🥇 Best Roomba For Pet Hair
Pets are great companions but, managing their mess is a headache.
In this article, we will try to choose smart helpers and answer one central question: “What is the best Roomba for pet hair?“.
Roomba is the pioneer company in the robot vacuums industry.
Unlike other brands that just replicate the technology, iRobot is a leader in R&D and innovation. Among the technologies, which it came up with, is a three-stage cleaning system, Dirt Detect, VSLAM navigation, recharge, and resume function, etc.
This dedication has brought the California-based scoop several awards including Red Dot Product Design Award – Roomba 980 (2017), CES 2016 Innovation Awards, and iF Product Design Award Winner.
Once again, we had to revise our review of the best Roomba for pet hair after the California based robot vacuum brand released yet again a new series of robot vacuums.
In our previous review, the battle for the top spot was between Roomba 980 and i7+.
Find out whether the duo retains the top spot, or the new S9+ displaces one of them.
Both models have pros and cons. The 980 boasts a longer runtime, and Carpet Boost, features the i7+ lacks.
On the other hand, their i7+ boasts Imprint Smart Mapping, and the self-emptying bin technology.
Roomba Pet Series Comparison Table
|Model||Suction Power||Filter||Noise Level||Anti-Allergen System||Smart Mapping||Control||Run/Charging Time||Price|
|Roomba 675||600 Pa||Aerovac HEPA-style||62 db||Wifi, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant||90 min/120 min||Check Price|
|Roomba 690||600 Pa||Aerovac HEPA-style||68 db||Wifi, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Virtual Wall||90 min/120 min||Check Price|
|Roomba 890||1000 Pa||HEPA Filter||68 db||Wifi, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Virtual Wall||90 min/120 min||Check Price|
|Roomba e5||1000 Pa||HEPA Filter||65 db||Wifi, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Virtual Wall||90 min/120 min||Check Price|
|Roomba 960||1000 Pa||HEPA Filter||68 db||Wifi, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Virtual Wall||60 min/120 min||Check Price|
|Roomba 980||1700 Pa||HEPA Filter||70 db||Wifi, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Virtual Wall||120 min/120 min||Check Price|
|Roomba i7/i7+||1700 Pa||HEPA Filter||68 db||Wifi, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Virtual Wall||90 min/120 min||Check Price|
|Roomba s9||2600 Pa||HEPA Filter||68 db||Wifi, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Virtual Wall||120 min/NA min||Check Price|
Roomba Pet Series models Review
The iRobot 600 series offers affordable vacuums for pet hair.
The 675 is a pretty new model released last year and packs the same performance as the 690 only that it doesn’t come with a virtual walls barrier though it’s compatible with Virtual Walls Technology.
These two offer excellent performance on bare floors and pick up dog hairs with ease. If you have cats and the short haired dog breeds, these two should be on your wish list. We like the fact that you get smart connectivity courtesy of 2.4GHz WiFi. Pair it up with your Smartphone or Alexa and enjoy the convenience of remote operation.
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.
The iRobot E series consists of the E5 (5150) and E6 (6198). The two models are very similar only that the E6 comes with two virtual walls nodes, while the E5 has only one.
They are affordable vacuums that suit pet hair cleaning on hardwood, tile, and bare floors in general.
As for carpets, the E5 and E6 are not the best for picking up pet hair on carpets, unless it’s a low-pile carpet. Long hairs are also a problem because of brush jamming.
But you get all the other standard features including Dirt Detect, scheduling function, and smart connectivity.
- On the downside, the E series has SLAM navigation and doesn’t suit high traffic rooms.
- The runtime is also shorter, and the robot doesn’t resume cleaning after recharging.
Price History Chart
There are several models in the iRobot 800 series, but only the 890 is available, and in fact, it’s the only 800 series that suits pet hair cleaning.
On to the features, we’re glad it comes with a revised dual multisurface brush with an anti-tangle mechanism. Unlike the 600 series, you can rely on the 890 to pick up both the short hair as well as the long hairs without worrying about tangling.
While it works exceptionally on bare floors, the 890 can also pick up pet hair from the low pile carpets courtesy of improved suction. There’s also an improvement in the filtration system.
While older models used high-efficiency filters, the 890 has ultra-efficient filters making it a better choice for allergy sufferers as it filters most of the pet-related allergens.
- On the downside, the 890 has a short runtime, the same as 675 and 690, despite the higher price points.
- Worse is that it doesn’t resume cleaning after recharging.
- Another shortcoming is the fact that the navigation system is still not very accurate and will stumble upon a few obstacles here and there.
- Also, expect a somewhat random cleaning pattern and maybe a few missed spots and longer cleaning time.
The former is an excellent choice for picking up pet hair on bare floors and low pile carpets while the latter is the best Roomba for pet hair on carpets courtesy of the exclusive Carpet Boost mode which spikes suction to 1670Pa. It also has a tangle free brush system for long and short hair as well.
These two vacuums have a new iAdapt 2.0 navigation and mapping system which makes them best for large apartments and high-traffic rooms.
Also, expect them to clean faster. Regarding runtime, the 960 has 75 minutes runtime while the 980 offers 120 minutes runtime and both have the resume function.
As high-end iRobot vacuums, they are smart home ready and will connect to your Smartphone and other integration, including Alexa and Google Home.
Price History Chart
- On the downside, the 900 series is quite expensive with the 960 setting you back around $600 and the 980 around $900.
- Also, we expected them to have true-HEPA filters which are recommended by Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) to handle all pet related allergens effectively, but these are 99% efficient but filter down to 10 microns only while true-HEPA filters down to 0.3 microns.
- If you are not on a tight budget, these two are great options.
The Roomba I series consists of the i7 (7150) and i7+ (7550). These two are the first robot vacuums with a self-emptying bin mechanism, and that makes them perfect for those with heavy shedding breeds. You don’t have to worry about a full bin for almost a month.
Please note only the i7+ comes with the iRobot CleanBase and that makes it costs a little bit higher.
Just like the other high-end models, the I series features a tangle free brush and ultra-efficient filtration system.
One new addition is iAdapt 3.0, which has Imprint Smart Mapping for customized cleaning. You can now pinpoint the dirty areas you want them to vacuum instead of cleaning the entire house. That makes it perfect for pet owners as you can prioritize the areas where your dog or cat likes relaxing.
- 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.
This is the latest robot vacuum from iRobot, and just like the I series, there are two variants. The S9 (9150) comes without the iRobot CleanBase unit, while the S9+ (9550) comes with the self-emptying bin system (CleanBase).
We like the new PerfectEdge Technology that cleans the wall edges thoroughly, unlike it’s round shaped counterparts.
For, pet owners, this is an excellent feature as most pet hairs are swept to the wall edges. The S9 maintains much of the features the i7 has but has improved on a few of the shortcomings the i7 and i7+ have.
First, the air power is 40× more potent than the 600 series, so it’s ideal for picking up pet hair on carpets.
The S9 also has improved the runtime and can do 120 minutes, so if you have a large apartment, it’s a perfect choice. With iAdapt 3.0, the Imprint Smart Mapping allows you to prioritized specific dirt and pet hair hotspots instead of vacuuming the entire house.
But the highlight of the S9 is the Imprint™ Link Technology which syncs the Roomba with iRobots new Braava M6 mopping robot.
- But the S series is not budget friendly at all. The S9+ will set you back around $1500 while the S9 costs around $1200.
Roomba in-Home Tests
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 980 and S9 were exceptional courtesy of the high suction power. They picked up small and large particles with ease. As for the rest of the models, they performed better 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 and E6, 890, 960 and i7 follow suit with an average of 1000Pa.
- The 980 was the best performer together with the S9. The duo also vacuumed pet hair from the thick shag and area rugs where pets often like to groom themselves on.
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, E series, 890, 960 and i7 struggled to pick up the small pet hairs as well as the other small dirt debris.
- Only the 980 and 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 and 980 as they have 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?
Now that we know which are the best Roombas for pet hair, and how each performs, 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 Pet Hair and 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.
Factors to Consider
We understand that many homeowners don’t know how to select the right robot vacuum. The first important thing is to go for a trusted brand, and iRobot is among the best.
So, now that we are talking about the best robot brand, what are the other considerations you need to make? Let’s find out in this segment.
Furthermore, it is under these fittings where pets like to hide when grooming. The advantage of Roombas, and robot vacuums, in general, it that they can reach these pet hair hotspots while the canisters and uprights can’t.
When choosing an iRobot vacuum, that can fit this description of a low profile vacuum; the new S9 is the best match. iRobot vacuums are not slim as most average 3.7-inches high, but at least the new S9 and S9+ are 3.5-inches thick.
Besides the low profile design, also go for a tough robot vacuum that can withstand the abuse from pets. We have seen cats riding Roombas and dogs confront these little helpers. The rough paws can scratch the vacuum or even worse, damage it. The good thing is that iRobot uses premium materials, so this shouldn’t be a major concern.
A good robot vacuum for pet owners should be pet-friendly. The design should be appealing while the noise operation should be low.
Most pets will feel threatened by a new housemate with a rattling sound. Here, we don’t have a favorite in terms of aesthetics though the copper finish in the S9 is something to die for.
When it comes to operation noise, we recommend the Roomba E5/E6 or the Roomba 675 and 690, which run quietly. It can be so bad if your new floor cleaning helper scares your cat or dog.
What kind of surface does your flooring have? As you are aware, there are robot vacuums designed for bare floors like hardwood and tile while others are for carpets.
We have models that can handle pet hair on the hardwood with ease and can’t work on carpets. Such a model is only good if you don’t have carpet and you have no prospects of owning one.
iRobot vacuums are well endowed when it comes to suction power.
- Models like E series and 600 series are ideal for bare floors only where mess lay loosely on the surface.
- If you want the best performance, go for a high power Roomba like the 980 and S9. These models can clean any surface in your home, even carpet.
The brush is a crucial consideration for two reasons. First, it is the brush that will pick up the pet hair from the floor.
- Your ideal Roomba for pets should have a brushroll capable of handling pet hair and most importantly, sweeping the sides of the Roomba.
- Second, make sure the brush has an anti-tangle system, especially if you have the long-haired breeds; the likes of Chihuahua and Labrador Retrievers.
The latest iRobot vacuum from the 800 series come with a dual multisurface brush system with tangle-free technology. So, if you have long hair to pick up, buy the 890, 960, 980, i7 or S9, and you will be guaranteed stress-free vacuuming. The models without a tangle free brush will be a headache because of constant brush jamming.
The problem with pets is not only the hair and kitty litter; there are some pet-related allergens as well. That is to say; there is no hypoallergenic cat or dog.
Roombas don’t have true-HEPA and instead use HEPA style filters which are also efficient but don’t filter down to 0.3 microns.
The old iRobot 600 series and E series use AeroVac filtration which is less efficient compared to the new AeroForce high-efficiency filters.
So, if you suffer from allergies, your best match it the 890, 960, 980, i7 or S9.
One of the shortcomings of robot vacuums is the small bin capacity. iRobot integrates a 0.3L bin in all the models and have a full bin indicator system.
A new technology to consider is the self-emptying system, which is ideal for households with longs of pets.
The autonomy of a robot vacuum is all about how long it can run on a single charge and most importantly, its power management system.
If you have a large apartment, you definitely need longer runtime to ensure complete coverage on every charge. You can’t afford to wait for the two to three hours recharge time before the Roomba completes its task.
The good thing is that all the iRobot vacuums will recharge automatically, but a select few will resume cleaning after recharging.
Buy the Roomba 960/980, i7/i7+ and S9/S9+ if you want a robot that manages its power autonomously.
Now, the next consideration is runtime, and as stated earlier, the longest runtime is the most desirable.
- The cheap models like 600 series, E series, and the 800 series have a short runtime.
- At least the 960 and i7 can do 75 minutes on average.
- For the best performance, grab either the S9 or 980 which boast up to two hours runtime which is enough to complete vacuuming an expansive apartment on a single charge.
Navigation and Floor Mapping
This is a crucial aspect of robot vacuums as it determines how the robot will move around and most importantly, where it will reach. As for floor mapping, you need an intelligent system that will map your floor and plan for a systematic cleaning pattern for entire level coverage and efficiency.
For the small apartments with less furniture, you can settle for the iAdapt 1.0 navigation system which uses SLAM algorithm to maneuver around.
- The Roomba E series, 600 series, and 800 series all rely on a SLAM algorithm. They do a good job but are prone to hitting obstacles here and there. The random floor cleaning pattern may not be the best in terms of coverage and efficiency, and these cleaners will take a little longer to finish cleaning.
- The 980 changes the game a little bit as it comes with a VSLAM algorithm in its iAdapt 2.0 navigation system. VSLAM (Visual Simultaneous Localization and Mapping ) uses sensors and a real-time camera which takes note of all the landmarks in a bid to help the robot navigate precisely.
- As for the S9 and i7, we have iAdapt 3.0, and this adds the Imprint Smart Mapping function, which we discussed earlier. With this addition, homeowners can customize their cleaning much better.
In this smart home era, you want to add a smart appliance, and gladly, nearly all Roombas come with WiFi except for models like Roomba 650, which is the cheapest Roomba currently. Well, while the mobile app and Alexa compatibility are not involved with pet hair pick up or air filtering, it enhances usability.
Talking of usability, some Roombas are better than others. The Roomba E5/E7, 890 and 675/690 have basic WiFi for iRobot HOME app operation and Alexa compatibility. But if you want extras, the 900 series, I series and S series are the best.
Buy the 900 series if you want clean map reports while the i7 and S9 offers more. These two have Imprint Smart Mapping, which allows you to tap the areas you want to be cleaned, and at what time. This is a feature pet owners really need because they shed more often and you need vacuuming regularly.
Cost and Value
One thing about iRobot products is the high price points.
- Well, if you have a tight budget, you have no option but settling for the low-end models, the likes of the 600 series and e series.
- But the Roomba 890 is such a great deal because it combines some features of the higher end Roomba 960 and its price is a little bit fair.
- But for those who are not tied by any monetary sanctions, pick the Roomba S9+ as it boasts all the latest iRobot technologies.
Where to buy your Roomba
Once you have identified your best Roomba, the next hurdle will be deciding where you will buy it.
There are two options; online or in your local store.
The advantage of the local store is that there are no waiting times and you can have a feel of the robot. The problem is that the prices are highly inflated and you don’t get variety.
We highly recommend buying your robot vacuum online for two reasons.
- First, you get a wide variety of options. While your local store may not have the latest iRobot in stock, retailers like Amazon are the first to have the new models.
- Second is the aspect of price and discounts. Online retailers offer the best prices and discounts to match the competitions. The convenience of online shopping is also something every homeowner would wish for especially off you don’t have time for the local stores. Have your Roomba delivered at your residence or office.
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’s the best Roomba for pet hair?
The battle here is between Roomba 980 and S9+.
We like the 980 because it is affordable and has high suction power so it can handle pet hair on bare floors and carpets as well.
This is the same case for the S9+ which can pick up pet hair on bare floors and carpets quite effectively. The catch, however, is the self-emptying bin system which empties the bin automatically, so you don’t have to worry about bin emptying.
Allergy sufferers also won’t come into contact with the captured allergens when emptying the bin manually. The shortcoming of the S9+ is the exorbitant price points.
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 980, i7 and S9, the elaborate floor scanning and mapping will make sure that the robot leaves the room after cleaning it entirely.
There you have it ladies and gentlemen; a review of the best Roombas for pet hair. Which is your favorite choice, and why?
Talk to us in the comments section below. And don’t forget to subscribe for our price drop alerts and get notified when there is a Roomba discount or promotions!