updated: October 11, 2021

The iRobot Roomba i7 is the latest iteration in the always dependable Roomba line. Find out what makes it such an indispensable addition to your arsenal of labor-saving devices in our 2021 review!

Our rating: 9.5
Price: High

The iRobot Roomba i7 is the latest model to come from the innovative minds at iRobot. This groundbreaking company has engineered machines that have helped people get things done efficiently and affordably for over three decades. There are a whole lot of fantastic features in this exceptional device that will have you wondering, “Why didn’t I know about this bot before now?”

iRobot Roomba i7 vacuums the tiled floor.
Roomba i7 is a vast improvement from previous iterations

Even though iRobot has produced some terrific robo-vacs, the i7 is a vast improvement from previous iterations. Let’s dive into all the extraordinary things that make this vacuum cleaner a must-buy!

Features

  • 120 minutes of operation on a single charge;
  • Smart mapping capability;
  • Responsive to voice commands;
  • High-efficiency filter captures 99% of pet dander;
  • Advanced navigation system makes cleaning super-efficient;
  • Works well on dark carpet (unlike other bots).

Who’s the iRobot Roomba i7 For

The Roomba i7 is fantastic if you have little ones who constantly get cookie crumbs and other food remnants all over the house. That’s because its exceptional suction and excellent coverage of every area of your home free you from having to clean up after them. If you live in a house with lots of fuzzy fur babies, you’ll want the Roomba i7 to suck up all the nasty pet hair that carpets seem to magically accumulate.

iRobot Roomba i7 cleans the carpet with a dog lying on it
i7 handles pet hair very well

The i7 is an essential addition to your arsenal of labor-saving devices. It makes immaculately kept floors without effort a dream come true! It’s perfect for people who’ve worked all day at an exhausting job who just want to kick back and relax instead of laboriously cleaning their rugs.

Pros

Plus

Highly Intelligent

The navigation system on the Roomba i7 is so much more advanced than most other vacuum bots. This robo-vac is highly intelligent, capable of learning every part of your home’s layout in a minimal amount of time.

You can even program “KEEP OUT ZONES” into its memory. That way, it knows enough to stay out of your kids’ playroom, with its myriad of obstacles in the form of Legos and other playthings. These things can prove to be insurmountable obstacles — even for the best of bots.

When it’s time to recharge, the Roomba i7 calculates precisely how much juice it needs and stays at the charging pad only for this length of time. This means you won’t have to wait for it to finish recharging if you have cleaning that needs to get done ASAP. If your robot gets stuck in the middle of a run and you need to rescue it, it’ll remember where it left off. With other robots, if you pick them up and restart them, they’ll lose track of what they’re doing.

A floor map shown on the iRobot smartphone app screen.

Smart Mapping

While other robotic vacuum cleaners claim to have smart mapping, few of them are as easy to use as the Roomba i7. The bot creates smart maps by using its first couple of runs in a brand-new space to learn the various obstacles and landmarks. These are things like walls, furniture, and cabinets.

Rather than creating a smart map that gets wiped from its memory after cleaning is completed, the i7 securely uploads the map to the cloud. This eliminates the annoying need to start from scratch every single time. The Roomba i7 can store up to 10 different smart maps, while most other vacuum cleaning robots can only store only one map at a time.

Once it has your space memorized, you can pull up the smart map in the app and choose names for all the rooms in your home. Then, you can send the i7 to clean specific spots, either by selecting them from the list or by sending out voice commands through Alexa or Google Assistant. You’ll find that the ability to target specific rooms to be so incredibly useful, you’ll want to use it every day!

Roomba i7 cleans the specific defined area which needs immediate cleaning

Use the smart mapping feature to have the bot steer clear of cluttered rooms that might prove a navigation hazard for the robot or to give spaces that get dirty quickly a little extra attention. This is great because, with most vacuum cleaning bots, you can only have them not clean specific areas if you set up barriers that prevent them from entering.

Most robo-vacs need to start the cleaning process from their docks to use the smart maps they’ve created. This isn’t the case with the i7. You can plop this bot down anywhere in your home, and it will instantly figure out which room it’s in after you switch it on. Because you only need one dock (unlike some other robo-vacs), it’s perfect for multi-story houses.

Terrific for Pet Dander

Woman plays with a dog on the carpet and i7 cleaning the laminate floor nearby

The high-efficiency filter traps 99% of pet dander. It does such a fantastic job at this that people with pet allergies can come over to your home without worrying that their sensitivities will be triggered. The bot can even suggest extra cleaning when the pollen count is high or during pet shedding season.

Its rubber brushes are specially designed not to get all tangled up with pet hair. Hair gets pushed to the side, where it can easily be removed. The brushes flex to stay in constant contact with floors, ensuring that virtually everything gets picked up.

Responds to Voice Commands

Roomba i7 parked on its charging base in the living room

Once it maps your entire house with a couple of training runs, you’ll be able to use voice commands. Then, all you have to do is to say, “Hey, Alexa, tell George (or whatever you want to name your bot) to vacuum the living room,” and the bot gets busy carrying out your wishes.

If you spill something, you can ask your robo-vacuum to clean it up. This obedient mecho-servant will do so immediately, ensuring an immaculately cleaned living space without you having to do a single thing.

Relatively Quiet Operation

You’ll enjoy a relatively quiet operation compared to most other bots, with a decibel level of about 60 on carpets. While that might be a little loud for some, it’s probably not enough to distract you from tasks that demand your full attention.

Works on Dark Carpet

iRobot i7 sensors detected the staircase

One pleasant surprise is that the i7 works on dark carpets. This is great because robotic vacs are notorious for not working on this rug color. Usually, when a vacuum cleaning robot encounters a dark pattern on a carpet, it thinks it’s on the edge of a dangerous precipice, such as at the top of a staircase. This is a self-preservation feature built into most bots.

iRobot solved this perplexing problem with the i7 by using cutting-edge drop sensors that can distinguish between dark floors and dangerous areas, such as a staircase.

Dual-Pass Mode

If you want a more thorough cleaning of your home, there’s an option to switch the mode from automatic to dual-pass. This means your Roomba will cover each part of your house in two sweeps. The i7 will do two sweeps for smaller rooms and one for a larger area in automatic mode.

Cons

Minus

The app is hardly intuitive. In fact, it can be downright slow and clunky at times. The i7 can only handle carpets with a shag up to 5/8 inches. If your carpet’s fibers are longer than this, don’t get this cleaner.

If you decide to get the optional self-emptying dock, keep in mind that it’s a little on the loud side. Like any other robo-vac on the market, the i7 can get hung up on things lying on the floor, like socks or charging cables.

The room-locating navigation isn’t infallible. While it’ll work most of the time, the bot initially ignores your voice command on a small percentage of cleaning excursions. Like most other vacuum cleaning bots, the i7 is a round cleaner wider than it is tall. This means that while it can fit underneath most furniture, it might be too wide to fit underneath some chair legs.

iRobot Roomba i7 cleans the carpet.
Final Verdict: Should You Buy the iRobot Roomba i7

There’s no denying that the iRobot Roomba i7 has a few flaws. However, with this machine, the good outweighs the bad.

That’s why we’re recommending this robo-vac to anyone who’s sick and tired of lugging a manual vacuum cleaner around the house. With the i7, you’ll no longer waste your precious energy vacuuming for hours on the weekends.

I’m sure you’ve got far better things to do with your time, and with the i7, you’ll finally be able to do these things. That’s the kind of freedom worth shelling out a little money for! For other reviews of robot vacuum cleaners, check out our guide.

Author
Stephen A. Hancock received his M.S. in Mechanical Engineering (Robotics Track) from University of Utah in 2004. Since then, he’s contributed to numerous articles and has been a consultant for many technical publications and websites.

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