.

Oh, and we can’t forget that this model also comes with a great HEPA filter that removes dust, fine particles, and other allergens from the air. Also, we like how the Roomba 880 comes with a remote control so you don’t even have to get up to control it. It is the only model in the 800 series of Roomba vacuums which comes with a remote.

Roomba 880 – Some Drawbacks

  • While the HEPA filter is a great addition, it is something that needs to be cleaned on a regular basis in order to remain effective and functional.
  • While the Roomba 880 is very advanced, highly functional, and very efficient, it is extremely expensive.
  • One weird thing about the Roomba 880 is that it won’t go back to the dock on its own. You can bring it to the charging dock to recharge the batteries, but for some reason, unlike older models, it doesn’t really do this on its own.

Roomba 805

irobot roomba 805 review

The Roomba 805 is another good automated vacuum option to go with. This one, for comparison’s sake, is kind of in the middle between the Roomba 650 and the Roomba 880. It is actually more similar to the 880 than the 650. It costs more than the 650 and also has more features than it, but the 880 is more expensive and has more features than the 805. It’s kind of a good mix between a good cost and great functionality.

The Roomba 805 uses the same iAdapt Navigation system as both of the other models we’ve looked at. It has no problem finding its way around your furniture to clean in areas that need it the most. What we do like about this model is that it uses the more advanced AeroForce 3-stage cleaning system, just like the 880.

When it comes to cleaning power, the vacuum itself is a bit better than on the 650, but not quite as good as with the newer 880. This means that it does a fine job at agitating dirt out of carpets, but hair won’t clog it up like with the 650.

The Roomba 805 does also have anti-tangle technology so it won’t get stuck on power cords or carpet fringes. The rollers are specially designed to navigate over those troublesome objects. The Roomba 805 does also have a cliff detection sensor to stop it from dropping off of higher areas. However, this model seems to not include a special dirt detection system. Now, The Roomba 805 does have a pretty organized cleaning pattern, so not being able to really detect dirt and heavy build up areas may not be a huge problem. The cleaning pattern is pretty good, so chances are that it will find the dirt one way or another regardless.

Just like the Roomba 880, the 805 also comes with a high efficiency AeroForce filter which helps to remove close to 100% of dust and allergens from a room. Anyone with allergies or breathing problems might want to look into the Roomba 805. Just like both of the other models we’ve checked out, the Roomba 805 can be programmed to clean 7 days per week at a time of your choosing. Also, you can just press the CLEAN button to set it on its way instantly.

The Roomba 805 also has a great lithium ion battery which definitely lasts longer than the 650’s does, even longer than some of the other Roombas in the 800 series. Lithium batteries are way better than most other options. The Roomba 805 will notify you when the battery is low, and if possible, it will go back to the charging station to recharge itself. The Roomba 805 should be able to run for about 60 to 75 minutes before it needs to recharge. Also, you get those neat dual wall barriers with this model as well. The barriers allow you to tell it where it needs to clean and where it needs to stay out of by creating an infrared light barrier.

Roomba 805 – Some Drawbacks

  • It seems as though the Roomba 805 does not have a dirt detection feature such as other models do. While it does a fine job at finding dirt eventually, it won’t necessarily identity high traffic or heavy buildup areas on its own.
  • Even though the Roomba 805 has anti-tangle tech, it does seem to still have a bit of a problem with smaller power cords.
  • The Roomba 805 seems to be missing a few visual sensors. It tends to ram or crash into things on occasion, plus navigating around clutter does not work well either.

Roomba 761

irobot roomba 761 review

The Roomba 761 is a pretty decent option to go with no doubt. We do like it because it is one of the more affordable models to go with. Surprisingly enough, even though it is fairly affordable, it does still manage to bring a good number of features to the table.

However, it is one of the less advanced models when compared to some of the newer ones, and thus does still have some drawbacks. If you want a decent automated vacuum that won’t ruin your budget, but will still do a good cleaning job, the Roomba 761 is a pretty decent choice to consider.

Just like all of the other Roomba models, the 761 can be it can be programmed to clean up to 7 times per week whenever you see fit. It also has a button you can press to make it clean immediately. Now, the Roomba 761 uses the same iAdapt Technology as all of the other Roomba models we have looked at so far. It does a great job at navigating your home. It easily moves around obstacles like table legs to efficiently clean your floors.

Like some of the other more advanced models we have looked at, the Roomba 761 uses a series of optical sensors to determine where the most dirt is. Combined with its low profile, the Roomba 761 does a great job at cleaning under and around objects. However, this model does not come with the soft/hard barrier detection system, like the more advanced models, so it might have a hard time getting behind curtains and other such things.

When it comes to the cleaning pattern, the iAdapt Technology does help it to learn about your home and clean. However, this robotic vacuum still follows a more or less random cleaning pattern. This means that it might take a little longer to finish the job as the pattern is totally random.

This is similar to the cleaning pattern of the Roomba 650, which is also random, and unlike the 805 or 880 which follow a more organized pattern, thus being more efficient at its job. That being said, the Roomba 761 does have a fairly low profile, so it can still get under beds and sofas without issue.

When it comes to cleaning various surfaces, just like other versions, the 761 does do a fairly decent job at cleaning a variety of surfaces included laminate, tile, hardwood, and carpets. It can adjust itself to suit various floor types. However, the 761 uses the same 3 stage cleaning process as the Roomba 650. This means that it uses roller brushes to agitate the dirt in carpets. This means that just like with the 650, the Roomba 761 doesn’t do too well with hair. Hair can get tangled and jam up the rollers. Also, the Roomba 761 does not come with anti-tangle technology, so power cords and carpet frills can be a bit of an issue. That being said, the Roomba 761 does have  cliff detection sensors, so it won’t fall down stairs and such.

Like with other more expensive models, like the Roomba 805 and 880, this models does come with a good HEPA filtration unit. It helps to remove allergens and dust particles from the air, something which is great for people with allergies and breathing problems. When it comes to runtime, the battery on the Roomba 761 should last for about 90 minutes, a little less if there is a lot of carpet to clean. It takes around 3 hours for it to charge, which is not too bad. In terms of the battery life, the Roomba 761 is not too bad at all.

This Roomba model does actually come with a remote so you can control it. Also, you get the same virtual walls with the Roomba 761 as you do with the Roomba 650. In other words, the barriers are a little less advanced that with the Roomba 880 or 805. Yes, the 761’s barriers do tell this model where not to enter, but unlike with the more advanced models, they don’t force the Roomba to stay in a certain room until the job is done. In other words, it might wander around a little bit.

Roomba 761 – Some Drawbacks

  • Due to the older type of 3 stage cleaning system, the Roomba 761 still has its fair share of problems with hair. The agitation rollers can get clogged fairly easily when there is a lot of hair.
  • The Roomba 761 does not include good anti-tangle tech, which means that it can have some problems with carpet frills and power cords.
  • The Roomba 761 has a fairly random cleaning pattern instead of a more organized one. This means that it can take sufficiently longer to clean a whole room than a more advanced one like the 880 or 805.
  • The Roomba 761, unlike the 880 or 805, is not fantastic for deep carpets. It does not have a great dirt agitation system, so getting deeply imbedded dirt out of carpets can be an issue.

Roomba 860

iRobot Roomba 860

The Roomba 860 is yet another really good choice to go with. Now, this model is a bit more expensive and advanced than a lower grade one like the Roomba 650. On the other hand, when it comes to the 800 lineup, it is probably the least advanced, maybe even less advanced than the Roomba 760 we just looked at.

It doesn’t have too many cool or special features, which is why it doesn’t cost as much as some of the alternatives, but it does a fine job at basic vacuuming none the less.

The Roomba 860 is the most affordable and least advanced model in the 800 line, yet it still works better than most of the Roomba models in the 600 and 700 line. First off, the 860 still uses the classic iAdapt Technology to find its way around your home. The cleaning pattern it follows is still fairly random, instead of a steady back and forth or circular pattern. While it will eventually clean a whole room, it moves around at random, so it can take quite a while.

It also does not have special features like the soft/hard barrier detection system or the advanced acoustic/visual dirt detection system, like some of the more advanced models. Also, it does not incorporate anti-tangle tech for dealing with cords.

While it does have some sensors to detect obstacles like table legs and such, it doesn’t do too well with clutter on the floor. In other words, the Roomba 860 does a fine job at vacuuming, but it may run into issues with power cords, clutter, and other random obstacles, plus the random pattern it follows can cause it to take quite a long time. Don’t worry though, because the Roomba 860 does still come with cliff detection, so at least it won’t fall down your stairs.

Moreover, the Roomba 860 does come with one single barrier beacon to keep it out of a certain room, which is pretty convenient. However, it doesn’t come with the more advanced lighthouse beacons like the Roomba 880. In other words, you can tell it to stay out of a certain room, but you can’t force it to stay in one certain room before the job is done, thus causing it to often wander back and forth in between rooms before completion. However, the Roomba 860 does come with side brushes so it can get into corners and edges, does still have a low profile, so getting under sofas and beds is easy.

There are a couple of areas where the Roomba 860 does really excel. First off, it uses the brushless roller system just like the other newer models in the 800 line. In other words, it uses vibrations and air flow to agitate dirt in carpets, unlike the older models which used brushes. This means that the Roomba 860 doesn’t have a problem with clogs or tangles cause by hair. Moreover, it is one of the better options for cleaning carpets as it can get really deep down. Second, the Roomba 860 has a great lithium ion battery. In fact, it has one of the best runtimes of all Roombas right now, up to 90 minutes or more before it even needs to think about recharging.

Another thing you might like about the Roomba 860 is that it comes with a HEPA filter. This is great for anybody with allergies or breathing problems as the filter will clean the air you breathe.

Roomba 860 – Some Drawbacks

  • The Roomba 860 has a really random cleaning pattern, combined with only 1 barrier beacon, it causes this model to move from room to room randomly without necessarily finishing its job. This can make it take a long time for it to actually clean a single room, something which is also not great for battery life. Sure, the Roomba 860 has a great battery, but when half the time is spend puttering around randomly, it doesn’t make good use of that advanced battery life.
  • You just don’t get as many special features and sensors with the Roomba 860 as you do with the 880 or even the 805, but of course it is still more advanced than the 600 series.

Roomba 665

irobot roomba 665 review

The Roomba 665 is in all fairness one of the worse Roombas out there. That being said, it is not a bad model, but it is one of the less expensive and less advanced models with limited functionality.

It works great as a basic automated vacuum, but there are some key features it does not have which set ones like the Roomba 880 and 805 apart from the rest. However, if you just wans a basic robotic vacuum, the 665 is a good affordable option to look into.

The Roomba 665 uses an older version of the iAdapt Technology, just like the Roomba 650. So, it does do a good job at navigating your home, dealing with certain obstacles, and transitioning from one floor type to another. However, the cleaning pattern it follows is totally random. So, while it will eventually clean everywhere, it will take a long time because of this random pattern. Sure, it will clean everywhere, but it could take up to twice as long as some of the better models like the Roomba 880.

Now, the 665 is technically apart of the pet series, which means that it is specially designed to pick up pet hair. It uses something called AeroVac technology, which uses special vacuums to suck up pet hair. Now, while this works great for hard floors, it doesn’t fare too well on carpeting. This is because the Roomba 665 still uses the old carpet agitation system with bristled rollers. This means that hair can tangle the bristles. In other words, the bristled rollers tend to get clogged, so they will require a fair amount of maintenance.

The Roomba 665 does have a very sleek profile, so it has no problem fitting under smaller objects like couches and beds. It also comes with cliff detection so it doesn’t fall off of big drops. However, it doesn’t come with a special dirt detection system, it doesn’t have the hard/soft barrier detection system, and it doesn’t have anti-tangle tech either. The vacuum on this model also is not the strongest, so it may take a couple passes over the same spot to really pick up everything.

The Roomba 665 does have a much better battery, runtime, and charging time than the 650, which is an obvious bonus. That being said, the battery won’t last as long as with the more advanced models, especially ones with lithium ion batteries.

One big upside for the Roomba 650 is that it has a huge dust storage bin, much bigger than any other model out there at this point. This means that you don’t have to empty it nearly as often. This model also comes with a single virtual wall system so you can keep it fairly contained, or at least just tell it to stay out of a certain room. This model does also have side brushes for getting into corners, but they aren’t as advanced as with the 880 or other later models.

Roomba 665 – Some Drawbacks

  • Now, there is nothing inherently wrong with this model, but it does lack some key features which make the more recent and advanced models so awesome.
  • While it does have a good pet hair vacuuming system when it comes to hard surfaces, it doesn’t do well on high pile carpets, especially when hair is involved. The bristled rollers can get easily clogged.
  • The random cleaning pattern means that it can miss spots, it takes a long time to finish its job, and it also is not good in terms of the battery life.

Roomba 960

irobot roomba 960 review

When it comes to all of the models we have looked at in this Roomba model comparison, the 960 is by far the most advanced and expensive. If you want an all-inclusive robotic vacuum with all of the bells and whistles, the Roomba 960 is definitely the way to go.

First off, by far the most impressive part about the Roomba 960 is that it uses iAdapt Technology with stunning visual and acoustic sensors. In other words, not only does the 960 not move at random, but it actually uses all of those sensors to visually map out the room it is in, create a precise cleaning pattern, and then follows it to the tee. This is an extremely efficient Roomba model that works quicker than any other one out there.

Moreover, the soft touch system, the soft/hard barrier detection system, the dirt detection system, the anti-tangle rollers, and a couple of other technological aspects make the 960 one of the best around. It can easily navigate clutter, obstacles, furniture, it can easily get under beds and sofas, it won’t crash into things, it won’t fall off of stairs or ledges, and it does really well with corners and edges too. The precisely mapped pattern and visual sensors make sure that it follows an accurate path and that it can maneuver packed rooms with ease.

Another big advancement with the Roomba 960 is that it uses a special 3 stage AeroForce cleaning system and extractors that don’t tangle. This means that the 960 works great for picking up hair that would clog or get tangled in older models. This also means that the 960 is excellent for getting hair and dirt out of carpets. Also, the newer motor is extremely powerful. It has more suction power than any of the other models we have looked at so far. What is also neat about the Roomba 960 is that it is one of the first modells to actually tell you when the bin is full and needs emptying.

Moreover, the battery life on the Roomba 960 is also great. It can last for at least 75 minutes without the need to start recharging. It goes back to the dock on its own, then when charged, it will actually resume cleaning in the exact spot it left off before charging. The fact that it follows precise patterns also means that the battery comes to much better use. Furthermore, you get a single dual mode virtual wall barrier to keep the 960 either in a room or out of it.

One of the most impressive features about the Roomba 960 is that it has Wi-Fi connectivity. You can connect it to your smart phone, use the phone as a remote control, and program it to do precisely what you want it to do. The convenience factor is out of this world with the Roomba 960. The bottom line is that you get pretty much all of the latest and best features with the 960. You also get an awesome side brush system for corners and edges, plus a great HEPA filter for cleaning the air.

When it comes to the best Roomba around, we would have to give that winning title to the Roomba 960.

Roomba 960 – Some Drawbacks

  • One of the most obvious drawbacks with this model is that it costs an insane amount. It’s much more expensive than any of the other models we have looked at.
  • The app to control the Roomba 960 has some flaws and glitches that could be improved upon.

FINAL THOUGHTS ON THE BATTLE OF THE ROOMBAS - WHICH ONE IS BEST FOR ME?

When it comes to Roomba model comparisons, each of them are great choices in their own right. The main thing for you to consider here is how much money you are looking or willing to spend, versus how many features and how much functionality you want out of your Roomba. If you want a really basic one that won’t cost too much, the 650 and 665 make for great choices.

If you want slightly better ones, the 805 and 880 are good options too. If you want the very best Roomba around, you need to go for the 960 (which is also the most expensive). Remember folks, each of these Roombas does a fine job at vacuuming, but the cheaper ones will require more time to clean, plus more maintenance too.

About the Author Jason

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