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Roomba 890
Robot Vacuum Cleaner

Derek HalesBy Derek Hales
Updated December 18, 2017

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Are you ready to take the leap into the world of robot vacuums? Well the Roomba 890 may be the perfect start. iRobot’s Roomba 890 is an advanced robot vacuum, but not quite at the top of Roomba’s robot vacuum line. A more simplistic approach was taken with this vacuum cleaner, therefore users can expect to receive the benefits of a robot vacuum without having to worry about complicated technology or crazy high costs.

Continue reading below to discover if the Roomba 890 is the best robot vacuum for you.

Roomba 890 robot vacuum review

%

  • Cleaning Tests 93%
  • Usability 92%
  • Value 93%
  • Maintenance 95%
  • Maneuverability 93%

Pros

  • The Roomba 890 is a good option for those who want a wifi controlled robot vacuum
  • The 60 minute battery life does a great job of working until the end.

Cons

  • This robot vacuum tends to spill when the dust bin is detached from the vacuum
  • Added features and cleaning performance mean higher price tag
Roomba 890 robot vacuum review thumbnail

The Bottom Line

The Roomba 890 could be a great option for a wide variety of users. It is a bit more expensive than some robot vacuums, but the performance level speaks for itself. The combination of a strong build quality and high level of performance creates a well-valued robot vacuum cleaner.

Design

Much like most robot vacuums, especially the iRobot Roomba line, the Roomba 890 offers a circular aesthetic. A black outer ring leads into a copper colored top portion of the vacuum, creating a sleek look all around. Typically, Roomba vacuum cleaners combine a silver and black color scheme, so the change in tone here is a nice visual.

A bumper ring aligns the perimeter of the 890, allowing it to absorb pressure as the vacuum bumps into walls and furniture, and respond without taking damage. Additionally, a handle is built into the top of the Roomba 890, which gives users the ability to pick up and move the unit with ease.

Features

  1. Cleaning buttons
  2. Handle
  3. Bumper ring
Roomba 890 robot vacuum design

How It Cleans

The Roomba 890 utilizes a three stage cleaning process; agitate, lift, and suck. Several sensors located all around the vacuum allow the 890 to drive around your home and create a mapped out plan of where to clean. In addition to the mapping is the dirt detection. As the Roomba 890 drives around, it is using optical and acoustic sensors to spot dirt, debris, and pet hair and moves on to clean the areas that need to be cleaned the most.

Two rolling brushes built into the bottom of this Roomba vacuum cleaner work to agitate dirt and debris lying on the floor all while the spinning brush is bringing outside dirt and debris into the suction path. Once both of these features have done their jobs, the Roomba 890 will suck up the dirt and debris and store it in the dust bin. As it completes this process, the high-efficiency filter is also trapping particles so they do not contaminate the air.

Between the memory and dirt detection features, this Roomba vacuum is able to clean your home in both sporadic and autonomous fashion, depending on both the mode in which the vacuum is in.

Cleaning Features

  1. Spinning brush
  2. Dust bin
  3. Front wheel
  4. Debris extractor
Roomba 890 robot vacuum how it cleans features

Size & Dimensions

The Roomba 890 is about average in terms of size and weight, for a robot vacuum. Built in a circle, the diameter of the unit is 13.9” and the height is 3.6”. This robot vacuum weighs 8.4 pounds, giving it a nice, sturdy build overall.

Roomba 890 robot vacuum size dimensions

Accessories & Parts

The Roomba 890 includes the following parts:

  • Charging station
  • Filter
  • Virtual wall

Parts & Accessories

  1. Charging station
  2. Filter
  3. Virtual wall
Roomba 890 - accessories

Cleaning Tests

The following vacuum cleaner tests are designed to show how the Roomba 890 performs on different surfaces, picking up a variety of debris types. We test on three different floor types, including hardwood floors, low pile carpet, and high pile carpet. For each floor type we test the vacuum cleaner against:

  • Rice – 3 ounces
  • Dry Cereal – 1 ounce
  • Kitty Litter – 3 ounces
  • Sugar – 3 ounces

Each of the aforementioned debris types was spread across our testing lane. The base surface of our testing lane is an engineered hardwood floor. For our carpet tests, we slide in a low pile and high pile carpet insert on top of the hardwood floor.

Cleaning test debris types

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

Our vacuum cleaning process strives to be as consistent, fair, and true to real world use as possible. Our tests utilize the following procedure:

  1. Measure the weight of the testing debris and the weight of the empty vacuum debris container.
  2. Spread the respective debris type evenly across the central portion of the testing lane.
  3. Run the vacuum cleaner over the testing lane.
  4. Measure the weight of the now filled container and take notes on the cleaning performance.

Hardwood Floor

The Roomba 890 flew right threw our hardwood floor tests. Kitty litter was the only debris type that was not cleaned up to a level of 100%, as it hit 99% cleanliness

This Roomba vacuum was able to clean the floors in seven and a half minutes, and still clean three debris types at a level of 100% and one at 99%.

  • Hardwood – Rice 100%
  • Hardwood – Cereal 100%
  • Hardwood – Kitty Litter 92%
  • Hardwood – Sugar 100%
Roomba 890 robot vacuum hardwood cleaning test

Low Pile Carpet

The low pile carpet test was another successful run for three out of four debris types. Rice, kitty litter, and cereal all hit the 100% cleaned up mark, while sugar fell short, landing at a 65%.

Although the Roomba 890 did struggle its first time around with the sugar, I ran it again to compare the data. After doing so, the 890 was able to grab an additional 23%, bringing it up to 88% cleaned up. I still would have liked to see it go above the 90% mark, but this is certainly a respectable score.

  • Low Carpet – Rice 100%
  • Low Carpet – Cereal 100%
  • Low Carpet – Kitty Litter 100%
  • Low Carpet – Sugar 65%
Roomba 890 robot vacuum low carpet cleaning test

High Pile Carpet

After completing the high pile carpet test, it became evident that the suction power on carpets is not the strong suit of the Roomba 890. Once again, rice, kitty litter, and cereal were all cleaned up at levels of 100%, but the sugar barely cleared the 50% clean mark. This can be attributed to the finer sugar particles falling into the pile of the carpet, but I would have liked to see the 890 do a better job of reaching some of those deeper areas.

  • High Carpet – Rice 100%
  • High Carpet – Cereal 100%
  • High Carpet – Kitty Litter 100%
  • High Carpet – Sugar 50%
Roomba 890 robot vacuum high carpet cleaning test

Usability

Overall, the setup and usability of the Roomba 890 is a piece of cake. Once you have opened up the packaging and removed all parts and accessories from the box, the next step is to charge the vacuum. While charging the vacuum, you can start setting up the app through your wifi-enabled device.

After this is complete, you are ready to use your iRobot vacuum cleaner. Roomba’s wifi setup is one of the easiest connection tools I have seen thus far. Some other processes have been much more daunting, so I am impressed with the ease of use offered by Roomba in this area.

Using the unit is just as easy as setting it up. There are a few options, click the “CLEAN” button on the top of the vacuum cleaner, use your wifi enabled device to send it off, or schedule the 890 to clean at specific times during the day. Each option is easy to control, making the overall usability of the vacuum cleaner quite simple.

Close up shot of the buttons located on the top of the Roomba 890

Cleaning Styles

Buttons on top start the cleaning cycles.
Side shot of the Roomba 890 from the front

Maneuverability

Built in a circular shape, the Roomba 890 robot vacuum is able to turn 360 degrees, which allows the unit to tightly wrap around obstacles, such as a chair leg. The ability to turn so sharply also helps the unit to change direction quickly, tackling more messes around your home.

Mapping is a big part of the Roomba 890’s maneuverability. This Roomba vacuum will drive around your home using an onboard camera and several sensors to map out your home quickly and efficiently. By mapping out your home, the 890 is able to drive around with a purpose. Some Roomba models, such as the Roomba 650, do not have the memory-mapping feature.

Instead, it uses a dirt detection feature to spot dirt and debris to quickly eliminate it. The Roomba 890 also utilizes this feature; therefore you’re getting the best of both worlds with regard to maneuverability through the 890 vacuum cleaner.

A spinning brush attached to the underbelly of the vacuum also helps to maneuver dirt and debris out of corners and edges and into the suction path of the vacuum.

Weight

8.4 pounds

Width

13.9″

Height

3.6″

Turning

360°

Maintenance

The following table indicates the frequency at which you will likely want to replace the various parts and components of the vacuum. The following replacement frequencies are what the manufacturer recommends. However, your individual experiences may vary.

The replacement cost and buy links below are based on the least expensive replacement part we could find.

Accessory / PartReplacement FrequencyReplacement Cost
HEPA filter2 monthsCheck Price
Spinning brush6 monthsCheck Price
Front wheel12 monthsCheck Price
Debris Extractor12 monthsCheck Price
Battery18-36 monthsCheck Price

Maintaining the Roomba 890 robot vacuum is one of the most important tasks. You will want to be sure you are regularly attending to the following areas:

  • Dust bin – Empty the dust bin every 1-3 uses, depending on the level at which the bin is full. The Roomba 890 will also let you know if the dust bin is overly stuffed and needs to be emptied.
  • Filter – Change every 2 months, but clean off every 1-3 uses. Simply remove the dust bin, open the filter compartment, and pull on the yellow tab to remove and clean off the HEPA filter.
  • Spinning brush – The spinning brush should be cleared of any tangles and replaced as needed. Roomba recommends replacing this brush every 6 months.
  • Debris extractors / rolling brushes – These brushes should also be freed of any tangles. Users have the ability to lift up the cover to these brushes and remove the two brushes for easier cleaning.

If you pay attention to these main areas on a regular basis, then the Roomba 890 should continue to operate at its full potential.

Annual costs for this robot vacuum do vary. If you were to follow Roomba’s guidelines, the annual costs would be around $34.

In my opinion, you could probably replace the front wheel every 2-3 years (as opposed to every year), which would cut the annual costs down to around $29.

Noise

All vacuum cleaner reviews on Modern Castle are put through our standard noise test. For this test, we use a sound meter to measure noise in terms of decibel level approximately 3′ away from the vacuum.

Roomba 890 noise levels - 68 decibels at 3' away

Roomba 890 noise levels – 68 decibels at 3′ away

Battery

All robot vacuum reviews on Modern Castle are put through a standard assessment of battery size, run time, life, and replacement cost.

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

Being that this is a robot vacuum, the main element to this unit is its battery. Without a battery, the Roomba 890 cannot operate. To that end, the battery included with the purchase of the 890 is not going to last forever; therefore, we explore what battery replacement options available.

Our initial search showed that several options were available. Users have a choice between sticking with the iRobot branded battery ($79.99) or going with a generic battery, that may even have a longer lifespan for less money.

The most impressive option was a generic replacement battery sold for $18 on Amazon. Although this is a generic battery, it offers 3,500 mAh compared to the 1,800 mAh offered by the battery included with the iRobot Roomba 890. This is just one of several options available, but it is nice to know that you have choices and are not stuck with the manufacturer’s replacement battery.

Value

The value of the Roomba 890 is hard to beat. Although the vacuum is priced around $500, the performance and quality you receive for this price are undeniable. If you like the idea of a robot vacuum and don’t mind spending some extra money for a higher quality product, then the Roomba 890 may be a good fit for you.

Roomba offers a 1-year warranty and 30-day refund policy. This combination seems to be in line with most other companies within the industry.

Specifications

Below is a complete list of important specifications and features included on the Roomba 890:

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

Who Should Buy the Roomba 890 Robot Vacuum?

The Roomba 890 is a slightly more expensive, but extremely well rounded robot vacuum cleaner. Although the cost is a bit higher, the cleaning performance is a clear step up in many areas. The wifi technology, mapping, dirt detection, and powerful suction power all combine to create a vacuum that you will definitely want to consider.

I would recommend the Roomba 890 if you’re looking for the following features in a robot vacuum.

  • Want advanced cleaning technology – The Roomba 890 is equipped with some of Roomba’s best cleaning technology. The robot vacuum will map out your home, memorize it, and create a pattern from these maps. Along the way, the vacuum will also detect dirt and debris for a more efficient cleaning cycle.
  • Don’t mind spending a bit more money – Priced at $449, this Roomba is not an inexpensive model. That said, the higher price tag is certainly reflected in the cleaning performance.
  • Like the idea of a robot vacuum – If you’re looking for a hands-free vacuum, the Roomba 890 is a great option. Click go on the unit itself or use the iRobot wifi app to control your robot vacuum.

For more information on the Roomba 890 visit Amazon.com.

Another Strong Choice from iRobot
  • 93%
    Cleaning - 93%
  • 92%
    Usability - 92%
  • 93%
    Maneuverability - 93%
  • 95%
    Maintenance - 95%
  • 93%
    Value - 93%
  • 100%
    Returns - 100%
  • 100%
    Warranty - 100%
  • 100%
    Company - 100%
95%

Summary

The Roomba 890 is yet another strong choice from iRobot. Cleaning performance on most debris and floor types was exceptional, scoring 100% on 9 out of 12 tests. The popularity of Roomba ensures there are an abundance of inexpensive replacement parts, which help keep maintenance costs low. The cost is slightly more expensive at $450, but the addition of the floor mapping feature, superior cleaning performance, and low maintenance cost still create a very solid overall value.

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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