Comparison Guide

Roomba 805 vs 880: Compare Which iRobot Vacuum Is Best For You

Discover which iRobot model is best suited to cleaning the floors in your home.


Comparison Guide

Roomba 805 vs 880: Compare Which iRobot Vacuum Is Best For You

Discover which iRobot model is best suited to cleaning the floors in your home.

by PITeam

by PITeam

If you are in the market for a robotic vacuum, you do have your choice. Not only are there multiple manufacturers producing robot vacuums, but there are also numerous models from each manufacturer. How do you know which one to choose? You can search by features, by name or by cost.

Any of those searches will bring you to the iRobot Roomba 805 and iRobot Roomba 880 models. This article will compare the Roomba 805 and Roomba 880 to help you decide if either of these two budget-friendly vacuums are right for you.

The Roomba 805 is quite similar to the Roomba 880. However, there are a few key features that you should consider. First is the filtration. The 805 uses the standard Roomba filter. Designed to keep the motor area clean and dust and dirt in the dust bin, it isn’t meant to reduce allergens.

The Roomba 880 uses the high-efficiency filter, that will help reduce allergens in your home by capturing up to 99% of pet dander, pollen, and dust mites. The 880 model also has the XLife battery that will last through up to 2x the amount of charging cycles as the standard lithium-ion battery of the 805.

Finally, the containment options included for the 805, the dual-mode virtual wall barrier, doesn't allow for multi-room navigation like the virtual lighthouse that comes with the 880.

The decision, then, comes down to either better filtration and containment control, or a more cost-saving robot. The rest of this review will explain the rest to help you with that decision.

How These Roomba Models Are Similar

Because both robots are a part of the Roomba 800 series line-up, they have quite a few similarities. Below we offer an overview of those similarities.

iAdapt Navigation

iRobot calls the sensors, computer chips, algorithms, and mapping (if available) the iAdapt navigation system.

The 805 and 880 share the same, 1st generation navigation system that is comprised of drop and bump sensors along with dirt detection sensors to navigate and clean your home.

Unlike the second and third generations that have cameras added, there isn’t a mapping feature included with the 800 series robots.

Random Cleaning Style

Since there isn’t a mapping feature, and the robots do not learn your home’s layout, they have a random cleaning style. The robots travel in straight lines until something prevents them from continuing on that path.

When a wall, or table leg or other obstacle enters that path, the Roomba 805 and 880 will bump into it to see if it is solid or if it can pass through (like the bottom of curtains). If the obstacle is solid, the robot will change course slightly until it can move past the blockade, continuing straight again until the next hurdle is encountered.

Average Noise Levels

The Roomba 880 and 805 have a single-speed motor that produces a constant suction with a byproduct of an average noise level. In the case of these two models, the average is about 67 dB, equivalent to city traffic outside the window or a hairdryer in the next room.

It isn’t so loud that you can no longer hear the television, but you may have to raise your voice to be heard in a conversation if the robot is in the same room as you are.

AeroForce 3-Stage Cleaning System

Like the navigation components are collectively called iAdapt, the 3-stage cleaning system components are named AeroForce. This is the 2nd generation of the cleaning system, following what was known as AeroVac technology.

The side brush heads the three stages (sweep, agitate, and filter). The job is to gather dirt outside the robot's reach and put it in the path of the robot. The extractor bars then agitate the carpet, sweep hard floors and lift the debris into the air chamber for collection.

Finally, the suction deposits the dirt in the dust bin and the exhaust air is filtered and returned to the room.

Tangle-free extractors

The rubber paddled, tangle-free extractors do not use bristles or brushes. Instead, the little rubber paddles work to agitate carpet and sweep hard flooring. Since they do not have bristles, they won’t scratch softer flooring materials.

The tangle-free aspect comes into play when the robot runs over something like a power cord or a sock. The extractors will note they are tangled and stop rotating. The robot will reverse the extractors in an attempt to free itself. If successful, it will continue cleaning. If not, it will shut down and send an audible alert to let you know it is stuck.


Both the Roomba 880 and 805 can be programmed or scheduled to clean whenever you prefer. You will first have to set the time and date using the control button atop the machines. Once that is done, you will be given the option to create a 7-day cycle of schedules.

You will be able to pick a specific time, once per day, for the 7-day cycles. Once the 7th-day schedule has run, the schedule will clear itself, and you will have to reprogram the schedules for the next week. Creating a schedule only takes a few minutes and is easily added to your weekly maintenance routine.

Roomba 805 on steps

Cliff Detect

Each Roomba has cliff detect or drop sensors. These infrared sensors determine how far off the ground the robot is. If the next forward or backward movement results in a fall more significant than an inch and a half, the robot is alerted.

These sensors prevent the robot from taking a spill down the stairs or getting hung up on high thresholds.

Self Charging

The two robots will also monitor their batteries, detecting when they get below a certain charge level (between 10 and 15% remaining).

When the battery level drops, they will begin searching for the Home Base charging station.

This is all done automatically. While you can stop a cleaning session early and return the robot to the charging dock manually, you don’t have to. Both the Roomba 805 and 880 will do this on their own.

No Entire Level Cleaning

Neither of these two models is capable of what is known as entire level cleaning. You may also see the term as recharge and resume. The feature is built-into those robots that have mapping features like the Roomba 980.

Since there is a map to follow, the camera-based vacuums know where they left off from and can return there, after the battery is charged. The Roomba 805 and 880 do not have mapping features and will not know where to return to. Instead, they will recharge the battery and sit on the Home Base waiting for your next instructions or the next scheduled cleaning time.

No WiFi Capability

Another feature that is missing from both devices is wireless communications. Without WiFi networking, you will not be able to use the iRobot Home App or voice commands for control. You are left with the local controls on top of both robots or the infrared remote control.

The remote control comes with the Roomba 880 but is a separate purchase for the Roomba 805.

How These Roomba Models Are Different

Now that you know where the two models are the same let's take a look at where they differ. The reasons for your final purchase decision could very well be listed below.

Battery Type

The Roomba 880 comes with the XLife lithium-ion battery pack. This battery (extended life) does not add time to how long the robot can run. It will offer the same 60-minute runtime as the Roomba 805’s 1800mAh lithium-ion battery.

The difference is in how long the battery will be able to be recharged. The standard battery found in the 805 will last, on average, about 18 to 30 months. The XLife battery of the 880 will double this life span from 36 to 60 months, depending on use.

Remote Control

iRobot offers an infrared remote control that will allow you to select cleaning modes, start and stop a cleaning session, and even use arrow keys to drive the robot to a specific area. The Roomba 880 comes with a remote control for you to use out of the box; the Roomba 805 does not.

You should take note, though, that is you choose to use a remote control, the Roomba 805 is compatible with it, and you will need to purchase the remote separately.

Roomba 805 on hardwood floors

Containment Options

Included with the purchase of a Roomba 805 you will get a dual-mode virtual wall barrier. 

This battery-operated device will allow you to block access to rooms or entryways using linear mode or protect items on the floor, such as pet dishes, using halo mode.

The 880 comes with a virtual lighthouse. This battery-operated device uses a timer to block off exits to rooms for a set amount of time.

Both containment options are compatible with either robot; the difference is in which one is shipped with your purchase.

Multi-Room Cleaning

The virtual lighthouse allows the Roomba 880 to make use of a feature known as multi-room cleaning. The lighthouse uses a timer to turn the infrared light on and off. When it is on, the robot is contained within the room. When the timer expires, the light goes out, allowing the Roomba 880 to pass and move to another room.

The Roomba 805 does not have multi-room cleaning abilities out of the box. However, it is compatible with the virtual lighthouse, and you can make a separate purchase to give the 805 this ability if you wish.


The filtration is also different in the two robots. The Roomba 880 uses the AeroForce Hepa style filtration, which will help reduce the number of allergy-causing particles in your home. The Roomba 805, on the other hand, uses the AeroForce standard filter. It is not a HEPA style filter and will not capture all of the allergens that may be in your floors.


In what could be the most significant determining factor, your budget may have a say in which robot you purchase. The Roomba 805 is less expensive than the Roomba 880. Both models are continually dropping in price because other, newer models are being released. Of course, the final decision is yours to make, but if the cost is a major factor, you will save a few bucks with the 805 model.

Performance Comparison On

Let’s examine how each of the two robots performs on your floors. Depending on your home’s size, layout, and flooring material, one model may be more suitable than the other.


When it comes to cleaning your carpets, both the 805 and 880 will do the same job. With the tangle-free extractors, the carpet will be agitated, lifting dirt from the fibers. Low, medium and even high pile carpeting can be cleaned with both models. However, high pile won't be as clean as it should be. The motor power isn't sufficient enough to pull out dirt and debris from deep within the high pile’s fibers.

The edge here will go to the Roomba 880 for the HEPA filtration. Since most of the allergens will be on the carpet, the 880 will help reduce their numbers significantly.

Hardwood Floors

The two models are also equal on hardwood floors. The rubber paddles on the extractors will keep your floors scratch-free, and the side brushes will handle the baseboards and corners. You should note that the corners won’t be cleaned exceptionally well. The shape of the robot along with the shorter, stiffer side brush, won’t reach all the way into corners.

Pet Hair

Like hardwood flooring, the Roomba 880 and 805 will also collect pet hair as well as one another. The tangle-free extractors collect, lift and separate pet hair (and human hair) well. They work to prevent clogs of hair being sucked up and are easy to wipe clean.

You will need to check the rollers for wrapped hair, and removing the end caps to remove the build-up found there should be a part of your weekly maintenance routine.

Roomba 805 and 880 Comparison Chart

Below we have a comparison chart for your review. Here you will see the two models and the features each one has to offer.

Roomba Accessories

Roomba 805 package

Except for the containment options, the accessories aren’t going to be interchangeable for the most part. The tangle-free extractors, wheels, side brush, and containment towers can be used with either the 880 or the 805.

The XLife battery is not compatible with the 805, and the standard filter isn’t compatible with the 880.

Other than the original parts that will need replacing at various times, when you select a model for purchase, you will need to stick to model-specific parts when replacing them.

The filter and side brushes will be the most often changed, lasting 4 to 6 months for the filter and 9 to 12 for the brushes.

How to Charge these Roomba Models

When you first get the Roomba home, you will need to set up the Home Base charging station (see below) and manually charge the robot before its first outing. Once the initial charge is complete, you shouldn’t have to worry much about manually charging the robots again. They will monitor their batteries and make their way back to the Home Base when needed.

In some cases, the battery will die before the robot can make it back to the charging dock. When this happens, you will need to pick it up and place it on the cradle manually, allowing it to recharge before the next use.

Positioning the Roomba Home Base

To properly position the Home Base, you will need to do more than plug it in. It should be away from windows or other sources of direct sunlight. Keeping the base cool will help prolong battery life.

You will also need to ensure it is on a hard, flat surface that allows the docking cradle to be flush with the floor. It is not advised to place it on carpeting. There should also be enough clearance for the robot to find the infrared signal and position itself correctly to mount the dock. Two feet on either side and four feet in front of the Home Base should be sufficient.

Tips for Using a Roomba

Your Roomba is there to assist you and to make floor cleaning chores easier. You can help this process by following a few tips to get the most out of your Roomba.

  • Pick up any large debris or cords before a cleaning session.
  • Run the robot daily to maintain floors and prolong battery life.
  • Run a weekly maintenance routine to clean the sensors, filters, and brushes.
  • Place the robot in idle mode when you are away for extended periods.
  • Don’t allow the robot to go more than two weeks without being used, prolonging battery life.
  • Understand that a Roomba is not designed to replace your standard vacuum, only to maintain floor cleanliness between uses.

Frequently Asked Questions

Now we will answer some of the most common questions about iRobot, Roomba and the 805 or 880 in particular.

Has the Roomba 880 been discontinued?

The Roomba 880 is no longer being manufactured. You can still purchase new 880s until the stock and supply run out. The replacement parts are still being made and offered for sale, though, and will be for quite some time.

How can I extend the battery life?

The lithium-ion batteries have a much longer life span than their Nickle Metal-Hydride counterparts. However, they still succumb to “battery memory,” and won’t hold a full charge all the time. To help prolong the life and use all of the battery’s power, you can follow these simple guidelines.

  • Use the Roomba daily, if possible, and no less than once a week.
  • Place the robot in idle mode when you are away for more than a week.
  • Once a month, prevent the Roomba from recharging until the battery is completely drained.
  • Keep the battery, Roomba and Home Base out of direct sunlight, allowing it to cool properly.
Does Roomba resume after charging?

Neither the 880 nor 805 will resume cleaning after a recharge cycle. To do that, they would need the ability to map your floors, keeping track of where they have been, where they left off, and what areas are remaining. This feature wasn't introduced until iAdapt 2.0, which is found in the 900 series robots like the Roomba 960.

How do I reset a Roomba unit?

You can reset both the Roomba 880 and the Roomba 805 by pressing the Clean button and holding it down for about 10 seconds. The display will read “rSt” when the reset is complete. Note that the robots must be off of the Home Base to perform a reset.

How do I contact iRobot Roomba customer support?

Contacting iRobot Customer Support can be accomplished in three ways. You can call either pre-sales or technical assistance, send an email, or initiate a live chat. The links, address, and proper phone numbers for your location can be found on the iRobot Customer Service contact page.

Where are the best places to buy a Roomba 805 and 880?

The best place to find a Roomba 805 or 880 is through Amazon. Amazon is a verified and trusted vendor for iRobot. You will be assured that the Roomba is as described, new-in-box and with full warranty. While there are still some brick and mortar stores offering one or the other of these two models, the chances of finding one are slowly disappearing. Online through Amazon will remain the best option.


If you are in the market for a budget robot and don’t want to chance buying a no-name brand, the Roomba 800 series is quickly becoming the go-to option. Their advancements over the 600 series and capabilities on more flooring types make them an ideal first robot or a secondary robot used on a different floor of your house.

The Roomba 805 is ideal for those looking to stay as inexpensive as possible. However, you may require HEPA quality filtration or want a longer-lasting battery. If that is the case, the Roomba 880 is a better option for you.

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