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iRobot Roomba Combo j9+ vs. iRobot Roomba Combo j5+: Which is best?

Roomba recently added two new robot vacuums to its lineup — the Roomba Combo j9+ and Roomba Combo j5+. The two share a lot of similarities, but there are several key differences to consider before making a purchase. From pricing and vacuuming power to mopping skills and more, here’s everything you need to know about the Roomba Combo j9+ and j5+.

Pricing and availability

The iRobot j9+ cleaning a floor and retracting its mop.

The iRobot Roomba Combo j9+ costs $1,400 and is one of the most expensive robot vacuums on the market. The iRobot Roomba Combo j5+ is $800. Both feature a matte black design, though the j9+ looks a bit more luxurious, thanks to a wooden cover on top of the dock.

Winner: iRobot Roomba Combo j5+


The iRobot Roomba Combo j9+ vacuuming.

While iRobot doesn’t share exact suction numbers for its products, the Combo j9+ and j5+ are both well-equipped to suck up debris. Both use a four-stage cleaning system that incorporates an edge-sweeping brush and rubber brushes to pull hair and other objects out of your carpet. The j9+ is said to have “100% more power-lifting suction” compared to the i Series, while the j5+ offers “standard” cleaning power. The Combo j9+ benefits from software that will learn your home and automatically clean the dirtiest areas first.

Winner: iRobot Roomba Combo j9+


A bin that's been removed from the j5 Plus.

The Combo j9+ is slightly better at mopping than the Combo j5+, thanks to a system known as SmartScrub. In a nutshell, this system allows the robot to mop back and forth while applying pressure to the ground. This helps it remove tough stains that might be missed by the Combo j5+.

Winner: iRobot Roomba Combo j9+

Additional features

The Combo j9+ cleaning near a couch with a smartphone on it.

The iRobot Roomba Combo j9+ is an all-in-one robot, allowing it to vacuum and mop in one go. It also uses a swinging mop arm that retracts to the top of the unit when traveling on carpet — preventing it from getting dirty mop water on your carpet.

The Combo j5+ can mop and vacuum, but it doesn’t offer a retractable mop arm. Instead, it uses different bins. Install one bin and you’ll be available to vacuum. Remove it and install a different bin, and you’ll be able to vacuum and mop. It won’t automatically avoid mopping carpets — and its dock won’t automatically refill its mopping solution, as is the case on the j9+ — making it less than ideal for homes with multiple floor types.

Beyond that design change, most of the additional features are the same across both devices. This includes support for the iRobot smartphone app, the ability to recognize and avoid obstacles, and the ability to create Keep Out Zones.

Winner: iRobot Roomba Combo j9+

Is the Roomba Combo j9+ worth its hefty price tag?

The Combo j9+ cleaning a bathroom floor.

Considering the Roomba Combo j9+ is much more expensive than the Combo j5+, it should come as no surprise that it’s the superior device. But is it worth the inflated price tag? If you’re home has several different types of flooring or you want to fully automate as much of your cleaning tasks as possible, the answer is an emphatic “yes”.

The swinging mop arm is one of the biggest selling points of the Combo j9+. Not only does it help keep your carpets dry when moving between different areas of your home, but it allows the robot to use the SmartScrub system — enabling a better cleaning. Toss in additional power for vacuuming, and you’re getting a lot of extra cleaning prowess.

The higher-priced robot vacuum also benefits from a dock that can automatically refill the mopping solution, making it a well-rounded device that doesn’t require any babysitting while in use.

While it does cost an extra $600 compared to the Combo j5+, all these features should give you a much better (and more automated) cleaning experience. Coupled with its sleek dock, the Combo j9+ is positioned to be one of the best robot vacuums money can buy.

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Jon Bitner
Jon Bitner is a writer covering consumer electronics, technology, and gaming. His work has been published on various websites…
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