Wouldn’t it be nice to come home to spotless floors after work? That’s the American Dream, is it not? Well, you can turn this dream into a reality by outsourcing one of the most annoying chores to your very own robot. In this article, we’re going to take a close look at an overlooked robotic vacuum cleaner by the world’s leading manufacturer of home robots – the iRobot Roomba 891. Although the Roomba 891 is marketed as a budget-friendly robot, it is by no standards a “cheaply made or bad-performing” little fella. Let’s see what sort of junk this badboy has under its disc-shaped little trunk.
Remarkable Suction Power
When it comes to vacuum cleaners – robotic or otherwise – it’s all about suction power. After all, the only way a vacuum cleaner can pick up dirt and debris from floors is through the suction inlet, and the Roomba 891 has it in spades… by budget robot vac standards anyway. With up to 1,000 Pa of intake pressure, this robot has no problem dislodging and picking up dry crumbs out of medium-pile carpeting.
Multi-Surface Cleaning Abilities
The Roomba 891 is able to clean most surfaces without the slightest hiccup. Thanks to its flexible dual brushes, this robot vac can transition from medium-pile carpets to hardwood or tiled floors in an instant. The rubber bristles are constantly adjusting to whatever surface the Roomba is cleaning, constantly making contact for the cleanest results. Combined with 1,000 Pa of suction power, this robot is able to extract every bit of dust lodged between floorboards.
Super-Fine High-Efficiency Filter
If you have pets, you know how messy they can be. Cats and dogs are notorious for leaving strands of hair everywhere, and their dander is not pleasant at all. The Roomba 891 understands this and comes with an appropriate filter that traps pet hair and dander with its high-efficiency filter. The super-fine mesh of this filter captures and retains most particles as small as 10 microns in size.
There’s nothing worse than relying 100% on a robotic vac that can’t even do its job right. This is something you won’t have to worry about with the Roomba 891, thanks to its smart dirt sensors that are constantly looking out for high concentrations of dirt. These sensors force the Roomba to prioritize cleaning high-traffic areas where piles of dirt accumulate the quickest.
Spectacular Side Brushes
One thing we often find in robotic vacuum cleaners is that their side brushes scatter dirt rather than pull it in for the inlet to pick up. The Roomba 891’s side brushes are entirely different. They are positioned at 27° angles to help draw dirt in rather than fling it away. This practically guarantees perfectly clean edges and corners – the two hardest spots for robots to clean.
The Roomba 891 comes with a 1,800-mAh Li-Ion battery that provides enough power for 90 minutes of constant vacuuming. This is not the longest runtime, but it’s enough time for the robot to vacuum roughly 2,000 square feet before it needs to recharge. This robot vac has an auto-docking feature that sends the robot back to the charging dock to refuel before its battery runs out completely. There’s no resume feature though, so you’ll have to instruct the little guy to get back to work after its battery is full.
Stay Connected with the iRobot HOME App
The iRobot Roomba 891 does not come with its own remote control. Instead, to send instructions and program cleaning cycles from afar, you can download the iRobot HOME App on your smart device. As long as your phone and the robot are connected to the internet, you’ll be able to give orders to the Roomba 891 from anywhere in the world. You can also shout at Alexa or Amazon to tell the little robot when to start/stop/recharge.
iRobot Roomba 891 vs. 690
The Roomba 690 is an older generation model is left picking up the 891’s dust, which after vacuuming isn’t that much. It’s missing a lot of features that the newer 891 has, but it remains a relevant robot even in this day and age of technology.
According to iRobot, the 891 delivers suction power that is five times as powerful as the 690 on its weaker, hard-floor cleaning mode. This is by no means a knock at the 690’s cleaning abilities; in fact, for basic vacuuming jobs, it still provides enough intake pressure to pick up scraps from low-pile carpeting.
Despite belonging to an older generation of robots, the 690 has something that the 891 doesn’t: mapping and visual navigation technology. When robot first boots up, it’ll create a digital layout of your home’s floors and design the most efficient cleaning path possible. This is a lot better than the 891’s hit-or-miss way of navigation.
One thing worth noting about the navigation system is that, since this is an older model, it’s far from perfect. Users will notice that its cleaning path is not exactly efficient, so it’s only a little better off than the 891’s seemingly random pathing.
One important thing that the 690 comes with that’s missing entirely in the 891 is the inclusion of virtual walls. With these tiny towers, you can create no-go zones to prevent the robot from tipping pet food bowls. You can also use the wall to force the robot to clean a particularly messy room. The 891 is compatible with virtual walls, but it doesn’t come with them.
iRobot Roomba 891 vs. 890
Everything that the 891 has, the Roomba 890 also comes with. Neither has the upper-hand in terms of performance, battery life, addition features, and remote controllability.
By now, you’re probably wondering why on Earth we’re comparing the two. It’s easy: the 891, despite its “higher” model number, is a “worse” model than the 890. Here’s why.
Remember how we said that the 891 is compatible with virtual walls but doesn’t come with them? The 890 does. Right out of the box, you can create prohibited spaces where the robot will not venture wildly into. If you get the 890, you’ll have to purchase them separately.
One could argue that the lack of virtual walls is no big deal, especially when running a full-home cleaning cycle, but you’re missing the point. The 891, straight out of the box, has unused potential unless you make a separate purchase!
One thing we forgot to mention – if it even matters to anyone – is that the 890 has a slightly darker faceplate than the 891.
iRobot Roomba 891 vs. 960
As you can imagine, the newer iRobot Roomba 960 is more technologically advanced than the 891 in numerous ways. Though far from being the best robot in the current robotic vac environment, it is by far the better robot when compared to the 891.
Its vacuuming performance isn’t all that different from the 981, but their navigation systems are what sets them apart. The 960 uses 2.0 iAdapt Navigation that creates a digital layout of your home and a pre-designed path to prevent it from passing over the same spot numerous times. The 891 uses a system of infrared sensors only to detect obstructions, not to create time- and battery-saving cleaning routes.
One department where the 960 is worse than the 891 is its battery life. On the standard cleaning mode, the 960 will run for only 75 minutes before needing to refuel. Like the 891, it’s an independent model that’ll recharge on its own. It also has a recharge-and-resume feature where it’ll get back to work after its battery is fully charged – a feature that’s missing in the 891.
In the kit, you’ll find a single virtual wall that sends “do no pass” signals to the 960, forcing it to tuck tail and run when it’s within the wall’s short transmitting range. This is extra helpful in cleaning high-traffic rooms that require a lot more attention to thoroughly clean.
Overall, we find the 960 to be a much better robotic vacuum cleaner than the 891. Even though they both deliver roughly same amount of suction pressure, the added convenience features, as well as the smart navigation and mapping technology, are what would make buyers satisfied with their purchase.
iRobot Roomba 891 vs. 980
Here’s something that’ll interest you. The Roomba 980, though an older model, is equipped with all sort of smart features that enhance the experience of using a robotic vacuum cleaner.
The design of the 980 is almost identical to that of the 891, except that its clean button on the control panel has been shifted to allow room for its onboard camera. The camera is constantly looking out for obstructions to prevent robotic self-harm and suicide.
One of the 980’s main selling points is its improved suction abilities. With roughly ten times the suction pressure produced by Roomba 600 series models, thanks to the AeroForce 3-stage Cleaning System, lifting embedded crumbs and embedded pet hair out of medium-pile carpeting is not only easy for the 980, but also tangle-free. Paired with the high-efficiency filter, this is the ideal robotic vac for pet owners around the world. There’s also a power-boost cleaning mode that allows the robot to clean medium-pile carpets in very few passes.
The best part about the 980’s iAdapt 2.0 Navigation system is that, through your smartphone, the robot will provide you with a digital map and its trajectory plans. Seeing these maps keeps users in the loop regarding where the robot has been and which room or rooms it struggles cleaning.
Another neat feature is the 980’s bigger battery that provides up to 2 hours of cleaning per charge. Best of all, unlike the 891, the 980 has the recharge-and-resume feature that allows the robot to pick up where it left off right before recharging. This is convenience at its best.