Roomba 860 vs 880: Which One Is Best?


When I was a kid in the 1980s, I always thought that one day we would live life as seen on the futuristic-for-its-time cartoon, the Jetsons. That is, human beings would be travelling in flying cars and robot servants would attend to all of their familial needs. At least by the year 2000. Some say that the future is coming too fast, but I dare say that it is lagging by more than a little.

At the dawn of the digital age, in the non-Jetsons oriented reality we currently live in, we only have self-driving cars. Social media. The closest that we can claim in having automated servants are those unsettling Japanese companion bots. Or, beer-serving bots. Also, those autonomous vacuum cleaners shaped like giant hockey pucks.

Roomba 860 vs. 880 Comparison

My family has been requesting that I get a Roomba for some time now. The kids really enjoy watching those robot pucks slowly navigate around the house and occasionally trip me up, and vacuum. I bought two models and thought you might be interested in a comparison of the Roomba 860 vs. 880, to see which one was better to use. After all, if I can’t have Rosie the Robot, I guess I have to accept that Roomba the vacuum robot is what the future of now wants me to have.

iRobot’s One Percent

OK, so we have robot vacuum cleaners. The truth is that the Roomba is probably the first generation of automated helpers that will soon become commonplace in the coming decades. iRobot’s Roomba currently commands about 1% of the vacuum cleaner market, but it generated $883 million in revenue in 2018. Consider that the Roomba only made about $616 million in 2015.

Roomba Vacuum Differences

Roomba 880

The Roomba 880 comes with multiple room cleaning versatility while the Roomba 860 only cleans one room at a time. The 880 does not come with auto-resume after recharging, however. A virtual wall is a kind of infrared line in the sand function that maps out areas in your home where you don’t want the Roomba to enter. The 880 has two virtual walls to the 860’s single. If you have a large home and don’t want to get tripped up, the virtual wall function comes in handy.

The 880 even has a “lighthouse,” function which keeps it in one room similar to the 860. Unlike the 860, the 880 comes with a line of sight remote control. The 860 has a push button console on the model. When it comes to cleaning, the 880 is a little more efficient than the 860, especially when it comes to pet hair. However, the 860 does have a battery life that is a little longer than the 880.

Roomba 860

If you are a stickler for aesthetics, the 880 model is colored black while the 860 is silver. When it comes to price, you can usually buy the Roomba 860 anywhere from $30 to $100 cheaper than the Roomba 880.

The Verdict

The truth is that the Roomba 860 and 880 models, while still available for sale, are no longer being manufactured by iRobot. The company is focusing on the current 900 series and continuing its product innovation initiatives. You should buy the 880 if you have a large home; the 860 is more suitable for apartments and smaller homes. While the 880 is definitely a marked improvement on the 860 when it comes to efficiency, you will be fine with either model.

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