Getting a Roomba for pet hair can save you hours of clean up while keeping your home free from allergens and pet dander—but only if you choose the right one. Our experts pitted the top robotic vacuums against the hairiest floors to bring you the very best Roombas for pet hair on the market.
When I got my first dog, I knew it was going to be a big responsibility. The walks in the rain, trips to the vet, plenty of poop scooping—I was ready for it all. But there was one thing I didn’t anticipate. There’s so much hair! I was cleaning constantly, but my friends and family were still complaining that my house (and my clothes) were coated in my dog’s excess fuzz.
As it turns out, getting rid of all that hair is important for more than cosmetic reasons (though you can consider yourself lucky if your friends confront you about your pet hair infestation—if they haven’t, they ARE talking about it behind your back!). Pets also shed dander along with their hair. This is basically dead skin flakes, and not only is it gross, but it can also cause allergies to flare up and is potentially dangerous to those with asthma.
Luckily, technology has an answer. Instead of spending an hour every day sweeping, vacuuming, and slowly descending into insanity (the hair never stops… it never stops…), a Roomba for pet hair can keep your home free of hair and dander without you having to lift a finger.
We had a few vacuum engineers take a look at the top Roombas on the market and test them on a variety of different hair-covered surfaces. After the robot vacuum wars concluded, only six models were still zooming about. This comparison table summarizes our experts’ findings. More detailed reviews and a complete FAQ on Roombas for pet owners can be found below.
Roomba Models for Pet Hair: The Full Reviews
The info in our detailed reviews comes from the reports of our vacuum engineers. They looked at each model inside and out and tested them individually on some of the hairiest floors we’ve ever seen. Next, we consulted some real customers to make sure the Roombas held up over time. Let’s take a look at some of the top Roombas that made the cut for pet hair.
1. iRobot Roomba 675
One of the oldest Roomba models still available, the iRobot Roomba 675 Robot Vacuum is more of a classic than an outdated machine. It has all of the most important features needed to clean up that pet hair quickly and easily and boasts a price tag that’s around 70% lower than more recent models.
The 675 was one of the first models with WiFi connectivity, and this is what makes a modern Roomba worth buying. With WiFi, you can schedule and control your Roomba from anywhere on Earth using an app (you won’t BELIEVE how fun it is to vacuum your floor remotely while on your beach vacation in Cancun—just kidding).
Other features include a dual-brush system that is especially good at grabbing deeply entrenched hair and pulling it free, edge and corner cleaning brushes, and Roomba’s Dirt Detect technology that lets it know when a dirty spot needs a bit more attention.
Sure, it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of newer models such as automatic dirt disposal or individual room scheduling, but to be honest, these extras are more of a luxury than a necessity. Although we would have liked to see the virtual wall feature that allows you to program invisible walls that the Roomba can’t pass (this keeps it from bumping into things or falling down stairs), and the navigation system is a bit dated, making it tougher for it to vacuum a lot of rooms.
For the price, the iRobot 675 is a great buy. But, if you have a big house, extra thick carpeting, or any valuables you think Roomba might knock over, you’ll want to go with one of the next models.
2. iRobot Roomba 690
The iRobot Roomba 690 Robot Vacuum is just a small step up from the iRobot 675. For the most part, it’s the same vacuum, but it has a few extra features thrown in that can make a big difference.
The biggest difference is that this model comes with the virtual wall feature that we really wanted in the 675. This allows you to create a virtual barrier that the Roomba will not pass. It’s a bit like an invisible fence. This is great if you have a shelf with valuables on it, a piece of furniture that Roomba gets stuck under, or a room that you don’t want to be vacuumed (the dog needs a sanctuary when Roomba is terrorizing the house!).
The 690 comes with all the great features of the 675 like WiFi connectivity, a dual-brush system, dirt detection and more. This updated model also boasts a bit more suction power than its predecessor, which helps if you have multiple pets or shaggy carpeting.
The only major let down with this model is the battery life. While the 675 zooms around for 90 minutes on a charge, the 690 struggles to reach the 60-minute mark. It also has similar navigation hiccups as the 675. If you have an apartment or a small home, these won’t likely be a problem.
When it comes to choosing a budget Roomba, both the 690 and 675 are great options, and they are both similarly priced. But if the virtual wall feature and a power boost are more important to you than battery life, the 690 is the pet hair Roomba for you.
3. iRobot Roomba 890
The flagship 800 series Roomba, the iRobot Roomba 890, is a significant improvement on the 600 series models. Some of Roomba’s advanced features are included in this model (the 600 series has no advanced features), though you can expect to pay a bit more.
The advanced features that make the 890 worth the extra money are the 5X suction power and advanced dirt detection. This combination of upgraded power and detection sensors means that this Roomba will be able to detect and clean better than you can with just your eyes and a standard vacuum. Our testers found that this vacuum picked up loads of pet hair even after they thought their carpets were clean.
But is it worth the extra cash? In the opinion of our experts, the answer is yes. The 890 is still less than half the price of the most advanced Roombas for pet hair, but it comes with some powerful advanced features. The 890 is a perfect compromise between the bare-bones budget options and the state-of-the-art bank breakers.
4. iRobot Roomba 960
The iRobot Roomba 960 Vacuum is the first vacuum on this list that starts pushing technology to the cutting edge. Along with all of the features of the 890, the 960 comes with some amazing navigation upgrades and is the first model to feature the recharge and resume function.
If you have a large home with many rooms, you shouldn’t consider anything less than the 960. The lesser models just don’t have the navigational intelligence to properly clean a large house. The iAdapt 2.0 navigation programming turns the Roomba into an actual artificial intelligence machine that learns as it vacuums. It constantly sends infrared signals out in all directions to detect walls, furniture, and other roadblocks. If it detects an object, it will go around it, and when that object is removed, it will return to vacuum the space.
Feel free to rearrange your room as the 960 goes, and don’t worry about people (and pets) walking through the house. This Roomba will still get the job done.
Speaking of getting the job done, older models don’t have the battery power to clean large homes, but thanks to its recharge and resume function, Roomba 960 will return to its dock when the battery is low and automatically start where it left off when charged again. The 960 has an average battery life of about 75 minutes, which is decent but not amazing.
We only had trouble when testing this model with long hair. For some reason, the hair gets caught on the edges of the rollers and can cause some clumping. This is annoying, but if you don’t have long-haired pets (hair longer than 4 inches), then you won’t have to worry.
5. iRobot Roomba 980
The iRobot Roomba 980 might be similar in its numerical name to the 960, but don’t let that fool you. Both its features and its price go far beyond the other 900 series model on this list.
The real benefit of the 980 for pet owners is its 10X suction power. The extreme cleaning power of this Roomba makes the 600 series models on this list seem pretty measly. Made for deep cleaning and picking up the most entrenched and entangled pet hair, the 980 eliminates EVERYTHING in its path no matter what type of floor or carpeting it’s cleaning. And if it detects an especially difficult patch, it will kick things up a notch and go into “carpet boost” mode, which is guaranteed to get the job done (If not, it might mean you need to replace your carpet!).
The 980 comes with all the features of the previous 900 model AND has an extra-powerful battery that can run the Roomba for 120 minutes. This is great for those who don’t want to wait 6+ hours for their Roomba to get through just one cycle (the process of cleaning, charging, and resuming can take a while).
A quicker clean also makes skittish pets less anxious! These new advanced features are great for pet owners, but we wish this model didn’t come with such as extreme price hike. If you have a house with a lot of carpeting and pet traffic, the 980 would be a smart choice. Otherwise, the 960 or even the 890 would suffice.
6. iRobot Roomba i7+ (7550)
Behold! The iRobot Roomba i7+ (7550) robot vacuum is the Rolls Royce of Roombas (WARNING: your cat WILL be mistaken for a hip hop mogul while riding this thing). This model is the absolute top of the line, but be prepared to shell out some serious cash.
The i7+ is the ultimate in convenience and cleanliness. The stand-out feature is that you no longer need to empty the dust compartment. The vacuum returns to its docking station and empties itself into a compartment in the dock which only needs to be replaced once every month or so.
To make things easier, the i7+ has an even further developed navigation system that boasts some powerful computing and AI. This model is able to map out your house and remember each room. The user can then go onto the mobile app, label the rooms, and issue voice commands (with the help of a smart home device). For example, if the dogs drag a mess into the living room after a walk, simply tell the Roomba to clean the living room and it will know exactly where to go. How cool is that?
The i7+ comes with all of the features of the 900 series too, including a HEPA filter, 10X suction power, the recharge and resume function, upgraded virtual wall features and more.
But… the i7+ is really expensive. If you’re looking for a simple clean-up every now and again, it might not be worth the price. However, the computing power of the i7+ is approaching that of a smartphone, which means this model will feature software updates that prolong its life and continuously improve its functionality. As a result, it will likely last you longer than one of the other models, so in the long run, it’s not as costly as it seems.
The Roomba FAQ for Pet Owners
Roombas have long been a godsend for pet owners (and the embodiment of evil for pets). Being able to keep your home completely free of pet hair, dander, funky smells, and whatever gets dragged in from outside was never possible before (at least without hiring a full-time cleaner). Thanks to iRobot’s Roomba vacuums, pet owners have cleaner, safer, and more comfortable homes.
But, getting a Roomba is a big responsibility. It doesn’t need to be walked, fed, or scratched on the belly, but it does need to be emptied, charged, and maintained. And each model has different functions and requirements that you need to be aware of. If you don’t show it the love it deserves, it may act out and leave dusty deposits on your floors, or worse, require a visit to the Roomba vet—the dreaded customer service center.
If you’re not ready to be a Roomba parent, then your new robo-baby will be more hassle than it’s worth. Luckily, we’ve compiled this ultimate FAQ to answer all your questions and make sure you’re ready to turn your house into a Roomba home.
What is a Roomba?
Roomba the brand name of a line of robotic vacuum cleaners made by the company iRobot. Roomba uses navigational sensors to clean floors without the necessity of human interaction.
Basically, it’s a vacuum that cleans on its own.
How does Roomba work?
Roomba is completely wireless and runs off a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. This allows it to move freely through your home. When it needs more power, it will return to its dock, where it will charge.
To clean, Roomba uses suction power and rolling brushes much like a normal vacuum. As it passes over floors, its sensors detect dirt and debris below to ensure it cleans all surfaces properly.
When Roomba is cleaning, it uses infrared sensors to detect walls and other objects in your home, allowing it to effectively “see” your rooms and determine a path. Different Roomba models have different navigational abilities.
The older, 600 series models have simple sensors, so they may miss spots or bump into things from time to time. Newer models like the i7 series and the 900 series feature cutting-edge AI that maps your home and cleans every inch.
How does my Roomba know where to go?
Roomba is guided by infrared sensors built into its sides and underside. The sensors on different models work differently, but in general, the Roomba sends out signals which bounce off of objects and return to the Roomba device. The Roomba uses this information to measure the area of a room and understand where the objects in it are located.
For example, the signals that bounce off of your walls tell Roomba where the room starts and ends. They will also bounce off of furniture, and Roomba will know to go around those things.
Roomba’s sensors stay quite low to the floor, so it will still go under couches, beds, and wherever else it can fit without a problem.
Older Roomba models have simple sensors, and this might cause problems if a lot of people (or pets) are walking through a room as its cleaning. Newer models continuously send out signals and react to their surroundings in real time.
Newer models also feature cliff sensors that measure the space beneath Roomba. This prevents the robot from falling off of ledges or down stairs.
Will a Roomba go down stairs?
A Roomba cannot go down stairs as a part of its functionality, no. But, it can fall down stairs if it doesn’t have the appropriate sensors or programming.
If you have a newer Roomba model, cliff sensors will allow it to clean your landings without risk of crashing down the stairs. You can also use the virtual wall feature to keep Roomba from approaching stairwells.
Do you have to empty a Roomba?
Yes, you have to empty a Roomba when its dust compartment is full.
But, there is one exception to this. If you have an i7 series Roomba, it will empty itself into its docking station. You will, however, have to empty the docking station every 30 days.
How much does a Roomba cost?
A modern Roomba costs between $250 and $1200.
You may be able to find a used older model, but these Roombas are not WiFi-enabled and cannot be operated with smartphone apps or smart home technology. We don’t recommend choosing one, as they are out of date and no longer being produced by iRobot.
Can a Roomba replace a vacuum?
Yes, Roomba was made to render manual vacuuming obsolete, allowing you to live your life without needing to physically vacuum your home ever again.
In fact, new Roomba models have advanced suction and dirt detection technology that clean better than many upright vacuums.
While Roombas can’t compete with the best upright vacuums, they keep homes cleaner for a simple reason: Roomba cleans your home every day. This keeps pet hair, dirt, dander and more from building up and turning your home into a haven for allergens, bacteria, and weird smells.
How long do Roombas last?
According to customer reviews and the manufacturer, you can expect to get 3-5 years of life out of your Roomba.
If you take proper care of your Roomba, there’s no reason to believe that it won’t last longer than 5 years—so teach your dog to be friends with it!
How often should I run my Roomba?
If you have pets, you should run your Roomba at least four times a week. If you don’t have a lot of hair issues, you could run it less, but we’d say twice is a bare minimum.
It’s not uncommon for pet owners to run their Roombas daily. If you have a model with older navigation technology, we’d recommend setting it to run on the days when no one is home.
How long does a Roomba battery last?
Roomba batteries last between 60 and 120 minutes. The Roomba 980 has the longest battery life (120 min.) and the other modern Roombas have run times of 60-90 minutes.
Is Roomba loud?
Roomba is not very loud. You don’t need to raise your voice to speak over it.
However, different models have different volumes, and newer models tend to be louder because they are more powerful.
Let’s take a look at the average decibel (dB) levels of the models in our review:
Keep in mind that the volume of the average human conversation is about 60 dB.
Other factors that affect the volume include floor surface and suction mode. Roomba is quieter on carpeted surfaces, and it becomes louder if it kicks into a powerful suction mode, though this increase in noise is usually temporary.
Is there a Roomba that mops and vacuums?
iRobot Braava is a sweeping and mopping robot from the iRobot company that also makes the Roomba models. But there is no Roomba model that mops. Roombas only vacuum, although there are some robot vacuums that have both mopping and vacuuming functions from other manufacturers.
Do Roombas work on hardwood floors?
Yes, Roombas work very well on hardwood floors and are effective at picking up pet hair that can bunch up in the corners.
Can Roomba be used on carpet?
Yes, Roomba is made for carpets and hard floors. If you have thick carpeting, we would recommend choosing a Roomba from the 800 series or above, as these models feature advanced suction that is especially effective at deep-cleaning pet hair and dander from carpet. Roombas are not suitable for high pile carpets.
Can a Roomba clean multiple rooms?
Yes, Roomba will navigate from room to room and clean every space that it can access. If you have a newer model, Roomba will actually map your rooms as it cleans and even remember them.
Can I tell Roomba which room to clean?
Yes. If you have an i7 series Roomba, you can use your smartphone to tell it to clean a specific room. If you have a smart home device like Alexa or Google Home, you can use voice commands to direct your Roomba and tell it where you’d like it to clean.
Does Roomba learn?
Yes, but only the new i7 models. These Roombas will map your house and remember the layout of your rooms. This allows for precise cleaning and the following of commands.
Older Roomba models map a space as they vacuum but don’t remember or learn.
How much is a Roomba battery?
A new Roomba battery costs about $80. It can be purchased here on Amazon.
How do I clean a Roomba?
To give your Roomba a basic clean, take out its dust compartment and flip it over. From this point of view, you should be able to see if anything is tangled or obstructing the brushes or wheels. Gently remove any debris with your fingers (after putting on gloves, of course!).
Don’t attempt to wash your Roomba with soap or water, as this could cause damage to the device. If you need to clean specific components of your Roomba, contact the manufacturer or head to the iRobot YouTube channel where you can find some helpful instructional videos.
Can you wash a Roomba Filter?
Yes, you can. But you probably don’t need to. The easiest way to clean a Roomba filter is to remove it and tap it slightly. This will cause the debris to fall away.
If you really want to wash your filter, you can use water to get it extra clean. However, it is extremely important that you DO NOT put the filter back in the vacuum until it’s completely dry.
Failure to do this could cause damage to the Roomba.
Does Roomba come with a warranty?
All Roomba vacuums come with a 1-year warranty, when purchased through authorized sellers which protects against manufacturing defects.
See the full terms and conditions here.
What if my Roomba stops working?
If your Roomba stops working, don’t panic!
First, check the docking station’s power connection and the Roomba battery.
Next, connect your Roomba to a power source and wait for a few hours.
If the Roomba still won’t power on, you should contact iRobot customer support.
DO NOT attempt to fix the Roomba yourself. If you do, you may void your warranty.
Most Roomba issues can be fixed with a bit of easy maintenance or the purchase of an inexpensive new component.
Which robot vacuum is the best for pet hair?
The most effective vacuum to tackle pet hair is the Roomba i7+. It has the best cleaning power, and the tangling issues present in the Roomba 900 series are not an issue for this model.
If you’re looking for a budget pick that still packs a punch, we recommend the Roomba 890. It’s not quite as powerful as the i7+ but still comes with advanced navigation and dirt detection as well as the super important HEPA filter that will keep your air clean. At about half the price of the i7+, it’s a budget option with high-end capabilities.
Choosing a good vacuum for cleaning up pet hair will depend on your home and your pet(s).
If you have a large home and multiple pets, you’re going to need a high-powered machine with the recharge and resume feature. We recommend a model from the 900 series or higher.
If you have a single pet and/or a smaller home, you might be fine with a model from the 600 or 800 series.
In the end, there are two factors that you need to consider: power and convenience.
The more pets you have, the more power you will need to pick up their hair and dander. As the models increase in number and price, their power also increases, making shopping quite easy.
But, convenience is also important. If you are buying a Roomba for an elderly person with just one cat, they might not need the power of a high-end model. However, lesser models will require them to bend over more, do more maintenance, and fiddle with more technology. This may not be worth the savings.
Which vacuum has the best suction?
The vacuum with the best suction is the Roomba i7+, though all Roombas in the i7 series, as well as the Roomba 980, have the same suction power. These Roomba vacuums have 10X suction power that can deep clean thick carpeting, pull out entrenched tangles, and pick up heavy objects.
Which Roomba is the best?
The best Roomba is the i7+ model. We know, you get the point! But we have to say it again. This is the latest Roomba model and the future of robot vacuuming. The self-emptying feature takes the industry to the next level. Before, emptying your Roomba’s dust compartment every day was almost as much of a hassle as vacuuming (almost…). The i7+ eliminates this step and is able to keep a home clean with nearly zero effort by the user.
Pet-Friendly Home, People-Friendly Floors!
Wouldn’t it be nice if your guests didn’t know you had four dogs the moment they stepped through your door? Keep your home cleaner, healthier, and more attractive by choosing one of the best Roomba models for pet hair.