Welcome! In this article we discuss and answer a very common question from readers — Roomba s9+ vs i7+ : What’s the difference between these popular (and effective) robot vacuum cleaners? There are many key differences that you should know about before you make your final buying decision.
Intro — Roomba S9+ vs i7+ Robots
Looking at some of the latest models in robot vacuums we find that two popular options seem to rank high in performance and features: the Roomba s9+ vs i7+. Each of these cleaning units offer impressive power and a sweet new accessory for convenience and practicality. The plus series in this brand includes a self-emptying clean base so you can practically set it and forget it.
Vacuum cleaners in general aren’t that exciting, but the development of robotic vacuums has created quite the buzz in floor cleaning. Let’s be honest, who actually likes cleaning their floors? It’s a mundane task very few people look forward to but iRobot changed that with their design for a vacuum cleaner that was self-propelled. Roomba has been the iconic name in autonomous vacuums, however it wasn’t the very first. A Swedish appliances manufacturer, Electrolux, launched the very first robotic vacuum cleaner. It was called Trilobite and while it performed pretty well it had some issues running into obstacles and stopping short against walls and objects. It was quickly discontinued due to its shortcomings.
The advanced technology company iRobot designed their version of a robotic vacuum cleaner and launched the first successful robovac in 2002. Unlike its predecessor, the newly improved design was able to change direction when it came up to a wall or obstacle, recognizes dirty spots and can detect steep drops before falling off such as stairs. It’s been more than 20 years since its initial release and these devices are now one of the most popular cleaning mechanisms today. The Roomba lineup includes a wide variety of collections from basic to advanced. Their least expensive collection includes the 600-series and e-series models. Their current popular series include their two contending premium models, the Roomba s9+ vs i7+ which features the self-emptying function.
Roomba vs. Shark
While it may have been first to achieve success, Roomba is clearly not alone in the robovac industry. Another reputable brand, Shark, is a close contender when it comes to producing some of the best vacuum cleaners in the market. The manufacturer SharkNinja does not produce exclusively just robotic vacuum cleaners. This company has been in the industry for many years with an extensive line of upright, stick, canister, and handheld vacuum cleaner models as well. The Shark robot vacuum collection shares many similarities with Roomba including their premium Shark IQ series with a self-emptying base.
By design Shark’s models are more compact in size compared to Roomba with one exception. While Shark’s robovacs are circular in design and generally measure 12.8” across and 3.5” high, Roomba has an edge (literally) with their D-shaped s9+ measuring just 12” wide by 3.5” high. When it comes to power Shark has the upperhand. All of their models feature consistent suction power with the exception of their premium IQ series which is just slightly higher. Roomba’s basic and moderately priced models have considerably less suction power than their higher-tier and premium models. Alternatively, Roomba vacs can go the extra mile over Shark. iRobot vacuums have a longer average run time on a single charge compared to Shark robot vacuums.
While Roomba may face some inconsistencies in power with their 600- and e-series bots their roller design makes up for it. Shark robovacs feature one full-length brush roller while Roomba’s are designed with dual counter-rotating rollers. This design offers better dirt extraction and more effectively lifts up stuck-on dust and dirt. Despite the differences in their roller designs, Shark and Roomba both effectively tackle hair wrap issues better than other brands making them both superior robot vacuums for pet hair.
Robot Vacuum Vs. the Traditional Vacuum
Looking back at vacuums over the years they’ve definitely undergone some major improvements. The first vacuums consisted of a large canister on wheels with a long hose connected to it. It was quite cumbersome to lug around from room to room. The modern vacuums of today are designed much lighter and are easier to maneuver. Most traditional vacuums today are upright canister vacuums or stick vacuums. There are various options to choose from with compact, lightweight models to full-size uprights and even corded or cordless options. Some feature hose attachments and additional accessories for specific jobs where a regular vacuum can’t get to.
Robot vacuum cleaners give you a hands-free alternative to traditional cleaning units. These devices are made to clean your floors automatically by a self-propelled motor that drives the device as they suck up and pull in dirt and debris. Built-in sensors help these devices navigate around obstacles as they clean. They can even run at night or during the day while you’re away. Different brands and models offer various features to meet your needs or provide added convenience.
One of the biggest pros with these cleaners is their self-propelled feature. Robotic vacuum cleaners simplify cleaning your floors by doing most of the heavy lifting for you with minimal effort. With regular vacuums you have to roll it out from where it’s stored, manually go over the area needing to be vacuumed then roll back to where it’s kept away. They can be heavy and impractical for room-to-room cleaning, especially corded vacuum cleaners you have to keep unplugging as you go. An autonomous vacuum has a docking station where it starts from each time and returns to on its own when the battery is running low to be recharged. These can also feature settings that allow you to schedule run-times where they won’t interfere with activity.
Upright vacuum cleaners can be difficult to maneuver around or under furniture. You typically have to use the hose attachment (if it’s equipped with one) to get into those tight spaces where a standard sized upright vacuum won’t fit. Robot vacuums have a compact design specifically to go under areas traditional vacuums can’t. They can run along baseboards and most cabinets with no problem in addition to featuring side brushes and rotating brushes for grabbing and pulling in debris along edges and corners. Their compact size doesn’t just make cleaning your home easier. It offers a space-saving quality over standard upright cleaners taking up less room and making these devices more travel-friendly.
Robot vacuums run much quieter than traditional vacuum cleaners. You can set it to clean rooms without disturbing anyone by a noisy machine. They also require less maintenance. You do have to empty the dustbin more frequently than traditional vacuums, unless you opt for a self-emptying model.
There are some drawbacks with robot vacuums vs. upright vacuums worth mentioning if you’re considering one. For starters, the price is significantly different. While there are exceptions to this when it comes down to brands and models, on average robot vacuums are more expensive in comparison to upright or canister vacuums. Prices for the robotic devices range from around $200 to upwards of $1,000! Standard upright vacuums can range in price starting at less than $100 for a decent cleaner with a little more versatility than a robovac.
Standard vacuums typically offer stronger suction power when it comes to picking up dust and dirt than most robovacs. This is simply due to the fact that the robovac devices are designed with smaller motors than their full-sized counterparts. The battery-powered operation is another factor with power capability. That being said, the Roomba s9+ and i7+ robot vacuums come pretty close at matching the power of a standard upright.
It’s true that robovacs save homeowners time from cleaning since they’re self-run, however they do take longer to get the job done than a traditional vacuum. These devices map out the area for cleaning which can take a few cycles before it has your home completely mapped out. It can take up to a couple of hours or longer to cover all of the area needing to be cleaned. This also depends on their battery-life capacity. With a classic vacuum cleaner you can cover a designated area quickly when needed with a few passes.
Each of these types of vacuums have their advantages and disadvantages. One can argue that one is superior over the other, but ultimately it comes down to your needs. If you have a pet for instance, a robot vacuum can be your second best companion saving you from constantly cleaning up the hair left behind on your floors. Robovacs are also beneficial to those who have difficulty keeping up their home or may be compromised in a way that traditional vacuuming is not an option. These compact devices are also suitable for those with limited space for storing larger cleaning devices.
Which Robot Vacuum Should I Buy?
It’s the battle of the Roombas for the top pick. While there are other brands worthy of mention when deciding which robot vacuum to buy, the choice between iRobot’s Roomba s9+ vs i7+ is a tough one along with Shark’s IQ robovac. They offer similar features and functions including floor mapping for up to 10 floors and Smart Home capability with Alexa and Google Assistant. There are distinct differences between the two Roombas which you’ll instantly notice when looking at them side-by-side.
Review : iRobot Roomba s7+
- CLEANS UP AFTER YOU, AND ITSELF – Forget about vacuuming for months at a time with the CLEAN BASE Automatic Dirt Disposal that allows the i7+ to empty itself for up to 60 days.
- POWERFUL PERFORMANCE & POWERFUL PICK-UP – Pulls in stubborn dirt & messes with a Premium 3-Stage Cleaning System & 10X the Power-Lifting Suction.
- GUIDED BY SERIOUS SMARTS – With vSLAM navigation, the i7+ learns the layout of your home & builds personal Smart Maps, enabling it to expertly clean & navigate in neat, efficient rows. If it’s running low on battery, it recharges & resumes cleaning.
- VACUUMS MESSES IN THE MOMENT – Cleaning crumbs is now as easy as “Roomba, clean under the kitchen table.” A simple request to your voice assistant or via the app enables the i7+ to clean messes for you, right when they happen.
- COMPLETE CONTROL OF YOUR CLEAN – With Smart Mapping, your robot knows your kitchen from your living room, so you can decide where it cleans & when. With Keep Out Zones, your robot knows to avoid sensitive areas like pet bowls or play areas.
- A CLEAN UNIQUE TO YOU – The Roomba i7+ robot vacuum is smarter than ever, learning where & when you normally clean & suggesting personalized schedules so you can focus on everything else.
- IDEAL FOR HOMES WITH PETS – Unique Dual Multi-Surface Rubber Brushes don’t get tangled with pet hair. Brushes adjust & flex to stay in constant contact with carpets & hard floors. High-Efficiency Filter traps 99% of cat & dog allergens.
The s7+ was released in 2018 with innovative features that the previous models didn’t have. Robot vacuums have built-in dust bins where dust, dirt and debris are collected, but once they become full they return to their docking station until they’re emptied. The s7+ takes it a step further by cleaning up after itself with an automatic dirt dispenser! The Clean Base dock sucks up the contents from the dustbin so your robovac can get back to work!
The Clean Base dock uses a vacuum bag, much like the classic upright vacuum your mother may have had but smaller. The bags hold up to 30 bins of dirt and debris or up 60 days before needing to be replaced. When it’s full you just remove it and discard it in your garbage can. You don’t have to touch or remove a dusty bin. A plastic sheath covers the hole of the bag when you remove it so no dust escapes when disposing. This is especially beneficial for pet owners as the vac sucks up hair and dander without re-inviting it back into your home.
When the vacuum is connected to Wifi it will automatically receive updates so it will remain up to speed over time. The i7+ uses the iRobot Home app (available for Android and iOS devices) in addition to a Wifi connection. The app helps guide you through the setup of getting your device up and running. It will also work with Google Home and Alexa-enabled devices for more control options. You can ‘instruct’ your bot to clean up messes in the moment by telling your smart device what needs attention, for instance ‘Roomba, clean in the kitchen’. This can be done through the app as well if you don’t have a voice assistant. You can program the robot vacuum to steer clear of sensitive areas you might not want it by such as your pet’s water dish.
The 3-stage cleaning system gives you a more powerful pick-up and performance in comparison to Roomba’s 600-series. It has a unique learning feature that offers customized cleaning schedules based on your cleaning habits. The Smart Mapping system allows the device to identify up to 10 different floor plans. These can be customized by giving each room a name and creating ‘virtual boundaries’ you want the vac to avoid. The i7+ will also suggest additional cleaning when needed such as during your pet’s shedding season. The battery life will give you up to 75 minutes of run-time before returning to its base.
Review : iRobot Roomba s9+
- CLEANS UP AFTER YOU, AND ITSELF – Forget about vacuuming for months at a time with the Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal that allows the s9+ to empty itself for up to 60 days.
- DEEPEST CLEAN – With 40x the suction power*, the superior 3-Stage Cleaning System lifts, loosens, then eliminates debris and pet hair from deep within your carpets. Automatically increases suction to clean even deeper with power boost technology.
- DETAILED POWERFUL CLEAN – PerfectEdge Technology with advanced sensors and a specially designed Corner Brush optimize cleaning deep into corners and along edges. Ideal for homes with pets. 30% wider* Dual Rubber Brushes don’t get tangled with pet hair.
- THE ULTIMATE ROBOT MOP – The Braava jet m6 robot mops like you would. You can tell it where and when to clean, and Precision Jet Spray helps tackle sticky messes and kitchen grease.
- MOPPING THAT FITS SEAMLESSLY INTO YOUR LIFE – Ideal for multiple rooms and larger spaces. Navigates around objects and under furniture. Cleans finished hard floors including hardwood, tile and stone.
- GUIDED BY SERIOUS SMARTS – With vSLAM navigation, the s9+ and Braava jet m6 learn the layout of your home and build personal Smart Maps, enabling them to expertly clean and navigate in neat, efficient rows.
- VACUUM OR MOP MESSES IN THE MOMENT – A simple request to your voice assistant* or via the iRobot Home app enables the s9+ or Braava jet m6 to clean messes for you, right when they happen — immediately clean that spot and consider it done.
The release of the Roomba s9+ in May of 2019 introduced consumers to the first D-shaped robot vacuum developed by Roomba. Unlike all previous Roomba vacs, the s9+ features straight edges instead of the completely round design. This new profile offers closer approximation to edges and corners using the “PerfectEdge” technology and it is just slightly shorter in height than the i7+. The s9+ uses vSLAM navigation to map out your home for cleaning. This vac uses a methodical pattern of cleaning by running in rows to clean effectively. The anti-allergen system makes this vac a dream to have with pets and allergy-sufferers as well.
With 40X the suction power this vac boasts 30% more suction power than the i7+ as well as making the strongest pick up performance of the Roomba line. It also features power boost technology to control the suction power for carpets.
As for appearances, the s9+ has a futuristic look with an illuminating feature around the recessed disk on top. The evacuation port of the base has been redesigned to the center of the base in the Roomba s9+ vs i7+ Roomba’s base. This offers a sleeker look and a slightly smaller footprint than the base of the i7+. It also features some upscale elements including touch-sensitive buttons and bronze accent details.
Both of these Roombas scored really well for dog hair but the s9+ came out on top over the i7+ when it comes to cat litter. The s9+ boasts impressive power for a miniature-sized vacuum effective enough to replace a standard upright. The downside to this is the juice it requires to operate; therefore the battery life only lasts up 60 minutes.
One of the biggest factors between the iRobot Roomba s9+ vs i7+ is the price difference. The s9+ has a considerably higher price tag than the i7+ however it does have more to offer. Either one of these vacuums would be a reasonable investment with a solid quality ensuring years of use.
Review : Shark IQ (AV1002AE)
- FORGET ABOUT VACUUMING FOR UP TO A MONTH: A bagless, self-emptying base holds up to 30 days of dirt and debris.
- NO HAIR WRAP: Self-cleaning brushroll removes pet hair and long hair as it cleans – no more hair wrap.
- FASTER MAPPING: Faster mapping speed for a quicker total home map compared to the previous model (RV1001AE).
- BETTER CARPET CLEANING: Improved carpet cleaning performance compared to the previous model (RV1001AE).
- PHONE OR VOICE COMMAND: Schedule whole-home cleaning or target specific rooms or areas to clean right now with the SharkClean app or voice control with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
- POWERFUL SUCTION: Deep-cleaning power to take on large debris, small debris, and pet hair on carpets and floors.
- ROW-BY-ROW CLEANING: Methodically cleans row by row and then navigates room to room for complete home coverage.
You are probably well aware that convenience typically comes at a higher cost and robot vacuums are no exception to that rule. The Shark IQ, however, does offer a more affordable robot vacuum option if you’re really wanting the self-emptying feature. Much like the Roomba s9+ and the i7+ it comes with a clean base that sucks up debris and trash from the dustbin. You can go up to a month without needing to empty a dustbin.
The Shark IQ uses a methodical cleaning action to clean row by row and has an IQ Navigation mapping feature to clean room by room for your entire house. You can tell the vacuum which room to clean right now or set up a schedule for room-by-room cleaning at a time that’s convenient. Use the Shark Clean app from your phone or Amazon Alexa to control your vacuum’s cleaning schedule. It can also be connected to Google Assistant to integrate with your smart home system.
This robo vac is designed for dual action to clean hard floors and carpets. The powerful suction picks up large and small debris. It works well for pet owners with a self-cleaning brushroll design that keeps hair from getting wrapped up. Additionally, it has a high-efficiency filter to keep dust, dander, and allergens from reentering your home. An added feature the Shark IQ has that the Roombas listed didn’t is dual spinning side brushes. There are 2 spinning brushes rather than just one to pull in dirt and debris along corners and edges.
There are certain things you will want to look for when picking out the right robot vacuum. If you’re going to be investing in one of these devices it’s important to know what features are a must. The models listed here all have a built-in dirt detection feature providing more efficiency over other robot vacuum models. A navigational system is another neat feature for mapping out your home by room rather than a pseudo-random cleaning method other robovac models use.
Most robot vacuums are designed to return to their docking station on their own when the battery runs low and automatically recharge. The capability of recharging and resuming is a plus to look for before buying in addition to automatically returning to their dock! With resuming functions the bot will immediately pick up where it left off after recharging to finish the job if it runs out of juice beforehand.
So which of these robot vacuums should you buy? It comes down to your specific needs. If you have a bigger home opt for a Roomba. The battery life has a better long-lasting quality than Shark and impressive suction power to get the job done. If you’re on a budget, however, and cost is a big factor in your buying decision the Shark IQ is the more affordable option.
Robot Vacuuming Tips
These devices are designed to certainly make your life simpler and your home cleaner, but they still require care. These tips and recommendations will help you get the most from your vac for longer lasting use.
Set up boundaries to keep your bot from potential dangers. Your robot vacuum should not be used on wet or damp surfaces. It should also be kept away from enclosed spaces where toxic fumes or explosives are contained. The Roomba s9+ and i7+ both offer a feature to program your robot to avoid sensitive areas. Be sure to set these up before using and if your bot doesn’t have this feature use boundary strips to block off potential problem areas.
Built-in sensors help your bot to navigate around obstacles, however they may still encounter an occasional jam. To avoid this from happening clear any obstacles prior to setting your bot to clean. Lean chairs back against the wall or table or flip them over to rest on top of your table to avoid getting stuck in between chair legs. You can also set up the app to receive updates and notifications from your phone or device on the status of your vac if an issue occurs.
Clean your device’s air filters and accessories as needed. Refer to your device’s user manual on recommendations for how to clean the filter and how often they should be changed. You should also inspect the brushes periodically to clean any hair or debris that may be stuck to keep your vacuum operating effectively. Just like the filters, you will need to change out the spinning brushes over time.
A robot vacuum may not be for everyone but it certainly has its advantages. With one of these devices in your home you have one less chore to worry about while you take care of more important matters.
Maybe you don’t need a robot vacuum. Perhaps an inexpensive handheld vacuum is enough to take care of those small areas that need cleaning. For my experience I have found it essential to own a vacuum to clean the entire house and a handheld when I want to clean up something quickly and don’t feel like going through the hassle of taking out my full size vacuum. Of course, what you need really depends on the size and layout of your home or apartment.