Update: Checkout our review of the Roomba 980 by iRobot and how it compares to the BotVac Connected the latest robotic vacuum from Neato Robotics.
There is no doubt that the iRobot Roomba is among the best robotic vacuum cleaners, if not the THE best one. Yet, buyers might get lost because there are actually many Roombas. Currently, iRobot promotes 8 Roomba versions in 3 different series: the 600, the 700, and the 800 series. Prices range from approx. $300 up to nearly $700 for the luxurious Roomba 880.
To help you pick the one that best fits your needs, we made a short list of 3 Roombas we describe below. They are representative of the latest Roombas, since the others differ basically in the number of spare parts (filters, area delimeters, …).
The Roomba 650 for Tight Budgets
If you have a tight budget and a small area to clean, take the Roomba 650
for approximatively $350. The prominent feature of the 650 is scheduling. This is very useful since vacuums are noisy, and the Roomba is no exception. It’s better to run it while you are away, for example during work hours. Once your home is cleaned or if the Roomba runs out of battery, it will find its way back to the charging dock. Still, you can launch the cleaning manually by pressing the clean button and clean your whole home or spot a particular area. The Roomba 650 comes with a Virtual Wall beacon that allows you restrict areas covered during a cleaning cycle. It acts as a wall, so the Roomba will bounce away and thus focus on a particular room, or avoid some region.
The Roomba 780 for Large Houses
The iRobot Roomba 780
costs approximatively $580, but it comes with several improvements over the 600 series. First, it uses the latest generation Virtual Walls named Lighthouses that confines Roomba in one room until it is cleaned, before moving to the next room. The Lighthouse can also be used to block off-limit areas like plain Virtual Walls. Another feature of the 780 is the full bin indicator that lets you know when the bin has reached capacity and needs to be emptied. This is useful since latest Roombas (including the 600 series) fill the dirt bin more evenly, requiring you to empty it less often. Having pets or allergies is yet another reason to choose the 780. It comes with dual HEPA air filters that capture even tiny dust particles. It also has two sensors to find dirt: one optical and the other acoustic (the 600 series have only the acoustic sensor). Besides, in areas where excessive debris is sensed, the 780 employs a back-and-forth cleaning pattern, which is more effective than the spiral pattern used in former Roombas.
The Roomba 880 for Minimal Maintenance
The iRobot Roomba 880
is the among the most advanced robotic vacuums on the market and also among the most expensive ones
with a price tag of approximatively $700. According to iRobot, one of the innovations they had put in the 880 are the dual counter-rotating dirt extractors that require virtually no maintenance. No more entangled debris that require frequent dismounting and cleaning. A bonus feature is that extractors are supposed to break down dirt into smaller parts easier to suck, resulting into improved cleaning. Another interesting feature of the Roomba 880 is a combination of an optical and an acoustic sensors for dirt perception. They ensure a better detection of dirtier areas and trigger the persistent cleaning behavior at the right spot. The first version of this focused cleaning function has been introduced on early versions Roomba, based on the acoustic sensor alone. Recently, it has been improved on some models of the 700 series with the addition of the optical sensor. It is this second version that is shipped on the 880.