The iRobot 860 is the latest in the Roomba line, and according to the product description it uses the latest technologies for superior performance. But just how good is the 860 really especially when you compare it to the other robot cleaners in the market? Let’s find out in this review.

Features

Here are some of the main features of the 860.

  • Its iAdapt Navigation utilizes a wide range of sensors for easy navigation of areas that have to be cleaned in your home.
  • Lithium Ion Battery provides up to twice the battery life of regular batteries.
  • The 860 can be set up to run 7 times a week.
  • The extractors on the 860 keep debris and hair from clogging the system.
  • The AeroForce 3-Stage Cleaning System provides 50% greater cleaning than previous models.
  • Virtual wall lets you control where the 860 does its work.
  • Lower Maintenance: the 860 series needs less maintenance than previous models. Unlike other robot cleaners, this is as close as it gets to being really hands free.
  • A spare HEPA filter is bundled with the unit.
  • Low profile design allows the 860 to clean under furniture and avoid obstacles.
  • The spinning brush enables it to clean corners and edges.

We also have to mention that setup has been simplified. The iRobot series have laws been good in this, and the 860 is no exception. You just need to take out the tag on the bin compartment, follow the guidelines and you’re on your way. If you’re still not sure, the Roomba website has information and video tutorials to help you.

One of the most significant features on the 860 is its ability to avoid jams. Ordinary robot cleaners usually pick stuff up that clogs the system, but the 860 discards these items, literally throwing them out.

Performance

The 860 does an exceptional job in terms of cleaning. The instructions are easy to follow and there are lots of practical information to help the first time user. Once it’s charged, just press the center button and it will go to work. The 860 is 75% charged out of the box, but you should fully charge it before use.

The intelligent design is evident from the way the 860 is able to navigate around table legs and corners. The 860 handles rugs, carpets and other hurdles by making the appropriate turn. Along the way it collects dirt, hair and dust on the floor.

This is where the AeroForce system comes to the fore as it really improves cleaning performance. If you have used the previous Roomba cleaners, you’ll notice the difference in the amount of dirt that is picked up. Another advantage is its suction power, which is more powerful compared to other robotic cleaners.

The first time you use the 860 it might look like it’s moving around about in a drunken fashion, but it’s actually finding its way around. The more you use the 860, the quicker it’s going to learn the nooks and crannies of your home. This is a capability that’s present in previous versions, but iAdapt has really been improved here.

Overall the Roomba 860 does an effective cleaning job. The unit is self-charging and once you set up the schedule, it will do the rest. For the best results you have to clean the bin and examine the filter regularly.

You should also inspect the rollers and rolling brushes and follow the maintenance guidelines in the manual. Those tips may sound obvious, but it’s so easy to forget as the Roomba 860 does almost everything automatically.

Robot cleaners don’t have the same power as large vacuum cleaners, so you should not expect that kind of performance. But if we compare the 860 to other robot cleaners, it more than holds its own.

Pros

  • Superior cleaning: the 860 has improved a lot in terms of performance. The Roomba series are all good at collecting dirt, but the 860 is really one of the best  in this area.
  • Relatively Quiet Operation: like any other vacuum cleaner, the 860 makes some noise when it’s running. However it’s not as loud as others.
  • Replacement parts are readily available: if you take care of the 860 it should last a long time. But if there is a problem, you can order replacement components easily.
  • Its ability to pick up hair, dirt, etc. and avoid hair pins, napkins and other items that could cause jamming is remarkable.
  • Improved Suction Power: as we have pointed out, the suction power on the 860 has been upgraded. As other customers have pointed out, the 860 is a perfect complement if not replacement for other vacuums.
  • Intelligent Design: the Roomba 860 is smart enough to avoid corners and table legs, plus it knows how to return to base. One of the most common complaints with robot cleaners is their inability to self-dock, but the 860 is able to do this.

Cons

  • No Wi-Fi app: this is a little disappointing given that it is available in other models. However it’s not really a big loss as most of the functions are automated anyway.
  • No Fancy Extras: the 860 picks up dirt and does what it’s supposed to do, but don’t expect any fancy features here.

Who is the Roomba 860 For?

The 860 is for those who want a dependable robot cleaner, one that collects dirt and cleans without the need for assistance. This is especially effective if you have a back injury and can’t clean floors anymore. If that’s the case or just don’t have the time, you can use the 860 to keep your floor clean. The 860 is also for you if you prefer a low maintenance cleaner. All you need to do is empty the bin and clean the filters and the 860 will keep cleaning.

Final Verdict

The Roomba 860 is not perfect, but its performance and capabilities are exceptionally good. The 860 is a significant upgrade over the 700 series and can save you a lot of time cleaning. Overall we’re impressed with its performance and give it our highest recommendation.