Roomba i3 vs. i7 – 2022 Buying Guide

By Maria Hernandez / March 5, 2022 / 0 Comments

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Robot vacuums are taking housekeeping into a new realm of smart cleaning, using innovative technology to get more done in less time. This is probably why you’re exploring iRobot’s Roomba vacuums for all your home cleaning purposes. If your research has led to deciding between the Roomba i3 vs. i7 robot vacuums, our guide will help you make the final decision. 

We’ll take you through the features and specifications of each vacuum as well as the advantages and disadvantages of both models. While both are designed to use the latest robotic technology to get you cleaning smarter and faster, they do have differences worth noting. 

Read on and find out more about iRobot and its innovative Roomba i3 and i7 vacuums. Use our in-depth buying guide to help you make a fully informed decision on which robot vacuum is better for your personal home cleaning needs. We’ve got all your questions covered!

Roomba i3 vs. i7 Buying Advice

The Story Behind iRobot

iRobot has been around since 1990 and was founded by Massachusetts Institute of Technology roboticists. Their initial focus was developing robots for agencies such as NASA and the U.S. forces; however, iRobot’s foray into home cleaning products has resulted in the innovative and successful Roomba which is one of the best robot vacuums on the market.  

The introduction of the brand’s home robot has changed the way homeowners clean, giving you more time to focus on what really matters. Their range of cleaning products include the Roomba robot vacuums, Braava robot mops, and iRobot handheld vacuums. Over 30 million home robots have been sold since iRobot’s first introduction of cleaning products.  

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Pros and Cons

In 2002, iRobot launched its first floor-vacuuming robot; since then, various models have been designed. In this article we’ll be focusing on their Roomba i3 and i7 robot vacuums. Both of these vacuums are among the brand’s most popular products used by homeowners worldwide. The Roomba i3 is a cheaper option to the i7 model, but does this make it an inferior cleaning machine? Let’s talk about the i3 vs. i7 Roomba advantages and disadvantages so you can decide if you should be going with one model or the other. 

Advantages of Roomba i3

  • Cleans hardwood floors as well as carpets efficiently and safely
  • Has a floor tracking sensor to help navigate the vacuum while cleaning in neat rows
  • Reactive sensor technology prevents the vacuum from bumping into furniture and getting stuck
  • The vacuum will automatically recharge when the battery starts to run down before resuming the cleaning job
  • Allows for customized cleaning schedules and suggests when extra cleaning is needed 
  • Dirt detector cleans more thoroughly in high traffic areas
  • Takes voice commands through the Alexa or Google voice assistant
  • Includes an anti-tangle brushroll for easier cleaning and for homes with pets
  • Can link with the Braava jet® m6 robot mop to team up for both vacuuming and mopping tasks

Disadvantages of Roomba i3

  • Doesn’t include smart mapping for specific room cleaning
  • Cloth covering on the top making the appliance harder to clean 

Advantages of Roomba i7

  • Automatically adjusts for cleaning both hardwood surfaces and carpets
  • Has smart mapping for specific room cleaning and keeping the vacuum out of certain zones
  • Includes a floor tracking sensor for keeping the vacuum cleaning in neat rows
  • Recognizes and cleans areas with concentrated dirt
  • Knows when to recharge when the battery starts to run down without forgetting which rooms it has already cleaned
  • Includes an anti-tangle brushroll for easier cleaning and maintenance
  • Completely covered in plastic making it easier to clean
  • Can team up with the Braava robot mop through imprint link technology for both vacuuming and mopping cleaning tasks

Disadvantages of Roomba i7

  • More expensive than the Roomba i3 because of its built-in camera feature

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With both robot vacuums sharing very similar advantages, let’s take a more in-depth look at their features. This way, you can decide if you would benefit from the advanced features offered by the Roomba i7 robot vacuum. 


Both the Roomba i3 and i7 offer a powerful performance with up to 10 times more suction that sucks up dirt, debris, and pet hair with little effort. Both can handle stubborn dirt build-up by having strong lifting up suction as well as premium 3-stage cleaning with dual multi-surface rubber brushes. 

No matter where the dirt is lurking, these robot vacuums will have it pulled up and taken away effortlessly. Both machines are also able to detect where there’s more dirt, giving the area a more thorough clean. 

Using smart navigation aided by floor tracking sensors, the Roomba i3 can clean your floors in neat rows whether it’s a hardwood floor cover or carpeting. The Roomba i7 can do exactly the same with its vSLAM technology. Also known as visual simultaneous localization and mapping, the vacuum can map your entire home while keeping out of zones it shouldn’t go to. 

The “Keep Out Zones” feature of Roomba i7 is an attractive feature if you want to protect valuable antique furniture in your home or stop the vacuum from bumping into your pet’s water bowl. 

Customized Cleaning Schedules

The Roomba i7 and i3 will suggest personalized schedules based on your own cleaning habits. This means you can get on with what you have to do while leaving your robot vacuum to plan and execute  its cleaning schedule. 

These appliances are also programmed to suggest when to add extra cleaning during seasons with high pollen counts or when your pet starts to shed heavily. 

Voice Commands

The joy of using either the Roomba i3 or i7 is that you can send commands using the iRobot Home app, Alexa or Google Assistant. When you instruct your robot vacuum to “clean the kitchen” it will do exactly that for you, meaning you can relax knowing the job is being done. Spills can be sorted out immediately on your command too. 

By issuing voice commands, you can continue doing what you’re doing without having to worry about cleaning up the mess. 

Recharge and Resume

A nifty feature of both the i3 and i7 Roomba vacuums is the ability of the machine to know when its battery is running down. It will recharge according to the amount of time still needed to finish the cleaning job, and it will pick up from where it left without cleaning the same areas all over again.

Without skipping a beat, the vacuum will recharge and resume, giving you peace of mind that the cleaning job is done properly and efficiently every time. 

Pet Friendly Brushrolls

Both the Roomba i3 and i7 models include anti-tangle brushrolls. This means you’re no longer wasting time detangling pet hairs from the vacuum. The dual multi-surface brushes are made with rubber and the hairs are sucked in without getting caught up in the brushrolls. 

Another bonus feature of these robot vacuums is that they include highly efficient filters which traps any cat or dog allergens. This helps to keep both the floors and air clean, helping you prevent any allergic reactions to pet dander. 

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Top 3 Roomba Products

Review: iRobot Roomba i3

Floor Critics Rating (4.6):

The Roomba i3 offers top features for keeping your house clean at all times. It works on multi-floor surfaces including hardwood and carpets, and its hair cleaning system is ideal for homes with pets. 

It knows where to go without getting stuck, and cleans in neat rows. It’ll also sort out any stubborn dirt or debris by detecting it. It weighs in at 7.44 pounds, making it a lightweight vacuum. It’s small too, measuring in at 13.26 inches wide x 3.63 inches high x 13.34 deep.

Reviews have indicated that the vacuum may bang on certain parts of the room such as the door. It also doesn’t allow you to program the running time but it still gets the cleaning job done after recharging. Also, it may occasionally miss a single spot while cleaning but this seems to be a minor complaint. 

Customer care can be reached at either 1-800-727-9077 or  1-877-855-8593. You can also contact them through email on the company’s website using the online form. 

Review: iRobot Roomba i7

Floor Critics Rating (4.6):

Sharing most of the features of the i3 robot vacuum, the i7 is a favorite if you like to specify which rooms it must clean and where it mustn’t go. It’s also easier to maintain by simply wiping down its sturdy plastic body after it’s done a cleaning job. 

You can link it with the Braava jet m6 robot mop and get all your vacuuming and mopping done in one go, but this feature is also available with the i3 model. It also weighs the same as the i3 and measures the same in size. 

It’s recommended to purchase the separate Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal bin if your home accommodates a lot of pets. This way you don’t have to waste time emptying loads of pet hair out!

Customer care can be reached on either 1-800-727-9077 or  1-877-855-8593. You can also contact them through email on the company’s website using the online form. 

Review: iRobot Roomba s9+

Floor Critics Rating (4.9):

While we haven’t reviewed the iRobot Roomba s9+ in this guide, you may want to consider taking a look at this model. It comes with the Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal bin, emptying itself for up to 2 months. It has 40 times more suction power and it uses PerfectEdge technology to get into all the nooks and crannies of your home. 

It comes with the “Keep Out Zones” and smart mapping features of the i7, optimizing full coverage of your home while cleaning. However, this robot vacuum comes at a steep price and reviews do note that it’s noisier, with parts being expensive as well. 

Customer care can be reached on either 1-800-727-9077 or  1-877-855-8593. You can also contact them through email on the company’s website using the online form. 

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Our Winner

While the Roomba i7 has some advanced features which make it an attractive deal, the i3 can do most of the cleaning at a lower price without being an inferior product. They both weigh and measure the same, and both share the same powerful performance features. Additionally, you can use either appliance on both hardwood surfaces and carpets.

You can use the i3 as efficiently as the i7 to sort out pet hair and dander. And, if pet allergens are a concern, the i3 comes with highly efficient filters. Both robot vacuums work on voice commands. When identifying a winner, if pricing is your deal breaker, then the Roomba i3 is your best bet. 

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Buying Guide

When buying a Roomba robot vacuum you want to take into consideration a number of factors. iRobot’s robot vacuums offer a number of features and specifications worth taking note of before deciding which one is best for your home. 

We rated Roomba i3 vs. i7 by using criteria essential for any vacuum cleaner. These included how powerful the suction is, how effective the iRobot smart technology actually is, and how easy it is to use these appliances. We’ve also taken into consideration maintenance of these two models. 

Features To Consider When Buying A Roomba i3 or i7

Cleaning Power

The key function of any vacuum cleaner is how powerful it can suction. The same applies to robot vacuums, and both the i3 and i7 Roomba have 10 times more powerful suction compared to other vacuum cleaners. This makes them extremely effective in removing both light dirt and stubborn debris, as well as pet hairs.

Both the Roomba i3 and i7 have dirt detector technology to detect concentrated dirt while giving the area extra cleaning. 

When comparing between the iRobot i3 vs. i7 in this category, both come out tops because both share the same power-lifting suction features. 

Smart Technology

With iRobot’s Genius technology, you can create a personalized cleaning schedule unique to your routine and habits. This technology also factors in insights such as seasons and the shedding behavior of your pets. 

When deciding between the iRobot i3 and i7 smart technology features, they both have the Genius function; however, the i7 goes one step further by including a smart mapping function for specific room cleaning and keeping the vacuum out of places it shouldn’t be in.

The winner in this category goes to the Roomba i7.

Ease of Use

When using robotics for home cleaning, you want to know it’s easy to use. User-friendly features should include being compatible with both iOS and Android devices as well as apps. You also don’t want to be fiddling with a gadget, taking up more of your time. 

When comparing ease of use between the Roomba i3 vs. i7, both are simple and convenient. Both recognize commands using the brand’s own app, Amazon’s Alexa, or the Google Assistant. The robot also learns and updates itself, optimizing your cleaning routine without you fussing about it. 

Both the i3 and i7 win hands down for ease of use. 


Vacuum cleaners get dirty when vacuuming the floor, picking up dirt, debris, and pet dander. This means you also need to give them a wipe down occasionally to keep them clean. Bins or cylinders also need to be removed and emptied if you want to keep your vacuum operating optimally. 

When comparing maintenance between the i3 and i7 Roomba, it should be noted that the debris bin is small, requiring regular emptying; however, if you purchase the Clean Base Automatic Disposable bin, you only need to empty it every 60 days. 

The Roomba i7 is a close winner here, but only because it’s completely constructed with plastic, making it easier to wipe down. 

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What is the difference between iRobot i7 and i7+?

The Roomba i7 has a plus model called i7+. The difference between the iRobot i7 and i7+ lies in its emptying features. The i7+ comes with the automatic clean base for emptying the bin and it’s larger than the original debris bin on the i7. Instead of having to empty the bin after every clean, you only need to do it every 60 days with the i7+. 

How do I clean my Roomba i3 bin?

Remove the filter from the bin before washing it by hand in warm water. Leave it to dry before replacing the filter and attaching the bin back to the main unit. According to the manufacturers, the bin must never be placed in the dishwasher. 

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Final Thoughts

When deciding between the Roomba i3 vs. i7, we found both to be highly efficient robot vacuums. Yes, the iRobot i7 has a few more advanced features, but we felt these were negligible compared to what the i3 Roomba could offer at a lower price. 

If you have any comments or first-hand experience with either the Roomba i7 or i3, please post them below or share your pictures via our social media. 

About Maria Hernandez

Senior Floor Critic, 25 years of experience in residential and commercial cleaning

Maria Hernandez has 25 years of experience in residential and commercial janitorial and cleaning services. From hardwood to carpet to marble floors, Maria has developed a deep expertise in cleaning and maintaining many different flooring types. Visit Website.

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