With so many models to choose from, the name Roomba has almost become synonymous with robotic vacuum cleaners. iRobot, the company behind Roombas, has nearly a dozen different versions of automated house cleaners. But how do you know which one is best for you?
SKIP AHEAD Best Roomba robot vacuums
By looking at the best practices for choosing a robot vacuum and the different features Roomba offers, it can be easier to determine which one fits your needs, space, and budget. To get started, let’s consider what a robot vacuum offers you and what features really matter.
How to buy a robot vacuum cleaner
Everyone’s needs are different, which means a robovac is not a one-size-fits-all. When buying one, it’s important to think about your individual circumstances. For example, do you have a large home with multiple levels? Have pets? Is your house mostly carpeted or does it have bare floors? Are you at home most of the day? To help him understand the different features of each Roomba, Select reached out to Jason Williams, iRobot’s Senior Corporate Communications Specialist, to find out what factors are the most important to consider when buying one.
“Suction doesn’t always equate to better cleaning,” says Williams. “Suction is just one factor in a complex cleaning equation that includes agitation, type of debris, air path, sealing, etc.,” she says. While some vacuums provide numerical measurements of their suction power, iRobot doesn’t, she said. Instead, it offers vaguer terms like «5 times the cleaning power» or «40 times the suction power.» Still, paying attention to how each model stacks up against the others can help you determine which one is right for your level of clutter. For example, if you have pets that shed hair, you may want a stronger suction. Do you only notice a little dirt on your floors? One of the lower cleaning power models may be fine. Along with suction power, other cleaning features to consider are brushless rollers (which can be good for picking up pet hair, depending on the brand) or allergen filtersthat trap pollen and mold allergens inside once they’re picked up, iRobot says.
Williams says there are two navigation methods Roomba vacuums use to get around the house. One is «multipass/random bounce,» she said. “[These] use information from sensors on the robot, such as the bump sensors on the robot’s bumper, to execute pre-programmed behaviors.” He said the Roomba 600 series uses this type of navigation. “It works well in smaller spaces, like bedrooms, studios, and apartments where they tend to cover areas of the floor multiple times,” he said. Another type of navigation, which iRobot uses in most of its new smart-mapping Roomba vacuums, is called vision-based navigation, or simultaneous visual location and mapping (vSLAM), Williams said. “These models can systematically navigate and clear corn rows without a navigation camera,” he said.
Williams said that, like any vacuum, Roombas make noise. «However, compared to a traditional upright vacuum, Roomba vacuums tend to be quieter,» he said, adding that iRobot’s smart mapping robots have a feature called Quiet Drive, which means that when the robot goes from room to room or to and from your base, turn off your vacuum motor. “The goal of this is to limit noise output when it’s not actively working,” Williams said.
“Software is what sets robot vacuums apart from each other,” Williams said. iRobot Smart Roombas (all except the 614 and 860 models) work with iRobot OS. The iRobot Home app allows users to monitor and control the vacuum from their phone or other device, controlling where, when and how their home is cleaned, Williams said. According to him, Roombas can understand more than 600 voice commands through Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri; Roomba J Series recognizes and avoids more than 80 common objects, including shoes, clothing, cords, backpacks, and solid pet waste; and the Roomba J, S, and I series have Smart Mapping capability, which allows users to program their Roomba to clean specific rooms or label them as «exclusion zones.»
As one of the most popular robotic vacuum cleaner brands, it’s usually easier to find spare parts for roomba vacuum cleaners, which will allow you to keep it in good condition for longer. But Williams recommends cleaning and replacing the air filters regularly, inspecting and cleaning the rollers, and occasionally cleaning the sensors on the bottom of each robot.
Which Roomba Robot Vacuum Is Right For You
To help you decide which Roomba is best for you, Select asked Williams to identify certain features that are most useful in certain settings or situations, including the best Roombas for pet owners, the best Roombas for small spaces, the best Roombas for Large houses and the best Roombas for houses with mostly carpets.
The best Roombas for small spaces
According to Williams, the Roomba 600 series is “great for dorm rooms, tiny houses, apartments, and condos because they are battery-powered and only have a 60-minute run time before automatically returning to home base to recharge. The iRobot 600 series contains its most basic models, with the Roomba 614 being the most affordable at under $300. It features a three-stage cleaning system that loosens, lifts, and suctions dirt, dust, and hair from hard floors and carpets, according to the brand. It also has an edge sweeping brush that is specially designed to sweep dirt from edges and corners.
The Roomba 675 is exactly the same as the Roomba 614, just with the addition of Wi-Fi features, the brand says. With the iRobot Home app, you can program the 675 directly from your phone to start or stop cleaning, or with your voice through Alexa and Google Assistant. It learns your cleaning habits and suggests times to suit your needs, the brand says, also recommending extra cleaning during allergy season.
The Roomba 694 was released in 2020 and has the same features as the 675, just with a larger dustbin and a more sophisticated look.
With a runtime of just 75 minutes, this is another iRobot model that would do better in a smaller space, Williams said, though it’s a step up from the 600 series. i series They’re equipped with tracking sensors, so instead of randomly navigating your home, the i-series can clean bare floors and carpets in neat, straight lines, the brand says. It also has Smart Mapping, which means it learns your home and stores a footprint of your home in its memory so you can clean any room you want, any time you want, either on a set schedule or on demand, whether you be at home or away, says iRobot. the Roomba i3 EVO It’s a standalone vacuum, but the i3+EVO It comes with an automatic emptying spring.
The best Roombas for pet owners
«These can detect and avoid pet bowls, pet toys, and pet waste,» Williams says, adding that they also come with iRobot’s Official Pet Owner Pledge (POOP), which means that if the robot touches waste pet solids, iRobot will replace them free of charge. The Roomba i7 adds to the functionality of the i3 by using a camera to map your home, allowing you to instruct it to clean a specific room or even a specific area of a room (like «under the couch») as needed. . Like the i3, there is a taller version that comes equipped with a self-emptying spring.
Recognizing that most homes have a mix of carpets and bare floors, iRobot just launched its first 2-in-1 robot vacuum and mop combination in September, WIlliams said. The Roomba Combo j7+ offers the same features as the j7+, including iRobot’s Official Pet Owner Pledge, but it also mops and vacuums bare floors at the same time. According to the brand, this is the only robot vacuum and mop combo that can easily transition from carpet to bare floor because it has a fully retractable auto-mop that keeps your carpet from getting dirty. The Combo j7+ also empties itself.
For a cheaper option, pet owners should consider the Roomba e5 with Wi-Fi. It is similar to the 600 models in that it uses random browsing. However, it has stronger suction power and two brushless rollers, a design fit that makes it more effective at cleaning hair without tangling, and an allergen filter, making it ideal for pet owners, according to the brand.
The best Roomba for carpeted houses
If your home is mostly carpeted, Williams said the Wi-Fi-connected self-emptying Roomba s9+ is your best bet. That’s because this is iRobot’s “deepest-cleaning, most powerful robot vacuum,” he said. “[The s9+] The motor is 40 times more powerful than the Roomba 600 series and will automatically boost power on carpets and rugs,” Williams said. He added that the Roomba s9+ also has dual counter-rotating rubber rollers that are 30% wider than the 600 series. It has a slightly different shape (it has a rounded square front) which allows it to reach into corners more easily and It is designed with built-in anti-allergen filters, which makes it ideal for pet owners, according to the brand. Like the i-series, it is available as a stand-alone vacuum or in a plus model with an automatic emptying base.
In 2021, iRobot released a series of automatic mops under the Braava name. Just like a Roomba, a Braava mop will clean your floors for you, using a spray-and-wipe method. the more affordable Braava 380t offers basic mopping capabilities. the upper end brava m6 it provides more adjustments, custom mapping, and can even integrate with certain Roomba models so the two can clean together. they have got some good reviewsdespite being less popular than their vacuum cousins, and now iRobot offers the mops with a Roomba vacuum at a package deal.