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The iRobot Roomba 606 is the smallest of the current range of Roomba vacuuum cleaners at the time of this review, and also the cheapest. Many people are drawn to the Roomba brand based on the name alone, and rightly so. You will not find a budget robot vacuum in their range, so you should be expected to spend a little more to bring the market leader into your home. Based on the cleaners that we have covered before, we have no doubt that this one represents value for money – iRobot is just as keen on maintaining its reputation as anyone else. So, we can be fairly sure of finding a high-quality cleaning experience here, but does this robot cleaner really stand out in the crowd?
- Strong suction and cleaning technology that is suitable for all but the thickest carpets
- Decent battery with an hour of cleaning
- Fast charging for frequent cleaning at three hours
- Navigation and sensors that ensure quick, thorough cleaning
- Independent upstairs cleaning thanks to the standard drop sensor
- Automatic docking and charging
iRobot Roomba 606 Price and Manufacturer Specs
- 3-Stage cleaning system picks up everything from small particles to large debris, to pet hair.
- The auto-adjust cleaning head automatically adapts its height to keep the dual multi-surface brushes in close contact with different floor surfaces, to effectively clean carpets as well as hard floors.
- Dirt detect sensors recognize concentrated areas of dirt and prompt the robot to clean them more thoroughly.
- Just press the “clean” button and Roomba goes to work, no programming required
- An early pioneer in robotics, iRobot was founded in 1990 with the vision of making practical robots a reality
Our iRobot Roomba 605/606 Review
The iRobot Roomba 606 is the follow-up to the Roomba 615, and that immediately means that it has its work cut out for it. That ranked among the most popular robot vacuums in the Roomba range and is a model that has graced many homes over recent years. It is the cheapest robot vacuum from Roomba at the time of writing, and also the smallest. However, anyone seeking a budget robot vacuum to clean their home may well be disappointed with the price. This machine is better compared to mid-range models from the likes of Eufy and Ecovacs rather than true entry-level robot vacuums like the Amazonbasics Slim Robot Vacuum.
Upon opening the box, you’re greeted with a familiar sight. It is only when you get to the very top end of the Roomba range that the shape changes and the brand is not big on changing colours – although the Roomba 605 is very similar to the 606 in performance but better for anyone that prefers white to black.
Having reviewed the 605 previously, we should have been prepared for the limited connectivity of the 606. We have to admit, however, that it still feels jarring when a rather luxurious brand in the world of robot vacuum cleaners comes with no connectivity at all. While the two cleaners are not overly comparable, even the aforementioned Amazonbasics effort at least has a remote control. With the 606, your options are limited to going up to the device, bending over and turning it on. While we cannot speak for everyone, that feels like a little too much work for a model in this price range – and one that is pretty midrange in other areas.
That’s an early negative, but the Roomba 606 is reassuringly solid when you get it out of the box. At 3.6 kg, it is not the lightest robot vacuum around, but it should not prove too troublesome when emptying or taking the unit upstairs. If you want something comparable but prefer it to be lighter, we would point you in the direction of the current competitors in the Eufy RoboVac range, which each come in around a kilogram lighter.
Where the Roomba 606 does manage to shine is in the cleaning itself. Once you have gone over to the unit and turned it on, it will go about its business with the minimal of fuss. As we are used to from Roombas, most dirt and dust comes up first try. If not, this automatic vacuum will use a combination of physical and acoustic sensors to determine which areas require a more intense clean. The results in both cases are excellent. While the suction power of this unit is not exceptional on paper, iRobot’s unique cleaning technology comes up trumps yet again.
Battery life on this model is slightly disappointing. We mentioned in our primary robot vacuum buyer’s guide that we expect 70 or 80 minutes from a full charge, at least on a brand new unit, but the Roomba 606 comes in at around an hour flat. That puts it below average, and it comes down to how long you need the unit to clean for. It will comfortably handle a single floor in an ordinary house but may require a recharge between doing downstairs and upstairs. In smaller homes, it is capable, but we must consider the price once again. In short, we would expect better at this level. Incidentally, the charge time is good, and the Roomba 606 battery will be full again after around 3 hours, placing it towards the head of the pack. Sadly, charge time does not factor heavily in comparisons unless you intend to clean more than once each day.
You do receive excellent performance for your money, as outlined above, and the dust box is more than capable of keeping up with the battery life. With a capacity of half a litre, you’ll have no issues with it filling up too quickly, and the AeroVac filter is a substantial addition that takes care of smaller dust particles.
iRobot Roomba 606 – Pros and Cons
- Excellent cleaning capabilities for the price
- Good capacity for a mid-range model at 0.5 litres
- Suitable for almost all floor types including hard floors and carpet
- No mobile app, Wi-Fi support or remote control
- One-hour battery life is at the lower end for a mid-priced robovac
- Fairly noisy compared to modern competitors at 62 dB
iRobot Roomba 606 – The Verdict
The cost to performance ratio has come up frequently throughout our iRobot Roomba 606 review, and we are not entirely convinced that this robot vacuum is quite where it needs to be. When looking at robot vacuums in this kind of price range, you are probably not concerned with any specialist features and primarily want a good clean and whatever added extras that may come your way. Unfortunately, the added extras represent one of the areas in which the 606 fails to shine. The iRobot smartphone app is nothing to write home about, but scheduling and remote activation are options we would rather have than not. On a £250 robot vacuum, for not even a remote control to make it into the package is disappointing.
iRobot Roomba 606 Review
The cleaning quality of the 606 definitely lives up to its price, and iRobot has done nothing to sully its reputation in that regard. It is an inherently high-quality robot vacuum too, with high-quality parts and outstanding engineering. The struggle in recommending this device stems from the fact that it represents value for money in some areas but not in others and then struggles to find a balance. You have to go to the cheapest end of the market to find a robot vacuum that fails to clean thoroughly, so while the Roomba 606 may be excellent, you only need adequate, and you’ll find that more cheaply elsewhere. The Eufy RoboVac 15C won our Eufy comparison and ranks among the highest-rated robot vacuums on the site. It costs a little more as standard and frequently sees price cuts. We feel that the improvements and perks place it ahead of this Roomba model based purely on value. iRobot excels at higher price-points, but the 606 is only slightly above an entry-level model at a premium price.
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