Roomba 960 Vs 980: Which One You Should Buy? My Opinion

Roomba 960 Vs 980

Technology is changing our world faster than we could ever imagine. Who would have they will have a robotic vacuum cleaner in their homes? Well, now we do. If you are someone who is searching for a robotic vacuum cleaner, you have probably heard about the Roomba 960 and Roomba 980.

In case you are confused about which one you should buy, this article will help you. In it, I will give you a full comparison between the two products. Read the article and decide for yourself which one do you want for your house. If you want to know the difference between others roomba model then check out this roomba comparison chart to get the best roomba for you.

Roomba 960 Vs 980 – Comparison Chart

[amazon table=”365″]

Differences between Roomba 960 and 980:


Price is always a detrimental factor in anything you buy. There is quite a big difference between the two robotic vacuum cleaners that you should keep in mind, especially if you are on a budget.

Roomba 960:

Roomba 960 is the cheaper one between the two. It has a price tag of about $200 lesser than the Roomba 980.

Roomba 980:

The Roomba 980 is the most expensive robotic vacuum cleaners out there on the market. As mentioned earlier, the product is around $200 higher in price than the Roomba 960.

Run Time:

Another factor that you should check out is the running time. Let’s see how the two of them do in this aspect.

Roomba 960:

First of all, the Roomba 960 is equipped with a 2130 mAh battery. It is a Li-ion one. The battery allows the product to do the work for 75 minutes at one go. The machine can recharge in on itself and go on working on its own after it runs out of juice.

Roomba 980:

On the other hand, the Roomba 980 boasts of a 3000 mAh Li-ion battery. It can vacuum without interruption for 120 minutes. The Roomba 980 can also recharge itself and resume working all on its own.

Patented 3-Stage Cleaning:

The patented 3-stage Cleaning feature is a unique feature of the Roomba robotic vacuum cleaners. In this feature, the cleaner loosens, lifts, and sucks the dirt and debris from the floor. The edge-sweeping brush helps to achieve this performance.

The cleaning is done in three distinct steps. On the first step, an edge-sweeping brush cleans dust, debris, and dirt from around the corners and edges of the room. The brush is designed at a 27-degree angle especially with this purpose in mind.

On step two, the dual counter-rotating brushes come into play. They take hold of all the dirt, dust, and debris from the floor and removes them to make it clean.

During the third step, the motor of the vacuum cleaner suctions the dust and dirt inside the filtered dustbin. The filter does an extraordinary job in this aspect. It can catch up to 99% of all the dirt, dust, allergens, and mites.

Roomba 960:

The Roomba 960 has the 3-stage cleaning feature. However, its motor has 5x suction power than air power.

Roomba 980:

The Roomba 980 also has the same feature. What makes it better is the 10x suction power it possesses, thanks to its newer motor model.

Carpet Boost Feature:

Carpets and rugs are much more difficult to clean than hardwood floors. They trap the dust, dirt, and debris in between their fibers. In addition, they also create a prevention to the suction force of the vacuum cleaners. Therefore, cleaning becomes difficult. The Carpet Boost feature increases the motor power when the cleaner is over a carpet. This, in turn, heightens up the suction force. As a result, you get better cleaning.

Roomba 960:

The Roomba 960 does not have the Carpet Boost feature.

Roomba 980:

The Carpet Boost feature is present in the Roomba 980 robotic vacuum cleaner.

Virtual Wall Barriers:

Virtual Wall Barriers are an important feature in robotic vacuum cleaners. You can pinpoint areas in your room that you do not want the Roomba to clean with the help of this feature. This can be done in two ways. One is using the Virtual Wall Mode. In this mode, you can stop the Roomba from getting access to an opening of up to 10 feet.

Another step is called the Halo Mode. In this mode, the Roomba gets blocked off a circle around an object. The diameter it can be blocked off from is 26″.

These Virtual Wall Barriers are run by two AA batteries. They are included with the vacuum cleaners.

Roomba 960:

The Roomba 960 has the Virtual Wall Barrier. However, it has only one of them.

Roomba 980:

There are two Virtual Wall Barriers present in the Roomba 980 robotic vacuum cleaners.

Similarities between Roomba 960 and 980:

Cleaning Power:

The most important aspect of any vacuum cleaner is its cleaning power. The Roomba 960 and the Roomba 980 has almost similar cleaning powers, except for the difference in suction force. The Roomba 960 has a 5x AeroForce system, whereas the Roomba 980 boasts a 10x AeroForce system. Theoretically, this means the latter will clean twice as well than the former. However, there are no significant changes in cleaning in practice. Therefore, I would say the cleaning power is same on both in reality.

Wi-Fi and App Enabling:

The Roomba 960 and the Roomba 980 robotic vacuum cleaners are Wi-Fi and App enabled. The app performance is same for both of them as of course, it is the same app. In addition, you can also connect them to the Wi-Fi network. The vacuum cleaners can be set for scheduled cleanings, set preferences. Not only that, you can also achieve repeated cleaning of the same place. The app is not mandatory to work with the cleaners. However, keep in mind that without the Wi-Fi, you can not get a wide variety of features as mentioned before.

Mapping the Layout:

Both the Roomba 960 and the Roomba 980 use two sensors to map the layout of your home. Now, one of them is a camera. It helps the vacuum cleaner to track things such as tables, sofas, and refrigerators inside the room. On the other hand, the other sensor helps with tracking. The sensor keeps track of the places the Roomba has already cleaned. Therefore, it does not clean the same place over and over again, resulting in saved time.

Recharge and Resume Working:

As mentioned earlier, the Roomba 960 runs for 75 minutes at one go, whereas the Roomba 980’s running time is 120 minutes. However, if you have a moderately large house, the cleaners might exhaust their charge before they are done with the cleaning. The Recharge and Resume feature helps with this problem. If a situation comes where the Roomba realizes it can not complete the task at hand with the remaining power, it returns to its dock on its own. There, it recharges itself for another cleaning cycle. Now, this is termed as Mid-session Recharge. It charges for 90 minutes. After the time period is over, the vacuum cleaner returns to the same spot it left cleaning and resume its work.

Both the Roombas have this feature in them.

Performance Around Obstacles:

Often times we keep things scattered on the floor. Which makes cleaning difficult. However, the Roomba 960 and the Roomba 980 are designed in such a way that they can find their way around scattered objects such as shoes and backpacks. But you should keep in mind that they can not clean an area that is not free. Therefore, you should at least move the objects once as it will make sure every area in your room gets cleaned.

Cleaning Corners and Edges:

Cleaning corners and edges are always a daunting task. However, the Roomba 960 and 980 can carry it out pretty well. The vacuum cleaners can clean corners and edges efficiently. They do so with the help of wall sweep algorithm along with a spinning side brush. The brush sweeps the dust and dirt straight into the path of the vacuum cleaner which then suctions it. Both the Roombas perform great in this aspect.

Anti-tangle Feature:

Both the Roombas are equipped with the Anti-tangle feature. This feature is there to make sure the vacuum cleaner does not eat up your carpet fringes, cords, or tassels that are out there on the loose. The feature works moderately well. However, I would still suggest keeping the cords away when the vacuum cleaner is in use as much as you can.

Multi-room Navigation:

Multi-room navigation is also present in both the robotic vacuum cleaners. Both of them can map as well as navigate several rooms in your house. They do so by creating a temporary map of your house.

The brand claims the Roomba 960 and the Roomba 980 can both clean up to 2000 square feet in each level. So, unless you have a mansion that usually has 4000 square feet rooms, both the Roombas will serve you pretty well.

Cliff Detection:

Whenever you are using a robotic vacuum cleaner to clean upper floors of your room, there is a distinct chance that it might fall off the stairs. This would result in a serious damage to the machine and will cost you a lot of money to fix it or buy a new one. This is where Cliff Detection comes in. With this technology, your vacuum cleaner can sense there are stairs ahead. As a result, it can climb them down instead of taking a suicidal plunge.

Both the Roomba 960 and 980 have this feature.

Pros and Cons Roomba 960 and 980:

Roomba 960 Pros & Cons:


  • Very good cleaning power
  • Tangle-free extractors make maintenance simpler
  • Patented 3-stage cleaning feature
  • Enabled with Wi-Fi as well as the App
  • Multi-room navigation


  • Misses dust and dirt sometimes
  • Carpet boost feature is not present
  • Shorter battery life when compared to the Roomba 980

Roomba 980 Pros & Cons:


  • Cleans rooms exceptionally well
  • Amazing battery life
  • 10x suction power
  • Two virtual wall barriers
  • Carpet boost feature to clean carpets efficiently


  • The collector bin is small in size
  • Produces quite a lot of noise
  • Clogging is an issue
  • Takes a long time to recharge


The Roomba 960 and the Roomba 980 are manufactured by the same company, iRobot. They have a good reputation when it comes to customer services. So, you do not need to worry about that aspect. There have been no serious complaints against their after-sales services either. Therefore, you would not have a problem in this aspect with the Roomba 960 and the Roomba 980.


The Roomba 960 and the Roomba 980 has almost similar features with a few exceptions. However, the Roomba 980 is costlier among the two. It is about $200 more expensive than the Roomba 960. So, I would suggest buying the Roomba 960 as it comes with a lesser price tag and more or less same features.

On the other hand, if you are someone who has an exceptionally large house or areas in your house covered by carpet or rugs, then the Roomba 980 is your best bet due to its longer running time and carpet boost feature.

So, this is everything you need to know about the comparison between these robotic vacuum cleaners. If you have any more questions in your mind, or if you want me to talk about something else, do let me know in the comments section below.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.