Author: Maurice Savaryego, M.Sc.Eng. (Learn More)
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Comparing iRobot Roomba i7, i7+, i6+, 960, 890, 891, 690 and 675 Vacuuming Robots: Which Roomba Is Best For Your Home?
Roomba is a robotic vacuum cleaner manufactured by iRobot. It was first introduced in 2002, and several millions of units have been sold since around the world, and many updated and improved versions have been released. Indeed, though nowadays a number of other praise worthy floor cleaning robot brands can be found, there is no doubt that Roomba robots have become the most popular and most praised of all!
Because of the various Roomba models available today, offering features from the most basic to the most sophisticated, choosing the right Roomba for your home can be a daunting task. So, if you are asking "Which Roomba is best for my home?", you might find this article useful. We will compare here some of the most popular and best rated Roomba robots presently available on Amazon, so you can choose the one that will best respond to your home's vacuuming needs.
Please note: The Roomba robots that will be compared in this article include both recently produced iRobot vacuuming robots such as Roomba i7 and i7+, as well as some very popular older Roomba robots, such as Roomba 890, 891 and 690 that iRobot had produced in the past and that are still available on Amazon. We think that these older popular Roomba robots are excellent products worth considering that offer most of the must-have features high quality vacuuming robots should have, and at a lower price than some of the latest iRobot Roomba robots.
(If you want also to see a detailed comparison of all the latest 2020/2021 Roomba robots offered by iRobot, please click: Comparing Latest 2020/2021 Roomba Robots Offered by iRobot.)
Comparing the Selected Roomba Vacuuming Robots
Detailed Comparison of the Selected Roomba Robots
The (N.#) notation used in the table refers to the clarification notes provided following the table. Please read these notes carefully in order to understand better the features that come with each Roomba.
The following is brief explanation of iAdapt, iAdapt 2.0 and iAdapt 3.0:
- Roomba 890, 891, 690 and 675 were designed with the iAdapt intelligent navigation technology composed of sophisticated software and sensors that allow these robots to clean more thoroughly the room, making multiple passes, avoiding stairs, getting under and around furniture, and cleaning along wall edges and corners. The low-profile design of these robots allows cleaning under most furniture. They also automatically adjust to all floor types - carpet, tile, hardwood, laminate and more.
- Roomba 960 was designed with the more advanced iAdapt 2.0 technology which features the vSLAM technology that is used to map out your home to ensure complete coverage. vSLAM navigation technology actively captures thousands of precise measurements each millisecond to optimize coverage. Enhanced sensors constantly scan ahead at a rate of 25 times per second to detect obstacles in the cleaning path. vSLAM allows the robot to seamlessly and efficiently navigate an entire level of your home and keep track of its location.
- Roomba i7 and i7+ are designed with more processing power and memory, and they feature the more advanced iAdapt 3.0 navigation technology. iAdapt 3.0 also uses vSLAM technology which allows the robot to map its surroundings to seamlessly and efficiently clean an entire level of your home. The robot creates visual landmarks to keep track of where it's been and where it has yet to clean.
But, iAdapt 3.0 also features the new Imprint™ Smart Mapping feature which lets you control which rooms are cleaned and when: the robot can store up to 10 floor plans, and once the floor plans are stored, you can use the associated Home App to assign names to the various rooms associated with the floor plans and request to clean the rooms selectively by specifying their name! You could even use Alexa or Google Assistant to vocally request your robot to clean specific rooms by calling their names.
Once Roomba i7 and i7+ have uploaded detailed maps of your room layouts, they will assume a much more efficient cleaning pattern of pacing across each room, in as straight lines as possible, which will save both energy and time.
An important feature of all Roomba robots is Dirt Detection :
- Roomba 675 and 690 are equipped with acoustic sensors which allow them to find dirtier areas and spend more time cleaning them.
- Roomba 890, 891, 960, i7 and i7+ come with more sophisticated dirt detection ability. They are equipped with both acoustic and optical sensors, and therefore they are more powerful and effective in finding dirtier areas.
Finally, note that these Roomba robots use either Virtual Walls or Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barriers to be kept away from rooms or areas they are not supposed to enter. Please see Note 5 below for more detailed explanation of these stand alone little navigation direction control devices.
All Roomba robots considered here use a 3-stage vacuuming system:
- Counter rotating dual multi-surface brushes pick up dust, debris, dirt, pet hair from the floor.
- A spinning side brush cleans along wall edges.
- Finally, an efficient vacuum pulls dirt and hair off the brushes and directs it into the bin.
- Roomba 690 and 675 use dual multi surface bristle brushes, while Roomba 890, 891, 960, i7 and i7+ use dual multi surface debris extractors which are non-bristle rubber brushes that are tangle free. So, they are better for picking up pet hair and debris.
- Note also that the suction power in Roomba 960, 890 and 891 is increased 5 times compared to the suction power in the 600 series robots, and the suction power in Roomba i7 and i7+ is increased 10 times compared to the suction power in the 600 series robots when carpets are detected.
Roomba 890, 891, 690 and 675 need to be restarted after they recharge themselves at their Home Base (unless of course they had been previously scheduled to restart at a later time). On the other hand, Roomba i7, i7+ and 960 are able to resume automatically the cleaning job where it was interrupted before going to Home Base to recharge. They continue this way until the job is done and the entire level of your home is cleaned!
As mentioned in Note 1 above, iAdapt 3.0 navigation technology used by Roomba i7 and i7+ comes with the new Imprint Smart Mapping feature which lets you control which rooms are cleaned and when: the robot can store up to 10 floor plans, and once the floor plans are stored, you can use the associated Home App to assign names to the various rooms associated with the floor plans and request to clean the rooms selectively by specifying their name! Imprint Smart Mapping enables the robot to learn, map and adapt to your home, allowing you to choose which rooms are cleaned and when. In addition, the creation of Keep Out Zones allows you to clean with added control, actively avoiding the areas you tell it not to go. Keep Out Zones are virtual boundaries that keep your robot cleaning where you want it to, and away from where you don’t.
You could even use Alexa or Google Assistant to vocally request your robot to clean specific rooms by calling their names.
All seven Roomba robots considered here are compatible with either Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barriers which are standalone battery run little devices used to prevent the robot from entering areas or rooms that are not supposed to be cleaned.
Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barriers are more effective than Virtual Walls used with the former Roomba robots. Not only can they be used to block off an open doorway, but they can also be used as Virtual Wall Halos to protect some restricted area within the room, like for instance the area where the dog food might be (see the picture below for illustration).
- Roomba i7, i7+, 960, 890 and 690 each come with a Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barrier (if needed, additional Dual Mode Virtual Wall barriers can be purchased below in the Amazon products section).
- Though Roomba 891 and 675 do not come with a Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barrier or a Virtual Wall, they are both compatible with Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barriers and, if needed, a Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barrier can be optionally obtained (see Amazon products section below)
An important aspect of all these robots is Dirt Detection:
- Roomba 690 and 675 are equipped with acoustic sensors which allow these robots to find dirtier areas and spend more time cleaning them.
- Roomba i7+, i7, 960, 890 and 891 come with more sophisticated dirt detection ability. They are equipped with both acoustic and optical sensors, and therefore they are more powerful and effective in finding dirtier areas.
The AeroVac filter in Roomba 690 and 675 handles quite adequately hair, pet fur, lint and carpet fuzz, but the High Efficiency filters on Roomba i7, i7+, 960, 890 and 891 do even a better job capturing hair, pet fur, lint and carpet fuzz, and can capture 99% of allergens, pollen, and particles as small as 10 microns.
When batteries run low, all Roomba robots return to their Home Base to dock and recharge.
Note that, except for Roomba i7+, i7 and 960, all other Roomba robots considered here need to be restarted after they recharge themselves at their Home Base (unless of course they had been previously scheduled to restart at a later time). Only Roomba i7+, i7 and 960 are able to resume automatically the cleaning job where it was interrupted before going to Home Base to recharge. They continue this way until the job is done and the whole level of your home is cleaned!
The dust bin that comes with Roomba i7+ present some important enhancements: not only is it easier now to empty it manually, but it can also be emptied automatically without you being around! To enable automatic emptying of the dust bin, a new suction port has been added to the docking station. The docking station of the robot, known in the past as the Home Base, is now replaced with a new docking station called the Clean Base which is used not just to recharge the robot, but also to empty the dust bin. So, when the robot is docked, it attaches to the new suction port in the docking station that sucks up rapidly the contents of the dust bin into the Clean Base. All dirt and debris is then automatically transferred into a disposable bag that can hold up to 30 bins’ worth of dirt and debris. Once the disposable bag is full, you will get an alert on your smartphone for replacing the bag.
When each of the robots considered here is connected via Wi-Fi to your smartphone, you can use the iRobot Home App for Android and iOS to invoke remotely operations (such as Cleaning, Scheduling, Sending to Home Base, etc.). When the App is used with Roomba i7+, i7 and 960, you can also see the status of cleaning jobs, and you can customize your cleaning preferences (such as setting the number of cleaning passes, choosing special edge cleaning action, etc.).
Note: You may be asking the question: Can we use these Roomba robots without Wi-Fi?". The answer is "Yes!", you can use them, but if you don't have Wi-Fi, you will have to control them by using the control buttons on the robot or by purchasing a compatible remote-control device (see the Amazon products section below for compatible remote-control devices). Note however that certain operations on Roomba i7, i7+ and 960 are only available from the App on the smartphone which needs Wi-Fi.
Note that all Roomba vacuuming robots considered here are compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Simply ask Alexa or the Google Assistant to start, stop, or dock your robot. With Roomba i7 and i7+, you can even request to clean the rooms of your home selectively by simply calling their assigned names (see Note 4 above)!
With all Roomba robots considered here, scheduling can be pre-set up to 7 times per week. The robot starts vacuuming as soon as the scheduled time is reached.
Imprint Link Technology represents the next generation of connected home automation: With Roomba i7 and i7+, when the robot finishes vacuuming your floors, the Braava jet®️ m6 mopping robot, if you have one, starts automatically mopping, without any effort from you, in perfect sequence. The Braava jet®️ m6 mopping robot is offered below in the Amazon products section.
Roomba i7, i7+, 960, 890, 891, 690 and 675 come all with a Lithium-Ion battery.
In general, Lithium-Ion batteries last longer before needing to be replaced.
Battery Run Times:
- The battery run time at full charge for Roomba i7, i7+ and 690 is about 75 minutes.
- For all the other Roomba robots compared above, except for Roomba 675, the average time is about 60 minutes.
- Roomba 675 features an updated software and can run up to 90 minutes.
Roomba i7, i7+, 960, 890, 891, 690 and 675 can be remotely controlled from your smartphone or tablet using the iRobot Home App. No explicit remote-control device is provided. However, if needed, a remote-control device compatible with these robots can be separately purchased (see Amazon products section below). Note that these robots are also compatible with Amazon Alexa, including Amazon Echo, Echo Dot and Amazon Tap.
The "d" in the dimensions refers to the diameter, and "h" to the height of the unit. All measurements are in inches.
The 1-year limited warranty is on the robot. There is also a 12-month warranty on the battery.
So which Roomba is best for your home?
Roomba robots are high quality products as shown by the high average rating each Roomba robot considered here had received from Amazon customers at the time this article was written. As you progress from Roomba 675 all the way up to Roomba i7+, you will basically notice more powerful vacuuming and more thorough floor coverage. But as to be expected, the latest models will also cost you more. As the above comparison table shows, different Roomba robots come with different features. So, we suggest you carefully study the above comparison before you decide which Roomba will respond best to your needs. However, keep in mind the following important points before you make your selection:
If you wish to be able to control your Roomba from your smartphone or tablet, you should consider either the i7, i7+, 960, 890, 891, 690 or 675, which support Wi-Fi communications. But note that Roomba i7, i7+ and 960 also come with some additional neat features listed below and not found on any of the other Roomba robots:
- They use camera based visual localization which helps the robot seamlessly and efficiently navigate an entire level of your home and keep track of its location (note that for the camera functionality to work properly some light in the room where the robot will be vacuuming is needed).
- They use a high-efficiency cleaning pattern and a full suite of sensors to adapt to real world clutter and furniture for thorough coverage.
- They have the capability, after they recharge themselves at Home Base, to resume operation automatically where it had been interrupted.
So, if you have large areas in your home that require the robot to recharge multiple times, and you don't want to bother with having to restart the robot after each recharge, you might want to consider Roomba i7, i7+ or 960, as they are capable of completing the job without human interference.
- Roomba i7 and i7+ have also the ability to boost their vacuuming intensity up to 10 times when carpets and rugs are detected.
The above listed Roomba i7, i7+ and 960 additional features can be quite useful in larger homes. But for smaller homes, if you need to control your phone from your smartphone, you could also consider Roomba 890, 891, 690 or 675, as they support the must-have important features, such as good floor coverage, avoiding stairs, self-recharging and scheduling. But when you choose between Roomba 890 (or 891) and the 600 series Roomba robots, keep in mind that the suction power in Roomba 890 and 891 is increased 5 times compared to the suction power in the 600 series robots,
Note that the only difference between Roomba 890 and Roomba 891 is that Roomba 891 has a slightly different looking faceplate, and, as mentioned in Note 5 above, it does not come with a Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barrier. But it is compatible with Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barriers, and If needed, a Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barrier can be optionally obtained (see Amazon products section below).
You will find in the Amazon products section below Amazon links for all the Roomba robots compared above which you can click for exact price information or to purchase.
ROOMBA i7, i7+, i6+, 960, 890, 891, 690 and 675 on Amazon
(For non-US customers, when you click the links below, you will be provided with the Amazon links for your country (such as Canada or UK), if the product is available in your country.)
As mentioned above Roomba i6+ has the same exact features as Roomba i7+,
but was made specially for the Amazon store.
Authentic Roomba Replenishment Kits on Amazon
Roomba Virtual Wall and Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barrier on Amazon
Roomba Dual Mode
Optional Roomba Remote Control Device
(for Roomba 600 series)
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