iRobot offers such a wide selection of robot vacuums, that it can be difficult to find the best Roombas. This brand produces everything from entry-level models to the most premium of designs, complete with the latest technology. Whether you want a robot vacuum which can empty itself, or a model which can learn from its encounters, iRobot has an option. You don’t necessarily have to spend top dollar to get one of the best Roombas though. At its core, you simply need a robot vacuum which picks up all kinds of debris with ease, and requires little maintenance as it runs. On top of that, it needs to be easy to operate, with a user-friendly design.
Of course, so many Roombas look so similar that finding all of the above can be difficult, especially if you’ve only got the specifications to compare. That’s why we put a range of Roombas to the test — to see which stand out from the crowd and promise a consistent performance. Each model had to collect various debris from both hard floors and carpet, to assess the average pick up rate. Every robot vacuum was also let loose in our tester’s home, to see how well it navigated and recorded the floor plan. Any special features, such as a self-empty base or a built-in mop were also assessed. As a result, we’ve seen first-hand which models are worthy of being called the best Roombas. And, whatever your circumstances, we’ve found the best option.
The best Roombas you can buy today
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iRobot’s newest offering, the Roomba j7+, is one of the best robot vacuums you can buy. It stands out for promising to avoid pet poop — a major fear for robot vacuum owners. This is thanks to its obstacle avoidance technology, which will detect an object and choose to veer around it. It essentially learns from every run, so it recognises items such as cables and socks — in time, it should grow its database to factor in larger objects too.
The J7+ comes with a handy clean base as well, which will store up to 60 days of debris. It’s a compact and attractive design for a base too — not too obtrusive. In terms of cleaning performance, the j7+ held its own on larger debris, such as cereal and kitty litter, but there were better scorers for pet hair. Having said that, with an overall cleaning score of 91.81, this is by no means a poor performer and its object detection technology is next to none. This model won't come cheap, but it often features in the best robot vacuum deals list.
Read our full iRobot Roomba j7+ review.
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, one of the best cheap robot vacuums. 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, collecting just 74% in our tests. 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.
Read our full Roomba 675 review.
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. It scored fairly well across the board in our tests, although Cheerio pick wasn't as strong as we would have liked at 93%.
Read our full iRobot Roomba i7+ review.
Go big or go home, right? iRobot’s first D-shaped Roomba is one of the best robot vacuums we’ve tested, making it one of the best vacuum cleaners overall. 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.
Controlling this robot vacuum 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.
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. For this reason, it also makes the list as one of the best robot vacuums for pet hair. We found that the the D-shape of the s9 helps it clean more thoroughly along baseboards and corners.
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 take off.
Read our full iRobot Roomba S9+ review.
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, which scored just 58%. Compared to the Roomba 675 which scored 99%, there's no competition here.
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 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.
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.
The m6 is at the top of our list of the best robot mops; as we found in our Braava jet m6 review, it was the best at both mopping and sweeping, and all of its smarts made it the easiest to use, too.
Read our full iRobot Braava jet m6 robot mop review.
How we tested the best Roombas
Our list of the best Roombas has been compiled through a combination of hands-on testing alongside extensive online research. Those which are tested in-house must demonstrate high levels of pick-up on everyday debris, including Cheerios, kitty litter and dog hair across both carpet and hardwood floors. We also take into account the effectiveness of the navigation as well as how much noise it makes on route. Speed is also considered as part of this test.
On top of that, we give the overall design a once-over, checking how easy the dustbin and filter are to remove and refit, as well as factoring in the settings and features on offer. We also test the app to see how easy it is to navigate and how intuitive the Roomba is to use on the whole.
Those models which are assessed based solely on online research need to have a proven track record in performance. We check this by referring to online reviews which must be commendable as well as consistent. Specifications are also compared to find the models which have the most to offer. Battery life and dustbin capacity are considered along with special features such as obstacle recognition and self-emptying bases.
Roomba vacuum test results
|Overall||Pet hair||Hardwood||Carpet||Pet hair hardwood||Pet hair carpet|
|iRobot Roomba j7+||91.8||82.5||94.8||88.9||92.5||72.5|
|iRobot Roomba 675||89.7||74.3||90.2||89.2||77||71.5|
|iRobot Roomba i7+||90.4||90.5||89.8||91||88||93|
|iRobot Roomba s9+||96.8||98||96.3||97.3||99||97|
|iRobot Roomba i3+||90.1||75.5||96.2||84||93||58|
|iRobot Roomba 694||90.1||81||95.2||86.5||94.5||67.5|
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 j7+, 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.
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 j7+, 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.
Struggle with pet poop collisions? Then the answer is easily the new iRobot Roomba j7+. With obstacle avoidance technology, this problem is a thing of the past. In fact, iRobot is so confident in the Roomba j7+’s intelligence that it’s introduced the Pet Owner Official Promise (P.O.O.P), whereby iRobot will replace any j7+ that fails to avoid solid pet waste.
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
To make your Roomba last longer, you need to clean it regularly. Yes, you read that right — you need to clean your vacuum cleaner! The dust bins are smaller than you would expect, with capacities as small as 400ml, so you need to check this between runs and empty it when necessary (unless you own a self-emptying model). It’s essential that you do this if you want your Roomba to continue effectively vacuuming.
Another important component to check is the brush bar; have any hairs become entangled around it? If so, cut these free with a knife, or scissors, but don’t pull on them to break them free as this can damage the robot vacuum. You also need to clean and occasionally replace the filters. Refer to your manual for guidance on when to replace and where to buy.
If you don’t keep on top of your Roomba’s maintenance, it will take its toll on the performance. For instance, if you leave the bin full, your Roomba won’t pick up any more debris, it will simply drag it around the floors.
If you own a Braava mop model, remember that the floor pads will need cleaning between runs as well. Wash according to the care label using the highest temperature it allows and biological detergent for a thorough clean.
How much should you spend on a Roomba?
Roombas start from as little as $200 and range up to over $1,000, so there’s quite a difference depending on the features you get. As you can see from our list, you don’t necessarily need to break the bank to get a top performer, however some of the more premium additions can come in use. For instance, you need to spend upwards of $470 to get a model with a self-emptying base. These are ideal if you want a lower-maintenance Roomba, or if you suffer from allergies.
You can also pay more for mopping capabilities, either built into the robot vacuum or as a set with two devices. In our experience, the performance is stronger from independent models, but there are exceptions. If you’re willing to spend top dollar, you can get the latest technology, such as object recognition (the j7+ offers this). With this, your Roomba will actually learn from its encounters and can report obstacles.
With all of the above on the table, you can see why it’s so easy to end up overspending. That’s why you should always have a predetermined budget before you start browsing as well as an idea of what features you need, rather than want. After all, it’s pointless spending hundreds of dollars on technology you’re never going to use. Once you have that, you can start looking at your options without fear for overspending.