Roomba 891 vs Roomba 960 – Review and Comparison

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In this article, we will compare two very popular robotic vacuums – Roomba 891 vs 960.

Nowadays, robotic vacuums are getting more and more popular, thanks to constant technological advancements. The manufacturers continuously improve their products, in order to make them more appealing to the customers.

This has resulted in many new models being introduced into the market each year. This is why choosing the best vacuum can be quite difficult, especially for people who didn’t own this kind of device before. That’s also the reason why we decided to create this article.

Today, we will compare two common choices – Roomba 891 vs Roomba 960. They are one of the most popular vacuums on the market, thanks to their great performance and affordable price. The differences, however, maybe a little hard to determine.

Based on the opinions online, as well as 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 891 vs Roomba 960

Roomba-891iRobot Roomba 960
NAME:Roomba 891Roomba 960
SIZE:13.9 x 13.9 x 3.6 in.13.8 x 13.8 x 3.6 in.
WEIGHT:8.4 lb.4.4 lb.
UNIQUE FEATURES:More advanced navigation system (mapping included)
CAPACITY:0.3 L. (10 oz.)0.6 L. (20 oz.)
BATTERY LIFE:60 minutes75 minutes

Main differences

In the beginning, we would like to address, that each one of these vacuums is actually very efficient. Either one should be more than sufficient for everyday cleaning, however, there are a couple of key differences, that you should know about before making the final decision.

The first major difference is the suction. In most cases, the more suction a vacuum has the better. This time they are very similar in performance, although, the Roomba 891 is a little bit more powerful producing 1000 Pa suction. Its competitor, the 960 model, boasts only 900 Pa suction which is still a very good score.

Another important dissimilarity is the battery life. Once again, the difference isn’t huge, however, it’s there. The Roomba 891 can operate for up to 60 minutes while the Roomba 960 can run for 75 minutes. This can be something to take into consideration if you own a large household, or you want to cover a large area.

We would also like to point out, that the charging time in those vacuums doesn’t differ too much. Each one needs around 120 minutes in order to be fully charged. Another thing is the recharge & resume feature present in both vacuums, which allows the unit to go back to its docking station, recharge, and continue cleaning.

The mapping system in both models also differs. The Roomba 891 operates by randomly bouncing around while the Roomba 960 comes with mapping technology. The navigation system with mapping is much more efficient, as it temporarily creates a map of your house and determines the best cleaning path.

The last crucial difference is capacity. It’s the second most limiting factor when it comes to the maximum cleaning time. The Roomba 891 has a dust box that can hold up to 0.3 L. (10 oz.) of dirt and debris while the Roomba 960 can hold up to 0.6 L. (20 oz.).

Those are all the most important differences, that you should keep in mind. Based on the factors above you can already make the final decision. However, we highly recommend reading the rest of the article, in order to learn more well-detailed information.

Cleaning performance

Cleaning performance is one of the most important factors when choosing a new cleaning device. By this, we mean how well a particular unit does, compared to other vacuums. We have to address, that each one does a really good job when it comes to everyday cleaning.

The only major dissimilarity in the cleaning system is the suction power, although, most of the time you won’t notice the difference anyway. It can be seen in little more demanding areas, where the vacuums have to remove some deeply embedded dirt and debris.

More powerful vacuums also tend to be better at removing all kinds of pet hair. Therefore, if you are a pet person you may want to consider Roomba 891. This vacuum boasts 1000 Pa suction being a little more powerful than its competitor producing only 900 Pa.

Since the suction is one of the main aspects, that influence the cleaning performance it’s definitely something to keep in mind. Besides this feature, there aren’t any major differences present in the cleaning system itself.

Both vacuums boast different navigation systems. The one in Roomba 891 works by bouncing around until the whole area is covered. While it may not be the most efficient way of cleaning, it certainly gets the job done. Since there’s no mapping, it’s the only way to provide decent performance and it also keeps the price at an affordable level.

The navigation system in Roomba 960 is much more advanced, as it features mapping technology. With the special camera, Roomba temporarily maps your house, in order to make the cleaning process much more efficient. Opposed to just randomly bouncing around, this unit navigates in tight rows, that are determined based on the layout of your room.

In both vacuums, you also can’t rely on virtual walls created through the official app. The only way to keep your new Roomba from particular areas will be to purchase “Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barrier” which is a beacon-type device. This tower provides a 4 ft. diameter preventing Roomba from leaving a room or going near the items you want to protect.

Both Roomba 891 and Roomba 960 have a full set of sensors, that help them navigate through rooms. Those sensors prevent the vacuums from falling down the stairs, hitting walls or furniture too hard, or skipping extra dirty spots. 

Those are pretty much all of the most important aspects regarding cleaning performance. Of course, there are many more factors, that can influence the cleaning performance indirectly, however, we will talk about those in the latter part of the article.


The capacity is the second most limiting factor when it comes to the maximum cleaning time, right next to the battery life. In all honesty, though, you shouldn’t worry about this as the battery runs out quicker than the free space in the dust box. 

This can be definitely something to consider if you don’t want to empty the dust box too often. The difference between the units is actually quite significant, as the Roomba 960 boasts double the capacity of Roomba 891 offering 0.6 L. (20 oz.). This means, that the Roomba 891 has only 10 oz. of dust box capacity 0.3 L. (10 oz.).

Noise level

Many people don’t pay attention to this aspect, however, we usually take this factor into consideration. After all, the robotic vacuums were created in order to free up our time, so an extra loud unit working in the background can be quite distracting.

Fortunately, both Roombas from this comparison produce rather standard noise levels. They both create approximately 65 dB which can be compared to the noise of a standard conversation or an operating microwave.

Most of the robotic vacuums which are produced nowadays, create a similar level of noise. Not only Roombas but other brands as well. Taking into account a rather powerful suction, it’s still a great score.

Remote control features

The manufacturers often add multiple remote control features which are meant to make using their products much more convenient. These days Wi-Fi connectivity, smartphone apps, or voice commands are typical ways to operate your new robotic vacuum.

Thankfully, both Roomba 891 and Roomba 960 have those features implemented. Either one of the vacuums can be operated with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, or through a special iRobot Home App. Additionally, in the 960 model, you get more features, that are strictly related to mapping.

There’s also a possibility to get real-time notifications about the cleaning process and many more functions. In order to learn all the features present in the apps, we highly recommend reading the user’s guide.

Battery life

Battery life is the main limiting factor when it comes to the maximum cleaning time. If you own a big household, or you want to cover a large area all at once, you should definitely take this aspect into consideration.

The battery life in the units from this article differs slightly – The Roomba 960 can run for a total of 75 minutes while the Roomba 891 can run for a total of 60 minutes. It’s up to you to decide whether it’s something important.

You also should keep in mind, that there is a special “recharge & resume” feature, that allows the Roomba to go back to its docking station, recharge, and continue cleaning automatically. Even though, this aspect is present in both vacuums, it will certainly work better in the model with mapping.


The design is a crucial part of every robotic vacuum, as they need to fit under and around most of the furniture. Slim and low-profile designs are a standard along with convenient functionality – Thankfully, both vacuums from this comparison meet the requirements above.

If you would like to learn some more technical information, the Roomba 891 measures 13.9 x 13.9 x 3.6 in. and weighs 8.4 lb. Its competitor, the Roomba 960 measures 13.8 x 13.8 x 3.6 in. and weighs 8.5 lb. They are rather similar in dimensions and weight, therefore, there’s not a lot to say.


When comparing different vacuums, the price is usually the first thing, that people check. Therefore, you may already know the price difference, nonetheless, we still decided to touch on this aspect. You should also keep in mind, that the price tends to fluctuate a lot, so it may already differ from what’s written below.

The Roomba 891 can be found on Amazon for the price of $435.00 (Click here to see the current price!), while the Roomba 960 can also be found on Amazon for the price of $443.00 (Click here to see the current price!).

Once again, we highly recommend double-checking the price, as it tends to fluctuate a lot. What’s more, there are often many discounts available, so it’s something to keep an eye on.

Necessary maintenance

Maintenance is another aspect, that is often skipped by people who own robotic vacuums. It’s a huge mistake, as in order to keep your new Roomba operating at the desired level, as well as to prevent permanent damage you should always take proper maintenance steps.

We won’t be getting into details here, as it would 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 Roomba operating at the desired level, you should:

  • 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 need to address, that those are only a couple of basic maintenance steps. If you want to learn all the essential details, you will have to read the user’s guide.


In conclusion, both robotic vacuums are actually very decent units, that should be more than sufficient for everyday cleaning. There are, however, a couple of key differences, that you should keep in mind before making the final decision.

Some of the most important differences are suction power (1000 Pa in Roomba 891 vs 900 Pa in Roomba 960), battery life (15 minutes longer in Roomba 960), capacity (0.3 L. larger in Roomba 960), and navigation technology (much more advanced in Roomba 960).

Based on the factors above, we would say, that the Roomba 960 is a winner of this comparison. This is mainly due to a much more efficient navigation system and bigger capacity. This vacuum should do a much better job despite little less powerful suction.

We hope, that after reading this article you will be satisfied with your final choice.