Roomba 960 vs Roomba 980

Roomba 960

Roomba 960

Roomba 980

Roomba 980

Price History Chart

Roomba 960 Roomba 980
Main Features
Navigation iAdapt 2.0 iAdapt 2.0
Cleaning Modes Auto, spot cleaning Auto, spot, carpet boost
Suction Power 900 Pa 1700 Pa
Dustbin Capacity 600 ml 600 ml
Automatic Dirt Disposal Yes Yes
Noise Level 65 db 70 db
Wi-Fi Support Yes Yes
Multi-Room Cleaning No No
Full Bin Indicator Yes Yes
Virtual Walls Yes Yes
Dirt Detect Technology Yes Yes
Run Time 75 min 120 min
Сleaning Area 1615 ft2 / 150 m2 1991 ft2 / 185 m2
Wet Mopping No No
Carpet cleaning Yes Yes
HEPA Filter Yes Yes
Brushes Unique Dual Multi-Surface Rubber Brushes Main rubber rollers
Best for Pet Hair, Carpets, Hard Floors Pet Hair, Carpets, Hard Floors
Battery Capacity 2600 mAh 3300 mAh
Run time 75 min 120 min
Charging Time 120 min 120 min
App & Control Features
Remote Control No No
Smartphone App Yes Yes
Support Alexa Yes Yes
Support Google Assistant Yes Yes
Support Scheduling Yes Yes
Other Features
Weight 8.38 lbs 8.69 lbs
Size 13.8 x 13.8 x 3.6 in 13.8 x 13.8 x 3.6 inches
In the box
  • Charging station,
  • Line cord,
  • Extra filter,
  • Cleaning tool,
  • Owner’s guide,
  • Documentation package,
  • Dual-mode virtual wall,
  • Extra side brush
  • Charging station,
  • Line cord,
  • Extra side brush,
  • 2 dual mode virtual wall barriers with batteries,
  • Extra filter
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In today’s review, we`re going to have a look at two models of robot vacuum cleaners from the iRobot company – Roomba 980 and Roomba 960.

The first digit in the model number indicates that both robots belong to the same 900 series, which means they should have a lot in common.

Well, let’s see if it`s true and find out why these robots are so popular.

Roomba 960

This model is one of the iRobot best-selling robots. It was released in 2016 and since then customers have especially highlighted its quality of cleaning and navigation although its price is also nice.

iRobot Roomba 960 is a vacuum cleaner that performs dry floor cleaning. It has a stylish and elegant round case of grey color with black inserts.
The bumper has several protective hacks.

  • Firstly, there are special slopes at the edges that reduce the chances of getting stuck between obstacles or under furniture.
  • Secondly, the bumper is also covered with a special film, which softens the blows from the obstacles.
  • And thirdly, the lower part of the bumper is made of a special rubber that protects furniture from scratches, too.

The height of the robot is 3.6 inches, which is quite enough for cleaning under almost any furniture. The vacuum can also overcome small height differences up to 0.8 inches. Other dimensions are 8.38 pounds and 13.8 inches for weight and width respectively.

Under the front panel, manufacturers put a camera for room mapping as well as anti-drop and Dirt Detect sensors. They help navigate in space, locate the charging station, detect pollution, and avoid stairs. For baseboards and corners cleaning the device is equipped with a standard side brush.

Double rotating silicone rollers «scrape» the floor, thus collecting litter more effectively and preventing hair or pet fur winding. The garbage picked up by brushes is sent to the 600 ml dust bin. The bin has the Full Bin Indicator.

The combination of brushes, 900 Pa suction, and several cleaning modes provide thorough vacuuming on any floor type from marble tile to high-pile carpets.

The robot can work in the auto or spot regimes and clean along the walls. In case of extra dirt, it activates the AeroForce enforced vacuuming and cleans this spot several times.

And during the vacuuming, the robot keeps all the dirt inside the bin and runs the air through the HEPA-Style filter that can catch dust particles and allergens as small as 1 micron.

The system of orientation uses the second generation of iAdapt technology and vSLAM visual navigation. The robot gets signals from its low and ceiling cameras, sensors and infrared detectors and chooses the route.

The engineers also added a so-called virtual wall to the Roomba 960. It looks like a restrictive strip, which is installed on the floor in a certain place. This device makes navigation more accurate as it protects the area where cleaning is not desirable for you.

Thanks to the remote control system via a mobile application, you can start and stop the cleaning process, configure the robot to work on a schedule, determine its location, as well as find out the current state of the machine. The app informs you of completed cleanings and can report on the need to change certain consumables. Roomba 960 is compatible with Google and Alexa voice assistants.

The robot has a Li-ion battery with a capacity of 2130 mAh, which gives you up to 80 minutes of running with further three hours of charging time.

  • Roomba 960 uses a lot of modern technologies. It specializes in dry cleaning of hardwood, vinyl, tile, laminate, linoleum, carpet and any other floors.
  • This model will be great for medium size dwellings up to 150 sq. meters.
  • High suction and central rollers provide good hair collection, so if you have a pet, the 960 is also for you.
The pros of the robot are:
  • bumper protection
  • wide brush set
  • good hair collection
  • full dust bin indicator
  • high suction
  • HEPA filter
  • iAdapt 2.0 and vSLAM navigation
  • Dirt Detect and anti-drop sensors
  • virtual wall
  • iRobot HOME app and Alexa voice control
  • powerful battery
The cons of the robot are:
  • rather small dustbin
  • no Carpet Boost system
  • doesn`t save maps of the rooms after cleaning is completed
  • may be rather noisy

Roomba 980

Just like Roomba 960, Roomba 980 is a robot vacuum that specializes in dry cleaning. It was presented in 2015 and pleased the public at once.

In terms of design and configuration, this model has a round shape usual for most iRobot vacuums. The color of the device is black with glossy and mat parts.

The case is protected by rubber bumpers and slopes on the lower part of the robot. The height of the model is 3.6 inches. Free movement is also possible due to the diameter of 13.8 inches and weight of 8.7 pounds.

On the upper part, there is a set of running buttons and a camera for location scanning. At the bottom, the vacuum cleaner has a small side brush, a compartment with main rollers-brushes and a detachable dust collector.

The main rubber rollers clean hard floors, smooth surfaces, and carpets. They are easy in maintenance as they prevent hair winding. The wheels allow the robot to pass from one floor type to another without getting stuck even if there is an elevation of 0.8 inches.

After being collected the dirt comes to the dust collector with 600 ml capacity. The collector will inform you when it`s full.

As in the previous model, the 980 has a HEPA filter that fights dirt at the microscopic level and cleans the air.

The robot can also boast of its huge suction power up to 1700 Pa.

All over the case, the robot has six height difference and several infrared sensors for thorough navigation. There are also two cameras and such technologies as vSLAM and iAdapt 2.0. If you want to limit the cleaning area or divide it, the set includes two virtual walls.

Depending on the type and location of pollution, Roomba 980 proposes two cleaning modes. They are auto and local modes. In addition, it can activate Dirt Detect sensors and Carpet Boost technology to cope with heavy debris and high-pile carpets. The latter function is switched on the carpets and increases both suction and rollers rotation.

This model is equipped with a more powerful 3300 mAh Li-ion battery, which gives an additional 40 minutes of work compared to the 960 model. The vacuum cleaner can do its job for 120 minutes and resumes charge at the station for two hours.

You can control the robot vacuum cleaner using the buttons on the control panel as well as using a smartphone. You can set a schedule, see the map and so on. This model also supports voice control using Google and Alexa.

  • In general, this model is perfect for regular dry cleaning of spacious houses.
  • It`s nice for dwellings where live small children, allergy suffers and people with pets.
  • The 980 can be also used in office premises, as its power and battery are enough for cleaning 180-200 square meters.
The pros of the robot are:
  • effective dual brush
  • case protection
  • full dust bin indicator
  • Dirt Detect function
  • Carpet Boost function
  • powerful suction
  • HEPA filter
  • virtual walls
  • nice navigation
  • powerful battery
  • Wi-Fi and voice assistants
The cons of the robot are:
  • small dustbin
  • noisy work
  • high price

Differences between Roomba 960 and Roomba 980

Having examined and compared the functions and characteristics of the robots in detail, we found the following differences.

  • Firstly, a slight difference is observed in the delivery package of the robots. The first model proposes one virtual wall, and the second model can be bought with two limiters.
  • Secondly, Roomba 960 collects dirt with a force of 900 Pa while the 980 is almost twice as powerful (1700 Pa).
  • Thirdly, Roomba 980 uses the Carpet Boost function, which makes it much more efficient in carpet cleaning.
  • Fourthly, as we have said, the second model is equipped with a more powerful battery and lasts 40 minutes longer than its rival.
All the above-mentioned differences lead to the fact that Roomba 980 vacuums a larger area than Roomba 960.

Speaking of similarities, we note that both robots have the same size, dust collectors, a set of brushes, sensors, filters, modes. They use identical navigation and remote control systems.

Which one to choose?

Numerous user reviews lead to the conclusion that the 960 and 980 models are some of the best iRobot vacuum cleaners.

They accurately navigate in space, efficiently vacuum the floor and provide a wide range of additional functions.

Both models comply with most of the requirements for modern vacuum cleaners, and therefore they are largely interchangeable.

However, the latter model has several beneficial advantages. It copes better with carpet cleaning, has wider equipment (two virtual walls instead of one), greater runtime. If you can afford a little bit more expensive purchase, we recommend you to buy Roomba 980.

In any other case, you can as well buy Roomba 960. Although this model is conditionally less efficient compared to the 980, it is still far superior to many other robots.

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