iRobot Roomba 870 and 880 Comparison

Here, we compare two highly advanced Robotic vacuum cleaners: the Roomba 870 and 880.

Both are produced from iRobot and are from their latest premium 800 series range. This article will highlight exactly how they differ from one another (across features and aspects) as well as point to you where they are actually identical too.

From this you will then be able to draw up a clear overview as to which is the 'right' Roomba for you, whether it be the 870 or 880 and whether the extra $100 or so for the 880 is worth it or not.

iRobot Roomba 880 Vacuum Cleaning Robot For Pets and Allergies
Amazon Price: $593.99 Buy Now
(price as of Nov 19, 2015)

Cleaning Mechanism

Roomba 870: Aeroforce | Adjustable Clean | Edge Clean

Roomba 880: Aeroforce  | Adjustable Clean | Edge Clean

It is in the cleaning performance of the Roomba 800's where the real significant difference lies between the current models and the Roomba predecessors. Aeroforce describes an overall cleaning process that allows them to pick up 50% more than the 700's models.

Overall it encompasses three separate cleaning elements that work in unison to clean any type of flooring extremely effectively (whereby the cleaning brushes will self adjust between floor types to gain an optimized clean) and these are: 

i. Tangle Free Extractors: which basically work on a rubber tread type design, that capture debris and dirt without the vacuum clogging up (like with other non-Roomba robot vacuums).

ii. Airflow Accelerator: that creates a vacuum seal from the suction point (with specified airflow) to the surface of your flooring.

iii. High Efficiency Vacuum: which is 5 times more powerful than previous vacuums in Roomba will forcefully remove dirt & pet hair far more effectively from your flooring than older models.

The 870 and 880 also come with "wall following technology" to clean right along the skirting and sides of your room (despite their round shape, the brushes are able to get right up close). iRobot have also increased the size of the bin capacity by 60% with the 800 series so you don't have to remove the dirt as frequently (you also get a audible and visual notification letting you know the bin is getting full).

There is however, no real difference between the Roomba 870 and 880 in this regard though.

Navigation System

Roomba 870: iAdapt Responsive Cleaning Technology | 2 Virtual Walls

Roomba 880: iAdapt Responsive Cleaning Technology | 2 Virtual Wall Lighthouses

They also have a highly specialised GPS like cleaning navigation system which lets them calculate an efficient cleaning path for each room to ensure it goes over your room with multiple passes (whilst it avoids potential obstacles and cliffs e.g. over the edge of stairs). Also, if the Roomba does get caught up somehow (in wire for instance), it has a clever Houdini escape feature to set itself free. 

They do somewhat differ in this regard though. Both the 870 and 880 can be constrained to cleaning a specific area within a room with virtual walls (hence no need for physical barriers). However, where the Roomba 880 takes this one step further -- is with its ability to clean from room to room with the virtual lighthouses rather than just one room and then for you to have to set it up for the next room like with the 870 (i.e one room at a time with the 870).

Fitted Cleaning Technology

Roomba 870: Dirt Detect Series 2 | Persistent Pass

Roomba 880: Dirt Detect Series 2 | Persistent Pass

Both Roombas also come with the clever dirt detect technology that uses acoustic and optical sensors to identify particularly dirty areas of flooring. Then much like you would do with a normal upright vacuum (repeatedly go over it until its clean) the Roomba will engage a persistent pass mechanism causing it to repeatedly go over the dirty stain until its satisfied with the cleanliness level. Pretty darn clever.

Battery Life & Charging

Roomba 870: 90 minutes plus (Xlife battery), 7 Days a Week Schedule

Roomba 880: 90 minutes plus (Xlife battery), 7 Days a Week Schedule

Although the run time varies with each cleaning session, the Roomba 800's have been provided with new re-configured and overall more powerful battery than the 700 models. Moreover, you also get the special ability to set up the Roomba to clean whilst you are away at work with the scheduling system.

They also still have the ability to auto return to their docking station to get charged up. So for instance if they are in the middle of cleaning your living room but are about to run out of power, the Roomba will take itself back to its docking station to get charged up and then return to carry on finish cleaning the living room from where it started. 

Filtration System

Roomba 870: Dual HEPA Filter

Roomba 880: Dual HEPA Filter

They also have a highly sophisticated filtration system installed in order to prevent any dust and allergens from being expelled into the air whilst they are vacuuming. Keeping your air supply in your home a healthy and clean one. Making them ideal for allergy and asthma sufferers.

Practical Features & Specifications

Roomba 870: Dimensions - 13.9 x 13.9 x 3.6 inches

Roomba 880: Remote Control, Dimensions - 13.9 x 13.9 x 3.6 inches

Both take on the typical Roomba round shape and the same size. Another difference to note though between the Roomba 870 and 880 is the latter comes with a remote contorl. This gives you the ability to essentially change settings on the Roomba without ever getting up from your couch. Gadget geeks will be particularly fond of that little IR device.

Further Information

In terms of the warranty on offer for each model, they have the typical 1 year coverage on the entire Roomba vacuum and 6 months on the Xlife battery.

Which Roomba Should You Buy the 870 or 880?

So to just re-cap on the significant difference between the 870 and 880 is that the latter comes with a remote control and the ability to clean from room to room. So they are essentially the 'very same' robot vacuum but the 880 comes with a few extras and the question is are they worth the extra 100 bucks?

In my mind, yes. If you are paying that much for a robot vacuum anyway, what's an extra 100 dollars to make sure you are getting the absolute best vacuum in town and the feature of being able to clean room to room is hugely beneficial given it just makes the process of cleaning your house that little more automated. However, let me know what you think in the comments below and if you have any questions regarding the Roomba 870 Vs 880 then please make them in the comments section just below as well.