If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the winner is, then we recommend the Roomba 890.
In my house, it is very difficult to keep the floors clean. There always seems to be a clump of pet hair or some other mess that wasn’t there five minutes ago. It seems like a robotic vacuum like a Roomba could be a big timesaver. There are several iRobot Roomba models available. In this article, I am looking at the Roomba 690 vs 890.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Roomba
iRobot designed its Roomba robotic vacuums to clean many of the household messes that happen every day. These vacuums go on cleaning patrol with brushing and sucking up dry messes like pet hair, spilled cereal and everyday dirt and debris. These products are perfect for families with small children and pets. A Roomba works best in a home with a simple floor plan that allows it to make it back to its charging station in a short time.
If you really want to control the cleanliness of your home, a Roomba may not be the product for you. The models in this article navigate by a suite of sensors and do not remember where they have cleaned in a cycle. You may see the robot covering the same area more than once while missing others. The Roomba vacuums also do not follow a specific pattern but respond to sensor data. These sensors allow it to avoid clutter and follow walls. However, if you like crisp, straight vacuum lines, the Roomba series will not meet your needs.
Another consideration when buying a Roomba is the clutter culture of your home. iRobot designed the Roomba to avoid clutter, minimizing the risk of any damage. If you have a couple of sloppy teenagers in your house, the robot will be less effective. It can only vacuum around clutter not deal with the clutter itself. If there are schoolbooks scattered around the floor or workout clothes in piles by the laundry room, there will be patches of your house that never get vacuumed.
Getting to Know the Roomba 690
The 600 series of iRobot Roombas are the simplest models still sold by the company. Unlike earlier 600 models, the 690 is Wi-fi connected and can be programmed and controlled through the iRobot Home App. It uses a suite of sensors to navigate your home, avoiding obstacles and stairs, following walls and making its way under most furniture.
This unit is made to automatically handle a variety of surfaces. It can go from vinyl to carpet to hardwood without skipping a beat, crossing thresholds along the way. With the downloadable app, you can program the Roomba 690 to enter a cleaning cycle while you are away or create a custom program.
The lithium-ion battery gives you about an hour of vacuuming with every charge. When the unit charge falls to 10-percent, it begins to seek its charging dock. The 690 is significantly less expensive than the newer i-series. However, that lower cost comes with less suction power and less efficient navigation.
- Simple operation through button control or smartphone app
- Wi-fi connectivity
- Multi-surface cleaning power
- Noisy operation
- Can lose charge before reaching dock
- Inefficient navigation
Other Roomba 690 comparisons:
Getting to Know the Roomba 890
The 800 series of Roomba robotic vacuums offer some significant improvements over the 600 series. There are a number of aspects that remain the same. The 890 uses the same wall, drop and dirt sensors as the 690. Its battery also offers about an hour of cleaning on a single charge.
The biggest improvements of the 890 are those you cannot see from the outside. iRobot upgraded the cleaning system to provide more suction power, going from the AeroVac system to the AeroForce system. This change is supposed to give five times more suction.
In addition, the 890 has upgraded, tangle-free roller brushes that do a better job of handling pet hair without jamming the machine.
Finally, the 890 has a high-efficiency filter that can filter impurities down to ten microns. This kind of cleaning power can be very important if someone in your home has issues with allergies or asthma. Although it has increased cleaning power, the 890 does not have the upgraded navigation systems of later 900 or i-series Roombas.
- Powerful suction
- Great at removing pet hair
- Filters small irritants like pet dander
- Noisy operation
- Same navigation issues as the 690
- More cleaning power compromises battery life
Other Roomba 890 comparisons:
Important Features of the Roomba 690
As an earlier line, the 600 series has the basic features of any Roomba without any bells and whistles. Many customers appreciate the simplicity of the Roomba design and function. This robot doesn’t talk back. It doesn’t complicate your life. It simply does what it is designed to do, free up your time by vacuuming your floors.
All Roombas before the 900 series have the same set of three sensors that allow the Roomba to navigate through space. The “Bump” and “Drop” sensors keep the Roomba and your belongings safe. The “Dirt” sensor activates a special cleaning mode.
The “Bump” sensor helps the Roomba avoid obstacles. When the sensor indicates a blockage, the Roomba slows down and lightly touches the obstacle. If the obstacle allows the Roomba to pass, like a fabric bed ruffle, the vacuum will continue forward. If it cannot easily pass the obstacle, the Roomba will change directions. Every Roomba 690 also comes with a Virtual Wall Barrier that you can use to force the Roomba to avoid an area. This battery-operated device puts out a signal that triggers the “Bump” sensor.
Without the “Drop” sensor, your Roomba would go flying down the stairs like the end of Thelma and Louise. This sensor points straight down. When the Roomba comes near a ledge, the sensor signals it to change direction. This allows the Roomba 690 to clean up to the edge of steps without going over. The sensor does allow the Roomba to navigate over small drops like a door threshold.
The “Dirt” sensor is also underneath the Roomba. This sensor points out large amounts of loose dirt and debris that will require more than one pass. For example, imagine your child spills glitter during a craft session. When the Roomba reaches the spot, it will begin to spin in a slow circle until the sensor indicates that everything is clean.
Simple Control Modes
Most Roomba models have three manual control buttons on top. Each of these buttons put the Roomba into a different mode.
“Clean” is the basic cycle for the Roomba. When you press this button, the machine heads out on its sensor-driven way. It will continue to clean until it reaches a ten-percent charge. Then it will head back to its charging dock.
“Spot” is the cycle you need when someone makes a big mess like knocking a houseplant over in the middle of the floor. In this mode, you will carry the Roomba to the middle of the area. Once you hit the “Spot” button, the unit will begin to travel in a spiral, vacuuming all the way. It will continue until it has made a circle about three feet in diameter.
The “Dock” button is what you need when you need your Roomba out of the way. This button interrupts the current cycle and sends the vacuum searching for its charging station.
Automatic Charging Dock
The charging dock is the resting place for all Roombas. For the lithium-ion battery in the Roomba 690, it takes about four hours to fully recharge. According to iRobot, you must locate the station in a space where the vacuum can make its way in and out easily.
Programmable through Wi-fi Connection
Earlier models of 600 series were not programmable, only allowing manual control. With the Roomba 690, iRobot introduced the Home app that allows you to set a timer for your unit or set it running while you are away from home. As an added benefit, you can also use the app to give your Roomba its own name.
Top Features of the Roomba 890
One of the challenges of comparing the Roomba 690 to the Roomba 890 is that many of the features are identical. The navigation system uses the same set of three sensors. The main control buttons and cleaning modes are also the same. Both units can be programmed or activated remotely using the Home app. However, where the Roomba 890 shines is in the cleaning system itself. The 800 series includes several upgrades that make this unit more powerful.
Upgraded Cleaning System
When you purchase a robotic vacuum, you not only want it to be convenient but you also want it to be powerful. In the 800 series, iRobot introduced the AeroForce cleaning system. This three-stage system loosens, lifts and suctions dirt from the floor. The vacuum force of the AeroForce system is five times as powerful as the AeroVac system found in the 690. This is important for me because I know that the more powerful vacuum with clean more deeply into my carpets.
The filtering system in the 890 is also more powerful. It can filter out much smaller particles than previous models, as small as ten microns. This is another benefit of the more powerful vacuum system. The stronger the filter, the more force is required to pull air through it. Earlier models had to limit air filtration because of the weaker suction in the cleaning system. Now I know my Roomba is not just picking up the dirt I can see but also the dust, pet dander and pollen that cause allergies in so many people. You can remove and clean the filter for extended use. In addition, the Roomba 890 comes with a replacement filter, and you can order new filters online.
Tangle-free Roller Brush
Although it seems like a simple improvement, the new roller brush is a big deal, especially for pet owners. One of the most frustrating chores associated with a vacuum is detangling pet hair from the roller brush. The roller brush has to spin freely for the vacuum to do its job properly. This was a common complaint about older Roomba models. If the brush could not spin, the Roomba would stop until someone cleaned the brush. The Roomba 890 can handle pet air with ease. Some Roomba 890 customers say they primarily use it to keep pet hair under control.
The Reviews Are In!
After doing extensive research, I found that most people have positive feelings about both the Roomba 690 and 890. This makes sense, because, as mentioned above, the basic operation of both units is the same.
Why People Like the Roomba 690
Most people like the Roomba 690 because it is a reliable cleaning tool. They especially like that they can program it to run while they are out of the house, avoiding the common complaint that the unit is a little noisy. One happy reviewer writes, “Makes my life easier. I do other things while our Lee vacuums. It’s almost embarrassing the amount of dirt he cleans up!!”
Why People Like the Roomba 890
The positive reviews for the Roomba 890 come especially from pet owners. While they appreciate the basic features, they love the way this little guy can handle pet hair. Here is a sample review. “I turn on my Roomba every day and every day it takes out a huge amount of dog’s hair from the floor. I did not realize that my house could be so dirty and I never saw all that hair on the floor.”
My Choice: The Roomba 690 vs 890
In my opinion, if you are trying to choose between the Roomba 690 and 890, I would go with the Roomba 890. Keep in mind that the basic function of both units is the same. They also have some of the same issues with navigation problems. The biggest difference is power. The 890 is able to give your home a deeper clean than the older cleaning system in the 690. If you are going to invest in a cleaning tool, you want the one that is going to get your home cleaner. The fact that the Roomba 890 can handle finer dust and dander, as well as deal with pet hair, makes a big difference. It may cost a little more but, in the long run, the extra clean is worth it.
- Capacity volume: 0.62 liter; Power Lifting Suction delivers 5X the air power for improved pick up performance
- Premium 3 stage cleaning system loosens, lifts, and suctions dirt, dust, and pet hair; The auto adjust cleaning head adapts its height to keep the multi surface brushes in close contact with different floor surfaces, directly engaging with both hard floors and carpets
- Dual multi surface rubber brushes instantly adjust and flex to stay in constant contact with floors
- Patented Dirt Detect sensors alert Roomba to work harder on concentrated areas of dirt, such as high traffic zones of your home
- Clean and schedule from anywhere with the iRobot home App; compatible with Alexa and the Google Assistant