iRobot is now on their 7th Generation Robot Vacuums and are now selling both 6th Generation and 7th Generation models. Most of the older models including the popular 560 and 530 models have been replaced with the new improved Vacuums.

Purchasing a New iRobot Roomba can be quite confusing and daunting given all the models available. In this article I will attempt to make the comparison a bit easier and hopefully allow you to make an informed decision as to what model you will purchase. I have noticed that most customers tend to purchase the top of the range Roomba 780 (which is a great Vacuum), however all the functionality of this model may not be required and some significant savings could be made by purchasing a lower end model.

All iRobot Vacuums have the same vacuuming mechanism. They have two counter rotating brushes that lift dirt into the bin. The bin has a small vacuum inside which helps to suck the dirt in. The bin also contains a filter (either standard or HEPA) that filters the finer dust particles before allowing the clean air back out of the Vacuum. All the models also include a side spinning brush which helps direct dirt to the counter rotating brushes.

The different models available today are:

1)     Roomba 630

This is now the base model Roomba and replaces the previous Roomba 530. It includes:

a)     Dirt Detect

b)     AeroVac Bin

c)     1 Virtual Wall

2)     Roomba 650

This is the top of the range 6th Generation unit and replaces the previous Roomba 560 model. It includes the same functionality that the 630 has. It also includes:

a)     Scheduling

3)     Roomba 760

This is the bottom of the range 7th Generation unit. It includes everything that the Roomba 650 includes. It also has:

a)     HEPA filter instead of Standard Filter

b)     AeroVac Series 2 bin instead of Aerovac Series 1 bin

c)     2 virtual walls (Roomba 650 includes 1 virtual wall)

d)     Infra Red Remote Control

4)     Roomba 770

This is the next model up in the 7th Generation Vacuums. It includes everything that the Roomba 760 has except:

a)     It includes Dirt Detect Series 2 instead of Dirt Detect.

b)     Full bin indicator light

5)     Roomba 780

This is the next model up and the top of the 700 series range unit sold by It includes everything that the Roomba 770 has. It also adds:

a)     Touchpad Control as opposed to Buttons on the unit.

b)     2 Virtual Wall Lighthouses replace the virtual walls.

6)     Roomba 800 series

The Roomba 800 series is the latest generation of Roomba models from iRobot. The 800 series consists of the 870 and 880 models. Both 800 series models now include extractors instead of brushes. These extractors are great for cleaning pet hair as they require less maintenance. The 800 series also now includes the improved Roomba XLife battery which can last up to twice as many cleaning cycles as the previous battery. The 800 series has an improved dustbin and filter.

Roomba 870 Model

The 870 model includes the same auto-on virtual walls as the Roomba 760 and 770 models and does not include lighthouses or lighthouse technology. It includes the following:

  • iRobot XLife Battery
  • 2 Virtual Walls (batteries included)
  • Integrated Home Base
  • Extra HEPA Filter
  • Australian 240V AC Power Supply and Plug
  • 1 Year Australian Warranty on unit. (6 months on battery)


Roomba 880 Model

The 880 model is identical to the 870 model except for replacing the auto-on virtual walls with the same lighthouses used by the Roomba 780 model. It also includes a remote control which is left out on the Roomba 870.


 Definitions of features and functions:

1)     Dirt Detect

Standard Dirt Detect or Dirt Detect Series 1 uses an acoustic sensor which resides below the two main brushes. When the sensor picks up that there is a high amount of dirt, the blue light on the Roomba turns on and the vacuum concentrates on that area.

Dirt Detect Series 2 makes use of an optical sensor that can detect a wider variety of dirt or particles. It is located in front of the vacuum bin. Once the sensor is triggered, the Roomba initiates and back and forth movement to efficiently clean the extra dirt.

2)     AeroVac Bin

The AeroVac Bin allows the unit to vacuum up large and small particles and uses a standard iRobot aerovac filter.

The Aerovac 2 Bin contains dual HEPA filters which allow the Roomba to filter finer dust particles 0.3 microns.

3)     Virtual Wall

This added accessory allows the user to block off an area of their home that they don’t want the vacuum to enter. It is a small unit that creates and invisible infrared beam . When the vacuum detects this beam, it turns around and does not proceed to enter the blocked room.

4)     Scheduling

By making use of this feature, one can set a date and time or multiple dates and times when you would like your Roomba to start its clean automatically. This means that if you went to work each morning at 8am, you could schedule the clean to start at 9am. You would then come home to a clean home each day without having to turn on the vacuum.

5)     Full Bin Indicator

This bin will alert the user that the Vacuum Bin is full and needs to be emptied.

6)     Lighthouses

 These units are similar to virtual walls in that they have the ability to block off rooms or areas using an invisible infrared beam. They also have an additional setting which allows the Roomba to stay within the beam until the room is clean. Once the room is clean, the vacuum will progress to the next area. This allows for more efficient cleaning of the entire area. The lighthouses are constantly communicating with the Roomba.