Roomba 690 vs 890 – What is the best option to buy?

Roomba 690 vs 890

In as much as the Roomba 900 Series boasts the best and latest features, the Roomba 690 and 890 have remained afloat in the market courtesy of their affordability. At least they cost several hundred dollars lesser than the 960 and 980. But then, when shopping, it might be hard for you to settle on one of them. That said, you’d want to read this Roomba 690 vs 890 comparison review to understand the models deeper so that you can make the best purchase decision.

The Roomba 690 retails at under $300 while the Roomba 890 has a price tag of around $500.

But then, what are the differences? If you have the 690, is there anything you are missing out on? Who should buy the 690 and 890? I know you are eager to know all these so without further ado, let’s start the review with a brief overview of these two vacuum cleaners.

  Best ChoiceBudget Choice
Product Image
Model:Roomba 890Roomba 690
Cleaning SystemAeroForce 3-Stage Cleaning System3-Stage Cleaning System
BrushesTangle-free Dual Multi-Surface Brushes, Edge-Sweeping BrushDual Multi-Surface Brushes, Edge-Sweeping Brush
Vacuum suction5x powerYes
Virtual WallsYesYes
Dirt Detect TechnologyAdvanced Dirt Detect TechnologyYes
FilterHEPA filterHEPA style filter
Battery Life60 minutes60 minutes
Smart Home ConnectedUse with iRobot HOME App, Amazon Alexa, Google AssistantUse with iRobot HOME App, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price

Roomba 690 – best model in 600 series

The Roomba 690 was my second robot vacuum after the older Roomba 650. Though there was a lot of hype about it during its release, it didn’t live up to the expectations considering the only new feature brought on board was Wi-Fi and Alexa compatibility.

But I’m glad the price was not exaggerated; you will get it on Amazon at around $300 which is not bad for a Smart vacuum cleaner from such a top brand. I like the fact that this robot vacuum blends affordability and performance. Though it may not make it even in the top 5 best Roombas shortlist, it will still offer you some great performance on floors, carpets and pet hair.

But here are two important things to note. First, this cleaner is not ideal for high traffic rooms and second, it’s very selective on dark carpets. This seems to be a major problem but then when you remember the extras it offers as well as unique technology like Dirt Detect and Virtual Walls, not forgetting the price tag, the Roomba 690 is still a worthy purchase if you are looking for an entry-level Smart robot vacuum.

But I’m afraid, if you are looking for a cleaner that will also do allergens, this one won’t be ideal. The filters are not true HEPA so the filtration efficiency is lower; true HEPA is 99.97% efficient while HEPA style filters will do anything between 85% and 90%.

Also, the 60 minutes runtime and fast battery wear will want you to think twice especially if you have large floors.


  • Very affordable price
  • For floors, carpets and pet hair
  • Dirt Detect
  • Wi-Fi and Alexa compatible
  • Virtual Walls


  • Misses some carpet spots
  • Clumsy navigation system
  • Short battery runtime (60 mins)
  • Tangling in brushes
  • HEPA style filters
Having said that, you only want to buy the Roomba 690 if you have light floor cleaning needs; maybe if you have a small apartment with no pets. Otherwise, for the best are reliable cleaning, get something higher; perhaps the Roomba 890 would do. But then, that is not to say that iRobot failed; when it was released back in 2015, it was a big deal but with the new innovations in today’s market, it hardly stands a chance!

iRobot Roomba 890 – Smart Choice for home

This is another mid-range vacuum cleaner that leads the pack in the 800 Series. Though a lot of websites portray it as a clever choice while others find it an affordable option, I have different thoughts. On a normal day, the Roomba 890 will cost you around $500; that’s in the same range as high-end vacs like Deebot R95 that for sure beat the Roomba 890.

But still there’s something about the Roomba 890 and one thing you will love it for is the similar features it bears together with the coveted Roomba 960.

The first important function is the 5x boosted suction power. Though not as efficient as the Roomba 980 when it Carpet Boost, it produces enough suction for thorough carpet cleaning. Another thing, it has a new anti-tangle brush that reduces tangling.

So, if you have long haired breeds; Chihuahua, Yorkshire Terrier, Afghan Hound, Havanese, and the likes, this is a Roomba you’d want to have. If you also have allergies; whether pet related or not, the HEPA filters used in this cleaner will make sure you have fresh air always. It captures 99.97% of allergens and compared to HEPA style filters, this is just impressive.


  • 5x more suction pover
  • Tangle-free Brush system
  • For Floors, carpets and pet hair
  • Dirt Detect Series 2
  • Longer runtime (60 mins)
  • Wi‐Fi and Alexa Compatible


  • Misses some carpet spots
  • Clumsy navigation system
  • Short battery runtime (60 mins)
  • Auto resume
But on the other side of the coin, I find this vacuum quite expensive for several reasons and the first one is the navigation system. It still uses the old iAdapt 1.0 when high-end models like Roomba 960 have the new iAdapt 2,0 which is more accurate. If you have a high traffic house, you’d rather top up the extra $200 and get the Roomba 960 that has VSLAM navigation. Another thing, the 60 minutes runtime is quite short for a $500 cleaner; for Christ’s sake, cheaper models like ECOVACS DEEBOT N78, ILIFE V5s Pro and the rest average 100 minutes.


Like promised, we are going to strip down these two models to see how they stack up against each other. We are going to focus on the main aspects of robot vacuum cleaners so without wasting time, let’s get straight down to business.


This is an area that the Roomba 890 and 690 have a fair share of similarities and differences. But just to alert you early enough, there is no much that should influence your buying decision here. The dimensions are all equal; just a few interface design changes and perhaps the finish bring the difference.

When it comes to the design, they are both round-shaped and though they won’t fit in corners like the D-shaped Neato robots, the sides brushes will ensure the corners are at least swept, but not thoroughly. The finishing is also very different. While the Roomba 690 is dark and has a silver accent, the Roomba 890 is black with a brownish accent in the middle.

In terms of dimensions, these cleaners are quite similar with the weight only being the difference. Like all Roombas, they have a diameter of 13.6-inches and stand at 3.6 inches high. The problem with most review websites is that they have hyped the Roombas so much and won’t be honest about its design. The Roomba is not the definition of a low profile design and will only get under furniture with much higher clearance. Regarding weight, the Roomba 690 weighed in at 7.4 lbs. while the rival was a little bit heavier at 8.4 lbs.

Winner – I wouldn’t say that there is any better vacuum cleaner between the two as far as design, dimensions, and aesthetics are concerned. If the difference in weight would, however, point to a shorter runtime in the Roomba 890, I would settle for the lighter 690 but then this is not the case; the 0.6 lbs weight difference is very negligible. That said, you can openly choose the one that appeals most to your eye; if you want flashy colors, the 690 is a great choice but for dull color lovers, the brown finish of the 890 suits you!

2. CLEANING PERFORMANCE (Cleaning tests)

I know this is the most interesting bit of this Roomba 890 vs 690 comparison review. On our side, we refined our research and did numerous tests to give you real insights on how these two cleaners compare as far as cleaning is concerned. We will share with you our exclusive tests results under different conditions.

So, whether you have pets, kids, hardwood floor, carpets or whatever cleaning need, this is where you will get all that information.

To make it easier for our readers, we have segmented this section into two. In the first section, we will compare the different features and in the second part, we will share with you the results of the cleaning performance comparison.

Cleaning priority – The Roomba 690 and 890 have been designed for all around use. You can clean hardwood floors, tile, carpets and pet hair as well as allergens. But then, all these are marketing hypes, the real answer to this is in our cleaning test. Make sure to check each of the two Roomba’s performance on the different surfaces.

Suction – This is an important dynamic when it comes to robot vacuuming. Suction power is the force that picks up dirt from the floor to the bin. The Roomba 690 has quite an old motor considering we now have generation 2 motors like the one used in the Roomba 980. It can deliver around 600Pa while the 890 has a 1st Generation motor that delivers around 800Pa.

Brush – This is another important feature that will determine the cleaning performance of your vacuum. It is also an area where these two vacuum cleaners greatly differ. During the era of the 600 Series, iRobot was using the dual multi-surface brush system that was new at the time. It performs quite well but then, tangling is the menace. On the other hand, the Roomba 890 has the same dual multi-surface brush but now with anti-tangle technology making it suitable for pets.

Filter system – Also here, the Roomba 890 and 680 are different as the former uses an AeroForce filter system while the latter has AeroVac. The difference between the two is basically the filter used inside. Roomba 690 uses a HEPA style filter while the Roomba 890 has a true HEPA filter.

Dirt detection – This is a revolutionary feature that looks for areas where there is concentrated dirt for a detailed clean. This technology is in both models but the Roomba 890 has a more advanced version. In the older Roomba, it is called Dirt Detect and uses acoustic sensors to detect dirt. Once it detects an area with concentrated dirt, it switched to Spot mode until the dirt is vacuumed. On the other hand, the 890 has Dirt Detect Series II that uses acoustic and optical sensors to detect dirt.

Our Exclusive Cleaning Test Results

To get the real performance of these robot vacuums, we tested it with some of the common dirt and messes that it will be handling on a daily basis. We used kitty litter, sugar, cereals, Cheerios, flour, and sugar. We run the test by pouring some small amount of this dirt on hardwood floor, thin carpet and thick carpet. Here are our results.

Hardwood/Tile/Vinyl On these surfaces, robot vacuums normally produce the same results so here, we will use the results we got on the hardwood floor.

The Roomba 690 collected 98% of the sugar we had poured on the floor, 98% flour, 90% kitty litter, 96% cereals, 100% Cheerios and 98% rice. On the other hand, the 890 exhibited better performance considering the boosted suction power. It picked all the scattered sugar, flour, rice, and Cheerios. The only dirt that seemed to be a problem for it was kitty litter but still, 94% isn’t that bad.

Hardwood Tile Vinyl

Here, the Roomba 890 definitely carries the day as it picked up more dirt than the Roomba 690 in all areas.
Thick carpet (Polypropylene fiber) I wanted to capture the performance of these two cleaners on both low pile and high pile carpets so I camped at a friend’s apartment for a few days and run all the tests. This was on a high pile carpet made from polypropylene fiber.

This is where the Roomba 890 manifested its superiority; the 5x more suction power than average Roombas. But still, the performance is so wanting for both models and if you have a thick carpet, I won’t guarantee you thorough cleaning even with the Roomba 890. That’s why the Roomba 980 remains a top model for those with carpets; whether thin or thick.

In this comparison, I will use some data I have for the Roomba 980 so that you may see the difference. I was fortunate to find the Roomba 980 at my friend’s place so I said, why not compare the performance of these two to that of the king, the 980 when switched to Carpet Boost.

As you will see on the table, the Roomba 690 was at its lowest managing only 82% of sugar, 80% of flour, and 90% of kitty litter. On the other hand, 94% of rice and Cheerios was picked. For the Roomba 890, there was some slight improvement but not worth the $200 price difference. It picked 84% of all the sugar and flour and 85% of kitty litter. It then performed well on Cheerios and rice picking 94%.

Thick carpet

So, how does the Roomba 980 compare with the two? The first thing that I want to bring to your attention is that the Roomba has an edge over the two on carpets courtesy of the dedicated carpet cleaning mode; Carpet Boost. When the self-adjusting head detects a surface that feels like a carpet, the mode is activated and produces 10x extra power. That’s what makes it efficient here. You can check its performance on the illustration below; excellent performance!
Thin carpet (Nylon fiber) I am not a fan of carpet floors but I had to roll out my nylon fiber carpet to run the tests.

Here, the performance of both models wasn’t bad at all.

Here, the Roomba 890 and 690 didn’t perform as bad as they did on heavy pile. At least they were able to pick much of the fine particles, especially dust, flour and sugar which hide deep inside the fabric. So, in as much as their performance is dismal on heavy carpets, you can still rely on one of them if you have thin carpet.
So, what amount of dirt did each of the two Roombas pick?

The Roomba 690 comes last here again collecting 90% of sugar, 86% flour, 90% kit litter, and 98% of Cheerios and rice. On the other hand, the Roomba 890 manages to collect all the Cheerios and rice, 100%. Floor and sugar is a slight problem at 90% while kitty litter remains the problem at 86%.

Thin carpet

What about pet hair and allergens?
Over half of the American population keep pets and more than a third of this use a vacuum cleaner to clean the shed fur, hair, dander, skin flakes, and other related dirt. Another relates statistics show that over 40% of the population is allergic so the filter system of the robot you are buying is also in question.

Unfortunately here, we were not able to conduct deep tests because finding the dirt in question is not easy. We were able to collect pet dirt for a few weeks but then, but the time we were doing the test, the dirt had lost its natural characteristics so obviously, the results would be biased.

But having kept pets and used the two vacuum cleaners, there are a few things I would like to share with you regarding their performance.

When I had the Roomba 690, I was living in a two bedroom apartment with an engineered hardwood floor. With two Havanese and my wife’s cat, the Roomba 690 was often overwhelmed. I liked how it was able to pull the long dog fur and all the cat hair. But then, it tangled almost daily because of the dog’s long hair. Regarding filtration, I can’t give it credit because there was no much difference. As you understand, this is a HEPA style filter and filters around 85% – 90% of allergens.

So, if you are irritated by dog urine, pollen, and other allergens, the 690 is not the best.

The Roomba 890, on the other hand, is improved and will suck all the hair, fur, flakes, and dander. Besides this, it comes with a HEPA filter so most of the time, you will have fresh breathable air. But still, it is not something you can rely on to clean the air when you have more than one pet or if your house is poorly ventilated. Also, remember to empty the bin frequently especially if you have pets. I once replaced my filter thinking it was worn out yet the problem was the stinking dander in the bin.


What’s the size of your apartment or floor area? Do you have a lot of furniture and household fittings? How fast do you want the cleaner to be? These three questions are very important when buying a robot vacuum cleaner.

To answer them satisfactorily, it is the navigation and mapping system that is put on the spot.

Both the Roomba 690 and the Roomba 890 have the same iAdapt navigation system. It uses sensors for localization and preventing it from falling off the stairs or hitting obstacles. For this reason, we expected both of them to perform just the same way but the difference was clear.

Our observation
The Roomba 690 was very clumsy when navigating around and most of the time, it looked unsure whether to go in the direction it was facing. But the worst thing is the frequency at which it got stuck. It got twice as much as the Roomba 890 but when clutter is reduced, at least it becomes swift. On carpets with dark spots, it also seems to decode them as a fall so when it reaches such spots, it diverts. This is quite serious considering the dirt on the dark spots is the most visible. One last thing, the Roomba 890 cleaned much faster than the Roomba 690.

The Roomba 890 comes with the same iAdapt 1.0 navigation system but with an upgraded software that processes information faster. This is why it is harder for the 890 to hit the wall as it will slow down faster because of the enhanced communication. Regarding mapping and scanning, the faster software also gives the Roomba 890 an upper hand. At least it made some logical turns unlike the stupid Roomba 690 that made some funny turns and always took the longest routes.

There is also another feature called Virtual Walls that allows homeowners to restrict the robot from going to specific areas. Both the 890 and 690 are compatible with this feature and come with 1 dual-mode Virtual Wall included.

Winner – Here, it is also hard to call when you factor in the aspect of price vs performance. Definitely, the Roomba 890 has better performance and deserves to be a clear winner. But then, considering it is $200 more expensive than the Roomba 690 you would expect it to have a much-improved navigation system. But at the end of the day, it is the best when it comes to cleaning large apartments and high traffic rooms.


If you are keen enough, you will notice that even though Roomba is an industry leader in terms of cleaning performance and navigation as well as Smart connectivity, its batteries have been under constant criticism.

That in mind, you want to know how it goes down in the Roomba 890 vs 690 supremacy war. One thing I want you to note here is that there are a lot of similarities but at the end of the day, the performance varies.

Product Image
ModelRoomba 890Roomba 690
Battery TypeLithium-IonLithium-Ion
Average Runtime60 minutes60 minutes
Recharge Time2 – 3 hours2 – 3 hours
Self - rechargeYesYes
Auto resumeNoNo
These two vacuum cleaners come with 1800mAh Lithium-Ion batteries and though the performance is not up to the mark, their durability is impressive and also come with a 6 months warranty. Each battery can average the Roomba an hour but note that you may not get the same performance on all surfaces.

Our observation
In our tests, the Roomba 690 did 47 minutes on thick carpet, 54 minutes on thin carpet and 63 minutes on hardwood and tile. On the other hand, the Roomba 890 averaged 50 minutes on the thick carpet, 60 minutes on thin carpet, and 64 minutes on wood and tile.

Though the surface that the Roomba is working on greatly determines the power consumption, there are other factors that shortened the runtime of both Roombas.

When the bin was full, the runtime greatly reduced so you would want to empty the bin frequently to save the battery life. When the bin was half full, the runtime dipped by around 10% so on a hardwood floor, the Roomba 890 lasted around 59 minutes.

Another thing that would probably fluctuate the runtime is the brushes. I noticed the Roomba 690 often dipped runtime and one of my easy troubleshooting steps was cleaning the tangled brush.

So, what about recharging. Will the Roomba recharge? And thereafter, does it resume cleaning or you have to prompt it?

The Roomba 890 and 690 all have the self-recharge feature. When the power level is in critical condition, it finds its way to the Home base for recharging. The recharge time for both robots is around two and a half hours but I noted that the longer you use it, the longer the charging time but just in the range of 2 – 3 hours.

But then, after recharging, none of them will resume cleaning. Auto resume is a pretty new addition that is in a few models; Roomba 960, 980, DEEBOT R95, and a few others.
Winner – Personally, I don’t feel like there is a deserved winner here. But I feel the Roomba 890 is the loser here considering it is expensive and works just the same way as the cheaper Roomba 690.


One of the reasons why you need to buy a robot vacuum cleaner is the convenience they offer. Unlike a regular vacuum, a robot cleaner is intelligent and can be programmed or operated with Smart devices.

That said, you’d want to know which of the two vacuums cleaners will offer you more convenience and Smart features.

Product Image
ModelRoomba 890Roomba 690
Wi-Fi Yes, 2.4 GHzYes, 2.4 GHz
Smartphone App operationYes, iRobot HOME AppYes, iRobot HOME App
Voice controlYes, Amazon Alexa and Google AssistantYes, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
SchedulingYes, 7-day programmableYes, 7-day programmable
The Roomba 690 took the market by storm when it arrived; a solid vacuum cleaner that could be operated remotely from the Smartphone App and still packed the raw power of the predecessor, the Roomba 650. As long as you have stable home internet, the Roomba 690 will work with Alexa too. This is also the same case with the Roomba 890 so here, there is no clear winner.

When it comes to convenience, we are solely focusing on programmability. Can you schedule the Roomba to clean at a later time? Yes, just like all Roombas the 690 and 890 can be scheduled to clean at specific times throughout the week. I really like this function especially the ease of use.

My grandmother hardly uses the Smartphone App. As long as she has scheduled it, it runs throughout the week. But one flaw that no one seems to be addressing is that this feature assumes you will be cleaning the house only once a day. For pet lovers like us who keep two or three pets, we have to vacuum at least twice daily so, in the second cleaning cycle, you have to initiate a cleaning session.

Winner – Though they all have the same features here, I am going with the Roomba 690 because it is cheaper. Wi-Fi and voice control are among the most coveted features when it comes to Roombas and robot vacuums in general. Most of the times, these features make the price of the cleaner to shoot but I am glad the Roomba 690 is quite cheap.


A robot cleaner requires frequent maintenance so you would want to know which one of the two between Roomba 690 vs 890 requires lesser maintenance.

To be honest with you, there is none of the two that has lesser maintenance.

Another important thing to note is that the maintenance requirements are determined by the level of usage.

That means, the more the vacuum is used the more it will require maintenance. I have used both vacuum cleaner and so I have quite a lot regarding the maintenance of the two.

Some of the maintenance requirements include bin emptying, filter replacement, brush replacement, battery replacement and so on. While cleaning and bin emptying remains constant, the prices of the replacement parts may vary.

Annually, the maintenance costs of these two vacuum cleaners are around $40 with the 890 being slightly higher and may go to $45.
Winner – There is no clear winner when it comes to maintenance as it depends on your usage. The more the usage, the higher the maintenance requirements.


Now, all said and done, it’s time you make up your mind which of the two cleaners you are going to buy. But just before that, a discussion on the cost and value for money would be very resourceful.

The first thing to address here would be the initial cost. The Roomba 690 has a retail price of $300 which is quite high considering it is a very old model.

There are some really awesome cheap models; the likes of ECOVACS DEEBOT N78 that in fact has a mop, the new ILIFE V8s Pro, bObsweep, Eufy RoboVac II and so many other robot vacuums in the $200 price range. Something like the ILIFE V5s Pro will give you the same service as the Roomba 690 only that it doesn’t have Wi-Fi and Alexa. Otherwise, if I had the chance to choose something else apart from Roomba, I wouldn’t run out of options.

On the other hand, the Roomba 890 has a retail price tag of $500 though most times you will find it with a $50 – $70 discount. If you are looking for value for money in a Roomba, this is where your search ends.

At least it doesn’t exceed the $500 mark and still offers some exclusive features found in the Roomba 900 Series. If you want more suction power, this is a robot you want to own. When it comes to pets, it does an amazing job and that’s the case for hardwood floors.

But if you have the chance to look over the fence, there seem to be some other options from other brands that can fit the specifications and are available at a cheaper price. The Roomba 960 costs around $600 but you get the new iAdapt 2.0, longer runtime and the resume function.


Now, we are almost coming to the end of our review and in this section, we want to give you our verdict on what’s the best robot vacuum cleaner in this Roomba 890 vs 690 comparison review. Remember, our verdict here will solely be based on the features and performance; price won’t be a consideration just yet.

Though these two vacuum cleaners have a lot of similarities, there is a great difference in features and performance and that explains the $200 price gap.

The Roomba 890 has some few extras that in fact attribute to the better performance of the 890 during our cleaning tests.

First, it has 5x more vacuuming power than the Roomba 690. The second thing, it will not tangle like the Roomba 600 Series old brush so even if you have long-haired breeds, the 890 won’t get jammed.

Another thing, the 890 has a HEPA filter that makes it best for allergy sufferers. This is compared to the HEPA style filter used in the 690’s AeroVac filter.

Lastly, the 890 has an upgraded software so even though they both have iAdapt 1.0, the fast data procession in the 890 makes it more intelligent.

With all these new extras factored in, the Roomba 890 is the winner in this Roomba 890 vs 690 debate. But then, like earlier said, this is solely based on the features and performance.

However, if you bring in the issue of price, the Roomba 890’s boat may start sinking. One argument will be from those who have small apartments with no pets. It would be stupid to spend $200 on a vacuum that has extras meant for cleaning needs you don’t have. But that’s a story for another day. Bottomline is, from an overall perspective, it is hard to call a winner between the Roomba 690 and 890 because cleaning needs are different.


By now I know you have learned a lot and maybe settling on one of the two vacuums is still a problem. To be honest with you, you are the one who will make the best decision on which of the two you are going with because you understand your cleaning needs better. But fortunately, our business is to help you do the shopping so to wind up this comparison review, here are a few takeaways.

Our Recommendation
Roomba 690 vs 890 – What is the best option to buy?
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