Hey friend! I know you‘re trying to decide between Shark and iRobot Roomba robot vacuums. I‘ve done tons of research on the top models from each brand. In this guide, I‘ll compare them in-depth so you can make the right choice.
First, let‘s clarify the exact question we‘re exploring:
How Do Shark and Roomba Robot Vacuums Compare?
I‘ll be comparing Shark and Roomba across all the key factors that matter most:
- Price, value, and budget options
- Features and smart capabilities
- Real-world cleaning performance tests
- Design, shape, and dimensions
- Maintenance requirements and effort
- Overall strengths and weaknesses of each brand
To start with a quick overview…
Shark robot vacuums compete well with Roomba on price and core features. But Roomba models tend to have more advanced technology and outperform Shark substantially when it comes to cleaning carpets.
However, Shark remains a smart option for anyone who prioritizes value and affordability. You really can‘t go wrong with either brand.
Now let‘s take a detailed look at how Shark vacuums and iRobot Roombas compare in all aspects. I‘ll also share my recommendations on which brand best fits different needs and budgets.
Shark vs. Roomba Pricing and Budget Options
Price is often the first factor people consider when shopping for a robot vacuum. In terms of cost, Shark is the clear value leader over the pricier Roomba brand.
Here‘s a look at the price range for current robot vacuums from Shark and Roomba:
- Shark robot vacuums range from $160 to $600
- Roomba robot vacuums range from $300 to over $1000
As you can see, Shark‘s entry-level models start at just $160. The most affordable Roomba is nearly double the price at around $300.
On the high end, Shark‘s most advanced robot vacuum costs approximately $600. Meanwhile, Roomba‘s premium models like the s9+ and j7+ push $1000 or even over $1200.
So across the full spectrum of budget to luxury models, Shark vacuums retail for significantly less than comparable Roombas.
To give you a feel for specific models, here are some example prices:
- Shark AV911S (entry-level) – $160
- Shark AI Ultra (high-end) – $600
- Roomba 694 (entry-level) – $274
- Roomba s9+ (high-end) – $1,099
As you can see, the budget Shark is about $115 cheaper than the budget Roomba. And the premium Shark costs nearly $500 less than the premium Roomba.
Clearly, Shark vacuums are a smarter buy strictly in terms of price and value for money. The technology might not be quite as advanced, but Shark still packs in ample features at budget prices.
Of course, Roomba‘s higher prices do buy you greater capabilities and performance. More on that shortly. But if you‘re watching your wallet, Shark offers plenty of affordable options.
Comparing Features and Capabilities
In addition to price, you also want to consider what features each vacuum offers. When it comes to smart functionality, Roomba vacuums are generally more advanced than Shark models.
Here are some of the core features you‘ll find on both Shark and Roomba robot vacuums:
- Scheduling – Set cleaning times for different days
- Smartphone app control – Remotely drive and schedule through the app
- Alexa & Google Assistant – Voice control your vacuum
- Self-charging – Automatically recharges when battery is low
- Selective room cleaning – Clean specific rooms on command
So far, the capabilities are pretty similar between the two brands. However, Roomba offers some extra high-tech features that Shark lacks on most models:
- Smart mapping – Uses sensors to map rooms and build cleaning plans
- Keep out zones – Set areas you want the robot to avoid
- Automatic dirt disposal – Empties its own dustbin at base station
- Reactive navigation – Uses AI to adapt routes for efficient cleaning
- Furniture and flooring recognition – Detects objects and surfaces to optimize cleaning strategy
As you can see, iRobot Roombas integrate far more advanced mapping, navigation, and home recognition capabilities. They use artificial intelligence and sensors to intelligently navigate and tailor their cleaning.
Shark robot vacuums have great basic functionality. But Roomba is way ahead when it comes to cutting-edge smart home technology.
So if you love geeky tech features, Roomba is the clear innovator. But Shark still gets the job done well for more affordable prices. It‘s about priorities – value vs. premium functionality?
Up next, let‘s compare how these vacuums actually perform when cleaning real homes.
Head-to-Head Cleaning Performance Tests
At the end of the day, what really matters is how well a vacuum cleans your floors. All the bells and whistles don‘t mean much if it doesn‘t pick up dirt effectively!
Numerous independent testing labs have compared Shark and Roomba vacuums head-to-head in real-world conditions. The results? Roomba consistently outperforms Shark, especially on carpets.
For example, Reviewed.com tested two of the top models – the Shark IQ and Roomba s9+ – in a real home on hard floors and medium-pile carpets.
Here were the vacuum‘s scores for percentage of debris picked up:
As you can see, the Roomba s9+ picked up 99% of all debris and a full 93% of debris from carpets specifically.
The Shark IQ performed decently overall at 91.8% cleaning efficiency. But it struggled more on carpets, only collecting 75% of debris.
Other testers like Wirecutter, Consumer Reports, CNET, and Tom‘s Guide found similar Roomba advantages:
- Roombas have up to 5x stronger suction for carpets
- Roomba‘s spinning brush digs deep into carpet fibers
- The D-shape cleans corners more thoroughly
- AI navigation covers floors more completely
Now Shark vacuums are no slouch – they clean hard floors especially well. But Roombas clearly excel at cleaning carpets thanks to superior technology and design.
So if your home is mostly carpet, I‘d go with a high-end Roomba for the best results. But Sharks work great for hard floor-focused homes.
Comparing the Design and Dimensions
In addition to performance, the design and dimensions of a robot vacuum impact its cleaning effectiveness. Shark and Roomba have quite different shapes and sizes:
- Shark vacuums have a circular design with a rounded front
- Roomba vacuums have a unique D-shape with an angled front
Importantly, Roomba units sit lower to the ground at just 3.5 inches tall, compared to Shark models at 4 inches high.
This lower profile allows Roombas to fit under more furniture, beds, and kickboards that might block a Shark vacuum.
But some users feel Shark‘s rounded front is less likely to get "stuck" or hung up on obstacles like chair and table legs.
Overall, Roomba‘s D-shape and ultra-low height provide an advantage for accessing hard-to-reach tight spaces. But Shark‘s classic round shape also has merit.
In terms of overall size, Shark vacuums tend to have a slightly larger footprint, while Roombas remain more compact:
|Shark IQ||12.9 x 12.6 in|
|Roomba s9+||12.3 x 12.3 in|
So Roombas squeeze into smaller spaces, while Sharks have a bit more cleaning surface area. But the differences are minor.
One final advantage of Roomba‘s smaller size is that their base charging stations occupy less floor space. Shark bases are larger due to holding debris bags.
So if keeping a low profile to clean under furniture is crucial for you, a Roomba is your best bet. But for open areas, the size isn‘t a major differentiator.
Maintenance Requirements and Effort
To keep any robot vacuum running optimally, you‘ll need to perform periodic maintenance like:
- Emptying the dustbin
- Cleaning filters and brushes
- Replacing worn parts like filters and brushes
- Recharging batteries
Fortunately, maintenance is straightforward for both Shark and Roomba vacuums. Just be sure to follow the manufacturer‘s instructions.
Here are a few key differences in maintenance between the brands:
- Shark dustbins are slightly larger, needing emptying less often
- Roomba s9+ models feature auto-emptying into the base station
- Roomba offers filter/part replacement subscriptions for convenience
- Both have lithium-ion batteries lasting 2-3 years
One advantage of Shark is larger dust bins requiring less frequent emptying. But premium Roombas eliminate this task entirely with auto-emptying.
For routine care, Shark and Roomba are very similar. Roomba‘s subscription model provides extra convenience but isn‘t essential.
My advice is to expect to spend 5-10 minutes per week on basic cleaning and maintenance for either robot vacuum brand.
Shark or Roomba: Quick Recommendations
Now that we‘ve compared Shark and Roomba models in detail across all factors, let‘s summarize which brand I recommend in different situations.
Here are my quick picks depending on your priorities and budget:
- If you want the lowest price under $200, get a Shark
- If advanced smart features are important, choose Roomba
- For the best carpet cleaning, go with a high-end Roomba
- If you need self-emptying, Roomba models have it
- For the best value without overspending, mid-range Shark
- Roomba excels at high-end performance and cutting-edge technology
- Shark offers excellent cleaning and features for budget prices
You really can‘t go wrong with either brand – it comes down to your needs and budget.
I hope this detailed comparison of Shark vs. Roomba robot vacuums helps you decide which is right for you! Let me know if you have any other questions.