Roomba 690 vs. 890

Derek HalesBy Derek Hales
Updated January 12, 2018

roomba 690 vs. 890

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When it comes to household cleaning, you want a quality clean, but you also want a good price— so how do you find the balance? This vacuum review is going to look at Roomba 690 vs. 890 and put each of these models to the test. The Roomba 890 is about $150 more than the Roomba 690, but also comes with quite a few additional bells and whistles. 

Are the added features worth the added cost? This review is going to compare all aspects of these robot vacuums including design, how it cleans, size, accessories and parts, cleaning performance, usability, maneuverability, maintenance, battery, noise, value, warranty, return policy, and company.

While the exact importance of each of these factors is a bit subjective, they all work together to project an assessment of the overall product value.

If you want to see how all of the Roomba vacuum models compare, be sure to also check out our Roomba Reviews.

There are a lot of cool features with each of thee vacuums and there’s a lot of ground to cover so let’s get started in this robot vacuum showdown — Roomba 690 vs. 890!

GUIDE: Want to know more about how we score vacuum reviews? Click here to see our outlined vacuum review process. 

Roomba 890 robot vacuum review

Roomba 690 vs. 890: Which is Better?

It was a close one, but in terms of overall performance the Roomba 890 is simply better. It has a higher price tag, but the additional features really increase the overall performance and usability of this robot vacuum. The memory-mapping feature is an intuitive addition and the advanced brushroll makes for easier maintenance, especially for homes with pets or long-haired people.

Roomba 690 Review

The Roomba 690 a powerful budget-conscious robot vacuum. It offers wifi connectivity, voice control, and great cleaning performance. This model includes one virtual wall barrier, has the bristle style brushroll, and operates with iAdapt 1.0 navigation technology. It lacks the memory feature and advanced brushroll of the newer models, but at under $300, this robot vacuum is a great value.

iRobot Roomba 690 robot vacuum review

Pros

  • Costs less than $300, which is relatively affordable for a good robot vacuum.
  • Wifi connectivity and voice control enhance usability.

Cons

  • Basic navigation and lack of memory-mapping may be a problem for complicated floor plans.
  • Bristle style brushrolls can be hard to maintain, depending on debris types and use.

Bottom Line

The Roomba 690 offers excellent cleaning performance and with a simplified user interface. This make it an easy and effective robot vacuum to run. However, if you have pets or long hair in the household, the bristle brusholl may be problematic.

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Score

Roomba 890 Review

The Roomba 890 is a more expensive model, but the extra costs do come with significant upgrades. This robot vacuum offers wifi connectivity, voice control, and excellent cleaning performance. Upgrades to the 890 model include advanced dual brushrolls (for fewer tangles), a memory-mapping feature, advanced HEPA filtration, and a full bin indicator.

Roomba 890 robot vacuum review

Pros

  • Memory-mapping technology enhances navigation.
  • Advanced dual brushrolls are better for pet hair or long hair.

Cons

  • A little pricey at close to $500.
  • Cleaning performance is not substantially better than the Roomba 690.

Bottom Line

Although a bit pricier, the Roomba 890 brings a solid value. For pet owners, the dual brushrolls are almost a necessity, in my opinion, providing easier cleanup and brushroll maintenance. In addition, if you have a tricky home layout or multiple rooms, the memory-mapping feature can help better navigate your home.

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Roomba 690 Design

The Roomba 690 has a two-tone aesthetic, using black and silver, with bright green accents for special features. The green is used to highlight the carrying handle as well as the dust bin release where you can empty the bin or clean / replace the filter.

The center panel has a “CLEAN” button which starts an auto clean cycle. You can program scheduled cleanings using the iRobot Home app or using voice control via Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.

  1. Auto clean / settings
  2. Handle
  3. Bumper
  4. Dust bin release
iRobot Roomba 690 robot vacuum features

iRobot Roomba 690 robot vacuum – features

Roomba 890 Design

The design of the Roomba 890 is similar to that of the 690 model. It has the same style of cleaning buttons, handle placement, bumper style, and dust bin release.

The aesthetic of the 890 is a little more cohesive with the dark gray and black. There are no brightly colored accents on this model, that note special features, however, the design is so simple, the features feel pretty intuitive.

  1. Auto clean / settings
  2. Handle
  3. Bumper
  4. Dust bin release
iRobot Roomba 890 robot vacuum - features

iRobot Roomba 890 robot vacuum – features

How Roomba 690 Cleans

The Roomba 690 cleans using a spinning side brush, central bristle style brushroll, and vacuum suction.The spinning side brushes help to push debris from edges and corners and into the path of the central brushroll. This bristle brushroll has the same average lifespan as the dual brushrolls and costs a little less to replace.

There is no memory feature on the 690, so this model relies solely on dirt detection and infrared light sensors to navigate the space. When the Roomba detects especially dirty areas, it will spend more time in those spaces before continuing onto other rooms.

Edge sensors along the front of the vacuum combined with drop detection technology helps prevent the Roomba 690 from driving over stair edges or lofted spaces.

  1. Wheels
  2. Spinning brush
  3. Charging pins
  4. Brushroll
  5. bust bin
  6. Edge sensors
Roomba 690 robot vacuum how it cleans

Roomba 690 robot vacuum how it cleans

The 690 model uses the AeroVac filtration system to filter out fine particulate and debris. This filter is a bit larger and curved compared to the sleeker design of the AeroForce filter (in the Roomba 890). The AeroVac filter does take up more room in the dust bin, but the level of filtration is comparable.

AeroVac Roomba filtration system

Roomba 690 – AeroVac filtration system

How Roomba 890 Cleans

The Roomba 890 uses a similar three-stage cleaning as the 690 model, but has an advanced brushroll. Unlike the 690’s single bristle-style brushroll, the Roomba 890 uses dual brushrolls, which Roomba calls “debris extractors.” This dual system helps to prevent tangles and is especially useful for homes with pets or people with long hair.

The edge sensors are in the same place as on the Roomba 690, but the 890 does have a memory-mapping feature so navigation is improved with this model. Memory-mapping allows this model to use its infrared light to read the space and remember obstacles and layouts. This increases the robot vacuum efficiency, so it doesn’t continually bump into the same things for every cleaning cycle.

  1. Wheels
  2. Spinning brush
  3. Charging pins
  4. Debris extractor brushrolls
  5. Dust bin
  6. Edge sensors
Roomba 890 robot vacuum how it cleans features

Roomba 890 robot vacuum – how it cleans

The other big change here is the HEPA filtration system. The Roomba 890 uses an upgraded system called AeroForce which is basically a smaller filter, leaving more room for debris in the dust bin, without sacrificing filtration.

AeroForce Roomba filtration system

Roomba AeroForce filtration system

Roomba 690 Size & Dimensions

The Roomba 690 is 13″ in diameter and 3.6″ tall. It’s pretty average on the spectrum of robot vacuum sizes and doesn’t seem to have much trouble sneaking under furniture or into tight corners.

  • Diameter – 13″
  • Height – 3.6″

Roomba 690 robot vacuum size dimensions

Roomba 890 Size & Dimensions

The Roomba 890 is 13.9″ in diameter and 3.6″ tall.  Again, this size is pretty standard for comparable robot vacuums and should easily be able to maneuver throughout tight spaces and under most furniture.

  • Diameter – 13.9″
  • Height – 3.6″

Roomba 890 robot vacuum - size and dimensions

Roomba 690 Accessories & Parts

The Roomba 690 comes with the following parts and accessories:

  1. Virtual wall barrier (advanced)
  2. Charging station
  3. Filter (AeroVac)
  4. Cleaning tool
iRobot Roomba 690 robot vacuum accessories

iRobot Roomba 690 robot vacuum – accessories

Roomba 890 Accessories & Parts

The Roomba 890 comes with the following parts and accessories:

  1. Virtual wall barrier (advanced)
  2. Charging station
  3. Filter (AeroForce)
Roomba 890 parts and accessories

Roomba 890 robot vacuum – accessories

Cleaning Tests

At Modern Castle, we put all of the vacuums through our standard vacuum cleaning tests. These cleaning tests are designed to test a vacuum’s full range of cleaning performance, from large debris to small. We perform a total of 12 debris tests, using 3 different flooring types and 4 types of debris. We test on engineered hardwoods, low pile carpet, and high pile carpet.

RELATED:  Neato vs. Roomba, who is the king of clean?

On each of those floor types, we test rice, dry cereal, kitty litter, and sugar. For the robot vacuum cleaning tests, we allow the vacuums to clean for up to 15 minutes, or less time if it stops on its own.

  • Rice – 3 ounces
  • Dry Cereal – 1 ounce
  • Kitty Litter – 3 ounces
  • Sugar – 3 ounces
Cleaning test debris types

Testing Debris – From left to right: Rice (3 oz.), Kitty Litter (3 oz), Cereal (1 oz), Sugar (3 oz)

Roomba 690 Hardwood Floor Tests

For the hardwood tests, the Roomba 690 did great, collecting 100% of large debris, like cereal, while only collecting 95% of smaller debris, like sugar.

See before and after test images.

  • Rice 99%
  • Cereal 100%
  • Kitty Litter 96%
  • Sugar 95%

Roomba 690 Low Pile Carpet Tests

The Roomba 690 continued to do well onto the low pile carpet test, with the exception of sugar, where it only captured 72% of debris. On the rice, cereal, and kitty litter tests, it scored 98-100%.

See before and after test images.

  • Rice 100%
  • Cereal 100%
  • Kitty Litter 98%
  • Sugar 72%

Roomba 690 High Pile Carpet Tests

On the high pile carpet, the Roomba continued to perform excellently for the rice, cereal, and kitty litter tests, and struggled more with the sugar test, only collecting 66% of debris.

See before and after test images.

  • Rice 99%
  • Cereal 99%
  • Kitty Litter 99%
  • Sugar 66%

Roomba 890 Hardwood Tests

On the hardwoods, the Roomba 890 did excellent, collecting 100% of debris of the rice, cereal, and sugar, and a 92% of the kitty litter during each test.

See before and after test images.

  • Rice 100%
  • Cereal 100%
  • Kitty Litter 92%
  • Sugar 100%

Roomba 890 Low Pile Carpet Tests

For the low pile carpet, the cleaning performance for rice, cereal, and kitty litter was still exceptional — 100% for all three tests. The sugar test proved to be a bit more of a struggle, as the 890 only collected 65% of the debris dropped.

See before and after test images.

  • Rice 100%
  • Cereal 100%
  • Kitty Litter 100%
  • Sugar 65%

Roomba 890 High Pile Carpet Tests

The high pile carpet test yielded results similar to the low pile carpet test. The rice, cereal, and kitty litter tests all collected 100% of debris, while the sugar only collected 50% of debris.

See before and after test images.

  • Rice 100%
  • Cereal 100%
  • Kitty Litter 100%
  • Sugar 50%

Roomba 690 Usability

The usability for the Roomba 690 is quite good. With the wifi connectivity, its user interface is simple and intuitive. Setup is as easy as unboxing it, installing the spinning brushes, charging it up, and letting it loose.

App setup took just a few minutes. Of course, with the 690 or 890, using the app is optional. You can start any cleaning cycle by just pressing the “CLEAN” button.

Roomba 690 robot vacuum - usability

Roomba 690 robot vacuum – usability

Roomba 890 Usability

The usability for the Roomba 890 is comparable to the 690, since both vacuums use the iRobot Home app and have wifi connectivity. Setup includes unboxing, installing the spinning brush, allowing time for a full charge, and you’re ready to clean. The user interface is extremely similar and easy to use.

Complete app setup, including registration and robot setup only took just a few minutes.

Roomba 890 robot vacuum usability

Roomba 890 robot vacuum – usability

Roomba 690 Maneuverability

The maneuverability of the Roomba 690 is a little less than that of the Roomba 890. The biggest difference here is that the 690 does not have memory-mapping and relies solely on dirt detection technology to identify dirty spots and traffic patterns. This approach is a little less efficient, as the 690 may continue to bump into the same obstacles and hazards multiple times within a cleaning session.

  • Weight – 7.8 lbs.
  • Width – 13″
  • Height – 3.6″
  • Turning – 360°

Roomba 890 Maneuverability

The maneuverability of the Roomba 890 is a bit more advanced, compared to the Roomba 690. The on-board camera and sensors use memory-mapping to create a map of your home, which Roomba then can use to navigate your home more efficiently. The 890 also has the same dirt detection technology that the 690 model has for high-traffic areas.

  • Weight – 8.6 lbs.
  • Width – 13.9″
  • Height – 3.6″
  • Turning – 360°

Roomba 690 Maintenance

The maintenance for the Roomba 690 is pretty consistent across many Roomba models. Emptying the dust bin and regularly checking the filter are good maintenance tasks to help your Roomba’s parts and accessories last longer.

The cost to maintain the unit is around $33 / year.

The 690 model also uses the bristle-style brush, which may require additional maintenance, compared to the brushroll on the 890 model. This is especially true if your home has pets or people with long hair, which tends to tangle in the brushroll easily.

Edit
Accessory / Part Replacement Frequency Replacement Cost
HEPA filter 2 months $1.50 / per – Buy
Spinning brush 6 months $1.25 / per – Buy
Front wheel 12 months $8 / per – Buy
Brushroll 12 months $5 / per – Buy
Battery 18-36 months $20 / per – Buy

Roomba 890 Maintenance

The Roomba 890 maintenance is comparable to the 690 in many ways. Maintaining the dust bin, filter, and brushes are simple tasks that don’t take long, but are critically important to keeping your Roomba running smoothly.

The cost to maintain the unit is around $36 / year.

The Roomba 890 uses the advanced dual brushrolls (debris extractors), which are rubberized to help prevent hair tangles — from both pets and people. This brush is also easier to maintain, compared to the older bristle-style brush.

Edit
Accessory / Part Replacement Frequency Replacement Cost
HEPA filter 2 months Check Price
Spinning brush 6 months Check Price
Front wheel 12 months Check Price
Debris Extractor 12 months Check Price
Battery 18-36 months Check Price

Roomba 690 Battery

The battery of the Roomba 690 has a 60 minute run time and 3,000 mAh capacity.

BatteryDetails
Size1,800 mAh
Charging Time2-3 hours
Run Time60 minutes
Replacement Cost$20 - Buy

Roomba 890 Battery

The battery of the Roomba 890 has a 60 minute run time and an 1,800 mAh capacity.

BatteryDetails
Size1,800 mAh
Charging Time2-3 hours
Run Time60 minutes
Replacement CostCheck Price

Roomba 690 Noise

We put all of the vacuums through a standard noise test at Modern Castle, which measures the decibel level from 3′ away from the vacuum as it is running.  Compared to the Roomba 890, the Roomba 690 was the same decibel volume. 

Roomba 690 robot vacuum noise test

At 3′ away, the Roomba 690 robot vacuum emits 68 dB of sound.

Roomba 890 Noise

We put all of the vacuums through a standard noise test at Modern Castle, which measures the decibel level from 3′ away from the vacuum as it is running. Compared to the Roomba 690, the Roomba 890 was the same decibel volume. 

Roomba 890 robot vacuum decibel test

At 3 ‘away, the Roomba 890 robot vacuum emits 68 dB of sound.

Roomba 690 Value

If you’re looking for a solid deal, the Roomba 690 is incredibly hard to beat. While it lacks some bells and whistles, like the advanced brushroll and advanced filtration system, this robot vacuum offers excellent cleaning performance at an incredible price. It remains one of the best value robot vacuums we have tested to date.

  • Warranty – 1-Year limited
  • Returns – 30 days via Amazon. Varies by retailer
  • Company – Great
  • Value – Great

Roomba 890 Value

The value of the Roomba 890 is a little less than the 690 value, in my opinion. While the 890 certainly does have some nice upgrades, it was a little bit concerning that the cleaning performance was not noticeably better than the base level 690 model. Nevertheless, the Roomba 890 does pick up some points with improved navigation, floor plan mapping, and other advanced features.

  • Warranty – 1-Year limited
  • Returns – 30 days via Amazon. Varies by retailer
  • Company – Great
  • Value – Good

Roomba 690 Specifications

Specifications 
TypeRobot
ManufactureriRobot
ModelRoomba 690
Length (inches)13
Width (inches)13
Height (inches)3.6
Weight (pounds)7.8
Floor TypeAll (indoor)
Battery1,800 mAh
Dust Bin Capacity0.3 liter
CordlessYes
BaglessYes
Returns30 days via Amazon. Varies by retailer
Warranty1-Year limited
BuyBuy

Roomba 890 Specifications

Specifications 
TypeRobot
ManufactureriRobot
ModelRoomba 890
Length (inches)13.9
Width (inches)13.9
Height (inches)3.6
Weight (pounds)8.4
Floor TypeAll (indoor)
Battery1,800 mAh
Dust Bin Capacity0.3 L
CordlessYes
BaglessYes
Returns30 days via Amazon. Varies by retailer
Warranty1-Year limited
BuyBuy

Roomba 690 vs. 890, Which Should You Buy?

Both the Roomba 690 and the Roomba 890 are strong contenders. The cleaning performance for each of these vacuums is comparable. While the Roomba 690 will save you some money, the Roomba 890 offers improvements and added features that could be a real deal breaker, depending on what you’re looking for.

Check Roomba 690 Price on Amazon.

Check Roomba 890 Price on Amazon

Both the 690 and the 880 have a similar user interface, wifi connectivity, voice control, edge sensors, dirt detection, drop detection, accessories, noise, and dust bin capacity.

As added features, the Roomba 890 also offers an improved HEPA filtration system, memory-mapping technology, and advanced dual brushroll for pet hair or long hair.

Roomba 890 robot vacuum review thumbnail

Roomba 890 Wins— But 690 is a Better Value

If this was a contest of merely the best value, the Roomba 690 would easily take the cake. It offers robust performance and a good feature set for an exceptionally reasonable price. However, this is a battle of overall performance and features, andn the Roomba 890 is the better vacuum. It simply offers a more complete and advanced features package at a price that is more expensive, but still reasonable, considering the added bells and whistles. The Roomba 890 is the winner.

Winner by Category

 

Edit
Category Winner? Explanation
Accessories Roomba 890 robot vacuum review thumbnail Both Roombas come with the virtual wall barrier, but the addition of the advanced brushrolls as well as the upgraded filtration system, really help give the Roomba 890 the upper hand here.
Cleaning Roomba 890 robot vacuum review thumbnail On an average of all of the cleaning tests we performed, the Roomba 890 collected 79.07% of debris while the Roomba 690 collected 80.02% of debris. While raw cleaning performance was comparable on our testing lane, I feel that the improved navigation and mapping will yield better house-wide cleaning by the Roomba 890.
Usability Draw Both of these Roomba vacuums use wifi connectivity and app control for easy usability. In addition to the app, you can always start a cleaning cycle by simply pressing the “CLEAN” button on the face of the vacuum.
Maintenance Draw When using generic parts, the Roomba 690 and Roomba 890’s maintenance costs are comparable. Even replacing the battery should run you around $20 either vacuum.
Battery Draw Both of these vacuums offer a 2-3 hour charge time and up to a 60 minute run time.
Noise Draw The Roomba 690 and Roomba 890 both emitted 68 dB from 3′ away during the Modern Castle decibel test.
Value Roomba 690 robot vacuum review In terms of value, with all factors considered, I would say that the Roomba 690 is the better value, although the 890 offers some interesting features.

 

 

Should You Buy the Roomba 690?

The Roomba 690 has got a great price, excellent cleaning performance, and the convenience of wifi connectivity or voice control.

These added features make the Roomba 690 feel like a modern robot vacuum, without having to pay upwards of $500 for a tech-savvy robot vacuum.

You Should Buy If You…

  1. Want a great value – Compared to the Roomba 890, the Roomba 690 is around $75-$150 less (depending on sales). It offers many of the same features and has excellent cleaning performance.
  2. Want excellent cleaning performance – The cleaning performance of the 690 was equivalent, and even a little better, during some of our cleaning tests. For a budget price and a quality, clean the Roomba 690 is hard to beat.
  3. Want a smaller footprint – If you have a home with a tight layout or unique furniture, the smaller size of the Roomba 690 may be a selling point for you. The Roomba 890 is about 1″ wider in diameter.

For more information or to buy check out the Roomba 690 on Amazon.com.

Should You Buy the Roomba 890?

For advanced features, the Roomba 890 may be the better choice. The dual brushrolls are great options for pet owners or people with long hair since the improved design tends to lead to fewer tangles. Overall, the technology advancements makes the 890 a smarter robot vacuum. Memory mapping adds some logic to the cleaning and cycles and makes cleaning whole homes with multiple rooms a little easier. The full dust bin indicator is also a nice addition.

You Should Buy If You…

  1. Want an improved filtration system – The AeroForce filtration system, uses a more efficient design and takes up less room in the dust bin.
  2. Want an improved brushroll – This newer design of brushroll uses two debris extractors to capture dust, dirt, and debris. This configuration helps to reduce tangles and may be easier to maintain, compared to the older bristle style brushroll.
  3. Want memory-mapping – Although the cleaning performance of the Roomba 690 and the Roomba 890 is comparable, the efficiency of the 890 is superior. The 890 can more easily navigate the space, spending more time cleaning and less time getting lost. Memory-mapping also helps Roomba to keep from bumping into the same obstacles during every cleaning cycle, as it learns more about it’s environment each time.

For more information or to buy check out the Roomba 890 on Amazon.com.

Derek Hales

Derek Hales

Editor-in-Chief

Derek Hales is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of ModernCastle.com. He is a passionate perfectionist when it comes to testing and reviewing products for the home. When he is not testing new products, Derek enjoys golf, tennis, and PC gaming. Derek lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife, Samantha, and poodle, Tibbers.

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