iRobot is an iconic name in the robot vacuum market. Its range of Roomba vacuums come in all shapes and sizes and offer an assortment of features, from self-emptying bases to hybrid vacuum and mop designs. But, which are the best Roombas? Before you choose your favorite, you need to consider your budget and what features you really want.
Roombas can cost anywhere from $200 to over $1,000, so the differences between models can be surprising. Specifications such as dust bin capacity and sensory abilities can vary and you will find some models are more customizable in their performance than others. However much you want to spend and whichever features you need, we’ve done the research to find the best Roombas.
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What are the best Roombas?
If money's no object, then the best Roomba has to be the iRobot Roomba s9+. It's one of the best we've had on test, picking up pet hair with ease and cleaning up after itself thanks to the self-emptying base. Styling a D-shaped body, this vacuum has a premium quality feel and you can really tell that its design has had a lot of thought put into it. If you want your floors to sparkle, it can also work in tandem with Roomba’s Braava m6 mopping robot ($499, sold separately). With this combination, once the s9+ has finished vacuuming, the m6 will spring to action to mop the freshly swept floors.
iRobot's latest robot vacuum, the Roomba j7+, is officially on sale and features some of the latest innovations. This bot stands out for promising to detect and avoid everyday obstacles such as cables, socks and, most importantly, pet poop. We will test this model and upload the results soon — watch this space!
By no means, this is not a cheap purchase, with the s9+ costing $1,099 and the m6 costing $499, although you can buy both as a bundle at $1,349.
Not everyone is going to be prepared to spend this kind of money on a robot vacuum, especially if you've never owned one before. If you're shopping on a budget, we would recommend the iRobot Roomba 675. At $199, this robot vacuum is a steal — while it doesn't have some of the premium features of the s9+, it's a capable cleaner that will get the job done. It can also connect to your Wi-Fi, so you can schedule cleaning sessions straight from your phone.
Read on for all of our picks of the best Roombas.
The best Roombas you can buy today
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.
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 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.
From the Roomba 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.
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.
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+ (aside from its price) 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.
The iRobot Roomba i3+ is the company's least-expensive robot vacuum with a self-cleaning feature. Thanks to the self-emptying base, you don't have to dump out its contents after every run—very convenient. The Roomba i3+ excelled at most of our tests, except for picking up pet hair on carpet.
The Roomba i3+ can be controlled via an app as well as with Alexa and Google Assistant, so you can create a schedule and connect it to smart home devices. Unlike the more expensive Roomba i7+ and s9+, though, the i3+ can't be directed to map individual rooms. Overall though, we really liked its performance, and it's nice not to have to clean it after every use.
Read our full iRobot Roomba i3+ review.
The 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.
The iRobot Roomba 694 is essentially the Roomba 675 but with a few additional tricks. Unlike smarter Roombas, the 694 is a bump-style robot vacuum, in that it roams around your room randomly and turns when it hits an object. However, the Roomba 694 can be connected to an app, which lets you use features such as geofencing so that the robot will only start cleaning once you've left the house. It also means you can use Alexa and Google Assistant to tell the robot to start cleaning.
In our tests, we found the Roomba 694 to be a good cleaner, with a slightly better overall score than the Roomba 675. On hardwood floors, it picked up nearly 95 percent of dog hair — but only 68 percent on carpet. Read our full Roomba 694 review to see what else we liked about this robot vacuum.
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.
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.
Features to look out for
This is available on some of the more premium models, such as the iRobot Roomba s9+ mentioned above. When the dustbin is full, the Roomba will return to its charging base to empty itself into a larger bin. This means you don’t have to empty it so often, and it’s ideal if you suffer from allergies as dust isn’t released into the air as frequently.
- Wi-Fi connectivity
Most Roomba vacuums come with Wi-Fi connectivity. With this, you can connect your vacuum to your smartphone, which allows you to better monitor and control it.
- Hybrid models
Hybrid models are available which can mop as well as vacuum. In our experience, these generally aren’t as good as dedicated models though.
As the name suggests, with mapping your Roomba can map-out your home. It does this using sensors prior to calculating the best cleaning route. It can record obstacles, such as the stairs, and this opens up the no-go zones and targeted room features for some models.
- No-go zones
With no-go zones, you can mark rooms or areas where you don’t want your Roomba to go. It’s great if you want to avoid pet bowls or an expensive rug, for instance.
- Targeted rooms
Using this, you can set where you want the Roomba to focus on cleaning — ideal if there’s an unexpected mess.
- Multiple floors
If you have lots of floors, look for a Roomba which can support multiple maps. That way, you’re not restricted to just one floor.
You will find this feature on pretty much every robot vacuum with Wi-Fi connectivity. Once it’s connected to your phone, you can set up cleaning schedules to best suit your routine.
- Dust capacity
Smaller dustbins naturally need emptying more often — unless you’re lucky enough to own a self-emptying model. 400ml is a good size of capacity for guidance.
How to clean your Roomba
Believe it or not, your robot vacuum needs regular cleaning too. Some iRobot models come with surprisingly small bins (some less than 400ml) and so, unless you’re lucky enough to own a self-emptying model, these will need emptying after each run. It’s also good practice to cut (not pull!) any hairs which have become entangled in the rotating brush as well as clean the filters. The filters will need replacing as well — you should refer to your iRobot manual for guidance on how often to replace these.
If you don’t do the above, it will impact the performance of your robot vacuum. In fact, an overfull bin will leave it dragging a mess around your floors rather than picking it up.
If you own a mopping iRobot, remember to remove and clean the pad after every use. Wash it according to the care label using the highest temperature it recommends. For best results, use biological detergent.
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