Robotic Vacuums

Neato Botvac 85 vs Roomba 880 – Two of the Best Robotic Vacuums Compared

(Last Updated On: September 9, 2016)

roomba 880 vs botvac 85There are so many new robot vacuums being introduced to the market each year and deciphering which one is best for your home can be a difficult and unbearable task. That is why we are here to help you decide whether the Neato Botvac 85 or the iRobot Roomba 880 would be best for you and your home. While the iRobot name is the one that is synonymous with the industry, Neato is a growing company that has been working on becoming one of the top in the world.

Both of these vacuums help make cleaning your home easy and both come equipped with many extra features that will change the way you look at cleaning your home. The price point you will be looking at between these two units is around $500 to $700, but for those that struggle to find the time to clean their home on regular schedule, it will be money worth spending. These units can be scheduled to run throughout the day or night and you would never be the wiser because of their quiet operation.

Each unit has benefits that the other has and there are also some features that are found in both, so which one is best for you and what you need from it the most: the Neato Botvac 85 or the iRobot Roomba 880?

For a quick overview of my findings, check out the key advantages of both in my table below:

Roomba 880 AdvantagesBotvac 85 Advantages
2 Virtual Wall “Lighthouses” (can cover more rooms, good for larger homes/offices)NOTE: The Botvac 85 is no longer readily available, but the Botvac D80 (new version) has new features AND a lower price than the Roomba 880 (check this listing for the latest)
Comes with extra replacement HEPA filterOrganized cleaning (no random bumping around)
Comes with remote control (Botvac does not)Better at cleaning corners/baseboards
Higher customer reviews on Amazon
New longer lasting battery

Features of Neato Botvac 85

Much like it’s competitor in this review, the ideal potential owner of a Neato Botvac 85 is one that would have a pet or pets in their home. The power in which this product picks up pet hair puts it at the top of the industry along with the Roomba 880. This high performance vacuum is perfect for any type of flooring and uses a patented laser guided technology scan to allow for maximum pickup of dirt, dust, pet hair, and more.

neato botvac 85 reviewOne of the features of this vacuum that sets it apart from many other competitors is the way in which it maps out and plans the route it is going to take to clean the floors of your home. The Neato patented laser guided technology scans your rooms and determines the best route to cleaning each room and once completed with one room, will move onto the next room in its plan. The technology used to determine the best route to cleaning your home is the same tool that your Botvac 85 will use to detect obstacles and efficiently move past them without missing a single beat.

One of the first features of the Botvac 85 that you will notice when you get it home is its amazing suction power. When you combine the incredible suction power with the precision edge cleaning side brush that help get close to the baseboards and wall corners, you have a unit that is designed to clean every inch of your floor without the worry or hassle that normally comes with the task. One positive aspect of this device is despite its ability to clean all the dirt and debris from your floors, you won’t have to worry about any harmful chemicals or hazardous materials because those would get stopped by the high performance filter built in.

After you program the Neato Botvac 85 to fit your home, it will automatically run from room to room to clean your entire home. With the robot vacuum market growing each year, this is one of the advancements that have been much needed. By having the ability to run at any time of day without supervision, this will free up the time for you to do other chores around the home or even have it run while you sleep at night or are making a quick stop at the grocery store.

For those that have a large area of square footage to cover with their vacuum, you will wonder about what happens when the battery runs low while in operation. Lucky for you, when the battery on the Botvac 85 runs low, it will return to the charging station, get back to a full charge, and return where it left off to complete the cleaning cycle. Even for those that have a home with various floor surfaces and types from room to room, this vacuum will automatically give itself a small push to get over these higher surfaces.

The operation of this vacuum can be had with just the touch of a button. Whether you want it to clean a single room or your entire home on a regular basis, or just need it to clean where your kids or pets just made a major mess, this vacuum has you covered. With a quiet operation, you won’t even need to pause the DVR or worry about waking the baby when that random afternoon mess happens, making everyone’s life a bit easier. You can learn more about the Botvac 85 by checking out my full review here.

Features of iRobot Roomba 880

The iRobot Roomba 880 is one of the sleekest looking robotic vacuums on the market today. With a very modern look, you are getting a unit that has the power to suck up just about any type of debris you expect including and especially pet hair, dirt, dust, dander, and much more. The additional features that is included in this unit standard help to make it one of the best in the world.

roomba 880 comparisonThe ideal candidate to purchase the Roomba 880 would be one with a pet, or multiple pets, living at their home. The bread and butter of this robot vacuum is its ability to pick up pet hair to the point where guests to your home may not even know you have a pet when they walk through the door if it just finished operation. Many vacuum manufacturers have actually tried to replicate this unit when it comes to its ability to pick up pet hair.

Part of what makes this unit so good at picking up pet hair is the way it was constructed. With rubber rollers on the bottom that make it nearly impossible for it to get caught up by hair, this unit keeps working towards the ultimate goal of a clean floor. This was one complain of previous Roomba models and something that iRobot strived to correct and was able to achieve with this model. There are times when the rubber rollers could get stuck in something like a smart phone charging cable, but if this were to occur, it would stop and you would easily be able to remove the cord from the rollers when it is stopped and it won’t damage either the vacuum or the cord.

One thing that is often mentioned about the maintenance of this vacuum is the number of times you will need to empty the dust bin when you first get it home. That is true, but that is only because it is working extra to ensure the floors are clean. Once you have the vacuum scheduled to run regularly, the amount of times you will need to empty the tray will decrease drastically. In fact, when you get the Roomba 880 home the first time and see how many times you need to empty the tray, this should show you how much you needed a vacuum upgrade.

In addition to all the features of the Roomba 880 already mentioned, you will also receive two Virtual Wall Lighthouses that help the Dirt Detect Series II technology that is built into the unit, as well as its iAdapt Responsive technology, dual HEPA filters, and AeroVac Series 2. To those unfamiliar with iRobot, the Virtual Wall Lighthouses are what you will use around your home to confine your Roomba 880 to where you want to be cleaned and out of where you don’t want it. You can read the full review of Roomba 880 right here.

Neato Botvac 85 vs Roomba 880

Neato Botvac 85iRobot Roomba 880
see here for latest)Pricesee here for latest)
Yes, Boundary MarkerBarriersYes, Two Virtual Wall Lighthouses
YesRestart ModeYes
3.9Height (inches)3.6
YesAuto Adjust To Floor TypeYes
YesCarpet/Hardwood/TileYes
YesMade for Pet HairYes
YesCharging BaseYes
High PerformanceType of FilterHEPA
Yes, Laser Guided (Patented by Neato)Dirt Detecting SensorsYes, Series II
NoRemote ControlYes
Round in Front, Square in BackShapeRound

Both the iRobot Roomba 880 and the Neato Botvac 85 have their pros and cons, but ultimately for those with pets, either one of these products will do the job, as advertised. Since these products are made by different companies, a lot of their terminology will be different, but both have ways to create barriers and their own way to detect dirt and debris. When it comes to all the top robotic vacuums, that is almost all you need to ask for.

Why Go with the Botvac 85

While the two vacuums are very similar, there are a few reasons to go with the Botvac 85. 1) If you like your robotic vacuum to clean in an organized – sensible – fashion (instead of bouncing off the walls…this drives some people crazy), then the Botvac as the advantage. This doesn’t really effect the cleaning quality, but it’s still a concern noted by some. 2) Price. This is a big one. The Botvac 85 is cheaper than the Roomba 880.

UPDATE: Because of new releases, the Botvac 85 is no longer 1) easy to find or, 2) available at a good price. Instead, I recommend checking out the newer (and improved) Botvac D80 here. It’s still generally more affordable than the Roomba 880.

Why Go with the Roomba 880?

iRobot is considered the Gold Standard for home robotics. They have the latest technology and the largest support infrastructure. 1) I’d go with the Roomba 880 if this is a first time purchase. iRobot has excellent customer support and has a better – and longer – track record of reliability. 2) Replacement parts. Roomba has much more market share than Neato. There are many third party parts suppliers out there, so when your little robotic friend needs parts replaced, it’s that much easier to fix. Check this listing for the latest deals and pricing on the Roomba 880.

About the author

Patrick Sinclair

Patrick Sinclair is a geek; make no mistake about that. He runs All Home Robotics in his spare time so he doesn't have to think about his depressing cubicle and it gives him an excuse to buy expensive gadgets to review!

5 Comments

  • I have had my Roomba 880 since November 2014. I don’t know how I got along without it. I run it on the main floor of hardwood and area rugs, almost every day. The days that I don’t, it goes to the second floor which is broadloom and pine floors. I predict that in 5 years, much like a dishwasher, most households will have one. My “Sweet Pea” is very user friendly and so far has been easy to maintain. I am curious as to how long this romance will last. LOL.

  • I am returning my Roomba 880 and just bought a Botvac D80. The Roomba would run out of battery after only 60 minutes. We got a new battery from iRobot and then it would only run for 40 minutes. I did not like the haphazard way it went about it ignored the lighthouse that was supposed to guide it to another area. Instead, it just went back to its docking station after only cleaning one area. There was a $300 dollar difference in price for the D80 and I like the idea of the way the D80 maps the room. Hoping that the D80 will be here for more than six months!

    • Hi Ann, sounds like you had a case of a bad battery connection. It could have also been that the lighthouse wasn’t configured properly and the Roomba was “searching” or getting lost, draining the battery. The Botvac’s have “boundary marker” tape so that may help clearly define the area. For larger homes, you might want to order some extra. The D80 has some nice improvements, including added suction power. It definitely is more “organized” in how it cleans, but in my experience this doesn’t effect cleaning performance (just peace of mind). Good luck with it! And keep us posted!

  • I tried D85 and used it less than 5 times. It’s too tall and it kept getting stuck under the counter. It kept getting errors to clear path, and then it finally wouldn’t even charge. I have to clean my house. I just returned it and got 860 today. I’m OCD so I might not like the bouncing around and corners. However, D85 missed so many as well. I hope I find the right robot. What’s the difference between 880 and 860. Is it just the extra lighthouse and the remote? I had a 700 series before and hardly use the remote anyway. I didn’t know D85 would clean room to room. How would it know though?

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