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Roomba 690 vs 891 (2021): Which Robot Vacuum Should You Get?

iRobot Roomba has drastically changed the cleaning routines of many households, thanks to its cutting-edge technologies that have made vacuuming more efficient and convenient. Among its most sought-after models are the similarly-priced Roomba 690 and the Roomba 891. Both are equipped with iRobot essentials and carry an attractive price tag. If you’re debating which robot vacuum to get, our detailed comparison below will help you make the right call. 

Roomba 690 vs 891 Robot Vacuum Comparison Chart

ModelRoomba 690Roomba 891
 iRobot Roomba 690 Robot Vacuum-Wi-Fi Connectivity, Works with Alexa, Good for Pet Hair, Carpets,... iRobot Roomba 891 Robot Vacuum- Wi-Fi Connected, Works with Alexa, Ideal for Pet Hair, Carpets, Hard... 
PriceCheck Price Check Price 
Height3.6″3.6″
Weight7.8 lbs8.4 lbs
Suction Power600 Pa5x the suction power of the Roomba 690
Dual Multi-Surface BrushBristleRubber
HEPA FilterNoYes
Extra FilterYesNo
Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barrier1Compatible
Runtimeup to 60 minutesup to 60 minutes
Charging Time180 minutes180 minutes
SchedulingYesYes
Automatic Docking and ChargingYesYes
Bin Capacity300 mL300mL
Washable DustbinNoNo

Design

The Roomba 690 and 891 have different color schemes and brush materials


The Roomba 690 (left) comes in silver and black while the 891 (right) has a champagne finish

These robot vacuums follow the traditional aesthetics and round shape of iRobot Roombas, although they do have slight design variations. Both house their remote system at the center of their faceplate, but their handles and colors are different. The Roomba 690 is available in silver and black and has a bigger handle while the Roomba 891 comes in champagne and black and its handle is moved closer to the CLEAN button. With a height of 3.6″, both Roombas can vacuum under low furniture with ease. 

Both the Roomba 690 and 891 are equipped with a regular-sized dustbin that can hold up to 300mL of dust and dirt. Where the 891 has the edge over the 690 is in its high-efficiency filter that can help rid your home of allergy-causing particles such as pet dander and dust mites. Perhaps trying to make up for the lack of a high-efficiency filter, the Roomba 690 comes packaged with an extra Aerovacs filter. 


The Roomba 690 (left) still has bristle brushes while the 891 (right) is equipped with dual rubber brushrolls

A major upgrade found on the Roomba 891 is its dual rubber brushes that are designed to resist hair tangles better. Unlike in the 891, the dual brush rolls on the 690 is a combination of one rubber and one bristle brush roll. While both Roombas can handle hair better than most robot vacuums in their class, the Roomba 891 outperforms the 690 in this department. 

Cleaning Performance and Navigation 

The Roomba 891 boasts suction power that’s five times stronger than the 690

Roomba 690 vs 891 (3)
Both Roombas can work effectively on different surfaces, but the 891 (right) is more powerful 

The 690 and 891 are equipped with iRobot’s signature essentials, which include the three-stage cleaning system, dirt detect technology, and cliff detect technology, to mention a few.  All these allow the Roomba 690 and 891 to pull in dirt and work harder on areas that are particularly dirtier than the rest, making sure the areas are spotless. However, when it comes to vacuuming carpets and sucking in dirt and finer particles from crevices, the more powerful Roomba 891 does the job slightly better. 

Both Roombas house sensors that allow them to navigate around obstacles, but they don’t have the advanced mapping and navigation capabilities higher-end Roombas offer. The Roomba 690 and 891 will randomly clean your home, and while they may seem to be confused at first, it’s nothing to worry about as they eventually cover and clean the whole floor.

The major difference between the two is there’s a dual-mode virtual wall barrier packaged in the 690. You can place this to protect areas you want the Roomba to avoid. The barrier has a standard linear mode (see inset above) and halo mode to create a barrier around itself. For instance, placing the barrier in front of a pet feeding area while it’s on halo mode will bar the Roomba from going around it.

Battery Life and Additional Features

Both the Roomba 690 and 891 work with smart voice assistants, can vacuum for up to 60 minutes, and can automatically dock as needed

Roomba 690 vs 891 (4)
Stay hands-on with the Roomba’s cleaning while staying completely hands-free by connecting them to your voice assistant

The Roomba 690 and 891 promise up to 60 minutes of cleaning time on a full cycle, although expect shorter runtime if you have more carpeted floors. When running low on battery, both Roombas will trek back to their docking station so they can recharge. Unlike their more advanced siblings, the 690 and 891 cannot remember areas they have cleaned. 

Both Roombas work with the iRobot HOME app and allow you to schedule cleaning and view cleaning history. This means your Roomba can vacuum on its own even while you’re away, just make sure its dustbin is not full when it starts. If you have a voice-activated smart assistant, you can connect them to the Roomba 690 and 891 for hands-free cleaning.

Verdict

It’s worth upgrading to the Roomba 891, thanks to its superior cleaning power, brushes, and a high-efficiency filter

Whichever you choose, it’s hard to go wrong with the Roomba 690 and the Roomba 891. With that said, the latter comes out on top in this comparison as the 891 has stronger suction power, rubber brushes that can resist hair tangles better, and a high-efficiency filter. It’s a Roomba that best fits homes with pets, but any home will benefit from its features whether you have furry friends or not. Interestingly, despite having more advanced features, the Roomba 891 is more affordable than the 690 at the time of writing as it is on sale. 

Meanwhile, the Roomba 690 may not be as powerful as the 891, but its virtual wall barrier is something many users find helpful. It comes especially handy if you have sensitive furniture or areas around the home that you need your Roomba to steer clear of. The Roomba 891 can be set-up with a virtual wall barrier as well, but that will require a separate purchase and increase its cost.  

Last update on 2021-07-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Rhodaline Escala-Phelps

Managing Editor and Team Leader at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about people, product comparisons, culture, and current events.