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iRobot Roomba 860 Review

The iRobot 860 is an ideal tool for busy professionals, young parents and retirees.

No matter your flooring type, this versatile vacuum can help you keep a handle on pet hair, dust and debris.

iRobot Roomba 860 Robot Vacuum

  • iAdapt Navigation
  • Lithium Ion Battery
  • AeroForce 3-Stage Cleaning System
  • Virtual Walls
  • Self-Charging

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Thanks to its three stage cleaning process it has thorough coverage and a HEPA filtration system.

That sounds great doesn’t it? In this Roomba 860 review we will not only cover the benefits, but also the disadvantages and other things to keep in mind before purchasing this unit.​

Looking for an older model? Check out our Roomba 780 Review.​

Roomba 860 Features & Specifications

Vacuum Power and Purpose

No Roomba 860 review would be complete without a discussion of the 3 stage cleaning feature.

This unit is designed to clean your floors in three stages to leave your carpet, wood, polished concrete or solid surface flooring dust and debris free. The vacuuming steps include:

  • Agitation, or vibration to loosen dust and dirt particles.
  • Brushing is done by rollers that work in opposition to on another to lift dirt and pet hair from your floor, and
  • Suction gathers up loosened dirt and dust to leave your floor spotless.

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While dragging out an upright vacuum may not be a challenge for many of us, hooking up all the attachments for edge cleaning may be a hard habit to build.

Your Roomba 860 should be able to handle edges beautifully, and pick up dust and dirt that builds up along your cabinet kickplate. Additionally, this unit is small enough to travel under furnishings easily.

Small Dust Hopper

The Roomba 860 is a small unit at less than four inches high.

While this can be very helpful when cleaning under and around furniture, it may be problematic if you have pets that shed a great volume of hair.

It will run alone as programmed, but you may need to dump it repeatedly per vacuuming cycle.

Clears Jams Automatically

This unit will automatically clear itself of jams by ejecting objects too large to vacuum up. Should the unit become jammed with a large object it can’t eject, it will let you know.

The sweeping and rolling process of the iRobot Roomba 860 may lead to the creation of hairballs or clumps of pet hair. The vacuum then treats these as debris and spits them out, so you’ll need to manually gather these up.

Depending on the level of shedding from your pets and the amount of hair already in your carpet, this may make a robotic vacuum a poor choice for your household.

Quiet Unit

This unit is much quieter than an upright, but it’s still a mechanical tool with a motor. You will hear it if you’re in the same room with it, but you may not if you’re on another floor of your home.

And, best of all, you can leave this robot vacuum working on your floors while you work elsewhere.​


The smart navigation system setup includes a virtual wall, so you can keep the vacuum out of any space you want to avoid.

In addition, this unit will travel easily around your home, cleaning around table legs and under furniture and along cabinet kickboards.

Sensors Protect The Vacuum From Damage

iRobot Roomba 860 Robot Vacuum

Sensors in the unit will stop it from getting hung up in small corners or toppling over the edge of a stair.

It also adjusts itself to your furnishings and walls to provide a close clean around table legs and larger debris.​

Virtual Wall Option

If you have a transition that the vacuum just can’t make, or if you just want to keep the machine out of your current space, you can set up a virtual wall that prohibits the vacuum from entering.

Frightened pets, television rooms and home offices can all be guarded by this virtual wall.

iRobot Authentic Replacement Parts- Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barrier Compatible with Roomba 600/700/800/900 Series

Expect Some Bumping And Clunking

The iRobot Roomba 860 senses obstacles and edges by repeatedly encountering them.

It may appear that the unit is stuck on a throw rug or trapped on a transition strip, but if it’s truly hung up it will let you know.

The transition process may take time for the sensors to note and may result in Roomba error 17; give it time and space to work.​

No Cleaning Pattern

The iRobot 860 doesn’t define a cleaning pattern; it tends to wander around. If you’re expecting an efficient grid-pattern, you’ll be disappointed.

While the random method may be humorous, it can be time-consuming. It may be better to start the unit and walk away, or you’ll be frustrated with the inefficiency.​

It may be frustrating to watch the unit work. For most of us, vacuuming is a chore that is best handled in straight lines for efficiency.

A robotic vacuum may take more time to cover a large expanse of floor, but will eventually get it cleaned. The best judge of the tool is the finished product, not the process.​

Battery Power & Recharging

The iRobot Roomba 860 returns to the power dock and recharges automatically, so it’s always powered up and ready to clean.

The lithium ion battery provides plenty of storage and a charge lasts for up to three hours. You can easily set up your robot vacuum to run all day and enjoy fresh, clean floors when you get home.


You can preset up to seven cleaning cycles on your Roomba 860 for a daily clean!

This unit will adjust itself to any furniture or space issues in your home, and can even crawl over low-profile features. It moves easily from solid surface to carpet and over thresholds.

No Resume Feature

no resume feature

Additionally, while it recharges itself after the battery power wanes, it doesn’t have a resume feature.

If it only vacuums a portion of your space before it needs another charge, it won’t remember where it’s been and finish the job. You’ll need to re-start the cleaning cycle.​

HEPA Filter

If dust is dangerous to any member of your household, this unit can be a lifesaver.

An iRobot 860 can help increase the air quality of your home with AeroForce Filters.

iRobot Roomba 860 Robotic Vacuum Cleaner (Vacuum + AeroForce Filters)

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Final Thoughts

Daily vacuuming can be a serious schedule challenge for many of us as days and evenings become busier with work and social commitments.

A robotic vacuum is not a small investment, so consider your decision carefully. If vacuuming is not an onerous chore in your household, you may want to continue on with your current cleaning process.

However, for families with small children, busy professionals who don’t want to spend free time cleaning, or retirees who can no longer handle the weight of an upright, a Roomba 860 may be the perfect choice.​