Which is the Best Roomba Model for You – 2020 Comparison

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The iRobot Roomba name has been the King of robot vacuum cleaners since 2002 and it’s no different in 2020. There are many vacuum brands out there now, but Roomba still reigns the King of robotic vacuums. It’s hard to choose just one Roomba without a lot of research, so I’ll do a complete best Roomba model comparison for you. 

This is a comparison of all the Roomba models that are currently out on the market now. Based on my experiences and research, I’ll be comparing their features, specifications, floor types, dirt, debris, pet hair, and more. 

If you’re in a hurry, here’s the cheat sheet: 

  • Best Overall Value – Roomba i7+ for the smart features and value for money 
  • Best Bang For Buck – Roomba 960 for the balance of features and money
  • Best Budget-Friendly – Roomba 675, but you’ll need to be more hands-on with cleaning out hair from the bristle brushes

Overview – Roomba Comparison Chart

I always find it handy to start with a comparison chart for a quick glance at the different features that different models have. I’ll explore each of the models in more detail, along with Roomba features, buying guide, and answers to frequently asked questions. 

I’ll also mention some of the past models that I’ve compared before on the site because you’ll still be able to buy some of them on Amazon and elsewhere. The ones not in the chart below are technically discontinued as iRobot won’t be making more of them in favor of these models. If you already have an older model Roomba, it’ll also help you with deciding whether or not to upgrade. 

Vacuum Cleaners LabRoomba s9+Roomba s9Roomba i7+Roomba i7Roomba 960Roomba e5 (5150)Roomba 675Roomba 614 
Roomba ModelRoomba s9+Roomba s9Roomba i7+Roomba i7Roomba 960Roomba e5 (5150)Roomba 675Roomba 614
Bottom-LineTop of the Line RoombaBest Overall ValueBest Bang for Your BuckBest Budget-FriendlyBasic, No-FrillsBottom-Line
Wi-Fi and App ConnectivityWi-Fi and App Connectivity
Cleans Carpet & Hard FloorsCleans Carpet & Hard Floors
Suction Power (based off 600 series)40x40x10x10x5x5xSuction Power (based off 600 series)
Navigation MethodsVisual Nav + Smart MappingVisual Nav + Smart MappingVisual Nav + Smart MappingVisual Nav + Smart MappingVisual Nav + MappingRandomRandomRandomNavigation Methods
Ideal for Homes with PetsIdeal for Homes with Pets
Entire Level CleaningEntire Level Cleaning
Recharge and ResumeRecharge and Resume
Clean or Schedule by RoomClean or Schedule by Room
Keep Out ZonesKeep Out Zones
Clean Base + AllergenLock BagsClean Base + AllergenLock Bags
Self Emptying BinSelf Emptying Bin
Best Corner CleaningBest Corner Cleaning
Battery Life120 min.120 min.75 min. 75 min. 75 min. 90 min.90 min.90 min.Battery Life
Bottom-LineTop of the Line RoombaBest Overall ValueBest Bang for Your BuckBest Budget-FriendlyBasic, No-FrillsBottom-Line
Roomba s9+Roomba s9Roomba i7+Roomba i7Roomba 960Roomba e5Roomba 675Roomba 614
Check s9+ PriceCheck s9 PriceCheck i7+ PriceCheck i7 PriceCheck 960 PriceCheck e5 PriceCheck 675 PriceCheck 614 Price

Click to download the Roomba comparison chart for easier viewing.

Similarities of Roomba Models

Let’s go through the similarities and features that Roombas have to save me from writing (and you reading) the same thing again and again. I’ll also make note of some key differences here, so you can see them side-by-side like in the comparison chart. 

Power Suction

Each Roomba series gets more powerful. Starting with the 600 series, 614 and 675, as the baseline of suction power. The e5 and 960 are 5 times more powerful. The i7 and i7+ are 10 times more powerful. The s9 and s9+ are a Hulk-like 40 times more powerful. 

The suction power becomes more evident when it comes to smooth floors like tile and hardwood. That’s because vacuums rely more on suction to pick up dirt and debris on smooth surfaces. For carpets, the dual rollers do the majority of the work here and all the models are good with carpet.

Patented Dual Brush Design

They all have two brush rollers, while other brands might only have one brush. That design makes Roombas the best with carpets. If you have carpet all over your house, you’ll want to focus on Roomba vacuums. 

The 614 and 675 have the older style dual brush system, so one of the brushes is a bristle roller and the other brush is a rubber brush roller. The bristle roller comes into play more when you, your family, and/or pets have long hair. Cleaning hair out of the bristles can be a pain and test your patience (at least it tests my patience). 

The other models all have dual rubber brushes, so there’s less concern with cleaning hair off the brushes. 

Dirt Detect Technology

When the Roomba goes over an area and detects that there’s a large amount of dirt there, it will go over that area again to pick up the remaining dirt. Very useful feature and they all have it.  

Size 

They’re all 3.6” in height, except for the s9/s9+ which are 3.5”. That means they’re all going to get into and under the same places. There’s no advantage or disadvantage depending on your furniture height. 

Cliff Detect Sensors

Each model has the cliff sensors to keep the Roomba from falling down any stairs. 

Navigation – iAdapt 1.0, 2.0, 3.0 

There are three main iAdapt Technology versions that have come out over the years.

  • iAdapt 1.0 Navigation: 614, 675, e5 (5150)
  • iAdapt 2.0 Navigation: 960
  • iAdapt 3.0 Navigation: i7, i7+, s9, s9+

iAdapt 1.0 – Random Navigation

The 614, 675, and e5 navigate randomly, which means they’ll keep moving around your home until it bumps into a wall or obstacle. It’ll remember the obstacle and continue on in another direction until it encounters another obstacle. 

These models will move randomly until it gets low on battery power and needs to dock to recharge. It’ll look for the Home Base docking station’s Infra-red signal and go to dock. 

iAdapt 2.0 and 3.0 – Smart Navigation

The 960, i7, i7+, s9, and s9+ all have cameras that will map out your house and rooms using its vSLAM navigation technology, so it knows how to clean most efficiently each time. You’ll notice these models will mostly move in straight lines in a logical fashion, resulting in better cleaning paths.

Both iAdapt 2.0 and 3.0 will create Clean Map Reports after each clean, so you can use the mobile app to see where the Roomba has vacuumed. 

The difference between 2.0 and 3.0 is that 2.0 will not remember the map for future cleaning sessions. Except for when it’s mid-way through a room and it gets low on battery, at which point it’ll engage the Recharge and Resume feature. It’ll recharge itself and resume where it left off in the room.

iAdapt 3.0 has Imprint Smart Mapping that allows the Roomba to remember the rooms to allow you to tell it what rooms to clean and not clean. What the s9 models will do is create a three-dimensional map of your house and with the map, you’ll be able to draw specific “Keep Out Zone” areas that you don’t want it to clean each time. 

Stays in bounds with Keep Out Zones | Roomba® s series| iRobot®

Battery Power

Roombas need battery power to roam and clean. Here’s how long they last on a single charge: 

  • 120 minutes: s9, s9+
  • 90 minutes: 614, 675, e5
  • 75 minutes: 960, i7, i7+

You might be wondering why the smarter 960, i7, and i7+ models have lower battery life. It’s because they have Recharge and Resume, so they’re able to remember where they’ve already cleaned and can resume after charging. Battery life is less important then and you won’t need to worry about them vacuuming over previously cleaned areas. 

HOME App

With the exception of the 614, all the others have Wi-Fi capabilities to take advantage of iRobot’s HOME App. The app allows you to 

  • Start and stop cleaning jobs from anywhere
  • Schedule cleanings up to 7x per week. 
  • See your Roomba’s remaining battery power
  • See Clean Map Reports (below image) of where your robot cleaned (only for 960, i7, i7+, s9, s9+). 
  • Cleaning Reports will include areas that were extra dirty and the robots needed to go over again
  • Utilize voice commands through Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
Roomba Clean Map Report

Dust Bin and Clean Base Unit

The dirt, dust, and hair have to go somewhere and they go right into the Roomba’s dust bin. Here’s how big each model’s bin is: 

  • 300 ml: 614, 675
  • 400 ml: s9, s9+
  • 500 ml: i7, i7+, e5
  • 600 ml: 960

Are you wondering why the smarter i7 and s9 models have relatively small bins? That’s because there’s the “+” for the Clean Base units. The Clean Base units are awesome and you’ll be paying for the feeling that hands-off, automated cleaning. 

The Clean Base unit has automatic dirt disposal and its anti-allergen technology traps 99% of pollen and mold allergens. The unit’s bag will hold up to 30 bins of dirt, dust, and hair, so you’d be able to go weeks without needing to empty it. 

If you want to save some money, you can always buy the i7 or s9 first, and then purchase the Clean Base separately later. The Clean Base is also a good option for those who are more sensitive to dust allergies as it traps 99% of the allergens that’ll put your allergies into hyperdrive.

From test results, there’s one advantage to the Clean Base. Floors are cleaner when the i7+ and s9+ are used in conjunction with the Clean Base. I think it’s because the robots will empty the bins more regularly. That allows the vacuums to have emptier bins, which helps with the Roombas to clean better. 

Now, let’s get into the major differences between each Roomba model and what makes each one special.

Individual Roomba Models

Roomba s9 and s9+ – Top of the Line Roomba

If you want the best of the best and you have a higher budget, the Roomba s9+ is the Roomba for you. The s9+ is the most advanced Roomba in every way – smart technology, power, and cleaning ability.

The main difference between the Roomba s9 and s9+ is the s9+ comes with the Clean Base unit. 

Double D: Deep Cleaning and D-Shape

iRobot got a tip from Neato and the s9+ has a D-shape versus the standard circular shape of all robot vacuums for 18 years. The D shape allows the s9+ to get closer to walls and with its Corner Brush, you won’t have dustballs hiding away in the corners. 

The shape also allowed iRobot to install wider rollers for better cleanup coverage. The wider coverage area leads to more efficient cleaning.

s9 vs s7 dual brush rollers width comparison

The 40x suction power and the dual wide rollers will easily clear dirt off your smooth floors. Where a 614 or 675 might need additional runs over a heavily dirty area, the s9 would be able to do it in one go. 

Our Most Advanced Robot Vacuum Yet | Roomba® s series| iRobot®

The s9 / s9+ also has iAdapt 3.0 and Imprint Navigation Technology along with the Home app, so you’ll be able to draw Keep Out Zones that your Roomba should not go to. Maybe you have something that’s breakable or maybe you know the Roomba will get stuck if it goes into that area, you’ll be able to draw the Keep Out Zones on the app. 

The s9 is the smartest and most powerful Roomba. Add the Clean Base unit with the Roomba s9+ and you’ve got yourself an automated cleaning service.

Roomba i7 and i7+ – Best Overall Value

Roomba i7 and i7+ - Best Overall Value

The i7+ is the Best Overall Roomba for the smart features and a Clean Base unit similar to the s9+, while at a lower price point and providing much better value. 

The main features you’d be losing from the s9+ are: 

  • No D-Shape: The i7 and i7+ are in the traditional circular shape, but still has good coverage around the walls and corners. 
  • No 40x Suction Power: The i7 / i7+ comes with 10x suction power compared to the 600 series. The i7+ might need to go over an area 1-2 more times if there’s a lot of dirt, but that’s not a big deal.

The i7 / i7+ doesn’t have the Corner Brush that the D-shaped s9+ has, but it’s Edge-Sweeping Brush at a 27-degree angle still does a great job. 

The s9 offers the best cleaning results, but if you pair the i7 with the Clean Base, you’ll get similar enough cleaning results. If you compare the s9 vs i7+, the i7+ is much better valued at the lower price point. 

Roomba 960 – Best Balance of Features for Price

Roomba 960 - Best Balance of Features for Price

The 960 provides the best bang for your buck because it comes with the same, advanced camera sensors and vSLAM navigation technology of the i7 and s9 series to create a map of your home. 

The 960 has the Recharge and Resume, so there’s no concern about the losing efficiency when compared to the i7 and s9. While the 960 will remember where it left off in a room before recharging, it won’t remember the room maps for future sessions. 

Unlike the i7 and s9 models, you can’t draw Keep Out Zones nor can you designate rooms to tell the 960 to go clean. 

The 960 and other models use virtual wall barriers that are physical devices you place on your floors. The virtual barrier device has two modes: Virtual Wall and Halo modes. Virtual Wall mode acts like a wall and you’re able to put it down facing in one direction. Halo mode puts a halo wall about 24 in. from the device in all directions. 

Virtual Wall Mode
Halo Mode

The virtual barrier devices are sold separately or as part of a bundle that you can purchase, like this Roomba 960 with one Virtual Barrier bundle:

Roomba 960 with one Virtual Barrier bundle

There’s also no Clean Base unit that comes with the 960. At 5x the suction power of the 600 series, it’s still strong with suctioning.

You lose some of the cool, smart features of the higher-end models, but for the robot vacuum that you get at this price point, it’s the best balance of features vs cost. 

Roomba e5 (5150)

Roomba e5 (5150)

The e5 is a great robot vacuum, but this is where you start stepping down from the smart features of the previous Roombas. This model replaces the Roomba 890 from the previous generation. 

There’re no camera and sensors, so you get random cleaning navigation with the e5 and the two in the 600 series. 

The e5 has a longer battery life of 90 minutes, but there’s no Recharge and Resume like the previous ones. That means if it’s low on battery life, after it recharges, it will need to go over areas that it already went over. That’s not a big deal as those areas will be cleaner, but that’s a loss of efficiency. 

The e5 does have 5x the suction air power of the 614 and 675, so that’ll provide better cleaning if you have more smooth flooring. The e5 also has the dual rubber brushes that will save you from hair entanglements like you’d get with the 614 and 675. 

The little extra costs on the e5 vs 675 would be worth having less hassle. But if you’re able to take another step up in the budget, get the 960 with better smart features all around. 

Roomba 675 – Best Budget-Friendly Robot

Roomba 675 - Best Budget-Friendly Robot

The 675 is the Best Budget-Friendly Roomba and it replaces the previous generation’s popular 690. It has the patented dual-brush system for deep cleaning with the ability to control it remotely due to its wireless connectivity. 

When you compare the 675 vs 690, the 675 is virtually the same as the discontinued 690. They differ in color and the dual-mode virtual wall barrier that’s compatible with the 675. 

The 675’s suction power is the baseline power, but it still provides enough air power to effectively clean your floors and carpets of dirt and pet hair. 

The 675 has Roomba’s patented dual-brush system, but one of the brush rollers is a bristle type, while the other is rubber and brushless, like the more expensive models. When using this and the 614, you’ll need to regularly clean the bristle roller of stuck hair. 

If there are long-haired family members and/or pets, you might be cleaning it more often. You may want to opt for the e5 in that case. You’ll save yourself from regular detangling, but also potentially the life of the 675 or 614 itself from breaking down.

The 675 is the last model to have wi-fi connectivity, so you’ll still be able to control the Roomba remotely and utilize the Home app. 

Roomba 614 – The Cheapest and “Dumbest” Roomba 

Roomba 614 - The Cheapest and “Dumbest” Roomba

The Roomba 614 has many of the great Roomba features but doesn’t have the smart features of its older siblings. If your budget is tight and you’re ok with no frills, the 614 is a good option. 

The 614 is basically the same as the 675, except that it doesn’t have any wireless or smart capabilities. There’s no wi-fi connectivity, app, remote controlling, nor scheduling, 

Like the 675, It will pick up human and pet hair, but if you or pets have long hair, this is one you’re going to need to clean out more often.

Just put the 614 down where you want it to clean and press the big button to turn it on. It will run until its low on battery life and look for the Home Base to charge. If it can’t find the Base’s infrared signal, it will try and return to its original starting location. 

The 614 is the cheapest one, but the upgrade to the 675 is the better option for its wireless capability that allows for remote control and scheduling. 

Conclusion 

There you have it, the current Roomba models out in the market in 2020. They’re all great robot vacuums and you’d just need to think about what your needs at home. Each household is different, so I hope that there’s enough information above to help you pick the right one for you. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is the Best Roomba to Buy?

The Roomba s9+ is the best one out there. The s9+ is the smartest and most powerful while giving you the most automated hands-off experience. The price is high, but it will last you a long time and save you time from regularly cleaning out its dustbin. 

Which is the Best Roomba for Your Money?

The i7+ and 960 give the best value at two different price points. The i7+ has smart features and deeper cleaning at a good price to feature ratio. The 960 is at a lower price point, but provides the best bang for your buck. If you have a higher budget or larger house, go with the i7+ and enjoy more automated cleaning. If you have a tighter budget or a smaller house, the 960 will get the job done.

What is the Newest Roomba Model?

The Roomba s9 and s9+ are the newest iRobot Roomba Models and both were released in May 2019.

Which is the Best Roomba for Hardwood Floors?

The i7 or i7+ is best with hardwood floors as it provides 10 times the suction power of the 600 series. That’s enough power to clean smooth surfaces like hardwood floors. They’re both the same vacuum and the ‘+’ in i7 Plus signifies that the Clean Base unit is part of the package.

Which is the Best Roomba for Tile Floors?

The i7 model is the best with tile floors with their 10x suction power. The extra suction power is useful because tiles are smooth, so it will rely more on suction power. Tile floors also have divots between the tiles that will need the extra suction.

Which is the Best Roomba for Carpet?

All Roombas are great with carpet, but the 960 will give you the best bang for your buck when it comes to carpet cleaning. 

Which is the Best Roomba for Pets?

The s9+ will do the best job with pet hair all over your floors and carpet. You’ll be able to turn it on remotely and the s9+ will empty itself into the Clean Base unit. If there’s a lot of pet hair, you’re going to be thankful that the s9+ will clean its bin automatically. 

Are Roombas Worth the Money?

Yes, yes, and yes! When you think about the time that you spend vacuuming with upright vacuums, what else could you be doing with all that time? Roombas give you all that time back and iRobot is the leader in robot vacuums. 

Do Roombas Make Noise? 

All vacuums make noise, so yes, Roombas will make noise. But they’re not as loud as most upright vacuums. The suctioning of the Roomba is what makes all the noise. 

Which is the Most Powerful Roomba? 

The s9+ is the most powerful Roomba at 40x the suction power of the 600 series models. There is simply no comparison when it comes to the s9 series. In fact, it’s 4x the suction power of the next most powerful Roomba, the i7+.

What is the Best Roomba for a Large House? 

The s9+ is best for large houses because its smart mapping and navigation features are on full display when it needs to Resume and Recharge. You’ll want to get a Roomba that can recharge in the middle of cleanings without forgetting which areas have already been cleaned. 

What is the Best Roomba for a Small Apartment? 

The 960 provides the best value for small apartments. It has the Resume and Recharge feature, but doesn’t need to map and remember your home’s floor plan because it’s not a large house. 

What is the Best Roomba for Multiple Floors? 

The s9+ will remember multiple floor plans and with its advanced camera sensors, the s9+ will know which floor it’s on. You don’t need to do anything other than the initial setup of marking Keep Out Zones and placing the Roomba on the floor.

What is the Best Roomba for Corners?

The s9’s D-shape and Corner Brush is the best for corners. The flat side allowed Roomba to place wider brushes closer to the edge of the Roomba, which allows for more suction power and better access to the corners. 

How to Tell Which Roomba Model You Have

Turn the Roomba over and look at the underbelly of the Roomba. Depending on your model, the model number will be in slightly different places. The model number will usually stand out with larger font and might have “Roomba” in front of the number.

If you have any of the latest models, look for (Roomba) 614, 675, e5, 960, i7, or s9.