Shark Ion Robot vs Roomba: Which Robotic Vacuum is Best for You?

Close up of an iRobot vacuum

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Are you looking at investing in your very first robot vacuum or replacing a beloved vacuum? You will soon realize there are a lot of different brands and models available for you to choose from.

Variety is great. If you read customer reviews, you will see not every robot vacuum is created equally or comes with a rave review.

Two of the highest rated robot vacuums available right now are the Shark Ion 750 and the Roomba 890. These two robotic vacuums come from brands that have been in the vacuum game for a while now and have honed what features work and which ones don’t.

Let’s take a deeper look into these two vacuums. We will find out in the battle of Shark Ion Robot vs Roomba Robot vacuum, which one will be declared the champion.

Shark Ion vs Roomba: How they Compare

​Knowing what works, the Shark Ion 750 and Roomba 890 developers had a lot in common when they began creating these two robotic vacuums. These two robot vacuums share a good amount of common denominators that make them equal in some aspects.

There are plenty of other great Roomba models on the market, like the 805 and the 860. On the other hand, the Shark Ion is really the only automated cleaner worth considering by Shark.

Battery

​Both of these robotic vacuums have a lithium ion battery powering them. A lithium battery is the top choice for cordless vacuums due to their

  • ​High Density
  • ​Self Discharge
  • ​Low Maintenance

Runtime

In the battle of the Shark Ion Robot 750 vs Roomba 890, both win with the runtime test. After a full charge, they will run for a full hour before returning back to the charging dock.

Lithium batteries are a great choice as you won’t have to deal with a large amount of self discharge. This refers to the death of rechargeable cells in a battery that lowers how much output a battery is able to give over time.

Black robot vacuum in the middle of carpet

Over time, all rechargeable batteries will deal with this type of degeneration. However, lithium ion batteries have a lower overall rate of self discharge. So, your vacuum will continue running for a full hour for a long time.

Charging

​While their internal battery and runtime is the same, the charging time is a little different between the two vacuums. If you have a large home that you need to clean with multiple one hour sweeps, then the recharging time is definitely going to be a large factor when you are choosing.

  • Shark Ion 750 - This vacuums battery will take 3 full hours to charge before it is ready to go again.
  • Roomba 890 - It is ready to go again after only 2 full hours of charging.

The high density of a lithium ion battery refers to its charge versus output. Lithium ion batteries are praised for their ability to need less time charging while offering a higher use time.

It may seem like only one hour of cleaning isn’t a great density output due to the multiple hours that it takes to charge. However, robotic vacuums are using their battery at a higher rate than the standard cell phone, which shares a lithium battery in common.

To break it down, using a cordless vacuum is like having the flashlight on, multiple apps running, and a movie playing all at once on your phone. All those functions will drain the battery more quickly than a simple phone call.

Robotic vacuums move across the room, utilize smart navigation, have multiple brushes working, and offer high levels of suction power. With all of these things running at that same time, having a full hour of runtime is necessary when it comes to measuring the density of the battery.

Wireless Capabilities

​The Roomba 890 and the Shark Ion 750 are able to be connected to WiFi in order to pair with your smart devices and incorporate into an overall smart home experience.

You can control many aspects of these vacuums from the convenience of your smartphone, similar to how you would a fully automated home security system. In the compatible smartphone app you will be able to set a cleaning schedule for your vacuum. This allows you to take control and have your vacuum run at a specific time every day or every other day.

In the app, you will also be able to see tips and tricks for working your vacuum. This can help you ​learn more about you home's new smart companion.

The app will also allow you to see how your vacuum is running. It will show you battery levels and efficiency measures so you can make sure the vacuum is running up to its potential.

A man showing the app being used with the vacuum

If your vacuum has any issues, you can troubleshoot it directly from your phone. The phone can also alert you if your vacuum is stuck or has an error while you are away.

We think one of the coolest connected parts of the app is that you are able to command your robotic vacuum to begin cleaning at any time, even if you are away from home. This is perfect if you have last minute guests who invited themselves over. The robotic vacuum can give your home a once over so you can walk through the door confident that your floors at least are spotless.

Voice Command

​Since these two vacuums are capable of WiFi connectivity, they are also able to be paired with other wireless devices.

Both the Roomba 890 and the Shark Ion 750 are able to pair with ​Amazon's Alexa and the Google Home device. This allows you to bring in voice command to start up your vacuum if you see a mess being made.

Alexa Commands

​Some of the Alexa commands for Shark are:

  • ​“Alexa, tell Shark to start cleaning.”
  • ​“Alexa, tell Shark to pause my robot.”
  • ​"Alexa, tell Shark to send my robot to the dock."
  • ​"Alexa, ask Shark to get me the battery level of my robot."
  • "Alexa, ask Shark what the status of my robot is."
  • "Alexa, tell Shark to find my robot."

If you have multiple Amazon Alexa devices around your home, you will be relieved to know that these vacuums are connected and able to take commands from all of them. So, it doesn’t matter which room you are in. You can still connect and take care of your robotic vacuum as needed.

Google Home Commands

​Google Home’s commands for Roomba are:

  • ​"Okay Google, ask Roomba to start cleaning"
  • ​"Okay Google, ask Roomba to pause vacuuming"
  • ​"Okay Google, ask Roomba to go home"
  • ​"Okay Google, ask Roomba what is it doing"

The Google Home platform gives you easy access to locate and command your robotic vacuum. This way you can feel comfortable having that extra level of control when your phone isn’t at hand or you can’t be bothered to stop and open the smartphone app.

These commands can help simplify your life a little. You aren’t required to drop everything to go and find your robot vacuum. If you have a voice assistant in your kitchen, you can check on your robotic vacuum while you are making a meal.

​Related: How to Clean the Kitchen Efficiently

Spot Cleaning

​If you have a high traffic area or if you have a big mess that needs cleaning, these two robotic vacuums offer a Spot Cleaning feature.

When selected, this cleaning mode will focus on the specific area that you instruct. It will then begin to go in small circles around that area to give a concentrated clean to that spot.

Shark Ion vs Roomba: How they Differ

The Shark Ion 750 has been called “The Roomba Killer” by critics and reviewers alike due to its great similarities and better contrasts. However, Roomba has been the top rated robotic vacuum for many years and the creators aren’t going to lose that title without a fight.

Here are the points in which the Shark Ion and Roomba are divided. Hopefully these next points will help you figure out which vacuum is a better fit for your home.

Navigation Tech

​The technology inside of these robotic vacuums gets them working on their own. These navigation systems also help them move around the house in efficient ways. This makes sure they vacuum every square inch of the room, make overlapping passes to get all of the dirt, and avoid painful collisions.

When it comes to Roomba vs Shark Ion, the battle begins with figuring out which has the best internal navigational system.

Man and woman sitting on a couch watching the robot vacuum clean

iAdapt

​The iAdapt technology inside of the Roomba 890 is one of the reasons the Roomba maintains its highest rating marks on consumer review websites. The mobility of the Roomba is concise and it avoids almost all obstacles that come in its way.

This is thanks to many infrared sensors around the Roomba’s body. They read the flooring to figure out the level of the carpet/bare floors. Then, they automatically adjust to give the best personalized cleaning for each flooring type.

These sensors also work to keep your Roomba from bumping into furniture and walls, and from tumbling down the stairs to its doom. Keeping the Roomba away from your wall and furniture protects the little vacuuming robot. Any jarring effect could harm its internal system and mechanics. This way your furniture and walls remain free from scratches and scuffs.

Smart Sensor

​The Shark Ion 750 runs on a Smart Sensor navigation. This navigation is really great for letting the robot get around your home and keeping it on track.

It has built-in sensors that will examine and adjust its cleaning to your flooring type. You won’t need to set it for various types of floor as you would a standard upright vacuum.

There are also sensors that will keep your shark vacuum away from stairs. However, it will navigate a little differently than the Roomba’s highly sensitive style that registers and stays away from walls.

The Shark Ion 750 tends to bump into walls and furniture. While this may alarm you at first, wait and hear this little robot vacuum out. When it bumps into your baseboards and walls, it is going at such a slow speed that it shouldn’t pose any harm to your walls at all. This is just how the Shark Ion learns your floor plan and figures out where the walls are.

While it can be a little alarming to see this little vacuum bumping his head a little more than most, it is perfectly normal and has been adjusted to do no harm. The sensors inside the Shark Ion 750 are pressure sensors, so it needs to make contact in order to know and avoid areas.

Dimensions

​The size and weight of these two vacuums is also very different thanks to different designs. It also pertains to projected outcomes for each vacuum and what duties it is able to perform.

Shark Ion 750

​The Shark Ion is overall shorter and small (circumference wise) than the Roomba. It also weighs less than its adversary. The 750 measures in at:

  • ​12.6 inches diameter
  • ​2.6 inches high
  • ​5.5 pounds

This vacuum is a full inch shorter than the Roomba. This means it is able to go under more furniture to vacuum.

​Roomba 890

​This vacuum holds dear to the Roomba’s clean and good sized design that it has shown off for the past few years. The 890’s measurements are:

  • ​13.9 inches diameter
  • ​3.6 inches high
  • ​8.4 pounds

While it is larger, this means it doesn’t need to make as many passes in a room, holding onto valuable battery life.

Price

The price points are a big factor when most people are trying to decide which is the best robotic vacuum for their home. If money is not the biggest factor, then don’t put too much of your decision in this next point.

You will be paying a lot more for these specialty vacuums than you would ​for a simple stick vacuum or a well featured upright vacuum. This is mainly due to all of the smart technology inside of these vacuums.

However, if your ability to afford a new robotic vacuum is not able to freely divert from a budget, then this might be the deciding factor for you.

Shark's Ion 750 is incredibly reasonably priced, especially when you consider everything you get. Priced several hundred dollars below the Roomba, you'll find the Shark to be an average priced robotic vacuum with above average features.

Close up of an iRobot vacuum

Roomba, the matured and still top-rated brand, demands a little more from your wallet. This is mainly due to its very upgraded system and abundance in streamlined features. ​You'll pay more, but get the brand power of the first robotic vacuum. 

Boundaries

​When it comes to letting a little robotic vacuum have free range around your home, you may realize you don’t want it going into every room. This can be due to a range of reasons. These could include a vacuuming preference, an aversion to small toys that could be lurking in a kid’s room, or a possible obstacle in an office that gets the vacuum hung or stuck every time.

When it comes to Shark Ion Robot vs Roomba, these two great vacuums offer the ability to have boundaries set. However, they do it in very different formats.

Roomba’s Virtual Boundaries

​Super easy to set up, the Roomba’s virtual boundaries begins with a little tower. To set up the virtual boundary you will simply set the tower by a doorway and then activate it via your smartphone app.

Then, watch as your Roomba gets close and then turns away from the virtual wall. You can easily lift this non-adhesive tower and move it to another location in your home as needed.

Shark Ion’s Magnetic Strip

​Included with your Shark Ion vacuum is about 9 feet of a plastic black magnetic strip that will adhere to the floor. When it comes to setting boundaries you will measure, trim and then adhere this strip in front of doorways or entryways to keep the little robot out of certain areas.

The robot will come across the strip while cleaning and realize that it leads to an unauthorized area. It will then turn and chart another path to continue cleaning.

While this can be a little more of an involved task than Roomba’s invisible boundaries setup, it is a great and effective way to keep your Shark Ion Robotic vacuum in a defined cleaning space.

Cleaning Technology

​When it comes to Shark Ion Robot vacuum vs Roomba Robot vacuum, they have been created with different cleaning technology in order to get up the most dirt from your home floors.

Roomba 890  

​This great robotic vacuum has been created with 3 Stage Aeroforce Technology. This means the vacuum brushes work to:

  • ​Agitate - and lift stale dirt and dust.
  • LiLoosen - stubborn pieces of debris.st Element
  • ​Sweep - the dirt into the vacuum suction mouth.

The Roomba is equipped with a single side brush. It extends outside the body’s circumference and works to agitate and pull the dirt in towards its suction area. It also has a rolling bristle brush underneath that agitates the floors and sweeps dirt directly up and into the suction area.

This suction cleaning technology is stated to be 5 times stronger than the earlier Roombas.

Shark Ion 750

This vacuum is packed full of helpful features when it comes to active cleaning. These make sure it covers a large amount of ground, despite its smaller size.

Extending beyond its diameter are two sweeping arms that work to reach out and pull dirt and debris in towards the main brushroll and suction area. The right extended arm does most of the work. But, the left extending sweeper arm does help pull in those extra pieces of dirt that are just out of the current path that the vacuum is on.

Shark ion robot vacuum cleaning the dirt from the floors

The Shark Ion has a massive brush roller underneath it that is almost as wide as the vacuum itself. The 11 inch wide brush roller underneath ensures that while it is smaller than the Roomba, it is capable of covering more ground in a single pass. This brushroll is also self cleaning to help you keep it clean from clogging hair and other long debris that can wrap itself around the brush roll.

Filter

​Inside the two robotic vacuums are two very different filters. Make sure you take note of this if you have pets and allergies in your home. An excellent filter is sometimes the difference between breathing clear or having some allergy side effects from pet and outdoor dander.

Roomba 890 - Inside this vacuum there is the standard, yet highly rated, Aeroforce High Efficiency Filter. This filter is able to trap and contain 99% of particles that are 10 microns or larger.

This is a really great filter, second only to the HEPA filter. If you have pets and very mild to no allergies then this is a really solid option for you.

Shark Ion 750 - One of the things that really sets the Shark Ion apart from the Roomba is that it is equipped with a certified HEPA filter. These filters are able to trap and hold 99.97% of particles that are .3 microns or larger.

If you suffer from allergies, especially from pet dander, you know what a relief it is to be able to vacuum and contain all of those allergens to keep you breathing easy.

Even if you don’t suffer from allergies, being able to pick up that much dirt, dust, and dander gives your home a cleaner breathing level. This vacuum is able to pick up and keep those tiny particles from returning back into your home’s airspace.

Full Bin Indicator Light

​One of the biggest differences in the indicator lights is that the Roomba will have a “Bin is Full” indicator light come on to let you know when it is time to empty the bin. This is a great feature so you don’t have to worry about the bin becoming too full while it is vacuuming.

You also don’t need to constantly fret with emptying the bin every time the vacuum is finished. It will let you know when bin emptying maintenance is required, so you can rest easy.

The Shark Ion does not offer a light or feature like this. This means you to keep a close eye on the vacuum and empty the bin during or after each cleanup period.

While this can be a little extra hands-on attention, it is also a good thing because you will be constantly checking the bin to make sure it is not too full or clogged. You are also giving this robotic vacuum a little more hands-on treatment, so you can get closer to see if there are any visual problems or signs of wear and tear.

Floor Types

​When it comes to your various floor types, it is good to identify what type of floors you have that need to be vacuumed. Check if these two options are compatible.

While the Shark Ion 750 and Roomba 890 are able to smartly adapt to different flooring levels, it is good to see how they shape up on common floor types.

Robot vacuum cleaning underneath kitchen cabinets

Bare Floors

​These two vacuums are great for floors that don’t have any carpeting. This is due to the extended arms. These arms work like brooms, sweeping dirt and debris as the vacuum goes down a path across your bare floors.

Once dirt is swept towards the main path of the vacuum, a brush roll then works to agitate and lift the dirt towards the suction mouth. This dual action way of cleaning turns the robotic vacuum into a broom and dustpan that doesn’t require you to bend over or harm your back.

Just be cautious when it comes to hardwood floors since they aren’t compatible with a vacuum brush roll.

Low Pile Carpet

​The Shark Ion and Roomba are great for low pile carpets. They have been created with a good suction power that helps pull dirt, dander, and small trash from the fibers of your carpet. You can get back to bare foot carpet enjoyment.

They both also have a built in brush roller that works to move carpet fibers and lift dirt from your carpets.

Navigating from bare floors to low pile carpet is a breeze for both of these vacuums. They are able to seamlessly go from a lower floor to a slightly higher one and vice-versa.

Medium Pile Carpet

​These height carpets refer to a slightly higher carpet that isn’t quite shag length. However, it has fibers that are longer than the standard low pile carpet.

Berber carpets are also referred to as medium pile carpets. However, due to the built-in brush roller, these two vacuums are not the best fit for berber carpets.

It has been noted that the Shark Ion 750 does not do as well on medium carpets. It can choke out or become tangled. The Roomba does not have these issues and is fine on medium pile carpet.

High Pile Carpet

​When it comes down to Shark Ion Robot vs Roomba Robot on high pile carpets, there is definitely a difference.  

The Roomba 890 can handle high pile and shag carpets without too much difficulty. The Shark Ion 750 chokes and tangles in the higher carpet fibers.

If you have a lot of higher pile carpets such as shag in your home where you plan to use a robotic vacuum, the Shark Ion 750 is not going to be the best choice for you.

The Shark Ion 750 struggles with medium and high pile carpets due to its lower body style. It is one inch lower than the Roomba 890, which gives it an advantage for being able to vacuum under low furniture. However, the low body style comes back to bite with the Shark Ion’s inability to clean medium - high pile carpets

Black robot vacuum cleaning the carpet underneath bed

Another feature to note about the two vacuums is that when the Shark Ion 750 gets tangled, it will stop and light up an error indicator. The Roomba 890, on the other hand, will attempt to reverse its extractors and try to get itself free from the tangle.

If the Roomba is unable to get free after a few attempts, it will turn off and light up with an error code.

Shark Ion vs Roomba : Final Thoughts

​When it comes to these two incredible vacuums it is difficult to really narrow it down to just one. They both are packed full of great features to make your first-time robotic vacuum purchase or replacing an old robotic vacuum a pleasure.

If you have a pet friendly household then the Shark Ion​ 750 is going to be the better overall vacuum for you. This is mainly due to the allergen diminishing HEPA filter that will keep your home’s air clean and clear.

This is also the better priced option. While it is a lower price, this is finally a robot vacuum that can stand toe to toe with the powerhouse Roomba vacuum. It isn’t perfect due to its head bumping navigating technique and low tolerance for higher carpet. However, it has plenty of redeeming qualities in the cleaning tech, wireless capabilities, lithium ion battery, and boundary settings.

For household that don’t have a lot of pet allergens, the better choice would be the Roomba 890. The Roomba brand is top of the line due to its precision navigating abilities, helpful indicator light features, ability to conquer all flooring types, and powerful suction cleaning.

The inside non-HEPA filter is the biggest disappointment for this model. If it would have included the HEPA option then it could have knocked the Shark Ion vacuum out of the park.

It may be the more expensive option, but you get what you pay for. This vacuum comes with a lot of bells and whistles to own up to its worth.

The final tally in the Shark Ion Robot vs Roomba Robot comes down to your vote. Which one sounds like the best fit for your cleaning and household needs?

​If you enjoyed this, make sure to check out our comprehensive cleaning guide:

About the Author Lauren Moldvay

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.