When it comes to robotic vacuums, there are few companies that can even come close to keeping up with iRobot. The company has been at the top of the business in terms of technological advancements and continues to improve their products with each new vacuum they release. When it comes to comparing two robotic vacuums from iRobot, many would think they would be similar, but users would be getting two different experiences depending on whether you choose the iRobot 380t or the iRobot Scooba 390.
You can also check out my top robot mops for 2017 here.
Features of iRobot Braava 380t
The iRobot Braava 380t is a square unit that can be used dry or with a damp mop. The damp mop will clean your floors with disposable microfiber cleaning cloths. This unit has a longer battery life than previous models of the iRobot and is capable of cleaning multiple rooms in your home during the same cleaning cycle. The battery is charged with its Turbo Charge Cradle and has a Pro-Clean System that keeps your home clean.
The Braava 380t mops your floors either dry or damp. The Pro-Clean system is a special reservoir cleaning pad dispenser that releases liquid throughout operation, keeping the cloth wet. The vacuum runs in two different modes, works with different cleaning cloths and can be used on several surfaces.
- Dry Mop Mode
In dry mop mode, the vacuum goes in straight lines to efficiently pick up all the debris in its path. This vacuum picks up all types of debris from dirt and hair to dust and food crumbs.
- Mop Mode
In this mode, the vacuum will go in a back and forth cleaning action and the damp cleaning cloths will reach deeper into the surface to get all the tough grime and grit off.
Once you determine what mode you need to run your vacuum in, you will have to decide how to use it. When you use the reusable Pro-Clean cloth, it is meant to attract grime, dirt and oils from the ground. It can be cleaned with mild cleaning solutions or even just with water. If you don’t want to use the Pro-Clean cloth, you can instead choose to use a disposable or microfiber cleaning cloth that works to pull out the dirt and grime. This vacuum can also be used on various floor surfaces from hardwood and laminate to tile and vinyl.
One aspect of the Braava 380t robotic vacuum that makes it stand out above others is its NorthStar Navigation System. This system keeps track of where the unit has been and where it should go for its next cleaning cycle. This vacuum has one of the best square footage runs in the class as it is capable of mopping as much as 1,000 square feet of floor and can dampen up to 350 square feet of floor. You can choose to expand on the regular model of this vacuum to allow as many as 2,000 square feet of cleaning room.
The size of this unit is another plus and it is just three inches tall and can get under most surfaces and even into tighter areas as it is only 8.5 inches long. The unit is ideal for cleaning along the wall with its Wall-Following technology and even has a soft touch bumper to make sure none of your furniture gets scratched from making contact. The unit also has smart sensors that will help guide it away from stairs, carpets and area rugs.
One thing that iRobot attempts to do with each unit is improve the battery life and they did that with that with the Braava 380t. This unit can run for as much as four hours when dry mopping or two and a half hours when used for damp mopping. The charging time is also one of the best as it takes just two hours to get a full charge for this model. It also runs quietly, allowing you to program it to work at night without worrying about being awakened and even has a pause feature that allows you to change the cleaning cloth and then resume where you left off.
Features of iRobot Scooba 390
The iRobot Scooba 390 is one of the newest models of vacuums from the robotic vacuum manufacturer. The biggest perk of using this vacuum compared to other models is its improved battery life meaning you have more time to clean each floor surface before the need to recharge again. The unit cleans the floors of your home with a four stage process that eliminates up to 98 percent of harmful bacteria that is commonly found around the home. The Scooba 390 will prep, wash, scrub and squeegee your floor, eliminating the need to keep a broom and a mop in your hallway closet. By using this device, you are ensuring that you will not be “cleaning” the floors of your home with a dirty mop or broom.
One of the positive functionality points of the Scooba 390 is its ability to clean any floor surface including tile, linoleum, slate, marble, tone and sealed hardwood. When the vacuum operates, it cleans your floors while keeping the debris and dirt inside the machine. This is a thorough cleaning method that numerous robotic vacuums have been unable to replicate.
The Scooba 390 features a wide cleaning head that is ideal to clean most large rooms including kitchens, family rooms and even your garage or basement. This unit has a water reservoir to can clean up to 425 square feet of flooring before the need to refill the tank. When it comes to cleaning each room, the vacuum will go over the same spot at least three times to make sure all the debris and dust particles are picked up.
This vacuum has an advanced system of sensors and software that will allow it to know where the unit is around your house to detect what areas it needs to go over again to clean. The Scooba 390 uses iAdapt Technology that make sure it runs over every area of your home. Instead of a basic left to right motion to clean the floors of your home, the computer inside the robotic vacuum changes between dozens of robotic behaviors as many as 60 times per minute. The unit also has a “wall-following” option that allows it to run along the baseboards in your home, cutting deep into the corners, and it can also detect when there is a drop in altitude, allowing you to run it near a stairwell without worry.
To make it more convenient for its owners, the Scooba 390 is easy to use. As soon as the water tank is filled, all you need to do is press the button and it will operate. An added convenience for those looking to ensure their vacuum survives as long as it should, iRobot has made it easy to detect which parts or pieces need to be cleaned on a regular basis by coloring them gray or orange. The unit has Virtual Wall Technology that keep it in the rooms you want cleaned and out of the rooms you don’t want or need cleaned. When purchasing this 8.6 pound vacuum, you will get four packets of hard floor cleaner to get you started on keeping your floor cleaned properly.
iRobot Braava 380t vs iRobot Scooba 390
Cleaning Cloth or Brush
No, non-carpeted only
Auto Adjust To Floor Type
No, non-carpeted only
These two iRobot vacuums have some of the same technologies including Wall-Following and Smart Sensors that allow it to accurately clean the floors in your home. Neither unit is meant to be used on carpeted surfaces, but for those with large spaced homes without carpets, both vacuums would be great additions to your home. Both units are compact enough to be stored anywhere from under the couch to in the closet while being charged. You can’t go wrong with either model, but in the end, it comes down to how much cleaning you have to do and for those with large floor plans to worry about, the iRobot Braava 380t might be your best choice.