roomba 860 vs 960 : side by side look

Side by side look at the Roomba 860 vs 960

The Roomba is the go-to robot vacuum for good reason. The company has consistently stayed on top of trends and technological developments with the new models it releases, including the addition of Wi-Fi connectivity and compatibility with voice control software. Taking a side by side look at the Roomba 860 vs 960 is the best way to see what new developments they’ve made with the most recent additions to your catalogue.


Of course, as the technology increases so does the price tag. If you don’t need the extra bells and whistles that you get on the newest line, you can find the same powerful clean at a better value by buying one of their older models. It all depends on how you plan to use it. The comparison below will help you decide which one is the right choice for your life.


Roomba 860

The 800 series from Roomba gives consumers a variety of models that provide powerful hands-free cleaning technology at a great value, making them some of the best all-purpose options in the Roomba line.


The AeroForce cleaning system that comes standard on the Roomba 860 gives you an incredible amount of cleaning power for such a compact vacuum, with up to five times the suction power of other, similar vacuums.

The extractors are designed to be tangle-free, meaning you’ll spend less time removing hair and debris clogs from the vacuum.

The 3-stage cleaning process adapts well to either hard floors or carpets, with two counter-rotating rubber tread extractors that guarantee a thorough clean. Its low 3.6” profile also means it can fit easily under furniture to really clean your entire space.

The simplicity and intelligence of the Roomba are its main selling points across product numbers. The iAdapt navigation means you don’t have to worry about the vacuum falling down the stairs or running into clutter on the floor. It’s also very easy to use. You can press the “Clean” button to start it going, or schedule it up to seven different sessions every week. When it runs low on juice, it automatically goes back to its charging station, and will start back in on its cleaning session once it’s powered up.


What we like:

  • More powerful clean than previous Roomba models
  • 3-stage cleaning process works well on all floor types
  • Tangle-free extractors mean less maintenance
  • Programmable for up to 7 cleaning sessions a week
  • Automatically returns to charger when power is low


What we didn't like:

  • Shape causes some trouble cleaning in corners
  • Slightly louder operation, especially at high power levels
  • No Wi-Fi connectivity

Roomba 960

With the 900 level, iRobot takes the cleaning power of their Roombas to the next level. When you’re comparing the Roomba 860 vs 960, the expanded wireless control options are the main thing that make this vacuum stand out from the rest.


The iRobot HOME app is a very convenient feature of the Roomba 960. It is compatible with both Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home’s personal assistant, letting you integrate it instantly into your smart home set up and use voice control to direct your cleaning. The app also means you can check on your vacuum or start it cleaning at any time.

The Roomba 960 is also the first model to offer entire level cleaning in a single charge. The battery on this little guy will give you up to 75 minutes of continuous cleaning in each session. It also uses the new iAdapt 2.0 navigation system, which uses visual localization to improve the Roomba’s ability to seamlessly transition between floor types. It also features an automatically adjusting cleaning head.

The height of the brush changes in response to input from the sensors, making sure it can effectively clean any surface without causing damage to hardwood or tangling in long carpet fibers. The 960 also comes with a Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barrier, the most advanced of iRobot’s navigation aids, giving you more control over where the Roomba goes.


What we like:

  • iRobot HOME app lets you clean from anywhere
  • Integrated voice control through Alexa and Google Home
  • Extra-long battery life
  • Improved iAdapt 2.0 navigation
  • Self-adjusting cleaning head for all floor materials
  • Advanced filtration removes 99.9% of dust


What we didn't like:

  • Higher price point
  • Same difficulty with corners as other Roomba models
  • Higher functions only accessible through the app


Comparing the Roomba 860 vs 960, you’ll find that both give you incredible cleaning power throughout your home, and without you needing to lift a finger. The scheduling option on the 860 makes it easy to have the vacuum work while you’re not home. If you want to be able to use voice commands or check on your Roomba remotely through an app, though, the 960 is the best choice for you.

You’ll also find it worth the extra investment if you have a large home. The more powerful motor and extended battery life on the 960 mean you can clean more space in less time, making it the top of the line option in robot vacuums.

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