iRobot’s Roomba is the most well-known brand when it comes to robot vacuums. Over the years, the company has come out with models that improve on the previous ones.
Two of the more recent Roomba models are the Roomba 960 and the Roomba 860, both of which are available on the iRobot site. But which one is perfect for you? Read on to find out!
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First Up: Roomba 960
Out of the two Roomba models that you can remotely control via the iRobot Home app, the Roomba 960 is the more affordable one. You can check its price on the iRobot website here, but you can also find it on Amazon here.
The Roomba 960 gives you entire-level cleaning with the iAdapt 2.0 Navigation that uses visual localization. This helps the Roomba 960 navigate one level of your home and still be aware of its location. It can clean for as long as 75 minutes before needing to recharge. After recharging, it will go back to where it left off and resume cleaning. The Roomba 960 follows a very efficient cleaning pattern and can use its sensors to detect obstacles and furniture.
It has an onboard camera that allows it to detect dirtier areas of your floor so that it could clean them more thoroughly.
The best thing about the Roomba 960 is that it is very easy to operate and you can start cleaning even when you are not home. With the mobile app, you can also customize your cleaning and check the robot vacuum’s status.
The Roomba 960 uses the company’s patented three-state cleaning system that makes use of the new-generation motor, two counter-rotating extractors, and debris extractors. That means that the Roomba 960 cleans more while also needing less maintenance.
Next Up: Roomba 860
The Roomba 860 is a non-smart counterpart of the Roomba 960, but it still delivers the same level of clean as its pricier counterpart. How exactly does the Roomba 860 differ from Roomba 960?
Side-by-side comparison: Roomba 960 vs 860
To make the comparison easier, here’s a side-by-side match-up of the Roomba 960 and the Roomba 860
|Roomba 960||Roomba 860|
|iAdapt navigation||iAdapt 2.0||iAdapt|
|Entire level cleaning||Yes||No|
|Full bin indicator||Yes||Yes|
|Full bin action control||Yes||No|
|Cleaning passes control||Yes||No|
|Lithium ion battery||Yes||Yes|
|Remote control||using the app||No|
|Dimensions||13.8 x 3.6||13.9×3.6|
|Warranty||1 year limited||1 year limited|
Similarities between the Roomba 960 and Roomba 860
The Roomba 860 and the Roomba 960 share the following characteristics:
AeroForce technology. While all Roombas use a three-stage cleaning process that makes use of counter rotating brushes or debris extractors, a side brush, and a powerful vacuum suction, only the Series 800 and Series 900 Roombas use AeroForce technology. With AeroForce, the Roomba 860 and 960 feature debris extractors that extract dirt, hair, and dust. Because these are brushless extractors, there is less chance of hair getting jammed or tangled in the bristles.
Aeroforce technology also uses an airflow accelerator that makes the suction even more powerful by creating a sealed channel inside the robot vacuum. This makes the Roomba 960 and 860 five times more powerful in sucking dirt compared to the earlier 700 and 600 series Roombas, which use either Aerovac or Aerovac 2 technology.
Dual mode virtual wall barriers. Roombas also make use of navigation control devices to know whether or not they should enter a particular room or area. These navigation control devices help keep your Roomba inside one room. The Roomba 960 and the 860 include one dual mode virtual wall barrier, which you can use to block off open doorways or to protect items inside the room that you do not want the robot vacuum to touch.
HEPA filters. HEPA is a kind of filter than can keep pollens, allergens and dust particles inside your robot vacuum instead of recirculating up in the air. The Roomba 960 and 860 both have the Aeroforce HEPA that filters small particles of up to 0.1 microns.
Spot cleaning. You can have the Roomba 860 and the Roomba 960 do some spot cleaning where they concentrate on one 3-sq. ft. spot and clean it thoroughly.
Scheduling. You can schedule both the Roomba 960 and 860 to clean several times per week.
Lithium-ion battery. Unlike earlier models that use nickel metal hydride batteries, the Roomba 860 and the Roomba 960 use lithium-ion batteries, which give them longer cleaning runs and are more durable. This means you would need to replace the batteries less frequently, too.
No carpet boost feature. Both the Roomba 960 and the Roomba 860 do not have the carpet boost feature, which makes the Roomba 980 especially effective on carpeted floors.
Other similarities between the Roomba 960 and Roomba 860. Both the Roomba 860 and 960 let you know when it is time to empty the dust bin. Both also have manual docking and auto recharge features, while sporting a carrying handle to make it easier for you to bring the robot vacuum from one room to another. Owners of both the Roomba 860 and 960 enjoy a one-year limited warranty for their robot vacuums.
The differences between the Roomba 960 and 860
The basics. The Roomba 960 is a bit narrower in shape than the Roomba 860, with the former measuring only 13.8 inches in diameter and the latter measuring 13.9 inches in diameter. However, the Roomba 860 weighs slightly lighter at 8.4 pounds compared to the 960’s 8.5 pounds. Both have the same height at 3.6 inches.
Navigation technology. Roombas are known for their superior navigation technology, which helps these robot vacuums find their way around your house and clean more efficiently. The iAdapt technology that you find on the Roomba 860 uses sensors and sophisticated software to guide the robot vacuum. It makes multiple passes and goes under or around furniture, while also cleaning along the edges and avoiding falls. The iAdapt technology also allows the Roomba 860 to clean all floor types without any problem.
The Roomba 960 uses iAdapt 2.0 technology that does all of these plus uses a visual localization camera. The camera maps out your home to make sure that the 960 is able to cover everything efficiently. It also enables your Roomba 960 to clean an entire level of your house and still know where it is.
Wi-Fi connectivity. Perhaps the most glaring difference between the Roomba 960 and the Roomba 860 is that you can connect the Roomba 960 to your Wi-Fi network and control it remotely using a mobile app. That means that you can create a cleaning schedule or start cleaning the floor no matter where you are in the world. The Roomba 860 does not have Wi-Fi connectivity and does not give you the ability to remotely control it. You can, however, schedule cleaning sessions on the robot itself.
Edge cleaning. All Roomba models have side brushes that allow the robot vacuums to clean the edges of walls and furniture. However, Roomba 960 has a special edge cleaning functionality that enables it to go back to the walls after cleaning open areas. This means that wall edges and furniture edges get a more thorough clean. The edge cleaning feature of the Roomba 960, however, does take time so you might want to turn it off if you want to have a shorter cleaning session.
Full-bin action control. Both the Roomba 860 and 960 tell you when the dust bin is full. However, with the Roomba 960, you can tell it what to do when the full bin indicator is lighting up. You can ask it to finish the cleaning job even with a full bin, or pause the cleaning immediately.
Cleaning passes control. The Roomba 960 allows you to specify whether you want it to do another pass to ensure that your home is clean. This two-pass cleaning is best for those dirtier areas such as when you have shedding pets or if you want to be sure that your floors are clean after a month or so of one-pass cleaning.
Final Decision – Which One Should you Choose?
Now that you have a clear idea of the differences between the Roomba 960 and the Roomba 860, knowing which one to get is merely a matter of preference. Just know what it is you really need and what it is you just want.
For Smaller Homes: The Roomba 860 might make sense for those who live in small apartments as they can deliver efficient cleaning, while the Roomba 960 might make sense if you have several rooms to clean.
For WiFi Control: When it comes to features, the Roomba 960 has all the nifty features you would want in a robot vacuum, including the latest in navigation and vacuuming technology, edge cleaning, control features, as well as Wi-Fi connectivity.
However, it does come with a hefty price tag (check this listing for latest prices).If you do not need all of these features, you can still get efficient and thorough clean from a Roomba 860 for a more affordable price (check here for the latest price).
How does the Roomba 960 compare to other Roomba models? Find out here!
Patrick Sinclair is a geek; make no mistake about that. He runs All Home Robotics in his spare time so he doesn’t have to think about his depressing cubicle and it gives him an excuse to buy expensive gadgets to review!