iRobot Roomba 980 vs 880 – Detailed Review & Comparison

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iRobot Roomba 980 vs 880

In the past, Roomba 880 was considered as the most powerful robot vacuum cleaner on the market, but this perception changed when Roomba 980 was introduced on the market. 980 comes with lots of new  cutting edge features and power so who ever has been using 880 might get forced to upgrade to the latest Wifi-connected ”Home App Managed” Roomba 980 vacuum cleaner.


You will experience a deeper and multi-room cleaning everyday with these two models because they have very good suction power.

When it comes to maintenance, there is nothing to worry about because both models require less maintenance.


SUMMARY: – We recommend Roomba 980 over 880 because of the following reasons:

(1) It has a carpet boost function which cleans carpets deeper, (2) Has a good battery life (120 minutes) better than that of 880 which is – 60 minutes, (3) It is 10x more powerful than 880, (4) Wifi enabled thus making it easy to control via the iRobot Home App and lastly, (5) It automatically recharges & resumes with the cleaning tusk. 

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Brief side by side comparison between Roomba 980 & 880


  Roomba 980 Roomba 880
Score 4.5 4.3
Self Charging Yes Yes
AeroForce 3-Stage Cleaning 10x the air power 5x the air power
Carpet Boost Yes No
Entire Level Cleaning 120 min. run time 60 min. run time
Scheduling Yes Yes
Wi-Fi Connected Enhanced app No
iRobot Home App Yes No
Tangle-Free Brushes Yes Yes
High-Efficiency Filter       Yes Yes
Multi-Room Cleaning Yes Yes
Recharge and Resume Yes No
Custom Cleaning Preferences Yes No
Deeper Cleaning on Carpets Yes No
Item Dimensions 13.9 x 13.9 x 3.6 in 13.9 x 13.9 x 3.6 in




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  1. Roomba 880 does not have a Carpet Boost technology yet 980 has it.
  2. 880 run time (60 minutes) is shorter than that of 980 (120 minutes)
  3. Roomba 880 is not Wi-fi enabled so you can’t pair it with iRobot Home App yet 980 is Wi-fi connected & it works very well with iRobot Home App – you can easily manage 980 via a cell phone.
  4. 880 has an AeroForce 3-stage cleaning system which is 5x powerful but 980’s AeroForce 3-stage cleaning system is 10x more powerful (twice 880)
  5. Roomba 980 automatically recharges and resumes with its cleaning schedule. But Roomba 880 does not recharge and resume.




  1. Both models use tangle-free brushes to extract dirt & debris from hard floors and carpets.
  2. They both feature an AeroForce 3-stage cleaning system
  3. Both can be scheduled – you can preset the vacuums up to 7x per week
  4. 980 & 880 have a multi-room navigation system which helps them move from room to room.
  5. Both models can self-charge themselves – automatically dock and recharge for the next charge. However, 980 automatically resumes with the cleaning after recharging which 880 does not do.
  6. 880 & 980 feature a spinning side brush which cleans wall edges and corners
  7. Both have a low profile design – which enables them clean under sofas, beds and kickboards
  8. Both models use high efficiency filters so their suction does not get compromised during the vacuuming process.




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Deeper Cleaning on Carpets:

Deep Carpet Cleaning

Roomba 880 is good at removing dirt & pet hair from carpets because this is where most of the dirt hides. However, It might not remove it all – especially when the carpet is too thick / heavy.

On the other hand, Roomba 980 features a Carpet Boost technology which increases the speed of the motor 10x than the normal thus producing more suction air which deep cleans a very thick carpet in just one single pass.


Bottom line:- 980 get all the creadit here – it will remove more dirt / pet hair from your carpet than 880.


Spot / Focused Cleaning Mode:

Spot Clean Mode

Turn on a spot clean mode on 880 & 980 and the robot will clean that particular spot in a circular motion without going to any other spot. This is a great feature for small clean-ups (you might not want to vacuum the whole room but just a few spots that have dirt)


Bottom line:- Both models are good at spot cleaning, so they get all the credit here..


Avoid stairs & Cliffs:


Both 980 and 880 use sensors to detect a change in floor structure thus enabling them avoid bumping into stairs and cliffs that could lead to damages. The sensor maps out the whole room & floor – thus guiding the robot on where to go and not to go.

NO supervision – You don’t have to stand by your robotic vacuum thinking that it might fall over the stairs or cliff.


Bottom line:- I give credit to both models when it comes to stair & cliff detection.


Picking-Up Pet Hair:

Picking up Pet Hair

Both 980 & 880 can pick-up pet hair like a champ. If you leave with pets in the house, they will always shade off their hair on the floor / carpet. Model 880 is very good at picking up pet hair on hard floors but not very much on the carpet as it is with Model 980 which has a carpet boost.


However, if the hair is too much, it might get stuck under the spinning edge brush. So you might need to clean to clean those rotating brushes to keep your robot functioning. If you don’t do so, it will get stuck during the job.


Bottom Line:- I would recommend you to buy any of these two models if you have pets. But if you heavy carpets, you will need Roomba 980 because these hide lots of pet hair and dust.


Self Charging & Resume:

Self Charging

880’s battery life is 75 minutes, so once the battery is almost done, 880 will return to its charging station to charge the battery for next use. On the other hand; 980 does the same thing, but the main difference here is that 980 will recharge and resume with the vacuuming schedule. It only stops when the whole room is cleaned up.


Bottom line:- Since 980 can recharge and resume with the job, It gets all the credit here.


Usability & Simplicity:

Press Clean

When you press clean either on 880 / 980 – the robot will get to work. This can be done via your phone using a mobile App or you can press the CLEAN button on top of the robot. This easy to start feature makes it easy to use a 880 & 980 robotic  vacuum cleaners – I just can’t see myself going back to hand-held vacuum cleaners which require you to stand all the time do vacuum your house.

  • Things get even better with Roomba 980 – it can be controlled with Voice. So instead of pressing a button, all you have to do is to connect it to a voice control device like Alexa. Talk to Alexa to turn on the robot and it will start cleaning your room without you doing any manual work.
  • The Enhanced iRobot HOME App – This one can only be used with Roomba 980 & 960. The mobile app enables you create cleaning schedules, start the robot, monitor finished & un-finished areas and so much more – all done with your smartphone.


Bottom line:- Since 980 can be controlled with Alexa (voice control device) and iRobot HOME App – it wins the game over 880.


Multi-Room Cleaning:

Multi-Room Cleaning

Both 880 & 980 have an iAdapt 2.0 Navigation system with a Visual Localization sensor which helps the robots seamlessly navigate your home without losing track of areas to be cleaned. You don’t have to worry about objects in your rooms. Both models have a 3.6″ profile design and full suit sensors which prevent the robot from bumping into objects – but clean around & under them.


Bottom line:- Since both models can navigate between rooms without any inspection – they both get a thumb up for this feature.


Power & Suction:


Both models are good at cleaning all floor types but 980 is better when it comes to carpet cleaning. According to our chart above, we saw that 880 is 5x more powerful than other models which is pretty good. However, 980 is 10x more powerful than 880. The carpet boost function makes 980 more powerful when it gets to carpet vacuuming – but I’m sure when it gets to hard-floor cleaning; both models will offer you with the same results.

  • Gen 3 Motor vs Gen 2 Motor:- Roomba 980 has the lastest Gen 3 Motor, when this motor is combined with a Carpet Booster function – the suction air increases by 10x more than that of 880 which uses a Gen 2 Motor.


Bottom line:- Since 980 has a Gen 3 Motor and a Carpet Boost function, I will give it more points than 880 in terms of power & suction.


Battery Life & Run Time:

Battery Life and Runtime

Both models feature strong and durable batteries. 880 has an iRobot XLife Extended Life Battery which delivers twice as many cleaning cycles as that of Roomba 980 battery – thus doubling the time you might need to replace the batteries.


Now that we know that batteries for both models are durable, which model has a longer run time before recharging? According to our specs chart – it is Roomba 980, it has 120 minutes run time yet 880 has 75 minutes run time.


  • Is it possible to increase Roomba 880 runtime? I guess it is possible, I was reading on ”Roomba 880 vs 960 Run Time” via . A user was suggesting that is you upgrade the 2100 / 3500 MAH pack battery in 880 to a 4400 MAH Lithium Pack battery, the run-time can increase. (I have no proof on this though)


Bottom line:- Since 980’s run time is twice that of 880, I will give 980  10/ 10 points.  In addition to its great run time,980 automatically recharges and resumes with its vacuuming tusk yet 880 does not resume with it tusk once it goes back to  the charging doc station.


Cleaning Wall Edges and Corners:

Cleaning Wall Edges and Corners

Both models feature a Spinning Side Brush which cleans wall edges and accessible corners. As you can see in the picture above, the brush is tangle free so it will reach all tight areas on the edges of your wall and remove dust that hides in there.

For better results, I suggest you remove objects next to the wall so that the robot does its job effectively.


Bottom line:- When it comes to vacuuming wall edges and corners, both models perform well.


Cleaning around objects:

Both 980 & 880 have an iAdapt Responsive Navigation technology which guides them when cleaning your room. This technology combined with very sensitive sensors prevents Roomba 980 & 880 from bumping into objects but rather clean around them.


Bottom line: iAdapt feature makes both models ideal for any home.


Profile Design:

Low Profile Design

Both 980 & 880 have a Low Profile Design – Designed to clean under sofas, beds and kickboards.



iRobot Roomba 980 vs 880


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  1. Deep cleans your carpet using its Carpet Booster – so it does not matter how many pets play on your carpet. 980 will deeply vacuum pet hair from a thick carpet.
  2. Programmable (set time and days to clean)
  3. Wi-fi connected – you can easily control it via your mobile phone using the new iRobot Home App (create cleaning schedules, view maps of covered areas and so much more – all on your cell phone)
  4. iAdapt Responsive Navigation technology enables 980 navigate your home easily
  5. Low profile design – able to clean below sofas, beds, dinning and so much more.
  6. It automatically recharges and resumes with its cleaning tusk. It never stops until the all room is covered.
  7. Roomba 980 is Up to 10x more powerful than 880, 700 and 650 series
  8. Able to clean all floor types – hard floors, tiles, marble and carpets
  9. Easy to use and maintain (simply click on the start button via the iRobot Home App and the robot will start doing its job without any monitoring
  10. Senses cliffs and stairs to avoid accidents – this feature keeps it safe.
  11. Can be controlled with a Voice-activated device like Alexa. All you have to do is to pair it with Alexa, so the next time you get back home tire – you speak to Alexa to turn on Roomba 980 so that it starts Vacuuming your room / home.
  12. Great design, durable and a 3.6 low profile (able to clean below sofas & beds)
  13. Tangle free brushes – reduce on the maintenance work.



  1. It is affordable
  2. AeroForce 3 Stage Cleaning system boosts the performance of 800 by 50% more than any other model below it
  3. Its High efficiency AeroForce filters trap more dirt and dust in juts one single pass
  4. Its Tangle free brushes can easily clean wall edges and also prevent both hair & debris from clogging the robot
  5. 880 can clean from room to room guided by its Virtual Wall Lighthouse beacons
  6. It can adapt to your home’s floor using its iAdapt Multi-Room Navigation system




  1. Always empty the bin after each cleaning cycle – even when the red full bin indicator has not illuminated, do it.
  2. Remove the air filter after each cleaning cycle and shake dust out of it and then replace the filter back (don’t use water to clean the filter)
  3. Remove debris and pet hair from the square & hex plastic pegs – doing this will maintain performance & suction
  4. Get rid of pet hair found in extractor caps
  5. Make sure the vacuum path is clean and clear
  6. Remove debris from wheels so that the robot moves smoothly
  7. Make sure the side brush is cleaned once per week (you can loosen the screw which ties the side brush with a small screw driver / a coin)




  • If you have carpets and your room is larger, I recommend getting Roomba 980 (Check price on Amazon)It has a longer battery life (2 hours) and it a Carpet booster increases the performance of the robot once it gets on the carpet


  • On the other hand, if you don’t have lots of carpets in your house and the rooms are not too large – I see no reason why you should spend too much money on a robot cleaner – I recommend getting Roomba 880 (Check price on Amazon). It is affordable and efficient.





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Vanilla Farmer, Amazon Retailer & Tech Researcher. Yosaki is my personal blog but I'm working on some big tech project back doors. I will keep on posting various topics on things I have knowledge about.