Roomba 960 Vs. Roomba 980: DETAILED COMPARISON

Roomba 960 Vs. Roomba 980

Robotic Vacuums are gaining more popularity in the modern world than standard vacuums as they come with a lot of extra benefits.

The robotic Vacuum runs automatically and finishes the given cleaning tasks with no human effort.

Yes, that’s the reason behind the growing popularity of Robotic Vacuums. When it comes to robotic vacuums, iRobot’s Roomba series comes first.

iRobot is known as the world’s best manufacturer of Robotic Vacuums with a range of advanced models under its Roomba Series.

The company has been providing quality products designed with innovative technologies to offer the best cleaning performance.

Today, we are up with iRobot’s two popular and latest models I.e. Roomba 960 and Roomba 980.

A comparison between these two advanced models is given here. Before we get on to the details, there are a lot of things that you should know about these two models.

Both models are from the same manufacturer and they boast a lot of similarities in terms of their designs and features.

However, many of the features and functionalities in these models are different which makes them different from each other.

Most new buyers get confused when it comes to buying a new robotic vacuum from the market.

The reason behind coming up with the comparison between these two models is both of them have received good feedback from the users.

They are currently on the top list of the best-selling models due to their unexceptional performances.

To overcome your confusion, read out this article to find out which iRobot’s Roomba model is perfect for you.

iRobot Roomba 960 Vs Roomba 980

As noted above, the Roomba 960 and Roomba 980, both the models are the latest ones in the industry and are designed for advanced people who are searching for smart tools for their houses.

Roomba 960 Vs 980

There are a lot of similarities that you will notice in them which is why most new buyers don’t decide which models should they go with!

For the very same reason, before we jump on to the differences between them, let’s check out the similarities between them first.


Both the models, Roomba 960 and Roomba 980 are from Roomba’s 900 series. The company has introduced the Roomba 900 series with a lot of improved features.

The company has imposed smart technologies with new auto-cleaning modes.

So many of the features on these two models are similar, you will get the following features and functions on both these robotic vacuums.

Compatible with All Floor Types 

The Roomba 960 and Roomba 980 are compatible with all types of floors. No matter whether you have a hard floor or carpet flooring, these models are designed to work on all types of floors.

Being robotic vacuums, they are not suitable for thick carpets as they come with relatively lower suction power than standard vacuums.

If you have a thin carpet or low pile one, then these models give you the best performance.

Advanced Sensors 

Robotic Vacuums are designed with the latest technologies. They use advanced sensors to work automatically on specific cleaning tasks as per your commands.

They come with an advanced dirt detection system. The vacuums themselves recognize the high-traffic area where a high level of dirt is found.

With advanced dirt detection sensors, they clean up such areas on priority.

Easy Navigations 

A Navigation System is crucial when it comes to buying a new robotic vacuum cleaner.

When you decide to buy a new robotic vacuum for your home, you must check the given navigation system in it.

The navigation system is designed in such a way that the robotic vacuum cleans up things safely.

You don’t need to worry about the robot falling down the stairs or sticking between the furniture and other obstacles lying on your floor.

With the given advanced navigation system and the map sensors and other advanced features that keep it going.

Provides Superior Cleaning 

Both models carry the same design for easy moving on different floors.

These models are designed to offer all-in-one cleaning with floor edges and corners. You don’t need to manually clean up the edges or corners of the walls.

These vacuums are equipped with side brushes that rotate gently around the corners and edges to remove dust and dirt from the corner area and with high suction power, all the dirt and dust goes to the dust collection bag.

Smart Features 

Being the most advanced Robotic Vacuum, these two models come with Wi-Fi connectivity options.

You can connect these vacuums to your home network using the Wi-Fi connectivity feature.

On the other hand, these two vacuums are compatible with the company’s advanced iRobot Home App on IOS & Android.

You can take full control of the vacuum using this mobile app which is available for Android and iOS platforms.

Apart from this, you can also make use of the daily map reports. You can get all the cleaning data and previous cleaning reports using the smart mobile app.

The app’s map report shows green, dark green, and white color areas where the vacuum has previously worked.

All the information about the vacuums will be right there on the mobile app.

Additionally, you can also set the cleaning time or set up the timer to give commands to these vacuums.

Compatible with Virtual Assistants

The Roomba 960 and Roomba 980 Vacuum Cleaners are compatible with the Amazon Alexa Voice Assistant. You can use voice commands to work with the vacuum cleaner.

You can make use of the virtual voice assistant to make it more powerful. You can take full control of the vacuum cleaner just by using your voice commands.

These are the only two models that come with Voice Command or Virtual Voice Assistant compatibility. The previous models did not support this feature.

Multi-Room Compatibility

Old-generation Robotic Vacuums were not able to clean up multiple rooms themselves.

But the advanced Roomba 960 and Roomba 980 vacuums are compatible with multiple room cleaning features.

With the advanced map report and useful sensors, you can easily give a command to the vacuum to clean up multiple rooms.

The advanced iAdapt 2.0 technology keeps the robot on track and lets it work automatically in multiple rooms.

The robot cleans up multiple rooms one by one without manual intervention.

Tangle-free Extractor

Unlike the previous models of the brand, the Roomba 900 series features advanced tangle-free rollers that make it easier for the robot to glide through the flooring area smoothly.

The Roomba 960 and Roomba 980 both are featuring the same counter-rotating brushless extractors.

Both these robots use the opposite rotation technology making the floor clean in less time.

The extractors rotate in different directions which cleans up things easily.

Automatic Charging

Most robotic vacuums come with a built-in automatic charging feature that recharges the vacuum’s battery automatically.

You don’t need to recharge the robot manually. With the built-in sensors, the robot itself goes to the charging station and recharges its battery when it senses a low battery.

The sensors constantly monitor the battery level on the vacuums and also guide how much distance it has to cover to reach out to the charging station.

This is indeed the most useful feature that almost every manufacturer of Robotic Vacuums offers.

Thankfully, the Roomba 960 and Roomba 980 both come with an automatic charging function with the home base.


Roomba 960 and Roomba 980, both Vacuum Cleaners are designed to work automatically.

Being the most advanced robotic vacuums, they offer the best cleaning performance.

Both the models come with a set of physical buttons allowing you to operate the machine with one touch.

You can press the specific button to start the vacuum from the top side.

Both models use brushless aero-force extractors. Unlike traditional brushes, aero-force extractors are quite good at cleaning the hard or stubborn debris from the floor.

These two models are from the premium-end range and they serve an easy-to-use interface.

No matter whether you are a new user or an advanced user, both models are good at cleaning things quickly.

On the maintenance side, the Roomba 960 and Roomba 980 are designed with the latest HEPA filters.

This is the most advanced filtration system that you will see in robotic vacuum cleaners.

With effective cleaning, they can collect up to 99.97% of dirt and dust from the surfaces.

If anyone in your house is allergic to dirt or dust, make sure you replace the HEPA filter every three months.

The company is offering an extra HEPA filter that can be used after the existing filter stops working.

Usually, it lasts up to three months, so it would be better for you to replace the filter every three months to keep things going well.

The HEPA filter is good at capturing harmful bacteria, pollen, and all the other types of dirt, debris, and dust.

Apart from this, you should also empty the dustbin bag after every use of the vacuum.

Consider emptying the dustbin when you are done with cleaning and that’s how you keep the vacuum clean and last for years.

Roomba 960 and Roomba 980, both robotic vacuums are equipped with advanced sensors that protect them from accidents and prevent frequent fallouts.

However, you should keep the floor free of obstacles. Remove cords, bar stools, and all the other obstacles to keep the robotic vacuum clean things properly.

They don’t require much maintenance as soon as you take proper care of them which is by emptying the dustbin after every single use. The Roomba 960 and Roomba 980 are designed to make your life easier.

These are the similarities between the popular models of iRobot I.e. Roomba 960 and Roomba 980.

These are the features that make everyone confused about which model is perfect for them.

But after following the list of their differences, you will be able to decide which model is right for you.

Let’s check out the differences between the Roomba 960 and Roomba 980 Robotic Vacuum Cleaners.


Basic Differences – Roomba 960 Vs Roomba 980 

  • Before we get into the details, here we have listed down some of the basic differences between these two robotic vacuums. After following the list, we will explain the differences between these models in detail.
  • The most common difference between these two models is the battery life. The Roomba 980 is the advanced model that offers 25 minutes of extra runtime compared to the Roomba 960 model.
  • The suction mode on the Roomba 980 is superior and comes with an advanced Carpet Boost mode to work on the thick carpet area.
  • The weight of these two models is also different from each other. The Roomba 980 is a little heavier as it features extra bumpers on the sides.
  • The pricing of these vacuums is also different. Being the advanced and premium model, the Roomba 980 costs you a couple of hundred bucks more than the Roomba 960 model.

These are the basic differences between the popular Roomba 980 and Roomba 960 robotic vacuums. Now, we will discuss each of the above-listed differences in detail.

Key Differences – Roomba 960 Vs Roomba 980 

Battery Life 

Battery Life is the main difference between the Roomba 960 and Roomba 980 Robotic Vacuums. Robotic Vacuums run with a built-in battery and they don’t require additional power to operate.

For that reason, the battery life of the robotic vacuum should be considered first if you are buying a new robotic vacuum cleaner.

The Roomba 960 is using a 3,300 mAh battery that offers a total battery runtime of 75 minutes.

On the other hand, the Roomba 980 uses a 3,600 mAh battery that comes with a battery runtime of 120 minutes I.e. 2 hours. Both batteries take up to 3 hours of time to fully charge.

The Roomba 980 Vacuum comes with a special Carpet Boost mode.

By enabling this feature, the motor runs at a faster speed and provides deep suction power that captures stubborn debris, dirt, and dust from the thick carpets.

You can use the Carpet Boost mode while cleaning up the carpets. When you enable this feature, the total battery runtime of the vacuum will be reduced.


As noted above, weight is also a key difference between the Roomba 960 and Roomba 980 models.

The dimensions and overall designs of these two models are identical to each other. You won’t be able to figure out which one is 960 and which one is 980 from their look.

The Roomba 980 uses a dual-speed motor which is why the Roomba 980 is a little heavier than the Roomba 960 model.

The motherboard of the Roomba 980 uses a few extra types of equipment that make it a heavier model. It is 0.2 pounds heavier than the Roomba 960 which can be neglected.

Dual-Speed Motor 

IRobot Roomba 980 is designed for premium users. It is designed with the most advanced dual-speed motor.

The previous models of iRobot’s Roomba robotic vacuums used second-generation motors with a moderated amount of suction power.

But the new Roomba 980 uses the latest dual-speed motor which is the third-generation motor offering extra suction power and providing deep cleaning on the carpet area.

The dual-speed motor senses the type of floor and it changes its mode automatically when you run it on the carpet area.

It gives a command to the extractor and makes it run faster than the normal cleaning mode. With powerful suction capacity, it provides deep cleaning to collect debris and dirt from the carpet area effectively.

Of course, you can disable the power mode function manually when you don’t want to use it in the carpet area.

You can simply disable this feature that will extend the runtime or lifetime of the motor. Your vacuum will be offering more runtime for extra cleaning of the different rooms or floor areas.

Carpet Boost Mode

The advanced iRobot 980 model comes with an extra cleaning mode for Carpet flooring. The specialized Carpet Boost mode enables you to clean carpet areas, unlike the Roomba 960 model.

See: Best Carpet Cleaners

Since the Roomba 980 Vacuum comes with a dual-speed motor, it enables an extra Carpet Boost mode.

In fact, to add this new cleaning mode, the company has used a dual-speed motor that’s what makes it an advanced model.

Interestingly, this new Carpet Boost Mode works automatically for the users.

When the floor type changes to the Carpet from the hardwood floor, the Vacuum itself changes to the Carpet Boost mode.

See: Best Vacuums for Hardwood Floors

Carpet Boost mode is also known as Power Mode which generates extra suction power making it more efficient on carpet flooring.

Noise Level 

The noise level produced by the Roomba 960 and Roomba 980 Robotic Vacuums is quite high.

If we talk about the Roomba 960 vacuum, it produces a noise level of 65 DB.

It produces noise equivalent to a hairdryer or similar product. You won’t be able to make a conversation if you are closer to this model while it is working.

On the other hand, the Roomba 980 Vacuum Cleaner produces a noise level of 70 DB on the hard floor.

When you enable the power mode or Carpet Boost mode, the vacuum cleaner produces even more noise. Apparently, the noise level on the Roomba 980 is higher than the Roomba 960 model.

Virtual Wall Barrier

A virtual Wall is also known as a barrier to protect the Robotic Vacuum from the walls. The Roomba 960 vacuum cleaner comes with a single virtual wall.

The Roomba 980 comes with two virtual walls making the vacuum safer. Both models deliver the same interface and cleaning performance.


If we talk about the attachments or accessories that come inside the box of the Roomba 960 and Roomba 980 Robotic Vacuums, then you wouldn’t see any major differences.

The Roomba 960 model comes with all the useful accessories including the main vacuum cleaner, the home base charging system, dual-mode virtual wall barriers, and an extra filter. The company also includes side brushes inside the box.

On the other hand, the Roomba 980 robotic vacuum comes with all the above-listed accessories that you get from the Roomba 960 vacuum cleaner. This model includes an extra virtual wall barrier.

Dual-mode Virtual wall barriers are nothing but battery-operated towers. These towers work with the infrared rays that guide the vacuum cleaner to run in the same direction.

It prevents the robot from crossing this line making it safer. You can use it around the stairs or any other place where you don’t want the vacuum to pass.

You can also buy extra virtual wall barriers from the market which you can fix on different walls inside your home or inside the rooms. However, 2 virtual barriers are more than enough for the home.

What We Liked About Roomba 960
  • The Roomba 960 offers the same cleaning performance as the Roomba 980 model.
  • This vacuum cleaner is $200 cheaper than the Roomba 980 vacuum cleaner. So if you are searching for an advanced and smart robotic vacuum cleaner, then Roomba 960 is the perfect option for you.
  • Supports iRobot’s mobile app which is compatible with Android and iOS smartphones. You can connect the Robotic Vacuum with your home’s Wi-Fi connection and that how you can take full control of the vacuum cleaner.
  • Compatible with Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant voice assistants.
  • It requires no regular maintenance.
What Did We like About Roomba 980?
  • IRobot’s Roomba 980 is known as the most advanced Robotic Vacuum Cleaner on the market.
  • The advanced dual-speed motor provides better suction power. Compared to the traditional robotic vacuums, it comes with a 10X faster cleaning speed.
  • The battery runtime of the Roomba 980 is up to 120 minutes I.e. 2 hours. It is the perfect Robotic Vacuum to clean up multiple rooms or large areas automatically.
  • The only Roomba model with an advanced Carpet Boost or Power Mode for deep cleaning on the thick carpet.
  • This robotic vacuum comes with two virtual wall barriers.

Conclusion: Which Robotic Vacuum Should I Buy-Roomba 960 Or Roomba 980? 

In a nutshell, both Roomba 960 and Roomba 980 Robotic Vacuums are the most advanced Robotic Vacuums in the industry.

We have to accept the fact that they are products from the world’s most trusted brand I.e. iRobot, they are designed to work for a lifetime with little to no maintenance.

If you don’t want to spend a few bucks extra for the Carpet Boost mode of the Roomba 980 Vacuum, then we recommend you go with the iRobot Roomba 960 Robotic Vacuum Cleaner.

Performance-wise, both models deliver the same user interface and cleaning performance.

If you don’t have carpet flooring, then you should not spend extra bucks on the Roomba 980.

If the larger area of your home is hardwood or hard floor, then you should not invest your money in the power-mode featured Roomba 980 model.

The Roomba 960 robotic vacuum was launched after the launch of the Roomba 980 model for users who don’t want that extra Carpet Boost feature.

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