Roomba 860 vs 880: 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 880.

iRobot Roomba 880 Robot Vacuum
Budget Option
iRobot Roomba 860 Robot Vacuum
iRobot Roomba 880 Robot Vacuum
iRobot Roomba 860 Robot Vacuum
iRobot Roomba 880 Robot Vacuum
iRobot Roomba 880 Robot Vacuum
Budget Option
iRobot Roomba 860 Robot Vacuum
iRobot Roomba 860 Robot Vacuum

Nothing makes cleaning your house more straightforward than using a robot vacuum. When my vacuum broke a few months ago, I decided to create a Roomba 860 vs 880 roundup to compare these products. This guide will help you determine which robot vacuum is the best option for your needs. Before we jump into the reviews, let’s take a look at some of the features that you will want your new vacuum to have.

Things to Consider Before Buying a Roomba

Before you purchase a robot vacuum cleaner, there are a few considerations that you will want to make. These include:

The Type of Flooring in Your Home

One of these vacuum cleaners can clean most floors. If you have different floor types, then you can consider a different model for each. You can also use the same vacuum throughout the entire space.

If you do this, the settings will need adjusting when going from a tiled floor to a fluffy carpet. If you have the same type of carpeting in your home, then this type of vacuum will be great for you.

Will It Be Possible to Navigate Your Home?

Do you have a single floor that will be easy for a Roomba to navigate? Is your home a multilevel dwelling where you will have to move the Roomba often? If you have a space that is narrow and difficult to manage, then consider whether this is a viable option for you. If it is, you can consider purchasing two different models that you can use in a larger home.

Most vacuums will avoid obstacles so that you don’t have to worry about it fitting in small, compact spaces. This can include around the couch, the desk, or other larger furniture. The sensor will even let the vacuum know when it’s near the steps so that it doesn’t take a tumble.

The Filtration System

One of the reasons that many people vacuum their homes is to reduce the number of allergens that are in the carpet. Of course, you are going to want a vacuum with a good amount of suction so that it can clean the carpet. This is a great feature to consider, especially if pets live in the home. If allergens are a concern, make sure that you purchase a Roomba that has a HEPA filtration system.

Presenting the Product: Roomba 860

iRobot Roomba 860 Robot Vacuum

The Roomba 860 is an iRobot model that’s designed to pick up pet hair and debris from your carpet with ease. It runs on lithium-ion batteries that can clean an average-sized home up to seven times a week with ease. This model has an iAdapt navigation sensor that’s able to detect your furniture and any other obstacles present in your home. This device has a three-stage cleaning system that is quite effective and is the claim to fame for most Roomba products.

Some of the pros and cons of this model include:


  • This is a Roomba that can clean an average-sized home every day without an issue.
  • This device cleans up underneath the furniture with ease.
  • This model has a design that allows it to vacuum on a schedule that you can modify.
  • It can pick up pet hair that’s embedded inside the carpet with ease. 


  • The vacuum never makes the same pattern, so it may clean some areas slower than others.
  • This vacuum can be quite loud on bare floors.
  • It’ll only last about an hour before the unit needs a recharge.

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Our Roomba 860 comparisons:

Presenting the Product: Roomba 880

iRobot Roomba 880 Robot Vacuum

The Roomba 880 is another great option to consider, especially if you have several rooms to clean. It has the classic Roomba three-stage cleaning system. This product can effectively clean up to three rooms in a single day. With the iAdapt navigation system, it can sense where it needs to go when it’s cleaning a particular space. This model also has an AeroForce filter that I’ve found to be exceptional for trapping dust and fur particles.

Some of the pros and cons of this model include:


  • It does a great job cleaning up the dust that accumulates under furniture.
  • Cleaning the filter and the dust bin on this model is simple.
  • This vacuum doesn’t make excessive noise.
  • The battery life can last more than three hours before it needs to return to the docking station for a charge.


  • The instruction manual is not very clear.
  • The filters for this vacuum are difficult to find.
  • It has difficulty vacuuming pile rugs and shag carpet.

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Our other Roomba 880 comparisons:

Features and Benefits: Roomba 860

iRobot Roomba 860 Robot Vacuum

As you most likely expect, the Roomba 860 is an exceptional option that will work for most homes. Some of the key features of the device include:

Brushless Extractors

Instead of having a few little brushes under the vacuum that push the dirt, this model has feet that spin. This will break up larger dirt particles so that they are easier to vacuum. This makes the vacuum more effective because it can suck up the debris while cleaning with ease. There are also spinning side brushes that the machine will use to pick up debris that gets caught in the corners.

A HEPA Filter

HEPA filters are an effective way that you can get rid of the majority of the allergens in your living space. This model comes with an extra HEPA filter that you can use to replace the original. When that one is too dirty to continue using, you can either clean the one you already own or purchase another one.

This filter has a design that can capture particles that are larger than three microns in size. This means that it will take care of any mold, pet dander, or pollen particles that have accumulated in your home.

Intelligent Navigation

One of the best features of this type of vacuum is that you will not need to babysit it as the machine does its job. In fact, the Roomba 860 has an onboard navigation system that is smart enough to learn the layout of several rooms in your home. It will have no problem locating the stairs and furniture so that it never gets stuck.

If the device seems to be going in circles, you can program it to focus on a particular spot. It may seem like it is not cleaning efficiently, but the algorithm of the vacuum is looking for dirt on the floor.

If you need to clean a smaller area, you can use the virtual wall mode that’s programmed into the vacuum. This will allow you to set up a perimeter for the Roomba to follow. This model has a design that will enable you to control it in multiple ways. It comes with a remote, but you can also download a mobile app that you may find to be more convenient.

Battery Life

This vacuum has a lithium-ion battery, which I personally love. This type of battery is much more longer-lasting than many of the earlier Roomba models. In fact, most older versions utilize NiMH batteries.

This battery will store about 30% more power, which means that it can go much longer between recharges. When the Roomba is low on battery life, it will head for the docking station so that it can recharge itself.

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Features and Benefits: Roomba 880

iRobot Roomba 880 Robot Vacuum

Since the Roomba 880 is a newer model of the 800 series, you should expect it to have very similar features. This is an excellent option for anyone who is looking for a robot vacuum with a good amount of suction power. Some of the standout features of this model include:

Rubber Extractors

Since this vacuum is often used to pick up pet hair, the rubber extractors on this model are a great tool. This is because they ensure that long hair does not get tangled in the unit. Since this vacuum has rubber paddles, they’re great for picking up the hair without damaging the carpet or other surfaces. They’re designed to be gentle on hardwood floors as well. This means that you will not have to worry about them causing unwanted scratches in your home.

A HEPA Filtration System

When you have allergies, one of the most important things to consider with a vacuum is the type of filter that it has. A HEPA filter is an exceptional feature for any vacuum because it can help reduce the allergens that you are breathing. It will be able to capture any allergens that are larger than three microns. This will include most pet dander, pollen, and mold.

In effect, this means that it will clear away more than 99% of the allergens in your home. Honestly, this is one of the best types of filtration systems that you can find, so it will be well worth looking into.

A High Level of Performance

This is a model that works well on most floor surfaces, but it may be better suited for certain types of floors. I have found that it works well on most carpet types. However, the rubber agitators don’t get the dirt out of a shag carpet as well as they should.

If you have medium or lower carpeting, it will work great. On hardwood floors, you can also expect this Roomba to do a decent job, especially cleaning the corners.

This is a great tool to consider if you have pets. It’s exceptional when it comes to keeping the brushes free from tangled hair and strings. If the unit does get clogged, it will be easy to clean. This is because the extractors have a bristle-free design. This Roomba also comes with virtual lighthouses that you can set so that it stays in a specific room.

This robot does come with a remote to control its movements. However, there are more than a few ways that you can control the unit. In fact, there are applications that you can download on your phone to use. This will make it easier to tell the unit to start vacuuming while you’re away.

Also, like most Roomba models, you can schedule your cleanings. This means that you’ll have access to up to seven cleaning slots over a one-week period. This means that setting a daily cleaning schedule is simple. It also allows you to schedule the cleanings without the internet while you are away or at work.

Extended Battery Life

This Roomba comes with a nickel-metal hydride battery pack that will last for a while. If you have a larger space or would like to vacuum the entire space at the same time, then there is an Xlife option. This is a highly efficient battery system that you can decide to get when you purchase this model.

If you choose this optional selection, it will swap out the battery for an 1800 mAh lithium-ion battery. This battery will give you up to three hours of use between charging cycles. In addition, the model will have a lot more charging sessions over its lifetime. When the Roomba needs to recharge, it will make its way back to the charging station.

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Customers Love These Two Roombas!

After scouring the internet to see what others were saying, I found that many people love both models. A lot of users liked the lithium-ion battery Xlife option. This is because it provides you with more time to get your vacuuming done between charges. In addition, many said that the HEPA filter was great at removing allergens.

A few have said that the vacuum makes them sneeze while it’s cleaning. This only tends to happen when they are in the same room. This may have to do with the filter not being clean, but it doesn’t change the outcome of the finished carpet. 

Roomba 860 vs 880: Final Thoughts

So, in the Roomba 860 vs 880 comparison, which is the better option for your home? If you consider the features of each one, you will find that they are very similar. With that said, when it comes down to it, the Roomba 880 wins out in the end.

It allows you to program two virtual walls, it cleans without your help, and you can control it from a distance. This can be quite useful, especially if you want to clean your home while you are at work. If you’re looking for a Roomba that costs a bit less to purchase, then the Roomba 860 may be worth considering. If you want a higher level of performance, the Roomba 880 wins this round-up, hands down.

iRobot Roomba 880 Robot Vacuum
  • iAdapt Multi Room Navigation uses a full suite of sensors to navigate and adapt to your changing home
  • Room to room cleaning in up to 3 rooms with the included Virtual Wall Lighthouse beacons
  • AeroForce 3 Stage Cleaning System delivers up to 50 percent more cleaning performance
  • Tangle free extractors help prevent hair and debris clogs
  • AeroForce High Efficiency Filter traps fine dirt and dust

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