If you are in a hurry and just want to find out what the winner is, then we recommend the Roomba 890.
If you are anything like me, you like a clean house, but that does not mean you enjoy cleaning. My life is busy enough without chasing after dust bunnies and dog hair with a vacuum cleaner. It seems like a robotic vacuum could be a helpful tool to ease my cleaning worries. With all the makes and models on the market, I thought I should take some time to find some of the best vacuums around. In this article, I will do a Roomba 880 vs 890 comparison.
Is a Robotic Vacuum the Right Fit for Your Home
People are always coming up with new gadgets and gizmos to save time. Many of them just end up sitting unused in a basement or closet. Before you spend your money on a robotic vacuum, you need to figure out if it is the right fit for your situation. The Roomba robotic vacuums have the potential to be a helpful cleaning solution. iRobot developed these devices to perform a basic home cleaning task, vacuum dirt and dust from your floor. Many users run their Roomba vacuum every day and find that it does a good job at picking up dust, debris and pet hair. All they have to do is empty the dirt bin when it is full, a very simple task.
However, there are situations where a Roomba will not be as helpful. One thing to consider is the amount of clutter that you allow on your floors. Roomba robotic vacuums navigate by avoiding obstacles whether it is a chair leg or a high school student’s books and laptop. If a large number of items are regularly sitting on your floor, there will be many spots that the Roomba will not touch. Before you invest in this technology, you need to figure out how to minimize clutter.
Another consideration is the types of floor surfaces you have. According to many reviews, most Roombas work best on uncarpeted surfaces and low-pile carpets. Newer models with stronger vacuums do a better job on deep-pile carpets, but they are significantly more expensive than the 800-series models I am reviewing here. Roombas also can struggle to deal with hand-woven carpets. Although they have gotten better, they can still get tangled in the fringe. If you have large spaces with deep carpeting, you should probably stick with a powerful, upright vacuum for now.
Meet the Roomba 880
The 800-series of Roomba robots represent a big leap forward for robotic vacuum technology. These units still use the object-avoidance navigation system of earlier series, though with some improvement. The Roomba 880 has a more powerful cleaning system than previous models with five times more suction power than the 600 and 700-series. This unit also has onboard programmable scheduling which allows users to start a cleaning cycle during a quiet part of the day or night. When you open the box for the Roomba 880, you will see the robot, a charging dock, a remote control, an extra high-efficiency filter, and two Virtual Lighthouse Wall devices.
- Handles pet hair well
- Simple programming and operation
- Reliable cleaning
- Noisy operation
- Small dirt bin
- The remote control does not work well at a distance
Our Roomba 880 comparisons:
Meet the Roomba 890
From the outside, the Roomba 890 looks very similar to the Roomba 880. Both units are 13.9 inches in diameter and 3.6 inches tall, the perfect size for cleaning under furniture. They also have similarities on the inside. They use the same navigation system and the same three-step cleaning system. What sets the 890 apart is its Wi-Fi connectivity. Some of the functions of the Roomba 880, like programming buttons, have been replaced by the iRobot HOME smartphone app. In addition, the Roomba 890 uses a longer-lasting lithium-ion battery. In the package for the Roomba 890, you will find a charging dock, an extra filter, and a single Virtual Wall device.
- Easy programming through the online app
- Receives voice commands through smart speakers
- 60-minutes of cleaning on a single charge
- The battery is not replaceable
- Can run out of charge before docking
- Noisy agitators can bother downstairs neighbors
Other Roomba 890 comparisons:
The Features of the Roomba 880
iRobot continues to improve its Roomba cleaning technology with every generation of robots. They developed the Roomba 880 to be a cleaning force that could deal with large amounts of pet hair. By upgrading the navigation system, they addressed one of the complaints about earlier Roombas, the tendency to scratch and scuff furniture legs. The Roomba 880 has several important features that help it do its vacuuming job effectively.
Three-step AeroForce Cleaning System
The AeroForce cleaning system is similar in principle to the earlier AeroVac system, but it has some important improvements. In this three-step cleaning process, the first step is picking up and loosening dirt. A twirling side-brush sweeps dirt from the side of the unit into the path of two rubber agitators. These agitators have replaced the traditional brushes found in older systems. Their specially-designed tread pattern and rubber material prevent them from getting tangled with pet hair, a chronic problem in older Roombas. Although the brushes and agitators will wear down with use, you can find replacement parts quite easily online.
The second step of the cleaning process involves the powerful AeroForce vacuum. With its increased suction power, this unit does a better job on carpeting. Dirt, debris and pet hair are sucked away into the unit’s dirt bin.
The final step in the AeroForce system is the high-efficiency filter that pulls out 99-percent of dust particles. While this filter is not as powerful as a HEPA filter, it can certainly improve your indoor environment by removing small particles of dander and pollen. With daily use, this can make a big difference in your family’s well-being.
The first generation of the iAdapt Navigation System is the feature for which Roombas are the most famous. This object-avoidance system leads to what seems like a random pattern of cleaning. When the Roomba sets out from its starting point, it goes forward until it senses an obstacle. To prevent damage, the Roomba 800-series robots approach potential barriers slowly and touch them gently to see if they are solid. If the object is solid, the Roomba will remember the location and change directions. As it travels, it creates a map of the area based on the objects it encounters. This means that the longer it runs on a charge, the more efficient it can be. It is important to note that this generation of Roomba robots does not remember the map between charges. With each new cleaning cycle, it generates a new map of its cleaning area.
The 880 comes with two Virtual Lighthouse devices. These give off an electronic signal that triggers the barrier sensors on the unit, causing it to veer away from sensitive areas. A common use for these devices is to gate off a doorway so that the Roomba cannot leave a room until it has cleaned it completely.
It is not much help if your robotic vacuum crashes down the stairs. All Roomba robots are also equipped with Cliff Detect sensors. These sensors are located on the bottom of the unit. They keep the Roomba on a single level. When they detect a potential fall, the robot automatically changes directions so that it stays on the same level and avoids damage.
The Roomba 880 comes with a remote control that allows users to interrupt the current cleaning session and send the robot to a particular part of the room. This can be helpful for guiding the Roomba to sudden messes like spilled popcorn around the couch. It can also be helpful in homes with a large area to clean. If the Roomba does not finish cleaning in a single charge, you can guide it to the area where it stopped and make sure that it covers new territory in the next cycle.
XLife Extended Life Battery
The Roomba 880 runs on a replaceable Nickel-metal-hydride battery. The XLife battery reportedly can take twice as many charges as older batteries. This means a longer usable life for the battery. The ability to take more charges does not affect the cleaning time of the unit. It still does about 60 minutes on a single charge. However, the ability to replace the battery means a longer usable life for your Roomba 880.
Simple Scheduling Buttons
The Roomba 880 has a set of buttons on its top that allows users to schedule a cleaning time. These work like the buttons on a digital alarm clock. You can either set a daily cleaning time or a weekly schedule. The best time for your Roomba to go to work is when clutter is put away and no one is home. If this is your strategy, you should probably clean out the dirt bin at the end of the day so that a full bin does not interrupt your Roomba’s next cleaning session.
Spot Cleaning Mode
You will find a Spot cleaning button on both the robot and the remote control. This setting is a feature designed to help the Robot deal with larger messes. If you guide the Roomba to the center of the mess and press the Spot button, it will start to vacuum in a slow spiral. It will continue this pattern until it has covered the area of a 3-foot-diameter circle. Hopefully, that is large enough to handle unexpected spills.
Full Bin Indicator
When a Roomba dirt bin is full, the robot has to stop its cleaning cycle. It can be frustrating for Roomba users when they realize the robot has been sitting idle. The Roomba 880 has a full bin indicator that sounds when the Roomba needs to be cleaned out. This means less time sitting still and more time cleaning.
A Closer Look at the Roomba 890
The Roomba 890 serves as the bridge between the 800-series and the more advanced 900-series. While it shares the basic cleaning features of other Roombas in the 800-series, it has new features that give it greater flexibility than earlier models.
Lithium-ion Rechargeable Battery
Roomba robots depend on battery power to get moving. iRobot has been experimenting with different battery styles. The goal is to maximize cleaning time and minimize charging time. The Roomba 890 uses a lithium-ion rechargeable battery. This provides the same 60-minute cleaning time as the 880, but it significantly reduces the charging time. The Roomba 890 fully charges in about two hours while the 880 requires four to five hours.
A Roomba will clean until its charge drops to about 20 percent. Once it reaches that level, it will automatically search for its charging dock. A common complaint in the Roomba world is about robots that get lost and stranded without power. Frequently, this happens because homeowners have placed the charging dock in an out-of-the-way area. It is best to locate your Roomba’s charging dock in an area with space around it.
The latest Roomba models take advantage of the internet of things. The Roomba 890 has Wi-Fi connectivity. This connection allows users to communicate with the Roomba through the iRobot HOME app. When your spouse calls and says that company is coming for dinner, you can send out your Roomba for an emergency cleaning session. The HOME app also allows you to schedule cleaning sessions at any time of day. Your Roomba can also communicate with you. It will alert you when its bin is full. It can also give a report about its cleaning session. If all goes well, you will come home to clean floors, and all you had to do was tap your phone screen.
The Wi-Fi connection can also pair your Roomba 890 with a home smart speaker. When you have this connection, you can order your Roomba through voice commands. While this is not absolutely necessary, it is certainly fun to have the robot spring into action at the sound of your voice.
The Roomba 880 Makes a Positive Impression
As I try to compare different kinds of robotic vacuums, it is important to learn how the different models perform in the field. Customer reviews are my primary source for learning whether a robot lives up to the hype. In the case of the Roomba 880, I have found many positive reviews about its performance. People love the way this Roomba handles pet hair. With daily use, they noticed a great decrease in the amount of hair they saw on their floors. People who had experienced older models also wrote about how much they appreciated not having to deal with tangled brushes.
Praise for the Roomba 890
The Roomba 890 receives positive reviews for many of the same reasons. This makes sense because it shares so many features with the 880. However, in addition to the joy of minimizing pet hair, some customers really enjoy the simple scheduling and unit control available through the HOME app. Changing the schedule only takes a few seconds, and the unit can be sent out with a few taps.
Final Thoughts on the Roomba 880 vs 890 Choice
Both of these Roomba robotic vacuums could work well in your home. Their navigation style, cleaning power and cleaning times are about the same. However, if I have to choose just one, I would recommend the Roomba 890. The reason for my choice is its Wi-Fi connectivity. As technology progresses, this connection will allow your Roomba to integrate with other connected devices. The HOME app gives you more flexibility and control of your robot. I figure if you are going to invest in cleaning technology, choose the model that gives you the advantage of the latest innovations.
- 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