Roomba S9 vs e5: What are the main differences?

Roomba S9 vs e5

iRobots Roomba range leads the way when it comes to producing the best robot vacuums. Two of the most recent Roombas, the S9 and e5 were released alongside each other and suited for different price ranges. This Roomba S9 vs e5 comparison article will explain the key differences between the two and why the S9 is far more technologically advanced but also why the e5 may be better suited for certain homes and budgets.

Comparison Chart: Roomba S9 vs e5

Designroomba s9roomba e5
iADAPT 3.0iADAPT 1.0
(40x Stronger)
(5x Stronger)
Resume Cleaning
Automatic Dirt
Bottom LineThe most
advanced Roomba
with the
best features
pick for
budget option
AvailabilityCheck PriceCheck Price

1. Design & Measurements

Roomba s9
Roomba S9
roomba e5
Roomba e5

There are some clear differences between the designs of the Roomba S9 and e5. Most obvious is that the S9 has  D-Shape which is utilized in order to clean more effectively against walls and in corners. The e5 has the regular circular shape that all other Roombas have. Another clear difference is the coloring, where the S9 has a black with a copper plate on the top, contrary to the simpler black on the e5. Here are the measurements and weight of each model:

  • Roomba S9 – 12.2 x 12.2 x 3.5 inches & 8.5 lbs
  • Roomba e5 – 13.3×13.3×3.6 inches & 7.2 lbs

iRobot Roomba E5 (5150) Robot Vacuum - Wi-Fi Connected, Works with Alexa, Ideal for Pet Hair, Carpets, Hard, Self-Charging Robotic Vacuum, Black
  • IDEAL FOR HOMES WITH PETS - Unique Dual Multi-Surface...

2. Automatic Dirt Disposal

roomba s9

A major difference between these two models is that the Roomba S9 is compatible with iRobots Clean Base and therefore Automatic Dirt Disposal technology. The S9 is the second Roomba that works with the Clean Base, the only other being the Roomba i7. Each Clean Base unit can hold up to around 30 cleans worth of dirt. After each clean, the Roomba S9 will return to the Clean Base to empty its rubbish on its own. It also replaces the Home Base as the charging station for the unit.

iRobot has created two product offerings that contain the Roomba S9 robot, the S9 and the S9+. With the S9+, you not only get the Roomba S9 but also the Clean Base included. If you just want the S9 for now, you can buy the Clean Base separately later on. The money saved by getting the two together is minimal, so if your not sure you want this feature, it is recommended to go with the S9 first.

3. Navigation Technology

The navigation technology of the Roomba S9 is far more advanced than the e5, making it a far better choice for users who have large homes. iAdapt 3.0 and Imprint Mapping are the technology used by the S9 (and in the i7 too). The S9 has a camera on the top side of the Roomba that maps out the user’s home, looking at the rooms and obstacles within it. Imprint Mapping can identify which area of floor space is a separate room. Each room can then be cleaned in isolation without having to clean the whole Smart Map area.

smart imprint mapping

Using this information, the S9 will calculate the most efficient cleaning path which is particularly systematic in its approach. The mapped out area is then available to see within the iRobot Home app alongside reports of cleaning. iAdapt 3.0 includes a Self-Recharge and Self-Resume cleaning feature that the e5 doesn’t have.

iAdapt 1.0 is used within the Roomba e5 and is relatively basic. This level of iRobots navigation technology uses an array of sensors to detect where obstacles are and more around them. As a result,  the cleaning path taken by the e5 is far more relatively random compared to the S9. It has sensors that detect high concentrations of dirt and apply more attention to them. This technology is in all Roombas and is called Dirt Detect. Every Roomba can also identify the edge of stairs and prevent falls with Cliff Detect technology.

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...

4. Cleaning Technology

The Roomba S9 has  D-shape in order to improve cleaning performance for several reasons. iRobot calls Perfect Edge technology and the S9 is the only robot vacuum from iRobot with this design. The diagram below illustrates three reasons why this makes the S9 a better cleaner than rounded robot vacuums:

There are three points on the diagram that compares the D-Shaped S9 compared to a rounded robot vacuum from iRobot. As you can see, the main brush of the S9 is much closer to the wall than the rounded Roomba. Point 2 shows how the angle side brush that flicks dirt into the path of the S9 is far closer to the main brush. Finally, the main brush is able to be much wider on the D-Shape Roomba.

The Roomba S9 has iRobot’s most powerful cleaning motor which is the Superior 3-Stage Cleaning motor. This is eight times more powerful than the Aeroforce 3-Stage Cleaning system found within the Roomba. For comparison sakes, the Aeroforce is five times stronger than the Roomba 600 series models, but half the strength of the Gen 3 motor which is in the Roomba 980 and i7. Of course, this means the Superior 3-Stage Cleaning system is four times stronger than the Gen3 and forty times stronger than the 600 series.

Homes with more carpets, especially thick ones, will fair better with the S9. This isn’t to say the e5 wouldn’t be capable, it is just the S9 would on average be far better performing and more reliable. Both would have no problem cleaning dirt on hard floor surfaces.

5. Battery Life

roomba 980 lithoum ion battery

The Roomba S9 can run for around 2 hours whilst the e5 runs for around 90 minutes. Another factor to consider within this is that the S9 has Self-Recharge and Self-Resume technology whilst the e5 doesn’t. Therefore it can run indefinitely until the cleaning job is done, whilst the e5 will only have the one round of charge. Large homes with lots of cleaning areas are better off with the S9 as it can continue beyond that one charge. On top of this, iAdapt 3.0 will make cleaning far more likely to be done in one go.

6. Main Differences

There are many differences between the Roomba S9 and e5  despite being released at the same time as each other:

  1. The Roomba S9 has a D-Shaped design for Perfect Edge Technology. This is superior to the circular shape of the Roomba e5 as it can clean against walls better and has a wider main brush.
  2. The Roomba S9 is black with a copper plate on top, whilst the Roomba e5 is black.
  3. The Roomba S9 is compatible with Clean Base and Automatic Dirt Disposal which can hold up to 30 cleans worth of dirt.
  4. The Roomba S9 has iAdapt 3.0 and Imprint Mapping, whilst the Roomba e5 just has iAdapt 1.0.
  5. The Roomba S9 has a Superior 3-Stage Cleaning Motor which is eight times more powerful than the Aeroforce 3-Stage Cleaning System in the Roomba e5.
  6. The Roomba S9 has 120 minutes battery life whilst the Roome e5 just has 90 minutes.
  7. The Roomba S9 can Self-Recharge and Self-Resume cleaning.

7. Main Similarities

There are a few but not too many similarities between the Roomba S9 and e5:

  1. The Roomba S9 and e5 both work with the iRobot Home app.
  2. The Roomba S9 and e5 both have Dirt Detect.
  3. The Roomba S9 and e5 both have Cliff Detect.
  4. The Roomba S9 and e5 both work with Alexa and other voice control options.

Final Word

Despite being released at the same time, the Roomba S9 and e5 have many differences. Overall, the Roomba S9 is a far superior robot vacuum with more advanced and extra features that the Roomba e5 doesn’t have. It suits larger homes with more carpets and rugs far better than the e5 due to having Smart Mapping navigation as well as a particularly powerful cleaning motor. Two other useful articles may be our comparison of the e5 against the Roomba 890 as well as the Roomba 690, as they are more evenly matched.

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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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