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Buying a vacuum is tricky and a robot vacuum even trickier. For a full suite of features and benefits, consider the popular and efficient Roomba 960. Our top pick for a Roomba vacuum includes tech-savvy features like Wi-Fi, intelligent mapping, and Alexa compatibility, along with powerful cleaning ability.
The Roomba 960 can start its mission with a manual press of the ‘Clean’ button or you can schedule its sessions within the app. One of the best features of this model of the Roomba is the ‘Recharge and Resume’ feature, which means that if the 960 depletes its battery before finishing its rounds, it will dock itself to recharge and then automatically begin its cleaning pattern where it left off. Brushless rubber rollers easily handle hair and threads, for a more tangle-free operation—though pet owners sometimes get frustrated to find that the rubber rollers leave clumps of hair behind.
This newer generation of Roomba also includes iAdapt 2.0 technology, which enables the robot to learn your home’s floor plan through several cleaning sessions and optimize a path to clean it thoroughly and completely. Just don’t get discouraged if the Roomba 960 seems to wander aimlessly and repetitively on its first few outings since it can take repeated cleaning sessions before the robot fully maps your home.
The 960 is a mid-priced Roomba model with all the essential benefits. If you want a smart, thorough clean, we recommend this best overall Roomba for the job.
If you’re looking for a value-packed Roomba, the e5 model is worth considering. Unlike some of the other members of the roaming Roomba family, the e5 isn’t the most feature-driven, but it includes the latest essential features.
The Roomba e5 features built-in Wi-Fi so you can monitor the mighty vac’s cleaning activity and issue voice commands via Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. It runs for about 90 minutes before it has the smarts to dock itself for a recharge.
Like all new generation Roomba robots, the e5 features multi-surface rubber brushes that flex to maintain contact with floors. However, due to the mid-range price tag, this Roomba doesn’t come with any virtual wall barriers or the latest in smart mapping features. Even still, it offers major upgrades in terms of suction, battery life, and other smart features (like automatic recharging) over budget Roombas on the market.
For the ultimate Roomba, look to the new sleek and smart Roomba s9+. This top of the line Roomba is a splurge-worthy option that includes all the latest features of robotic vacuums, for a premium cleaning experience—and a premium price.
The Roomba S9 series available with or without a dirt disposal base, but to really get the most of Roomba’s smart vacuum, opt for the S9+ that can automatically empty its contents into a vacuum bag housed within the base. The bag can hold the dirt and debris from up to 30 cleaning sessions, and the unit will alert you within the app when it’s time to change the bag. This is Roomba’s most independent vacuum yet, and people love that they don’t have to frequently empty the small, onboard dust bin.
Of course automatic dirt disposal isn’t the only thing that makes the S9+ the premier Roomba to buy. This model includes Imprint Smart Mapping, which enables it to learn your home’s floor plan for efficient vacuuming or on-demand clean-up of specific rooms. You can enable this feature by controlling Roomba with Amazon Alexa or Google Home, with commands like, “Roomba, clean my bedroom.” The smart mapping feature of this Roomba also enables it to learn multiple levels of your home, making it easy to move the robot upstairs or downstairs without disrupting its memory of the other levels. This isn’t true of all Roomba models, which also qualifies the S9+ as a top robot vacuum for multi-level or large houses.
This Roomba as noisier than some other models, but it is attributed to the increased suction power of the S9+. In fact, the S9 has 40 times the suction of Roomba’s early 600 series robot vacuums. This translates into a deeper clean on all types of surfaces, including hard flooring and carpeted surfaces.
Finding a vacuum for carpet can pose a challenge for robot vacuums since its plush surface and raised height can hinder the cleaning process. And since you should vacuum your carpet often a robot vacuum seems like a no-brainer and the Roomba 980 tackles this problem with improved suction and a special Power Boost feature that makes it our top choice as a Roomba for carpet.
Whether you have wall-to-wall carpeting or area rugs, the Roomba 980 can power through and eliminate dirt, dander, and hair hiding in the fibers. The bristle-free rubber brushes combined with Power Boost suction give your carpets a deep clean on autopilot. The only caveat is that Roomba’s edge detection system prevents the robot from cleaning black carpet—which it sees as a potential fall hazard. Some people have modified their Roomba to overcome this limitation but realize that out of the box operation is nearly impossible on black area rugs or carpets. Users find the Roomba 980 to be louder than some other models, due to the Power Boost with increased airflow. However, it isn’t a problem for most people who describe it as similar—or even quieter—than a conventional vacuum cleaner.
The Roomba 980 features all the usual capabilities of modern Roombas, including sensors to detect heavily soiled areas, built-in Wi-Fi for app control and smart home integration, and iAdapt 2.0 Navigation. The advanced navigation allows it to learn your floorplan and develop an efficient cleaning pattern, but you should know that if you move the Roomba to a new floor of your home, it will overwrite the previous floorplan.
If you want the best Roomba for smart homes, check out the full-featured and high-tech Roomba i7. This smart robot vacuum isn’t as spendy as Roomba’s top model, but packs in all the smart home integrations you’re looking for.
The most significant features of the Roomba i7 is its navigational abilities and mapping technology. With iAdapt 3.0 Navigation, this Roomba vac is able to map its surroundings and retain the memory of your floor plan for future cleanings. Added visual localization enables Roomba to capture ‘landmarks’ it uses as a reference point for where it’s already cleaned. Imprint Smart Mapping and Link Technology give you advanced control over where and when the Roomba smart vacuum cleans. Schedule specific rooms via the Roomba app or issue voice commands with compatible smart home systems like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
We also love that this Roomba for smart homes takes home automation to the next level by using Imprint Link technology to automatically vacuum and mop your floors if you have a compatible Braava Jet machine.
This Roomba is also smart enough to empty its own dustbin if you spring for the self-cleaning base. It’s available as an add-on, so you can opt for the smart vacuum only or purchase the base separately at any time.
The best time to buy a vacuum is generally around the holidays or spring when prices drop low. If you're looking to capture savings throughout the year the Roomba 675 comes at a reasonable price year-round. This basic robot vac includes familiar Roomba features but skips the bells and whistles for a lower price tag.
The Roomba 675 comes equipped with the most essential Roomba upgrades of the last several years, like a longer 90-minute runtime with a lithium-ion battery, Wi-Fi connectivity, and automatic recharging. These features fix some of the frustrations expressed by earlier owners of budget Roomba vacuums. The Roomba is able to accomplish more with the 90-minute cleaning cycle and you can monitor its cleaning progress or schedule cleaning sessions within the app, thanks to its built-in Wi-Fi. And instead of finding your Roomba drained and out of battery juice in the middle of a room, the 675 can dock itself to recharge.
Unlike some of the latest models of Roomba vacuums, the Roomba 675 uses a pair of bristle brush rollers to conquer dirt and debris. This sparks both compliments and complaints since the bristles do an excellent job of gathering hair but it occasionally becomes caught around the brush itself and requires extraction. Happy users take care of this Roomba by emptying it of hair regularly and it repays with consistent trouble-free operation.
The bottom line is that this budget Roomba will require more hands-on interaction for tasks like emptying the somewhat small dust bin and removing hair that becomes caught. However, its an affordable option for the convenience of a robotic vacuum.