Roomba 860 VS 880; Reviews, Differences, and a Comparison Chart

Today we’re going to introduce to you two of the most popular roombas and compare them side by side so that you can see what each of them have to offer. At the end of it, we’ll let you know our pick and why we think that specific roomba is the best one.

Roomba 860 Vs 880 Comparison Chart:

FeaturesiRobot ROOMBA 860iRobot ROOMBA 880
HEPA FiltersXX
iAdapt NavigationXX
Wi-FiXX
Battery TypeLithium-IonNi-Mh
Virtual Walls12
Suction TypeAeroforceAeroforce
PriceCheck Price HereCheck Price Here

Related Article: iRobot Roomba Comparison: Best Roomba Models to Buy

iRobot Roomba 800 Series Features:

There are some features that are common to both these roombas but are not found in other roomba series. These are worth mentioning but should not factor into each of these devices as they are shared features. Therefore here is first a list of features which are native to both these roombas.

  • Self-Charging: One of the most handy and innovative technologies that came with the 800 line. The roombas in this series are able to detect when their charge is about to run out and return to their charging dock. There they will remain until they reach full charge and will continue charging. This is a huge feature that is incredibly helpful. Just because of this feature all you need to do once you get the roomba is to clean it, other than that you won’t have to interact with the roomba in any way.
  • Programmable: Any roomba past the 650 can be programmed to follow a cleaning schedule. This feature allows you to set up the roomba to clean when you want it to, every day.
  • Innovative Cleaning Process: Roombas in the 800 series and above have 3 stage cleaning. These three stages are agitate, brush, and suck. This means that the roomba first agitates the debris, it then brushes to remove any remnants, and then sucks it all up to perform optimal cleaning. The roombas in this series also feature side brushes which are helpful in cleaning corners and edges of furniture.
  • Intense Cleaning: Roombas from the 800 series and above also feature optical and audio sensors that can detect ‘hidden’ debris, debris which would normally be overlooked. Using this technology it can clean that debris specifically target those debris laden areas and use its Focus Vacuuming feature to clean them thoroughly.
  • Aeroforce Suction: The Aeroforce suction is native to the 800 series and basically allows it to suck up dust, dirt, and hair at 5 times the efficiency than older models. It is a great feature which makes this series stands out.

iRobot Roomba 880:

The iRobot Roomba 880 is one in a long line of self-cleaning vacuums that keep your house clean even when you’re not there. There are a few things that have changed with this particular roombas, as compared to the previous versions of this robot. The first thing that stands out is the Aeroforce Cleaning System which is said to be a revolutionary cleaning system. This system basically allows the roomba to deliver up to 5 times the air power than older versions while still requiring less maintenance.

Now for some actual specifications so that you know exactly what you are getting. This roomba model is 14 by 14 inches and stands 3.6 inches tall. It weighs about 9 pounds and comes with 4 D batteries which you will need to replace by yourself once they start failing. You should also know that this roomba has HEPA filters which are safe for even allergic people although there might be a hassle when replacing the filters because if you’re not careful the dust might get everywhere. The filters will need to be replaced occasionally, but you can extend their life by cleaning them yourself with a brush and thus delay the need to replace them. You should keep in mind though that cleaning the filters with a brush reduces their efficiency so if you can you should definitely replace the filters every time they need it. The entire roomba will cost you around $330 although prices may vary.

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iRobot Roomba 880 Review:

The 880 is no doubt a great roomba, far superior than the older versions that have come before it. It features a few great things that make owning a roomba really helpful. The first thing is the fact that it can have 2 virtual walls instead of one. It may not seem like a huge deal and it’s not but it does come in handy when you want to limit the roomba to a specific place. Another thing of note is that this roomba uses a nickel metal hydride battery which, just like everything in this world, has some pros and cons. The worst con is that these batteries run out of charge quicker than the more common lithium-ion batteries. They are also denser which makes the roomba heavier and are prone to losing their charge extremely quickly.

This roomba can also not connect to Wi-Fi which is a feature that remains exclusive to the high-end roombas. That feature doesn’t come up much if you’re there when the roomba is cleaning but if you’re away from home often then you have to set up a time to clean rather than just turning it on remotely. It’s an extremely useful feature that can come in to play if you spend a lot of time away from your home.

Overall this is a pretty decent roomba although it comes in at a pricey $330. It has decent features and works well, although with that price tag you expect a bit more. That’s the only severe complaint from this roomba so our rating for this roomba would be 7/10, just because of the high price tag.

iRobot Roomba 880 Features:

There are a bunch of features that this roomba comes with. The first is that it comes with two virtual wall lighthouse devices. What does this mean? Well, this technology is quite interesting and it basically allows you to define walls for roomba. So for example, if you have a two-door room you can tell the roomba to consider those two doors as walls. That way it will stay in the room that it is supposed to stay in and won’t move to other rooms unless you tell it to. This comes in handy if you want to clean one room at a time so that it can be spotless. The fact that this particular model comes with two walls instead of just one means that you can basically get it to clean any room you want, even if it’s a connector without having to close any doors.

This model includes the new motor which is appropriately called the Gen 2 motor. It allows the roomba to work harder as well as more efficiently. This one also comes with improved debris extractors that can grab dust, dirt, and hair from any form of floor. It doesn’t matter if you’re running it on carpet or tile, this model will be able to clean either without any problem. The improved extractors also reduces hair tangles and makes cleaning the roomba a lot easier. That’s not the only improvement that has been made to the cleaning functions of the robot. This roomba features the Dirt Detect Series II technology which has been optimized to detect larger concentrations of dirt, hair, and dust and thus work in those areas with more concentration. This means that this roomba is able to detect where cleaning is needed the most and provide cleaning in those areas specifically.

The Best Feature

The most prominent feature though has to be the iAdapt Multi-Room Navigation which allows this roomba to navigate to other rooms once it is done cleaning one room. This feature allows it to be completely independent when cleaning and is the only model that has this feature in the 800 models.

This particular model also comes with the iAdapt navigation technology that allows it to navigate more smoothly when it’s puttering around. The technology basically allows this roomba to detect corners and furniture so that it can slow down or stop appropriately. It allows for a better cleaning experience, and won’t bang up your furniture or your roomba.

This new model comes with an improved battery called the iRobot XLife Extended Life Battery which doesn’t increase the run time between charges but doubles the life of the battery. That effectively means that you won’t have to replace the battery as often thus saving you both time and money. The battery life will vary of course depending on where and how it is used but you can expect longer battery life when comparing it to the older models of roombas.

Related Article: Best Robot Vacuums 2019 – Buyer’s Guide

iRobot Roomba 860:

The 860 is a personal favorite because of a lot of reasons but for the sake of being fair, we’ll list everything objectively so that you can make your own decision to decide which roomba is for you. The first thing that you should know about this roomba is the specs. This roomba has the same size specs as the previous one, meaning that it comes in at 14 inches, both length and width. The height is also exactly the same coming in at 3.6 inches. The biggest difference between the two features is when it comes to price. This roomba costs $280 whereas the 880 costs $330, that’s a 50 buck difference between the two.

As with all the roombas in the series, this one comes with all the features that are native to the 800 series. That means that it has superior cleaning technology, at least when compared to the roombas in other series. It features the Aeroforce suction which has 5 times the cleaning power than previous suctions and is something that makes this machine an incredibly effective cleaning machine.

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iRobot Roomba 860 Review:

As we have said before, this particular roomba is a personal favorite of ours and that’s because of a few reasons. We’ll first list the good then the bad and deliver a fair rating. The absolute best thing about this roomba is its battery life. The battery is a lithium-ion which is incredibly effective at maintaining its charges. That allows this roomba to work for 33% longer than the 880 which is a huge plus in our book. The type of battery also means that it needs replacing less often and works for longer.

Another huge plus in our book is the price. The only true difference between the two roombas is the fact that this roomba does not have iAdapt Multi-Room technology. That means that it can’t automatically move to a new room once it is finished cleaning one. It’s not a huge deal but is still a feature that is pretty nice to have. With that being said it’s not worth $50 which is why we don’t agree with the price tag on the 880.

The price tag combines with the more durable and long-lasting battery makes us give a better rating to this roomba than the 880. We give it a solid 8/10 because you end up saving money in the long run purely because of the batteries. That’s one of the few costs associated with roombas and the need to replace the 880’s batteries more frequently makes us wary of it. It’s not a manufacturing deal either, it’s just because of the different types of batteries that the two roombas use. Why they use different types of batteries is beyond us but it is what made us give this roomba this rating.

iRobot Roomba 860 Features:

One of the key features that this roomba has is its lithium-ion battery. It may sound strange but the battery is a salient feature of this product. Lithium-ion batteries last longer and perform better than Nickel Metal Hydride batteries which vastly improve the durability and longevity of this roomba’s batteries. It also means that you won’t have to spend as much money replacing the batteries and they’ll last for longer than the 880’s.

The price is another feature that cannot be ignored. This roomba is priced a little bit lower than the 880 and will cost you $50 less if you do pick this one. Other than that the features of both the roombas are pretty much the same. The difference only lies in the iAdapt Multi-Room technology which this roomba doesn’t have. It only means that it can’t clean multiple rooms at once, the usefulness of which is dependent on your lifestyle.

One more difference between the two is that this model can only have one virtual wall instead of two. A huge deal we know. It means that it can be programmed to think a wall exists where it doesn’t. Not the most useful feature but it is worth mentioning that this roomba doesn’t have it.

Other than that, this roomba has everything else. It has anti-tangle extractors, Aeroforce suction, smart suction, and an intense cleaning mode that can detect when there is hidden debris.

iRobot Roomba 860 Vs 880 – Our Pick:

Roomba 860

We’ve made it pretty clear which roomba we prefer but just as a final word, our pick has to be the 860. The 880 may have cool features and may function marginally better but the batteries are something that we could not ignore. The difference in batteries is profound and is something that should factor in when buying any battery powered product. The fact that the 880’s batteries run out faster and don’t last as long makes us sure that we’ve picked the best one. There are just too many costs associated with batteries, especially with such a durable product.

The extra time, money, and energy that will be needed for the 880 makes us sure that the 860 is the way to go. What it lacks in features, it more than makes up for it in price, durability, and longevity. The features that the 860 lacks can more or less be ignored if you plan to be at home during the day. You can move the roomba to a different room by yourself without having to rely on a robot to figure it out for itself. What the basis of our argument is that the features that the 880 has do not warrant a higher price tag, especially when the battery isn’t as good as the 860’s.

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