In the contest between the Roborock S8 vs Roomba S9, a few major disparities determine which is better, and the first one won my approval. In short, the Roborock S8 offers superior navigation, usability, and mopping. On the other hand, the Roomba S9 has an advantage in terms of cleaning performance, especially at the edges and on the carpet, thanks to its D-shaped body.
Roborock S8 Vs Roomba S9: Comparison Chart
Roborock S8 Vs Roomba S9: Differences
The Roborock S8 wins 5-3 against the Roomba S9. Scroll down for more in-depth insights into this decisive battle!
|Roborock S8||Roomba S9|
|≈ 99%||≈ 99%|
On my hardwood floor, both the S8 and S9 showed remarkable proficiency. They could gather almost every piece of debris, surpassing the average performance of almost all the robots I have tested until now.
|Roborock S8||Roomba S9|
|Low-pile Carpet||≈ 97%||≈ 99%|
|High-pile Carpet||≈ 98%||≈ 99%|
Next, I put a mixture of debris on both low – and high-carpets and let these bots pick this mess up. Once again, they both performed admirably, with the S9 taking the forefront as well. The S8 struggled a little more on my carpets, but it still delivered commendable results.
|Roborock S8||Roomba S9|
|5-inch Strands||≈ 92%||≈ 89%|
|10-inch Strands||≈ 89%||≈ 78%|
I also wanted to check how well they pick up hair and anti-hair tangles. They could collect most of the hair easily and were also good at preventing hair from getting caught on their rollers thanks to their bristle-less designs. There was a reasonable amount of hair that wrapped around the brush rolls, but extracting and untangling them was swift and uncomplicated, a maintenance necessity with all vacuum cleaners.
Design & Usability
Winner: Roborock S8
Dimensions & Weight
|Roborock S8||Roomba S9|
|Dimensions (W xH)||13.8 x 3.8 inches||12.25 x 3.5 inches|
|Weight||10.2 lbs||8.15 lbs|
The S8 and S9 have sleek designs that made me fall in love at first sight. The important thing is that the S8 is a round robot, while the S9 is shaped like a “D” letter with a flat front, making the latter stand out in a sea of circular robot vacuums. In my opinion, the D-shaped form of the S9 is really a game changer: it demonstrated superior reach into corners, optimizing corner and edge cleaning more effectively than many of its round-shaped counterparts I’ve evaluated.
But alas, it turns out that this D-shaped design is a double-edged sword: It caused the S9 to get stuck more often than the S8 in tight spaces. Well, I guess this is why iRobot decided to phase out this unique frame, making the S9 the only Roomba to feature this design for the time being.
The S8 is heavier and bulkier than its rival, both vertically and horizontally. This one relies on a laser turret for mapping and navigation (more on that later), making it a bit taller and prone to getting stuck when trying to get under low-clearance furniture.
Extractor & Side Brush
Instead of a single brush, both of these bots feature a dual-brush system, including two bristle-free rollers that rotate in opposite directions, allowing for fewer hair tangles and better dirt pickup. The S8 is indeed the first Roborock with this upgraded brush system, and it uses straight fins with deeper grooves than the S9’s pattern.
They also have side brushes to direct debris into the cleaning lane – of course they do. But the S8 is equipped with a three-prong side brush as opposed to the S9’s five-prong one. Interestingly, Roborock chose to use a bristled side brush for the S8, a decision I consider a step back since it lacks the durability of its rubber counterpart. On a brighter note, the S8 Pro is compatible with the newer five-arm rubber corner brush, making upgrades straightforward and hassle-free.
Speaking of mapping and navigation, the S8 uses a laser navigator called LiDAR technology, while the S9 carries a top-mounted vSLAM camera like their predecessors. As mentioned above, being equipped with the LIDAR cover makes the S8 a bit taller, but the advantages it brings to the table are invaluable.
LIDAR navigation technology allows the S8 to map areas more rapidly than the S9 with vSLAM. During hands-on tests, the S8 was capable of finalizing the map in only one go, while the S9 required up to four rounds to finalize the mapping. What’s more, the S8 has the advantage of operating effectively in the dark, a capability the S9 lacks as its camera needs ample lighting to function properly.
Another thing the S8 has over the S9 is obstacle avoidance – The S8 uses an IR camera to 3D scan the space to detect common small obstacles very well. During my tests, this model excelled at avoiding socks, slippers, cables, and faux animal excretions. This is especially beneficial for people who live with their four-legged friends.
Contrasting with the Roborock S7 MaxV, which employs a standard camera and features a microphone and bidirectional speaker, the S8 depends exclusively on an infrared camera and has no microphone. This is advantageous for users with privacy concerns, but it forgoes the feature of serving as a movable security camera to oversee your home from afar.
Battery LifeRoomba S9
|Roborock S8||Roomba S9|
|Battery Life||≈ 78–156 mins||≈ 69–125 mins|
|Charging Time||≈ 172 mins||≈ 182 mins|
When operating at their lowest power settings, these robots’ 5,200mAh lithium-ion batteries boast exceptional battery longevity. When powered up to a higher suction power level, they will, of course, consume the battery more quickly as a trade-off.
Intriguingly, both bots feature a “Recharge & Resume” function, allowing them to identify when their battery level is low and autonomously navigate back to their charging bases to recharge before resuming their tasks from where they left off. So, no matter how big your apartment is, these bots will get the job done without any intervention from you regarding recharging.
Both models feature a convenient three-button system on top, allowing you to initiate cleaning tasks quickly without needing to access the app on your phone. The S8’s three buttons are designated for starting a clean, initiating mopping only, and returning the unit to its base. Conversely, the S9 is equipped with buttons for turning on the bot, sending it home, and conducting spot cleaning. I bet everyone loves the spot-cleaning feature on the S9. I mean, everyone will encounter situations where they just want to clean up a mess right away instead of cleaning the entire house.
The S8 and the S9 can be connected to your phone via the respective app, and that’s when they can get smarter. These devices enable multi-floor cleaning without the persistent necessity of re-mapping your living spaces. While the S8 can remember four layouts, the S9 takes the lead with its ability to store up to 10 different map levels.
As for map settings, both apps have some standard options, such as dividing or joining rooms, labeling them, setting no-go zones, and working with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant to control these bots with voice commands. They also let you change the vacuuming mode and designate cleaning schedules for individual rooms, so your robot will clean your living room every morning at 7 a.m., for instance.
As for the differences, the Roborock app allows you to create virtual walls, which is a game changer when you want to block some diagonal spaces. Meanwhile, the iRobot app has a “clean zones” option for targeted zone cleaning (it’s essentially the reverse version of the no-go zone).
The Roborock app can display the map of your space in 3D form, and you can add furniture (such as sofas, beds, an armchair, a TV chest, etc.), set the floor, and add furniture carpets. Of course, the addition of furniture is purely an aesthetic enhancement and does not influence the vacuuming or mopping functionalities of the S8 in any manner.
Another interesting feature of the Roborock is its intelligent recognition of obstacles, which is only available on the 2D map. This cool feature enumerates all obstructions that the S8 could identify throughout the cleaning process, along with the percentage reliability of recognition.
The iRobot app also has an option that prompts the S9 to start work every time you leave home. Additionally, it facilitates the connection of this vacuum robot to the iRobot Braava M6 mopping robot through the ‘Imprint Link’ feature, enhancing your home cleaning automation.
Cleaning & Maintenance
The dust box on the S8 has a capacity of 300 ml, which is slightly smaller than the 500-ml bin on the S9. Their dust boxes are quite small and need to be emptied manually since their standard base stations only charge the battery. Additionally, you need to manually clean their filters on a regular basis. The S8’s E11 filter is washable for deep cleaning, while the S9’s HEPA filter requires a tap against your trash can.
By the way, if you don’t want to get your hands dirty from emptying their dustbins by hand, consider the Roborock S8 Pro Ultra or the Roomba S9 Plus. Why? When their bins fill up, they automatically navigate to their clean bases to throw all the contents into a disposable dust bag and get back to work. In addition, the all-in-one base of the S8 can also automatically fill its water tank and wash and dry its mop pad. Along with the “Recharge & Resume” function, you have a completely hands-free cleaning experience.
Winner: Roborock S8
|Roborock S8||Roomba S9|
|Working||≈ 61-74 dB||≈ 60-74 dB|
I discovered that the noise levels of these robots, while not extreme, could be disruptive enough to hinder conversation when they are running. This is a characteristic of many robot vacuums but is only a concern when the robot is functioning during the night.
Just like the Roborock S7, the S8 can vacuum and mop in a single cleaning pass. This one also features Roborock’s VibraRise technology, which will raise its mop pad by up to 5 millimeters if the robot senses it’s approaching a carpet or rug. However, I wasn’t overly impressed with this mop-lifting system, as it effectively worked only on low-pile carpets with a height less than 4mm and failed to prevent dampening my high-pile carpet. In this aspect, I prefer the functionality of the Roomba Combo J7+ that fully retracts its mop pad, securing it on top.
Also, the S8 has a non-removable mop mount, which the manufacturer claims will make the robot more convenient because you don’t have to manually swap parts. I know that Roborock engineers are working hard to bring users the best hands-free experience, but they should know that this innovation does more harm than good. If the robot is operated without the mop pad, the rough hook-fastener system on the mount can catch on and damage your carpet.
After all, its mop performance still did the job thanks to a more powerful vibration system. I tested it with spills of milk and a mixture of water and cocoa, using the maximum setting, and it managed to remove all stains effortlessly in just one pass. However, in another test, it struggled with dried BBQ sauce, a common challenge for most robot vacuums.
Quick Rundown Of Roborock S8
- Reactive 3D Obstacle Avoidance: With 3D structured light and infrared image technology, Roborock S8 is smart enough to identify unknown objects on the floor, determine their size and location, and bypass them in both bright and dark environments. Paired with LiDAR navigation and 3D mapping, detailed maps are generated for more accurate and customized cleaning.
- DuoRoller Brush: Roborock’s newest dual rubber brush system enhances vacuuming and ensures fewer hair tangles, leaving floors smooth and pristine. From hardwood to tiles, and even carpets and rugs, hair and dirt are easily swept away.
- Hair? Dirt? Dust? Nowhere to Hide: Experience next-level cleaning with 6000Pa suction, which effortlessly eliminates dust, debris, and pet hair from carpets and floors. Clean deeper with the added power of Carpet Boost+ for a spotless and flawless floor.
- Upgraded VibraRise 2.0 Mopping System: The VibraRise 2.0 improves its vibration module two-fold, providing a wider mopping zone, up to 3000 times/min high-speed scrubbing, and over 6N consistent mopping pressure, stains from soda to dried-on spills and more can be cleaned deeply and more effectively.
- PreciSense LiDAR Navigation: Discover the genius of PreciSense LiDAR Navigation, your robot vacuum’s secret weapon to easily maneuver your home during cleanups. Quick Mapping allows you to set and forget the robot and get a perfectly cleaned home, every time.
Quick Rundown Of Roomba S9
- DEEPEST CLEAN - With 40X the suction power, the superior 3-Stage Cleaning System lifts, loosens, then eliminates debris & pet hair from deep within your carpets. Increases suction to clean even deeper into carpets with power boost technology.
- DETAILED POWERFUL CLEAN - PerfectEdge Technology with advanced sensors & a specially designed Corner Brush optimize cleaning deep into corners & along edges. Ideal for homes with pets. 30% wider Dual Rubber Brushes don't get tangled with pet hair.
- GUIDED BY SERIOUS SMARTS - With vSLAM navigation, the s9 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 s9 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.
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- Roborock S8: https://global.roborock.com/pages/roborock-s8
- Roomba S9: https://www.irobot.com/en_US/roomba-vacuuming/robot-vacuum-irobot-roomba-s9-plus/S955020.html
Richard B. Schmidt is a prominent figure in the vacuum cleaner industry, boasting over 15 years of expertise. Armed with a Robotics Engineering degree from Northeastern University and a Master’s in Consumer Science from Harvard, his unique blend of technical knowledge and consumer insights positions him as a sought-after authority in vacuum cleaner evaluation. Richard’s career began at Dyson, where he contributed to the development of innovative vacuum models. Transitioning to advocacy and reviews, he co-founded the first Vacuum-focused blog in 2008, offering comprehensive analysis and user guides for various vacuum cleaners. In 2020, he founded RoboMop.net, providing ongoing insights through columns and buyer’s guides.