How can you clean the house while you’re not at home? These three Roomba robot vacuums make it possible. They operate on their own to clean your floors. You can schedule them ahead of time or do a quick cleanup on the spot. Let’s look at all three models and see which one is the best for you.
iRobot Roomba 650 Vacuum Cleaning Robot for Pets
If you’ve never used a Roomba, you’re in for a treat! There’s nothing like having a robot do your vacuuming for you. The Roomba needs a few hours to charge on its Home Base, and then it’s ready to go. You can set the scheduler to run up to 7 different days and times even when you’re not at home. There’s only a little prep you need to do first.
Pick up items from the floor that you’dnormally move before vacuuming, like socks or blankets. The Roomba can navigate obstacles like furniture, but it is likely to get caught in the same kinds of cords or clothes that would make an ordinary vacuum struggle. Don’t worry about the robot taking a tumble down the stairs—it has a cliff sensor to keep it away from the edge.
It will sometimes gently bump your furniture, but it has rubber bumpers to keep it from making marks. If you watch it in action it seems quite random. It certainly doesn’t vacuum in neat lines! It agitates debris with the side and bottom brushes while the vacuum sucks the dirt into the collection bin. The bin fills from back to front so it fills more evenly than it did on earlier model Roombas. This means it doesn’t have to be emptied as often. The improved vacuum air flow helps keep the bottom brushes clear of hair and fuzz so they don’t have to be cleaned as often, either. This makes the 650 a handy vacuum for pet owners.
The Roomba’s programming adapts to your home’s design so it hits every area multiple times for the best clean possible. If it hits an especially dirty spot that triggers the acoustic sensor, it will work in a circular motion until that spot is clean. You can place the included Virtual Wall to keep the Roomba isolated in a room without having to close the door. When the battery runs low, the robot returns to the Home Base to recharge (as long as it has line of sight to the Base).
The 650 is the oldest of these three models but it has proven to be a dependable favorite. It does a great job picking up hair, pet fur, cat litter, fuzz, and lint so your carpets and hard floors look neat and clean.It does not have a HEPA filter like the 780 (described below), but it does have a washable AeroVac filter to cut down on dust.
More features of the Roomba 650
- Comes with self-charging home base, battery, battery charger, one extra AeroVac filter, a flat brush cleaning tool, and one Virtual Wall
- iRobot offers a 1-year limited warranty on the 650 robot and a 6-month limited warranty on the battery
iRobot Roomba 770 Vacuum Cleaning Robot for Pets and Allergies
The Roomba 770 robot has upgraded features from the previous 650. For one, it has both optical and acoustic sensors so it does a better job of detecting dirty spots. It passes back and forth repeatedly in especially dirty places. Two, the air flow from the vacuum is stronger so it does a better job of keeping the brushes clean. And three, the battery lasts longer.
The 770 can remember up to 7 scheduled cleanings, so you can set it to work when you’re not around. It comes with two Virtual Walls, not just one. You don’t need to use the Virtual Walls unless you want to block off an area with their invisible infrared beams. They’re not required for the Roomba to run.
When the battery runs down, the Roomba docks itself on the Home Base. The charger refills the battery in about three hours, then the robot is ready to clean again. The “full bin” light will let you know if you need to empty out the dirt.
More features of the Roomba 770
- Comes with self-charging home base, battery, one extra AeroVac filter, two brush cleaning tools (flat and round), and two Virtual Walls
- iRobot offers a 1-year limited warranty on the 770 robot and a 6-month limited warranty on the battery
iRobot Roomba 780 Vacuum Cleaning Robot for Pets and Allergies
The Roomba 780 has a few upgrades over the 770. First, it has touch keys instead of buttons. Second, it comes with Virtual Lighthouses, not Walls. The Lighthouses can block the path of the robot, but they also help guide it to the next room and back to the Home Base. The other robots described above can’t find their home base if they don’t have line of sight to it. The Lighthouses extend the distance that the 780 can travel without fear that its battery will run down in another room.
The third upgrade is the addition of HEPA filtration. Allergy-sufferers will appreciate this one! The 780 has dual HEPA filters along with the more powerful AeroVac 2 system that’s on the 770. It also has the combined acoustic and optical sensors for better detection of dirty spots.
The 780 is smart enough to pass soft barriers like couch skirts and can usually avoid getting tangled in cords. It learns the layout of your home so it rarely runs into furniture. Of course, like the other Roombas, it has a cliff sensor so it does not fall down stairs. It comes with a remote control so you can set it to work while you relax on the sofa. It’s not nearly as noisy as a traditional vacuum.
One pro reviewer commented that they thought they would still use their traditional vacuum for serious cleanings, but now they run the Roomba 780 as their main vacuum. iRobot seems to have hit the sweet spot with this model.
More features of the Roomba 780
- Comes with remote control, self-charging home base, battery, extra filter set, extra brush set, two brush cleaning tools (flat and round), and twoVirtual Lighthouses
- iRobot offers a 1-year limited warranty on the 780 robot and a 6-month limited warranty on the battery
If you want the most protection against allergy-causing dust, get the Roomba 780. Its advanced cleaning features combined with the dual HEPA filters make it the best choice for you. The dual Lighthouses make it so you can always find it ready on the dock, not out of charge under the bed. You may also love the ability to control it with a remote.
If you are looking for advanced cleaning features but don’t want or need the remote or Lighthouses, consider getting the 770. It has better dirt detection than the 650. Without the Lighthouses, it would be ideal for a smaller home.
If you are looking for the best value at the best price, consider getting the popular Roomba 650. It’s proven itself to be a useful cleaning companion in many homes.