Roomba 860 vs 890 – Understanding the Use of the Series

  • Full review
Roomba 860 vs 890 – Head to Head Comparison and Purchase Guide
Updated 2020

These two robotic cleaners present buyers with a hard choice when choosing the ideal item for their domestic needs. They will not only meet your expectations beyond imagination but also offer perfect value for your money. However, there’s one major difference that buyers tend to look into before purchase.

Despite the two cleaners being from the iRobot 800 series, Roomba 890 is the latest version. It is, therefore, incorporated with better tech features, but the price of the item is slightly higher. This brings about some confusion among buyers. Should one go for the newer and more expensive version or the older, less costly one? 

Well, you’re about to figure that out in a moment. But before proceeding to the comprehensive analysis of these two products by the brand Roomba, there must be more reasons why you need a specific cleaner. These motives may be based on ease of use and the type of surface you need to work on. Luckily enough, the Roomba 860 and 890 cleaners differ in their ability to do work on different carpets, thus easing your selection process.

Roomba 860 vs. 890 Cleaner – Main Differences 

Each cleaner in the 800 series contains unique features that keen observers and long-time users can easily point out. However, the same can’t be said about first-time customers as the items might look similar to them. For this reason, I have set aside this section to highlight these devices’ differences.

Design 

Roomba 890 cleaner lacks the schedule buttons that are present in the 860 models. The clicks are no longer a necessity as the 890 models can be operated remotely with the iRobot app.
Likewise, the two models slightly differ in color. Roomba 860 is light gray and black, whereas the 890 model has a copper and black outline. 

Battery 

When you compare Roomba 860 vs 890 battery, the first one is bigger even though the runtime is similar. Roomba 860 has a larger 2100mAh battery while the 890’s model is smaller at 1800mAh. However, I will provide a detailed analysis of it later. 

Wi-Fi Connection

As I earlier highlighted, Roomba 890 is the newer version of the 860 cleaner. This might be the reason why Roomba 890 is fitted with Wi-Fi, while the 860 model lacks the feature. Lack of this Wi-Fi connection in Roomba 860 can make your purchase straightforward, depending on your preferences.

Voice Control 

The feature also goes in favor of 890 models as it was made in such a time when it would have been a regrettable loss not to include it. The voice control option not only eases the way you use the tool but also makes the whole process fun. 

Coverage Maps 

Of all the 800 iRobot cleaners’ series, Roomba 890 model is the only one that has a coverage map installed. You won’t be required to put regular settings here, as the device will keep a record of the previous areas it has worked on. 

This makes the tool easy to use because it can easily start the process as per the command and return to its docking station after completion. Additionally, it will get back to the charging port if the battery runs low and return to work after getting charged. This characteristic will save you both time and effort during the cleaning process, which you may devote to other pleasant things and errands of your preference.

Cleaning Summary 

The 860 model lacks this feature. It is a unique notification of the area cleaned sent by the device upon finishing the procedure of tidying your house or apartment. This will enable you to monitor whether the process has been done to perfection while you will require no additional efforts for this issue. 

Roomba 860 and 890 Models Similarities 

Having understood the separating factors between these two models, I find it equally essential to highlight the devices’ similarities. I would like to mention that the equipment similarities range from the cleaning process to design. 

Cleaning Process and Results 

The two models are similar in the way they dust off your surface. However, how well they do it is a bit different as Roomba 890 does the task more effectively than the 860 model. That said, here’s how the process works.

These two cleaners have a pair of specially sized wheels. These help them to overcome obstacles and easily roll from one room to another without your assistance. The models are also similar in the way their brush rolls and their spinning brushes sweep. 

After testing these models’ abilities on different surfaces, it came up surprising that they had analogous overall scores. They are both highly effective and best suited to work in various settings. 

Dimensions 

Another similarity between the 860 and 890 iRobot models is their sizes. The two devices measure 13.9 inches in diameter, 3.6 inches in height, and they weigh 8.4 pounds. 

Design 

Both Roomba 860 and 890 have a dustbin at the front, a handle located at the top, and a bumper ring along the cleaner’s perimeter. They likewise contain an indicator that serves the purpose of notifying you when the bin is full.

Accessories

There aren’t many accessories accompanying these devices, as everything is incorporated into the unit during the manufacturing process. However, the few parts that are conveyed are covered in detail under the “part and accessories” section.

Maintenance

Both devices under review require low-cost upkeep. Moreover, the process of conservation is similar here. However, given each item’s energy efficiency, the battery lifespan may differ, making one product incur some replacement costs more often.

Apart from the battery, the filter, spinning brushes, and wheels are most likely to be changed within the given period. Even after considering there are parts you need to buy from third parties, the recommended upkeep time frame remains highly affordable.

Battery

The battery life of these devices is similar too, and it is between 12 to 18 months. Likewise, both Roomba 890 battery and that characteristic of the model 860 take from 2 to 3 hours for the cells to be fully charged. Once the charge runs low, the device retracts back to its dock for recharging, and when full, it can work for about 60 minutes.

Maneuverability

The devices are fitted with sensors helping to avoid accidents that can easily result in damage. They both fit under furniture since they are only 3.6 inches high. The items can also make round turns and clean against the wall. But that’s not all as there are similarities in ease of use. I have made a full section on that.

A Chart with Prominent Characteristics of the Devices by Roomba

At the moment, here’s a chart highlighting the features of these two models. It will make you spot the similarities and differences with ease. Hopingly, with the information provided, your decision-making process will become more convenient and secure.

Roomba 860
VS
Roomba 890
Battery Life
From 12 to 18 months
VS
From 12 to 18 months
Run Time
60 minutes
VS
60 minutes
Charging Time
2-3 hours
VS
2-3 hours
Wi-Fi
No
VS
Yes
Battery capacity
2100 mAh
VS
1800 mAh
Dust bin size
0.158 gallons
VS
0.08 gallons
Noise
67 dB
VS
68 dB
Built-in Camera
No
VS
Yes
Remote Control
No
VS
No
Accessories
  • 1 AeroForce high-efficiency (HEPA) filter
  • 1 dual-mode virtual wall
VS
  • Self-charging home base
  • Virtual wall unit
  • 1 North American line cord
  • 1 extra AeroForce high-efficiency filter
  • Owner's guide

Comprehensive Roomba 860 vs 890 Review

Under this section, I will compare Roomba 890 vs 860 models basing on their cleaning performance on different surfaces. You will also find the accessories conveyed together with the pack here. But before that, let’s check on the items’ ease of use.

Roomba 860 vs. 890 – Ease of Use 

For those wondering which item will present a straightforward process in application, I am here to assure you the devices are equally simple to use. 

The 890 model has only three buttons, while version 860 has four, and the power button denoted by the word “clean” is present in both devices surfaces. Here’s how to control Roomba 860;

  • Cleaning initiation can be done only manually. You are hence required to click on the power or clean button to start the process. 
  • Scheduling is not done remotely or via the app, making it possible only through the extra buttons fused. Set or reset the schedule according to your needs. 

When using model 890, the process isn’t any harder. It has been eased due to the ability to operate the kit via the iRobot app. Here’s what you need to know;

  • There are physical buttons accessible to those who might lack a Wi-Fi and smartphone connection. This is simple as it is just a tap, and you are good to go. Likewise, schedule cleaning can also be done through the other buttons. 
  • Control by the iRobot app. This is highly convenient as you can set the schedule and have the machine do the task from your smartphone or tablet. 
  • Voice control. This is done via Amazon Alexa or Google Home features. The process is not only convenient but also fun. It ensures you remain undisturbed and unmoved during cleaning. 

That said, I highly appreciate the manufacturer`s efforts to ease the setup process in the iRobot app. Once you download this app, you simply need to follow the steps as portrayed there. Connecting the device to Wi-Fi is also straightforward, making it hard to get the process wrong. 

Parts and Accessories 

As it has been said earlier, robotic vacuums feature most of the important elements fused in a unit. You will require only a few accessories, and this greatly reduces the devices’ upkeep costs. Here are some tools that will accompany both Roomba 860 and 890. 

  • Combo brush rolls – these rolls form an essential part of a robotic cleaner. They aid in lifting the dirt and specks of dust from your floor. 
  • HEPA filter – AeroForce High-Efficiency (HEPA) Filters are included upon purchase of Roomba 860 and 890 cleaners. One item is already preloaded in the cleaner. 
  • Li-Ion battery – each cleaner is conveyed with a battery that has a 60 minutes runtime. The lifespan is from 12 to 18 months, and the replacement pieces are easily accessible to all. 
  • Virtual wall barrier – this prevents the device from working on certain places in the house. 
  • Spinning brushes – there are two spinning brushes included upon Roomba cleaner purchase. Since you can only use one brush at a time, the extra piece is kept for emergency or replacement purposes. Like batteries, the brushes are easily accessible at affordable prices. 

Roomba 860 vs 890 Cleaning Performances

Under this section, you will find a summary of Roomba 860 and 890 cleaners’ performance on various exteriors. Tests have been taken on four surfaces, with each of them littered with different debris. 

  • Performance on hardwood/tile/linoleum/vinyl surfaces 

The rubber paddles and side brushes in this kind of equipment make it possible to clean both hard and soft surfaces. The brush works on baseboards and the edges, while the rubber sweeps up the debris. The process results in an ideal clean after a single run. 

Owing to the marginal differences between the two items, I ran a test on the 890 cleaner, assuming the similar hardware and power of the model 860 would give the same results. To my surprise, even those items that largely differ in hardware components aren’t any different when it comes to performance.

Upon testing the cleaner on a hardwood floor with sugar, kitty fur, rice, and cereal debris, the device cleaned them all apart from the kitty debris, which was 99% done. The cleaning process lasted slightly above 7 minutes, and this emulates the item’s efficiency. 

Given the cleaners’ high performance, it becomes hard not to recommend them for purchase. It is rare to find such highly effective filters. 

  • Thick carpet (polypropylene fiber)

After using similar debris and performing a test on a thick rug, kitty, rice, and cereals, they were perfectly cleaned. However, sugar cleaning posed a great challenge as the item worked only on 50% of the amount. These results are from Roomba 890, but since the power and design are similar to that of the 860`s model, the outcome is expected to be close in range. 

  • Thin carpet (nylon fiber)

After testing Roomba 890 on thin mats, the results were hugely appealing. Three of the debris in use were utterly cleaned, although there was a challenge on sugar, as only 65% of it was cleaned. 

However, I was convinced the item could do better and saw the need to perform a second test to rerun the device. This time, I was lucky as another 23% of sugar was cleaned. This made the overall analysis of sugar reach the rate of 88%, which is a perfect figure to work with. 

Once again, due to sanction power similarities, it is hard to expect different results with Roomba 860 cleaner. Nevertheless, the device’s performance in these different settings is simply beyond imagination, making it difficult to find another highly efficient equipment at a similar price. 

  • Edge cleaning

The device’s optimal sanction power and ideally designed brush rolls will leave the edges and corners of your home completely free of dirt. Besides that, there are fitted sensors, which will ensure the device works on sides without falling, as this would result in damage.

  • What about pet hair?

When testing a robotic cleaner performance on pet hair, it is hard to come up with definite outcomes. This is a result of distortion in the natural form of pet hair after being picked up. Mostly, robotic cleaners are highly effective when it comes to pet hair cleaning irrespective of their suction power. 

Therefore, you are required to look at other important factors to know if the item would clean the pet hair to your satisfaction. This brings us to the type of brush used in these devices. Since both Roomba 890 and 860 have tangle-free brushes, it will save you from unnecessary stops. 

Likewise, the fitted AeroForce High-Efficiency (HEPA) Filters work wonders in ensuring all allergens are captured, which leaves you always assured of fresh air. So what about the performance of each item?
Among these two devices, Roomba 890 is perfectly suited for pet hair cleaning on hardwood and uncarpeted surfaces. However, it faces challenges when used on carpets as some tiny fur may end up stuck to the carpet fabric. 

When the device has an extreme suction power, some hair will be blown and thus not cleaned entirely. Likewise, Roomba iRobot Cleaners aren’t 100% effective in fur removal, which leaves you with obvious reasons to ensure you have perfectly fitted vents for sufficient airflow. 

Battery Life 

Li-Ion batteries power Roomba 860 and 890 models with a similar battery life of about 12 to 18 months. However, battery sizes and capacity are different. Roomba 860 battery is bigger with its 2100 mAh, while the 890 model’s ability is 1800 mAh. The difference in size or capacity here denotes the energy efficiency of Roomba 890.

The batteries take roughly 2 to 3 hours to charge completely. Their runtime is about 60 minutes, but it depends on the frequency of use. Replacements are easily accessible at a friendly cost. When the battery gets depleted, the device rolls to the docking station for recharging. 

When looking for replacements, it is highly advisable to consider the 3rd party dealer you are engaging in. You might end up purchasing batteries with the least value, thus affecting the service you get from the device use. Always order from approved vendors. 

So, Are Roomba 860 and 890 Cleaners worth the Money

Having compared every single detail about these two items, I know a question of the best product is lingering in your mind. Rest assured, I will answer it in the last section. At the moment, you need to know whether the items are worth the money. If they aren’t, then the devices will be of no use upon purchase. 

With most features being similar, and performance rocking approximate ranges, it must be confusing, yet appealing that a choice between the two products will solve your problem beyond expectations. However, the 890 cleaner is a new model, and it comes fused with a few additional tech features.
Tech incorporation here enhances usability, making the device fun and straightforward to use. Buttons in Roomba 860 may easily get damaged, a sequence you won’t easily find in the 890 model. That said, it is only fair to claim that Roomba 890 is better or provides better value than the 860 version.
Roomba 860 Pros and Cons Analysis

Roomba 860 Pros and Cons Analysis 

The considerations above leave us with a necessity to slightly highlight the pros and cons of each item for those who might not deduce the points through the mentioned context. The first table below provides the pros and cons of Roomba 860 vacuum cleaner.

Positives:
  • It offers a button touch for those who would like to get more physical control.
  • Ideal battery run time.
Negatives:
  • Lack of Wi-Fi connection.
  • There’s no button on this device that can be used to direct it to the dock station.

Roomba 890 Pros and Cons Analysis

This is simply a newer model of Roomba 860. It contains some features that model 860 already has.

Positives:
  • Has Wi-Fi connection;
  • Simpler to use.
Negatives:
  • The cost of this item is slightly higher;
  • When compared to the 900 series, it lacks important features such as ultra-bells.

Wrap Up 

As I wind up my comparison and review of Roomba 860 and 890 cleaners, I hope you are now better suited to make an informed decision on the best item to buy. Here’s the final comparison chart of the two pieces.

Roomba 860
VS
Roomba 890
Best for the money
Yes
VS
Yes
Best for a small apartment
Yes
VS
Yes
Best for a large apartment
Yes
VS
No
Best for thing carpets
No
VS
Yes
Best for a carpeted floor
No
VS
No
Best for hardwood, tile or vinyl floors
Yes
VS
Yes
Best for you in case you have pets and allergies
No
VS
No
Best for traffic rooms
No
VS
Yes
Best for a hardwood
Yes
VS
Yes

Frequently Asked Questions 

Here, I will take you through often enquired matters concerning Roomba 860 and 890 cleaners. These will help you to get some insight on important aspects to consider before purchasing these machines.

  • How high does my furniture need to be off the ground?

The devices are ideally made to work beneath beds and other furniture. Their low height of 3.6 inches makes them a perfect fit without the risk of damage. Ensure your seats or beds are at least 3.6 inches off the ground. For a more convenient cleaning process, I would advise you to leave the furniture at the height of over 3.8 inches to prevent the problem of the device getting stuck during the process. 

  • Will these units work well on shag carpeting?

Wondering and asking if a device you are about to purchase will work on specific settings is the best way to ensure you get an ideal value for your cash. That said, shag carpets provide quite a challenge to most Roomba cleaners. 

The devices will easily get stuck and overheat when you use them on extra-thick carpets. I highly advise you look for other options if your floor is covered with shag carpets. Here are some reasons behind Roomba cleaners’ inefficiency on shag carpeting. 

  • Lack of aggressive bristles. Sturdy bristle bars rotate and vibrate, thus loosening firmly held dirt from carpets.
  • The noise level increases when you place a Roomba cleaner on a carpet. It can be too loud to bear.
  • The long hair on these carpets will make the cleaner get stuck frequently. 
  • When the device is subjected to a considerably tough task, it’ll end up consuming more power. This affects the runtime and cleaning efficiency. 

Roomba 890 vs 860 Review in a Nut Shell 

Conclusively, it is almost close to impossible to list all the benefits of robotic cleaners. They are convenient to use and reliable devices everyone should own. In case your closely packed furniture gives you a hard time while cleaning the house, these machines will fit in anywhere and do the work to perfection. 

The incorporated tech features in the devices, such as voice and app control, make you enjoy using the items. Additionally, you can set a schedule on the device concerning the places you need no be cleaned and remain undeterred as the machine works.

However, it’s important to note that both models Roomba 860 and 890 do not work ideally on thick carpets. They are preferably made to work on hardwood, tiles, or vinyl surfaces. On these floors, results are optimum, and you won’t regret making the purchase. 

If you are wondering which tool is the best one – Roomba 860 or 890 – I can confidently say the race isn’t as tight as you many think. It is very simple to choose between these two items as the model 890 has everything that the device 860 contains. 

There’s a Wi-Fi connection feature that is lacked in the 860 cleaner. Moreover, Roomba 890 is easy to control via the iRobot Roomba app, and this feature goes missing in model 860. For the reasons mentioned, I highly recommend Roomba 890 robotic cleaner for purchase. It’s all you need for a clean home. 

Lastly, in case you have already had some experience with either Roomba 860 or item 890, how well did they work? Has the Roomba 890 or 860 robotic cleaner served your needs on a scale of 1 to 10? Kindly input your feedback in the comment section below, with 10 being overly impressed with the device you have used.

Dwight Gibson

I’ve been interested in various gadgets and gizmos since school. Even as a kid, I read a lot about the tech world and wrote a weekly Hi-tech column in my school’s newspaper. As a university student, I continued writing on the Hi-tech topic for local magazines.

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