Whenever you start to compare Roomba models you realized that the lineup just seems to keep expanding. With so many models to choose from, it’s almost impossible to know which Roomba to buy. And lets be honest you don’t want to spend money on a robot vacuum and later realized that it does not suit your needs. And Roomba doesn’t expand too much when it comes to pointing out the differences between the various models.

As good as the Roomba is, the information found on the official website can be fuzzy and often completely misleading. The only one thing that we can now is the fact that higher the Roomba’s model number, the more features you will obtain. On the other hand, don’t assume all features are necessary, so you must be able to choose a model that meets your needs best after looking at this guide.

That’s why we test all the Roomba models so you don’t have to. If you’ve been wondering which Roomba to get, look no further. You will find everything you need to know below.Only the best reviewed Roomba models are included in this review to keep the information relevant and digestible.

Roomba Models Comparison Chart – Current Models

The following comparison chart shows you the similarities and differences of the current iRobot Roomba models.

Roomba model Roomba 650 Roomba 860 Roomba 960 Roomba 980
Photo iRobot Roomba 960 Robot Vacuum with Wi-Fi Connectivity + Manufacturer's Warranty
Wi-Fi Conected NO NO YES YES
HEPA Filter NO YES YES YES
Run Time 60 to 90 min 4 Hours 75 min 120 min
Battery NiCad Li-Lon Li-Lon Li-Lon
Smartphone App NO NO YES YES
Price – Amazon Check Here Check Here Check Here Check Here

Roomba 650 – Old and Reliable

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The Roomba 650 was previously so good! Unfortunately, this is no longer the case. Back in the day was the best selling Roomba due to its winning mixture of price and features. However, with more sophisticated models released, this particular one is no longer the best of the best.

With that said, you can still find lots of things to like about the 650. Roombas use a pseudo-random pattern to navigate around your home, which in fact provides a much better cleaning end result, particularly on carpet. It is programmable and self-docking, which means you can have it start itself when you’re away and come home to a clean floor and docked Roomba. Owners rate the Roomba 650 very highly. It does a fantastic job picking up dirt and hair. With the ability to get below most furnishings, and cleaning areas you normally cannot reach by having an upright vacuum.

It uses the iAdapt 1. navigation system that features a random cleaning pattern.This affects performance but is extremely thorough particularly if you utilize it to clean one room at a time.To clean both bare floor and carpet, it utilizes counter-rotating brushes – a bristled and squeegee type that actually works jointly to agitate and pick up dirt.

It doesn’t provide the HEPA filtration that the more costly Roombas have but we are dealing with a price difference up to $400. This is important but except if you are afflicted with a condition like asthma, it shouldn’t be a big deal for you.

For containment, it includes one virtual wall that functions, effectively, just like a wall and virtually blocks the path of the robot from moving in areas that are off limits.

iRobot states that the 650 won’t be able to clean multiple rooms but actually it can. Efficiency will be affected and the probability of it returning to the charging base drops significantly.

On the reasons why this robot is no longer the best is because of the rotating brushes.Designed like a conventional vacuum, the 650 picks up dirt by agitating the carpet or floor with a rotating brush.

This is effective when it comes to providing thoroughly clean floors, but turns into a frustration when hair gets stuck in the vacuum.The only good thing about this problem is that the brushes are removable and this model incorporates a hair extractor to help make the process easier. However, it isn’t an enjoyable task.

Only pick the 650 if budget is your only real considerations. Cause it’s still the most cost-effective Roomba currently available.

Areas that need improvement

  • Hair gets stuck in the rolling brushes, making maintenance a tedious task.
  • The old version of Virtual Wall accessory requires 2 C batteries, which are not included.

Bottom Line:

Thi model uses an old technology but is still a very good vacuum capable of cleaning your house thoroughly. It offers all you need from an autonomous cleaner – scheduling, multi-room cleaning, decent sized bin and good cleaning performance. Don’t hesitate to pull the trigger on the 650 since you will have almost all of the features found in the 880 for a few hundred dollars less.

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Roomba 860 – Best Roomba under a Budget

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After the 650 we are going to review one of the most practical and cost-effective Roombas out there. This is the new standard in budget robotic vacuums. If you do not want to spend a lot of money and would like a robot that just cleans without the additional features, the 860 is the very best match to suit your needs.

Why the 860 is better than the 650? Brush-less rollers 

In the arena of vacuum cleaners, brush-less rollers are without a doubt the best feature you can get.The company calls them “tangle-free debris extractors”, which can be more complicated sounding than it needs to be. They are simply just two rubber rollers with protruding “feet” that beat and vibrate the floor as the Roomba moves around. The vibrations move the dust from the carpet and into the path of the vacuum.

When compared to Roomba 650, this ends up with an equally clean floor and far easier maintenance. If you have ever before attempted to pull hair out of a regular vacuum brush roller, you probably know how tedious the task will get. With brush-less rollers, hair rarely will get caught in the vacuum, and even if they do, removing the hair is really a trivial process. Just pop out the rubber rollers, and any stuck hair can be simply pulled out.

Using the brushless Roombas, all of the hair on the floor now ends up right inside the dustbin. You will come home to a clean house and a dustbin full of hair and dust.

The 860 features a “Virtual Wall Barrier” accessory (once was known as Virtual Wall Halo), that is a beacon that you can position to block off admission to certain areas. In Virtual Wall mode, the beacon emits a beam to block openings of up to 7 feet. In Barrier/Halo mode, the beacon produces a signal marking off a circle across the beacon rather than a beam. The signal informs the Roomba to never come nearby the beacon. This is wonderful for items you would not want the Roomba to knock over, like pet water or food bowls.

Areas that need improvement

  • As good as the brushless rollers are, the 860 is still a budget entry compared to other models in the Roomba line. Compared to the 880, the 860 only comes with 1 Virtual Wall Halo, a little beacon that tells the Roomba where to go and where not to go.

Bottom line:

People love it because it is really good for pet and human hair. If your home layout is simple and the price is the main concern, go with the 860.this model provides the best value for money from all the Roombas available. It comes equipped with the exact same features from the 900 series like rubber extractors lithium-ion battery and powerful motor.

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Roomba 960 – Best Roomba Overall

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The Roomba 960 is when things start to get pretty cool. Launched in August 2016, it’s actually the newest entry in the Roomba line. It’s Wi-Fi enabled and thus capable to connect to your smartphone. This provides you the opportunity to start your Roomba when you are away from home. (check Amazon for current price and any available discounts)

An additional exciting feature of the app is that it will record the number of square feet the Roomba vacuumed, the number of times it has cleaned overall, and how long it spent vacuuming in total. You are able to set the Roomba’s cleaning schedule straight from the cell phone, as well as modify some preferences on how you would like the Roomba to completely clean. The app also offers reminders to let you know once the dust bin needs emptying and whenever the Roomba needs maintenance.

This model employs enhanced iAdapt 2.0 Navigation system, which allows the multi-room cleaning, recharge and resumes operation, clean map reports, custom cleaning options etc.

Besides the app, the 960 is set up with visual sensors. The 960 and 980 are the only Roombas at the moment on the market to have them. These sensors use your furniture and walls as landmarks to generate an inner map of your home. Earlier Roombas normally use a pseudo-random pattern to vacuum, ending in the aimless cleaning pattern that puzzles most Roomba owners.

With visual mapping, the 960 can finally vacuum in straight lines. Vacuuming in a pseudo-random pattern is good and in fact, creates great results after several passes, but it is just so mesmerizing to watch the 960 vacuum an area lane by lane.

Last but not least, the 960 has the ability to automatically recharge when is low on battery and resume vacuuming where it left off. Once again, the 960 and 980 are the only recent Roombas capable of doing this, due to their visual mapping technology. Which means that regardless of how big your home is, the Roomba can clean an entire level when you’re away, recharging as necessary.

Areas needing improvement:

  • It’d be nice to have carpet boost like the 980, but considering the price difference, this is our favorite Roomba.

Bottom Line:

The technology on the 960 is the best when it comes to the user experience. That’s whys is out top Roomba pick. All in all, the Roomba 960 is extremely good robot vacuum cleaner and it also will get the job done. Except if you actually need features found only on Roomba 980, Roomba 960 is highly recommended.

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Roomba 980

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The 980 is nearly the same as the 960 when it comes to overall features, with the following differences:

The initial difference would be that it includes two Virtual Wall Barrier add-ons rather than just one. The Virtual Wall Barriers are great to have, but one may already be enough for your home. You can also buy them individually in the event that you’ll need more. 1 or 2 must be enough for most households, though.

What is the 980’s Main Improvement over the Roomba 960? – Higher Battery Capacity, Newer Motor, & Carpet Boost

The 2nd big difference would be that the 980 has a much better battery that provides a consistent run time of 2 hours rather than the 960’s 75 mins. Considering that each models have the ability to recharge and resume though, a greater battery does not suggest too much.
It features the most powerful motor, largest battery, vastly improved navigation that’s the most effective as well as it provides a smartphone app that lets you manage this robot even if you are not at your house.

The same app also enables you to schedule the robot to clean at a particular time you would like it to clean (daily, Seven days a week).

It also shows you where the robot is on a map in the middle of the cleaning cycle or when it’s returning to the charging base. If you need more thorough cleaning, the app also allows you to activate advanced features like “Two Cleaning Passes”.

If you are familiar with the earlier Roombas, you would be aware that these robots work with an IR-based navigation that is not efficient.The truth is, this is probably the biggest complaints that customers have.

The 3rd difference would be that the 980 has a more modern generation motor which the company states to be 10x the suction power of the most basic Roomba.

The final difference is essential for homes with mostly carpet. The 980 comes with an extra “Carpet Boost” sensor that can tell whether or not it is on carpet or hard surfaces. If it detects carpet or area rugs, the motor is going to boost suction. The concept is that dirt is harder to vacuum from carpet, therefore the increased suction will help compensate.

Areas needing improvement

  • Although it’s the best iRobot Roomba available today, its price is high.

Bottom Line:

If you have a lot of carpets (or multiple area rugs on hardwood floors) or if you just want the greatest Roomba on the market, you may want to splurge on the Roomba 980.

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Conclusion

These are the very best Roomba robots at the moment available for sale. If you’re a new user and do not want to spend lots of money we suggest either the 650 or the 860.

Performance-wise these two robots are close, the most significant variation will be the intangibles.

The 650 will be the rougher of these two, which means it’s going to hit furniture harder and most likely damage it. iRobot addressed this problem with the 800 series by dialing down its aggressiveness. It won’t hit furniture as hard however it won’t clean as well because edge cleaning will not be as good.

If you’re willing to invest then upgrading to the 980 would be a great choice. It has the most powerful motor, high-tech navigation and longest run time.

A more affordable choice would be the 960 that maintains exactly the same navigation and WiFi connectivity however with a compact motor and battery.