One of the most advanced and impressive robot vacuum made yet is from iRobot and a thorough Roomba i7 review will tell you why it should be your next robot vacuum cleaner. Roomba i7 and its slightly improved version, Roomba i7+ (with automatic dirt disposal in the self-emptying dustbin), are very impressive robovacs with unique features that you won’t find on lesser models.
The iRobot Roomba i7 is packed full with the latest technologies in the industry. It has a badass navigation system with an integrated camera for scanning and creating a smart map of all the rooms in your home and it can efficiently create and store different smart maps for up to 10 stories in a multi-story building.
But that’s not the only reason why this robot is awesome, and with this Roomba i7 review you’ll see why it even compares to the S9+, giving iRobots flagship model a run for its money, and features high in our top robot vacuum picks.
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Roomba i7 At A Glance
The Roomba i7 is built to clean large homes with both carpets, rugs and hard floors. thanks to its carpet boost, good climbing ability, and strong suction force.
It effectively sweeps up pet hairs and dirt particles using rubber brushes and a strong suction force of up to 1700Pa, into a 500ml dustbin, making one of the best robot vacuums for pet owners.
With a built-in camera sensor, the Roomba i7 scans its surroundings and creates a smart map of an entire building from room to room and floor to floor, this improves its cleaning efficiency.
It also boasts great battery life, powered by a rechargeable 3300 mAh lithium-ion battery, that can last for about 120 minutes, and with the ‘Recharge and Resume Feature, it never runs out of juice.
One thing I have to talk about is the Roomba i7+ package. While the actual robot is the same, the more expensive option comes with a larger dustbin attached to the docking station for self-emptying. It can hold up to 30 empties meaning you don’t have to worry about emptying your vacuum for months at a time.
Perfect for those super lazy cleaners like myself!
- Smart Mapping of Multi-story Homes
- Excellent Camera-based Navigation
- Automatic Room Recognition
- Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility
- Automatic Recharge & Resume
- Dirt Detect Feature
- Wi-Fi Connectivity
- Smart Carpet Identification
- High price tag
- Loud motor
- Can get stuck on loose cables
- Like every other robot vacuum, it’s still can’t climb stairs.
The full iRobot Roomba i7 review
If you have a big house with multiple stories, lots of rooms, kids and hairy pets, then you must be very familiar with how easily messed up everywhere can get and how difficult it can be to keep every room looking pristine all the time.
But having a robot vacuum cleaner as a home assistant responsible for sweeping every dirt particle up the floor and literally keep the floors flawless can be a very big relief. The Roomba i7 is a robot vacuum cleaner specifically designed for cleaning big multi-story homes with lots of kids and rambunctious pets prone to shedding their furs.
Equipped with a powerful suction force, the i7 can suck up any piece of dirt floor different floor types. It’s equipped with upgraded navigation with vSLAM (or, visual simultaneous location and mapping) technology, these sensors help it to identify the particular floor type it’s on and automatically delivers the appropriate suction force for getting off all dirt particles.
Roomba i7 basically makes sweeping as easy as a cinch, you’ll have a perfectly clean home without actually lifting a finger, except of course to empty the dustbin. But even that won’t be very often because this robot has a 500ml dustbin and can go through a cleaning cycle without requiring to be emptied more than once, which is usually after each cleaning cycle.
Even if that is too much, you could spend a little bit more and get the Roomba i7+ which includes automatic dirt disposal in the accompanying dust bin.
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How Does The Roomba i7 Work?
Roomba i7 follows the classic three step cleaning process which many other robovacs follow. When you first introduce the Roomba i7 to your home, it will need to make a smart map of your home, this smart map helps it to seamlessly clean your home following the fastest route possible and getting the job done as fast as possible.
The smart mapping can be either done as a training for the robot, this is ideal if you have a big house with several large rooms, but if you have a relatively small home then you can set the robot to simultaneously clean and map. Roomba i7 goes to work with a side sweeper, advanced silicone rollers, strong suction and a 500 ml dustbin. Using these features, it thoroughly sweeps and sucks up dirt from the floor.
A smart carpet identification feature enables it recognize carpeted flooring and boosts air power to its max level for perfect cleaning. It also has dirt detect feature, this automatically provides deeper cleaning for high-traffic dirt spots.
The Roomba i7 comes with advanced navigation features, especially its ‘Imprint Smart Mapping’ which enables it to clean specific rooms and know which room its in at any time. Once it creates a smart map for your home and memorizes this map, you will see the map in the mobile app. You can add borders to this map and give each room a name.
After this, the robot is all set and you can Alexa or Google Assistant to instruct the robot. You can say “Alexa, tell Roomba to clean the hallway” and the robot will get to work, moving back-and-forth in straight lines methodically cleaning the hallway and any other room you want it to clean.
It has a side brush ad dual rubber brushes for deep cleaning on carpets, hardwoods and all other floor surfaces in your home. These brushes work together, one brush loosens stubborn dirt while the remaining brush rotates in the opposite direction, sending all dirt and debris into the onboard dirt bin.The i7 also has virtual boundaries and the spot cleaning feature, which means it can clean a specific spot.
After cleaning, the robot finds its way back to the docking station.
How Does Roomba i7 Perform?
Compared to other robot vacuum cleaners in the market, Roomba i7 is a very advanced and impressive. It’s actually one of the most advanced you can find and its performance matches this claim. Roomba i7 can store up to 10 separate floor plans in its smart app and you can put it anywhere in the house and somehow it will figure out where it is, so it doesn’t always have to start from its docking station — thanks to its smart mapping.
This ability for i7 to start it’s cleaning from anywhere and do it efficiently makes it perfect for a building with multiple floors, you can take it a different floor and ask it to clean a room and it will do it without getting lost or confused.
Roomba i7 has a built-in camera sensor which allows it to scan the surroundings and create a map of the room, so it knows where exactly to clean. And when its dustbin needs to be emptied, it alerts you through the irobot app.
Despite being very advanced with impressive features, Roomba i7 also has some imperfections. For instance, it can still get stuck in loose electrical cables. And when it gets stuck while cleaning, you’ll have to go and rescue and restart it, impressively, the robot will remember where it stopped and continue from there.
Still on imperfections, irobot Roomba i7 isn’t the quietest robot vacuum there is. It has a considerably loud motor which is the price you pay for its powerful suction and impressive cleaning ability. Some robot vacuum cleaners can let you stay in the room while they’re cleaning and continue with your normal activities, even have a conversation. But unfortunately, this isn’t one of those robots. While this may be unimpressive, it’s not necessarily a dealbreaker, especially when you think of how efficient the i7 is.
Ease Of Set Up And Use
Roomba i7 is an advanced robot vacuum cleaner with several impressive features but it also has very simple designs and controls. As with other iRobot products, connecting the i7 to your home Wi-Fi and your phone is very simple and you need no special skills to be able to do this.
To use this robot you simply have to open the iRobot app and click on ‘Smart maps’ and select cleaning and mapping simultaneously or doing a test run which will only map and not clean. Roomba i7 is also compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant which makes it even easier to use and control. The irobot app also has instruction to help you seamlessly use the robot.
When it comes to sweeping and cleaning off dirt from the floor, the Roomba i7 lives up to its claims and so it’s a very reliable machine. It can store up to 10 different floor plans in Roomba’s app for iOS and Android. You can also control the vacuum via voice commands to Alexa, Google Assistant, or from the app itself.
And you can place the robot in any room and any floor and it will use its sensors and cameras to identify where it is and automatically load the appropriate maps. And you can rely on it to do a good job of cleaning, but you will have to carry it from one floor to another since it cannot climb stairs.
Robot vacuums are still very far from being the perfect automated cleaning assistant and this one is no different. Regular maintenance and even babysitting while cleaning is necessary. And sometimes you may need to empty its dustbin mid-session, plus you need to clean its brushes almost after every cleaning session.
You also need to clean the robot vacuum cleaner every once in a while, to prevent the dust from interfering with the sensor of the robot. And when it gets stuck on cables or under furniture, you will need to get it out and restart it.
Extra purchases and ongoing costs
The Roomba i7 comes as a complete robot and you don’t need any extra purchases before you can get it to work. Just like other robots vacuum cleaners from iRobot, the i7 is undoubtedly one the most hassle-free and low maintenance robot vacuum in the industry and it costs no more than $30 annually for maintenance and this also goes for any of the Roomba models.
What is the difference between Roomba i7 and i7+?
The Roomba i7 and i7+ are actually the same robot vacuum with just one difference. And that is the is the ability of Roomba i7+ to automatically empty its own dustbin while the i7 requires that you manually empty the dirt collector.
This difference is mainly in their packaging, the i7+ comes with a piece called the Clean Base which is actually the charging dock but doubles as the bin-emptying station. For the Roomba i7, the charging station is just what it is; a charging station. This ‘Clean Base’ is actually sold separately and you can purchase the Roomba i7 and decide to get a standalone Clean Base, and your robot will have the self-emptying feature.
Another minor difference is that the dustbin on the Roomba i7 has a slightly larger capacity because it doesn’t have the trap door that works with the Clean Base. and if you buy the standalone Clean Base, you’ll also get the compatible dustbin with a trap door.
Can I schedule Roomba i7 to work at midnight when everyone is asleep?
Yes, you can do that but you may not like the outcome. And the first reason is because the i7 can be loud and will probably disrupt someone’s sleep. Secondly, the cameras of Roomba i7 can’t see well in a dark room, so running it in a dark room overnight isn’t the best way to use it. But if you leave the lights on (enough lights) and schedule it to clean a room where no one sleeps, that can work. Otherwise, use it only during the day.
Does the Roomba i7 clean carpets and rugs?
Unlike most other robovacs, the Roomba i7 works well on carpets and rugs, thanks to an excellent cleaning-head design. It has two counter-rotating, rubber rollers which are specially designed for digging hair out of carpets.
How often do you need to empty the dustbin?
With the i7 you still have to manually empty the dustbin but won’t be very often, maybe after each cleaning cycle depending on how dirty your floors are. With the dustbin is full and ready to be emptied, you’ll get notified on your smartphone or iPad via the iRobot app, and emptying the dirtbin is also pretty easy.
Do the rollers get tangled up with hairs?
The counter-rotating, rubber rollers are especially great at digging hair out of carpets, yet they resistant to hair-tangles and don’t get tangled up. But you have to detangle the side brush every once and awhile, especially when you empty the bin. And it’s pretty easy to pull out stuff that is wrapped around the rollers.
iRobot Roomba i7 Final Thoughts
iRobot Roomba i7 may have its imperfections, but it’s one hell of a smart robot vacuum cleaner. It’s a smart home assistant that will actually help you get the unpleasant chore of having to sweep every time out of your way for other important things.
It sure requires some baby-sitting, like when you have to take it to the third floor to clean and return it to the first where the charging dock is, or emptying the dustbin, but that’s basically what you have to do.
You can schedule it to clean sweep different rooms in a day and your home will always look spotless. You may even want to get more than one and place them on different floors in your home, you definitely should if you can and the transformation in your will be priceless.
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Matt is the founder of the Little Robot Shop, who has spent much of the last decade hacking home cleaning with various robots and devices to make keeping his home clean as easy as possible. Not an easy task with two young children.
When not working on the Little Robot Shop website or YouTube channel, he works as technical support and product specialist for a fast-growing digital company. He does his best to get his younglings to code, which will be an essential skill in the future.