The Roomba Combo j7+ is a 2-in-1 robot vacuum and mop that promises to clean your home thoroughly while transitioning from carpet to hard floors. It features DRI (Dry Rug Intelligence), which lifts the mop pad safely away from carpets to prevent wet messes. The robot also has a 4-Stage Cleaning System that combines mopping, edge-sweeping brush, dual multi-surface rubber brushes, and power-lifting suction for a thorough clean on carpets and hard floors.
It has iRobot OS onboard, which lets it recognize and avoid obstacles and learn a home's cleaning routine over time. The j7+ is compatible with Google and Alexa and automatically empties its bin into the Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal for up to 60 days.
We tested the iRobot cleaner to see how it tackled food mess, hair, and everyday cleaning compared to the best robot vacuums. We trialed its smart features in a spacious one-bedroom apartment, which has hardwood floors, tiles, vinyl flooring, and a large area rug. Keep reading to see the results, and head to our guide to the best vacuum cleaners for more.
Caroline is currently the Deputy Editor of Top Ten Reviews. She has years of experience testing products for the home, which she tries out in her cozy one-bedroom basement apartment in Suffolk, UK. She is passionate about helping people make informed decisions when choosing the best appliances, technology, and anything else that can improve their lives, save them money, or simply add more enjoyment.
Roomba Combo j7+: Key specs
|Header Cell - Column 0||Vacuum||Station|
|Cleaning path width||7in||-|
|Dimensions||H13.3 x D13.3 x W3.4in||H13.3 x D11.9 x W15.7in|
Roomba Combo j7+: First impressions
The packaging for the Roomba Combo j7+ is almost entirely cardboard, which is a pleasant surprise, and there aren't too many components to contend with. Once you have removed the charging dock and vacuum from the box, you're left with smaller boxes that contain additional parts, such as mopping cloths and replacement brushes for the main vacuum.
If you've ever encountered a robot vacuum before, the instructions probably aren't entirely necessary. The main job to do after unboxing is to download the iRobot app and create an account, which will then ask you to add your new vacuum. Once you've done this, it will need to map your home to find its way around.
This mapping, as we found, is not an exact science, so you will probably need to run the vacuum more than once before it has an accurate picture of your home's layout. We did find it clever how it accurately labeled rooms in our one-bedroom apartment, however, meaning we didn't need to edit much.
The mopping functionality is similar to many other models, but if you've not had a combo vacuum before, it's also very simple to set up. The box includes several cloths that easily attach to the flap on top of the unit, and the contents of the cleaning solution should be inserted into the water tank.
Roomba Combo j7+: Price and availability
The Roomba Combo J7+ sells for $999.99 on the iRobot website, though it is often on sale here and on external retailer sites like Amazon. It is also available from Best Buy, Target, Home Depot, and others.
The price is definitely at the higher end of the scale for robot vacuums, with the tag being driven up by features such as self-emptying and auto-mopping capability. If you're looking for something cheaper, the Roomba J6+ is $799.99, and the Roomba i3+ EVO is $899.99 - both frequently discounted.
Roomba Combo j7+: Design
The Roomba Combo j7+ is a stocky device, as heavy as it is bulky, with the vacuum measuring 13.3 x 13.3 x 3.4in (h x d x w) and weighing 7.49lbs. Often this is a good sign for vacuum cleaners, as a larger size means larger capacity and an increased ability to suck up all debris in a single run. Still, it also means that it's less able to navigate around things like dining chair legs or into tight corners. As someone living in a strangely shaped apartment, this could be a problem at times.
The heaviness of the whole thing also makes it pretty noisy. While the vacuum doesn't break the eardrums when performing its main task, docking and emptying the tank is noisier than you might expect. Be warned - don't let it self-empty while someone in the house is taking a nap!
The underside of the vacuum reveals exactly how it gets the job done, with one traditional edge-sweeping brush and a rubber center brush designed to prevent hair-wrapping. We're happy to report that there was no hair trapped in this part after several cleaning jobs, but the edge-sweeping brush had collected quite the hairball.
Roomba Combo j7+: Performance
Carpets vs. hard floors
The big selling point of the Roomba Combo j7+ is its ability to differentiate between hard floors and carpets, adjusting modes accordingly. This comes into use when you want to mop and vacuum as part of the same job, meaning you won't end up with soggy rugs or carpets. This worked really well for us in an apartment with 90% hardwood flooring but one large area rug in the living area, and there was no point where the Roomba attempted to mop where it shouldn't.
Mapping and room-specific jobs
Mapping was a mixed bag as, even after several weeks of use, the vacuum still refuses to enter the bedroom unless physically picked up and placed over the threshold. This could be because of the apartment's old-fashioned wooden panels in each entry point, but it coped with the rest of the home just fine.
As mentioned earlier in this review, you will need to run the cleaner a few times before it will know its way around, but you can view and edit the map via the app. As shown by the image below, the device accurately detected where the rug and doormat were and navigated around an awkwardly-shaped hallway to find the bathroom. You can move room dividers manually if they're a little off.
Once this mapping is done, you can ask the Roomba to perform jobs limited to a specific room. This works brilliantly, with it even giving you an estimated time frame for completion. For example, we asked it to clean the kitchen for our pick-up tests (keep reading), and it finished the job in 4 minutes before returning to the charging base.
The Roomba Combo j7+ is the best robot we've found for obstacle avoidance, never getting stuck on dangling curtains, chewing up slippers, or getting tangled in wires. It instead avoids these areas altogether, offering up a report after it's finished for you to review. Here, you can swipe through images it has taken of your floors, marking each one as temporary, a mistake, or a keep-out zone. For mistakes and temporary blocks, it will try again.
To test out what the vacuum can do, we challenged it with cleaning up small debris (sprinkles) and larger debris (cereal). We did this on hard floors in the kitchen without the mopping function enabled and allowed it to return to base and empty after the sprinkles test before continuing.
It made quick work of the sprinkles, picking them up (bar a few it brushed to the side) in one go. We were even more impressed with its performance with the cereal, which it managed to suck up without making a mess of dust and crumbs. It took a few more go-overs before the job was completed, but by the time the vacuum left the room, the floors were clear.
For us, mopping functionality from robot vacuums has had a spotty past. While many cleaners promise to do the vacuuming and mopping all at once without your involvement, many models ask you to settle for a wet wipe being dragged across the floor. We're happy to say that the Roomba Combo j7+ offers a little more than that, with a dedicated water tank with the water level shown within the app.
Its effectiveness is still limited, however, and - in our opinion - never as good as your own arms pushing a traditional mop back and forth. Still, if the old way isn't practical or possible for you, the Roomba Combo j7+ does an adequate job of cleaning surface-level grime from your hard floors. As mentioned above, it's also clever enough not to mop the carpets.
Smart home integration
iRobot makes it very easy to connect your new vacuum cleaner to your existing smart system, and we took advantage of this with our almost completely Google-connected home. Simply add the iRobot app to your Google Home, and you can perform simple commands.
You can, of course, also set up schedules within the iRobot app itself, choosing when, where, and how you want it to clean.
Should you buy the Roomba Combo j7+?
|Price & Availability||Widely available; expensive||4/5|
|Design||Heavy, noisy, but no hair wrap and self-emptying||4/5|
|Performance||Vacuums well, good AI, smart home compatibility, spotty mapping||4/5|
Buy it if...
You have a mix of hard floors and carpet
The Roomba Combo j7+ is an excellent option if you're looking for a robot vacuum that can also mop your floors. Its ability to differentiate between hard floors and carpets makes it stand out from other models.
You want your vacuum to work with a smart home
The Roomba Combo j7+ is great for those who want to integrate their vacuum into a smart home system. It's easy to connect to Google Home or set up schedules within the iRobot app.
You need good object avoidance
The Roomba Combo j7+ has excellent obstacle avoidance and mapping capabilities, making it a great choice for those who want a hands-off cleaning experience.
Don't Buy it if...
You're on a budget
The Roomba Combo j7+ is an expensive option compared to other robot vacuums on the market. Its price is driven up by features such as self-emptying and auto-mopping capability.
You live in a small, more cluttered home
The Roomba Combo j7+ is a heavy and bulky device, making it less able to navigate around things like dining chair legs or into tight corners.
You want a mopping superstar
The mopping functionality of the Roomba Combo j7+ is limited, and its effectiveness is not as good as using a traditional mop.
How we tested the Roomba Combo j7+
The Roomba Combo j7+ was tested in the writer's home for a period of two weeks, with both everyday cleaning and specific tasks performed over that time. The reviewer had previously owned an older, lower-specced robot vacuum from a different brand, and the differences in performance informed the overall verdict. All testing was done in a one-bedroom apartment with hard floors, tile, and vinyl flooring, along with a large area rug to test how it performed on carpet.
For more on how Top Ten Reviews reviews products, head to our how we test page.