Spring is in the air and while I’ve been in a spring cleaning frenzy trying to clean closets to rid the dark corners of forgotten items from years’ past, the rest of the house always needs help. Dust bunnies multiply and colonies appear throughout the house with dog hair, crumbs, dirt tracked in from outside, along with the Nerf Darts and elastic hair ties that the kids think put themselves away. I’m constantly reaching for our handheld Dyson to suck up gross piles in the heavily trafficked areas of our house but it’s never enough.
We’ve had floor cleaning robots in the past and while I liked the idea of pushing a button and walking away while they did the hard work of vacuuming, sometimes they were more trouble than they were worth. We had one that grew mold inside the water chamber. Another jammed and stopped working when it sucked up something bigger than it could handle. Some have had dirt chambers and filters that were cleaning nightmares. I mean who wants to grab another vacuum to clean up the mess you’ve made when emptying the dirt chamber of your robotic vacuum? Hint: No one.
When I received an email to try the Roomba 980 I was skeptical. I wondered if it would be better than previous models and brands we’ve tried in the past and am glad to say it exceeds all expectations. Here’s what you need to know about iRobot’s Roomba 980.
About Roomba 980
Launched in September 2015, the Roomba 980 is iRobot’s most capable and best cleaning robotic vacuum to date. Compared to other models like the 650, 860, and 960, Roomba 980 has a longer run time, 10 times more agitation, extraction, and suction, and features Carpet Boost, the ability automatically increases power on carpets where it’s needed most. A handy comparison chart at the bottom of this page allows you to quickly see how the 980 stacks up to other models you may be considering but is it worth the hefty $899 price tag? Yes.
Besides the features, it’s easy to use right out of the box with minimum setup required. It’s so easy that our 10 year old connected it to our home wifi and running in minutes!
Any questions about how well Roomba 980 would do in a home that features area rugs, hardwood floors, were immediately put to rest as it got to work. A spinning brush works to sweep dust and debris that congregate against the walls and corners and it traverses wood and carpeted surfaces with ease. The 980 can detect different floor surfaces to optimize its cleaning power based on the type of floor it’s cleaning. I also appreciate that it’s smart enough to sense when to engage Carpet Boost or when it’s in an area that needs extra attention. Roomba 980 can power up to provide twice the cleaning performance in areas that need it most!
The low profile (it’s only 3.6 inches tall) means that it can fit under most furniture. A full suite of sensors helps it navigate around furniture, items your kids may have left lying around, and even the family dog as he takes a nap! Cliff Detect sensors enable Roomba to avoid the stairs and other dangerous drop offs in your home.
iRobot claims that Roomba 980 can clean up for two hours, recharging and resuming as needed until it cleans an entire level of a home. Whether Roomba can clean an entire level of your home depends on how large your house is. I did find that the 980’s battery can last for an entire two hours. When Roomba needs to recharge, it knows to go home and docks itself. If it hasn’t finished the cleaning cycle, it will automatically start again when it’s fully charged.
One way to maximize a cleaning cycle and a fully charged battery is to ensure that the dirt chamber is emptied on a regular basis. When the filter is clean and the dirt chamber is empty. Roomba can’t do its job and will go back to the docking station to wait to be emptied. You’ll notice that the light on top of Roomba turns red, indicating that the dirt chamber is full. And remember how a difficult-to-clean dirt chamber turned another robotic vacuum experience into a huge fail? Thankfully not the case with Roomba 980!
Allergy sufferers will appreciate that the 980 features an AeroForce High-Efficiency Filter that captures 99% of allergens, pollen, and particles that as small as 10 microns to help eliminate allergens that hang out on the floors of your home.
How to Set Up Your Roomba 980 Using the iRobot App
After unboxing the Roomba 980, setup is easy through the free iRobot HOME app for iOS and Android. After downloading the app, simply select the Roomba from the list of connected iRobot products and it will guide you through setting up your Roomba. The entire process took about 5-10 minutes.
The iRobot HOME app also allows users to remotely control their Roomba 980 from anywhere and anytime, check the cleaning status, and receive direct access to customer support whether you’re sitting on the couch or on vacation. The ability to connect to items in our home remotely, the HOME app is a welcome feature that also allows users to set their Roomba on a cleaning schedule once it’s connected to your home wifi. Take a look at how easy it is to operate and schedule the Roomba 980 with the iRobot HOME app!
Being able to schedule when our Roomba runs is incredibly helpful. I can leave in the mornings knowing that when I return, I’ll come home to a just vacuumed house. The Roomba 980 starts automatically according to the cleaning schedule that I’ve set up and runs for two hours or when it deems our floors clean. If it runs low on battery, Roomba can find its way home to the dock to recharge.
The iRobot HOME app was recently updated to include Clean Map™ Reports. Since the Roomba combines adaptive navigation with visual localization, you can actually see where your Roomba 900 series vacuuming robot cleaned through the updated App. Homeowners can view cleaning coverage, as well as the areas of concentrated dirt on which the robot focused. Plus users can receive Push Notifications when your robot completes a cleaning job.
Dog vs Roomba 980
While we’re big fans of the Roomba 980, one family member remains unimpressed. Our 9 year old Yellow Labrador, Oliver, wasn’t quite sure what to think of Roomba when we first got it but he’s grown to accept it and is able to ignore it when it disrupts his naps. Take a look!
Once skeptical about the Roomba 980, iRobot’s newest vacuuming robot impressed me. Not only did it help keep our floors more dog hair, crumb, and dirt free but it also didn’t stop operating when it sucked up the occasional Nerf Dart or elastic hair tie. We were able to extract both items in tact when emptying the dirt chamber!
Roomba 980 sells for $899 and while it’s a huge chunk of change to shell out at once, it’s a good long term investment that will not only help you with your spring cleaning but maintain your floors throughout the year. It doesn’t mean you can stop cleaning your house all together but it’s a must-have for busy families whose high traffic areas could always use a cleaning. are always in need of some help, the 980
If you’re wondering how Roomba 980 compares to other iRobot Roomba models, this chart helps you see the features that come with the 980 compared to other models.
I received an iRobot Roomba 980 for review purposes. All opinions are my own and no compensation was received for this post or the creation of video content. Amazon affiliate links are included in this post.