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.
For starters, you can never go wrong with an iRobot Roomba. 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 891, we compared the features and performance of the two to determine which is a better buy.
*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
The Roomba 690 and 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.
Of the two, Roomba 891 is the advanced robot with upgraded features, and it performs better too. With a more powerful motor and suction force, it has 5X the vacuuming power of the 690. Coupled with tangle-free brushes and AeroForce filters, it’s much better at cleaning carpets and handling pet hair and allergens.
The Roomba 891 is the better option if have a large apartment with different floor types (carpets and hardwood or vinyl floors), with pets and allergies. However, if you want an inexpensive entry-level robot vacuum cleaner, the Roomba 690 will do just fine.
iRobot Roomba 690
Looking for an inexpensive Roomba 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. Roomba 690 also features the Patented Dirt Detect sensors with which it identifies and thoroughly cleans concentrated areas of dirt.
This robot 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.
- Cleans both carpets and hard floors
- Virtual Walls
- Wi-Fi connectivity
- Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
- Clumsy navigation
- Brushes get tangle with hairs and fiber
- Sleek, premium design complements your home décor; Includes 1 dual mode virtual wall barrier for more control over where your robot cleans
Last update on 2020-09-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
iRobot Roomba 891
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?
- Great for carpets and hard floors
- Intelligent navigation
- Auto-adjust cleaning head
- Special edge-sweeping brush
- Compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
- Short battery runtime (60 minutes)
- Small dustbin
- Power-Lifting Suction delivers 5X the air power* for improved pick-up performance
Last update on 2020-09-23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Roomba 690 vs 891: How They Compare
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. This is more efficient as it saves time and energy.
A powerful suction is an important dynamic for vacuum cleaning and robots with higher force deliver more power and clean faster. 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 891 is 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 690, 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.
Both robots come with a lithium-ion battery. While the 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 runs for 60 minutes.
The run-time of the 690 is significantly reduced when it’s working on a carpet, it works best on hardwood and tile.
Roomba 690 uses dual counter-rotating brushes to sweep the floors while it’s motor sucks the debris into a 600ml dustbin. While the 891 uses dual multi-surface brushes to sweep, these brushes are tangle-free and handle pet hair and carpet fiber much better.
The brushes on the 690 will get tangled much faster and will need regular maintenance to keep them hair-free, this isn’t the case with Roomba 891. Both robots also come with specially designed edge-sweeping brushes for sweeping edges and corners.
Dirt Detect Sensors
Both robots are equipped with the Dirt Detect™ technology. With these sensors, each robot 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.
Wi-Fi support, Amazon Alexa compatibility, and mobile app
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 mobile app. Both robots can be controlled remotely which makes them easy to use and control.
Roomba 690 vs 891 — Key Differences
The Roomba 690 and 891 both use the same 3-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 and navigation, here are other major differences.
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 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.
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 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 690 comes with 1 dual-mode Virtual Wall 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-dustbin indicator.
Roomba 891 alerts you when the dustbin is full and needs to be emptied. While this isn’t a deal breaker for the 690, you’ll certainly appreciate this extra convenient feature in the 891.
- How well do these robots handle pet hair?
Both the 891 and 690 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
It’s clear that these two Roomba are designed to do exactly the same thing, and they both perform quite well. However, 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 Roomba 691, but if not buy iRobot Roomba 891 instead.