Should I Buy an iRobot Scooba or Braava?

With iRobot's recent addition of the Braava hard-floor cleaning robots, it has got many people confused as to the 'actual' differences between what the Braava does in comparison to the iRobot Scooba robots (which performs largely the same task) -- so I wanted just to take the time to explain the similarities & variations they have in features in this brief comparison account: iRobot Braava Vs Scooba. So by the end -- and after the feature-by-feature, specification-by-specification break down analysis, you will gain a clear overview as to what each robot cleaning device has to offer you and which one is best suited to your cleaning needs & preferences i.e ultimately, what the differences are between the Braava and Scooba.

Intended Cleaning Jobs

Scooba: uses a 'four stage' cleaning process that i) preps, ii) washes, iii) scrubs and finally iv) gathers up the dirty water from your flooring -- about 5 times. With the best model in this range being the 390 Scooba -- which we will go into a bit more detail later on. But, ultimately it is a 'floor' washing robot, removing "98% of common household bacteria".

Braava: is basically a 'mopping' robot, that will use both damp & dry (microfiber cloth) mops on hard floor surfaces . It utilises similar technology in their Roomba series to navigate around a room and is practically whisper quiet in operation too.

Please note: for the following comparison of the Scooba Vs Braava -- I will specifically refer to their leading models of each range (i.e for the Scooba, it is the 390 model and for the Braava it is the 380t model -- as these are the models that are best & most popular within their respective selections), hence other variations within their respective ranges (e.g. Braava 320 & Scooba 230) might not necessarily hold up with the comparison claims made below.

iRobot Braava 380t 'Floor Mopping' Robot

iRobot Braava 380t Floor Mopping Robot
Amazon Price: $299.99 $269.99 Buy Now
(price as of Dec 13, 2013)

Cleaning System - Washing Vs Mopping

Scooba (390): Scrubs - 450 Sq ft.

Braava (380t): Dry Sweep - 1,000 Sq ft. | Mopping Coverage - 350 Sq. ft. |

To go into detail on how their "cleaning styles" -- the Braava works through a reservoir cleaning pad that it uses to releases the cleaning solution continously whilst cleaning, hence keeping the microfiber cloth wet whilst the Braava mops 350 square feet from a single 'cleaning' run. This in turn will allow it to collect dirt, pet hair and dust etc. from all types of hard floors (commonly tiling, vinyl, wooden, laminate etc.). It will then go on to dry mop the floor with its specially designed sweeping cloths. 

With the Scooba on the other hand (and already touched upon briefly above) it uses a four step process that essentially i) prepares the flooring firstly, ii) then goes on to release clean water (never dirty) and washing the floor, iii) then goes on to scrub as well as iv) squeegee your hard based flooring -- to remove dirt stains as well as bacteria. Where in a single run time it will cover around 450 sq ft -- so on avergage a kitchen/dining rooms etc. will be 'passed' over five times.

iRobot Scooba 390 'Floor Scrubbing' Robot

iRobot Scooba 390 Floor Scrubbing Robot
Amazon Price: $499.99 $471.00 Buy Now
(price as of Dec 13, 2013)

Navigation System

Scooba (390): iAdapt Responsive Navigation Technology

Braava (380t) : NorthStar Navigation System (2)

The Braava system utilises a recently developed NorthStar Navigation system that acts to map out a route for it to efficiently clean your flooring. You can place cubes in specific areas (and other rooms) to let the robot know that once it has finished cleaning one room, it is to go on to the next and carry on and 'thoroughly clean the next'.  

On the other hand, the Scooba uses a slightly more advanced or 'clever' technology as it uses a software system that covers 'every section' of your flooring continuously, so it will detect areas it simply can't get to (with objects either being in the way or potential drop off zones etc.).

Cleaning Mechansim

Scooba: Circular | Virtual Wall Technology

Braava: Square | Pro Clean System

 You will obviously, notice that they are different shapes the Scooba being circular & the Braava being a square and I believe it is the latter that offers the edge (literally speaking) as it can get closer (& hence clean more towards) the skirting of a room, whereas the circle shape of the Scooba prevents it from doing this. Moreover, the Braava also offers the 'perfect-edge' technology cleaning dirt, dust etc. right along the skirting.

The 'additional' features I wanted to also cover was the fact that the 380 Braava comes with a 'pro-cleaning' system which is something, I touched on above in that it continuously dispenses the cleaning solution to the microfiber cloth to keep it damp (and hence a more effective clean). Also, with the Scooba you get something called virtual wall technology which basically allows you to keep it cleaning within a confined area -- without physical barriers.

Battery Life & Charge

Scooba 390: Run Time: 1 hr

Braava 380t: Dry Mop: 4 hrs | Wet Mop: 2.5 hrs |

Both models offer extensive run times -- as you can see the Scooba offers a 1 hour cleaning time and Braava 150 minutes on mopping mode (which is an improvement of around 25% from previous models). Also, once they have run out of power they will return their respective docking station to be charged (approximately 2 hours) -- and then carry on with the job if it is unfinished (pretty nifty feature). It should be noted however, the 380 Braava is substantially quieter in operation when compared to the Scooba.

Further Information


The Braava range is covered on a 1 year coverage program for all parts/components as well as the battery. The Scooba range on the other hand are backed for a 6 month limited warranty over the battery and then 12 months (1 Year) for the actual Robot itself.

Dimensions & Weight

Scooba 390: W: 17 x L: 5.2 x H: 21.26 inches | Weight - 13.18 pounds |

Braava 380t: W: 9.6 x L: 8.5 x H: 3.1 inches | Weight - 4 pounds |

What's in the box (package)?

  • "Scooba 390 Floor Scrubbing Robot (with 1 Robot battery, 1 Filter, 1 Cleaning Brush, 1 Prep Squeegee), 1 Battery Charger, 1 Virtual Wall, 1 Suction Bulb, 4 Packets Scooba Hard Floor Cleaner, Natural Enzyme Formula, Owner's Guide & Documentation"
  • "Braava 380t Floor Mopping Robot, Wall Charger, NiMH Battery (2000 mAh), NorthStar 2 Navigation Cube, 1 Multi-Purpose Cleaning Pad, ProClean Reservoir Pad, 2 “C” Batteries, Turbo Charge Cradle, Cloths: 1 Microfiber Sweeping Cloth &1 Microfiber Mopping Cloth"

Average Review Rating (sourced

Scooba 390: 3.5 out of 5 (70%) Stars from over 100 + reviews.

Braava 380: 4.3 out of 5 (86%) Stars from over 35 + reviews.

Conclusion -- Which should you buy a Scooba or Braava?

In all honesty, if you bought both they would make a formidable cleaning pair - set the Scooba off first and then get the Braava to finish the business afterwards. However, if I was to choose just one though -- it would have to be the Braava 380t -- as it will in effect carry out a high quality job of cleaning your hard-flooring (arguably marginally better in terms of cleaning finish than the Scooba 390 model as well) -- and is a fair bit cheaper than the Scooba in turn providing more bang for its buck (you can compare the current 'best prices' in the Amazon elements above).

But which will you get -- an iRobot Scooba or Braava?

Also, if you have any absolutely any questions, issues or general remarks concerning either the comparison account -- Braava Vs Scooba -- or about any of the models specifically (i.e the Braava 320 or Braava 380t -- or concerning any of the Scooba robot vacuum devices 390, 320 etc. ) then please do not hesitate to make them in the comments section that you will find just below and we will be sure to get back to you as soon as possible.