The best Roomba robovacs - KSTC-TV, Channel 45 Lifestyle-

The best Roomba robovacs

By Tyler Lacoma

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There is a good reason that the word Roomba has become synonymous with robot vacuum models. While other competitors continue to appear, iRobot’s Roomba line continues to have some of the best robovacs around, hands down. However, Roombas are also some of the most expensive models on the market, which means you want to make the right choice the first time you buy! To help out, here are the best iRobot models we’ve found, and what makes them special.

Note: Most Roomba models come with a couple different kits options to choose from if you want to add additional filters or brushes to your package.

iRobot Roomba 960 ($530)

iRobot Roomba 650

The Roomba 960 model hits the sweet spot between Roomba features and Roomba prices, allowing you to nab an intelligent cleaning bot at mid-tier prices (well, mid-tier for Roombas). The model includes iRobot’s 3-stage suction and brush system, equipped with rubber brushes designed to clean both hard floor and low carpets. The brushes flex to make sure they are always at ground level, and the suction system is five times more powerful than older Roomba models. The filter, meanwhile, is rated to trap 99 percent of dust and allergens (although it’s smart to always have some replacement filters on hand if you run your Roomba frequently).

While the Roomba includes plenty of smart features to navigate, including auto-recharging for its 75-minute battery, it also comes with a virtual wall barrier that you can set up to partition specific spaces if there’s somewhere you don’t want the bot to go. Scheduling via the advanced Roomba app is excellent, but you can also choose to voice command your Roomba if you have an Echo device around the house.

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iRobot Roomba 690 ($280)

iRobot Roomba 690

You can find the Roomba 690 for under $300, which is great news for those who want a Roomba bot, but not at their highest prices. To cut the cost down, this bot makes a few compromises while still being an extremely solid model with many great Roomba features. Direct detection and multi-surface brushes still make an appearance, although suction power is significantly reduced, so this bot may not be the best choice for thicker rugs or carpets. However, the smart features and app features are fully enabled, including voice control tech via Alexa and Google Assitant, so you aren’t missing anything on the technology front.

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iRobot Roomba 980 ($700)

best roomba robovacs 980

The 980 is a more advanced version of the 960 Roomba, but with even more advanced features. Of course, the price is significantly higher as well, making this an excellent option if you want the very best Roomba model and don’t mind paying high-end prices (the price has dropped significantly since our review). The extra-large battery in this model lasts for up to 120 minutes, making it well-suited for larger spaces, and the cleaning system has twice as much power compared to the 960 — ideal for cleaning up larger spills or messy pets. Otherwise, the model includes the top-line smart features you can expect from a Roomba bot, including voice detection, detailed app control, and dirt-detection technology that helps the Roomba spend more time in high-traffic areas.

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iRobot Roomba 890 ($450)

iRobot Roomba 890

The Roomba 890 is very similar to the 960 model, except it has a slightly different design with a few altered features, and it’s nearly $100 less. If that sounds like a good deal, then you’ll be glad to know that the 890 is mechanically as powerful as the 960 and has many of the same smart features. The 960 has more advantage navigation sensors which allow it to provide Roomba’s “Clean Maps” reports, and it has a “recharge and resume” function for longer projects whereas the 890 only has an automatic recharge. If you can live with those differences, then you can easily save some money with the 890 while still getting a great Roomba.

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iRobot Roomba 761 ($300)

iRobot Rommba 761

Maybe you aren’t looking forward to programming complex schedules for your Roomba or reading map reports of its job — instead, you just want a simple robovac to roam around and help keep the floor clean. The 761 is a model for you: It contains many of the features that make Roombas great, at an affordable price, and with a handy little “Clean” button on the top that you can press to make the Roomba go, no app adjustments required. The Roomba itself still has its cleaning system, navigation sensors, dirt detection, and other intelligent cleaning features, but you don’t have to mess around with any complicated programming if you don’t want to.

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iRobot Braava 380t ($250)

iRobot Braava 380t

If you have a lot of tile and hardwood floors, a vacuum bot may not interest you as much. That’s why Roomba also offers the excellent Braava robot mop. It can do dry sweeping whenever needed, but you can also switch it over to mop mode and fill the model’s reservoir with water (or a mild cleaning solution). The Braava can then mop up to 380 square feet in a single charge cycle, ideal for the kitchen, dining room, or similar spaces. However, this model does require setting up a NorthStart navigation cube for the Braava to get a sense of the room, which can take a little more work than a Roomba.

For a close alternative, check out the Braava Jet 240.

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iRobot Roomba i7+ ($950)

irobot roomba i7  charcoal photo insitu edgesweeping wood crumbs

If you prefer being on the cutting edge, you will want to check out the latest i7+ Roomba model, iRobot’s most advanced model yet. In addition to a cutting-edge motor, durable brushes, and the other top-line Roomba components, this model comes with a new feature: The ability to automatically empty its bin! The Roomba senses when the bin is full and moves back to its “Clean Base” charging station, which includes a bin-emptying device that will clear up room and allow the Roomba to go back to work.

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iRobot Best Buy

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