iRobot Roomba 880 vs 960 vs 980: Comparison & Reviews

Key Differences between Roomba 880 vs 960 vs 980

  1. Cleaning Performance. The key differences between a Roomba product usually end up on how powerful the cleaning system is. In this case, the 980 version takes the advantage. Older models of iRobot already have good air power, but the 980 is known to have 10x more when cleaning carpets. The iRobot Roomba 880, unfortunately, falls short with only 5x more power.

If you compare older devices, the 960 model has a lower suction power than the Roomba 980. The former has 5 times air power while the latter has 10 times air power. It is not readily noticeable, though, when cleaning most common surfaces.

  1. Navigation System. Most of iRobot’s products make use of the iAdapt navigation system including these 3 models. The only difference between them is that the 880 makes use of the older technology while the 960 and 980 make use of the newer one which is the iAdapt 2.0 navigation system. The newer one features a visual localization which improves navigation. So, between 880 vs 960 vs 980, the newer models again take the advantage.
  2. Battery Life. Although the Roomba 880’s battery life is advertised to have twice more than the previous models, it still does not come close to the 980’s battery life. If they were to battle out who will last longer, the 980 easily wins. As customer reviews, video reviews and product review sites have mentioned, the 980’s Lithium-ion battery can last for up to 120 minutes. Compare that to the 880’s battery life that can last for only up to 90 minutes tops.
  3. Design. Everybody, of course, wants a product that looks attractive that can blend well with their furniture or the entire room ambiance. Thankfully, these three are designed well with an elegant look that can actually pose as a room décor. One with a brownish gradient while the others having a stylish black finish.
  4. Accessories. Opening up the packages each of these devices will show you some differences in the accessories that accompanied them. Extra Virtual walls are included in all devices.

Comparison Chart

iRobot Roomba ModelRoomba 880Roomba 960Roomba 980
Dimensions13.9 x 13.9 x 3.6 inches13.8 x 13.8 x 3.6 inches 13.8 x 13.8 x 3.6 inches
Battery Life60 - 90 minutes90 minutes lifespan120 minutes lifespan
Accessories2 Virtual Wall Lighthouses, 1 Extra FilterOne Virtual Wall, 1 Extra FilterTwo Virtual Walls, 1 Extra Filter
Multi-Room NavigationYesYesYes
App & WiFiNoYesYes
Cleaning SystemAeroForce 3-Stage SystemAeroForce 3-Stage SystemAeroForce 3-Stage System

iRobot Roomba 880 Review

iRobot Roomba 880 Robot Vacuum

Key Features:

One of the best features of the newer Roomba models is the capability to clean multiple rooms. This is just but one feature that the Roomba 880 has to offer. This product also rocks a self-charging and a scheduling system to which users can program.

As with other Roomba products, the 880 is equipped with the brand’s AeroForce 3-stage cleaning system. and tangle-free AeroForce extractors. With these extractors, the product is considered as a brushless robot vacuum.

The reason to why both of this technology is installed on almost every iRobot products is because of its efficiency. It is able to suck up small debris and even strands of long hair with no problem. Let us not also forget that this product also makes use of highly effective filters. Do take note they are not washable filters.

  • Multi-room navigation system. Not many vacuum cleaners are capable of this feature.
  • The product is not overly priced compared to that of the other popular brands.
  • The product is equipped with multiple features that helps the user in many possible ways.
  • The randomness of its navigating algorithm can be annoying especially when there are certain spots that aren’t covered.

iRobot Roomba 960 Review

iRobot Roomba 960

The model employs the AeroForce 3-Stage Cleaning process. It’s practically the same system in the 800 series and is even more powerful. It generates 5 times air suction power to draw in stubborn pet hair or debris.

The two rubber brushless extractors help generate this power. iRobot always includes the side-spinning brush for edge cleaning to help with your rug fringe and edges in general.

Likewise, just like the Roombas in the 800 series, it is equipped with optical sensors as well as acoustic sensors. That means it is still able to tell your hardwood floors apart from your rug. Persistent Pass is still included but cleaning with the 960 version follows a straight line pattern.

That happens because of another thing the manufacturers’ update. In addition to tracking sensors, iRobot 960 has added vSLAM technology to improve cleaning efficiency. The device is now better able to map the room so it doesn’t repeat clean areas.

Two Virtual Walls support this system and mark the region it will clean at a time. These accessories work with the iAdapt 2 Navigation system and anti-tangle technology to help with multi-room cleaning. They also help Robot 960 clean under shelves, beds, or low chairs.

Automatic scheduling is set using the most exciting feature. The iRobot app uses WiFi connectivity to do up draw up a cleaning schedule for up to seven days.

  • Visual Localization Camera.
  • Virtual Walls contain robot.
  • Scheduling with iRobot app and Wi-Fi.
  • iAdapt 2 Navigation System.
  • Works with voice control accessory.
  • Entire Level Cleaning.
  • Easy setup.
  • No Auto-Resume.
  • Not the cheapest.

Roomba 980 Review

iRobot Roomba 980 Robot Vacuum

Roomba 980 specs use the same AeroForce 3-Stage Cleaning Process for vacuuming. However, in comparison, there is a major improvement in the suction power. The rollers or extractors will generate up to ten times air suction power.

It is applied mostly when the system detects a rug was the combination of acoustic and optical sensors. These sensors are also responsible for cliff detection.

The technology behind increased air suction power is called Carpet Boost. Customer reviews agree that it beats iRobot 960 in that department.

Dirt, fur, or debris sucked in with that power is filtered through Dual HEPA filters, which have the added capability of purifying the surrounding air. An indicator in the Roomba 980 lets you know when the bin is full.

This smart floor cleaner cleans in a straight line practically eliminating repetition because of the vSLAM camera upgrade. It does so while mapping out a given room or floor with the assistance of the iAdapt 2 Navigation System without a Wall Lighthouse. The system works with Auto-Resume.

Auto-Resume, as the name implies, enables the Roomba 980 resume cleaning from exactly where it stopped after a recharge. Sometimes, if multi-room cleaning is enabled, it stops cleaning if it calculates that the battery life won’t be enough.

When it returns from the dock, it picks up from where it left off. That makes it great for cleaning multiple levels.

The 980 can likewise be remotely controlled with a WiFi connection by a smartphone with the Android or iOS application.

  • iAdapt Navigation 2 System.
  • Virtual Wall.
  • Android and iOS app for remote access.
  • AeroForce 3-Stage Cleaning Process.
  • Voice Control support.
  • Carpet Boost.
  • Easy setup.
  • Best features work with Wi-Fi.
  • More expensive pricing.
Our Verdict

If you are shopping for a vacuum robot that can clean an entire level, you would be hard pressed to find any better than the iRobot models. You can have that in addition to the capability to clean multiple floors with different surfaces.

It could be a black carpet or a rug’s fringe.  The fact that they support Wi-Fi connected remote control from the Android or iOS iRobot app is a compelling enough reason to choose between them.

Their reliability is not in question. The question that remains is whether or not those features are worth it – spending the extra 100 US dollars.

Our verdict with regard to Roomba models is that you ought to buy according to your budget. Place your order after you have done sufficient price comparison to get the best price and a great deal.