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iRobot Roomba s9+ Review

Great edging and carpet performance make this a good option for someone with large carpeted areas who wants more out of their robot
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iRobot Roomba s9+ Review
Credit: iRobot
Price:  $1,000 List
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Manufacturer:   iRobot
By Jessica Riconscente and Benjamin Hickok  ⋅  Aug 19, 2022
59
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 12
  • Navigation - 30% 4.6
  • Home Coverage - 20% 6.9
  • Carpet Cleaning - 15% 7.0
  • Hard Surface Cleaning - 15% 6.6
  • Pet Hair - 10% 4.0
  • Convenience - 10% 6.6

Our Verdict

Great edging and generally great carpet cleaning performance make the iRobot Roomba s9+ an okay option for folks with a lot of carpeted area, but overall, it failed to impress our test team. It only exhibited average to slightly above-average performance across most of our test metrics and challenges. However, at the price point, we've come to expect much more from a robot vacuum. Many of its peers offer similar performance, and some other models we tested offer better and more balanced performance for much less. We recommend checking out better models in our robot vacuum review.
REASONS TO BUY
Excellent edging
Mostly great carpet cleaning
Dirt disposal system
REASONS TO AVOID
Weak barrier performance
Poor poo-avoidance

Compare to Similar Products

 
irobot roomba s9+
This Product
iRobot Roomba s9+
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award  Top Pick Award 
Price $1,000 List
$1,099 at Amazon
$430 List
$429.99 at Amazon
$315 List
$296.88 at Amazon
$550 List
$359.99 at Amazon
$780 List
$637.35 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Bottom Line Good for large carpeted homes, but we expected more from this expensive robotThis is an advanced robot vacuum that's within reach for everyone in the marketThis model is a great option overall, competing with pricier options in most testsThe new standard for a smart, workhorse robot vacuumPoo-avoidance and a great pet hair performance make this model a great choice for pet owners
Rating Categories iRobot Roomba s9+ Roborock Q5 Wyze Robot Vacuum Eufy RoboVac X8 Hybrid iRobot Roomba j7+
Navigation (30%)
4.6
7.8
7.8
7.0
6.6
Home Coverage (20%)
6.9
8.5
7.3
8.2
6.0
Carpet Cleaning (15%)
7.0
7.8
7.3
6.8
6.2
Hard Surface Cleaning (15%)
6.6
7.8
8.2
8.2
5.9
Pet Hair (10%)
4.0
6.0
4.0
4.0
6.0
Convenience (10%)
6.6
7.2
6.5
6.5
6.6
Specs iRobot Roomba s9+ Roborock Q5 Wyze Robot Vacuum Eufy RoboVac X8 Hybrid iRobot Roomba j7+
Bin Capacity .4 L .47 L .55 L .4 L .4 L
Measured Dimensions 13.3" diameter
3.4" high
13.75" diameter
3.75" high
13.5" diameter
3.6" High
13.5" diameter
4" high
13.3" diameter
3.4" high
Warranty 4 year limited 1 year limited 1 year limited 1 year limited 3 year limited
Recharge & Resume Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Multi-Room Navigation (Cleaning) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Spot Clean Spiral Square Square/Rectangle Square Square
App Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Barrier Type Virtual Virtual Virtual Virtual Virtual
Measured Brush Width 9.5" 6.5" 6.25" 6" 6.75"
Tower Capacity Dirt = 2.21 L N/A N/A N/A Dirt = 2.21 L

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.

irobot roomba s9+ - the irobot roomba s9+ offers average performance.
The iRobot Roomba s9+ offers average performance.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Performance Comparison


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.

irobot roomba s9+ - an interesting model with a mix of features contributing to its...
An interesting model with a mix of features contributing to its overall above-average performance.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Navigation


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.

irobot roomba s9+ - this model made a lot of collisions with furniture before finding...
This model made a lot of collisions with furniture before finding its way.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Home Coverage


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.

irobot roomba s9+ - an app lets you designate no-go zones.
An app lets you designate no-go zones.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

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.

irobot roomba s9+ - the roomba covers areas underneath obstacles.
The Roomba covers areas underneath obstacles.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Carpet Cleaning


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.

irobot roomba s9+ - very little debris was left behind in our carper cleaning challenge.
Very little debris was left behind in our carper cleaning challenge.
Credit: Jessica Riconscente

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.

irobot roomba s9+ - a nearly perfectly clean carpet.
A nearly perfectly clean carpet.
Credit: Jessica Riconscente

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.

irobot roomba s9+ - the roomba left behind very little oatmeal.
The Roomba left behind very little oatmeal.
Credit: Jessica Riconscente

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.

irobot roomba s9+ - flour proved to be quite a difficult task.
Flour proved to be quite a difficult task.
Credit: Jessica Riconscente

Pet Hair


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.

Convenience


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.

irobot roomba s9+ - intelligent features, like battery monitoring, keeps this robot...
Intelligent features, like battery monitoring, keeps this robot ready to tackle tasks.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

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.

irobot roomba s9+ - a large capacity bagged collection system adds to the overall...
A large capacity bagged collection system adds to the overall convenience of the Roomba.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

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 Eufy RoboVac X8 Hybrid, which offers greater overall performance. 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