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Shark vs. Roomba: The Definitive Guide

The Shark vs. Roomba are two robot vacuums that come from a strong lineage of quality vacuum cleaners.

Shark vs Roomba robot vacuum comparisons

While Roomba primarily focuses on robot vacuums, Shark has vacuum history across the board, producing uprights, stick, canister, and handheld models as well.

Which is the better robot vacuum? Find out now!

Roomba S9+
Roomba S9+
  • Dimensions: 12.25″ x 3.5″
  • Run Time: ~75 mins.
  • Self Empty Bin: Yes
  • Boundary: Digital map wall
  • Wifi Enabled Yes
Shark IQ
Shark IQ
  • Dimensions: 12.6″ x 3.5″
  • Run Time: Unknown
  • Self Empty Bin: Yes
  • Boundary: Physical strip
  • Wifi Enabled Yes
Roomba 675
Roomba 675
  • Dimensions: 13.4″ x 3.5″
  • Run Time: ~90 mins.
  • Dust Bin: 0.3 L
  • Boundary: None
  • Wifi Enabled Yes
Shark ION RV85
Shark R85
  • Dimensions: 12.8″ x 3.5″
  • Run Time: ~90 mins.
  • Dust Bin: 0.6 L
  • Boundary: Physical strip
  • Wifi Enabled Yes

Table of Contents

Differences between Shark & Roomba

iRobot Roomba is far more established as a robot vacuum manufacturer vs. Shark. Shark’s ION and RV models offer more basic robot vacuums compared to Roomba’s full model lineup. That said, the Shark IQ with its self-emptying dust bin is a notable upgrade.

Comparing Shark to Roomba’s higher end models there is a more significant difference. The Roomba S9+, i7+, e5 and other high end models offer more features, longer run times, and better cleaning performance compared to most Shark vacuums.

Shark Robot Vacuums

Shark offers a wide selection of vacuum types, ranging from uprights and stick vacuums to portable handhelds and tag-along canisters. To keep up with the ever changing vacuum market, they also now manufacture robot vacuums.

Shark R85 Robot Vacuum Usability

The current lineup of robot vacuums in the Shark ION series includes:

  • Shark IQ – Includes Shark IQ RV1001AE and Shark IQ R101 (this is the same robot as the main Shark IQ, but doesn’t include the self-empty base)
  • Shark ION 800 Series – Includes Shark ION R85, Shark ION R87, and Shark ION S87 (this is an R85 with a separate standalone handheld unit at the charging base; doesn’t seem to be as widely available, might be being discontinued)
  • Shark ION 700 SeriesShark ION R76 (same as R87, just with a smaller dust bin), Shark ION R75, and Shark ION R72 (still available at some retailers, but seems to be in the process of being discontinued)

There have been quite a few changes to the naming styles of these vacuums and for the sake of simplicity, I’ve listed out some of the other names that these models go by.

Shark R85

aka: Shark RV850

Shark R75

aka: Shark RV750

aka: Shark ION 750

Shark R72

aka: Shark RV720

aka: Shark ION 720

There are few noticeable differences between the sub-names of each model. From what we can tell, Shark updated the name nearly every time they introduced a new model to the collection.

A bit confusing in my opinion, but hopefully this naming guide helps to clear up the fact that these sub-names are basically the same vacuum as the name highlighted in blue above.

Roomba Robot Vacuums

iRobot is the company behind the Roomba name. iRobot specializes in robots, including the:

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

In the battle vs. Shark robot vacuums, Roomba will be the main contender.

Roomba robot vacuums come in a wide variety of series types and models, but for the sake of this review, we will primarily be looking at the following:

Shark vs. Roomba Comparison Chart

PRODUCT DETAILS

BEST ROOMBA

Roomba S9+
Roomba S9+
  • Run Time: 75 mins.
  • Dust Bin: Unknown
  • Cleaning: 99%
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BEST VALUE

Roomba e5
Roomba e5
  • Run Time: 90 mins.
  • Dust Bin: 0.5 L
  • Cleaning: 99%
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BEST BUDGET

Roomba 675
Roomba 675
  • Run Time: 90 mins.
  • Dust Bin: 0.3 L
  • Cleaning: 95%
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BEST BIG HOME

Roomba 960
Roomba 960
  • Run Time: 75 mins.
  • Dust Bin: 0.3 L
  • Cleaning: 92%
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Roomba i7+Roomba i7+
  • Run Time: 90 mins.
  • Dust Bin: 0.5 L
  • Cleaning: 99%
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Roomba 690Roomba 690
  • Run Time: 90 mins.
  • Dust Bin: 0.3 L
  • Cleaning: 94%
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Roomba 890Roomba 890
  • Run Time: 60 mins.
  • Dust Bin: 0.3 L
  • Cleaning: 92%
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Roomba 614Roomba 614
  • Run Time: 60 mins.
  • Dust Bin: 0.3 L
  • Cleaning: No Data
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BEST SHARK

Shark IQ
Shark IQ
  • Run Time: Unknown
  • Dust Bin: 0.16 L
  • Cleaning: 87%
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Shark ION RV85Shark R85
  • Run Time: 60 mins.
  • Dust Bin: 0.6 L
  • Cleaning: 94%
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Shark ION 720Shark R72 / RV720
  • Run Time: 60 mins.
  • Dust Bin: 0.4 L
  • Cleaning: No Data
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Shark R87Shark R87
  • Run Time: Unknown
  • Dust Bin: 0.56 L
  • Cleaning: No Data
Check Price

In the table below you’ll find more detailed specs and features on the most popular Roomba models vs. the most popular Shark ION robot models.

 Roomba S9+Shark IQRoomba i7+Shark R85Roomba e5Roomba 675Shark ION R72Shark R87Shark ION R75Roomba 690Roomba 890Roomba 960Roomba 980Roomba 614
Roomba i7 robot vacuumShark R85 VacuumRoomba e5 robot vacuumRoomba 675 robot vacuumShark ION Robot 720 vacuumShark ION Robot 750 vacuumRoomba 690 robot vacuum reviewRoomba 890 robot vacuum reviewRoomba 960 robot vacuum reviewRoomba 980 reviewRoomba 614 robot vacuum review
Battery 1,800 mAh1,800 mAh1,800 mAh1,800 mAh2,600 mAh2,600 mAh1,800 mAh1,800 mAh2,600 mAh3,300 mAh1,800 mAh
Run Time ~75 min.~90 min.~90 min.~90 min.~90 min.~60 min.~90 min.~60 min.~60 min.~60 min.~75 min.~120 min.~60 min.
Dust Bin Capacity0.16 L0.5 L0.6 L0.5 L0.3 L 0.56 L0.4 L0.3 L0.3 L0.3 L0.3 L0.3 L
Diameter12.25"12.6"13.3"12.8"13.3"13.4"12.6"12.8"12.6"13"13.9"13.8"13.9"13.9"
Height3.5"3.5"3.6"3.6"3.6"3.6"2.6"3.5"2.6"3.6"3.6"3.6"3.6"3.6"
Weight8.15 lbs.6.92 lbs.7.4 lbs.5.5 lbs.7.2 lbs.7.8 lbs.5.5 lbs.5.7 lbs.5.5 lbs.7.8 lbs.8.4 lbs.8.6 lbs.8.7 lbs.7.9 lbs.
Spinning Side Brush 22121022211111
Brushroll Dual, RubberizedSingle, RubberizedDual, RubberizedSingle, BristleDual, RubberizedDual, Bristle + CompositeSingle, BristleSingle, RubberizedSingle, BristleSingle, BristleDual, RubberizedDual, RubberizedDual, RubberizedSingle, Bristle
Cleaning Performance99%87%99%94%99%94%94%92%92%95%
Self-ChargingYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Scheduling YesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesNo
HEPA Filter YesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesNoYesYesYesNo
Full Bin Indicator YesYesYesYesYesNoNoYesNoNoYesYesYesNo
Recharge & Resume YesYesYesNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNoYesYesNo
Cleaning Reports YesYesYesNoNoNoNoYesNoNoNoYesYesNo
Wireless ControlWifi-EnabledWifi-EnabledWifi-EnabledWifi-EnabledWifi-EnabledWifi-EnabledRemote ControlWifi-EnabledWifi-EnabledWifi-EnabledWifi-EnabledWifi-EnabledWifi-EnabledNone
BoundariesDigital Markers (in-app)Boundary Strips (9')Digital Markers (in-app); Virtual Barrier (1)Boundary Strips (9')Virtual Barrier (1)NoneBoundary Strips (9')Boundary Strips (9')Boundary Strips (9')Virtual Barrier (1)Virtual Barrier (1)Virtual Barrier (1)Virtual Barrier (2)None
ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead ReviewRead Review
Price Check PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price

Shark IQ vs. Roomba S9+ vs. Roomba i7+ vs. Roomba e5

One of the most common questions we have seen from our readers is the difference between the most high-end models from Shark and Roomba.

Specifically, the Shark IQ vs. Roomba S9+ vs. i7+ vs. e5.

Below we’re going to cover these 4 models side-by-side:

Shark IQ
  • Cleaning: 87%
  • Runs: Unknown
  • Recharge & Resume? No
  • Smart Maps: Yes
  • Empties bin? Yes
Roomba S9+
  • Cleaning: 99%
  • Runs: 75 mins.
  • Recharge & Resume? Yes
  • Smart Maps: Yes
  • Empties bin? Yes
Roomba i7+
  • Cleaning: 99%
  • Runs: 75 mins.
  • Recharge & Resume? Yes
  • Smart Maps: Yes
  • Empties bin? Yes
Roomba e5
  • Cleaning: 99%
  • Runs: 90 mins.
  • Recharge & Resume? No
  • Smart Maps: No
  • Empties bin? No

Similarities

  • Mapping – Shark IQ, Roomba S9+, and Roomba i7+ all have advanced digital mapping. They all create a map you can access via your smartphone. From there you can setup scheduling, room cleanings, view history, and more. Roomba e5 notably does not have digital mapping capabilities.
  • Run Time – The run time for all these robots is fairly similar. Roomba e5 has a slight edge with a 90 minute run time, compared to the S9+ and i7+, which run for 75 minutes. However, it also lacks re-charge and resume…so there are pros and cons there. Shark doesn’t disclose their official run times, but in our tests it seemed to be pretty similar.

Differences

  • Cleaning Performance – The most striking difference between these models is cleaning performance. Roomba S9+, i7+, and e5 all were virtually flawless, removing 99% of debris during our tests. Shark struggled more, only removing 87% of debris. This isn’t to say Shark is a bad cleaner, but compared to the Roomba high-end line, there is a clean difference in performance.
  • Re-Charge and Resume – this feature lets the robot go re-charge itself and then resume where it left off, in the event its not able to finish a clean job before the battery runs out. Roomba S9+ and i7+ have it, Roomba e5 and Shark IQ do not.
  • Self-Empty Bins – Roomba S9+, Roomba i7+, and Shark IQ all have a self emptying dust bin. Roomba e5 doesn’t. This is a major convenience factor, a huge difference between these four robots.
  • Bag vs. Bagless – Roomba S9+ and i7+ use a bagged design within the clean base. As these bags get full you’ll need to replace. Roomba e5 and Shark IQ use a bagless design. There are pros and cons to each design, but you’ll definitely have more costs over the life of the vacuum with a bagged systems.
  • Price – Roomba S9+ and i7+ are about twice as expensive as the Shark IQ. That’s a huge difference. The Roomba e5 and Shark IQ are closer to the same price. That said, there are pretty significant performance and convenience features offered between the 4 models.

Bottom Line

So then…we’ve seen all the data, what’s the real bottom line on what’s better or worse?

Best of the Best

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Roomba S9+

It’s the most expensive, but it’s objectively the best performer with the most features. Bottom line, it’s the best robot currently being sold anywhere. It has got convenience, digital mapping, keep out zones, and extraordinary performance. If you want the best, get the S9+.Check Price

Roomba S9+ Lite

moderncastle-fs-table__image

Roomba i7+

This is basically the S9+ lite edition. It’s got a little less suction power compared to S9+ and it uses the circle design, so it’s not as great at getting into corners. Beyond that, performance, usability, and other features are substantially similar to the S9+. It’s a good choice if you want the best, but also want to save a little money off the bleeding edge.Check Price

Best Value

moderncastle-fs-table__image

Roomba e5

In my view, this is one the best value robots currently on the market. Its performance in our cleaning tests was identical to what we saw on the S9+ and i7+. You miss out on digital mapping and a self-emptying dust bin, but in terms of cleaning performance you are covered. Oh and the price point is incredibly reasonable.Check Price

Self-Empty Bin on a Budget

moderncastle-fs-table__image

Shark IQ

So where does that leave the Shark IQ? In my view, Shark IQ is the robot you get if you want a self-emptying dust bin for the lowest price point. The Shark IQ lacks in a number of areas, including cleaning performance, recharge and resume, dust bin size, and zoned cleaning. That said, it’s performance wasn’t bad in our tests and it does have the self empty dust bin. If that feature is important and you want the cheapest option, this is it.Check Price

Roomba S9+

The Roomba S9+ is the most advanced iRobot robot vacuum currently on the market.

Roomba S9+ plus robot vacuum
Roomba S9+

It’s most notable feature is the clean base, which allows the S9+ to empty its own dust bin into the base. From there, you’ll just need to replace the bag every month or two (depending on use).

The S9+ offers advanced digital mapping, excellent navigation, digital keep out zones, scheduling, incredible suction, and more. It’s easily the most advanced and high-end robot vacuum we’ve tested to date.

  • Dimensions: 12.25″ x 3.5″ H
  • Run Time: 75 minutes (is able to recharge and resume)
  • Weight: 8.15 lbs.

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Pros

  • Flat front body style allows the robot to clean better in corners and along edges
  • Incredible suction power (40 times more suction compared to Roomba 600 series)
  • Self-empty dust bin

Cons

  • One of the most expensive robots on the market

Shark IQ

The Shark IQ is the most advanced robot vacuum that Shark manufacturers.

Shark IQ robot vacuum at docking station
Shark IQ robot vacuum at docking station

Like the Roomba S9+, it includes a clean base that allows the IQ to empty its own dust bin. You’ll just want to empty the dust bin once a month or so.

The Shark digitally maps your home, can be controlled over your smartphone, and has a “Room Select” feature that allows you to clean a specific room. It doesn’t have the raw suction power of the high-end Roomba, but it was still a pretty good cleaner in our tests.

  • Dimensions: 12.6″ x 3.5″ H
  • Run Time: Not specified
  • Weight: 5.87 lbs.

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Pros

  • Can empty its own dust bin
  • Relatively low price compared to other robots that empty their own bins
  • Digital mapping

Cons

  • Cleaning performance was good, not great
  • Relies on physical boundary strips to setup cleaning zones
  • Large debris has the ability to clog the bin (and did so during our tests)

Roomba i7+

The Roomba i7+ is one of the most advanced robot vacuums on the market today. It can easily connect to your smartphone for remote control and has the best cleaning performance in a robot vacuum that we’ve tested to date.

Roomba i7+ Robot Vacuum
Roomba i7 robot vacuum

For an added bonus, you can get the Roomba i7+ which includes a self-emptying dust bin that deposits up to 30 loads of debris into a bagged compartment of the charging station.

  • Dimensions: 13.3″ diameter x 3.6″ H
  • Run Time: ~90 minutes
  • Weight: 7.4 pounds

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Pros

  • Long run time and offers the Recharge and Resume feature for easy charging in the middle of a cleaning cycle
  • Self-emptying dustbin when you opt for the i7+ model
  • Extremely impressive cleaning performance on all floor types

Cons

  • Very expensive compared to other robot vacuums, especially the Shark lineup
  • The i7+ model will require replacement dust bags, which is an additional maintenance cost.

Interested in the self-emptying dust bin? The Roomba i7+ is the only robot we know of with this feature.

Most Advanced Robot We’ve Tested

Roomba i7+

Roomba i7+

The Roomba i7+ robot vacuum is the first vacuum of its kind that features a self-emptying dustbin (at least that we’re aware of). The Roomba i7+ has an advanced “home base” that doubles as a charging station and a self-emptying dustbin where it can store up to 30 loads of debris from the i7+ cleaning cycles. Additionally, its cleaning performance and usability (via app control and advanced mapping) easily make the i7+ one of the best robot vacuums on the market.Check Price

Roomba e5

The Roomba e5 is a part of the Roomba e Series, but offers a budget alternative to the Roomba i7 and i7+ models. This vacuum still has a long 90-minute run time, scheduled cleanings, wifi connectivity, and excellent cleaning performance.

Roomba e5 cleaning cereal on hardwood floor
Roomba e5 robot vacuum

The main things you’re giving up by going with the e5 over the i7 is the on-board camera and the ability to Recharge & Resume in the middle of a cleaning cycle. These features are not available on the Roomba e5 robot vacuum.

RELATED: Want to see how the e5 compares to the Roomba i7? See our full Roomba e5 vs. i7 vs i7+ here.

  • Dimensions: 13.3″ diameter x 3.6″ H
  • Run Time: ~90 minutes
  • Weight: 7.2 pounds
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Pros

  • Still has a long 90-minute run time
  • Excellent cleaning performance on all floor types
  • Wifi connectivity for easy scheduled cycles, voice control, or control while on-the-go

Cons

  • No on-board camera, which can mean less advanced navigation compared to the Roomba i7
  • No Recharge & Resume feature

Shark ION R85 (RV850)

The Shark R85 is the flagshipo model within the Shark ION series and offers a solid set of features at a fair price point.

Shark R85 Robot Vacuum

It has a 90-minute run time, up the 30 minutes longer than the run time on the ION R75.

Additionally, it creates 3 times the suction on Max mode (over the R75). The R85 offers scheduled cleaning cycles and voice control via Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant to help make it easier to start, stop, and schedule cleaning cycles.

  • Dimensions: 12.8″ diameter x. 3.4″ H
  • Run Time: ~90 minutes
  • Weight: 6.6 pounds

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Pros

  • Extra long 90-minute run time
  • Extra large dust bin capacity over the R85 (0.6 liters on the R85 – that’s 30% more than the 0.4L max capacity of the R75 and even about 15% more capacity over the Roomba e5 max capacity of 0.5L)
  • Comes with a handheld vacuum option, if you opt for the S87 model

Cons

  • Still no upgrade to boundary marker, which requires a physical strip be laid onto the floor
  • Struggled with thicker carpet and finer debris types during our cleaning tests

Additionally, Shark offers their S87 model, which takes an R85 and marries it with a charging base that has a standalone handheld vacuum. This is a nice extra and helps make the case for a robot as a total vacuum replacement.

Shark ION R85 + Handheld Vacuum Set

Shark ION S87

Shark S87

The Shark S87 is a packaged set that includes the R85 as well as a handheld vacuum that is built into the charging station. This optional vacuum is a nice addition for quick messes or spot cleaning, while the R85 continues to provide whole-home cleaning. Check Price

Roomba 675

The Roomba 675 robot is almost identical to the Roomba 690 (listed above) besides the fact that it doesn’t include a virtual wall and is slightly larger, about .5″ wider and .1″ shorter.

Roomba 675 cleaning rug
Roomba 675
  • Dimensions: 13.4″ diameter x 3.5 H
  • Run Time: ~90 minutes
  • Weight: 7.8 pounds

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Pros

  • Does basically everything the Roomba 690 does, just doesn’t include the virtual wall barrier, but you save a few bucks because of that.
  • A great budget / value robot that still includes wifi connectivity for smartphone control
  • 90 minute run time

Cons

  • Like the Roomba 690, can struggle to remove fine debris from carpet.

Roomba 690

The Roomba 690 has been a staple of Roomba’s budget lineup for several years. The 690 has wifi connectivity, allowing you to start, stop, or schedule cleaning cycles from your smartphone.

For navigation, it uses infrared light to detect dirt and obstacles as it cleans. Unlike the Roomba 900 series, the 690 does not have memory mapping.

Roomba 690 - best robot vacuum value
Roomba 690 robot vacuum

The 690 also does not have a true HEPA filter, but it does have a fine-particulate filter. The 690 models also uses a bristle-style brushroll, similar to the Shark ION series.

  • Dimensions: 13″ diameter x 3.6 H
  • Run Time: ~90 minutes
  • Weight: 7.8 pounds

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Pros

  • Wifi-connectivity allows you to control the vacuum with your smartphone or voice control.
  • Long 90 minute run time, considering the lower price.

Cons

  • Lacks the advanced filtration of newer model Roombas.
  • Older bristle-style brushroll is prone to tangle more.
  • More difficult to find, not as widely available at as many retailers.

Roomba 960

The Roomba 960 robot is one step down from the Roomba 980 model. It includes many of the same features like wifi-connectivity, scheduled cleanings, HEPA filtration, and the advanced brushroll which is better at preventing tangles than the older style brushroll.

Roomba 960
Roomba 960

The 960 models also has the ability to generate wireless cleaning reports, available on your smartphone via the iRobot Home app.

One difference between the Roomba 960 vs. the 980 is the power boost bonus that the 980 model has. This allows the 980 to offer better cleaning performance on thick carpets.

That said, the difference during our cleaning tests was not dramatic on high pile carpet. See our Roomba 960 vs. 980 review for more

  • Dimensions: 13.8″ diameter x 3.6″ H
  • Run Time: ~120 minutes
  • Weight: 8.6 pounds

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Pros

  • Extended 75-minute run time is sufficient for most cleaning cycles.
  • Recharge and Resume technology allows Roomba to keep cleaning until the job is done.
  • Low annual maintenance costs help to offset the relatively high initial cost.

Cons

  • Much more expensive than the Shark robot vacuums, but also comes with more features.
  • Does not include the “Power Boost” for cleaning high-pile carpet, like the Roomba 980 model.

Shark ION R72 (RV720 or ION 720)

The Shark ION R72 is the younger sibling to the ION R75 model. Similar to the R75, the ION R72 also is self-charging, can run scheduled cleanings, and includes a HEPA filter. It also cleans with a single central brushroll and two spinning side brushes.

Shark Ion 720 robot vacuum
Shark ION R72 robot vacuum

The main difference between these two model is that the ION R72 does not have wifi-connectivity. Instead of controlling it with your smartphone, the R72 comes with a remote control for wireless control.

  • Dimensions: 12.6″ diameter x 2.6″ H
  • Run Time: ~60 minutes
  • Weight: 5.5 pounds

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Pros

  • Lower price tag than the ION R75, without sacrificing run time.
  • Includes remote for wireless control.
  • Lightweight body style with low profile.

Cons

  • Does not include wifi-connectivity or a pairing app on your smartphone.
  • It’s not as widely available, so pricing can be weird / more expensive. In many cases you’re just better off going with the R85.

If you’d like to see a deep dive on all of the vacuums shark offers see our complete Best Shark vacuums guide here.

Roomba 614

The Roomba 614 is the most basic vacuum model that is currently offered by Roomba. Coming in at an affordable price, this model has a simple design for easy usability and no-fuss add-ons. It still has a run time of 60 minutes.

Roomba 614 robot vacuum
Roomba 614 robot vacuum

What it lacks is the advanced HEPA filtration like the 980 as well as wifi-connectivity, which all of the later flagship models have. That being said, for an inexpensive Roomba that cleans where it is put, the 614 may still be a great option.

  • Dimensions: 13.4″ diameter x 3.7 H
  • Run Time: ~60 minutes
  • Weight: 7.5 pounds

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Pros

  • Lower price tag than the Shark ION Robot series.
  • Wifi-connectivity allows you to control the vacuum with your smartphone or voice control.
  • Long 60-minute run time, considering the lower price.

Cons

  • Lacks the advanced advanced filtration of newer model Roombas.
  • Older bristle-style brushroll is prone to tangle more.

Wonder how Roomba compares to other robot vacuums on the market? Check out our Neato vs. RoombaiLife vs. Roomba, and Bobsweep vs. Roomba comparison battles.

Shark ION R75 (RV750 or ION 750)

NOTE – While the R75 is still available at some retailers, it seems to be in the process of being discontinued. As such, you’re probably better off just getting the Shark R85.

The Shark ION R75 is self-charging and comes with Wifi-connectivity—allowing you to start, stop, or schedule a cleaning cycle remotely from your smartphone at any time.

The wifi signal also allows for voice control via Amazon Alexa. The Shark R75 and Shark ION R72 use the same battery and both offer a 60-minute run time.

Shark Ion 750 robot vacuum
Shark R75 robot vacuum
  • Dimensions: 12.6″ diameter x. 2.6″ H
  • Run Time: ~60 minutes
  • Weight: 5.5 pounds

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Pros

  • Lightweight body is about 40% lighter than the Roomba models.
  • Lower price tag than some of the higher-end models.
  • The 60-minute run time provides sufficient time for cleaning most areas.

Cons

  • The “BotBoundary” strips are more difficult to use than Roomba’s virtual wall barrier.
  • Not able to generate as much suction as the R85
  • Seems like it’s in the process of discontinuation

Roomba 980

NOTE – Not as widely available as other models. Also, price point just doesn’t make as much sense. If you want a high-end Roomba you’re better off going with the e5, i7+, or S9+.

The Roomba 980 is one of the most advanced Roomba robot vacuums to date, offering exceptional cleaning performance and a 120-minute run time, the longest of any of the models in this Shark vs. Roomba comparison.

Roomba 980
Roomba 980

The 980 offers wifi-connectivity, HEPA filtration, and includes two virtual wall barriers.

Unlike the Shark ION “BotBoundaries”, the Roomba virtual wall barriers can protect up to 10′ linear path (like a doorway or hall) as well as a 4′ diameter around a sensitive area (like sensitive electronics or a pet feeding area).

  • Dimensions: 13.9″ diameter x 3.6″ H
  • Run Time: ~120 minutes
  • Weight: 8.7 pounds

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Pros

  • Extended run time is twice that of the Shark ION R72 or R75 models.
  • Wifi-connectivity offers control with your smartphone or voice control with Amazon Alexa.
  • Excellent cleaning performance on all floor types.

Cons

  • With the impressive features also comes a higher price tag, compared to other models.
  • During our cleaning test, this vacuum was a bit loud on low carpet and hardwoods.

Roomba 890

NOTE – Like the 980, the Roomba 890 isn’t as widely available. It’s also weirdly priced at many retailers. In almost all cases it just makes more sense to get a newer Roomba e5 instead (same or less expensive, for better performance).

The Roomba 890 has the same run time as the Shark ION 750 and 720 models (60 minutes). It features a centrally located “Clean” button on the face of the vacuum with a handle, and dust bin release latch.

Roomba 890
Roomba 890

On the underside the 890 uses one spinning side brush for cleaning corners and tight spots, along with dual rubberized brushrolls for collecting debris, without the tangles.

The 890 has wifi connectivity which allows this vacuum to be controlled with your smartphone. You can start, stop, or schedule cleaning for up to a week. This model includes one virtual barrier.

  • Dimensions: 13.9″ diameter x 3.6 H
  • Run Time: ~60 minutes
  • Weight: 8.4 pounds

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Pros

  • Lower price tag compared to the 900 series Roomba models.
  • Wifi connectivity makes it easy to stop, start, or schedule cleaning cycles.
  • Dual brushrolls prevent more tangles over the 600 series Roombas.

Cons

  • More expensive than the Shark ION series robot vacuums.
  • Struggles a bit with fine debris on high pile carpet.

If you’re interested in how Roomba compares to other Roombas check out some of our comparisons, including Roomba 690 vs. 890Roomba 650 vs. 690, and Roomba 890 vs. 960.

Should you a Shark or Roomba?

While Roomba definitely has a wider selection of robot vacuums, that is not to say that the Shark ION is anything to scoff at.

Both of these manufacturers produce a quality robot vacuum and depending what your needs on, they may be met by any one of these models listed above.

The best way to choose between Shark vs. Roomba is to ask yourself a series of questions about your needs and desires.

First things first, what is your budget?

Most Shark robots fall into the budget / moderately priced category, with only the Shark IQ rising to the mid-range price.

Roomba span a wider range of pricing, from budget to extremely expensive.

If you want a budget robot you’ll be looking at:

If you want something in the mid-range price tier you’ll be considering:

And lastly, if you want the most high-end options then you’ll be in the most expensive tier:

Second, what features are most important to you?

Are you looking for a robot vacuum that you can control with your smartphone, or voice control via AI like Amazon Alexa?

You’ll want to check out the following models:

Just want the best robot you can get without spending too much money? You won’t want to miss these models:

If you’re looking for a robot that strikes a balance between performance and price we recommend:

Are you looking for the smartest robot vacuums on the market? Something you can set up and then forget about, with the confidence to know that it will be able to navigate, clean, and dock by itself?

If this sounds like you, it’s hard to beat the i Series and S Series Roombas.

With added features like Recharge & Resume, Digital Cleaning Reports, and Memory Mapping, and incredible suction, these models are top-of-the-line for high-end robot vacuums:

That’s a Wrap Folks!

Well, that’s it for this Shark vs. Roomba guide. We hope you found it helpful!

If you’re still having trouble deciding the robot vacuum that’s best for you see our full list of robot vacuum reviews here or check out our guide on the best robot vacuums.

Need even more help? Use our contact form below to ask any questions. We do our best to answer within 24 hours.

Update Log

  • April 9, 2020 – Added new info on the Shark IQ and Roomba S9+. Updated info on a number of models, as well as improved formatting, added data, and made a number of other improvements to the page. Added a new 4 way comparison. Removed antiquated and redundant information.
  • April 25, 2019  – Added information about the new Shark model names, Shark R85, Roomba i Series, Roomba e5, and Roomba 675. Removed outdated information. Corrected information / specs that have changed within the last year. Improved formatting and made other updates and content changes.
  • December 1, 2018 – Updated minor meta data as well as the page heading.
  • November 22, 2018 – Updated a few minor formatting issues.
  • April 18, 2018 – Initial version of the page launched.

About Derek Hales

Derek HalesDerek Hales is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of ModernCastle.com. He has been featured in Fast Company, Reader's Digest, Business Insider, Realtor.com, She Knows, and other major publications. Derek has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Kansas State University. Hales has been testing and reviewing products for the home since 2014.

Need Help? Ask Your Question Below

    • In general, all robot vacuums are going to struggle with cords, socks, and small toys. You should try to pick these up, otherwise your robot is very likely going to get stuck.

      The Roborock S6 MaxV is the only robot we’ve tested to date with activate obstacle detection and avoidance, see that review here – https://moderncastle.com/roborock-s6-maxv-review/

    • In our cleaning tests the i3+ removed 99% on all 3 flooring types.

      In those same cleaning tests the Shark IQ removed 98% on hardwood, 74% on low carpet, and 90% on high carpet. For whatever reason, it really seemed to struggle on low carpets. Most likely that it cannot create as strong of a suction seal as it’s able to with high pile carpet.

      Regarding usability, we weren’t thrilled with the Shark IQ. Despite many cleaning sessions, the IQ was never able to create a digital map of our testing area. This prevented us from using many of the features that make robots like this more worthwhile.

      In our tests, the Roomba i3+ worked as expected. Easy to setup, easy to connect, and all of the features that were supposed to be in the app were there.

      In general, we found the i3+ to be significantly better than the Shark IQ.

  1. Thanks for this comprehensive and great review!!

    What about the other Shark Ion Robot Vacuum called S87 with Wi-Fi (RV851WV)? How does that compare with the Roomba model comparable to S87 vacuum?

    Reply
    • Great question! That’s actually something we’re testing now.

      We have the new R85 (which I believe is the same vacuum that is included with the S87 package). We should have that up up within the next few days.

      So stay tuned.

      Update for anyone reading these comments, you can see our R85 review here – https://moderncastle.com/shark-ion-r85-review/ (note that the R85 is the robot that’s included with the S87)

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