After finishing the Roborock S8 Pro Review, we’ll examine how it compares against one of Roborock’s cheaper self-emptying robots, the Q5+.
After unveiling the S7+, Roborock has been busy with R&D developing its auto-empty robot vacuum lineup, and these represent the options available in different price spectrums.
The Q5+ is the least expensive option without any mopping element, while the S8 Pro Ultra is the current flagship with all the latest technology.
Which option is better? Learn more in this comparison.
An overview of the Roborock S8 Pro Ultra and Q5+
Airflow: 11.33 CFM 📝 Sand on Hard Floor: 98.6% 📝 Deep Cleaning: 85.15%
Side brush: One 📝 Brush roll: Twin rubber extractors
Navigation: LIDAR + Front IR Sensor 📝 Map saving: Yes 📝 Number of maps: 4 📝 Containment: Yes 📝 Selective Room cleaning: Yes 📝 Recharge & Resume: Yes
Self-Empty: Yes 📝 Bag capacity: 2.5liters 📝 Dustbin capacity: 350ml
Mopping: Yes 📝 Pad washing: Yes 📝 Clean water tank capacity: 3 liters 📝 Dirty water tank capacity: 2.5 liters 📝 Water tank (inside robot): 200ml
Battery: 5200 mAh Li-ion 📝 Run time: 180 minutes 📝 Noise: 70.8 dB
Airflow: 16.75 CFM 📝 Sand on Hard Floor: 99.9% 📝 Deep Cleaning: 75.7%
Side brush: One 📝 Brush roll: Combo brush
Navigation: LIDAR 📝 Map saving: Yes 📝 Number of maps: 4 📝 Containment: Yes 📝 Selective Room cleaning: Yes 📝 Recharge & Resume: Yes
Self-Empty: Yes 📝 Bag capacity: 2.5 liters 📝 Dustbin capacity: 470ml
Mopping: No 📝 Pad Washing: No 📝 Clean water tank capacity: N/A 📝 Dirty water tank capacity: N/A 📝 Water tank (inside robot): N/A
Battery: 5200 mAh Li-ion 📝 Run time: 180 minutes 📝 Noise: 66.2 dB
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Roborock self-emptying robot vacuums have evolved over the past several years.
The first release, the S7+, had a twin-barrel design with a filter and a bag because some markets had the bagless version.
When Roborock introduced the S7 MaxV, it was its first with the currently do-it-all base station configuration (water tanks and bag in one row).
The Q-Series is a middle-ground option and Roborock’s first mid-priced option in the same range as the Roomba I3 and I6.
It’s also the first with a tower-type base station to lower production costs and decrease prices.
Least Expensive Self-Emptying Option: Roborock Q5+
- Cheapest Roborock self-emptying robot vacuum option
- It retains premium features like the mapping run and efficient navigation
- High-end surface cleaning performance
- Decent size bag capacity (2.5 liters)
- One of the better options for deep cleaning carpets (at its price bracket)
- The auto-empty base station is smaller than the massive S8 dock.
- No mopping function
- It uses a standard combo brush, which is harder to clean (especially hair)
The Q5+ is Roborock’s least expensive option with a self-emptying base station.
One reason why is it doesn’t have a mopping feature, which has been a staple for most Roborock products.
However, despite this omission, this robot is far from a rudimentary run-in-the-mill robot vacuum.
Roborock sprinkled elements found in more expensive models, specifically app features like the mapping run that fast-tracks its map creation process.
The Q5+ has the same efficient navigation as its more expensive siblings thanks to the LIDAR sensor and Roborock’s ever-improving algorithm.
Aside from not having a mopping feature, another downgrade is it only has a combo brush.
Fortunately, it doesn’t affect cleaning performance since it has good enough agitation for vacuuming debris, which is one of its strengths.
One downside is that it’s more tedious to clean, especially hair since it wraps on tight.
Besides these “downgrades,” the Roborock Q5+ is an excellent option for folks who want an efficient robot vacuum but don’t need the mopping functionality.
Flagship Option: Roborock S8 Pro Ultra
- The versatile base station has pad-washing and self-emptying features
- Superb obstacle avoidance
- Efficient mopping system with two agitating elements
- Proficient navigation
- Autonomous robot vacuum option for mopping and vacuuming tasks
- The twin brush roll system provides excellent performance on carpets
- Costly option
- Subpar airflow hampers its performance on hard floors
The Roborock S8 Pro Ultra is the current flagship and introduces some (potential) game-changing features, namely the twin roller system and a second vibrating element on the mopping module.
This model is the first outside the Roomba series to have a twin brush roll system, and it’s proven to be effective at picking up debris (especially) on carpets, where it excels.
The second agitating element on the mopping bracket adds to its efficiency, making this one of the best options for removing stains.
Other changes over the S7 MaxV Ultra are subtle.
First is the front obstacle sensor. Roborock tweaked the design with the S8 Pro using a front IR sensor to capture images of obstacles.
This sensor will function even in dark conditions, so this technology isn’t reliant on light.
It has a database of 42 obstacles, including footwear, wires, and the like to help the robot evade them.
Second is the tweak in the water tank design with the handles at the back. Plus, the smaller opening, but this change doesn’t affect usability.
Unfortunately, the S8 Pro has less airflow than the S7 MaxV Ultra and S7, and this downgrade affects its hard floor cleaning performance.
Nonetheless, it’s still above-average with surface debris cleaning and the dual brush roll system, making it one of the best Roborock options for deep cleaning carpets.
Next, we’ll examine the similarities of these robot vacuums, starting with their self-emptying feature.
These Roborock products have a self-emptying base station that empties the dustbin after every run.
The app provides consumers with auto-empty deployment options, but I’d keep it at the default setting for the best results.
All Roborock intelligent robot vacuums utilize LIDAR (or Laser Distance Sensor) as their primary instrument for navigation.
One significant advantage of a laser is that it doesn’t rely on a light source.
Another is the laser’s precision, since it rapidly fires signals in a 360-degree pattern, something lacking in VSLAM robots.
3. Navigation Pattern
There’s little variance with Roborock’s navigation pattern across their product lineup, which applies to the Q5+ and S8 Pro Ultra.
All Roborock intelligent robot vacuum options start the run by cleaning the edges before moving toward the middle portions in a back-and-forth pattern.
4. Auto Empty Port
Despite the design variances, these robots use a similar-sized auto-empty port connected to the brush roll.
This design is (perhaps) my favorite among self-emptying robot vacuums I’ve tested because it’s wider and offers better efficiency with emptying debris.
5. Obstacle Avoidance
Next, we’ll look at the differences between these versatile robot vacuums.
1. Base Station Functionality
In the previous section, I mentioned how these robots have a self-emptying feature, but that’s the only similarity with their base stations.
The S8 Pro Ultra has the more versatile dock, capable of washing the pad and emptying the dustbin, whereas the Q5+ only has the latter function.
However, the added functionality will come at a hefty premium.
Another plus for the Q5 is its base station is more compact and easier to carry, which can be a factor if you need to move it around your home.
Both have a ramp-style dock where the robot sits during the self-emptying, mop-cleaning, and charging cycle.
It provides a solid base for the robot without alignment issues present in vertical ports.
2. Brush Roll
The next difference is the brush roll design and quantity – the S8 Pro Ultra is Roborock’s first with a twin brush roll system, similar to a Roomba.
One variance from the Roomba extractors is it has deeper grooves, helping them agitate carpets better.
The Roborock Q5+ uses an older combo rush design, which isn’t bad for cleaning performance but is more tedious to clean.
Fortunately, consumers can purchase the newer bristle-less roll as a spare.
Regardless, cleaning performance isn’t affected by the brush design. Both are excellent with debris pick-up despite not having monster airflow.
The advantage of the bristle-less design is it’s easier to remove hair wrapping on the roller, but that’s the only advantage.
3. Side Brush
Another downgrade to the S8 Pro is the side brush.
Instead of using the all-rubber side brush Roborock has installed in most of their latest releases, it uses a three-pronged bristled side brush.
This is how the S8 Pro side brush looks.
Yuck. Aside from having two fewer prongs, these bristles are prone to bend after extended use, negatively affecting their performance.
Fortunately, consumers can purchase the newer five-pronged side brush, which will fit the S8 Pro. So purchase a few as spare and replace the current one once it wears out.
4. Obstacle Avoidance [S8 Pro Ultra only]
Only the Roborock S8 Pro Ultra has an obstacle avoidance system, with three laser sensors upfront for detecting and evading objects.
Again, Roborock ditched the twin-lens camera system in the S7 MaxV. One reason I could think why is the privacy concerns with the camera since images are stored in the cloud.
One downside with the all-laser sensor is it doesn’t have the CCTV functionality of the S7 MaxV Ultra since there’s no camera.
If you’re okay with this omission and have privacy concerns, the S8 Pro Ultra would be the better option.
5. Mopping [S8 Pro Ultra only]
Another feature available in the S8 Pro is the VibraRise 2.0 mopping module, which has two vibrating elements.
These move from side to side, providing high-end agitation that disintegrates stains and completes the job in a single pass.
6. Base Station Size
Lastly is the base station footprint. The S8 Pro, with the added functionality, has a larger footprint.
It’s bigger, heavier, and harder to move. It’s okay if it’s stationary in one location, but it could be an issue for multi-level homes.
The Roborock S8 Pro Ultra and Q5+ are compatible with the Roborock app, which has undergone numerous upgrades.
And the latest happened when Roborock released the Q and S7 MaxV series.
These include the 3D Map and mapping run. The latter is one of the more helpful enhancements since it reduces the map creation time.
The S8 Pro Ultra and Q5+ will have many of the same features, except for specific options with features unique to the former.
1. Live Map
Both have the live map feature, enabling consumers to check the robot’s location in real-time.
Roborock is a pioneer of this feature and has improved it over the years.
One recently launched improvement is the 3D map, showing your home from a different perspective.
The beauty of Roborock’s 3D map is it’s integrated into the primary interface, so it’s usable with other features.
2. Mapping Run
Another recently unveiled upgrade is the mapping run, which significantly cuts the map creation time since these robots don’t need to go through every nook and cranny.
Regardless of the model, this feature is present in all the latest generation Roborock options.
This feature is helpful inside larger homes, where map creation can take several hours and cuts that time tenfold.
One benefit of map-saving robots is the extra features that go along with them.
One is containment, where consumers can block the robot from off-limit areas.
The Roborock app has two options – no-go zones and invisible walls.
Invisible walls act like “virtual” walls, preventing the robot from going past them.
One plus of this feature is that consumers can draw diagonal lines – impossible with no-go zones.
No-go zones are boxes or rectangles that block the robot from entering an area.
4. Map Saving
The Roborock S8 Pro Ultra and Q5+ have a map-saving feature and can save up to four levels.
Again, this feature comes standard in all Roborock options.
5. Obstacle Recognition [S8 Pro only]
Only the S8 Pro has this feature with its front-facing 3D laser sensor.
Unlike the S7 MaxV Ultra, which shows a photo, the S8 Pro app only shows a graphic of the obstacle [check the screenshot on the right].
6. Scrubbing Intensity [S8 Pro only]
Again, this feature is only found in the S8 Pro Ultra since it has the VibraRise 2.0 mopping bracket.
It enables consumers to adjust how fast the agitating elements vibrate (from side to side).
7. Vacuum and Mop Settings
Since these robots vary in functionality, the vacuuming and mopping options will differ.
The S8 Pro Ultra has more options since it has the hybrid functionality of a vacuum and mop.
One upgrade Roborock added is the S8 Pro is the brush roll lift feature, where the whole brush assembly lifts like the mopping pad.
This addition enables the S8 Pro to go full-mop-only mode without getting the brush roll assembly caked with dirt.
The Q5+ has no mopping feature, so folks can only adjust the power settings.
Another similarity is the maintenance tab, where the app shows components you’ll need to replace.
It’s a time-based system, so it’s not entirely accurate, but folks can use it to check.
Since these robots use LIDAR, there’s little difference in their navigation.
The S8 Pro Ultra and Q5+ utilize the same patterns, starting the run by cleaning the edges before transitioning to a back-and-forth pattern in the middle areas.
Both have the three-pass run, accessible through select modes – selective room and zoned cleaning.
The S8 Pro Ultra and Q5+ were efficient during the coverage test, picking up nearly every quaker oat crumb I scattered in the small room.
One potential deciding factor is the Q5’s higher airflow, giving it a slight advantage on this surface since it picks up more per pass.
The S8 Pro isn’t bad, but it left more remnants after the second pass than the Q5+.
Both finished the two-pass run around the same time – the S8 Pro was quicker by around two minutes (at 18 mins) faster than the Q5 (20 mins), which isn’t significant.
These robots are close in this category, but the Roborock S8 Pro is better because it avoids high-risk obstacles better (e.g., pet feces and coiled wires).
Besides these advantages, both are close with the other stuff like footwear, weight scale, etc.
Both are good enough to leave shoes, slippers, or the weighing scale where they are and not worry about these robots moving them out of place.
Next, we’ll examine how these robots compare with airflow, my go-to metric to determine its power and potential cleaning performance.
I used an anemometer to measure how much air passes through the brush roll.
Roborock S8 Pro Ultra
Despite its lower price, the Roborock Q5+ wins this category, getting (up to) 38% more at the highest setting.
This airflow advantage gives the Q5+ better hard floor cleaning performance than the S8 Pro, which we’ll examine in the next section.
Roborock S8 Pro Ultra
|Sand on hard floor
|Carpet (Surface Pickup)
|Carpet (Deep Cleaning)
One proof of the Q5+’s higher airflow is its superior hard floor cleaning results, where it got a 99.95% score, a few more percentage points higher than the S8 Pro’s 96.9% score.
However, the S8 Pro Ultra was better at cleaning carpets with its twin roller system – surface and embedded sand on mid-pile carpet.
Which option is better on hard floors?
Without a doubt, the Roborock Q5+, with its higher airflow, is better on this surface.
The Q5 was better at cleaning sand, getting a higher average than the S8 Pro (99.9% vs. 98.6%).
And the eye test proves this since it got (nearly) everything out. It’s efficient. Thus, the higher airflow is a huge factor in why it was better.
The S8 Pro isn’t as good, leaving visible chunks of sand after the run.
Its low airflow was evident since it didn’t pick up everything after one forward pass.
Edge Cleaning Comparison
Neither of these robots did well in the edge-cleaning experiment.
Both left noticeable chunks of debris on the edges, even after a three-pass run.
It’s one weakness of a round-shaped robot vacuum with a single side brush.
Here’s a before and after of the S8 Pro.
And the Q5+, which left more debris.
Hair Wrap Comparison
I tested both on five and seven-inch hair, and here are the results.
Roborock S8 Pro Ultra
Thanks to its higher airflow, the Roborock Q5+ was better on five and seven-inch hair, but the difference isn’t much.
However, one issue with the combo brush is hair tends to wrap around it tightly.
With the bristles and rubber flaps, you’ll need scissors to dislodge the hair because of the added friction.
This isn’t the case with the Q8 Pro, but the low airflow hampers its potential since it’ll pick up less.
One trouble spot for the S8 Pro is hair sticking on the axles. Fortunately, this component is detachable, but removing hair can be tedious.
Which option is better on carpets?
On carpets is where the Roborock S8 Pro’s dual brush roll system shines.
The added agitation from the second brush roll and its deep grooves gives it an agitation advantage over the single brush design of the Q5+.
It was better on surface (99.15% vs. 97.5%) and deep cleaning experiments (85.15% vs. 75.7%).
The S8 Pro is one of the best robot vacuums I’ve reviewed at deep cleaning experiments and better than some Roombas I’ve tested.
Actually, there’s no comparison because only the S8 Pro Ultra has the mopping feature, and it’s efficient at this task.
I tested it on various stains, namely red wine, and juice. The latter is notoriously tough on robot mops without an agitating element since most will stall.
Here’s a before and after shot after the red wine stain.
And juice stains.
The mopping element’s twin vibrating system is proficient at removing these stains.
Even with stick stains, it only needed one pass to remove everything.
One downside to the S8 Pro Ultra or any robot mop is that it cannot pick up liquid, leaving a sticky residue.
Yes, the pads will absorb some of the mess but spread the rest on the surface.
I don’t recommend it for cleaning large sticky messes.
There’s no difference in the run time since both use the same 5200 mAh lithium-ion battery.
Roborock says these robots will run for up to 180 minutes in the lowest power setting, which is more than enough inside most homes.
Both are efficient and have the mapping run so that map creation will be quick.
I used a sound meter to measure noise levels from a few feet away for the robot, and here are the results.
Roborock S8 Pro Ultra
Despite having more airflow, the Roborock Q5+ isn’t as noisy as the S8 Pro, only maxing at 66.2 decibels.
The S8 Pro exceeded 70 decibels in its highest power setting. Not as loud as a Roomba, but you’ll notice it running, especially at the max setting.
Like most robot vacuums, the Q5+ and S8 Pro Ultra need TLC to function efficiently for years.
Since you’ll be spending a lot of money on these products, a little maintenance will go a long way to ensure these don’t break down prematurely.
I’ll enumerate the components that need cleaning or replacement and their recommended intervals.
- Brush roll: Clean it weekly to remove accumulated hair and debris on the roller or axles.
- Side brush: Use a Philips screwdriver to detach the side brush and remove hair wrapping on the base that could cause unnecessary friction.
- Drop sensors: Flip the robot and wipe these sensors with a clean microfiber towel to prevent dust buildup. It helps prevent an error code from firing and disabling the robot.
- Dustbin and filter: Even with the auto-empty system, you’ll need to clean and remove any dust accumulation inside, especially the filter.
- Bag: Dispose of the bag once it’s full. Neither of these robots has a bag full indicator, so consumers must visually check monthly.
- Auto-empty port: Ensure that the port connected to the bag is free from blockages.
- Pad-washing bay: Remove the robot and wipe this area weekly to prevent any unwanted grime buildup from the mopping cycles.
- Pad-washing element: The process is different for Dreame and Roborock. For the L10S Ultra, remove the tray and wipe it with a clean paper towel or microfiber towel. The Roborock bristle will wear out over time. Replace once these are bent.
Consumers can purchase spare parts for the S8 Pro and Q5+ on the Roborock website or Amazon. There are select components available through third-party manufacturers – items like filters, pads, bags, and brushes, which is excellent news.
Roborock S8 Pro Ultra
Washable E11 Rated Air Filter
Washable E11 Rated Air Filter
|Recharge and Resume
|Number of Maps
|Auto empty capacity
Related Roborock Comparisons
Consumers can purchase the Roborock Q5+ and S8 Pro Ultra in online stores like Amazon. Check the links below for the latest pricing information.
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The vast price variance is a deciding factor between the Roborock Q5+ and S8 Pro Ultra.
So consumers will need to ask themselves, do they need the premium features of the S8 Pro, or do they prioritize cost?
4 Reasons to Purchase the Roborock Q5+
- Much cheaper: The Q5+ is the least expensive of Roborock’s self-emptying robot vacuum options.
- Excellent cleaning performance: The high airflow enables it to vacuum surface debris, especially on hard floors, better than the S8 Pro.
- Efficient navigation: This model has the same efficient navigating algorithm as the more expensive S8 series.
- More compact base station: The Q5 has a lighter base station with a smaller footprint, making it easier to move around.
4 Reasons to Purchase the Roborock S8 Pro Ultra
- More tech: The S8 Pro Ultra is packed with Roborock’s latest technology, making it autonomous with vacuum and mopping tasks.
- Best-in-class mopping: The twin agitating elements make the S8 Pro (perhaps) the best robot mop available.
- Above-average obstacle avoidance: Its front IR sensor makes it one of the better obstacle-avoiding robot vacuums.
- Superior deep cleaning: The twin roller system improves the S8 Pro’s agitation, helping it pick up more sand during the deep cleaning experiments.
Choosing between the Roborock Q5+ and S8 Pro Ultra will be a matter of preference.
Do you want value or the latest technology?
If getting the latest tech is a high priority, the S8 Pro has lots of it, with potentially game-changing features, including the twin brush roll system and the second agitating element on its mopping module.
Are these enough for you to pay the premium? Or do you want something more basic with the same efficiency and high-end cleaning performance?