Roomba 870 vs. 880: Which should I buy?

Roomba 870 vs. 880: What’s the best for your money?

So, you’re looking to buy the very best Roomba that you can afford but you want to get the most for your money? You’re not alone! There are a TON of Roomba models on the market right now, and it can be very confusing to choose the one that has all of the features that you need at the very best price point. You’re going to want to choose the best Roomba for your needs at the very best price Roomba 870 vs 880 - 880 Modelpoint. If you’re having trouble deciding whether you should be a Roomba 870 or Roomba 880, you’ve come to the right place. In this concise, to the point, fun to read guide, I’m going to show you what the key features are of each, what both Roombas are very good at, and and in the end help you decide whether you should buy the Roomba 870 or the 880.
Intrigued? I thought so! Let’s move on…

 Roomba 870Roomba 880
3 Stage Cleaning System
HEPA filters for allergy sufferers
Tangle-Free Debris Extractors
Lighthouse Technology
Remote Control
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price

The Roomba 870 and 880 are both really great Robotic vacuums. They both have a great reputation and are made by iRobot, which is an awesome company that’s been doing home robotics for a long time.  I mention how Roomba stacks up against Neato robotic vacuums in my Neato vs. Roomba guide, and how they fare against bobsweep in my Bobsweep vs. Roomba guide. If you’re interested in possibly looking into one of those brands, you should check out those links. I’m a bit of a iRobot fan though, because they’ve been in the business longer than all of the others, and they’ve had several years of testing to know what works and what doesn’t.

Ok, enough of me fawning over how great iRobot and Roomba are. Here are the key features of both the Roomba 870 and 880:

Roomba 870 Key Features

  • Scheduling
  • Tangle-Free Debris Extractors
  • 3 Stage Cleaning System
  • HEPA filters for allergy sufferers

Roomba 880 Key features

  • Scheduling
  • Tangle-Free Debris Extractors (Rollers)
  • 3 Stage Cleaning System
  • HEPA filters for allergy sufferers
  • Lighthouse Technology
  • Remote Control

Roomba 870 vs. 880: Feature Comparison

As you can see, the Roomba 870 and are very similar in terms of features. In fact, most of the components inside of them are identical, except the lighthouse capability, and the fact that the 880 comes with a remote and the 870 doesn’t. The 870 does have remote capability but you would have to purchase that separately. According to many happy Roomba owners, the remote is not super useful anyway.

Roomba 870 vs. 880: 870 ModelBoth models offer the same scheduling options, which tell Roomba what times to clean and where to do it. This is not that much different than earlier Roomba models but the scheduling features so have more options than earlier Roomba models. One HUGE step up is the addition of brushless cleaning systems. They have rollers instead of brushes and this makes it MUCH easier for those who have long haired people in their households. In the past, the brush would have the be de-haired really often in order to keep it in working order. With the 870 and 880, no more.

Both are awesome for pet hair. In fact, They are my top picks on my Best Roomba for pet hair post.

All Roomba models come with the 3 stage cleaning system. They agitate dirt, loosen hair from carpets, and finally use suction to get rid of it all. They’ve been improving this process on each model, each successive generation sees improved cleaning power. The 870 and 880 are tied on this, as they use the same components for cleaning and suction. The 880 and 870 will have the exact same cleaning power, which is better than the previous models.

Both models offer HEPA filtration, which means that allergy sufferers will be good with both the 870 and 880. The filters are pretty cheap as well, so it’s ok to change them as often as you need to. The cost of ownership doesn’t go up much at all.

The biggest difference, as mentioned before is the 880 has Lighthouse technology, which helps guide the Roomba through different rooms and to find the charging dock when it needs a recharge. The lighthouse is good to have if you have one or more rooms that are heavily used and need a good efficient cleaning more often than a few other rooms.

Roomba 870 vs. 880: Price

So so far we’ve established that the biggest difference between the Roomba 870 and 880 is the lighthouse technology that could be useful if you have a room that needs heavier cleaning then others. But what about the price?

Right now, as of this writing the difference in price between the 870 and 880 is right around $150. That’s a significant amount of cash!

What it really comes down to is… Is it worth over $100 for lighthouse technology for your Roomba?

If you want to see the current price of the Roomba 870, go here to Amazon. For the 880, click this Amazon link.

Roomba 870 vs. 880: Customer Opinions

Being so similar, both Roomba models have about the same star-level on their reviews. The 870 has 4.5 and the 880 has 4.4 rating, but over 3 times the amount of customer reviews. Due to the larger number of reviews, the 880 has a slightly lower average (larger sample size is more accurate, as most statistics people know).

Read 880 reviews

Both the 870 and 880’s most negative reviews come from people who are expecting them to work without putting in the time to set up the virtual walls, schedules, and to train their robots. It takes some work up front, robotic vacuums are not magic, as they do require some set up, and some learning about how the features work. Put in a little work up front and reap the rewards in the long time.

Read 870 reviews

The customers who bought the 870 were not, by and large disappointed with the lack of lighthouse tech, so if you can’t see yourself using it, the 870 is a cheaper option than the 880.


Roomba 870 vs. 880: The bottom line

The Roomba 870 and 880 are both big improvements over earlier models. with these we see the introduction of rollers instead of brushes, and the HEPA filter comes as a standard option now. They’ll both get your carpets, hardwood, tile, linoleum and most other surfaces clean. They’re really very close in features and you’ll be very happy with either of these choices but budget minded consumers may want to consider the 870, but only if you really don’t absolutely have the need to get a couple of rooms cleaned faster and more efficiently than other rooms. If you think you need the lighthouse in order to more efficiently clean a couple of rooms, you may as well get the Roomba 880.

1 thought on “Roomba 870 vs. 880: Which should I buy?”

  1. I have the 860 and they just sent me a replacement which is 876- has anyone heard if it? My older Roomba have lighthouse technology. Why on earth would they build any without it? Also the 860 I bought came with a lighthouse of some sort I’m confused. It seems to have a mind of its own and. Just goes wherever it feels like. I don’t find it very good for pet hair though. It just kind of makes little fluff balls out of the cat hair and they get left allover the carpet etc. the. I have to pick them up. You need a real vacuum for pet hair. Like my Miele Delphi canister.


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