Roomba 690 vs 960: Which Robot Vacuum to Choose in 2020?

If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the winner is, then we recommend the Roomba 960.

Winner
iRobot Roomba 960 Robot Vacuum- Wi-Fi Connected Mapping, Works with Alexa, Ideal for Pet Hair, Carpets, Hard Floors
iRobot Roomba 690 Robot Vacuum-Wi-Fi Connectivity, Works with Alexa, Good for Pet Hair, Carpets, Hard Floors, Self-Charging
iRobot Roomba 960 Robot Vacuum- Wi-Fi Connected Mapping, Works with Alexa, Ideal for Pet Hair, Carpets, Hard Floors
iRobot Roomba 690 Robot Vacuum-Wi-Fi Connectivity, Works with Alexa, Good for Pet Hair, Carpets, Hard Floors, Self-Charging
$449.00
$165.05
Winner
iRobot Roomba 960 Robot Vacuum- Wi-Fi Connected Mapping, Works with Alexa, Ideal for Pet Hair, Carpets, Hard Floors
iRobot Roomba 960 Robot Vacuum- Wi-Fi Connected Mapping, Works with Alexa, Ideal for Pet Hair, Carpets, Hard Floors
$449.00
iRobot Roomba 690 Robot Vacuum-Wi-Fi Connectivity, Works with Alexa, Good for Pet Hair, Carpets, Hard Floors, Self-Charging
iRobot Roomba 690 Robot Vacuum-Wi-Fi Connectivity, Works with Alexa, Good for Pet Hair, Carpets, Hard Floors, Self-Charging
$165.05

Would you believe that iRobot first introduced the Roomba® floor-vacuuming robot in 2002? Now, we are talking about the Roomba 690 vs 960 next-generation models. Increasingly, basic floor vacuums no longer suffice. Consumers are looking for the extras that take cleanliness and ease of operation to the next level.

What to Consider before Buying a Floor-Vacuuming Robot

Clean homes do not just happen. It takes a good bit of work to clean up after Fluffy and Fido. Besides that, most people do not like the idea of spending their evenings and days off doing chores. This is where the floor-vacuuming robot truly shines.

When considering the purchase of one of these appliances, you introduce a machine into your home that takes care of tasks most of us associate with the Saturday to-do list. Case in point is cleaning the hardwood floors or carpeted rooms that see a lot of foot traffic. For many, there is the pet hair and dander that detracts from the beauty of spotless floors.

Even if you manage to keep your home spotless, the presence of pets (or kids) means that there is a constant source of detritus, debris, and spills. Dirty foot prints, spilled cereal or kibble, and whatever folks drag in from the outside ends up on the floors. Sure, you have a doormat. However, it only collects so much of the detritus before it figuratively throws up its hands in defeat.

When you want a machine to clean your floors when you are not even home, then a Roomba is for you.

Roomba 690 vs 960

We have moved well past the first generation Roomba. You will be hard-pressed to find a consumer who has not heard of the robot vacuums that are changing the lives of college students, renters, and homeowners alike. Whether you own pets or not, are an avid potted plant collector, or have children who adore glitter, this product can make cleanup more convenient.

iRobot Roomba 690

iRobot Roomba 690 Robot Vacuum-Wi-Fi Connectivity, Works with Alexa, Good for Pet Hair, Carpets, Hard Floors, Self-Charging

Unpack the iRobot Roomba 690 and find the vacuum, a charging station, a line cord, an extra filter, your owner’s manual, and a virtual wall. Turn over the machine, and remove the battery pull-tab as well as the bin insert. Since the machine has a partial charge, you can start cleaning right away.

What customers love about the machine is the ease of operation.

  • The iRobot Roomba 690 docks itself and recharge when it is time to do so.
  • You can connect the machine to your Amazon Alexa and Google’s Assistant to provide voice commands.
  • Take advantage of the mobile app that lets you direct the machine while you are out and about.

There were also some downsides that some buyers mentioned.

  • The bristles of the brush roll could scratch floors that are made of softer woods or painted.
  • The filter is a basic model that could clog easily if you have one or more long haired pets in the home.
  • This model does not support memory mapping, which means that it enters each room for the first time day after day.
  • Sometimes the wheels stop turning and you might need a new wheel module unless you can free them.

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Other Roomba 690 comparisons:

iRobot Roomba 960

iRobot Roomba 960 Robot Vacuum- Wi-Fi Connected Mapping, Works with Alexa, Ideal for Pet Hair, Carpets, Hard Floors

Unbox the 960 model, and you notice that there is a little more in the package. There is, of course, the machine. As you might expect, there are also the charging station and line cord. Where you will notice a difference is the use of an extra high-efficiency filter as well as an extra side brush and a dual-model virtual wall barrier. Two AA batteries also come in the package.

Customers putting the Roomba 960 had plenty of praise for several core features.

  • The on-board camera boosts the accuracy of navigation and cuts out some of the repetitive sweeps the machines used to take.
  • The high-efficiency filter does an excellent job minimizing dust, which is an excellent option when you have allergies or asthma.
  • The rubber brushes work well to stay in direct contact with the floor surfaces and do not leave scratches behind.
  • This model cleans an entire level without needing to recharge, which is a great feature when you like coming home to a clean house.

That said, some buyers did see a fly in the ointment.

  • If you are on a tight budget, this machine might break the bank.
  • While the 960 does a fantastic job at cleaning up pet hair and regular debris, it has a difficult time with the finer fragments.
  • It fails to offer the automatic dirt disposal that some of the other models provide.
  • There can be cloud connectivity problems that lead to problems with the overall operation of the Roomba.

Buy on Amazon

Other Roomba 960 comparisons:

Features and Benefits for Both the 690 and 960

Sale
iRobot Roomba 690 Robot Vacuum-Wi-Fi Connectivity, Works with Alexa, Good for Pet Hair, Carpets, Hard Floors, Self-Charging
  • Sleek, premium design complements your home décor; Includes 1 dual mode virtual wall barrier for more control over where your robot cleans
  • 3 stage cleaning system and dual multi surface brushes pick up everything from small particles to large debris
  • Patented dirt detect sensors alert roomba to work harder on concentrated areas of dirt, such as high traffic zones of your home
  • Full suite of intelligent sensors guide the robot under and around furniture to help thoroughly clean your floors
  • Clean and schedule from anywhere with the iRobot home app; Compatible with amazon Alexa and the google assistant. Mobile device compatible software version: iphone: ios 11 or higher, android: os 5.0 or higher
Sale
iRobot Roomba 960 Robot Vacuum- Wi-Fi Connected Mapping, Works with Alexa, Ideal for Pet Hair, Carpets, Hard Floors
  • Power-Lifting Suction delivers 5X the air power for improved pick-up performance. (Compared to Roomba 600 Series)
  • Intelligently maps and cleans an entire level of your home. Patented iAdapt 2. 0 technology with vSLAM navigation actively captures thousands of precise measurements each millisecond to optimize coverage.
  • Ideal for homes with pets. Premium 3-stage cleaning system cleans the dirt and pet hair you see and the allergens and dust you don't.
  • Unique dual multi-surface rubber brushes adjust and flex to stay in constant contact with carpets and hard floors.
  • High-Efficiency filter captures 99% of all allergens, pollen, and particles as small as 10 microns.

The 690 offers standard WiFi connectivity and voice control. That is a nice feature because it gives you two ways of controlling the machine. Best of all, you can tell it to perform its cleaning functions even when you are not at home.

Dirt sensors help the machine determine if it is operating in a high-traffic area, which causes it to work harder and remove the added debris. You will appreciate it when the path from the front door to the kitchen is as clean as the carpeting in your living room.

A three-stage cleaning system enables the 690 to pick up coarse matter along with smaller particles. Add to this the multi-surface brush that cleans hardwood floors, tiles, linoleum, and carpeting. This is an excellent feature for the home that features multiple flooring types.

Built-in sensors help the machine determine the presence of furniture. It will clean underneath if the furniture is sufficiently tall. Otherwise, it will go around the furniture but stick close. Because crumbs tend to accumulate at the places where furniture and floor connect, this is a good feature to have.

The model 690 has a long run time, in the comparison of the Roomba 690 vs 960 it actually comes in ahead, which gives you 90 minutes of cleaning time before the machine returns to its docking station, which is an automatic process. Consumer Reports notes that the machine took 72 minutes to clean its 12-foot-by-16-foot test room. PC Mag notes that the 960 runs out of steam after around 70 minutes.

In contrast, the model 960 right out of the gate impresses with a higher suction power. This would have been a useful feature to have when my long-haired cats, Socrates and Carmilla, decided to shed their winter coats in the same week. More suction means more cleaning in fewer sweeps. Therefore, the high-traffic area between the front door and the kitchen might not take as long to clean, which enables the machine to head for other areas of the home.

You will like that this model maps the area where you turn it loose to perform its cleaning functions. Unless you change the locations of your furniture frequently, the 960 determines a map of its surroundings that it uses to navigate through an entire level. This means going under furniture as well as around it.

The improved filtration makes this model a good choice for people with pets. Besides that, it sucks up the dander that you do not necessarily see but certainly breathe in. For pet owners, this is a tremendous plus. Of course, it also works well for the hobby baker or orchid breeder. If you have ever dropped a pot filled with soil and amendments, you know exactly what I mean.

The rubber brushes that this model uses flex rather than remain stiff. As a result, the 960 has an easy time adjusting to changing floor makeups. Besides that, it protects painted floors and some hardwoods or laminates from scratches that a rougher brush might cause.

When this model runs out of a charge, it returns to its docking station. It remains there until it has a sufficiently high charge to continue with its maintenance tasks. Therefore, this model can clean an entire level even if it takes multiple goes. When you have a large home, this function is helpful.

Since you can direct the machine remotely or with Wi-Fi, you can create tasks that the machine undertakes while you are away. Customers like this feature since they do not have to be there to give the machine directions.

Customers Like These Products

There is little doubt that buyers love their Roombas. Fans of the 690 are vociferous about their appreciation. One customer review spoke of finding yourself in love. Another talked about having found a new best friend. And, of course, people refer to it as simply outstanding.

That said, the 960 also has a loyal fan base. There is the shopper who is glad they took the plunge. This review goes hand in hand with the buyer who noted that this model does a superb job on wood, tile, or rugs. What might be of particular interest, however, could be the positive opinion of a robot developer.

Conclusion

In the Roomba 690 vs. 960 comparison, there is no clear winner. Rather, it depends on your usage needs. For example, if you primarily keep the machine for a single room and have carpeting, both machines do a good job. For the budget-conscious buyer, the 690 could be the money-saving option in this case.

But what happens when you have multiple floor surfaces, want an entire level cleaned, and have multiple pets with shedding problems? In this case, the Roomba 960 is the winner. Its HEPA filtration and mapping features make it suitable for cleaning an entire level so you can come home to a clean house.

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