- 1 Neato vs. Roomba: Robotic Vacuum Showdown
- 2 Feature Comparison
- 3 Neato vs. Roomba: Customer Opinions
- 4 Neato Vs. Roomba: Reliability/Customer Service
- 5 Neato vs. Roomba: Technology Comparison
- 6 Neato vs. Roomba: Price
- 7 Neato vs. Roomba: The Verdict
Neato vs. Roomba: Robotic Vacuum Showdown
Talk about robotic vacs and the first name brand that will pop into your mind is the iRobot Roomba. In fact, you’re probably reading this website because you’re interested in buying a Roomba or you’re curious whether you should consider a Roomba alternative or not.
iRobot has more well known models of robotic vacuums than any other brand has. There are Roombas for pet hair, different types of rooms, and budget models that are priced affordably but without a lot of extra features that make the more expensive models pricier. At the time of this writing iRobot has already released nearly 20 Roomba models. It’s going to be hard to top that.
Can any other manufacturer make something that can compete with Roomba? Who else makes a line of robot vacs that have the same line of features and pricing. Enter Neato!
Neato Botvac D80
Neato Botvac Connected
|Removes Pet Hair||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Entire Level Cleaning||✓||✓||✓|
|Recharge and Resume||✓||✓||✓|
|Turbo Mode/Carpet Boost||✓||✓|
|Rating||4.5/5 stars||4.3/5 Stars||4.4/5 Stars||4.3/5 Stars|
Best Price Here
Best Price Here
Best Price Here
Best Price Here
Neato has about a half dozen models to offer, each offering some incremental improvements over the old models, plus additional features. They’re a smaller manufacturer but the people who buy either Neato Signature XV and Botvac seem to love them and there’s a good reason why.
So without futher ado, I bring you… Neato vs. Roomba: A robotic vacuum death match. (ok, not really but sounds like it would be cool to watch).
If we’re going to pit Neato Vs Roomba we first have to compare the key features and hallmarks of each brand. Both brands have many features and I’m going to list the key ones, leaving out features that I feel are less important for our showdown.
Some of the features and characteristics that Neato is known for are:
- D-Shaped Design (CornerClever™ technology
- LaserSmart Navigation
- Multi-Room Cleaning
- Spot Cleaning
- Modes of cleaning (Eco and Turbo)
- Auto Charge and Resume
- Multi-Room/Entire Level Cleaning
- Recharge And Resume
- Power Boost
Considering the feature set of both the Neato and the Roomba brands, I find the most important features are related to efficiency and cleaning time. Another feature to consider is which one is the most quiet.
Neato: 2-3 hours
Roomba: iRobot doesn’t document this specifically but it can be anywhere from 3 a whopping 16 hours (if the battery is discharged completely).
In terms of cleaning time, both brands vary rather widely on cleaning time between charges, but this is really a non-issue since the robotic vacuums will dock into it’s charger and charge automatically between cleaning cycles when it has to.
Winner: Neato (due to clearer documentation).
Neato: The navigation system is good. The Neato has decent navigation tech. Where the Neato really shines is that is SUCKS. I mean that it has a LOT of suction force and it’s better for deep cleaning your floors. The Neato brand also fits into your corners, so if cleaning the corners is important than you’re going to want to look and purchasing a Neato.
Roomba: The Roomba doesn’t have as much “sucking power” as the Neato but it’s navigation system is more efficient. It seems to be better at moving around obstacles, cleaning under furniture, and getting it’s job done quicker, which means less noise and shorter cleaning times. This to me, is a pretty nice win. It’s won’t clean corners and doesn’t deep clean as well as Neato, so it loses a couple of points there.
Neato vs. Roomba: Customer Opinions
To determine the general consensus on customer opinion for both models, I gathered reviews for the most popular models of each brand and averaged them out according to the percentage of star ratings. This isn’t perfect but it’s a very good indicator of customer satisfaction for a brand based on several models.
5 stars – 69%
4 stars – 16%
3 stars – 6%
2 stars – 4%
1 star – 5%
5 Stars – 55%
4 Stars – 16%
3 Stars – 7%
2 Stars – 7%
1 Star – 14%
These numbers really speak for themselves. Roomba customers are generally very happy with their purchase while there seems to be a lot of high numbers at the low end on the customer satisfaction scale for Roomba models.
Which leads us to….
Neato Vs. Roomba: Reliability/Customer Service
Roomba: Common roomba problems include batteries that die too quickly in some models and some people report that the roomba will “Get lost” and not return to it’s charging station often in some models. All in all, iRobot customer support seems to be top-notch and there is a very large market for parts and even aftermarket items.
Neato: According to many of our one star reviewers from the data some of the Neato Models, like the Signature XV series seem to be unreliable and have bad battery life. Other complaints include very little customer support from the company and navigational glitches.
Neato vs. Roomba: Technology Comparison
Personally, I have a huge bias toward Roomba because they keep releasing more and more bots. For example, this year, iRobot released the Roomba 860, which is kind of in between the price of the Neato Botvac D80 and the Botvac connected. The best thing about the 860 is the cleaning system, it has brushless cleaning and a lot of good suction which, in my opinion, makes it a better choice than the Neato Botvac D80. The Botvac Connected is still a better bot than the 860 for it’s price. It’s just a little more than the 860 and you get a “smart bot” that can be controlled by your phone.
Winner: Roomba (Because they release more bots with newer tech)
Neato vs. Roomba: Price
Let’s be honest here…. We’re purchasing a robot to vacuum our floors, and any money we spend on these could be budgeted as “toys” or “nice to have”, never “must have”. iRobot’s prices are too high, especially for the Roomba 980. It’s almost $1,000! For half that price you can have the same functionality with the Neato Botvac Connected. For around $300 you can have the Neato Botvac D80. Is the Roomba a better vacuum cleaner over all? Yes, but for a lot less money you can get a robotic vacuum that works very well, does the same job, with maybe a little extra fussing around to get it working perfectly. I can’t see iRobot ever drastically lowering the price of Roomba because it’s still the most popular robotic vac, and people are still buying them for the price they’re charging. People on a budget ought to consider the Botvac D80.
Winner: Neato (by a landslide)
Neato vs. Roomba: The Verdict
The winner here is clearly Roomba. Neato Robotics is a newer, up and coming company and they still have a lot of kinks to work out. A smaller company is not always a bad thing, but I would guess that iRobot has a larger R&D department with more years of experience to back up their products.
Price wise, both brands have models that are similarly priced, with both brands offering a budget entry level model for slightly less than $350.
Functionally, when the Neato vac works it works very well, cleaning in corners and offering more suction than Roomba, but all in all I would personally buy a Roomba brand robotic vacuum rather than a Neato model.