Roomba 880 vs 980: Review and Comparison – An Ultimate Guide

Robots wash our dishes and clothes, clean our teeth and homes. Today, we will discuss those that clean our homes: the robotic vacuum cleaners. Even though this is a relatively novel technology, the current market is flooded with hundreds of products, which can confuse a lot of consumers.

This article deals with two items, the Roomba 880 and 980, manufactured by iRobot. Instead of reviewing the cleaners individually, we’ve put the products in a virtual ring, Roomba 880 in one and 980 in another corner.

The Roomba 880 vs 980 article compares the most prominent features, such as cleaning performance, design, convenience, and so forth. Keep reading this article if you are interested in either of these two items to find which would suit you (and your budget) the best.

Roomba 880 vs 980: Which One is Better

roomba 980Right from the start, we have to give a slight advantage to the Roomba 980. Though slightly more expensive, Roomba 980 belongs to new iRobot’s new 900th line.

Both items have similar cleaning performance, but 980 features advanced Navigation technology, such as iRobot Home app, stronger suction power, recharge and resume mode, and several other cool features.

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Roomba 880 Review

Roomba 880 belongs to Roomba 800+ line, featuring Multi-Room Navigation cleaning, extended life battery, excellent surface transition, and easy-to-empty dustbin.

It is Roomba’s old vacuum cleaner, but not outdated. It explores the world (rooms) effectively and consistently collects all debris.

It is less expensive than the 980 cleaner but features less smart features (which we already mentioned). It does have two virtual lighthouses, allowing it to use Multi-Room Navigation.

The Virtual Lighthouses provided an excellent solution to the navigation-related issues iRobot’s previous Roombas had.

 

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Pros:

  • Reasonably priced.
  • Multi-Room Navigation (up to 3 rooms).
  • Extended life battery (2X by Roomba’s measurements).
  • Hypoallergenic.
  • Excellent pet hair collector.

Cons:

  • Incomplete instructions.
  • “Full dustbin alert” is too quiet.

Bottom Line: 

Roomba 880 is conservative (regarding battery consumption), capable (regarding cleaning performance) and easy to maintain. It can be programmed to clean up to three rooms, but you’ll have to learn these functions through trial and error, due to poor instructions.

 

Roomba 980 Review

Unlike the Roomba 880, which can clear up to three rooms (thanks to the two virtual lighthouses), Roomba 980 cleans your entire floor (naturally, if you choose so).

It features advanced Multi-Room Navigation (call it 2.0), and 10X vacuuming power, as opposed to 880’s 5X power.

Furthermore, the 980 connects to iRobom App, allowing you to schedule and monitor 980’s activities. Clean Map reports give you a better insight of 980’s movement and cleaning patters, allowing you to adjust its functioning more efficiently (for instance, should you use Power Boost mode on specific areas).

And btw, it features Voice Control, which works with Alexa or Google Assistant. You can use this feature to control the vacuum’s start or stop function or tell it to dock and recharge.

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Pros:

  • Feature-packed ( 2.0 Multi-Room Navigation, iRobot Home App, Voice, Control, etc.).
  • 10X vacuuming power.
  • Recharge and Resume mode.
  • Ideal for pet owners.
  • All-surface cleaning (smooth transition).
  • Sophisticated cleaning algorithms.

Cons:

  • Somewhat expensive.
  • Less battery life.

Bottom Line: 

Roomba 980 is packed with useful features, making your life simpler and more enjoyable. However, all these features amplify the price. There’s no doubt that the 980 is better than the 880, but it is worth the cost only if you intend to use all of its presented features.

Roomba 880 vs 980: Quick Comparison Table

Specification

Roomba 880

Roomba 980

Image

Price

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Dimensions

13.9 x 13.9 x 3.6 inches

13.9 x 13.9 x 3.6 inches

Multi-Room Navigation

Yes

Yes + Entire Level Cleaning

Self Charging

Yes

Yes+ Recharge And Resume

Suction Power

5X

10X

Irobot Home App

No

Yes

Carpet Boost Mode

No

Yes

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Roomba 880 vs 980 – On Similarities

Despite their differences, each vacuum cleaner is made by iRobot, and they both belong to Roomba brand. Here are some essential functions and features these two items share:

Multi-Room Coverage

Both 880 and 980 feature something called iAdapt Navigation. In essence, this technology allows the vacuum to utilize smart sensors and Virtual Lighthouses.

If in Lighthouse mode, the vacuums will clean one room and then navigate to other; the 880 is “smart enough” to clean three rooms, while 980 cleans entire floor.

Both vacuums feature Virtual Wall technology. If turned on, the mode will restrict the vacuum cleaner to only one room. Note that you’ll have to program the vacuum and set the Virtual Lighthouses accordingly.

AeroForce Cleaning System

This system features three stages: the cleaner will agitate, brush and then suck in debris and dust.

Both feature two main brushes and one side brush, the side one being used for cleaning corners, hard to get spots and wall edges.

This cleaning system allows the vacuums to clean everything from fine dust to pet hair without any technical difficulties.

And thanks to the low profile design (both are 13.9 x 13.9 x 3.6 inches in dimensions) and iAdapt Navigation, the vacuums will effectively maneuver around the objects in your home.

Dirt Detect System And Self Charging

Both vacuums feature Advanced Dirt Detect technology. These robotic cleaners will use sensors to locate the high-traffic area and perform Concentrated Cleaning in those areas.

Vacuums will look for dirt, dust, and hair (human and pet), making sure that no trash is left behind. Alas, both cleaners will dock in dedicated charging house when their power is low.

Together with Scheduling feature, you can use the vacuum efficiently, giving it enough time to recharge and rest its motors, thus prolonging its longevity.

Significant Differences between 880 and 980

There are three significant things differences between 880 and 980:

iRobot HOME App

As we mentioned before, only 980 connects to your smartphone app, allowing you to get better insight into its movement and cleaning patterns. Though this app has limited functions, the iRobot is continually upgrading it with the help of consumer feedback.

Voice-Activated Control

You can control your 980 vacuum cleaner via voice control, either through Alexa or Google Assistant. The functions are simple (start, stop, and dock), but very convenient and innovative.

Recharge And Resume

This mode is quite straightforward: the 980 will clean for 2 hours, then recharge, and then pick up where it left off. The method is possible thanks to the advanced memorization algorithms built-in the 980’s software.

Roomba 880 vs 980: Which One Should You Go For?

IMO, Roomba 980 is a better option. Its exclusive features are highly sophisticated, movement patterns more accurate, and its navigation system more advanced.

However, its price is also slightly boosted. And I understand that some of you aren’t interested in Voice Control, or Entire Floor cleaning, which is fine. The 880 is more conservative than 980 and is a better option for people who want their house cleaned without additional features.

It is also a lot less expensive than the 980. Again, it comes down to preference, but if you can afford Roomba 980, then definitely go for it.

Conclusion

The great thing about robotic vacuum cleaners is their fantastic consistency and efficiency. Note that you will have to perform regular maintenance on these or any other robotic vacuum cleaner(for more details you should read either Roomba 880 review or Roomba 980 review).

These devices are lightweight, hypoallergenic, simple to use and empty/clean. The way I look at it, you are paying for convenience.

Instead of cleaning your home, you can invest the extra time in work, relationships or leisure, which is, I believe, the sole purpose of robotic vacuum: making your life more convenient and enjoyable.

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