Roomba S9+ vs S9: What is the difference?

Roomba S9 + vs S9

With two very similar names, the Roomba S9 and S9+ are both product offerings from iRobot that are the same in most ways. This article will take you through the one difference between the two, as well as shed light on all the similarities and advanced technologies shared by each model. Looking at cleaning technology, navigation technology and the smart home options, this Roomba S9+ vs S9 comparison will provide you with all the information you need to know about these two devices.

Comparison Chart: Roomba S9 vs S9+

Designroomba s9Roomba s9
iADAPT 3.0iADAPT 3.0
(40x Stronger)
(40x Stronger)
Resume Cleaning
Automatic Dirt
Bottom LineThe most
advanced Roomba
with the
best features
The most
advanced Roomba
with the
best features
AvailabilityCheck PriceCheck Price

1. Clean Base and Automatic Dirt Disposal

roomba s9+
Roomba S9+

The Roomba S9 is the robot vacuum that is sold individually and in the S9+ bundle. What makes the S9+ different is that it comes included with a Clean Base unit that is used for Automatic Dirt Disposal technology. The Clean Base is a 14-inch docking unit that replaces the traditional Home Base for both charging but also as a storage bin for multiple cleans from the S9+. After each clean, when the dustbin is full, the Roomba S9+ will dock into the Clean Base and the process of emptying begins. The Clean Base can hold up to 30 cleans worth of dirt. The purpose of robot vacuums is to take the effort out of cleaning and this Self-Disposal technology takes this to a completely new level. This difference is the exact same as the one between the Roomba i7+ and i7.

iRobot Roomba S9 (9150) Robot Vacuum- Wi-Fi Connected, Smart Mapping, Powerful Suction, Works with Alexa, Ideal for Pet Hair, Works With Clean Base
  • OUR MOST ADVANCED CLEAN - You—and your home—deserve...
  • DEEPEST CLEAN - With 40X the suction power, the...
  • DETAILED POWERFUL CLEAN - PerfectEdge Technology with...

iRobot does offer flexibility when it comes to purchasing the Self-Disposal technology as it is possible to buy the Clean Base as an addition later on. It is important to remember that it is only the Roomba i7 and S9 that work with the Clean Base, older models from the 900, 800 and 600 series will not work with it. If you are unsure it is best to purchase the Roomba S9 and then buy the Clean Base later on as the saving you get from purchasing both together is minimal. One thing to note is, the Self-Disposal technology can be loud so it is recommended to have it in a side room or schedule it for when you are out. 

Roomba i7+ self disposing system

2. Cleaning Technology

There is really nothing else on the market that has the quality of the cleaning technology found in the Roomba S9 and S9+. iRobot has very carefully crafted this robot vacuum to maximize cleaning performance and leverage some of the most powerful suction. There have also been well thought out changes in the design which allows the Roomba S9 and S9+ to get closes to walls and corners.

Roomba s9
Roomba S9

The Roomba S9 and S9+ are the same robot vacuum and therefore share the same cleaning motor, the Superior 3-Stage Cleaning Motor. This is 40 times more powerful than the standard 3-Stage Cleaning Motor found in the 600 series. Suction power is no joke with the Superior Cleaning Motor, undoubtedly making one of the most if not the most powerful robot vacuums you can buy. Where the RoombS9 and S9+ really come into their own is cleaning on carpets, a surface which many robot vacuums struggle with. Any individual with a large and heavily carpeted home, especially with thick and dense carpet pile, should seriously consider the S9+ or S9.

iRobot has followed in the steps of Neato by making the Roomba S9 and S9+ D-Shaped in order to maximize cleaning performance. This is a huge change for iRobot has each and every one of their older models have maintained a traditional circular shape, something that is iconic about them. The D-Shaped design is called PerfectEdge Technology and improves the efficiency of the cleaning system of Roombas tremendously. This occurs for several reasons; the main brush is 30% wider, the main brush is closer to the angled side brush and the flat end can get much closer up against walls. Check out the diagram below, which highlights each of these areas:

roomba s9 perfect edge

3. Navigation Technology

Both the Roomba S9 and S9+ have the same advanced iAdapt 3.0 navigation technology. iAdapt 3.0 is the very latest and best from iRobot and is only found in the i7 and S9 series. A camera is housed in the front of the Roomba that is used to build up a virtual Smart map of your home. Everything from walls, doors furniture and other obstacles are recorded by the Roomba and accordingly, the software calculates the most efficient routes. This style of navigation technology is also used in the 900 series in iAdapt 2.0 and is highly recommended for those who have large cleaning areas.

Imprint Smart Mapping is a part of iAdapt 3.0 that identifies individual rooms in the Smart Map. Each room can be individually cleaned, allowing more precision with cleaning and enabling the Roomba to respond better to isolated areas of mess. Imprint Mapping also works with Alexa with the command being “Alexa, clean the living room”. Smart Maps can be accessed in the iRobot Home app, which we will discuss more in the next section.

Roomba s9 navigation technology

Two staples of iRobot navigation technology are Dirt Detect and Cliff Detect. When navigating, if the Roomba S9 or S9+ comes across a high area of dirt it will detect this and apply extra attention, moving back and forward over the area. Cliff Detect simply identifies any edges, steps or stairs and prevents the Roomba falling off in order to prevent any damage.

iRobot Roomba s9+ (9550) Robot Vacuum with Automatic Dirt Disposal- Empties itself, Wi-Fi Connected, Smart Mapping, Powerful Suction, Anti-Allergen System, Corners & Edges, Ideal for Pet Hair, black
  • CLEANS UP AFTER YOU, AND ITSELF - Forget about...
  • OUR MOST ADVANCED CLEAN - You—& your home—deserve...
  • DEEPEST CLEAN - With 40X the suction power, the...

5. iRobot Home app

Being very modern and new robot vacuums, the Roomba S9+ and S9 are WiFi connectable (2.4 Ghz) and smart home devices. iRobot’s Home app is a central control point that provides access to a whole range of useful features and extra features. Here is the list of features accessible on the iRobot Home app that apply to the Roomba S9 and S9+.

  • Clean individual rooms with Imprint Mapping
  • View Smart Maps
  • Statistics on cleaning – coverage, clean time and charge time
  • Start and pause cleaning
  • Schedule for different days of the week
  • Customize cleaning preferences
  • Monitor the live activity of your Roomba
  • Receive live notifications
  • Voice control with Alexa
  • Automatic software updates

6. Main Differences

Due to the Roomba S9 and S9+ practically being the same product, there is only one difference worth noting:

  1. The Roomba S9+ comes with a Clean Base unit that enables Automatic-Dirt Disposal technology (up to 30 cleans for each bin). This can be bought as an add on for the S9 later.

6. Main Similarities

As the Roomba S9 and S9+ are effectively the same product without the Clean Base, every other feature is the same:

  1. Both the Roomba S9 and S9+ have Perfect Edge technology and a D-Shaped design.
  2. Both the Roomba S9 and S9+ have the Superior 3-Stage Cleaning System.
  3. Both the Roomba S9 and S9+ have iAdapt 3.0 and Imprint Mapping.
  4. Both the Roomba S9 and S9+ have Dirt Detect.
  5. Both the Roomba S9 and S9+ have Cliff Detect.
  6. Both the Roomba S9 and S9+ connect to the iRobot Home app.
  7. Both the Roomba S9 and S9+ have voice control with virtual assistants (Alexa & Home)
  8. Both the Roomba S9 and S9+ have HEPA filters.

Final Word

The Roomba S9+ and S9 are basically the same product with the + version coming with a Clean Base included that enables Automatic Dirt Disposal. If you are stuck on whether to get a Roomba S9 or S9+, the best thing you can do is to just buy the S9 and then purchase a Clean Base later. With these two robot vacuums, you get the most advanced of every technology from iRobot and the top cleaning performance. It is an expensive piece of kit though! Thanks for reading this comparison article of the latest and best Roomba models.


This section will answer the main questions that asked about the Roomba S9, S9+ and how the two compare against each other.

What is the difference between the Roomba S9+ and S9?

The Roomba S9+ and S9 are two product packages that both contain the S9 robot vacuum, with the difference being the + version having the Clean Base unit included. This enables Automatic Dirt Disposal technology with which the robot vacuum can self empty 30 cleans worth of dirt. The idea of this is that the user can leave the Roomba S9 to run on its own for weeks or months without any intervention needed.

Do the Roomba S9+ and S9 map your home?

Yes, the Roomba S9+ and S9 have a camera in the hood of the robot vacuum that takes images of your home to map it. This map is available to see in the iRobot Home app and includes the floorplan and objects such as furniture. iRobots iAdapt 3.0 navigation technology calculates the most efficient cleaning route to take given the information provided by the smart map.

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Rupert Pople

Rupert is the founder of this website and a smart home tech enthusiast fascinated by the power of connected devices. Within his Business Management (BSc) degree at the University of Nottingham, he studied the technological impact of the Internet of Things.

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