Roborock S8 Pro Ultra review: Powerful, versatile, convenient

The Roborock S8 Pro Ultra arrives in April, but we got our hands on it early. This is the vacuum/mop combo we have been waiting for. With upgraded features, new brushes, and automated maintenance, it is hard not to call this the vac/mop combo to have in 2023. In this review, I’ll share my hands on experience with this powerful device.

It’s hard to imagine going back to a life without robot vacuums – especially now that I have pets that shed a crazy amount. I bought our first vac while my wife was away as a “gift” for her. I bought a Roomba (old school 690 model). It did a decent enough job for her to be sold on them. The model lasted a few years and eventually went by the wayside with errors. It was loud and a bit obnoxious and required more maintenance than I care to admit. I recall watching it motor through random patterns throughout our main level, but it worked. The S8 Pro Ultra is exactly what I was hoping the future would bring. It offers the very things I loved to hate about my original vac. It mops, it vacuums, and it even cleans itself and its base station.

I’m going to forego details on setting the vacuum up and get right into its performance. If you must know, then know this. It is easy, and it sets up like other vacs I’ve tested and there is even a fantastic step by step guide to setup right in the box. My first step is to send it around my house so it can map out where everything is. Here is where I am impressed. The vac makes a quick dart around each room. It navigates with minimal hesitancy and confidently but gently approaches obstacles and walls to reduce minor scratches or accidents. A map shows up on my phone and I can instantly see which rooms have carpet and which have hardwood floors.

The map delineates the difference in floors, so the vacuum knows when to mop versus when to vacuum. Once the map is complete, I now have options to add names to rooms for controlled cleaning. It is completely customizable. I often find myself simply wanting a quick run-through of my kitchen, so I can draw a zone of where to clean in the app, and the bot takes the proper course to clean just that area. Other times, I want the whole upstairs clean. In these cases, I just tell it to start cleaning. The machine vacuums and mops in the right areas and only vacuums carpeted spaces. Simply brilliant.

The power of the both the mop and the vacuum are top notch. When it hits carpet, the mop automatically lifts. A suction power of 6000 Pa ensures the bot can reach even deeper into thick carpet and gather more debris than ever before. The amount of cat hair this little guy picks up is astonishing and brings massive relief to what otherwise would be overwhelming. Combine the suction with the new “DuoRoller Riser” brush (basically rubber brushes that offer less tangling than a traditional one) and the S8 Pro Ultra is a powerhouse.

Roborock claims the new VibraRise 2.0 enables its mop to “clean anything and everything from soda, to dried on spills, effortlessly.” This is one area I have to contest. Is the mop good? Absolutely. Is it the best I’ve seen. No, not necessarily. I still think the best mops physically rotate. Dreametech’s mop/vac combo is a great example of this. That being said, for a mop that stays in place and puts consistent pressure on the floor while vibrating to simulate a scrub makes a big difference and it does get some minor spills picked up nicely. My floors certainly sparkle once it is finished.

Occasionally, between cleanings it automatically returns to the base to clean out its mop. A fresh and dirty water tank are inside the base and need to be changed on occasion. Once complete the robot returns to its course and resumes. The app alerts me when the tanks are empty or full allowing me to change them out at my convenience. The vac also empties into a bag within the base. All this does make for a rather large station, so you will want to be sure you have the right space for this beast.

Navigation is a breeze too. The Ultra takes advantage of “Precisense” LiDAR navigation as it cruises through my house and takes the best route every time for optimal cleaning. I also notice the app automatically recommends no go zones for the vac. For example, the vac knows not to fall off a ledge (as any robot vac should), but it also marks a “no-go” zone on the map to ensure no issues regardless. Additionally, I have a rocking chair that tends to catch the wheel on the device. It has trouble escaping. I can make a small no-go zone near that chair to prevent further disruption.

I can also build a 3D map which basically allows me to add furniture and build my house virtually. If I choose to put the robot in the basement, I can also easily save that new map and the vac will recognize its location. It even supports up to four floors.

All in all, the Roborock S8 Pro Ultra is hands down the best robot vacuum and mop combo I have tested. I feel better about its deep cleaning than any other model. It is basically maintenance free. The base even cleans itself, and that is saying something. The Dreametech bot I tested had some pretty nasty stuff form in the base. The tech found in this model makes me extremely excited to see where else this company will take us. This is the vacuum/mop combo we have been waiting for.