Roomba 960 vs 980

Updated: Feb 16, 2024 5:40 AM


When it comes to the best robot vacuums, iRobot’s Roomba series stands out for its advanced features and reliable cleaning performance. Among the lineup, the Roomba 960 and 980 models have garnered attention for their capabilities and differences. We will explore these two models, focusing on their features, battery life, cleaning efficiency, and more to help you decide which Roomba is the best fit for your home. Whether you have hardwood floors, carpeted surfaces, or a mix of both, understanding the nuances between these models can significantly impact your cleaning schedule and overall satisfaction with your robotic vacuum.

Key Takeaways_

  • The Roomba 980 offers enhanced features like Carpet Boost and a longer battery life, making it ideal for larger homes with carpeted areas.
  • The Roomba 960 provides great value with smart navigation and reliable cleaning performance, suitable for smaller spaces or less demanding cleaning needs.
  • Both models feature advanced navigation, Wi-Fi connectivity, and user-friendly app controls, ensuring efficient and convenient cleaning experiences.

Comparing the Roomba 960 and 980

Since they’re very similar in both design and cleaning functionality, it may be difficult to find the differences and how these fine vacuum cleaners affect overall performance. If you are interested in another comparison, we also have a great article comparing Neato vs Roomba robot vacuums.

A table comparing the differences between the Roomba 960 and Roomba 980 models.

Keep reading to learn more about the Roomba 960 and the Roomba 980, and find out which vacuum will clean your floors most thoroughly.

Design and Aesthetics

Both the Roomba 960 and 980 share the sleek, functional design characteristics of the Roomba series, with their compact, circular shape allowing for efficient navigation around homes.

Comparison between Roomba 960 and Roomba 980

However, the aesthetic differences between these models are subtle yet meaningful.

The 980 model boasts a slightly more refined look with a high-gloss finish, distinguishing it from the 960’s matte exterior.

Both models are equipped with anti-tangle technology and rubber rollers, ensuring they maneuver smoothly across various floor types without getting caught on carpet fringes or other obstacles.

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Both the 960 and 980 are the same size, as well. They are 13.5 inches in diameter and 3.6 inches in height, and they both weigh almost 9 pounds.

They also both feature an onboard camera, carrying handle, dual brush rolls, HEPA filters, and manual Clean button.

The design of these Roombas not only complements modern home decor but also incorporates practical elements like easy-to-clean surfaces and intuitive interface buttons, making daily operation and maintenance a breeze.

Key Features

The Roomba 960 and 980 are packed with features that enhance their cleaning capabilities.

Both models utilize iRobot’s advanced iAdapt 2.0 navigation technology, allowing them to map out spaces and clean them in efficient straight lines. This smart navigation is complemented by a suite of sensors that prevent falls and collisions.

Roomba 960 versus Roomba 980 A comparison

The major difference lies in the 980’s Carpet Boost Technology, which automatically increases suction power on carpeted floors for a deeper clean.

Additionally, both models offer Wi-Fi connectivity, enabling users to control their Roombas through the iRobot Home app, setting cleaning schedules and preferences with ease.

These features make the 960 and 980 both excellent options for maintaining clean floors with minimal effort.

Battery Life and Performance

Battery life is a crucial aspect of robot vacuums, dictating how much space they can clean on a single charge.

The Roomba 960 is equipped with an 1800 mAh lithium-ion battery that supports up to 75 minutes of cleaning, making it suitable for smaller homes or apartments.

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The Roomba 960 uses the same motor as the old 800 series of robot vacuums.

In contrast, the Roomba 980 has a larger 3300 mAh battery that extends its cleaning cycle to an impressive 120 minutes, ideal for larger spaces or more thorough cleaning sessions.

Both models feature a “recharge and resume” function, where they return to their charging stations when low on battery power and then continue cleaning from where they left off, ensuring an entire level of your home is cleaned efficiently.

Cleaning Efficiency

When it comes to cleaning power, both the Roomba 960 and 980 boast strong suction and advanced cleaning systems capable of handling various debris types.

The 980 edges out with its Carpet Boost mode, which kicks in on carpeted floors to provide up to 10x the air power of lower-end Roombas. This feature, combined with the 980’s more powerful motor, results in superior cleaning performance, especially in deep cleaning tests.

Both models feature dual counter-rotating extractors that prevent tangles and are effective at picking up dirt, dust, and pet hair.

The edge cleaning capabilities of both machines ensure that every corner and along walls are thoroughly cleaned, maintaining a dust-free environment.

User Experience

The Roomba 960 and 980 offer user-friendly experiences thanks to their intuitive app features and advanced navigation.

Roomba 960 versus Roomba 980 A comparison

Setting up a cleaning schedule, selecting cleaning preferences, and monitoring the cleaning process are all made simple through the iRobot Home app.

The 960 and 980 can navigate multiple rooms and adapt to different floor surfaces, ensuring comprehensive coverage.

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Both models also come with Roomba’s patented virtual wall barriers. However, the 960 only includes one virtual wall barrier, while the 980 includes two.

Their ability to dock themselves for charging and resume cleaning ensures a hands-off cleaning experience, making them a convenient choice for busy individuals.

The inclusion of virtual walls with both models allows users to designate areas as off-limits, providing control over the cleaning sequence and ensuring efficient cleaning routes.

Price and Value

The price difference between the Roomba 960 and 980 reflects their varying capabilities and features.

While the 980 comes at a higher cost, it justifies the additional expense with its powerful motor, longer battery life, and Carpet Boost feature, making it an excellent option for homes with significant carpeted areas.

The 960, while lacking some of the advanced features of the 980, still offers fantastic cleaning performance and smart navigation at a lower price point, representing great value for those with less demanding cleaning needs or smaller spaces.

Pros and Cons

Roomba 960:

  • Pros: Cost-effective, excellent navigation, good battery life, Wi-Fi connectivity.
  • Cons: No Carpet Boost, less powerful motor compared to the 980.

Roomba 980:

  • Pros: Stronger suction, Carpet Boost for carpets, longer battery life, includes more virtual walls.
  • Cons: Higher price and may be overkill for smaller homes or homes with less carpet.

Warranty Information

Whether you buy the Roomba 960 or Roomba 980, you’ll receive the same warranty from iRobot.

This limited warranty is good for up to one year after the original purchase date and only covers defects in the machine that aren’t your fault.

If your Roomba stops working properly within the first year of ownership, iRobot will first try to repair the original vacuum.

If that doesn’t work, the company will replace your vacuum with a new or refurbished vacuum of the same model. If the model you purchased is no longer sold, you may get an upgraded version.

Note that iRobot won’t cover problems caused by normal wear and tear, deliberate damage, inappropriate care, or tampering with the product.

Choosing between the Roomba 960 and 980 comes down to your specific cleaning needs, floor types, and budget.

The 960 offers reliable performance and smart navigation, making it a cost-effective solution for many homes.

However, for those with larger spaces or more demanding cleaning requirements, especially on carpeted floors, the 980’s enhanced cleaning power and features like Carpet Boost and a larger battery make it worth the extra investment.

Regardless of your choice, both models uphold iRobot’s reputation for quality and innovation in robotic vacuums, ensuring your floors remain impeccably clean with minimal effort.

Roomba 960 vs 980 Questions (FAQ)

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