Roomba 860 vs 960 | The Most In-Depth Comparison 2020

Choosing an affordable, dependable, versatile but also fancy vacuum isn’t easy. Just like choosing between the Roomba 860 vs 960.

After putting in weeks of time using these two vacuums, it’s safe to say that both are of the best in the market. I’ve used the industry-standard ASTM test methods to determine the strengths and weaknesses of each of these vacuums.

In a hurry?

Here’s a bite-sized piece for you…

If you’re down on time to pick, go on and buy the Roomba 960. The reason I picked this is that it’s a completely revamped version of the Roomba 860. So, you’re getting all the features of the 860 plus more. But if you’re willing to deep dive into more details, I’ve got all the details here.

So, in this article, I’m going to show you how you can choose your best Roomba vacuum. I’ve prepared tons of information packed with features, pros, cons, and a buying guide for your convenience.

Let’s begin…

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IRrobot Roomba 860 Vacuum

The Roomba 860 is one of the best robotic vacuums of the iRobot 800 series in the market. It has been replaced by a more sophisticated 900 series. But it still offers one of the best performances I’ve ever seen.

Here are the features.

IRobot Roomba 860

Features

Features

  • AeroForce technology offers a counter-rotating dual operating multi-surfaced tangle-free brushes. The tangle-free extractors grab and break down the debris before extraction. Only the 800 and the 900 series Roomba vacuums are enabled with the AeroForce technology.
  • Three-stage cleaning process that involves the simultaneous use of a counter-rotating brush, a side brush, and powerful vacuum suction for collecting dirt like – small particles, hair, and dust.
  • HEPA filters are specialized filters in the Roomba vacuums that can seal up pollen, allergens a dust particle. The filters can capture particles as little as 0.1 micron which makes the air super clean.
  • Virtual wall barriers navigate the vacuum about where to go and where not to go. This is especially important to keep it within a specific area or to protect something that you don’t want to vacuum.
  • Concentrated spot cleaning ensures the vacuum cleans all the debris within a 3 square feet radius at a time. This creates an even cleaning performance.
  • Convenient scheduling is a crucial feature in the 860. It can be scheduled to perform multiple times a week.
  • Lithium-ion Battery is the industry-grade battery for all-electric products nowadays. In the Roomba 860, it offers a long-lasting service and a longer battery life.
  • Self-charging ability enables the robotic vacuum to return to its charging station on a low battery.
  • Virtual walls technology uses an efficient navigation control system to control
  • Tangle-free debris extractors reduce the possibilities of hair getting stuck on the bristles. Its airflow accelerator creates a powerful suction by producing a sealed channel inside the vacuum.

Five times more suction power owing to the AeroVac or AeroVac 2 technology. It generates significantly more power than the 600 and 700 series vacuums.

Specifications

Dimension

35 cm

Height

9 cm

Weight

3.8 kg

Power

33 W

Noise Factor

67 dB

Remote

No

Wi-Fi controllable

No

Filters

HEPA Filter

Drawer Capacity

0.65 Liter

Vacuum Sensors

2

Dirt Sensors

Optical + Acoustic (Piezoelectric)

Approach Sensor

Yes

Obstacle Sensor

Yes

Drawer Sensor Protection

No

Scheduling Ability

Yes

Anti-collision

No

Protective bumper

Yes

Auto Recharge

Yes

Home Automation App

Yes

Autonomous Cleaning

Yes

Vacuuming Technology

AeroForce

Navigation Technology

iAdapt

Seamless Entire Cleaning

No

Wi-Fi Support

No

Filter Type

AeroForce

Carpet Boost Mode

No

Final Edge Cleaning

No

Built-in Camera

No

Debris Extractor

Yes

Navigation Control (Virtual Wall, Virtual Wall Lighthouse or Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barrier)

1 Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barrier

Full Bin Indicator

Yes

Cleaning Passes Control

Yes

Soft Bumper

Yes

Auto Recharge

Yes

Spot Cleaning

Yes

Forced Docking

Yes (when low on charge)

Battery Type

Li-ion

Remote Control

Yes

Carrying Handle

Yes

Warranty

1 year

Pros

  • Affordable price range. Less priced than the Roomba 860.
  • Easy and tangle-free debris extractor has counter-rotating brushes that can get rids of the hair strands and other debris from the cleaner.
  • AeroForce 3-stage cleaning system uses debris extractors, airflow accelerator, and creates powerful suction to suck up the dirt.
  • Three times the battery life than its predecessor models
  • Concentrated cleaning within a 3 square feet radius ensuring all the dirt in the area is well covered
  • Virtual wall technology limiting the cleaner within specified places to stop from vacuuming unwanted places or stopping it from knocking things off.
  • Lithium-ion batteries that are eco-friendly and gives a long-lasting performance.
  • Innovative design that supports lightweight but more durable build.
  • Five times powerful than its predecessor models of the 600 and 700 series.
  • HEPA filter can catch up to 99% of the air and microscopic pathogens as small as 0.1 microns.

Cons

  • No remote control
  • No mobile app
  • No multi-room navigation

IRobot Rrobot Roomba 960 Vacuum

When it comes to fancy robotic vacuum with all the good features, there’s one name that comes to mind. It’s none other than the Roomba 960. Top-notch features like – navigation camera, smartphone app, detailed cleaning reports, Google / Siri / Amazon Alexa enabled voice control takes this cleaner all the way to the high-end category.

IRobot Roomba 960

My personal opinion is that it’s a worthy investment to buy a Roomba vacuum because of the lucrative features you get for all the money. So, if you belong to the small percentage who haven’t invested yet, let me help you decide on this one.

Features

  • Smart Navigation Technology helps the robot to find its way around the house. The Roomba 960 uses the iAdapt 2.0 technology that is a combination of six sensors and a camera. The camera helps in visual localization while the sensors keep the machine from taking hits from the obstacles.
  • It helps you to clean your house and at the same time know its current position.
  • Wi-Fi Connectivity is available and you can control it using the app. The cleaner can connect with a Wi-Fi 2.4Ghz bandwidth but the app lets you program the vacuum and use all its functions. Cleaning schedule, cleaning report, charge status, cleaning time, etc. can be done from the app.
  • Edge Cleaning functionality is a special feature that enables the 960 to smoothly clean the edges of the floors after cleaning the open areas. A quick reminder, cleaning the edges takes a longer time. So, it’s better to recharge first if you’re down on charge.
  • Full-Bin action control is an alert signal when the dirt container becomes full. Usually, the Roomba 960 gives an alert message when the container is full. Whether you can choose to continue the cleaning or stop it there is entirely up to you.
  • Cleaning Passes control allows you to deep clean your floors to ensure extra hygiene. This cleaning factor can be controlled by using the app. It ensures that your cleaner cleans the floor thoroughly in multiple stages.

Specifications

Dimension

35 cm

Height

9 cm

Weight

3.7 kg

Power

33 W

Noise Factor

67 dB

Remote

No

Wi-Fi controllable

Yes

Filters

HEPA Filter

Drawer Capacity

0.65 Liter

Vacuum Sensors

6

Dirt Sensors

Optical + Acoustic (Piezoelectric)

Approach Sensor

Yes

Obstacle Sensor

Yes

Drawer Sensor Protection

No

Scheduling Ability

Yes

Anti-collision

No

Protective bumper

Yes

Auto Recharge

Yes

Home Automation App

Yes

Autonomous Cleaning

Yes

Vacuuming Technology

AeroForce

Navigation Technology

iAdapt 2.0

Seamless Entire Cleaning

Yes

Wi-Fi Support

Yes

Filter Type

AeroForce

Carpet Boost Mode

No

Final Edge Cleaning

Yes (from the app)

Built-in Camera

Yes

Debris Extractor

Yes

Navigation Control (Virtual Wall, Virtual Wall Lighthouse or Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barrier)

1 Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barrier

Full Bin Indicator

Yes

Cleaning Passes Control

Yes

Soft Bumper

Yes

Auto Recharge

Yes

Spot Cleaning

Yes

Forced Docking

Yes (when low on charge)

Battery Type

Li-ion

Remote Control

Yes

Carrying Handle

Yes

Warranty

1 year

Pros

  • Holds 0.82 liters of dirt inside the dirt container.
  • Produces five times more suction power than its predecessor especially when compared with models of 600 and 700 series.
  • HEPA filter removes 99% of the pet hair and allergens.
  • HEPA filter keeps the air clean.
  • Rubber brushes stay in touch with the floor to collect the maximum amount of debris.
  • Works well on carpets and other kinds of floor.
  • All information can be seen and manipulated from the app.
  • Allows for auto-scheduled timing on the app through connected devices.
  • Less than 9 pounds make it super portable and lightweight.
  • Runs for 75 minutes at a stretch before charging.
  • Connectable with a 2.4Ghz wireless router. The app and the cleaner can be synced under the same network.
  • Completely customizable.

Cons

  • Not suitable for homes with multiple pets
  • Short battery run time
  • High price

IRobot Roomba 860 Top View with Buttons & Indicators:

Roomba 860 Top View with Buttons & Indicators

IRobot Roomba 960 Top View with Buttons & Indicators:

How These Roomba Models Are Similar

  • AeroForce technology
  • Entire room cleaning
  • Full bin extractor
  • Built-in camera
  • Debris Collector
  • Debris extract
  • Manual or Automatic docking
  • Spot cleaning
  • Lithium-Ion Battery
  • Remote Control

Roomba 860 vs 960 : How These Roomba Models Are Different

Roomba 860 vs 960
  • Basic difference in dimensions. The 860 is larger than the 960 and weighs a little more.
  • The 960 offers better functionality and dirt capacity.
  • Navigation technology in the Roomba 960 has been replaced with iAdapt 2.0 technology
  • Edge cleaning is easy with the 960 but it’s not possible on the 860.
  • Full bin action gives you control over the cleaner if you want to stop when the container is full. The 860 stops right away on a full load while the 960 gives you a message on the app for instruction.
  • The 960 has a default navigation camera which is not present in the 860 series.
  • The 960 enables Wi-Fi connection and it can be used in the same network using the mobile app. The 860 does not have this feature.
  • Cleaning Pass control ensures thorough cleaning. The 960 allows the user to define how many passes should be taken for proper cleaning.

What Should You Look for before Buying?

It should be in your best interest to look for the following features if you’re buying a robotic vacuum cleaner like the Roomba.

  1. Home space (Large /Small)
  2. Battery Life
  3. Longevity
  4. Navigation accuracy
  5. Sensors
  6. Edge cleaning
  7. Wi-Fi accessible (Available / Unavailable)
  8. App control (Available / Unavailable)

I want to make this clear. If you’re concerned about money and you don’t think scheduling the machine without the app is okay for you. I would recommend you to take the Roomba 860. This has all the features you need in a great robotic vacuum at a competitively low price.

However, if you know you want every good feature and have no tension about investing in a good robotic vacuum cleaner, then pick the Roomba 960. This one is a superset of the 860 model and has all the good features you need. Perfect navigation, bigger dirt container, app-controlled, voice-controlled, super-smooth edge cleaning, hassle-free scheduling, and much more.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the AeroForce Cleaning System?

The Air Force cleaning system combination of cleaning brushes that works together by displacing the dirt of the carpet and using powerful suction to channel it inside the vacuum. Also, the side sweeper catches the debris along the walls which helps to perfectly clean the edges together.

What technology does the Roomba use to navigate the robots?

The Roomba 860 and the 960 models use the iAdapt navigation software that uses a set of sensors to locate its surroundings, figuring out whether the obstacles are, and also which place is to leave out while vacuuming. It works very well in a confined space too.

What is Spot cleaning mode?

The spot cleaning mode is a special feature that enables the robot cleaner to move spirally inside 3 feet or 1-meter radius ensuring a proper cleaning experience.

Will my Roomba fall off the stairs and bump into furniture?

The Cliff and the anti-collision sensors in the Roomba prevent it from colliding into things and from falling off the stairs. On top of that, you can also create a virtual barrier to keep it away from the stairs.

Final Words

This is all I have about Roomba 860 vs 960. One thing I can tell you is that Roomba robotic vacuums are great for autonomous floor cleaning.

But it surely is a hefty investment considering the wonderful features you’ll get. So, make sure to think carefully if you need all the features for your home. I’ve listed some points based on which I always advise people to pick their robotic cleaners. Go check them out.

Overall, the features and the longevity of a Roomba cleaner is what keeps them in the top 10 of all the competitions in the market.

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