Roomba 900 Series 960,980 Review

Roomba 980

The iRobot Roomba is the leader in autonomous robotic vacuum products. The 900 Series is the newest release in the iRobot series, connected to WiFI, including both the models 980 and 960. This product series brings with it new, cutting-edge innovations like the most upgraded version of vSLAM (visual simultaneous localization and mapping), which can seamlessly and efficiently navigate an entire level of your home and keep track of its location. Also, this series increased the air suction power to 10 times for 980. Meanwhile, iAdapt is upgraded to 2.0 in the 900 series. iAdapt 2.0 uses a high-efficiency cleaning pattern and a full suite of sensors to seamlessly navigate an entire level of a home, up to 2000 ft² (185 m²).

Check following video about more information of Roomba 900 Series.

The 900 Series can clean all floor types, automatically adjusting its brush height to ensure the best performance on whatever floor surface it has to clean. It can transit seamlessly between hardwood floors, area rugs, tile, carpet, and other floor types.

This is the most intelligent of autonomous, robotic vacuum cleaners which can avoid tangling in cords, carpet fringe, tassels, and won’t fall off stairs or ledges, won’t get itself stuck in tight areas, and won’t stall on rough surfaces. This series robots are fully advanced and connect to WiFi, integrating seamlessly with mobile phones. The technology of the brushes, vacuum, and filter system is the most advanced yet.

Both Model 960 and 980 have the Aeroforce® High Efficiency Filters which remove 99% of allergens and leave air improved. They both use the Aeroforce® 3-Stage Cleaning System, and they sport the edge-sweeping brush and Tangle-Free Multi-Surface Brushes. These two automatic vacuums really are capable.

They are WiFi® enabled too, meaning you can schedule and program your Roomba® straight from your iRobot® Home App, and with the new iAdapt® 2.0 Navigation with localization software, you have access to push notifications and Clean Map® alerts and status updates. So what’s the features detail and what’s the difference?

Highlight Features of the Roomba 900 Series

The 900 Series comes equipped with many new features that are unique to this Series. The cutting-edge technology of the 900 Series brings a whole new realm of robotic vacuum cleaners, setting the standard for these nifty little devices.

iRobot Roomba 980 vs 960

  • SUCTION POWER – The 900 series also has a much stronger suction system, using the patented 3-stage cleaning system. The 960 air power has increased 5 times compared to 600 and 700 series, the same as 800 series. The 980 model has increased 10 times compared to 600 and 700 series.

iRobot Roomba 980 Cleaning System

  • PATENTED 3-STAGE CLEANING – The 900 Series comes equipped with the AeroForce® 3-Stage Cleaning System using debris extractors. The system is designed to first loosen, then lift, then suction dirt and debris from all floor types.  This is not the traditional autonomous robotic vacuum that simply scurries across the floor suctioning away. This is far more advanced than that. In fact, this is an entirely different sphere of technology.
    • First Step – It, upon activation, first traverses the home, sweeping corners and edges to pull dirt and debris out of hard to reach areas.
    • Second Step – Then the iRobot makes another pass, this time using rotating brushes to remove dirt, dust, and debris from the floors.
    • Finally – the iRobot makes a third pass across the floor network, suctioning dirt into the filtered dust bin. The High-Efficiency Filter captures ninety-nine percent of dust, mites, and allergens. Because of the first two stages, the iRobot is able to capture ninety-nine percent of dust, dirt, and debris on the floor on its third stage.

iRobot Roomba 900 bottom view

  • Bigger Debris Bin – Like the 800 series, the Roomba 900 Series bin holds 60% more dirt than the previous series of the Roomba collections.
  • iAdapt 2.0 – This Roomba Series is also the only Roomba to come equipped with iAdapt 2.0. The iRobot uses more sensors, integrated with iAdapt 2.0 to create a high-efficiency cleaning pattern, mapped through its fully cohesive sensors. The device combines top-notch software with excellent technology for maximum coverage of a 2,000 square foot space. This series robot vacuum always knows where it is, and how much cleaning it has done, what stage of cleaning it is in, and how much cleaning it has left to do. Truly, the iRobot Roomba 900 Series presents the best experience in autonomous robotic vacuum devices.

Roomba 980 Smart

  • vSLAM – is the innovation of integrating data collected from the 900 Series and either storing it on the device or syncing it directly to the iRobot Home App, which seamlessly and efficiently navigate an entire level of your home and keep track of its location. The technology is advanced to the degree of recording how long the iRobot cleaned for, how far it went, whether or not it encountered any error codes if it’s functioning correctly, etc.

Features Detail Comparison of 900 Series

In this section, let’s take a look at the features detail comparison of model iRobot Roomba® 960 and 980. The 980 is the latest 900 series model available to purchase and it has improved over the much-loved Roomba® 960 model. Both are very capable automatic vacuums and both are able to deliver improved cleanliness and a reduction in dust particles.

FeaturesSpecsRoomba 960Roomba 980
SmartiAdapt 2.0 + vSLAM
Multi-Room Cleaning
Recharge and Resume
Cliff-detection sensors
Clean Map™ Reports
Custom Cleaning Preferences
Anti-Tangle System
Dirt Detect™
SimpleWi-Fi Support
Cleans All Floor Types
AeroForce® Tangle-Free Extractor*
Home App
CleanAeroForce 3-Stage Cleaning System
AeroForce® High-Efficiency Filter *
Edge-Sweeping Brush
MotorGEN 2GEN 3
Carpet Boost (Deeper Cleaning)
Vacuum Suction Performance5x more air power*10x more air power*
Running TimeUp to 75 minutes**Up to 120minutes**
Cleaning Performance*Up to 50% moreUp to 100% more
OthersLithium-Ion battery1800 mAh3300 mAh
Cleaning Mode OptionsEco-Mode + Performance Mode + Automatic ModeEco-Mode + Performance Mode + Automatic Mode
Robot Weight8.5 lbs (3.8 kg)8.7 lbs (4 kg)
Robot Diameter13.8 in (350 mm)13.8 in (350 mm)
Robot Height3.6 in (90.85 mm)3.6 in (90.85 mm)
*Compared to Roomba® 600 and 700 series AeroVac™ systems.
** Tested in iRobot Home Test Lab on hard floors. Run times may vary.

Roomba 960 is a more affordable version of the Roomba 980. Both of these robot cleaners have Wi-Fi connectivity and you control them with the iRobot Home App.

Both have the same AeroForce vacuuming technology, full bin indicator, and debris extractor for stress-free cleaning and many more. It also uses the same iAdapt 2.0 navigation to find its way around your home.

What’s The Difference?

Cleaning Performance – Model 960 AeroForce equipment with Gen 2 motor, this improves the cleaning performance up to 50% more AeroVac™ systems in 600 and 700 series.  And model 980 is with Gen 3 motor, this increases the cleaning performance up to 100% more AeroVac™ systems in 600 and 700 series.

Air Suction Power –  The Roomba 980 air suction power is 10x power with the Gen 3 motor. And the 960 is 5x power with the Gen 2 motor like the 800 series.

Running Time – Tested in iRobot lab hard floor, the running time of Roomba 960 is up to 75 minutes, and up to 120 minutes for 980, otherwise, the older series 600, 700 and 800 series is 60 minutes. Because the 900 series has a higher capacity battery, and also because the Robots are programmed to go back to the Home Base to recharge and resume automatically.  After the battery has been recharged, the robot will resume the cleaning job until it is done.


Carpet Boost – The 980 is the only Roomba that has the Gen 3 motor, so the robot will automatically increase the air power on carpets. You can set the robot for two pass coverage or edge clean and with the Roomba 980, the option for ECO mode (no carpet Boost) Performance mode (carpet boost on always) or Auto (Roomba chooses based on floor type and debris).

What’s in Box respectively

roomba 800 and 900 series components and accessories in box

MODELSRoomba® 960Roomba® 980
Roomba with
AeroForce® High-Efficiency Filter,
Side Brush, 2 AeroForce™ Extractors
Home Base™
with EU Line Cord
Dual Mode Virtual Wall®
2AA Batteries included
Virtual Wall® Lighthouse™
4 C Batteries Included
Remote Control
2 AA Batteries Included
AeroForce® High-Efficiency Filter
Lithium Ion Battery Installed

Roomba 900 Series and Other Comparable Brands

The 900 Series is not without comparable brands though. There are many comparisons of this series with other brands of autonomous cleaning robots out there, though this product is largely believed to be the leader in cleaning robots.

  • The Neato Botvac D7 presents a beautiful crossroad of price, technology, and performance. It is reliable and functions well. It is perhaps the closest in quality to the 900 Series iRobot Roomba. Neato Botvac D7 and 900 series are all WiFi connected. However, the 900 Series is easily the more intelligent of the two. It has more customization features, which creates a better cleaning experience that is tailored to the owner’s home.
  • The Samsung Powerbot VR9000 also makes a bid for the top robotic cleaner and compares well to the iRobot Roomba 900 Series. The VR9000 is especially good for large areas of floors. However, the Roomba 900 Series has seven preset cleaning styles, is lighter, smaller, and more customizable in the very way with which it cleans. Also, did we mention it’s much more affordable?
  • The Bobsweep is another contender. It is a hit with pet lovers who appreciate the large brush on the Bobsweep. However, with only three preset cleaning modes and a fairly plain control panel, the Roomba 900 Series stands above even the Bobsweep.

How to choose a Model and Factors to Consider

There are a lot of different factors involved when choosing an autonomous, robotic vacuum cleaning device. There are factors like reliability, usability, price, running time, integration, how “heavy duty” the unit is, level of technology, the variety of cleaning modes, lifespan, ability to customize the device, etc.  The iRobot Roomba Model 960 presents the most options and the best customization for its owner’s unique floor system.  It is the peak of technology for autonomous cleaning devices. Other models and other brands offer different and unique characteristics to their units and some customers are drawn to them for various reasons, but the iRobot Roomba Model 960 presents by far the most features and the most advanced technology in cleaning robots. Be sure to keep in mind all of the different factors involved in shopping for an autonomous vacuum, and happy shopping!

Why Choose the Roomba® 960?

There is really very little to argue between these two vacuums. If your home is pet free, mainly hardwood floors and/or ceramics and doesn’t have a very large floor area, then together with a slightly cheaper price tag, you are going to be getting an excellent machine. One that will be able to easily complete the chore of vacuuming your home.

That is not to say it cannot clean carpets, rugs or pet hair efficiently. Of course, it will, but when you compare it the Roomba® 980 you will notice that both serve a different purpose within your home. The 960 only has a 75-minute runtime, and even though it is able to return to its Home Base™ Charging Station, recharge and resume cleaning from where it left off, why would you not consider the longer running Roomba® 980 if you have a larger home or higher traffic areas?

In short, the 960 has most of the features that the 980 has, except for a few tradeoffs.

  • No carpet boost – This is because it uses the Roomba 800 series motor.
  • Shorter battery life – Full charge delivers only up to 75 minutes of vacuuming time.
  • One Virtual Wall – It has a single Dual-Mode Virtual Wall Barrier, while the 980 has two.

Aside from these differences, the Roomba 960 still delivers a powerful and efficient clean.

  • What we liked about the Roomba 960
  • Great cleaning power
  • Superior navigation
  • Wi-Fi & App compatibility
  • Boundary Marking

What we didn’t like Roomba 960

  • Short battery life at 75 minutes

Why Choose the Roomba® 980?

If you consider that the improved suction of the Roomba® 980 has been increased by more than 5% (to 10%*) over the Roomba® 960, and with that improvement there is also an improvement in battery life too, then the 980 is an ideal solution to your home with a larger floor plan. Running for up to a 120-minute and with the return to its Home Base™ Charging Station, recharge and resume functionality, there is little that this automatic vacuum cannot reach.

The 980 is the best robot in the Roombas. It is the only iRobot Roomba has Carpet Boost. The clever programming of the Roomba® 980 though, lies in its ability to automatically increase performance through its Power Boost function when it sensors a thicker pile rug or carpet. This feature means more dirt and debris is recovered from your home leaving it healthier for you and your family. So if your floors are carpeted, this is the best option for you.

The Roomba 980 is a better robot when compared to the 960 due to its battery life and extra features.

  • What we liked about the Roomba 980
  • More cleaning power
  • Precise Navigation
  • Carpet Boost for deeper cleaning
  • Voice control with Alexa or even Google Assistant
  • Enhanced battery life

What we didn’t like about the Roomba 960

  • More costly than other Roombas

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