Deebot vs Roomba 2021 [Comparisons & Buyer Guides]

written by Sam Harris
part of Robot Vacuums
created on August 19, 2021
updated on October 18, 2021

With dozens of Deebots and Roombas being sold, it can be hard to know which one to choose since they share plenty of similarities in specs, features, and even pricing.

You’re in the right place if you want to make better decisions while maximizing value on select Ecovacs and iRobot vacuum cleaners.

Long post ahead! Use the Table of Content below to skip to products of interest.

Deebot vs Roomba Reviews

Below are comparisons of popular models from iRobot (maker of the Roomba) and Ecovacs (the company behind the Deebot line) reviewed with quick and concise verdicts, and per your budget, lifestyle, needs, and home layout.

Deebot T8 Plus (AIVI) vs. Roomba S9 Plus

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Deebot t8 AIVI
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Roomba s9 Plus

First to be featured is the Deebot t8/AIVI vs. Roomba s9–two feature-rich, advanced, but pricey droids. At more than $700, either should suffice if you’re big on self recharge & resume, auto-dirt emptying, personalization, multi-level mapping (up to 10 maps allowed in the Roomba, 4 in the Deebot), and intelligent navigation.

 

 

 

Elsewhere, and assuming you plan on doing a lot of mopping in a home with mixed floors–or have a large house–consider the Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo t8 or t8 AIVI (learn about their differences here). Each has active carpet detection and avoidance on top of a vibrating mopping module (sold separately) for tackling the more stubborn stains and grime.

What’s more, cleaning is faster and convenient with the t8/t8 AIVI since it can handle all the rooms in one full cycle (can run up to three hours on a single charge while covering an area up to 3000 sq ft) thus helping to reduce the noise you’d have to endure–which particularly makes sense, especially if you work from home. Also, the Deebot t8 line has slightly better navigation (gentler and more precise).

The AIVI version of the Deebot t8, though–thanks to its software-powered front vision–is the one to get if you have a complex layout or live in a house with kids or pets that make a mess. While this technology isn’t perfect yet, it’s constantly being improved upon. Not to mention, there are currently only two units (the s6 MaxV being the other) to choose from.

Still on the Deebot t8 series, but while the t8 AIVI version uses a camera for obstacle detection and avoidance, the t8 uses a 3D sensor to achieve the same purpose. Either works quite well (except for poo or liquids at least for now). The AIVI has the advantage of being future-proof with a home monitoring system. The t8–with the 3D–is the one to get if you want to reduce the risk of something going wrong or if you have privacy concerns.

Related: Deebot t8 vs t8 AIVI

Moving on, and while the Roomba s9 has reduced battery life (under two hours) without the ability to mop floors–its dual brush design, powerful airflow and suction, and overall design (it’s closer to the ground and D-shaped) provide it with leverage on carpets. That is, the Roomba s9 while louder deep cleans carpets and rugs without complaint. Tangling its side brush is a rarity, plus it’s slightly better at corner cleaning. Likewise, pet hair vacuuming: not only because of its auto empty dock that does an excellent job but the Roomba s9 also has built-in intelligence to know when it’s due for emptying (versus the Ecovacs t8/AIVI) that will just continue to vacuuming with a full bin, leaving furballs behind while reducing suction power due to a clogged filter). Additionally, the Roomba s9 has a better app and receives regular software updates.

Consider the Roomba s9 Plus (the bundle that ships with the self-empty base station, available as an add-on) if you live in a home (~1500 sq ft) with lots of carpets and heavy shedding pet breeds.

The Deebot t8/AIVI (w/ the automatic emptying tower, sold separately) is the better choice in a 2000+ sq ft home with a complicated floor plan where things get left behind. More so, if you want to mop, don’t want to spend more than $800, or aren’t concerned about privacy (it has a front camera).

Deebot T8 Plus (AIVI) vs. Roomba i7/i8 Plus

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Deebot t8 Plus (AIVI)
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Roomba i7 Plus

The second items to feature in this comparison are the duo of the Deebot t8/AIVI and Roomba i7/i8 (main units w/o the auto-clean base). Per the information regarding the Deebot t8/AIVI vs. Roomba s9 Plus, the Roomba i7 is a cheaper but more reliable Roomba s9 with decreased motor and battery power.

Related: iRobot i7 or s9

That mentioned, and while the Roomba i7 Plus sells as a bundle plus the base is available as an add-on (i6 Plus is Amazon’s version, with the i8 Plus being Costco’s version with extras), the base of the Deebot T8 (3D version) is only available as an add-on.

Recommended: Robotic vacuum that empties itself

Moving on from their auto dirt disposal ability to carpet performance, the i7 (main unit w/o the self-emptying tower) is just as capable. Pet hair vacuuming is another strong suit of the Roomba i7 where its powerful motor and dual brush design works together for effective pickup of human and animal hair while also resisting hair tangle and minimizing maintenance work. What’s more, the i7 Plus (main unit w/ the self-emptying tower) knows when to self-evacuate, plus the actual evacuation is thorough and complete. iRobot i7’s navigation, though, can use some improvements. Another take on its camera-guided navigation is that the i7 may have difficulty working at night or under low light conditions.

As for the Deebot t8/AIVI, its laser eyes don’t only support vacuuming at night or under low light conditions, but also helps in path-finding; consequently, it doesn’t lock itself up nearly as much and avoids wasting battery power or getting stuck on nothing or everything. The Deebot t8/AIVI mops too. Plus, there’s some element of scrubbing to its mopping that comes in handy for stains like coffee and tomato juice. The water reservoir at 300 ml is adequate, with options to personalize water settings.

Putting it all together, Roomba i7 robotic cleaner (the bundle w/ the auto-clean base or the main unit w/o) is ideal if you: 

  • Have significant carpeted and hard floor areas to cover 
  • Can prep the floor beforehand
  • Have hair problems from animals and/or humans
  • Live in a multi-level home
  • Can’t deal with emptying the dustbin multiple times (applies to the i7 Plus)
  • Don’t want the mopping feature
  • Have a deep pocket or don’t mind splurging

Deebot t8/AIVI smart robotic vacuum is ideal if you: 

  • Live in a multi-level home with a complex layout
  • Have mostly hardwood, vinyl, or tile
  • Have fewer pets with short hair
  • Want the mopping, obstacle avoidance, and/or home security feature (applies to the AIVI version of the T8 )
  • Have a deep pocket or don’t mind splurging

Recommended: Ecovacs Deebot Ozmo T8 review

Deebot T8 Plus (AIVI) vs iRobot Braava Jet M6

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Deebot t8 Plus (AIVI)
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Braava Jet m6

Having discussed the limitations and potentials of the Deebot t8/AIVI vis a vis the Roomba s9 and i7 in the preceding subheadings. 

Next up: Deebot T8/AIVI vs. Braava Jet m6.

The Braava m6 for your information is iRobot’s product (the same brand behind the Roomba i7 & s9). Talking about their similarities, both mops–and very well too. There’s some agitation to their mopping: The mopping plate of the Ecovacs (sold separately) vibrates, whereas the iRobot Braava m6138 follows a forth-back-and-forth movement–kind of mimicking a human with a bucket and mop. All things being equal, either should suffice in a large house (~2500 ft²) with mostly tiles, laminates, hardwood, or other hard floor types.

Assuming you have a mix of hard floors and carpets, however–or pets that shed or love to play outside–the Ecovacs t8/AIVI is an ideal choice given key highlights including the active carpet detection and avoidance feature and automatic dirt disposal system (sold separately).

For homeowners who already have a robot vacuum or a Roomba–and maybe budget conscious–the Braava Jet m6 mopping robot is quite affordable (currently under $400) especially when you consider that the Ecovacs t8/AIVI (w/ the clean base) is around $700.

If you’re keen on usability/reliability, though, I recommend the Ecovacs t8 or t8 AIVI. It was only released last year (versus the m6 that has been selling since 2019) but so far has worked as advertised for most users. That is, no streaking or other performance-related issues of the iRobot m6.

Although the iRobot Braava m6 doesn’t have reliability in its favor, it’s your only choice if you want to use cleaning liquid (for tidier & fresher floors) as it ships with a bottle that’s also available as an accessory.

Recommended: Should I buy the Braava m6?

Ecovacs T9 Plus vs. Roomba s9 Plus

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Roomba s9 Plus
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Ecovacs t9 Plus

Following the trend in the Ecovacs t8/AIVI vs Braava Jet m6 where the Braava was a newbie. The Ecovacs t9 is yet another newbie to be compared to an oldie (Roomba s9). You already know a bit about the Roomba s9 from its comparison with the t8 AIVI, don’t you? Assuming you don’t, well, the Roomba s9 (main unit w/o the auto-empty base station)–similar to the Ecovacs t9–is an advanced, feature-rich, powerful but pricey floor vac. It’s D-shaped though (think of a Neato D7) hence the utility it provides in corners.

As for the Ecovacs Deebot t9 (main unit w/o the auto-empty base station)–you can think of it as the T8/AIVI with a deodorizer and upgraded hardware (a mopping plate that shakes and ships with the unit, as against being sold as an add-on) and software (mapping & app)

At about the same price, the Deebot t9 or Roomba s9 should suffice in a multi-level, busy house with mixed floorings and lots of pets.

Deebot t9 is perfect in a 2000+ sq ft home with a complicated floor plan where things get left behind. More so, if you want to mop. The Deebot t9 is currently not available in the US.

Consider the Roomba s9 Plus (the bundle that ships with the self-empty base station) if you live in a home (~1500 sq ft) with lots of carpets and heavy shedding, long hair animals & humans.

Ecovacs T5 vs. Roomba i7 Plus

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Ecovacs T5
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Roomba i7 Plus

With so many similarities being shared which explains why there can’t be a complete Ecovacs versus Roomba comparison without a mention of the Ecovacs t5 vs. Roomba i7

For a bit of context, both vacuum models ship with two center rollers. In the Ecovacs, one roller has bristles while the other doesn’t. They’re interchangeable, however. The extractors in the Roomba, with the all-rubber design and comparable ability, are designed to work together. Equipped with smart navigation & mapping, advanced controls and settings, optimized coverage, and multi-floor cleaning, self-recharging, self-resuming–not forgetting the anti-hair/self-cleaning feature–either is ideal for general floor upkeep.

Understand the t5 is a hybrid model. Plus, it’s the cheaper of the two (being an older model) at half the price.

The Roomba i7–a vacuum-only model with a powerful motor, full bin indicator, and the self-emptying base available as an add-on (or you could buy the bundle, the i7 Plus, for a couple of hundred dollars extra)–is the one to get if you share your home with dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, etc. or have an extended carpeted area.

Recommended: Roomba i7 review

Deebot n79s vs Roomba 960

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Roomba 960
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Ecovacs n79s

Despite limitations in mobility (random navigation + no mapping capability) and features (no carpet boost or auto-resume, can’t save maps, create in-app barriers, or select rooms for cleaning)–the Deebot n79s remains one of the top auto vacuum cleaners in the $150 – $250 price range with consistently effective pick-up and traversing abilities. 

It turns out, the Ecovacs Deebot n79s robotic cleaner is the one to get if you live in an apartment with mostly hard floors and fewer obstacles, kids, and/or pets. Also, if you’re budget conscious, have reasonable expectations and some time to spare.

Think you can’t cope with a random bot or maybe you’d rather prefer something more hands-off?

For about $150 extra, you can get the iRobot 960–a powerful capable floor robot that cleans intelligently and effectively, self-recharges, self-resumes, and self-cleans (thanks to its anti-tangle rollers). 

Consider, therefore, the Roomba 960 if you… 

  • Are keen on efficiency and convenience; 
  • Don’t mind personalization (you can’t mark off zones or select rooms in the app); 
  • Live in a mid-size home with mixed floors and fewer obstacles; 
  • Live with long-haired humans; or 
  • Have lots of pets.

Deebot U2 Pro vs Roomba 675 vs Roomba e5

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Deebot u2 Pro
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Roomba e5

Understand that with the Deebot u2 Pro, Roomba 675, or Roomba e5, you’ll miss out on auto-return (can only auto-recharge), mapping (can’t remember home layout or save floor maps), and personalization (can’t create in-app barriers or select rooms for cleaning).

The Deebot u2 Pro for $300 or less, though, can help you save time while keeping your floors nice and tidy floors. There’s, for one, a large dustbin (800ml to reduce the frequency of emptying/for prolonged cleaning). Then, an anti-hair tangle brush to reduce upkeep while maintaining peak performance. What’s more, the Deebot u2 Pro vacuums and mops, runs for more than two hours, and paths logically. 

Related: Ecovacs Deebot U2 vs U2 Pro

Affordable, capable, and practical, the Deebot u2 Pro is the one most suited to pet hair vacuuming/mopping situations in a mid-size home where things are kept off the floor.

Deebot u2 Pro, if it helps to mention it, isn’t very effective for picking hair on carpets. Some users have also reported wifi connectivity issues and the canister not staying attached or the robot disregarding the magnetic boundary strips.

Assuming you’re trying to avoid these potential issues of the u2 Pro or are looking for a credible alternative that works consistently over a long time, then you should be checking out the Roomba e5. With its signature silicone rubber rollers and Pa of suction, this is the one to get if you live in a small apartment with a mix of hardwood, tile, and thin/medium pile carpets. The Roomba e5 also suffices if you have husky or other dog breeds that shed non-stop.

As for the Roomba 675, consider it if you don’t have pets or kids, live in an apartment with mostly tiles, hardwood, and thin rugs, and can prep the floor or at least keep things tidy.

Deebot n79 vs n79s vs n79w vs Roomba 675 vs Roomba 690

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Deebot n79
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Deebot n79s
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Roomba 675

For a quick one…

  • The Deebot n79, n79s, n79w, and Roomba 675 and 690 are affordable and capable bots with basic features. That is, they don’t automatically resume cleaning and bounce off randomly. On top of that, there’s no mapping, obstacle avoidance, anti-hair tangle, or auto-dirt emptying. 
  • The n79s is an upgraded n79 (with the ability to boost suction + Alexa capability) and Amazon’s version. 
  • The n79w is the version sold at Target. 
  • The Roomba 690 is the 675 sold with virtual walls.

As previously mentioned, the Deebot n79, n79s, n79w and the Roomba 675 & 690 are all of the entry-level categories. Meaning these models achieve clean floors using persistence as against intelligence. As a result, the cleaning process is a lot more involved (rescuing from trapped situations/transferring to other rooms/physically blocking from unwanted areas/keeping an eye on the dirt bin, emptying out multiple times in between runs, etc.). Not only that, cleaning output may not be as thorough. 

Nonetheless, any one of the Deebots (n79, n79s, or n79w) or Roombas (675 or 690) should suffice if you live in a small home (~800 sq ft) with mostly hard flooring. Also, if you have zero long-haired humans or pets, don’t want personalization, or if you won’t be running on a schedule or completely unattended. 

That mentioned, the Roomba 675 and 690 are my recommendations if durability, parts availability, and customer support are important factors.

Deebot N79 vs Deebot 500 vs Roomba E5 vs E6

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Deebot n79
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Deebot 500
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Roomba e5

As an FYI…

  • The Deebot n79, 500, and Roomba e5 and e6 are affordable and capable bots with basic features. Meaning, they don’t automatically resume cleaning and bounce off randomly. On top of that, there’s no mapping, obstacle avoidance, anti-hair tangle, or auto-dirt emptying. 
  • The Deebot 500 is the n79 with voice control and a larger dustbin (520 ml vs n79’s 300ml). 
  • The Roomba e6 is a black and tan e5 with extra filters and virtual walls. The e5 is the one that’s more readily available though, plus filters and virtual walls are available as an add-on.

As previously mentioned, Deebot n79, 500, and the Roomba e5 & e6 are all of the entry-level categories. Meaning they achieve clean floors using persistence as against intelligence. As a result, the cleaning process is a lot more involved: rescuing from trapped situations/transferring to other rooms/physically blocking from unwanted areas/keeping an eye on the dirt bin/emptying it out multiple times in between runs. Not only that, cleaning output may not be as thorough. 

Nonetheless, any one of the Deebots (n79 or 500) or Roombas (e5 or e6) should suffice if you live in a small home (~800 sq ft) with mostly hard flooring (tile and hardwood). Also, if you don’t want personalization or if you won’t be running on a schedule or completely unattended. 

That mentioned, the Roomba e5 and e6 are my recommendations if you have pets, low- and medium-pile carpets, or live with long-haired humans. You may also consider the iRobot e5 or e6 if durability, parts availability, and customer support are important factors.

Is Deebot as good as Roomba?

So, the Ecovacs line features hybrid bots, is cheaper, and is always at the forefront of innovation. These however are overshadowed by their reliability, durability, hardware- & software-related issues. Customer support is also only through email plus parts (of older models) may be difficult to find.

iRobot Roomba bots on the other hand, while they may have inadequacies in navigation–and pricier–are nonetheless solid performers on carpets and the most ideal for pets and human hair. In the unlikely event of defective units, iRobot products historically worked as advertised for most users. Not only that, Roombas in my experience and from what I have gathered from other users, last at least three years in most cases, with parts readily available (even for discontinued models such as the 980 and 690). Customer support is through phone, or you can catch them on Twitter or get community support on Reddit. The app is good too if it helps to add, plus software updates often get released on avg. once every three months.

The Roomba, it turns out, has more in its favor than against it, the reason I think it’s better than the Deebot, and should be money well spent.

Further reading

iRobot vacuum reviews