Welcome to Vacuum Cleaners Advisor. Today we’re will run you through the Roomba s9 vs 960 comparison. These two falls in the category of high-end robots from iRobot.
The Roomba 960 is at the bottom rung of the high-end ladder in the stables of iRobot while the s9 is the brand’s flagship offering.
iRobot will get some of the praise if we talk about the origin of robot vacuums. It is responsible for bringing robot vacuums into homes with its maiden offering in 2002.
This is a tested brand and users have continued to rely on it for functional and long-lasting robot vacuums since its inception.
We’re certain these two robots will serve their purpose if you end up going for any of them.
Comparison Overview – Roomba s9 vs 960
The Roomba s9 vs 960 comparison is not meant to tell you which robot is better, that is quite obvious. It is meant to tell you which is best for your needs.
We know users often believe that expensive means better. While that is true in a lot of cases, in this one, whichever meets your needs most is what is best.
In that vein, it is important that you know what you want from a vacuum cleaner. That will go a long way in helping you make a choice that serves your needs at a convenient price.
The s9 has almost everything you might want from a robot vacuum as it can even empty its own dust cup. However, you will have to dig deep into your finances to own one.
The Roomba 960, on the other hand, is relatively modest with its price tag but you will have to give up the bells and whistles.
As you keep reading, you will see in more details what these two have in common and what tells them apart.
Comparison Table – Roomba s9 vs 960
|Roomba s9||Roomba 960|
|Battery Life||120 minutes||75 minutes|
|Filtration System||Anti-Allergen filter||AeroForce HEPA filtration|
|Dust Cup||0.2 liters||0.6 liters|
|Dimension||12.2 x 12.2 x 3.5 inches||3.6 x 13.8 inches|
|Weight||8.15 lbs||8.7 lbs|
What Situation Is Each Best For? – Roomba s9 vs 960
|Roomba s9||Roomba 960|
|The s9 has a different shape from the rest of the Roomba line. It is somewhat D-shaped while others are round.|
This interprets to a more effective wall and corner cleaning because it can fit better with the flat end.
|Price is an issue that cannot be overlooked. In some cases, it might even be the reason some people will not buy a vacuum.|
The Roomba 960 has this area going for it as it costs way less than the s9. Of course, it can’t do as much.
|If you have more carpets in your home, this is the best option between these two. It has an improved engine which means more powerful suction.|
That’s not all, the side brush has been redesigned and it spins at a lesser speed so it won’t scatter dirt and debris which makes its cleaning more efficient.
|If what you want is a robot that cleans efficiently and you don’t care for the bells and whistles, this one is a good choice.|
|If you have a large home, your robot will certainly need more runtime to do its job. This s9 has that part covered as it can keep going for a whopping 2 hours!|
Common Features – Roomba s9 vs 960
These robots have quite a number of similarities and we don’t expect anyone to wonder why. We will point them out here and be sure to highlight wherever they do the same things differently.
Both the Roomba s9 and 960 use the same iAdapt and vSLAM technology that is exclusive to iRobot. These are what let the robots scan, map, and plan their movement across your floors.
They also move in a deliberate side to side pattern that is lacking in robots before the Roomba 960. This pattern of movement ensures that both robots will efficiently clean your floors without leaving patches.
However, the Roomba s9 shows its superiority with its Imprint Smart Mapping. What this does is to help the s9 learn and adapt to your floors. The more it cleans, the better it knows your home.
Another extra this technology brings is that it allows the s9 map and store up to 10 different floor plans! This is quite useful for those who have multiple floors in their homes.
Almost every robot vacuum nowadays uses a dedicated app. Both s9 and 960 are not left out.
Firstly, once you have the app on your phone, you can monitor and control either Roombas from wherever you are.
Secondly, 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.
The s9 goes further. With the Smart mapping we spoke of earlier, you can label each room on your floor and have the robot clean any independently.
The smart app is easy to install and pair for both robots as long as you use a strong enough Wi-Fi connectivity.
The freedom you get using this feature makes robot vacuuming truly autonomous.
Smart Home Integration
In this day and age, having your home appliance do stuff by itself is getting popular. Devices can now be interconnected and centrally controlled.
If you have this 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.
This is an important feature to consider if you are allergic or asthmatic. These robots use filters that are good enough to protect you from inhaling what you shouldn’t.
They are efficient enough to trap 99% of allergens and dust, preventing them from getting back into your home.
The s9 goes an extra mile with its 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 better, either robot will adequately protect you from the particles you’re trying to get rid of.
Virtual Wall Barrier
There are times when you don’t want your robot vacuum to go to a particular area in your home.
These Roombas have a device that creates virtual barriers that will prevent the robots from going beyond where you set it. To the vacuum, the virtual barrier is a wall and it will turn back on getting to it.
The units can create a straight line or a circular barrier around an object.
Both Roombas come with this device. However, the Roomba s9 comes with two while you will get just one with the Roomba 960. You could buy more if you need, though.
Recharge and Resume
All robot vacuums are expected to find their way back to their docking station. However, different circumstances can cause a robot to lose its way.
These two will locate home at all times if you follow the instructions concerning the placement of the dock.
If either of these robot vacuums could not finish their jobs 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.
Auto-Adjusting Cleaner Head
This is a feature carried over from Roomba’s 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.
The dirt detection technology has been an exclusive feature of Roombas since the Roomba 600 series. It has done a great job for the Roomba’s cleaning capacity.
What it does is to help the robot identify a concentration of dirt on the floor. The robot will then put in extra effort and time to get the place sufficiently clean.
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.
Dual Rubberized Brush Roll
Cleaning off tangles of hair after vacuuming is something most people don’t find delight in doing. With either of these two Roombas, you won’t be going through such hassles anymore.
The brush rolls do not have bristles. Instead, there are ridges on them to comb through carpets.
The result is a good clean of pet hairs without tangles to deal with afterward. Kindly note that hairs can roll up at the end of these brush rolls.
However, in one move, you can pull out the few strands and they won’t even affect the robot’s performance. Check the videos to see them at work.
Unique Features – Roomba s9 vs 960
Features Unique to the s9
The s9 now occupies the space of one of the most powerful robot vacuum cleaners with its 22 cfm of suction. The suction of the 960 is nowhere near this.
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 most of 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.
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 than round robots. It also makes the brush roll longer as it is now located at the flat end for wider and more efficient coverage.
The size is quite compact which makes it easy for the robot to maneuver around furniture and obstacles.
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 s9+ (not s9) can empty its dust cup automatically several times before you need to intervene.
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 used to collect dirt.
The robot goes out to vacuum as usual. 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, with a dust cup capacity of 0.2 liters. Multiplying that by 30 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 lot in this case, we are talking about weeks!
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 have to babysit this robot 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.
The Roomba i7+ too is capable of this feat. If you want to know how the s9 compares to it, you can read their comparison review.
Features Unique to Roomba 960
Just like every other Roomba before it and a few after, this one is a circular robot. There isn’t anything wrong with this shape but it has difficulties cleaning into corners.
It only makes sense since its all curves. Even with the side brushes, it still does not do a good job.
Roomba s9 vs 960 – Unique Pros
i. The s9 has much more power.
ii. It is way better with its cleaning performance.
iii. It can store multiple floor plans.
iv. You can label each room in your home and have the robot clean them independently.
v. The robot can empty its own dust cup.
vi. It has great cleaning performance.
i. It is less expensive.
Roomba s9 vs 960 – Unique Cons
i. It is quite expensive.
i. It confuses dark floor colors as a cliff and avoids it.
Roomba s9 vs 960 – Pros Common to Both Products
|Roomba s9||Roomba 960|
|It moves in a deliberate pattern for more efficient cleaning and power management.||Same as the s9|
|It uses an advanced filter that prevents allergens from getting back in the air.||Same as the s9|
|It is quite easy to set up, clean, and use generally.||Same as the s9|
Roomba s9 vs 960 – Cons Common to Both Products
|Roomba s9||Roomba 960|
|The version with the clean base (s9+) is quite expensive making it far-fetched.||Even though the 960 costs significantly less, it is still expensive for a vacuum at its level.|
Roomba s9 vs 960 – General Feeling Among Users
|Roomba s9||Roomba 960|
|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.
|Some users praised this vacuum’s filtration system and how well it traps in allergens and dust. A certain user said that it has helped her with her allergies as she uses the robot vacuum on a daily basis.|
|Another user was quite happy with how long the battery lasts coupled with how well it vacuums with its power.||Quite a number of users commented on how well this robot cleans and pick up dirt on both hard floors and carpets.|
However, some pet owners say that it does not do so well with pet hairs as they still see some fur around after the robot vacuum had passed.
|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.
|Some users say that this robot is easy to set up and will be ready to go once the battery gets charged. They also said that it is easy to maintain. You can easily empty the dust cup and removing the filter is quite straight forward.|
Roomba s9 vs 960 – Our Verdict
|Roomba s9||Roomba 960|
|The s9 is a robot vacuum worth having. However, the price is such a constraint.|
If the bells and whistles it offers matches what you need in a robot vacuum, then you will surely get value for your money.
|The 960 is a bit far from the s9 in terms of features but goes about what it promises well.|
It costs less but also offers less. Since its features are what matters, there’s no point paying for what you don’t need if this suits you.