How Long is a Roomba Cleaning Cycle?

iRobot Roomba is arguably the best thing since the self-wringing mop- if you obsess about having clean floors all the time. Roomba is smart and requires little to no supervision. It’s the ideal vacuum cleaner in this day and age.

Though we can all agree that the Roomba is intelligent, not all Roombas are the same in terms of run time (or cleaning cycle) charging time, and recharge-resume mechanism.

It’s also not a machine in perpetual motion. Just like humans, it needs to recharge and get its beauty sleep. 

But before we scrutinize the different Roomba models, it’s important to understand some terms:

Important “Charging” Definitions

Run time is the length of time the Roomba spends cleaning the floor before the battery is depleted. Some people refer to this as the cleaning cycle.

Recharge and resume means that the Roomba will automatically return to its base station when the battery is low and will return to where it left off when it is fully charged.

Charging time is the number of hours the Roomba needs to recharge its battery before it can resume cleaning.

Roomba has different models under different series. Although they have the same primary function (i.e. to clean the floor), the run time varies across models.

Understandably, newer models have more advanced features. But if your purchase decision is going to be based on runtime, recharge and resume, and charging time, I have placed the most popular Roomba models into different groups, so that you can find things out at a glance.

Group 1: Roomba i7 and i7+

This is an i7+. It’s run time is 75 minutes and it takes 2 hours to charge.

Roomba i7 and i7+ are identical in every way except the base station. The i7+ is a little smarter because its specialized Clean Base enables automatic dirt disposal.

Run Time

Both the i7 and i7+ have a run time of 75 minutes on a full battery charge. This run time is based on hardwood floor testing. So, the results could vary when used on carpets or other surfaces that require stronger suction. 

Recharge and Resume

Since the Roomba i7 and i7+ are essentially the same, both have the recharge and resume feature. When the battery reaches critical level or completes a whole cleaning cycle, the Roomba will temporarily stop cleaning and automatically dock to the base station to recharge. Once fully charged, it will resume cleaning from where it left off.

Charging Time

Even with a larger battery (3300mAh) compared to other Roomba models, the battery charging time for the i7 and the i7+ is 2 hours.

How Does It Know When to Finish? (Imprint Mapping)

With the Imprint Smart Mapping technology, Roomba i7 and i7+ map and learn the layout of every room in the house and determine the best way to clean it. The Roomba knows when to finish when it has covered the entire room based on the smart mapping.

Group 2: Roomba 980, 960 and 890 

This is a Roomba 890. It has a run time of two hours which is the largest of any Roomba model.

There are subtle differences between Roomba models 980, 960, and 890, but the differences in run time are pretty significant. 

Run Time

The 980 model has the longest run time at 120 minutes. This is quite impressive considering that it has the carpet boost cleaning mode, which uses up more suction power. The 960 has 75 minutes run time while the 890 maxes out at 60 minutes.  

Recharge and Resume

Both the 980 and the 960 have the auto-resume function after the battery is recharged. The 890, being an old model, can only recharge itself but it will not resume cleaning. It needs human intervention to get back to cleaning.

Charging Time

Although the 980, 960, and 890 have different battery capacities, they have the same charging time of 2 hours.

How Does It Know When to Finish? 

The navigation technology used by the Roomba 980 and 960 is the iAdapt 2.0. It uses sensors and infrared cameras to create the layout of a room, so it knows where to clean in a more logical pattern.

Roomba 890 uses the first generation of iAdapt. The cleaning pattern is more random, so cleaning takes a little bit longer. It stops when it completes the cleaning cycle.

Group 3: Roomba 675, 690 and 614

This is a Roomba 690. The 600 series are one of the older models and so the cleaning cycles are much shorter.

The Roomba 675, 690 and 614 do not have the advanced features of the newer models and may be considered “old-school” by robovac standard but they still get a lot of floor cleaning done.

Run Time

The run time for the three models from the 600 series is 90 minutes as tested on hardwood floors. It could be shorter on surfaces requiring more suction power such as thick carpets and rugs.

Recharge and Resume

The 675, 690, and 614 are self-charging. They automatically dock to the base station when the battery is low, but they don’t resume cleaning unless manually set or remotely triggered. 

Charging Time

Battery packs for the 675, 690, and 614 are 1800 mAh, 2100 maH, and 1800 mAh, respectively and the charging time is 2 hours.

How Does It Know When to Finish? 

The Roomba models in the 600 series use the iAdapt 1.0, which is the very early form of the Roomba navigation technology. Because it doesn’t have the advanced AI of newer models, the 600s have a more random cleaning pattern. 

No one knows for sure how they know when to finish, but it is believed that the sensors estimate the size of the room based on the hits to the front bumper. It then decides how long it has to clean the area based on the information it has.