How to choose Roomba Vacuum Cleaner for pet hair in 2020?
Will you agree with me that Roombas are the best choice for pet owners in the market today?
In this article, we have reviewed the most popular models of 2020 to answer the main question, “which is the best Roomba for Pet Hair today?”
We also have a detailed buying guide to help you identify a model that suits your cleaning needs.
It’s 2020 folks, and the Roomba Pet Series is no longer an option if you have furry friends.
Best Roomba for pet hair on carpets – Roomba S9 and S9+
The iRobot S9 and S9+ are the best Roombas for picking up pet hair on carpets. As you may be aware, suction power is the most important aspect when it comes to carpet vacuuming.
These two models deliver 2200pa and have a self-emptying bin system so you won’t have to worry about emptying the bin now and then.
For pet owners with bare floors, the Roomba i7 and i7+ are the best choices. They have the right suction power to pick up pet hair and also feature a self-emptying bin system.
It’s also an intelligent robot vacuum with the latest features, including Zone Cleaning, which enables homeowners to clean select rooms instead of the entire house.
If you are on a budget, we recommend the Roomba E5.
It costs around $300 and puts up quite some good performance, whether you want to vacuum the short pet hair or the long dog hairs.
But then, it compromises on suction power and navigation, as well as runtime.
There have been lots of advancements since the times when the Roomba 562/563 dominated the market. Below are the iRobot vacuums that should be on your wish list if you have pets.
Best Roomba for Pet Hair Comparison Chart
iRobot Roomba S9/S9+ – Best Robot Vacuum for Pet Hair
Now, what’s the difference between the S9 and S9+?
The Roomba S9 doesn’t include the CleanBase unit but the S9+ tags along with the CleanBase, at a higher price, of course. Buy this model if you are looking for all-round performance; on bare floors, and all carpets.
The Roomba S9 uses a 3-stage cleaning system. The motor is very powerful and delivers a maximum of 2200Pa. This is the most potent robot vacuum we have reviewed so far. The dual multi-surface brush is tangle-free and 30% wider while the AeroForce filtration captures 99% of allergens, dust, pollen, and mold.
Among the unique features of the S9 is the D-shape design, dubbed PerfectEdge technology.
The S9 can vacuum the wall edges and corners in better fashion compared to its round-shaped counterparts. The S9 can also sync with the Braava M6 robot mop courtesy of Imprint Link Technology. The S9 features iAdapt 3.0 navigation and Virtual Walls.
The Roomba S9 has a pretty impressive runtime; 120 minutes to be precise. The robot recharges and resumes cleaning automatically.
We like the fact that it can intelligently calculate the exact charge it requires to complete the job instead of waiting for the entire 2-3 hours recharge time.
iRobot Roomba i7/i7+ Good Robot Vacuum for medium pile carpets
Buy this model if you have bare floors and low pile carpets as it doesn’t have enough suction to flush out dirt from the deepest parts of the carpet, but in picking up pet hair, dander, and kitty litter, it is an excellent choice.
Now, what’s the difference between the Roomba i7 and i7+?
Well, the two are very similar only that the Roomba i7 doesn’t include the CleanBase unit, but it is compatible with the self-emptying technology. The CleanBase has been designed to empty the bin when the robot docks and can hold the entire month’s dirt.
Regarding cleaning performance, the i7 delivers a maximum of 1000Pa, which is not so good considering the high price of the vacuum.
The brush system is not different from the others. There is a dual multi-surface brushroll with anti-tangle technology and a single side sweeping brush as well. As for filtration, the Roomba i7 features the AeroForce filtration system, and even though they are not true HEPA, they go a long way in purifying the air.
The i7 also improves navigation and mapping. It comes with the new iAdapt 3.0, which uses sensors and a camera for navigation. When it comes to floor mapping, the new Imprint Smart Mapping learns and adapts to the layout of your home. The robot can remember your home’s layout, and interestingly, you can tell it to clean specific areas instead of the entire house.
- Unfortunately, suction power has been compromised in the Roomba i7 and i7+ with the duo delivering just 1000Pa.
- Also, the runtime is shorter compared to what the 980 offers.
iRobot Roomba 960 – Good for pet hair in large home
If you want a mix of features, this is a perfect choice.
The iRobot 960 is ideal for vacuuming pet hair on bare floors and low to medium pile carpets. If you have a large apartment with high traffic, this is also a great deal.
The Roomba 960 uses a 3-stage cleaning system just like other Roombas. This model has a 2nd Gen motor that delivers up to 1000Pa. If you have medium to high pile carpets, then consider the Roomba 980, which delivers 1670Pa. Though it has been discontinued, you can still find it on several retailers.
The iRobot 960 has a dual multi-surface brush with anti-tangle technology, so if you have the long-haired dog breeds, you don’t have to worry about tangling.
The AeroForce filtration system, on the other hand, captures pet-related allergens ensuring your house has a fresh atmosphere always.
One of the outstanding features of the Roomba 960 is the iAdapt 2.0 VSLAM navigation that uses sensors and a real-time camera for precise navigation.
Smart home enthusiasts will also like the inclusion of Wi-Fi for mobile app operation as well as Alexa compatibility. Worth noting is the unique app features like Clean Map reports and customized cleaning.
Price History Chart
iRobot Roomba E5 (5150) – budget Robot Vacuum for pets
The E5 is a pretty new model released in 2018, together with the Roomba i7/i7+.
If you are on a budget, this is an excellent choice as it costs under $300, just like the 600 series. But then, the Roomba E5 has better performance, and though it isn’t the best for carpets, at least it has improved suction power.
This vacuum has an improved motor that delivers 5X more air power compared to the 600 series. This is around 1000Pa, which is enough to pick up dirt and pet hair from bare floors and low pile carpets.
We also liked the dual multi-surface brushes, which adjust and flex to make sure they are in contact with the surface, whether bare floors or carpets.
When it comes to navigation and mapping, the Roomba 5150 is SLAM based (iAdapt 1.0). It doesn’t create or store maps. If you have a large apartment, with high traffic, this might not be the best choice. But the obstacle detection sensors and anti-drop sensors make sure your robot stays in the safe zones.
The E5 includes a single, dual virtual walls barrier.
Regarding convenience, this vacuum comes with 2.4GHz Wi-Fi for mobile app operation as well as Alexa compatibility. While it lacks in several areas, the Roomba E5 is a worthy vacuum for pet hair considering the affordability.
Price History Chart
iRobot Roomba 675/690 – Best Robot Vacuum under $300
The 675 is a newer model, but it shares the same features with the Roomba 690, which came to replace the iRobot 650.
The only difference between the two is the accessories supplied.
The Roomba 690 comes with one Virtual Walls node, but Roomba 675 doesn’t come with any though it is compatible with this boundary marking technology. If you can sacrifice the Virtual Walls function, the 675 is the best choice as it is cheaper.
The Roomba 675 and 690 are ideal models for picking up pet hair on bare floors; hardwood, vinyl tile, you name it.
The suction and brushroll allow for easy pet hair pickup, whether you are dealing with the short pet hair or long dog hair.
On carpets, the performance is dismal, and if it is a must that you buy these models, do so only if you have a low pile carpet.
The Roomba 600 Series features a 3-stage cleaning system. It has one speed, delivering an average of 550Pa, which is enough for picking up pet hair from bare floors.
Unfortunately, the duo gets overwhelmed when it comes to the long dog hairs though the company promises that the brushroll is tangle-free.
Other features include 60 minutes runtime, though there is no resume function after recharge, SLAM navigation with no intelligent floor mapping, and Wi-Fi for smart operation via mobile app and voice assistant (Alexa and Google Home), among other smart home integration platforms.
Price History Chart
Pros and Cons
- However, the two are not good for picking up pet hairs on carpets because of the low suction power.
- Another shortcoming of the 600 series is the lack of a tangle free brush system, so if you have pets with long hair, chances are high the hairs will wrap around the brush and jam it.
- The 600 series will also find it a challenge to navigate in a high-traffic room and takes longer to complete cleaning large apartments.
- Besides, the 60 minutes runtime limits it so much.
- But then, these two cost under $300 so they are still a great bang for the buck.
Roomba in-Home Tests – Let’s find the best Roomba for pet hair
As usual, we tested these robot vacuums to find out the real performance in a household setting.
Thanks to Sarah Parkinson for allowing us to conduct the test in her two bedroom apartment with a medium-pile carpet and area rugs.
We also brought in two Labradors Retrievers which are among the heavy shedding dog breeds, and together with Sarah’s cat, it was the perfect lab.
We also had dog and cat hair and kitty litter of course, which we scattered around the different surfaces we tested. While pet messes were our primary concern, we also used Cheerios, rice, sugar, and flour.
So, how did they perform?
What’s the best Roomba for pet hair on Hardwood Floors?
On hardwood and bare floors, all the Roombas picked up the pet hair and kitty litter without a problem. But in terms of efficiency, some models performed better.
The Roomba S9 was exceptional courtesy of the high suction power. It picked up small and large particles with ease. As for the rest of the models, they performed good but didn’t vacuum the small dirt like flour in the first pass.
What is the best Roomba for dog & cat hair on carpet?
In our test household, we had a medium pile carpet which we also scattered some dirt on. Here, we made a huge observation in that the low power models struggled to pick up the tiny dirt particles and short pet hair.
- The 675, and 690 exhibited the same performance as they have similar suction power.
- The E5, 960 and i7 follow suit with an average of 1000Pa.
- The S9 was the best performer. This model also vacuumed pet hair from the thick shag and area rugs
High Pile Carpet in-Home Tests
Most households have high-pile carpets, so we also found one heavy Flokati rug to test the Roombas, and the results here were not very convincing with the lower models.
- The 600 series, E5, 960 and i7 struggled to pick up the small pet hairs as well as the other small dirt debris.
- Only S9 managed to vacuum the rug thoroughly but after a few passes.
So, if you have heavy pile carpets, settle for nothing less than the S9 as it has strong suction to pull out the small hairs that hide deep inside the long pile and those that attach to the carpet fabric.
Why Roomba is good for Dogs and Cats hair?
It is time we discuss several important aspects about pet hair and allergens and most importantly, how to select the best model for you. We will also be answering the pertinent questions that our customers have been asking us.
The Problem of Allergies
According to the ACAAI and AAFA, over 50 million Americans sufferers from allergies every year. One of the leading triggers of these allergies is pet related allergens, and considering over 60% of households have pets, this is a serious concern.
For many, pets are more than just animals, and it’s hard to let them go regardless of the allergy triggers they bear. Worse is the constant shedding, whether it is a heavy shedding dog breed or the pet has a condition that is causing the heavy shedding.
Why Buy a Roomba?
You will agree with me that Roombas are damn expensive and the cheapest costs almost the price of an upright or canister vacuum.
But will it replace my regular vacuum or you will still need the bulky manual cleaners?
To be honest, a robot vacuum is not a substitute for your canister or upright when it comes to pet hair cleaning. You will still need your Bissell or Shark vacuum to clean heavy pet messes. For pet hairs on upholstery or the car, a handheld vacuum like the Dyson V10 will also be required.
To ensure comfortable living, free from pet hairs on the floor and allergens in the atmosphere, frequent vacuuming is recommended. However, doing the job manually with your upright or canister is such a demanding tasks, and that’s why robot vacuums are becoming increasingly popular.
Unlike your traditional vacuum, these work autonomously so you don’t need to be around for the house to be cleaned. More so, you can easily schedule your preferred cleaning times so you can finally keep the house clean effortlessly.
Hypoallergenic Dogs and Cats; Myths or Facts?
When it comes to pet hair and allergens, one of the most controversial topics is, are there hypoallergenic dogs or cats?
Hypoallergenic are pets that are perceived to be allergen-free. But then, this is a myth because there is no hypoallergenic dog or cat. However, we can’t dispute the fact that some dog or cat breeds have lesser allergenic properties than others. But the bottom line is, all dogs and cats have allergens.
Many people assume that pet hair itself is an allergen, but this is not true. The misconception sets in when some experts refer to less shedding breeds as hypoallergenic when pet hair itself doesn’t have any allergens.
Pet urine and saliva is what harbors allergens, and when the cat or dog licks itself when grooming, it leaves the Fel D1 protein on the pet fur. It is this protein that is highly allergenic.
What is Imprint Smart Mapping??
Imprint Smart Mapping enables the Roomba to learn and adapt to the layout of your house.
This new feature makes the new iAdapt 3.0 different from iAdapt 2.0.
It is a floor-planning feature, which allows homeowners to customize their cleaning.
For example, you can select a specific place where you want the Roomba to clean, and it will do so. The system also stores floor plans for future reference. The Roombas that feature Imprint Smart Mapping include the i7 series and the new S9 series.
How much is Roomba?
There are several iRobot vacuums, from the low-end models to the high end. One thing we can deduce about iRobot vacuums is the exorbitant prices.
The cheapest iRobot model is the 650, which lacks WiFi and costs around $300 though it is unavailable on most retail platforms. It is followed by 675/690, which cost around $300 and have WiFi.
If you are on a budget and you want a blend of performance and affordability, your choices are locked to the Roomba 960 or the i7 which cost around $600.
Are robot vacuums good for pet hair?
Robot vacuums are not as potent as the canisters and upright, but they do a reasonably good job in picking up pet hair from the bare floors and carpets.
But what makes the exceptionally for pet hair vacuuming is the autonomous operation.
They work independently, whether you are at home or in the office.
Advanced models can be scheduled to clean at specific times while others allow homeowners to initiate cleaning remotely via the Smartphone app or Alexa.
It is the fact that robot vacuums are autonomous that makes them best for pets hair cleaning. Pets shed all the time, and the best remedy is regular vacuuming. You don’t need to break your back with the regular canister or upright, let Roomba do its work!
What is the latest Roomba?
The latest Roomba is the iRobot S9 and S9+ which were released together with the Braava M6 robot mop in May 2019. The i7+ and E5 released late last year follow the lineage.
Has the Roomba 980 been discontinued?
The iRobot 980 reigned as the best iRobot vacuum for a while, but unfortunately, it has been discontinued., But for now, you can still get the cleaner on many retail outlets but in a year or so, it will be hard to come by a 980 which is the best model for carpets courtesy of Carpet Boost mode.
How does automatic dirt disposal feature work, and which models use it?
Popularly known as iRobot CleanBase, this is a separate tower unit, which also integrates the dock.
Once the Roomba finishes cleaning, it will dock, and the Clean Base will suck dirt from the Roomba’s bin, into the larger CleanBase bin. The Plus models of the S and I series (i7+ and S9+) are the only models with iRobot CleanBase. However, you can buy the separate unit and use it with the base models; S9 and i7.
Will Roomba go from room to room?
Yes, Roombas will move from one room to the other, so if you have a large apartment with many rooms, you should not worry.
However, only the advanced Roombas have the intelligence of finishing one room before going to the next one. With the old models like Roomba 650 and 690, they might go to the next room before completing the particular one they are in.
You have to use boundary marking devices like Virtual Walls and Lighthouse to block the robot from leaving that room.
But with the advanced models like the i7 and S9, the elaborate floor scanning and mapping will make sure that the robot leaves the room after cleaning it entirely.