Welcome to Vacuum Cleaners Advisor, your best friend when you need to choose the right vacuum cleaner for your needs. Today, we pit together iRobot’s newest innovations, Roomba i7 vs S9.
We will not go into any details trying to introduce iRobot Roombas to you. That’s how prominent this brand is. We would not be wrong to say that iRobot started the robot vacuum industry.
It also is the robot vacuum brand that has the highest number of robot vacuum models. Some of them still in production while others have been discontinued.
The i7 and S9 are the newest models by the brand and they come with industry-disrupting features.
Before we continue, we need to make something clear. The robots have two models apiece. The i7 and i7+ and the s9 and s9+.
The difference is that the models with the “+” come with the automatic dust cup emptying device. Yes, you heard right, they can empty their own dust cups. So, we will be referring to both models as the same except otherwise stated.
If you would like to go straight to specific information, you can follow the shortcut in the table of content below.
Roomba i7 vs S9 – Comparison Overview
Both vacuums bring you the latest in robot vacuum cleaner technology, the automatic dust cup emptying. They have a host of other similar features we will tell you about later on.
The Roomba i7 presents you will all its awesome features at a significantly lower price than its counterpart. That should count for something if you don’t have a money tree in your yard. You can read in-depth about this robot here.
On the other hand, if you want the best of the best features, the Roomba s9 is in that category. However, you will have to cough out a substantial sum to own it. You can easily justify the money you will pay for it if its offerings match your needs.
This is why we always reiterate that you must first be clear on how you intend to use a robot vacuum and the needs you want it to serve before reading.
If you are still not clear on that yet, we suggest you pause now and figure it out. By doing so, you will find this Roomba i7 vs s9 a lot more useful than if you are not yet sure.
Our aim is to ensure that by the time you get to the end of this review, you won’t have any doubt which of these two you want.
Comparison Table – Roomba i7 vs S9
|Roomba i7||Roomba s9|
|Battery Life||75 minutes||120 minutes|
|Filtration System||High-performance filter||Anti-Allergen filter|
|Dust Cup||0.2 liters||0.2 liters|
|Dimension||13.3 x 13.3 x 3.6 inches||12.2 x 12.2 x 3.5 inches|
|Weight||7.45 lbs||8.15 lbs|
What Situation Is Each Best For? – Roomba i7 vs S9
|Roomba i7||Roomba s9|
|If you are on a budget but want a top of the line robot vacuum, the i7 is the better option.||All Roombas before the s9 has maintained the round shape as well as its shortcoming, inability to get into corners.|
The s9 breaks this jinx because of its shape. It now has a flat end with a brush in the corner.
This enables it to reach neatly into the corners and edges to sweep the dirt out and vacuum it.
|The s9 features an anti-allergen filtration which is better than the filter in the i7.|
If you’re allergic, you might want to favor this as it traps in 99% of the allergens and dusts it vacuums. Isn’t it nice that your robot vacuum can help purify the air in your home?
|Due to its different shape, it now has a wider brush roll. This helps the s9 cover more floor space and hence, clean faster.|
The 30% increase in brush roll size also makes the s9 better at avoiding hair tangles and deep cleaning carpets.
|Depending on how large your home is, you might need more than the 75 minutes the Roomba i7 has to offer.|
If that is the case, the s9 has your back. It offers a whopping 120 minutes on a single charge. That should cover quite a lot of ground.
|If you want a robot vacuum with high suction power, this is what you’ve been looking for.|
Its 22 cfm, at the high setting, looks like the highest in the robot vacuum industry.
Which Features Do They Have in Common? – Roomba i7 vs S9
The s9 was designed to be an upgrade to the i7 so it only makes sense that they have a bunch of features in common. Without further ado, let’s get on with them.
Both robot vacuums use the same navigation technology, Visual and Mapping. The onboard camera scans the floor space and creates a map of it.
They also follow an intelligent path across your floors for better coverage. When they encounter an obstacle, they either avoid it or clean around it.
According to some tests, the s9 went about its cleaning more efficiently than its counterpart. It appears that the i7 gets confused at some point and goes over where it has already cleaned.
The cleaning path is not perfect but both vacuums will cover your floor space cleaning all they can in their path.
Almost every robot vacuum nowadays uses a dedicated app. Both the i7 and s9 do too and you can do some cool things with them.
Firstly, these robots can store up to 10 different floor maps. That is, users with multiple floors can use either of these Roombas to clean their entire home. You’ll have to help them up and down the stairs though.
Secondly, through the app, you can also label each room. That way, you can instruct the robot to clean a particular room.
Thirdly, the app allows you to schedule the robot to clean at certain times. For instance, you can have it clean at night when you go to sleep or when you go out.
Furthermore, you can switch from one mode to another from your smartphone. You can have your robot make a single pass over an area or multiple passes.
That’s not all, the app also lets you draw boundary rectangles on the map that serves as virtual barricades for the robot. This feature, at the moment, is only available for the Roomba i7. It’s only a matter of time before it features on the s9.
Smart Home Integration
Having your home appliance do stuff by itself is gaining popularity. More and more home devices can be interconnected and centrally controlled.
If you have that kind of setting in your home, both of these robots can easily join your list of interconnected devices.
They are both compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. With those, you can issue voice commands and have the robot obey verbal instructions.
Highly Efficient Filter
This is an important feature to consider if you are allergic or asthmatic. They both use filters that are good enough to protect you from inhaling what you shouldn’t.
They are efficient enough to trap allergens and dust preventing them from getting back into your home.
The s9 goes an extra mile with its anti-allergen system. Its filter is made from a material that is capable of trapping dust mite, pollen, and mold allergens.
Though the filter in the s9 is slightly better, either robot is efficient enough to adequately protect you from dust and allergens.
Recharge and Resume
All robot vacuums can find their way back to their docking station, at least in theory. Different circumstances can cause a robot to lose its way.
However, these two have been able to locate home at all times. Perhaps this is because we followed the instructions concerning the placement of the dock.
If either of these robot vacuums could not finish their rounds before their battery runs low, they go back to dock and recharge.
When they’re done recharging, they will find their way back to where they stopped and continue.
This is an awesome feature especially for those who will schedule the robots to work while they are not around.
Roomba Clean Base
We have seen many innovations in robot vacuums over the years. A self-emptying dust cup is one that is completely unprecedented in terms of execution.
The Roomba i7+ and s9+ can both empty their dust cups automatically several times before you need to intervene.
Now, let’s tell you how it works.
The docking station is obviously larger than usual. This is because it is not only a docking station, it is also a dust cup emptying station.
Whenever the robot goes out to vacuum, it gathers dirt in its dust cup. Every time it comes back to dock, it dumps the contents in its dust cup.
There is a mechanism in the contraption that sucks dirt out of the Roomba into a bag inside the ‘tower’. So, every time the robot goes out to vacuum, it is doing so with an empty dust cup.
iRobot claims that the collection bag in the ‘tower’ can hold up to 30 dust cups of dirt!
Let’s do the math, the Roomba i7+ and s9+ have a dust cup capacity of 0.2 liters. If we multiply that by 30, that amounts to 6 liters.
Unless your home is constantly dirty, we don’t see how you will fill that up any time soon. 30 is a big number in this case, we are talking about weeks here.
If you don’t have pets or kids, maybe even months before you need to change the bag.
This feature is fantastic on different levels. One of which is the fact that you won’t be babysitting this one at all.
Secondly, you can have more confidence to schedule the robot as you won’t need to bother about emptying. Not anymore will your robot stop work halfway because of a filled dust cup.
Dual Rubberized Brush Roll
The Roomba i7 uses a double brush roll located underneath it. We all know that brush rolls can become a hassle when they are often used to clean hairs.
The s9 uses the same brush roll design, however, the location is now different because of its shape. The brush rolls are also longer.
Cleaning off tangles of hair afterward is something most people don’t find delight in doing. So, you won’t be doing much of it with these two.
The brush rolls on these Roombas do not have bristles. Instead of bristles, there are ridges on the brush rolls to comb through carpets instead.
The result simply is a good clean of pet hairs without tangles to deal with afterward. Check the videos to see them at work.
The dirt detection technology has been a distinct feature of Roombas since the Roomba 600 series. It has done a great job for the Roomba’s cleaning capacity.
What this piece of technology does is to help the robot identify a concentration of dirt on the floor.
Once identified, the robot will make extra effort to get the place sufficiently clean by spending more time there.
This is a great feature to have if you have highly trafficked floor areas in your home. This feature also triggers when you use either robot in the spot clean mode.
Auto-Adjusting Cleaner Head
This is another feature carried over from the Roomba’s ancestral lineage. It adjusts the height of the cleaner head which in turn affects the efficacy of the brush rolls as they impact the floor.
This cleaning head is capable of responding to changes in floor types. As you know, cleaning hard floors is different from cleaning carpets.
So, as this robot transitions from hard floors to carpets, the cleaning head adjusts accordingly. This makes for a precise cleaning effect at all times. On the s9, the power increases when it detects carpet.
What’s Unique to Each Product? – Roomba i7 vs S9
Features Unique to Roomba i7
Just like every other Roomba before it, this one too follows the trend of circular robots. There isn’t anything wrong with this shape but it has difficulties cleaning into corners.
It only makes sense since curves can’t fit in corners. Even with the side brushes, it still does not do a good job.
The Roomba i7 does not have many unique features because the s9 it compares with has all its features and then some.
Features Unique to Roomba s9
This is an entirely new concept from iRobot, though it isn’t new in the industry. The entire line of Neato’s robot vacuums is all D-Shaped.
This shape gives the s9 added advantage to clean edges and corners better. It also makes the brush roll longer for faster and more efficient coverage.
The s9 now occupies the space of the most powerful vacuum cleaner with its 22 cfm of suction. This is against the 17 cfm of the i7.
This is one of the reasons this robot broke records in our deep cleaning test. Firstly, it achieved a 94% efficiency in deep cleaning tests.
Secondly, it picked up all the dirt in ½, ¼, and 1/8 crevices. This goes to show that the Roomba s9 is not just powerful, it combines efficiency with it.
Unique Pros – Roomba i7 vs S9
- It is a bit more efficient with large debris on carpet.
- It is lighter and even has a carrier handle. These are useful if you will be using the robot on multiple floors.
- It is more powerful.
- The shape allows it to get into corners.
- It has a wider brush roll.
- This Roomba will still work well on dark-colored floors.
Unique Cons – Roomba i7 vs S9
- It mistakes dark colors on the floor for a cliff and avoids them.
- It is quite expensive.
- It gets stuck unnecessarily.
Pros Common to Both Products – Roomba i7 vs S9
|Roomba i7||Roomba s9|
|The Roomba i7 has the Imprint Link Technology. This lets it connect with the iRobot Bravaa Jet M6, a robot mop.|
You will be able to take advantage of this if you have a lot of hard floors in your home. You can make the robot vacuum and the mop work sequentially.
When the vacuum is done sweeping, the mop can start. All without your intervention.
|Same as the Roomba i7.|
|The i7 uses the iAdapt 3.0 technology that makes the vacuum learn and adjust to your home.|
The more it makes its way through your house, the better it knows how to navigate. For instance, if you change the placement of furniture, it will learn the difference and begin to adapt.
|Same as the Roomba i7.|
|It has an efficient filter that keeps allergens and dust trapped inside. This helps clean the air in your home and safe to breathe.||Same as the i7.|
|You can use a double mode device to create a virtual wall that will prevent the robot from getting where you don’t want it.||Same as the i7.|
Cons Common to Both Products – Roomba i7 vs S9
|Roomba i7||Roomba s9|
|The price tag is on the high side.||Same as the i7.|
It is even more expensive
|The robot is a bit loud.||Same as the i7.|
General Feeling Among Users – Roomba i7 vs S9
|Roomba i7||Roomba s9|
|A user claims that the s9 is the third Roomba that will serve his household and was quite excited about what he got.|
He likes the shape and how it now cleans corners better. He was impressed with how easy it is to clean the robot and how low maintenance it required.
|The Roomba i7+ performed great with its cleaning ability on different floor types. It picked up all the different types of dirt we put on hard floors and carpets. It also did so in good time and decent efficiency.||Another user was quite happy with how long the battery lasts coupled with how well it vacuums with its power.|
|Almost everyone who owns the s9+ loves how well the automatic dust cup emptying works. They also appreciate the convenience that comes with it.|
|Most users like how easy it is to use the app. They say you can do almost anything with the robot from your phone. Another thing they are pleased with about the app is that it was easy to pair.||A particular user claims that the robot is not so smart. He even said that he got a replacement vacuum twice and still had problems with it.|
It would have been easy to consider this complaint an isolated one but the user claims to be a sort of internet of things engineer.
It’s hard to accept because we did not experience such.
Bottom Line – Roomba i7 vs S9
|Roomba i7||Roomba s9|
|The i7 is a good robot vacuum by every right. It is still ahead of a lot of robots out there.|
It is easy to want to discount it because there’s an upgrade. However, if you consider how well it works and the fact that its price has dropped, it is worth going for.
You don’t want to pay for features you don’t need anyway.
|The s9 is great in many aspects but might not be great on your budget.|
If the extra it has over the i7 is where your needs are, then this is what you need and the robot’s performance will justify the price.