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iRobot Roomba i7+ review

The best robot vacuum cleaner you can buy that even empties itself

iRobot Roomba i7+
(Image: © iRobot Roomba i7+)

Our Verdict

The flagship level robot vacuum cleaner from iRobot is cutting edge with voice control digital assistant integration, smart mapping and the ability to actually empty its own dirt. This is one of the most truly automated robot vacuums ever made. The price, as a result, is pretty steep.

For

  • Self emptying
  • Digital assistant control
  • Smart mapping

Against

  • Pricey

iRobot Roomba i7+: What you need to know

Roomba is the big name in the world of robot vacuum cleaners as it was - and still is - one of the pioneers. Its latest robot evolution has spawned the new Roomba i7+ which makes a huge leap forward as the boundary between robot vacuum and manual machines gets even thinner.

The latest addition to the Roomba series now sports an ability to empty its own dirt waste. Yup, this will not only go back to base to recharge but also to empty its load. That means this is the most automated vacuum ever and can truly be left at home to take care of clean-up, even in larger homes, while you're out - to return to a tidy home.

iRobot Roomba i7+: Features

  • Can set off running using your voice alone
  • Activated with your phone when away from home
iRobot Roomba i7+: Key figures

Battery life: Two hours

App: iOS, Android, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant

Multi-surface: Yes

Pet capable: Yes

The latest Roomba from iRobot doesn't stop at innovative waste management though, this also embraces a digital assistant. That means you can set this off running about your home using your voice alone. While that does give you a powerful feeling it can also be genuinely useful when busy, or when used from your phone away from home to get it clean for your return.

It's worth noting there is also the Roomba s9+, but this is even more expensive and features most of the same positives as the i7+. So unless the promise of more future-proofed hardware and improved corner cleaning are high on your list, the i7+ should suffice.

The downside is cost, as this is not cheap and you also have to factor in buying replacement bags for the dirt collection wall unit. But with smart mapping that actually remembers, is it worth your money?

iRobot Roomba i7+

(Image credit: iRobot)

iRobot Roomba i7+: Design and build

  • Two day battery life
  • Self-cleaning

The really big feature here is that Clean Base automatic dirt disposal. This allows the Roomba i7+ to dock for a charge and it will automatically connect to a port on the side of the vacuum where dirt is sucked out and into the wall storage bin. The plus here is that you can leave the vacuum working without the need to empty it all the time, like most other models. 

iRobot claims this will hold up to 60 days worth of dirt but in reality it's nearer to 30 - still impressive and very useful. The downside is you need to pay for replacement bags where a pack of three will cost you $15.

The two-day battery life is a plus, since this unit will head to the dock mostly to quickly empty dirt rather than to recharge, enhancing efficiency even more.

The Roomba i7+ now features more rubber rollers that pull in dirt, each with grooves designed to better pickup waste. There is an LED on the top of the unit which changes colors and blinks to show you what status it is in at a glance.

iRobot Roomba i7+

(Image credit: iRobot)

iRobot Roomba i7+: Cleaning performance

  • Allergen removal
  • Suction is excellent

The iRobot Roomba i7+ now features, the company claims, 10x the air power or the Roomba 600, which is a huge jump up. But that, combined with the new rollers, creates a more visible improvement so it's hard to judge how much of each new feature is doing the job. In reality it doesn't massively matter as all you need to know is that it works, right?

There is a three stage cleaning system designed to remove allergens and dust as well as pet hair. The AllergenLock bags, combined with the highly efficient filter, trap an impressive 99 percent of pollen, mold and dust mites so they won't escape back into your home. 

iRobot Roomba i7+

(Image credit: iRobot)

iRobot Roomba i7+: Smart skills

  • Voice controlled app support
  • New smart mapping

The iRobot Roomba i7+ features a different type of mapping than older models. This is called Imprint Smart Mapping which actually remembers a room. Current models have to learn their way around a room every time they clean. The iRobot Roomba i7+ uploads maps it builds, securely, to the iRobot online servers. This can then be added to and perfected over time. This results in a more efficient path with straighter lines meaning more savings in terms of time and battery performance. 

The other advantage of this smart mapping is that it can be used to clean a specific room. Since you can name the rooms that the Roomba maps, you can easily get it to clean just the bedroom, say, if that's what you need dome immediately. This goes further thanks to smart assistant support.

You can use both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant with the i7+. This means you can simply say: "Hey Google, clean the master bedroom" and the robot vacuum with head out to get to work. It's so simple it really feels like this is what robot vacuums have been working towards being all these years. Self charging, self-cleaning and voice controlled. The future is here.

iRobot Roomba i7+

(Image credit: iRobot)

iRobot Roomba i7+: Verdict

The iRobot Roomba i7+ is quite simply the best robot vacuum you can buy. It's already a great competitor with its impressive suction, allergen fighting cleaning, decent battery life and smart app and voice controls. But add in the unique smart mapping and the can't-believe-we-lived-without-it self-emptying and you've got a robot vacuum that the competition can't touch.

The price is steep and you will have to spend on replacing bags. But for the amount of hassle this removes from your life, it's hard to complain. This is the robot vacuum cleaner to beat.