Roomba 960 vs 980 – Which One is Best for You?

Roomba 960 vs 980Last Updated: March 25, 2018.

If you’re looking for the best-performing robot vacuum in 2018 and from the leading robot vacuum manufacturer as well, then no more discussions, no more research needed to say, Roomba 960 and 980 will be the top priorities in your checkout list.

Speaking in-detail, Irobot is the most successful and innovative robot vacuum manufacturer in the market. And two of the top-notch robot vacuums Irobot has released are Roomba 960 and Roomba 980.

So well, you are already on the path to get any ONE top-of-the-line robot vacuum from these two.

But there is a problem, What to go for (Roomba 960 OR Roomba 980)???

That is why we have created this “Roomba 960 vs 980” comparison guide. In this guide, we will compare the two models with side by side comparison chart and give you an overview of the key differences and help you find the best one for you, and the best for your home as well.

In a HURRY? If you are seriously too busy so that you can’t have time to read the entire article then here is my conclusion:: 

  • If you are mainly looking for the robot vacuum to clean your carpets and rugs exceptionally well, then Roomba 980 is the recommended one for you. Otherwise please don’t waste your time, don’t waste your extra bucks, quietly go for Roomba 960 (MOST RECOMMENDED for THE MOST). 

Side-By-Side Comparison Chart :
Roomba 960 vs 980

You can easily and quickly compare the differences between the Roomba 960 and the 980 using this comparison table: 

 Roomba 960 Roomba 980
Battery Life75 Minutes 120 Minutes
BatteryLithium Ion Lithium Ion
Vacuum Suction5x Power10x Power
WI-FI connectivityYesYes
Carpet Boost TechnologyNoYes
Recharge & ResumeYesYes
NavigationIadapt 2 Iadapt 2
HEPA FilterYesYes
Cliff DetectionYesYes
Edges & Corners CleaningYesYes
Remote Control (Using App)YesYes
Accessories + Extra Filters1 Virtual Wall Barrier + 1 Extra Replacement Filter2 Virtual Wall Barriers + 1 Extra Replacement Filter
PriceCheck on AmazonCheck on Amazon

Key Differences between the Roomba 960 and 980:

  • On a full charge, the Roomba 960 runs for around 75 minutes (battery life), where the 980 runs for 120 minutes.
  • The Roomba 960 is with the same 800’s series motor with 5x air power, while the 980 armed with the advanced newer motor, with 10x more suction power.
  • Roomba 980 has automatic carpet boost technology option, where the 960 does not.
  • Included Accessories: Roomba 980 comes with 2 virtual wall barriers, where the 960 comes with 1.
  • The Roomba 960 is usually 200$ cheaper than Roomba 980.

Keep studying for some important differences you may not know about these Roomba vacuums (explored in-depth).  And if you don’t have time to know all the major-minor feature differences, here is a link to skip to the conclusion.

Features Comparison (In Brief)

1. Wi-Fi and App Connectivity (Smart Home Enabled)

The Best feature is the Wifi operation for every robot vacuum. All you can control from the smartphone. It is so cool. Both 960 and 980 has wifi connectivity for smartphone control and supports voice commands via amazon Alexa and google assistant. 

You can use the app to schedule cleanings, view logs,and change settings. And voice commands are used to start or stop cleaning, return the robot to its dock, and determine its status or location. Using the app you can make the robot vacuum run twice (or) thrice (or) more than that to make your home extra clean. 

BottomLine: App functionality is same for both the Roomba 960 and the 980. 

2. Battery Life:

On a single charge, Roomba 960 runs for around 75 minutes and the 980 runs for 120 minutes. 

5. Ease of Maintenance

Irobot is quite successful designing 960 and 980, keeping customers needs and convenience in mind. Speaking of the ease of maintenance, both these models came up with brushless rollers called aeroforce extractors allows cleaning the floor without those traditional brushes. To say, this is the major reason why we recommend 960 and 980 to the most compared to the lower end models. These brushless rollers require less maintenance. Like with the other lower end models you don’t have to pick the dust and pet hair matted with the brushes.

And also these tangle-free surface brushes work with dealing with all types of hair and ensures that the buildup of dirt will not damage the Roomba.

Maintenace Tips for Best Performance

  • Replace the HEPA Filter for every three months. It makes sure your home allergic free.
  • Empty the dustbin when the app prompts.
  • Make sure your home clutter-free. Replace all the path obstacles like cords, bar stools etc., So that your Roomba doesn’t have that 0.0001% probability of stuck out.

Bottom Line: Both are superior in terms of less maintenance needed. Needless to say, 960 and 980 both models designed to makes your life easier.

7. Recharge and Resume

“set it to work, forget it, and let it clean” – This is the main motto of robot vacuums. But to be honest, for the older Roomba models (800, 700, 600 series) some supervision is needed.But now with these Roomba 960 and 980 robot vacuums (the big brothers), the motto got really alive.

Roomba recharge and resume

Speaking in-detail if the Roomba (960 or 980) runs low on battery, it will go back, recharges itself and vacuums the spot that is missed, ensuring that your entire house every square inch will be vacuumed everyday GUARANTEED.

To direct, this recharge and resume feature makes the Roomba completely independent, so that you do not have to worry about the recharging (i.e plug-in, plug-out and battery low issues) manually.

Bottomline: Both Roomba 960 and 980 came up with this feature. 

8. Carpet Boost Technology

We all love to walk on a carpeted floor. At the same time, we all know that it is very hard to clean the carpets. Especially if you are in the home with shaggy pets, it is much more difficult. In that case, not all robot vacuums work like a pro. But Irobot has a solution for it. Irobot released the 980 model, the only model with carpet boost option.

Carpet Boost: Whenever the Roomba moves on to the carpets. It automatically detects and shifts to the carpet boost mode, vacuums with high power compared to a normal mode.

BottomLine: Roomba 980 beats Roomba 960 in this case. The 960 does not have carpet boost option.

9. For Hardwood Floors

If you have hardwood floors in your home, then this article will be your destination one. Both the Roomba 960 and 980 are very powerful and brilliant, simply excels cleaning hardwood floors. In fact to the point, if cleaning hardwood floors is the only criteria, then it is better not to go for 980 (As it saves $200 to you).

BottomLine: Both 960 and 980 are great working on hardwood floors. 

10. Edges and Corners Cleaning Comparison

Every Roomba came up with the side brushes which sweeps all the corners, edges and other hard to clean areas effectively. Roomba is round shaped. Usually, D-shape designed robot vacuums like Neato Botovac delivers better cleaning ability around edges and corners. But no need to worry, Roomba’s spinning side brushes will do the best work for you 

BottomLine: Every Roomba is identical with this feature.  

11.Cliff Detection

Another great feature of these Roomba vacuums is they know where the stairs are which means on its approach it will stop itself dumbling down.

Bottomline: All Roombas have this common.

12. Included Accessories

Both Roomba 960 and 980 came up with the virtual wall barriers, the number varies (Roomba 960: 1, Roomba 980: 2). They have two modes. One is virtual wall mode. If you’ve got a room beating down the Roomba going into, put into that first mode, put it by the door of that room and the Roomba will never go part of it.

And the second mode is a halo mode like a protective 2-foot radius mode. Talking about it, if you’ve got a valuable item (or) a place where you don’t want to clean, put into the second mode and put it right where you want. Then you’re safe in the knowledge knowing that the Roomba won’t go within those two feet.

Bottomline: The Roomba 960 comes with only one virtual wall barrier, one less than the Roomba 980.

What We Liked About the Roomba 960

  • Works (performance) nearly identical to its expensive brother Roomba 980.
  • Usually costs $200 cheaper than Roomba 980.
  • Wi-fi and App connectivity enabled (smart home connected).
  • The Affordable Best-Performing powerful (5x more suction) Roomba with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa Supported.
  • Requires less maintenance.
  • Overall Positive reviews on Amazon. 

What We Liked About the Roomba 980

  • The Best Robot Vacuum available on the market today (Has an advanced generation motor provides 10X more powerful suction compared to a regular Roomba).
  • Running time (battery life) is 2 hours, 45 minutes more compared to 960.
  • The only Roomba, not, the only robot vacuum with carpet boost option. (Makes it the best buy for people with lots of carpets in their home)
  • Roomba 980 comes with two virtual wall barriers, worth $50 each to buy separately.
  • Wi-fi and App connectivity enabled (smart home connected).
  • Easy to maintain and quieter one compared to Roomba 960.

Conclusion: What to Buy (Roomba 960 vs Roomba 980)

To say, each model, both 960 and 980 has more standard and advanced features than most other robot vacuums on the market.

For the most, we highly recommend getting Roomba 960. As it works nearly identical to the Roomba 980 and also saves your hard-earned money ($200), it is always the best to go for Roomba 960. And especially if you are in the house with hardwood floors, Roomba 980’s carpet boost option and powerful motor (worth $200 more) are completely useless in terms of cleaning. So the 960 is the ideal option for people with hardwood floors.

And If you are mainly concerned cleaning carpet floors (or) in a home with a lot of rugs to be cleaned daily effectively and efficiently, then Roomba 980 is the recommended choice for you.

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