Over the past few years, iRobot has revealed perhaps two of the best robot vacuums available right now – Roomba 880 and 980.
Two important improvements made by Roomba are the introduction of tangle-free extracts in Roomba 880 Then the expected navigation pattern later Roomba 980.
The first improvement dealt with the issue of maintenance.
Conventional whisking rods need frequent cleaning because hair and dust always get around them.
The second improvement addressed the issue of inefficiency. Perhaps the biggest complaint of consumers.
However, we will not focus on the Roomba 900 series. This article is all about the Roomba 880 vs 860 comparison.
Both the Roomba 880 and 860 models are no longer in production and have now been replaced by another Roomba 890. All three variants are the same robot in terms of power and navigation.
However, the 890 Adds a WiFi connection So you can use an app to control this bot even when you’re not physically at home, and it’s Alexa compatible.
The Roomba 890 is cheaper too Because it is still in production.
What are the improvements with the 860?
Technically, there are not many differences between the Roomba 860 and 880.
If you look at the iRobot website, they won’t include the 880 in their product list, which means they may have discontinued the 880.
FYI, the 860 is a few hundred dollars cheaper than the 880, and it comes with basically everything in the 880, which we’ll look at in detail below:
- Tangle-free straws First seen in Roomba 880 and now on the cheaper 860.
- iAdapt Navigation – Improved mobility when compared to the older Roombas series (600 and 700) in that it did not hit furniture with the same force, thus preventing hollows unnecessarily.
- AeroForce 3-Stage Cleaning System Provides up to 50% better cleaning performance compared to previous generation Roombas.
- New lithium-ion battery doubles life Older NiCad batteries used in the previous series
- Optical and acoustic sensors detect high concentrations of dirt and then focus on those areas that need more cleaning.
- Scheduled cleaning up to 7 times a week (or once a day)
So, the 860 and 880 are the same under the hood, but why the big difference in price?
The most significant difference will be the accessories.
When you buy the 880 from Amazon, you get a lot of good stuff. It includes two virtual beacons, a remote control, three additional side brushes, and a HEPA filter.
The Roomba 860 comes in a smaller quantity. Instead of two virtual beacons, it comes with only one virtual wall.
If you are curious to know how a virtual wall and a lighthouse differ, this is very simple.
The virtual wall is what it is – a device that uses an infrared signal designed to block the robot’s path.
The beacon works like a door that opens or closes depending on the state of the robot.
When the robot starts cleaning the room, this beacon blocks the path until the robot tells it via an infrared signal that it has completed its task.
The beacon then opens the ‘door’ to allow the robot to move to a different room.
Watch this video to see how it works
If you look closely at these two robots, the differences are purely aesthetic. The 880 comes in mostly black/charcoal with five buttons. These buttons include a clean switch that activates the default cleaning mode as well as four other small buttons to access the various functions of the bot.
The 860 has the same design, only in a lighter shade of gray.
Both robots are similar in size and features.
View from the bottom
Both of these variables will have the same layout under it. This includes one side brush and straws that rotate between the rubber wheels.
No automatic recharge and resume
Assuming you have a large 5,000 square foot house, you will have to manually move this robot into each room for best results. If you don’t, the bot will get lost a lot and flash an error code.
So the process of moving it to each room can be a tedious process.
The 806 will run until the battery reaches a certain limit (usually 20%) and then returns to recharge.
It does not have recharge and resume, so you have to press “Clean” to restart cleaning.
If you want this feature, you’ll have to spend a few hundred dollars more and use the Roomba 960.
To get access to recharge and resume, you’ll have to spend more on a Roomba 960, I7, or flagship S9.
It still uses random navigation.
All of the 800 series Roombas use the same randomization pattern as the 700 and 600 series, and the most significant improvement will be the iAdapt system that makes the robot more conservative in the way it handles corners.
This means that when it detects an obstacle, it slows down.
You’ll notice that it still hits obstacles but isn’t nearly as hard. So scraping shouldn’t be a problem with most types of furniture. Yes, it can even reveal dark furniture.
One problem with this type of mobility is efficiency. It won’t cover as large an area as the Neato Botvac or the 980 because it travels in a random direction, but the advantage of this is accuracy.
If you live in a large house, it will not be effective if you let it clean the entire area without any containment.
You are likely to lose the charging base as the space increases the more space you need to clean.
You may have to resort to moving this robot room to each room and letting it clean one area at a time.
Like the 880, the 860 also comes with a High Efficiency Filter (or HEPA), which means this robot should be safe to use with people with allergies.
but since This is a bagless vacuum cleanerthere can still be a level of exposure when the container is emptied.
Also, the HEPA filter is not washable. One technique I use to extend the life of these filters is to use a hand-held vacuum cleaner with a brush to clean the filters.
You should be able to extend the life of your filter quite a bit by using this method.
2 – Virtual beacons
3 – Extra side brushes
Extra HEPA filter
Remote control (with two AAA batteries)
1 – virtual wall
Where can I buy these bots?
Unfortunately, the Roomba 880 is no longer available, but the 860 is still for sale. The Roomba 880 model was replaced by the 890, which is a better product. It has a Li-ion battery instead of the Ni-cad battery the 880 used earlier so it has a longer life.
- Roomba 860
- Roomba 890
Please check the links below for the latest 860 and 890 prices.
Know that I’ll earn a commission when you buy through the links above, but at no additional cost to you, so it’s a win-win for both of us!
If you ask me between the 860 and the 880, I would choose the 860 only because of the price difference. I can’t justify spending over $100 on a product that only has more accessories included.
The remote is a nice luxury, but I can do the scheduling right on the bot.
It’s also nice to have a virtual beacon, but with the 860’s random hopping I prefer to make it clean one area at a time and then move it to different rooms that need to be cleaned as I see fit.
In terms of performance, both of these bots are nearly the same, so the question is whether or not you want the extra goodies that come with a higher price tag.