Roomba 860 Robot

Roomba 860 iRobot Vacuum Review

Last updated on:

Is it time to look for help with your cleaning duties? Well, the robot vacuum revolution has started and has been going strong for the past few years. Plus there are lots of different brands and models to choose nowadays. It can make picking the right one baffling at times. Today is a Roomba 860 review. It's not the latest model but one that's still packed with lots of features. This successful Roomba 860 could be just the thing you are looking for to help keep your home dirt and dust free.

 iRobot Roomba 860 Robot Vacuum

With this robot 860 review, we believe it will help you decide. But before we dive in with all the main features on this irobot 860, lets first take a glimpse and summary of the pros and cons.


  • Needs emptying regular and maintaining if you have pets. If you have a home without pets, you may not need to clean as often.
  • Brilliant for house cleaning. A bit noisy than I anticipated, so don't schedule it to go off when you're still resting because it's able to be detected from another room but reduced the quantity of dog hair in overall in my house.
  • The Roomba 860 is sufficient enough to clean my carpets in the area rooms also in the bedroom, works well on tiles in the kitchen & bathroom
  • The floor is super clean now most of the times, comparing to previously when I had to vacuum once a week.


  • Sometimes it cannot get back to the charging dock by itself
    It does not auto dock itself every time.
  • This 860 is a great little cleaning device. The only problem I can see is the small docking station is a bit on the light side if you have hardwood floors.

Overview Of The Roomba 860

The Roomba 860 is part of the 800 series and is still one of the favored iRobot models. It's due partially to the simple way it works and the price point of the device via more modern Roomba equivalents. The robotic vacuum cleaner has some great features and let's go into them now in detail and see what makes this robot the first choice for many buyers..

Roomba 860 Reviews & Key Features

So let's see the key features and areas of functionally of this Roomba 860, including how simple it is to use and what the benefits are with this smart home device.

Navigation Technology

The way the Roomba 860 can navigate and maneuver around your floor space is by using iRobot’s iadapt navigation. It works by sensors that allow the robot to operate by optical and acoustic signals transmitted to the iRobot 860. It helps to plan the room to avoid colliding into objects like walls and furniture with this navigation system.

These sensors will also help the robot to detect dirt in the areas it is cleaning. So it may look like the Roomba 860 is cleaning the room randomly, but in fact, it's following a mapped calculated plan. It can then use this technique to visit high traffic areas in the room, and it does this more often so it can clean more efficiently.

3-Stage Cleaning System

iRobot has an impressive range of features included in their range of Roomba vacuums, and the AeroForce 3-Stage Cleaning System is just one of them, and the Roomba 860 uses this system. It's all to do with its cleaning brushes and at what angle they can clean it and the suction power used.

In the first part of this cleaning process, the robotic vacuum cleaner uses it's edge cleaning spinning side brushes which rotate and push any dirt and debris away from kickboards and corners of rooms into the path of the Roomba. These brushes are designed to be on an angle of 27° to help and boost this part of the process.

Once the dirt has passed under the Robot, the second set of brushes work oppositely to the first set which in turn pushes the dirt over the rubber bushes and towards the powerful suction ports of the Roomba 860. Dirt and debris are then sucked away through into the filtration system and then into its waste bin.

Deeper Cleaning Power

As part of the AeroForce 3-Stage Cleaning System, the Roomba 860 has durable rubber bush-rollers, which are great at grabbing dirt on various floor surfaces such as hardwood and carpet, plus they will adjust to these surfaces accordingly

These rubber designed brush-rollers reduce tangles with things like long hairs, and pet hair, which is a bonus and will certainly limit this time it takes to unclog fur balls and hair from the rollers. Also with it 5x the air power it's thought to be more powerful, and helpful to know that some of the other expensive models have the same air power as well but this Roomba 860 is a fraction of the cost.

Convenient Scheduling

The Roomba 860 can be set to clean up to 7x in a week, this is a fast and easy setup and once done just press CLEAN, and the rest is done for you. This model will also return to the docking station when the battery is running low to recharge. However, you will have to manually press the CLEAN if you need it to continue, whereas later Roomba models have the option to resume clean once the robot has finished charging.

Virtual Wall Barriers

This system is designed to keep the Roomba 860 away from areas in the home you do want it to go. And if you live in a multi-level apartment where you have different floors levels that include steps or stairs. Then using these virtual walls technology will control and stop the iRobot from entering.

Roomba 860 virtual wall_1
Roomba 860 Virtual wall_2

It's more so where stairs are involved which will prevent disasters with it falling and potentially doing damage to the robot. The iRobot 860 comes with virtual wall barrier, and extras can be purchased. Suitable if you have pets and don't want the 860 bumping into food bowls or cat litter trays.

Battery Life

This model is run with a lithium-ion battery, not the latest battery but it still packs a lot of power and will last for up to 120 mins depending on carpet or hard surface cleaned. Once the Roomba 860 needs recharging it will return to the dock and re-charge itself ready for the next time you need to use it.

High-Efficiency filter

This Roomba 860 has HEPA included, and replacements can be bought easily online. For allergy sufferers and pet owners, this will be a great benefit using this sort of filter. It's worth mentioning that it's getting to the point that it's pretty much the norm with most vacuums you buy today that they are mainly using this type of filter.

Tells you when it needs emptying

When the bin is full, the smart home Roomba 860 will let you know with a light letting you know that the dust bin is full. It is worth emptying after each clean to start with, and then as the rooms become cleaner. And you notice that the dust bin isn't getting as full which will reduce its emptying time down.

Each filter will work more efficiently if you maintain this more regularly. It's worth remembering that the filter and waste bin on the iRobot 860 is only small compared to larger traditional vacuum cleaners.

Roomba 860 How well Does It Perform?

We looked at the main features on this Roomba 860, so let now see how it performs on different floors surfaces and how well it deals with dog cat hair and other cleaning tasks.

Hard Floor Surfaces

There is little doubt that the areas the iRobot vacuums score highly are being used on hard floor surfaces like hardwood and tile floors and vinyl plank flooring, and the striking difference is the amount of dirt the Roomba 860 collects. It also can adjust its settings so can make the transition onto carpets without a problem if the carpet pile is not too thick.

With its 5 x extra suction power, this Roomba 860 will deliver a better cleaning performance, meaning it's not having to go back and waste cleaning time due to lack of suction power, which makes its concentrated cleaning method more effective.

Roomba 860 on pet hair

Removing Pet Hair

If you have pets or long hair, you'll understand the extra mile you have to go to keep your home pet hair free. The beauty about the Roomba 860 is with the dual extractors rollers are now designed to better deal with tangles due to pet hair, long human hair, and fur balls. It can help reduce clogging to the device, which also will maintain consistent suction power while working. This improved system doesn't eliminate this problem but is vastly better than some of the earlier models of the Roomba vacuum for pet hair

Final Thoughts On iRobot Roomba 860

The Roomba 860 is not the newest model of Roomba, but has it got what it takes to do a cleaning job for you? That's the question and because this is not the latest iRobot that's not always a bad thing. It's still using the same first Generation iAdapt navigation as most modern robots are using, with only a few now using the iAdapt 2, which is the iRobot 890 and 960 models.

The Battery runtime is up to 120 min, which is still adequate for most users requirements. And with the AeroForce Cleaning System, it will work well as a vacuum for pet hair, allergies, and HEPA Filter for any pathogens. It has a slim build and height of only three inches meaning it will fit nicely under bed or sofa and other tight spaces you may struggle with a traditional vacuum.

What Features Does The Roomba 860 Have?

The Roomba 860 is still a popular model from iRobot however we haven't mentioned the color of this model; most Roomba's are black or silver colors. If the color of the robot is a factor when choosing then, this Roomba 860 is a modest grey color. It can navigate around objects and with the virtual wall system, it will stop it entered rooms or keep it away from stairs and pet areas. Auto recharging when the battery is low, this is usually 60 to 120 mins cleaning time. 

You can program the iRobot 860 for preset times to clean. It is better working on hard floor surfaces and can adjust for carpet although it will struggle with high pile carpet or rugs. But to be honest, most robot vacuums and some traditional vacuum also finds it difficult to cope with this type of thick carpet. With a HEPA filter to removing 99% of the nasties that dust and pollens can cause; then it makes it ideal for pet owners...

What Features Doesn't The Roomba 860 Have?

So what are we missing with this Roomba 860? Well, the most significant change in the newer models of Roombas is vacuum cleaner with wifi and APPs and the ability to remote control the device from Alexa or smartphones.

Considering the operating modes not included with this model are using a smartphone with the iRobot home app to program the Roomba remotely even if you are not home. The robot will text and talk to you via the home app, and it can be mapped out and multiroom navigation to perform the cleaning duties. They can also recharge automatically and resume after recharge.

This feature will enable the Roomba model to continue cleaning where they were before they needed recharging. Also, the mapping technology is more sophisticated now with the iRobot's ability to learn the room layout and improve each time it cleans the areas.

Some latest Roomba model now has the option to mop and sweep which is still a new concept. Are these features necessary for you if choosing the Roomba 860 vacuum? Our smartphones have a lot of features but do we use them, the same could be said for the robot vacuum.

What Do buyers Think Of The Roomba 860?

It was said, it was better value than the 880 model which has more features; as the need for remote control or as some stated the virtual walls weren't being used.

Objects and Obstacles

Dealing with obstacles wasn't a problem it was said was a useful feature. We covered above about regularly emptying the dust bin on the iRobot 860 many users suggested that the maintenance on the Roomba is a MUST; however, it was said it wasn't a problem for most.

Battery Runtime

It was said the way it worked on hardwood floors was great and would run for the full two hours, and a few mentioned the lithium ion batteries and the battery life was better than later models.

Hairballs and Napkins

It was said by a user who had super long hair that it pretty much picked up all the hair on the bathroom floor and everywhere else, although it was told cleaning the rollers once a month as the hair would tangle together into hairballs. Also reported was that they don't like napkins and electrical wires so make sure you do a bit of preparation before starting the Roomba 860 debris extractor cleaning. Bottom line, my floors have never been so easy to clean. And finally...

Quote of Day

"I don't know why I waited so long! And I can't live without it now. Have three long hair dogs that shed...a lot. The Roomba runs every afternoon. I don't have floating puffs of dog hair hiding out under the tables or along the baseboards. My Roomba vs regular vacuum that now to stay plugged in has retired to the closet. Just outstanding"

What Are Roomba 860 Alternatives?

If you want to control the iRobot robot vacuum by remote or with smartphone or APP technology, you will need to look for alternative options. Here are just a few extra things that a more up to date modern robot has to offer and the differences between the Roomba's.

Wi-Fi Connectivity

For instance, the iRobot Roomba 960 or Roomba 890 is very similar to the 860, with many of the same features. However these models do have Wi-Fi Connectivity, use it with Alexa, has the iAdapt 2.0 Navigation with vSLAM technology enables the robot to map its surroundings to clean an whole level of your home Ideal for Pet Hair, Carpets, Hard Floors.

​There also use Advanced Dirt Detect sensors identify intensive patches of dirt, like in high-traffic zones of your house, and give extra cleaning in those points.

We have vacuum comparisons between the iRobot Roomba 860 vs 880 models in a recent post. And also have a full review on the iRobot 805 model

Other options

So if you look outside of the iRobot Roomba range what else is there to compare from some of the other brands. We selected two models to look at that maybe tick the boxes firstly ECOVACS DEEBOT N79S this has a lot of the features of the iRobot 860 but is WiFi ready with auto-resume. Also, the Neato home Robotics Botvac D7 which come with extras features like the mapping of the room areas that may suit your robot needs.


This is WiFi ready and comes with a variety of floor cleaning options that you can control from inside or outside the home with your smartphone. This model has the resume feature after recharging. It can be scheduled to clean at any time. This ECOVACS uses a back and a forward cleaning method which is especially useful. It also has the technology to prevent it from fall down any stairs and looks an excellent robot vacuum.

Neato Robotics Botvac D7

It uses smart technology via APP and smartphone, and it will do floor or carpet cleaning up to 5000 sq ft before needing charging. The new Botvac D7 can auto-resume and will continue cleaning once recharged. So then it would continue where it was until it had finished cleaning. It's WiFi friendly with this neato botvac vacuum, and it remembers your floor layout. It has virtual barriers to avoid areas you don't need it to go.


So there we have a comprehensive buying guide, review, and breakdown on the iRobot Roomba 860. We've looked at all the features this model has including the pros and cons, how it performs and the advantages and disadvantages regarding this Roomba 860.

We ended with a look at some alternatives that may suit your needs. We would recommend you make sure that the robot vacuums you choose meets your home cleaning requirements, and not just because it's got a unique marketing feature that you may not even use. Remember the practicalities of what you want it to do for you. Good luck with your search.

About the Author David Perez

I have a passion for clean floors and living areas, so it is no surprise that I know a lot about vacuum cleaners and how to clean different surfaces. Sharing this knowledge gives me a lot of pleasure which is why I started this blog and I hope everyone who needs help will find the help they are looking for here.

Leave a Comment: