iRobot has been a real American pioneer in the robotic cleaning arena. Since the launch of the original Roomba back in 2002, the company has continued innovating with more and more advanced models taking us up to today's flagship s Series, a true traditional vacuum cleaner replacement. There are other series also worth considering through, from the entry-level, yet capable 600 Series, and the e Series designed especially for pet owners. We're taking a look at the five major iRobot Roomba series so you can decide which will best suit you. We're starting with the entry-level series and working our way up to the wow-factor flagship models.
Best Entry-Level: iRobot Roomba 600 Series
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The iRobot Roomba 600 Series is the entry-level option that's an affordable choice for anyone who isn't sure if living the robot life is for them. There are two models available, the 675 and the 614. As far as vacuuming goes, they are essentially the same product, but the 675 gets Wi-Fi connectivity. The 675 is the model we're going to be focusing on, especially as the price is the same.
That Wi-Fi connectivity means you can use the iRobot Home app to instigate a clean remotely, at any time. You can schedule daily cleaning for every day of the week. The 675 will clean for up to 60 minutes before automatically returning to base to recharge.
The Roomba 675 has a patented three-stage cleaning system. It loosens dirt, dust, and hair with its brushes, then lifts and suctions it into the dust bin. The vacuum's auto-adjusting cleaning head automatically adapts its height to the surface it's on so that it can clean carpet and hard flooring. It moves easily between each type of flooring while navigating around objects and avoiding drops.
As with all Roomba models, the 675 gets iRobot's "Dirt Detect" technology. The sensors alert the robot about dirtier areas of your home, and then it cleans them more thoroughly. So, spill areas aren't an issue and high-traffic spots where dirt is more likely to build up get extra attention.
Roomba 600 Series
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The Roomba 675 is a great starting point to the series, offering capable cleaning complete with handy app control and scheduling.
Best for Pet Owners: iRobot Roomba e Series
Just as Dyson introduced its "Animal" range designed especially to tackle problem pet hair, iRobot has created the e Series, perfect for pet owners. The Roomba e5 has dual multi-surface rubber brushes and a high-efficiency filter that traps 99% of all mold, pollen, dust mites, and cat and dog allergens.
The e5 can run for up to 90 minutes before automatically docking and recharging. When it's full, to make sure those microscopic particles don't escape back into your home during emptying, the e5 has a washable bin that you can simply rinse under the faucet.
The e5 has a full suite of iRobot's intelligent sensors to help it navigate around your living spaces and prevent it from falling down steps and stairs. Wi-Fi-enabled, the e5 can be monitored and controlled through the iRobot Home app. This model can also be voice-controlled with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
iRobot Roomba e Series
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The Roomba e5 is equipped with special parts for pet hair while offering all the automated and connected Roomba qualities we love.
Best No-Fuss Option: iRobot Roomba i Series
There are two models in iRobot's advanced i Series; the i7 and the i7+. The only difference between the two is that the more expensive i7+ comes complete with the Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal docking station, so this is the product we're taking a closer look at.
With the amazing ability to empty itself, when the i7+ returns to the base for charging, it automatically sucks out the dirt it has collected into a sealed, disposable, "AllergenLock" bag inside the unit. The bag can hold up to 30 days worth of debris, so it will go for months without needing to be replaced. When it does, the smart design means the allergens won't leak back out into your home.
The i Series gets iRobot's vSLAM optical sensor technology that helps it recognize its surroundings. The iAdapt technology on this model is upgraded to 3.0. So, as well as remembering when it's been and needs to go, you can set up "Keep Out Zones" to fence off areas you don't want the vacuum cleaner to go, such as near fragile items of home decor or animal food bowls.
Imprint Link Technology allows the Roomba i7+ and Braava jet m6 robots to automatically clean in sequence, and they also get Imprint Smart Mapping. This works with the other navigational tech so you can direct your i7+ to clean a specific area of your home. For example, with the connected remote control abilities, you could use the Home app or a voice-controlled device to ask your i7+ to clean the kitchen immediately.
iRobot Roomba i Series
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The higher-end Roomba i7+ boasts the impressive ability to empty itself, so you can leave this alone to clean for weeks at a time.
Best for Powerful Cleaning: iRobot Roomba s Series
iRobot's flagship Roomba s Series was launched recently with a brand-new design, making these models the next-gen option for those that can afford the absolute best on the market. The series is made up of the s9 and the s9+. As with the iSeries, the only difference between the two is that the "+" comes with the Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal docking station. This is the add-on you need if you want to take advantage of the robot's self-emptying abilities, so many would consider paying out the extra is worth it.
The s9+ gets app and voice control, and the long list of built-in technology that the i Series boasts. It includes the vSlam optical sensor tech, iAdapt 3.0 to set up stay-away zones, Imprint Link Technology to communicate with other iRobot devices, and Imprint Smart Mapping to tell the vacuum to clean a particular room.
What stands the s Series apart is how powerful it is, and a few advanced cleaning techniques. The suction power of the s9+ is forty times that of the 600 Series, meaning it's comparable with the performance you can expect from your average traditional vacuum cleaner. The s9+ also gets iRobot's PerfectEdge tech and Maximized-Edge design, to ensure you get a clean right up to walls and counters.
There is also a newly designed corner brush specially designed with five angled arms to clean into nooks. Finally, the s9+ advanced sensors send the machine into "Power Boost" mode when it senses it's on the carpeted floor for a deeper clean.
iRobot Roomba s Series
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The powerful and incredibly smart Roomba s9+ is the vacuum cleaner that shows robotic ones can replace traditional vacuums.
There is a huge difference between the products in iRobot's Roomba range of robotic vacuum cleaners. There is also a huge difference in pricing. Each series offers something different, from the basic 600 Series which provides a quick daily clean to keep on top of dirt levels, to the s Series which could put an end to your usual vacuuming routine.
While the e Series is aimed at pet owners, if you can afford to buy into the 900, i or s Series, these also offer the same high-efficiency filter with the promise of 99% of allergens sucked up and securely disposed of. This does not make the e5 model redundant, though. If you're a pet owner looking for a robo-vac, and that's all you can stretch to, it's a competent model that will help greatly towards keeping your dander levels down.
The s Series' s9+ is clearly the dream model to own. With forty times the power of the 600 Series and that useful Power Boost mode for cleaning carpets, it's going to keep your home seriously spic and span. However, the i Series shares most of the s Series' technology, including that amazing ability to self-empty, so it's certainly worth considering the Roomba i7+ as the robotic vacuuming buddy that's right for you.
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Amy-Mae has been writing about consumer technology since before the iPhone was even a twinkle in Steve Jobs' eye. She started out in magazine publishing with the UK lads' mag 'Boy's Toys' then moved online with startup Pocket-lint.com as the first full-time member of staff, helping grow the site to one of the UK's largest gadget sites. Amy-Mae then moved to Mashable when it only had a staff of around 10 people. After working her way up to a senior role there, Amy-Mae left in 2014 to have her daughter. Since then Amy-Mae has continued to contribute to Mashable and The Daily Dot, keeping up-to-date with the latest consumer technology and social media trends. For iMore.com, Amy-Mae gets to her explore her love of home cooking, concentrating on all things kitchen tech.