Roomba s9 Robotic Vacuum Cleaner Review

Sam Harris
written by Sam Harris
created on November 17, 2019
updated on May 14, 2020

The Roomba s9 is currently around $800 at Amazon. Want to know if it’s worth it, and why?

Here’s an in-depth review of the Roomba s9 robot vacuum cleaner. But first, a quick overview.

Roomba s9 (9150) robotic vacuum preview

Pros

  • Feature-rich
  • Smart & advanced functions
  • Awesome design & hardware
  • Lots of controls & customization options
  • Great product support

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Software needs improvement

CHECK CURRENT PRICE FOR THE ROOMBA S9 ROBOTIC VACUUM CLEANER

Roomba s9 specs and features table

Specs/features
Roomba_s9_robot_vacuum
Roomba s9
Accessoriesnorth American line cord, dual mode virtual wall barrier, extra high-efficiency filter, extra side brush
Amazon Alexa supportyes
Anti-drop/cliffyes
AppiRobot Home
Automatic dirt emptyingno (self-cleaning base is sold separately)
Automatic recharge and resumeyes
Barrier-cross Height (in)0.79
Carpet Boostyes
Central cleaning brush typeDual, brushless
Digital blocked area aka no-go linesyes
Dirt detectyes
Dust bin size (ml)400
Floor typesceramic tile, marble tile, vinyl, linoleum, wood, low, medium, and high-pile carpets
Full bin indicatoryes
Google Assistant supportyes
Height (in/cm)3.63 / 9.22
Hepa filteryes
Intelligent carpet detectionyes
Maps allowed for saving10
Navigation and mappingiAdapt 3.0 + VSLAM
Noise in max mode (dB)72
Price history (retrieved from camelcamelcamel.com)$799 - $1099 (click link to check current price on Amazon)
Recommended cleaning area (sq ft)2153
Recommended home sizemedium, large
Release dateMay, 2019
Scheduling yes
Selected room cleaning yes
Selected room schedulingyes
Side brush (es)1
Suction power (Pa)_
Warranty1 year
Weight (lbs/kg)7.43 / 3.37
Wet moppingno
Width (in/cm)13.34 / 33.88
Wifi Frequency (GHz)2.4/5
Wifi/Appyes
Working time60 - 120
Zoned/custom area cleaningyes

Roomba s9 robot vacuum review

Auto-dirt disposal system

Auto-dirt emptying is the s9’s ability to automatically dump its dustbin and resume vacuuming in as many times as required to complete a vacuuming session.

Roomba s9+ (9150) is the Roomba s9 (9550) with an auto-dirt disposal system. The self-emptying base (usually sold separately from the main unit) is around the $300 at iRobot.

The clean base of a robot vacuum often uses a bagged or a bagless system; both systems are estimated to hold up to thirty runs of dirt.

The s9 uses a bagged system. Two dirtbags come with a unit of the Roomba s9. A bagless base such as the Shark’s will save you money but may not be ideal if you’re allergic. The bagged system isn’t cost-effective but will provide you with fresh, breathable air.

Related: Roomba s9 vs. Shark IQ

Controls & settings

While you can use the button on the s9 to perform essential functions like start, stop, and dock–the bulk of the controls and settings are in the iRobot Home App. Getting used to the App could take some time if it’s your first time with a robot vacuum, but the App is value-packed and user-friendly.

From the iRobotHome App, you can see the floor maps, including rooms, walls, and obstacles. You can label the rooms and direct the s9 to clean select room(s), aka sectional cleaning. Another option is letting the robot run multiple passes on spots within the house (the kitchen, for example).

Rectangles can be created on the floor map where you don’t want the bot to enter, such as under a dining table.

Further, the s9 displays its path on the App so you can monitor its activities in real-time. It will even make announcements on your phone, such as the dustbin being full, or returning to dock.

Most importantly, the Roomba s9 has a setting where it will use a lower suction on a hard floor and immediately go to max suction when it senses carpet.

Deals & offers

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Design & build

The Roomba s9 has a D shaped design and one side brush similar to the Naeto d7. Side brush spins slowly, which discourages scattering of debris around. Also, the shape of the robot gives it leverage around chair legs and corners, and along walls.

There are two brushless rollers on the s9. This brush rolls seem longer than the i7’s. 

Overall, great design and solid construction. 

Interlinking

Interlinking is a smart way to get the Braava m6 to work in tandem with the Roomba i and s series. In other words, the Braava m6 once programmed will leave its charging base to mop the parts of the house the i7 or s9 just cleaned.

Related: Roomba s9 vs. i7

Maintenance

To ensure peak performance, some effort, albeit minimal, is required on your part. Read: how to maintain the Romba s9

Navigation & mapping

Camera powers movement in the s9. This nav system lets the s9 know where it is, where it is going, and how to get there using less power while cleaning with the utmost efficiency.

The Roomba s9 supports smart mapping. Mapping is a function in a self-driving cleaning robot that lets it run the layout of a house while displaying the floor plan in a chart-like graph called maps. This unique functionality offers users tons of customization options. And if you live in a story house, the s9 supports up to 10-floor plans.

Related: Getting started with Imprint Smart Map

Pickup performance/cleaning test

More than anything else, the design of the s9 because of its wider cleaner path allows better pickup in open spaces and corners.

Precisely, the Roomba s9 does a great job picking fine sand, dust, dirt particles, and other debris off of hardwood, vinyl, tile, laminate, carpet, and other similar surfaces.

At 40× more suction than previous Roomba models, the s9’s carpet deep cleaning ability is simply AWESOME. Not to mention its ability to negotiate carpet fringes.

Another favorite thing to mention about the s9 is its ability to sweep hair, both human and dog. As a result, the s9 is a perfect choice if the long hair of your wife or daughters bothers you.

Notwithstanding its versatile brush design, hair may get caught up after a cleaning session, especially if you have lots of pets and have gone days without vacuuming. The good news follows: the extractor of the Roomba s9 is easy to clean as the side tips are removable, plus this discourage hair build-up helps to maintain peak performance.

Also, with the s9, there’s something called Smart Top-up. Especially useful in large homes, what the Smart Top-up function does is to ensure the s9 charges for only the time required to finish the cleaning job vs. charging to full capacity, which, as you know, usually takes hours. Essentially, the Smart Recharging and Resuming function of the Roomba makes cleaning FASTER in ample spaces.

Watch this video for better insight on the vacuuming abilities of the Roomba s9:

Pricing

The Roomba s9 without the base currently sells for $800 at Amazon. The Roomba s9 with the base (s9+) is around $1000.

Parts & accessories

The side brush of the s9, soft, and sturdy, looks like it’s going to last for a long time. However, as with most things with mechanical parts, months, or years down the line, you may need to change/replace components to include extractors, filters, self-emptying dock, side brushes, docking stations, wheel modules, etc. Click this link to buy authentic Roomba s9 parts and accessories.

Set up & instructions

Kindly refer to this guide to program the Roomba s9 or connect to wifi. Here are further instructions to help you get the best out of your premium purchase.

Error codes & troubleshooting

Follow this link for a list of error codes, messages, and likely fixes.

Updates

Want to know if iRobot has released an update addressing some of the software issues of the s9? Watch this page. Alternatively, enter your email below to receive as-it-is-happening notifications.


Conclusion

The Roomba s9 robot vacuum, even without the cleaning base and considering price has dropped since it launched, is nonetheless an expensive buy. And although iRobot via an update in April fixed bugs and usability problems, there are possibilities the Roomba s9 could get stuck, lost, or failed to complete cleaning jobs.

Expensive, effective, but imperfect–is the Roomba s9 robot vacuum worth it?

You should consider the Roomba s9 if you live in a large house with pets and plenty of thick carpets, or if you’re looking to clean along walls and edges. Besides its vacuuming strength and amazing product support (on average of one update every quarter), the s9 is also intelligent, efficient, and convenient to use. 

CHECK CURRENT PRICE FOR THE ROOMBA S9 (without the auto-dirt disposal base)

CHECK CURRENT PRICE FOR THE ROOMBA S9+ (with the auto-dirt disposal base)

 

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