iRobot Roomba s9+ Review
Pros: Excellent edging, mostly great carpet cleaning, dirt disposal system
Cons: Weak barrier performance, poor poo-avoidance
Compare to Similar Products
iRobot Roomba s9+
$799.00 at Amazon
|$430 List||$800 List|
$599.00 at Amazon
$179.99 at Amazon
$199.99 at Amazon
|Pros||Excellent edging, mostly great carpet cleaning, dirt disposal system||Inexpensive, great overall performance, navigates furniture, great at docking, excellent barrier protection||Great poo-avoidance, excellent at vacuuming pet hair, dirt disposal system||Great job returning to its dock, excellent pet hair pickup||Inexpensive, simplistic, great at thorough spot cleaning, good at edging|
|Cons||Weak barrier performance, poor poo-avoidance||Average edging, no dust collection system||Average cleaning performance, lacks top-tier intelligent features||No room mapping, no barrier protection, no disposal system||No room mapping, poor at docking, bad multiroom coverage, no barrier protection, no disposal system|
|Bottom Line||Great edging and carpet performance make this a good option for someone with large carpeted areas who wants more out of their robot||An excellent performer in all of our test metrics and challenges, and has our team impressed, especially considering its low cost against its competitors||If you want a decent robot with poo-avoidance then this is a great option||We appreciate this model for its stellar pet hair performance and price, but not much else||With newer technology like room mapping in apps, we'd suggest looking to another more capable product|
|Rating Categories||iRobot Roomba s9+||Roborock S4 Max||iRobot Roomba j7+||Roborock E4||Eufy RoboVac 11S Slim|
|Home Coverage (20%)|
|Carpet Cleaning (15%)|
|Hard Surface Cleaning (15%)|
|Pet Hair (10%)|
|Specs||iRobot Roomba s9+||Roborock S4 Max||iRobot Roomba j7+||Roborock E4||Eufy RoboVac 11S Slim|
|Bin Capacity||.4 L||.46 L||.4 L||.64 L||.6 L|
|Weight||9.2 lbs||7.3 lbs||7.6 lbs||6.6 lbs||5.8 lbs|
|Battery||Lithium Ion||Lithium Ion||Lithium Ion||Lithium Ion||Lithium Ion|
|Warranty||4 year limited||1 year limited||3 year limited||1 year limited||1 year limited|
|Recharge & Resume||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Multi-Room Navigation (Cleaning)||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Measured Brush Width||9.5||6.5||6.75||6.5||5.5|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The iRobot Roomba s9+ performed ahead of many of the products we tested but failed to impress our test team due to its poor value.
We researched and purchased the top-rated robot vacuums, then put them through six sets of challenges to determine which ones live up to their promises. We've broken down the results produced by the iRobot Roomba s9+ across all of those challenges, split into six rating metrics, each weighted for their overall significance.
The Roomba s9+ had a laughable navigation performance. It does a dismal job of avoiding pet droppings and moving around furniture. What it did do well was make the return to its docking station, but we wish it didn't abuse the furniture on its way home.
This model's fatal flaw is its inability to take its paws off the furniture. If you have wooden or other sensitive furnishings, this could cause some scratches.
We certainly wouldn't recommend getting this vacuum if you have a puppy in training. An accidental run-in with pet waste is a massive headache as you will also need to clean out the entire vacuum and the mess it leaves behind.
We tested the iRobot Roomba s9+ in a series of challenges to determine a score for our second most heavily weighted test metric, home coverage. Making up 20% of its overall score, the S9+ did very well.
It can handle multiple rooms configured via the app. Also configurable are virtual barriers and no-go zones designated as squares without the ability to draw a zone. The S9+ actually did an overly cautious job of respecting barriers and missed adjacent areas that it had ample room to clean.
Spot clean options on the app allow you to designate a spot cleaning, although it did a poor job of cleaning the outermost 6 inches of the spot cleaning zone. While the spot clean issue could be remedied by increasing the spot clean size, it's strange and a less than desirable performance.
What was very impressive was its ability to make tight turns along corners, as well as clean well against edges. While it could have done a better and less erratic job of evenly covering a single room, it has no issues returning to its docking station when finished and ready for a recharge.
The Roomba s9+ was one of the better carpet cleaners we tested. It only left a single rice grain behind on short carpet and a little more behind on fluffier carpet, but fortunately, it didn't push grains further into the carpet to make them harder to clean.
It did similarly well on our oatmeal challenge, leaving two partial grains and dust, and did just as well on fluffier carpet but left the same amount in the form of debris. Amazingly, this model barely left anything behind on low pile carpet and left a noticeable streak behind on high pile carpet in our cereal test, a test that proves difficult for many robots. It only struggled in our flour test, leaving a distinct haze. It just doesn't seem to handle very fine dust particles well.
Hard Surface Cleaning
The iRobot Roomba s9+ placed in the top half of products we tested by exhibiting a range of performances on hard surfaces. It did well at cleaning rice and oatmeal but struggled on the two challenges that are typically more difficult for the bulk of vacuums we tested which are cereal and flour.
When cleaning up rice from hard surfaces, it flung a few grains ahead of itself before picking them up, but it also displaced a few grains to the sides. It offered similar great performance cleaning oatmeal and left very little in the cracks in the flooring.
As previously mentioned, the iRobot Roomba s9+ did a poor job of cleaning flour, dragging and displacing the bulk of the flour used in our test. It also was not up to the task of cleaning cereal.
The iRobot Roomba s9+ did an average job lifting pet hair, performing on par with the bulk of robots we tested. It cleaned 1.06 grams of the pet hair used in our testing, which is about 21%. Although that may not seem like much, the average vacuum in our lineup picked up around 24% of pet hair.
The s9+ offers the standard in convenience, essentially tying with most of the models we tested overall. Convenience is enhanced with a bagged 2.2L dust removal system. However, the Roomba s9+ fails to be outstanding due largely to a lack of convenience features.
It has no physical or app remote, adjustable suction power, and no accessory life, A.K.A maintenance tracking. While it does feature a repeat for thoroughness function, like other Roombas, it makes two passes on an area versus being just a little more robust in its options.
Should You Buy the iRobot Roomba s9+?
Considering its overall performance across our tests and the rather high cost, we think a consumer would be better off skipping the iRobot Roomba s9 and considering better performing and cheaper alternatives.
What Other Robot Vacuums Should You Consider?
Considering the slightly above-average performance and relatively high price of the iRobot Roomba s9, we think it would be worth considering another model, the Roborock S4 Max, which offers greater overall performance for much less. For those who want one of the most intelligent models available today and are willing to increase their budget, we think it is worth considering the Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra.
— Jessica Riconscente and Benjamin Hickok
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