iRobot 980 vs 880: Battle for Robot Vacuum Supremacy

Roombas are great robot vacuums. The more you know about them, the better your decision will be regarding which one to buy. In this article, we will compare the Roomba 880 vs 980 in hopes of making your decision easier.

First off, let’s discuss what distinguishes these two Roombas from each other in a general sense:

There are definitely some differences between the iRobot 880 and 980 that you should know about before choosing one or the other.

iRobot 880 vs 980 General Differences

The iRobot 980 will scan and map the rooms in your home using sensors and a camera. This allows it to detect obstacles and stop itself from falling downstairs. It will also remember the room pattern once it has been cleaned.

The iRobot Roomba 880, on the other hand, will only map and clean the room that it is currently in. It uses sensors to locate walls and obstacles and remembers the room pattern. The sensors are responsible for changing the Roomba’s path when it encounters an obstacle.

irobot 980 vs 880
iRobot Roomba 880

iRobot Roomba 880 Robot Vacuum


Powerful performance

Cleaning schedule

Cheaper then 980

Prevents tangles


Struggles in complicated layout

No app support

irobot roomba 880 vs 980
iRobot Roomba 980

iRobot Roomba 980 Robot Vacuum


Powerful suction

Good on all floors

Wifi and app

Voice control



Wifi and app:

The roomba 980 has WiFi capability while the 880 does not. Hence the 980 supports voice commands while the 880 relies on manual or remote controls. The 980 allows you to use the iRobotHomeApp on your smartphone to control it. It is compatible with both Android and iOS devices. You can create a custom cleaning schedule or simply start the Roomba 980 with the press of a button.

Moreover, the 980 is compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. You can use voice commands to start a clean, monitor cleaning, view history, or ask about the status of the Roomba.

Dirt Detect Technology:

The Roomba 980 has Dirt Detect technology that will re-clean areas that are especially dirty. The iRobot 880 only has Roomba’s traditional dirt detect sensors which will notify you when it has detected a dirty area.

Moreover, the roomba 980 will use a full suite of sensors and smart technology to navigate your home with ease. The iRobot Roomba 880 uses a full suite of sensors as well but it can be easily confused by obstacles and tight spaces.

Battery life and Entire Level Cleaning:

What sets the roomba 980 apart from the 880 is its longer battery life. The roomba 980 has a rechargeable battery with a run time of up to two hours. Whereas the 880 runs for up to 1.5 hours on a single charge.

The roomba 980 has an advanced recharge and resume feature that will allow it to recharge itself when the battery gets low and to resume cleaning sessions from where it left off.

The iRobot 880 doesn’t have mapping or cameras, so it won’t have any of the data required to resume a clean session. It does, however, work on all floor types and cleans all levels of carpet.

Both the cleaners are powered by lithium-ion batteries.

Cleaning capability:

The iRobot 980 has two Multi-Surface Brushes that are tanglefree. These brushes will clean carpets and hardwood floor. It also has the patented AeroForce 3-Stage Cleaning System that uses tangle-free Multi-Surface Brushes and Power-Lifting Suction with greater air power to pull in embedded dirt, debris, and pet hair from wherever it hides.

The 880 uses traditional brushes that might be easy to get tangled. It also uses Aero force 3- stage cleaning system with Edge-Sweeping Brush Roll.

Both machines have earned excellent ratings for their cleaning efficiency on all floor surfaces. Because of the greater horsepower in the new generation motor, the 980 appears to do a comparatively better job.

Tip: If you have hardwood floor, read more about which Roomba vacuum is right for your for daily floor cleaning.

Virtual barrier Feature:

The iRobot 980 comes with Virtual Wall technology which is not present in the 880. You can set it to block off an area that you don’t want your Roomba to go into. Moreover, you can set it as an entry point so that the Roomba 980 will always start from the same room.

The iRobot 880 has a lighthouse that comes with a single job: keep the Roomba in the area until it is clean. Once the 880 is done cleaning, the lighthouse will allow the robot to pass through it.

Both the Roomba 880 and 980 feature barrier technology that can be used to seal off a room. Because of its camera, the 980 prevails in this confrontation. The ability to easily avoid items and barriers, allowing you to know that your home will be clean when you aren’t there to watch over it.

Cleaning performance:

The iRobot 980 has powerful suction with Dirt Detect technology. It will send the Roomba to clean areas that are dirtied most often. The iRobot 880 has the traditional dirt detect sensors, but it will only notify you when these areas are dirty.

The 980 is equipped with better motor, suction power, and navigation (more advanced sensors). These features allowed the iRobot 980 to win in cleaning tests.

Tip: Click here to read more on about iRobot Roomba 805 with smart navigation and cleaning technology like the .

Carpet cleaning:

The iRobot 980 is equipped with Carpet Boost technology that makes it better at cleaning carpets including high piles. The iRobot 880 can clean low and medium-pile carpets but it does not have the Carpet Boost technology.

Hardwood Floors cleaning:

Both machines are almost equal. Both will sweep along edges and in corners while picking up anything on the floor. However, the Roomba 980 might be better in this respect. The power created by the Roomba 980 produces a heavy flow of exhaust air. On hard flooring surfaces, the exhaust tends to blow lighter debris away from the robot. The 880 is efficient on hard flooring as well.

Dust Bin Indicator

Both the devices can indicate when the bin is full and needs to be emptied. The indicator is located on the device itself. You can easily tell when you need to empty the bin because it starts beeping and flashes.

Pet hair cleaning

The 980 has tangle-free extractors that prevent pet hair from tangling. Also, the suction power is powerful enough to pull pet hair right off your carpet it. You can be guaranteed that no strand of hair will go unturned by this machine.

The 880 and 980 have similar performance when it comes to pet hair cleaning, but the 980 has a slight edge.

Cleaning scheduling

The Roomba 980 has the iRobot Home app, where you can create a recurring schedule. You can set it to clean every day of the week at a specific time.

The Roomba 880 has the traditional method of scheduling, where you set it to clean once per day.

The iRobot Home app gives the Roomba 980 the edge because you can set multiple scheduled cleaning sessions throughout the week.

Also, it notifies you whenever there are problems with your robot or if it gets stuck somewhere. You can quickly correct the problem by checking the smartphone app and issuing remote commands to your device from anywhere in the world.

The Roomba 980 wins this round because it has a lot more features and capabilities than the 880.

The iRobot Home app makes it easier to train your robot, monitor performance and schedule cleanings. Also, you don’t have to manually switch from room to room because the scheduling feature does that for you.

Vacuum filters

Both the iRobot 980 and 880 used similar filters. The Roomba 980 has high-efficiency filters that are 1,000 times more efficient than a pleated HEPA filter. These filters capture particles down to 3 microns in size. The iRobot 880 has HEPA filters, which reduces allergens by capturing 99% of the particles.

Roomba 880 vs 980: The Similarities

There are some similarities between the two iRobot models.

– Both the devices use rechargeable batteries.

– Both can be scheduled to clean at certain times of day. They will return to their docks for charging once their batteries are low.

– Both machines use tangle-free brush-less beater bars that do not jam easily.

– Both have highly efficient filtration systems for allergen reduction.

– Both devices use cliff sensors to avoid falls off stairs or ledges.

iRobot roomba 880 vs 980 – General Maintenance

You should clean the Roomba 980 and 880 weekly. This little maintenance will go a long way in prolonging the life of your robotic vacuum cleaner. It will also ensure that they perform optimally at all times.

Cleaning the exterior is pretty straightforward. All you have to do is wipe it down with a damp cloth to get rid of dust and dirt.

Cleaning the wheels and tangle-free extractors of your Roomba is what separates the men from the boys. This is where most people falter because they don’t understand how important it is to keep these components clean.

The Roomba 980 has tangle-free extractors that help collect debris, hair, thread, and dirt from the brushes. If these components are clogged, your vacuum cleaner will not perform optimally and might burn out too soon.

Tip: More Roomba comparisons – Shark IQ vs Roomba i7 which is better for you?


The iRobot Roomba 980 is more expensive than the 880, but it offers so much more in terms of performance and features. It outperforms the iRobot Roomba 880 when it comes to carpet and pet hair cleaning, room coverage, navigation capabilities, and scheduling.

The Roomba 980 also has an edge when it comes to sensors. With the iRobot Home app, you can clean and schedule your roomba from anywhere. It is similar to having an extra set of eyes watching over your home while you are away or busy at work.

Having said that, the 880 has almost all the features of the Roomba 980. It is pretty much half the price while offering similar performance. For this reason, some users prefer buying more budget Roombas instead of one flagship model like the 980.

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Thank you for taking the time to read our blog and good luck with your decision between irobot roomba 880 vs 980.

Shahzaib Haider is the go-to website by S. Haider for all things consumer electronics. You can find reviews on new releases and trending gadgets. More importantly, you'll get an insider perspective from someone who knows these devices. S Haider, a banker by profession and a tech enthusiast by evening, has been writing about consumer electronics for over five years now which gives him ample knowledge when it comes down to understanding what users need in their lives today; whether they're looking into buying something new or just want some advice.