Roomba 2020 Comparison Review
Despite the stiff competition and pressure that the Chinese brands have mounted on iRobot, Roombas still call the shots in the robot vacuums industry. The Massachusetts based brand has managed to stay afloat with its wide range of robot vacuums.
However, with over 9 generations and a host of variations, finding the best Roomba for you can be challenging. This Roomba 614 vs. 675 vs. 690 vs. 890 vs. 960 vs. 980 vs. E5 vs. i7 vs. S9 vs. i3 vs. i8 comparison review will come in handy if you are on the market for the best Roomba.
Herein, we have sampled the popular models available on the market, clearly outlining what each one is best suited for, and who should buy it. We will also be explaining the top Roomba technologies and how they work.
But just before that, here is an overview of iRobot and why it is the best robot vacuum brand in 2020.
Ask anyone around, which is the best robot vacuum brand; the answer will be Roomba.
One of the main reasons for Roomba’s popularity is because the company was the industry’s pioneer, having released the first autonomous vacuum cleaners in 2002, the Roomba Pro and Roomba Elite.
Besides being the pioneers, iRobot is the most advanced brand in terms of R&D. It is behind most of the top technologies exploited in the industry, talk of the 3-stage cleaning system, VSLAM navigation, automatic self-emptying bin, auto recharge, and resume, etc. All these are innovations that other robot vacuum brands have replicated, and tweaked just a little bit to look different.
If you are the quick shopper who is not ready to go through this Roomba comparison review entirely, this section is for you. Our editors have shared their top picks to help you make the purchase decision faster.
Best Affordable Roomba
The 690 is the best affordable Roomba in 2020. It is ideal for handling small to medium apartments with bare floors, and low pile carpets as well as pet hair. But then, you can’t rely on it to vacuum medium and high pile carpets, and large apartments with multi-levels.
Best Budget Roomba for Carpets and Pet Hair
The E5 is the best choice if you are looking for the best Roomba for bare floors, carpets, and pet hair. The silicone brush system picks up both short and long pet hair, and the 2nd Gen motor delivers enough suction to vacuum low and medium-pile carpets satisfactorily. It’s also a new model with an updated software system.
Best Budget Roomba for Carpets
The 980, though a discontinued model, is the best affordable Roomba for carpets. It boasts 1670pa, which is enough to handle all carpet types, including shag, rugs, and flokati. It’s also ideal when it comes to cleaning bare floors and pet messes.
Best Affordable Self-Emptying Roomba
The i3+ is the best affordable Roomba with self-emptying bin. The i3+ is among the two latest Roombas on the market. It has all the core features and includes iRobot Genius which is an intelligent system that learns from your cleaning patterns and offers cleaning suggestions.
Best Roomba in 2020
If you want the best Roomba with all the bells and whistles, the S9+ is the ultimate deal. It is the most powerful robot vacuum we have tested, and besides, it cleans all kinds of messes, on all surfaces, including high pile carpets.
Best Roombas in 2020
In this section, we are going to look at the best Roombas on the market right now. Find out which is the best model for cleaning bare floors, carpets, pet hair, and so on. For the record, this list has models from the 4th generation as the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd generation Roombas are no longer available on the market.
4th Generation: Roomba 600 Series (614 vs. 640 vs. 675 vs. 690)
The Roomba 600 series has the cheapest Roombas and includes some old models and updated models released just recently. These vacuums have been designed to handle small apartments with bare floors, and thin carpets. Regarding pet hairs, they are only ideal in picking up the short pet hairs.
Roomba 614 – Basic Roomba
The Roomba 614 is the most basic Roomba at the moment. It boasts all the core features that other 600 series Roombas come with, such as a 3-stage cleaning system, dual multi-surface brush system, Dirt Detect series I, auto-recharge, and iAdapt 1.0 navigation.
But unfortunately, it lacks some features such as scheduling function, meaning you can’t program it to clean automatically like most robot vacuums. Also, this is not a smart robot vacuum, so you will have to rely on the IR remote controller for remote control.
- Considering its price, the Roomba 614 is a throw, so you’d rather extend your search for the best robot vacuum.
Roomba 640 – Another Basic But Cheap Roomba
The 640 is not a very popular Roomba and is very much similar to the 614. It comes with the same features as the Roomba 614 only that this one has been optimized to offer longer runtime. While the 614 and 640 use the same 1800mAh battery pack, the latter offers 90 minutes runtime compared to the former that offers an average of 60 minutes.
- The 640 is a cheap robot vacuum in terms of pricing but only buy it if you are not interested in smart connectivity.
Roomba 690 – Best Selling Roomba on Amazon
The Roomba 690 is the best model in the 600 series, and interestingly, the best selling Roomba on Amazon. It replaced the Roomba 650, and one of the features it added was WiFi. The 690 comes with all the bells and whistles for a budget Roomba, including the Virtual Walls node.
If you have small to medium-sized apartments, this Roomba will be a great deal. It also handles low pile carpets and short pet hair effectively. The icing on the cake is the affordable pricing.
- If you are looking for the best affordable Roomba, the 690 should be number one on your wishlist.
Roomba 675 – Affordable Roomba with Smart Features
The Roomba 675 is a pretty new model that is very much similar to the Roomba 690. However, there are a few differences in terms of the aesthetics and the accessories included. While the 690 comes with a Virtual Walls node, the 675 doesn’t include any Virtual Walls device, but it is compatible with the containment technology.
To understand the 675 better, make sure to catch our exclusive Roomba 690 vs. 675 comparison review.
- As far as the pricing goes, the 675 is a great deal, but only if you are not interested in containing the Roomba.
In the Roomba 600 debate, the best choice is, of course, the Roomba 690 as it offers the best value for the money. Its closest competition is the 675, but then, the inclusion of the Virtual Walls node is a big boost. Moreso, the pricing is almost the same.
5th Generation: Roomba 700 Series (760 vs. 770 vs. 780 vs. 790)
The Roomba 700 includes the 5th Generation Roombas, which are not so popular on the online shopping sites but on Amazon, you can’t miss a few models. These Roombas are very much similar to the previous 600 series in terms of cleaning performance. But then, the main difference is the battery technology as the 700 series comes with NiMH batteries.
Another difference is regarding the containment, and here, the series introduces Virtual Wall® Lighthouse™ technology, which guides the Roomba during multiple room cleaning. Last is the remote operation, and here, some models use physical IR remotes while others have what is known as Roomba Wireless Command Center.
The Roomba 760 is not the base model in this series, but now that the 750 is not readily available, we will opt for the 760/761. This model boasts the core Roomba features, including the 3-stage cleaning system, iAdapt 1.0, and Dirt Detect.
For the record, the 760 doesn’t come with the full bin indicator. It also lacks WiFi, just like all the other 700 series models. In terms of accessories, you get 1 extra set of HEPA filters and 2 Virtual Walls nodes.
The Roomba 770, on the other hand, is very much similar to the Roomba 760. It has all the core Roomba features and works with an IR remote. The only difference between it and the 760 is the fact that it has the full bin indicator.
Regarding the accessories supplied, you get a round brush, cleaning tool, flat brush, and 2 Virtual Walls nodes. The price is a bit fair, but still, it doesn’t offer the best value for the money.
The 780 is available at a great price and offers a great mix of accessories and features. It tags along with 2 Virtual Walls lighthouses, 1 extra bristle brush, a flexible brush, and a side brush.
The 780 works with an IR remote and doesn’t come with WiFi. If you are looking for the best value for money, this is an excellent choice.
The Roomba 790 might sound as the premium model in this series, but then, it isn’t. While all the other Roombas have room-to-room navigation, this one must rely on the Virtual Wall Lighthouses, and the good thing is that it comes with 3 nodes.
Another big difference is that the 790 doesn’t work with an IR remote, and instead, it has been made compatible with the Roomba Wireless Command Center. Regarding the price, it is quite considerable but not the best bang for the buck.
Here, the battle is between Roomba 780 vs. 790, and the bone of contention is the price and value for money. The 780 is very affordable and comes with 2 Virtual Walls Lighthouse while the 790 comes with 3, but it is expensive. Unless you really want the 3 Virtual Walls Lighthouses, the 780 sounds like a deal.
6th Generation: Roomba 800 Series (Roomba 880 vs. 890 vs. 891)
The 6th Generation Roombas took a leap from AeroVac cleaning technology to the new AeroForce system. The suction power was improved courtesy of the new 2nd Gen motor making them ideal for cleaning bare floors, and low to medium pile carpets. There was a shift from the bristle style brushes to rubber extractors. Also, all the models in this series are smart home ready courtesy of 2.4GHz WiFi except for the 850. Below are the highlights of the popular models in the series available for purchase.
The Roomba 880 has been designed to handle small to medium-sized apartments. While there is no smart mapping, at least the software updates ensure some level of entire level cleaning courtesy of the semi-random cleaning pattern. Unlike the predecessor, the Roomba 870, the 880 includes an IR remote and 2 Virtual Walls Lighthouses.
Regarding the price, the 880 is a great deal because you won’t have to spend any more money to get another Virtual Walls node.
The 890 is very much similar to the 880, but then there is a difference in the battery technology used. While the 880 comes with a NiMH battery, the 890 has a Li-ion battery. Another difference is the accessories included: Roomba 890 comes with Virtual Walls.
One last difference is regarding voice control, and here, the 890 supports Alexa and Google Assistant, but the 880 doesn’t. When it comes to usability, you can rely on the 890 to clean bare floors, low to medium pile carpets, and pet hair.
The Roomba 891 is another popular model, and it shares a lot with the 890 save for the accessories included and the aesthetics. The 891 doesn’t include any Virtual Walls® barriers. It’s also suitable for bare floors, low to medium pile carpets, and pet hair.
Here, the Roomba 890 is the best deal because it packs all the bells and whistles. The only competition is 891 but considering the 891 doesn’t include a Virtual Walls node, it’s not up for a contest.
7th Generation: Roomba 900 Series (960 vs. 980 vs. 985)
The Roomba 7th Generation robot vacuums came with a new navigation system dubbed iAdapt 2.0, a VSLAM navigation system with smart mapping. If you have large apartments and high-traffic rooms, this is the ultimate choice. The robots in this series clean in a systematic pattern, so you are assured that no spot will be skipped. Now, there are two basic models and some variations, as listed below. Find out what are the differences, and what each model is best suited for.
The Roomba 960 is the base model and comes with iAdapt 2.0, a 3-stage AeroForce cleaning system, Dirt Detect Series II, and a 2nd Gen motor, the same one used in the 800 series, e series, and I series.
This model is ideal for cleaning bare floors and low to medium pile carpets and pet hair. Regarding the runtime, it has a 1800mAh battery that runs for 75 minutes.
- If you are looking for an affordable Roomba with smart mapping, this is the best choice.
Although it has been discontinued, the Roomba 980 is still available on the market and offers several advantages over the 960. First, it comes with a 3rd Gen motor with a feature known as Carpet Boost.
When this feature is activated, suction power is stepped up to 1670 pa, and this is something that makes it one of the best Roombas for carpets, from the low pile to high pile carpets. Another improvement is regarding the runtime, and here, iRobot uses a 2600mAh battery that yields 120 minutes runtime in normal mode and around 90 minutes when Carpet Boost is activated.
- If you are looking for an affordable all-round Roomba, the 980 should top your wish list.
On the market, you will find a variant of the 980 called the Roomba 985. It is basically the same model like the 980, but then, it comes with 1 Virtual Walls node, whereas the 980 comes with 2. This is the only difference between these two models.
Here, the contest is between Roomba 980 vs. 985, and at the end of the day, it’s all about what you want and how much you want to pay. If you want containment, go for the 980 as it includes a pair of Virtual Walls nodes but at a higher price. However, if you are not into containment and you want to save a few bucks, get the Roomba 985, which is slightly cheaper.
8th Generation: Roomba I and E Series
The Roomba e series is an updated model that is very similar to the 800 series, while the i7 is a totally new model that debuted the revolutionary iRobot self-emptying technology.
Roomba E Series (E5 vs. E6)
Regarding cleaning performance, the two Roombas are ideal for cleaning bare floors, low to medium pile carpets, and pet hair in small to medium-sized apartments with moderate traffic. They use a 2nd Gen motor and a 3-stage AeroForce cleaning system. The runtime is 90 minutes, and both are smart home ready.
So, which is the best choice between Roomba E5 vs. E6? The E5 is the cheaper model, but it doesn’t come with Virtual Walls, so if you are not into containment, it is the best choice. However, if you are interested in containment, go for the Roomba E6.
Roomba I Series (i7 vs. i7+ vs i3+ vs i8+)
Here, the debate is between the i7 vs i7+. The only difference is the accessories, so if you want a Roomba that comes with the CleanBase unit, the i7+ is the best choice, but you have to pay more. If you are looking for savings, you can opt for the i7 that doesn’t include the CleanBase unit and later on upgrade by purchasing the CleanBase unit.
9th Generation: Roomba S Series (Roomba S9 vs. S9+)
When it comes to performance, the S series uses the same 3-stage AeroForce cleaning system but boasts a powerful motor that delivers 2200pa, making it the best Roomba for carpets. It also handles bare floors and pet messes efficiently.
The battery has also been improved as it runs for 120 minutes in normal mode and 85 minutes in high power mode. This model also comes with iAdapt 3.0 with Imprint Smart Mapping.
Here again, it’s a matter of the accessories included. If you want the convenience of self-emptying, go for the Roomba S9+. But if you are not interested in the CleanBase unit, the S9 works just fine, and more so, it’s compatible with the self-emptying technology so you can buy the CleanBase unit later on.
Of all the robot vacuum brands, iRobot boasts the best technology as a result of the heavy investment in R&D. In this section, find out about all the top technologies and how they have been deployed in the various Roombas.
What is PerfectEdge® Technology?
In the beginning, all Roomba robot vacuums were round-shaped, but then, the design made it hard for the robot to clean wall edges and corners effectively. Neato Robotics introduced the D-Shape design, which has now been adopted by Roomba in what has been dubbed as PerfectEdge® Technology. This approach deploys a maximized edge design on one end and a specially angled corner brush that reaches the wall edges and corners, guaranteeing effective cleaning.
So far, so good, only the Roomba S9 and S9+ have this D-shaped design. While Neato may be the first company to adopt the D-shape design, iRobot was already experimenting on different brush designs, and they finally got it right, better than Neato. With Neato, the brush is not at the very edge, so it still struggles with corners, but Roomba S9’s brush is at the very edge.
For customers, it’s all about the efficiency, and not about who introduced what, and that places Roomba ahead of Neato.
How Does the Roomba 3-Stage Cleaning System Work?
Robot vacuums have been designed to sweep and vacuum simultaneously, though some brands such as ECOVACS Deebot and Roborock integrate mopping functions. As the pioneer, iRobot introduced the 3-stage cleaning system, which has now been adopted by all robot vacuum brands.
Under Roombas, you will notice two brush systems: one for sweeping dirt along the edges of the Roomba, and another at the center. In the first stage, the Roomba agitates the dirt, before the dirt is lifted in the second stage.
Finally, in the third stage, the dirt is lifted and sucked up into the bin. This is called a 3-stage cleaning system, and all robot vacuums work on the same principle.
But there’s something unique with Roomba’s 3-stage cleaning system, the dual multi-surface brush system. There is one brush specially designed for agitation, and another for lifting the dirt. This makes Roombas more efficient than the rest of the robot vacuums that have just one primary brushroll for agitation and dirt pickup.
Dirt Detect Series 1 vs. Series 2
One of the iRobot technologies that no other robot vacuum brand has been able to replicate is Dirt Detect. In this section, find out what Dirt Detect is, how it works, and the variations.
Dirt Detect, as the name suggests, is a technology that enables Roombas to locate where there is concentrated dirt.
For example, when there is a flour spill on one area of your kitchen, it will detect that area, head there, and switch to Spot mode. Talking of Spot mode, this makes the Roomba clean spirally on the spot until the dirt is cleared. Now, Dirt Detect has evolved, and today, there is Series I and Series II. So, what’s the difference?
Dirt Detect Series I Roombas relies on acoustic sensors only to detect concentrated dirt. On the other hand, the much-advanced Dirt Detect Series II uses acoustic and optical sensors to locate such areas making it more efficient. The old models, talk of 600 and 700 series, have Dirt Detect Series I, while the newer models have Series II.
How Powerful are Roombas?
One of the fundamental aspects to consider when choosing a robot vacuum is suction power. Talking of suction power, only one component comets to mind – motor. iRobot motors have evolved with time. From the first generation motor to the latest, fourth generation. What’s the difference between these motors, and most importantly, which model has what motor? That’s what we want to discuss in this section.
To understand how motors work, there are two important dynamics: yield and speed. Yields is all about the maximum suction power it can put out. On the other hand, speed allows you to set the power levels depending on your cleaning needs.
- The 1st Gen iRobot motor has been used in the old models, talk of the Roomba 600 series and the older gen Roombas. This motor can put up a max of 550Pa and is a single-speed motor.
- The 2nd Gen motor was introduced later, and this is still a single-speed motor that delivers 900Pa. Several old models starting with the Roomba 890 come with the 2nd Gen motor. It is still the same motor that has been incorporated in the rest of the 800 series. Besides the 800 series, the 2nd Gen motor has been used in the Roomba 960, the base model of the 900 series. It is still the same motor in the much newer Roomba E5, E6, and even the i7/i7+.
The 1st and 2nd Generation motors perform well in terms of efficiency, but they don’t put up enough suction to handle carpets, mostly the high pile, effectively. There was also the need to regulate the speed level to further enhance efficiency in terms of power consumption.
- These are concerns that were addressed in the 3rd Generation motor that has been optimized to deliver 10x the airpower. For the record, this is a two-speed motor that steps up suction power in the high power mode dubbed Carpet Boost, where it puts up a whopping 1670pa. Only the Roomba 980 comes with this motor and is among the reasons that make the 980 the best Roomba for carpets.
- The latest iRobot motor is the 4th Gen motor, which is also a two-speed motor but this time, with 40x the air power that the 600 series delivers. This motor is available on two models only, the S9 and S9+, which are the most powerful robot vacuums we have tested so far. The two yield up to 2200pa when in high power mode, making them the best Roombas for carpets.
AeroForce vs. AeroVac
When assessing the cleaning performance of Roombas, you will stumble upon two terms: AeroForce technology and AeroVac. It’s essential to know what each entails to make the best purchase decision. As a head start, these two refer to the specific filtration system and brush system.
- AeroVac technology is used in the older models, from the 1st Gen Roombas up to the 700 series. This system uses a dual multi-surface brush system, with bristles. When it comes to filtration, AeroVac systems have HEPA style filters dubbed high-efficiency filters. One distinct feature of this filter is the curved design. When it comes to the bin, this system incorporates the AeroVac™ single-chamber bin that has been optimized to maximize airflow through the cleaning head.
- On the other hand, AeroForce technology is the latest technology and has been deployed in the newer models from the Roomba 800 series. The first change is in the brush system, and here, AeroForce systems use rubber extractors instead of the bristle-style approach. But still, the dual multi-surface design is maintained. The filters have also changed from the curved high-efficiency filter to a much smaller high-performance filter, which is still HEPA-style. When it comes to the bin, AeroForce uses the AeroForce high-capacity sealed bin, which also has optimized airflow.
Battery Technology: Roomba Recharge and Resume
One of the distinguishing factors that set robot vacuums apart from the regular vacuums is the autonomy, and behind the autonomy is a rechargeable battery. But over the years, we have witnessed innovative technologies as far as power management is concerned. In this section, we will look at the different battery technologies used in Roombas, and the various innovations from the Massachusetts-based brand.
As far as battery technology is concerned, iRobot has explored two technologies: Lithium-ion (Li-Ion) and Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH). So, which one is the best deal, and what battery technology has been included in the models in this review.
NiMH batteries were really a thing at the start because they are cheaper, and most importantly, they can hold as much power as Li-ion batteries. NiMH batteries also have better durability. iRobot used NiMH batteries in the older generation models, including the 500 series, 700 series and some 800 series models. For the record, there are replacement batteries for the newer models that use NiMH technology, and a good example is the iRobot® XLife™ Extended Life Battery.
From the 600 series, the company shifted to Li-ion batteries as the stock battery for one main reason – weight. NiMH batteries are quite heavy, and when designing robot vacuums, the entire unit’s weight should be kept down at all costs. Another reason for the adoption of Li-ion batteries is the fact that they run much longer and have shorter recharge times. All the new models, from Roomba 600 series to the latest models, have Li-ion batteries, but then, the biggest difference is the capacity.
One thing you need to be aware of is that the capacity of a battery doesn’t determine its runtime across the board.
It all depends on how the robot vacuum has been optimized. For example, the Roomba 600 series with a 1800mAh, runs for 60 minutes maximum, while the Roomba i7 and E5 with the same 1800mAh battery have been optimized to run for 75 minutes.
When it comes to the higher models, only the Roomba 980 and the S9 have longer runtimes, and despite having the same 3300mAh battery, their runtime varies.
While they can all run for 120 minutes when in low power mode, the S9 has shorter runtime in high power mode as it delivers higher suction power – 2200pa compared to the 980’s 1670pa.
SLAM vs. VSLAM Navigation
Like mentioned earlier, robot vacuums are autonomous, and the autonomy doesn’t end at power, the navigation plays a critical part. The navigation system helps the robot vacuum to find its way when cleaning your house. When it comes to robotic navigation, there are two approaches in all fields, not just in the robot vacuums market: SLAM and VSLAM navigation. So, how do these two technologies work? That’s what this segment is all about.
To understand this segment better, you need to know how robot vacuums navigate and how they find their way around. One of the fundamental aspects is the localization, and as the name suggests, this is the unit’s position in relation to the landmarks in the house, talk of the walls, doors, furniture, etc.
Most of the robot vacuums, including the base Roomba models, use SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping)-based navigation system, dubbed iAdapt 1.0. SLAM navigation systems use sensors only for navigation. Roombas deploy two types of sensors: obstacle detection sensors and cliff detection sensors. The obstacle detection sensors will detect any obstacle in the path of the Roomba, and when they are large enough to block the path, the robot will reverse and change direction. On the other hand, cliff detection sensors, also known as anti-drop sensors, will detect any drop areas such as stairs and change direction.
On the other hand, VSLAM (Visual Simultaneous Localization and Mapping) systems include iAdapt 2.0 and iAdapt 3.0, combine sensors and a real-time camera for localization. The latest Roombas come with VSLAM navigation systems, and that’s why they are the best when it comes to navigating in high-traffic rooms. The real-time camera identifies all the landmarks in real-time, and together with the sensor data, the robot can find its position more accurately.
The basic models in this Roomba comparison, talk of the Roomba 600 to Roomba 800 series, come with Adapt 1.0. This is the same case for the cheaper Roomba E series, including the E5 and the E6. The only difference in the Roombas that have the iAdapt 1.0 navigation is the software updates.
The later models, including the 800 series, and e series, have much-advanced software, so the iAdapt navigation system works much more accurately. That’s why the Roomba 890 works better than Roomba 690 in high traffic rooms and large apartments.
On the other hand, the Roomba 960 and 980 have iAdapt 2.0 while the i7 and S9 have iAdapt 3.0, which is still a VSLAM navigation system but with an advanced mapping system, and that takes us to our next topic; floor mapping.
iRobot CleanBase® Automatic Dirt Disposal
Robot vacuums offer so much convenience, but they need to be emptied from time to time, which means they are not fully robotic. This was in the past, but today, we have fully robotic robot vacuums with automatic self-emptying, meaning they can clean without requiring any human intervention in terms of bin management.
iRobot was the pioneer brand here with the introduction of the iRobot CleanBase® automatic dirt disposal technology. The technology relies on a new dock called an iRobot CleanBase® unit, which empties the bin’s contents into the larger bin in the CleanBase unit via a suction outlet. The CleanBase unit can store up to 30 full bins, which means you can go for a whole month without worrying about bin emptying.
This system is ideal for allergy sufferers as it uses enclosed, disposable AllergenLock ™ bags meaning you will no longer have to come into contact with allergens that trigger allergies.
The big question is, which Roomba models have the iRobot CleanBase® automatic dirt disposal technology. The first model to be introduced with this technology is the i7 and i7+, but there is a slight difference in that the i7 doesn’t include the CleanBase unit, which is why it is cheaper. However, you can buy the CleanBase unit separately and still use it on the i7. The i7+, on the other hand, comes with the unit, which means it is ready for self-emptying. The only other Roomba model with this technology is the S series, and here again, the S9 doesn’t include the CleanBase unit but it’s compatible with the technology but the S9+ comes with the CleanBase unit.
What is Imprint® Smart Mapping
The navigation system is all about how the robot finds its way around your home but then, it’s the floor mapping technology that determines whether the robot will clean the entire floor area or not. It also determines how long the robot vacuum will take to complete the job. To understand Imprint Smart Mapping, it’s essential that you first understand how the Roomba floor mapping has evolved.
- The earliest Roombas didn’t have any intelligent floor mapping system, and they cleaned by moving in a random pattern. Cleaning in a random pattern is not the best idea as some spots may remain untouched after the cleaning session, especially in large apartments. The old Roombas, from the 1st Generation models to the 8th Generation models, and the E series don’t have intelligent floor mapping, and they all clean in a random pattern.
- The next milestone was the introduction of an intelligent floor mapping system, which now made Roombas clean in a systematic pattern, guaranteeing entire level cleaning even in large apartments. Now, there are two variants of Roomba Smart Mapping. The original smart mapping technology is incorporated in the Roomba 960 and 980. The latest variant is dubbed Imprint Smart Mapping, and this one is much more advanced as it now can identify the various rooms in your apartment.
- Imprint Smart Mapping is a technology that enables your Roomba to learn, map, and adapt to your home’s floor plan. With this technology, your Roomba stores the map and uses it for future cleaning tasks. The technology also enables homeowners to clean specific rooms instead of the entire house. So, if your kitchen is the only room that requires cleaning, you can tell it to clean just the kitchen alone instead of cleaning other rooms unnecessarily. This feature can be accessed right from the iRobot Home App, where users can view maps, edit the existing maps, or create new maps.
Virtual Walls vs. Keep Out Zones
You will agree with me that there are areas where you don’t want your Roomba to reach, and that calls for containment measures. iRobot was also the industry’s pioneer when it comes to containment. There are two containment technologies so far: Virtual Walls and Keep Out Zones. So, what’s the difference between these two technologies.
Virtual Walls is a containment technology that sets boundaries using physical nodes called Virtual Walls. These send a laser beam that marks the boundary. You need at least two nodes to use Virtual Walls effectively.
One area iRobot was beaten by other brands is the digital boundaries that don’t require any physical accessories to set up. Neato was the first robot vacuum brand to front digital boundary technology, and other brands, including iRobot, followed suit.
The latest models with Imprint Smart Mapping, the I series and S series, come with Keep Out Zones, Roomba’s digital boundaries technology.
This is a very convenient containment method that requires you to set up digital boundaries on the app – as simple as that.
Roomba Remote Control Options
Most robot vacuums have a control interface but with just the basic controls. To get the most out of your Roomba, and also for convenience, you need to assess the remote control options. In this section, we will assess all the available remote control options for Roombas before highlighting what remote control method is available for the models in this Roomba comparison review.
The first advanced feature is CleanMap reports, a mapping feature that lets you see where the Roomba has vacuumed and is available on the Roomba 960, 980, I series, and S series. For the i7/i7+ and S9/S9+, the mapping feature dubbed Imprint Smart Mapping allows you to partition the maps, and name the different rooms. The two Roomba models can store up to 10 maps, and more so, you can set boundaries on the app using the Keep Out Zones feature.
iRobot Genius Home Intelligence
This is a pretty new technology based on an AI-driven personalized home cleaning command and control center that offers homeowners better control of where the Roomba cleans, when, and how. Courtesy of AI, and your daily practices, your Roomba suggests where your house needs cleaning, when and how.
Which is the Best Roomba in 2020?
Now, we are coming to the end of this Roomba 2020 comparison review. We have compared the top models: Roomba s9+ vs. i7+ vs. e5 vs. 980 vs. 960 vs. 890 vs. 690 vs. 614, and as you have witnessed, the Roomba S9 and S9+ are the best Roombas in 2020. Below are the reasons why the S series carries the day.
- Unrivaled suction power – Delivering a whopping 2200pa, the S9 is the most powerful robot vacuum we have tested so far.
- Next-generation navigation – The iAdapt 3.0 with Imprint Smart Mapping makes the S9 the most intelligent robot vacuum on the market.
- Self-emptying bin – The S9 comes with iRobot CleanBase technology, which can empty the Roomba for an entire month.
- Extended runtime – Unlike the previous model, the i7, the S9 comes with a much powerful battery that lasts for a cool 120 minutes.
That’s all we had for you in this Roomba 2020 comparison, where we have compared Roomba s9+ vs. i7+ vs. e5 vs. 980 vs. 960 vs. 890 vs. 690 vs. 614. Indeed, Roombas are expensive, but there are several affordable models.
Which one is your favorite, and why?
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