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Roomba S9 vs S9+ Comparison Review

Roomba S9 vs S9+
There’s no doubt that iRobot has the best robot vacuums on the market. If you want a top-of-the-range model, the S9 series is what you should go for. But then, there are two variants in the S9 series: the Roomba S9 and Roomba S9+. So, which is the best bang for the buck? That’s what this Roomba S9 vs S9+ comparison review is all about.

Before going into the details, here is an overview of the brand and the respective models in this comparison review.

About iRobot

RoombaEstablished in 1990, iRobot Corporation is the pioneer in the robot vacuums market. The company released the first robot vacuum in 2002, and since then, the heavy investment in research and development has made sure that it’s the leading robot vacuum brand.

Besides robot vacuums, the company has robot mops dubbed Braavas, a hobby robot called Create, and a coding robot for kids known as Root. In recent developments, the company is focusing on a robotic lawnmower.

Roomba S9 Series

In the last quarter of 2019, the Massachusetts-based company unveiled the Roomba S9 series. The company termed this series of robot vacuums as the “smartest, most powerful robot vacuum yet.” The two robots Roomba S9 (9150) and Roomba S9+ (9550), feature some of the latest innovations from iRobot. That said, let’s get to the main business of the day, comparing the two models.

iRobot Roomba S9 (9150)...
iRobot Roomba s9+ (9550)...
Dimensions
12.25 x 12.25 x 3.5 inches
12.25 x 12.25 x 3.5 inches
Weight
8.2 pounds
8.2 pounds
Suction Power
40X Power-Lifting Suction (about 2200 Pa)
40X Power-Lifting Suction (about 2200 Pa)
Carpet Boost
Navigation
iAdapt 3.0, vSLAM, Intellingent Mapping
iAdapt 3.0, vSLAM, Intellingent Mapping
Multi-Floor Mapping
yes up to 10 plans
yes up to 10 plans
Filter
High-Efficiency
High-Efficiency
Dustbin
400-450 ml
400-450 ml
Auto Dirt Disposal
Dirt Detection
Runtime
120 minutes
120 minutes
WiFi Connectivity
Imprint Link
Auto Dirt Disposal Base
iRobot Roomba S9 (9150)...
Dimensions
12.25 x 12.25 x 3.5 inches
Weight
8.2 pounds
Suction Power
40X Power-Lifting Suction (about 2200 Pa)
Carpet Boost
Navigation
iAdapt 3.0, vSLAM, Intellingent Mapping
Multi-Floor Mapping
yes up to 10 plans
Filter
High-Efficiency
Dustbin
400-450 ml
Auto Dirt Disposal
Dirt Detection
Runtime
120 minutes
WiFi Connectivity
Imprint Link
Auto Dirt Disposal Base
iRobot Roomba s9+ (9550)...
Dimensions
12.25 x 12.25 x 3.5 inches
Weight
8.2 pounds
Suction Power
40X Power-Lifting Suction (about 2200 Pa)
Carpet Boost
Navigation
iAdapt 3.0, vSLAM, Intellingent Mapping
Multi-Floor Mapping
yes up to 10 plans
Filter
High-Efficiency
Dustbin
400-450 ml
Auto Dirt Disposal
Dirt Detection
Runtime
120 minutes
WiFi Connectivity
Imprint Link
Auto Dirt Disposal Base

Last update on 2021-11-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Roomba S9 9150 vs S9+ 9550 Face to Face Comparison Review

To ensure that our readers get the most from this review, we have compared the two models based on the factors considered when choosing robot vacuums. These factors include the design and dimensions, accessories supplied, cleaning performance, power and battery management, navigation and mapping, and, lastly, smart features and convenience.

1. Design and Aesthetics

Roomba s9 Design
There is no difference between the Roomba S9 vs S9+ in terms of the design and aesthetics of the actual robot vacuum cleaner, leave alone the CleanBase unit.

When it comes to the shape, the two models are the first Roombas to come with a D-shaped design dubbed PerfectEdge® Technology. This is a design we have previously seen with Neato robot vacuums. Later on, we will find out how it works. For the record, the older Roombas have a round-shaped design.

In terms of dimensions, the Roomba 9150 and 9550 are also similar. They are 12.25-inches in diameter and 3.5-inches thin. While they may not be the slimmest robot vacuums on the market, they will go under most low-profile furniture such as sofas, couches, beds, and so on.

Last is regarding the aesthetics. While they have different model numbers, these two Roombas have been finished in the same color: java black all around and bronze at the center of the top interface. There are three buttons on the top right side and the iRobot logo at the center.

It’s also worthy to talk about the dimensions of the Clean Base® Automatic Dirt Disposal unit. It measures 12.2 x 15.1 x 19-inches. It is bulky compared to the normal charging dock, but that shouldn’t be a major concern considering the magic it works as far as bin emptying is concerned.

2. Accessories Supplied

The next aspect to look at is the accessories supplied for each model. Here, there is a slight difference between the two Roombas. Below is a list of items you will find in the two respective packages.

What’s in the Box: Roomba S9+

  • iRobot® Roomba® s9+ Robot Vacuum
  • 1 Clean Base® Automatic Dirt Disposal
  • 2 Dirt Disposal Bags
  • 1 North American Line Cord
  • 1 Extra High-Efficiency Filter
  • 1 Extra Corner Brush

For the record, there is a bundle that tags along with a Roomba S9+ and the Braava M6 robot mop.

3. Cleaning Performance

Roomba s9 and S9+ cleaning
When looking for the best robot vacuum cleaner, cleaning performance is the most important consideration. In this section, we are going to dig deeper to find out how the two robots compare. There are similarities and differences as well.

What is the Roomba S9/S9+ Designed For?

Robot vacuums are highly specialized. On the market, you will find robot vacuums designed for sweeping and vacuuming only while others will sweep, vacuum and mop simultaneously. The Roomba S9 and S9+ are identical in terms of orientation: they are designed to sweep and vacuum only. If you want 2-in-1 cleaning, go for the Roomba S9+ bundle that includes the vacuuming robot plus iRobot’s newest mop – the Braava M6. Courtesy of Imprint Link Technology, the Roomba S9/S9+ will vacuum and mop in perfect sequence.

When it comes to the applications of the vacuum only, the Roomba S9 and S9+ serve the same purpose. The two robot vacuums can be used to vacuum all types of bare floors, talk of vinyl, laminate, marble, concrete, and linoleum, just to mention a few. Besides the bare floors, the duo can handle all types of carpets courtesy of the high suction power mode known as Power Boost. Regarding homes with pets, both models in the S series are ready for the task.

Suction Power: Roomba S9 vs S9+
One of the fundamentals of vacuums is suction power. Fortunately, none of the two models in this comparison review has higher suction – they are all the same. iRobot designed them with a powerful 2-speed motor that delivers a maximum of 2200pa when Power Boost is activated. For the record, the two are the most potent Roombas we have tested. The other potent Roomba is the discontinued Roomba 980 that delivered 1670pa in Carpet Boost mode.
Brush System: Roomba S9 vs S9+
There is no difference when it comes to the brush system of the Roomba 9150 and 9550. Like all other Roombas, the Roomba S series relies on a set of brushes for agitation. One new feature of the S9 and S9+ is the dual multi-surface rubber brush that is 30% wider than the 600 series. The brush has been designed to handle both short and long pet hair with minimal tangling. There is also a set of side sweeping brushes that work alongside iRobot’s revolutionary PerfectEdge Technology to ensure optimal deep cleaning into the corners and along wall edges.
Filtration: Roomba S9 vs S9+
Robot vacuums, including Roombas, will also purify the atmosphere besides sweeping and vacuuming. The Roomba 9150 and 9550 both come with the same filtration system, and bin but the difference comes with automatic self-emptying. Under the hood, iRobot engineered the two robot vacuums with a high-efficiency filter that captures 99% of cat & dog dander and other allergens. The above results are based on a proposed IEC fiber pick-up test that pits the S9 series against Shark, Ecovacs, Neato, iLife, and bObsweep. Well, it’s a great thing that Roomba uses high-efficiency filters, but then the industry standard is true HEPA filters which filter down to 0.3 microns.

When it comes to the inbuilt bin, the Roomba S9 and S9+ share the same bin type. This is a redesigned washable bin that loads from the top. It holds up to 0.4 liters of dirt.

Does the Roomba S9 Empty Itself Automatically?

The Roomba S9 has been designed to work with iRobot’s Clean Base® Automatic Dirt Disposal technology. But then, it doesn’t come with the Clean Base® Automatic Dirt Disposal Unit, so you will have to buy it separately. That said, it is safe to say that the S9 doesn’t have automatic self-emptying. You will need to empty the inbuilt bin manually.

Cleaning Test Results: Roomba S9+ vs S9

As is the norm, we endeavor to offer our readers a glimpse of how these robot vacuums perform in a real household setting. In terms of cleaning performance, the Roomba 9550 and 9150 have the same cleaning components. But that does mean they offer the same level of cleaning performance. That’s what we wanted to find out. We put the two in a cleaning test, and here are the results.

In our tests, we used the common dirt homeowners face at home. These include sugar, flour, pet hair, kitty litter, cereals, rice, and sand pebbles. We tested the Roomba S9 and S9+ on bare floors, low pile carpets, and high pile carpets.

Roomba S9 vs S9+ Cleaning Test Results on Bare Floors

Roomba S9 vs S9+ Cleaning Test Results on Bare Floors

Roomba S9 vs S9+ Cleaning Test Results on Carpets

Roomba S9 vs S9+ Cleaning Test Results on Carpets

From the above results, it is clear that the Roomba S9 and S9+ both offer the same level of performance. So, none of the two models beats the other in terms of cleaning performance. The main difference comes in convenience: the 9550 offers automatic self-emptying, while the 9150 must be emptied manually.

4. Battery and Power Management

The Roomba S9 and S9+ come with the same features as far as power and battery management are concerned.

Under the hood, the two robots pack rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. As you may be aware, lithium-ion technology is the best because li-ion batteries are stable and can be charged hundreds of times. What’s more? These batteries have lower self-discharge rates and higher voltage capacity and energy intensity.

How Long Can the Roomba S9 and S9+ Run For?

Now, onto the performance. The batteries used in these two models have a 3300mAh capacity that offers 120 minutes runtime. This is in standard mode, but when the Power Boost mode is active, runtime drops to around 90 minutes. For the record, the more you use the robot vacuum and recharge it, the more the runtime starts dipping. The lifecycle of a Roomba S9 battery is around 12-18 months.

Will the Roomba S9 and S9+ Resume Cleaning?

When it comes to power management, there is nothing different as well. The two robots will dock to recharge automatically. The recharge time is around 4 hours on average. Unlike many robot vacuums out there, the S9 series robot vacuums can recharge and resume cleaning automatically, courtesy of Patented Smart Charge and Resume. That means, even when the job is not complete, and the battery runs low, you won’t have to prompt the robot again for it to complete the cleaning session. It will pick up from where it is left automatically.

5. Navigation and Mapping

Roomba s9 and S9+ mapping
The navigation and mapping is a crucial decision as it determines where the robot will reach, and importantly if it will touch all the areas of the floor. In this section, we will assess how the Roomba S9 compares to the S9+ in terms of navigation and mapping.

Navigation: Roomba S9 vs S9+
The Roomba s9+ and S9 are similar when it comes to navigation as they all rely on patented iAdapt® 3.0 Navigation. The two robot vacuums use a Visual Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (VSLAM) navigation system for localization. There are sensors and a real-time camera that complement each other to ensure the robot doesn’t hit obstacles or fall down the stairs. You can rely on these two Roombas to vacuum large apartments with high traffic without worrying about them getting stuck or causing accidents.
Floor Mapping: Roomba S9 vs S9+
In terms of floor scanning and mapping, the two models are also similar. The robot uses VSLAM technology to scan and map the entire floor of your house. With this technology, the robot actively captures over 230,400 data points/second to optimize coverage. Interestingly, iAdapt 3.0 brings onboard new technology dubbed Imprint Smart Mapping. This technology gives the S9 and S9+ the ability to differentiate the different rooms in your home. You can tell it to clean the kitchen alone, or the bedroom, instead of the entire house. It’s also possible to vacuum specific spots such as under the table instead of vacuuming the entire room unnecessarily.
Boundary Marking: Roomba S9+ vs S9
Again, both the S9 and S9+ use the same boundary marking technology when it comes to containment. iRobot ditched the old physical barriers called Virtual Walls in favor of digital boundaries called Keep Out Zones. You can easily customize boundaries right from the app, unlike in the past when you had to set the physical Virtual Walls nodes.

6. Smart Features and Convenience

When it comes to the app features and connectivity with other devices, the two Roombas allow for app operation and can sync with voice assistants. But is the experience the same? Let’s find out.

Voice Control: Roomba S9 vs S9+

Roomba S9 Control
Voice assistants are becoming more popular, and that’s why a good Roomba should support at least two of the popular platforms: Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Assistant. The good thing is that both the S9 and S9+ support these voice assistants. Just tell Alexa where you want your Roomba to clean: no need for stressing or fiddling on the app.

Roomba S9 vs S9+: What’s the Best Choice?

There you have it, folks, a face-to-face comparison of the Roomba S9+ vs S9. Indeed, these two top-tier Roombas share a lot of features, but there are differences when it comes to the accessories included. The S9+ 9550 comes with the CleanBase Automatic Dirt Disposal unit.

On the other hand, the S9 9150 doesn’t have the Automatic Dirt Disposal unit but is compatible with this self-emptying technology.

Now, on the question of which is the best Roomba to buy from the two, the answer is the Roomba S9+, but then it’s quite expensive. If you are on a budget, consider getting the Roomba S9 then budget for the Automatic Dirt Disposal unit later on.

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