What’s the Difference Between iRobot Roomba 860 vs. 870?

So you’ve got your eyes set on a Roomba? You’re not the first that can’t tell the 860 and 870 apart, but we can help you with that.

Both 860 and 870 are a part of Roomba’s 800 series that’s designed to bring vacuuming to another level. Made to free your hands and allow more effective cleaning, these vacuums are among the most popular.

What sets them apart from the rest?

Roomba improved both models compared to previous ones so you’d get quality and efficiency with either one of these.

Both use patented AeroForce performance cleaning system like others from the line. There are a few other similarities as well so we can say both are equally as good carrying the well known Roomba detailing.

Comparing these two is a bit tricky. The manufacturer didn’t quite state the differences, but we were able to spot them after some thorough research.

Continue reading to see the difference with the Roomba 860 vs the 870.

Similarities Between the 870 vs 860


These two look very similar at first glance, and it’s mostly due to the fact they have the same dimensions. Each model measures 13.9 inches in diameter and 3.6 inches in height. Also, they both weight 8.4lbs.

Their size is the perfect size of such an appliance as many people confirmed. It’s especially convenient for houses with a lot of furnishing and tight areas that need a thorough cleaning.

Compact and practical vacuums such as 860 and 870 models are great to fit under furniture and around any obstacles along the way. These specs also make them easy to carry around if need be.

Though the shape and dimensions do make it hard for them to clean corners, they can tackle any other area. They do feature bristles to clean as near to walls as possible, but it’s up to you to decide if they do it well.

The dimensions allow them to move around smoothly while making it almost impossible to get stuck anywhere.


How do these appliances know where to go? Well, the iRobot used innovative technology to help their cleaners maneuver more easily and effectively.

This brings us to the next significant similarity between the two that is the iAdapt Responsive technology. Both models navigate using technology for better and more effective results.

The iAdapt helps them to move around your home cleaning carpets and floors but avoiding furniture, clutter and other areas you wouldn’t want the device to come near to.

Probably the biggest benefit of technology is that it helps them to avoid stairs. The last thing you want is your Roomba to fall down a flat of stairs, but you also can’t keep watching it. The iAdapt keeps both the 860 and 870 away from any stairs and other obstacles that could damage them.

The responsive system allows you to tell Roomba which areas to avoid. You can apply this to specific furniture, pet food area and whatever else similar area. It makes the vacuums versatile, efficient and entirely adaptable for every individual home.

Cleaning System

Both have a very efficient cleaning system backed up with many different modes and technologies. The most important is probably the AeroForce cleaning system. The 3-stage system uses brushing, agitation, and suction.

The Dirt Detect Series 2 uses acoustic and optical sensors to locate dirt for thorough cleaning. Another system is the Persistent Pass cleaning method that uses a back and forth patterns in those areas that require more concentrated cleaning.

For a gentler cleaning, these two use a spinning side brush that cleans in the corners. The tangle-free AeroForce Extractors break down the dirt preventing any clogging. The rubber thread design allows the extractors to remove any debris, hairs, and dirt. Plus, they counter-rotate for added quality of performance. This is especially convenient if you have pets with long hairs that shred. The technology also prevents the vacuums from getting stuck on cords and carpet fringe.

Comparison Guide

Virtual Wall

This is one of those features that we fell in love with when Roomba first presented it. It makes an already useful and convenient vacuum that much more user-friendly and versatile.

It prevents the appliance from entering a particular room and come near a stairway or a specific cluttered area. Still, you can use it to prevent it from coming near any area you don’t want to clean.

Though both have the feature, it’s important to note that the 870 one has two Virtual Walls. Getting two of these in one package might be more convenient for some people with larger houses.

Roomba sells additional virtual walls, but if you know that you’ll probably need more than one consider getting the 870 model that comes with two already included.


The 870 one comes with an XLife extended life battery and a home base charging station. The 860 comes with a lithium-ion battery as well as a home base charging station.

Both Roombas know when they’re about to run out of battery life. This means they will automatically return to base to charge. This is far more convenient than having to search your home to find where the Roomba ran out of battery. There’s also an option to schedule them for weekly sections.

The 870 model last for about 75 to 90 minutes before it returns to its charging base. The 860 one last a bit less than that with its maximum being 75 minutes. Though the Roomba 860 has a weaker battery, it can still cover a large house with one charge.

They vacuum and recharge on their own and require no assistance on your part. Just make sure to place the charging dock somewhere your vacuum can reach it.


The tangle-free extractors and sensors make the 870 Roomba slightly more advanced than the 860 one. These are convenient for people that have pet hair on their floors. While Roomba 860 also has extractors they don’t seem to perform as well as those on the 870 model.

They both feature bristles, 3-stage cleaning, and virtual walls, but that’s as far as the accessories go. However, that’s nothing unusual for Roomba robots so don’t let it break the deal for you. These are probably the only vacuums you’ll ever come across that need as little accessories in order to operate.

Which is Better for You?

Roomba 860

This is a powerful and compact machine that changes the way you feel about vacuuming. It needs no assistance in order to do a thorough and deep clean. It’s an ideal appliance for small to medium houses that could be swept under a 75-minute time span.

Roomba 870

Slightly more advanced, this one is more suited for larger homes since its battery can last for up to 90 minutes. More so, it features two Virtual Walls you might find convenient and useful every time you use the machine.

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I’ve been a dedicated writer for Clean That Floor for approximately 3 years. I’ve written about various topics, mostly focusing on cleaning products, vacuum cleaners, mops, and simple cleaning solutions for homeowners. I enjoy testing tips and tricks on house maintenance, reviewing both the process and results.

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