The iRobot Roomba 960 is a well-built robot vacuum with a ton of automation features that some other robot vacuums don't have. It has a camera on top that helps it navigate around a room and locate itself. Its smart pathing feature is efficient at moving around and cleaning a room, and once it's done cleaning, it sends you a map of the area it cleaned via the companion app. Also, the decently-sized dirt compartment has sensors in it to notify you when it's full. It easily cleans debris and hair on bare floors, although some dirt gets stuck in the tunnel between the dirt compartment and brushrolls. It doesn't perform as well on carpets, although it's still not a bad choice if you have low-pile carpet. However, this vacuum is difficult to maintain and you need to replace several parts regularly.
The iRobot Roomba 960 is decent to use on bare floors. It has good performance on this surface as it cleans up an outstanding amount of large and small debris, and a good amount of hair, but it loses its performance as the dirt compartment fills. Sadly, it's difficult to maintain and there are a few parts you need to replace regularly. On the upside, its smart pathing feature gives it excellent maneuverability.
Okay for low-pile carpet. Its performance on this surface isn't bad as the iRobot Roomba 960 easily cleans hair and large debris, but doesn't suck up finer debris like baking soda. It has demanding maintenance needs and you need to buy replacement parts regularly. However, its dirt compartment is fairly big for a robot vacuum and it has an excellent smart pathing feature.
The iRobot Roomba 960 is alright for high-pile carpet. It sucks up some hair and large debris like sand, but it struggles with small debris. It has an auto head adjustment feature, making it easier to navigate over thick rugs, but this vacuum is difficult to maintain and there are a lot of parts for which you need to buy replacements.
The iRobot Roomba 960 is an acceptable robot vacuum to use if you have pets. It cleans up a very good amount of hair on bare floors and low-pile carpet but doesn't pick up as much on high-pile carpet. Hair doesn't really get stuck around the brushrolls, but instead, it gets stuck in the tunnel before the dirt compartment.
The iRobot Roomba 960 isn't designed to be used on stairs.
The iRobot Roomba 960 isn't designed to clean cars.
The iRobot Roomba 960 has a great build quality. The entire design of the vacuum feels premium and it's made out of hard plastic. The plastic is glossy on top and the sides, and the bumpers have a matte finish. The dirt compartment is made out of hard plastic, which feels fairly sturdy, and it has sensors in it to detect when it's full. The brushrolls are rubber, similar to the brushrolls on the iRobot Roomba E5, and they rotate in opposite directions. It has a camera on top to navigate itself around the room and it also comes with a virtual wall barrier tool. There are three buttons on the top to do a spot clean, start a cleaning session, or return to the dock. There are lights above the controls that are indicators for the battery, Wi-Fi, dirt compartment, and if there are any errors. There's no assembly required when you first get it, as you just need to set up the charging dock.
The 960 is fairly difficult to maintain as there are a lot of parts you need to take care of, but they're all easy to access.
There are a few parts that you need to replace regularly for the 960. You have to replace the HEPA filter every two months and the brushrolls every 6-12 months. You also need to replace the front caster wheel once a year. iRobot sells a replenishment kit that includes the brushrolls, three HEPA filters, and two side brushes. Although the side brush doesn't have a regular replacement time, you should replace it when it gets visibly worn.
Excellent storing capabilities, which is expected from a robot vacuum. The 960 doesn't take up much space and it mounts onto the charging dock by itself.
The Roomba 960 has a good-sized dirt compartment for a robot vacuum, and it's bigger than the dirt compartments on the iRobot Roomba 675 and iRobot Roomba E5. It has sensors that notify you when the compartment is full, either through the application or the light on top. Note that the cover doesn't close if the HEPA filter isn't inserted.
If you're looking for a robot vacuum that doesn't need to be emptied very often, try the iRobot Roomba i3+, which has an automatic dirt disposal feature.
Note that the vacuum comes with the parts assembled and ready to use.
The 960 has an unlimited range as long as it still has battery life left, but it isn't able to go up stairs.
The 960 is very portable. It's on the heavier side for a robot vacuum but luckily, it has a carrying handle for when you need to bring it to another room.
The 960 has an excellent battery life, although it lasts a bit shorter than the iRobot Roomba E5. The battery takes the same amount of time to charge as it takes to lose its battery life, which is convenient and not something we see on most other robot vacuums. This vacuum automatically adjusts its head height and suction power depending on the surface and the amount of dirt it detects, so your total battery life may vary. There's an indicator on top for the battery life remaining, and it goes from green, to yellow, to red. The application also notifies you of the battery life. If you want a robot vacuum with a longer battery life, check out the eufy RoboVac 11S.
Update 04/21/2021: The 'Power Adjustment' field has been set to 'No', since the vacuum's suction power can't be adjusted manually.
The 960 has a few extra features. It automatically detects the surface it's cleaning and it senses how much dirt is on the floor too. It changes its power and head height according to the surface, and you can't manually adjust either of these settings.
Take a look at the Roborock S4 Max if you want a vacuum that allows you to manually change the suction power setting.
The Roomba 960 comes with two rubber brushrolls that rotate in the opposite direction. It has a side brush that pushes dirt into the cleaning path. There's also a virtual wall tool that sets up a barrier of 10 feet (3m) or a circular no-go zone with a diameter of 4ft (1.2m).
There's no alternative configuration for the iRobot Roomba 960.
The Roomba 960 has good performance on bare floors, which is much better than the iRobot Roomba E5. It sucks up an outstanding amount of large debris like cereal, but it struggles as the dirt compartment fills. Some debris, especially cereal, gets stuck in the tunnel between the brushrolls and dirt compartment, as seen in this photo. It also cleans up an excellent amount of small debris and a good amount of pet hair, but the hair also gets stuck in the tunnel.
The 960 isn't bad on low-pile carpet, especially for a robot vacuum. It cleans up a great amount of hair and an excellent amount of larger debris like sand, although some still gets stuck in the tunnel before the dirt compartment. It struggles with cleaning finer debris like baking soda. Consider the Shark IQ Robot if you're looking for a basic robot vacuum with better performance on this surface type.
The Roomba 960 is mediocre on high-pile carpet. It cleans some hair and large debris like sand, but not that much, and it struggles with finer debris. Some sand once again gets stuck in the tunnel. If you're a pet owner and want a similarly-performing robot vacuum that can clear more pet hair on high-pile carpet, consider the iRobot Roomba i7+ or the Roborock E4.
The 960 has excellent maneuverability. Its smart pathing feature navigates the room well. It cleans the room horizontally then vertically, and if it has trouble cleaning a certain area, it finds another path to clean around it. Its auto head adjustment helps it move around and clean in a room with carpets, and for the most part, it's able to clean a rug without getting stuck. If it does, it notifies you to move it. It pushes electric cords around but it doesn't get tangled.
Update 04/21/2021: The 'Remote Controller' field has been set to 'Yes (App Only)', since the companion app does allow you to start and stop the vacuum. The score and text have been updated.
The 960's automation features are excellent. It has a camera that helps it navigate around the room and keep track of its location. There are buttons on the top to start a cleaning session, do a spot clean, or send the vacuum to its dock. You get a bunch of features with the iRobot HOME application, although you can't use it as a remote control like you can with the Shark AI Robot. With the app, you can see its battery status, get notified when the dirt compartment is full, set cleaning times, and start or pause cleaning sessions. You get a map of the areas of the room it cleaned after each session, but it doesn't remember the map like the Roborock S4, so it's not as efficient at cleaning the room each time. If the battery dies mid-cleaning session, the vacuum returns to the dock to charge, then finishes the cleaning session. Also, the vacuum is compatible with Google Home and Alexa, and you also get a virtual wall tool to set boundaries.
The iRobot Roomba 960 is a decent overall robot vacuum with good performance on bare floors. It cleans much more debris than the iRobot Roomba E5 and iRobot Roomba 675 and it has more automation features. However, its overall performance isn't as good as the Roborock S4 or even the Neato Botvac D7. Also see our recommendations for the best vacuums, best robot vacuums, and best robot vacuums for pet hair.
The iRobot Roomba 960 and Shark IQ Robot RV1001 have different strengths. The Shark performs better on bare floors as well as low and high-pile carpet and has longer maximum battery life. Meanwhile, the iRobot is better-built, easier to maintain, incurs fewer recurring costs, has a larger dust bin, and recharges in less than a third of the time.
The iRobot Roomba i7+ is a somewhat better robot vacuum than the iRobot Roomba 960. While both vacuums are very well-built, the i7+ can automatically empty its dirt compartment into its charging dock. Its performance on low and high-pile carpet is better too. However, the 960 has fewer recurring costs and it can clean bare floors more thoroughly.
The iRobot Roomba 960 is slightly better than the iRobot Roomba i3+ EVO. The 960 incurs lower recurring costs, is more effective on low-pile carpet, does a better job dealing with pet hair, and can climb over obstructions like rug tassels with less difficulty. It also comes with a virtual wall tool that generates a barrier that the vacuum won't cross. However, the i3+ does have a self-emptying function that reduces hands-on maintenance requirements since it can automatically transfer debris from its internal dirt compartment to an external dustbin attached to its charging dock.
The iRobot Roomba 960 is slightly better than the iRobot Roomba 694. The 960 has an allergen-trapping HEPA filter, a larger dustbin, better maneuverability, and a broader range of automation features. It does a much better job clearing pet hair on different surfaces. However, the 694 does have a slightly longer battery life.
The iRobot Roomba 960 is much better overall than the iRobot Roomba E5. The two vacuums are similarly built and have virtually the same maintenance needs, but the E5 has more recurring costs. The 960 performs better on bare floors and carpet, it has a smart pathing feature, and the dirt compartment is bigger. However, the battery on the E5 lasts longer, but takes more time to charge.
The Roborock S5 is better to clean bare floors, while the iRobot Roomba 960 is better for carpet. The Roborock has outstanding performance on bare floors, the battery life is longer, and it's easier to maintain. On the other hand, the iRobot performs a bit better on high-pile and low-pile carpet, the dirt compartment is slightly bigger, and the battery takes less time to charge.
The Roborock E4 is a better all-around robot vacuum than the iRobot Roomba 960. The Roborock is more effective on all surface types, slightly easier to maintain, and comes with a bigger dirt compartment. It also lasts much longer off of a single charge. The iRobot charges much faster and does a better job of dealing with obstructions like power cords and rug tassels, however.
The iRobot Roomba 960 is superior in most ways to the eufy RoboVac G30 Edge. The iRobot feels substantially better-made, incurs fewer recurring costs, has a much larger dirt compartment, and cleans more effectively on all surface types, with better overall maneuverability. It also charges substantially faster, though the eufy has longer maximum battery life. The eufy is also a little lighter.
The Neato Botvac D7 is a bit better overall than the iRobot Roomba 960. The Neato has much better performance on bare floors and carpets, is easier to maintain, and the battery lasts longer. However, the iRobot's battery takes less time to charge and there are less recurring costs associated with this vacuum.
The Roborock S6 is better than the iRobot Roomba 960 as it performs much better on any type of surface, especially bare floors. It's better-built, easier to maintain, and its battery lasts much longer, although it takes longer to charge. However, the iRobot has a slightly bigger dirt compartment.