Ecovacs Deebot vs iRobot Roomba: The Full Brand Comparison

Two of the most well-known brands in the robot vacuum space are iRobot Roomba and Ecovacs Deebot.  How are the two brands differ from each other and which one is better?

Special Pricing Update: In case you missed it, some of the robovacs mentioned in this article are on sale right now. I’ve listed the top deals below:

For a full list of ALL robot sales and discounts, you can see this Holiday deals tracker.

Ecovacs Deebot

Ecovacs is a Chinese company that was initially involved in manufacturing equipment for vacuum cleaners.  In 2007, the company rebranded to Ecovacs Robotics and introduced its first Deebot series to the world.

The company manufactures three main lines of robots:

Current Deebot models

Ecovacs Deebot currently has 17 different floor cleaning robots available on its site.  And these robots are hinged on a combination of any of these six
main technologies.

Smart Navi.  Smart Navi scans your entire floor, helping the Deebot 95 and Deebot 98 map out the most efficient cleaning path.  The Deebot 95 and Deebot 98 will use this visual map to ensure that it covers most of the area while going about its back and forth cleaning pattern.

Two basic technologies are involved: simultaneous localization and mapping, and laser distance sensors.

Other Deebots have the Smart Motion Navigation technology, which can mimic human cleaning movements.  This helps the robot vacuum move like you would when you clean the floors.

App Control.  There are several Deebot models that feature app control.  Using the Ecovacs app, you can create schedules for your Deebot, choose a cleaning mode, and monitor if the Deebot has completed cleaning or not.

You can also use the mobile app to control your robot vacuum from anywhere in the world.  The Deebot models that feature app control include M80 Pro, M81 Pro, M86, M88, N79, R98, R95, Slim 2, and Mini 2.

For models that do not have app control, Ecovacs has included a physical remote control.

Voice Report.  The Deebot R98 and Deebot R95 come with voice reports, where the robots tell you when they have finished cleaning, whether they are still working, or whether there are some things that need your attention.

Automatic Charging.  Deebot robot vacuums are able to find their way back to the charging dock when the battery runs low.

Mopping capabilities. Some models come with an optional mop, so that they could sweep, vacuum and mop all at the same time.  If you want the optional mop for your floors, choose from the following models:

Tangle-free suction.  For those who have pets at home, Deebot has some models that feature tangle-free suction, where there is no main brush used and sweeping is done by the side brushes up front.

Without the main brush and with a direct suction inlet, these Deebots are able to suck in more pet hair, dirt, and dust without you having to maintain the brushes and pick the entangled hair by hand.

The models featuring tangle-free suction includes the Deebot M81 Pro, Deebot Mini, Deebot Mini 2, Deebot N78, Deebot Slim, and Deebot Slim 2.

Colors available

Aside from the featured technologies, there is also a range of colors available for the different Deebots.  This is probably a minor difference, but those who like a touch of color in their lives would surely appreciate the variety of colors offered by Deebot robot vacuums.

Depending on the model, Deebots are available in the following colors:

  • White
  • Black
  • Sliver
  • Grey
  • Dark Grey
  • Mint Green
  • Light Green

Floor types

Sometimes, people choose their vacuum cleaners depending on the type of floors they have at home.  While Deebots can easily clean any floor type, you might want to check which models are ideal for your floors.

Wood Floor Ceramic Tile Carpet Low File Carpet Bare Floor
Deebot M80 Pro No No No Yes Yes
Deebot M81 No No No Yes Yes
Deebot M81 Pro Yes Yes No No No
Deebot M82 No No Yes No Yes
Deebot M86 No No No No Yes
Deebot M88 Yes Yes Yes No No
Deebot N78 No No No Yes Yes
Deebot N79 No No Yes Yes Yes
Deebot R98 Yes Yes Yes No No
Deebot R95 Yes Yes Yes No No
Deebot Mini No No No No Yes
Deebot Mini 2 No No No No Yes
Deebot Slim No No Yes Yes No
Deebot Slim 2 No No No No Yes

Pricing range of currently available Deebots

Ecovacs sells their robot vacuums on Amazon.  Prices for Deebots range from below $200 to more than $500.  Pricing for selected Deebots are as follows:

Model Price on Amazon
Deebot M80 Pro $229.98 For the latest prices and discounts, check here
Deebot M81 Pro $304.64 For the latest prices and discounts, check here
Deebot M82 $248.97 For the latest prices and discounts, check here
Deebot M88 $379.99 For the latest prices and discounts, check here
Deebot N78 $179.98 For the latest prices and discounts, check here
Deebot N79 $199.98 For the latest prices and discounts, check here
Deebot R95 $439.99 For the latest prices and discounts, check here
Deebot Slim $189.98 For the latest prices and discounts, check here

iRobot Roomba

Roomba is from iRobot, an American company that has been manufacturing consumer electronics and robots since 1990.  The company currently has several product lines, including Roomba vacuum cleaners, Brava floor moppers, Create programmable robots, and Mirra pool cleaners.

It came out with the first Roomba in 2002.  In the 15 years that have passed, the company has released seven generation series of Roombas:

  • Original Series
  • 400 and Discovery Series
  • 500 and Professional Series
  • 600 Series
  • 700 Series
  • 800 Series
  • 900 Series

Currently available models

There are currently five models available on their Web site:

With the exception of the Roomba 614, all of these available are Wi-Fi connected and compatible with both Amazon Alexa and Google Home.  The Roomba 614 is iRobot’s way to go back to the basics and provide customers with a more affordable robot vacuum.

Features of Roombas

Roombas often share the same features.  Most models are round, measuring around 13.8 inches in diameter and standing around 3.6 inches high.  That means that a Roomba can easily go under your furniture to clean the dust and debris hidden there.

Cleaning technology.  Earlier Roomba models use iAdapt navigation.  This uses both sensors and software to help your Roomba clean better.

The sensors help prevent your Roomba from falling off stairs and sharp drops, find wall edges and go along your walls to clean them, and adjust automatically depending on the floor type it is cleaning.

Meanwhile, the Series 900 robots have an updated navigation technology, the iAdapt 2.0.  The iAdapt 2.0 technology has a visual localization camera that helps the Roomba 980 and Roomba 960 create a map of your floor so that they could easily find their way around.

Most of the more advanced Roombas (from Series 700 onwards) use optical and acoustic sensors to detect dirt.  This means that these robots can give dirtier areas more attention.

3-stage vacuuming system.  Roombas use three different components to help clean your floors.  The main counter-rotating brush or the debris extractors for later models will help break down and pick up dust, dirt, dander, and debris off your floor.

Because Roombas have a round shape, they rely on the spinning side brushes to clean the wall edges and also sweep more dirt into the way of the suction.  Roombas also have a powerful vacuum that will pull hair and dirt off the brushes or the debris extractor and send them into the bin.

Vacuuming technology.  Roombas use three different vacuuming technologies:

  • AeroVac (Series 600 and earlier). Uses optimized airflow to pick hair and dirt off the brushes.
  • AeroVac 2 (Series 700). Has a more powerful motor than the one used in the Aerovac system.  It also has a clog-resistant design that makes it more efficient.
  • AeroForce (Series 800 onwards). Instead of using counter-rotating brushes, the Aeroforce system uses debris extractors, which break down the debris without the use of bristles.  Without bristles, there is no chance for hair to get tangled.  It is said that Aeroforce delivers five times more powerful vacuum than both AeroVac and Aerovac 2.

Another difference between AeroVac, Aerovac 2, and Aeroforce is that Aeroforce uses AeroForce high-efficiency filters, which can trap 99% of all particles, pollens, and allergens that are 10 microns or smaller.

Navigation control devices

Roombas make use of navigation control devices that help keep them inside a particular room you want to clean, or that protect things inside a room being cleaned.  There are three types of navigation control devices:

Each Roomba model comes with one or more of the following navigation control devices:

  • Virtual walls give out an infrared light that a Roomba will not go over. This stops a Roomba from going outside the room it is cleaning or bars it from entering a room.
  • Virtual wall lighthouses are like virtual walls but can also work in lighthouse mode, which would send a Roomba to the next room after it is done a cleaning.
  • Dual mode virtual wall barriers act like virtual walls. However, you can also use them as a halo that protects a specific area within the room.  For instance, you do not have to pick up your pet’s dog bowl because, with the dual-mode virtual wall barrier, your Roomba will not go near it.
Roomba 980 960 890 880 870 860 770 761 690 652 650
Virtual wall 0 0 0 0 2 0 2 2 0 0 1
Virtual wall lighthouses 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Dual mode virtual wall barriers 2 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0

Pricing range

Currently available Roombas range from $300 to $900.  The Roomba 614 costs $300 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here) , the Roomba 690 sells for $375 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here), and the Roomba 890 costs $500 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here).

The two most expensive models are the Roomba 960, which retails for $700 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here)  and the Roomba 980 for $900 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here).

Other features shared by the latest Roomba models

  • Set up different schedules for your Roomba.  This allows you to tell your Roomba to start vacuuming even when you are not around.
  • Automatic recharging. When a Roomba’s battery gets depleted, it will find its way back to its charging dock to recharge.
  • Manual or forced docking. Just push the big HOME button on any Roomba model and it will go back to the dock.
  • Spot cleaning. This feature will tell your Roomba to make several passes on dirtier areas of your floor.  It will clean smaller areas of around three feet in diameter.
  • Carrying handle. All Roomba models come with a carrying handle, making it easy for you to move your robot vacuum around from room to room.
  • 1-year limited warranty. All Roomba models are covered by a one-year limited warranty.  The battery is covered by a six-month warranty.
  • Full bin indicator (Series 700 onwards).

Comparing Ecovacs Deebot and iRobot Roomba

Ecovacs have made sure that its Deebot line covers a lot of things.  It has robot vacuums that are perfect for carpets, tiled floors, wooden floors, and others.  It has models that can mop as well as sweep floors.  It even has a range of colors.

On the other hand, iRobot has stuck to dark colors for its Roombas.  iRobot has been consistent in making its robot vacuums very powerful and efficient that they can go from tiled floors, wooden floors, and carpets without any hitches.

Nevertheless, both brands have made sure that the technologies they use – from navigation to mapping, to vacuuming – evolve.

Both the Deebot and the Roomba now have models that use visual localization mapping, as well as Wi-Fi connectivity for remote control using their respective mobile app and Amazon Alexa compatibility.

The Ecovacs Deebot has consistently come out with more affordable robot vacuums.  If you compare a Deebot and a Roomba with similar features set, the Deebot would no doubt come out cheaper.  Plus, iRobot does not have a Roomba that could mop your floors.

Comparing the flagship robots

Perhaps the best way to illustrate the difference between Roombas and Deebots is to look at their flagship products: the Roomba 980 and the Deebot R95.

Both use simultaneous localization and mapping technology to scan your floors and create a map that helps it cover more areas.  Both brands also use side brushes and a powerful vacuum motor.

However, with the Deebot R95, you have the option to use the main brush or direct suction to sweep floors.  This means that the R95 is more flexible than the Roomba 980.

You can use the main brush to effectively clean carpets, and then use direct suction to pick up pet hairs without worrying about tangles.

Other features that are found on both include the use of lithium-ion batteries, remote control capability using the mobile app, easy scheduling feature, automatic recharging when the battery runs low, and the ability to automatically resume cleaning after charging.

You can also use voice commands to control these robot vacuums.

Model Roomba 980 Deebot R95
Price $900 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here) $439.99 (For the latest prices and discounts, check here)
Navigation technology iAdapt 2.0 Smart NAVI
Vacuuming technology Debris extractor Direct suction or main brush
Side brushes Yes Yes
Optional mopping feature No Yes
Scheduling Yes Yes
Specify how many passes are made Yes No
Auto recharge Yes Yes
Resume cleaning automatically after charging Yes Yes
Scheduling Yes Yes
Specify how many passes are made Yes No
Auto recharge Yes Yes
Resume cleaning automatically after charging Yes Yes
Manual docking Yes Yes
Navigation control Dual virtual wall barriers Virtual boundaries
Spot cleaning Yes Yes
Area cleaning mode No Yes
Carpet boost and edge cleaning mode Yes No
Full bin indicator Yes No
Voice reporting No Yes
Lithium-ion battery Yes Yes
Remote control Mobile app Mobile app
Carrying handle Yes No

Where the Roomba 980 wins

Some of the features that you can find on the Roomba 980 but not on the Deebot R85 include being able to set how many passes are made by the robot vacuum.  It is also better with carpets and edges with a special cleaning mode dedicated to each.

It also has a full bin indicator that tells you when it is time to empty the dustbin. Furthermore, the Roomba 980 includes a carrying handle.

Where the Deebot R95 wins

If your floors need mopping, the Roomba 980 cannot help you with that, but the Deebot D95 can.  What’s more, it is very easy to specify boundaries with the Deebot R95.  After it scans your floors, it will send the map to the mobile app.  You can just draw the boundaries on this map using your mobile app.

This also makes it possible for you to choose area cleaning mode, where you just draw the area to be cleaned on the mobile app’s map.  However, the biggest benefit of buying a Deebot R95 is the price.  The R95 is less than half the price of Roomba.