Roomba i7 Plus: Why So Expensive, and Is It Worth It?

Sam Harris
written by Sam Harris
part of Robot Vacuums
created on August 22, 2019
updated on October 4, 2019

Robot vacuums have always been pricey (or at least pricier than upright vacuums), but consumers haven’t really cared, or so it seems.

Following the release of the Roomba i7 plus, that trend of not paying attention to price quickly changed. All of a sudden people started asking questions; one of which is that they wanted to know what they stand to gain from buying a cleaning tool priced at around a thousand dollars.

It turns out, you’ve come to the right place if you’re one of those people actively seeking information on why the i7 Plus cost a premium, or why it’s a worthwhile investment.

The likes of Samsung and Deebot are debutants in the game of producing self-cleaning robot vacuums. These products because they weren’t commercially successful, were summarily discontinued.

I’d think the premium price of the i7 Plus is strongly linked to iRobot making their customers an irresistible offer of a self-cleaning robot vacuum. In other words, iRobot offered its customer a solution they WANTED and one that actually WORKED.

Maybe I should also mention that as of the time of this writing, and to my knowledge, there are no solid alternatives to the Roomba i7+ as a self-cleaning robot vacuum.

Smart Mapping for Personalized & Targeted Cleaning

Smart Mapping is another way of saying the i7+ learns, therefore, can remember the layout of a house.

Admittedly, several robot vacuums parrot the Smart Mapping feature. I find the Smart Mapping feature of the i7 plus to be as EFFECTIVE as it’s EASIER to use.

As you start the Roomba i7 plus from its home base and allow for cleaning or doing a ‘Training Run,’ it builds a map of the space that you can see on your phone. After that you can separate the areas and can even set which parts (or rooms) gets vacuumed and on which days/times. If you want, you could set the Roomba i7 plus to clean the dining room on Mondays, Living room on Tuesdays, Kitchen every day, etc.

Superior Navigation for Effective Cleaning

Items such as Deebot M80, Eufy RoboVac 11S max, Ecovac Deebot 500 and in fact the majority of the 400 and 600 Roomba series do a respectable job, only their approach to cleaning, which is to bounce off walls until they’re able to cover the entire room.

Ditto, most smart vacuums are advertised as being able to learn a room’s layout. Except, when put to the test, they always seemed lost and confused, randomly cleaning an area before meandering to another room.

Roomba, on the other hand, knows exactly where it’s going and is very systematic in its movement, negotiating sharp corners and going back and forth across the room before going to the next room.

Roomba fits right under furniture without a problem and raises itself up and down, so it can transfer more quickly from a floor surface to another.

Other than that, the cleaning head on this Roomba uses a pair of counter-rotating brushes that do an excellent job of cleaning both carpet and hardwood floors and when running on hardwood doesn’t throw things around.

Side note: Read this article from Cnet. It details the navigation technologies (upsides and downsides) behind most robot vacuums including the i7+.

Optional Dirt Disposal Base for a Low-Effort Cleaning

The only difference between the Roomba i7 and the Roomba i7 plus is the Clean Base of the latter which the former lacks. Not bad, as you can as well buy the Clean Base separately.

Keep in mind that the following information only applies to the Roomba i7 plus.

So maybe it’s OK to pretend only a few pet owners dread the post-use emptying of the collection bin of a robot vacuum.

What I’m trying to say is that a 3-cat, 2-dog house will get about four full bins for each use. Or if it were to be a busy mom with SUPER active kids in a large house who’s being considered in this context, emptying the bin 4–7 times a day is TYPICAL.

In short, stopping to empty the bin manually and frequently is more TROUBLE than it’s worth.

First off, this means a non-self cleaning bot will stop cleaning when the bin is full. Next off, and regardless of whether or not you’re home, you’ve got to hunt for your robovac every time the bin is full otherwise cleaning will not be completed or if completed, may not be thorough. Additionally and from experience with a couple of robot vacuums, it has been quite dirty manually emptying their small dust bins (dust bunny everywhere!).

With the Roomba i7 plus being an auto-dirt emptying robot vacuum, however, the bin fills and goes to the Clean Base to empty its content into a spacious dirtbag (two of these come FREELY with a unit of the Roomba).

Overall the automatic dirt disposal base of the Roomba makes cleaning a weekly/monthly job instead of an everyday task.

See a video of the Roomba i7+ emptying its trash bin:

Vacuum and Mop Collaboration for Optimal Cleaning

Granted, the Roomba i7 plus will pick up dust and dirt particles off most floor surfaces. What about the footprint, pet trail, and other similar stains that the Roomba may not be able to handle?

From within the Roomba’s app, you can get Braava m6 to follow up with a quick mopping. That way, the floors remain tidy and nice-looking.

A quick noteRoborock s5 has both the robot vacuum and mopping feature. It’s an equally great product priced significantly lower than the Roomba i7 plus. The only drawback is that it lacks the auto emptying feature.

Powerful Suction for Mixed Floor Cleaning in Multiple Rooms

If you’ve got hard floors throughout, then you may not worry about the suction of an automatic cleaner. There’s however something to worry about if you’ve got, say, wood floor, carpet, with a few area rugs.

While the suction of the Roomba i7 plus isn’t available in specific term (it was advertised at ‘10× more suction.’ Maybe 10× more suction than the previous Roomba models who knows).

Regardless, i7+ parades a powerful suction for tough jobs. It transfers from, while adjusting suction between, different floor surfaces in multiple rooms.

Or if you don’t like that the Roomba is doing this automatically or want to increase suction in certain areas, there’s an option via the app. It also makes sense since there are multiple cleaning modes.

Recharge and Resume Feature for Eliminating Annoying & Unnecessary Restrictions

One problem with a robot vacuum lacking the recharge feature is that it’ll take forever (or outrightly fail in its attempt) to locate the charging station. For robot vacuums with the inferior recharging system, these would be lucky to make it to their charging station. Another problem is the robot vacuum charging for endless hours.

Eventually, when charging is completed, you expect the vacuum to resume cleaning. But no, and this can present in two ways.

First, there are robot vacuums that would blatantly refuse to resume cleaning. Then there’s an upgraded version of these vacs that will resume cleaning albeit being unable to recognize where it last cleaned, so will either start cleaning again or continue cleaning from anywhere it deems fit.

Here, check out some quick facts about the Roomba i7 plus.

  • Roomba i7+ makes it to its charging station, EVERY single time.
  • Roomba knows precisely where to resume cleaning.
  • The battery of the iRobot Roomba i7 plus lasts a long time on a single charge and charges SUPER fast. Although the manufacturer’s estimated run time is 90 minutes, this could be lower depending on the size of the space and the floor type and thickness.

Watch this short video for tips on how to maximize the battery of your Roomba:

Mobile Application for Complete Oversight & Quick Update

Love being able to tell your smart vacuum to go here but not there? Since distance is no barrier to Roomba’s ability to clean. Which means even if you’re gone while Roomba is running, you can still see what it cleaned. The app will also update you when Roomba docks, empties or gets stuck. You can as well use the app to start/stop the Roomba.

When the automatic dirt disposal bag is full, the charging station and app will notify you.

Disposable Dirtbags for Improved Quality of Life

In the old Roomba model and most bagless models, getting exposed directly to all the crud that was vacuumed up when you go to empty the container isn’t uncommon. For most pet owners, this was always a dance of holding one’s breath while trying to make sure the bin got fully emptied.

Now if you watched the video in the preceding subheading, you’ll see how the dock sucks dust and dirt from Roomba into the dirtbag. This, therefore, makes it easier to breathe plus there’s a reduction in allergy symptoms — for yourself as the owner of the device, as well as for your visits.

Anti-Jamming System for Maintaining Peak Performance

The first thing of note (thanks to its advanced sensors) about the iRobot Roomba i7 plus is that it bumps into chairs and obstacles A LOT less. That, plus it’s completely padded, so it’s injury-proof.

Another thing is that the iRobot i7 plus does impressively well solving its problems (getting unstuck, dealing with uneven terrain).

If for some reason the Roomba gets held, it’ll try to get free. If unsuccessful after a while, Roomba will go to sleep and await its rescue. You’ll usually receive a notification on your cell phone, so you can come for the rescue.

Besides that, Roomba has circular brushes with rollers that are more apt for picking up dust and dirt while avoiding getting jammed.

Anti-Clogging System for Reduced Maintenance Work

You already know that Roomba will automatically empty its collection bin. This is one of the ways maintenance is being kept on the low.

Another way maintenance is being kept on the low is through the excellent design of critical components (brush, roller, filter, port) of the Roomba.

Observe that while the new design of the brush and roller (unlike the bristle brushes of competing items) is for preventing tangling of hair, the port, on the other hand, provides a suitable condition for safe and effective auto emptying. On top of this, the app of the i7 plus has a section for when maintenance is due based on usage.

One cool way to see the offerings of the iRobot Roomba i7 plus is that you’ll no longer be exhausted from vacuuming and mopping for hours on weekends. So to all busy working folks — this investment will give you your weekends back.

Or if you want, the Roomba, because it cleans better than your regular Dyson, if for no other reason than it will spend more time cleaning than you will, and it gets the hair that you and your Dyson miss. Indeed, you get to go longer in between vacuuming. I find it’s more efficient to schedule part of the house on different days, cutting cleaning time to a minimum.

And of course a pricey item, but for the sheer pleasure of having a clean house that you don’t have to slave over is nothing but [fill that in yourself!]

That mentioned, is the Roomba i7+ worth over a grand? That’s a question you’ll have to answer for your budget and application. As far as to build quality and functionality, I feel the price is justified.

If you’re the busy type who barely have time to do cleaning and have the money, I STRONGLY recommend you get the Roomba i7+ robot vacuum.

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3 thoughts on “Roomba i7 Plus: Why So Expensive, and Is It Worth It?”

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