Humans love their robots. One of the reasons is that our robotic companions can help to free up time for us by doing tasks that we really loathe. One such example is cleaning the house, something that many of us dislike only because it can take such a long time. That’s where some clever person combined the two things and created vacuuming robots, so us busy people no longer have to push one of those high quality vacuum cleaners around the house.
Instead, we’re living it up in the 21st century with our time spent doing better things – most likely watching Netflix with our pets!
You’ve probably already heard of the Roomba, since that’s the most well-known of all of our robot cleaning companions. That’s not the only robotic vacuum out there though. With new competitors like the Bobsweep Bobi Pet, it only makes sense to figure out which one is better: the Bobsweep Bobi Pet or the Roomba 980.
Both of these vacuums are the latest and greatest from their respective manufacturers. Both promise smart cleaning to keep your house looking great at all times and mean less hassle from you.
The real question is whether Bobsweep is really challenging the Roomba like it claims to be. Right off the bat, you’ll see some features that are quite impressive, but it’s all about the overall performance and the price of these little machines.
I’ll take a look at these factors to break down which vacuum really is better when it comes to giving you the clean home you want.
Honestly, a lot of these robot vacuums look a little similar. Both of these are more minimalist when you look at them from above.
The Roomba only has three buttons—home, clean, and spot. The whole interface is made to be simple with the app that handles the scheduling and the logistics of telling the robot what to do. There aren’t any other features, but the Roomba doesn’t really need them. With the default cleaning cycle in the Roomba 980, this little robot will be more than enough to clean your entire home.
That smartphone app is what really separates the Roomba 980 from the Bobsweep. It makes the Roomba more accessible remotely and provides you with more functions.
Of course, the Bobsweep isn’t a bad option though. It also has three buttons on top—go, juice, and waffle.
- “Go” is the default cleaning mode
- “Juice” lets the robot recharge at its dock
- “Waffle” is the spot cleaning mode.
Both of these little machines have similar layouts underneath too if you flip them over. You’ll notice a brush on the upper left in both, and the motorized brush will generally be the same size.
Really, you’ll notice the biggest difference between what each machine uses for agitation. The Bobsweep uses two counter rotating bristled brushes. There’s a rubber brush included too that works to pick up hair exceptionally well.
Roomba, on the other hand, uses counter rotating extractors that have been around since the Roomba 880. The placement of the cliff sensors, wheels, and dirt bin all remain the same though.
Cleaning Power and Efficiency
iRobot has branched out from making products with bristled brush systems ever since the making of the Roomba 800 series. They claim that the two counter rotating extractors they use in their cleaning system now is practically maintenance free, but cleaning tests seem to have proven otherwise.
Long strands of hair will still tend to get wrapped thoroughly around the extractors and you will have to remove them before they become too big of a problem.
The sides will also tend to gather plenty of hair and dust bunnies so you will have to observe and clean as needed. Make sure to frequently clean the extractors to keep it working correctly.
Counter-rotating bristled brushes
Along with those counter-rotating brushes that the Bobsweep Bobi has, there is also a squeegee beater bar that may look just like the Roomba 650. One of the bristled brushes can be swapped out with the squeegee bar.
In my personal opinion, the combination of the squeegee bar and bristled brush in the Bobsweep Bobi will work to clean pet hair from your carpet most effectively.
The Bobi also includes a mop and sterilizing feature that you will not be able to find in the Roomba. The mop feature will serve you well depending on how dirty the surface of your hard floors are. This is a feature of the Bobi worth trying out.
Mops clean surfaces well
The mopping feature will work wonders on nearly clean tile surfaces. It will save you time while giving your floors an extra level of cleanliness. Just be certain that you put a quick drying cleaning solution into the microfiber towel while you clean.
The sterilizer utilizes ultraviolet rays in order to eliminate the bacteria on tiled surfaces. However, whether or not this feature lives up to its full potential is up in the air. You will need to have a cleaner specifically made for tile and hardwood in order to sufficiently deep clean and disinfect it.
The Bobsweep Bobi does not have the capability of the carpet boost system that the Roomba 980 has, but you will be able to control its speed. The Roomba 980’s carpet boost system gives it a higher level of suction for the purpose of deep cleaning carpets. Therefore, the Roomba 980 will be more effective to use when cleaning carpets.
The Bobsweep Bobi will not be able to clean a substantial amount of dirt at once out of your carpet like the Roomba 980 would be able to. In this situation, it is best used as a backup maintenance cleaner to prevent dirt from gathering in your carpet.
Winner: Roomba 980
This is one of the most important things in any robot vacuum. Roomba initially had very little navigation, cleaning your home randomly and therefore taking a fairly long time. People complained and the iRobot company listened.
The Roomba now has fixed up the random algorithm that instructs the robot where to clean. You’ll notice the Roomba cleaning in a predictable back and forth pattern now, and can spot the camera on the Roomba too. Instead of only using infrared sensors, the camera will help the Roomba better avoid obstacles and track its own position. This helps the 980 clean multiple rooms, which the Bobsweep won’t do.
Do be aware that the camera will also limit the 980’s ability to clean in low light. This is because the camera needs light in order to function as it should.
For containment, the 980 will have two virtual walls included. Basically, this will block the Roomba out of areas that you don’t want it to go.
But even without more virtual walls, the Roomba 980’s navigation is top-notch. The camera lets you clean many rooms in a house. The biggest problem isn’t cleaning, but emptying the dust bin in the middle of a cleaning cycle. It can be a pain, although the Roomba will thankfully remember what to do to resume cleaning when it’s empty.
By contrast, Bobsweep Bobi continues to use a random cleaning pattern.
This means that the Bobsweep Bobi won’t be as efficient since it doesn’t have the software to help it find the most efficient path. But it does have 80 sensors, including 5 wall sensors that stop it from bumping into furniture. Granted, if you have furniture with chrome or black legs, Bobi won’t be able to see it very well.
Which leads into the biggest downside of the Bobsweep Bobi: the lack of intelligence. It will go in a random direction without remembering where it’s been before.
The Bobi has the same containment as the Roomba though, but called a “Bobi block” instead. This fires a signal that blocks the robot’s path to stop it from going somewhere that you don’t want it to be.
No matter which option you choose, do remember that you will need to make the area robot friendly before you begin cleaning. Remove stray toys, wires, and trash on your floor. Chairs with narrow legs might be better left set to the side too. Bobi has a little trouble navigating areas like these.
The Roomba also has a good place for the charging base. It’s made to have lots of space on both sides so there’s never any problem with docking and recharging.
Winner: Roomba 980
As opposed to the older models of Roombas that used NiCad batteries as a power source, the Roomba 980 uses lithium ion batteries. Lithium ion batteries will give the Roomba 980 a battery life of two hours at a time, and carpet boost can also preserve the battery life a bit during use. The suction power will stay at a peak performance with the better linear power from the battery.
The Bobsweep Bobi pet vacuum’s battery will only have a running of 1.5 hours. Its power source comes from a nickel cadmium battery.
Winner: Roomba 980
Roomba’s WiFi Capabilities
It’s no wonder that the Roomba has taken to incorporating the usage of smartphone apps into their products what with the prevalence of smartphones these days. Roomba’s app will work for both iOS and Android, and will let you control the 980 with your phone.
You can schedule, start, and stop the robot on command. The app will also notify you when you need to do maintenance like emptying the bin or cleaning the brushes or extractors. I personally like the ability to tell my Roomba what to do when I’m not at home. It comes in handy when I have guests coming and I’m not at home yet.
Bobsweep’s Unique Controller
Bobi has a unique system of control will lets you schedule and start cleaning cycles. It will help you control the robot like an RC, which is pretty cool, although you might not want to do that. You want the robot to work by itself after all.
The app from the Roomba 980 is a real game changer, which is why the Roomba’s competitors like Dyson and Neato have added the app to their own products.
Winner: Roomba 980
In the case of filtration, the Roomba 980 and the Bobsweep Bobi both have HEPA filtration. The filters in both vacuums are also capable of being washed.
The Roomba 980, along with all other Roomba vacuums, come included with a 1 year warranty for the robot itself. The battery for the Roomba has a 6 month warranty.
However, the Bobsweep Bobi comes with a 2 year warranty along with a 60 day money back guarantee. This warranty deal is superior to that of the Roomba.
Winner: Bobsweep Bobi
Buying a Roomba online is more affordable than buying it retail, but you will still be paying a huge amount of money for it. It is being sold on Amazon for around $800. A product like this would definitely make a huge cut into your budget.
The Bobsweep Bobi, however, will save you a lot of money for a substantially more affordable price. The cost of it on Amazon is around $260 depending on which variation you are wanting to buy. The standard white version is no longer available for purchase, but the pet hair version that is available has a motor powerful enough to efficiently remove pet hair from your carpet.
Both options have free 2-day shipping if you have an Amazon Prime membership. Additionally, you will have up to a 3 year warranty for both products if you buy them through Amazon.
Winner: Bobsweep Bobi
To Wrap Up
Based upon the information above and the conclusion I have come to from my own personal research, the Roomba 980 is the better option for best performance and overall cleanliness. It is capable of WiFi connectivity, a higher cleaning power and an improved sense of navigation. It has many features that the Bobsweep Bobi does not have.
The only thing about the Roomba 980 that would make me steer clear from buying it would be the steep price of $800. It may be an effective cleaning robot, but it is still a bit too expensive for many other consumers. In fact, it is one of the most expensive cleaning robots currently on the market. The cheaper Roomba option would be the 960.
The Bobsweep does have a mopping and sterilization feature that the Roomba does not have and it is a cheaper option. It will not have the same cleaning or navigational power as the Roomba 980 but it is much more affordable.