iRobot Roomba 880 vs 980

iRobot Roomba 880 vs 980 Reviews, Differences, and Comparison Chart

Get rid of those old vacuums! Previously we have discussed one high-end Roomba and one affordable Roomba to get a good comparison in. This time we’ll be doing something a little different. We’ll be discussing two of the most expensive Roombas currently on the market, the Roomba 880 vs 980, and see how well they measure up to one another. Since both of the Roombas in this article belong to different series, we’ll forgo the usual fare of discussing what is native to both of the Roombas. Instead, we’ll detail what each of the series comes with so you can get a rough idea of what to expect from the 800 and the 900 series in general.

iRobot Roomba 800 Series Features

There are a few features that are native to only the 800 and above series. Some of these features are completely new whereas some are carried forward from older series and have been improved upon in some capacity.

  • Battery Detection and Automatic Recharge: The 800 series has an automatic detection feature which tells the Roomba when it is running low on battery. This feature comes in to play when the Roomba is cleaning. Once it notices that its battery is running low, it goes to recharge itself. It navigates to the charging dock that you have placed down and docks itself until it reaches full charge. This feature is really useful if you want the Roomba to be completely independent and automated.
  • Scheduling and Programming: All Roombas in the 800 series come with the added feature of being able to be programmed. The programmable feature allows Roombas in this series to be set to follow a certain timetable. This way you can set the time of when you want the Roomba to clean and what you want it to clean. Through this feature, you can completely automate the cleaning schedule of the Roomba and remove the need to manually tell it what to do. So if you’re at work and want your home cleaned, you can just set the time when you want it done and it will do so every day.
  • Aeroforce Suction: The robots in the 800 series feature the Aeroforce suction which is a custom built suction by iRobot. This suction is built to be faster and more powerful than the suctions used in the previous series such as the 600. The Aeroforce suction is able to pick up debris, hair, and dust at a much better capacity than the older ones and due to its unique design, it is able to do all of that while consuming less power.
  • Debris Detector: All vacuums in the 800 series are able to detect debris thanks to audio and visual sensors that come attached to the Roomba. The sensors allow the Roomba to detect hidden debris so that if there is some debris that exists underneath furniture or in corners of the room then it can perform focused cleaning in those areas. Through this feature, the rooms that this Roomba cleans won’t have any leftover hidden debris.
  • Innovative Cleaning Process: This might the best feature that exists in the 800 series. The cleaning process in the previous series was pretty average as it resembled that of a normal vacuum. In the 800 series though, the cleaning process is quite different. The cleaning process in the 800 series basically consists of three stages. The first stage is that of agitation. The brushes located on the underside of the Roomba agitate the ground so that any debris is shaken loose. The next step is that of brushing. Using the brushes, the Roomba brushes the surface that it is cleaning to make sure that no debris residue remains after the first stage. After both of these stages are complete, the Roomba then begins the final stage which is that of suction. The Roomba uses the Aeroforce suction that it has to suck up all the debris that has been shaken loose and sucks it up inside so that it is stored in the dust bin.

Related Article: iRobot Roomba Comparison: Best Roomba Models to Buy

iRobot Roomba 900 Series Features

The 900 series is one step up from the 800 and that is clearly evidenced by the features that all Roombas in the 900 series carry. These features include:

  • vSLAM Technology: The 900 series is famous for the vSLAM technology that it incorporates. This technology might be one of the most sophisticated one ever designed for use in a vacuum. This technology basically allows the Roombas in this series to use an optical sensor in order to capture over 230,400 data points per second. What this means in layman terms is that this Roomba is able to gather information about the terrain that it is in at a prodigious rate. This allows it to generate a virtual map about the place that it is cleaning and it can thus figure out exactly where it is, where it has already been, and what it needs to clean. This technology allows Roombas in the 900 series to be more accurate than ever when they are cleaning.
  • Dual Multi-Surface Rubber Brushes: Built to be different than normal brushes in the other Roomba lines, these brushes are designed to handle all forms of terrain. From carpet to wood, this Roomba can clean them all at the same effectiveness. The brushes allow Roombas in the 900 line to remove debris of all sizes, without a hitch.
  • 3 Stage Cleaning System: Roombas in the 900 line feature the 3 stage cleaning system but only done better. The three stages include agitate, brush, and suck. Using its Edge Sweeping brush the 900 Roombas are able to agitate debris in such a way that it loosens all but the smallest of debris. The twin rubber brushes then get to work and make sure that even the small debris is swept up. Once all the debris has been loosened and collected, the Aeroforce suctions scoops it all up in a matter of seconds and leaves the area that it has cleaned, cleaner than ever.
  • Wi-Fi Connectivity, Mapping, and Control: One of the most unique features in Roombas can be found in the 900 series. The Roombas in this series are able to connect to Wi-Fi and can thus be controlled remotely. Through this feature, you can use Alexa or Google Home to command the Roomba and have it follow your instructions even when you’re not at home. You can also see the map of where the Roomba has been. This allows you to gauge how well it has cleaned and where it still needs to clean.

iRobot Roomba 880 vs 890 Comparison Chart

FeaturesiRobot ROOMBA 980iRobot ROOMBA 880
HEPA FiltersXX
iAdapt Navigation2.01.0
Wi-FiXX
Battery TypeLithium-IonNi-Mh
Virtual WallsXX
Suction TypeAeroforce 2.0Aeroforce
PriceCheck Price HereCheck Price Here

iRobot Roomba 880:

The 880 is one of the higher end Roombas in the 800 line and it shows, both because of the price and the features that it has. As for appearances, the Roomba is nothing special as it looks like a typical Roomba. It is one of the best that are currently available though because of how well it has been designed and the features that it boasts. The Roomba has the typical 800 series features but because it is one of the high-end ones, those features have been improved on and it carries additional features that may not make a difference on their own but together they are able to make this Roomba one of the best ever.

One interesting thing that we will mention in its description is the fact that it has a Nickel Metal Hydride battery instead of a typical Lithium-Ion one. This type of battery is uncommon and there are a few reasons for that. We’ll get into those in the review. This particular Roomba will end up costing you about $700 but prices may vary from supplier to supplier.

iRobot Roomba 880 Review:

Check Price of the iRobot Roomba 880

Right off the bat, this Roomba gets an 8/10. The price that it has is justified because of the features that it has. If you’re looking at this Roomba then you’re looking for a high-end one and this will give you exactly that. It gives you the ability to be a little luxurious with your cleaning appliances.

There are a few negatives that this Roomba has though and the first is obviously the battery. Most of the Roombas by iRobot carry a Lithium-Ion battery but that is not the case with this Roomba. This one comes with a Nickel Metal Hydride battery which really has an effect on the effectiveness of this Roomba. The battery is different to the Lithium-Ion one in a couple of aspects. The first is the charge time. A full charge in a Lithium-Ion battery typically lasts for a couple of hours. That is not the case with the Nickel Metal Hydride batteries. These batteries carry a charge that can only last for one to one and a half hour.

The second reason why we believe that Lithium-Ion is superior is because of its life. Lithium-Ion batteries usually last three times longer than Nickel Metal Hydride ones. This means that you’ll have to change the batteries in this Roomba more frequently than you would have to if it used a Lithium-Ion battery.

This Roomba is also unable to connect o Wi-Fi so you can’t manage it over long distances. So if you’re at work and you need to fiddle with the Roomba or need to check up on it, you can’t. This may seem like a frivolous feature but it does come in handy when you’re away and you need to see whether the Roomba is cleaning as effectively as you want it to.

One other complaint that most people have of this Roomba is that it has a small collection bin. That means that it gets full very quickly and you will have to empty it before it can actually get back to work. This is problematic because it can make the autonomous feature and render the Roomba useless until the bin is emptied. Even with all these flaws this Roomba is still great and deserves the 8/10 because of all the features that it has.

iRobot Roomba 880 Features:

There are a lot of features that this Roomba has, that are not included in the other Roombas in this line. The first is the iAdapt Multi-Room Navigation technology. Most of the Roombas in the 800 line are unable to navigate to other rooms if they are not attached to the room they are in. That is not the case with the 880. The 880 is smart enough to realize how to get to another room and does so with ease. That is a huge feature as that can have a big impact on how independently it can clean.

The 880 is also completely safe for people with allergies. It has HEPA filters which make sure that no small particles are left in the air that can cause allergies. That makes this Roomba great at catching hair, dust mites, and smoke. It can filter all of that to ensure that you breathe clean air.

One of the most significant feature that this Roomba has, has to be the virtual walls. The virtual wall system allows you to set up where you want the Roomba to think walls exist. This allows you to control the Roomba to make sure that it doesn’t go to any places that it shouldn’t. Most of the Roombas in this line have only a single virtual wall whereas the 880 comes with two virtual walls for more control.

Related Article: Best Robot Vacuums 2019 – Buyer’s Guide

iRobot Roomba 980:

The 980 is a top of the line Roomba. It is the best of the best which is why it can cost you a whopping $900. That price is quite high just for a vacuum cleaner but trust us when we say that the price is absolutely worth it. The first thing that is of note in this Roomba is its sleek and stylish design. Everything about the appearance of this Roomba screams luxury and sophistication so you know that if people see this Roomba they will instantly know that it is not one of the more common ones. It is designed to stand out and that is exactly what it does.

There aren’t many negatives that this Roomba has, except for the price of course.

iRobot Roomba 980 Review:

Check Price of the iRobot Roomba 980

There’s not much we can say against this Roomba but there are a couple of things that we can think of. The first complaint that we have of this Roomba is its price. The price is exuberant to say the least. It’s almost a $1000 vacuum cleaner which is just absurd but these are the times we live in. The price is so high because of the features that come jam packed in it.

The other negative that we can think of is the battery. Now to be fair, we love the Lithium-Ion battery but some people don’t like it because if it is overcharged and it bursts then it can cause a small explosion that can destroy the Roomba. The reason why we are not worried about that is because battery technology has come a long way and cases like that just don’t happen anymore, especially in Roombas.

iRobot Roomba 980 Features:

This Roomba also comes with the virtual walls feature that allows for up to 2 virtual walls to be set up. This means that you can set it up so that you can tell it to think there are walls when none exist. This Roomba also has added mobility and navigation capabilities which are far superior than any other model. It slows down when it senses it’s about to hit something and thus minimizes the damage.

The best feature though has to be the fact that this Roomba’s cleaning pattern is different from the rest. All the other Roombas move more or less in a random pattern but not this one. This one moves in a set pattern which increases efficiency and shows exactly where it has cleaned and where it hasn’t. This is accomplished through the camera that is placed on the Roomba. Through the camera, it can navigate better and improve its cleaning abilities.

iRobot Roomba 880 vs 980 – Our Pick

Our pick for this one has to be the 980. If you’re willing to spend $700 on a Roomba then you might as well spend the extra $200 because the features are well worth it. The winner in this camparison is definitely the 980!

iRobot Roomba 980

Purchase the iRobot Roomba 980