When it comes to robotic vacuums, there are two main players in the game; Roomba and Neato. Both of these robots are fantastic machines, but for very different reasonFs. I’ve thoroughly researched both of these brands, and have compared them in a number of different categories. For a more detailed analysis of any Neato (Like my Neato XV-21 Review) or Roomba (Or my Roomba 770 Review) check out my Robot Vacuum Reviews!
Read on to find out which one of these bots comes out on top!
Neato VS Roomba
Here’s the low down on both Neato and Roomba.
Roomba was the first successful robotic vacuum on the market in the early
2000′s and are made by a company called iRobot. iRobot produces not only robotic vacuums, but also automatic pool cleaners, floor washers, and even bomb detecting robots! They revolutionized the world of vacuuming, and made our chores a helluva lot easier.
All Neato vacuums are made by Neato Robotics. They focus only on creating robot vacuums. They only have a few different models, but everything that they release is pure quality. You can really tell that Neato put a lot of focus on the performance and power of their vacuums. Every model is typically the same with a few improvements and updates to make them even more advanced.
Navigation and Room Mapping:
The Neato and Roomba both are the top of the game with high tech robot navigation, but they are very different in the way that they do it!
Roomba’s find their way around a room and obstacles by gently bumping into them, then turning around and taking off in a whole different direction. This is great because it runs over the whole room many times, making sure it gets every spot. It also has an advanced Dirt Detect features, something that Neato is lacking.
Neato’s, on the other hand, is very methodical in the way that it cleans. It has a laser guided system that scans the room and detects any obstacles, people, or doorways. Once it is finished scanning, it will start cleaning in the most efficient way.
It will usually start along any walls or furniture, then move into the center of the room and go back and forth, slightly overlapping each run, much like when you mow a lawn. Neato will rarely miss a spot, but unlike Roomba it will only go over one spot once.
Neato has a stronger vacuum so it is able to suck up a bit more than Roomba. Both vacuums are able to effectively collect tons of dirt and dust though!
Spot clean is for those specific little messes, like spilled food. Roomba’s will spot clean a mess by slowly spiraling around until it has covered the whole mess. Neato’s will make a box around the mess and clean back and forth inside of the box until the mess is cleaned.
General is the regular clean that you manually turn on whenever you want the machine to run cleaning cycle.
Finally, Scheduled is when you set the vacuum to clean at a specific hour or day. You can schedule both of these vacuums and they will automatically start up and clean at the time you set it. Most people like to set the robotic vacuums to clean while they are at work or out of the house so they don’t have to deal with the noise, or tripping over the thing while it works.
Neato’s and Roomba’s are very similar when it comes to maintenance.
Roomba’s need to be cleaned more frequently than the Neato due to its smaller dustbin and less powerful vacuum. For both of the vacuums, it is recommended that you clean out any hair or dust that is stuck in the brushes after every use. This will increase the life of ANY brand of robotic vacuum that you own.
The only downside with the Roomba’s round design is its lack of ability to clean corners. All newer models have a side sweeping brush that is able to pull in dust and dirt from walls, but corners pose a problem for this round machine.
Neato on the other hand, seemed to have more focus put in on the inner mechanics of the vacuum than the outer design. The Neato XV-21 and XV-11 both look like something straight out of the 90’s, with bright colors and a clunky design.
They have improved the style of their vacuums in the newest XV Signature series by sticking to an all-black color scheme. All Neato vacuums are square at the front, and round at the back, kind of like the letter “D”. I found that this shape worked slightly better than Roomba’s with corners and walls.
Most Neato’s and Roomba’s have similar measurements of 12.5 inches by 3.6-4 inches.
Neato’s are slightly higher at the back because of it’s raised laser mount. This makes it harder for Neato vacuums to go underneath furniture and more likely to get stuck. Roomba’s are the same height all around so it shouldn’t have any problems getting stuck.
Thanks to its brilliant laser guided navigation system, Neato is the winner in this category. Neato’s are able to efficiently clean a space faster than Roomba because of its smart cleaning pattern. Neato only goes over a spot once, while Roomba bounces back and forth around the room several times. In a small room, Neato vacuums will take about 10-15 minutes to fully clean, while the Roomba’s can take up to 60 minutes.
Roomba’s are able to run for about 90 minutes, while Neato’s are only able to go for about 30-45 minutes. This is due to the more powerful vacuum in Neato’s that takes more battery power to run.
Earlier Roomba’s where only able to charge by a cord plugged into the wall. The latest Roomba’s and Neato’s now come with a high tech charging stations that the robot vacuums automatically navigate to.
Newer Neato and Roomba models (like the Roomba 780) are both able to automatically return to their charging bases when they need to be recharged. Both also get lost on their way back, but it seems like Roomba’s have more trouble than Neato’s most of the time (based on customer reviews). Once the Neato has finished charging, it will return to the same place that it started and continue cleaning.
Roomba’s are noticeably quieter than Neato’s, and again I blame the more powerful vacuum. Don’t expect either of these vacuums to be whisper quiet, but you can definitely stand to be in the same room as them. Both are WAY quieter than a regular stand up vacuum.
Both Roomba and Neato are able to clean tile, laminate, hardwood, carpet, and rugs. Both can easily transition from different flooring types, and both are only able to vacuum low profile carpet, i.e. no shag!
I compared the newest Roomba model (the 790) and the newest Neato (the XV Signature) and found that Neato is a tad cheaper.
In my opinion, Neato is hands down the winner! They have a far more advanced room navigation system, a more powerful vacuum, and overall a better design. Neato watched from a distance and fixed all of the problems their competitors were having, to create the best robotic vacuum on the market.
Roomba is still a great vacuum, but going through all of the information to write this article, I found that most customers were unsatisfied with the performance of their Roomba.
Both the Neato and the Roomba will save you precious time and energy that you can spend doing things that you enjoy!
To learn more about robotic vacuums, check out the rest my Robotic Vacuum Reviews!