Roomba 960 vs. 980 vs. 981 vs. 985: Know the Difference

Last updated on April 15th, 2024

If you want to buy a robovac from the 900 series of iRobot, this article on Roomba 960 vs. 980 vs. 981 vs. 985 will be your guide. We suggest you avoid the 960 as it has the least features the 900 series offers.

While the 980, 981, and 985 virtually appear to be the same, our scales tilt towards the 985 as it offers the complete package deal. Read along to find out why you should buy the 985.

Which is better: Roomba 960 vs. 980 vs. 981 vs. 985?

The Roomba 985 gives tough competition to all its peers and comes out as the winner. Only its battery capacity sets it apart from the rest. Out of these four models, it has the highest battery capacity of 3600 mAh, giving a runtime of 120 minutes. The 985 is closely followed by the 980 and 981 for the second place.

Read a similar article: Roomba 890 vs. 960 – Which iRobot Vaccum is Overall Better?

Roomba 960

The 960 was released soon after the 980. The 960 is a smart robotic vacuum cleaner that uses iAdapt 2.0 navigation to efficiently navigate and clean your home. It offers a high-efficiency filter, multiple cleaning modes, and Wi-Fi connectivity for convenient control and scheduling.

Roomba 980

With its powerful cleaning system and adaptive navigation, the 980 is designed to effortlessly clean multiple rooms, providing exceptional suction power to remove dirt, debris, and pet hair. Its advanced technology enables efficient cleaning by seamlessly navigating through furniture and obstacles.

Roomba 981

The 981 offers intelligent visual navigation, using its camera and sensors for efficient cleaning. With its high-performance cleaning system and advanced dirt detection technology, it can focus on heavily soiled areas and automatically adjust its power for optimal results.

Roomba 985

The 985 robotic vacuum cleaner combines powerful performance with smart features. It can be easily controlled and scheduled remotely, while its advanced sensors and cleaning system ensure thorough cleaning, making it an ideal choice for busy households.

Roomba 960 vs. 980 vs. 981 vs. 985 Specs

The table below is a point-to-point comparison of the specifications of the 900 series.

SpecsRoomba 960Roomba 980Roomba 981Roomba 985
Weight8.60 Pounds8.6 Pounds8.6 Pounds8.6 Pounds
Dimensions13.8 x 13.8 x 3.6 inches13.9 x 13.9 x 3.58 inches13.9 x 13.9 x 3.58 inches13.9 x 13.9 x 3.58 inches
PriceCheck current pricesCheck current pricesCheck current pricesCheck current prices
AvailabilityRefurbished availableRefurbished availableRefurbished availableRefurbished available
Surface RecommendationHard FloorsCarpetsHard Floors, CarpetsHard Floors
Dustbin Capacity0.6 L0.6 L0.6 L0.6 L
Controller TypeVoice Control, App ControlApp Control, Voice ControlVoice Control, App ControlApp Control, Voice Control
Compatible DevicesAmazon Alexa, Google AssistantAmazon Alexa, Google HomeVera, Amazon Alexa, Google AssistantAmazon Echo, Google Home
Filter TypeResin FilterResin FilterResin FilterResin Filter
Air Power5x*10x*10x*10x*
Battery Life75 mins120 mins120 mins120 mins
Battery Capacity1800 mAh3300 mAh3300 mAh3600 mAh
Charging Time2-3 hours3 hours3 hours3 hours
Battery TypeLithium IonLithium IonLithium IonLithium Ion
Warranty1 year1 year1 year1 year
Mapping TechnologyAbsentPresentPresentPresent
iAdapt 2.0 NavigationPresentPresentPresentPresent
3-Stage Cleaning SystemPresentPresentPresentPresent
BrushesDual Multi-Surface Brushes, Side BrushDual Multi-Surface Brushes, Side BrushDual Multi-Surface Brushes, Side BrushDual Multi-Surface Brushes, Side Brush
Dirt Detection TechnologyPresentPresentPresentPresent
Virtual Wall BarrierPresent (1)Present (2)Present (2)Present (1)
Carpet Boost TechnologyAbsentPresentPresentPresent
Noise Level65 dB70 dB65 dB65 dB
Roomba 960 vs. 980 vs. 981 vs. 985 Comparison

*5x and 10x compared to the air power of the 600 series

Let’s take a detailed look at the similarities and differences between the robots of the 900 series.

Roomba 960 vs. 980 vs. 981 vs. 985: Similarities

Below are some of the similarities between different vacuums of the 900 series.

Design Specs

All robovacs in the seventh generation literally look the same. You will not be able to tell one apart from the other if all of them are placed in front of you. All the models come in Black color with the same design. All of them weigh around 8.6 pounds. They have a length and breadth of 13.9 inches and stand tall at 3.58 inches.

Dustbin Capacity

Considering that all robots in the 900 series are of the same shape and size, it’s a given that they all have similar capacities when it comes to dust and dirt accumulation. They all have a dustbin capacity of 0.6 L.

These vacuums are equipped with a camera that enables them to use an advanced iAdapt 2.0 Navigation system. All robots in the 900 series have a 3-Stage Cleaning System, which ensures a 360-degree cleaning of your home. The Dirt Detection Technology in each device is a plus, as they can never miss a dirty spot in your home.

Roomba 960 vs. 980 vs. 981 vs. 985: Differences

Let’s check out how different vacuums in the 900 series differ from one another.

Air Power

The 980, 981, and 985 models have 10 times the air power, facilitating better cleaning performance. But the 960 has only 5x the air power, which is not that bad, but if you are getting a better-powered robot vacuum at a similar price range, why go for this one?

In terms of air power, any vacuum in the 900 series besides the 960 is the better one.


Battery in 900 series
Battery in 900 series

All 900 series robots have a run time of 120 minutes except the 960, which has a run time of 75 minutes. Despite that, all vacuums take almost 3 hours to charge. The major difference lies in the battery capacity of these robots.

While the 960 has a capacity of 1800 mAh, both 980 and 981 have a 3300 mAh battery. But the 985 has the highest battery capacity of 3600 mAh.

The 985 stands out from the rest, considering the overall battery performance.

Mapping Technology

Mapping technology
Mapping technology in 900 series

Vacuums in the 900 series use visual Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (vSLAM) Technology for mapping your home. They map your home and store the data to understand your home’s cleaning requirements better. Unfortunately, 960 does not share this technology.

So, if you are looking for a robot vacuum with mapping technology, 960 should be out of the picture.

What’s in the box?

The table below shows the accessories that you get on buying these products.

Roomba 960Roomba 980Roomba 981Roomba 985
1 960 Robot Vacuum1 980 Robot Vacuum1 981 Robot Vacuum1 985 Robot Vacuum
1 Home Base Charging Station1 Home Base Charging Station1 Home Base Charging Station1 Home Base Charging Station
1 Power Cord1 Power Cord1 Power Cord1 Power Cord
What’s in the box?

Advantages of Roomba 960 vs. 980 vs. 981 vs. 985

The table below shows the advantages of all the robots we have compared in this article.

Roomba 960Roomba 980Roomba 981Roomba 985
CheaperBetter air powerBetter air powerBetter air power
vSLAM technologyvSLAM technologyHighest battery capacity
vSLAM technology
Advantages of robots in the 900 series


Considering the specifications of all robovacs in the 900 series, our scales tip in the direction of 985. It has the perfect combination of all the features of other robots in the series. The 980 and 981 are almost the same.

You will hardly notice any difference between the two. They do have a lesser battery capacity than the 985. Whereas, the 960 completely falls behind the other devices in terms of performance and features.


Where can I buy a Roomba from the 900 series?

iRobot has discontinued selling the Roomba 900 series on its official website, but you can buy a refurbished model from Amazon or any other similar eCommerce website.

Does Roomba 960 have a mapping feature?

Unlike other models in the 900 series, the Roomba 960 does not have a mapping feature. It has a camera that assists in smart navigation, but it cannot map and save the mapped data.

Can I use these Roombas every day?

Ideally, you don’t need to clean the same room every day with a Roomba as these vacuums are very efficient cleaners. But if you want to, you can definitely use these robots every day.

Photo of author

Siddhi Gurav

She is the editor and content writer at Smart Home Bulls. Siddhi merges her passion for language with SEO expertise. With 4 years of experience as a creative writer and a passion for smart home technology, she fits in perfectly at Smart Home Bulls. Her wide experience in content marketing has been an excellent addition to our team.

Leave a Comment