Cleaning the house has become so much easier since the rise in popularity of robotic vacuum cleaners. While robotic vacuum cleaners have been around for a while, they are really starting to take off and are now a staple in many households. Robot vacuum makes it possible to simply tell a tool to clean for you; you don’t even have to lift a finger to clean your house. That is just one of the many joys of living in the modern age of technology.
While there are many companies out there developing and marketing these revolutionary spot cleaning tools with no full bin indicator, two companies that have become major players in the world of robot vacuums are Roomba and Ilife. Roomba iRobot was established in 2002 while iLife was established in 2007. There seems to be an endless debate going on about which brand is better than the other when iLife vs Roomba is being discussed.
The goal of this article is to compare iLife vs Roomba from many different angles. We will look at multiple factors regarding each brand’s innovations, capabilities, research level, and popularity. Overall, Roomba seems to be the superior brand. By looking at the big picture, you will see how much more effective Roomba models are in many different aspects.
There is enough information in this article to allow you to see the unique advantages of both iLife models and Roomba robot vacuums. Have a look for yourself to decide which progressive brand for revolutionary robot vacuum you prefer.
Comparing iLife vs Roomba
iRobot Roomba – About the Brand
Roomba has become a household word over the past multiple years, even in houses that do not own one. In fact, when most people are referring to robot vacuum, they usually just call them “Roombas” regardless of what brand they actually are.
But while iRobot’s Roomba has certainly been a popular and progressive robotic vacuum, it was not the first, even though many people think it was. In fact, the first robotic vacuums came from a brand called Electrolux back in the 90s. However, their version of the robot vacuum never gained popularity based on major problems and the product was discontinued.
In 2001, Dyson made another attempt at creating a robotic vacuum, but this attempt failed as well. Dyson’s robotic vacuum never even hit the sales floor due to expenses. But finally, in 2002, iRobot came out with the Roomba. The Roomba, although not the first, is now probably the most popular vacuum on the market.
Products and Innovations
Roomba iRobot has been credited with achieving many great technological advances in the field of robotic cleaning. From building in visual sensors to creating apps for controlling and programming robot vacuum, Roomba iRobot has consistently worked to improve on and better their products.
The Roomba company has also achieved many great feats in robotic home spot cleaning since its founding 20 years ago. Roomba iRobot was started in 1990, but they didn’t come out with the Roomba until 2002. Ever since Roomba iRobot has come out with over 40 vacuum cleaners from the original Roomba to the latest Roomba 980.
The Roomba 980 is Roomba’s most advanced model of a robot vacuums. This newest Roomba model comes equipped with great features, including virtual wall barriers and cameras to detect and avoid cord tangling, find debris and avoid the furniture.
- Roomba 650 vs. 655 (Click Here to Read)
- Roomba 650 vs. 860 (Click Here to Read)
- Roomba 960 vs. 980 (Click to Read)
- Roomba 860 vs. 880 (Click to Read)
- Roomba E5 vs. E6 (Click to Read)
- Roomba 690 vs. 960 (Click to Read)
Ilife: An Analysis
With the primary goal of making high-quality robotic vacuums more affordable, Ilife has worked hard to create the advanced, state of the art vacuum cleaners for an accessible price. Founded in 2010, the Chinese company is a lot newer than Roomba iRobot. But in a short time, they have been around, iLife models has created some great robots competitive with many on the market.
iLife first robot vacuum cleaner, the X500 introduced some really great new features and technologies that had never been seen before. All these years later, their newest model, the ilife A6 is still a great robot vacuums that has the same features as all the top robots.
Products and Innovations
iLife innovations have spanned multiple areas of home cleaning. Their robot vacuum cleaner has an advanced infrared detection system to find dirt, pet hair, and debris. But beyond robot vacuums, the company also has worked toward developing robotic mopping systems.
A fantastic creation of theirs is a 3-in-1 mopping, sweeping and vacuuming cleaner. This is just one example of iLife technological advances in mapping technology.
But beyond that, one of the best things about iLife is its long-lasting battery and charging dock. iLife models and products all operate from a Lithium-ion battery, a type of battery that is used in a wide variety of items. These batteries give iLife products an incredibly long run time that outdoes other robotic cleaning products.
Roomba Vacuums vs. iLife Vacuums Similarities
Besides their differences, the two brands have quite a lot in common and as a result, the products of the two companies often end up very similar. Many of their features are similar or exactly the same, and it seems that Ilife has used Roomba as an example in many instances. Here are some examples:
- Both companies sell robots that clean a variety of floor types and move from one-floor type to another without getting stuck or caught
- Each iLife and Roomba company has worked on developing a robot vacuum cleaner and mops
- Every robot vacuum from iLife and Roomba companies uses a three-stage cleaning system
- Both have remote control possibilities to control, schedule, and manually clean using the robot vacuums
- Robots from both companies have dirt-detecting sensors
- Robots from iLife and Roomba companies have wireless barriers
- Each company designs robots that are sleek with a low profile
- Certain robots from iLife and Roomba companies will return to their docking stations to charge when they are running low on battery
- The setup for both models are quick and efficient
- The customer service teams for both Roomba and iLife are exceptional
- iLife and Roomba brands have a one-year warranty to protect their vacuum
- iLife and Roomba have a feature known as spot cleaning
- Some models of both iLife and Roomba vacuums are capable of being controlled remotely
- Newer models of Roomba come designed with HEPA filters. Also, iLife has HEPA Filters
- No full bin indicator
iLife vs Roomba Vacuums Differences
- Roomba uses mobile apps you can download onto your phone and smart home technology while iLife models use a remote control designed for the iLife robot.
- In order to avoid crashes and prevent damage, Roomba vacuum looks around with acoustic and visual sensors. Ilife robots use infrared light sensors.
- Roomba robot vacuums will give a cleaning report, but Ilife models do not.
- Where Ilife has worked to develop robots that can do both vacuuming and mopping, Roomba has only worked on individual robots for each job.
- iLife is more affordable than Roomba vacuum
- A majority of iLife is capable of mopping functions
- Roomba is able to go to their docks to recharge automatically when they are running out of battery power
- The Roomba has been around longer than iLife models
- Roomba models have better navigation capabilities
- Also read my Best Roomba for Pet Hair guide
- Review of Roomba 650
iLife vs Roomba vacuums are both effective in their own way. Now, you have seen how both brands compare in some aspects. Let us take some time to view some more specific aspects of both vacuum brands to help you learn what you should expect out of robotic vacuums.
When it comes to the design of robot vacuums, you will want something that is small and versatile enough for cleaning underneath and around furniture with ease. A majority of robot vacuum are designed to be circular and they come with their own set of buttons and unique controls. By taking a close look at both iLife and Roomba, you will be able to notice a few key differences that set them apart from each other.
The Roomba vacuum models are circular with a diameter of 14 inches or less, built to be 3.6 inches tall and weigh around 8.6 pounds. There is no variety of color since they only come in black. The small height allows it to maneuver underneath furniture with ease without having to life a finger to assist it. A majority of the newer Roomba models can be controlled with an app. Older models work by manually setting controls and schedules on the vacuum itself. Roombas also have a ‘clean’ button that you will use to help it navigate and follow command tasks during cleaning.
iLife vacuum models are usually 3 inches tall or smaller with a diameter of 13.4 inches or lower and a weight of 4.9 pounds. They come in gray and they also have a circular design. The LED display of iLife will be able to give you some information about your robot and set cleaning schedules for it to follow.
The iLife and Roomba navigation ability is one of the most important aspects of robotic vacuum to pay attention to. The navigation will help your vacuum determine how to maneuver around your house at any time. You should be able to adjust the navigation according to the layout of your house. You may want to look for a product that has advanced navigation capabilities to ensure that it can cover as much of your house as possible, if not all of it.
The Roomba is able to easily navigate through your house with the help of iAdapt navigation system technology. iAdapt helps Roomba effectively move around furniture and prevent it from falling down a flight of stairs by mapping out your room with sensors. This feature helps prevent the vacuum from getting potentially damaged while cleaning. You can also use iAdapt to change the cleaning mode to fit another floor surface.
iLife navigation system depends on the floor plan and cleaning mode you set for it. You can also control it remotely so the vacuum can go wherever you want it to go at any given time. The navigation system abilities for iLife are not as up-to-date as that of the Roomba. Therefore, many iLife, both new and old, will rely on pre-set modes and remote control. They will be able to clean well in the specific areas you place them in.
The battery life determines how long a vacuum can run on a single charge. It is important that the vacuum has a long battery life so it can finish all the cleaning it needs to do in one sweep before needing to be recharged. Let us take some time to see how the battery runs of both the iLife and Roomba.
Older Roomba models use Ni-MH batteries while newer ones use lithium-ion batteries. As a result, the newer Roomba models can run for twice as long on a single charge. Older models will only be able to hold an hour’s worth of battery before battery runs out and needs to be recharged.
The most high quality iLife uses lithium-ion batteries to hold their charge. Both the highest and lowest runtime for iLife are higher than the Roomba’s runtime. Their best vacuum are capable of holding a charge that lasts for 150 minutes before it needs to be charged up again. It is clear that the iLife vacuum will be more useful to you if you need a model with a long lasting battery.
Special Features for iLife vs Roomba
Some of the special features that come included with different robot vacuum are essential for cleaning up tougher messes. Both Roomba and iLife have their own set of features that set them apart from each other and other brands. You may find many of these features to be quite useful. One Roomba model will be especially useful with the helpful set of features it has.
Roomba has features such as automatic recharging and a 3-stage cleaning system to help you get the most thorough cleaning of a single cleaning job. It will also be able to adjust its settings according to the different floor plans you have set for it. You can set schedules that it will follow to be most convenient for you. The dirt detectors and side brushes it is designed with will make sure that hardly any mess or pet hair gets left behind.
iLife robots also come with a 3-stage cleaning program implemented into their system. Their long battery life and deep cleaning feature will ensure you that everything gets cleaned within a single cleaning session. You will also find the auto-scheduling feature quite useful if you are able to set it around your personal schedule.
Things I Love About iLife
iLife is a new company that has entered the realm of home automation. There are a lot of companies out there bringing the robotic age to us, and I for one find that exciting.
One of the best things about iLife robot is its battery. Unlike other major companies out there, iLife uses a lithium-ion battery rather than the typical Nickle Metal Hydride batteries. This means that iLife will experience a smaller self-discharge rate, and will take less time to recharge.
The biggest difference is that iLife robot can run for nearly twice as long as other machines.
iLife models also provide a means of HEPA filters and infrared sensors to scan for and detect edges so that it won’t drop off or fall down stairs and other high areas. Don’t worry though, this iLife technology is invisible to the naked eye so you won’t have to worry about lasers or other lights when it’s dark.
iLife robot vacuums are also more versatile than other vacuums on the market because it uses hepa filters and can also clean and mop by fill the water tank. The caveat is that you have to swap out the mop head and water tank with the dust bin, but I find this to be a small price to pay considering all of this is consolidated into one machine with water tank rather than two. However, its HEPA filters cannot be washed and should be changed every 3-6 months.
Things I Don’t Like About iLife
While iLife is a great automated vacuum, it does have some weaknesses.
For starters, the iLife remote control could undergo some improvements. Personally, I would like to see iLife robot vacuums do away with a remote control altogether and go the route that other companies have gone and create an app for my smartphone.
Unfortunately, iLife vacuum has not created an app. While the remote control should have felt intuitive, it did not. I often found myself repeatedly reading the manual in order to figure out how to use it. This may seem minor, but for me, this was a big deal because the spot cleaning feature is entirely done with the remote control.
Adding to this, some people have reported the infrared sensors sometimes get stuck between dark lines and surfaces leaving them stationary. Other owners went on to report that the acoustics of the machine failed to prevent it from falling from high places.
While having to swap pieces around on a single machine may be a small price to pay, this sense of freedom vanishes when I have to stand by the machine while it mops to make sure it doesn’t somehow drown itself. Moreover, the machine cannot be charged while in wet mopping mode.
Finally, iLife robot vacuums are based in China. So if you find yourself in need of parts, it will likely take several months to get them. Luckily, there is a support line based in the United States that is toll-free though, so that is helpful.
My analysis of bObsweep vs Roomba
Things I Love About iRobot
High-end Roomba is leading the competition and doing everything they can to maintain that lead. The Roomba robot vacuums, products created by Roomba, have built not only brand trust but belief in their performance. You can easily start your home automation by the high-end Roomba and continue about your day worry-free.
The iHome app allows you to take control of your robot vacuum to a whole new level. I love that I can be anywhere and take control of what is happening in my home from my smart home smartphone. This app allows you to use voice commands through advanced technology like Amazon Alexa or Google Home. You will be about to name your robot, and some people come up with clever names or do more productive commands like checking the current progress or scheduling cleanups.
Why is this Roomba feature so convenient?
If you are away at work or an important appointment and suddenly find out that you are going to have unexpected guests over that night, you will probably be worried about the state of your home. This app will allow you to take the necessary steps in order to get your vacuum prepared to start a cleaning routine. You will not have to wait until you get home to rush for cleaning modes – why add that unnecessary stress when you can just have a robot vacuum take care of you?
Another feature that I enjoy is the virtual wall barriers. Both Roomba vs iLife have this feature; however, iRobot has packed this nifty design into a more compact design. Obstacles, like furniture, can easily be avoided with the large radius size.
One of the most exciting features for me are the side brushes -less extractors. The high-end Roomba, for example, no longer use the bristles and side brushes, which has cut down on maintenance time and frustrations. I don’t have to cut out all of the pet hair and other junk anymore.
Maintenance is something that I don’t want to have to worry about. I am the kind of person that likes to set the machine to work and forget all about it. In this regard, the high-end Roomba takes less than five minutes per week to maintain and for cleaning process, which is perfect.
What I Dislike About iRobot
I have a few complaints about the Roomba as well. After all, nothing is perfect. Similar to ILIFE, the Roomba also struggles with dark spots and area rugs with dark or intense patterns. Effectively, these dark spots trick the Roomba into sensing a drop off point, and so it will just sit in place or turnaround.
Unlike the ILIFEs versatility, the Roomba can only be purchased to mop or vacuum, which means that in order to get both done in your automated home you would need two machines.
Finally, when the Roomba was busy vacuuming the floors, it would sometimes stray to a point far away from the docking station. It would either have trouble finding its way back, or it would just stop where it was at. This meant that it would effectively die somewhere in the house. Then I would have to take it back to the docking station. I experienced a similar problem when the battery was too low.
For the iLife vs Roomba cleaning test, both of them were put up to different cleaning tests in order to see how they fared against each type of mess on different surfaces. The materials that were used on each floor consist of kitty litter, flour, rice, sand, sugar, and cereal. They were also tested on how well their cleaning for pet messes on both carpet and hard floors. Let us take some time to see how both brands did in each floor cleaning modes test.
When it comes to cleaning carpets, some Roomba brand vacuum did an excellent job on low pile carpets, and some even worked great on medium pile carpets. High pile carpets were an entirely different story since they are a bit more difficult in cleaning. As for iLife, some models did not do well on carpets while others did pretty well on low pile and medium pile carpets. It was determined that a certain model of iLife did better than the rest that were put to the test. It displayed more suction power and was able to clean more of the messes than the other vacuum.
The iLife vacuum that was used in the hard floors test came out as the winner thanks to its wet mopping capabilities. Some iLife able to clean up every bit of each mess that was left on the floor while the Roomba vacuums left some behind. The wet mopping function of the iLife was implemented specifically for hardwood floors, so it is no surprise that they did exceptionally well in the hardwood floor test.
Pet messes on both surfaces
The iLife vs Roomba vacuums that were put to the test for pet messes had their own upsides and downsides. Both did amazing with cleaning up cat litter from both surfaces. Roomba vacuums did an exceptional job of cleaning the messes on bare floors. However, they faced problems with the long pet hair that got tangled up within the side brushes. The iLife did well on bare floors and carpets except for one. The one that had a hard time cleaning carpets was struggling in cleaning the smaller bits of pet hair out of the carpet. However, one model of iLife was able to wipe up paw marks and urine left behind by pets. It was hard to determine a winner for this section since they similarly excelled and struggled in different areas.
Which One Should You Pick?
Which vacuum is right for you depends on your particular situation, and my own experiences may not be the same as others who have tried both the Roomba and iLife. First, the iLife is a good machine for those looking to start their home automation journey, and is good for those on a budget.
iLife is committed to improving their machines, and their products do as they are marketed to do. With over a decade of experience in developing machines, they’re a good option to go with. Best still, the machines are quality products but lower in costs which makes them a very cost effective choice. Again, this is truer considering their machines can do two different functions so you don’t have to spend twice as much to complete the same tasks.
See the iLife range here on Amazon and check prices.
The Roomba is a quality product, very popular, but more expensive. Roomba has been around for a while, and if you believe that popularity and price determine quality, you’re probably right when it comes to Roomba. These machines are very reliable, built to be very durable, and the customer service is amazing.
Additionally, some of the more expensive models have Wi-Fi compatibility and a visual mapping feature. This means that you can truly put the machine to work and forget about it. This what home automation is all about.
Roombas also utilize other features such as voice control commands, customer support based in the United States, and a mobile app rather than a remote control. Roomba is a dominant force in the home automation industry specifically because of these innovations, and why shouldn’t they be when they’ve been around for more than 20 years.
See the iRobot range here on Amazon and check prices.
If you want to check out the different models that Roomba vs iLife have to offer, Amazon has great assortment where you can compare different models for two brands.
The Wrap Up
I have a hard time basing my decision between models of different companies. It’s important to consider your own budget and needs in determining which model, or company, to go with.
iLIFE came close for me because of the versatility built into one machine, and because the company has a great future ahead of them.
But when it comes down to Roomba vs iLife, Roomba boasts more experience, better quality, and well-established features that allow me to forget about the machine while it does its thing.
Every machine has its cons, and Roomba isn’t immune to those. The level at which iRobot home is user-friendly and my overall experience with it tells me that these machines are worth every penny. I expect that ILIFE will continue to develop its products and will be a force to be reckoned with in the future, but they’ve still got a distance to go.
If you’re new to home automation, or just curious about how these machines work, you should go with ILIFE. They’ll get the job done. You’ll get to experiment, and save yourself a lot of money. If you’re ready to have a machine clean your house automatically while you forget about it and do other things, then you should go with iRobot.