- 1 Top Roomba model comparison for 2018
- 2 Roomba 690
- 3 Roomba 890
- 4 Roomba 960
- 5 Roomba 980
- 6 Roomba Model Comparison: Conclusion
Top Roomba model comparison for 2018
UPDATE: I’ve made this guide even more comprehensive! Latest Roomba models are added, along with suggestions for other brands of robotic vacuum.
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. This is why I created this Roomba model 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.
If you’re into a more budget vacuum, check out my ILife Model Comparison guide 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. Many of the Roomba guides found online are simply outdated or inaccurate. iRobot – the brand behind Roomba – has phased out some of the older models and has introduced some replacement Roomba models. Technology is barreling forward at an amazing pace and advancements are being made in home robotics. Keeping up with all of those changes and getting you the most current information is tough. That’s where I come in to help.
Browsing around other websites, I am noticing a lot of other guides comparing the 600, 700, and 800 Roomba model series. These are outdated, older Roomba models and my plan is to make an excellent Roomba model comparison guide that provides my readers with more up date information that compares the Roomba models that you care about 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If you’re thinking about buying a Roomba from Amazon, clicking an amazon search link here yields a bunch of outdated Roomba models.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amazon, or there are a lot of (or only) used items available can often mean that the product you’re about to buy is outdated.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 a Roomba alternative.
At the time of this writing, the Roomba 614 was in the top 5 results. That specific model is no longer made by iRobot. It’s been replaced by the newer Roomba 690. The newer 690 is a similar price point and has a similar feature set, plus will be supported by iRobot for a long time. The Roomba 690 also has wifi capability and a smartphone app. If you didn’t better know you would just buy the 614 because it’s just a bit cheaper. But did you know that the 614 is older tech and doesn’t have the smartphone app that the 690 does?
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 690 is the bottom line, cheapest entry level Roomba. The 690 is fairly new, but it’s based on earlier iRobot Roomba tech that just works. The Roomba 690 is a perfect way for budget-minded people to get their feet wet with home robotics.
Many people’s first Roomba was the older 650 model. The 690 is the new entry level Roomba and it’s great because it’s cheap and has a smartphone app. since the Roomba 690 is based on older tech, it has bristle brushes that require regular de-tangling. Also, the 690 has a less efficient filter so if you suffer from allergies you may want to choose the Roomba 890, 960, or 980.
What I like about the Roomba 690
- Budget Price – Cheapest Roomba
- Wifi enabled
- Smart Phone App
- Amazon Alexa Compatibility
- Based on Proven Technology
What I don’t like about the Roomba 690
- Bristle brushes
- Less efficient air filtration – Not ideal for allergy sufferers
- Only cleans a single room without manual intervention
- No recharge and resume for cleaning jobs
How does the Roomba 690 Compare to other Roomba Models?
Roomba 690 Vs Roomba 890
- Color – The 690 is silver with black trim, while the 890 is brown with black trim.
- The Roomba 690 has a traditional bristle brush while the 890 has tangle free brushes
- The 690 has an older filtration system, while the 890 has a high efficiency filter
- The Roomba 690 is a couple hundred dollars cheaper than the Roomba 890
My Pick: Roomba 890, unless you’re on a very tight budget, then go with the 690. The 890 costs around $200 more.
Roomba 690 Vs Roomba 960
- Color – the Roomba 690 is silver with black trim, and the 960 is slate gray
- The Roomba 690 has a traditional bristle brush while the 960 has tangle free brushes
- The 690 has an older filtration system, while the 960 has a high efficiency filter
- The Roomba 960 has Recharge and Resume which makes it possible to clean an entire level. The 690 doesn’t.
- The Roomba 960 has advanced mapping that cleans your space more efficiently. The 690 doesn’t.
My Pick: If you have a small space and a small budget the 690 is just fine, otherwise the 960 is better in every other way.
Roomba 690 Vs Roomba 980
- Color – the Roomba 690 is silver with black trim, and the 980 is brown and black
- The Roomba 690 has a traditional bristle brush while the 980 has tangle free brushes
- The 690 has an older filtration system, while the 980 has a high efficiency filter
- The Roomba 980 has Recharge and Resume which makes it possible to clean an entire level. The 690 doesn’t.
- The Roomba 980 has advanced mapping that cleans your space more efficiently. The 690 doesn’t.
- The Roomba 980 has carpet boost, which delivers 10x the power of the 690 on thick carpets
My Pick: Roomba 980, if you can afford it. It is expensive but the very best Roomba that you can buy right now. Especially if you’re cleaning a large area, have carpets or a lot of pet hair. The 980 cannot be beat. If you have a small space, no pets, and are on a budget, the 980 is overkill and the 690 would be a great choice
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. If you have a very small space to clean a more expensive the Roomba 690 may be the best value.
The Roomba 890 is the newest Roomba available from iRobot 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 budget-minded 690 and the more expensive Roomba 960, you get a robotic vacuum that has the brushless dirt extractors AND 5x the suction power of the Roomba 690. This vac also has a HEPA filtration system, making it a good mid-budget choice for people with allergies.
What I like about the Roomba 890
- Tangle free rollers
- High efficiency filter
- 5x the suction of the Roomba 690
- Great for allergy sufferers
- Good features for a mid-range budget
What I don’t like about the Roomba 890
- No recharge and resume (which means that it can’t resume cleaning where it stopped when the battery died)
- Cleans deep, but not as deep as the Roomba 980
How does the Roomba 890 Compare to other Roomba Models?
Roomba 890 vs Roomba 690
- Color – The 890 is brown with black trim while The 690 is silver with black trim.
- The Roomba 890 has tangle free brushes, the 690 has a traditional bristle brushes.
- The Roomba 890 has a high efficiency filter, while the 690 has an older filtration system.
- The Roomba 890 is a couple hundred dollars more than the 690.
My Pick: Roomba 890, unless you’re on a very tight budget, then go with the 690. The 890 has better filtration which is better for pet owners and allergy sufferers.
Roomba 890 vs Roomba 960
- The Roomba 980 is brown with black trim while the 960 is slate gray with black. I prefer the 960’s color.
- The Roomba 890 does not have recharge and resume, the 960 does.
- The Roomba 890 cleans a single room at a time while the 960 can clean multiple rooms.
- The Roomba 890 does not have the enhanced space mapping capabilities (clean maps and reports) that the 960 does.
My Pick: If you’re on a budget, get the Roomba 890. It’s got the best feature/price ratio. The 960 is a good choice for those who want most of the features of the Roomba 980 without the ultra-high price.
Roomba 890 vs Roomba 980
The comparison between the Roomba 890 and 980 is pretty similar to the 960 model. The 980 has more suction power, carpet boost, and entire level cleaning.
My Pick: Unless you need to clean an entire level and have a lot of carpet that needs to be deep cleaned, pick the Roomba 890. If you don’t have a budget limit and you have a lot of space that needs to be cleaned, choose the 980
Bottom Line: This is an awesome vacuum for the price. There’s not really much to not like about it. The things I feel are missing from this Roomba are available on more expensive models but for what you pay I believe that you get great value. This is my best overall pick when it comes to “bang for the buck”.
Roomba 960 has been around for a while and is a great vacuum. It’s considered mid-to-upper range in price, and is considered to be the 2nd best robotic vacuum that iRobot has to offer, behind the Roomba 980. It has the brushless dirt extractors, HEPA filtering and the ability to clean multiple rooms with a single Roomba.
I like to think of the Roomba 960 as the “little sister” to the Roomba 980. It’s got most of the high end features like the enhanced mapping and clean reports, and multi room cleaning. If you’re looking for a Roomba that’s a lot like the ultra-high-end Roomba 980 but want to save $300, this is the one you want.
What I like about the Roomba 960
- Brushless rollers, less maintenance than the traditional brush rollers
- Multi room cleaning
- Recharge and resume
- About $300 cheaper than Roomba 980 while having most of the features.
What I don’t like about the Roomba 960
- A minor issue is that the battery is a little weaker than the Roomba 980’s battery.
- Missing the carpet boost feature that the Roomba 980 has
Roomba 960 vs Roomba 690
- Slate gray in color vs silver. I really like the slate gray more
- Brushless rollers vs. bristle rollers on the 690
- The Roomba 960 has a much better navigation system than the Roomba 690
- The Roomba 960 has 5x the suction of the Roomba 690
- The Roomba 960 can clean an entire level, while the Roomba 690 can’t
- The Roomba 960 costs about $300 more than the Roomba 960
Roomba 960 vs Roomba 890
- Roomba 960 is slate gray/black and the 890 is brown/black
- The Roomba 960 offers multi-room cleaning while the 890 does not
- The Roomba 960 has the recharge and resume feature so that it can continue cleaning where it was at when the battery got low, the 890 doesn’t.
- The Roomba 960 has the enhanced mapping and cleaning features while the 890 doesn’t.
- The Roomba 960 costs about $200 more than the Roomba 890
My Pick: If you can afford the extra $200 – Go for the 960. The better navigation and multi-room cleaning are worth the upgrade.
Roomba 960 vs Roomba 980
- The appearance of the Roomba 960 is a bit lighter color (slate gray) than the Roomba 980 (dark brown/gray with black trim). Both look very nice
- The Roomba 960 has 75 minutes of runtime between battery charges while the 980 can go for 120 minutes
- The Roomba 960 lacks the carpet boost feature that the 980 has, making it less useful for heavily carpeted areas
My Pick: Unless you don’t have a budget limit or have a very large carpeted area, get the Roomba 960.
Bottom Line: The Roomba 960 is a solid choice, and you’ll be happy with it. The great thing about the 960 is that it has most of the great features of the 980 without the high, hard to stomach 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.
What I like about the Roomba 980
- Carpet boost – which delivers 10x the suction over the Roomba 690 base model.
- 120 minute battery runtime which means more efficient cleaning and less time on the recharge dock.
What I don’t like about the Roomba 980
- The price. The high price tag will scare away all but the highest budgets.
Roomba 980 compared to other Roomba models
Since the 980 was compared to all of the other Roomba models in the comparisons above, I won’t beat a dead horse. In all honesty the only other Roomba model that can come close to the Roomba 980’s features is the Roomba 960, which is a couple hundred dollars cheaper. What the 960 lacks in comparison to the Roomba 980 is the carpet boost feature and the awesome 120 minute battery runtime.
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 890
This is the best mid-range Roomba that you can get right now. It has an awesome battery, a clear step up from the 690 with it’s brush free system and HEPA filtration. The best bottom dollar budget Roomba is, and always will be the 690 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.
As of this update, there is really no Roomba model on this guide that is a bad buy. They’re all great vacuums and it seems like iRobot company is really listening to their customers to address shortcomings in some of the older Roomba models.
The Roomba 960 is a really great choice for people who want an efficient cleaner with most of the features of the very high end Roomba 980. My only issue with the 960 really is that the price pushes it just past the budget of the average middle class person.
iRobot has a great midrange robot packed with a lot of features in the 890. 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.