There’s a very long list of things I’d prefer to do over cleaning my floors. (Like getting a bikini wax, organizing my sock drawer and attending a live oboe performance.) So when I first got an iRobot Roomba 690 vacuum ($220) and Braava Jet 240 mop ($179), I felt like I was living the dream. Minor spills? No worries. Pet hair and dander? Not a problem.
The change in my household’s cleanliness was so stark, I was skeptical about how much of a difference the souped-up versions of my favorite cleaning robots could actually make. But once I tried the newest, top-of-the-line Roomba and Braava products, I was totally shocked by how well they cleaned my floors. Here, an honest review of the Roomba s9+ and Braava M6.
What makes the Roomba s9+ and Braava M6 so special?
Let’s start with the Roomba s9+. Similar to normal vacuums, the s9+ captures allergens, pollen, pet hair, dirt and debris like a pro—but in this case, you don’t have to lift a finger. It not only empties its own trash bin but also maps your home so you can specify which areas you want cleaned and when. Suffice it to say, it’s smart—like, so smart that it increases suction on carpet and knows to deep clean corners and edges. It’s also Alexa and Google Assistant compatible, so you can say “Roomba, clean my kitchen” after things get a little crazy during meal prep. One of my favorite parts, however, is that you can set the Braava M6 to start immediately after the Roomba finishes vacuuming. Who doesn’t love a good collaboration?
Speaking of the Braava M6, it packs the same compatibility and smart mapping capabilities as its Roomba counterpart. It cleans under furniture, abides by “no cleaning” zones that you can conveniently set on your iRobot app and can both spot clean and deep clean. By switching out the cleaning pad, you can opt for a dry clean (kind of like a Swiffer) or a wet clean, depending on your needs. Let’s be honest: No one likes mopping, so every little bit helps.
What’s the main difference between the basic and top-of-the-line options?
I’m definitely not knocking the Roomba 600 series or the OG Braava Jet, but the higher-grade offerings are more seamlessly integrated into a household. My lesser Roomba always got stuck and needed me to empty its bin. My Braava Jet was forever running out of battery and water. They were fantastic, but probably better suited to a smaller space or for someone who doesn’t have multiple animals and a kid on the way.
The s9+ and M6 just kind of do their own thing. I don’t get funny “Roomba is stuck on cliff” error messages anymore, and I barely need to do anything to keep them running properly, other than occasionally emptying the Roomba’s large trash bin and filling the Braava’s water tank. Basically, it’s the home cleaning equivalent of having a succulent.
What’s the cost and is it really worth it?
OK, I know the s9+ goes for $1,099 and the M6 comes with a $449 price tag. When you purchase them together, that’s an eyebrow-raising $1,548. But, if you can swing it and have the need, I really think it’s worth it. Since integrating both into my home, I’ve been genuinely happier (yes, I’m one of those people who is really bothered by an untidy space), and my house cleaner has noted that it’s been easier to handle his job in an expedient fashion. There are also no more muddy pawprints smattered on my antique hardwood floors after a rainy day, which is a major win.
What are the pitfalls of the s9+ and M6?
Although both machines are pretty incredible, there are a few hang-ups (but, to be honest, I’m really reaching here). It takes a couple of weeks for both machines to map your home, so you might find yourself quickly frustrated when they get stuck or confused. Just know that this will dissipate over time. Also, the Roomba just doesn’t jibe with certain carpets and can actually kind of eat them if you’re not careful. Keep an eye on things over the first few days or weeks of use and be sure to label something a “no clean zone” in the app if you see this happening.
Anything else I should know?
In addition to the machines, you’ll need to buy cleaning solution ($6) and mopping pads for the M6 and vacuum bags ($16) for the s9+. I’d suggest purchasing washable wet and dry mopping pads ($17) to get the most bang for your buck (and to protect the environment!). Once you get all set up, don’t forget to wash and properly care for both the Roomba and the Braava, because you definitely don’t want them on the fritz before the in-laws come over. I like to have extra filters, corner brushes and rubber brushes ($48) on hand, just in case. And I clean them once a quarter.
Enjoy your newly clean floors, friends.
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