Top Roomba models of 2018 compared
If you’re thinking about buying a Roomba to save time and have a cleaner house, congratulations! You’ve make a great choice. As Obi-Wan-Kenobi of Star Wars says – “you’ve taken your first step into a larger world”. Having a robotic vacuum is a great convenience and will save you a TON of time, but it’s helpful to know which one to buy; Hence this Roomba comparison. The iRobot Roomba is a great choice, and I’m assuming that you’re thinking about buying a Roomba and not another brand since you’re reading this. If you’re considering something else, I compare Neato vs. Roomba here and Bobsweep vs. Roomba right here. Still with me? Good! Let’s compare some of the newer Roomba models for 2018.
It’s 2018, and a lot has been happening at iRobot and many of the guides found online are simply outdated or inaccurate because iRobot (the brand behind Roomba) has phased out some of the older models and has introduced some replacement Roomba models. The other guides comparing the 600, 700, and 800 series are comparisons for outdated, older models and my plan is to make an excellent Roomba model comparison resource that provides my readers with more up date information that compares REAL Roomba models in 2018.
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If you’re thinking about buying a Roomba from Amazon, clicking an amazon search link here yields a bunch of outdated Roomba models. Clicking on each model you can see that they’re all available from 3rd party sellers only. SHOPPING TIP ALERT: The fact that an item is not available directly through amazon, or there are a lot of (or only) used items available can often mean that the product you’re about to buy is outdated. You should at least do more research on that item and also consider an alternative.
At the time of this writing, the Roomba 770 was in the top 5 results. That specific model is no longer made by iRobot. It’s been replaced by the newer Roomba 860. The 860 is a similar price point and has a similar feature set, plus will be supported by iRobot for a long time. If you didn’t better know you would just buy the 770 because the 860 is virtually invisible to Amazon search results since it’s such a new item.
Now that you can see how this guide can be extremely helpful and useful, here is my Roomba model comparison for the Roomba models that I believe are the most relevant in 2018.
Roomba 650 is the bottom line, cheapest entry level Roomba. The 650 has been on the market for a very long time, and it’s still around because it’s a no-frills model that just works. I think that iRobot will not discontinue it for a while because it’s still a very popular model (an Amazon top-seller), and a way for budget-minded people to get their feet wet with home robotics. Many people’s first Roomba is the 650. The biggest selling point for the 650 is literally the price, and it’s a darn good robot for the price you’re paying for it. I’d rather have a Roomba 650 than many of the other brand’s models with more features. It simply works, and works well.
The things I don’t care for on the 650 is that the filtration system that it comes with is not the greatest when it comes to allergy sufferers. The 650 uses brushes while the other models on this page are brushless, and cleaning out brushes can be a huge pain. I don’t care for detangling hair once every few weeks.
Bottom Line: If you don’t have allergies, don’t mind unwinding hair from the brushes and want a really cheap, good robotic vacuum, this is the one for you.
Update: I am now recommending the iLife A6 instead of the Roomba 650. The A6 is about the same price and has updated features. Check out my iLife A6 review to see why I recommend this new robotic vacuum.
The Roomba 860 is brand new as of this writing. iRobot has completely gotten rid of the 700 series of robotic vacuums and replaced them with this little powerhouse. This is a great deal! For a price point between the rock-bottom dollar 650 and the more expensive 880, you get a robotic vacuum that has the brushless dirt extractors AND a lithium-ion battery. The 880 doesn’t even have a lithium ion battery, so this bot really is a better deal than the 880 in my opinion. This vac also has a HEPA filtration system, making it a good choice for people with allergies.
The 860 is missing only 1 thing that the 880 has – The lighthouse. This isn’t a big deal to most people, as opinions vary on the lighthouse, with customers having mixed results with them. I would not be surprised to see lighthouses go away eventually, as they’re finicky and customers are not raving about them.
Bottom Line: This is an awesome vacuum for the price. If you’re thinking about getting the 880, seriously consider this one instead. It’s cheaper, has a better battery and basically does the same thing minus the lighthouse. The lighthouse isn’t worth the extra money.
Roomba 880 has been around for a while and is a great vacuum. It’s considered mid-to-upper range in price, and for a long time was considered iRobot’s top of the line vacuum. It has the brushless dirt extractors, HEPA filtering, and the lighthouse, which helps navigate your Roomba from room to room.
The only thing I don’t care for is that it’s a little pricey for not having any seriously ground breaking tech. The battery isn’t as good as the cheaper priced 860, and it doesn’t have anything cool like carpet boost and a smart phone app, like the 980 does.
Bottom Line: The 880 is a solid choice, and you’ll be happy with it. I would go for the 860 myself though because it has a better battery and almost the same features for a cheaper price.
In my opinion, The 980 is the top of the line of ALL robotic vacuums. We’ll see how it fares against the Dyson Eye 360 when it comes out later this year but for now this is the robot you’ll want to get if you want the very best and the highest level of technology.
This Roomba can clean an entire level of your home without having to be moved, which is a big improvement from earlier models. It does it very efficiently also, with a brand new technology that uses a camera to map out your house. It’ll know what room it’s in by what objects it consistently sees with it’s camera. That’s pretty neat!
The 980 will also clean until it’s battery is almost drained, return to it’s dock, then when finished charging, it’ll zoom right back to where it was cleaning and finish up there. This is am improvement over the earlier models. When moving over carpet, Roomba 980 will automatically increase it’s power (carpet boost), in order to pull out dirt that other robotic vacuums can’t pull out.
There’s smartphone app as well, which you can use to schedule your cleanings on the go. If your schedule is hectic, it makes it handy to be able to reschedule a cleaning on the fly. The Neato Botvac Connected also has a smart phone app if you’re looking for a cheaper alternative to the 980, but that’s a subject for another guide.
Over all there are a lot of features to love about the Roomba 980, and you’ll have a really hard time finding a better robotic vacuum than this one. The only thing I don’t like about this Roomba is the price. It’s the most expensive Roomba that you can buy right now. Is it worth it? Yes. If you can afford it.
Bottom Line: This is the one to get if you demand the highest level of technology, and need the greatest control over scheduling. This vacuum will get your carpets cleaner than any other Roomba that iRobot has to offer.
Roomba Model Comparison: Conclusion
I hope this guide has been super helpful to you. There is a TON of information out there about Roombas and robotic vacuums but none of it seems to be that current which is what made me want to make this guide. Of course, I will end this one with my recommendation…
My Pick: Roomba 860
This is the best mid-range Roomba that you can get right now. It has an awesome battery, a clear step up from the 650 with it’s brush free system and HEPA filtration. The best bottom dollar budget Roomba is, and always will be the 650 until it’s discontinued (probably not for a very long time). The top of the line is the 980, which you’ll want to get if budget is not a concern and you need the extra features.
My last choice is the 880, which I am betting will be discontinued sometime soon since you can get the 860 at a better price with a better battery.
iRobot has a great midrange robot packed with a lot of features in the 860. I think this one will be VERY popular for a long time. If you’re thinking about buying, check out the latest price on Amazon with my button below. Oh, and don’t forget to share on Facebook and Twitter. Spread the love if this guide was helpful.