iRobot Roomba 880 Ditches the Bristle Bar for AeroForce Extractors: Review

It’s been a long time coming, but the newest iRobot Roomba 800 series has arrived. Till now the 700 series was the top tier of the Roomba line – but today, that all changes. Stepping out for the 800 series is the iRobot Roomba 880. The iRobot Roomba 880 is just the type of change the line needed – it’s fresh, innovative and a much needed upgrade to the famous robotic vacuum series.

In the Box:

  • iRobot Roomba 880
  • Compact Home Base
  • 2 Virtual Wall Lighthouses
  • Remote Control
  • 1 Hepa Filter

Many have challenged the iRobot Roomba over the years, but no one has succeeded in taking the crown away from the master in robotic household cleaning machines. The iRobot Roomba 880 sets the bar even higher by revolutionizing the fundamentals of this cleaning robot. Gone are the traditional bristle brushes and beater bar brush, and in its place are new AeroForce Extractors that have no bristles at all. Can your mind handle this?!

The AeroForce Extractors will work just the same as those tired old bristles ever did. In fact, they will work even better by picking up 50 percent more dirt and hair than the traditional bristle and beater bar methods. By eliminating the bristles, the 880 and the rest of the 800 series of Roomba vacuums will have a more intimate relationship with your floor – bringing it closer than ever to your hardwood and carpeting. That means it will suck up that much more dirt.


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While our minds were completely blown by the fact that there would be no bristles to sweep our hardwood floors or brush the carpeting, it really didn’t make a difference in the end. Pitting the iRobot Roomba 880 against the 780, it was clear who is the winner.

The perkier 880 picks up more dirt than the 780 did and does so swiftly and quickly. It is even a touch quieter than its older cousin. However, some habits are still hard to break, and the 880 continues to have an infatuation with metal legs and loose wires. But clean-up is now a cinch, long hair and pets certainly leave for a fun time vacuuming and previously the 780 would collect all of that very nicely, but cleaning the bristles was a major pain. Scissors, a screwdriver, and bristle brush were essential tools to clean up after the 780 vacuuming was done. The complicated clean up process has been a common complaint amongst Roomba owners, but it has been worth the sacrifice given the fact that we didn’t actually have to ‘vacuum’ in the first place.

Now clean-up literally takes no more than 5 minutes. The AeroForce Extractors easily come out of the machine and hair that does get tangled around it, easily slips off. The sidebrush is still a very important component to the Roomba series and with the 800 line it gets an upgrade too. There is no more need for a screwdriver to remove the sidebrush for clean-up – just a quarter or penny will do. The screw also doesn’t fall out anymore, which would send Roomba owners into a panic if it got lost during maintenance cleaning.


The iRobot Roomba is back and it’s better than ever. Instead of another incremental upgrade – the iRobot 800 series has upped the ante and turned vacuuming on its head. Ditching the traditional bristle bar in place of ‘rubbery’ AeroForce Extractors feels oh so unnatural, but yet so good. The 880 also showcases a fresh new Roomba look with silver buttons (no more touch) and a flat ‘Clean’ button instead of its traditional concave design. The dirt bin has also been redesigned to hold more dirt, and with the HEPA filter inclusion, Roomba sucks up dirt and clean air comes out. Lastly, the iAdapt Responsive Navigation Technology effectively allows the Roomba 880 to thoroughly cover the floor in multiple passes.

If you have been holding out on getting a Roomba, now is the time to pounce. It might be a pricey investment but it will give you back in spades by just setting it and forgetting it. The first of the iRobot Roomba 800 Series robots, the Roomba 880, is now available for $699.99.

The Good: Fast and zippy. The Roomba 880 is ready to clean your home like a beast. New AeroForce Extractors making cleaning up the Roomba 880 a cinch.  New bin design traps dirt and doesn’t fall out when emptying it into the garbage. New design is subtle but still fresh.

The Bad: Still as pricey as ever. The sidebrush could have used a little bit more of redesign besides a screw upgrade.