Introducing: Best Roomba for Hardwood Floors 2022

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best irobot roomba for hardwood floors

Cleaning your hardwood floors, or any hard flooring in your home, doesn’t have to be a chore. Instead of getting out the broom and dustpan, sweeping the floor trying to get all the little lines of dirt from the grout, there is an easier way.

Robot vacuums are known for their prowess on carpet, some models performing as well (or better) than a stick vacuum or upright model. However, the iRobot Roomba vacuums are also highly adept at hard flooring.

This article will examine the best Roomba robots for hardwood floors. We will show you everything you need to know to make an educated buying decision.

Top of the Line Roomba Robots for Hard Flooring

With over two dozen models to choose from, iRobot vacuums don’t make the decision easy. The following list are the our favorites, though, when it comes to hardwood floors.

  1. iRobot Roomba s9. One of the most advanced robot vacuum to date.
  2. iRobot Roomba i7+. This self-emptying beast will make short work of any hard flooring.
  3. iRobot Roomba 890. An older model with a lot of pick up power at a low price.
  4. iRobot Roomba E5. The updated budget-model from iRobot that has a lot of suction.
  5. iRobot Roomba 981. The top of the Roomba 900 series and still a fan favorite.
  6. iRobot Roomba 960. A more affordable version of the 980, fully capable in its own right.
  7. iRobot Roomba 692. A one time store exclusive, now available to everyone.
  8. iRobot Roomba 891. A new take on the Roomba 890, without all the extras.
  9. iRobot Roomba 675. Arguably the best budget vacuum from iRobot, still.

Are Robot Vacuums Worth It for Hardwood Floors?

robot vacuums worth it

Your choices with iRobot extend from the extremely budget-friendly Roomba 650 to the highly sought-after (but expensive), Roomba s9+. You need to level your expectations, and know what you are getting.

A robot vacuum will not replace your standard upright. Even the mighty S9+ isn’t as thorough or deep cleaning as a high-quality upright model. There is just no feasible way for a robot to produce as much constant power as a corded upright.

However, what a robot vacuum can do is remove the constant need to deep clean your carpets and hard flooring. You can keep the upright in the closet much longer, which, in turn, makes that investment last even longer.

Roomba robots also allow you to maintain your clean floors, perform a quick clean for sudden spills or messes, and even help you clean up for unexpected company.

They are a cleaning tool designed to help. So while you are cleaning the dishes and scrubbing your guest bathroom, the Roomba can be cleaning your hardwood floors and picking up after the kids.

Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Roomba for Your Hard Flooring

buyers guide best roomba for hard flooring

As exciting as owning a robot vacuum can be, there are several consideration factors to ponder, first. Below you will find the more important factors worthy of a moment of your time before you push that “buy now” button.

Floor Type

A robot that can clean hardwood floors is obviously the goal here, and all Roomba models are capable of doing just that. However, most of us have other floor types throughout the home as well. Even other hard flooring like vinyl or laminate can be a concern.

Softer flooring can scratch and without the proper extraction methods, a robot can leave your floors looking dull or marred. It is important to understand the types of floors you plan to use the Roomba on, and any limitations those floor types may have.

Battery Life

All Roomba robots run on lithium-ion battery packs. Some last longer than others, but every robot on this list will recharge itself automatically when the battery level gets low. For smaller homes, condos or apartments, this won’t be much of an issue.

However, if you have a larger home, you may want to note the runtimes of these robots and determine if a standard robot is enough, or if you need to spring for a model with Recharge & Resume capabilities.

Navigation and Mapping

All Roomba robots will navigate through your home. Not every model will map your home or be able to clean in human-like patterns. While camera-based navigation is great, it isn’t truly essential.

However, the models that can map and navigate your home are more efficient, miss less spots and are better equipped to handle your home’s specific layout. These models do tend to cost more, of course, but it may be well worth it.

Controls

Controlling your robot is a lot more than just turning it on and letting it clean (though that is an option). You should look for control options that allow you to work less and enjoy the robot more. All Roomba robots have local controls, with buttons allowing you to start and stop cleaning cycles, perform special cleaning sessions and return the robot to the charging station.

However, finding the robot and bending to push buttons may not be your idea of efficiency. All of the Roomba models on this list also include WiFi capabilities.

This allows you to use the iRobot Home App for more control, scheduling and status updates of the cleaning progress.

You also gain voice commands through Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant devices. The types of commands (and which ones) will vary with model and abilities, though, so make sure you know what your chosen model is capable of.

Filtration

Filtration in a Roomba robot serves two purposes. The first is to protect the motor area from a build-up of dust and debris. If this is allowed to happen the motor will overheat, shortening the life and performance of the machine.

The second purpose is to filter the air returned to your home through the robot’s exhaust. Standard filtration will keep out most dust and debris, but not the finer particles that can be allergens. HEPA filtration will collect all in-home allergens including pet dander, pollen, dust mites and mold spores.

All Roomba models have a filter, but not all of them are HEPA rated. If you need (or want) the high-efficiency filtration, you need to select a model that uses those filters.

Containment

Containment is the use of physical or digital components to control where your robot can and cannot go. Every Roomba is compatible with the iRobot virtual wall barriers.

There have been three types over the years with the most common one being the dual-mode virtual wall barrier.

This little battery-operated tower produces an infrared beam in one of two ways, either linear, or round (hence the dual-mode moniker). The infrared beam is detected by the robots and is treated like an actual wall. The robot will turn and avoid the area at all costs.

Digital containment is relatively new to the iRobot family and only the latest models are capable of using it. Specifically made for the i- and s-series robots, digital containment uses the mobile app and the map created there to determine which rooms or areas you want the robot to clean or avoid.

Warranty

All iRobot Roomba models come with a 1-year warranty. The warranty does cover every part of the robot with the exception of the replaceable items (filters, for example). The warranty does cover the battery, too.

Customer service is great and easy to get a hold of. You can get a repair or replacement fairly quickly and easily, if it ever comes to that.

Price

Depending on where you purchase your Roomba robot and when (holiday deals, special promotions, etc.) you can find budget-friendly models for less than $200 and the top of the line models for around $1000. There are models and prices all along those two price points, too.

9 Best Roomba Vacuums for Hardwood Flooring

Below you will find our 9 favorite Roomba robot vacuums for hardwood floors and all cleaning needs.

1. iRobot Roomba s9

The Roomba s9 is the top of the range when it comes to the Roomba line up. The s-series (of which the s9 is the only member so far) came out alongside the e- and i-series robots. This model boasts all the benefits Roomba has to offer and a new look.

The D-shape body is different from all other Roombas (which are round) to get into corners better. When it comes to cleaning hardwood, though, there isn’t a better robot vacuum out there. Not only does this robot have more power than most, but it has a few changes to help it out.

Previous models all had high-speed side brushes. This would fling dust and debris while it was cleaning. Of course the robots always cleaned up, but it made a mess in the process. The air exhaust also pushed lighter debris around.

With the S9, the exhaust vents have been altered to point upward, eliminating the debris pushing. The corner brush is also slowed way down, all but removing the debris flinging attributes of older models.

Aside form that, the S9 will communicate with the Bravva M6 mopping robot, connect to your home’s wireless network and auto update itself.

You can also upgrade the s9 to the s9+ which uses a Clean base charging station to auto-empty the collection bin when the robot stops to recharge.

All in all, when it comes to cleaning hard flooring, the Roomba s9 is the best option out there. With the power, suction and intelligent mapping, you can almost eliminate your broom from your chore day list.

Battery2600mAh lithium-ion
Collection Bin Capacity0.6L
FiltrationHEPA
Included AccessoriesHome Base charging station
Collection MethodTangle-free Brushless Extractors
PriceSee Current Price On Amazon

2. iRobot Roomba i7+

Next in line for the throne of best of the best is the Roomba i7+. Like the s9, this model features the newest motor, high suction power and intelligent mapping and navigation.

The i7+ comes with the Clean Base charging station and special collection bin that allows the system to empty the bin on its own.

You only need to change the collection bag from the Clean Base about once a month.

Unlike the s9 model the i7+ is the upgraded model. It does have a lower version, the i7, that comes with the Home base cleaning system and doesn’t self-empty.

However, with the i7+, the price is negligible enough now, that it is worth the few extra bucks to claim the upgraded model.

You get full control with this robot, too. Full mobile app integration including the digital containment options, room naming and selection, mode and cleaning cycle programming, and it too, will communicate with the Braava M6.

All told, if you can’t budget for the s9 model, the slightly less expensive i7+ is the way to go.

Battery2600mAh lithium-ion
Collection Bin Capacity0.6L
FiltrationHEPA
Included AccessoriesClean base charging station, 2 disposable dirt bags, extra filter, extra side brush
Collection MethodTangle-free Brushless Extractors
PriceSee Current Price On Amazon

3. iRobot Roomba 890

In a world that is bent on getting the best technology and fastest service, sometimes it is best to take a step back.

The 800 series Roomba robots are nothing to scoff at. Using the 2nd generation motors, HEPA filtration and capable of cleaning all floor types, the 890 is the tip top.

This model features the WiFi access, too. However, you do lose the mapping and camera based navigation system. Voice controls are slightly limited because it doesn’t have room naming capabilities.

What it does offer, though, is a solid cleaning system that won’t scratch any surface. With the tangle-free brushless extractors, the rubber paddles are adept at agitating carpet, but being firm and gentle on hard flooring.

This model will run around in a seemingly random cleaning pattern, but it does cover your entire home. With a 90 minute runtime per charge and automatic recharging, you don’t need to do much.

One thing that you will miss, though, is the Recharge & Resume feature that comes with the camera-based navigation. Because the 890 cannot map your home, it doesn’t know where it has been or what is left to clean.

After it stops to recharge a dead battery, you will need to resume the cleaning cycle yourself, either through the controls or by creating a scheduled cleaning session.

Still, with the cost savings and full capabilities (aside from mapping) the 890 is a budget-friendly model with mid-range abilities you are sure to love. Plus, your purchase will include a virtual wall barrier. That’s hard to beat.

Battery3300 or 1800mAh lithium-ion
Collection Bin Capacity0.5L
FiltrationHEPA
Included AccessoriesHome base charging station, extra filter, virtual wall barrier
Collection MethodTangle-free Brushless Extractors
PriceSee Current Price On Amazon

4. iRobot Roomba e5

The Roomba e5 came out along with the i7 and s9 models. It is the newest budget model from iRobot and saves you a lot of money compared to the other two models. However, like the 890, you lose a few things in the savings.

Most notably, you lose the camera-based navigation. However, the navigation system (iAdept 2.0) has been upgraded slightly to be more precise, and the e5 can actually get more and more accurate the more it runs.

It still won’t map your home or show you a map on the mobile app, but each successful run will be faster than the one before.

You also get the 3rd generation motor found in the i- and s-series robots, giving you more suction power to get in the grout and along the edges of your hardwood covered rooms.

The e5 also features the brushless extractors, preserving even the softest of hard flooring from scratches and marring.

This model doesn’t have many frills, and that is why you can get it at such a reasonable price. it is the perfect mix of performance, ability and value without going overboard on the accessories.

Still, we would love to see a virtual wall barrier included at the price point, though they are available separately or as part of a promotional kit.

Battery2600mAh lithium-ion
Collection Bin Capacity0.5L
FiltrationHEPA
Included AccessoriesHome Base charging station
Collection MethodTangle-free Brushless Extractors
PriceSee Current Price On Amazon

5. iRobot Roomba 981

If the 890 is the best of the 800 series, the Roomba 981 is the best of the 900 series. A title long held by the Roomba 980, and contested by the Roomba 960 (also on this list), the 981 has a little bit extra to offer.

For starters you get a complete replenishment kit with your purchase, including a new filter and side brush. Plus the 981 includes a virtual wall barrier to help you keep it contained.

The camera-based navigation means it can easily find its way around your kitchen, bathrooms and other hard flooring areas. When it does encounter carpet, the power boost will kick in.

While the differences between the 980 and 981 are negligible at best, the 981 sees a slightly lower cost as the store exclusion (Costco) period is over. iRobot wants to get rid of this model number and the price reflects that.

While it does use the 3rd generation motor, it has been scaled back slightly. It doesn’t have quite the power of the i7 or s9, but you most likely won’t notice, even running them side by side.

You get the Recharge & resume features, full mapping and of course mobile app control. That also includes the voice commands.

Also, for the first time in the history of the 900 series robots, the 981 is the first to become compatible with the Imprint Technology allowing it to communicate with the Braava mopping robot too.

More and more 900 series robots are getting this back compatible feature, but the 981 was the first to start the trend.

Battery3300 or 1800mAh lithium-ion
Collection Bin Capacity0.5L
FiltrationHEPA
Included AccessoriesCharging station, 1 virtual wall barrier, extra filter, extra side brush
Collection MethodTangle-free Brushless Extractors
PriceSee Current Price On Amazon

6. iRobot Roomba 960

As mentioned with the Roomba 981, the Roomba 960 vied for the top spot in the line up at one point. It has a 2nd generation motor compared to the 3rd gen of the 980 and 981, but all other features are the same.

This one minor detail allows the 960 to be a cost-effective solution in a market filled with expensive robots. Like the 980, you get a powerful clean, camera navigation, mapping and complete mobile app control.

The 900 series also offers over 2 dozen voice commands, the most of any other robot line up (minus the i7 and s9 models). Where the 960 shines is in its hard flooring cleaning ability. Where the 980 is more powerful, it tends to scatter debris before collecting it all.

The 960 still scatters a bit due to the high speed of the side brush and venting angles, but with a slightly less powerful motor, the scattering debris was minimal.

You don’t get a virtual wall barrier with this model, but it is compatible nonetheless, as are all Roomba robots.

The cost savings, though, and the fact it is still one of the most popular and highest reviewed models ever, means the Roomba 960 will be around for a long while, still.

Battery3300 or 1800mAh lithium-ion
Collection Bin Capacity0.5L
FiltrationHEPA
Included AccessoriesCharging station, extra filter, extra side brush
Collection MethodTangle-free Brushless Extractors
PriceSee Current Price On Amazon

7. iRobot Roomba 692

By the time the robot vacuum market became overly popular, Roomba had already seen the release of the original Roomba, the 400 and 500 series and the start of the 600 series.

When the Roomba 690 was put out, it was one of the first to receive mobile app controls. Many models since have been back compatible with the mobile app, but the 690 had it inherently. This made it a highly affordable and popular model.

As time moved forward, the 692 was introduced. It featured all of the original markings of the 690, but had a few other advancements added.

The 2nd generation motor and three stage cleaning system made the 600 series what it is today. However only the Roomba 650 and newer models got to see the 2nd gen motor.

Most of these didn’t last because the 600 series was antiquated by then, being over 15 years old. However, a few select models stuck around to make their way into the homes and hearts of millions.

The 692 uses a bristle brush roller for extraction, instead of the rubber paddles extractors. But the bristles are soft and don’t scratch many surfaces. Hardwood, laminate and LVP are all safe from marring.

However, you still want to test this in a small area before you let the robot free to roam your home.

This bare-bones model doesn’t come with any extras, not even a second filter in the box. But, the price tag will make your wallet happy, and you get to clean your home with one of the most popular robot vacuums of all time.

Battery1800mAh lithium-ion
Collection Bin Capacity0.5L
FiltrationStandard
Included AccessoriesCharging station
Collection MethodBrush Roller
PriceSee Current Price On Amazon

8. iRobot Roomba 891

If the Roomba 981 is the top of the 900 series, then the 891 is the best of the 800 series. It has a lot of features that are prominent in the 900 series brought back to increase the interest in the less expensive models of the 800s.

The 891 features the mobile app and voice command controls, along with the 2nd generation motor and iAdept 2.0 navigation system. However, it was stripped of the camera-based sensors, similar to the e5 model.

While you don’t get mapping, or human-like cleaning patterns, you do get carpet boost technology, dirt detection sensors and a great clean on any hard flooring.

You also don’t need to worry about scratches, gouging or marks left behind, either. The 891 features the rubber paddles extractors made famous by the 900 series robots.

These tangle-free rollers keep pet hair, human hair, carpet fibers and larger debris from tangling and wrapping around the rollers.

Unlike the 890, you won’t get a virtual wall barrier included with your purchase, and the 891 is slightly harder to find. When you do find it, though, and through a reputable retailer, it will be cheaper than the 890, making it a better value overall.

Battery3300 or 1800mAh lithium-ion
Collection Bin Capacity0.5L
FiltrationHEPA
Included AccessoriesHome base charging station, extra filter
Collection MethodTangle-free Brushless Extractors
PriceSee Current Price On Amazon

9. iRobot Roomba 675

When it comes to value and performance it is hard to beat the 600 series Roomba robots. Sure, they aren’t the most advanced models, and they don’t have a lot of frills or extras. But they offer solid performance on hardwood floors and an unbeatable value.

The Roomba 675 is a model that performs as well as any other, even with its limitations. Using the first generation iAdept navigation technology, the 675 appears clumsy when moving through your home.

True, it does hit walls and table legs a little harder than other models, but it cleans as it bangs around and that is what matters. Also important, that even though the collisions are seemingly jarring and sometimes comical, no damage to your walls or the robot occurs.

With standard filtration and a bristled brush roller it may not be the best Roomba for carpet, but that’s not why you are here.

When it comes to the best Roomba for hardwood floors, any model on this list will serve you well, but only the Roomba 675 will  save you a lot of money.

For the price of the s9 you can get three or four 675 models. And while their combined performance still won’t match that of the s9, your home will be cleaned.

With WiFi integration, the use of scheduling and other mobile app controls, you won’t have any issues with the Roomba 675.

Battery1800mAh lithium-ion
Collection Bin Capacity0.5L
FiltrationStandard
Included AccessoriesHome base charging station, extra filter, cleaning tool
Collection MethodBrush Roller
PriceSee Current Price On Amazon

How to Get the Most From Your Roomba Battery

how to get the most from roomba battery

Lithium-ion batteries, such as those found in the Roomba robots, can last a long time. On average, the life expectancy of a standard battery pack is about two and a half years.

However, there are steps you can take to increase the longevity of the batteries, as well as help them perform to their full capabilities until the very end, when replacement is required.

Stand-by Mode

It is recommended to run your robot at least twice a week. However, the minimum time is once every week. If you are going to run the robot less often, you need to put the robot in power saving mode.

Not all Roomba’s have this feature, though most models after the 650 do. Instructions on how to put your particular model in battery-saving, or vacation, mode will be in the owner’s manual. The process is simple, but different for most models.

Proper Discharge and Recharge Cycles

To get the most from your battery, you should run the robot on a full cleaning cycle every other day, or 4 to 5 times per week. However, once a month, you need to run the robot until it dies completely, without letting it recharge on the charging dock.

After the robot has lost all battery power, you can manually place it on the dock to recharge. This process will minimize what is known as battery memory.

Basically, if a battery only drains to 40% each time it is used and recharged, it will begin to show signs of aging at about 45% charge, the charges will take longer and the performance will dwindle.

Allowing the battery to fully drain once a month and recharging to a full 100% will remove this “battery memory” and open the entire battery cell up for full performance and utilization.

Do’s and Don’ts for Battery Use

You also want to pay attention to the battery charging cycle, and the battery use.

  • Don’t let anything cover the vacuum while it is cleaning, as this will cause overheating, shortening the battery life.
  • Don’t cover the charging station for the same reasons.
  • Do not remove the battery unless it is needed.
  • Clean the charging station contact points and the contacts on the robot to ensure a solid connection when the robot docks to recharge.
  • If the robot will not be used for 14 days in a row (or more) place the robot in stand-by mode, or remove the battery while you are away.

If you follow these suggestions it is easy to get 3 to 4 years out of your battery. Some owner’s even report a powerful battery working through 5 years or more.

Care and Maintenance of Roomba Vacuums

Proper care and maintenance of your Roomba is crucial to the performance and longevity of the machine. iRobot has made it easy to care for the robots by providing cleaning tools and easy to remove parts for cleaning and inspection purposes.

Once you get the hang of what is needed, the entire process from start to finish will only take about 5 minutes.

  • Remove the collection bin and filter. Empty the bin and wipe clean. For waterproof models you can wash the collection bin (by hand only). Filters need to be dusted off and cleaned of larger debris. Inspect the filters for damage and replace as needed.
  • Return the filter and collection bin to the robot and wipe the entire robot with a clean, dry cloth. Pay special attention to the sensors and ensure there isn’t any dust build-up on the sensor covers.
  • Inspect the wheels and axles for hair or string tangles. Remove the tangles as needed.
  • Remove the extraction rollers and clean off any hair or tangles around them. Don’t forget to remove the end caps and pull the hairs or strings that collect there.
  • Inspect and wipe out the intake port under the rollers for any dust or debris build-up.
  • Replace the end caps into their places and put the rollers back in the robot.
  • Ensure the battery is fully charged by putting the robot on the charging station when you are finished.

Frequently Asked Questions about Roomba and Hardwood Flooring

faq roomba for hardwood floor

In this section, we will answer the more common questions that arise from Roomba robots. If you have more questions, feel free to use the comment section below the article.

Q. How long will a Roomba last?

  1. On average a Roomba robot is expected to last 5 to 8 years. However, with proper care, use and maintenance, the robots will last 12 or more years with ease.

Q. Where can I buy replacement parts for my Roomba vacuum?

  1. Replacement parts should be purchased from an authorized retailer. There are several to choose from, however, the best options are through the iRobot shop or through Amazon, where you will get the right products for your particular model.

Q. Do Roomba robots mop?

  1. No. Roomba robots are strictly for vacuuming and sweeping hard flooring and carpet. iRobot does make mopping robots, known as the Braava robots, but no Roomba (to date) vacuums, sweeps and mops.

Q. Do I have to pay for using the iRobot mobile app or voice controls?

  1. You certainly do not. The iRobot Home app is a free download from the Apple and Google app stores. The voice commands are included and need to be installed through your Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant enabled devices, but there is no cost to download, use or install any of them. 

Q. Why do Roombas of the same type have different model numbers, like the Roomba 890 and 891?

  1. There are several Roomba robots that share a model number or have one that is particularly close in nature. The Roomba 890, for example, also has the 891 name. This is the same for other models like the 980/981, 670/671/672, etc.

This is nothing more than a sales technique. iRobot enters into contracts with various vendors and retailers, such as Costco, Canadian Tire and Sam’s Club. To avoid price gouging, coupon matching and other sales issues, each vendor gets their own specific model number.

The 890 is the base number, which is sold almost everywhere. The 891, though, is the exact same robot, but only sold through Costco during the initial release. Small things do change, such as a different body color on the robot, and the inclusion (or omission) of additional accessories such as filters, virtual wall barriers, etc.

After some time has passed, the exclusive retailers move to the newer models being released, and the overstock of those previous model numbers (the 891, for example) are sold everywhere else. 

Roomba on Hardwood: Final Words

Finding the right Roomba robot for your hardwood floors (and other floor types) is a daunting task. There are a lot of models suitable for the task and it can be a difficult choice.

Hopefully this article has given you the information you need to make an informed and educated decision.

If you are still in doubt, look at the top pick once more. The Roomba S9 is the top of the line Roomba and is more thorough, intelligent and deep cleaning than any Roomba before it. While it is more expensive than most, it is an investment worth making.

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AUTHOR

Nora has more than 5 years experience in the floor covering industry, acquiring vast knowledge about installation and material selection. She now enjoys working as a writer and an interior decorator. Her work has been featured in The Spruce, Homes & Gardens, Southern Living and Real Homes. See full biography here.

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