Neato vs Roomba
When you think about robot vacuums, you probably have an immediate idea in your head: Roomba. The successful series of the market leader iRobot has found its way into thousands of households since 2002. If you have dealt with this topic a little more, you probably also know Neato Robotics. Both manufacturers score with lots of different robot hoovers. We call it “Neato vs Roomba” now because we compare these two leading brands.
Navigation – with system or “random”
The initial Roomba models drive in a chaotic pattern. This means, that they drive straight on until they encounter an obstacle and then change their direction. The big advantage: Due to the “chaotic” way of driving, they vacuum each spot up to four times, so no dirt is overlooked. For this reason, however, these Roomba models are slower and are only suitable for small apartments/houses with up to 80 m2.
The more modern iRobot Roomba models (900 series only) navigate systematically thanks to a built-in camera. They know exactly what the surface to be cleaned looks like and where there are obstacles. In systematic paths they clean room by room, finding their way around on their own. If the battery becomes weak, they return to the charging station, recharge and continue cleaning where they left off.
The Neato Botvac robot hoovers are equipped with a laser-scanner with which they scan their surroundings. They also know exactly where obstacles are and what the cleaning surface looks like. At the beginning of each cleaning process, they clean once along the edges or walls and then carry on with the rest of the surface in parallel tracks.
With system or random – which one is better?
The navigation method is an important topic in the matters of a comparison of Neato vs Roomba. For us, the methodical one is of course easier to understand. In fact, it’s always the home that counts. The Roomba 900 or Neato models are better for large, spacious apartments or houses with many rooms. They clean an entire floor independently and recharge themselves in the meantime, if necessary. For smaller apartments or apartments with thresholds, the Roomba models with their random principle are just as suitable, as they couldn’t drive independently into the next room anyway.
Neato vs Roomba – different cleaning systems
iRobot uses, depending on the model, two different cleaning system. The iRobot Roomba 500/600 and 700 series uses the well-known brush and lamella system. One bristle and one lamella brush each rotate in opposite directions and reliably pick up dirt.
The new Roomba 800, 900, e- and i-series models have two rubber rollers instead of brushes. In addition, they score with an impressive up to 10 times stronger suction power than predecessor models. These models are therefore highly recommended robot hoovers for pet owners.
Neato also relies on a combination of bristle and finned brushes and a particularly powerful suction motor. Depending on the type of floor, we recommend the use of one of the following brushes: Bristle brush for hard floors, lamella brush for carpets or simply the included combo-brush, which combines both in one.
Brushes or rubber extractors – what is better?
Again, it all depends on your requirements. The rubber rollers are particularly suitable for heavily soiled floors, such as those found in pet households. If you don’t have any pets, you will also be well served with a brush system. Especially carpets are cleaned more thoroughly with brushes than with rubber rollers.
Comparing Neato vs Roomba, we have found a clear winner in the matters of the volume. The robot hoovers of the iRobot Roomba series are a whole lot quieter with only 58 dB while the Neato Botvac models have a volume of about 70 dB. So, watching TV in the same room is not possible with a Neato as it is not quieter than a normal vacuum cleaner.
Many Neato and Roomba models are equipped with an Eco-mode which reduces the suction power and therefore also the volume.
Control: Manually, via smartphone or even with voice commands
The basic models of iRobot Roomba can be started and stopped manually only. Depending on the model it is possible to set a cleaning schedule. At the predefined times, the robot hoovers start vacuuming automatically.
The more modern Roomba models are Wi-Fi enabled and can be controlled with a smartphone or tablet comfortably. Thanks to the Wi-Fi function, the robot hoover can also be controlled with voice services such as Amazon Alexa or Google Home. Special commands can also be executed via IFTTT (e.g. automatic start of the cleaning when you leave the house).
All of the Neato Botvac robot hoovers can be controlled via app. Furthermore, they can also be controlled via Amazon Alexa, Google Home, IFTTT and a Facebook Messenger chatbot. On the device itself, most models can only be started and stopped.
Conclusion regarding the control
When thinking about buying a robot hoover or wondering about Neato vs Roomba, please make sure which control options you really need. If you don’t have Wi-Fi or a smartphone or don’t want to use it, you won’t need a robot hoover which is Wi-Fi enabled, because most of the features are only accessible via app. If you have high door steps, you’ll have to carry the robot to the next room and probably don’t need a scheduling function either. But of course, that is up to you. ;)
Households with pets
The robot hoover of the Roomba 600/700 series are not suitable for households with pets. Most of them have a suction power that is too low to vacuum all the dog or cat hair. Furthermore, the dust bin is a little small which affords an emptying more often.
Whereas theRoomba 800/900/e-models are especially suitable for pet owners. Thanks to their strong suction power and the almost maintenance-free rubber rollers, they pick up pet hair particularly reliably and the cleaning of the rollers is also very easy.
Because of the powerful suction motor and the combo-brush, the robot hoovers by Neato also highly recommended for a use in households with pets.
Cleaning of carpets: Neato vs Roomba
The robot hoovers by iRobot as well as the ones by Neato are suitable for the cleaning of carpets. Nevertheless, they need more suction power and therefore more energy on carpets. Because of this, we recommend robot hoovers with the recharge function for households with lots of carpets.
Problematic for all robot hoovers: Fringe rugs. The robot hoovers just seem to love getting stuck in the fringes. Therefore, we recommend to fold up the fringe ends of the rug. The cleaning of deep pile carpets is only possible with the brushless robot hoovers of the Roomba 800/900/e-series.
Results of the comparison Neato vs Roomba
I’m sure you have already realised: It is really not that easy to tell if the Roomba or the Neato models are better or which brand offers the “best robot vacuum”. The choice always depends on your home. In general, you can ask yourself the following questions:
- • Do I prefer a methodical (ideal for large homes with not doorsteps) or a random navigation pattern?
- • Do I need an extra powerful suction (e.g. for pet hair)?
- • Is the volume of the robot hoover of importance for me?
- • How would I like to control the robot?
Depending on your answers, you better go for a more modern or a basic model. So, in the comparison of Neato vs Roomba, we cannot name a clear winner or tell which ones are the better robot hoovers. If you have another point of view, please leave us a comment.