iRobot Roomba 960 vs 980 (900 Series): Reviews, & Comparison

 

There are many different robotic vacs on the market, and we are specifically interested in the ones that have the ability to clean pet hair, as well as general dirt.

iRobot has the Roomba range, of which we’ve done a comparison guide for here, and the 900 series is in that range.

To save you time and research, we’ve put together an iRobot Roomba 960 vs 980 Comparison Guide outlining the main differences and similarities between these two robo vacs.

You should get a good idea of which one might be best for you based on matching up this information with your own preferences and needs.

 

(NOTE: this is a general information guide only, and is not professional advice, or a substitute for professional advice. A qualified vet or animal expert is the only person qualified to give you expert advice in regards to your pet/s)

 

iRobot Roomba 960 vs 980: Differences, & Comparison

If you prefer, you can go straight to viewing these vacs here:

 

Some of the most popular or highly rated Roombas right now that can deal with pet hair and a range of surfaces might include these models:

 

iRobot Roomba 960 vs 980 Comparison

iRobot Roomba 960 vs 980: Which Is Better/Which One To Get?

The 980 is more powerful, has a longer battery life, has the recharge and return (to cleaning) feature, comes with an extra virtual barrier, has the deep carpet clean feature and has a slightly bigger dust container (by a very tiny amount).

So, if you want the more advanced robotic vacuum with more features, go for the 960. Those needing a slightly more powerful clean or those with thicker carpets might be suited by it.

Otherwise, the price of the 960 might be appealing for you if it already has all the features you want.

Overall, we would say all robotic vacs are more light duty vacs for light pet hair pick up, and are good for automatic cleaning.

Because of the price of all these vacs – check the return policy and warranty conditions before you buy to protect your money investment.

If you have lots of pet hair, or thick or long pet hair around the house, you are better off getting a manual upright vac with more power, dust container capacity and ability to lift hairs specifically where you find them.

You might like to read this guide which outlines some of the other top robot vacuum models for pet hair and general cleaning, as well as pet hair vacuum buyer’s tips.

 

iRobot Roomba 960 vs 980: Differences

The 960 has up to 5x more suction power than previous series Roombas, whilst the 980 has up to 10x more suction power

The 980 can resume cleaning automatically after recharging, whereas the 960 stays in the charging dock

The 960 has up to 75 minutes run time whilst the 980 has up to 120 minutes run time

The 960 comes with 1 virtual wall barrier, whilst the 980 comes with 2 wall barriers

The 980 has an automatic deep carpet clean feature where it can increase it’s power on deeper, thicker, more plush carpets for a deeper clean, whereas the 960 doesn’t have this

The 980 very very slightly has a bigger dust container

 

iRobot Roomba 960 vs 980: Similarities

Both are robotic vacuums for all floor surfaces – carpet, and hard floors

Both have more suction power than the 600 and 700 series robotic vacs

Both have some custom cleaning preferences to choose from such as power settings, number of cleaning passes and more

Both can clean dirt as well as pet hair with two main Tangle Free cleaning brushes/rollers

Both have an edge sweeping brush which sweeps debris away from edges and corners

Both have auto height adjust which allows the vacuums to adjust their own height to different surface types

Both have a ‘clean’ button on the vacuums – no programming required – cleaning can begin straight away

Having said this – you can also schedule the vacs from an app to clean at specific times

Both are Smart Home Connected – you can use it with the iRobot HOME App, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant + Clean Map reports (shows where your vac cleaned, and cleaning details) 

Both have a 3 stage cleaning system – loosen, lifts and sucks dirt up

Both have dirt detect sensors that alert Roomba machine to work harder on dirtier or high traffic areas of your floor

Both have Advanced Dirt Detect Technology 

Both have cliff detect sensors to avoid stairs and other drop-offs

Both automatically return to home base to charge once finished cleaning

Both come with a home base charging system and 1 extra filter

Both use high efficiency cleaning filters

Both have iAdapt 2.0 Navigation + Visual Navigation for entire level coverage (the vac remembers different room patterns on one level of your house)

Both weigh around 8lbs

Both are bagless vacs with a dust container capacity around .80 litres

Both have rechargeable lithium ion batteries

Both come with virtual wall barriers (to stop the vac entering areas you don’t want them to

Both have a limited 1 year warranty

 

iRobot Roomba 960 vs 980: Reviews

iRobot Roomba 960 Robot Vacuum Cleaner

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Features

A robotic vacuum for all floor surfaces – carpet, and hard floors

Has up to 5x more suction power than the 600 and 700 series robotic vacs

Has custom cleaning preferences to choose from such as power settings, number of cleaning passes and more

Can clean dirt as well as pet hair with two main Tangle Free cleaning brushes/rollers

Also has an edge sweeping brush which sweeps debris away from edges and corners

Has auto height adjust which allows the vacuum to adjust it’s own height to different surface types

Just press clean on the vacuum – no programming required

Having said this – you can also schedule the vac from an app to clean at specific times

Is also Smart Home Connected – you can use it with the iRobot HOME App, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant + Clean Map reports (shows where your vac cleaned, and cleaning details)

Has a 3 stage cleaning system – loosen, lifts and sucks dirt up

Has dirt detect sensors that alert Roomba machine to work harder on dirtier or high traffic areas of your floor

Has Advanced Dirt Detect Technology 

Has Cliff detect sensors to avoid stairs and other drop-offs

Vacuum machine automatically returns to home base to charge once finished cleaning

Has recharge and resume feature which means the vac returns back to the charger, charges and then goes back to cleaning until the cleaning is finished

Comes with a home base charging system and 1 extra filter

Uses high efficiency cleaning filters

Has iAdapt 2.0 Navigation + Visual Navigation for entire level coverage (the vac remembers different room patterns on one level of your house)

Weighs just under 8 lbs

Is a bagless vacuum with a .82 liter dust container capacity

Has rechargeable lithium ion batteries that have about 75 minutes run time

Comes with 1 x Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barrier (2 AA Batteries Included) that stops the vacuum from going into an area you don’t want it to during cleaning

Comes with 1 Extra Side Brush

Warranty for Roomba vacuums is a 1 year limited warranty including the battery

 

Drawbacks

Not cheap

Can sometimes mark wooden room trim around the outside of the room if you don’t have the wall barrier set up and working properly

Doesn’t clean in lines – cleans in a random pattern – so can miss some spots and go over other spots more than once

Some people prefer an electric upright vac which is more powerful, has a bigger capacity and cleans more thoroughly

More for lighter messes and lower amounts of dog hair – not as much for very heavy cleaning and large amounts of dog hair (or long hair)

For flatter surfaces and lower pile surfaces – may struggle on very thick/plush carpets, and steep changes in floor levels

 

Overall

Overall, if you have realistic expectations of what a robotic vacuum cleaner is – which is a lighter duty vacuum with a lower dirt container capacity – the Roomba 960 performs well. Like all robotic vacs, it isn’t cheap, but does provide good value for money if you want an automatic robotic vac that can also be scheduled. You get more power specifically in the 960 compared to the 600 and 700 series Roombas. If you want a heavy duty vac for heavier dirt and higher volumes of thick hair – it’s not for you. Read the return policy and warranty conditions before you buy to protect your money investment. You might also like to read this guide which outlines some of the other top robot vacuum models for pet hair and general cleaning, as well as pet hair vacuum buyer’s tips.

 

View

 

iRobot Roomba 980 Robot Vacuum Cleaner

Features

A robotic vacuum for all floor surfaces – carpet, and hard floors, and automatically increases it’s power on thicker and deeper carpets

Has up to 10x more suction power than the 600 and 700 series robotic vacs

Has custom cleaning preferences to choose from such as power settings, number of cleaning passes and more

Can clean dirt as well as pet hair with two main Tangle Free cleaning brushes/rollers

Also has an edge sweeping brush which sweeps debris away from edges and corners

Has auto height adjust which allows the vacuum to adjust it’s own height to different surface types

Just press clean on the vacuum – no programming required

Having said this – you can also schedule the vac from an app to clean at specific times

Is also Smart Home Connected – you can use it with the iRobot HOME App, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant + Clean Map reports (shows where your vac cleaned, and cleaning details) & advanced cleaning settings

Has a 3 stage cleaning system – loosen, lifts and sucks dirt up

Has dirt detect sensors that alert Roomba machine to work harder on dirtier or high traffic areas of your floor

Has Advanced Dirt Detect Technology 

Has Cliff detect sensors to avoid stairs and other drop-offs

Vacuum machine automatically returns to home base to charge once finished cleaning

Has recharge and resume feature which means the vac returns back to the charger, charges and then goes back to cleaning until the cleaning is finished

Comes with a home base charging system and 1 extra filter

Uses high efficiency cleaning filters

Has iAdapt 2.0 Navigation + Visual Navigation for entire level coverage (the vac remembers different room patterns on one level of your house)

Weighs just under 8 lbs

Is a bagless vacuum with a .86 liter dust container capacity

Has rechargeable lithium ion batteries that have about 120 minutes run time

Comes with 2 x Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barriers (2 AA Batteries Included) that stops the vacuum from going into an area you don’t want it to during cleaning

Comes with 1 Extra Side Brush

Warranty for Roomba vacuums is a 1 year limited warranty including the battery

 

Drawbacks

Not cheap

Can sometimes mark wooden room trim around the outside of the room if you don’t have the wall barrier set up and working properly

Doesn’t clean in lines – cleans in a random pattern – so can miss some spots and go over other spots more than once

Some people prefer an electric upright vac which is more powerful, has a bigger capacity and cleans more thoroughly

More for lighter messes and lower amounts of dog hair – not as much for very heavy cleaning and large amounts of dog hair (or long hair)

For flatter surfaces and lower pile surfaces – may struggle on very thick/plush carpets, and steep changes in floor levels

 

Overall

Overall, if you have realistic expectations of what a robotic vacuum cleaner is – which is a lighter duty vacuum with a lower dirt container capacity – the Roomba 980 performs well. Like all robotic vacs, it isn’t cheap, but does provide good value for money if you want an automatic robotic vac that can also be scheduled. You get more power specifically in the 980 compared to the 600 and 700 series Roombas – up to 10x more suction. If you want a heavy duty vac for heavier dirt and higher volumes of thick hair – it’s not for you. Having said that – of all the robot vacs on the market, this is one of the only ones with extra power for deep carpets and plush surfaces. Read the return policy and warranty conditions before you buy to protect your money investment. You might also like to read this guide which outlines some of the other top robot vacuum models for pet hair and general cleaning, as well as pet hair vacuum buyer’s tips.

 

View

 

iRobot Roomba 900 Series Buyer’s Guide

Who Might The iRobot Roomba 960 Robot Vacuum Cleaner Be For?

Those looking for a:

Robotic vac

Automatic cleaning vac

Vac that can be scheduled

Robot vac with more suction power

Vac that is Smart Home Connected

Vac that has custom cleaning preferences

 

Who Might The iRobot Roomba 960 Robot Vacuum Cleaner NOT Be For?

Those looking for a:

Cheap vac

Heavy duty vac

 

Who Might The iRobot Roomba 980 Robot Vacuum Cleaner Be For?

Those looking for a:

Robotic vac

Automatic cleaning vac

Vac that can be scheduled

Robot vac with more suction power

Vac that is Smart Home Connected

Vac that has custom cleaning preferences

 

Who Might The iRobot Roomba 980 Robot Vacuum Cleaner NOT Be For?

Those looking for a:

Cheap vac

Heavy duty vac

 

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