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Roborock S8 Pro Ultra refilling in RockDock top view
Kris Carlon / Android Authority
Roborock S8 Pro Ultra

Roborock S8 Pro Ultra review: The ultimate hands-free robot vacuum cleaner

The Roborock S8 Pro Ultra does it all: mops, vacuums, self-empties dust, auto-refills water, and washes and dries the mop.
By

Published onMay 4, 2023

Roborock S8 Pro Ultra

Roborock S8 Pro Ultra

The Roborock S8 Pro Plus is a high-priced robot vacuum that promises the world and actually delivers. It cleans and mops extremely well, has excellent mapping, navigation, and obstacle avoidance, and the RockDock Ultra means you barely ever have to touch it at all. It's expensive but you get what you pay for and the Roborock S8 Pro Plus is likely to make anyone who can afford to buy it happy.

What we like

Class-leading cleaning
Truly hands-free operation
Outstanding mapping
Advanced customization

What we don't like

Luxury pricing
Overpriced dustbags
Not ideal for high-pile carpets
Roborock S8 Pro Ultra

Roborock S8 Pro Ultra

The Roborock S8 Pro Plus is a high-priced robot vacuum that promises the world and actually delivers. It cleans and mops extremely well, has excellent mapping, navigation, and obstacle avoidance, and the RockDock Ultra means you barely ever have to touch it at all. It's expensive but you get what you pay for and the Roborock S8 Pro Plus is likely to make anyone who can afford to buy it happy.

The entire point of buying a robot vacuum is that you don’t have to clean anything yourself. But the vast majority of robot vacuums still require a lot of human interaction. All-in-one robot vacuums up the ante with auto-emptying dustbins, water tanks that empty and refill themselves, and auto-cleaning mop cloths. The new Roborock S8 Pro Ultra adds a self-drying mop, so you barely touch it at all. I’ve owned every generation of robot vacuum Roborock has put out since the S4 but this is easily the one I was most excited about adding to my smart home. Find out why in our Roborock S8 Pro Ultra review.

Roborock S8 Pro Ultra
Roborock S8 Pro Ultra
MSRP: $1,599.99
About this Roborock S8 Pro Ultra review: I tested the Roborock S8 Pro Ultra for two weeks. The unit was provided by Roborock for this review.

Roborock S8 Pro Ultra review: What you need to know

Roborock S8 Pro Ultra refilling in RockDock
  • Roborock S8 Pro Ultra: $1,599.99 / €1,499
  • Roborock S8 Plus: $999.99 / €899 (availability TBD)
  • Roborock S8: $749.99 / €699 / £599

The Roborock S8 Pro Ultra is the high-end version of the S8 family. The dock is the main differentiator between models — the robot vacuum itself is almost identical across the different versions. Only the Pro Ultra includes the automatic lifting brush and VibraRise 2.0 mop bracket, however. The S8 and S8 Plus use the original VibraRise system from the Roborock S7 series. All three models are Google Home and Amazon Alexa compatible

The main differences come down to the included dock. The base model Roborock S8 ships with a basic charging dock. The S8 Plus version includes the robot vacuum and an auto-emptying dock that empties the dustbin. The S8 Pro Ultra dock is the big kahuna, which is the model I received. It has an auto-emptying dustbin, auto-refilling clean water tank, auto-emptying dirty water tank, mop cloth cleaner, and mop cloth dryer. Now you know why I was psyched to get it in.

The Roborock S8 Pro Ultra is about as full-featured a robot vacuum as you can currently get.

The Roborock S8 Pro Ultra is about as full-featured a robot vacuum as you can currently get. It essentially doubles the original innovations introduced by the Roborock S7 I last reviewed. At 6,000Pa of suction, the S8 blows — or should I say sucks — the S7’s 2,500Pa out of the water. Even the most recent S7 MaxV Ultra topped out at 5,100Pa.

I particularly love the upgraded VibraRise 2.0 mop bracket. It now has two vibrating sections to provide a much larger active scrubbing area. The single main brush from the Roborock S7 has also evolved into the twin-brush DuoRoller Riser system. On the Roborock S8 Pro Ultra, this brush system lifts up when required for mop-only cleaning. This enables even more custom vacuum, mop, and vacuum-and-mop programs.

On the S8 Pro Ultra, both the dual brush system and mop bracket can lift up independently.

For navigation, 3D structured light and a LiDAR sensor combine to give round-the-clock vision to the S8 Pro Ultra. It can detect, identify, and avoid obstacles whether the lights are on or off. I ran the robot vacuum at various times of the day and never experienced any issues. Running it in the dark was no problem. To be fair, at this price point, few robot vacuums have an issue with navigation or object avoidance.

Unlike the MaxV models in the Roborock family I’ve also used, there’s no camera on board the S8. That’ll be a boon for the privacy-minded but it does deny you the benefit of a remote sentry or roaming security camera. I’m OK without it but I do miss being able to navigate under the couch looking for socks. It also means I can’t take a comforting drive around the house when I’m away to look for intruders.

Roborock S8 Pro Ultra robot vacuum Reactive 3D sensors and LiDAR

All three versions of the Roborock S8 are available in the US via Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, and Roborock’s website. In Europe, the Roborock S8 Pro Ultra launches on April 27, while the regular S8 is already available on Amazon. The S8 Plus currently has no official launch date for European markets. All Roborock S8 models come in white or black.

I tested the Roborock S8 Pro Ultra specifically, which is the most expensive of the trio. The Roborock S8 Pro Ultra price is $1,599.99. Like a sports car or a giant TV, it’s made for those that can afford it. What’s more important, however, is whether you get what you pay for.

What I like about the Roborock S8 Pro Ultra

Roborock S8 Pro Ultra robot vacuum showing side brush and bumper

Setup and mapping

The Roborock S8 is the quickest and easiest Roborock vacuum I’ve set up. You just click the ramp into the base, connect the power, and pair the robot to the app. Unlike previous models, there are no screws and you don’t need to fiddle with air inlet covers under the dustbin.

I’ve reviewed several generations of Roborock vacuums, and I’ve always been impressed by Roborock’s excellent mapping. It has improved again with the S8. The initial mapping process is super fast, especially if you use the Quick Mapping mode. This setting maps only and doesn’t clean at the same time. You can, of course, choose to clean your space at the same time as it does its initial mapping run.

Roborock has recently added a 3D mapping option and the ability to place 3D furniture on your map. This means you can build a truly representative map of your home rather than relying on a series of 2D rectangles. I played around with this but I’m not sure it’s worth the effort. I’ve never had any issues with Roborock’s route mapping or efficiency and didn’t here either.

You can also edit surfaces, create no-go zones, and merge or split rooms as before. I’d encourage you to take your time with this. The more accurate your map, rooms, and floor types, the better the S8 can clean each area. You can even tell the Roborock S8 to clean along the direction of your flooring to avoid your floor seams.

Navigation

The Roborock S8 supports multi-level mapping if you live in a split-level home like me, and it works great. It can store up to four floor maps and automatically recognizes when it’s taken to a different floor. Roborock’s mapping is accurate, reliable, and fast.

I didn’t notice my S8 Pro Ultra getting stuck or lost. I’ve had many robot vacuums get stuck either at the top of my stairs or on the cross-beam of my dining table legs. The Roborock S8 never struggled with either spot, let alone got stuck. Regardless, I made no-go zones for these areas to avoid wasted time and battery.

Roborock’s mapping is accurate, reliable, and fast.

The Roborock S8 series’ Reactive 3D obstacle detection is solid. I’ve never had problems with older Roborock vacuums and the same is true here. I didn’t suffer any entanglements with socks or blankets hanging off the couch. While the S8 can detect and avoid most things, USB cables and shoelaces can still get run over. A little tidy up before cleaning goes a long way to avoiding hassles.

Vacuuming and mopping

Roborock S8 Pro Ultra DuoRoller Riser brushes

The increased suction and dual rubber brushes are really noticeable and very welcome. I don’t have carpets in my home but I do have several rugs. The Roborock S8 does a great job of collecting crumbs and whatever else my two-year-old has deposited on them. It can’t quite get into corners, so you will still need to do the occasional manual clean. Like my colleague Rita, I picked up a cheap cordless mini USB-C vacuum long ago for quickly cleaning behind doors and other hard-to-reach places.

I’m glad to say Roborock’s water flow for mopping has continued to improve. I previously had issues with older models being a bit stingy on water. My solution was to wet the mop cloth when filling the water tank. Fortunately, that’s not necessary here, which is especially good considering you don’t need to manually fill and empty the tank yourself. Mopping is a completely hands-off activity for the S8.

Mopping and vacuuming are completely hands-off activities for the Roborock S8.

I found the Roborock S8 does a better job at mopping than its predecessors. The larger active surface area of the VibraRise 2.0 system means you get a more active clean than before. I previously got used to running a double mop in the kitchen to remove stubborn spills. Even when doing a single pass of the kitchen, I didn’t find leftover stickiness as often with the S8. The VibraRise system did its job well, lifting up when encountering a rug or docking so as not to leave any wet patches.

Customization

With the lifting brush and mop cloth you can now run more advanced mop patterns. This means you can always get the exact clean you need. Whether that’s a vacuum then a mop, both at the same time, a double or triple mop or vacuum, or just one or the other, the S8 can accommodate. You can mop with regular tap water or a tea tree oil-infused cleaning fluid. Roborock sells this magic potion on its website for $19. I stuck with water.

I started running a double mop cycle in the kitchen after meals but soon switched to the Deep route option. The Deep route runs a Z-shaped path covering the floor twice with reduced suction. Because the kitchen gets cleaned more than any other surface in my home, a good mop with a light vac is enough to keep things clean. A Standard vacuum and mop route was sufficient for the rest of my laminate space. Deep+ mopping is even more intense, and it’s quieter, making it a great option for nighttime mops.

With the lifting brush and mop cloth, the Roborock S8 can run bespoke cleaning cycles for every room in your house.

Everything can be tweaked, scheduled, or activated on command, either on the vac itself, in the app, or via voice commands courtesy of Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. Spot, zone, room, and Pin n Go cleaning options give you even more control over exactly where, what, and how the Roborock S8 cleans. You can also navigate the robot vacuum with a remote control in the app if you need to. I found this to be a little less useful without the onboard camera but it’s there if you need it. I really appreciated having all these options available, even if I was mostly happy to let the S8 do its thing without much interference. Speaking of interference, there’s also a child lock option to deactivate the buttons on top of the robot vacuum.

Each successive generation of Roborock vacuum has added more features, control, and customization. There’s very little you can’t program your Roborock robot vacuum to do if you’re willing to spend some time in the app doing so. If you’re not getting the exact clean you want, it’s more likely because you haven’t put in the time setting things up than that the S8 isn’t capable of doing it.

Auto-emptying dustbin

Beyond the basics of mopping and vacuuming, which the Roborock S8 does very well, the Pro Ultra model offers a few advanced features many other robot vacuums don’t. As I mentioned at the outset, the Ultra in the name refers to the feature-packed (and expensive) RockDock. This version ensures you barely need to touch the robot vacuum for weeks at a time.

The simplest thing the RockDock does is empty the dustbin at the end of each cleaning cycle. The robot heads up the ramp and the contents of the relatively small 350ml onboard dustbin are whisked away, rather loudly, into a much larger dust bag in the dock. Depending on how dusty your space is, this only needs to be replaced once every month or two. The removable dust bag conveniently seals shut when you remove it. This means no dust escapes when changing the bag, which is great if you have allergies.

Roborock S8 Pro Ultra dustbin closeup

There is an ongoing cost associated with replacement dust bags. A pack of six costs $31.99 on Roborock’s website (cheaper options are available on Amazon). The bag-only dock is an unfortunate downgrade, in my opinion, from the canister version I’ve used previously. It was only sold in Europe with the S7 and had no ongoing costs associated with it. Still, if you’re OK with a $1,600 vacuum cleaner, you can probably justify an extra fifty bucks a year for dust bags.

I ran thorough mop-heavy cleaning cycles daily and only had to refill the RockDock’s clean water after a week.

Auto-refilling water tank

The RockDock Ultra also fills the onboard water tank for the S8. Just fill up the large water tank on the RockDock and the S8 will automatically refill itself with fresh water after each clean. You only need to get involved again when the clean water tank is empty or the dirty water tank is full.

I ran thorough mop-heavy cleaning cycles daily and only had to refill the RockDock’s clean water after a week and empty the dirty water tank the day after. Your mileage may vary depending on your floor type, the size of your living area, and the intensity of the cycles you run. I got 224 square meters of cleaning done before needing a refill (Roborock promises 300 square meters). A week’s worth of daily hands-free cleaning is enough for me.

Battery life and noise

I never ran out of battery during a clean, even when doing both floors. If the 5,200mAh battery on the Roborock S8 does run out halfway, the robot will return to the dock to recharge to 80% before resuming cleaning. The Roborock S8 supports off-peak charging if you’d prefer to recharge overnight with cheaper electricity. It still takes about four hours to charge fully but it’s 30% faster than its predecessor, which had the same-sized battery. A single charge will last up to three hours in Quiet Mode and between two and two-and-a-half hours in more aggressive modes.

The noise of the Roborock S8 in Quiet Mopping mode peaks at 55dB. Normal operation sits at 68dB, and dustbin emptying maxes out at 80+dB. For reference, normal conversation is around 60dB. Quiet Mopping is definitely feasible at nighttime for multi-level homes like mine but it might still be a bit loud if your bedroom is on the same level the robovac is cleaning. I definitely wouldn’t recommend emptying the dustbin when anyone is trying to sleep.

Roborock S8 Pro Ultra mop cleaning mechanism in RockDock

Self-cleaning and drying mop

The big new feature of the RockDock is its self-cleaning and drying mop cloth. This is the feature I was most excited about before getting this in for review. With my older Roborocks, I occasionally forgot to remove the mop bracket after a clean. This resulted in a crusty mop cloth and a disagreeable smell that would only disappear once the mop cloth had been run through the laundry. This is no longer a problem with the Roborock S8.

The big new feature of the RockDock is its self-cleaning and drying mop cloth.

Despite daily mop cycles, I never touched the mop bracket, only flipping the S8 over after a week to see how dirty and smelly it had become (it hadn’t; image below). I like that the S8 periodically returns to the RockDock during cleaning cycles to clean the mop, so it’s always cleaning optimally. By default, it’s set to do so after 20 minutes but you can change it to anything between 10-50 minutes in the app. You can also adjust how intensely the RockDock scrubs the mop cloth. The mop drying process is whisper quiet and takes a few hours to complete.

Roborock S8 Pro Ultra mop cloth after a week of self cleaning

Once a mop cycle is complete, the S8 will reverse into the RockDock to refill the 200ml onboard water tank and clean the mop cloth. Once it’s done cleaning it’ll blow warm air on the mop cloth to dry it. This worked great in my experience and I never found the cloth to be wet, smelly, or dirty. You’ll have to run it through the laundry eventually but I haven’t had to do so yet. You can disable auto-emptying and auto-drying in the app or further adjust their settings to your liking.

The RockDock Ultra more than doubles the price of the base model S8 but it makes all the difference.

The RockDock Ultra really seals the deal for me here. It more than doubles the price of the base model S8 but it makes all the difference. Where the S8 is a competent but still relatively labor-intensive robot vacuum, the S8 Pro Ultra really does it all for you. My daily interactions with my robot vacuum have now become once-per-week tank empties and refills, and that’s it. If you’re buying a robot vacuum to avoid cleaning, the RockDock Ultra is an investment that justifies its price.

What I don’t like about the Roborock S8 Pro Ultra

Roborock S8 Pro Ultra RockDock front view

Besides the too-steep-for-most price, there’s not much to dislike about the Roborock S8 Pro Ultra specifically — you really do get what you paid for. The lack of a camera might disappoint some people but I don’t mind its absence. For those curious, I asked Roborock if there were any plans for a MaxV version of the S8 and they said there is not, though we’ll have to wait and see if that changes.

More generally, the ongoing costs of a robot vacuum should not be ignored, especially if you think dropping $1,600 on a robovac will be the end of your investment. Between dust bags, replacement mop cloths, and filters you’re still going to be spending an additional hundred bucks or so a year on maintenance and parts.

As we pointed out in our review of the S7 MaxV, there are a couple of admittedly niche commands that would be convenient to have. The ability to temporarily pause cleaning schedules or virtual barriers without canceling them altogether would be great additions to the S8. Roborock does a great job with customization and providing tons of options so I wouldn’t be surprised if these features appear sooner or later.

Roborock S8 Pro Ultra charging in RockDock side view closeup

The S8 Pro Ultra might not be the ideal robot vacuum for people with lots of carpets. I am not one of them, but I can imagine that the 5mm clearance of the raised mop bracket might not be sufficient for some high-pile carpets. Unlike the Roborock S7, the S8’s mop bracket isn’t removable either. The S8 can avoid carpets entirely rather than having the VibraRise bracket lift up whenever carpets are detected but this may not be feasible for heavily-carpeted homes. The other solution is to run a vacuum-only cycle first then mop just your tiled or floored areas so the carpet never comes in contact with a wet mop cloth.

The S8 Pro Ultra specifically might not be the ideal robot vacuum for people with lots of high-pile carpets.

As with all circular robot vacuums, the S8 can’t quite get into corners so there is still a small amount of manual cleaning you’ll need to do. It’s not a big deal, however, and the combination of a mini-vac for dust bunnies and corner crumbs, and an occasional spot wipe with a damp paper towel kept everything looking spick-and-span in my apartment.

My final nitpick is that the water tanks and dust bag aren’t even larger, despite being about 20% larger than the S7 MaxV Ultra’s dock. The RockDock is already huge, so I say why not make it even taller and double the size of all of its compartments? With larger tanks and bags, you might only have to touch it once a month rather than every week or two. If I’m paying this much to be lazy, I want to be really lazy.

Roborock S8 Pro Ultra specs

Roborock S8 Pro UltraRoborock S8+Roborock S8
Suction power
Roborock S8 Pro Ultra
6,000Pa
Roborock S8+
6,000Pa
Roborock S8
6,000Pa
Dustbin capacity
Roborock S8 Pro Ultra
350ml
Roborock S8+
350ml
Roborock S8
400ml
Water tank capacity
Roborock S8 Pro Ultra
200ml
Roborock S8+
300ml
Roborock S8
300ml
Rated power
Roborock S8 Pro Ultra
69W
Roborock S8+
69W
Roborock S8
69W
Noise - Balanced mode
Roborock S8 Pro Ultra
68.5dB
Roborock S8+
68.5dB
Roborock S8
68.5dB
Battery
Roborock S8 Pro Ultra
5,200mAh
Roborock S8+
5,200mAh
Roborock S8
5,200mAh
Runtime - Quiet mode
Roborock S8 Pro Ultra
180mins
Up to 300m²
Roborock S8+
180mins
Up to 300m²
Roborock S8
180mins
Up to 300m²
Sonic mopping
Roborock S8 Pro Ultra
Yes
Roborock S8+
Yes
Roborock S8
No
VibraRise automatic mop lifting
Roborock S8 Pro Ultra
VibraRise 2.0
Roborock S8+
VibraRise 1.0
Roborock S8
VibraRise 1.0
Ultrasonic carpet sensing
Roborock S8 Pro Ultra
Yes
Roborock S8+
Yes
Roborock S8
Yes
All-rubber floating brush
Roborock S8 Pro Ultra
Yes, DuoRoller Riser automatic lifting brush
Roborock S8+
Yes, single brush
Roborock S8
Yes, single brush
Automatic dust emptying
Roborock S8 Pro Ultra
Yes
Roborock S8+
Yes
Roborock S8
No
Automatic water emptying
Roborock S8 Pro Ultra
Yes
Roborock S8+
No
Roborock S8
No
Automatic Mop Cleaning
Roborock S8 Pro Ultra
Yes
Roborock S8+
No
Roborock S8
No
Automatic Mop Drying
Roborock S8 Pro Ultra
Yes
Roborock S8+
No
Roborock S8
No
Reactive AI obstacle avoidance
Roborock S8 Pro Ultra
Yes
Roborock S8+
Yes
Roborock S8
Yes
Remote viewing and audio
Roborock S8 Pro Ultra
No
Roborock S8+
No
Roborock S8
No
Dimensions
Roborock S8 Pro Ultra
353 x 350 x 96.5mm (Robot)
514 x 450 x 426mm (RockDock Ultra)
Roborock S8+
353 x 350 x 96.5mm (Robot)
448 x 440 x 305mm (RockDock)
Roborock S8
353 x 350 x 96.5mm (Robot)
Color
Roborock S8 Pro Ultra
Black, White
Roborock S8+
Black, White
Roborock S8
Black, White
Price
Roborock S8 Pro Ultra
$1,599.99
Roborock S8+
$999.99
Roborock S8
$749.99

Should you buy the Roborock S8 Pro Ultra?

Roborock S8 Pro Ultra reflling in RockDock top left angle view

The verdict

If you have $1,600 to spare and want an elite robovac setup, then you should definitely buy the Roborock S8 Pro Ultra. There’s no denying this is a very expensive robot vacuum, but it does everything it says on the tin. It only takes a minute or two to set up, has endless options and customizable settings in the app, reliable and speedy mapping and navigation, outstanding cleaning, and offers as hands-off a cleaning experience as you’re going to get.

There’s no denying the Roborock S8 Pro Ultra is a very expensive robot vacuum but it does everything it says on the tin.

If $1,600 is beyond your price range, there is, of course, the S8 Plus ($999 at Amazon) for $600 less. Its dock only empties the dust bin, but if you don’t mop that often or prefer to do it by hand, this is a great value alternative. It’s also a better choice for anyone with a heavily carpeted home who won’t benefit so much from all the water tank action the RockDock provides. The standard Roborock S8 ($749 at Amazon) drops the cost even further to $750 and provides almost identical cleaning, it just requires you to manually empty the dust bin and water tank.

Alternatives

Looking at high-end competitors, the main alternative is the ECOVACS Deebot X1 Omni ($1279 at Amazon). It’s a very similar robot vacuum to the S8 Pro Ultra but costs $50 less. The main differences are that the X1 Omni has 20% less suction at 5,000Pa and a different scrubbing mechanism, using two rotating pads as opposed to the S8’s vibrating plate.

The iRobot Roomba Combo J7+ ($639 at Amazon) is another worthy contender with a fully retractable mop bracket and a much cheaper $1,100 price tag. 2022’s Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra ($1399 at Amazon) has essentially the same dock as the S8 Pro Ultra minus the mop cloth dryer. It costs $200 less overall and has an onboard camera. It’s a little less powerful than the S8 and doesn’t have the lifting brushes or VibraRise 2.0 system but it’s worth considering, especially if you can find it on sale.

It might be a while yet before we all have bipedal home helper robots to do our laundry, dishes, and vacuuming. Until then, all-in-one robot vacuums like the Roborock S8 Pro Ultra do a very admirable job. The robots may well be coming soon to take our jobs, but as long as cleaning is one of the things they take off our hands, it can’t be all that bad.

See price at Amazon
Roborock S8 Pro Ultra
1%off
Roborock S8 Pro Ultra
Superior cleaning
Set it and forget it
Advanced features
See price at Amazon
Roborock S8+
1%off
Roborock S8+
Superior cleaning
Auto-empty dustbin
Advanced features
See price at Amazon
Roborock S8
1%off
Roborock S8
Superior cleaning
Highly customizable
Advanced features

Roborock S8 Pro Ultra review: FAQs

The Roborock S8 Pro Ultra price is $1,599.99/€1,499. This includes the robot vacuum as well as the RockDock Ultra. The Roborock S8+ includes the robot and dock that only empties the dustbin for $999.99/€899. Finally, the base model S8 only has a charging dock and costs $749.99/€699.

The Roborock S8 Pro Ultra was announced at CES 2023 in January, but its official release date wasn’t until late April, 2023.

If you’re looking at the Roborock S8 Pro Ultra vs Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra, the main differences are that the S7 MaxV has an onboard camera, weaker suction, a single rubber main brush that doesn’t lift, and the older VibraRise 1.0 system. The S8 doubles the size of the vibrating mop bracket with VibraRise 2.0, its dock also dries the mop cloth after cleaning, and it costs $200 more overall.

If you’re OK with the cost of the auto-empty dock, then the answer is yes. The Roborock auto-empty dock works well and means you never need to empty the dustbin — just remove and replace the larger dustbag every month or two.