iRobot Roomba 980 Review

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iRobot Roomba 980 Rated
  • Ease of Use
  • Smart Capabilities
  • Value for Money
  • Cleaning Power
  • Good on Pet Hair?
  • Battery Life
  • Maneuver Technology

SHJ Verdict

Robot vacuums don’t get much better than the iRobot Roomba 980. This vacuum packs power and tackles pet hair or stubborn dirt without you having to lift a finger.

With a vacuum that’s controlled by an app and voice demands, the Roomba 980 makes the cleaning experience all the easier.

>>> Check the current price on Amazon.

The iRobot Roomba 980 is iRobot’s improvement on an older model, bringing more advanced features to the table while making sure all the previously loved features remain present.

These various features include better room navigation, an increased suction power, and a longer battery life. Thanks to these upgrades, the iRobot Roomba 980 has become a very reliable companion to those who can use a helping hand around the house.

roomba 980 review

The tangle-free bristles come in handy for pet owners when shedding season comes around, as they’re perfect for those with mild allergies who need some help to keep it under control.

While all these upgrades are great, there are still a few things to consider. The enhanced camera does not play well with dark carpets, and the old issue with carpet cleaning taking more power is still present in this new generation.

Are these things deal breakers in the greater scheme? Read on and find out if this is the Roomba for your home.

iRobot Roomba 980: The Details


  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 13.9 x 3.6 inches.
  • Product Weight: 8.7 lbs.
  • Product Type: Robot vacuum cleaner.
  • Compatible with: Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
  • Batteries: One A-battery required.
  • Battery life: Up to 90 minutes before automatic recharge.

How Does it Work

Getting an iRobot Roomba to work is as easy as pie since it requires minimal set-up and immediately pays off.

While you’re waiting for your Roomba to arrive, have a quick sweep of your rooms to see where you want to place the Home Base. Ideally, you want to place the Home Base on a flat area, near an electric outlet.

Once you’ve selected the spot – and have your Roomba- all you need to do is connect the Home Base with the added line cord. This is half the work done already, making this an extremely easy set-up.

All that’s left to do is to place the iRobot Roomba 980 on its home base. Connecting the charging contacts is key, or your new helper won’t be able to charge up.

Once your Roomba has charged its battery fully, you just need to press the clean button twice to connect it to the home base and the iRobot app.

After completing these last steps, your iRobot Roomba 980 is ready to wow you with its outstanding features.

iRobot Roomba 980 review

IRobot HOME App
The iRobot Home App is where the magic starts to happen. Connecting your Roomba to your phone means you can keep an eye on it, order it for a quick cleaning run before you come home, or let it alert you with any needs it might have.

Of course, you can also connect either to Amazon’s Alexa or Google Assistant, allowing you to take control with just your voice.

IAdapt 2.0 Navigation with Visual Localization

It may sound like a mouthful, but it boils down to something very simple. Thanks to the intuitive system, your iRobot Roomba 980 can easily find its way around rooms and remember the general layout of your home.

This also makes it easier for your Roomba to decide when it needs to turn back for a quick refill.

Aero Force Cleaning System

The Aero Force Cleaning System makes this one of the best cleaners there is, and for one simple reason. Your carpet is one of the hardest things to keep clean in your home, and it’s where most Roombas fail.

With the improved Aero Force, the iRobot Roomba 980 will increase power when confronted with a carpet, making sure every last crumb is removed.

Eco Boost

Concerned about the environment but also keen on living in a clean home? With the Eco Boost setting on, your Roomba will get to work cleaning your home, but it will be more sparing with its energy.

best roomba

This unique setting is ideal for homeowners who prefer wood or stone floors without adding carpets.

While even carpets will get clean with this feature, it’s generally considered more energy efficient to keep things simple.

90-Minute Run Time

With the battery life going strong for up to 90 minutes, you’ll find this Roomba has got places to be and all the power it needs to get the job done.

iRobot: The Brand

Founded in Massachusetts in 1990, iRobot has seen the exciting times that come with constantly changing technology.

The founders are all graduates from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which shows in the loving care and attention that has been spent in creating their robots.

They made their love for practical robots a reality with their 2001 creation, the Packbot, designed to aid in disaster scenarios.

But they didn’t want to stop with just those occasional moments where a robot could come in handy. By setting their sights on the home life, they also gained the desire to create robots that are practical and fun to use.

Their iRobot Roomba 980 is only one of their creations that have achieved its goal, and the company continues to improve every day.

iRobot Roomba 980 Review

The Positives

Tangle-Free Extractors

Pet lovers appreciate this Roomba since the Aero Force Cleaning System comes with tangle-free extractors.

For those who aren’t well-versed with vacuum cleaner terms, these make it easier for your Roomba to collect fur balls that have been gathering in remote corners.

Instead of your vacuum struggling to deal with pet fluff, the iRobot Roomba 980 has made improvements to ensure pet hair doesn’t become a staple in your home.

Tangle-free features don’t just make it easy when dealing with pet hair, but it also helps with stubborn dirt and debris caught in carpeting.

irobot roomba 980 review

Recharge and Resume
If your iRobot Roomba 980 is responsible for a large area, or if it’s been a hard week for your carpet, there’s a chance your Roomba will run out of power before it’s done cleaning.

No need to worry, however, since all of its system enhancements mean this Roomba will remember where it’s already been and only clean the spots that are still dirty after a recharge.

This saves battery power on your Roomba and saves on the energy used to run your vacuum since there won’t be any second-guessing the next time around. Your vacuum will become more efficient, the more you use it.


Imagine getting your home clean without having to lift a finger – no maid or butler required.

While the Roomba 980 already makes it easy to clean the floors of your home, by integrating smart compatibility like Alexa or Google, all it takes is a voice-activated command.

This robot vacuum responds to your commands, whether you need it to start cleaning or retire for the day, all it takes is your say-so.

An Even Better App

While controlling devices like a vacuum from your smartphone is already a wonderful thing, iRobot has gone above and beyond to make sure you get a better experience by enhancing their iRobot Home App.

From the app you can set your vacuum to clean even if you’re not at home, saving you the embarrassing scramble when you get an unexpected notice that someone is on the way to your house.

You can schedule cleaning times from the app, and you can also customize just how your robot vacuum does its job. If you know your floors are a little stubborn, you can set it to pass twice over the area, or should you need less power when its time to clean, you can turn off the power boost right from your phone.

And when it’s all done, the app will give you a detailed report (including a map) showing the completed job of your Roomba 980. This allows you to see where you need to adjust your customizations for the best clean possible.

Multi-Room Coverage

Some Roombas get stage fright when they’re in a multi-room space; even wide open doors get ignored as they stay in their same space no matter how dirty it gets elsewhere.

If you’re looking for the best Roomba, then it’s a must to find one that isn’t scared to venture out in search of dust. Luckily, this model delivers!

Instead of shuffling from room to room, you can leave your Roomba 980 on its merry way without worry that’ll it get the job done.

best robot vacuum

The Negatives

Dark Colors Beware

With the enhanced camera, this Roomba is even less likely to fall down a flight of stairs. But it does come with an almost hypersensitive aversion to dark patches of floor, where the camera is fooled into thinking there’s a hole in the ground.

As such, this Roomba will not perform its best in a home with predominantly dark carpets.


While all the features on this Roomba are super convenient, this may not be the best robot vacuum for those on a budget.

With a price-tag that’s nearing on the thousand dollar mark, it might be deterring. iRobot does have cheaper options and models in their Roomba line, but if you want the power and convenience of the 980, it would be best to budget accordingly.

However, if the price isn’t an issue, you can ignore this detail.

Here’s a video showing what the iRobot Roomba 980 looks like out of the box.

Overall Verdict

The iRobot Roomba 980 is one of the best robot vacuum cleaners available on the market.

The Eco boost makes it a great fit for the ecological tech lovers, while the tangle-free brushes are what the doctor prescribed for those with shedding pets. And if there’s one thing everybody loves, it’s the extra long battery life, allowing the iRobot Roomba 980 to get into every nook and cranny faster and more efficiently.

Because of all these features, we can safely recommend this Roomba no matter what your living situation is.

A special word of caution, however; if your home has many dark patches on the floor, it might confuse the camera, so keep this in mind before committing. Otherwise, this vacuum will provide a better clean at a good price.

Where to Buy the iRobot Roomba 980

iRobot is no amateur when it comes to smart vacuums. Not only were they one of the first to retail robot vacuums, but their Roomba line has grown over the years, allowing them to perfect their craft.

Their brand has grown into a household name, with products like the iRobot Roomba 980 vacuum cleaner displayed on the shelves of retailers both in-store and online.

While it’s always best to check home department, tech, and specialty stores, you can kick-start your search with the following online retailers.

And of course, you can also find this vacuum on Amazon.

iRobot Roomba 980 Robot Vacuum

That’s all for our iRobot Roomba 980 review. Curious to give it a try?

Staff Writer

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