bObsweep vs Roomba in 2019 - Complete Comparison and Review

bObsweep vs Roomba in 2019 – Complete Comparison and Review

While the war rages on for the best of the best at the top of the line for robotic vacuums, sometimes all you want or need is a simple, economy version. The bObsweep PetHair and Roomba 690 attempt to answer that call.

While the two have a lot in common, they have some vast differences too. I will cover all of these as well as go in depth about their features. I will even show you how they stack up, side by side, and answer the burning questions you have about these two autonomous vacuums. Read the full article below to find out why the Roomba 690 is my pick for the best of the economy class.

Differences between Bobsweep Pethair and Roomba 690

Side by side comparison of Bobsweep's remote control and Roomba 690's mobile app.

 bObsweep advantages:

  • The bObsweep Pethair will resume cleaning after a recharge, the Roomba 690 won’t.
  • The bobSweep can mop as it cleans, the Roomba cannot.
  • The Roomba 690 doesn’t have UV sterilization like the bObsweep PetHair does.
  • The filter on the bObsweep is HEPA certified where the Roomba is not.
  • The bObsweep has a larger dust collection bin.

Roomba Advantages:

  • There is no way to confine the bObsweep whereas the Roomba 690 has Virtual Wall Barriers.
  • The Roomba is WiFi connected, whereas the bObsweep is not.
  • The Roomba can be controlled by your voice with Amazon Alexa. The bObsweep cannot.
  • The bObsweep has a remote control where the Roomba relies on a mobile app.
  • The battery in the Roomba 690 will last up to 20 minutes longer than the battery in the bObsweep.

 

Similarities between these Robot Vacuums

When you are in the same industry, you are bound to have some things in common. Here are the ones these two vacuums share:

  • The dimensions and weight are near identical.
  • Both units are rated for cleaning all floor types.
  • Each of the vacuums has side brushes for edge cleaning.
  • The Roomba and bObsweep both have multiple sensors to avoid collisions, drops and detecting dirt.
  • You can create, edit and delete schedules with both machines.
  • They both come with a lithium-ion battery for faster recharging and longer life.
  • Neither of the vacuum robots has a camera.
  • Both the bObsweep and Roomba will map your home for easier cleaning.
  • Each of the vacuums uses a bristle brush bar for extraction.
  • You will receive a one year warranty for purchasing either model.
  • The bObsweep cleans in a sporadic, nonsensical pattern, just like the Roomba.

Side By Side Comparison Chart

Let us now take a look at the two combatants in a side by side showdown.

Bobsweep Pethair Roomba 690
Dimensions 13.3×13.3×3.9 inches 13x13x3.6 inches
Weight 7.7 pounds 7.8 pounds
Floor Types All All
Mop Ability Yes No
Side Brushes Yes Yes
Filtration HEPA AeroVac
UV Sterilizaton Yes No
Dustbin Size 1 liter 0.6 liter
Drop Sensors Yes Yes
Bump Sensors Yes Yes
Dirt Detection Sensors Yes Yes
Containment None Virtual Wall Barriers
Remote Control Yes No
WiFi Connection No Yes
Mobile App No Yes
Voice Control No Yes
Scheduling Yes Yes
Auto-recharge Yes Yes
Entire Level Cleaning Yes No
Adjustable Speed Yes No
Battery Type Lithium-ion Lithium-ion
Battery Run Time Up to 40 minutes Up to 60 minutes
Color Options 2 1
Warranty 1 year 1 year
Camera Navigation No No
Cleaning Pattern Sporadic Sporadic
Extraction Method Brushbars Brushbars
Price Check on Amazon Check on Amazon

Features and Options Details

Let us take a deeper look at some of these features and options. Just because something looks good on paper doesn’t mean it is in practice.

1. Batteries, Charging and Draining

Having lithium-ion batteries is an improvement over the older nickel-metal hydride type. They recharge faster, hold the charge longer and have more recharge cycles before they eventually stop holding a charge.

Both vacuums will recharge from a completely dead battery to full within about four hours. However, the draining of the battery is vastly different. Even under optimal conditions, the bObsweep PetHair battery will last 40 minutes. This is 20 minutes shorter than the Roomba 690 under optimal conditions.

The thing to keep in mind, though, is that we rarely have optimal conditions. Many factors go into deciding how much battery is being used. On the Roomba, there is only one speed, the vacuum will only go so fast and it will only suction at a certain power level.

However, it will do multiple passes, even over the same area. With the dirt detection sensors, it will continue to cover an area until it is clean. This means that while it may only take the robot half an hour to clean every spot of your living space on a good day, heavily soiled areas may make that take twice as long.

Dirty or clogged filters, brushes and the thickness of your carpet will all play a factor in how much battery is used. With the Roomba, though you can expect an average of 45 to 50 minutes run time per charge.

The bObsweep has a lower run time of 40 minutes. However, this is at low speed and on hard floors, without mopping or UV sterilization. Running on low speed won’t give you a good enough clean in one pass and you can expect the automatic recharge to kick in after about 20 minutes otherwise.

Normally this won’t be a problem. However, the bObsweep PetHair moves extremely slow. While it is methodical in it’s cleaning, it will take a long time to cover even smaller sized rooms. If you have a large floor plan and carpet, you can expect three or even four recharges to clean it all effectively.

Both of the robots will know when their batteries are getting low (about 15% remaining) and head back to the dock station on their own. They will recharge their batteries automatically. Once recharged the Roomba 690 will stay there until it is told by you, either through the app or the start button on the vacuum itself, to go clean.

The bObsweep has what is known as “entire level cleaning” which means that after it is done recharging, it will resume cleaning on its own until the entire home is clean.

Bottom Line: This is a tie. The lower battery life of the bObsweep may not clean your home in one go like the Roomba, but it will finish the job eventually.

2. Filtration

Vacuum filters are important. Especially for those of us that suffer allergies. HEPA filtration is a certification given to filters that can effectively capture particles down to 3 microns. This will reduce the number of allergens in the air and on your floors by up to 99%.

The bObsweep PetHair uses HEPA certified filters. With these filters, you can reduce the airborne allergens, pet dander and other triggers that are tracked into your home on a daily basis.

The Roomba 690 does not use HEPA certified filters. IRobot does have them and uses them in many of the newer models. However, the 690 is not on that list. Instead, there is what iRobot calls the AeroVac filter. “AreoVac” you should understand, is just a term created by the company for their triple stage cleaning system. The AreoVac filters will capture particles down to 10 microns in size. While not enough to reduce allergens to 99%, they will capture most particles that do cause allergies. Pet dander and most seasonal pollens are larger than 10 microns.

However, if you do suffer allergies, this may be a breaking point for you on which model to purchase.

Bottom Line: bObsweep PetHair wins. HEPA certification will always edge out over non-HEPA filters.

3. Sensors

Each robot vacuum has many sensors that do several different tasks. While neither of the units has the camera that some other models do, they are still effective in using the ones they do have.

First are the drop sensors. These infrared sensors are located on the bottom of the units to detect ledges, stairs and drop-offs. This prevents the machines from falling and they both work very well. Each robot will approach the stairs or ledge and clean right up to it without falling off.

Bump sensors help prevent the robots from doing any damage to walls or furniture when they do make contact. Regardless of any claims you may hear or read about; every robotic vacuum will bump into things. It is just going to happen. To help alleviate the issues with this fact, bump sensors allow the robot to stop and change direction to avoid knocking things over or scuffing furniture and walls.

The Roomba 690 is quite adept at learning the layout of your home and will have fewer collisions the longer it works. As long as you don’t move furniture around or make changes to the layout, you can potentially have a bump-free experience.

The bObsweep, on the other hand, is fairly good at not hitting things but it happens frequently. The main difference here is that the PetHair vacuum doesn’t seem to learn beyond its first mapping. You may find yourself moving items out of the way or having to manually unstick the vacuum more so than you would the Roomba.

Dirt detection sensors are also located on the bottom of both machines. The bObsweep uses acoustic sensors to identify dirty areas and to know when the dirt is gone. The Roomba 690 takes it a step further adding infrared sensors to the acoustic ones. The result is a cleaner floor in less time.

Bottom Line: Roomba 690 wins. The sensors work better and the vacuum adapts to the terrain over time.

4. Remote Control, Mobile App and Voice Activation

Controlling the robotic vacuums can be done in several ways. The two machines are similar in their controls and abilities. Both of them have direct access push buttons on their top frame for controls.

These are very limited though. You can start, pause stop and force dock and that’s about it for the Roomba. The bObsweep has an LCD screen and more button controls on the unit itself.

You can select the cleaning mode, speed the UV sterilization, programming to create schedules and of course, start cleaning.

The Roomba 690 uses your WiFi connection and a mobile app for these extra features and modes. The app is a free download for any Android or iOS device. With the app you can set schedules, start, pause, resume, and cancel cleanings, name the robot and force dock the unit.

The bObsweep doesn’t have a mobile app or connect to your wireless network. It does, however, have a remote control. The remote has all of the same functions as the push buttons on the machine, but it has a couple of extra features as well.

First is the spot cleaning button which makes the little robot spin in circles cleaning a specific spot until thoroughly cleaned. The second feature is directional arrows. Using these arrows, you can actually drive the vacuum around and to specific spots without having to pick it up manually.

One thing the Roomba has that the bObsweep does not is the ability to use voice commands. The Roomba will connect to Amazon Alexa enabled devices such as the Echo or Dot, and with the Roomba skill, you can control your robot with your voice. This also works natively with Google Home and IFTTT for certain skills and integrations.

Bottom Line: The Roomba 690 wins. Even though you can’t steer the unit, voice and mobile control trump manual control.

5. Containment

There are times and situations when we want just part of the area cleaned. Maybe mom has all of her sewing patterns strewn about the floor, or dad hasn’t picked up all of his dirty clothes. In any event, we may need to block off a room or portion of living space, so the robotic vacuums don’t have access to it.

For the bObsweep PetHair, the only way to do this is with physical blockades. You will need to shut doors, put of roadblocks and signal flares, or at the very least, use the remote control and drive it yourself, which, pretty much defeats the whole purpose of owning a robotic vacuum.

The Roomba 690, though, has Virtual Wall Barriers. Each Roomba will come with a single barrier, but you are able to purchase more, if needed.

Roomba 690's virtual wall barrier.

The barriers send out an infrared beam that is detected by the sensors on the machine. When the infrared sensor is activated, the robot will turn to avoid the area. You can set these to put a beam across a doorway or block off certain items.

You can make a radius around the barrier to protect the sewing patterns or a pile of socks. You can also use them to prevent bumping into things like floor lamps, vases, or pet bowls.

Bottom Line: The Roomba Wins. Virtual Wall Barriers work very well and preventing access to rooms or specific areas.

6. Floor Types

Both the bObsweep PetHair and the Roomba 690 are rated to clean all floor types. These include not only carpet but tile, hardwood, linoleum and vinyl. First, let’s talk about the carpet.

Both machines will vacuum carpet and remove dirt. Both have a brush bar that rotates to loosen and gather dirt, dust and debris so the motor and fan can suction them into the collection bin. With the Roomba, any carpet style, pile height or thickness will be cleaned without major issues.

One thing to note is the old style shag carpet (known as high-pile shag) famous in the 1970s can get caught in the brush bar. If you still have this style of carpet in your home (burn it), you may need to keep an eye on the Roomba to be sure it can handle it before letting it go on its own.

The bObsweep will also do well on most styles of carpet. Because of its single brush bar and wide angle, it will struggle with most high pile styles, including modern shag, high pile shag and wool shag. Once again, you should make sure the bObsweep PetHair can handle your carpet style before leaving it to run unattended.

For all other floor types, the vacuums will have no problems. They both have side brushes that will get along edges and corners to sweep out dirt and dust and push it underneath to be collected. The bObsweep has an extra couple of tricks up its sleeve, though.

First, it can also mop. Now don’t think like a standard mop that you have to dip into a bucket and squeeze out until your neck veins bulge; like old Mr. Winterham, the high school custodian. The bObsweep comes with a microfiber cleaning cloth that attaches to the rear of the robot.

Bobsweep Pethair's mopping cloths (top) and attachment (bottom)

You can use this damp or dry and it works like a dusting cloth, or dry mop similar to the swift style mop sticks you find in the stores. As the robot goes around the non-carpet floors, it will drag the cleaning pad behind it. It is fairly decent for what it is, however, don’t expect very much.

The one drawback is that the vacuum cleans in sporadic arrays and not set parallel lines. Because of this method of floor coverage,there will be missed spots and areas done more than once. However, as a touch up between normal mopping, it is pretty effective.

The other trick is the UV sterilization feature. There is a UV light that will kill bacteria and germs as it passes over. This will leave your floor looking and feeling cleaner than it does without it. Again, there are drawbacks to the disinfecting abilities.

First, the light will cause extra battery drain. Even more so when you realize that a single pass of UV light doesn’t sanitize your floor unless it goes extremely slow. You will have to place the robot on it’s lowest speed setting, which will also drain the battery and cause it to have to recharge before finishing.

Bottom Line: The bObsweep PetHair wins. Worse on carpet but mopping and sterilization can’t be ignored.

7. Maintenance

Maintenance of your robots is very important. Keeping the bins emptied, the brush roll clear of tangles and the ductwork clear of clogs will not only prolong the life of the machine but will enable them to perform at their best.

Both units come with the tools needed to keep up the maintenance. You can use the cleaning tools to clean the brushes and ducts. They also come with extra filters and the bObsweep even has an extra brush roll.

General maintenance should be done weekly. Empty and clean out the collection bin, remove the brush roll and remove and tangles, hairs, string, etc. that may have wrapped around them, clean out the duct work of any clogs and check the filter.

Replace the parts as needed to ensure proper working order. The Roomba makes maintenance very easy and the entire process from start to finish shouldn’t take you more than 15 minutes. The bObsweep is a little more complicated with extra screws and proper alignment to get pieces back in, but even still it shouldn’t require more than about 25 to 30 minutes of your time.

Bottom Line: This round is a tie. Maintenance should be carried out on a regular and frequent schedule.

8. What about the bObsweep PetHair Plus?

I dedicate a whole article to the bObsweep PetHair vs PetHair Plus here.  The most important difference is that the Plus has stronger suction than the regular PetHair.

Frequently Asked Questions

I will now take the time to answer some of the most common questions about the bObsweep PetHair and Roomba 690.

Q. Will the bObsweep PetHair sweep and mop the hardwood and vacuum the carpet all at once?

A. Well. No. I mean, it isn’t a giant unit. It will have to travel to each floor space for cleaning. However, I think you are asking if it will seep and mop and then vacuum without you having to do anything. Again the answer is no.

The mop pads are attached to a mounting bracket that you must attach and remove each time. It is not advised to leave the bracket on when going over the carpet and if you leave the pad on it can come off, get torn or ruined.

If you want to mop, then you should attach the bracket and pad, then when it is done, remove them to allow it for vacuuming the carpet.

Q. I have rugs with long fringe, will it be okay with these two units?

A. The short answer is no. The long answer is no but…

The long fringe (any fringe for that matter) will be picked up by the brush rolls. This is virtually unavoidable. Once it has been caught, it will get tangled and cause the machines to power down, until you arrive to save the day.

That being said, what you can do is take the edges of your rugs and fold them underneath themselves, so the fringe isn’t exposed. The machines will be able to traverse the small bump it creates without a problem. When cleaning is done, you can pull the fringe out from underneath like nothing ever happened.

Q. My dogs shed but it always ends up against the baseboards, will these clean the hair effectively?

A. Both models are designed for just this situation. The bObsweep PetHair (as the name implies, in case you didn’t catch that) has two side brushes that will get up against the walls and into corners to capture those hairs and pull them under the unit so it can be collected in the bin.

The Roomba, who doesn’t claim pet hair in the name, will do the exact same thing. One note, however, is that for the first few cleaning cycles you need to keep a close eye on the collection bin. They will fill up faster with pet hair and the machines will shut down until it is emptied.

After the bulk is collected though, you can resume your weekly check, more often if the shedding is monumental, such as with shepherds and labs.

Q. Do I need a special cleaning solution for the bObsweep mop?

A. No. You can use the microfiber cloth pads dry, or damp with regular tap water. You can use cleaning solutions if you like such as mopping solutions, floor cleaners or sprays. However, it is not a requirement and there isn’t a reservoir tank in the unit to hold any solution.

On a personal note, the best method I have found was to spray floor cleaner on the floor and use a damp pad with tap water to mop the spray up. Whatever method works best for you to get the results you are after is fine. There isn’t a right or wrong way.

Q. How does the vacuum handle raised areas between rooms or doorways?

A. thresholds and metal or wooden room separations are no problem for either machine. The Roomba has a ground clearance that will allow it to traverse thresholds and separations about half to three-quarters of an inch high. The bObsweep will also manage just fine to slightly over half an inch.

Most interior thresholds are less than half an inch high. If you are concerned, you can always watch to make sure it doesn’t get stuck, but for the most part, it won’t be a problem.

Q. How well do they go under furniture?

A. It all depends on how far off the ground your furniture is. The bObsweep has an overall height of 3.9 inches. You will need to maintain about half an inch clearance so in this case, your furniture must be about 4.1 inches, or more, off the ground.

For the Roomba, you have a little more leeway. The hight of the robot is 3.6 inches, so you will need a clearance height of about 3.9 inches.

Q. Will the robotic vacuums replace my standard upright?

A. No. The purpose of the robotic vacuums is to maintain floor cleanliness between regular deep cleans. You should notice that your regular vacuum cleaning schedule gets spread out, say by double, but you will still need to maintain a regular cleaning ritual.

What I like About The Roomba 690

  • Wireless connectivity for mobile app and voice commands.
  • Longer battery life than the bObsweep.
  • Scheduling and control from anywhere, at any time.
  • Cleans any floor without issues.

What I Like About the bObsweep PetHair

  • Mopping and UV sterilization in a single unit.
  • Entire level cleaning, even after a recharge.
  • Manual control using the remote.
  • HEPA certified filtration for allergens.

In Conclusion

For the economy class of robotic vacuums, there may not be two better options out there other than the Roomba 690 and the bObsweep PetHair. Which one is the right one for you though?

If you are looking for an alternative to the higher priced options with all the bells and whistles, the bObsweep PetHair might be for you. With mopping and sterilization, HEPA filtration to lower allergens in your home and a remote for manual control, it is hard to look past this one.

However, for reliability, a better, deeper and more constant clean, the Roomba 690 should be your choice. Even without the HEPA filtration, allergens still get reduced. You have the ability to start a cleaning cycle using the mobile app, even if you aren’t at home and the longer battery life means less time charging.

Which one is better for you will depend on your exact needs and desires. However, with the iRobot name behind it, the reliability and dependability, the Roomba 690 is my choice for the best of this class.

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