Roomba 690 vs 891: A Helpful Guide

iRobot Roomba 690 vs 891

With the plethora of options available, getting a new robot vacuum cleaner can very quickly become a dreadful endeavor. 

You only want a simple and effective gadget for maintaining a dirt-free home, but somehow you’ve been bombarded with hundreds of products with great features which has left you confused and indecisive. 

With this in mind, how can you know which model to choose? We’re here to help you by taking a look at two of iRobot’s best budget options; the Roomba 690, and the Roomba 891.

Why go with an iRobot Roomba robot vacuum?

For starters, you can never go wrong with an iRobot Roomba. While there are plenty of great alternatives, this famous robotics brand has an impressive number of premium and entry-level robotic vacuum cleaners, with Roomba 690 and Roomba 891 on their list of best budget robots. 

In this Roomba 690 vs Roomba 891 comparison guide, we compared the features and performance of the two iRobot Roomba models to determine which robot vacuum is a better buy. 

from the filtration system they use to cleaning technology and everything in between, let’s look into each of these smart Roomba cleaning tools.

*The links in this page are affiliate links, this means that if you purchase after following one, I make a small commission from the sale at no additional cost to yourself. Take a look at our About Us page for more info on this.

Roomba 690 vs 891 in 1-minute

Best Value
iRobot Roomba 690
Best Performance
iRobot Roomba 891
iRobot Roomba 690 Robot Vacuum-Wi-Fi Connectivity, Works with Alexa, Good for Pet Hair, Carpets,...
iRobot Roomba 891 Robot Vacuum- Wi-Fi Connected, Works with Alexa, Ideal for Pet Hair, Carpets, Hard...
Suction
Standard
5 Times more Powerful
Filter
Standard
High-Efficiency
Height
3.6 inches (9.14 cm)
3.6 in (9.14 cm)
Dirt Detect Technology
Auto-recharge Docking
Wi-Fi & Smart Home Connected
Intelligent Navigation
Multi-Surface Rubber Brushes
Best Value
iRobot Roomba 690
iRobot Roomba 690 Robot Vacuum-Wi-Fi Connectivity, Works with Alexa, Good for Pet Hair, Carpets,...
Suction
Standard
Filter
Standard
Height
3.6 inches (9.14 cm)
Dirt Detect Technology
Auto-recharge Docking
Wi-Fi & Smart Home Connected
Intelligent Navigation
Multi-Surface Rubber Brushes
Best Performance
iRobot Roomba 891
iRobot Roomba 891 Robot Vacuum- Wi-Fi Connected, Works with Alexa, Ideal for Pet Hair, Carpets, Hard...
Suction
5 Times more Powerful
Filter
High-Efficiency
Height
3.6 in (9.14 cm)
Dirt Detect Technology
Auto-recharge Docking
Wi-Fi & Smart Home Connected
Intelligent Navigation
Multi-Surface Rubber Brushes

Last update on 2021-02-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Roomba 690 and Roomba 891 are two excellent robot vacuums from iRobot. They have very similar features and basically do the same thing. But as you’d expect, they have their differences both in design features and performance that make one robot better than the other. 

Of the two, the Roomba 891 is the more advanced robot vacuum cleaner thanks to its upgraded features, and overall better performance when compared to the 690 model.

With a more powerful motor and suction force, it has 5X the vacuuming power of the Roomba 690. Coupled with tangle-free brushes and AeroForce filters, it’s much better at cleaning carpets and handling pet hair and allergens too, making it an even more appealing choice for those interested in buying a Roomba robot. 

The Roomba 891 is the better option if have a large apartment/home with different floor types (carpets and hardwood or vinyl floors), with pets and allergies. However, if you want an inexpensive entry-level robot vacuum that still offers decent cleaning performance, the Roomba 690 is a model that will do just fine for you too. 

Product Overviews

iRobot Roomba 690

iRobot Roomba 690 Robot Vacuum-Wi-Fi Connectivity, Works with Alexa, Good for Pet Hair, Carpets,...

Looking for an inexpensive Roomba model for tidying up your floors? You just found it. As an entry-level robot vacuum cleaner, the Roomba 690 performs excellently. It uses a 3-stage cleaning system which integrates the actions of dual counter-rotating brushes and a powerful motor to suck up dirt particles from the floors of your home. 

An auto-adjust cleaning head which automatically adjust its height keeps the multi-purpose brushes in close contact with different surfaces, while a 600ml dust collector traps and locks in debris. The iRobot Roomba 690 also features the Patented Dirt Detect sensors with which it identifies and thoroughly cleans concentrated areas of dirt. 

This robot vacuum comes with a “Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barrier” for creating virtual walls and mapping out areas where you want it to focus on. It’s compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, and has a mobile app with Wi-Fi connectivity for remote control. Although, it’s advertised to work on both carpet and hard floors, it does a better job on hard floors. 

All in all, is the iRobot Roomba 690 worth it?

Essentially, with its Dual Mode Virtual Barrier, 3 stage cleaning system, high efficiency filter and more, these particular robot vacuums can be an excellent choice (and since they’re on the cheaper end of the scale when compared to other iRobot Roomba vacuums, they’re also a great choice for those hoping to save money!).

  • Cleans both carpets and hard floors
  • Virtual Walls
  • Wi-Fi connectivity 
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. 
  • Inexpensive 
  • Clumsy navigation
  • Brushes get tangled with hairs and fiber
iRobot Roomba 690 Robot Vacuum
Connect to clean from anywhere with the Roomba 690 robot vacuum. The patented 3 stage cleaning system is specially engineered to loosen, lift, and suction everything from small particles to large debris from carpets and hard floors.

Last update on 2021-02-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

iRobot Roomba 891

iRobot Roomba 891 Robot Vacuum- Wi-Fi Connected, Works with Alexa, Ideal for Pet Hair, Carpets, Hard...

The Roomba 891 is an excellent robot for keeping your floors dirt-free and maintaining a neat home. It uses dual tangle-free multi-surface brushes and a powerful motor to sweep up debris while an auto-adjust cleaning head automatically adjust its height to effectively pick up dirt from all floor types; carpets and hard floors. 

The 891 features the upgraded iAdapt® navigation technology, to scan and map the cleaning area for faster and efficient cleaning. With the dirt-detect technology, this robot identifies and concentrates on high-traffic areas in your home and a specially designed edge-sweeping brush sweeps off debris from edges and corners. 

This robot is great for homes with carpets and pets who shed lots of hair. It’s compatible with Alexa and connects to the mobile app via Wi-Fi and with this, you can be control it from anywhere. Very convenient, isn’t it? 

You can rely on an iRobot Roomba 891 to get the job done

When it comes to robot vacuums, there’s no denying that the 891 is one of the best on the market. With an excellent HEPA filter, high suction power, smartphone app and WiFi connectivity and more, there’s no doubt that the higher price tag is worth it.

  • Great for carpets and hard floors
  • Intelligent navigation and memory mapping feature
  • Auto-adjust cleaning head
  • Special edge-sweeping brush
  • Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant (as well as the iRobot Home smartphone app)
  • Short battery life (60 minutes)
  • Small dustbin
Sale
iRobot Roomba 891 Robot Vacuum
Roomba 891 Wi-Fi Connected Robot Vacuum. Roomba automatically adjusts to clean carpets, rugs, tile, hardwood, and laminate floors as it moves through your home.

Last update on 2021-02-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Roomba 690 vs 891: How They Compare

One of the best ways to show you which of these two Roomba robots is to compare some of their key features. There’s quite a few of them to go through, and by the end of it, we’re certain that you’ll have a better idea of whether you should buy the Roomba 690 or the Roomba 891 model.

Navigation and Mapping System 

Smart navigation is one of the key factors that determine the efficiency of a robot vacuum cleaner. Unfortunately, the Roomba 690 has a much older navigation system and can be seen aimlessly wandering about and making illogical turns.

While the 891 has the newer iRobot’s iAdapt® Navigation technology, with this upgraded navigation software it scans and maps the cleaning area to determine and follow the fastest cleaning route. The iAdapt technology an incredible addition to these devices, often making them more efficient as it saves both time and energy. 

The navigation technology is one of the most important aspects to consider with any robot vacuum, since this can determine how well of a job it’ll do when cleaning your home.

After all, if it can’t navigate your home efficiently, it may end up getting lost or missing spots. With this in mind, the Roomba 891 tends to be the better choice, since the 690 isn’t always quite as smart when it comes to navigation and floor plans.

Suction Power

iRobot Roomba 891 cleaning a carpet
Roomba 891 has great suction for carpets

A powerful suction is an important dynamic for vacuum cleaning and robots with higher force deliver better a cleaning performance (since they pack more power and even tend to work faster too). Here the 690 is significantly behind, it’s motor can deliver only 600Pa of suction force.

This is okay for cleaning hard floors like wood, tile or vinyl but won’t do much on carpets. With a suction force of 1000Pa, the Roomba 891 robot vacuums are better equipped for picking up dirt from both hard floors and low-pile and medium-pile carpets.

iRobot advertises Roomba 891 as having 5X the air power of the Roomba 690 vacuums, and it certainly performs better and works faster.

Between these two robotic vacuum cleaners, the Roomba 891 is the robot for a home with pets and carpets, since its higher suction power will offer a far greater cleaning performance on these surfaces. 

That being said though, if you have mostly tiles and hardwood floors in your home, the iRobot Roomba 690 could be a good choice too.

Battery Life 

Both of these Roomba robot vacuums come with lithium-ion batteries. While the Roomba 690 has a 2130mAh Li-ion battery which runs for up to 90 minutes before needing a recharge, the 891 has a 1800mAh Li-ion battery which only has a 60 minute runtime.

The run-time of the Roomba 690 is significantly reduced when it’s working on a carpet, it works best on hardwood and tile. So, while the runtime of the Roomba 690 model may be longer, the fact that this is limited to hard flooring means that both of these robot vacuum cleaners can be a good choice.

Cleaning Brushes

The iRobot Roomba 690 uses dual counter-rotating brushes to sweep the floors while it’s motor sucks the debris into a 600ml dustbin. While the Roomba 891 robot vacuum uses dual multi-surface rubber brushes to sweep, these brushes are tangle-free and handle pet hair and carpet fiber much better.

The brush rolls on the iRobot Roomba 690 models will get tangled much faster and will need regular maintenance to keep them hair-free, this isn’t the case with Roomba 891. Both robot vacuum cleaners also come with specially designed edge-sweeping brushes for sweeping edges and corners.

Dirt Detect Sensors

Both the 690 and 891 Roomba robots are equipped with the Dirt Detect™ technology.

With these dirt detection sensors, each robot vacuum can detect areas on the floor that are very dirty and need extra cleaning, especially high-traffic areas, and concentrate on such areas for more thorough cleaning.

Dirt detection is an excellent feature, one that significantly boosts the performance of these two robot vacuum cleaner models.

Drop detection technology

Both the Roomba 690 and 891 have sensors equipped that can help them to avoid falling down stairs or any other surface. This is fairly common with high quality robot vacuum cleaners these days, since it can be a major asset in keeping your cleaning tool safe from any falling and potentially getting damaged.

You could also use the virtual wall barriers to block off areas like your stairs, but knowing that the Roomba 690 and 891 vacuum models are prepared to avoid a drop is certainly comforting.

Wi-Fi support, Amazon Alexa compatibility, and mobile app

The Roomba 690 with the Google Home Assistant speaker in the background
The Roomba 690 and 891 are compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home

Here we have a tie. Both the Roomba 690 and 891 are compatible with Amazon Alexa, they both have Wi-Fi connectivity and can be controlled anywhere from the iRobot Home app.

Both robots can be controlled remotely which makes them easy to use and control. What this means is both the Roomba 690 and the 891 can be excellent additions to your smart home.

Roomba 690 vs 891 — Key Differences

The Roomba 690 and 891 robot vacuums both use the same three stage cleaning cycle which combines the action of cleaning brushes and a powerful suction force to rid your home of dirt and debris. However, they have their difference and besides the suction force, cleaning system and navigation, here are other major differences.

High-Efficiency Filter

The 690 uses the older AeroVac filters which sucks off hair and dust particles to keep the air clean, while the 891 is equipped with the AeroForce high-efficiency filters.

The AeroForce filters are more effective in trapping allergens, pollen and dust particles less than 10 microns in size. With this AeroForce high-efficiency filters, Roomba 891 model can trap 99% of allergens, hair and particles in air, coupled with a suction force which is 5X more than that of the 690, Roomba 891 is the better robot vacuum cleaner for a home with pets and carpets. 

Virtual Walls

Sometimes when your robotic vacuum cleaner is hard at work, you may want it to stay away from certain sections of the room it’s cleaning. This is why the iRobot came up with sometime called a “Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barrier”.

This is essentially a small object you use to create a virtual wall barrier for your robot. When you place it at an entrance or a certain point, it sends signals to the robot which prevents it from crossing the object.

The Roomba 690 comes with 1 Dual-Mode Virtual Wall Barrier while the 891 doesn’t come with it. 

Full Dustbin Indicator

While cleaning, the Roomba 690 traps debris in a 600ml dustbin while the 891 has a slightly smaller dustbin capacity of 550ml. But the 891 comes with an extra feature which is the full-bin indicator.

Roomba 891 alerts you when the dustbin is full and needs to be emptied. While this isn’t a deal-breaker for the Roomba 690, you’ll certainly appreciate this extra convenient feature in the 891. Often, it’s small smart features like this which can make your everyday life just a little easier.

Of course, you may also want to look at our best self-emptying robot vacuums for ultimate ease.

Performance in homes with pets

For the most part, vacuuming technology can do so much, from telling your robot to return to its docking station after its cleaning schedule to auto dust bin release when the bin is full. However, these advanced features don’t tend to help much when dealing with the dreaded pet hair.

the Roomba 690 is capable of clearing pet hairs with a brush roll, although as mentioned earlier, hair tangles can become a nuisance. The Roomba 891 vacuum, however, can tackle dirt and pet hair on any surface without worrying about getting hairs tangled in the front or side brushes, which significantly improves the experience and performance of the robot.

Roomba 690 vs 891, both perform well on carpet

Frequently Asked Questions

How well do these robots handle pet hair?

Both the 891 and 690 Roomba models are designed to efficiently pick up pet hair, and they do it amazingly well. However, the Roomba 891 is better suited for the job because it has features like tangle-free brushes, improved suction force, high-efficiency filter. These features make the 891 more adept at sweeping pet hairs and filtering off hair and allergens from the air. 

I have carpets and hardwood floors, which robot will efficiently clean both?

Both robots make smooth and effortless transitions between carpets and hard floors. They’re designed to clean all floor types, but we recommend the Roomba 891 because of its advanced features and better performance. 
You should also know that these robots tend to get stuck on black carpets, this is because they both have cliff sensors which is supposed to prevent them from falling off a flight of stairs. The downside to this is that these cliff sensors “think” that the dark color on a carpet is a cliff and will stop the robot from going any further. 
When this happens, you’ll get a message that your robot needs to be recused from a cliff. This can be annoying when it happens, but it doesn’t happen with brightly colored rugs and carpets. 

What is the difference between the Roomba 890 and 891?

The Roomba 890 and 891 may be two different robots from iRobot, but they have exactly the same features; same tangle-free brushes, AeroForce™ 3-Stage Cleaning System, iAdapt® Navigation, smart sensors, smart features and same performance. The differences are seen in the appearance of these two robots and included accessories. The 890 comes with a Dual Mode Virtual Wall and an extra filter while these items are not included in the 891 package, but you can buy them as extras for the 891. 

Can they fit under furniture?

Both the Roomba 690 and 891 are small enough to fit under furniture and clean. They have the same height of 3.6 inches which is small enough to allow them clean out underneath your furniture. 

How quiet are these robots?

The 891 is quieter than the 690, but it’s still not as quiet as you would expect. Roomba 891 has about 50db noise level which is quiet enough to allow you carry on with your daily activities while it cleans. While Roomba 690 is as loud as 68db, it’s not as loud as a normal vacuum cleaner, but it’s not so quiet either.

Final Thoughts: Roomba 690 vs 891

iRobot Roomba 690 working on a wooden floor
The Roomba 690 sweeping up on a wooden floor

The bottom line is it’s clear that these two Roomba models are designed to do exactly the same thing, and they both perform quite well. That being said, after looking into this robot vacuum comparison of the iRobot Roomba 690 vs 891, it’s clear to see that there’s a winner.

The Roomba 891 is clearly ahead of the Roomba 690, it has more advanced features which makes it more efficient and faster than the 690. Therefore, we recommend the Roomba 891 over the 690. 

But the question of which should you purchase in this case will depend solely on your budget as the 891 significantly costs more than the 690. If you’re working with a slim budget, you can settle for iRobot Roomba 691, but if not buy iRobot Roomba 891 instead. 

The best part is that both of these devices are a great choice. Whether you’re looking to save a little extra money and still get a quality robot vacuum or you’re keen to get some bonus features and capabilities, you’ll find that there’s something for you in either the Roomba 690 or Roomba 891 model.

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