8 Best Roomba for Pet Hair 2022

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best roomba for pet hair

The iRobot Roomba vacuums have been cleaning floors in homes since the mid 1990’s.

One of the original creators of autonomous cleaning robots, Roomba is the name that almost everyone knows and the brand all others try to surpass.

With their constant improvements, superior design and forward thinking technologies, iRobot is a leader in cleaning your floors, through robot mops, pool cleaners and of course, vacuums.

The Roomba vacuums also have a highly capable history of cleaning up after our pets.

Shed hair embedded in carpet fibers and gathering in corners or along baseboards is a constant struggle for pet owners.

This article will examine the best Roomba for pet hair and give you all the information you need to make an informed purchasing decision.

Roomba Pet Hair Top List

With such a long and storied past, there are plenty of Roomba’s to choose from. The best for pet hair clean up, though, is still a difficult decision.

  1. Roomba i7+. The self-emptying, powerful suction model is the best mix of cleaning and value.
  2. Roomba 960. The top of the line robot for many years in a row, the 960 is still a fan favorite.
  3. Roomba s9+. The best of the best in virtually every category will clean pet hair like nothing else.
  4. Roomba i7. Even without the self-cleaning capability, the i7 is a powerful and reliable robot on its own.
  5. Roomba 690. Full control options and a highly affordable price make the 690 a steal.
  6. Roomba 675. For those that want the cleaning power of the 690 with the price tag of a lesser model, the 675 is the answer.
  7. Roomba 891. The 800 series is still marked as one of the most popular and reliable lines from iRobot, with the 891 leading the way.
  8. Roomba 671. Similar in all specs compared to the Roomba 675, this model has a few extra reasons to be your next robot vacuum.

How Roomba Robot Vacuums Work

roomba robot vacuums work

Over the years the robots have progressed to be more efficient, better cleaning, and longer lasting. While other companies strive to match the Roomba level of clean, the next Roomba in line is already better than the last. Yet, they all work in much the same way.

Sensors help the robots navigate around your home. All models before the 900 series came along, used bump sensors, drop sensors, infrared and acoustic sensors to know when to slow down, turn back up or stop.

After the 900 series was released, iRobot added a camera. The camera takes thousands of low-resolution images which then get built into a 3-D image of your home’s layout. The robots then use this 3-D map to navigate without bumping into things.

The extraction method started with dual brush rollers, one with bristles to agitate carpet fibers and sweep hard floors, and the other with small rubber paddles to help keep the brush roller clean.

Starting with the mid-800 series Roombas, the bristle brush roller was discarded and now two rubber extractors take its place. Each one designed to clean the other, sweep hard flooring and agitate carpet, without getting hair wrapped or tangled and without scratching any flooring.

Once collected, the debris is suctioned through the machine and deposited into the removable collection bin. The exhaust air is passed through a filter to protect the motor, and in most cases since the late 600 line, a HEPA filter to trap pet dander, pollen and dust mites.

Starting with the i7 series, the Plus models (i7+, s9+, etc.) come with a Clean Base system that not only recharges the robots, but also suctions out the collection bin automatically.

Completely programmable, extremely low maintenance and powerful enough to take on high pile carpeting, Roomba sets out to do one thing: Clean your floors. Roomba does its job well.

Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Right Roomba for Pet Hair

buyers guide best roomba

Before you pull out your wallet and buy any Roomba (though you wouldn’t be disappointed) it is important to understand what the robots offer. The following consideration factors will help you narrow your choices so you get the best Roomba for your needs.

Battery Power

When iRobot first started expanding their line ups in the early 2000s, they had five different batteries that powered their robots. Since they have narrowed the options, with two of the batteries specific to over 90% of the current models.

The 3300 mAh battery powers the 900 series models and most of the 800 series robots. They offer up to 2 hours of runtime and quick, 3-hour recharge. The other battery, the 1800 mAh battery pack, powers the older models, some of the 800 series and the 600, 700 and even 500 series robots.

The third battery is a XLife battery that replaces the batteries on 500 and 700 series models As well as some 600 series robots.

The newest robots (the i- and e-series) use a new, smaller 2600 mAh pack. Bringing the new total of batteries produced by iRobot to four. Make sure you know which battery your model uses when it comes time for replacement.

Control Options

Roomba is known for their control options, that not only include local push-button controls, but also have one of the highest-rated, user-friendly mobile apps in the industry. You also have the option of voice controls through Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa devices.

Every model on this list will have all three control options, though other models may not be WiFi enabled, leaving only local controls.

Containment

When it comes to containment, Roomba vacuums also have the edge in the market. With physical boundaries contained by the virtual wall barriers. These infrared mini towers block doorways, hallways, and can put a barrier around pet bowls, floor lamps and other things.

The newer model i7 and s9 series robots also use the virtual wall barriers but also virtual containment. Through the mobile app you can select certain rooms for the robots to clean or ignore. You can also draw no-go areas on the map in the app and the robots will ignore or go around these areas.

Accessories & Extra Features

Roomba robots don’t come with a lot of frills or extras. Aside from the virtual wall barriers, there aren’t a lot of things the robots need. Some models will come with extra filters, extra side brushes and a few will also include replenishment kits that include everything needed to completely refurbish the robot.

Including the barriers, replaceable pieces, and robots, you won’t find anything extra in the box. However, for the WiFI models you also get the iRobot Home app with all of its features and accessories.

Floor Type

All Roomba models are quite adept about cleaning hard flooring. Some older models spin the side brushes too fast, which have been known to fling debris from corners and baseboards. Making a bigger mess at first, though the robots always get the debris.

When it comes to carpet, all Roomba models clean low and medium pile carpeting. The 600 and 800 series models tend to stop there. Once the 900 series came along with the rubber extractors, high pile carpet was added to the list.

Warranty

All Roomba robots come with a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty. The warranty covers every part of the robot, including the battery. For the i- and s-series Plus robots, the Clean Base also comes with a 1-year warranty.

Some sales retailers, though, will offer an extended warranty that goes beyond the manufacturer warranty, though this isn’t common.

Price

As newer models come out, the older models drop in price. However, because of the durability and longevity of the robots, the lower price doesn’t mean it is outdated. The price will always be a factor, and the newer models will always be the most expensive.

To save money, you can purchase an older 600, or 800 series model. While you won’t lose any functionality, the newer models are worth their price for the cleaning ability and functionality they provide, though.

8 Best Roomba Vacuums for Pet Hair 2022

Below are the top 8 Roomba vacuums for pet hair.

Read through the list and find the model that works best for your needs, either through cost, filtration, collection ability or any combination of the three.

1. Roomba i7+

The Roomba i7+ is one of the best and most powerful robots in the entire line up yet. It combines the 3rd generation motor and second generation camera mapping to become one of the most reliable and thorough robots on the market.

The Plus in the name refers to the addition of the Clean Base charging station and collection bin. The special bin has a rubber stopper over a hole that is detected by the Clean Base system.

When the robot docks to recharge the battery, the Clean Base motor will turn on and suction the collection bin empty. The debris is stored in the tower of the base in a vacuum bag that you can later remove and toss away. Each bag will hold about a month’s worth of debris collection.

The battery is smaller than the previous 900 series generations, but is more powerful. It will last about 2 hours on a single charge, and the robot can cover about 1400 square feet of hard flooring in that time.

With Imprint Smart Mapping on the mobile app, you can take full control over which rooms are cleaned, when cleaning sessions start, and if you also own the Braava M6 mopping robot, the two can work in tandem from a single command.

This model is a bit more expensive than previous Roomba models, but with the newer S9 and other i-series models being released, the price point is coming down.

Overall, though, with the level of clean on any floor type, along with the self-cleaning collection bin and ultra-low maintenance, it is a worthwhile investment.

Battery2600 mAh
ControlsLocal, app, voice
Collection MethodRubber extractors
Included AccessoriesClean base charging station, 2 disposable dirt bags, extra filter, extra side brush
Recharge & ResumeYes
PriceSee Current Price On Amazon

2. Roomba 960

At one point not too long ago the battle for robot supremacy was between the Roomba 980 and the Roomba 960.

The 980 featured carpet boost technology, a slightly more powerful motor (newer gen 3, like the i7) and came with 2 dual-mode virtual wall barriers instead of one. The 980 also cost quite a bit more than the 960.

The Roomba 960 is a powerful robot in its own right, with camera-based navigation and full mobile app and voice controls. The 960 utilizes the brushless extractors making it ideal for collecting pet hair, human hair and string without tangling.

You can create cleaning schedules, make use of the virtual wall barriers for containment and view cleaning progress on the app from anywhere.

When iRobot reconfigured the batteries for their robots, the 960 (along with many others) became compatible with both the 1800 and 3300 mAh options.

This removed the runtime hold the 980 held over it, without raising the price, making the 960 a much better value.

That value still holds today and the Roomba 960 is still one of the top 3 most popular Roomba models to date.

Battery3300 or 1800 mAh
ControlsLocal, app, voice
Collection MethodRubber extractors
Included AccessoriesCharging station, 1 virtual wall barrier, extra filter, extra side brush
Recharge & ResumeYes
PriceSee Current Price On Amazon

3. Roomba s9+

To describe the Roomba s9+ in a single word, we could say “perfection.” According to the CEO of iRobot, the s9 model is the robot they wanted to create when the company started in the early 1990s.

It is easy to see why this powerful, reliable and deep cleaning robot is the envy of the market. Not only can it create suction power to match (or surpass) a lot of upright models, but it can map your home (and nine others).

Every time it cleans it becomes more and more efficient and can even spot heavily soiled areas on its own.

With multiple cleaning modes, room by room navigation, mapping and control, you have a vacuum that can perform as well as your upright without you having to do more than push a couple buttons on an app.

Like the i7+, the s9+ uses the Clean Base charging station to self-empty the collection bin, recharges in about 3 hours and will resume cleaning until the job is complete.

While the s9 (and i7) robots are compatible with the virtual wall barriers, the digital containment, room naming and scheduled cleanings work just as well and in most cases better.

This model also communicates with the Braava M6 mopping robot for a whole home clean that only takes a few hours.

Battery2600mAh
ControlsLocal, app, voice
Collection MethodRubber extractors
Included AccessoriesClean base charging station, 2 disposable dirt bags, extra filter, extra corner brush
Recharge & ResumeYes
PriceSee Current Price On Amazon

4. Roomba i7

The Roomba i7 is not the same as the Roomba i7+. They are in fact, two different models. However, the robots themselves are identical.

The only difference in the two is the self-emptying collection bin. The Roomba i7 comes with the standard Home Base charging station and does not have the special collection bin. It also features a lower price tag because of it.

While the extra savings may be worth it to some, we recommend you really think about it before you buy. You can upgrade the i7 later by purchasing the Clean Base and collection bin effectively turning your i7 into an i7+.

However, doing so will cost you twice as much as you saved by purchasing the i7 initially.

However, many people do not like the idea of using disposable bags or having to replace them every month or more, feeling they are a waste of resources.

In this case, the i7 is a practical solution as you get the same cleaning power and features, scheduling, cleaning modes and controls, but save money and don’t have to purchase vacuum bags.

Battery2600mAh
ControlsLocal, app, voice
Collection MethodRubber extractors
Included AccessoriesHome base charging station, extra filter, extra side brush
Recharge & ResumeYes
PriceSee Current Price On Amazon

5. Roomba 690

For those on a tighter budget but still wanting a robot vacuum to assist them around the home, the Roomba 690 is a great solution.

The top of the 600 series line, this model comes with mobile app and voice control, but doesn’t have camera-based navigation.

Instead it relies on sensors and contact to move around your home in a random pattern. It will eventually clean the entire floor, even though watching it work may appear to miss large areas.

The robot will run on a schedule, and whenever you need it to. However, it will not map your home, get better at cleaning more efficiently, or resume cleaning after a recharge. It will note when the battery level drops below 15%, though, and start making its way to the charging dock on its own.

Another downgrade from the more expensive robots on the list, is that the Roomba 690 uses the bristled brush roller for collection.

It is great at cleaning up pet hair and you will be surprised at how much ends up in the collection bin (even after you’ve vacuumed manually yourself).

You will spend more time with maintenance and cleaning hairs and tangles from the brush roller than with the other models, however.

Still, for the price it is a worthy vacuum to carry the Roomba name and is still found in many homes around the country, even 15 years after its debut. If that doesn’t speak to the reliability and durability, nothing will.

Battery3300 or 1800mAh
ControlsLocal, app, (limited) voice
Collection MethodBrush roller
Included AccessoriesHome base charging station, 1 virtual wall barrier, extra filter, cleaning tool
Recharge & ResumeNo
PriceSee Current Price On Amazon

6. Roomba 675

For those looking for even more savings, allow us to show you the Roomba 675. This model was one time a store-exclusive, sold only through Canadian Tire, Sam’s Club and a few select smaller, local retailers.

It isn’t much different from the Roomba 690, except that it has a different color, ships with the smaller battery and doesn’t have the virtual wall barrier included.

That being said, with the money saved, though, you can upgrade the battery and buy a 2-pack of barriers and still come out ahead.

Now that it isn’t locked to a specific retailer, the availability is the same as that of the 690, with the exception that the 675 is still sold on the iRobot website.

It, too, uses the brush roller for extraction adding to your maintenance time, but it is a small price to pay for the savings on the price tag.

This model also features a flat cleaning tool that cuts through hair and string making the cleaning process even easier.

Battery3300 or 1800mAh
ControlsLocal, app, (limited) voice
Collection MethodBrush roller
Included AccessoriesHome base charging station, extra filter, cleaning tool
Recharge & ResumeNo
PriceSee Current Price On Amazon

7. Roomba 891

The Roomba 800 series was long thought to be the bar all other robots were to aspire to. That is, of course until the 900 series debuted.

The 890, at the time, was the top of the line for the 800 series and it featured a lot of upgrades over other 800 series robots that later became part of the 900 series stable.

The Roomba 891 is the exact same robot as the 890. However, like the 675, it was sold only at specific retailers for several years.

Now that it is widely available, the price has come down and you get the full experience of the powerful 800 series without the high price.

The 891 features the tangle-free, brushless extractors like the 900 series and newer models. It also has a high-efficiency filter for collecting in-home allergens like pet dander.

Like all the other models on this list you can take advantage of the three control options, even using your voice to tell the robot when to clean or when to recharge.

What you don’t get is a virtual wall barrier that shipped with the 890, which does show up as a huge savings on the price tag.

Beyond that, though, you get a highly capable machine at a lower price and a noticeable difference in the cleanliness of your floors.

Battery3300 or 1800mAh
ControlsLocal, app, (limited) voice
Collection MethodRubber extractors
Included AccessoriesHome base charging station, extra filter
Recharge & ResumeNo
PriceSee Current Price On Amazon

8. Roomba 671

The Roomba 671 is yet another specialty model. This robot was only sold at Costco for many years and it is identical to the Roomba 675 with one notable exception.

The Roomba 671 does not come with any accessories. You only get the robot, the home base charging station and the power cord. It is compatible with the mobile app and has a few voice commands to use, too.

However, extra filters, side brushes and brush rollers will need to be purchased separately. Like the other 600 series robots, the 671 is also capable of using the virtual wall barriers, which are also a separate purchase.

However, for homes with pets that need extra care, and the homeowners that are on tighter budgets, the robot-only option is one of the best deals on any Roomba out there.

With lesser brands and models selling for up to twice the price, it is a steal to find a mid-level 600 series Roomba for such a price.

Add in a replenishment kit and a wall barrier or two and you have a fully functional Roomba robot for a fraction of the original price.

Battery3300 or 1800mAh
ControlsLocal, app, (limited) voice
Collection MethodBrush roller
Included AccessoriesHome base charging station
Recharge & ResumeNo
PriceSee Current Price On Amazon

Care and Maintenance of Roomba Vacuums for Pets

care and maintenance of roomba vacuums

The Roomba robots are in need of cleaning and maintenance, just like any other vacuum. The routine is designed to be quick and simple and iRobot has gone out of their way to keep the regimen short and easy to follow.

  • Wipe the body of the robot off, paying special attention to the sensors and camera (if equipped).
  • Remove the collection bin and empty as needed, cleaning off the filter when you do.
  • Inspect the filter for damage and replace or reinstall.
  • Check the extractor rollers, removing from the robot (one-touch button) and pulling off the end caps. String and hair will be found underneath the end caps.
  • Check the air intake for debris or clogs, then replace the extractor rollers.
  • Clean the battery and charger contacts.

The entire process will take you no more than five minutes to complete, and once you know the process and how everything comes apart, it will take even less time.

Taking Control of Your Robot

Robot control comes in many forms and the Roomba robots are at the top of the game for most of them. The older models, including the 600 series robots had more local controls than the later models. While each robot does have local options, there is a noticeable shift to more digital forms.

The local controls are the buttons found on the robots themselves, and have at least 3 options. The larger “clean” button will send the robot off to clean the home based on the last programmed settings (mode, speed, etc.).

You also have a spot clean button that will concentrate the robot in an area about three feet in diameter. Finally, you have the “home” button.

You have to pause the cleaning session by pressing the clean button once, and then press the home button to send the robot back to the charging dock.

More advanced controls will be found on the iRobot Home app. This award winning app will give you all the details your specific robot offers. Including cleaning mode, edge cleaning, spot cleaning, battery life, filter replacement alerts and much more.

If your robot has a camera based navigation system, the map it creates will also be found on the mobile app. You can create cleaning schedules at any time, from anywhere and the robot will be updated as needed.

With smart home integration, you can also use your voice to command the robot though Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant devices. Roombas have the most diverse voice commands of any robot brand or model, and with the 900 series there are over 2 dozen commands you can use.

With the i- and s-series robots those voice commands are increased to almost 3 dozen. The commands include starting, stopping, pausing and resuming cleaning sessions, sending the robot to the charger, and even telling the robot to clean a specific room at a specific time.

FAQ on Roomba and Pet Hair

faq roomba for pet hair

Now we will answer some of the more common questions about Roomba robots and robotic cleaners in general. As always, if you have further questions, feel free to use the comment section below the article.

Q. Are Roomba vacuums worth it?

  1. Not all robot vacuums are created equal. While you can easily find brands and models for a cheaper price, very few will offer the same level of clean and attention to detail as a Roomba.

For the price, each Roomba is a high value tool that will not only help cut down on the amount of time you spend doing chores, but will quickly become a part of your cleaning regimen.

Q. Can robot vacuums clean as well as upright models?

  1. There are a couple of high-powered robots with some advanced technologies and incredible suction power. The Roomba s9 and Neato D7 are among the leaders when it comes to performance and power.

However, while they will clean better than a lot of stick vacuums or battery operated vacuums, they still lack the extreme power and performance of a standard upright.

Q. Are Roomba vacuums as good as Neato robot vacuums?

  1. One of iRobot’s largest competitors is the Neat D-series robots. These models perform well, have great navigation and in the case of the D6 or D7 models, compare equally on almost every test with a Roomba 980 or i7.

Where the Roomba wins is in durability, controls and containment. Making them as good and slightly better investments than a Neato. 

Q. Do all Roomba vacuums use HEPA filtration?

  1. No. iRobot uses two forms of filtration, the standard filtration found on most 800 series and older models (though not all), and the high-efficiency filtration found on the 900 and newer models. The high-efficiency filters are HEPA rated, which will capture and contain in-home allergens.

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

  1. There are several places online to purchase replacement parts such as filters, side brushes, wheels, batteries and extractor bars. You can buy items directly from iRobot, or approved online retailers, such as the iRobot store front through Amazon.

Some brick and mortar shops, like Walmart, Home Depot and Target, will also carry a limited supply of replacement items.

Q. How often should I use a Roomba to clean my floors?

  1. The interval for usage of your Roomba robot will depend on the type of floors you have, the amount of foot traffic and what you want from your floor cleaners.

It is recommended that the robots be run at least twice a week, while many homeowners find the most benefit from daily cleaning sessions while the are at work or away from the house.

Conclusion

Finding a great Roomba for pet hair isn’t a hard thing to do, though deciding which model is best suited for your needs can be more difficult. Almost every Roomba is adept at cleaning pet hair from hard flooring, but only certain models can deep clean pet hair from carpeting.

This article showed you the best models for the task and explained how the robots work. We also covered all the information you need to know to make an informed decision. If you are still undecided on which Roomba is best for your pet hair problems, take another look at the Roomba i7+.

This robot can clean and flooring surfaces, even high-pile carpet, empties its own collection bin and will recharge its battery before finishing the cleaning session, if needed.

Photo of author

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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