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iRobot Roomba 805 vs 860 Robotic Vacuum Comparison

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When it comes to choosing an iRobot vacuum, you may be torn between the various models available. It may be difficult to choose between the iRobot Roomba 805 vs 860. This is because the iRobot Roomba 860 and the Roomba 805 hold a lot of the same core features and cleaning performance. Yet, one model packs more power and battery life while the other has a better price tag.

Let’s take a closer look at the iRobot Roomba 860 and the Roomba 805 and see which one would be a better overall fit for your home and cleaning routine.

iRobot Roomba 805 and Roomba 860​ Comparisons

When it comes to setting the iRobot Roomba 860 and Roomba 805 vacuums side by side, there are a few features the Roomba 805 and the iRobot Roomba 860 have like the Dirt Detect and AeroForce Tangle Free 3 Stage Cleaning System. The Dirt Detect and other features are built in to make a great iRobot, no matter which one you choose.

iAdapt Navigation Technology

​The iAdapt Navigation cleaning performance technology is what keeps your iRobot navigation spinning around your home without incident. The navigation sensors on the Roomba 860 vs Roomba 805 read the floor height as it switches from carpet to hardwood.

This navigation system technology allows the Roomba 805 and 860 vacuums to adapt to the new floor’s height and suction needs. The navigation system technology also adjust its wheel power to push through thick carpet fibers or take it easy on flat surfaces.

Close up of the roomba on carpet

AeroForce Tangle Free 3 Stage Cleaning System

​This dirt detect lifting and destroying technology in this Aeroforce 3 Stage cleaning system technology allows the Roomba to pick up dirt and debris from your floors as debris extractors. In addition to the dirt detect technology, this Aeroforce cleaning system technology also breaks down the large pieces it picks up so you don’t have to worry about clogging. Bits of pet hair won’t get tangled in the tangle free cleaning system.

The three stages the AeroForce 3 Stage cleaning system technology uses are

  1. Loosen
  2. Lift
  3. ​Suction

The extended reaching arms swing around outside the cleaning vacuum. They brush against any stubborn dirt and debris to begin loosening them. Next in this 3 Stage cleaning system technology, the interior brush roll comes in and lifts up the loosened dirt.

Finally, the high suction power of the little robot cleaning system technology will pull the dirt and debris into it’s filtered chamber. It is stored until you empty the Roomba.

Scheduling

​While these are the most powerful robot vacuums available right now, they are both the Roomba 805 and 860 missing one upgraded feature… neither have Wifi control.

Even though Wi-Fi Control for these models isn’t available just yet, you are still able to schedule the Roomba to clean on a daily basis as much as the battery allows. You don’t have to link your smartphone or other devices.

To set a schedule on these Roomba models, use the small buttons on the top of the Roomba. You can create a floor cleaning schedule by selecting the days and what time to have ir run.

The no-Wifi feature doesn’t hinder the capabilities of these two robot vacuums. It can be a great handheld model that allows you to randomly run a robotic vacuum while you are way from home, just like how self-automated home security systems work on their own. It also allows you to check the settings remotely. It isn’t really a must have with a Roomba like this.

You’ll need to make time after each use to clean the Roomba, as the dust bin will fill up.

Noise

​The noise level on these two Roomba models is about the same. This isn’t the quietest model available. However, it is still going to be quieter than a standard upright or stick vacuum.

The noise can be a good thing as well. It allows you to hear your vacuum cleaner running and lets you listen to make sure the vacuum is still moving. This way, if it hits a snag or gets stuck you will notice the sound is no longer moving around your floors.

Battery Life

​Both the Roomba 805 and Roomba 860 iRobot vacuums boast having a lithium ion battery. This lithium ion battery life is great due to the quick charging battery ability and long-lasting lift that it gives these robot vacuums.

When the Roomba first comes out of the box, you will need to give a full 16 hour charge to the lithium ion battery life get it up and running. After charging the battery for the first time, you’ll only need to charge the battery for 2 hours at a time.

If for some reason the vacuum has been away from its home base for an extended amount of time, you will need to allow the battery to have the full 16 hour charge again to get it back up to speed.

Both the Roomba 805 and 860 Roomba models should have a lithium ion battery life of 60 minutes without loosing or waning in suction power. Once the Roomba 805 and 860 run for the entire lithium ion battery life, it will keep some battery power on reserve. With this emergency battery power, they can take themselves back to the dock and charge the battery so it’s ready to be used again in two hours if needed.

The roomba in it's charging port

Both the Roomba 860 and 805 vacuums come with a lithium ion battery indicator light, so you can see the status of your vacuum’s battery. Once it docks, the battery indicator light will flash for a minute or so and then go off to conserve battery life. You can wake your Roomba at any time by pressing the Clean button to see what the vacuums status is.

  • ​Red Solid – The battery life needs charging.
  • ​Red Flashing – The battery life is too low for cleaning and needs to be charged before use.
  • ​Amber Pulsing – Successfully charging.
  • Green Solid – Fully charged and ready for cleaning.
  • Amber Quick Pulse – The Roomba is in the 16-hour refresh charging mode.

In an emergency, you can take the Roomba 860 and the Roomba 805 off of the charger, press the Clean Button, and have it clean up a mess. However, without a full charge on the battery, the Roomba 860 or 805 may not last as long as you need. It’s a good idea to keep a simple stick vacuum around the house for moments when you need a quick pick up while your Roomba is charging.

Virtual Wall Barriers Feature

With these vacuums, you can also set up a feature called virtual wall. The virtual wall barriers feature tells the Roomba vacuum to focus on a sole area. The two dual mode virtual wall feature is great if you have a high traffic area that needs a little more attention. The two dual mode virtual wall feature also works well if you don’t want your Roomba to vacuum in certain areas due to preference or if it struggles to navigate in other areas. That’s where the dual mode virtual wall would really come in handy.

Sometimes these robot vacuums can get stuck in some areas. This is especially true if you have a steep incline or if it tries to take on rugs or carpeted areas. Some iRobot Roomba vacuums have even gotten stuck while roaming over power cords on the floor and that’s why they need virtual walls. This virtual wall feature is a great option when you have areas you want to keep the Roomba away from or to limit any future issues with it getting stuck.

Weight

​There is a slight difference in the Roomba 860 vs 805 when it comes to how much they weigh. However, since the difference is very small, the weight will remain in the similarities category.

The main difference when it comes to iRobot 805 Roomba vs 860 is .4 pounds. The Roomba 805 model weighs 8.4 pounds while the Roomba 860 comes in at 8 pounds even.

The weight difference really isn’t a deal breaking factor. Both 805 and 860 vacuums are lightweight. Unlike a traditional corded stick vacuum, you won’t be lugging these robot vacuums around unless you take it up or down the stairs to vacuum a home with multiple surfaces like hardwood floors.

The irobot vacuum climbing up carpet

Customer Feedback

​These robot vacuums also have a negative in common. Consumer feedback reports that while the Roomba 860 and Roomba 805 vacuums have a high overall quality rating, users have all agreed that the dirt bin on both models is a little small.

While this can be a drawback for the model, the rest of the consumer reviews give these two vacuums high praise for their cleaning ability,

​Key Differences in Roomba 860 vs 805 Roomba

​While these robot vacuums are very similar, they do have a few key differences that can help you determine which one would be better for your home cleaning needs.

Price

​When it comes to investing in a quality robot vacuum, you will be paying much more than you would for a quality upright vacuum. This is due to the added convenience a robot vacuum can give you versus a traditional vacuum.

These smaller vacuums are also more expensive due to the added sensors and technology that powers these sensors. These sensors placed around the vacuum help guide it around the room. These sensors also keep it from bumping into furniture or falling down stairs.

The pricing on these two models varies greatly. You will be looking at paying a much higher price for one versus the other.

The Roomba 805

The Roomba 805 is priced ​on the lower end for a robot vacuum cleaner. This is the more affordable of the two iRobot options. Since it is an older model and offers the basic features, you will get a more affordable pricing.

The Roomba 860

When it comes to the Roomba 860, you will be looking at paying about $500 for a new one. While this is a much higher price, the below differences in features from the Roomba 805 will show you why this model is a bit pricier.

Since this model has been out for a little while, you could possibly find a better deal on a refurbished model. But, be careful if you do choose this route. It will have a limited warranty on the parts instead of the standard warranty that iRobot offers with your new vacuum.

Power

​The all around power and battery life on these models is different due to the internal makeup and tech.

The Roomba 805

The built in AeroForce cleaning system helps make this a strong suction vacuum. It is able to pick up about the same amount as a good stick vacuum or lighter upright model.

It is enough suction that when run on a daily basis, your carpets will look and feel well vacuumed.

The Roomba 860

This model not only has the AeroForce cleaning system, but it also boasts 5x more power and battery. It has a concentrated cleaning feature as well as improved sensing abilities.

The strong suction is great if you have pets that leave a lot of dander and pet hair on your floors. The 860 is equipped with the raw suction power to pick up these fine particles. It can also lift and clean heavier items easily, such as kids spilled milk and cereal or dog food that missed the bowl.

A man in the living room touching his vacuum cleaner

This higher suction power is a lot for this model. However, it still doesn’t offer as much suction as some of the more advanced and similarly priced upright models that are available.

Filter

​The inside filter of these vacuums is also different. This could be a deal breaker if you tend to suffer from allergies and need a specific filter to cut down on your sinus flare-ups.

The Roomba 805

​Inside of the Roomba 805 vacuum, there is a replaceable AeroForce High Efficiency Filter. The AeroForce High Efficiency Filter captures 99% of allergens, particles, and pollen that are as small as 10 microns.

Capturing small as 10 microns particles is a really good standard filter that prevents a lot of kickback. It traps most of the allergens inside of the vacuum, so you don’t have as many issues with dander as you would with a cheaper filtered vacuum.

The 860

​The filter inside of the 860 is a certified HEPA filter. The HEPA filtration system has been tested to filtrate and retain 99.9% of particles as small as .3 microns.

If you have bad allergies, you really want to invest in a vacuum that offers the higher certified level of HEPA filtration. With the HEPA filter, your home remains an allergy free area after vacuuming, especially in the spring time when animals and guests can track pollen inside.

iRobot Roomba 805 vs 860: How to Choose?

​While both of these robot vacuums pack a lot of great features, you may be finding it difficult to narrow it down to which one will fit your home cleaning needs. First, think about how you want to use it and how much traffic your home has.

Low Traffic Homes

iRobot Roomba 805 Cleaning Vacuum Robot with Dual...

​For homes that don’t have a lot of foot traffic, or if you have a secondary vacuum in your home but don’t like to pull it out for daily upkeep, then the iRobot Roomba 805 Cleaning Vacuum Robot is perfect for you.

It will handle the day to day light upkeep. You would only need to pull out the heavy duty upright vacuum about once every week or so to give your carpets a nice deep cleaning.

iRobot Roomba 805 Cleaning Vacuum Robot with Dual...
  • -iAdapt Navigation uses a full suite of sensors to navigate and adapt to your changing home...
  • -Tangle-free extractors help prevent hair and debris clogs -AeroForce High-Efficiency Filter...
  • -Conveniently schedule up to 7x per week, or just press CLEAN on the robot -Automatically docks and...
  • -Avoids stairs and other drop-offs -Automatically adjusts to all floor types - carpet, tile,...

High Traffic and Pet Friendly Homes

​If you have four legged family members that tend to shed, you will need a little more overall power to help pick up the pet hair on your floors. The stronger suction is also great for higher traffic areas. It helps pull up dirt, pet hair and debris that can get embedded into your carpets.

iRobot Roomba 860 Robot Vacuum

The HEPA filter on the iRobot Roomba 860 Robot Vacuum also picks up your pet’s allergens and dander. The HEPA filter locks them inside so these tiny particles do not find their way back into the air.

iRobot Roomba 860 Robot Vacuum
  • iAdapt Navigation uses a full suite of sensors to navigate and adapt to your changing home
  • AeroForce 3 Stage Cleaning System delivers up to 50 percent more cleaning performance
  • Tangle free extractors help prevent hair and debris clogs
  • Conveniently schedule up to 7x per week, or just press CLEAN on the robot

While both of these vacuum cleaners are amazing to own, it really comes down to how much traffic your home has, what you can afford, and what features you find necessary. Both vacuums will give your home a great clean while allowing you to rest and enjoy vacuuming with your feet up.

Lauren Moldvay is a freelance writer from Virginia and the mother of one (not always) sweet little girl. She specializes in trying to help others find easier ways to clean, manage the home and save money with DIY projects.