The Roomba 630 vs 790 – Any Meaningful Differences?

In our latest battle of the Roombas, we compare the venerable 630 and the more recent 790, both of which have some useful features depending on your needs.

While the newer 790 may have more cleaning bells and whistles, they are both designed for homes with pets, which may be a must on the tick box list for those with shaggy or furry friends.

There’s also quite a price difference between the two which could tilt your buying choice, or, if you’re looking to upgrade your 630 – is there enough new stuff in the 790 to make a new purchase worthwhile?

Both do pretty much the same job when it comes to cleaning, so we’ll investigate what helps them stand apart in this Roomba 790 vs 630 comparison. We compare these two robotic vacuums over their key features, pros and cons, and use. Let us know of your experiences between them.

In a a big hurry? Check out my high level advantages below for a quick decision:

Roomba 790 Advantages Roomba 630 Advantages
Better suction with AeroVac Series II (vs Series I for the 630) About $250 less expensive (check this listing for the latest pricing deals)
HEPA Filter (vs standard filter for 630)
Persistent Pass Cleaning (more thorough)
Auto scheduling features (630 has none)
Comes with 3 virtual walls, extra brush, extra filter, and an extra cleaning tool
Comes with Wireless Command Center (630 has no remote control options)
Better battery life (by about 50%)

Continue reading for my full assessment, in depth.

Key Features to Consider

Roomba 630

Price: The Roomba 630 is now one of the cheapest Roomba models you can still buy. Check here for the latest deals as you will generally find it on sale well below list price.

  • 3-Stage Cleaning: It was one of the first Roomba products with an emphasis on pet hair removal, thanks to a three stage cleaning system. It also uses an acoustic sensor to track down grubbier areas of a floor and will spend longer cleaning them.
  • No HEPA Filter: This model is early enough to lack a HEPA filter, instead going with one of Roomba’s own AeroVac filters, but unless you suffer from allergies, you’re not likely to notice the difference. It also uses a virtual wall, over the 790’s slightly smarter virtual lighthouse, which may be important depending on the layout of your home.
  • iAdapt Technoloy: Both devices use the iAdapt system, and while that may have become smarter, older Roomba devices can still be updated to the latest firmware.
  • Appearance: While the 630 is slightly smaller than its new cousin, it is a rather drab grey color, compared to the 790, which is available in a charming blue.

You can read my full stand alone review of the 630 here.

Roomba 790

  • HEPA Filters and Series II Dirt Detect: The Roomba 790 is a fairly recent update to the Roomba range. To combat pet hair, fluff and the crud your animals bring home, it features HEPA filters, improved Series II dirt detection and Persistent Pass cleaning. There’s also the usual room-to-room navigation with those side brushes dragging fluff into the unit.
  • Scheduled Cleaning: One big advantage over the older Roomba 630 is that this unit features scheduled cleaning, which is easily programmed in on the panel on top.
  • Virtual Lighthouses: You can set it to run at a time convenient to you and use the virtual lighthouses (small IR beam boxes that sit by doors or other areas) to limit where it cleans or keep it out of other rooms
  • Works with Command Center: If you do need to take control, the optional wireless command center (generally about $200) can help you program it for more complicated environments. In use, the Roomba 790 uses its IR sensor to avoid furniture and obstacles and can skip over things like wires and leads.
  • A Bit Quieter: Pretty quiet in action, it is a lot quieter than the recent Neato Botvac devices we’ve reviewed. While it is not quite as smart as those vacuums when it comes to navigating rooms, it still does fine in most situations. Once the job is done, or it is running out of power, then it will return to the dock and recharge.

For my full review of the Roomba 790, see this article.

Pros and Cons of the Roomba 630 vs 790

Roomba 630

  1. Con (Older): The Roomba 630 is no longer mentioned on the Roomba site, suggesting that support and spares for it might not be available for much longer. The main functional differences between this and its successor include buttons on the control panel over a touchpad and no option to schedule cleaning, which is probably the major weak spot among its features.
  2. Con (Maintenance)The 600 models also require more maintenance than the 700 series, in part thanks to the improvements in later Roomba models and the basics of an earlier technology. However, its older filters are easier to clean the the HEPA models on the 700s.
  3. Con (No full bin indicator or scheduling): Too big weak spots are the lack of a full bin indicator and no scheduling option. That means you’ll pushing that Start button quite a bit, but I guess if your pets are dropping fluff all day, every day, then it doesn’t really matter what scheduling you could use, there will always be more to clean, however that may put those who want real smart home tech off.

Roomba 790

  1. Con (Dust bin is still pretty small): Depending on how hairy your pets are then the Roomba 790 leads the way with a slightly larger bin, perhaps a third larger than that of the Rooba 630. Even so, this is still small by cyclone standards, so you’d better get used to emptying the bin on either model.
  2. Pro (Lots of extras included): The 790 also wins with a lot more extras in the package, although you should expect that given the extra cost. It comes with three virtual wall lighthouses to help set the limits of its operations, there’s also an extra brush set, filter set and a round brush and flat brush cleaning tools

Comparison: 790 vs 630

The Roomba 630 vs 790 – Any Meaningful Differences?

Specs Roomba 630 Roomba 790
Dimensions  3.6 x 13.4 x 13.4 inches  3.6 x 13.9 x 13.9 inches
Weight 8.3lbs 8.4lbs
Dustbin size 0.2l 0.26l
Price $349 (typical), but see here for latest $539 (typical), but see here for latest
 Extra Features 1 Virtual Wall, Flat Brush Cleaning Tool 3 Virtual Wall Lighthouses, Extra Brush Set, Extra Filter Set, Round Brush Cleaning Tool, Flat Brush Cleaning Tool



Conclusion – Which Bot Would I go With?

In use both the Roomba 630 and Roomba 790 do a pretty similar job in cleaning, despite the advances in the later model. The basic power of the Roomba cleaning engine helps to keep them in step.

The real issue is the price and if budget is an option, then go for the older 630, but do stock up on any accessories, in case they vanish from shelves in the future.

Otherwise, the 790 is an all singing, all-dancing model with plenty of features, extras and power to keep your pet fluff at bay for years into the future. At this point, I’d personallygo with the 790 unless budget is a serious restriction.