When shopping for a robot vacuum, one question that’s inevitably asked is What is the best Roomba? iRobot’s Roomba brand has become synonymous with robot vacuums, in the same way that Xerox has for copying and Google has for searching the Internet. Not surprisingly, a number of its models are on our list of the best robot vacuums.
Since it released the first Roomba robot vacuum in 2002, the company has released dozens of models, and currently has nine, ranging in price from $177 for the Braava jet 240 robot mop all the way to $1,099 for the Roomba s9+ with Clean Base. In between, you’ll find models with auto-adjusting cleaning heads, mapping, and high-efficiency filters for pet dander. There are even models that can empty themselves.
But the best Roomba for you is the one that best suits your particular needs. We’ve rounded up all Roomba models to help you find the best one for you.
What are the best Roombas?
If price isn’t a consideration, the best Roomba overall is the iRobot Roomba s9+. This flagship robot vacuum is one of the best robot vacuums we’ve tested. It’s especially good with pet hair and even cleans up after itself thanks to its self-emptying base. The D-shaped s9 is upscale and attractive—words rarely written about a household cleaning appliance. iRobot put a lot of thought into both the design and effectiveness of this Roomba and it shows. And, it can also work in tandem with Roomba’s Braava m6 mopping robot ($499, sold separately), so that when the S9 is finished vacuuming, it can tell the m6 to start mopping your floors.
All this doesn’t come cheap: The Roomba S9 costs $899, and if you want it with the self emptying base, the price jumps to $1,099.
But not everyone has a grand or more to spend on a robot vacuum. The best Roomba for those on a budget is the iRobot Roomba 675. This $299 robot vacuum doesn’t have the same flashiness as its higher-end siblings, but it’s a solid cleaner that’s Wi-Fi-connected, so you can start cleaning runs right from your phone and create a schedule for consistent cleanings.
The best Roombas you can buy today
Go big or go home, right? iRobot’s first D-shaped Roomba is one of the best robot vacuums we’ve tested. The Roomba s9 aims to elevate the task of vacuuming to a human level-- by vacuuming more where it’s needed and avoiding places where it’s not. The s9+ version pairs this intelligent vac with a self-emptying base designed to limit exposure to dust. Once it’s set up, the only help the Roomba s9+ needs is replacing the vacuum bag when it’s full.
The D-shape of the s9 helps it clean more thoroughly along baseboards and corners.. A recessed brushed bronze disc sits in the center and subtle lines suggesting movement are etched into the black plastic surrounding it. When the Roomba s9+ is cleaning, white light zooms around the edge of the disc. This is truly a good-looking vacuum cleaner.
Controlling the Roomba s9+ is done via the iRobot app, which is where you can view mapping results, demarcate specific rooms, and create no-go zones. The s9+ supports scheduled cleanings of specific rooms or whole floors. Have multiple levels? iRobot says its Imprint Smart Mapping will support up to 10 maps. As if that wasn’t enough, the Roomba s9 will work in tandem with the Braava jet m6 mopping robot. When the s9 finishes vacuuming, the Braava jet m6 will start mopping, giving you clean floors with minimal effort.
In our tests, the Roomba s9 earned a perfect score when picking up kitty litter on both hardwood and carpet. It also excelled at picking up dog hair as well as Cheerios.
The only downfall of the Roomba s9+ is that it’s loud. In our Roomba S9+ review, we noted the vacuum itself was noisy on hardwood floors, but the self-emptying Clean Base sounded like a jet engine readying for takeoff. This is definitely a robot you’ll want cleaning when you’re not home.
Just because it’s a Roomba doesn’t mean you have to take out a second mortgage on your house just to get one in your home. Behold the iRobot Roomba 675, the best Roomba for those on a budget. Like its more premium siblings, the Roomba 675 is Wi-Fi connected and controlled via the iRobot app, meaning you’re not hunting around for a remote when it’s time to clean. You can also schedule cleanings directly from the app. While it’s not capable of mapping your pad, you can set up virtual walls to keep the bot from venturing into areas it shouldn’t.
Dressed in a mix of shiny black and matte grey, the Roomba 675 looks refined and understated. We love the sturdy carrying handle that’s built into the bot. Since the 675 doesn’t offer any mapping, you’re likely to find yourself picking it up and moving it from room to room to target specific areas.
iRobot uses two different-sized brush rolls -- one with rubber flaps and one with bristles-- to enhance the cleaning prowess of the Roomba 675. However, in our Roomba 675 review, we found that while it was good for Cheerios and kitty litter, the robovac wasn't as capable as other models at cleaning up pet hair. The company says its Auto-Adjust cleaning head will adapt to surfaces of different heights. Should one of those brush rolls go bad, iRobot sells numerous replacement parts for the Roomba 675, ensuring that you'll be able to repair it instead of tossing it in a landfill.
The iRobot Roomba 960 hits the sweet spot of advanced features and wallet-friendliness, making it the best Roomba for those who have pets, but don’t want to spend more than $500 on a robot vacuum. Like the Roomba s9 and i7, the Roomba 960 has a rubber brush system that’s made for picking up after Whiskers.
Plus, the Roomba 960 uses the advanced camera navigation that’s found in the Roomba s9 and the i7. This Wi-Fi connected bot will methodically vacuum your floor and produce a map of the areas it’s cleaned in the iRobot app, but you’re not able to customize that map or add no-go zones. (A Virtual Wall is included in the box with the 960.) However, you will find customizable options for multi-pass cleaning, helpful for that spot on the rug where your cat or dog likes to sleep.
Though it’s rated for approximately 75 minutes of cleaning, it’s smart enough to return to its dock when the battery is low, recharge, and then get back to work. The 960 will also send you an alert when it’s time to empty the bin.
Though the Roomba 960 is a slightly older model than the i7 and s9, it offers premium cleaning capability at a lower price point.
Before the Roomba s9+ claimed the throne as the best Roomba, it was held by the Roomba i7+. The Roomba i7+ was the first robot vacuum to come with iRobot’s Clean Base, a self-emptying dustbin that’s built into the charging base. It uses small disposable vacuum bags (think of your family’s 1975 Hoover upright) to capture dust. After approximately 30 runs, the bag will need to be replaced. It’s a godsend for those who have allergies and aversions to handling dust.
But that’s far from the only standout feature on the Roomba i7. This Wi-Fi-connected mapping robot is capable of cleaning specific rooms on demand while avoiding fixed obstacles like pet food bowls. In our Roomba i7 review, this was among the first mapping robots we encountered that we could almost see thinking. It would enter a room going one direction and then clean, pause and head toward another area at a slightly different angle.
The Roomba i7 is controlled via the iRobot app, although the buttons on the vac itself are good for starting and pausing the machine. From the app, you’re able to schedule cleanings and tweak the map for your floor plan. The i7+ remembers up to 10 different floor plans, which can be edited at any time. Like the Roomba s9, the Roomba i7 plays well with the Braava jet m6 robot mop. When the vacuum is finished cleaning, the Braava jet m6 will start mopping. We are truly living in the future.
Though the Roomba i7+ isn’t the cheapest Roomba around, it has dropped in price significantly since the s9 was introduced. It can currently be found for $799 with the Clean Base.
The $299 iRobot Roomba e5 is only $30 more than the Roomba 675, but uses the dual rubber brush system that’s found on more advanced Roombas like the Roomba s9, the Roomba i7 and the Roomba 960. These brushes are typically more efficient at cleaning up pet hair, so go ahead and invite your pup to roll around on your favorite rug. iRobot says the e5 offers five times the suction of the Roomba 675, too. Not bad for an extra $30.
Like the 675, the e5 is clad in basic black with a recessed carrying handle just above the center buttons. With bright green roller brushes, the underside most closely resembles the i7. While it may look like the high-end i7, its app features are closer to those of the 675. The e5 is Wi-Fi connected and controlled via the iRobot app, but it’s not capable of mapping or cleaning specific rooms. However, you can schedule the bot to clean your floors at regular intervals.
With a high efficiency filter and a washable dustbin, the Roomba e5 is a good choice for homes that need a deeper clean without suctioning up too much cash.
Roomba’s the name of the game for vacuums, but when it comes to iRobot’s robot mops, there is Braava. The budget-friendly Braava jet 240 is a diminutive bot that’s particularly good at cleaning small spaces. Most impressively, this robot mop respects boundaries. Pressing and holding the Clean button illuminates two blue lights on the top of the bot. The lights represent an invisible line that the Braava jet 240 will refuse to cross. It’s a nifty trick and, more importantly, we found in our Braava jet 240 review that it worked well.
If you’ve never used a robot mop before, the Braava jet 240 is a good place to start. We were impressed at how well it cleaned edges and liked the fresh scent it left when it was done. For less than $200, it’s an easy way to keep your floors clean without lugging out the mop and bucket.
So how does it actually work? The Braava jet 240 mops in a back and forth motion and uses scented cleaning pads that are akin to Swiffer pads. There are three types of proprietary pads made by iRobot that work with the Braava jet 240: a white, dry sweeping pad; an orange, damp sweeping pad; and a blue, wet mopping pad. Reusable, washable pads are available in addition to disposable ones. Attach the pad for the type of cleaning you’d like and forget it. The full-of-tricks Braava jet 240 is able to detect which pad is attached and adjust its cleaning style accordingly.
The iRobot Braava jet m6 is, in essence the Roomba s9, but for mopping. This impressive bot uses the same advanced navigation found in the Roomba s9 and Roomba i7 to clean and map your home. It’ll save a map of your home’s layout that can be customized, giving you the power to command the Braava jet m6 to clean specific rooms while avoiding no-go areas such as pet food bowls. While this is a handy feature in a vacuum, it’s nearly essential in a mop. No one wants to deal with a wet rug.
The square shape of the Braava jet m6 means it cleans well along baseboards. We like the easy-to-fill removable water tank, too. Like some Roombas, when the mop’s battery gets low, it’ll head back to its base, recharge, and then get back to work. Perhaps the neatest feature of the Braava jet m6 is how it works in tandem with the Roomba s9 and Roomba i7. When the vacuum has finished cleaning and returned to its base, the mop goes to work. Not only will your floors be vacuumed, they’ll be freshly mopped as well. We are truly living in the future.
Like the Braava jet 240, the Braava jet m6 uses proprietary wet and dry cleaning pads that are available in reusable or disposable versions.
How to choose the best Roomba for you
Choosing the best Roomba for your home and lifestyle is as easy as considering what features are important to you.
Want to be able to tell your bot exactly which rooms to clean? Consider the Roomba s9+, the Roomba i7+, or the Braava jet m6. All of them use advanced camera navigation, allowing them to create and save accurate maps of your home. From there, you can customize a map by naming specific rooms and creating no-go zones to keep the robot from pushing Fido’s food bowl across the floor. The Roomba 960 will also create a map of areas it cleaned, but it won’t save the map for future use.
If the last thing you want to deal with is a dustbin full of everything that was just cleaned up, the automatic, self-emptying Clean Base that’s available with the Roomba s9+ and the Roomba i7+ will be right up your alley. The base uses bags that seal shut when removed, keeping the dust and allergens at bay.
Sharing your home with a few furry friends, but want to save a few bucks? Check out the Roomba 960 or the Roomba e5. While we can’t guarantee that your cat will enjoy riding a Roomba, both vacuums, which cost less than $500, have filters designed to trap pet dander and use rubber roller brushes that are meant to pick up pet hair more efficiently.
Want to control your Roomba or Braava from your phone? You’re in luck. All of these models, from the Roomba 675 up to the Roomba s9+ can be controlled via the iRobot app. Every model (except the Braava jet 240) is Wi-Fi connected, meaning you’ll be able to start or schedule a cleaning when you’re not home. Afterall, there’s nothing better than coming home to a clean house. The one exception is the Braava jet 240. This mopping bot connects to the iRobot app via Bluetooth instead of Wi-Fi. The removable battery and nature of this mop make it an unlikely candidate for a completely unsupervised cleaning session.