Most Advanced Robot We’ve Tested
iRobot Roomba i7+The i7+ is the first robot of its kind that features a self-emptying dustbin (at least that we’ve seen). The i7+ has an advanced “home base” that doubles as a charging station and a self-emptying dustbin where it can store up to 30 loads of debris from the i7+ cleaning cycles. Additionally, its cleaning performance and usability (via app control and advanced mapping) easily make the i7+ one of the world’s best robot vacuum cleaner.Check Price
- Self-emptying dust bin is a huge bonus, with a large enough canister at the base to store up to 30 loads before being emptied
- Advanced navigation and control via your smartphone allows you to send your Roomba to a specific room in your home for a cleaning
- Extremely strong cleaning performance on all indoor flooring types.
- Less expensive now than it was when it launched in 2018, but it’s still quite spendy
- You’ll have to periodically replace dust bags within the base as they wear out / get full
Table of Contents
18 Month Test
We have been testing the Roomba i7+ for over 18 months. Our test began September, 2018. Over the last 18 months the i7+ has:
- Completed 226 cleaning jobs
- Vacuumed a total of 164.5 hours
- Emptied its own dust bin 158 times
During the last 30 days the robot has cleaned 45,300 square feet. Most of our recent tests have had the i7+ cleaning my 2,600 sq. ft. single story home. We run the robot daily at 1:00 pm.
What’s to Like?
- Cleaning Performance – A robot vacuum needs to have strong cleaning performance, otherwise what’s the point? The Roomba i7+ is fantastic. It has more than sufficient suction to handle all floor types and carpets.
- Navigation – The i7+ cleans in straight lines, which is a great aesthetic on carpets. But more importantly, it does a great job of fully finding its way all over our home to clean all areas. While the cleaning jobs can take a while to complete, it will eventually find its way into every room.
- Empties Its Own Dust bin – I mean…c’mon, this is just cool. I love the self-emptying dust bin. Being able to schedule my robot and then basically 100% ignore it for a month is amazingly convenient. I was already a fan of robot vacuums in general, but this takes it to the next level.
What’s Not So Good
- Still Can Get Stuck – The i7+ navigation and ability to not get stuck is definitely better than previous models, however, it’s not immune. It still gets stuck. The biggest issue was on cords and closing a bathroom or closet door behind itself.
- Run Time – Due to the suction power and other features the i7+ only has a 75 minute run time. As a result, it needs to recharge and resume to clean 100% of the area (in most cases). This means the total time to complete a clean is several hours. My wife stays at home, so this sort of annoys her at how long it clean for. But if you’re not at home it’s probably not a big issue.
Overall, we have been continually impressed and happy with the performance of the Roomba i7+. During the first 18 months it has been easy to use and maintain. Battery is as strong today as it was on day one.
We will continue to test over time and update our review on this page.
The overall cleaning performance from the Roomba i7+ was nothing shy of impressive. It did an excellent job on all three floor types against all four debris types.
Hardwood Floor Cleaning
While i7+ performed well on all three flooring types, I will say that I noticed it had the most difficult time on the hardwood floor. Although it performed in a nearly flawless manner, visually watching the i7+ clean up on the hardwood was interesting.
As with most robot vacuums, the spinning brush had a tendency to fling the debris around our testing lane and into corners.
This resulted in the i7+ having to work extra hard to get into those corners and remove the debris that it placed there. Yet, without hesitation, this iRobot got into the corners and removed almost every spec of debris from the testing lane.
When it came to the cereal test, we found out that the i7+ will stop itself when the dustbin is completely full.
After running the cereal test the first time, this Roomba picked up about 75% of the cereal, parked itself, and illuminated a red light around the “Clean” button on the top of the vacuum. This light indicated a full dustbin, letting us know that it needed to be cleared before returning to pick up the remaining cereal.
Normally, the i7+ would drive over to its base, empty the dustbin, and head back to pick up the remaining cereal. In this particular case, we had the Roomba trapped in our testing lane, therefore it was not able to make its way to the charging base.
All in all, the cereal was not a difficult test for the i7+. The issue was the dustbin was completely full, meaning the vacuum could not handle sucking up any more debris.
Low Pile Carpet Cleaning
The low pile carpet tests yielded almost identical results to the hardwood floor tests, yet the i7+ did so in a more efficient way.
While watching this Roomba work its way across the low pile carpet, we noticed that the vacuum was being extremely diligent with how it covered the carpet.
While it may have passed one of the debris and cleaned all of it up, the vacuum would drive right back over the area to ensure that no remaining pieces were left within the fibers of the carpet.
The two multi-surface rubberized brushrolls did a great job of agitating the carpet, allowing the vacuum to suck up the debris.
Once again, an impressive performance from the i7+.
High Pile Carpet Cleaning
Last but not least, the high pile carpet tests. Much like the hardwood and low pile carpet tests, the Roomba i7+ handled the debris on the high pile carpet without any issues.
This Roomba did a fine job of working its way across the carpet in a timely manner while also showing deep enough suction to lift almost 100% of each debris type out of the carpet.
The i7+ is by far the most impressive unit we have put through the Modern Castle cleaning tests to date. It’s on par with iRobot’s newer Roomba S9+ (see that review here).
Want to see how the i7+ compares?
See all of our robot vacuum reviews and cleaning tests here.
Roomba i7+ Design
Much like most of the other Roomba robot, the Roomba i7+ does not steer too far away from the standard iRobot design. Yet, there is one big addition that Roomba made with regard to design that could change the game.
First, the buttons:
The top of the i7+ is similar to the Roomba 960 and 980. There is an on-board camera, a primary “clean” button, as well as two smaller buttons (one to make it go home, one to spot clean). While this is a simple interface, the technology behind this design is extremely advanced.
What does the bottom look like?
As we move to the underside of the i7+, the similarities continue. There is one spinning brush, three wheels, two rubber multi-surface brushrolls, the battery, and the dustbin.
The biggest change to the bottom of the unit is the slot within the dustbin that allows the i7+ to empty its components into its home charging base after a cleaning session.
The remainder of the vacuum is almost identical to the 960 and 980. A bumper ring runs along the perimeter of the unit, in addition to several internal sensors that help map out your home, avoid walls, and avoid driving off of edges, such as stairs.
The i7+ Smart Home Base
Curious about the new home base for the i7+?
iRobot’s latest and greatest technology has been paired with the i7+ to create Roomba’s most advanced robot vacuum yet. This is largely in part due to the new self-emptying feature that is built into the home charging base.
Unlike other Roomba, the i7+ home base has an entirely different look. The base is taller, offers more of a ramp style docking pad, and sucks the debris from the dustbin of the i7+ into a bag within the base.
Not to mention, the base still charges the i7+ while the contents of the dustbin are being emptied.
RELATED – Curious about the rest of the Roomba lineup? Check them out here.
Size & Dimensions
When it comes to the size and dimensions of the i7+, a lot of it feels familiar and a lot of it may feel very different.
On one hand, the size of the actual i7+ is consistent with the size of Roomba models that came before. The big difference is in the size of the charging base.
How big is the vacuum?
The Roomba i7+ is:
- 13.34″ diameter
- 3.63″ tall
- 7.44 pounds
Compared to other Roomba models, this size and weight are consistent with past models.
How big is the charging base?
The charging base is where the differences are most noticeable. Previous Roomba charging stations simply have a small base, slightly larger than the overall height of the Roomba. The charging base that comes with the i7+ is about five times the height of the Roomba vacuum itself.
The larger size is notably due to the important feature of the i7+ being “self-emptying”.
When the Roomba docks itself back at the charging base, a suction force pulls the debris out of the dustbin on the i7 vacuum and into the bagged container enclosed within the charging base. The bagged system can store up to 30 loads of debris from the i7 cleaning cycles.
Accessories & Parts
The Roomba i7+ includes the following parts and accessories:
- Charging base (with built-in disposal)
- Disposal bags x 2
- Virtual wall x 1
- HEPA filter x 2
- Spinning brush x 2
Now, these are all pretty standard accessories for the Roomba line-up, with the exception of the advanced charging base and disposal bags, as part of the self-emptying technology.
CHARGING BASE | The i7+ has an advanced charging base that sucks up debris and stores it in a debris bag. The base debris bag can hold up to 30 loads from the i7+ cleaning cycles.
“CLEAN BASE” DISPOSABLE BAG | The charging base is designed with a separate compartment at the top for a disposable debris bag. This bag can hold up to 30 times the capacity of the on-board Roomba i7+ vacuum itself. The vacuum comes with two of these bags. More Clean Base bags can be purchased separately.
VIRTUAL WALL | The i7+ comes with one virtual barrier to help with navigating tricky spaces or to block off a sensitive area. The virtual wall is the advanced model, offering dual-mode controls for blocking off long linear lengths up to 10′ or radial areas up to 4′ in diameter.
HEPA FILTER | The HEPA filter that comes with the i7+ is a newer filter that does not come with most other Roomba models. The filter is a part of the AeroForce filtration system, a step above, over the previous AeroVac system.
SPINNING BRUSH | Besides being a different color, the spinning brush on the i7+ is the same brush as what is used on older models. The spinning brush helps to pull dirt and debris away from edges and corners, for a higher quality cleaning performance.
The performance of the Roomba i7+ is excellent and brings some great new features to the table to help it do a better job.
Special new features include:
The self-emptying dustbin is the major feature that separates the Roomba i7+ from all other Roomba models currently on the market. This technology is stored at the top of the charging station.
But how does it work?
Once a cleaning cycle is complete, the i7+ will drive back to the charging station, where the debris from the vacuum will be sucked up through the charging station and deposited into a disposable bag that is kept in the “Clean Base” station.
This base bag can hold up to 30 full cleaning cycles from the i7+ robot.
Imprint Smart Mapping
Imprint Smart Mapping is like the older, wiser brother of Memory Mapping (from older Roomba models, like the Roomba 890). With Memory Mapping, Roomba could navigate the space and remember certain parts of the floor plan to avoid consistent obstacles.
What about Digital Map Reports?
Later models (Roomba 900s, see our 960 vs 980 comparison here) used Memory Mapping to allow Roomba to create Digital Map Reports. These reports were essentially digital floor plans of the details of your space. These plans allow you to see exactly where the Roomba cleaned and identify areas where it may have struggled.
Cleaning by Room Name
Imprint Smart Mapping takes the digital information and allows you to assign titles to each space. With this smart mapping technology, you can direct Roomba to specifically clean your kitchen, living room, or other selected space.
This is a first for Roomba and a real bonus, especially if you have a larger floor plan and need specific rooms cleaned more often than others.
The Imprint Smart Mapping is even Alexa enabled, allowing you to say things like, “Alexa, clean the living room.”
The Roomba i7 and Roomba i7+ both come with Imprint Smart Mapping, as a part of the iAdapt 3.0 Navigation system.
What if your my home has more than one level?
No problem, the i7+ can memorize up to 10-floor plans, so even if you take the Roomba to a different level or a different house entirely, it will retain the mapping information.
What about keep out zones?
You can create Keep Out Zones using the iRobot app. This allows you to prevent Roomba from entering certain areas of your home.
Like most of Roomba’a more advanced line, you are able to schedule cleanings. You can set your Roomba to run a scheduled cleaning one-time or recurring on a daily / weekly schedule.
Takes just a few moments to set it up via the iRobot app.
When it comes to usability on the i7+, not much has changed from the Roomba 900 series (except for the self-empty dust bin, of course).
The user interface on top of the unit is still simple and easy to understand, it’s the same iRobot home app (though with extra features), and the new smart base makes it more hands-off than ever.
Before we dive too deep, let’s talk setup:
Long story short, there is basically no setup required with the i7+. The steps are as follows:
- Remove all parts from the box
- Plug in charging base
- Place Roomba on the charging base
Aside from these three small steps, the i7+ is virtually ready to rock and roll right out of the box. In fact, we were able to use the vacuum for almost a full 75 minutes right out of the box, meaning the vacuum shows up almost fully charged.
First Time Use
While this Roomba does show up almost fully charged, it is still a good idea to place it on the charging base and allow it to fully juice up before using it. Once you have done so, let the i7+ run for its full battery runtime and make its way back to the charger.
By fully charging and fully draining the battery right away, you’re helping it get off on the right foot with regard to battery longevity.
As noted above, using this vacuum is extremely simple.
Press clean on the robot itself, within the app, or just say the words “Alexa, vacuum the house,” and the Roomba i7+ will get to work. Keep in mind, you have to have an Amazon Alexa enabled device to actually use voice commands when operating the i7+.
From there, the i7+ is going to do the rest of the work for you.
It will drive around your home, mapping out each room, and vacuum your floors. After it has reached max capacity within the dustbin, the i7+ will drive itself back over to its charging base, empty the debris from the dustbin, and return back to where it left off cleaning last.
Self Emptying Dust Bin
Don’t worry, you read that right. The Roomba i7+ has the ability to empty its dustbin components on its own.
Therefore, the only time users have to empty is when the bag inside of the i7+ charging base is full. Roomba mentions that the bag is able to hold roughly 30 cleaning sessions worth of debris.
Using the App
Once again, iRobot has made things easy on the user. The app offers an easy user interface with tons of features. After opening the app, users can place the robot in automatic cleaning mode by just clicking the “Clean”.
Alternatively, you can choose a more specific cleaning style for the vacuum.
Regardless, the app is probably the most user-friendly version we have seen yet.
Overall, the usability of a robot does not get much easier than the i7+.
Is the Roomba i7+ a Good Value?
The value of the Roomba i7+ is dependent on the user, in my opinion.
This model is one of the priciest models on the market today, but it also offers features that are unlike anything else that is available.
The self-emptying dust bin is a big time saver regarding daily maintenance. For most homes, you can simply ignore the i7+ and let it vacuum for weeks on end.
In addition to the advanced dust bin, the navigation is also improved. With the new technology, you can use your smartphone to direct the Roomba to clean specific areas or rooms within your home.
Less advanced robots tend to navigate in a sporadic zig-zag pattern. However, Roomba i7+ vacuums in clean straight lines.
Both of these advanced features are impressive and not common, adding to the i7+’s overall value. That said, if these features aren’t importan to you then the value will be decreased.
The overall cleaning performance is an area where the Roomba i7+ is worth every penny, in my opinion. After testing, we found that the i7+ was able to handle debris on all indoor floor types, with ease. It is objectively the best performing robots we have tested to date (see testing data here).
Roomba i7 vs. i7+ Specifications
Below you’ll find a complete comparison of important specifications on the Roomba i7+.
Check out the breakdown here:
|Specifications||Roomba i7||Roomba i7+|
|Model||Roomba i7 (7150)||Roomba i7+ (7550)|
|Weight||7.44 lbs.||7.44 lbs.|
|Floor Type||All (indoor)||All (indoor)|
|Battery||1,800 mAh||1,800 mAh|
|Dust Bin Capacity||~0.5 L||~0.5 L|
|Imprint Smart Mapping||Yes||Yes|
|Self-Emptying (Advanced Base)||Not included, but compatible, base can be purchased separately||Yes; smart base is included|
|Washable Dust Bin (on-board)||Yes||Yes|
|Includes Virtual Wall||Yes; One||Yes; One|
|Returns||Yes (usually), Varies by retailer||Yes (usually), Varies by retailer|
|Warranty||1-Year limited||1-Year limited|
|Price||Check Price||Check Price|
Who Should Buy the Roomba i7+?
If you’re looking for a top-of-the-line robot with all the newest features, the i7+ is one of the best choices. This model is self-charging, self-navigating, and self-emptying, taking your SELF right out of the vacuuming equation.
I would recommend the Roomba i7+ if you:
- Want a self-emptying dust bin: Easily the best new feature is the self-emptying dustbin. It eliminates one of the primary forms of maintenance with any robot. Keep in mind, you will still need to clean out the filter regularly.
- Want to schedule by room: The Roomba i7+ (and Roomba i7) offer advanced scheduling using Imprint Smart Mapping that allows you to schedule your Roomba to clean a specific room. This technology even works with voice control—”Alexa, vacuum the living room”.
- Want excellent cleaning performance: The exceptional cleaning performance is due to a combination of advanced suction. It has 10 times the suction of the Roomba 600 series, as stated by Roomba. In addition to advanced navigation and smart mapping. This advanced technology allows for more time cleaning and less time bumping into obstacles or getting stuck in tight spaces. The Roomba i7+ easily offers the best cleaning performance we have seen in any robot vacuum we’ve tested to date. The i7+ is tied with the S9+.
For more information on the Roomba i7+ see here.
- April 9, 2020 – Extended testing data added. Made minor changes to a number of content sections (mostly re-wording stuff so it reads easier). Improved formatting, changed / removed / added links, and made other small changes.
- September 18, 2018 – Page updated with real world tests and data. New photos, improved formatting, and updates across a number of areas.
- Spring 2018 – Initial version of the page published in pre-test form.
2nd Best iRobot Roomba
- Design - 99%99%
- Performance - 99%99%
- Quality - 96%96%
- Usability - 100%100%
- Value - 95%95%
The iRobot Roomba i7+ is one of the most advanced robot vacuums we have seen to date. Not only is this Roomba a top notch performer, but it also includes a new smart base that empties the dustbin automatically. Therefore, there is no need for the user to empty the dustbin after every cleaning, as the i7+ will actually do all of this for you. If you’re in the market for a robot and want the most advanced navigation, strong performance, and incredible usabilty, the Roomba i7+ is hard to beat.