Shark Vacuums vs. iRobot (Roomba): How Do They Compare?

Shark Vacuums vs iRobot (Roomba)

Shark Vacuums vs. iRobot (Roomba): How Do They Compare?

Are you looking for a robot vacuum for cleaning your home or business? If yes, Shark vacuums and iRobot are worth your investment. Both vacuums have smart navigation, a self-cleaning base, a recharge and resume feature, and a deep cleaning feature to give you an unparalleled cleaning experience. 

In addition, both vacuums have a smartphone app, as well as support for Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, which allow you to control them. However, the Shark and iRobot vacuums are not entirely identical. In fact, their robot vacuum models feature more differences than similarities.  

If you want to compare the robot vacuums from both brands, here is a comprehensive Shark Vacuums vs iRobot (Roomba) comparison to help you make an informed decision.

Note: We have picked one high-end robot model from either side and matched them to help you understand how the robot vacuums from the two manufacturers stack up against each other. For Shark vacuums, we have picked Shark IQ, and for iRobot, the Roomba s9+. 

Shark Vacuums vs. iRobot (Roomba):  Side-by-Side Comparison

Shark Vacuums vs iRobot (Roomba) infographic
Shark Vacuums (Shark IQ RV1001AE)iRobot (Roomba) (Roomba s9+)
Price with self-emptying base$479$1,099
Weight5.87 pounds8.15 pounds
Home MappingYesYes
Cleaning performance87%99%
Smart HomeAlexa, Google AssistantAlexa, Google Assistant
Size12.9 x 12.6 x 3.5 inches12.3 x 3.5 inches
Selective room cleaningYesYes
Run  time60 minutes75 minutes
Recharge and resumeYesYes
Evacuate and resumeYesNo
Wifi  enabledYesYes
Containment (name)Yes (zones)Yes (keep out zones)
Map  saving/no of mapsYes/ 1Yes/ 10
Map editingZoning with squareHorizontal partitions
Cleaning performance:
Hard floor
Sand on a hard floor
Carpet (surface pick up)
Carpet (deep clean)
Dustbin typeBaglessBagged
Auto empty capacity1.8-liters2.5-liters
Base station typeVertical portRamp-style
Airflow18.87 CFM25 CFM (Max)
Dirt detectNoYes
Side brush designSingle-prongedFive-prong
Warranty1 year1 year

Shark Vacuums vs. iRobot (Roomba):  What’s the Difference?

Shark vacuums and iRobot vacuums feature some differences that explain their variations in longevity, performance, ease of use, and prices, among other aspects. This section outlines the major differences between Shark IQ and Roomba s9+ to show how the two brands’ robotic vacuums compare.

Cleaning Performance

Overall, a Shark vacuum clears 91.84% of dirt compared to iRobot’s 97.93%. That means iRobot beats the Shark vacuum in cleaning hard floors, dirt on a bare floor, carpet surfaces, and carpet deeps.

Our Pick
Shark RV1001AE IQ Robot Vacuum
  • Deep-cleaning power to take on large debris, small debris, and pet hair
  • Self-cleaning brush roll removes pet hair and long hair as it cleans
  • Schedule whole-home cleanings or target specific rooms or areas to clean right now with the SharkClean app
  • Maps your home and lets you choose which rooms to clean
  • Will return to the dock, recharge, and can pick up where it left off
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
02/28/2024 05:07 am GMT

The iRobot’s s9+’s cleaning efficiency can be attributed to its 40x suction power and the Superior 3-Stage Cleaning System, which lifts to loosen and eliminate stuck food, remains of pet hair, and other debris from your carpet deep.

On the other hand, the Shark IQ uses a row-by-row cleaning methodology, which, though effective, can’t match the iRobot’s 3-stage cleaning system.


Both robot vacuums use a blend of gyroscopes, top-mounted cameras, and floor sensors to navigate the pathways in your space in a straight line. The combo also helps the robots determine how long they have traveled to assess when they should return to the charging station.

However, unlike iRobot IQ, Roomba s9+ has a careful drive mode, enabling it to detect and avoid obstacles and clean the area around without nudging or jostling them.

Mapping Features

Both Shark IQ and Roomba s9+ boast advanced digital mapping, which enables them to master the shape of your space and develop pathways along it. In addition, the two have map-saving capabilities, meaning you can access the saved map(s) via your smart device to view the robot’s cleaning history or to schedule the bot for later cleaning.

Besides, the saved maps are beneficial when controlling Shark IQ and Roomba s9+ via their intelligent apps. For instance, you can use the maps to set a containment area or perform a selective room cleaning via the app. What sets the two apart is the Roomba s9+’s ability to save up to 10 maps, whereas shark IQ can save only one map.

Cleaning Brushes

Typically, both shark IQ and Roomba s9+ have two types of brushes: a main brush for cleaning more expansive areas and side brushes for cleaning corners and other confined areas in your space. However, these brushes feature different designs that partially account for their differences in cleaning efficiency.

Specifically, the shark IQ uses the shark’s vertex cordless duo’s clean powerfins — a combination of plastic fins and bristles to clean bare floors and dig deep into carpets to remove all dirt. In addition, it has two single-pronged side brushes for cleaning around corners and other hard-to-reach areas.

Roomba s9+, on the other hand, features patented bristle-less rubber counter-rotating extractors and two shorter five-prong design side brushes. These brushes work together with the 3-stage cleaning system to provide 97+% dirt removal.

Dirt Storage and Emptying

Shark IQ and Roomba s9+ are self-emptying robot vacuum cleaners. They feature an automated empty dock that empties their dustbins automatically to prevent them from overfilling. 

However, these self-emptying docks are designed differently. Shark IQ utilizes a vertical port connecting to the bot’s rear section. On the other hand, Roomba s9+ uses a ramp-style base station, which makes it more stable than Shark IQ.

Inside the auto-empty dock, Shark IQ features 1.8-liter bagless dirt storage, which is relatively smaller than Roomba s9+’s 2.5-liter bagged storage.

Deep Cleaning
iRobot Roomba s9+ (9550) Robot Vacuum with Automatic Dirt Disposal
  • Uses Power Boost technology to increase suction automatically
  • Empties on its own
  • With vSLAM navigation, the s9 makes personalized Smart Maps after learning your home's layout
  • Includes iRobot's Corner Brush that optimizes corner and edge cleaning
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02/29/2024 04:47 am GMT

Despite being smaller, the shark IQ’s bagless dirt storage is cheaper and easier to maintain than Roomba’s bagged storage. This is because you won’t incur the cost of replacing the filled bags, which is the case with Roomba.

However, that does not make the Roomba’s bagged storage a terrible option. Indeed, Roomba it has the edge over the Shark IQ regarding personal hygiene.

Execute and Resume Feature

The Shark IQ lacks a sensor that detects the dustbin when full and signals the dock system to empty it in the iRobot models. To compensate for the lack of a sensor, the manufacturer included an execute and resume feature in the shark IQ app to direct the robot to empty the dustbin every 30 minutes and then resume cleaning from where it left off.

You must activate the execute and resume feature to activate the self-emptying mechanism. On the other hand, iRobot s9+’s auto-empty system features a sensor that detects a full dustbin and signals the dock to empty it. The self-emptying mechanism in the Roomba s9+ doesn’t require an app to function.

Power Settings

Shark vacuums and iRobot s9+ smart apps offer three modes for controlling power: detailed clean, quiet clean, and custom clean modes. The detailed mode on either app is the standard option for everyday cleaning, with moderate cleaning noise and power consumption. In other words, it activates the standard power option to balance runtime and power.

On the other hand, the quiet, clean mode activates the eco setting to reduce power consumption and noise levels. Finally, the custom clean allows you to tailor the robot to your preferred power setting. You can use this mode to set either the Shark IQ or the iRobot s9+ to their maximum power setting.

Scheduled Cleaning

Another notable feature in the Shark IQ and iRobot phone apps is the scheduling feature for cleaning. The Shark IQ app offers morning, afternoon, and evening options for scheduled cleaning. However, it has a major drawback in that it allows you to do only one scheduled run per day.

Conversely, the iRobot app allows you to do multiple scheduled runs per day, provided you set them 3 hours apart. That means you can set more than six scheduled runs within 24 hours.

Cleaning History

Shark IQ and iRobot smart apps provide a history tab, showing you all the previous cleaning cycles and the total area you have previously cleaned with the bot. Keeping this information can help you determine when the service life of the robot vacuum is due.

Shark Vacuums vs. iRobot (Roomba): 11 Must-Know Facts

  1. Roomba vacuums ( s9+) offer better cleaning performance (overall) than Shark vacuums (IQ).
  2. Both Shark IQ and Roomba have an auto-empty dock.
  3. The Shark IQ’s phone app has an execute and resume feature, while the Roomba s9+ does not.
  4. Roomba s9+ has a dustbin sensor, whereas Shark IQ does not.
  5. Both Shark vacuums (IQ) and Roomba have smartphone apps.
  6. Both Shark IQ and Roomba s9+ phone apps have scheduling options for cleaning.
  7. Shark IQ lets you schedule once a day, using either morning, afternoon, or evening options.
  8. Roomba s9+ lets you schedule multiple times a day, provided you leave 3-hour intervals.
  9. Shark IQ offers you a 1.8-liter bagless dustbin, while the Roomba s9+ offers 2.5-bagged dustbins.
  10. Shark and Roomba vacuums offer three identical power modes: detailed, quiet, and custom.
  11. Shark IQ features single-pronged side brushes, while the Roomba s9+ boasts five-pronged side brushes.

Shark Vacuums vs. iRobot (Roomba): Which One Is Better?

Overall, the Roomba s9+ beats the Shark IQ in terms of cleaning performance due to its wide (9-inch) cleaning path, two five-pronged side brushes, and 3-stage cleaning system. In addition, its cleaning efficiency is partly due to its ability to detect and clean around obstacles without distracting them.

Better still, Roomba s9+ has an edge in scheduling as it allows you to schedule multiple times as opposed to shark IQ’s one-time scheduling. Considering the above features, the Roomba s9+ is the ultimate beast for your cleaning needs. However, its top-notch features come at a high price ($1,099).

On the other hand, the Shark IQ is more than half the price of the Roomba s9+ (selling at $479), making it the ideal option for consumers on a limited budget.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Shark Robot Vacuum as good as a Roomba?

No. Roomba Vacuums (s9+) are slightly better than shark vacuums (Shark IQ) due to their low maintenance needs, ability to detect and clean around obstacles, and ability to clean almost 98% of dirt as opposed to Shark IQ’s 92%.

Is the Shark IQ Robot Vacuum worth it?

Yes. Shark IQ is a standard choice for removing pet hair and dirt from low-pile carpets, bare floors, and even high-pile carpets.

How long does the Shark Robot Vacuum last?

The Shark robot can offer you up to 90 minutes of continuous cleaning. And if the battery goes out before the cleaning operation, the robot returns to the station to recharge, then resumes the cleaning from where it left off.

Can the Shark IQ Robot clean in the dark?

No, Shark IQ requires sufficient lighting to function optimally. If you want a variant that isn’t dependent on light, we recommend you go for Shark® AI Laser Vision, as it can navigate your home at night or in low light conditions.

Can I run my robot vacuum every day?

Absolutely. Running your robot vacuum daily will prevent dirt, allergens, and bacteria from flooding your house. As a result, you would be exposed to fewer infections, cutting down costs you would otherwise have spent on medical treatments. 

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