iRobot Roomba 980 vs 981 | What’s The Difference?

iRobot company released two very similar models of the Roomba, which leaves many people wondering what makes them different. And most users can’t seem to find the difference between the iRobot Roomba 980 vs 981 model.

The similarities of both products are striking, which explains why most people cannot figure out what makes them different. However, there is little difference between these two products. Read on, as we will be discussing the iRobot Roomba 980 vs iRobot Roomba 981.

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At a glance

iRobot Roomba 980
iRobot Roomba 981
iRobot Roomba 980 Robot Vacuum-Wi-Fi Connected Mapping, Works with Alexa, Ideal for Pet Hair,...
iRobot Roomba 981 Robot Vacuum-Wi-Fi Connected Mapping, Works with Alexa, Ideal for Pet Hair,...
Brand
iRobot
iRobot
Color
Black
Black
Suction Power
10x
10x
Surface Recommendation
Hard Floor
Carpets
Controller Type
App Control, Voice Control
Vera, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa
Navigation
vSLAM Technology
vSLAM technology
Runtime
Recharges and Resumes
Recharges and Resumes
Cleaning Pattern
Neat Rows
Neat Rows
High-Efficiency Filter
Multi-Surface Brushes
Smart Home Connectivity
More Information
-
-
-
iRobot Roomba 980
iRobot Roomba 980 Robot Vacuum-Wi-Fi Connected Mapping, Works with Alexa, Ideal for Pet Hair,...
Brand
iRobot
Color
Black
Suction Power
10x
Surface Recommendation
Hard Floor
Controller Type
App Control, Voice Control
Navigation
vSLAM Technology
Runtime
Recharges and Resumes
Cleaning Pattern
Neat Rows
High-Efficiency Filter
Multi-Surface Brushes
Smart Home Connectivity
More Information
-
iRobot Roomba 981
iRobot Roomba 981 Robot Vacuum-Wi-Fi Connected Mapping, Works with Alexa, Ideal for Pet Hair,...
Brand
iRobot
Color
Black
Suction Power
10x
Surface Recommendation
Carpets
Controller Type
Vera, Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa
Navigation
vSLAM technology
Runtime
Recharges and Resumes
Cleaning Pattern
Neat Rows
High-Efficiency Filter
Multi-Surface Brushes
Smart Home Connectivity
More Information
-
-

Last update on 2022-06-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The quick answer

The iRobot Roomba 980 and Roomba 981 are the same in terms of their features and functionality. The difference between these two products is their plug or power outlet, which is specific to particular regions. While iRobot designed one to fit North American power outlets, the other is designed for the European power sources.

Product overview

Before we go into details about which one offers fantastic battery performance or which is the affordable option, let’s have a general feel of the two products we’re comparing.

iRobot Roomba 980 vs iRobot Roomba 981 robot vacuum

iRobot Roomba 981 Robot Vacuum-Wi-Fi Connected Mapping, Works with Alexa, Ideal for Pet Hair,...

Both the Roomba 980 and Roomba 981 do the strenuous job of vacuum cleaning your house and completing it in no time. Their build is equipped to support easy navigation of your home; they can keep track of their position, recharge, and continue cleaning your entire house until they complete the work.

The iRobot Roomba 980 takes the North American plug design. The iRobot company specifically designed it for the region, and it works well with the house wall outlets in North America. While the iRobot Roomba 981 has a plug design that supports both the North American market and European users

You can read more on in our Roomba 981 review.

TICK-1
  • Self-sufficient robot vacuums
  • Powerful vacuum
  • Cleans carpeted & hard floors
  • Long battery life
  • Voice prompt supported
CROSS
  • Advanced features are only accessible through the home app.
  • High noise level
Sale
iRobot Roomba 980 Robot Vacuum
iRobot Roomba 980 Robot Vacuum-Wi-Fi Connected Mapping, Works with Alexa, Ideal for Pet Hair, Carpets, Hard Floors, Power Boost Technology, Black, 10X The Air Power for Improved Pick Up Performance, Automatically Increases Cleaning Performance On Carpets with Power Boost.

Last update on 2022-06-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

How it works

The Roomba 980 and 981 come with sensors and cameras, and moving parts to navigate your home effectively with the help of its High-Precision Map.

The Anti-drop / Cliff Sensor prevents the device from bumping into obstacles in your home, and the Edge Clean mode allows you to clean your rug, carpets, furniture, and room perimeters. Under the Roomba 980 and 981 are two rolling brushes that work to extract dirt and debris, spinning brushes to help sweep the dirt and debris into the vacuum and front wheels for easy and improved 360° movement. 

The build comes with improved suction power, which helps the overall suction of dirt and debris, pet hair, and the rest of your home. If you have pets, you will need to adjust your cleaning means. 

Design

The Roomba 980 and 981 are 13.9 inches wide and 3.6 inches high. They have a light design, weighing just about 8.69 pounds. Their lightweight design makes it easy to carry around the house and up and down flights of stairs, great for elderly people

Like most products in the Roomba series, the 980 and 981 are circular with a glossy black finish giving them a cool shiny look. In addition, they come with a responsive bumper ring, an air vent, a camera, and a handle, making them portable.

Key features

The Roomba 980 and 981 have various key features, including WiFi connectivity, voice-activated control, improved suction power, and a long-lasting and fantastic battery performance.

The WiFi connectivity allows users to control their Roomba 980 and 981 from anywhere in the world through the iRobot home app. The voice activation feature allows you to send voice control to start or stop the robot vacuums through voice assistants like Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

irobot roomba 980 robot vacuum work on patented iadapt and technology with vslam navigation

Side by side comparison

Some of the key features of both the Roomba 980 and 981 include:

Color

They both share the same glossy black color.

Dirt sensor

Their design includes the same kind of dirt sensor, Navigate Type, Anti Cliff Sensors, and Side / Edge Brush.

Size

Their height and weight are relatively similar, both weighing about 8.7 lbs with a height of 3.6 inches. 

Connectivity

The two products share the same connectivity functionality. They both support WiFi connectivity, Alexa/Google Assistant, and the Home mobile application.

a irobot roomba 981 robot vacuum cleaning the carpet

Key differences

What differentiates the Roomba 980 and Roomba 981 is the power plug to the house wall outlet, specific to certain regions.

FAQs

Does the Roomba 980 and 981 model work on the shag area rug?

The Roomba effectively cleans shallow and surface pile rugs and carpets in the house. However, if the rug is deeper than 5/8 inch, the Roomba 981 robot vacuum may not be able to clean it properly.

Can I program the Roomba to skip specific areas?

Both the iRobot Roomba 981 and 980 cannot be programmed to skip specific areas in your home. However, with the help of a Dual mode virtual wall that emits infrared signals, you can keep the robot vacuum from specific areas.

Can I use multiple robots on the App?

You can connect up to 10 robot vacuums to the iRobot home app without any hassle.

How much debris can the iRobot Roomba 980 and 981 cover?

Both the Roomba 980 and 981 can hold 600 ml or approximately 2.5 cups of the debris before needing to be emptied.

How high can both Roomba go over?

Both the iRobot Roomba 981 and 980 have a clearance of 5/8 inch. In other words, the threshold between rooms in the house needs to be lower than the clearance for the iRobot Roomba to go over.

Final thoughts

We have made comparisons and gone over the iRobot Roomba 980 vs 981. To conclude, the only noticeable difference between the two products is the type of plugs they both have. Therefore, if you are in the European region, you should consider getting the iRobot Roomba 981 model. If you reside in North America, the iRobot Roomba 980 will be perfect for you.

Emma-Marie, Author Little Robot Shop

About the author

Emma Marie is a valued writer at the Little Robot Shop. She studied robotics and deeply understands technology, which shows in her writing.  She consistently produces high-quality content, making her a perfect fit for the Little Robot Shop team.

While not writing, Emma works in a popular electronics retail chain. Emma also enjoys running and has two dogs with whom she loves spending time.