iRobot Roomba 690 vs. Ecovacs Deebot N79S: Which smart vacuum is better?

iRobot Roomba
iRobot Roomba (Image credit: iRobot)

The best thing about both these vacuums that they'll both get the job done. Both will give your floors a good cleaning, both are Wi-Fi connected, meaning you can control them from your smartphone, and both offer great unique features. Ecovacs, however, is able to offer all of that at a much cheaper price than the Roomba. For most folks, the Deebot 79S is the smarter choice.

The difference maker

While most of the features between these two vacs are the same, there are some key differences that could affect your decision. The Roomba is available with virtual wall barriers, which allows you to block off rooms or sections of rooms without walls so nothing gets disturbed. It also allows you to connect it to Google Assistant, so you can use it with your Google Hub if you have one. Additionally, due to iRobot being an American-based company, the parts and support for the Roomba are easier to get directly from the manufacturer, which makes getting replacement parts a lot easier.

The Roomba also has what iRobot calls Dirt Detection technology, which basically means if the Roomba detects a certain part of the floor is extra dirty, like where the dog sleeps, it will automatically perform several additional passes over the spot to ensure that it gets clean.

Either way you go, you're getting a great house cleaner.

Where the Deebot 79S stands out is in its flexibility. It brings along many of the same cleaning capabilities as the Roomba, but it also offers four unique cleaning modes: Auto for general cleaning, Edge for cleaning specific edges, Spot for cleaning specific areas, and Max, which will increase the suction by 50 percent for those really stubborn places. One unfortunate omission is the ability to use virtual wall barriers with the 79S, meaning you cannot block off certain parts of a room without a physical wall.

One of the best features of the Deebot is the filter that it comes with. Ecovacs claims that its filter "reduces airborne triggers associated with allergies and asthma," which is fantastic news for those of us with said issues. Many users have reported that the Deebot does reduce dust allergens in their home which is a great advantage for Ecovacs. While the Roomba does have a good filter, it does not promise to reduce allergens in the home. That alone may be a dealbreaker.

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Header Cell - Column 0 Roomba 690Deebot 79S
3 stage cleaning systemYesYes
Smart home automationAlexa and Google AssistantAlexa
Virtual wallYesNo
Charge time60 minutes100 minutes
Intelligent cleaningDirt DetectSmart Motion
Size13 x 13 x 3.6 in13 x 13 x 3.1 in
Weight7.8 lbs7.17 lbs

Truthfully, both vacuums are great products that do precisely what they're supposed to do, but the difference for me comes down to what you get for the money. For around $100 less than the Roomba, the Deebot 79S will do the exact same job but will give you more options and promises cleaner air in the process. The Roomba is a recognizable brand, so that might be enough for some, but why not spend less money on an arguably better product?

Jason Cockerham