iRobot Roomba: which one should you buy?

Find the best iRobot Roomba vacuum with our reviews, then click through to the top deals

irobot roomba 980 vacuum cleaner
(Image credit: iRobot)

Thinking of investing in an iRobot Roomba vacuum cleaner? It's a smart idea.

A vacuum cleaner that gets on with this time-consuming chore while you’re out at work, spending time with the kids, or putting your feet up (and out of its way, of course)? If your response is, 'yes, please', then an iRobot could be for you. But what’s in the range, and where can you get a great deal? We have the answers.

If you’re not sure a robot vacuum’s the right choice for your home right now, find out about cordless, upright and cylinder alternatives in our guide to the best vacuum cleaners.

WHAT IS THE BEST IROBOT VACUUM?

The best iRobot vacuum: iRobot Roomba 980 robot vacuum cleaner

(Image credit: iRobot)

1. iRobot Roomba 980 robot vacuum cleaner

The best iRobot vacuum

Specifications
Container capacity: 0.6 ltr
Weight: 3.9 kg
Dimensions: D35.05cm x H9.14cm
Reasons to buy
+Charges itself+Good with pet hair+Easy to use and set up+Alexa and Google compatible+Spacial awareness of objects
Reasons to avoid
-One of the heaviest on this list

The iRobot Roomba 980 robot vacuum cleaner is our top pick. Find out why below.

Best features?
We’ll take doing the vacuuming for you as read because we’re talking robots throughout, but we just want to acknowledge the marvellousness of this. This model gets great results whether it’s cleaning hard flooring or carpet, and it’ll deal, er, robotfully with pet hair. When it needs recharging, it’ll take itself back to the docking station, so you don’t need to worry about that.

The verdicts
When we tested this vac (read our full review), we found it a great mover and an efficient cleaner. It’s easy to set up and simple to use and can even be voice controlled via Alexa or Google Assistant. It’ll deal with small steps, and you can keep it away from pet bowls with the virtual wall gadget, although whether cats and dogs will tolerate it in general is another story.

Reviewers on the iRobot site awarded a 4.5 out of five star average for the cleaner. Delighted users applaud its performance and suction power on both hard floors and carpet, like its competence in removing pet hair, and think it has a long running time. 

Those who bought on Amazon gave it an overall 4.4 out of five stars with 80% of reviewers awarding the top score. Its fans report spotless floors after the robot vac’s attentions, and are happy with the way the app works and scheduling of cleans. 

Shop more iRobot vacuums at Amazon

The best bagged iRobot vacuum: iRobot Roomba i7+ robot vacuum cleaner

(Image credit: iRobot)

2. iRobot Roomba i7+ robot vacuum cleaner

The best bagged iRobot vacuum

Specifications
Container capacity: 30 robot bins (see below)
Weight: 3.38kg
Dimensions: H9.2 x W33.7 x D33.9cm
Reasons to buy
+Bagged for less mess+Easy to use+App shows where has been cleaned+Quiet operation
Reasons to avoid
-Expensive

The iRobot Roomba i7+ robot vacuum cleaner is bagged for less mess, which is a plus for us. Find out what else we liked below.

Best features?
We’ve noted in our previous robot vacuum reviews that, sadly, they don’t put what they suck up in the dustbin themselves – but here’s one that does. The machine empties into its own bin, filling the bag in there, and then eventually you take the sealed bag to your own bin to dispose of the dirt and dust. The bag has the capacity for 30 of the robot’s bins, so that’s one emptying trip in place of 30. Cleaning the way you like is easy to arrange, too. You can schedule sessions and specify rooms via the app.

The verdicts
The need to empty the small bin of a robot vac has been a negative for us as it necessarily means the whole cleaning process isn’t taken off your plate. This machine makes this a much less frequent task for which we commend it. Of course, you’ll pay for the privilege of a more automated home, so whether this is your top model will involve weighing up convenience against cost.

For Amazon buyers, this robot vac was a 4.1 out of five overall. They note its ability to clean up pet hair without getting clogged, the fact that the app will show where the machine has cleaned, and pronounce it quieter than previous models.

The best iRobot vacuum for small homes: iRobot Roomba 966 robot vacuum cleaner

(Image credit: iRobot)

3. iRobot Roomba 966 robot vacuum cleaner

The best iRobot vacuum for small homes

Specifications
Container capacity: 0.6 ltr
Weight: 3.9kg
Dimensions: H9.1 x D35cm
Reasons to buy
+Docks when in need of power+Dirt sensors+Made for both hard floors and carpets+Tracks where it's cleaned
Reasons to avoid
-One of the heaviest on our list

The iRobot Roomba 966 robot vacuum cleaner is a good buy for flats or small houses. Here's why we like it.

Best features?
OK, this model will require you to empty the bin but, aside from that, you can leave it to get on with the cleaning, or use the app to give it a schedule. It’ll also nip back to the docking station when it’s running out of power so it can recharge ready to go again. It has dirt detector sensors so it can work harder at cleaning where the muck lurks. Brushless extractors are designed to avoid the hair-tangling issues users sometimes report.

The verdicts
Robot vacs aren’t the bargain basement choices of the vacuum cleaner world, but in the put-your-feet-up cleaning scheme of things, we like this mid-priced model’s ability to get the job done effectively across a single floor of your house at a time – without falling down the stairs when it comes to the first floor. It’s made for both hard floors and carpets, and will keep track of where it’s been for cleaning efficiency. 

The thoughts of those who bought this model on Amazon? They aren’t many, but those that have offered their opinion give an average score of 4.8 out of five. Buyers thought it did a good job on both carpet and hard floors, and called it an awesome machine.

Those who shopped on Appliances Direct gave it 9.2 out of 10 overall with ease of use, design and performance the highest rated features. Purchasers here found it kept the house extremely clean, liked the fact it didn’t scare cats, and appreciated being able to see what it was doing via the app.

The best iRobot vacuum for allergy sufferers iRobot Roomba e5 robot vacuum cleaner

(Image credit: iRobot)

4. iRobot Roomba e5 robot vacuum cleaner

The best iRobot vacuum for allergy sufferers

Specifications
Container capacity: 0.6 ltr
Weight: 3.3kg
Dimensions: H9.1 x D34cm
Reasons to buy
+Lightest on our list+Dust container can be cleaned+90 minutes run time+Takes itself back to station to charge+Great with pet hair+Affordable

Allergy sufferer? You might like to find out more about the iRobot Roomba e5 robot vacuum cleaner, below.

Best features?
A dust container you can clean under the tap is useful, as is a running time of 90 minutes before this neat little number has to return to its base station. It has improved filters, and is recommended particularly for allergy sufferers. Pet owners, it’s designed to lift and suck up pet fur effectively. Rubber extractors need minimal maintenance as they don’t have the bristles that can get snarled up with hair.

The verdicts
A less expensive way to launch yourself into the world of very little vacuuming (because you’ll still need to sort out the upholstery and the stairs yourself, remember), this model still offers plenty of suction power. As anyone who uses a bagless vacuum will testify, the dirt container can look pretty grotty quite quickly, so we think you’ll like being able to wash away the dirt and dust that’s inclined to hang around. A long running time before it returns to charge itself should mean you don’t think it’s been sitting around rather than working when you come home.

Amazon customers thought it worthy of 4.2 out of five stars overall. They liked its abilities in open-plan rooms, pet hair prowess, and the fact that if an area’s particularly dirty, it stays there until it’s finished its work.

Shop more iRobot vacuum cleaners at Appliances Direct

The best budget iRobot vacuum: iRobot Roomba 606 robot vacuum cleaner

(Image credit: iRobot)

5. iRobot Roomba 606 robot vacuum cleaner

The best budget iRobot vacuum

Specifications
Container capacity: 0.6 ltr
Weight: 3.6kg
Dimensions: H9.28 x D34cm
Reasons to buy
+Affordable+Sensors to avoid stairs+Recharges itself
Reasons to avoid
-Can't schedule cleans on the app

The most affordable model, iRobot Roomba 606 robot vacuum cleaner, might make you be persuaded. Here's what you need to know.

Best features?
The price of this robot makes it stand out, allowing you to swerve vacuuming the floors of your home and pay less than you could for many an upright or cylinder vacuum cleaner. The model is designed with two brushes so that the first loosens dirt and the other picks it up. Like more expensive iRobot Roomba models, its sensors tell it where to lavish extra cleaning effort, it won’t fall down the staircase, and it will fit under sofas and beds. 

The verdicts
We think this is a good value way to see how you like using a robot vac. It might not have all the suction of its more costly counterparts in the range, nor the feedback and scheduling aspects that come with the app, but it should still save you a chore, getting on with the cleaning of both hard flooring and carpet while you’re doing something else. It spares you thinking about recharging, too, as it’ll handle that when it needs to.

It hasn’t brought out the online reviewers in droves, but it does get five out of five stars on Amazon.

Buyers at Currys gave it 8.6 out of 10 overall. They appreciated its cleaning right up to the edges, easy set up, and pet hair pick up. 

Shop more robot vacuum cleaners at AO.com

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