When it comes to robot vacuums, the iRobot Roomba series is undoubtedly the most famous. In recent years, however, a number of other models have appeared from brands such as Vileda, AirCraft and Neato – so iRobot certainly don’t have the field to themselves any more.
That doesn’t mean iRobot have been resting on their laurels though. One of their most recent models, the iRobot ROOMBA 880 vacuum cleaning robot, has a range of features and boasts a 50% better cleaning efficiency than previous ROOMBA models.
With that in mind, how does the expensive ROOMBA 880 match up to its competitors? Is it worth the extra money? Or are you better off going for a cheaper model? That’s what we’re aiming to find out in this comprehensive review – so let’s get started.
Overview of iRobot ROOMBA 880 Features
- The ROOMBA 880 boasts an impressive cleaning power increase of 50% compared to previous models.
- It is capable of picking up hair, debris, dust and dirt from almost any type of floor, including hardwood and laminate.
- A HEPA filter is included for more effective filtering of allergens and dust particles.
- Edge cleaning brushes remove dirt from skirting boards and other areas the main brushes can’t reach.
- Advanced navigation system to find its way between rooms.
- A stair sensor is included so it’s safe to use upstairs.
- If the 880 senses it’s almost out of battery the robot returns to base for extra charge.
- Two virtual walls are included along with a remote control.
In-Depth Look at the iRobot ROOMBA 880 Robot Vacuum Cleaner
There’s really no doubt that this is an excellent robot vacuum. The main question is whether the ROOMBA 880 is significantly better than competitors – or whether other models provide the same performance for a much cheaper price. Let’s start by looking at the features and performance of the vacuum.
Appearance and Features
The iRobot ROOMBA 880 vacuum cleaning robot is, without doubt, one of the best looking models we’ve reviewed so far.
Its sleek black exterior looks like something out of a futuristic film, and the low profile means it can easily clean under furniture and tables. Appearance is one of the least important factors when choosing any type of vacuum, but it’s an area where the 880 is a clear winner over most competing models.
Here are some more pictures of the ROOMBA 880:
Suction Power and Dirt Detection
One of the main features of the iRobot ROOMBA 880 is the suction power, as it provides up to 50% better cleaning performance than previous Roomba models. This is a significant improvement, and means the 880 should be able to cope with most types of dirt and debris. It’s also great for picking up pet hair without tangling the rollers (we’ve even made a case for it being the best vacuum for pet hair if you’re looking for an automated, robotic solution).
At the front of the ROOMBA, iRobot have placed a small rotating brush. This helps the vacuum clean difficult areas such as corners and along the edge of walls.
Reviewers mention that the iRobot ROOMBA 880 comes with acoustic sensors for detecting dirt. When the ROOMBA finds these regions, it focuses on them more than other areas.
The iRobot ROOMBA 880 robotic vacuum cleaner makes use of the company’s iAdapt responsive navigation system. This allows the vacuum to navigate to a different room once it believes it’s finished cleaning the first.
Importantly, it seems that the ROOMBA 880 doesn’t have any problems transitioning between carpet and hard floor (or vice versa). Transitions have been a common problem for robot models, although the best robot vacuum cleaners seem to have overcome this limitation.
Aside from the navigation system, the 880 also comes with two virtual wall lighthouses. These allow you to tell the vacuum where it should and shouldn’t clean, and are useful for sealing off certain rooms without a physical barrier. You can also activate “Lighthouse” mode, which is great for telling the ROOMBA which room it should clean first before moving onto the next.
The 880 is also capable of returning “home” to recharge, so you don’t have to worry about its battery life.
Ease of Use
The iRobot is simple to use and doesn’t have much of a learning curve. While it has a number of advanced features, once you know how to use the virtual wall lighthouses and remote control almost everything else happens automatically.
Like most of the higher priced robot vacuums, the iRobot ROOMBA 880 comes with a scheduling system. This means you can set the vacuum to start cleaning whenever you want – even if you’re at work.
The price is probably the biggest problem with the iRobot ROOMBA 880. While iRobot are known for manufacturing high-quality models, the £500+ price of the 880 seems a lot in comparison to other models such as the Neato Botvac D75.
So what do you get for your money? Firstly, iRobot have an excellent reputation and are an established company. This means you’re more likely (although never guaranteed) to have a positive experience if you need to use their customer service.
Secondly, the iRobot ROOMBA 880 has a range of features that aren’t found on cheaper models. The advanced navigation system, HEPA filter and strong suction power combine to make this one of the top robot vacuums on the market.
Ultimately, whether it’s worth the money depends on your budget and requirements. We think the 880 does provide value for money. But if you’re looking for your first robot vacuum, a mid-range model such as the AirCraft PILOT MAX might be a better option.
- Indicator to tell you when the bin is full.
- Anti-tangle technology is included with the vacuum.
- HEPA filter for more effective particle filtering.
- The vacuum has a bumper to avoid damage if it collides with furniture or other object.
iRobot ROOMBA 880 Vacuum Cleaning Robot Reviews
The iRobot ROOMBA 880 vacuum cleaning robot has received excellent reviews from buyers, and has a very high average rating at the time of writing (March 2016). Here is a selection of positive comments:
- A reviewer writes that it was a difficult decision whether to choose the 880 or the less expensive Neato Botvac D75, but he decided to go for the iRobot – and hasn’t been disappointed. He writes that the vacuum provides excellent cleaning power considering its small size. He also adds that the 880 is able to reach many areas that would be difficult with a regular vacuum.
- A different reviewer writes that the ROOMBA 880 is an “amazing piece of machinery.” She adds that she’s never had such a clean floor since using the ROOMBA.
- Another writes that the ROOMBA 880 is great for picking up dog and cat hair, and also greatly reduces dust quantities in any room. The reviewer also adds that it’s relatively quiet and easy to pick up via the handle if you want to take it upstairs.
- Finally, a buyer writes that the ROOMBA 880 is a big improvement over his previous ROOMBA model. This is mainly because it is now capable of cleaning up human and pet hairs without the rollers becoming tangled. He adds that the 880 has entirely changed his cleaning routine and that he “can’t believe how much dirt it picks up on a daily basis.”
And here are some negative comments:
- One reviewer was disappointed there is no mobile app for scheduling and receiving notifications via the internet. This is an excellent point, especially considering the high price of the vacuum.
- Another reviewer mentions that if a piece of furniture is just the right height, the ROOMBA can get stuck. This can be solved by blocking these gaps, and it’s a relatively uncommon occurrence, but is still worth point out.
There’s no doubt that the iRobot ROOMBA 880 robotic vacuum cleaner is an excellent model. It has strong suction power for a robot vacuum, can easily navigate around furniture and has a useful scheduling system. Additional features like the HEPA filter and two virtual wall lighthouses mean it’s probably the most well-rounded robot model we’ve reviewed so far.
The only real downside is the price. But if you’re look for the best robotic vacuum cleaner and don’t mind spending over £500, you won’t be disappointed with the ROOMBA 880. Click for to view the 880’s price.