Roomba J7+ vs S9+: Both are undeniably among the cream of the crop in the Roomba vacuum robot lineup, but there are some differences in design, features, and performance that make one better than the other. And at the end of the day, the latter got my vote.
The Roomba J7+ was released in 2019, two years after the S9+, with notable improvements. This one is equipped with a front-facing camera, enabling it to easily detect obstacles and avoid them. Plus, it has a longer battery life and some extra features when paired with the iRobot Home App.
As for the Roomba S9+, it has wider brushrolls and higher airflow, resulting in better cleaning performance. Yet, it’s difficult to rationalize its higher cost when it falls short on many of the innovative features that are standard on the J7+. It’s like buying a first-class ticket but not getting the full range of amenities.
Roomba J7+ Vs S9+: Comparison Chart
Roomba J7+ Vs S9+: Differences
Without further ado, the J7+ wins 4-2 against the S9+. Keep scrolling down right now for more information!
Winner: Roomba S9+
This was where the powerhouse motor on the S9+ really shines. It could remove nearly 100% of debris of all sizes easily but struggled somewhat to clean the tight corners and edges due to its square front design. The Roomba J7+ also did a reasonably good job on my hard floor, leaving behind only a minimal amount of small debris.
Once again, the S9+ proved itself to be the better option on carpet. Thanks to its high airflow, wide extractors, and maybe side brush placement, this one could pick up more than the J7+. On the flip side, the J7+ still achieved respectable scores on the board, with only small amounts of debris missed, but it fell short of the higher expectations I had for a newer model.
The S9+ also picked up hair better, with the ability to almost completely remove hair of all lengths, whereas the J7+ struggled much more, especially with long 10-inch hair strands. There was a large amount of hair wrapped on their rollers, but that’s not a massive deal since they can be easily removed for untangling.
Design & Usability
Winner: Roomba J7+
Dimensions & Weight
|13.3 x 3.4 inches
|12.25 x 3.5 inches
I have a lot of interesting things to say about these fellows, but let’s kick things off with their looks. Right off the bat, the S9+ is the first and only Roomba with a D-shape frame. I personally guess the manufacturer soon identified a potential snag in this square-front design – it makes navigating through tight areas, such as between chair legs, more difficult. This likely leads them to opt for the traditional round frame for the J7+.
The Roomba J7+ is wider than the S9+ and most Roombas but has a slightly lower configuration, meaning the former can get under low-clearance furniture more easily. There is a difference in their weight, but it is negligible.
Extractor & Side Brush
Both models have iRobot’s signature counter-rotating extractor system, featuring twin rubberized rollers that rotate in opposite directions for efficient debris pickup. But the rollers on the S9+ are located at the front of the unit and are wider than those found on the J7+, which are situated between its wheels. That means the S9+ can sweep a larger area in one go, thereby shortening the time it takes to complete a cleaning cycle.
Turning to their side brushes, the S9+ is fitted with a five-prong side brush that doesn’t spin too rapidly compared to the three-prong one on the J7+. That way, the S9+ almost doesn’t scatter debris, leading to more efficient and effective debris pick-up (more on that later).
Most of the Roomba smart robots from iRobot, including the S9+, rely on the Visual SLAM algorithm, or VSLAM (Visual Simultaneous Localization and Mapping). That means they both use a camera sensor and SLAM as their brains for mapping their surroundings and navigating. This is technology on par with what’s used in Google’s self-driving vehicles, allowing these vacuum robots not only to move intelligently across rooms but also to keep track of their location and their way back to their docks. Meanwhile, the J7+ is the first iRobot robot to use PrecisionVision Navigation.
The issue is that these Roombas still rely heavily on sufficient lighting for proper functioning. So these Roombas only work properly in areas with enough ambient light and avoid dimly lit spaces. So, for those super dark corners, you’ll still need a traditional stick or upright vacuum to get the job done.
Another difference between them is the placement of their cameras. Unlike the top-position camera on the S9+, the J7+ features a front-facing camera and sensor for better obstacle detection. iRobot even backs this capability with their Pet Owner Official Promise (P.O.O.P.), guaranteeing a free replacement if your robot doesn’t successfully avoid pet waste!
The combination of sensors and an on-board camera on the J7+ is truly a godsend for animal owners. I mean, who wants their expensive devices covered in animal feces? During testing, I found it effective for common household obstacles like power cords and headphone cables – this one just saw things and maneuvered around them.
Even better, for unknown objects, the J7+ will take photos and show them to you through the iRobot app. That way, you can label them as obstacles if you want your robot to avoid them in future cleaning cycles.
|≈ 98 mins
|≈ 38-63 mins
|≈ 120 mins
|≈ 96 mins
The Roomba J7+ vs S9+ use 2410 and 3200 mAh Li-ion batteries, respectively. Interestingly, despite its larger battery, the S9+ depletes its charge more quickly. That turns out to be a trade-off for a higher-powered motor and stronger airflow. The S9+ can also be fully charged in less time. Anyway, I believe both units offer enough juice between charges to tackle cleaning in your household setting unless you’re living in a jumbo-sized castle.
Winner: Roomba J7+
The S9+ uses a three-button control system, compared to the one-button control on the J7+. Having more buttons makes the former a little less simple, but it also makes it easier to access the functions directly from the robot because you don’t always need to use your smartphone to control it remotely.
They can pair with the iRobot Home App for remote control. They can even be compatible with home assistants like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant to conveniently control their cleaning through your voice. You’ll need to download this free app to your phone to unlock a wide range of advanced features, and the Roomba J7+ vs S9+ share many among them with slight variances.
They share a map-saving feature, allowing you to customize and save up to 10 levels: clean zones, no-go zones, custom names, etc. The clean zone feature allows you to choose high-traffic areas or specific vacuuming zones using virtual boxes. The no-go zone option is an inverted version of the clean zone, where you can also use virtual boxes to block off some areas as you wish. Additionally, you can also give a name to a specific room or area and specify these robots vacuum it only instead of the whole floor.
Now is the time for features exclusive to the J7+. As mentioned earlier, it can take pictures of unknown objects and ask you to classify them as either permanent or temporary obstructions. If you opt for the permanent option, the app will establish a no-go zone around it.
Another unique feature of the J7+ is the robot health tab, where you can monitor the condition of the extractors, side brush, and filter. That way, you can know when to clean or replace them, and you will also have quick access to how-to posts for these tasks.
The Roomba j7+ has a “Clean While Away” feature that uses your phone’s location to discern when you’ve left the house and then automatically triggers the cleaning cycle. It’s like having a considerate roommate who tidies up only when you’re not around.
cleaning & Maintenance
They share a removable 0.5-litre dustbin and a HEPA filter that need to be replaced every two months or so, depending on how often they are used.
By the way, both come with a self-emptying station, which doubles as a charging tower, and a self-emptying base station. When the robot docks for recharging, it also empties its dustbin into a single-use dirt bag located within the station. The process is entirely sealed off, so people with severe allergies won’t have to worry about being exposed to allergens during the emptying process. Both include two disposable bags, and each one can house a lot of dust and dirt before a replacement is required.
If you can live with emptying the dust cup manually, you can save a pretty penny by buying the Roomba J7 or S9. These normal versions offer all the same features but sans the self-emptying towers. I don’t know about you, but I’m willing to spend the extra bucks for a hands-free cleaning experience.
Winner: Roomba J7+
|≈ 59 dB
|≈ 63-72 dB
|≈ 72 dB
|≈ 74 dB
These Roombas aren’t too noisy when in operation, or at least they’re quiet enough not to ensure your morning serenity remains undisturbed. However, you might notice a bump in the decibel count when the self-emptying process kicks in.
This seamless pairing technology works with these Roomba vacuuming robots and the Braava M6 mopping machine. Once your J7+ or S9+ has completed its vacuuming cycle, it will communicate directly with the M6 to signal that it’s its turn to mop your floors.
The J7+ features a small headlight on the front to help the built-in camera see in low-light conditions. I always prefer thoughtful things like that!
Quick Rundown Of Roomba J7+
- CLEANS WHEN AND WHERE YOU WANT– Only iRobot brings you Imprint Smart Mapping allowing you to control and schedule which rooms are cleaned and when, while storing multiple maps for easier cleaning on each level of your home; Plus customizable Keep Out Zones and Clean Zones allow you to tell them the exact area to avoid and clean
- CLEANS WHEN & WHERE YOU WANT– Only iRobot brings you Imprint Smart Mapping allowing you to control & schedule which rooms are cleaned and when, while storing multiple maps for easier cleaning on each level of your home; Plus customizable Keep Out Zones and Clean Zones allow you to tell them the exact area to avoid and clean
- International products have separate terms, are sold from abroad and may differ from local products, including fit, age ratings, and language of product, labeling or instructions
- CONQUER PET HAIR Uniquely designed Multi Surface Rubber Brushes and Edge Sweeping brush pull in dirt, debris, and pet hair from wherever it hides
Quick Rundown Of Roomba S9+
- OUR MOST ADVANCED CLEAN - You—& your home—deserve the best. With groundbreaking technology & a sophisticated design, the s9+ is our smartest, most powerful robot vacuum yet.
- 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 iRobot Home app enables the s9+ to clean messes for you, right when they happen.
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- Roomba J7+: https://www.irobot.com/en_US/roomba-j7plus-self-emptying-robot-vacuum/J755020.html
- 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.