Roomba 900, 800, 700, 600 & 500 Series Comparison/Review (980, 880, 870, 860, 790, 780, 770, 760, 650, 630, 620, 610, 595, 585, 580, 572, 570, 564, 562, 560, 555, 550/551, 535/540, 532, 530)

The robots were first introduced in 2002 and the latest models are the new Roomba 860 introduced this month for $499.99 and the top of the line 7th generation Roomba 980 introduced in September 2015 for $899.99.   Roomba 880 introduced in November 2013 for $699.99 is the best-featured model after the 980. A more economical variant of the Roomba 880 called the Roomba 870 was also released in March 2014 for $599.99 - the latter has Virtual Walls instead of Virtual Lighthouses (two) and does not come with a remote. Compared to the Roomba 870, the new Roomba 860 has just one Virtual Wall. The main features of these new 900 and 800 series robots are:

  • Tangle-Free AeroForce™ Extractors: Dual counter-rotating extractors incorporate a durable rubber tread design that grabs and breaks down dirt and debris from any floor type.
  • Airflow Accelerator: The accelerator brings the vacuum power right down to the floor surface, creating a sealed channel that concentrates the airflow, drawing in more debris.
  • High-Efficiency Vacuum: A compact and efficient high-powered motor provides a five times improvement in air power than previous Roomba generations. 
  • XLife Battery: Twice as many cleaning cycles as previous Roomba batteries.
  • Entire Level Cleaning with Recharge & Resume along with Carpet Boost: These are features in the newest 980 model. The former feature allows an entire level of your home to be cleaned (up to 2 hours) - if the battery runs out, the recharge & resume feature comes into play - it automatically returns to the charging base, recharges, and resumes until the job is done. The Carpet Boost feature increases the motor power as the Roomba transitions from regular floors to carpeted floors.
The 700-series models introduced in 2011 have the following key technologies:

  • The 760, 770, and 780 models have the dual-HEPA filters that capture dust particles as fine as 0.3 microns.
  • The 760, 770, and 780 models have the AeroVac Series 2 bins that holds more than standard bins and also pulls debris and hair from brushes into the bin.
  • The 770 and 780 models have the Dirt Detect Series 2 technology that uses optical sensors to detect dirt and debris in addition to acoustic sensors used in the other models.
  • The 770 and 780 models have a Full Bin Indicator.
  • The 780 model has a Touchpad Control as opposed to Buttons in the other models.
  • The 790 model introduced in June 2012 adds a wireless command center to 780 for $100 more. 
All 700, 600 (introduced in 2008 and revamped in 2012), and 500 (introduced 2007) series models have the following common features:
  • 3-hour charging – Faster charging compared to the previous model that has charging time of 7 hours.
  • Spot cleaning – Allows quick cleanup of spills and concentrated masses.
  • Self-charging home base – Automatically returns and self-charges.
  • Voice Demo – Quick introductive video with self-demo – Cool!
  • Light-touch bumpers – Identifies furniture, etc. slows down, lightly touches, and changes direction.
  • Dirt detection – spends more time on dirtier areas.
  • Virtual Wall – Allows blocking off specific areas within a room.
The primary differences in technology between the different 500 and 600-series models are:
  • Technology: Aerovac (suitable for pets) and cleaning (iAdapt and Dirt Detect) technologies are new on the 620 and higher models. 
  • Lighthouse vs Virtual Wall Technology: Virtual wall technology allows Roomba to block off areas and lighthouse allows Roomba to navigate between rooms thereby allowing cleaning of multiple rooms efficiently. iRobot has a policy of including the Lighthouse technology only in the higher-end models of their latest series. The unfortunate side-effect of this is that the same model has Lighthouse technology or Virtual Wall technology depending on when it was purchased. When 500-series was first introduced, 535 and above had lighthouse while the 530 had the virtual wall. Similarly, 630 and above had lighthouse and 620 had virtual wall. But, after the release of their 600 and 700-series models, the lighthouse technology was removed from their 500 and 600-series models.
  • Wireless Remote Activation– Allows Roomba to be controlled and scheduled remotely – Included with 570 and up. $69.99 upgrade for 535 and upwards.
  • On-board scheduling – 560 and up.
  • A high-capacity sweeper bin – this came new with the 532 and 562 pet series. It holds three and a half times the amount of debris that the standard one that comes with the other 5-series products hold. The 564 pet series product feature the AeroVac bin which combines the high-capacity capability without degrading the vacuuming power (has a suction motor).
  • Max Mode – Allows Roomba to run until batteries are almost drained and then return to home base. This feature can be very useful to clean large open areas such as in an office floor.
It is possible that all 500 series machines can be upgraded to have the above features through a firmware and/or hardware upgrade, but iRobot has not made any such promises.The other differences between the 500-series model boil down to the additional accessories, power rating of the batteries included and/or replacement parts that are part of the package.
 
Below is a comparison spreadsheet of the different Roomba 500 series models:



Comparison Term530532 - PET535550 560562 - PET564-PET580
List Price$269.98 $329.00$249.99 $279.99 $349.99$369.99$379.99$399.99
Thumbnail
Virtual Wall or Lighthouse****Virtual WallVirtual WallVirtual WallVirtual WallVirtual WallVirtual WallVirtual WallVirtual Wall
Number of Virtual Walls or Lighthouse in the package22122222
On board schedulingNoNoNo Yes Yes YesYesYes
RemoteNo NoNo No No NoYes Yes
Brush Kit***No YesNo No No YesYes Yes
Accessory Kit**No YesNo No No YesNo Yes
Room Coverage33444444
WarrantyOne YearOne YearOne YearOne YearOne YearOne YearOne YearOne Year
Max ModeN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/AN/A
High-Capacity Sweeper BinNoYesNoNoNoYesNoNo


  • **Accessory Kit contain silver face plate, additional virtual wall lighthouse, 3 bristle brushes, 3 beater brushes, 3 side brushes, and 3 extra filters.
  • ***Brush Kit contains 1 bristle brush and 1 beater brush.
  • ****Lighthouse has 2 modes – virtual wall & lighthouse. Notice that 535 and above models had Lighthouse when they were first introduced. When the 600-series was introduced, the feature was removed from the 500-series models.
  • The following 500-series models are also part of the line: a) Roomba 572, a pet-series model was introduced in September 2010, b) Roomba 585 is a Sam's club version which is an upgrade to the 550 - it has Aerovac technology (better pet hair cleaning) and the latest cleaning technology (iAdapt & Dirt Detect), and c) Roomba 595 is a Costco-exclusive product that is the same as the 585 with the following extras: 2 extra side brushes, 2 extra beater brushes, 2 extra bristle brushes, 3 extra AeroVac filters, and 4 Duracell C Batteries for the virtual walls.
Below is a comparison spreadsheet of the different Roomba 900, 800, 700, and 600 series robots:


Model*ThumbnailStoreBest Price
Added Feature, Accessory, and replacement part
610 - ProfessionaleBay$320Features in 570 PLUS Max Mode, 2-year warranty, Bonus Accessory Kit, and Storage Box.
620Amazon.com$324Technology: Aerovac (suitable for pets), and latest cleaning (iAdapt & Dirt Detect.
630Amazon.com$349Features of 620 PLUS virtual wall & better battery (40-minutes longer run-time).
650Amazon.com$399Features of 630 PLUS Scheduling.
760Amazon.com$419Features in 572 PLUS Dual HEPA Filters, AeroVac Series 2 Bin.
770eBay$449Features in 760 PLUS DirtDetect Series 2 Optical Sensor, Full Bin Indicator.
780Amazon.com$489Features in 770 PLUS Touchpad Control, Room-to-room Navigation.
790Amazon.com$519Features in 780 PLUS wireless command center, extra filters and brushes, storage and carrying case.
860Amazon.com$499New Technology: Tangle-Free AeroForce™ Extractors, Airflow Accelerator, High-Efficiency Vacuum, XLife Battery, and One Virtual Wall. 
870Amazon.com$585Features of 860 PLUS Two Virtual Walls instead of One.
880Amazon.com$650Features of 870 PLUS Remote Control and Lighthouse Technology (room-to-room navigation) instead of Virtual Wall.
980Amazon.com$899New Technology: Entire Level Cleaning, Recharge & Resume, and Carpet Boost.

  • Roomba 620, Roomba 630 and Roomba 650 models were introduced in August 2012. They have Aerovac (suitable for pets), and latest cleaning (iAdapt & Dirt Detect) technologies. The 650 has scheduling while 630 does not. The 650 & 630 are good upgrades to the 530 and 550 models respectively. Compared to the 700-series, they do not have the dual-HEPA filters and the heavy duty "Aerovac Series 2" and "Dirt Detct Series 2" technologies.
  • Roomba 655 is a Costco-exclusive product that is the same as 650 with the following extras: XLife Battery, Brush Set, Filter Set, two cleaning tools (Round Brush and Flat Brush) and two C-batteries. 
  • The model numbering for the 610-professional is an anomaly. It is a 500-series robot with additional bells and whistles. 
Roomba also sells certain models with technology from the previous generation as well as a number of remanufactured models. Re-manufactured Roomba's are available for between $50 and $100 less than their brand new counterparts. The downside is that they usually come with a 90-day warranty..

Our Experience:

We settled on the 535 from Home Shopping Network (many years ago) as it offered the best upgrade path for the least amount of money. An additional virtual wall ($29.99 list price) was in the plans for us but after using it for almost two years, we came to the realization that bells and whistles were not that useful:
  1. The lighthouse and virtual wall technology – we tend to use it a room at a time and the door amply serves to keep the Roomba in. Even in an open floor-plan family area, it is easier to block access to certain areas than reaching for the lighthouse.
  2. The self-docking capability – Roomba is usually transported to the desired location sans the dock and returned to the dock for charging.
  3. The scheduling interface and the voice demos - The remote for the scheduling option is beyond the scope of our purpose and the voice demo was used only the first time and its real value is moot.
Roomba performs better with a certain amount of preparatory work. This could involve such things as moving light furniture like chairs out of the way, picking up bigger pieces of garbage, dusting down furniture and baseboards, etc. Not all of it needs to be done every time as Roomba is able to handle most obstacles, albeit less efficiently.

Unlike with a vacuum, it makes a lot of sense to use the Roomba frequently – it involves minimal work on your part and the Roomba does its thing while you leave it alone and does not require light. Further one can quickly warm up to the fact that Roomba is relatively quiet and cleans hard-to-reach areas. It is best to clean up the brushes, filters, and empty the debris bin after every run. This takes less than 5 minutes and the modular design along with the fact that Roomba is light makes this less of a chore than it sounds.

Following is a summary of some of the cons we have noticed:
  1. Roomba does not suck in pencil point tips. Instead it drags the Pencil tip and leaves pencil marks all over our laminate floor. We usually use an eraser to get it off,
  2. Roomba misses certain spots,
  3. Transition strips that are between our laminate and tile flooring is problematic for the Roomba, especially when the tile area is very small as around our fireplace and foyer – it attempts to get over it and in the process bumps on the wall turns back and the process continues.
  4. Roomba was a little bit hard on one of our glass cabinets as the bumping is not that light. We use the lighthouse for these purposes.
  5. The adhesive on the bumper pad does not stick on easily.
Replacement parts are sometimes back-ordered. This is something to watch out for. One solution may be to keep one set of replacement parts handy.

Cleaning Head Module (CHM) is a Roomba part that has historically demonstrated below-par performance. There have been multiple redesigns over the years and the current designs are still not that durable - your best bet is to keep one handy, if your warranty has run out (around $50).

Best Value Recommendation:

The 900, 800, 700, 600, and 500-series Roomba’s are excellent products that can save busy households’ valuable time. Among the Roomba 500 and 600 series models, our recommendation is to go with the basic model with the best proven technology: Roomba 620 (~$324) or Roomba 630 (~$349) depending on whether you need the virtual wall or not - the latter ships with one while the former does not. If you need the scheduling functionality, go for the Roomba 650 for around $50 more. Among the 700-series models, the Roomba 770 (~$449) has all the new technologies introduced in the 700-series - Dual Hepa Filters, Aerovac Series 2, and Dirt Detect Series 2. The top-end model in the same series is the Roomba 790. It has room-to-room navigation virtual lighthouse technology, touch-pad control, and wireless command center as the additional features. It was priced at $200 more when it first came out. Currently, it sells for ~$75 more and that makes it a very good value. Among the new 800-series models, the best value is the Roomba 870 for $585 - it has the key technology enhancements made in that series (Tangle-Free AeroForce™ Extractors, Airflow Accelerator, High-Efficiency Vacuum, XLife Battery) but lacks a remote and the virtual light house (room-to-room navigation). If you need those, go with the top-end Roomba 880 for ~$75 more.
 

Upgrading: If you have pets but own a 500-series robot as opposed to the PET-series robots, purchasing the Aerovac upgrade kit for around $70 is a good option to consider.


Parts, Accessories & Add-Ons:  The one part that require periodic (every six months or so depending on use) replacement with Roomba are the side brushes - they are inexpensive (less than $10). The brushes along with the filters are available in a kit as well for around $40. Other parts that need replacement, albeit less frequently include the batteries ($25 and up) and what is termed the Cleaning Head Module (CHM) (around $50).

A useful accessory to clean hair that wraps around the brushes tightly is a "seam ripper" (very inexpensive).

Other innovative add-ons follow:
  1. WiFi and CPU module add-on faceplate that allows controlling the Roomba from anywhere with an Internet connection.
  2. Yankee Candle Room Aroma air-freshener/diffuser which goes for around $17 for the starter-kit and around the same for the refill kit


Hard Surface Cleaning:

iRobot acquired Evolution Robotics, a pioneer in hard surface robotic vacuums (Mint 4200 released in January 2010). On August 22, 2013, iRobot announced the following hard surface robotic vacuums: iRobot Braava 320 for $199 and the iRobot Braava 380t for $299. The primary difference between the two boils down to a better battery (four hours dry-mop or 2.5 hours damp-mop), Turbo Charge Cradle (two hours), and the Pro-Clean system (includes a system to keep the cloth clean & damp throughout the cycle and the cube-to-cube navigation for larger areas). For hard floors, these vacuums are equipped to do a much better job than the Roomba - the cleaning method consists of a dry cycle that sweeps the floor followed by by a wet cycle that mops the floor. The relatively silent operation and ease of handling make it a very good option for regular cleaning.
and introduced a new line of two robotic vacuums for hard surface cleaning:

Earlier in 2013, iRobot announced a set of three robotic vacuums based on Evolution Robotics Mint product technology. The line included the original 4200, a vastly improved 5200, and 5200c (came with a charging cradle). Pricing for the 4200 was $199, 5200 was $299 and the 5200c was $50 more.  These products are still being sold through Amazon.com and other retailers. The products are good and so are worthwhile options, especially in a close-out deal.


iRobot's Scooba line is an alternative and is suitable if your cleaning requirements are more heavy duty (Three-Cycle Cleaning Process - automatically sweeps and pre-soaks, scrubs, squeegees, tackles stuck-on messes and washes away over 99.3% of bacteria.): Scooba 450 (suitable for areas up to 300sft per cycle for $599).

Hacker's Corner:

Roomba provides an open API and encourages robotic enthusiasts to explore the limits of the product. Below are links to resources. Anyone inclined to explore this option should also consider the following additional resources:
  1. Hacking Roomba: ExtremeTech (Paperback) by Tod E. Kurt or the Kindle Edition that explains the following cool projects: Build a serial interface tether, Set up a Bluetooth® interface, Drive Roomba, Play with sensors, Make it sing, Ceate a Roomba painter, Use your Roomba as a mouse, Connect Roomba to the Net, Wi-Fi your Roomba, Replace Roomba’s brain, Build the RoombaRoach, Install Roomba-cam, Put Linux® on Roomba.
  2. Companion HackingRoomba Website. 
As part of iRobot's commitment to building a future for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education in the United States, the company introduced the Create 2 programmable robot (limited availability) in mid-2015. This hacking tool is aimed at introducing students to the fundamentals of robotics, computer science and engineering .
    Related Posts:
    1. Best Value Robotic Vacuums - A Comparative Review
    2. Infinuvo CleanMate QQ-1, QQ-2 – An Alternative To The iRobot Roomba Robotic Vacuums – Comparison and Review!.
    3. iRobot Roomba 5-series Robotic Vacuum Part/Accessory Replacement (Side Brushes) – Customer Support/Warranty Coverage Experience

    Last Updated: 03/2016.


    94 comments :

    Tony333 said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Warren said...

    Your table of features indicates that the 550 does not have on-board scheduling. The iRobot site say that it does. Look here:
    http://www.irobot.com/images/homesupport/500_series_images/500series_compatibility.jpg

    ks said...

    Hi Warren:

    Thanks a lot for pointing this out. We have corrected the error.

    Regards,
    One Family's Blog

    Joe said...

    The HSN link in the posting now says the Roomba 535 is sold out. Also, the Linen N' Things coupon for Romba 560 has expired. Are there other alternatives for those deals?

    ks said...

    Hi Joe:

    Thank you for pointing out the sold-out link on HSN and the question about LNT coupon. We did a little lookup and here is what we found:

    a) For HSN, the following link works and it is listed as in stock:
    http://home-solutions.hsn.com/irobot-roomba-vacuum-cleaning-robot_p-4136931_xp.aspx
    b) For LNT, there is now an exclusive email signup that allows 20% discount in their main page:
    http://www.lnt.com/mailinglist/index.jsp

    We have updated the links in the post as well.

    Hope this helps!
    Regards,
    One Family's Blog.

    JT said...

    Hi, it seems that the 550 is a better deal than 560, as it comes with 2 extra filters and 4 batteries for the lighthouse, am i right to say that? Other than that, are there any other diff between the 2?

    ks said...

    Hi jt:

    Yes, feature wise, they are the same. And, the 550 is a better deal. The only caveat is that you either need Costco membership or have someone that has that membership buy it for you.

    Our second table seems to say 550 does not have on-board scheduling. But, the following link says it has it: http://www.irobot.com/images/homesupport/500_series_images/500series_compatibility.jpg. So, we have updated that table.

    Regards,
    One Family's Blog.

    Elizabeth said...

    I've read contradictory comments for the 500 series re success with pet hair. Do you have an opinion? What is the 400 pet bursh that I read can bee used instead of the regular brush?
    Elizbeth

    Michael said...

    Own 535 model for about a week. Use it every day. Works great so far.
    I currently live in a carpeted 3br alone, being out to work 12 hours a day, so this thing is absolutely invaluable for me. I've read all the negative reviews, then bought it. $212.42 at hsn.com, + $34.95 2yr warranty (I guess you'd want it too). No illusions, prepared to spend some money for spare parts in (near?) future. Reviews are discrepant about the iRobot customer service, from "excellent" to "it sucks". I somehow more inclined to believe in the latter, but we'll see.
    The thing is FUN to watch (and show to a guest ;o), but it does really good job too, judging from the amount of dust it gathers every time. Of course, have to spend 2 minutes cleaning it after every 2-hour working cycle, which is fair enough, if you ask me. Cut hair from the brushes with scissors. Remove all chairs, shoes, etc, from the room, place the base there, shut the door, then leave for a day. At night, find the room (supposedly) clean, and Roomba charging itself at the base. Cool!
    Had to adjust the height of a sofa to let it under. 10 minutes of hard work, but I am a man in the house, am I not? (Remember, no illusions! It's NOT your regular vacuum..).
    Have not used the lighthouse yet, the instruction is a mess, bought D-size batteries, but they do not fit, need C-size. But (!!) I found that closing doors works perfectly as well! Otherwise, it works too, but sometimes has trouble returning to the base from another room. Not really a problem, just works till the battery dies, then has to be charged for a few extra hours.
    One of my rooms is a loft, and the robot feels pretty comfortable there, has not fallen from the stairs so far. Runs at full speed towards the abyss, then somehow manages to stop on the brink every time. Could not believe it at first, stayed "on belay" for a half an hour, but now feel comfortable leaving it working upstairs unattended (we'll see ;).
    For a computer guy, it is really interesting to guess its algorithm from its behavior. My best guess it is completely randomized, with ~60% chance to go at a sharp (~15-20 degrees) angle after hitting an obstacle, and the rest is showing a "smart" behavior following a wall. Resulting in some room areas covered obviously better than others. iRobot says everybody's welcome to play with its programming through some open (?) API, but I did not investigate it yet. Depending on its computational power, it might be possible to apply some state-of-the-art AI algorithms to improve it. At least, make it remember the room configuration...

    ks said...

    Thank You Michael for posting your user experience.

    The API specification mentioned in the comment is here: Roomba_SCI_Spec_Manual.pdf

    More information about the open interface, whether your Roomba is equipped with it, and how to upgrade is here:

    Roomba Open Interface - More Info

    Regards,

    Steve said...

    I noticed that you list the 535 as being able to do 4 rooms (upgraded battery). Could you tell me how you found that specification?
    Also, could you tell me how you figured out that the 535 could be upgraded to have programmable cleaning times?
    Thanks so much, and great blog!

    ks said...

    Hi Steve:

    That information is from the following link from iRobot:

    http://www.irobot.com/images/homesupport/500_series_images/500series_compatibility.jpg

    Hope this helps,

    cecilia said...

    Your review has been very helpful but I would like your opinion as I am still undecided. What model, personally, would you go with for heavy pet hair, hard wood floors, and a few area rugs? I am trying to determine if the 562 is worth the extra $50? Any help would be appreciated.
    Cecilia

    ks said...

    Hi Cecilia:

    I would go with the 532 instead of the 562. The biggest difference is virtual wall vs lighthouse and as was indicated in our recommendation, the bells and whistles do not add significant value and so the most bare-bones option that fits your needs is best.

    Regards,

    Anonymous said...

    It looks like HSN is now carrying the 550 instead of the 535:

    http://home-solutions.hsn.com/irobot-roomba-500-series-with-on-board-scheduling-and-6-replacement-filters_p-5642418_xp.aspx

    ks said...

    Thanks for the info - yes, 535 is discontinued - I have updated the post.

    Regards,

    Anonymous said...

    Do you have any info on Roomba model #565 as sold by Costco (at least in Canada)? Does it have all the features of #560? I am specifically interested if it has on-board scheduling. Also what accessories does it come with? Thanks! (Great blog - has really useful information).

    ks said...

    The Costco listing of the Roomba 565 (http://www.costco.ca/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=10319271&lang=en-CA) indicates it has scheduling and comes with Self Charging Home Base, 2 Virtual Wall Lighthouses, 1 brush cleaning tool, and One Extra Filter.

    MJ said...

    Hi, I want to buy a Roomba eider 550 or 570. My place is one level hardwood and one level carpet + a few small rugs. Costco Canada has both models and there are more than $100 deference. I don't really care about the number of the Virtual Walls, remote, or pre-scheduling.Just the quality of cleaning, the power and the suction. Any suggestions? What is the advantage of 570 to pay this extra dollars? Thanks

    ks said...

    Hi MJ:

    We would recommend the 550. The 570 has accessories which you are not interested in. Power, suction, and the base unit is pretty much the same except for appearance.

    Regards,

    Anonymous said...

    Thank you for all the info and model# differences.Greatly helped in my search.I purchased a 565 from Canadian Tire for $225.00.(good deal,I think)It will be a Christmas gift for my wife.Yes,the romantic devil that I am,will be giving my wife a vacuum for christmas.I will update my comment in the new year,stay tuned...
    Mitch

    tzd said...

    I just bought a model 550 (it says 551 on the bottom) from Costco in USA. It ships with 2 virtual walls, but does not support virtual lighthouse. It does have onboard scheduling.

    ks said...

    Yes, there is a change with the new Roomba's. Only 570 & above ships with lighthouses. It used to be that 535 and above had this technology.

    CJ said...

    Can you elaborate on the difference between the virtual wall and the lighthouse? I'd like to save some money but since the newer models come with the lighthouse it would seem like those would be more likely to be compatible with newer models as they come out. (Can newer models also use the virtual wall? Confused...)

    I'm looking at getting both a PET series Roomba and the new Scooba that is coming out in Spring 2011. Would one charging base would be compatible with both, and if so which model of Roomba? Also, can anyone attest to how well the Scoobas do cleaning dirt/liquid out of tile grout? Word on the 'net seems to be mixed.

    Lastly, I know people have recommended the lower model numbers of PET series (e.g. 532 over 572), and my question is why? The iRobot site itself has not been very helpful to me answering this question.

    ks said...

    Hi CJ:

    From the 2010 model onwards, the lighthouse technology is available only with models 570 & above compared to 535 & above previously. Lighthouse models also include virtual wall technology.

    The charging bases of Roomba & Scooba are different.

    We recommend going with the lower model numbers because the bells and whistles do not seem to enhance the cleaning experience that much.

    Regards,

    Anonymous said...

    Another addition. Sams sells model 540 for $219. It has 3 room coverage, charge base, and one auto virtual wall.

    kfisher said...

    So glad I found this site - you seem very educated about the Roomba's. I live in Florida with tile throughout the 3 bdrm house which I share with my 2 dogs (a German Shepherd and a boxer mix) and 2 cockatiels. Sweeping about twice a week I seem to create a small dog every time! My yard has no grass - only weeds and lots of sand which they seem to bring in with them every time they go outside.

    I'm looking for a Roomba that I can program to work everyday while I'm gone for the day, so I know I have to have a programmable one. My concern is if the 550 or 560 is going to be able to hold the dog hair well enough if I run it every day. Or should I pay the extra to get the pet series vacuums. Is it going to be able to pick up all the sand or will the sand be a problem with it?

    I've been researching this for about 2 months now, but these two questions are what's holding me back from purchasing one.

    ks said...

    Hi kfisher:

    From 2010 onwards, lighthouse technology is there only in 570 and above models. So, unless you can live with no room-to-room navigation (program one room at a time), you have to go with the 570 or 572. Either one will pick up sand. The 572 has the Aerovac technology which is better at pulling the hair & dust from Roomba's brushes on to the bins. It also holds more.

    Regards,

    Judy said...

    I can get a great deal on the 560 and then purchase the aerovac bin to make it a better unit for cat hair. Do you think that is a good idea or should i buy one of the 5-2 pet series?

    ks said...

    Hi Judy:

    560+Aerovac is a good value compared to the 572. The 532 may be a good alternative to consider.

    Regards,

    Anonymous said...

    Right now Amazon has the 532 for $280. You have to add it to your shopping cart to see the price. And free shipping. YAY!

    ks said...

    Yes - that is right - Roomba 532 for $280.49. Here is the product link to Amazon: Roomba 532

    Regards,

    Lorna (in France) said...

    Thanks for a very informative and useful review. I have been considering buying a Roomba for a while but yours is the first site I have found which properly explains the features, pros and cons of each model.

    ks said...

    Hi Lorna:

    Great - glad you found our review useful.

    Regards,

    Anonymous said...

    shbrtami

    I bought the Roomba 565 Series and it was great but it never picked up my cat hair, I used it for 3 months and then took it back to buy the Pet Series 550 model (I bought mine from costco and it comes with extra parts which I found in the 3 months I used the 565 was I probably would need to replace parts in another month i.e- side spinning brush) the only thing I miss is the handle on the 565 series. I hope downgrading to a 550 was a good idea, I thought I was getting the one on line from costco which was the 572 series but when I arrived at the store it was the 550 series and I already took my 565 series back and it was on sale for $250.00 when I bought it.

    db said...

    Hello, first...thank you for putting this comparison together; it is the most imformative I've found. I have been trying to decide between the pet series 550 and 532. Costco lists the 550 as a pet series with aerovac, but I noticed your list does not show it as a pet series. Also, I can't figure out if the 532 has aerovac. Any thoughts or suggestions would be helpful.

    ks said...

    The 532 has the high-capacity bin, but does not have AeroVac. What Costco sells is an upgraded version of the 550 that has AeroVac.

    Regards,

    MrB said...

    Great info. I have the 563 pet version, that works great but gets packed with fur. Do you know if the cleaning head module of the 700 series can be used in the 560 series Roomba?

    ks said...

    No, the 700-series cleaning head module is not compatible with the 500-series robots.

    Regards,
    John.

    jackie said...

    I currently have a Roomba 550 from 4 years ago. It now died, and I saw a new 595 at Costco online. What's the difference between my 4 yr old 550 vs this new 595?

    http://www.costco.com/iRobot%C2%AE-Roomba%C2%AE-595-Pet-Vacuum-Cleaning-Robot.product.100010805.html?catalogId=10701&langId=-1&storeId=10301&krypto=J71XftbfAzy3UFXAbDOOzA%3D%3D

    It seems the same as the new 600 series that came out a few months ago.

    ks said...

    Hi Jackie:

    The 595 is a Costco exclusive model. Compared to 550, the main differences are Aerovac technology (designed to handle pet hair, better suction, and bin) and the cleaning system is upgraded (iAdapt Responsive Cleaning Technology & Dirt Detect).

    Regards,
    John.

    Anonymous said...

    Is the 585 offered at Sam's the same as the 595 at Costo?

    ks said...

    The base product is the same. But the Costco 595 version comes with extras:

    2 extra side brushes, 2 extra beater brushes, 2 extra bristle brushes, 3 extra AeroVac filters, and 4 Duracell C Batteries for the virtual walls.

    Regards,
    John.

    Dave said...

    Hi,

    I'm wondering if there's a difference between the 595 and the 660 (which appears to be the same as a 650 with a few extra accessories). It seems the 595 has the same technologies as the 650 - just wondering if you know whether there are any underlying (hardware?) differences between the 2. I can get the 595 for $20 cheaper and it comes with an extra virtual wall as well as extra bristle and beater brushes. If there aren't any noticeable differences between the actual robots, it seems the 595 would be the better deal. Any suggestions?

    Thanks!

    ks said...

    Hi Dave:

    595 and 650 have the same technology. So, from what you say, 595 is a better deal.

    Regards,
    John.

    trigger1937 said...

    Thanks again for the outstanding blog. I have the 550 and the bin and parts look identical to the AeroVac upgrade. Is there a way to tell if the unit I have has already been upgraded. I'm very impressed with the vacuum that it does. It takes 5 passes to pickup lint from under the bed

    trigger1937 said...

    Thanks again. Your table indicates that the 560 only has Virtual walls but every 560 I've seen on eBay show pictures of switch for Wall or Lighthouse. It is standard. Also,..Is there any marking on a AeroVac to identify it?

    trigger1937 said...

    How can I tell if the Virtual walls in the 595 are also Lighthouses?

    ks said...

    Virtual Walls are not Lighthouses - sometime in 2010, iRobot switched to virtual walls for most models. 595 & 650 have the same technology and they are an upgrade to 550. Among the current models in the iRobot online store, only the 780 and 790 models have light houses.

    The ebay ones with light houses might be older models.

    Regards,
    John.

    Anonymous said...

    Which is better? the Costco 595 or the 770, ignoring the price difference.

    ks said...

    If you ignore the price difference, 770 is definitely better as the following features in it are state of the art: Dual HEPA Filters, AeroVac Series 2 Bin, and Dirt Detect Series 2.

    Regards,
    John.

    Sam said...

    Thank you so much for a terrifically thoroough job.

    I am 99% convinced to get the 595 at Costco, which seems to be the sweet spot between price and the performance I am looking for.

    One question please: does the 595 have the larger bin or the very small one common in older models? Thank you so much for your time and expertise.

    ks said...

    Hi Sam:

    The 595 Aerovac bins have less space, less suction, and is harder to clean compared to Aerovac series 2 bins in the 770 & 780 robots. However, the 595 bin is much better than the old 500-series bins.

    Regards,
    John.

    Unknown said...

    On the list it shows that the 550 supports lighthouses. It also says that the 595 is just an upgrade of the 550. But I asked iRobot and they said that the 595 does not support lighthouses. Can anyone confirm?

    ks said...

    Hello:

    585 & 595 do not support lighthouses. 550 models prior to 2010 had lighthouse technology but now they do not. So, the vendor-exclusive models based on 550 (Sam's Club - 585, Costco - 595) also do not have that technology. I have added a clarification to the post to make it clear.

    Regards,
    John.

    Mary said...

    Hello,

    I've read and reread your posting in addition to exploring all the model options that seem to best suit my needs. I read your comments and there is a question from someone back in 2009 that is similar to mine.. but four years later, perhaps the answer has changed.

    I'm looking for the most cost effective choice of a Roomba that can pick up exceptional amounts of pet hair and debris from hardwood floors. Even after reading everything, I'm still perplexed as to which model could be the cheapest and where I would get the most bang for the buck. Everything from the 532, 626, 564, 572, 585, 595, and in some instances I'm not certain if some of those older models are still around.

    With that said, what is your recommendation for me? I know that you say the bells and whistles are no matter and I agree - I just want the best cleaning job for the least amount of money (cake and eat it too).

    I appreciate your feedback.

    Thank you.

    ks said...

    Hi Mary:

    Value-priced Roomba's have quickly become a thing of the past - unless you want to go for a refurbished one, many of the 500-series models are not available in the market anymore.

    My recommendation would be to go with the 630. If you monitor the online vendors, the price fluctuates, and below $300 is a good price: Roomba 630 @ Amazon.com


    Hope this helps,
    John.

    Anonymous said...

    John, The 500 models CAN be upgraded to the 700 CHM (brush box)

    Mel said...

    Between the 595, 620 and 630, which would be the best to purchase? I see only a $40 price difference between them but can't tell which ones have better/more features or accessories. I can get the 595 for $299, the 620 for $328 and the 630 for $339. I have cats so a pet series would be best but don't really need a scheduler. Thanks!

    ks said...

    Hi Mel,

    If the price difference is $40, my recommendation would be to go with the 630 - Aerovac (suitable for pets) and latest cleaning (iAdapt & Dirt Detect) technologies make it worthwhile: Roomba 630

    Regards,

    Anonymous said...

    Rachel (in London)

    Hi, I'm looking to get one for my 3 storey house which is mainly carpeted throughout. Could you recommend which model to go for? And also, can you programme it to stop when it has completed a floor even if docking station is on another floor? Thanks!

    ks said...

    I would stick with one of the basic models - either the Roomba 630 or the newer Roomba 760. Docking station is needed for it to recharge. If it cannot find it, it will stop when the battery has drained.

    Regards,
    John.

    kaylee clover said...

    How is the 620 I haven't seen it even mentioned on here??

    ks said...

    Hi Kaylee,

    Roomba 620 does not come with a virtual wall while Roomba 630 ships with one. That is the only difference.

    Hope this helps,

    Regards,
    John.

    Unknown said...

    Hi is the 770 compatible with virtual lighthouses? Thanks.

    ks said...

    No, they are not. Roomba 780 and Roomba 790 are the only 7-series models that support the lighthouse technology.

    Regards,
    John.

    Ian said...

    So I am considering either the Costco 595 for $340 or the CTC 560 now on sale for $270. Is the Costco model at $70 more the way to go?
    Thanks, Ian

    ks said...

    Hi Ian:

    I would go with the 560. While the extras might be worth the additional money, you are not going to use any of them for a while!

    Regards,
    John.

    Anonymous said...

    Hi, we are considering one of the 700- or 800- series, but would like to make sure that we can input different programs for 2 totally different spaces and save those programs, rather than needing to re- program it every time we change areas. Does anyone know for sure?
    Great resource! Thanks very much for keeping this up!

    ks said...

    Roomba can handle multiple programs in the scheduler. Here is a link to a very helpful video on this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y5XyyoSOOok

    All the best,
    John.

    JB said...

    Hi! Thank you so much for all of the information! It's so helpful in making a decision.

    I am also one of those people trying to decide between two - the 585 from Sam's Club and the 620. Removing cost from the picture (as the costs are virtually identical), what are the differences? I have a cat and a household member with plaque psoraisis so it would be fantastic to have something to go over our tile and laminate floors each day.

    What difference is there as far as maintenance? Bin size?

    Thanks again!

    ks said...

    Hi JB,

    There are two basic differences to consider when making a decision between 585 and 620: a) 620 does not come with virtual wall or lighthouse while 585 comes with a virtual wall, and b) although the 600-series features (Aerovac, iAdapt, & DirtDetect) are all incorporated in the 585, the hardware changes in the 600-series models are not there in the 500-series models. So, cleaning will be more efficient in the 600-series models.

    All the best,
    John.

    PAUL said...

    Sam's Club has model 645 on a special VIP event this Sunday, 8/17/2014, for $279. Are you familiar with what that model includes?

    ks said...

    The Sam's club specific 645 looks like an upgrade to 620 with a virtual wall & the newest battery introduced in the 800-series (XLife Extended Life).

    All the best,
    John.

    Curtis said...

    Hello. I have a 562 that isn't working too well anymore, even with new batteries. If I switch to a different model, will my 562 batteries be compatible with the different model?

    ks said...

    Hi Curtis,

    The replacement batteries are in general compatible with 500, 600, and 700-series. But, there are many manufacturers and so please check with the vendor to be sure.

    All the best,
    John.

    Debbie C said...

    I need a cleaning solution for engineered hard wood floors. We have an Alaskan Malamute that sheds a LOT and tracks in wet muddy paw prints. So what is the recommended solution to pick up the fur, dirt and mop up dried paw prints?

    ks said...

    Hi Debbie,

    Roomba cannot mop and Scooba cannot handle pet hair very well. So, a single solution may not work but a combination might.

    All the best,

    Bradford Caslon said...

    I own a Roomba 560 (w/ aerovac bin added) and today received an email from irobot for money off to buy a 780. Your page was very helpful in evaluating the differences in the models. Thanks.
    I pass along this tip for other 560 owners. To clean out the hair that wraps around the brushes so tightly, use a "seam ripper" (Google it). Inexpensive and the easiest way I've found to cut that hair out of there.

    ks said...

    A reader asked about the difference between Roomba 655 (Costco-exclusive model) and Roomba 770. Here is my response:

    The Roomba 655 is a very good value-for-money choice. However, it doesn't have the dual Hepa filters and the bin-full indicator. Also, the cleaning system is a generation ahead in the 700-series models (Dirt Detect 2 and Aerovac Series 2 compared to first-generation Direct Detect and Aerovac). One key feature of the 655 model is that it comes with iRobot's newest battery technology (XLife) that was introduced in the 800-series models.

    Regards,

    Anonymous said...

    I am in the hunt for a Roomba. I don't want to spend over $400.00 but I have 2 dogs with ceramic and hard wood floors. I do need to block a room or two, and I would like scheduling. What would be the best model for me?
    Thanks,

    ks said...

    For your needs & price range, the best bet is the Roomba 650 . The core technologies (cleaning, filter, and battery) are all a generation older but still are pretty good.

    All the best,

    Iswara, Fildy said...

    I have roomba 620 and change the cover plate with the chip one from thinking cleaner to have it controlled from my iphone (roomba with wifi!), and it works superb. I can schedule it, find my roomba when stuck in the bottom of my bed.

    Anonymous said...

    Are the Yankee Candle air fresheners that can be placed in a Roomba's air filter still available somewhere, do they work, and can they be used in the 655 model?

    ks said...

    Hello,

    The Yankee Candle air fresheners for Roomba are available online (click for Amazon.com listings) and their product description confirms compatibility with all 400, 500, 600, & 700 series Roomba models. The concept works fairly well: air fresheners are best when there is a mechanism that allows the aroma to be spread evenly throughout the room - Roomba automates this as the freshener is attached to it while it works.

    All the best,

    Anonymous said...

    What an excellent post. Thank you so much!!!

    Anonymous said...

    xlife battery has been shown to be a bit of a lie. It has the same 3000mAH batteries in it as the yellow APS pack.

    iRobot did the same thing before, shipping a gray battery pack with entry level robots, which also had identical cells inside as the yellow APS battery.

    profstone said...

    I just upgraded my two 650s with non OEM lithium ion batteries www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NBAV8Dy. (this is my first time using Roombas and I bought them via craigslist with dead/dying batteries and in need of cleaning - which compared to 'traditional vacuum cleaners was a walk in the park - I have rebuilt Kirbys, Hovers and Kemores and Roomba hands down is the easiest to renew).

    The lithium ion batteries took FOREVER to charge the first time (in the 12 - 24 hour range ... I didnt realize that iRobot has both a 'traditional' and a quick charger; and for those who need instant gratification, the traditional charger is not the best approach when souping up the Roomba with lithium high capacity batteries.) Once filled, however - make sure you charge all the way the first time - I don't know if Roomba has a battery memory sensor like a cell phone, but its nice to have the electronics know what the battery can do and you dont want roomba running back to its charger all the time with a full battery should it have such a sensor...I suspect that it is somewhat 'dumb' when compared to the Galaxy 6 so it might not be an issue).

    That being said, once they were fully charged, I set them loose on each floor of my condo...and WOW! I have even taken one of them on the same charge and let friends do both floors of their condos...the batteries last well beyond 12 rooms (3 carpeted bedrooms, and two full baths upstairs, carpeted living room and tile kitchen and bath down...).

    Love the little buggers! Now I have one on each floor set with its own program, upstairs bedrooms during the day and downstairs living room during the night, I empty the bins once a day and the place looks like I just got new carpeting.

    Because I shopped around craigs list and was willing to put some time and effort into the cleaning and replacement of brushes and what not, I invested about $ 360 in two 650s Roombas and they run great. I moon light as an apartment manager and the last thing I want to do is clean my own place everyday, so this has made my life WONDERFUL. I also see that IRobot is selling refurbished 650s on Amazon with the updated software bins, etc and people are very happy.

    I got my lithium ion battery packs off of Amazon (went with the more expensive ones that people were having the best luck with $ 65.oo a pack and they are working great). The seller says that they are rated for 800 cycles and I run each roomba once a day - lots of traffic and I have a dog. If they last as long as specified (I have had extremely good luck with my tools using lithuim ion so I suspect that I may get more than 800 cycles out of them - and I see that iRobot OEM ); it will cost me 8 cents a day to not have to vacuum (and only 23 cents a day if one includes the price I paid for the Roombas). I like that.

    I also invested to make sure I had scheduling. I didn't know much about using the roomba and now agree that scheduling is a luxury verses a need (actually its sort of fun to turn the robot on and watch it do its thing and because you have to empty and clean the brushes anyway...its sort of like taking the dog for a walk without having to clean up afterwards or put any effort into the process myself).

    Anonymous said...

    Hi, I have tiles and hardwood floors (I believe they are engineered floors). On the wood floors I have a couple of rugs: one is just an indoor/outdoor type of rug and the other is a shag type of rug. Which Roomba would you recommend? I am also interested in one that could vacum and mop at the same time. Thanks

    ks said...

    Hello,

    Your best bet might be to choose from among the Roombas and also invest in another robot for hardwood floors that will also mop. To pick from the models, please refer to the "Best Value Recommendation" section for the Roomba and the "Hard Surface Cleaning" section.

    Hybrid robots that can vacuum and mop across all floor types exist, but they are not mainstream products yet. Please see below link for what is available: Hybrid Robots from Moneual and others.

    All the best,

    Courtney Miller said...

    Hi there! I love your blog! I wish I had found this sooner!

    I have been reading reviews all over the place for days. Cyber Monday is tomorrow and I have been/am looking for the best possible Roomba for me; as all as looking for a great deal on one if I can get it. (After researching other brands as well like the bObsweep and the Neato and having narrowed it down to the Roombas hands down.)

    I have short carpet with a few short rugs in my bedroom (the large one with a very thick edge however but it is rigid) where it will do most of its work, with an open floor plan onto tile into the bathroom. The rest of the space that it will clean is all hardwood flooring (long wooden hallway down into a very open floor plan for the wooden dining/living area) as well as a tile floor for the kitchen.

    I am also more than happy to clean the brushes and empty the bin regularly etc. but would prefer a larger bin to a smaller one, and am interested in the feature when it tells you the bin is full if possible. Having a remote would also not be unwelcome. However if there is a unit that just takes the cake at eradicating long cat hair, that takes precedence.

    I know this is short notice and a reply before I make my purchase is unlikely, but just in case someone is out there with some valuable input pre-purchase I had to take a stab at it! There is an overwhelming amount of information out there and this is the most informed site I have found! Thank you for your time and effort to put it together!

    I am most concerned with having a new pet robot that loves to clean up after my three long haired cats. One, in particular, having long white hair that manages to just COAT my 9' x 12' burgundy, gold and cream rug every other day (those furs cling to it like they found their forever home). A HEPA filter seems ideal in the end and I would really like to have that feature, but I looked at units without it as well. A virtual wall would be lovely, but lighthouses seem unnecessary to me. I am hoping to find one for under $400 with a little Cyber Monday magic and was wondering what your recommendation would be for pet fur busting Roombas? With Cyber Monday deals I have seen some 700 series in my price range, but have no idea if they are the best choice or not.

    I have been reading reviews on the 595, the 650, the 770 and the 780 as I have seen each of those at sale prices in my range with 3 year warranties. I lost out on one of the sales already though as it ended 15 hours earlier than it said it would (went to sleep having added the 780 to my Amazon cart with 21 hours left on the sale, and woke up to find it moved to my "save for later" items and back at regular price for $130 more), and I am hoping I see a better deal tomorrow!

    Thank you for your time and I hope everyone had a fun Thanksgiving 2015. :) -Courtney

    ks said...

    Hi Courtney,

    Thank you for your detailed comment.

    770 or 780 seems the best fit for your requirements and price range. Good luck with your purchase.

    Happy Holidays,

    Kim Ellison said...

    Hi Ks, Thank you so much for this blog. I've been researching for a few weeks now for the best solution for maintaining my floors. I've read through all your information and also been on the iRobot site. Our house is approx 3400 sq ft with about 2500 sq ft of that being hardwood floors (3 bedrooms, office, kitchen) and the other 900 being tile (travertine / porcelain in the bathrooms, guest bedrooms and entry). We don't have pets at this time and no kids, so the messes are minimal but the floors still need attention weekly. We live in the country, so we have dust, spider webs, shoe scuff marks, and I have long hair that tangles in most sweeper brushes. After reading your info on hard surfaces, I'm wondering if a better option is the Scooba or Braava, instead of the Roomba. Do you have any advice or suggestions for what would fit our situation best for the hardwoods and the tile. We don't have any carpet, but do have about 10 rugs throughout the house. If the Roomba is still the best, is the tangle free debris extractor worth the extra $$. If floor mopping or scrubbing would be better, do you have a recommendation? I worry that 'scrubbing' would be too abrasive on the hardwood floors. I also have a large tiled patio that I would love to mop as well. Thank you in advance for any feedback and thanks again for the blog. Kim

    Ice-Man-II said...

    I have a Roomba-571 and a Scooba-350, Model-6000 that I purchased when they first came out. My Roomba quit working (even after I wasted $ buying new battery just in case) and my Scooba only cleans about a 6' circle (even after buying new battery for it).
    It is time for me to upgrade and I could use some advise from owners of the newer models. I am considering a Roomba-980 & Braava-380t; or the Scooba-450 to do both tasks.
    I have 7 rooms w/ hardwood floors and a kitchen w/ large-tiles. I've read the Braava-380t doesn't do well with grout but that's ok if it will clean the rest effectively.
    Please advise …

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