In this article, we will talk about two very popular robotic vacuums – Roomba 870 vs 960.
Nowadays, robotic vacuums are getting more and more popular, thanks to constant technological improvements. The manufacturers continuously improve their products, in order to make them more appealing and affordable to the customers.
This has resulted in a new problem which is picking the right robotic vacuum for your household. There are multiple well-known brands on the market that create hundreds of products every year. Comparing all of them is impossible – that’s why we usually focus on the most popular products.
Today, we will talk about two very popular cleaning units – Roomba 870 vs Roomba 960. Those two vacuums are a common choice among many household owners, due to their great performance and convenient design.
Based on the opinions online and our own experience, we will give you a thorough review of each product. At the end of the article, you can also find a winner of this comparison.
Without further ado, let’s get into the proper part of this article.
Roomba 870 vs Roomba 960
|NAME:||Roomba 870||Roomba 960|
|MAXIMUM SUCTION:||1000 Pa||900 Pa|
|SIZE:||13.9 x 13.9 x 3.6 in.||13.8 x 13.8 x 3.6 in.|
|WEIGHT:||8.4 lb.||8.5 lb.|
|CAPACITY:||0.45 L. (15 oz.)||0.6 L. (20 oz.)|
|UNIQUE FEATURES:||–||More advanced navigation technology (basic mapping system), more ways to operate the vacuum|
|NOISE LEVEL:||67 dB||65 dB|
|BATTERY LIFE:||90 minutes||75 minutes|
|CHECK THE PRICE ON AMAZON:||Amazon.com||Amazon.com|
In the beginning, we would like to address, that both products are actually very reliable units which should satisfy most of the customers. They are both certainly sufficient for basic, everyday cleaning, however, there are some key differences, that you should keep in mind before making the final decision.
The first crucial difference is battery life. This is the main limiting factor when it comes to the maximum cleaning time, therefore it’s definitely something to keep in mind if you own a large household or you want to cover a large area.
Roomba 870 can operate for up to 90 minutes while the Roomba 960 can only run for 75 minutes. Of course, the runtime can change depending on the type of surface or cleaning mode.
Another important dissimilarity is capacity. Most of the time, this factor won’t affect the runtime as the vacuum will run out of battery sooner, than from empty space in the dustbin. Although, this is something to consider, especially if you don’t fancy emptying the dustbin too often.
Roomba 870 can store up to 0.45 L. (15 oz.) of dirt and debris while the Roomba 960 can store up to 0.6 L. (20 oz.).
The next difference is the navigation system. Roomba 960 comes with basic mapping technology, that makes the cleaning process much more efficient. Instead of just randomly bouncing around, the unit navigates in neat rows avoiding obstacles.
The 870 model doesn’t have this feature and its navigation is based only on sensors. The vacuum randomly bounces around until the whole area is covered – While this may not be the best way to clean the floors, it certainly gets the job done.
The last important dissimilarity is connectivity. The manufacturers often provide multiple remote control features, in order to make using their products more convenient. This is the case in Roomba 960 – This model allows you to navigate itself through voice commands or the official manufacturer’s app. Those features, unfortunately, aren’t available in the Roomba 870.
Those are pretty much all the differences, that you should keep in mind. Based on the factors above, you can already make the final decision. Although, we would recommend reading the rest of the article, in order to learn more well-detailed information.
Cleaning performance is one of the most important aspects when it comes to choosing a new cleaning device. By this, we mean how well a particular unit does, compared to other products from a similar price range.
The first thing, that we need to address is that those models have different suction power. Most of the time, the more suction a unit has, the better it is at removing deeply embedded dirt and debris. However, this is rather a small difference as the Roomba 870 produces 1000 Pa suction while the Roomba 960 produces 900 Pa suction.
The difference won’t be noticeable for the majority of the time. However, you should know, that increased suction can be quite handy when cleaning low and medium-pile carpets, or when removing pet hair.
NOTE: Both Roomba 870 and Roomba 960 weren’t made for cleaning high-pile carpets, or removing pet hair. The vacuum should be used on bare floors for maximum efficiency.
Another crucial aspect in terms of cleaning performance is the navigation system. There is a significant difference, as the Roomba 960 uses mapping technology, that isn’t present in the 870 model. Thanks to the mapping technology, Roomba can temporarily scan the room, and choose the most efficient cleaning path.
This is a much more efficient way of cleaning, compared to Roomba 870 which just randomly bounces around until the whole area is covered. Nonetheless, it still gets the job done, although, it tends to take longer.
When speaking of navigation, both Roombas have one thing in common, and those are sensors. In order to prevent the unit from hitting walls, falling down the stairs, or skipping extra dirty spots, the iRobot implemented a full set of sensors.
Some of them are cliff-detect sensors, wall-detect sensors, etc. For Roomba 870, they are the main and only way to navigate around the room.
We would also like to address, that even though, the Roomba 960 has a basic mapping technology, there is no way to create “keep out zones” or “clean zones”.
Both vacuums boast great cleaning and filtration system, that doesn’t have any problems with all types of debris. The filtration system also prevents dust and dirt from entering the air around you.
Both Roomba 870 and Roomba 960 also have one extra useful feature implemented which is auto-recharge. This allows the vacuum to go back to its docking station, recharge, and continue cleaning afterward.
Those are all important aspects about the cleaning performance, that you should keep in mind. Of course, there could be more indirect factors, that can alter the performance, however, we will talk about them in the latter part of the comparison.
Capacity is another important aspect, although, it won’t be related to maximum cleaning time. Most of the time, the vacuum will run out of battery sooner, than from empty space in the dustbin. Although, it’s still something to keep in mind, especially if you don’t want to empty the dustbin too often.
Roomba 870 can store up to 0.45 L. (15 oz.) of dirt and debris while the Roomba 960 can store up to 0.6 L. (20 oz.) of dirt and debris. This isn’t a huge difference, especially considering the fact, that it’s best to keep the dustbin relatively clean most of the time. Nonetheless, it’s still something we recommend you to take into consideration.
Noise level is something, that many people skip when choosing a new robotic vacuum. However, we always take this factor into consideration. After all, robotic vacuums were made to free up our time, and an extra loud unit running in the background can be quite distracting.
Roomba 870 usually produces around 67 dB of noise while the Roomba 960 produces around 65 dB of noise. There is no real difference in the noise level produced by the vacuums, as it’s hard to make the test 100% accurate.
In order to make this more understandable – 60-65 dB of noise level is similar to a normal conversation or a microwave operating.
Remote control features
As we mentioned earlier, the manufacturers usually provide multiple remote control features, in order to make using their products more convenient. Although, this isn’t always the case, and the Roomba 870 can be a great example.
Older or more affordable models focus strictly on performance and everything, that is related to removing dirt and debris. The 870 also takes this approach, providing only a few ways to control the unit – This is by the panel on top of the vacuum, or by using a remote controller.
Roomba 960 on the other hand, gives you multiple ways to control itself, some of those are simple voice commands (thanks to Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa compatibility), or the official manufacturer’s app.
The battery life is the main aspect, that determines maximum cleaning time. Therefore, if you would like to have your new unit cleaning as much as possible in one go, it’s definitely something to focus on.
Roomba 870 can operate for as long as 90 minutes which is a great score for a robotic vacuum. Its opponent, the 960 model can operate only for 75 minutes. It’s up to you to decide whether this difference is important, and will influence the final choice.
One thing to keep in mind is the auto-recharge function which allows the vacuum to go back to its docking station, recharge, and continue cleaning.
The design is essential in robotic vacuums, as those units need to fit under and around most of the furniture. The design should also remain convenient and easy to use most of the time. Thankfully, both vacuums meet the requirements above.
If you would like to learn some more technical information, Roomba 870 measures 13.9 x 13.9 x 3.6 in. and weighs 8.4 lb. while the Roomba 960 measures 13.8 x 13.8 x 3.6 and weighs 8.5 lb. Most of the time this won’t make any difference, although, it’s nice to have those units pretty portable.
Price is another crucial aspect when comparing robotic vacuums, and therefore, you may already know the price difference. Nonetheless, we still decided to touch on this aspect as it’s quite important. You should also keep in mind, that the price tends to fluctuate a lot.
We would like to address, that Roomba 870 can be currently a little hard to find, although when it’s available a price for a used model oscillate around $169.99 (Click here to see the current price!). Roomba 960 is much more available and can be found new on Amazon for $349.99 (Click here to see the current price!).
Once again, we highly recommend double-checking the price of those units. Many times, they can be found discounted on Amazon.
Maintenance is another aspect, that is often skipped which is a huge mistake. Maintenance is an essential part of owning a robotic vacuum, as it keeps the vacuum operating at the desired level and prevents permanent damage.
We won’t be getting into details here, as it would simply make the whole article too long. We will, however, give you a couple of basic maintenance tips, that should work for the majority of robotic vacuums.
In order to keep your new robotic vacuum operating at the desired level, you will have to:
- Regularly clean/rinse all the brushes
- Regularly check the brush roll and side brushes for any stuck dirt and/or debris
- At least once a week clean the cover of the vacuum/wheels
- Replace any used or damaged elements as fast as possible
- Regularly empty and check the vacuum’s dustbin for any stuck dirt or debris
Once again, we highly recommend reading the user’s guide in order to learn all the crucial maintenance steps.
In conclusion, both robotic vacuums are quite efficient units, that should work very well in everyday cleaning. What’s more, either one should be more than sufficient for most of the customers, however, there are some key differences.
Some of the most important differences are battery life (15-30 minutes longer in Roomba 870), capacity (0.15 L. larger in Roomba 960), connectivity (much more remote control features in Roomba 960), and navigation system (much more advanced navigation system with mapping in Roomba 960).
Based on the factors above, it’s easy to say, that the Roomba 960 is a winner of this comparison. Nonetheless, the 870 model still offers decent performance, especially considering the affordable price. It’s up to you to choose a version, that is more suitable for your household.
We hope, that after reading this article, you will be satisfied with your final choice.
Laura Avila, a female writer and cleaning enthusiast, shares her expertise on Cleaningfan.com. With years of experience, Laura provides practical tips to maintain a clean and organized home. Her articles inspire readers to create a comfortable living space.