Roomba i7 vs S9: Worth Buying?

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The first Roomba was released. It was a slow robot that required lots of babysitting.

This is not the case anymore with Roomba’s I7 and S9.

The two new products released by iRobot represent the highest level of technology for autonomous cleaning.

iRobot has been producing these devices for two decades. It has improved incrementally with every model.

Beginning with the Roomba 980 model, iRobot has upgraded its navigation system that’s faster as well as capable of cleaning bigger areas with more efficiency.

So which one is better? Do the improvements to the Roomba S9 justify the astronomical price? Is the I7 the better value?

Find the answer to these questions and many more in this article.

Also read: Is Roomba E5 truly an excellent choice?

Here’s a Review of Roomba S9 vs. I7

Roomba I7

iRobot Roomba i7

  • Power: 17 CFM
  • Deep Cleaning: 79.3% 
  • Run Time: 76 mins.
  • Dust Cup: 0.46 liters
  • Smart Maps: Yes
  • Auto-Empty Bin: Yes

Roomba S9

iRobot Roomba s9+

  • Power: 22 CFM
  • Deep Clean: 94.4% 
  • Run Time: 121 mins.
  • Dust Cup: 0.4 liters
  • Smart Maps: Yes
  • Auto-Empty Bin: Yes

A Brief Introduction of the Roomba s9 and I7

Roomba S9 1

The S9 and I7 introduced two major improvements to Roomba’s product line.

The I7 is the very first Roomba equipped with an “automatic garbage disposal mechanism,” which means that iRobot also has an additional vacuum in the dock to empty the bin once it has returned after cleaning. Then, with the Roomba S9, they ditched the round shape and adopted Neato’s D-shape design.

This switch will give Roomba S9 better results since it comes with a bigger brush roll that covers the whole width of the robot.

The wider brush size improves its edge-cleaning capabilities over the I7. The S9 comes with a “Clean base” dock, which automatically empties its dust container.

Of course, the upgrades will be at a cost.

The good thing is that iRobot offers you the possibility of purchasing their products without or with an auto-empty system.

People who wish to save money could opt for the version that does not include a plus option, which is the only one that comes along with the machine.

In addition to the dock with a clean surface, both options are comparable.

The clean base station can be purchased separately and includes a dust bin specifically designed for this. It’s a major upgrade that could cost around a hundred dollars.

Therefore, it’s best to decide before purchasing the upgrade since buying an upgrade on your own is likely to result in more expense.

Also read: Very Shocking expert testing of Roomba i6

Advantages of Roomba S9 and Roomba S7

Roomba S9 2

  • Best on Hard Floors: The powerful airflow on low power and the improved design of the side brush gives the S9 an outstanding performance on hard flooring.
  • Slower spinning side brush: Another enhancement that allows the S9 to keep its surfaces cleaner is that the side brush spins more slowly. The side brushes that spin fast that are found on models like the I7 and older models tend to scatter debris further.
  • More effective at cleaning edges: New D-shape design, as well as the broad-brush, allows the S9 to be more effective in cleaning corners and edges. The tests show that it performs better in this regard.
  • 30% Larger Extractors: Having a wider extraction system will allow the robot to reach a greater space and prevent tangles while taking care of hair (pet or human).
  • Deep Cleaner will Clean Carpet Better: The model you choose is among the small number of robot vacuums removing greater than 90 percent of dirt on carpets with a medium pile
  • More power: Roomba S9 is the most efficient robot vacuum on today’s market and can produce 22 CFM.

Potentially Problematic Issues

  • Complaints about software Issues: There are complaints regarding buggy software that interferes with navigation (e.g., getting stuck or lost).
  • Insanely Expensive: To provide an idea of how costly this vacuum is. It’s priced higher than three premium Dyson upright vacuums! That’s crazy!

As with the S9, the I7 also comes with two different versions that include the “plus” option that comes with a pure base station and an entry-level model without it.

This represents the only Roomba equipped with an automatic cleaning station, making it fully self-sufficient.

In these reviews, the previous alternative, iRobot, has ironed out software bugs.

It keeps the same round form that the previous Roomba robots had. One of the reasons iRobot chose to stick with this model throughout its existence is the ability to move quickly. Moving furniture around won’t be an issue due to its unlimited rotation radius.

Benefits of Roomba I7

  • A Great Choice for Pet owners: This robotic pet has an enclosed system that is fully sealed to keep dust, dander, and other allergens in check inside the bin. It also excels in removing pet waste and hair.
  • More efficient at picking up large bits of dirt: This model does better at cleaning up the cheerios-sized dirt. One reason is that the extractors are larger. But, this can be a disadvantage to the effectiveness of deep cleaning.
  • Cheaper Alternative: The I7 is only a couple hundred dollars less expensive than the S9. In the absence of a clean bottom docking station, the I7 is an even more affordable option.
  • Automated Robots: The Roomba I7 + provides the same hands-free experience for cheaper than S9 +. It’s not equipped with any bells or whistles as the S9 and isn’t able to do a deep clean either.

Potential Problems

  • Tangles are more likely to occur: Long Hair can get caught around extraction machines and the axles. It is important to inspect the primary brush to avoid knots if anyone in your household has long hair.
  • Willn’t Clean as Deeply: The motor that isn’t as powerful and the smaller extractors will not remove dirt embedded like the S9.

Even though it is more affordable, however, the I7 is still more expensive than other top-of-the-line robotic vacuums.

Both robots use identical engines, navigation systems, and brushes. Therefore you can expect the same quality of service.

The main difference between the non-plus and plus versions is in the maintenance.

The babysitter is less frequent using an “+” version because another vacuum inside the dock will take the bin out of the way. The base station would be able to hold the equivalent of “30 garbage bins” as per iRobot.

This is a true hands-free gadget that can keep your home spotless with no babysitting.

Of course, there are maintenance tasks to be done when cleaning the brushes and filters (more on this in a subsequent section).

The point is that Roomba I7 and S9 are the first robots that are truly automated and are capable of cleaning an entire level of the floor without human intervention.

What Is the Best Way to Keep the Roomba s9 and i7 Clean?

Roomba I7 5

There are many layers to unravel to comprehend the ways these robots clean.

It is essential to know the way it functions so that you can make the most of its capabilities.

The first thing you should take a look at is navigation.

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What Is the Best Way to Navigate s9 and I7?

Both robots feature the same navigation using cameras that are coupled with iRobot’s brand new “Imprint Mapping Technology.”

The maps that the robot generates through its different sensors are stored in the cloud servers of iRobot.

This is a quick overview of the way that it works. Roomba S9 navigates.

This feature allows the robots to create an efficient route for future cleaning cycles since they have the maps saved.

These machines also have the capability of cleaning an area at the scheduled time.

This feature is available via Alexa. So, you can speak with a voice, and you can say, “Roomba, Clean the master bedroom.”

They also come with the feature iRobot refers to as “training runs,” in which the robot can go around the home while the vacuum motor is turned off.

The goal of this feature is to enable the robot to collect information about the layout of the home’s interior.

Because the motor has been shut off, it can look around your house without needing to recharge.

Roomba S9 Design

Roomba S9 4

The Roomba S9 is a radical departure from the I7. It is no longer the round puck-shaped design. iRobot has been used for the last couple of decades.

It’s now got an elongated front and the back end around – a D-shape style that is similar to Neato D7.

We are assuming iRobot used this method to assist their robots in matching the impressive performance of their primary rival.

The middle of the cup is covered with a golden disc, which is the cover of the dust cup that is larger.

Behind the disc is a camera sensor which the S9 makes use of to map its position.

It is a matte charcoal finish. We loved it because it smothers dirt better than something with a glossy.

Controls and Interface

The S9’s new design requires interface changes.

The three buttons are located in a new location at the upper right. This is in contrast to the earlier version that was in the middle.

The same buttons are available: clean, home, and spot. The other features are accessible via the iRobot Home App that you can download via either the Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store.

This Roomba keeps the minimalist simplicity of older models that have made their products so popular.

Roomba I7 Design

Roomba I7 4

Roomba I7 retains the round design that was seen in earlier models.

The middle part lies the camera, which the I7 utilizes to map its surroundings. The IR sensor in the front of the device helps to track the charging base’s position whenever it’s required to dock.

This model is high-gloss, two-tone charcoal as well as a gray color.

Controls and Interface

The I7 only has three buttons: clean, home, and spot.

This model comes with Alexa along with an app. It will not require any additional features beyond these since all functions are available through the software that you can download.

It’s a simple and elegant design that eliminates the mess. It can be used to talk or set up the robot via the app to clear.

Clean Base Station for Charging

If you select the plus option, each model will come with a “Clean Base” charging station that recharges automatically and then empty the trash bin.

It’s not a unique design; however, this Roomba I7 is the first robot vacuum that is commercially available that has this feature.

The auto-empty system iRobot created is extremely convenient since it eliminates the chore of emptying bins of the process.

It’s not necessary to work the robot for long periods except for routine maintenance tasks like cleaning the brushes or filters for any build-up of debris.

The device and the smart mapping technology give consumers various options, for example, cleaning specific areas on certain days.

When the battery gets low, the robot can dock and recharge and return to where it was. This allows Roomba S9 or I7 to take care of larger homes.

A Quick Look Underneath

Then, let’s take a look beneath the robots and see how they pick dirt.

The design of the S9 uses a broader brush, and it has smaller side brushes. The I7 retains the shape and design similar to the 980 or the 960 but with minor tweaks to the brush roll’s design.

Roomba S9

A look at the most recent Roomba is a clear demonstration of the dramatic transformation that iRobot made.

The narrow extractors are gone, and the three-pronged, long side brush.

These main extractions have been placed in the front of the robot. They have the side brush being shorter and more prongs.

The brush spins more slowly, which means it doesn’t get dirt around as often as the I7 or the earlier Roomba models.

The front square of the Roomba S9 plus the wider extractors (by 30 percent) provides more edge and corner cleaning on the table.

iRobot has also added a brand new 3D time-of-flight sensor to the front bumper, which helps it maneuver around tight spots.

The sensor will also help to make the S9 “hug” to the wall more effectively, which means it’ll get close to cleaning these areas faster than Roomba robots before it.

Roomba I7

Roomba I7 retains the round shape of its predecessors and uses an identical brush design.

The smaller extractors are located between the side brush. They are flanked by the self-adjusting wheel and two wheels.

A cleaner path means that it will take some time to clean.

The main side-brush has three prongs, which spin at the speed of the S9 and can scatter dust more often on hard surfaces.

Despite this issue, the I7 can clean quite well on wood surfaces.

What Power Do These Two Models of the Roomba s9 and i7 Have?

An important measure for how efficiently a robot vacuum cleans is airflow.

Unfortunately, manufacturers do not have a universal way to determine the power of their products; therefore, let’s take a look at the airflow statistics for this segment.

We used an anemometer to determine the amount of airflow in the nozzle, where the roll of the brush is situated.

Be aware that there’s always a margin of error in these kinds of tests. However, it’s a great comparison that doesn’t have any biases.

In the case of Roomba S9 and I7, it’s a huge distinction.

The S9, in its high setting, can produce as much as 22 CFM of airflow and eight CFM on low. 

The I7 features 17 CFM when it is in the high-powered carpet (or the high settings) as well as less than 7 CFM when it is set to low.

Be aware that the I7 has only one power setting, which is the auto mode that will automatically adjust suction according to the surface and amount of dirt it finds.

Dust Cup Comparison

There’s not much of a difference between these two machines in regards to the amount of dirt they can store.

The S9, with its newly designed bin that can be loaded from the top of the unit, can accommodate up to 0.4 Liters, while the I7 that can slide out from the rear has a capacity of 0.3-liter capacity.

The difference in size will not matter since it is a clean dock that automatically drains it, freeing you of the task.

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Roomba S9 Vs I7 Clean Performance

Let’s take a look at how these robots can clean.

In terms of cleaning up dirt from the surface. There’s not much distinction between the S9 as well as the I7.

Roomba I7

Roomba I7 1

One of the biggest problems with the I7 is the lack of airflow when it’s in lower power settings. It’s not clear why, but it’s less than those numbers for airflow of the Roomba 690, which is 8.2 CFM.

Hard Floor Cleaning

The I7 excels at removing dirt and grime that is left on the hardwood.

This adversely impacts the performance of the I7, especially when it comes to cleaning sand, in which it failed to perform better than Roomba S9. 

If you are near the beach and have to contend with sand, then the S9 is the ideal alternative.

Apart from the sand, it can remove all dirt from cleaning tests far better than the Roomba 980.

Another issue that could arise is the cleaning of long hair strands. In tests, the I7 only took 25% of the seven-inch human hair. A majority of the hair is attached to the axles or around the extractors.

The hair of a pet’s short length won’t be much of a problem. However, it is a concern.

The longer-pronged brushes spin quickly, which causes more dirt to be thrown around; however, I7 will eventually take it in.

Carpet Cleaning

The I7 performed very well in carpet cleaning tests, with the side-brush that spins fast being an issue that isn’t a problem for this flooring.

One benefit of the S9 is the capacity to capture larger pieces of debris and not have the noise of crunching similar to the S9 makes.

It isn’t able to deep clean as effectively as the S9 due to the smaller motor. In tests, the I7 could take up just 79 percent of the 100g of sand in a medium-pile carpet. 

Roomba S9

Roomba S9 3

The S9, with its more powerful motor, can offer some advantages over the I7 in certain areas that we’ll look at in the following section.

Hard Floor Cleaning

Cleaning household dirt like dust, dander, cheerios, etc. The S9 and I7 give similar results. Both models are powerful enough to handle the job.

But the S9 with its power upgrade is a lot better with stuff such as sand.

The more powerful airflow and larger extractors will be able to take in more sand.

It has been proven in cleaning tests in which the S9 took in almost everything while leaving trace bits on edges and corners.

The newly designed side brush and slower speed of rotation don’t disperse dirt as well as with smaller arms and with more prongs. It is better at funneling dirt towards principal extractors.

Carpet Cleaning

There’s not much of a distinction from both the S9 or I7 in terms of surface cleanliness.

The benefits of having larger brushes and a stronger motor are evident in deep cleaning tests. The S9 achieved a remarkable score of 94.5 percent (average for two testings) in cleansing 100 grams of sand embedded on a medium-pile carpet.

There will be a squealing sound when it is tackling large items such as fruit loops. However, it still picks them up.

Notable App Features

Roomba S9 and I7 use the iRobot Home app to unleash the plethora of accessories that make these devices an updated Rosie.

A Majority of All of Them Are Available on Both Models.

  1. Keep out Zones: Roomba’s, which serve as a virtual barrier that stops the robot from entering “off-limit” zones. At first, this feature was only available for the S9 and S9 +; however, I7 users will be able to benefit from it with the latest launch.
  2. Advanced scheduled cleaning: It’s now possible to program the robot to sweep an area on specific days. For instance, on Wednesdays, Mondays, and Fridays, it can sweep the living room, or on Tuesdays, it could make the master bedroom cleaner.
  3. Imprint Smart Mapping technique: It can allow the robot’s program to save maps of the whole floor of your house (up to 10). The robot can use the information to plan an easier route as well as to clean its zones.
  4. Zone Clean-up: This functions well with the scheduling feature, which instructs the robot to clean certain areas or rooms.

Roomba s9 and i7: The Cost of Running and Maintenance

Roomba I7 3

As with all vacuums, it requires a certain degree of maintenance needed to keep them in good condition. Know that these machines are equipped with different sensors, filters, and brushes that require regular maintenance.

The amount you spend is contingent on whether you purchase “plus” as well as the base version. High-Efficiency Filter needs to be clean at least once or twice a month

iRobot suggests replacing it every two to three months. Be sure to inspect it at least every week for dust accumulation.

It is possible to use handheld vacuums or an upright vacuum that transforms into a handle, such as that of the Tineco Pure One S12 or Dyson V8, to remove any obstructions and extend intervals for a week or more.

The filters aren’t washable and should not be done to avoid the warranty.

Replacement Battery [Depends on Model]

The Li-Ion batteries in these robots are expected to last for at most a few years. They are built better, and earlier versions used the Ni-Cad battery.

Another benefit of purchasing Roomba instead of other manufacturers is its accessibility to parts like this. Roomba gives simple access to its battery by using simple tools.

The I7 as well as S9 are brand new and do not have many options readily available, but that will change soon.

The Full Bin Sensor is used every 2 weeks.

This dirt bin has an electronic sensor that senses and sends out an alarm to the application if it’s overflowing. It is recommended to clean it at least every two weeks.

Rubber Extractors [Depends on the Type]

The rubber extractors of the S9 and I7 will last longer than a traditional brush on the 675 and 690.

Parts replacements are readily available if it does wear out. At the moment, the replacement S9 extractors aren’t currently sold, but vendors will begin selling these parts shortly.

Although iRobot claims that it is maintenance-free, there’s the need to monitor it, especially around the axles, where dust and hair can get trapped.

Castor Wheel [Depends on Type]

One component that is subject to much use is the casting wheel. It’s responsible for controlling the robot. The castor wheel on the I7 is located at the front, while the S9 is situated at the rear.

iRobot suggests replacing it once every year. However, we think it can last longer if it is maintained properly.

Clean it up regularly using the help of a microfiber towel. To ensure that dirt doesn’t build in the way that can damage the bearings.

Clean Base Bags [Depending on the Type]

Bags are only suitable if you buy the “plus” model that includes its Clean Base station. Intervals will be based on how often you use the robot as well as the kind of dirt it is cleaning.

Pet owners are bound to have to change it more frequently due to the hair of pets, and their dander can take up lots of space.

The good news is that many brands offer bags designed for both models like the S9 as well as the I7. Both models utilize the same bag, which means you’ll have less confusion.


The robot’s surroundings are numerous sensors that aid in moving through furniture and pinpoint its precise whereabouts.

If one of these sensors becomes dirty, it can affect how the robots move. Make use of a clean towel to clean the camera’s main sensor on top and cotton buds to clean the tiny sensors underneath and around it.

Noise Level Comparison

Engineers have done an outstanding job of reducing the sound level of both these models, I7 as well as the S9, despite the increased power.

The I7 only puts out only 62 decibels, while the S9 has a maximum output of 64 decibels. The difference isn’t that significant for the most part, to be honest.

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How Long Will Roomba s9 and i7 Run?

Roomba S9, with its larger Li-ion cells, can be able to run for up to 120 minutes at the low setting and for 49 minutes at high. Roomba I7 only has one power setting and can be running for up to 75 minutes.

As a note, these numbers are only relevant when you’re using the base model with the clean base station. The “plus” model is nearly not a factor since both models come with the ability to recharge and resume.

Difference Between the Size of Roomba i7 vs S9

The Roomba S9 measures 12.5 inches wide and 3.5 inches tall. In comparison, I7 measures 13.34 inches tall and 12.5 inches wide. I7 is slightly larger at 13.34 inches wide and 3.63 inches tall.

Therefore, the S9 has a slimmer profile and can be tucked under furniture more easily over the I7. The slimmer profile makes it be able to fit between furniture legs and has less danger of becoming stuck.

Comparative Specs of the Roomba I7 Against S9

Model Roomba I7+ Roomba S9+
Width 13.34″ 12.25″
Height 3.63″ 3.5″
Self-Emptying Base Yes Yes
Recharge & Resume Yes Yes
Smart Mapping Yes Yes
Run time (Turbo mode) 75 mins. 120 mins.
Power (Turbo mode) 17 cfm 22 cfm
Power (Eco mode) < 7 cfm 8 cfm
Warranty 1-year limited 1-year limited

It’s a fact that Roomba I7 and S9 are two of the most powerful robot vacuums on today’s market when you consider their performance and blatant pickup capability.

We are aware that the price differences are significant as the S9 will soon be just a few hundred dollars more costly.

Also read: Is Roborock E4 worth buying?

The Question Is, Is the Cost Worth It?

Four Reasons to Look Into the Roomba S9

  1. Improved at Picking up Sand: people who live close to sandy areas will benefit from the capability of the S9 to pick up sand more effectively.
  2. High-quality Edge Cleansing: A further benefit of the frontend’s square shape is the capability to remove dirt from edges more effectively. The bumper has a brand new sensor which makes it more flexible and manages small areas.
  3. More effective at cleaning embedded Dirt: The bigger extractors, as well as the additional strength, make the S9 an ideal choice for those looking for a device that will deep clean the carpet. There’s nothing else that’s available today, aside from the Neato D7 that can even come close to the S9 cleaning dirt embedded in the carpet.
  4. It’s Not as Tangly: The bigger beater bar smothers tangles from longer hair strands more effectively over the I7. If you have a loved one with long hair, it is a good idea to consider getting this instead of the I7.

Three Reasons You Should Think About the Roomba I7

  1. Excellent at removing surface Dirt: One advantage that the S9 offers over I7 is its capacity to thoroughly clean carpet. Apart from that, it is also true that it is also worth noting that the I7, as well as the S9, are nearly the same when it comes to the removal of surface debris (apart from the sand). If cleaning deep isn’t an issue, then you can save a few hundred dollars by choosing the I7.
  2. The same efficient navigation: Apart from the bumper sensor found on the S9. The I7 is equipped with the same reliable navigation pattern similar to the S9. It also has identical recharge resume features as well as the Smart Imprint Mapping system that keeps maps to the cloud.
  3. More Affordable: The Roomba I7 is a few hundred dollars less expensive than the S9. If price is your main concern, it is clear.

To Sum Up, What’s the Difference Between the Roomba i7 and S9

Roomba I7 2

  1. Price: The S9 plus with the clean base station will amount to buying 3 Dyson uprights. It’s costly. The I7 and the version that isn’t plus are a lot less expensive.
  2. Longer run time: The S9 can run up to 120 mins in eco mode, and the I7 can run for as long as 75 mins (only one option for setting power).
  3. Design: Its design S9 was the very first Roomba with a rectangular front that is incorporated into the larger extractors as well as a brand new side brush. The I7 keeps the round shape of the 980’s predecessor.
  4. Cleaning edges: The broad extractors and the square face of the S9 let it remove dirt from edges more effectively.
  5. Side brush: S9 side brush is smaller in size with more tentacles. It rotates at a slower rate than the I7. This keeps dirt from scattering across hard surfaces

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