When comparing iRobot vacuums, the iRobot’s 960 and 980 seem to be nearly identical. So, what justifies the steep price difference between the two? There are three four differences. First, the motor in the 960 is a carryover from the 800-series. It’s not a bad motor, but the 900 series motors are more powerful and efficient. Second, the bigger motor in the 980 pushes its AeroForce 3-Stage Cleaning System to outperform the suction in earlier models by 10x. The 960 also has AeroForce, just with 5x the suction power when compared with the same previous models. Third, the 980 introduced Carpet Boost, which essentially bumps up the power when vacuuming carpeted surfaces. The 960 is a predecessor of the 980 and lacks Carpet Boost altogether. Finally, run time is significantly different between the 960 and 980 at 75 minutes and 120 minutes respectively.
Aside from those differences the vacuums are the same. Both work with iRobot’s HOME App, can be voice controlled, navigate with the same technology and feature high-efficiency (although non-HEPA) filters. Is the steep price increase for the 980 worth it? If you have a larger area to clean, have a home with dogs and/or cats, or just feel you need the most suction power possible, go with the Roomba 980. If you don’t need as much heft the 960 is a great choice with a value price.
Compare the dimensions, color and other physical characteristics of these two robot vacuums.
Compare the sensors and navigational aids each robot vacuum uses to move and assess floor surfaces and condition.
Run and recharge time for each robot vacuum cleaner in the comparison.
The cleaning modes each robot vacuum in the comparison is equipped with.
Cleaning characteristics for each robot vacuum cleaner including its filter, cyclonic action and if it is rated for use in homes with pets.
If and how each robot vacuum integrates with mobile apps, smart home platforms and other technologies.
The surfaces each vacuum cleaner is capable of cleaning.
The manufacturer warranty and certifications for each vacuum.