iRobot Roomba 780 and 880 Comparison

Are you debating whether to buy the iRobot Roomba 780 or 880, however are a bit unsure whether the extra 150 bucks or so is worth it for the 880 model (as well as the significant differences between them)?

If so, this comparison article 780 Vs 880 will be able to help you out. Below, we highlight and contrast the major differences between the Roomba 780 and 880 as well as their similarities (i.e what features remain the same). From this, you will get a clear idea and understanding as to what both cleaning robots can offer you and ultimately which represents itself as the best value for money.

Summary: Main Points of Difference

  • More Intelligent Cleaning Software Installed
  • Faster, More Efficient and More Powerful Cleaning Process
  • Less Maintenance Required
  • Quieter in Operation
  • A difference in price of roughly $150 to $200.

Cleaning Mechansim

Roomba 780:  3 Stage Cleaning with AeroVac Series 2' | Adjusting Clean | Clean Edge |

Roomba 880: Aeroforce  | Adjustable Clean | Edge Clean

It's mainly here where the main difference lies between the 780 and 880 (and in general the premium Roomba 800 series and the 700 & 600 series) -- the cleaning performance. 

Aeroforce essentially is a term to describe the new 'three element cleaning mechanisms' that work in unison to improve both the suction finish of the Roomba 880 by 50% as well as the speed of 'how fast it can clean' (about two thirds of the time) in comparison to the 780 Roomba.


iRobot Roomba 880 Vacuum Cleaning Robot For Pets and Allergies
Amazon Price: $699.99 Buy Now
(price as of May 18, 2014)

What iRobot have basically done is improved each aspect of the "3 stage cleaning" with the 780 model -- with a 5 times more powerful vacuum suction point, a more efficient dust, dirt and pet hair collector (which they call the tangle free extractors) as well as the new vacuum seal contraption (aka. airflow accelerator). More details in the 800 series video overview below.

Note: also despite their shape (being round) they are actually both very effective at getting up close and personal to the sides of rooms (e.g. skirtings) due to their especially fitted 'side brush bars'. These brush bars also adapt depending on the floor type they are cleaning too e.g. with hard based floors they lower and with carpets they raise up -- this allows for a more optimized clean.

Navigation System

Roomba 780: iAdapt Responsive Cleaning Technology | Multi-Room w/ 2 Light Houses

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

Both robot vacuums come with the innovative GPS like navigation software system iRobot have integrated in them (although the Roomba 880 obviously comes with a more up to date version). This allows the Roombas to continuously map out an efficient cleaning route -- with multiple passes -- for the Roomba to take whilst allowing it to avoid obstacles and potential cliffs (e.g. drop off from stair ways). Even if it does find itself caught up some wire, it has a Houdini escape program to allow it to set itself free.

Also, as the 880 and 780 are premium models within their respective range of Roombas they come with two virtual lighthouses -- these devices allow them to do two pretty clever things. Firstly, you can set them so 'without a physical presence' you can have the Roombas clean a certain area of your room.

The other is that it will allow the Roomba vacuum to clean from room to room e.g. you can have one set up in your living room & dining room (the Roomba will then clean your living room and once complete move on to the next). 

iRobot Roomba 780 Vacuum Cleaning Robot for Pets and Allergies
Amazon Price: $599.99 $547.99 Buy Now
(price as of May 18, 2014)

Fitted Cleaning Technology

Roomba 780: Dirt Detect with Persistent Cleaning (Series 2)

Roomba 880: Dirt Detect Series 2 | Persistent Pass

They also are fitted with an intelligent cleaning program that allows them to detect particularly dirty areas on your flooring (through optical and acoustic sensors). Once they have identified the patch (usually a high traffic area), they will then initiate their 'persistent pass' system whereby they will perform multiple passes over the area (like you would go back and forth with an upright normal vacuum cleaner) until the it is satisfied the area is nice and clean.

Battery Life & Charging

Roomba 780: Run time - 70 mins before returning to the dock.

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

Although they have the same lit-ion battery integrated the Roomba 880 can run for slightly longer (basically being more efficient in terms of power usage) than that the 780. What is a cool feature about both though is that they can recognise that they are running low on power and will automatically take themselves off to be recharged in their docking station -- then once they have charged, they will return back to the job in hand. 

They also come with a schedule system whereby you can specify which room you want cleaning at what time of the day as well as what day. This can allow you to actually never hear or see the vacuum get to work (you being either asleep, at work on holiday) and you can turn up to a clean floor every time. Pretty darn clever really, and don't worry the Roombas are very easy to set.

Filtration System

Roomba 780: Dual HEPA filter

Roomba 880: Dual HEPA filter

Like most modern vacuums they have a speciliazed filtration filter in place to make sure no allergens or fine dust particles escape into your home's atmosphere whilst they are cleaning. The 700 series and 800 series models are particularly recommended if you or a family member suffer with breathing difficulties, have any allergies or there is a young child present.

Practical Features & Specifications

Roomba 780: Remote Control | Bin Indicator |Dimensions: Height 8.0 cm x Diameter 35 cm | Weight: 6.3 kgs | Bin Capacity: 0.26 litres

Roomba 880: Remote Control| Bin Indicator | Bin Capacity: 0.416 liters | Dimensions - 13.9 x 13.9 x 3.6 inches

As they are top of the range models they come with all the 'extras' such as the remote control as well as an audible and visual indicator to let you know the bin is full. However, they differ here as well -- the 880 comes with physical press buttons to alter settings instead of the overly sensitive 'touch press buttons' with the 780. Also, the bin capacity has been increased by 60% meaning you it is even less hands on as you won't have to empty the bin as frequently with the 880 as you would the 780. 

Noise Level Produced: the 880 has also undergone a range of sound dampening modifications to reduce and improve sound quality. They are actually very quiet in comparison to a standard vacuum.

Further Information

With regards to the iRobot warranty coverage on offer, they both receive a 1 year period on components and parts of the robot vacuums (and free labor repair costs) and a six month period on the lithium-ion batteries installed (both are the exact same type).

Which Should You Buy the Roomba 780 or 880?

Clearly the 880 has made vast improvements in pretty much all areas of being a robotic vacuum, but are they worth an extra 150 dollars?

I'd definitely say 'yes'. 

The 880 is far more powerful and acts more as a proper vacuum, rather than the 780 which is more of a supplement to your actual vacuuming -- moreover it is less hands on with the bigger bin capacity and is just 'better' at cleaning your home. Also, if you are spending $500 plus for a Robot vacuum anyway, you may as well get the 'best in the business' to maximise the benefits they have to offer.

But which will you go for and why -- the Roomba 880 or 780 -- let me know in the comments below and if you have any questions regarding either model shoot them below and we will be sure to get back to you as soon as possible.