Roomba 960 Review: How Does This Vacuum Stack Up?

Roomba 960 Review

If there’s one thing I hate doing, it’s vacuuming. It’s tedious as can be and usually involves me needlessly pacing around my place, pushing the stupid machine to and fro. It’s not fun. That’s why I’m all about Roombas, the electrical vacuuming robot that is designed to make life a little bit easier. The 960 is one of iRobot’s first smart home-ready robots, and I’m all about it.

It seems like it’s impossible for iRobot to make a bad product, and the Roomba 960 is no exception to this rule. The Roomba 960 combines a high-powered vacuum with top of the line sensing technology, plus Amazon Alexa compatibility. The end result is a vacuum that makes life easier and frees up your time.

People who have been considering getting a Roomba are definitely wise to do so, but there are still some things you need to be aware of if you want to make the most of your spending money. This article will give you the full scoop on the Roomba 960, why people love it, and whether it’s the right pick for you.

The Roomba 960: Top Features & Specs

iRobot Roomba 960 Robotic Vacuum Cleaner Wi-Fi Connectivity + Manufacturer's Warranty + Extra Sidebrush Extra Filter Bundle
  • Schedule & Set Custom Cleaning Preferences from your Smartphone with the iRobot HOME App
  • Roomba Navigates and Cleans an Entire Level of your Home with iAdapt 2.0 Navigation with Visual Localization
  • Dual Multi-Surface Rubber Brushes Prevent Hair and Debris Jams | Automatically Recharges and Resumes Cleaning to Complete the Entire Job
  • iRobot 960 Delivers 5x the power with the AeroForce 3-Stage Cleaning System Utilizing Dual counter-rotating extractors and the Gen 2 motor for improved cleaning performance
  • Includes: 2 Side Brushes, 2 High Efficiency Filters, a Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barrier (Batteries Included), Dock Station and Manuals

Roombas are known for being petite, disc-shaped vacuum cleaners ideal for day-to-day maintenance. The Roomba 960 is not much different from others in this respect. What sets it apart is the nice array of features it has. The most noteworthy ones include:

  • iRobot vSLAM Technology. Worried about having your Roomba knock into things? You don’t need to worry about that anymore. This model features vSLAM tech, which allows your robot to take in 230,400 data points per second. The end result? A bump-free cleaning session every time.
  • Easy to Use App. If you have a smartphone, you can schedule your Roomba straight from the app. The Roomba app also comes with cleaning suggestions to help keep your place sanitary.
  • Amazon Alexa-Compatible. If you just need a quick sweep of your home, just ask Alexa to turn on the Roomba. It’ll do the rest.
  • Dual Surface Rubber Brushes. Pet owners will be happy to know that the Roomba 960 has specialty brushes that are made to pick up pet hair and dander.
  • High-Efficiency Filter. The filters included in the Roomba model are noted for being able to remove 99 percent of pet dander.
  • Auto-Recharge/Resume Features. Should your Roomba get low on energy in the middle of a cleaning routine, it will automatically go to its recharging mat on its own accord. Once it’s recharged, it’ll head back to work, right where it left off.
  • Row-Style Cleaning Pattern. Remember when Roombas used to just bounce around a room at random? Yeah, that’s not the case anymore. iRobot recently made a point of creating a Roomba model that can work in nice, neat rows.
  • Control Tower Feature. Have a place you do not want your Roomba to go? Rather than just close the door to the room, you can use the Roomba app’s Control Tower feature to highlight the part of your house that you want the machine to avoid. It works like a charm.

How Powerful Is The Roomba 960’s Motor?

If you’ve ever heard of Roomba performances from 10 years ago, you’d know that they used to be pretty famous for having weak motors. The Roomba 960 is not one of those vacuums. Studies show that the Roomba 960 is currently five times better at picking up dust and grime than standard models.

People who have been let down by other Roomba models should still give this one a try. When you combine the greatly increased suction power with the machine’s Dirt Sensing technology, it’s a safe bet that you will be able to pick up all the crumbs on your dirt. It’s not unusual to see the Roomba pick up items that regular vacuuming wasn’t able to miss before.

Some clients who have allergies have noted that regular use of the Roomba 960 helped them reduce allergy symptoms. However, that’s anecdotal rather than a scientific study.

How Often Do You Have To Clean Out The Roomba 960?

This is a tough question to answer, simply because each house will be somewhat different. Most average-sized homes will require one clear-out per cleaning session. If you have a larger home, you may need to clean it out twice instead. This can be tedious for some, but many find it to be easier than doing all the vacuuming instead.

Worried that you might have an overstuffed Roomba? With the 960 model, you don’t have to panic. The Roomba app will alert you whenever your Roomba’s container is in need of a cleaning.

How Easy The Roomba 960 To Clean Out?

Roombas are fairly easy to open up and clean out, but it can get messy. The same can be said of the Roomba 960’s dirt containment area. You may have a hard time removing all of the hair from the brushes, but it’s still on par with a regular vacuum. To reduce the mess, we suggest emptying it outside over a garbage can.

If you are having a hard time opening your Roomba and cleaning it out, don’t worry. The app and instruction manual have several guides that are dedicated to it. You can also call up Roomba’s customer service line to get further instructions.

Is The Roomba 960 Pet-Friendly?

Though your Roomba might startle Fido at first, the truth is that most pet owners adore their Roombas. They are superb at cleaning homes and also aren’t usually loud enough to scare pets. It’s safe to say that this is one of the most pet-friendly vacuums on the market.

What Is The Roomba 960’s Charging Process Like?

Part of what made iRobot’s Roomba series so unique is the vacuuming time. There is some good news and some bad news about the Roomba 960. Here’s what you need to know about the electric aspect of the 960:

  • It has a fairly average runtime when compared to most other Roombas. The bad news is that the full runtime of a 960 is only going to be around 120 minutes before it needs to recharge fully. This is because of the strength of the motor as well as the energy it takes to monitor all the aspects of a typical cleaning trip.
  • The charging station is somewhat large, but it works fast. The key to making the most of your charging time is to place your station in a smart location. Most people find that Roomba chargers do their best when they are included in a hallway rather than the corner of a large room.
  • Once your Roomba hits a specific low battery reading, it’ll make its way to the charging pad. Though it usually will work its way to the charging pad, there will be moments where your little robot will end up dying on route. As a result, you might need to pick it up and bring it to the pad once in a while.

How Much Does The Roomba 960 Cost?

When it comes to modern Roombas, the 960 is considered to be a “middle of the road” purchase. If you decide to go through Amazon, you can expect to get the Roomba 960 for under $400, when it’s on sale. You can also find it on home improvement sites, if you want to avoid Amazon.

Is The Roomba 960 Worth The Money?

The Roomba 960 is an ideal robot vacuum for families who have a small-to-moderate house size. Due to its strong suction power and its easy-to-set schedule, the 960 is a godsend for pet owners as well as new parents. It keeps your home clean, is remarkably low maintenance, and also happens to look stylish while it does the job.

If you were to ask most Roomba owners if the 960 is a great purchase, they’d agree wholeheartedly. We happen to agree with the consensus. It’s a great way to reduce the overall cleaning time your home requires, and seems to be a good deterrent for allergies too. If you have an extra couple hundred dollars, get a Roomba 960. It’s worth it.

Related Questions

Does the Roomba 960 learn your house’s floor plan?

Unlike most other Roomba models, the 960 takes time to learn the floor plan of your home. This is a talent that’s also shared with the 980, the i7, and the s9.

Can you use a Roomba in the dark?

While Roombas are known for being remarkably self-reliant, they still need a minimum amount of light to function. Trying to use a Roomba in a dark room will cripple its ability to navigate your home. This will lead to regular bumps and bangs, or just overall malfunctioning.

How much dust does the Roomba 960 carry?

The Roomba 960 has a surprisingly high dust capacity. This model is capable of storing the equivalent of 30 dustbins in a single go.

What is the lifespan of a Roomba?

Roombas are fairly sturdy vacuums, which means that you can expect it to last quite a bit. You can expect any Roomba you buy to last between 4 and 6 years. With that said, Roomba only covers parts under its warranty for one year. So, you may need to take a leap of faith.

Ossiana Tepfenhart

Ossiana Tepfenhart is an expert writer, focusing on interior design and general home tips. Writing is her life, and it's what she does best. Her interests include art and real estate investments.

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