Modern Castle is supported by readers. When you buy with our links, we may earn a commission. Learn more

Best Roomba For Pet Hair

You love your pets, but let’s be honest, pet hair can be a real mess in the house. Roomba is a popular choice for a robot vacuum for its advanced navigation abilities and new technology that is a bit more thoughtful of your furry friend.

Best Roomba for Pet Hair
What’s the best Roomba for Pet Hair? Find out below.

That being said, the Roomba lineup can be a little confusing as to which specific Roomba is best for pets. Aesthetically, all five of the flagship models currently on the market look similar, but have different features.

The 4 Best Roomba for Pets

See what we think are the Best Roomba for pet hair below or click here to jump down to the full list.

The “Top-Dog” Roomba

moderncastle-fs-table__image

Roomba S9+

The Roomba S9+ would be considered the “top dog” among all Roomba models right now. It is hot off the manufacturing line and is the first and only Roomba to launch with the D-shaped body style, which boasts improved performance along edges and corners. The S9+ has the self-emptying dustbin, advanced navigation, and the improved filtration system to go with its sleek new look.Check Price

Best Overall Roomba

moderncastle-fs-table__image

Roomba i7+

The Roomba i7+ is an excellent option for overall performance, scoring 99% on our cleaning tests, as well as top-of-the-line features. It has the advanced filtration system, excellent navigation, and a self-emptying dust bin. The i7+ is also equipped with re-charge and resume, which means it can keep recharging itself and cleaning where it left off until the job is done. Check Price

Best Value Roomba

moderncastle-fs-table__image

Roomba e5

The Roomba e5 has got to be the winner for the best value among top-performing Roombas. It has the newer filtration system like more advanced models, but lacks the on-board camera and Recharge & Resume features. Despite missing a couple features, it still scored 99% in our cleaning tests and is a great value at this price point. Check Price

Best Budget Roomba

moderncastle-fs-table__image

Roomba 690

The Roomba 690 is best for lower maintenance pets who have short hair. The 690 uses the bristle style brushroll which is prone to tangle longer pet hair, but is perfectly fine for shot pet hair. It also uses the older style virtual barrier and is not equipped to protect round areas, like food, water, or pet bed areas. Despite the limitations, the Roomba 690 does way more right than it does wrong…including scoring 94% on our cleaning tests and being the best value robot vacuum we’ve tested to date.Check Price

Which Roomba features are best for pet hair?

While all Roombas have their unique set of features and technology, there are a few features in particular that you may want to pay special interest in if you’re a pet owner.

  1. Brushroll
  2. Filtration System
  3. Virtual Barrier

1. Brushroll

It’s important to consider the length of your pet’s hair when selecting the best Roomba. It is likely that a short haired bulldog and a long-haired cat would have different needs when it comes to cleaning pet hair.

Short hair tends to STICK to surfaces, while long hair tends to TANGLE. The Roomba brushroll plays an important role in cleaning pet hair.

Roombas have had three main iterations of brushroll design, throughout the years:

Dual Rubberized 2.0

  • most advanced
  • improved traction
  • fewer tangles
  • green design

Dual Rubberized 1.0

  • good quality
  • basic traction
  • fewer tangles
  • gray design

Bristle Brushroll

  • average quality
  • most prone to tangles
  • value-priced

We’ll go into a bit more details below about each version, in order of most basic to the most advanced.

Bristle Brushroll

Roomba’s original brushroll was a single bristle style with a smaller plastic paddle roller which works well for short-haired pets.

Roomba vacuum AeroVac system brushroll
Roomba vacuum AeroVac system brushroll (as shown on the Roomba 690)

For long-haired pets, I would recommend the advanced dual-brushroll system which uses two rubberized brushrolls spinning in opposite directions to help pull the pet hair in, but not tangle it (as much) around the axle.

Popular models with the original bristle style brushroll include: the Roomba 690, Roomba 675, and Roomba 614.

Related Reviews:

Dual Rubberized Brushroll 1.0

The rubberized 1.0 brushroll is a big improvement over the original bristle style brushroll. The dual rollers spin in counter-directions which helps to prevent tangles, while still agitating and capturing a good amount of debris.

Roomba vacuum AeroForce system brushroll
Roomba vacuum AeroForce system brushroll (as shown on the Roomba 960)

You may notice the length of the rubberized treads on this 1.0 version is identical on each brushroll. On the newer 2.0 brushroll, the treads are longer on one of the brushrolls which allows for a bit more traction and grip when cleaning.

Popular models with the 1.0 rubberized brushroll system include: the Roomba 980Roomba 960, and Roomba 890.

Related Reviews:

Dual Rubberized Brushroll 2.0

The newest Roomba models, including Roomba S9+, Roomba i7+, and the Roomba e5, all use the upgraded version of the rubberized brushroll system.

Similar to the dual rubberized 1.0 brushroll system, the 2.0 rollers also are designed to spin in counter-directions of each other which helps to prevent tangles.

The bottom of the e5 contains the rolling brushes, wheels, spinning brush, and dustbin
Roomba e5 brushroll and underside

This system also provides more traction on the bottom roller (dark green), which helps to agitate and collect pet hair that could be deeper into carpet fibers.

FUN FACT – Rubberized textures are generally one of the best textures for picking up pet hair. You’ll often see rubberized pet hair brushes, especially on pet vacuums.

Related Reviews:

2. Filtration System

It’s no surprise that pets also produce quite a few additional allergens, along with their luscious locks.

For pet lowers who are more sensitive to their allergens, you may want to also consider Roomba’s advanced filtration system—the AeroForce system.

The three current filtration systems available in a Roomba re listed below:

AeroForce 2.0

  • most advanced
  • smallest filter size
  • largest dust bin

AeroForce 1.0

  • good quality
  • larger size
  • larger dust bin

AeroVac

  • average quality
  • largest size
  • smaller dust bin

Aeroforce 2.0

The AeroForce 2.0 filtration system is the most advanced filtration system currently offered on Roomba models and is a more advanced version of the AeroForce 1.0 filter. The 2.0 filter is about half the size of the 1.0 filter, making it more efficient.

Roomba e5 filter - AeroForce 2.0
Roomba e5 filter – AeroForce 2.0

Popular models with the AeroForce 2.0 system include: Roomba S9+, Roomba i7+, and the Roomba e5.

AeroForce 1.0

The AeroForce 1.0 filtration system is another advanced filter with many similarities to the 2.0 system, but not quite as efficient because it is about twice the size as the 2.0 system.

The AeroForce filter is redesigned over the AeroVac system (listed below) to also allow for 60% more dust bin capacity, a hot commodity for homes with pets and big messes.

AeroForce Roomba filtration system
Roomba AeroForce filtration system

Popular models with the AeroForce 1.0 system include: Roomba 980, Roomba 960, and the Roomba 890.

AeroVac

By comparison, the AeroVac system works in tandem with the single bristle brushroll. The filter has a slight curve to it, which was designed to increase airflow and guide debris back into the dust bin.

Roomba 614 filter and dust bin
AeroVac filter and dust bin

Although it does technically work like that, it also means taking up more space and allowing less space for the actual dust bin.

Popular models with the AeroVac system include: the Roomba 690, Roomba 675, and Roomba 614.

3. Virtual Barrier

The last element to consider is the virtual barrier. Roomba manufacturers two main types of virtual barrier, with a third style on the way.

Digital Barrier

  • app-based
  • unlimited virtual map blockers

Dual-Mode

  • blocks straight paths (up to 10′) or radial zones (up to 4′ diameter)

Original

  • blocks straight paths (up to 10′) only

Original barrier

The original barrier uses infrared light to block up to a 10′ straight path. This barrier style is usually sufficient for hallways, doors, or entry ways.

Roomba Scooba virtual wall barrier
Virtual wall barrier

Dual-mode barrier

The Dual-mode barrier also uses infrared light, but can operate in two different modes— standard mode or halo mode.

In standard mode, the barrier can block straight paths up to 10′ long.

In halo mode, the barrier can block radial areas up to 4′ in diameter (good for blocking sleeping areas, pet areas, or sensitive furniture.

Roomba Standard Mode virtual wall barrier
Standard Mode
Roomba Halo Mode virtual wall barrier
Halo Mode

The Roomba 980960890, and 690 all use the advanced virtual wall barriers, while the Roomba 614 uses the old model of barrier which only does Standard mode.

There are quite a few other models which also use the older style barrier.

On The Horizon: Keep Out Zones

Not yet released, but certainly on its way is Roomba’s newest digital barrier… ‘keep out zones’. These zones are digitally drawn on the smartphone-based app and you can block as many spaces as you need.

iRobot Roomba app smart mapping
iRobot app making a digital map of the Modern Castle home

Keep out zones are currently in beta, with some Roomba users receiving the update to their iRobot app. It sounds like the update will be available to all users in the coming months.

We would expect Keep Out Zones to be available to all Roomba models that digitally map your home, which would include:

Roomba Cleaning Pet Hair: The Tests

Beyond the individual features of each Roomba, flooring type is one of the next factors to think about when selecting the right Roomba for you.

Debris Types

Each Roomba model responds a little bit different to variable types of debris. To really put cleaning performance to the test, we test each Roomba against four main debris types:

  1. Rice
  2. Kitty litter
  3. Cereal
  4. Sugar
Cleaning test debris types
Testing Debris – From left to right: Rice (3 oz.), Kitty Litter (3 oz), Cereal (1 oz), Sugar (3 oz)

Floor Types

And on three different flooring types:

  1. Hardwoods
  2. Low pile carpet
  3. High pile carpet
Roomba e5 hardwood cleaning performance test
Roomba e5 hardwood cleaning performance test

Our Process

To identify the best Roombas for pet hair, we have to do a little bit of deductive reasoning, experimentation, and more subjective testing.

Unfortunately, pet hair is actually not a common material that you can buy a bag of to use for vacuum performance testing (we’ve tried a couple times…it was an awkward trip to Petsmart).

New brushrolls used on the e5 - one is used to lift while the other is used to loosen
New brushrolls used on the E5 – one is used to lift, while the other loosens

Challenges

Furthermore, even if you could buy a bag of the stuff, just sprinkling it on the floor would hardly be able to replicate the pet hair in your house.

More often that not, pet hair gets ground and rubbed into the flooring. Dander often falls off your pet as well and rests on hardwoods floors.

Arhaus Kipton sofa with pets on it

Carpet Issues

Carpet retains even more abuse, as hair can really dig in. Think of all the times that your pet has rolled on the carpet or rubbed their head against the floor.

Pet dander, particles, and food are other materials that can reside in your carpet, sometimes requiring more suction than that which was necessary for the hardwood floor testing.

Home Tests

Since it’s not as easily to test cleaning performance against pet hair in a purely objective way, we looked to real world experiences.

Over time, the successes, failures, and overall performance of the Roomba were more clear.

The charts below show how three of our top-performing Roomba models did on each flooring type:

Hardwood

Roomba i7+ hardwood cleaning performance test
Roomba i7+ hardwood cleaning performance test

Roomba i7+

99%

Roomba e5

100%

Roomba 690

98%

Low Carpet

Roomba i7+ low carpet cleaning performance test
Roomba i7+ low carpet cleaning performance test

Roomba i7+

99%

Roomba e5

99%

Roomba 690

93%

High Carpet

Roomba i7+ high carpet cleaning performance test
Roomba i7+ high carpet cleaning performance test

Roomba i7+

99%

Roomba e5

99%

Roomba 690

91%

Performance

As you can see, all of the Roombas excelled at cleaning up debris from hardwood floors.

Bells and whistles aside, if you are truly just looking at cleaning performance and not considering other issues, like navigation style, filtration, maintenance costs, battery life, run time, etc., then this chart can be a great way to strictly compare cleaning performance.

Other Features

Of course, if you’re more about the fancier features and bells and whistles, check out the Features chart below to see how these four models compare.

Roomba Comparison Chart

 Roomba S9+Roomba i7+Roomba e5Roomba 980Roomba 960Roomba 890Roomba 690
Roomba S9+ robot vacuum overallRoomba i7 robot vacuumRoomba E5Roomba 980 robot vacuum reviewRoomba 960 robot vacuum reviewRoomba 890 robot vacuum reviewRoomba 690 robot vacuum review
Runtime~75 mins~75 mins~90 mins~120 mins~75 mins~60 mins~60 mins
SchedulingYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Self-ChargingYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Self-Emptying Dust BinYesYesNoNoNoNoNo
Drop DetectionYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Full Bin IndicatorYesYesYesYesYesYesNo
Digital Map ReportsYesYesNoYesYesNoNo
Recharge & ResumeYesYesNoYesYesNoNo
Suction Power40x10x5x10x5x5x1x
Dirt DetectionAdvancedAdvancedAdvancedAdvancedAdvancedBasicBasic
TechnologyAeroForce 2.0AeroForce 2.0AeroForce 2.0AeroForce 1.0AeroForce 1.0AeroForce 1.0AeroForce
Roller BrushesDual rubberized 2.0Dual rubberized 2.0Dual rubberized 2.0Dual rubberized 1.0Dual rubberized 1.0Dual rubberized 1.0Bristle style
Remote ControliRobot HOME App, Amazon Alexa, Google AssistantiRobot HOME App, Amazon Alexa, Google AssistantiRobot HOME App, Amazon Alexa, Google AssistantiRobot HOME App, Amazon Alexa, Google AssistantiRobot HOME App, Amazon Alexa, Google AssistantiRobot HOME App, Amazon Alexa, Google AssistantiRobot HOME App, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant
NavigationAdvancedAdvancedBasicAdvancedAdvancedBasicBasic
Virtual Walls (included)0112111
Score98%98%95%95%93%93%94%
PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead Review

Roomba S9+ Robot Vacuum

  • Score: 98%
  • Dimensions: 12.25″ diameter x 3.5″ H
  • Power: Battery, unlisted
  • Run Time: ~75 minutes
  • Weight: 8.15 pounds
  • Dust Bin Capacity: 0.5 L (15L capacity in CleanBase disposal bag)
  • Read Review

Check Price

The Roomba S9 is the most advanced robot vacuum that Roomba has released to date. It has a self-emptying dust bin, intelligent navigation, the ability to link with Roomba mopping robots, and exceptional cleaning performance.

Roomba S9+ edge cleaning

The Roomba S9+ is the first Roomba to be designed in the D-shaped body style. It has an on-board camera for smarter navigation and is designed to work in tandem with the Braava m6 mopping robot (mop sold separately).

RELATED Click here to check out the full review of the Braava m6 robot mop.

First, the Roomba S9+ will digitally map your home, then get to work. If the battery dies before the job is done, it will return to the charger, juice up, and then continue cleaning where it left off once the battery is charged.

Roomba S9 underside
Roomba S9 underside

The underside of the Roomba S9+ uses the more advanced AeroForce 2.0 brushroll / filtration system and has a port for the automatic emptying dust bin.

The on-board dust bin of the S9+ can hold 0.5L, but it can also self-empty into a disposal bag on the charging station (which can hold up to 30 loads of debris from the vacuum.)

What’s in the box?

 The Roomba S9+ robot vacuum comes with:

  • CleanBase charger (both charges and allows S9+ to self-empty dust bin)
  • 2 Disposal bags
  • HEPA filter (AeroForce 2.0)
  • Spinning brushes (1 extra)

As a note, the Roomba S9+ actually does not include any virtual walls. This was a little unusual in my opinion, but the smarter navigation does tend to prevent it from bumping excessively into most obstacles.

Performance

While we haven’t had a chance to fully test the performance of the Roomba S9+, I can say that offers more suction power than the Roomba i7+ and I was very pleased with the performance of that model.

Because of this, I would expect the performance of the S9+ to be as good as (or better than) the i7+ performance, which was nearly flawless.

The cleaning performance results of the Roomba i7+ are listed below:

Overview

99%

Hardwood

99%

Low Carpet

99%

High Carpet

99%

Check out the full results of the Roomba i7+ cleaning performance tests here.

Should you buy the Roomba S9+?

I would recommend the Roomba S9+ robot vacuum to people who:

  • Want a self-emptying dust bin: If you want a robot that will autonomously clean and then empty the contents into a disposal bag back at the charging dock when the cleaning job is done.
  • Want a D-shaped body: The Roomba S9+ is currently the only Roomba model that is available with the D-shaped body. This shape is said to improve cleaning performance at edges and corners.
  • Want excellent cleaning performance: While we haven’t been able to run a full performance test on the Roomba S9+, based on the performance of the Roomba i7+ (which shares many of the same design features), we can guess that the performance of the S9+ would be similar if not better than the i7+. For reference, the i7+ was nearly flawless, at 99% overall.

Roomba i7+ Robot Vacuum

  • Score: 98%
  • Dimensions: 13.34″ diameter x 3.63″ H
  • Power: Battery, 1800 mAh
  • Run Time: ~75 minutes
  • Weight: 7.44 pounds
  • Dust Bin Capacity: 0.5 L (15L capacity in CleanBase disposal bag)
  • Read Review

Check Price

The Roomba i7+ is the second newest Roomba model to be launched and shares many of the same design technologies as the Roomba S9+. The biggest difference between these models is the body style.

The Roomba i7+ has the classic round Roomba body, while the S9+ had the more unique D-shaped body.

Smart charging base included with the Roomba i7+
Smart charging base included with the Roomba i7+

The Roomba i7+ can be purchased with or without the CleanBase charger (which self-emptyies when the cleaning cycle is finished).

It has wifi connectivity, advanced navigation, zoned cleaning cycles, and excellent cleaning performance. For some of the best features that Roomba has to offer, the Roomba i7+ is a solid option or most cleaning tasks.

The Roomba i7+ comes with enough battery to clean right out of the box

What’s in the box?

 The Roomba i7+ robot vacuum comes with:

  • CleanBase charging station (with built-in disposal)
  • 2 Disposal bags
  • Virtual wall (Dual-mode)
  • HEPA filter (AeroForce 2.0)
  • Spinning brush (extra)

Performance

The cleaning performance of the Roomba i7+, as listed above, was exceptional and nearly flawless. Across all flooring types and against all debris that we tested, I was continuously impressed by the performance of the Roomba i7+.

Roomba i7+ Robot Vacuum

For great all-around cleaning for the whole home, the Roomba i7+ is a solid option.

Overview

99%

Hardwood

99%

Low Carpet

99%

High Carpet

99%

Should you buy the Roomba i7+?

I would recommend the Roomba i7+ robot vacuum to people who:

  • Want excellent cleaning performance: The Roomba i7+ was fully tested in our at-home testing lab and the results were nearly flawless. This vacuum captured over 99% of all debris types across all three of our floor types tested (includes hardwoods, low pile carpet, and high pile carpet).
  • Want advanced navigation: This robot vacuum also has Imprint Smart mapping, which is an advanced navigation technology that allows for: digital map reports, zoned cleaning cycles, and can even be paired with the Braava Jet m6 mopping robot.
  • Want a self-emptying vacuum: The Roomba i7+ is currently the only other Roomba model besides the Roomba S9+ that comes with the self-emptying dust bin. This disposal system is located inside the charging base and can hold up to 30X the capacity of the on-board dust bin.

Roomba e5 Robot Vacuum

  • Score: 95%
  • Dimensions: 13.3″ diameter x 3.6″ H
  • Power: Battery, 1800 mAh
  • Run Time: ~90 minutes
  • Weight: 7.2 pounds
  • Dust Bin Capacity: 0.5 L
  • Read Review

Check Price

The Roomba e5 is another great option for a newly released Roomba that comes in at a bit of a more budget-friendly price. The e5 doesn’t have all of the fancy bells-and-whistles that the i7 or S9 have, but what it lacks in features, it makes up for in cleaning performance and value.

Roomba e5 robot vacuum review

The Roomba e5 robot vacuum has the same advanced AeroForce 2.0 rubberized brushrolls and filtration system that is found in the i and S series models.

But unlike these more advanced models, the Roomba e5 does not come with the option for a self-emptying dust bin.

The bottom of the e5 contains the rolling brushes, wheels, spinning brush, and dustbin
Roomba e5 brushroll and underside

The Roomba e5 also does not offer zoned cleaning, digital map reports (no on-board camera), or Recharge & Resume for longer cleaning cycles.

What’s in the box?

 The Roomba e5 robot vacuum comes with:

  • HEPA Filter (AeroForce 2.0)
  • One virtual wall (Dual-Mode)
  • Charging station (standard)

Performance

While the Roomba e5 technically has less suction power than the S9 and i7 models, you certainly wouldn’t know it based on the cleaning performance during our tests.

The Roomba e5 will drive itself onto the charging base when it needs to be refueled

Overview

99%

Hardwood

100%

Low Carpet

99%

High Carpet

99%

Overall, I was pleased with the performance of the Roomba e5. It tackled all debris types across all three flooring types with ease. Even fine debris on carpet, which can generally be an issue for robot vacuums, proved to be no match for the Roomba e5.

Again, considering the lower price point, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the overall cleaning performance of the e5 was so comparable to the more advanced models shown above.

Should you buy the Roomba e5?

I would recommend the Roomba e5 robot vacuum to people who:

  • Want a great value: If you’re looking for the best bang for your buck, it’s hard to beat the value of the Roomba e5. This model costs significantly less than the S9+ and the i7+ but has great cleaning performance.
  • Don’t need fancy features: Some of the features the e5 lacks includes: Recharge & Resume, on-board camera, zoned cleaning cycles, and a self-emptying dust bin. But if these features aren’t deal breakers for you, you can save your money and still get a solid vacuum.
  • Want great cleaning performance: Despite it’s lack of fancy features, the Roomba e5 had excellent cleaning performance, averaging out around 99% across all floor types and against all debris types.

Roomba 980 Robot Vacuum

  • Score: 95%
  • Dimensions: 13.9″ diameter x 3.6″ H
  • Power: Battery, 3,300 mAh
  • Run Time: ~120 minutes
  • Weight: 8.7 pounds
  • Dust Bin Capacity: 0.3 L
  • Read Review

Check Price

The Roomba 980 robot vacuum is the most advanced model in the 900 Series and it’s packed full of bells-and-whistles. It has a centrally located on-board camera, advanced navigation, exceptional cleaning performance, and an extended 120-minute run time.

Roomba 980 robot vacuum

The Roomba 980 has the classic dark round body with an on-board camera located at the center of the vacuum. The “Clean” button shifted up slightly to make room for the camera. The rest of the design follows classic Roomba lines, with the simple buttons, front bumper, and rear dust bin release.

1) rolling brushes, 2) spinning brush, 3) front wheel, and 4) dust bin
1) rolling brushes, 2) spinning brush, 3) front wheel, and 4) dust bin

Also, the 980 has a feature called Power Boost which automatically increases suction power temporarily for trouble spots or areas of high traffic. These autonomous features mean less work for you and more effective cleaning for Roomba.

What’s in the box?

 The Roomba 980 robot vacuum comes with:

  • HEPA Filter (AeroForce 1.0)
  • Two virtual walls (Dual-Mode)
  • Charging station (standard)

Performance

Overall, the Roomba 980 had a solid cleaning performance on all floor types, but especially excelled on hardwoods and low pile carpet.

It still had good performance on high pile carpet, but did tend to struggle with the ultra-fine debris (ie: our sugar test).

Roomba 980 hardwood cleaning tests
Roomba 980 hardwood cleaning tests

Overview

95%

Hardwood

100%

Low Carpet

97%

High Carpet

87%

Should you buy the Roomba 980?

I would recommend the Roomba 980 robot vacuum to people who:

  • Want Power Boost: If the increased suction power is an important feature for you, the Roomba 980 is currently the only Roomba that has this feature.
  • Want two virtual barriers: Similarly, the 980 is also the only current model that comes with two virtual barriers. For larger homes or area that have multiple sensitive areas which need to be marked off, these barriers make it easy to do.
  • You have a large home: Roomba 980 has the longest run time, advanced navigation, and re-charge and resume, all of which make it capable of handling a large amount of square footage.

Roomba 960 Robot Vacuum

  • Score: 95%
  • Dimensions: 13.8″ diameter x 3.6″ H
  • Power: Battery, 2,600 mAh
  • Run Time: ~75 minutes
  • Weight: 8.6 pounds
  • Dust Bin Capacity: 0.3 L
  • Read Review

Check Price

The Roomba 960 robot vacuum is one step below the Roomba 980 in terms of features and price. The main differences between the 980 and the 960 is that the 980 comes with two Dual-mode virtual barriers and the special mode for “Power Boost” when cleaning high-traffic areas.

Roomba 960 robot vacuum
Roomba 960 robot vacuum

Aesthetically, the design of the Roomba 960 looks similar to the 980 model, with the same on-board camera and overall design orientation. The “Clean” button is located right above the camera, with a bumper up top and the release hatch for the dust bin at the bottom.

1) spinning brush, 2) front wheel, 3) debris extractor, and 4) dust bin
1) spinning brush, 2) front wheel, 3) debris extractor, and 4) dust bin

The usability of the Roomba 960 is comparable to the Roomba 980. It’s intuitive and easy to use, including features like wifi-connectivity, voice control, and scheduled cleanings.

Similarly to the 980 model, the 960 can also “Recharge and Resume” if the cleaning area is too large or complex for Roomba to complete in a single cycle.

What’s in the box?

The Roomba 960 robot vacuum comes with:

  • HEPA Filter (AeroForce 1.0)
  • One virtual wall (Dual-Mode)
  • Charging station (standard)

The accessories that the Roomba 960 comes with are basically identical to the accessories with the Roomba 980. The only difference is that the 980 model gets two virtual walls while the 960 model only comes with one.

Performance

The performance of the Roomba 960 is pretty similar to the Roomba 980, despite the fact that the 980 has the extra Power Boost mode for cleaning carpets.

It excelled on hardwoods and low carpet and really only struggled with cleaning fine debris from high carpet during our sugar test.

Roomba 960 robot vacuum hardwood cleaning test
Roomba 960 hardwood cleaning tests

Overview

92%

Hardwood

100%

Low Carpet

88%

High Carpet

87%

Should you buy the Roomba 960?

I would recommend the the Roomba 960 robot vacuum to people who:

  • Want the bells and whistles: If you can foot the bill, the Roomba 960 is a great option since it includes many advanced features over the 800 series Roomba, including Recharge and Resume, a more powerful motor, advanced navigator (straighter lines), advanced dirt detection technology, and digital map reports.
  • Want advanced navigation: As mentioned above, the Roomba 960 navigation is more advanced over that of the 890, 690, or 614. This advanced navigation means cleaning in straighter lines and with more methodical movements. The on-board camera helps the 900 series Roombas to create a digital map of the space. When the cycle is done you can actually pull it up on your smartphone using the iRobot app and see if the Roomba missed any spots.
  • You have a larger home: Just like with the Roomba 980, the 960’s advanced navigation, larger battery, and re-charge & resume allow it to clean larger homes. The battery isn’t quite as large as the 980, but it has re-charge and resume, which makes the battery difference a little moot, in my opinion.

Roomba 890 Robot Vacuum

  • Score: 95%
  • Dimensions: 13.9″ diameter x 3.6″ H
  • Power: Battery, 1,800 mAh
  • Run Time: ~60 minutes
  • Weight: 8.6 pounds
  • Dust Bin Capacity: 0.3 L
  • Read Review

Check Price

The Roomba 890 is the least expensive Roomba model (still in production) that uses the advanced dual-brushrolls. It has a 60-minute run time, wifi connectivity, drop detection, and the full bin indicator light. Unlike the 900 series, the 890 lacks the Digital Map Reports, Power Boost, and the ability to recharge and resume cleaning in the middle of a cycle.

Roomba 890 robot vacuum design
Roomba 890 robot vacuum

The design of the Roomba 890 is aesthetically a little different from the 900 series. There is no centrally located camera on the top, and instead this Roomba relies on sensors around the vacuum to identify obstacles and navigate the space.

Roomba 890 robot vacuum how it cleans features
1) Spinning brush, 2) dust bin, 3) front wheel, 4) debris extractor, 5) dust bin, and 6) drop sensors

The usability of the Roomba 890 is intuitive like most all other Roombas. It has wifi-connectivity, a charger, virtual wall and central clean button. Start a cleaning cycle by pressing the button,

What’s in the box?

The Roomba 890 robot vacuum comes with:

  • HEPA Filter (AeroForce 1.0)
  • One virtual wall (Dual-Mode)
  • Charging station (standard)

The accessories are pretty basic for the 890 and typical of most other Roombas in the lineup. The virtual wall that comes with the Roomba 890 is the first model to have the advanced virtual wall (with Halo mode).

All previous models have the older style virtual wall which doesn’t have the “Lighthouse” technology.

Roomba lighthouse virtual wall

Performance

The performance of the Roomba 890 is pretty solid, but performs the best on hardwood floors if you’re looking for something for all debris types.

Of course, it feels relevant to point out that (again) this Roomba model only struggled with fine debris on carpet. The other debris tests on carpet (cereal, kitty litter, and rice) yielded flawless results.

Overview

92%

Hardwood

98%

Low Carpet

91%

High Carpet

88%

Should you buy the Roomba 890?

I would recommend the the Roomba 890 robot vacuum to people who:

  • Want the most affordable option with the advanced brushroll: For pet owners of long-haired furry friends, the advanced dual brushroll system is nearly required in order to prevent tangles and messes. The Roomba 800 series were the first models to use the advanced brushrolls.
  • Want a larger dust bin: The Roomba 800 series (890 included) is the first series to introduce the AeroForce filtration system. This redesigned system allows 60% more room in the dust bin and a more efficient HEPA system.

Roomba 690 Robot Vacuum

  • Score: 95%
  • Dimensions: 13″ diameter x 3.6″ H
  • Power: Battery, 1,800 mAh
  • Run Time: ~60 minutes
  • Weight: 7.8 pounds
  • Dust Bin Capacity: 0.3 L
  • Read Review

Check Price

The Roomba 690 is the only Roomba featured in this guide for pets that does NOT have the advanced dual brushroll. While it’s true that the dual-rubberized brushroll is better for cleaning long pet hair, that doesn’t necessarily dismiss all older model Roombas.

For pets with short hair that doesn’t tangle, the Roomba 690 is still a fine contender. If you have a short-haired pet, the Roomba 690 could be a better value for you also, considering the lower initial cost compared to the 900 series Roombas.

Roomba 690

The design of the Roomba 690 is basic compared to the Roomba 900 series robots. The body style mimics the look of the Roomba 890 with the central “CLEAN” button (1), the lift-top handle (2), the front bumper for protection (3), and the release for the dust bin and HEPA filter (4).

Roomba 690 robot vacuum how it cleans
1) wheels, 2) spinning brush, 3) charging pins, 4) roller brush, 5) dust bin, and 6) edge sensors

The usability of the Roomba 690 is intuitive like most all other Roombas. It has wifi-connectivity, a charger, virtual wall and central clean button. Start a cleaning cycle by pressing the button, using your smartphone, or via voice control.

What’s in the box?

The Roomba 690 robot vacuum comes with:

  • HEPA Filter (AeroVac)
  • One virtual wall (standard)
  • Charging station (standard)

The Roomba 690 comes with basic accessories, including an AeroVac HEPA filter, charging station, and standard virtual wall.

It’s important to note that this virtual wall is the older style, therefore does not have the ability to protect round (Halo) spaces, like food, water, or pet bed areas.

irobot roomba 690 battery
Roomba 690 docked at the charging base

Performance

Despite using the older bristle brushroll, I was still very impressed with the performance of the Roomba 690.

Similar to the models above, the biggest issue for the Roomba 690 is cleaning fine debris from carpet. It excelled at all other tests.

Overview

94%

Hardwood

98%

Low Carpet

93%

High Carpet

91%

Should you buy the Roomba 690?

I would recommend the the Roomba 690 robot vacuum to people who:

  • Don’t have pets with long hair: The Roomba 690 does have the older style of brushroll and filtration system (the AeroVac), but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t good. The AeroVac system and bristle style brushroll can still be great options for home with short-haired pets.
  • Want the most affordable option with the advanced virtual barrier: The advanced virtual barrier is also a great addition for pet owners, who may want to block off round areas, like for food, water, or pet beds. The previous model of virtual wall  can only block off straight lines, like for doorways, or open areas.
  • Want the best value – for both pets and all-purpose use, the Roomba 690 remains the best value Roomba we have tested to date. And arguably is the best value of any robot vacuum currently on the market.

What’s the best Roomba for dogs & cats?

So that’s the run down. As you can see, it’s hard to go wrong with a Roomba for tackling pet hair, but when you’re making the final decision be sure to consider the following features.

The top features for homes with pets include:

  1. Virtual Walls
  2. Filtration Systems
  3. Run Times

1. Virtual Walls (Advanced vs. Basic)

The advanced virtual wall (with the Roomba 980960890, and 690) has the ability to block off spaces with an infrared light in a straight pattern (up to 10′) or around a sensitive object, like a pet feeding, drinking, or bed area.

The basic virtual wall (with Roomba 614) can only protect areas in a straight pattern (up to 10′), like for doorways or halls.

Roomba advanced virtual wall barrier halo mode
Dual-Mode virtual barrier
Roomba Scooba virtual wall barrier
Scooba virtual wall barrier

On the horizon, we are excited to see which upcoming Roomba model will be first to launch with the app-based “keep out” zones.

2. Filtration Systems (AeroForce vs. AeroVac)

The AeroForce system uses a more efficient and effective filter as well as the dual-brushrolls with rubberized texture for capturing long pet hair.

Roomba e5 filter - AeroForce 2.0
Roomba e5 filter – AeroForce 2.0

Currently, the Roomba S9+, Roomba i7+, and Roomba e5 are the only models that have the AeroForce 2.0 system, which about half the size of the AeroForce 1.0 filtration system.

In addition, the AeroForce 2.0 dust bin can be washed with water for a deeper clean (make sure to dry for a full 24 hours before using again).

Washable Roomba dust bin

Models with the AeroForce 1.0 system include: Roomba 980, Roomba 960, and Roomba 890.

The AeroVac system uses a slightly less efficient filter and the bristle style brushroll system, which can tend to tangle long pet hair. That being said, this system is still perfectly acceptable for short pet hair.

AeroForce Roomba filtration system
Roomba AeroForce 1.0 filtration system
Roomba 614 filter and dust bin
Roomba AeroVac filtration system

Models with the AeroVac system include the Roomba 690 and the Roomba 675.

3. Run Times (Recharge & Resume vs. Limited)

If you have a large home, large pet, or just a lot things to clean, you may want to consider a Roomba model with the Recharge and Resume feature.

This feature was developed for the 900 series Roomba (Roomba 960 and Roomba 980) and has since carried into a few other advanced Roomba models (like the Roomba S9+ and the Roomba i7+.)

Furthermore, it allows the Roomba to automatically recharge itself in the middle of a cleaning cycle and then resume cleaning wherever it left off when the battery is full.

Using the Roomba e5 is as easy as pushing a button
Starting a cleaning cycle on the Roomba e5

Other models without this technology do have a shorter run time, but is generally 75-90 minutes (varies by model) which is more than enough for most cleaning jobs.

Roomba models WITHOUT Recharge & Resume includes: Roomba e5, Roomba 890Roomba 690, and Roomba 614, just to name a few.

Final Thoughts

Do you already have a Roomba and a pet? Want to throw in your two-cents about how these models work for your furry friend? Drop us a comment below and let us know.

Also, if you need help selecting which Roomba works for you, please leave us a comment. We’d be happy to help!

Updates

  • July 23, 2019 – Overhauled the page with new recommendations from the new Roomba S9+, i7+, and e5. Other recommendations removed or changed due to the new models changing the performance, features, and value dynamic.
  • April 11, 2019 – Initial version of the page published.

Leave a Comment