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The iRobot Roomba 880 Review; The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

roomba 880 review

The iRobot Roomba 880 is a little-known model of the famous Roomba robots that was introduced late in 2013. This vacuum cleaner boasts a simple design packed with great features that make cleaning your house a simple task. With the Roomba 880, you are guaranteed superb cleaning courtesy of its elaborate cleaning system as well as Cleaning Pass and Dirt Detection to ensure the dirtiest parts are given more priority. Its price is also affordable. Even though it has been heavily criticized for not having Wi-Fi and an advanced navigation technology, it is still a Roomba worth checking out.

  • Precise navigation
  • Excellent cleaning system
  • Extended battery life
  • Excellent cleaning
  • Dirt Detection
  • Extra filter included
  • Warranty on robot and battery
  • Virtual Wall® Lighthouse™
  • No Wi-Fi
  • Quite noisy
  • Pricey

Today, we are going to review the Roomba 880 to see why it is still a force to reckon even though there are newer models from iRobot. We received the iRobot Roomba 880 and used it for a week in order to make an informed review of this robotic vacuum cleaner. To help you understand better the Roomba 880, we will look at its features and performance in detail. At the end of the day, this is what counts.

Suggested Read: Roomba Comparison models

Simple, Compact Design for Easy Maneuverability

The Roomba 880 sports a simple, compact and lightweight design to enable it to slide through the tightest areas like under furniture, beds, kickstands and so on. It has a height of only 3.6 inches and weighs 8.4 lbs.

Unlike many vacuum cleaners that got stuck many times and would not reach under household fittings, the 880 is exceptional. It finds a way of getting in the tightest corners and under most furniture to ensure all dirt is cleaned.

Unrivaled Cleaning System

One thing we like about all Roombas is the exceptional cleaning technology they use. The Roomba 880 is no exception to this. It comes with iRobot’s 3-stage cleaning system that ensures detailed cleaning in the shortest time possible. This cleaning system is popularly known as the AeroForce 3-Stage Cleaning System and offers 5x the air power in other vacuum cleaners from other brands.

The first stage is called agitation and involves the brush loosening and breaking dirt and debris. To effectively do this, the brushes have been inclined at an angle of 27-degrees and have Tangle-Free AeroForce extractors to enable it to catch dirt and debris from deep corners, walls, and even edges.

In the second stage, the dual counter-rotating brushes grab and lift away the collected dirt from the floor’s surface. There is also a side spinning brush that sweeps the path the vacuum follows. This stage is important as it facilitates the last stage which is suctioning.

In this last stage of the cleaning process, the Roomba 880 uses its high-efficiency vacuuming power to suction the debris into the dirt bin. Here, the HEPA filters come in play. These filters have the ability to filter 99% of dust mites and other allergens as small as 10 microns. This makes the Roomba 880 an ideal vacuum cleaner for pet hair and allergens.

Effective Dirt Detection Technology

Like earlier mentioned, this vacuum cleaner has dirt detection that tells it where there is more dirt for intensive cleaning. It uses the new Dirt Detect Series 2 to do this. This technology has optical and acoustic sensors to ensure areas with more dirt are prioritized to guarantee comprehensive cleaning.

To test the effectiveness of this feature, we put dirt on specific areas to see how the Roomba will execute the cleaning. Beyond any doubts, it tended to focus more on the areas we had put more dirt and the results were astounding. This robot did the same thing a human being would do. Indeed, it is an intelligent robot.

Precise Navigation System for Methodical Cleaning

One of iRobot’s strength is their navigation systems. The brand has perfected its Patented i-Adapt Navigation System that guarantees superior navigation as well as object avoidance. This technology is also in the Roomba 880.

First, it uses the popular iAdapt Responsive Navigation system to clearly map out your house. This helps the robot to know exactly where to pass. It also helps it execute a methodical cleaning to ensure no area is left untouched. Among all the vacuum cleaners I’ve known, none beats Roomba’s iAdapt Navigation.

Second, it also has an elaborate system that prevents it from hitting obstacles as well as dropping off the stairs. The edges have been crafted using Light-Touch Bumper Technology that absorbs impact to prevent damage to the vac’s components.  Cliff detection, on the other hand, helps the Roomba 880 to avoid falls on stairs and other high-level places.

Put an End to Tangling

Nothing can be irritating like a vacuum cleaner that gets tangled always. To ensure such doesn’t happen in the Roomba 880, iRobot brought on board the revolutionary Anti-Tangle Technology that prevents the Roomba from getting stuck on carpet fringe and even cords.

Schedule Your Cleaning Sessions

For the convenience of homeowners, you can schedule the Roomba 880 to clean your house at specific times. Even when you are not there, the Roomba will leave its docking station and start cleaning immediately the set time reaches.

One more advantage is that you can schedule this vacuum cleaner for seven straight days. This feature makes life easier as you don’t need to worry about your house’s cleaning once you have programmed the vac.

Self-Recharge and Resume

The Roomba 880 comes with self-recharge and resume capabilities. With this in mind, you don’t need to worry about it in case its battery level goes down or what happens after it recharges before finishing the cleaning session.

First, whenever the battery goes down during cleaning, it immediately locates the Home Base® and goes there straight where it docks for charging. After recharging, it then leaves the Home Base® and goes to finish up the cleaning from wherever it left without necessarily needing your intervention.

Virtual Wall® Lighthouse™

It is such a big plus for such a mid range vacuum cleaner to have Virtual Wall Lighthouse. Lighthouse helps homeowners manage multi-room cleaning while Virtual Wall restricts the Roomba from reaching specific areas.

In managing multi-room cleaning, you can block the exit of a specific room to ensure the vacuum cleaner finishes cleaning that particular room before going to the next. With other vacuum cleaners that lack this feature, you will find that the vac cleans a single room halfway and goes to the next before finishing. This random cleaning often leaves the house half cleaned.

With Virtual Wall, you can restrict the vacuum cleaner from reaching defined areas.

Powerful iRobot® XLife™ Extended Life Battery

Another great feature that makes the Roomba 880 stand out from the crowd is its long lasting battery. Not only has iRobot ensured it lasts longer, it has also ensured that its fade time is long enough so that you can enjoy the Roomba’s service before having to replace the battery. Just like the Roomba 770, the 880 use a Nickel Metal Hydride (Ni-MH) battery. It can last for approximately 70 minutes and requires 3 hours to get a full charge.

What’s in the Box?

  • iRobot Roomba 880
  • iRobot XLife Battery
  • 2 Virtual Wall Lighthouses (batteries included)
  • Home Base
  • Remote Control (batteries included)
  • Extra HEPA Filter
  • Manual
  • 1-year warranty on robot, 6-months on battery

What We Liked in the Roomba 880

  • 1. Virtual Wall® Lighthouse™ – The Roomba 880 is such a basic vacuum cleaner that we never expected to have such sophisticated technology.
  • 2. Navigates Precisely – Unlike many vacuum cleaners that get stuck and disregard some obstacles, the Roomba 880 has a precise navigation system.
  • 3. Dirt Detection – This is also another unique feature that makes the Roomba 880 outrightly beat its competitor.
  • 4. Excellent Cleaning – The Roomba 880 cleans 50% more dirt, pet hair, and allergens regardless of the floor type.
  • 5. Extended Battery Life – The Roomba 880 has a powerful, high capacity battery that guarantees more cleaning hours and thus less recharging. This, in turn, extends its life cycle.
  • 6. Extra Filter – iRobot included an extra HEPA filter for your first replacement.
  • 7. Warranty – This cleaner comes with a warranty that covers the robot for a year and the battery for 6 months.

What We Didn’t Like in the Roomba 880

  • 1. No Wi-fi – The Roomba 880 lacks Wi-Fi which offers more user convenience. However, we can understand this shortcoming as it is an older model.
  • 2. Quite Noisy – Compared to the newer models of vacuum cleaners, the Roomba 880 is quite noisy.
  • 3. Pricey – Even though it comes from a trusted brand and has top notch features, we find it quite pricey.


Now, having looked at the features of the Roomba 880, it’s time we look at some of its main competitors and how they go head on.

The first major competitor of the Roomba 880 is the Samsung POWERbot SR2AJ9040W Wi-Fi Robot Vacuum. Ranging at almost the same price, this vacuum cleaner comes with a better cleaning system and most importantly, Wi-Fi, something the Roomba 880 lacks.

Another of Roomba 880’s close competitor is the ECOVACS DEEBOT R95. This vacuum cleaner’s cost is also in the same range as Roomba 880’s. However, it has better features than the 880 lacks. Some of these features include Wi-Fi and Amazon Alexa compatibility.

The bObsweep PetHair Plus Robotic Vacuum Cleaner also gives the Roomba 880 a run for its money. Besides offering almost everything the iRobot 880 has, it can vacuum and mop simultaneously. Besides, it has UV floor sterilizing and air purification. Furthermore, its price is also affordable.

Other competitors of the Roomba 880 include BLACK+DECKER HRV425BLP SMARTECH, Hoover BH71000 Quest, iLIFE A4s and so on. If the Roomba 880 had Wi-Fi, it would beat most of its competition.

What Customers Are Saying About the Roomba 880

In the online marketing scene, research by Shopify shows that a large chunk of customers rely heavily on what other customers are saying about a particular product before purchasing it. For this reason, it is important that we look at what customers think about the Roomba 880. We will first look at the positive side of it and then the negative part of the story.

If you look at its Amazon reviews, it is evident that the Roomba 880 received a cordial welcome in the market. Many customers say that they got what they were looking for in the Roomba 880. It offered them better cleaning and convenience. Most of them applaud it for its unrivaled ability in cleaning pet hair and other allergens.

However, there were was also a bunch of customers who had bought the 980 and they were not satisfied with its service. A large percentage of negative reviews was because it lacked Wi-Fi. Others thought it was too pricey considering there were other options in the same price range, or even lower, with almost similar features. A small percentage of the negative reviews are from manufacturer’s defects. However, the good news is that most of them were sorted because the warranty was still active.

In terms of rating, the Roomba 880 scored an impressive 4.3 Stars from over 200 review. From our experience with the Roomba 880, we give it a 4.4 rating!

Is the Roomba 880 a Worthy Purchase?

If you’d ask me, I would say yes. The iRobot 880 is still a worthy purchase for anyone looking for a simple and reliable vacuum cleaner. Even though it is quite pricey, its features and brand justify it.

However, if you want a more advanced vacuum cleaner, you can check out the latest versions of the Roomba, for example, the Roomba 960 and 980.

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