Roomba vs Dyson

Roomba vs Dyson Head-to-Head: Real Life Tests & In-Depth Analysis

Ahead of the debut of the Dyson 360 Eye last summer, I was excited to see how the Roomba vs Dyson matchup would unfold.  I was hoping that some stiff competition from vacuum giant Dyson could put some pressure on market leader iRobot’s “fat and happy” robot designers.

The folks at Roomba could use a motivational kick in the rear.  The company hasn’t done anything interesting in quite a while.  The new Roomba 980 has some cool navigational features, but doesn’t clean as well as earlier models.

Unfortunately, Dyson will likely not be the company to deliver the pants punt– at least not anytime soon.  The long awaited Dyson 360 Eye turned out to be a total joke.

Curious to find out more about how vacuum industry titan Dyson got everything totally wrong?  If so, keep reading.  Otherwise, click the link below to find out how the most popular robotic vacuums compare.

Roomba vs Dyson: Price comparison

The Roomba 980 and the Dyson 360 feature navigational cameras and advanced robotic brains.  However, they are both extremely overpriced– and not as good at cleaning as you might expect.

Roomba 980

Selling points

New Roomba app

Advanced navigation


Bad support



Dyson 360 Eye

Selling points

Extra strong motor

Advanced navigation


Serious vacuum issues


Roomba vs Dyson: Watch them go head-to-head

Dyson and Roomba are huge companies that attract lots of media attention when they come out with new products.  As a result, there are lots of head-to-head cleaning contests that you can watch on YouTube if you want to see them perform in real life conditions.

Dyson vs Roomba at the Today Show

  • 360 Eye got stuck 12 times, but Roomba didn’t get stuck at all
  • Roomba did okay in the corners, but still missed some crud.  360 Eye failed miserably.
  • The mighty 360 Eye was too big and buff to fit under the couch, but Roomba slid under with ease.
  • Both carpet bots got tangled up in the fringe when they encountered the rug.
  • Read reviews of the Dyson 360 Eye and the Roomba 980 on Amazon

Dyson vs Roomba at CNET 

  • The testers initially had high hopes for 360 Eye
  • On the rice and sand test, 360 Eye failed miserably.  But Roomba sucked up everything
  • On pet hair, the 360 Eye “did okay, but still didn’t do awesome”
  • Read reviews of the Dyson 360 Eye and the Roomba 980 on Amazon

Dyson vs Roomba at

  • Despite its big motor, Dyson 360 Eye failed to pick up as much dirt as Roomba
  • Both robots moved carefully and methodically around the room
  • Roomba 980 did a much better job of cleaning under furniture and chairs
  • Read reviews of the Dyson 360 Eye and the Roomba 980 on Amazon

Roomba vs Dyson: Who are these vacuums for, anyway?

If you’re the type of person that loves to buy cool looking, expensive gadgets and live on the bleeding edge of technology, you might enjoy these two brainy but awkward little autonomous vacs.  But if you’re not an IT geek or a loaded silicon valley entrepreneur, there are many other robot vacuums out there that you’ll probably like a whole lot more.

I’d love to hack a 360 Eye

Because I hate the fact that iRobot is holding the home robotics industry back, I’d never buy a Roomba.

But if I was swimming in dough and had lots of time to kill, I would buy a 360 Eye just for fun.

The 360 Eye isn’t great when it comes to cleaning.  However, I do like its ridiculous “killer robot” aesthetic.  I’d love to poke around under its hood and try to hack it.

Definitely not for dads and busy housewives

If you’re just looking for a useful carpet robot that’ll shave down the amount of time you spend doing chores, you’ll be sorely disappointed by both of these ‘bots.

Why I love to hate the Roomba 980

In a nutshell: The latest Roomba isn’t totally awful, but it is a big letdown.

On the surface, Roomba 980’s new intelligent navigation system seems like a step forward.  But here’s the big problem: the new hardware actually gets in the way of the new Roomba doing its job.

All 3 big name reviews linked below prove that Roomba 980’s supposedly “new and improved” brain actually hurts its ability to clean.

Disappointing lab tests

Way too expensive

The time is ripe for affordable robotic vacuums to go mainstream.  Robotic tech is finally cheap enough for everyone.

If iRobot would’ve unleashed a less expensive, more efficient version of the Roomba 880, they could’ve taken over the world.  Instead, they opted to hawk yet another “luxury” vacuum robot that the public doesn’t want or need.

iRobot’s strategy seems stuck in the 00s.  At the beginning of the century, only silicon valley area tech enthusiasts were into robots.

But times have changed.  Robotic technology is more affordable than ever before.  The only problem is that iRobot doesn’t seem to understand the vacuum market.

That’s why some experts are saying that iRobot’s stock is about to go belly up.

We believe iRobot is a struggling consumer product company whose dominance in the home vacuum market is now in question.

Ben Axler, SeekingAlpha



Roomba vs Dyson: iRobot Roomba

Main selling points

  • Upgraded navigation system 
  • New smartphone app

There are much better robotic vacuums out there

iRobot wants you to blindly buy into their brand name.  They don’t want you to know that other companies are doing a much better job of making products that consumers actually want.  

That’s why they spend so much money on commercials.  

iRobot ads are everywhere

According to AdViews, iRobot spends a whopping $25 million on advertising every year.

Imagine how awesome the Roomba 980 could’ve been if iRobot would’ve opted to invest all that money into research and development instead.

The Dyson 360 Eye: So bad that it’s almost funny

  • In a nutshell: For so many reasons, Dyson’s long awaited vacuum robot turned out to be a truly epic fail.

Seriously.  What was Dyson thinking?

According to Mashable, it took the company 10 years to make the Dyson 360 Eye.  But it’s hard to understand why anyone would want to buy it.

If the people at Dyson were betting that this robot’s extra snazzy good looks would help it give it some snob appeal, well… they definitely lost that wager.

Big name gadget reviewers at CNET, Consumer Reports and others promptly ripped Dyson a new one as soon as the Dyson 360 Eye hit the shelves.  Even the amicable Today Show crew went in pretty hard on the stylish but functionally inept Dyson ‘bot.

Fortunately, consumers listened to the honest reviews and didn’t buy into the relentless hype.  And on Amazon, people that bought the 360 Eye and didn’t like it punished the company with lots of negative reviews.


Roomba vs Dyson: Dyson

Well, at least it looks cool 

Nobody can fault the 360 Eye for its looks.  This menacing robot looks like it might sneak up on you and suck your brains out at night.

But when put to the test, the 360 Eye couldn’t even manage to sweep up rice.


Apart from its looks, the only other thing that’s good about this robotic vacuum is its impressive wheels.  It’s the only vacuum I’ve seen that uses tank treads to navigate difficult living-room-to-kitchen-and-back-again maneuvers.

Compare Robotic Vacuum Cleaners: Dyson mapInside the fun (but somewhat useless) 360 Eye app

Are you the type of person that likes to check in with your vacuum cleaner to make sure it’s feeling good and doing okay while you’re at work?

If you answered “yes,” you’re definitely an odd one.   But then again, who knows?  When the singularity hits in 2045 and the machines take over earth, all that love and dedication might pay off.

The 360 Eye’s smartphone app is not very useful, but it seems like it could be fun.

When the 360 Eye first came out, its app was riddled with bugs.  But now that several months have passed, updates seem to have corrected most of the problems.

The app allows you to set a cleaning schedule and view a map that shows you what your 360 Eye is up to.

Bad at cleaning, good at navigating

Like the Roomba 980, the 360 Eye seems to have better things to do than clean.  Instead of vacuuming, both bots would rather explore and analyze your house.

It’s exciting that robotic vacuums are getting smarter.  But if they’re simultaneously getting worse at vacuuming, who really cares that they’re expert room navigators?

A clumsy giant

  • 360 Eye is 4.5 inches tall
  • Roomba 980 measures in at 3.6 inches

Because it’s nearly an inch shorter, the Roomba has a big advantage over the Dyson 360 Eye.

When the Today Show put both bots to the test, the Roomba slid under low furniture with ease.  The Dyson 360 Eye, on the other hand, kept bonking its ominous looking “head.”

Roomba vs Dyson: Closing Thoughts

Both iRobot and Dyson are trying really hard to corner the robot nerd market.  But what they should be doing is inventing ways to appeal to busy moms and dads.

Currently, the media is obsessed with iRobot and Dyson.  But my prediction is that in the next 5  years, we’re going to be hearing a lot more from competing robot vacuum manufacturers.

Right now, bObsweep and Bissell are the only robotic vacuum brands that “get it” when it comes to marketing to middle class families.

If I had to pick one…

If I had to choose between the Roomba 980 and the Dyson 360 Eye, I’d (reluctantly) go with Roomba.  The Roomba 980 may not be as good at vacuuming as its predecessors, but it still does a much better job compared to 360 Eye.

Dyson makes great manual vacuums, but falls to the bottom of the stack when it comes to robotic ones.

If you’re thinking about buying a Roomba or a Dyson 360 Eye, be sure to check out what other robotic vacuum manufacturers have to offer before you pull the trigger.

About Alex Munkachy

Hello and thanks for visiting Robot Fanatics! The aim of this site is to introduce people to the fun and interesting world of robotics. Please like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @RobotFanatics.