Roomba 960 vs 980 – What Is The Best Robot Vacuum?


The key topic at hand is Roomba 960 vs 980. This is a detailed review and comparison of both top models. So let’s start from the beginning.

When it comes to buying the best robot vacuums, many companies claim to manufacture industry-leading cleaners. Truth be told, the majority of these brands cannot be trusted.

The hype that the advertisements generate is NOT what the real picture looks like. Disappointed purchasers and nonfunctional cleaners are not that hard to come by.

So it’s important to be mindful when choosing the company that creates robot vacuums. Only then can you avoid landing up with a nonfunctional cleaner. But there’s no need to be discouraged here. Because there are many renowned companies as well.

The industry is flooded with reliable manufacturers too. And one such brand is iRobot. The proof of that is the company’s recent release. Two of them in fact! They are the iRobot Roomba 960 and iRobot Roomba 980.

The newest Roomba 900 series is already quite popular for its advanced technology. In the arena of robot vacuums, this technology ranks as the greatest and latest. So what’s the difference between the two models?


iRobot Roomba 980 Vacuum Cleaning Robot


iRobot Roomba 960 Vacuum Cleaning Robot


This guide of the “Roomba 960 vs 980” paints a pretty good and detailed picture. I have provided a breakdown of each vacuum while also comparing it to the other. The looks may be identical. But that’s not the case as far as performance aspects are concerned. However, the differences are not enormous. Even so, they are notable.

Dissimilarities in USABILITY, FEATURES, and DESIGN elements are important to discover. When you gain such an understanding of both the products, it becomes easier to choose. At the same time, you end up buying a vacuum that’s nothing but right for you.

Enough said! It’s time to begin comparing the critical characteristics of the two smart cleaners. At the beginning and conclusion of which I have declared the ultimate winner!

If the best is what you’re looking for, then nothing outperforms the iRobot Roomba 980. Not even the iRobot Roomba 960.

Not that the 960 model doesn’t offer great features. It’s just that the technology of 980 increases cleaning capability and performance. In order to service bigger spaces!


Now it’s time to get into the specific details of both the Roombas. So here’s a breakdown of all important aspects.

  • The Roomba 980 is only an upgraded version of the iRobot Roomba 960 Vacuum Cleaning Robot. That means the latter is a step lower than the former. So it provides you with nearly the same kind of features. If not the same amount! Both belong to the phenomenal 900 series.
  • The iRobot Roomba 980 and 960 have the same large camera. This on-board component allows the vacuum cleaner to scan the surroundings. It also enables the smart appliance to initiate intelligent decisions for cleaning. Based on nothing but observations!

So what’s the difference?​


The iRobot Roomba 980 Vacuum Cleaning Robot is the latest version the company offers. The smart cleaner includes every single feature the Roomba 960 is packed with. But with a comparatively stronger motor and longer running time!

What’s more is the power boost setting mode. This is extremely useful for cleaning carpets. Another additional feature is the virtual wall. Ideal for activating controlled cleaning!

The iRobot Roomba 980 has a fancier price tag. However, that’s justified given the addition of more advanced technology and features.


  • The motor is more powerful for thorough cleaning.
  • Power boost included for heavier suction on carpeted floors.
  • Battery life is longer.


  • The higher cost makes this Roomba model the most expensive.
  • Operation is louder when full power mode is on.


To sum it up, the iRobot Roomba 980 Vacuum Cleaning Robot is the ultimate high-quality option. It makes room for low maintenance. And that without jeopardizing cleaning performance or suction!

The Roomba 980 may be the costliest. But its extra features are worth every penny. By far, it’s the best robot vacuum I’ve reviewed. And this is great news if your home space is larger than usual.



There are a few characteristics that the Roomba 960 lacks. Such as the remarkable Power Boost and more compelling motor. With the absence of the boost feature, carpet cleaning becomes slightly difficult.

The iRobot Roomba 960 Vacuum Cleaning Robot’s run time also lags behind. So it’s only common sense to assume that this particular model is more affordable than the other.

The filtration system, navigation system, and camera are all the same. So if your goal is to buy something high-performing and inexpensive, you can’t wrong with the Roomba 960.


  • Cleaning power is the same as any other top model. Including the Roomba 980.
  • ​Multi-surface, tangle-free dual brushes manage pet hair easily.
  • The weight of the appliance is relatively lighter.


  • There’s no power boost for an improved suction force.
  • Run time is also shorter.


In all, the iRobot Roomba 960 Vacuum Cleaning Robot is packed with impressive features. Without drilling a huge hole in your wallet!

The model offers Wi-Fi capability, exceptional navigation, and fantastic cleaning performance. And to be honest, it all depends on the space and details you wish to vacuum. The extra features of the Roomba 980 are not always worth the extra cost.


In terms of aesthetics, the Roomba 980 and 960 have a lot in common. The Roomba series in which you don’t get the camera feature are 800, 700, and 600.

The iRobot Roomba 960 Vacuum Cleaning Robot is a lookalike of the Roomba 980. Or is it the other way round since the latter is an upgrade of the former?


The simple and sleek design of the iRobot Roomba 980 Vacuum is quit attractive. As you can see, it is armed with a central camera. What this does is scan your room as the cleaning is taking place. The camera is well aware of obstacles, walls, and furniture.

Upon closer examination, you’ll find a small sized handle in the front. This is in place so you can carry the vacuum to its charger manually. Or press that HOME button to drive it back automatically.

The list of design elements included in the iRobot Roomba 980 Vacuum is as follows:

  • Camera
  • Bumper ring
  • ​Handle
  • Automatic cleaning: start/return home


The on-board central camera and buttons are located right where you’d expect them to be. As far as design is concerned, the Roomba 960 is an outcome of a slightly lighter approach. It is furnished with matte grey plus charcoal accents. This gives the model a better contrast look.

Moving on to other important elements, the CLEAN feature starts a cycle. You can even send the vacuum back home by pressing the smaller house icon button.

Furthermore, the classic bumper ring helps in protecting your furniture and walls. So the appliance navigates safely during the cleaning process.

Here are the features the iRobot Roomba 960 Vacuum Cleaning Robot offers:

  • Sensor
  • ​Bumper ring
  • ​Camera
  • Automatic cleaning: start/return home


The iRobot Roomba 980 Vacuum Cleaning Robot uses the 3-stage process for cleaning. This includes agitating, vacuuming, and suction. Such a feature is present in the Roomba 960 as well.

The cleaning process of the iRobot Roomba 960 uses the same 3-stage method. That is agitating, vacuuming, and suction. The high-performing spinning brush cleans corners and edges quite effectively. In combination with the dual central rubber brushroll!

The thing about spinning brushes is that they have the ability to sweep dust from corners and edges. Into the direction of their central brushroll!


So what else is so unique about the iRobot Roomba 980 Vacuum Cleaning Robot?

The dual advanced brushrolls, in this case, perform a more thorough job. Especially when it comes to agitating debris and dirt! As compared to 960’s older bristle-type brushrolls!

Another notable aspect is the stronger motor. It offers a longer operation time with more powerful suction. You also get the opportunity to make the most of the exceptional Power Boost setting. This is very useful when vacuuming carpeted surfaces.

You’ll be thrilled to discover the next part. The iRobot Roomba 980 consists of advanced technology for dirt detection. The same applies to the navigation system. It methodically cleans your space in a straight line with less bumping.

Additionally, this particular model is also packed with edge sensors. These are located in the rear region. They help the machine gain a better understanding of its surrounding. Along with sensing probable drop hazards!

So the iRobot Roomba 980 Vacuum Cleaning Robot’s cleaning features include:

  • Edge sensors
  • ​Spinning brush
  • ​Dual brushroll
  • ​Charging pins
  • Dust filter/bin


Now here’s a characteristic that’s different from the Roomba 980.

It’s the motor of the appliance. The iRobot Roomba 960 Vacuum Cleaning Robot’s motor is the same as some of the models of the 800 series. And this implies a shorter operation time. But to be honest, 75 minutes run time is still an impressive performance level for robot vacuums.

The manufacturer has equipped the device with self-recharge capability. In order to make up for the shorter running time! So the Roomba 960 recharges itself before returning to cleaning. That means you don’t have to lift the vacuum every time it drains the battery.

As for dirt detection, this model is the same as its 980 counterpart. The navigation and dirt detection technologies are on the same page. The result of which is more consistent cleaning patterns and improved navigation.

In the same context, you’ll be glad to know this. The iRobot Roomba 960 Vacuum makes use of memory-mapping feature and on-board camera. So it can identify obstacles during the cleaning process.

The cleaning features of the iRobot Roomba 960 Vacuum Cleaning Robot are as follows:

  • Dual brushrolls
  • ​Edge sensors
  • ​Spinning brush
  • ​Wheels
  • ​Charging pins
  • Dust filter/bin



Here are the dimensions of the iRobot Roomba 980 Vacuum Cleaning Robot. 3.6 inches in height and 13.8 inches in diameter!

As for the weight, the 980 model is 13.32 pounds light.


The dimensions of the iRobot Roomba 960 Vacuum Cleaning Robot is the same as the other. That is 3.6 inches tall and 13.8 inches diameter.

In terms of weight, the Roomba 960 is heavier than the Roomba 980. 4.68 pounds heavier, to be more specific.



The iRobot Roomba 980 Vacuum is equipped with following accessories and parts.

  • 1. Spinning Brush

The feature is located in the underside region. The brush spins during cleaning. And this is what enables the Roomba 980 to clean thoroughly in corners and around edges.

  • 2. Charging Base

The vacuum’s charging station is armed with a charging cord and base unit. At the time of low battery, the Roomba 980 automatically goes back to its charging station. Before returning to the same area to complete the task at hand!

  • 3. HEPA Filter

The HEPA filtration system pairs up with AeroForce to deliver advanced cleaning strength. Much like the iRobot Roomba 960!

  • 4. Wall Barriers

The double virtual barriers are in charge of blocking off radial areas. Along with straight passes! Having access to two barriers is highly useful when it comes to cleaning larger homes.


As for the iRobot Roomba 960 Vacuum Cleaning Robot, it offers the following elements.

  • 1. Spinning Brush

The spinning brush of the Roomba 960 helps in keeping corners and edges clear of dust. It sweeps the debris into the direction of the cleaner’s larger brushroll. The feature is installed in the underside part of the iRobot vacuum.

  • 2. Charging Base

The charging station of the Roomba 960 and 980 is almost identical in design and performance. Even this model returns to the base automatically when needed. Along with completing the cleaning that was left before the recharge.

  • 3. HEPA Filter

The HEPA filter of the iRobot Roomba 960 works with AeroForce exceptionally well. This is one notable feature that both models have in common. In fact, it’s also one of the interchangeable parts between all Roomba units.Those packed with AeroForce filter mechanism that is.

  • 4. Wall Barriers

Unlike the HEPA filter, virtual barriers are dissimilar. The iRobot Roomba 980 includes two barriers. Whereas the Roomba 960 comes with only one! However, this barrier performs just as well as the dual barriers. It blocks off spaces you don’t want the vacuum to get down into.


After subjecting both the iRobot vacuums to standard cleaning, what did I achieve? I came to understand each model’s full range. In terms of cleaning small and large debris!

So what I decided to do is use the Roombas to vacuum different types of flooring. This includes hardwood and carpet surfaces. The latter involves both high and low pile.


So it’s time to uncover the performance level of the iRobot Roomba 980 Vacuum Cleaning Robot.

  • On hardwood flooring, the Roomba 980 scored the highest marks. It has the ability to capture 100 percent debris. Be it pet litter, sugar, or any other food item.
  • On low pile carpet, the cleaning performance is just the same. The vacuum doesn’t fail to trap 100 percent of dust and debris.
  • On high pile carpet, the results were slightly less satisfying. Higher carpeted floors are more difficult to clean. So the Roomba 980 might struggle a bit in that area. Even so, it ends up absorbing more than half of the unwanted elements scattered on the floor.


The iRobot Roomba 960 Vacuum carries out the cleaning tasks in the same manner. Meaning there’s not much of a difference in performance between the two models. So let’s find out more.

  • On hardwood flooring, the Roomba 960 does an amazing job. It picks up all the dirt and debris. Including food particles and pet dander!
  • On low pile carpet, it falls short of scoring the highest marks. For example, trapping debris like sugar from such carpeted surfaces is a struggle.
  • On high pile carpet, the outcome of the 960 is the same as the 980. So expect the Roomba 960 to pull in a little over 50 percent of dirt found on higher carpets.


This is where the debate between Roomba 960 vs 980 is the most prominent.


In matters of usability, the iRobot Roomba 980 is plenty user-friendly and intuitive. Unboxing and setting it up is quite an effortless undertaking. All you have to do is plug the cleaner into its charger and press CLEAN. That’s about it!

For scheduled cleanings, you need to enable the Wi-Fi connection. Pair your Wi-Fi with the vacuum and you can start scheduling within a few minutes. Once the machine is paired, feel free to use Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. Or your smartphone to control the vacuum!

You’ll be surprised to know that the Roomba 980 generates digital reports. These reports are maps indicating the direction of the appliance. That means using such a feature ensures the cleaning of every room. Along with identifying all trouble spots!


Operation and handling always rank as the most important aspects. Especially when comparing Roomba 960 vs 980.

You’ll be glad to learn all about the usability of the iRobot Roomba 960 Vacuum. This particular model is pretty much identical to the Roomba 980. The setup is almost similar. With the same kind of accessible CLEAN feature and Wi-Fi compatibility!

The Roomba 960 model is also supplied with a camera onboard. That means no need to follow the vacuum around to ensure that it prevents collisions. So protection against tricky obstacles and sensitive items is a part of the cleaning.

On a general note, the iRobot Roomba 960 Vacuum Cleaning Robot sees things. Well enough to change its course prior to collisions.

The only difference regarding usability between the two is the use of virtual walls. The Roomba 980 comes with two barrier walls. As opposed to the Roomba 960’s single wall! Apart from that, both machines are pretty much the same.


As far as maneuverability goes, the argument between Roomba 960 vs 980 is quite clear. The latter’s flexibility and mobility are far more advanced than the former. Particularly in the area of robot vacuums!


The circular shape of the iRobot Roomba 980 Vacuum enables 360-degree turning radius. The next commendable feature is the in-body camera. Along with advanced navigation, this component helps in preventing careless bumping.

In that regard, the Roomba 980 has the ability to sense obstacles. Based on that, it changes directions prior to colliding with them. Such an action is what makes the current model the better option. Older Roomba units don’t offer this kind of advanced functionality.

In fact, the feature intensifies in performance when paired with another technology. This one’s responsible for memory-mapping and dirt detection.


There are many features in here that you’ll also find in the other. So it’s safe for me to state that the iRobot Roomba 960 Vacuum Cleaning Robot is not an alien product. What I mean to say is that it consists of the same circular shaped body. Along with the 360-degree turning radius!

What else does the iRobot Roomba 980 have in common? The processors and on-board camera. Even the stain detection and memory mapping technology are roughly the same. This deal is with all 900 model lines. Choose any and we’ll be able to remove incandescent to coal. And faster!


Robot vacuum cleaner iRobot Roomba 980

IRobot Roomba 960


The maintenance factor of all iRobot Roomba inventions is moderately consistent. General maintenance efforts contribute to the longevity of every vacuum. For example, cleaning the filter and emptying the dust bin. At the time of replacing these parts, the process is by no means easy and quick. Without using special tools! The manufacturer has made it possible to provide you with the following information. Regarding the frequency of replacement! So don’t forget to glance at it for comparison. iRobot Roomba 980


Simple preserved method also applies in this case. Fing the Robotic vacuum cleaner iRobot Roomba 960 is quite on par. If possible, this modeling engine could be even longer than the Roomba 980.

It only makes sense for this mode, depends on the environment and usage. So it’s important to write that down.

This is an another as well as the parse tuaban to change. The other only one of the Roomba 960 could not be current at a format puzzle piece.


This is why you are reading an article regarding Roomba 960 vs 980 – Roomba Comparison. So you can note the significant difference between the two iRobot models.


The Roomba 980’s battery life will drain after 120 minutes is complete. Charging time is 2 to 3 hours. But honestly, the task can take longer. However, if you want the vacuum to charge quickly, it is best to leave the device unused during that time.

I’m sure you now know that cleaners have the ability to charge during a cleaning cycle. It moves to the base station to recharge before returning to its original location. But this only happens when the cycle exceeds 120 minutes.


Regarding the battery life of the iRobot Roomba 960 Vacuum, its operating time is relatively shorter. This machine can work well for 75 minutes. That means there’s a 45 minute run time difference.

With that said, the recharge and resume technology seems like a big plus here. Such a feature would return the Roomba 960 to its charging dock. After refueling is complete, the vacuum will return to the stopped position to complete the cleaning process.



This is another major aspect that is relevant when comparing the Roomba 960 with the 980.


The noise level of the vacuum cleaner varies according to the cleaning capacity, type and size. All in all, robot vacuums rank among the quieter options. Compared to their vertical handheld advertising counterparts! They provide a relatively louder operation when working at high power.

But what we want to know here is which iRobot Roomba model is bigger. In that case, it would be the Roomba 980. The only reason is the more powerful motor.


The iRobot Roomba 960 is one of the less noisy units. Compared to most other vacuums! Much quieter than upright and handheld cleaners!

So if you are concerned about noise during application, please note that the 960 outperforms the 980.



The overall value of the iRobot Roomba 980 Robot Vacuum is good. Despite the fact that it is a bit more expensive than the Roomba 960! It is the additional and more advanced features that make this particular model even more powerful.

So if what you’re looking for is something that can handle daily cleaning for a larger space, you know what to buy. The 980’s enhanced design is especially valuable in such environments.


The overall value of the iRobot Roomba 960 Robot Vacuum is excellent. It’s much better than the upgraded 980 in my opinion.

The price of this model is what anyone would expect from such a high-end robot vacuum. Furthermore, the iRobot Roomba 960 is packed with great features and add-ons. The kind you definitely don’t get when buying older models! These include advanced navigation and digital mapping.

So if you’re not too worried about longer runtimes, you won’t be disappointed with this vacuum. It performs cleaning tasks more efficiently. Compared to older models of the Roomba line.


In this Roomba 980 review, I’ve said enough times that the model is the best I’ve tested to date. But that doesn’t mean it’s useless to discuss the most important topic. And that’s Roomba 960 vs 980 – Roomba Comparison.

The iRobot Roomba 980 delivers remarkable cleaning performance. Along with digital map reports and intuitive navigation! You can control the machine with your smartphone. Or Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa!

But here are the reasons to buy the iRobot Roomba 980 Vacuum Cleaner.

  • For longer uptime

120 minutes is what you get here. Contrast that with the Roomba 960’s 75 minutes. Such a run time is useful when vacuuming large spaces.

  • For a more powerful engine

Without the shadow of a doubt, the iRobot Roomba 980 Vacuum has a stronger working mechanism. Its Generation 3 motor provides 10x more powerful suction. So the phenomenal Power Boost technology is what stands out in this case.

As for the Roomba 960, it is packed with a Generation 2 motor. This model is only 5x stronger in terms of suction!

  • For double virtual barriers

Two wall barriers can only mean one thing. That the iRobot Roomba 980 Vacuum Cleaning Robot is perfect for larger areas or homes! Especially if your space includes more sensitive spots! This means areas that shouldn’t fall under the jurisdiction of the Roomba.



Another excellent choice is the iRobot Roomba 960 Vacuum Cleaning Robot. This particular version is an ideal pick if you don’t want to spend too much money. Or you don’t care about those special features of the Roomba 980. This is what you’ll come across in any such Roomba 960 review.

The 960 may not be as enhanced as its 980 sibling. But this doesn’t imply that it lacks impressive features. The company’s 900 series models are plenty unique. And the Roomba 960 is no exception. It is also armed with recharge and resume functionality. Along with producing map reports!

If budget is an important factor, then the iRobot Roomba 960 Vacuum lives up to every expectation. By all standards! And here’s how.

  • Affordability

The Roomba 960 is nearly $200 less expensive than the Roomba 980. Irrespective of the promotions and retailer!

  • Digital mapping reports

Now you already know that the iRobot Roomba 980 Vacuum is one step ahead of the Roomba 960. But here’s something that you probably don’t know. The iRobot Roomba 960 Vacuum is an upgraded version of the 800 series.

So you get the opportunity to look at digital reports. You can see where the smart appliance has traveled during every cleaning cycle. Such a feature comes in handy when you’re not home at the time of cleaning. Or when you notice trouble areas!

  • Recharge and resume technology

This particular technology is found only in the 900 series of Roomba. The function allows the models to clean until the battery becomes low. Once that happens, the unit goes back to its charging station automatically. There it receives a quick lift in power to go on cleaning where it left off.

So there is no reason to believe that the iRobot Roomba 960 will not resume the cycle until it has finished its job.


Which brings me to the end of Roomba 960 vs 980 – Roomba Comparison. So if you’re looking for a clear answer here, I’m happy to give you one.

In the Roomba 960 vs 980 competition, the latter performs better. The iRobot Roomba 980 robot vacuum includes everything the other robot has. Further!

Superior cleaning and intuitive navigation combine with longer runtimes. Its result is a vacuum that is nothing but self-sufficient. That means you don’t have to chase robots to get a thorough cleaning performance.

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