I’ve been busy with the exam robotic vacuum The past few weeks, among them Roomba I3+, I6+, and S9+ devices. These three variants represent every level in the iRobot self-dumping lineup.
When iRobot released the Roomba I7+, this was Industry innovation malfunctions in creating their own versions.
I would say the Roomba’s auto-discharge design is still one of the best, with the most consistent ramp versus the vertical outlets other brands use.
Which of the three is the best option? I’ve All test results were collected To decipher which of the three is worth considering.
- 1 Quick Overview: i3 vs i3+ vs i6+ vs i7 vs i7+ vs S9 vs S9+
- 2 Introduction to Roomba I3+, I6+, and S9+
- 3 Similarities Between Roomba I3, I6, and S9
- 4 Differences in Roomba I3, I4, I6, I7 and S9
- 5 Features of the app in Roomba I3, I4, I6, I7 and S9
- 6 Air Flow Comparison
- 7 cleaning comparison
- 8 Runtime comparison
- 9 noise comparison
- 10 maintenance
- 11 Availability of spare parts
- 12 product specification
- 13 Where can I buy these bots?
- 14 Which is the better option, Roomba I3, I6 or S9?
- 15th Verdict: Choose one based on budget and priorities
Quick Overview: i3 vs i3+ vs i6+ vs i7 vs i7+ vs S9 vs S9+
Let’s take a quick look at the specifications of Roomba’s auto-discharge options, including the I3, I3+, I4+, I6+, I7, I7+, S9, and S9+.
Noticeable: I only tested I3+, I6+, and S9+so I can Only provide test result numbers for these variables. But be aware that the I4 and I7 are similar to the I3 and I7, respectively, with product specifications, color, and differences in accessories.
I used 100g of fine sand and rubbed it on a medium pile carpet and ran the bots for about 5 minutes to see how much it picks up.
Noise experiments are performed using an audiometer from a few feet away.
Introduction to Roomba I3+, I6+, and S9+
Like I said earlier, Roomba I3, I6, and S9 Represent iRobot’s different levels In the line of the robot that self-empties.
iRobot pioneered the unveiling of the Roomba I7, and shortly thereafter, other variants such as I3, I4, I6, I7, S9.
Please note that these sub variants, for example, I4 are copies of other sub variants of I3. It will have the same features, specifications, engine and navigation. But I haven’t tested these products, so I can’t provide any results.
Entry level option: Roomba I3 +
The Roomba I3 + is the least expensive option, but with the “most stupid” navigation. iRobot calls it an intelligent navigation robot, capable of moving “ordered rows,” which means crossing in straight lines.
However, it lacks VSLAM or Visual SLAM, so Cannot save maps; Thus, users will not be able to access features such as Stay away from designated areas or cleaning.
This omission is the reason why iRobot has lowered the price to a lower level than I7 and S9.
The Roomba E5And I3 and I6 share files same basic framework: Same dimension, trash, brush design. But the i3 is better than the E5 with navigation as it moves in straight lines.
However, it Lacks VSLAM, so it doesn’t have a top-mounted camera and SLAM. Landmarks cannot be recognized or specific areas cleaned.
We earn a commission if you click on this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
Smarter, mid-tier option: Roomba I6 +
The more advanced option would be Roomba I6 +. Like the i3+, it moves in neat rows, but this variant has a top-mounted camera and SLAM, which unlocks advanced features like custom cleaning not available on the i3.
Adding these wrinkles brings a lot of relief, but you’ll need to spend more.
Based on airflow tests, I6+ contains slightly more than I3but it’s big enough to make a difference.
The I3 and I6 are very close in cleaning tests (more details below), with the I6 being slightly better at picking up surface debris. The higher airflow is probably the reason, but IVery close to announcing a perfect winner.
We earn a commission if you click on this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
Best-in-class cleaning performance:
before unveiling S9All Roomba products feature a round frame with a 3-prong side brush and narrow extractors in the center section.
That all changed with the S9; iRobot has revamped the design with a D-shape, similar to Neato Botvac . Series.
These upgrades, along with the more powerful engine, are intended to improve the performance of the S9.
The S9 plus extractors now span nearly the entire width of the robot, and the higher airflow picks up cleaner than any other Roomba I’ve tested so far.
she has Up to 25 feet per minute At the highest setting, it’s nearly three times that of I3 and I6. However, the downside is that it only eats heavily at runtime Max 45 minutes in this place.
But the results are impressive: 93% in deep cleaning tests And 100% in sand on hardwood flooring results – Two of the best scores in all robot vacuums.
Similarities Between Roomba I3, I6, and S9
Let’s quickly turn to the similarities between these Roomba variants.
1. Arranged rows
The first similarity between these Roomba products Each one navigates what iRobot calls “stylish rows” – a fancy term for moving in straight lines back and forth.
But the difference ends there. Roomba I3 + It has the simplest algorithm As it moves in a criss-cross pattern, first toward the clean base station and then across. In a way, I like the simplicity because the fewer decisions it has to make will make it more efficient.
It was i3 + is The most efficient of the threeat least for the small room, two tracks finished about 22 minutes.
- Roomba I3: 22:43 minutes
- Roomba I6: 28 minutes
- Roomba S9: 32:33 minutes
I was surprised at first, but the more I analyzed it, the more it made sense. The fewer decisions he makes, the sooner he ends up because he won’t have moments of hesitation, something I’ve noticed with the I6 and S9.
Roomba I3, I4, I6 and I7 use the same rear-mounted litter box with coil Slight difference in capacity.
- Roomba I3: 500 ml
- Roomba I3+: 400 ml
- Roomba I4 +: 400 ml
- Roomba I6+: 400 ml
- Roomba I7: 500 ml
- Roomba I7+: 500 ml
- Roomba S9+: 500 ml
You’ll notice above, that the non-plus versions have a slightly higher volume. This is because there are no such litter boxes This slit is inside Where are the port locations for the clean base station.
These boxes have narrower openings, which makes emptying them more difficult.
In comparison, the
3. Clean the base station
All additional versions of these robots have a clean base station, with a second vacuum cleaner on the dock emptying the robot’s trash after each run.
iRobot is a pioneer in this technology and is one of the best at implementing it by designing it similar to the ramps where the robot sits.
I like this over other brands that use a vertical port because it won’t have any alignment issues.
All three have a bag system where all trash contents are placed in this bag. iRobot does not specify the exact capacity, but I think so about 2.5 liters Since it contains approx Same bag size as Yeedi Vac Station.
These variables Use the same bagwhich means the case for the I6 will fit the I3 or S9.
Most Roomba models have the same round shape and identical dimensions, except for the S9 with a square front and D-shaped bezel.
5. Rubber extracts
iRobot uses the latest generation of rubber extractors for all three types. This feature is unique to Roomba products because it has the patent.
It’s one of the reasons why these robots work so well on carpet despite the low airflow.
These cylinders provide excellent agitation and pick up debris at a high rate, but one difference is that the S9 extractors are much wider than the I3 and I6, measuring just over nine inches.
6. Dirt Detection
Another feature unique to the Roomba is ‘Dirt Detection’ – it’s an acoustic sensor on the brush roller assembly that detects any increase in volume. Once turned on, it tells the bot to make additional passes.
Again, you won’t see this in other brands since it’s an iRobot patent.
7. One side brush
Besides extractors, these robots all have one side brush.
The I3, I4, I6, and I7 have 3-prong side brushes with longer arms, while the S9 features a smaller-diameter 5-prong side brush.
One problem with non-S9 models is their fast-rolling nature that tends to scatter debris.
iRobot addressed this issue by slowing down the S9’s speed, improving its efficiency even further.
8. iRobot compatibility
These smart robot vacuums are compatible with the iRobot home app with different levels of features.
The i3 has the simplest feature It is set because it does not contain VSLAM; Thus, it cannot save maps or access containment features.
In comparison, the I6,I7,S9 have more featuressuch as isolation zones, selective room cleaning, and custom zone cleaning, since it contains VSLAM.
All of these features (mentioned above) are usable with the scheduling feature, which adds to the convenience.
Differences in Roomba I3, I4, I6, I7 and S9
Next, let’s take a look at the differences between these Roomba models.
iRobot doesn’t reveal the exact strength numbers of their products, so I use an anemometer on my cleaning nozzle to determine the strength numbers.
- Roomba I3: 7.27 cubic feet per minute
- Roomba I6: 8.2 CFM
- Roomba S9: 25 cubic feet per minute
Even if the i3 and i6 have similar power specs based on the iRobot website, airflow tests reveal that the i6 has quite a bit more.
The S9 has peak airflow scores at 25 feet per minute, which isn’t even close. It also has more airflow than I3 and I6 at the lowest setting of 11.33 CFM; Therefore, it has enough usable power even at the lowest setting.
2. Noise levels
Loudness levels will vary between these Roomba products. it is obvious that S9 is the loudestwith up to 74.1 dB at the maximum setting, while the I3 and I6 are quieter options at 64.9 and 64.5 dB, respectively.
3. Deep cleaning performance
One difference many reviewers haven’t mentioned is the difference with the built-in dirt cleaner. S9 is the best out of the three options here, capture an average of 93%Thanks to the advanced airflow.
Surprisingly, that The next best result is I3choose or pick 84.7%while the The i6 plus did the worst with 82.5%.
Features of the app in Roomba I3, I4, I6, I7 and S9
All of these products are compatible with the iRobot app, let’s review the features.
1. Savings Map [Rooma I6, I7, and S9 only]
Only the I6, I7, and S9 variants have a map save feature. You can access this feature by clicking on the pin icon in the lower right part of the robot’s drawing.
Users can save up to Ten levels mapwhich is six more than Roborock and eight more than Ecovacs – two of its main competitors.
I3 and I4 can’t save maps because it doesn’t have VSLAM or the camera installed on top, but it can draw maps that can be accessed through the History tab.
2. Play the maps [Roomba I6, I7, and S9 only]
iRobot has this feature called Operations Map, where the robot enters exploratory mode With the vacuum motor turned off.
This feature is intended to Speed up the map creation process And prolong the running time since the engine is turned off.
It is useful inside large homes where the robot may not have enough juice to complete the entire task in one run.
Because Roomba products use VSLAM and rely on the camera sensor, the lights must be on to successfully complete mapping playback.
Please note that you may need to do more than one run to successfully draw the map, but to ensure the best results leave all doors open and remove any potential roadblocks.
Yes, it’s an extra step, but camera sensors aren’t as accurate as laser sensors, so you have to take the good with the bad.
3. Label the custom room [Roomba I6, I7, and S9 only]
After the map is successfully drawn, users can divide the areas (or rooms) and name each area. There are two options: choose from a specific list or use a custom name.
4. Stay away from areas [Roomba I6, I7, and S9 only]
Besides the map saving capabilities of the I6, I7, and S9, users will also enjoy the benefits of exclusion zones.
These are rectangular or square areas that users can draw on the map, telling the bot to move away from these areas.
Unfortunately, the iRobot app does not have access to the invisible wall feature, where consumers can draw straight or diagonal lines as “walls” to block the robot’s path.
It’s something other brands love RoborockEcovacs, Dreame in their applications.
Again, the Roomba I3 and I4 variants do not have this feature since they cannot save maps.
5. Clean areas [Roomba I6, I7, and S9 only]
Another feature of saving the map is the clean area feature, where users can select rectangular or square “cleaning areas”.
It’s similar to cleaning areas on other brands, but with the iRobot app, users can save (and name) these areas for easy access.
6. Adjustable power settings [Roomba S9 only]
7. Control the number of passes [All variants]
There are three options here: Auto, Single Pass, and Custom. Auto mode allows the bot to decide how many passes to make based on the size of the room. A single pass is self-explanatory, while Habit allows users to choose between playing one or two tracks.
I’ll stick to the custom setting with dirt detected and let the robot set the number of passes unless a thorough cleaning is needed.
8. Scheduling [All variants]
Consumers can schedule runs for all of these variants, and it’s possible to schedule multiple rides per day, something absent with older Roomba variants. However, it contains a file gap of not less than three hours Between runs anything below and the application will flash an error message.
With the I6, I7, and S9, consumers can use it in conjunction with the Save Maps and Clean Zones features where they can choose specific rooms or areas to clean.
9. History [All variants]
This tab displays all previous cleaning cycles and the corresponding maps. It has no actual function other than to show how much you use this bot.
Air Flow Comparison
Since iRobot doesn’t specify force numbers with their robots, not even Pascal numbers, I had to use an anemometer to measure airflow.
This high output makes the S9 easily the best at picking up debris, both on the surface and built-in dirt.
As I mentioned in the Air Flow section, the S9+ is the best Roomba cleaning option, thanks to its wide hoods and higher airflow.
There is a noticeable gap between the S9 and I3/I6 options.
Numbers and eye testing confirm this claim because it had the cleanest streaks during the coverage test, which makes it even more effective if you take into account how much dirt you get in each swipe.
In comparison, I3 and I6 are close, with I6 having a better overall score.
Which Roomba is best on hard surfaces?
Here’s a before and after shot of
It picked up just about everything and other evidence of the high airflow left almost nothing on the brush assembly.
Even with the middle setting, it still got 99.2% – a score higher than I3 or I6.
The I6 is the next best option with higher overall scores than I3, which likely confirms the higher airflow numbers, something I dismissed before writing this review.
Roomba I6 sands on solid ground before and after filming.
Finally, the Roomba I3 – how in the sand it was on the hard floors.
Edge cleaning comparison
Once again, the
It’s a big factor why this variant works so well in this field.
With the first pass I picked up just about everything, not just the tip but also a good piece in a quarter inch slit.
Unexpectedly, the Roomba I3 was (slightly) better than the i6 despite the lower airflow. The difference is not much, but it is worth noting.
Here’s a before and after shot of the I3 edge cleaning test.
and edge cleaning i6.
Hair wrap comparison
Next, let’s take a look at how well these robots can resist hair tangling. For these experiments, I use five and seven inch strings and see how much each robot picks up.
The Roomba I6 did best with 5-inch strands, gaining 100%, but it didn’t do well with longer seven-inch hair, gaining just 54%.
embedding in both lengths, The S9 performed the best, up over 80% in both testswhile the i3 did the worstcapturing only 54% and 40% on five and seven hairs, respectively.
Which Roomba is Best on Carpet?
Without looking like a broken cylinder, the
I tested it on different types of debris, and it had the cleanest passes and left the least amount of dirt.
It did best on both surface and compact dirt, scoring above 90%, consistent with its higher airflow rates.
The results between I3 and I6 are omitted. With i3 performing better in deep cleaning tests and i6 on surface debris.
All three variables have the extension Same claimed uptime figures at 75 minutes. But the S9 has the largest battery capacity as it uses a 3,300mAh lithium-ion battery, which is essential because it uses a larger motor.
However, that number drops to about 45 minutes for the S9 if you’re using the maximum setting.
These Roomba product uptime numbers aren’t all that impressive as other brands nearly double them, but that shouldn’t be a sticking point as they recharge and resume.
For this test, I used a sound meter from a few meters away to measure the noise, and here are the results.
Maintenance is a big part of robot vacuum ownership, and I’ll show you how in this section. I’ve Wrote several guides On this for specific models like 675/690And e 5And I3And S9. Check out the links if you want more detailed instructions.
- Extractors: This component is perhaps the most abused part of any Roomba bot. Check and clean at least once a week to remove any contaminant stuck on the cylinder and hubs.
- Side brush: The hair will curl on them, especially on the arms and base. Again, check at least once a week and clean as needed.
- Dustbin and filter: If you have additional versions of these bots, there is no need to get rid of the dirt manually because the clean base station does it for you. But check periodically (once or twice a month) for any dirt that has accumulated inside the filter and on the filter. Fortunately, the trash is washable, but the HEPA filter is not.
- Wheels and side wheels: Dirt will stick to these components, so use a clean towel to wipe both.
- Sensors: There are a bunch of sensors around the robot that you’ll need to scan, and the most important of these are the drop sensors underneath.
- Auto empty port: Additional versions of these bots have ports under the trash can where debris will pass when the base station sucks up the contents. Keep this area clear of any obstructions and wash it occasionally.
- Clean base station: There is not much maintenance to a clean base station, except for replacing the bag when it is full. Fortunately, the iRobot app notifies users of this, and there is no need to babysit.
Availability of spare parts
There will be no shortage of spare parts as iRobot products are popular.
The I3, I6, and I7 share many internal components like the side brush motor, battery, brush unit, etc., since they use the same platform – the only difference is that the I6 and I7 have a camera mounted on top.
You can purchase these components from online stores such as Amazon or eBay.
But, there will be better availability for I3, I4, I6 and I7, since these variants are cheaper and have higher sales volume.
Manufacturers are more inclined to sell components of these sub-models. Parts such as the battery are more widely available for the I series than for the S series due to the greater variation in price.
iRobot sells components for all the variants listed here, including the S9, so you can use these bots for a long time and not worry about parts not being available.
Where can I buy these bots?
You can buy iRobot products from online stores on Amazon. Check the links below for the latest prices.
- Roomba S9 + Power on Amazon (with clean base station)
- Roomba S9 Run Amazon
- Roomba i7 + running Amazon (with clean base station)
- Roomba I7 is on Amazon
- Roomba i6 + running Amazon (with clean base station)
- Roomba I4 + Run Amazon (with clean base station)
- Roomba I3 + Run Amazon (with clean base station)
- Roomba I3 has been launched Amazon
Disclaimer: I’ll earn a commission if you buy through any of the links above, but at no additional cost to you, so it’s a win for us!
Which is the better option, Roomba I3, I6 or S9?
Choosing between these Roomba items will boil down to these three questions, how much are you willing to spend, is high-end performance a must, and do you need the map saving feature, along with its benefits?
If you are willing to pay a premium and want the best possible performance, then
It’s clearly the best of the three robots I’ve tested when picking up debris, both surface and compact.
The Roomba I3 and I6 are close, with the I6 having slightly better surface cleaning results and the I3 being better at the compact stuff.
However, the difference is very insignificant and should not be a deciding factor.
5 reasons to choose
- Best-in-class power: The
Roomba S9It outperforms most robot vacuums with its advanced airflow.
- Excellent cleaning performance: Scored above 90% across the board on both surface and built-in dirt.
- Outstanding Efficiency: This robot picks up more debris per swipe than any other robotic vacuum cleaner I’ve tested so far.
- Intelligent navigation: Imprint’s smart mapping allows users to access features such as block zones and selective zone cleaning.
- Automatically empty base station: It requires a menial task, which is to empty the robot’s trash can.
4 reasons to choose Roomba I6 +
- Less expensive option for the S9: if it was
Roomba S9Too expensive, the i6 or i7 would be the next best option, with the same navigational features, without the high-end suction.
- more effective: Coverage test finished four minutes faster than the S9.
- Self-discharge feature: It also has the same self-discharge feature as the S9, but at a much lower price.
- Decent in compact sand: The i6 scored an average of 82.5%, which is the worst of the three but still one of the best scores of all robot vacuums.
4 reasons to choose Roomba I3 +
- Cheapest option: The i3 is the least expensive option out of the three models presented here.
- Most effective: Despite the lack of SLAM, the i3 finished the coverage test faster, in about 22 minutes.
- Better Than I6 For Deep Cleaning: Surprisingly, the i3 performed better than the i6 in our deep cleaning tests by 84.7% despite the lower airflow.
- cross pattern: I like the crosshairs pattern because it provides better accuracy, which you can’t see in robots that rely on gyroscopes and optical sensors.
Verdict: Choose one based on budget and priorities
There is no doubt that
So the question is, are you willing to spend on it? If yes, then it is obviously the best option, but if not, then look for either Roomba I3 or I6.
However, cleaning performance should not be a deciding factor among these variables since it is very close.
It’s whether you need the map-save feature that the I6/I7 offers, along with the convenience features it brings to the table.
If there is a need, go to I6 or I7. Otherwise, save some cash and opt for the more efficient Roomba I3.