Roomba 690 vs 890 – Which is the best model?

The Roomba 690 and 890 were released at the same time, and the highlight was the Smart connectivity and Alexa compatibility. Today, the duo is among the bestselling Smart robot vacuums.

But then, there is a huge difference in their prices with the Roomba 890 costing around $200 more.

Spending $200 more doesn’t seem a great idea because both vacuums have Smart features. However, the Roomba 890 has several extras, and that’s reason enough to declare it a winner this early.
However, the big question is, are the extras worth the $200? That’s what we are about to find out.

Today, we have decided to put the Roomba 690 in a contest with Roomba 890 to see which the best Roomba is in 2018, both regarding performance and value for money.
But just before we go further, here is a short overview of the two models.

1.Roomba 690 An Entry-Level Robot Vacuum Cleaner

The 690 is now considered an entry-level robot vacuum cleaner, but then, it is distinct from the rest of these cheap brands. The Roomba 690 is the crème of the 600 Series, and the significant addition is the Wi-Fi for Smartphone App operation as well as Alexa compatibility. These two are the significant improvements from the earlier model, Roomba 650.
This robot vacuum has been designed to suit a range of cleaning needs; from hard floors to carpets and even pet messes. I recommend the Roomba 690 if you have hardwood floors, hard floors, pets and light to medium pile carpet.

On heavy carpet, it is inefficient because of the average suction power. But with some unique features like Dirt Detect and Virtual Walls, it is still a worthy Roomba.
The Roomba 690 retails at around $350 which makes it one of the cheapest Roombas available. Perhaps the only cheaper model is the Roomba 650 which is often out of stock.
But still, the price difference is so negligible that you’d rather add a few bucks and get Roomba 690.

However, there are a few things that Roomba ought to have improved on. The navigation is not efficient, and so is the floor mapping. It cleans in a somewhat random pattern, and at the end of the day, it takes longer to clean. To make matter worse, it may skip some spots if you have a large apartment.

2.Roomba 890 The Best in This Battle

If you have been keen on the market, you understand that Roomba 890 is very popular because it is affordable and blends some of the features the Roomba 900 Series has.

One thing I like about it is the Dirt Detect Series II technology that uses optical and acoustic sensors for better dirt hunting. It also shares the same motor with Roomba 960. However, the fact that Roomba 960 has a VSLAM navigation makes the Roomba 890 inferior.

That said, the perfect match for a challenge is Roomba 690 which is in this case inferior to Roomba 890.

One of the reasons Roomba 890 is the best in this battle is because of the boosted suction power. The motor delivers 5* more suction power making it able to clean light to medium pile carpets thoroughly.

This is unlike Roomba 690 that does well on light pile carpet only and performs averagely on medium pile. Another thing, it comes with a tangle-free extractor so the long Chihuahua hair won’t be a problem.

At least for this model, the navigation software has been upgraded. This is not to say that it matches what you find in Roomba 960 and Roomba 980. But at least it will navigate around more precisely and move in a pattern as opposed to random.

The Roomba 890 is an excellent robot vacuum. But my only problem is the fact that it has a short runtime. This is a $500 robot vacuum, so I expect it to do more than just 60 minutes. This is because cheaper models under $200 like ILIFE A4s can do well over 120 minutes.

Now, it right about that time we compare the Roomba 890 and Roomba 690 head-on to see what features each offer.
So, without further ado, let’s get down to business.
Roomba robot vacuum

What filter system is used in Roomba 690?

The Roomba 690 comes with the Aerovac filtration system that basically uses a set of HEPA-style filters. These filters are not as efficient as true-HEPA filters, but still, you will notice a difference.
If you have pets, this Roomba is not the best but will still capture some of the common pet-related allergy triggers.

What filter system is used in Roomba 890?

If you have pets, then the Roomba 890 is the best choice. This is because it comes with the new AeroForce filtration system. It basically uses true HEPA filters this time round, and as you are all aware, HEPA filters are 99.97% efficiency. This is compared to the 85% – 90% efficiency of HEPA filters.

Roomba 690 Brush system

This robot vacuum comes with a dual multisurface brush system. It scrubs floors very well and ensures maximum pick up of dirt and dust.

The only problem is that it has not been built with anti-tangling function.
There is also a pair of side brushes on either side of the vacuum cleaner. It sweeps the path of the vacuum cleaner and directs dirt to the suction area.

Roomba 890 Brush system

If you have pets, this is the best choice because of the tangle free dual multisurface extractors. This brush system is also gentle on carpets, and together with the boosted suction, you get all the dirty work done.

The Roomba 890 also has a pair of side brushes that sweep the sides and direct the dirt to the brush for agitation and finally, pick up.

How many cleaning modes does Roomba 690 have?

The Roomba 690 comes with four cleaning modes. Auto, Edge, Spot, and Schedule.

The first mode Auto is the primary cleaning mode while Edge is for cleaning the wall edges. On the other hand, Spot mode is for intensively cleaning areas with concentrated dirt. Lastly, we have Schedule that allows you to program the vacuum.

  • Auto mode
  • Edge mode
  • Spot mode
  • Schedule

How many cleaning modes does Roomba 890 have?

The Roomba 890 is not different from the Roomba 690 as it also has the four cleaning modes; Auto, Edge, Spot, and Schedule.

Press CLEAN to start cleaning automatically or adjust the cleaning mode on the Smartphone App. Lastly, schedule your preferred cleaning times, and the Roomba will take over from there.

  • Auto mode
  • Edge mode
  • Spot mode
  • Schedule

Roomba 690 Autonomy

One of the problems with Roombas is short runtime. The Roomba 690 can work for only an hour while some cheap robot vacuums can do well over 100 minutes. It has been built with a 2100mAh battery, and even though we expected a lot more, it is not bad for the price. Recharge time is about 2 – 3 hours, but unfortunately, there is no resume function.

Roomba 890 Autonomy

The Roomba 890 greatly disappoints as it also runs for just 60 minutes. While the Roomba 690 may be excused because it is an old model and again, it is cheaper, there is no justification for Roomba 890’s short runtime. I expect well over 100 minutes for a $500 robot vacuum, but that’s not the state of affairs. It also takes 2 – 3 hours to recharge, and it doesn’t resume cleaning after that.

Roomba 690 Navigation

This is quite an old vacuum cleaner so don’t expect so much from its navigation system. Anyway, it comes with the trademark iAdapt 1.0 which is a SLAM navigation.
This means it uses sensors for localization as well as a set of obstacle sensors and cliff sensors. In a fairly furnished house, the Roomba 690 has no problem navigating, but when it comes to large and crowded apartments, it might get stuck a few times here and there.

Roomba 890 Navigation

Despite being an advanced model, Roomba 890 still uses the old iAdapt 1.0 navigation. So, if your major concern is navigation, you’d rather stick to the cheaper Roomba 690.
But there’s something we noted; Roomba 890 was a little bit efficient thanks to the updated software. At least it makes data transmission faster so while the Roomba 690 may take time to stop upon detecting an obstacle, Roomba 890 stops almost immediately.

How does Roomba 690 clean?

The most important thing for a vacuum cleaner is to plan how it will clean the floor. Roomba 690 uses the iAdapt 1.0-floor mapping and scanning system, but it is not intelligent enough. It moves randomly without any clear pattern no wonder it missed some spots and took longer to clean.

How does Roomba 890 clean?

I had a lot of expectations from Roomba 890, but it disappointed yet again. It also uses a random cleaning pattern just like Roomba 690, but at least it moves intelligently. The updated software enhances the intelligence of the robot vacuum, and this explains the shorter turnaround time and rarely misses cleaning any spot.

Roomba 690 Virtual Walls

If there are areas where you don’t want the Roomba to cross, here’s a fantastic feature; Virtual Walls. It enables homeowners to set boundaries for the Roomba. The technology uses infrared sensors that are transmitted by the Virtual Walls nodes.
This model comes with one node included.

Roomba 890 Virtual Walls

This model also comes with the Virtual Walls boundary marking function and is also supplied with one node.
How I wish iRobot would have provided two nodes now that you are paying $200 extra. If you are really keen on using Virtual Walls, you need to get at least two nodes, one costing around $45.

Irobot Roomba

Is Roomba 690 Smart?

Yes, one of the features the 690 beats the 650 with is Smart connectivity.
Roomba 690 is compatible with 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi. It allows homeowners to control the robot vacuum remotely via the iRobot HOME App. We also have voice control, and this enables you to connect the Roomba 690 with Alexa. These are just a few of the many integrations it can work with.

Is Roomba 890 Smart?

Definitely, being a superior model to the Roomba 690, this vacuum comes with Wi-Fi for Smartphone operation and Alexa as well.
But unfortunately, for $200 more, there are no extras so you’d instead stick with the cheaper Roomba 690 if you are all about Smart connectivity.
How I wish it would have come with extras like Clean Maps and advanced cleaning settings like Roomba 980.

Roomba 690 Maintenance

The Roomba 690 is cheaper, but the maintenance is a little bit expensive. This robot vacuum comes with a bristle-brush system. The bristles are more susceptible to wear; you will be required to replace them after six months or so.

Roomba 890 Maintenance

The Roomba 890 is expensive but has cheaper maintenance. This robot vacuum comes with rubber extractors instead of a bristle design. Rubber is more durable and will require replacement after 12 months or so.

Why Roomba 690?

If you are on a budget, then automatically, the Roomba 690 fits your budget. It costs less than Roomba 890 and still has quite a lot to offer.

  • Budget choice
  • 3-stage cleaning system
  • Virtual Walls
  • Dirt Detect
  • Regarding autonomy, it has the same runtime as Roomba 890, so there’s no need to spend $300 more.

Why Roomba 890?

Candidly speaking, there is no valid justification for buying an old version when there is an updated one. Unless you are on such a tight budget, the Roomba 890 should be number one on your wishlist.

  • New AeroForce 3-stage cleaning system
  • New motor that delivers 5* more air power
  • HEPA filters
  • Tangle-free brush
  • Virtual Walls
  • Dirt Detect Series II
  • To be honest, I wouldn’t mind spending $200 more for these features.


Is Roomba 890 suitable for carpet cleaning?
We can safely recommend Roomba 890 for all low and medium carpets. This robot vacuum produces up to 1000 Pa suction and uses extremely useful dual multi-surface rollers with Dirt Detection. Brushes automatically adjust to the pile height and Dirt Detect function determines extra polluted areas.
Does Roomba 690 come with virtual walls?
Yes, Roomba 690 comes with a dual-mode virtual wall. It means you can “close” certain areas from your vac if you don`t want it to vacuum there.
Are Roomba 690 and 890 vacuums quiet?
These Roomba robots cannot be called silent vacuums since they produce about 68 decibels. However, such noise level is a standard and much quieter compared with many other robots.
How often should I change filter in my Roomba 890?
Roomba 890 uses a not washable HEPA filter. It is recommended to clean it together with a dustbin after each cleaning and replace with a new one once per two months.
Roomba 690 vs. 890: What’s the best choice?
Now, it’s time we give our verdict on what’s the best Roomba between the 890 and 690.

Well, the truth of the matter is that Roomba 890 is the best choice; both regarding performance and value for money.

With the Roomba 890, you get the new AeroForce cleaning system which marks a shift from the old cleaning technology to the latest high-performance cleaning system.

Also reIf you really want a reliable cleaner that is worth your money right now, get Roomba 890 because, after a few months, the performance of Roomba 690 will be below your expectations.

Three years ago it was the real deal but not today when robot vacuum brands are shifting to HEPA filtration and 2nd & 3rd Generation motors.