Roomba 981 Vs I3: How Do You Choose The Best Option For Your Home?

Your purchases through our links may earn us a commission at no extra charge to you. Read more

Roomba 981 vs I3 both belong to Roomba’s famous smart design product line. This article is a real comparison between these good robot vacuum cleaners. In short, the winner is the Roomba 960.

Roomba 981 is a full-featured hybrid robot with strong suction combined with advanced iAdapt technology for intelligent navigation and ensuring optimal dirt removal. In addition, it also has a built-in camera and supports audio connections.

The Roomba i3 offers a more budget-friendly choice than the Roomba 981 but still ensures optimal removal of dirt, debris, and pet hair through powerful suction.

Roomba 981 Vs I3: Comparison Chart

Image
THE WINNER (#1)
iRobot Roomba 981 Robot Vacuum-Wi-Fi Connected Mapping, Works with Alexa, Ideal for Pet Hair, Carpets, Hard Floors, Power Boost Technology
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
iRobot Roomba® i3 (3150) Wi-Fi® Connected Robot Vacuum Vacuum - Wi-Fi Connected Mapping Braava Jet M6 (6110) Ultimate Robot Mop- Wi-Fi Connected
Model
Roomba 981
Roomba I3
Dimensions (W x H)/Weight
13.9 x 3.6 inches/ 8.7 lbs.
13.26 x 3.63 inches/7.44 lbs.
Shape
Round-Shaped
Round-Shaped
Self-Propelled
Cliff Sensor
Navigation Technology
vSLAM
vSLAM
Self - Empty
Obstacle avoidance
Dustbin Capacity
0,4 liters
0,4 liters
Scheduled Cleaning
Extractor & Side Brush
2x Rubber Brushes / 1 Side Brush
2x Rubber Brushes / 1 Side Brush
Filter
HEPA filters
HEPA filters
Bag type
Bagless
Bagless
Recharge & Resume
Run time/ Charging time
120 Minutes/ 3 hours
75 Minutes/ 3 hours
Mopping
What I Like
Price
$216.87
Price not available
THE WINNER (#1)
Image
iRobot Roomba 981 Robot Vacuum-Wi-Fi Connected Mapping, Works with Alexa, Ideal for Pet Hair, Carpets, Hard Floors, Power Boost Technology
Model
Roomba 981
Dimensions (W x H)/Weight
13.9 x 3.6 inches/ 8.7 lbs.
Shape
Round-Shaped
Self-Propelled
Cliff Sensor
Navigation Technology
vSLAM
Self - Empty
Obstacle avoidance
Dustbin Capacity
0,4 liters
Scheduled Cleaning
Extractor & Side Brush
2x Rubber Brushes / 1 Side Brush
Filter
HEPA filters
Bag type
Bagless
Recharge & Resume
Run time/ Charging time
120 Minutes/ 3 hours
Mopping
What I Like
Price
$216.87
More Info
THE RUNNER-UP (#2)
Image
iRobot Roomba® i3 (3150) Wi-Fi® Connected Robot Vacuum Vacuum - Wi-Fi Connected Mapping Braava Jet M6 (6110) Ultimate Robot Mop- Wi-Fi Connected
Model
Roomba I3
Dimensions (W x H)/Weight
13.26 x 3.63 inches/7.44 lbs.
Shape
Round-Shaped
Self-Propelled
Cliff Sensor
Navigation Technology
vSLAM
Self - Empty
Obstacle avoidance
Dustbin Capacity
0,4 liters
Scheduled Cleaning
Extractor & Side Brush
2x Rubber Brushes / 1 Side Brush
Filter
HEPA filters
Bag type
Bagless
Recharge & Resume
Run time/ Charging time
75 Minutes/ 3 hours
Mopping
What I Like
Price
Price not available
More Info

Roomba 981 Vs I3: Differences

Roomba 981 took the lead in the match against Roomba I3 with a 2-0 win and 2 draws. Let’s dive deeper into everything that sets these two feature-packed robots apart!

Cleaning performance

Hardwood floor

Roomba 981Roomba I3
≈ 100%≈ 98%
Cleaning on hardwood floor
Cleaning on the hardwood floor

The Roomba 980 was a pro on hardwood floors and handled 100% of all debris tested. Meanwhile, Roomba I3 can handle about 98%. Overall, both machines make me quite satisfied.

Carpet

Roomba 981Roomba I3
Low-pile Carpet≈ 98%≈ 95%
High-pile Carpet≈ 95%≈ 90%

When tested on a low-pile carpet, the results were quite good: Roomba 981 cleaned 98%, while Roomba I3 cleaned 95%. It absorbs 100% of grains, cat litter, and rice. Meanwhile, sugar crumbs are still left behind when cleaning, mostly because the sugar particles sink into the carpet fibers.

Cleaning on carpet
Cleaning on carpet

For high-pile Carpets, 980 continues to dominate cereal, cat litter, and carpet. It captures about 95% of debris, while the Roomba I3 only captures 90%.

Hair test

When it comes to handling pet and human hair, both the Roomba 981 vs I3 prove to be highly effective, collecting both short and long hairs in just one or two passes. However, based on my testing, the Roomba 981 edges out the Roomba I3 in terms of resistance to hair tangles.

Hair test
Hair test

In a 10-inch hair strength test, the Roomba 981 managed to reduce the amount of hair tangled in its rollers by an impressive 90%, while the Roomba I3 fell slightly short, achieving an 81% reduction. This makes the Roomba 981 a more suitable option for households with pets or individuals with long hair, as it requires less maintenance and delivers a more hassle-free cleaning experience.

Design & Usually

Dimension

When considering the dimensions and design of the Roomba 981 vs i3, it is worth noting that both vacuums sport the typical round shape common to most robot vacuums, complete with front bumper, side dust bin, filter, and simple controls atop the machine. Both models also possess a sleek, modern appearance that is aesthetically pleasing.

The i3 is lighter, coming in at 7.44 pounds, while the 981 is slightly heavier at 8.7 pounds. This difference in weight is negligible and does not significantly impact either machine’s performance or ease of use. The compact size and low profile of these vacuums are ideal for cleaning tight spaces and ensuring they can be easily stored. During my testing, I found that neither the 981 nor the i3 got stuck under furniture, which is a common issue with some robot vacuums. This is a testament to their well-thought-out design and engineering.

Extractor & Side Brush

The Roomba 981 vs i3 are equipped with iRobot’s patented dual-brush design, consisting of one brush for dislodging dirt and another for sweeping it up. This design is effective on both hard floors and carpets, providing a versatile cleaning solution. The brushes are made from rubber, which helps minimize hair tangling and capture more pet hair, a feature pet owners will surely appreciate.

Roomba 981 vs i3 are equipped with iRobot's patented dual-brush design
Roomba 981 vs i3 are equipped with iRobot’s patented dual-brush design

In addition to the dual brushes, both vacuums come with an extra side brush that is particularly effective at sweeping difficult corners and edges along walls. However, based on my testing, the Roomba 981 has a slight edge when it comes to cleaning along edges. The 981 seems to get a bit closer to the edges as it moves parallel to them, resulting in better pickup of dirt and debris in those hard-to-reach spots.

Navigation

When it comes to navigation, both the Roomba 981 vs i3 are equipped with iRobot’s innovative iAdapt 2.0 Navigation technology. This system incorporates a range of smart sensors, including floor tracking sensors, cliff sensors, and bumpers, to help the vacuum navigate your home easily. These sensors allow the vacuum to expertly maneuver around furniture and other obstacles, prevent falls or accidents on stairs, and keep track of its position to ensure thorough cleaning of your floors.

Roomba 981 vs i3 are equipped with iRobot's innovative iAdapt 2.0 Navigation technology
Roomba 981 vs i3 are equipped iAdapt 2.0 Navigation technology

During my testing, I found that both vacuums performed admirably in this regard, moving seamlessly around my home and providing comprehensive cleaning without any hiccups or mishaps.

Battery

When it comes to battery performance, the Roomba 981 clearly has the upper hand with its 3000 mAh battery that provides a runtime of approximately 120 minutes, significantly outpacing the i3’s 1800 mAh battery, which lasts around 75 minutes. This difference in runtime makes the 981 more suitable for larger homes, as it can cover more ground before needing to recharge.

The Roomba 981 takes about 3 hours to fully charge from an empty battery, while the i3 has a slightly faster charging time, ranging from 2 to 3 hours. Both models feature iRobot’s Recharge & Resume Technology, a handy feature that allows the Roomba to return to its last cleaning position to resume cleaning after recharging, ensuring no spots are missed. This technology adds a level of convenience and efficiency to the cleaning process, ensuring that your floors are thoroughly cleaned every time.

Control

Both the Roomba 981 and i3 provide users with a range of control options for a seamless and convenient cleaning experience. For those who prefer a more traditional approach, physical buttons on the robot itself allow you to start or stop cleaning sessions with ease.

On the other hand, for those who are more tech-savvy, the iRobot Home app, available for both iOS and Android, opens up a range of advanced control options. With wifi connectivity, both the 981 and i3 can be controlled remotely via the app, as well as through voice commands using Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. The app provides users with a range of useful features, such as notifications about the robot’s status, access to cleaning history, and the ability to schedule cleaning times over the course of a week.

App connection
App connection

Personally, I find the scheduling feature to be incredibly useful. It allows me to set the robots to clean my entire house while I’m away at work, ensuring that I return to a clean and tidy home. This level of convenience and flexibility is a major plus point for both the Roomba 981 and i3.

Cleaning & Maintenance

When evaluating the cleaning and maintenance features of the Roomba 981 vs i3, it’s noteworthy that both are equipped with a 0.4-liter dust bin, which may be on the smaller side for those with pets or larger areas to clean. The need for frequent emptying could be a potential drawback for some users.

On the positive side, both machines feature HEPA standard filters, which are capable of capturing small particles such as dust mites, pet dander, pollen, and even some bacteria and viruses. This makes the 981 and i3 a strong option for households with allergy sufferers or anyone concerned about maintaining good indoor air quality.

However, it is important to note that neither of these Roomba models come with a self-cleaning base or an automated handling system. Instead, they include a standard charging dock, lacking the more advanced automatic dust removal feature found in some other models. Consequently, users will need to manually empty the dust bin when it becomes full, which might be a drawback for those seeking a more hands-off cleaning experience.

Quick Rundown Of Roomba 981:

iRobot Roomba 981 Robot Vacuum-Wi-Fi Connected Mapping, Works with Alexa, Ideal for Pet Hair, Carpets, Hard Floors, Power Boost Technology
  • NAVIGATES IN NEAT ROWS - Purposefully and logically cleans in neat rows and uses floor tracking sensors to navigate your home
  • IT WON'T STOP TILL THE JOB IS DONE - Intelligently maps and cleans an entire level of your home; Patented iAdapt and technology with vSLAM navigation actively captures thousands of precise measurements each millisecond to optimize coverage
  • LEARNS YOUR LIFE LISTENS TO YOUR VOICE - Learns your cleaning habits to offer up personalized schedules, while Google Assistant and Alexa allow you to start cleaning with just the sound of your voice
  • PICKS UP RIGHT WHERE IT LEFT OFF - Doesn’t skip a beat, or a mess; When its running low on battery it recharges and resumes, ensuring a complete clean
Pros
  • Suction 10x stronger than previous models.
  • Localization and mapping through iAdapt and vSLAM.
  • Can be controlled using the app.
  • Capable of cleaning even with human presence.
Cons
  • High price.

Quick Rundown Of Roomba I3

iRobot Roomba® i3 (3150) Wi-Fi® Connected Robot Vacuum Vacuum - Wi-Fi Connected Mapping Braava Jet M6 (6110) Ultimate Robot Mop- Wi-Fi Connected
  • POWERFUL PERFORMANCE AND POWERFUL PICK-UP - Pulls in stubborn dirt and messes with a Premium 3-Stage Cleaning System and 10X the Power-Lifting Suction. Control how you clean with the iRobot HOME app or your voice assistant.
  • SMART NAVIGATION GETS THE JOB DONE - The i3 navigates and maps your home in neat rows using state-of-the-art floor tracking sensors to vacuum hardwood and carpet.
  • GOES WHERE IT'S NEEDED, AVOIDS WHERE IT'S NOT - Reactive Sensor Technology tells the robot where it can and cannot reach, which means less getting stuck on furniture and more knowing where to go. Dirt Detect sensors focus cleaning where it’s needed most.
  • THE ULTIMATE ROBOT MOP - The Braava jet m6 robot mops like you would. You can tell it where and when to clean, and Precision Jet Spray helps tackle sticky messes and kitchen grease
  • MOPPING THAT FITS SEAMLESSLY INTO YOUR LIFE - Ideal for multiple rooms & larger spaces. Navigates around objects & under furniture. Cleans finished hard floors including hardwood, tile & stone
Pros
  • Impressive cleaning efficiency.
  • Can save multiple maps.
  • Dual-brushroll system.
  • Great performance in obstacle avoidance.
Cons
  • There is no working partition feature.
  • It can be a bit noisy.

Product Videos

Related Articles to Roomba I3

  1. iRobot Roomba I3 Vs S9+: A Detailed iRobot Vacuum Comparison
  2. Roomba 692 vs i3: A Head-To-Head Comparison
  3. Roomba 671 Vs I3: Pros, Cons, and Performance
  4. Roborock Q5 vs Roomba I3: Clean Homes Powerhouse Face-Off!
  5. Roomba 698 vs i3: Best Picks for Your Home!
  6. Roomba i3 vs j7: A Clash of Premium vs. Entry-Level Models
  7. Roomba i3 vs i7: Which Robot Vacuum Is Right For You?
  8. Roomba i3 vs i4: Which Affordable Entry-Level Roomba Is the Better Choice?
  9. Neato D8 vs Roomba i3: Which Robot Vacuum Is Right For You?
  10. Roomba i3 vs 960: Which iRobot Roomba Is The Most Affordable Option?
  11. Eufy G30 vs Roomba i3: Which Is The Better Option For Your Home?

References:

5/5 - (1 vote)

Leave a Comment