The title of the market’s leading brand of robotic vacuum cleaners undoubtedly belongs to iRobot. If you haven’t kept up to date with iRobot’s lineup of Roombas, here’s a quick refresher: Roombas are awesome in every way, especially the newer models that are packed with premium features.
Today, we’re going to review compare the latest Roomba to hit online stores—the Roomba i3—against its older, premium-priced brethren—the Roomba i7+.
iRobot Roomba i3+
Clean Base Self-Cleaning Station
Let’s start off with what the Roomba i3+ and i7+ share. They both come with the Clean Base, a self-cleaning station that connects to the floor-mounted charging dock. The Clean Base acts as a secondary vacuum cleaner to clear out the contents of the Roombas’ dirt collection bin.
This handy system cans tore up to around 60 days’ worth of dirt, meaning less cleanup for the owner. If you’re wondering what makes the i3+ and i7+ the Plus version, it’s that it comes standard with the Clean Base.
Tri-Stage Cleaning System
Here’s another thing both robots have in common. They use iRobot’s famous Tri-Stage Cleaning System that picks up more dirt with every pass by delivering a suction that is ten times more powerful than the 600 series. Combined with Dirt Detect Technology, you’ve got a robot that recognizes dirt and goes out of its way to pick it up.
Dual Multi-Surface Rubber Brushes
Again, both robots share this feature. Found on the center of these robots’ bellies are dual multi-surface rubber brushes that works incredibly well at picking up dirt and debris from bare and carpeted floors.
The rubber brushes also offer extra digging performance on carpet fibers to extract more hair per sweep. If you have pets or stray strands of hair lying around, these Roombas are undoubtedly some of the best hair-picker-uppers you can get.
Records Your Habits
We don’t mean that these Roombas come with spy cameras; they store all of your commands regarding when to clean and which mode is activated per cleaning session.
After a couple of runs, the i3+ and i7+ will get a pretty good feel of what you need cleaned and when. This is a fantastic premium feature that means less configuring on your part.
If you’re tired of having to whip your phone out to send instructions to your robotic vacuum cleaner, you’ll be happy to learn that both of these Roombas are compatible with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.
Simply connect the robot to your home’s smart hub, and your virtual assistants will be able to relay basic orders to your robot regardless of where the robot is hiding.
Tag Team with the Braava Jet m6
If you have iRobot’s Braava jet m6 robotic mop at home, or if you plan on picking one up in the future, we’re happy to report that both of these i series Roombas are a match made in heaven with the m6.
When the vacuum bot’s chores are completed, it can send orders to the m6 to commence its mopping cycle immediate after without awaiting orders from the owner.
iRobot Roomba i7+
Smart Home Integration
iRobot recently released a smart home platform known as the iRobot Genius. The i7+ and i3+ connect to the Genius which then automates some of the most cumbersome tasks of managing a robot, such as creating cleaning schedules, cleaning specific rooms at a certain time, and defining keep-out zones that the robots cannot trespass into.
Everything we’ve talked about above are how the Roomba i3+ and i7+ are the same. Now let’s go over their differences. The Roomba i7+ is a more premium robotic vacuum cleaner. With that in mind, you’ll have to spend quite a lot more on this than the i3+. Everything we talk about from here on out will showcase the i7+’s superiority over the i3+.
The i7+ comes with Smart Mapping that uses a series of sensors to create a digital layout of your home. The i7+ then accesses this map whenever it commences its vacuuming sessions to ensure that it gets every reachable part of your floors every time. The i3+, on the other hand, has to do a fresh scan every time.
Customizable Keep-Out Zones
Using the iRobot HOME smartphone app, you can manually order the i7+ to steer clear of certain objects and obstacles in its cleaning trajectory. This will ensure that your robot will never collide with a delicate vase or pet’s water bowl. As for the i3+, you’ll need the iRobot Genius platform to receive suggested keep-out zones.
Identifies Fresh Messes
One major difference between these Roombas is that the i7+ can identify newly made messes in the middle of work. If one of its sensors picks up a mess in a part of a room that was previously cleaned, it’ll automatically go out of its way to make a second or third pass until for floors are spotless.
The i3+ does not have such a feature and will need to begin its vacuuming cycle anew.
Another key difference between these Roombas is that the i7+ has a max 120-minute runtime, whereas the i3+ can clean for up to “only” 100 minutes before heading back to its charging station. The 20-minute disparity doesn’t actually mean much if we’re being honest since they both have auto-charge and auto-resume functions.
Roomba i3+ vs i7+: Design
Overall, when comparing the design, features and quality of the iRobot Roomba i3+ and the iRobot Roomba i7+, the i7+ is the superior model. While the i3+ is more efficient on bare floors when tackling larger debris like cereal, the benefits of the i7+ are far more extensive. This is especially true on carpeted surfaces.
Whether you have mainly low or high pile carpets, the i7+ will provide more effective cleaning than the i3+, and with additional features such as automated virtual boundary setting, it will be more convenient to use. If pet hair is an important factor in your selection, you should also note the i7+ performs better all round, including on bare floor.
Roomba i3+ vs i7+: Cleaning Bare Floors
On bare floors, the iRobot i3+ cleans smoothly and effectively with no trouble clearing large or small debris lice rice or cereal. If you have hardwood or laminate surfaces, the design and build of the i3+ will operate and maneuver well and give an overall better result than the i7+. Where the i7+ has the edge is its efficiency picking up pet hair.
Although pet hairs can sometimes get caught or tangled inside the vacuum, this machine does a good job of picking up as much as possible. The i3+ struggles to pick up hair but is otherwise a good choice for bare floors.
Roomba i3+ vs i7+: Cleaning Low Pile Carpets
The i7+ is the clear choice if you have low pile carpets in your home. It provides an efficient and easy clean, picking up pet hair and general debris easily whereas the i3+ struggles to clear any fine hair or small debris on this type of surface.
If you are trying to clear sand or something similar from your low pile carpet, the i3+ actually does quite a good job in comparison to the i7+, where sand can more easily get caught and disrupt the cleaning process until you clear it out of your vacuum. Lighter rugs can also be displaced during cleaning, which is something to bear in mind if you don’t want the inconvenience of moving them back afterwards.
Both machines are built extremely well and have excellent maneuverability but come with some high maintenance requirements and have parts which need replacing regularly to keep up the level of the vacuum’s performance. This will, of course, cost money over time so using the right machine for the right type of debris is important to keep costs to a minimum.
Roomba i3+ vs i7+: Cleaning High Pile Carpets
Both the i7+ and the i3+ have pros and cons when it comes to vacuuming high pile carpets. They can both climb on and off and move around easily, but have parts that need cleaned or replaced regularly to maintain their efficiency which means you will have ongoing costs for both, particularly with the i3+.
The iRobot Roomba i7+ is superior when tackling pet hair and fine debris (like flour, for example) on a high pile carpet but the i3+ model is more effective for picking up larger debris.
Roomba i3+ vs i7+: Cleaning Pet Hair
As we have already mentioned, when cleaning pet hair from any kind of surface, there is no comparison between the i3+ and the i7+, with the later being the winner by far. Although the i3+ has a handy removable brush roll that makes it easy to detangle any trapped hairs, it really doesn’t pick them up well at all to begin with.
It also has a HEPA anti-allergen filter which is great if your pet sheds a lot of hair, but it doesn’t outweigh the high maintenance costs you will face regularly with this machine.
The recurring costs with the i7+ are also a factor and you will still need to detangle your brush roll, but it clears pet hair very effectively and is able to pre-set its path around the room for optimal results.
If you have a pet and stray hair is one of the main cleaning issues you face in your home, there is little competition between the iRobot Roomba i7+ and the i3+ model. The i7+ definitely the model we would recommend in this case.
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Verdict: iRobot i7+ Is the Clear Winner
In terms of convenience and performance, we have to hand it to the older yet more feature-packed Roomba, the i7+. This 2019 release can outperform the i3+ in many ways, including how it navigates your floors, how it goes back to pick up new floor messes, and map storage and programmability.
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However, the Roomba i3+, for its price, is definitely something that first-time robotic vacuum cleaner buyers will want to get their hands on. Despite its missing convenience-adding features, the i3+ can deliver almost the same level of floor-cleaning performance as the Roomba i7+ at a much cheaper cost.
In the end, they’re both incredibly fancy robots. The Clean Base alone should be a good enough reason to choose either one!
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Last Update: 2024-02-20 | Affiliate links/Images from Amazon Product Advertising API