Deebot vs. Roomba: Which is the Best Entry Level Robot Vacuum?
After months of testing, I determined Ecovacs Deebot N79S is the best robot vacuum because it’s dependable and runs continually without getting stuck, running out of battery or overflowing. Roomba 690 is reliable and better than its cheap counterparts. But with the entry-level Roomba vacuums, you’re paying for the name and nothing more.
I’ll compare and contrast two budget robot vacuums (Ecovacs Deebot N79S vs. Roomba 690) by evaluating five categories: function, suction, software, noise, and longevity.
Ecovacs Deebot N79S
- Function: It has a huge dustbin, two-hour battery life and doesn't get stuck.
- Suction: It works best on hard surfaces, but neither of the vacuums work well on thick carpet.
- Software: The app isn't good but it works well enough to create a schedule and let it run.
- Noise: It's much quieter than the others.
- Longevity: Deebot’s longevity is unknown because Ecovacs doesn't have an established reputation.
Best for you if...
You want the best robot vacuum under $300; Deebot is the best in that price range. The most important thing a robot vacuum can do is to keep cleaning without getting stuck. Deebot delivers with app-based scheduling, a long runtime, and great suction. The only thing missing is a reputable name, but because it's only $200, you should be OK replacing it when it dies.
- Function: The battery life is weak and its routes are just as dumb as Deebot's.
- Suction: The suction power is similar to Deebot, but not quite as good.
- Software: The app is brilliant. You can create schedules, check its health and see runtime logs.
- Noise: It's too loud to run while watching TV.
- Longevity: They've been in the robot business for 16 years and offer excellent customer support.
Best for you if...
You want the trusted Roomba name and don’t need the best vacuum on the market. There's no question the higher models (800s & 900s) are premium products because of their extra suction power, runtime and home-mapping. But the entry-level Roomba models (600s) don't beat Deebot in any important category and they’re typically an extra $100. Deebot is a no-brainer for the low-end robots.
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- One of the most important things with a robot vacuum is that it keeps chugging and doesn’t stall due to the bin filling up, running out of battery or get caught. Deebot outperforms Roomba in this respect because:
- The advertised battery runtime is 100 minutes, but my tests showed it’s longer. Roomba runs for an hour.
- The dustbin holds 450 ml compared with Roomba’s 300 ml dustbin. That’s 50% more.
- It seems to take better routes and fewer risks making it get stuck less.
- Deebot has four cleaning modes. The automatic mode is what you’ll use most of the time, but you can spot or edge clean and there’s a new extra power mode for tough spots.
- Doesn’t bump baseboards as hard as other robot vacuums.
- Roomba doesn’t include a remote. Deebot comes with remote and it’s great with the ability to change modes or manually control it.
- Deebot is slimmer and lighter than Roomba by a solid margin. It’s seven pounds and only three inches tall.
- The dustbin is easier to clean and take out.
- It’s a beast on hardwood floors and does a decent job on thin carpet, but it doesn’t work well on thick carpeting.
- Syncing the vacuum to the app is frustrating and the app design isn’t great, but once you set up your schedule and smart home integration, you shouldn’t need to open it again.
- You can control it with Alexa or Google Assistant. This is a new feature and the only major difference with the “S” model.
- The decibel readings aren’t as drastic as the real-life sound, but it’s the quietest robot vacuum that I’ve ever tested.
- Ecovacs doesn’t have much of a reputation in the United States. They’ve mostly sold products in China until now. Previously, they were designing products for other companies to sell in the U.S. For example, Eufy RoboVac 11 (no longer available) was almost an identical design to Deebot N79S before Ecovacs decided to sell under their own name.
- The dustbin is frustratingly small at 300 ml and hard to access and clean.
- A remote isn’t necessary, but it’s nice to have. Roomba doesn’t have one.
- Roomba is noticeably thicker (a half inch taller than Deebot) and a pound heavier. This means it’s not as agile and is more likely to get stuck.
- You can spot clean.
- Roomba 690 only delivers an hour of battery life, which is weak.
- Roomba claims to have a smarter algorithm than the rest. I didn’t see much evidence of that in my tests because the lower-end Roomba vacuums don’t have room mapping. It guesses where to go, just like the others. The only time you can see the algorithm at work is when it spots big clumps of dirt and the green light goes off and tries to go over the area again.
- One big selling point of Roomba, that not many other robot vacuums have, is the virtual wall. It’s basically an IR blaster that you can set up to keep the robot away from areas you don’t want it to touch.
- Roomba is better on thicker carpet than Deebot, but not by enough to make a difference.
- Roomba lost in all tests against Deebot that I did on hard surfaces.
- Roomba 690 works with Alexa and Google Home. You can say things like: “Alexa, ask Roomba to go home.”
- Roomba 690 has WiFi capabilities (Roomba 650 did not). This means you can create and edit schedules, look at the battery life, and see run logs from within the brilliant Roomba app.
- It’s the loudest of the six robot vacuums I tested. The decibel readings weren’t substantially different, it’s just how ears perceived the sound.
- Ideally, you’ll run this when you’re at work because it’s not something you want running while trying to watch TV or relax.
- The biggest advantage of Roomba is the trusted brand reputation. iRobot has been making robot vacuums for 16 years. They know what they’re doing. Roomba’s are probably going to outlast anything Deebot has to offer. You’re also getting great customer support and easy access to replacement parts.