The iRobot Roomba i7+ is a mighty little machine, perfect for those who really want a “hands-off” clean. It does all the dirty work for you, including the pesky cleanup. Once its job is done, the Roomba i7+ will return to its base to empty out its tank. Conveniently, the Clean Base® Automatic Dirt Disposal with AllergenLock™ bag holds 60 days (or 30 robot bins) of dirt, dust and hair, so you really can set it and forget it.
As it smartly sweeps its way through your home (on its own accord, such a novelty), the bot uses its patented iAdapt® 3.0 technology with vSLAM® navigation to actively capture thousands of precise measurements. Though it takes a few runs to really get it right, the Roomba i7+ builds a map of your home, allowing you to assign specific rooms that need cleaning. If you want that extra level of customization, you can use the iRobot app to tweak and label your home map with the option to add “Keep Out” zones for any areas that you don’t want your little helper to venture. The Roomba i7+ also works with your home assistant (Google Home or Alexa), allowing you to use the power of your voice to command your bot to start a job or return to its base. And if you happen to have an iRobot Braava Jet m6 (as I did at the time of testing), the app gives you the option to run your lean, mean, cleaning machines in tandem to really get the job done. To avoid confusion (or, heck, just for fun), the bots have editable names, so I could easily command Sweeps McGee to start a job or return to his base without any mop-related misunderstandings.
When it comes to performance, Sweeps McGee didn’t disappoint. I have to say, as someone with hardwood floors, area rugs, and a few four-legged contributors, I have never felt more comfortable walking barefoot in my now spotless apartment. That said, if you’ve got high-pile carpeting, it’s admittedly a challenge for the Roomba i7+ to gather up all the furry debris, so don’t expect miracles. But for dust, dirt, and hair on hardwood, you’re left with a confident clean.
Thanks to its circular shape, its maneuverability is rather impressive. It can curl around corners to clean under chairs and table legs. Wheeling around at 13.34” W x 3.63” H, it can easily fit under coffee tables and couches, reaching those hard-to-get areas that are so often neglected. It’s a smart little device that can easily navigate complex spaces; not once was Sweeps McGee trapped in an awkward corner. I was impressed. But if you do have awkward corners or other challenges, the ability to program “Keep Out” zones is helpful, particularly for keeping the Roomba i7+ away from cables and cords if you’ve got it zipping around electronics. There’s also a “Spot Clean” function if you have a small mess on your hands and can’t be bothered to just find a broom.
The base — measuring 12.2” W x 15.1” D x 19” H — requires a convenient location with good wifi access. Unlike its smaller, wetter cousin, the iRobot Braava Jet m6, I found that the Roomba i7+ was very responsive when instructed to return to its base. It easily and obediently zoomed over and docked, immediately emptying its tank upon its arrival. As far as vacuums go, the i7+ is actually fairly quiet (except when emptying its tank, but we can’t all be perfect). While your house receives a thorough vacuuming, you can still listen to music or hold a conversation at a reasonable volume. It’s significantly quieter than a standard vacuum, and far less intrusive.
The Dual Multi-Surface Rubber Brushes are easy to clean and adept at picking up dirt and debris. But once again, its use is really dependent on what kind of flooring and debris situation you’re dealing with. It’s not quite powerful enough to trap a realistic amount of dog hair in a carpeted area, but for tile, hardwood, and low-pile carpeting, it’s a capable little robot with convenient self-sufficiency. I only once had to intervene when the Roomba i7+ got stuck under a table that was just a smidge too low. One “Keep Out” zone later, and it wasn’t an issue again. And if you’re worried about stairs that would pose an immediate threat to the safety of your Roomba, you can purchase virtual wall barriers from iRobot for $79.99 [CDN] (or a two-pack for $99.99). There are also a bevvy of replacement parts you can order online if you need to repair your model or want to extend the life of your own bot.
Retailing at $999.99 [CDN], the Roomba i7+ is not to be taken lightly. Its convenience and consistency are absolutely a selling point, but it is a big commitment. If you’ve got the floor space, it’s a reasonable investment that will save you a lot of time and energy. But if you’re expecting it to magically make all your pet hair disappear in your thoroughly carpeted home, it might not fit the job you’re looking for.