If you have a tight budget but want to have a home that is more autonomous, then you already have the idea of ​​looking for bargains.

Saving money and getting a product that can be as good as your high-end competitor can be easy. You just have to know where to look. When it comes to robotic vacuum cleaners, one name stands out from the rest: the Roomba line from iRobot. Saving money with a Roomba means that you will have to look at older models with updated improvements. The Roomba 690 is just that model.

But can you save even more and get the same quality? EcoVac wants you to believe you can do it. The Deebot M81 Pro is an all-in-one vacuum cleaner designed to be a cost-effective alternative to Roomba. How to compare them?

In this article, we will compare the most popular vacuum cleaner of each brand with its competitor and discuss the pros, cons, features and options of each. We will also answer the most popular questions and tell you which robotic vacuum cleaner is a better bargain for your pocket.

iRobot Roomba 690 Robot Vacuum-Wi-Fi Connectivity, Works with Alexa
iRobot Roomba 690 Robot Vacuum-Wi-Fi Connectivity, Works with Alexa
Ecovacs Deebot M81 Pro front and back
Ecovacs Deebot M81 Pro front and back

Roomba 690 vs Deebot M81 Pro: The Differences

In the robotic vacuum economic market, some features are added or removed to gain your attention. Here are the main differences between the two robots.

  • The M81 Pro uses a 5-stage cleaning mode while the Roomba uses a 3-stage cleaning mode.
  • The battery life of the M81 is a maximum of 110 minutes, while that of the Roomba 690 is a maximum of 120 minutes.
  • The M81 Pro has an optional wet/dry mop mode; Roomba 690 doesn’t mop at all.
  • The Roomba 690 has dirt detection sensors; the M81 Pro no.
  • The M81 Pro has no altitude settings; Roomba 690 adjusts to different floor heights.
  • The M81 Pro comes with a remote control and a mobile application; Roomba 690 depends solely on a mobile application via WiFi.

What Do They Have In Common?

Whenever you have competitors creating similar devices, they will share common features in their features. What do these two have in common?

  • In both models there are anti-fall and anti-collision sensors.
  • Each makes use of a mobile application for control. (Note the difference that the M81 Pro also has a remote control).
  • The M81 Pro and Roomba 690 will clean any type of floor.
  • Both models use side brushes to clean edges and corners.
  • Each of the robots will return to the charger when their batteries run out, to charge themselves.
  • The Roomba 690 and the M81 Pro have voice control with Amazon Alexa.
  • Each of the vacuum cleaners has the ability to clean stains.
  • Both versions use a high efficiency filter to control allergens and dust particles.

Comparison Table

Roomba 690Deebot M81 Pro
Battery life120 minutes110 minutes
Quick rechargeYesNo
Spot cleaningYesYes
Remote controlNoYes
Mobile application controlYesYes
Edge cleaningYesYes
Cleaning stages35
Automatic rechargeYesYes
Dirt detection sensorsYesNo
Drop sensorsYesYes
Mop wet/dryNoYes
Virtual barrier1 includedNo
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Details of the Features and Functions

To know the outstanding features and functions you need more than a simple graphic. Here, we will try to explain each of them in more detail.

Wet/dry mop

We talked about a mastodon in the room. The Roomba 690 is a robotic vacuum cleaner that has no mop capabilities. The Deebot M81 Pro, on the other hand, does. There is a removable mop head that is fixed at the bottom rear of the machine and that cleans the floor as you go.

There is a removable wet/dry tank that will be filled with water and fixed to the bottom of the robot under the garbage can. As the robot moves along the floor, the vacuum sweeps and cleans the floor while the water tank drops the water that the mop pad cleans.

You will surprised how easy it is to configure and program. However, the actual cleanliness left enough to be desired. If the floor is large enough, the pad will stop absorbing much of the water and leave traces. If you decide to use this function, you should not leave the robot alone. In addition, you must remove the water reservoir and the mop pad before allowing the robot to return to the charging base.

In a nutshell: The Deebot M81 Pro wins. The Roomba does not scrub at all, so having the capacity is an advantage.

Batteries and charge

The Roomba 690 is the only 600 series robotic vacuum cleaner that comes with lithium-ion batteries. The rest of the series uses the least efficient metal nickel hydride. The M81 Pro also uses lithium-ion batteries.

Both robots will have a relatively short recharge time. When the M81 Pro’s battery is depleted, it will take about 2 hours to fully charge. The Roomba will be recharged in an hour and a half.

The Roomba also has a longer operating time. This is under optimal conditions as well, but the Roomba will work for about 120 minutes while the M81 Pro offers 110 minutes. The 10 minutes may not seem like a big difference, however, recharging automatically can make a difference.

It has been reported that each of the robots has difficulty finding the loading ramp when the battery runs out. It can take up to 12 minutes for the M81 Pro to find the charging station, depending on how many obstacles are in the way and the path you have to follow. There have been people who have declared that they have returned home and have found the robot off and without a battery in the middle of the ground.

The Roomba 690 may also have difficulty finding the charging station. Usually, the robot gets close but has trouble reaching the charger. However, those additional 10 minutes of runtime will allow you to find the charger more frequently.

Conclusion: Roomba 690 wins this round. With a faster charging time and a longer operating time, the robot is more efficient.

Spot cleaning mode

Both fighters now offer spot cleaning mode. The M81 Pro will follow the order of the mobile application or the remote control to start a timely cleaning according to the area you specify. When you do this, the robot will move to the point and make a circle around the area and then a second circle, a little larger.

The spot clean is more intense and is done with a slower pass. The whole process will take about four minutes.

The Roomba 690 will also follow the cleaning order from the mobile application. The Roomba, similarly, will move to the point and make a circular pass. The difference here is that the Roomba will move continuously in gradually larger circles until the dirt detection sensors indicate that the point is clean.

This process can take between two and seven minutes depending on the density of the dirt.

In short: The Roomba wins but only slightly. Both machines make a good point cleaning; Roomba is better at making sure that the area is very clean.

Cleaning stages

The Roomba 690 has a three-stage cleaning cycle. The side brushes will move dirt, dust and debris from the edges to the center of the vacuum path. The second stage is that brush extractors that rotate in the opposite direction release and lift dust and debris from the floor.

The final stage for Roomba 690 is the high efficiency motor that sucks all the remains in the garbage can. This cleaning method is used for all types of floors and will clean parquet, tiles, carpets and more.

The Deebot M81 Pro has a five-stage cleaning cycle. The first three stages are the same as those in Roomba 690. The fourth and fifth stages are optional. When the mop accessory is on, the fourth stage is to put the water, and the fifth is to clean with the mop head.

If the mop accessory is removed, five-stage cleaning is reduced to three, which makes it the same as Roomba cleaning.

In short: The M81 Pro wins. With the two additional stages and the ability to scrub and dry, the advantage is clear.


The Deebot M81 Pro uses two types of sensors. The first is the fall sensor that prevents the robot from falling off the stairs or overhangs. These sensors detect falls, and avoid anything over 5 centimeters.

The second group of sensors is in the body of the robot and are contact sensors, which prevent the vacuum from hitting obstacles and objects in the house. If the robot comes into contact (which often happens), it is very good to go back and turn around.

Smaller items such as the thin legs of the chair and the legs of the table are sometimes slightly damaged. However, the robot’s speed and the rubber edge prevent further damage, and the robot immediately recoils to turn around.

The Roomba 690 also has detection sensors that prevent it from getting off the shelves or falling down the stairs. It also has touch sensors around the robot to avoid collisions and improve navigation.

What the Roomba also has is a dirt detection sensor. It is a small sensor near the extractors that detects when the area in which the vacuum cleaner is located has been cleaned of all debris.

No one (outside Roomba) really knows how it works, but it does. If we pass an M81 Pro over an area with a lot of dirt, and then we pass a Roomba through a similar area we can discover that there will be more dirt in the Roomba collection tray than in the M81.

This does not mean that the M81 Pro does not do a good cleaning job, but in very dirty areas you may need to schedule a second pass.

In short: the Roomba 690 wins. Dirt detection sensors make a big difference in cleanliness.

Mobile applications and remote controls

The Roomba 690 has a very intuitive and easy-to-use mobile application that is used to remotely control the robot. In the application, you can synchronize the robot with the network, set and delete programs, and even assign a name to the robot. You can also use it to perform spot cleaning and start, stop or pause cleaning cycles.

The Deebot M81 Pro also makes use of a mobile application with the same features as the Roomba.

The M81 Pro also has a standard remote control that will do everything possible so that the mobile application can be used more than 4.5 meters away from the robot. If you do not need to start a cleaning mode while you are away from home, the remote control will work perfectly for you and does not depend on WiFi connectivity.

In short: The Deebot M81 Pro wins. The use of the standard remote control means that you can continue to control the robot remotely even if there is no Internet connection.

In Conclusion

If you are looking to buy an elegant robotic vacuum cleaner, and you have a limited budget, you can take a look at the iRobot Roomba series of vacuum cleaners. Therefore, if you have heard about the EcoVac competition with its Deebot series, then you may be curious to see the comparisons between iRobot and EcoVac. Those with a tight budget may like the ability to have a cost-effective robot that also passes the “mop” while vacuuming.

The disadvantage is that the Deebot does not work very well and will not do the weekly cleaning cycle. The Roomba, on the other hand, does a really good job for the cost it has and will help keep the place clean between regular deep cleanings.

The Roomba 690 has had a significant price drop with the launch of the 900 series, and for advanced robotics, sensors, the virtual barrier and dirt detection sensors, the additional cost on the M81 Pro is well worth it, since you will get the best cleaning you could want.

Both models will clean your floors well, and if you do not need a wet/dry mop or have tall hair carpets, the Romba 690 may be a good option for you.