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When you think of the best robotic vacuums on the market, chances are the names iRobot and Roomba come to mind. Since their debut in September 2002, they’ve become a trusted and well-recognized brand.

Because of their long-standing legacy, there’s a huge variety of models, features, and products to choose from; that can make choosing a single product difficult. To make your choice more clear, we’ve created a comprehensive guide to the differences between two of the most popular models. Here’s your guide to comparing the Roomba 650 vs 860:

To get to the crux of the question, what’s the big picture?

  • The Roomba 650 is the current entry-level model, replacing the previous entry-level series, the Roomba 500 models. This is a popular vacuum, as it offers a quality clean at an affordable price.
  • The Roomba 860 was released in 2016, replacing the 700 series models. It included maintenance free extractors, at a more affordable price than the 880 models.

Want to get to the important parts? Here’s what you need to know:

The Roomba 650 is a great vacuum for people that are purchasing their first robotic vacuum, or want to stay within their budget. While it doesn’t have the power level of the Roomba 860 or the added bells and whistles that more expensive models include, it still delivers a quality clean.

The Roomba 860 is a bigger investment, but it offers a large upgrade from the Roomba 650 in a few ways. The Roomba 860 has more features like tangle free brushes, the battery lasts longer, and it delivers higher suction power.

The Roomba 650

This model is the Roomba entry-level vacuum, which delivers a good cleaning and lets you choose a set schedule for cleaning. It navigates like you would expect a robot vacuum to, and it’s a budget-friendly option.

Related: Roomba 650 Review

Set Boundaries

A popular feature of the Roomba 650 is that it allows you to section off areas that you want to keep the vacuum out of. By using these ‘virtual walls’ you can make sure the vacuum only cleans where you want it to, and ensure it stays out of areas that it can get stuck, or fall.

Want more indepth comparison? Read my Roomba Comparison guide.

Improved Brush Design

The Roomba 650 improves upon the previous Roomba 500 series’ brushes. This is a leading improvement that’s increased this model’s efficiency. The newer brushes help the Roomba 650 reaches more difficult, restrictive areas thanks to an update on the older brush design.

The Roomba 650 is an improvement on the previous 500 series, and it includes some nice capabilities like scheduled cleaning and virtual walls. It isn’t meant to include a ton of extras, but still completes a clean you’ll be happy with. While the Roomba 650 isn’t as powerful as the Roomba 860, it’s still a good cleaner for a more basic starter robot vacuum.

Quick Tip: Hardwood floors may require some extra care, so you may find it prudent to look into the BEST CORDLESS VACUUM FOR HARDWOOD FLOORS that prevents damage to hardwood floors.

The Roomba 860

The 860 is by far one of the most favored Roomba robot vacuums, since it still has an affordable price tag while including the extra capabilities that really give it a boost above the other models. With a HEPA filter, powerful accelerated suction, and tangle free brushless extractors, its 3-stage cleaning system delivers a very thorough clean.

It Eliminates the Struggle with Tangled Brushes

Everybody has been through the pain of having to stop a clean to fix a tangled up brush. That’s one of the biggest reasons why the Roomba 860 is so popular. With tangle free extractors you’ll never have to struggle to try and free a tangle from the brush without creating more damage to your vacuum.

Basically, instead of using traditional vacuum roll brushes, the 860 uses specially designed rollers made of soft rubber. The rubber rollers spin and use ‘feet’ to direct dust, dirt, and debris right to the suction area, where they’re picked up. It’s great that they deliver a better clean but like with the elimination of tangles, you have very little else to worry about. That means you have a vacuum that takes care of cleaning for you, and that you don’t have to worry about maintenance for either.

This also means that if you have the Roomba 860, your vacuum is going to have a longer life than many other models. The Roomba 860 is especially recommended for people with pets, or that have way too many brush tangles from long hair. The 860 picks up hair efficiently, without you having to watch it for tangles.

Also read about the Best Robot Vacuum For Pet Hair

We’ve got more handy comparisons for you if you still want to compare other Roomba models. To learn more about the Roomba 650, and see how it stacks up to the next 800 series model, take a look at this guide to the Roomba 650 vs the Roomba 880.

Have you ever found yourself overwhelmed by choices? We get that.

There are so many different brands and types of vacuums today that it can stressful when you begin your search. Think about this for a moment. You’re sitting at home, relaxing, and your robotic vacuum is doing the work for you. Roomba is the most well-known brand for robotic vacuums.


For a good reason, too – they make high-quality machines. We are going to go into the similarities and differences between two top Roomba vacuums: Roomba 650 vs Roomba 860.

Roomba 650 vs 860: Similarities?

We have gone over the differences and you might be wondering what these machines have in common. So, let’s get down to it.

Spot Cleaning

This is a special mode on the Roomba vacuums that allow it to focus on tight areas. For example, around the pet beds or bowls. When in this mode, the Roomba will stay within a 3-foot area for a moment before continuing in its regular rotations. That’s right. It really gets down into the tight spots of your home for the best cleaning action.


The appearance of the Roomba 650 and Roomba 860 are not very different. They are both 13.9-inches in diameter and 3.6-inches high. This gives them a unique ability to slide under and around obstacles.


These Roomba vacuums come equipped with IAdapt navigation software. What makes the iAdapt navigation so special?

Well, a robotic vacuum needs to be able to navigate your home without needing you to hover over it with worry. This software uses sensors to let your Roomba know where stairs and tight corners are, as well as guiding it to the next location for cleaning.

What are These Vacuums Lacking?

Other Roomba vacuums come equipped with features that give them a boost in cleaning power. Both machines lack a carpet boost mode that gives up to 10x the normal power for dirt deep down in carpet fibers. Other Roombas come with features that allow them to connect to Wi-Fi and have a camera. These features allow you to have more control over your cleaning experience.

These vacuums also lack the side brushes that give some machines the ability to break up dirt along the edges of walls and push them into the suction zone. The Roomba 960 has these features if that is what you need; however, these features also come at a high price.

Read More about Roomba Alternatives

What are the Differences?

Both vacuums are ideal machines, but the differences will help you make the best choice for your lifestyle.

Battery Type
The Roomba 860 uses a lithium-ion battery while the Roomba 650 uses a nickel metal hybrid battery.

What does this mean for you?
Well, to put it simply the Roomba 860 will have longer run time and more life cycles. The 860 will clean a larger home more effectively. The Roomba 650 battery will need to be replaced less frequently.

Filter Type
Roomba 860 uses an innovative, high-efficiency HEPA filter. The Roomba 650 uses AeroVac filters.

These filters are made to help keep your home as clean as possible. The biggest difference between these two filter types is that the Roomba 860 is perfect for those with allergies. The 860 HEPA filter will suction up pollen, pet dander, and other allergens as small as 0.3 microns.

What are AeroForce and AeroVac technology?
These are technical terms that describe a vacuums power and ability to suction up messes. The Roomba 650 uses AeroVac technology. This is a cost-effective, yet powerful technology that allows it to suction everything from hair too small debris. The Roomba 860 uses AeroForce, which is more powerful than the AeroVac. This simply means that it has a stronger suction power – up to 5x more powerful, in fact.

Debris Extractor
Have you ever had to extract hair from a jammed vacuum? We know the feeling.
The Roomba 860 deals with jams of this type in a much more efficient way. The installed extractor will break down debris, like hair, and reduce the chances of a jam. The Roomba 650 does not have this feature.

LED Indicator
The Roomba 860 is the only vacuum out of these two that comes with a light indicator that lets you know when it is time to empty out the bin. This feature is not necessary if you are vigilant at checking the bin to prevent clogs. It is, however, convenient.

We know that price matters to you, especially when making an investment in a robotic vacuum. As we mentioned before, both the Roomba 650 and 860 machines are of top quality. However, there are differences that make the Roomba 860 a better value. The Roomba 650 is cheaper than the Roomba 860. Take this into consideration along with the different features when making your choice.

Final Verdict

While both the Roomba 650 model and Roomba 860 models of Roomba are effective at cleaning your floors, it is important to consider the specific features each offer and what your home’s floors require. For example, if you live on your own there is far less cleaning up than those who have children or pets. You also need to consider your square footage and the types of flooring in your home.

Larger spaces require longer battery lives and can often have mixed flooring like carpet and tiles or hardwood with large area rugs. Your Roomba needs to be able to take on the task at hand without you having to interfere or reclean areas because the model is not right for your home.

The Roomba 650 is a great option for those who need an affordable but functional machine that can handle the small, everyday messes of your home. But for larger homes or homes with pets or children, the Roomba 650 model may not be able to provide you with the cleaning you want. The Roomba 650 is also ideal for those who want to vacuum your floors every day and be cleaning without needing anything fancy or extra.

The 860 Roomba model is going to cost you more than the Roomba 650 model, but with all the additional features and upgrades, it can take on much more difficult messes in a wider variety of flooring types. The 860 model has a greater suction power as well as non-tangle debris extractors that prevent jams from occurring. It also has a HEPA filter to keep your air clean and prevent dust particles and allergens from being kicked up and breathed in.

Bin indicators will show you when the Roomba 860 has become full and needs to be emptied. Lithium-ion batteries will provide a lifespan that can handle larger homes without needing to stop and recharge.

Roomba’s 860 model can easily hold its own with standard vacuums and is designed to last longer with less maintenance than other vacuums. But you will need to consider how often you want to use your Roomba and how extensive the cleanup will be.

For simple and minimal messes you may not find it necessary to pay more money when the basic Roomba 650 model will do. But if you have a large home and you are looking for a one-stop, long term investment, the 860 makes more sense.

For more Roomba comparisons:

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