Buying the Roomba 690 Pet Hair can be hard if you’re unaware of what features to look for especially that there are so many of them to find around. For this reason, we’ve put up a guide highlighting the top roomba reviews.
Our team has researched and reviewed these products to help you come up with a better decision.
Roomba 690 Pet Hair
The iRobot Roomba 690 seeks to balance cost-effectiveness with the ease of using an app to order your robotic minion around. But while this midrange Roomba performs well enough to make our list of best robot vacuums, there are better options at this price.
Like many robot vacuums, the 7.8-pound Roomba 690 has a circular design, measuring 13 inches in diameter, with ample plastic bumpers around the edge. Three buttons sit in the center of the 690: Clean, which doubles as the power button; Spot, a target icon for initiating spot cleaning; and Home, for sending the vacuum back to its home base.
Wi-Fi, battery and troubleshooting lights illuminate above the physical buttons when necessary. An unobtrusive black homing beacon sticks up slightly from the top. There’s also a recessed carrying handle, which makes the Roomba 690 easy to carry between floors.
With a height of 3.7 inches, the Roomba 690 is taller than the 2.85-inch Eufy RoboVac 11S. But the 690 easily cleaned along the kick plate under our kitchen cabinets, sucking up the stray crumbs our regular vacuum can’t reach. Though it didn’t fit under a low-clearance couch, the Roomba 690 confidently disappeared under two living-room chairs.
The underside of the Roomba 690 features two large, springy rubber wheels and a small, swiveling, roller-type wheel. A bristle-brush roller sits parallel to a rubber-finned roller to assist with sucking up debris. There’s one three-armed side brush on the right side of the vacuum. The dustbin pops out from the front side via a release button that was almost too easy to depress, so I was prone to accidentally loosening the bin.
The Roomba’s low-profile base is small and lightweight, but we wish it had built-in cord storage, like the Neato Robotics D7’s base has. The Roomba got stuck on the cord once during our testing. Another time, the vacuum pushed the base just enough that it was unable to dock.
App and Setup: Supereasy
The Roomba 690’s manual recommends placing the base in a location that leaves at least 1.5 feet on either side and at least 4 feet in front. This is a much smaller area than that required by the Shark Ion, which recommends 3 feet on either side and 5 feet in front. The Eufy RoboVac 11S needs even more space: 3 feet on the sides and 6 feet in front.
Though you can manually activate a cleaning by pressing the big Clean button on the vacuum, the real Roomba action comes from the companion iRobot app (Android and iOS). Simple, concise directions guide you through connecting to the Roomba 690’s own Wi-Fi network to pair the vacuum with your phone and then connect it to your home network. The 690 makes happy, video-game-success-like sounds before its robotic female voice proudly announces it’s connected.
The app’s home screen mimics the button layout on the Roomba 690 but adds information about cleaning status and battery-charge level. Along the bottom, there are options for history, which gives performance and job information, and schedule setup. The Roomba 690 can be set to clean on a weekly schedule at any time and as often as once a day.
Though the Roomba 690 doesn’t include a traditional remote, we didn’t miss it. We were able to tell the 690 to get to work via Amazon Alexa and Google Home. It can also be controlled by IFTTT.
iRobot sells numerous replacement parts for the Roomba 690, ensuring that you’ll be able to repair it instead of tossing it in a landfill.
Performance: Careful cleaner
Unlike the Shark Ion, the Roomba 690 has only one power option: Clean. iRobot says the 690 uses a “patented 3-Stage Cleaning System,” but there were no options for Quiet or Max Clean like there are on the Shark Ion Robot.
We set the Roomba 690 loose on the first floor of a house with a mostly open floor plan. The vacuum traversed a mix of hardwood floors, area rugs and doormats as it made its way through a living room, dining room, kitchen and bathroom.
We were impressed with how well the 690 maneuvered around dining room and kitchen furniture. Though the robot seemed to take its time figuring out how to navigate a tight maze of chair legs, it never got stuck. In the kitchen, it pushed around a place mat that sat beneath two dog bowls, but it was gentle enough that water didn’t slosh out of the bowl. Overall, the Roomba was more thorough than both the RoboVac 11S and the Ion Robot as it sought out every nook and cranny it could find, then carefully worked its way out of those tight spots.
We were impressed with how well the Roomba 690 maneuvered around dining room and kitchen furniture.
On its first pass, the Roomba 690 completely missed our bathroom, which has hardwood floors. The vacuum also shied away from a flat, stone fireplace hearth, so it missed part of the living room. The cautious ‘bot entirely avoided a 2.25-inch-thick shag carpet, a wise move considering the Eufy RoboVac 11S got tangled up in the shag twice during its attempts. The Shark Ion was more successful, but it also had trouble.
During another run, the 690 made a quick in-and-out visit to the bathroom and successfully conquered its fear of the hearth. The Shark Ion Robot followed a similar M.O., skipping both areas on its first cleaning. The RoboVac 11S hesitated on the hearth, but only for a few seconds before rolling over it.
While the Roomba 690 sucked up most things in its wake, it missed parts of a dead leaf and a thick piece of fuzz left over from a recent dog-toy dismemberment. The Ion Robot also pushed away the fuzz, but the RoboVac 11S picked the stuff up — only to embed it in its brush roller.
Releasing the Roomba 690’s dustbin was easy enough, but removing the dirt was a little harder.
After cleaning, we noticed the three-armed side brush of the Roomba 690 had strands of hair wrapped around it. The rubber wheel axles also had thick pieces of dust and hair stuck in them, but that gunk was easy to remove with a sharp pull. iRobot includes instructions for removing the small roller wheel to dislodge debris.
After commanding the 690 to head back to its base in the dining room via the app, we noticed that the robot took a very circuitous route. The vacuum was about 8 feet from the base, but instead of turning left, it chose to head right, sending it around the dining room table and off to the kitchen before it wound its way back home, cleaning the whole way.
Releasing the dustbin was easy enough, but removing the dirt was a little harder. The Roomba 690 has a small bar across the dustbin that easily swings open, theoretically allowing the dirt, dust and hair to just fall out with a light tap on the side of the garbage can. In reality, we had to use our hand to free the lightweight dust bunnies that had accumulated around the filter in the bin. This didn’t cause a huge dust cloud, but people who are very sensitive to dust and allergens might want to avoid inhaling when emptying their Roomba 690.
Lab Test Results
|Smartphone control||Overall Cleaning Score||Avg. Cleaning Time (Hrs: Mins: Secs)||Cheerios Cleaning Score||Kitty Litter Cleaning Score||Dog Hair Cleaning Score|
|Samsung PowerBot R7070||Yes||87.9||27:30||94.6||87.7||81.5|
|iRobot Roomba 690||Yes||89.2||1:12:27||99.5||94.9||73.3|
|Shark Ion Robot R85||Yes||94||1:01:57||100||94||88|
|Eufy Robovac 11S||No||85.8||1:18:00||100||90||67.5|
As with all robot vacuums, we tested the Roomba 690 in our test lab, to see how the ‘bot picked up Cheerios, kitty litter and dog hair on hardwood floor and carpet. The 690 performed admirably, as it scooped up an average of 99.5 percent of the Cheerios cereal on both surfaces, though the RoboVac 11S and Ion Robot bested the Roomba with perfect scores.
The Roomba 690 also sucked up 92.1 percent of the kitty litter we scattered on carpet, coming in a hair below the Ion Robot’s 93 percent pickup rate but 7 points better than the result from the RoboVac 11S.
The 690 averaged 73.3 percent when picking up dog hair on carpet and hardwood. That’s better than the Eufy’s result (67.5 percent), but not as good as the Shark Ion’s showing (88 percent). This was echoed in our home testing, in which the Roomba took a chunk of fuzz for a tour of the living room before abandoning it.
Overall, the Roomba 690 took an average of 1 hour 12 minutes to complete its cleaning tasks, about 6 minutes faster than the Eufy 11S, but about 11 minutes slower than the Shark Ion.
In our lab tests, the Roomba 690 measured 66 decibels while cleaning, above the average loudness of 63.9 decibels for vacuums. We were able to conduct a loud conversation and mostly keep up with the Chicago Bears game while the vacuum was running, but it was hard to hear the ref’s penalty calls over the Roomba’s din.
The Main Vacuum Types
There are five primary shapes of vacuum cleaners, each performing a slightly different function, although some combine those forms in order to provide more bang for your buck. Being aware of the expectations you have of your vacuum cleaner can help you more intelligently and decisively pick one of the following.
Handheld vacuums are perfect for getting those painfully hard-to-reach areas that desperately need a cleaning. The most common example for use is in vacuuming cars, since, as the name suggests, this model can be held in only one hand. Its versatility makes it a dream for suctioning up dirt and debris in a variety of tight places, but it would not serve well for general flooring cleaning, which would take a long time to clean with a handheld. This type of vacuum cleaner comes in all sorts of different forms with equally different price tags.
Canister vacuum cleaners are a happy medium between the upright model and the stick model. They are powerful like the upright cleaners, but feature a slender frame, like the stick cleaners. In this case, a separate canister is attached to a long wand which can be used to maintain not only carpeted areas but also bare flooring as well. This style of vacuum cleaner tends to be one of the most expensive options, given its technologically-forward and multi-functional design.
These cleaners are perhaps the most popular and sought-after forms of vacuum cleaners. When you imagine a vacuum cleaner or see one advertised in media, the image you picture is probably that of an upright machine. These models provide the most powerful clean-up for your house, and offer the comforting benefit of usually easy-to-understand functions and accessories, since most people have used an upright vacuum cleaner at least once in their lifetime. Most models provide settings that allow these vacuum cleaners to be used not only on carpeted surfaces but also bare floors.
While perhaps the least powerful of the vacuum models, stick vacuums have a knack for getting into narrow places and doing a tremendous job on hardwood floors, area rugs and light carpeting. This type of vacuum features a long stick-like handle and a slender construction. The slimness of this model makes it a perfect addition to any closet space, as it tucks neatly into most corners after its purpose has been served.
5. Autonomous / Robot
Robot vacuum cleaners have gained a lot of popularity in recent years, mainly due to the fact that they require little effort on your end. These vacuums are able to roam freely around your home, sucking up any small mess in its way. They not only save you time, but they are also able to reach places that larger vacuums wouldn’t be able to, such as under the couch. One main drawback of robot vacuums is that they typically come at a steep price.
Location, Location, Location
Do you have primarily hardwood floors throughout your house? Are these floors covered with area rugs, or are they bare? Is your home filled with wall-to-wall carpeting? These are considerations you must make before taking the leap and purchasing your very own vacuum cleaner.
If you have bare floors, you’re better off with models that provide a number of attachments and which don’t have quite as much heft as some of the others. Using a regular upright vacuum on flooring like hardwood poses a number of problems, which includes scratching your smooth and coveted floors and being counterproductive by scattering debris across their surfaces. Some upright vacuums do provide settings that function better on non-carpeted areas, but for the most part your best bet would be with a model like the canister vacuum, which can also take care of your area rugs if you have any. These vacuums usually come with a bare-floor brush, which makes keeping your floors squeaky clean and scratch-free a piece of cake.
On the other hand, if you have wall-to-wall carpeting, it’s definitely worth considering a model with different advantages than a vacuum cleaner suited for hardwood flooring and tiling. You won’t need to worry about scratching the surface of your carpet, and in fact, you’ll want something powerful that pulls up all the lingering debris from the carpet strands. In this instance, an upright cleaner is a great way to go. There are all sorts of extra conveniences that upright vacuums have recently come out with, including a dirt sensor which makes sure you get that last speck of grime.
Know the layout of your flooring and what sorts of surfaces you’ll be dealing with to ensure your needs will be met with your new vacuum cleaner.
To Bag or Not To Bag
The general consensus is that, whether you have a bagged vacuum or a bagless vacuum, your house will be clean either way (as long as you keep using it). However, there are a few small differences that may make or break your decision to buy one or the other.
If you or any of your family members are sensitive to allergens or have asthma, the bagged vacuum is probably more for you. Dust exposure is minimized when the bag is emptied and most bags are guaranteed to trap all but .03% of the dust and pollen in your carpeting. You do have to replace the bags on a regular basis, although these are typically available at most supermarkets.
If you are environmentally-minded and prefer to not have to deal with replacing bags, the bagless vacuum is more for you. These vacuums usually have a see-through canister which gives you perfect access to seeing how full the vacuum is, which can help you determine when you need to empty it out.
Types Of Vacuum Cleaners Explained
The types of vacuum cleaners to choose from can be overwhelming. Each one comes with its pros and cons.
1. Handheld Vacuum
The handheld vacuum cleaner is good for cleaning hard-to-reach places. Think of your car, between the couch cushions, and underneath the bed. You can even use this handy machine for cleaning corners in rooms for a thorough clean.PROS:
- Not good for general cleaning, as it would take too long.
- Less power than a canister or full-sized vacuum.
|Cleaning Surface||Any fabric, hard floor, carpets, cars|
|Best for Cleaning||Dust, crumbs, hair|
2. Canister Vacuum
This powerful vacuum comes with a separate canister attached to the wand of the vacuum. Because of the separate canister, the engines of these vacuums can be bigger. If you’re looking for amazing suction and airflow, consider a canister vacuum.PROS:
- Powerful vacuum.
- They can clean floors, stairs, under furniture, upholstery, and curtains.
- They come with a variety of tools for different surfaces and flooring types.
- They are bulkier, making them harder to store.
- You need to assemble it before use, so it’s not as quick as other vacuums.
- You have to take the canister with you as you vacuum.
- Not good for people prone to back pain, as you’ll have to bend down to lift the canister and switch the vacuum on and off.
|Cleaning Surface||Carpets, fabrics, hard floors, stairs|
|Best for Cleaning||Dirt, pet hair, dust, food|
3. Upright Vacuum
When you visualize vacuum cleaners, an upright vacuum is probably the image that comes to mind. These vacuums are popular in households because they are effective for cleaning carpets and hard floors. They’re also affordable, powerful, and easy to maneuver.PROS:
- Easy to store.
- Stand up on their own.
- Great for cleaning carpets, but can also be used on hard floors.
- They come with attachments for different uses.
- Wide cleaning path which is good for large areas.
- Typically heavier.
- They can be quite noisy.
- Difficult to vacuum stairsbecause the cord or the body of the vacuum gets in the way.
- Not efficient in hard-to-reach places or corners without attachments.
|Cleaning Surface||Carpets and hard floors|
|Best for Cleaning||Dust, allergens, hair|
4. Stick Vacuum
Because of their stick-like design, they’re slender and simple to store.PROS:
- Easy to store.
- Good for quick, small messes.
- They work great on hardwood floors.
- Corded or cordless.
- Not as powerful as other vacuums.
- Small dirt bin capacity.
|Cleaning Surface||Hard floors, light carpet, and rugs|
|Best for Cleaning||Surface litter, like crumbs and hair|
5. Robot Vacuum
A robot vacuum is like having a well-behaved dog. They clean up your mess, and you don’t even need to train them.
Robot vacuums are becoming more and more popular. That’s because of their wonderful convenience. This vacuum does the work for you while you’re out or while you’re home, cleaning floors and underneath furniture.
- You can relax while the vacuum cleans.
- The vacuum can find its way around the room and navigate between tight spots.
- You can control it with your smartphone.
- Takes only a small storage area.
- They clean small messes, so you might need to vacuum manually every so often.
- Small dirt bin capacity.
- Not great on shaggy carpets or rugs.
|Cleaning Surface||Hard floors and carpets|
|Best for Cleaning||Dirt, dust, hair, crumbs|
6. Backpack Vacuum
A backpack vacuum is a vacuum you can wear like a backpack. This can be a good choice for people who experience back pain.
While these have decent suction, they aren’t as powerful as some of the previously mentioned vacuum cleaners.PROS:
- Good for people with back pain.
- They pick up soil and dust.
- The wand is lightweight.
- Straps can be hard to adjust.
- The storage bags inside are usually quite small.
|Cleaning Surface||Floors, carpets, furniture|
|Best for Cleaning||Soil and dust|
7. Wet And Dry Vacuums
A wet and dry vacuum has the ability to vacuum up dry dirt and wet spots, a very useful function. So whether you’ve got spilled milk or sprinkled sawdust, this vacuum can solve your problem.PROS:
- Vacuums wet and dry debris.
- Good for inside the home but also on industrial sites.
- Easy to wash out the separate filters.
- Nozzle for getting into small spaces.
- Inflates mattresses and paddling pools.
- Corded, so if using outside, you’ll need to use multiple power supplies.
- It gets smelly, especially if you’re vacuuming up urine or vomit.
|Type||Wet and Dry|
|Cleaning Surface||Floors, cars, furniture|
|Best for Cleaning||Liquids, solids, foods, glass, dust|
8. Central Vacuum System
If you’re tired of plugging and unplugging vacuums, you can get a central vacuum system installed in your home.
You get a tubing system hidden inside the walls of your house. That’s connected to a motorized suction unit usually stored in basements or garages. The tubing system can also connect to wall ports throughout the house.
When you need to vacuum, you connect a long hose to the wall ports and turn it on. Then you vacuum as normal around the house. The debris goes down the hose, through the tubes, and into the debris collection container.PROS:
- More powerful than normal vacuum cleaners.
- You don’t need to bring anything around with you.
- Healthier indoor air quality since the debris container is located outside of living areas in the house.
- The suction isn’t affected as the container fills.
- You add value to your house.
- These systems are expensive, costing roughly $1,000 to $3,000.
- You have to carry around a pretty long hose.
- Less energy efficient.
- Difficult to vacuum stairs.
- Not that effective on carpets.
|Type||Central vacuum system|
|Cleaning Surface||Carpets, hard floor, furniture|
|Best for Cleaning||Dirt, debris, dander|
Is A Vacuum Cleaner Really Necessary?
Maybe you’re quite happy with your broom and dustpan, but here are some reasons that a vacuum cleaner is necessary.
What Are The Advantages Of A Vacuum Cleaner?
- It’s good if you have allergies: If you don’t vacuum, your allergies could worsen (1). Dust, pollen, and pet dander never go away. Dust mites breed quickly, too (2).
- Your carpets and rugs will last longer: The more often you vacuum, the cleaner your house will be, therefore, lengthening the lifespan of your carpets, rugs, and other furniture.
- Vacuuming purifies the air: To an extent, vacuuming can purify the air, especially if you’re a smoker. Smoke gets caught in carpets, curtains, rugs, and couches. Vacuuming is a good way to lessen the amount of old cigarette smoke in your home (3).
- Vacuuming gets rid of mold: Mold has the creepy ability to move around your home. Vacuuming sucks some of that mold up, cleaning your home (4).
- Your home looks cleaner: Finally, it’s important to vacuum your home for aesthetics. There’s nothing worse than visiting a friend and being totally uncomfortable in their dusty, dirty home. Vacuum your floors to create a pleasant and clean environment.
Location, Location, Location
Each type of flooring requires a different vacuum cleaner. Consider these tips when choosing the right vacuum cleaner for you.
If you have hard floors in your house, such as hardwood, tiles, and laminate, your best option is a vacuum cleaner that comes with a number of attachments. You also want to opt for a lightweight vacuum cleaner so you prevent scratches on your floor.
An upright vacuum cleaner can scratch your floors and leave debris on your floors. Some upright vacuums do come with a setting for hard floors, but you’re better choosing something like a canister vacuum.
Canister vacuums usually come with an attachment brush for bare floors, which prevents scratching. Plus, they are good for rugs if you have any on your hard floors.
If you’ve opted for a cozy carpet in your home, it’s important to care for that. For carpet, you need something quite powerful. It needs to be able to pull out dirt and debris from carpet strands.
You don’t need to worry about floor scratching, so an upright vacuum cleaner is a fantastic option. So, when you have wall-to-wall carpet, shaggy or smooth, or even area rugs, an upright vacuum is best for you.
Bagged Vs. Bagless
When it comes to deciding between vacuum cleaners, you might also want to consider if you want a bagged or bagless device. There are pros and cons to both.
- It’s good if anyone in your family has allergies. Bags trap most of the dirt, dust, and pollen. Exposure is minimal even when you’re emptying them.
- There is less mess. The dust doesn’t go everywhere when you empty the vacuum, because all the dirt is in a bag.
- Vacuum bags are available at most supermarkets.
- You have to change the bag regularly.
- There is more waste and an extra ongoing cost to your vacuum cleaner.
- Environmentally friendly option.
- You don’t need to stock spend money on vacuum bags.
- Usually, you can see how full the dirt container is so you know when to empty the vacuum.
- It’s messier. When you dump the vacuum contents into the trash, dust tends to fly up everywhere. We often find we need to vacuum around our garbage can after emptying our vacuums.
The iRobot Roomba 690 is a very good robot vacuum for the price. We loved how easily it maneuvered in tight areas, it had stellar performance picking up cereal and kitty litter, and its accompanying app is very easy to use.
However, the Shark Ion Robot was faster and better at picking up pet hair, and it’s not much more than the Roomba. If you have a lot of chairs and furniture that you don’t want to move each time you vacuum, though, the Roomba 690 is a solid pick.