The iRobot Robotic Vacuum Comparison

The "Roomba" robotic vacuums, supplied  by iRobot are available in 5 different models. Which one to choose? This page shows you clearly the differences and how you can find the perfect model for you.

The chart below lists more than a dozen features for each of the 5 models, currently available.

For more information on what each feature title means, just click on the title and you will be given a full description.

To see more details of each model, just click on the photo at the top of the chart



Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

Yes

Yes

No

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

60 mins

60 mins

75 mins

75 mins

2 hours

90m-3hrs

90m-3hrs

90 mins

90 mins

90 mins

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

No

No

Yes

Yes

No

Yes 5xPower

Yes 5xPower

Yes 5xPower

Yes 10xPower

No

No

No

No

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

(1) Auto

(1)Dual Mode

(2)Lighthouses

(1)Dual Mode

(2)Dual Mode

4.5 out of 5

4.3 out of 5

4.4 out of 5

4.6 out of 5

4.4 out of 5

$374.00

$499.00

Not Available

$699.00

$899.00

Price Special! $100.00 Off All Models! (Until Dec 3 2016)




Full Descriptions of Features

Self Charging- of the Robotic Vacuum                   Return to Chart                     

As you can see all 5 models are "self charging" This is because all models feature a "Home" station. Here the robotic vacuum parks and is automatically recharged.

Just make sure the Home Station is plugged into a power outlet!

Once the Roomba is in the charge mode, it will stay until charging is complete. It will start a new cycle if scheduled to do so or if manually started.

Note that the clean cycle time must be less than the run time or vacuuming will be incomplete.




Auto-Charge or "Charge & Resume"                             Return to Chart

The two 900 series models incorporate this feature. When the robot returns to Home for a re-charge, it "remembers" where it was in the cleaning cycle and upon completion, returns to the spot where it was and resumes cleaning. 

Note that The 900 series have the longer run times and can clean larger areas.




Multi-Room and Entire Level Cleaning                      Return to Chart

Just the 880,960 and 980 have this ability.

The model 880 is unique in coming complete with  two infra-red light equipped  "Light Houses". These can be placed at doorways and then the robotic vacuum cleaner will stay in the first room until the cleaning cycle is complete and then enter the next room.

This is a more efficient way to clean than trying to finish two rooms and continually moving from room to room.

You can select to keep the vacuum permanently out of a room, if desired

The 960 and 980 do not use Light Houses but do have a longer run time and the navigation system comes with "Visual Localization". This enables the robot to see obstacles and compensate it's path. 

The 980, with it's long run time of 2 hours, can clean up to 2,000 sq.ft. on a single level.




The 900 series have "Visual Localization" and vSlam® technology to create visual landmarks so it does not loose track of where it is or where it has been







This video is well worth a look because it shows so much. The 980 model is seen in action and a map is displayed, showing the path that the robot takes in cleaning an entire level.

Please note that the robot does NOT move at anything like the speed shown and will takes a few hours to clean an area of this size!







Run Time                                                                          Return to Chart

This is approximately how long the robotic vacuum will run after charging at the Home Station.

The times are for comparison purposes only! Run times can be affected by many factors, such as floor type, battery condition and how dirty the floor is!




Re-charge Time                                                           Return to Chart

This is another approximate time that can vary depending on battery condition and is shown for comparison purposes only.

Rechargeable batteries have a life span largely determined by the number of charge/recharge cycles it has been subjected to. When the run time and/or recharge time start to change then the time to replace the batteries may be approaching.




Scheduling                                                                             Return to Chart

It is a bit like setting a digital alarm clock! You can program any time of the day to start and set up to 7 times per week.

The  short video below shows how it works-





Tangle Free AeroForce® Extractors                              Return to Chart

iRobot Roomba AeroForce Extractors


All models except the 650 use these rubber rollers. Good for all floor types and they reduce hair tangles.

The model 650 uses brushes that can be a problem to keep hair tangles to a minimum. (Especially if you have pets)




Home App.                                                                               Return to chart

The iRobot Roomba 900 series Home Ap.


Just the 960 and 980 models have this feature. You can connect from your smart phone and check the status of the robotic vacuum. You can select custom cleaning preferences and change schedules. Very convenient!

This feature is only available on the 900 series models.




AeroForce® 3 Stage Cleaning System                         Return to Chart

The irobot Roomba AeroForce cleaning system

The 3 stages are-

  1. Agitation-the rubber coated extractors loosen embedded debris from carpets and rugs.
  2. Extraction-The counter-rotating extractors lift dust and debris from the surface.
  3. Suction- The vacuum pulls dirt into the bin.

On the 860,880 and 960 models there is 5 times the power of previous models and on the 980 you will experience 10 times the power.

The 650 has brush rollers instead of the extractors. Hair can more easily tangle. and can be a challenge to remove.




Carpet Boost                                                                     Return to Chart

The iRobot Roomba Carpet Boost Feature



Only available on the 980 robotic vacuum: When a carpet is sensed, the vacuum motor is boosted to 10 times the power, to really dig deep and suck up the maximum amount of debris!




Dirt Detect Series 2-Finds & Detects Dirt                    Return to Chart

Optical and acoustic sensors detect high concentrations of dirt ,debris,dust and pet hair and the robot will do several passes over the area, ensuring it is as clean as possible.

A spinning side brush sweeps dust and dirt from wall edges and corners into the path of the 3-stage cleaning system.

High efficiency Heppa filters capture 99% of allergens, pollen and small particles down to 10 microns in size




Stair Detect Sensors                                                            Return to chart

Stairs are no problem for any Roomba model, Sensors "see"the edge of stairs and the vacuum reverses before it can tumble  down.

A disadvantage with the sensors occurs if you have carpets with black strips in the pattern. Roomba assumes these are stairs and will not clean them!

I have heard of some customers taping over the sensors, so as to allow cleaning of the black stripes.





Virtual Walls                                                                        Return to chart

The Auto Virtual Wall




This unit can block off a doorway and prevent Roomba from leaving a room.

It should be placed on the outside of the doorway and the arrow, on top of the unit, should be  pointed across the opening. 

There are 2 modes that can be selected by a switch: When "Auto"is selected then the unit will be activated when the Roomba starts a cleaning cycle.. It will be switched off after 135 minutes.

2 alkaline "C cells are needed to power the virtual wall and they should last about 6 months.



The Dual Mode Virtual Wall

This unit can be used as a"virtual wall" and keep the Roomba in the rooms that need to be cleaned.

If set to "halo" mode then a 4 ft. (1.2M) diameter keep-out zone is created, that can keep the robot away from pet dishes or Christmas trees etc.

Unit is powered with 2 AA cells and a set is included with the original purchase



The Virtual Wall Lighthouse




This unit can be used for multi-room cleaning. It should be set up as shown in the diagram and then Roomba will clean each room completely and then be allowed to move to the next room.

It can also be used as a virtual wall and protect areas from the robot vacuum.

The lower switch turns the unit on and off. When "on" it is in a low current standby mode and is switched fully on when Roomba approaches.

The upper switch is to change from lighthouse mode to virtual wall mode.

It does require (2) "c" cells for power.





Amazon Star Rating                                                            Return to Chart

For more details regarding the rating, just click on the Amazon link, at the bottom of the chart and you will be taken to the appropriate page. 

If you scroll down towards the bottom of the page , The reviews are all listed. There are a LOT of them, The vast majority are very positive but some of the criticisms are relevant.




Amazon                                                                    Return to Chart

By clicking on the Amazon links you will find yourself on the appropriate page on the Amazon site.

If you are considering buying, please check the latest prices there and check the cost of shipping prior to placing an order.

Amazon are well known for their "no questions asked" return policy and many customers will shop no where else.



ABT Electronics                                                                   Return to chart

ABT are located in the Chicago area and ship all over the USA. In most cases shipping is free.

Founded in 1936, ABT offers a wide range of appliances and electronic goods.



iRobot                                                                                      Return to chart

You can buy direct from the manufacturer. They do have sales specials on at different times and have excellent sales service.

I like to use the "chat" link on their site, because it is quick and the people responding are very knowledgeable.




Useful links

It is always a good idea to visit the iRobot site. Click here to see.

You can buy direct from there and they do have sales on now and then.

Some people prefer to buy from Amazon and do check if shipping cost is included, before you make a buying decision.


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  Some of the links on this page are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a  small affiliate commission. There is no extra cost to you. Because my integrity and your satisfaction are  very important to me,  I only recommend products or services I use personally or would purchase, and believe will benefit my readers. This income is used to help pay for this site. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising" For further information, please click here.



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