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Bissell Smartclean vs Roomba Robot Vacuum: Ultimate Comparison

by  Lawrence -  Last updated on February 8, 2021

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When you’re shopping for a vacuum cleaner, you have probably been tempted to get these small robot vacuums to make your life so much easier.

Having one can save you so much time and energy since all you need to do is let it run a couple of minutes everyday and your floors will be kept clean.

The Bissell Smarclean and the Roomba have become popular consumer picks for their notable strengths, but they each have their respective advantages and disadvantages.

Keep reading to see which robot vacuum may be the best for your home.

Bissell Smartclean vs Roomba At A Glance

  • The Roomba has a battery life up to 100 minutes and the Bissell Smartclean lasts up to 40 minutes, realistically
  • Roomba has remote control feature with a mobile app while the Bissell Smartclean has the option of purchasing a separate remote control
  • The Roomba is a larger investment than the Bissell Smartclean
  • Both perform well on hardwood floors and low carpets
  • Neither robotic vacuum has HEPA filters which are meant to collect 99% of allergens for people prone to allergies

Bissell Smartclean Advantages

  • Wider cleaning options

One of the main advantages of the Bissell Smartclean is its variety of cleaning options. It uses two side brushes with which it cleans edges in both directions, and is able to clean most types of floors.

Plus, its optical sensor detects the debris concentrated in the areas that you go over the most, like your home entrance for instance. It also has a virtual wall feature called “the Invisible wall” which prevents the robotic vacuum from entering the rooms that you prefer it stays away from.

  • Budget friendly

If you don’t plan on spending a huge amount of money on a robot vacuum cleaner but still would like something that’s effective and does an overall great job at cleaning your floors, then the Bissell Smartclean may be what you’re looking for.

Robot vacuums are known to be an investment, but some of them are definitely a larger purchase which not everyone can afford. You will find Bissell smart clean robot vacuums at half the price relative to bigger brands, but it still does what it’s designed to do.

  • Cleans narrower spaces

Another great feature of the Bissell Smartclean is its ability to clean corners, edges, and getting under furniture like tables, beds, and chairs.

It has an anti-collision and cliff detection sensor which is why it does a better job than other robot cleaners at vacuuming between furniture and above edges such as staircases.

You won’t need to worry about it hitting falls or bumping onto other surfaces which is a necessary advantage to prevent any damage.

Bissell Smartclean Disadvantages

  • Low battery life

Unfortunately, with a lower price, comes a weaker battery life. The Bissell Smartclean’s battery only lasts up to 80 minutes, but with use, it can eventually sink to 40 minutes of battery life.

Once it has fifteen percent of charge left, it automatically heads to its charging station and charges for 4 hours until it’s able to clean a full cycle again.

  • Not great with heavy carpet

White the Bissell Smartclean is able to clean most floors like hardwood or light carpet, it’s not able to go through high carpeting or shag. It will be able to go on medium carpeting, but it won’t do the best job at vacuuming, and you might hear strange sounds coming from the Bissell Smartclean.

  • No remote control included

Another disadvantage of the Bissell Smartclean is that it doesn’t offer remote control access through mobile apps or Wi-Fi. There is the option to purchase a remote control but it’s not included in the initial package, so it’s at your own additional cost

Roomba Advantages

  • Long battery life

The Roomba is a strong competitor when it comes to battery life. Though it claims it can run up to 120 minutes, realistically it only runs for 100 minutes, which is plenty of time for a full cleaning cycle on a larger area.

Once it hits the fifteen percent low, the Roomba will make its way to the chagrin station and stay there for four hours until it’s ready to go again.

  • Wireless communication

Another great feature of the Roomba is its ability to work remotely with Wi-Fi and an app you install on your smartphone. You can take a look at your custom cleaning preferences, the clean map reports, and can schedule when you want it to clean.

The app is a game changer since you can control the overall functioning of the Roomba, and is constantly evolving through new models and additional features.

  • Works well on different floors

The roomba does a great job at cleaning all types of floors including hardwood, carpet, vinyl, tile, and laminate.

It works much better on light carpet, but it will still be able to do on medium and high carpet, although with difficulty. However, the Roomba does a better job than competitors in terms of vacuuming different surfaces which is not to be overlooked.

Roomba Disadvantages

  • Heavy

Roomba robot vacuums generally weigh around 7.5 lbs which you need to take in consideration if you live in a house with two floors.

If that’s the case, you will need to be able to carry the Roomba up and down the stairs to complete its vacuuming, unless you decide to purchase two Roomba vacuums.

  • No HEPA filters

The latest Roomba models don’t offer HEPA filters anymore as iRobot has completely removed all HEPA certifications.

You will find older models like the Roomba 800 and 900 series which carry HEPA quality filters (not HEPA itself) which are a great option for those who deal with allergies.

  • An investment

It’s no secret that the Roomba is one of the best of its kind, but the reputation, features, and consistent, high-end technological innovations come at a price.

If you’re looking for a durable robotic vacuum and willing to make that investment to get full cleaning capacity, then the Roomba might be the right choice for you.

Differences Between Smartclean and Roomba

Not all robot vacuums are made the same, no matter how similar they might all look. Before you pick out either the Bissell Smartclean or the classic Roomba, take a look at which one will have the options that really get your home clean—and consider whether the Bissell Smartclean can really overtake the very popular Roomba.

Capacity

The bigger the dustbin capacity, the fewer times you have to run around to empty it. Ultimately, this makes the vacuum much more automatic.

Both of these robot vacuums have similar dustbin capacities, but the capacity of  Bissell Smartclean is a little smaller at only 0.4-liters. If you’re looking for something larger, you’ll want to go with the Roomba and its capacity of 0.5-0.7 liters.

Verdict: The Roomba does have a little bit of a bigger dustbin, which means less emptying on your part. The capacity is only slightly larger though, so this might not matter to you too much.

Run time

You want your vacuum to run for as long as possible, although if you have a smaller home, you might not need it to go for large amounts of time.

Still, the Bissell Smartclean will work for around 90 minutes, which is a huge difference compared to the 60-minute runtime that you get with the Roomba. You may not need your vacuum to run for an entire 90 minutes at once, but this also means that you might not need to charge your vacuum for longer.

Verdict: The Bissell Smartclean does run for a longer time, meaning less charging and more cleaning.

Controls

You might prefer to use your phone to control the vacuum, or you might want to instead use the local controls—it depends on what’s easier for you, although most people tend to prefer the convenience of doing everything from one app.

That’s where the Roomba really shines. It has a mobile app and wireless communication, so you can set your controls right from the app. You can tell it where to go, what rooms you want to clean, and if you want it to stop.

You can’t do this with the Bissell Smartclean, which only has local controls. Of course, the Roomba still has those local controls too, and can even respond to voice commands. This makes it a great option for people who struggle with mobility.

Verdict: The Roomba is the all-around better option when it comes to controls, since you have tons of options when it comes to how you would like to use your vacuum.

Brushes and Cleaning

The more brushes you have, the easier it should be for your vacuum to suck up more debris. You do have two spinning brushes in the Bissell Smartclean, compared to only one on the Roomba.

The two side brushes on the Bissell Smartclean ensure that your debris falls into the path of the powerful suction as your vacuum moves along, which is something that the Roomba doesn’t necessarily do.

That being said, when it comes to cleaning, both do have powerful suction, and the Roomba does have a main brush that will work to agitate dust and dirt.

Thanks to the powerful suction, the Roomba will still suck in all the dust and dirt. It will also use its sensors to detect the dirtier areas of your flooring for you and concentrate its cleaning there. Overall, Roomba is one of the best robotic vacuums for thick & high pile carpets.

Verdict: This was a close one, but ultimately, the Roomba is a little better when it comes to getting dirtier areas of your floor. It works well to uplift dirt from places where it’s a little more smudged in, although the Bissell Smartclean still does suck up a lot of dirt on its own.

Ease of Use

Both of these vacuums aren’t particularly difficult to use, but there are features of each one that may make them easier for you to work with.

Roomba is sparser in terms of buttons, so you only have to really push the clean button on top to get it to work. If you don’t want to deal with tons of buttons, you really can’t go wrong with the Roomba.

It’s the Bissell which has cleaning schedules though. You can set it to clean when you’re not at home, or only at certain times of the day. This is something that your Roomba does not do, although this might not matter to you if you don’t mind just getting the app to make the schedule in real time.

With all of this, it is important to know that both vacuums do not do certain things. That includes resuming cleaning after they take a break to charge. If you want your vacuum to resume cleaning, you will need to manually ask it to do so.

Verdict: The ease of use depends on what features you would prefer, but we would say that the Bissell Smartclean is a little easier to use. You can schedule it and forget it, and don’t need to worry about punching in a cleaning time in the app that the Roomba has.

Size and Weight

It is true that the Bissell Smartclean does weigh less than the Roomba. This may not matter that much to you though, since you shouldn’t need to pick up your vacuum all that much.

Still, it you want to carry it up and down the stairs to put it on different floors of your house, the Roomba is lighter.

The Roomba is also wider and taller though. It can cover a wider area in a single pass, but it also can’t get under as much furniture as the Bissell Smartclean can thanks to its smaller size. The Bissell Smartclean will be able to navigate into smaller spaces

Verdict: The Bissell Smartclean may have a smaller cleaning path, and be a little heavier, but the fact that it’s smaller ensures that it’s able to get into smaller spaces that the Roomba might miss just because of its size.

Cleaning Modes

If you want options, you have plenty with both of these vacuums. The Roomba has two modes, where it’s able to clean automatically for general cleaning, or you can set it to spot cleaning.

This is especially helpful if you notice a specific area that needs more intensive cleaning.
On the other hand, the Bissell Smartclean has a total of five modes. It still has the automatic mode, which will let it cycle through all the modes as needed, but it also includes four other options.

That includes the spiral mode, which will get it to work in circles until it finds an obstacle, the along the invisible wall mode to help it get your edges, the Z formation mode that moves it in a zigzag path, or the diagonal model to help it move in a diagonal pathway along the room.

Verdict: You just have more options when it comes to the Bissell Smartclean, with five possible modes that you can choose from. That being said, you do not have the spot cleaning mode that you would get when you use the Roomba.

Sensors

You don’t want your vacuum to be bumping into walls all the time, or to be struggling when it comes to falling down stairs or bumping into rooms that it’s not supposed to be in. It’s lucky that both of these vacuums have bump sensors then, as well as drop sensors, and dirt detection sensors.

They will both catch themselves from falling if they’re near stairs and should not bump into your furniture if you let them run on their own. That being said, when testing the sensors, the Bissell Smartclean does tend to bump into the wall sometimes.

It can knock pretty hard too, which may make you wince as you worry for your walls and the actual robot itself. You might worry too about the drop sensors, which can be fooled by dark-colored carpeting or tiles, but both have good dirt sensors.

You may prefer the dirt sensors on the Roomba though, which can work with the spot cleaning mode to lift up dirt well.

Verdict: This is a close one, but the Roomba inches ahead. The sensors work well with the cleaning modes, and are more likely to not bump into any walls accidentally.

Filtration

Filtration systems matter to you if you or someone in your family deals with allergies. You don’t want tons of particles in the air when your vacuum runs along by itself.

Unfortunately, both of these options do not have the HEPA filtration that you would come to expect out of high-quality vacuums, but the Roomba does include an AeroVac system that collects particles up to 10 microns in size. This means that it will still collect about 85 percent of allergens.

Verdict: The Roomba comes out on top here, because it does include more filtration compared to the Bissell Smartclean, although they could both be replaced with something that has a HEPA filter.

Conclusion

To conclude, both robot vacuums are great options for different reasons, but the iRobot’s Roomba is the winner. While it is an investment, its biggest advantage is it’s remote control feature which comes with a mobile app.

The Bissell Smartclean is a great robot vacuum for its price as well, but its weakest feature is the battery life. In reality, it only lasts for about 40 minutes on average, which might be a deal breaker for some.

If you are looking for a Bissell Smartclean alternative, try the Eufy Robovac 11 it’s equally powerful. Check out our comparison guide to know how it stands against Roomba robot vacuums.

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