We’ve all seen or heard about these robot vacuum cleaners that takes one of the most mundane but necessary chores off our hands. They basically roam along the floor and sucks up all the dirt without you having to hover over it all the time. Sounds very appealing, right? But is the right vacuum for you? We recently put the iRobot Roomba i7+ vacuum to the test. Here’s what we’ve discovered.
This model, in particular, comes with a Clean Base that makes this very appealing. With other robot vacuums we’ve tried the dirt catcher seemed to fill quickly. However, that meant we had to empty the bin frequently. The iRobot Roomba i7+’s Clean Base that also doubles up as a charging base, is a game-changer that puts this particular robot vacuum in a class of its own. This wireless and hands-free robot vacuum will head back to the base and empty itself out which means less work for us in the long run. By the way, we are told that the base will hold at least 60 days worth of debris before the bag needs to be emptied. If you already have an iRobot Roomba and wishing you should have waited for this version, don’t worry! The Clean Base is also sold separately and is compatible with the i7 series as well as the S9 series. Great idea if someone gets you the vacuum for the holidays and you want the additional base.
THERE’S AN APP:
Keeping up with all our “smart home” gadgets, the i7+ can also be controlled via the iRobot Home App. The app allows you to command the vacuum to deploy from the base and get to work anywhere you’re wifi connected. With recent company coming over I headed quickly into the shower and turned on the Roomba remotely from the bathroom. You could also be out running errands and find out that your in-laws are going to drop in unexpectedly, for example – use the app and tell your Roomba to get to work even when you’re out. You can also command it to stop, vacuum specific rooms, and even go back to the home base and empty itself. If you’re worried that something might get in the way, loose wires were my main concern, or socks on the floor, for example, the Roomba will actually stop vacuuming and send you a notification via app. It will just stop working in the meantime until you return. The app will conveniently tell you when you may need parts replaced (e.g. filter) or when the Clean Base dirt bin is completely full. You can also schedule the vacuum to run on a day and at specified times of the day.
We wondered if the vacuum would just wander aimlessly but the technology built-in already thought about all that. Right from the get-go, the vacuum cleaner begins to map out the floor with its Imprint Smart Mapping technology. It will determine the most efficient way of cleaning and retaining the information from room to room. At first, it takes a few runarounds but once it understands the footprint, it becomes efficient with time and energy. While it figures out where to go, it will sense obstructions and stairways and actually turn itself around to head in a different direction regardless if it’s going over hardwood, tile or carpets. If there is a certain area that you prefer the Roomba to not go, there is a small battery-operated block that you can place on the floor that will tell the vacuum to stay away. If you only want specific rooms cleaned you can also program that into the app. Another great feature we’ve discovered is the iRobot’s Dirt Detect Technology that learns where all the high traffic areas are in the home. Sensors are able to identify areas that need more attention and the machine will spend more time thoroughly cleaning the space.
GETTING TO THE NOOKS & CRANNIES:
In tighter spaces and condos, the iRobot Roomba i7+ gets the job done. With longer “edge sweeping brushes” that extend into the corners and crevices more easily for a better clean. It’s also powerful enough to lift dried up dirt and embedded dog hair out of carpet weaves from what we’ve seen so far. We watched as it went under the couch and into a tight space. Sure enough, it was able to figure out how to get out of the situation. It’s tempting to pick it up to redirect it but don’t! Remember it’s learning. Unless something is caught (and it will tell you) then there’s no need to do anything.
Right out of the box you will have a partial charge if you’re eager to get started. But we charged it to the fullest and let the Roomba i7+ run on its own and so far it’s exceeded expectation and need. It will run approximately 90 minutes and can even go up to 2 hours depending on how big of a space you need it to cover. Each time it runs it becomes more efficient and will take less time. If the Roomba starts to run low on battery it will know to return to the base on it’s own. Once it’s fully charged again, it will resume its job.
A full charge will take approximately 75 minutes.
ANYTHING ELSE YOU SHOULD KNOW?
The filter helps trap 90 percent of what goes in. This includes pollen, pet hair and other allergens in the home. The app will notify you as to when the filter needs replacing. The vacuum comes with one replacement filter to keep you going.
Long hair can get caught in traditional vacuums and not only is it a nuisance but can cause damage to the machines. The iRobot vacuum doesn’t run on wheels but on a couple of balls that help long hair not get tangled up as much as others.
The i7+ also works with Alexa enabled devices like the Amazon Echo Show, so you can set it up for voice command abilities without even reaching for your phone and accessing the app.
You can also change the language being used on the app and the robot itself. There are 23 languages currently available.
IS IT WORTH IT?
We vacuum at least one, and sometimes twice daily since we have a shedding dog. If anyone was to put a vacuum to the true test, it would be us! The first time using the iRobot Roomba i7+ we had it run for over an hour wondering how quickly the battery would drain. It outlasted our ability to wait. We watched it roam around freely, but we noticed it was smart enough to not backtrack its path as it was learning the footprint of our home. After the first run, we were amazed (but not surprised) to get the notification on the app to say that the Roomba’s dirt bin was already full. It directed itself to return to the base and cleaned itself out. It was a fast quick few seconds of power cleaning. The cleaning stage is noticeable – much like our central vacuum in terms of sound. But it’s only a few seconds. You can also command the Roomba to return to the base to “Empty Bin” instead of letting it go on its own.
Did the dog like it? No, not at first, naturally. It’s a foreign object roaming around the floor but after a minute, he just left it alone — under a watchful eye. The Roomba also never got close enough to him to do anything. Having said that, we wouldn’t let the vacuum cleaner go on its own with the dog left unattended. For pet owners, we would also recommend leaving the charging cleaning base somewhere safe and where the vacuum can easily return to.
Overall the iRobot Roomba i7+ did a very thorough job on our floor and carpet surfaces. It’s convenient when you’re at home or not. It’s also sleek in design so it fits into many of our city homes.