iRobot Roomba 860 vs 880 – Detailed Review & Comparison

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iRobot Roomba 860 vs 880Both Roomba 860 and 880 belong to the Roomba 800 series so choosing the best from any of these 2 models is not easy. They almost look alike but a few small features make them different. In this detailed review / comparison, I will compare both models side-by-side until we come to a final conclusion.


Roomba 880 is one the latest models in the series 800 class – so I expect to see some unique features that 860 does not have. I have also noticed that 860 lacks a multi room navigation function yet 880 has this function. So if you’re to use 860, you will need to move it manually from room to room.


On the other hand, when it comes to battery life & cleaning time before recharging, Series 860 wins the competition. Its battery is 3x stronger than that of 880 and it lasts for 2 hours. The only Roomba robot which competes with series 860 in-terms of battery life is Roomba 980.


SUMMARY: – We recommend Roomba 880 over 860 simply because of the following reasons: 880 can clean from room to room without any close monitoring, 880 comes with 2 virtual wall barriers, It can be controlled with a remote control, It can clean an entire floor without picking it up to go to other rooms.

Check Roomba 880 price on Amazon


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Brief side by side comparison between Roomba 860 & 880


  Roomba 860 Roomba 880
Self-Charging Yes Yes
Multi-Room Navigation No Yes
iAdapt navigation Yes Yes
Entire Level Cleaning No No
Recharge & Resume No No
Scheduling Yes Yes
Auto Recharge Yes Yes
Tangle-Free Debris Extractors Yes Yes
HEPA Filter Yes Yes
Wi-Fi connectivity No No
iRobot Home App No No
Remote Control No Yes
3-Stage Cleaning System Yes Yes
AeroForce 3-Stage Cleaning System 5x the air power 5x the air power
Carpet Boost No No
  Check price on Amazon


Check price on Amazon



  1. Roomba 860 is affordable compared to 880: I will not quote price here because they keep on changing. The main reason why 860 costs less 880 is because of the lack of the multi-room navigation function. This means you have to move the robot from room to room which is a bit tiresome. On the other hand Roomba 880 is able to clean the entire-level, move from room to room without need for supervision – thus making it fully automatic & independent.
  2. You will get extra Virtual Wall Barriers when you buy 880
  3. 880 has a remote control while 860 does not have one
  4. Roomba 880 has a multi-room navigation system – so it can clean from room to room yet 860 can’t do that. It lacks a multi room navigation system
  5. 860 has a stronger battery than 880, it is 3 xs stronger.




  1. Both 860 & 880 use the same technology. This includes; iAdapt navigation technology and 3 stage AeroForce vacuuming technology.
  2. Both models lack a carpet boost function which deep cleans carpets as 980 does.
  3. 880 and 860 can self charge themselves once the battery goes low. They automatically dock & recharge.
  4. They both feature a low profile design which is 3.6 inches tall – so they can easily clean under sofas & beds.
  5. You can create cleaning schedules for on both 860 & 880
  6. Both Roomba 860 & 880 can’t recharge and resume (this feature is reserved for 980 & 960).
  7. Both have the same air power




See price on Amazon


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Use contents box below to jump to any section of your choice in this detailed review:



Cleaning Carpets

Cleaning Carpets

Since both models don’t have a Carpet Boost function which increases the speed of the motor once the robot gets on a carpet as it is with Roomba 980, I will not expect any of them to do thorough / deep carpet cleaning.

However, both 880 & 860 can remove pet hair and dirt from your carpet, living it clean. If the carpet has too much dust on it, the robot can make more than one pass until the area is fully clean.


Bottom line:- I give them the same rating when it comes to carpet cleaning.


Virtual Wall Barriers – Clean here not there:

Virtual Wall Barriers

A Virtual wall barrier keeps your robot in the rooms you want cleaned and Out of the ones you don’t. Roomba 880 comes with 2 Virtual Wall Barriers while 860 comes with only 1 virtual wall barrier. You can use the Halo Mode on the virtual barrier to keep the robot away from specific items.

Since Roomba 860 does not move from room to room, a single virtual wall barrier is enough – so I will not use this extra added feature to discredit 860.


Bottom line:- You will save money on 880 simply because it comes with 2 virtual wall barriers, but if you don’t need them, opt for 860 – it performs just like 880.


Concentrated Cleaning

Concentrated Cleaning

Sometime you might not want to do a full room vacuuming because of time or when it is already clean. Dust can split over your carpet, floor and all you need is to vacuum / clean that particular spot where dirt is. Both 860 & 880 have Dirt Detect Series II technology which detects dirt in specific places thus enable the robot to perform focused cleaning where it is needed. The robot will clean the area in a circular motion – making sure no dirt is left on your carpet / floor.


Bottom line:- I give Roomba 869 & 880 the same credit when it comes to concentrated cleaning.


Remote Control:

remote control

You can easily control 880 with a remote control, schedule cleaning without touching the robot. However, 860 is all manual, you have to pick it up and set it up. 860 has on-board buttons which you can use to set cleaning schedules or press the START button for the robot to start cleaning your room.


Bottom line:- In terms of usability, I like 880 more than 860 simply because 880 can be controlled remotely while 860 might need some manual pickups.


Stairs & Cliffs:

Cliffs and Stairs

Both Roomba 860 and 880 use the iAdapt Responsive Navigation sensors to fully understand the floor structure of your home. So when any of these two robots gets to a cliff / stairs, it stops moving towards that direction. The iAdpat function works as a protective feature – it saves your robotic vacuum from falling over the stairs.

Bottom line:- Since both models use the same iAdapt Responsive Navigation technology, I give them the same marks.


Over Loose Wires:

Loose Wires on Carpet

Your living room / bedroom might have some wires moving from the power source to a particular device in your room. Once roomba 880 and 860 find these wires on the floor, they will maneuver over them easily, clean dust around them using a tangle free brush and move onto other areas which need cleaning. So don’t bother yourself removing that electric cable to your laptop.


Bottom line:- They both get the same marks for this function.


Battery Life:
Battery Life and Runtime

Majority of people who buy robotic vacuum cleaners consider battery life as one of the most important features. A good robotic vacuum should be in position to run for at least ½ or 2 hours before going back to its charging dock.


With that in mind, Roomba 860’s Lithium Ion Battery is 3x stronger than that of 880. It delivers an extended battery life of about 2 hours – enough time to complete a single vacuuming task without going back to its charging dock.


On the other hand, 880 uses iRobot’s XLife Extended Life Battery which is only 2x stronger. May be the only unique thing about roomba 880‘s battery is that the runtime remains the same between recharges which is not the same with most robotic vacuum cleaners.


Battery Maintenance tips for Series 800:

According to iRobot, if you take care of your Roomba’s battery, it can last for as many cleaning cycles before replacing it with a new one. Below are some of the tips that iRobot suggests.

  • Always use iRobot Batteries.
  • Use your vacuum frequently. All Roomba series are powered by a rechargeable battery – so they deliver more cleaning cycles if used regularly.
  • Always charge and store the vacuum in a cool & dry place.
  • Keep your vacuum cleaner clean because when it gets clogged with hair / dirt, it becomes difficult for the suction system to work thus use too much battery.
  • Before storing your roomba, make sure it is fully charged.


Bottom line:- Since 860 has a longer battery life than 880, I will give 860 an 8/10 rating and 880 a 7/10 rating


Self Charging:

Self Recharge

Once the battery runs low, both 860 and 880 will automatically return back to their charging docks for a quick recharge so that they are ready for next use. The only con with these two models is that none of them can automatically resume with the vacuuming task. You have to pick up the robot from its charging dock, press the start button and it will resume with the cleaning process. This feature is only seen on Roomba 980 & 960.


Bottom line:- Much as both can recharge themselves but can’t automatically resume with the cleaning job. I will give them a 5/10 rating for the automatic recharging.



Start Button

You can start both robots with a ‘’START’’ button which is found at the top of the robot. However, Roomba 880 can be controlled with a remote control – this means you can start it while you’re sitting in your sofa.  I find this added feature very important because it makes 880 fully automatic – no need for the iRobot Home App if you have a remote control.


Scheduling:-  You can preset both vacuums up to 7x per week


Bottom line:- We have seen that 880 has a remote control which gives you the freedom of controlling it while doing other things. I love automation and freedom so I will go with 880 not 860.


Multi-Room Cleaning:

Multi-Room Cleaning

If you want to clean more than one room automatically, Roomba 880 should be your choice because it can clean from room to room without any need for supervision and when its battery gets low, it goes back to its charging dock to recharge its battery for next use.

On the other hand, Roomba 860 can’t move from room to room. It can clean more than one room on the same floor but it will require you carry it to each room you want it to clean.


Bottom line: – If you have a small apartment, 860 should be okay because you manage to move it from room to room. But if you have a large home, 880 is the best, it automatically moves from room to room cleaning carpets, hard floors, wall edges, around objects, under beds, sofas and in corners.


Power & Suction:

Power and Sunction

Both roomba 860 and 880 use the AeroForce 3 Stage Cleaning system and a Gen 2 Motor to extract debris and dirt from hardwood floors, carpets and tiles.  As you can see in the picture above, the Gen 2 Motor rotates and moves rubber thread which grabs dirt from any floor type. The tangle free brushes make sure not pet hair or related dirt is left on the floor.


Bottom line:- Since both models deliver the same suction power which is 5x more than series 600 & 700, I will give them the same rating for this.


Wall Edges and Corners:

Walls and Edges

Dirt hides in corners and wall edges making it hard to clean such areas with a traditional vacuum cleaner. Roomba 860 and 880 use their side tangle free brush to remove dirt from wall edges and corners. Since the brushes are tangle free – they will access all tight areas on the edge of the wall and remove pet hair, debris and all sorts of dirt.


Bottom line:- No matter how far dirt hides, 880 & 860 will extract it as long as they can access it.


Vacuuming Around objects:

Around Objects

There is no need of removing objects from your room, why? Because both robots use iAdapt Responsive Navigation sensors to detect objects in the room – thus move around them, pick-up dirt and go onto other areas for cleaning.


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  1. Affordable
  2. Good battery life (3x stronger than all series 800)
  3. Cleans for longer before going back for a next charge
  4. Fairly quiet
  5. Perfect for small homes and apartments
  6. Cleans very well




  1. Cleans from room to room
  2. Comes with 2 Virtual Wall barriers
  3. Can be controlled with a remote control
  4. It is great at reducing allergies
  5. Cleans very well under the bed and sofa
  6. Easy to use
  7. Easy to empty the bin once full
  8. East to clean filters – it will take you about 2 minutes to shake and clean filters (you can use a blower / handheld vacuum to clean filters – this prolongs the life of HAPA filter)
  9. No supervision is requires – it can clean while you are away
  10. Cleans better than traditional uplift vacuum cleaners
  11. Much quieter than most HEPA vacuum cleaners
  12. Decent battery life
  13. Picks up pet hair like a pro



iRobot Roomba 860 vs 880

For Larger Homes:  We recommend getting roomba 880 (Check price on Amazon) for large rooms – this is because 880 can clean from room to room without any supervision. It can also take back its self to the charging dock once the battery goes low.

For Smaller Homes: We recommend getting Roomba 860 on Check price on Amazon) for small rooms because it won’t bother you to carry from one room to another.



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Vanilla Farmer, Amazon Retailer & Tech Researcher. Yosaki is my personal blog but I'm working on some big tech project back doors. I will keep on posting various topics on things I have knowledge about.