So you’ve decided to purchase a robot vacuum. Between the convenience and the cutting-edge home cleaning technology, they can be a worthwhile option. But with so many models to choose from, how do you narrow it down? We’ve done the homework for you.
The vacuums: at a glance
It’s Roomba versus Botvac in this round of our robot vacuum cleaner face-offs.
Both the iRobot Roomba 880 and the Neato Botvac 85 are cordless robotic vacuum cleaners that are designed to pick up dirt and messes throughout the home before returning to their home base for a recharge. Each allows users to schedule cleanings and each is capable of cleaning homes that have pets.
With so many similarities, what accounts for the $100 difference in regular retail price between these two models? Read on to find out.
No matter which vacuum you declare the winner, take a look at our list of the best robot vacuums of 2015 for tips on which features you should be paying attention to.
The vacuums: Up close and personal
You’re likely interested in more than just the difference in dollars and pounds between these two models. We matched product specs with potential use cases to help you decide which type of robot vacuum user you are.
NerdWallet takes you shopping: First up in this robot vacuum matchup is the Roomba 880, a $699.99 model from iRobot.
This vacuum is designed to streamline practically every aspect of the cleaning process, thanks to its scheduled cleanings (users can preset up to seven per week), room-to-room direction (infrared Virtual Wall Lighthouses tell the robot where to go), cliff-detection sensors (no falling down the stairs), light-touch bumper technology (the robot can push past curtains, but won’t collide with furniture) and Tangle-Free AeroForce Extractors (designed to prevent tangles from pet or human hair).
The robot isn’t sold on its own either. It comes with helpful accessories, including one iRobot XLife Extended Life Battery, two Virtual Wall Lighthouses (batteries included), one integrated Home Base, one remote control (batteries included) and one extra HEPA filter.
Good fit for: For a more advanced (yet more expensive) robot vacuum cleaner, opt for the iRobot Roomba 880. This device can tackle all floor types and, thanks to its advanced navigation and ability to set off-limit areas, will go only where you want it to go. This makes it ideal for large homes.
NerdWallet takes you shopping: Going head-to-head with the Roomba is the Neato Botvac 85, a slightly less expensive robot vacuum model. This one carries a regular retail price of $599.99, but we were able to find it for $100 less at both Bed Bath & Beyond and Amazon.
This Neato model uses laser-guided technology to scan the floor plan of your home as it moves from room to room. Users have the option to set the vacuum in motion with a simple press of a button or schedule the device to carry out daily cleanings.
The 9-pound robot vacuum features a large dirt bin, edge-cleaning brush and combo brush specifically intended to remove pesky clumps of pet hair.
In addition to the robot itself, this product comes with the following included accessories: a charge base, charge cord, combo blade/brush, three high performance filters, side brush, battery and boundary markers. Note that it lacks the remote control that the Roomba boasts.
Good fit for: Pick the Neato Botvac 85 for a less expensive robot vacuum that still takes nearly all of the work out of floor cleaning. This device is especially well suited for homes with spacious areas of hard flooring, such as wood and tile.
Compare other popular vacuums here:
- Dyson V6 Absolute vs Dyson V6 Motorhead
- Samsung VR9000 vs Roomba
- Kenmore Progressive 21614 vs. 21714
- iClebo Arte vs Roomba
- Shark Navigator vs Dyson DC50
- Bissell Zing 6489 vs. Kenmore Progressive 21514
For more vacuum buying advice, check out:
- Vacuum buying guide
- How to Get the Best Deal on a Vacuum
- 5 Things You Should Know Before Buying a Vacuum
- 3 Best Vacuums for Pet Owners
Images via iStock and Amazon.