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iRobot Roomba Combo j9+ vs. Roomba Combo j7+: which is the best robot vacuum?

Two of the most versatile products in the iRobot lineup are the Roomba Combo j9+ and Roomba Combo j7+. These two devices are capable of vacuuming and mopping without any manual input — making them a compelling choice for anyone looking to streamline their floor-cleaning chores.

While the two robot vacuums share much in common (including a retractable arm for the mop), there are a few key differences to keep in mind when making a purchase. Here’s a look at the Roomba Combo j9+ and Combo j7+ to help you decide which is best for your smart home.

Pricing and availability

The Combo j9+ at its dock.

The Combo j9+ costs $1,399 and will ship by October 1. The Combo j7+ costs $999 and is currently available. Both include a docking station, though the j9+ boasts a design that’s a bit more eye-catching — thanks to a wooden top plate and vertical striations throughout the unit. Meanwhile, the Combo j7+ is much cheaper than the Combo j9+ and still looks like a premium product.

Winner: Roomba Combo j7+


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

The two robot vacuums share a lot of the same DNA. This includes the use of dual rubber brushes for vacuuming, Dirt Detect technology to sense dirtier spots and increase the cleaning power, and an edge-sweeping brush. However, the Roomba Combo j9+ is said to have “100% more power-lifting suction” than the i Series, whereas the Combo j7+ has “standard” cleaning power.

Unfortunately, iRobot doesn’t share exact suction measurements, so it’s impossible to say how much better the Combo j9+ really is. But despite the lack of specifics, it’s clearly the more powerful of the two.

Winner: Roomba Combo j9+


The Roomba Combo j7+ mopping wood floors.

It’s a similar story for mopping, with both the Combo j9+ and Combo j7+ employing a retractable mop arm to ensure your carpet stays dry. This works by swinging the mopping pad to the top of the robot when carpet is detected, then lowering it when traveling on hard surfaces. It’s an impressive design — and one that works great for high-pile carpets, unlike retractable mops on other devices that simply retract a few millimeters.

Both products also let you set “No Mop Zones” and can mop and vacuum simultaneously. The Combo j9+, however, can automatically refill its solution, while the j7+ requires a manual operation.

Winner: Roomba Combo j9+

Additional features

The Combo j9+ vacuuming with a transparent chassis showing its internal components.

The Combo j9+ will automatically clean the dirtiest room first, ensuring it gets a proper cleaning before moving on to other areas of your home. Beyond that (and its automatic solution refill), much of what you’ll find on the j9+ is present on the j7+. This includes impressive navigation skills to move around obstacles, the ability to clean small areas using voice commands, and support for Alexa, Google, and Siri.

Winner: Roomba Combo j9+

Is the Roomba Combo j9+ worth the extra cost?

There’s no doubt the Roomba Comba j9+ packs more of a punch than the Combo j7+, but if you already own the latter, it may not be worth upgrading to the former. That’s because iRobot made a powerful, reliable robot vacuum and mop with the Combo j7+, and if your device is still working without any issues, there’s little reason to upgrade. The only truly new features of the Combo j9+ are increased suction and automatic solution refilling — which could make it a hard sell for Combo j7+ owners.

Conversely, if you don’t own a robot vacuum (or you’re looking to upgrade from a much older robot vacuum), the Combo j9+ is an easy recommendation. Its price tag is quite a bit heftier than that of the Combo j7+, but its updated design, improved suction, and automatic solution refilling make it a much more compelling purchase.

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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