iRobot Roomba j7+ Review
Pros: Great poo-avoidance, excellent at vacuuming pet hair, dirt disposal system
Cons: Average cleaning performance, lacks top-tier intelligent features
Compare to Similar Products
iRobot Roomba j7+
$589.99 at Amazon
$1,400 at Amazon
|$430 List||$300 List|
$179.99 at Amazon
$199.99 at Amazon
|Pros||Great poo-avoidance, excellent at vacuuming pet hair, dirt disposal system||Incredible intelligence, excellent poo recognition, efficient movement, has a self-cleaning mop||Inexpensive, great overall performance, navigates furniture, great at docking, excellent barrier protection||Great job returning to its dock, excellent pet hair pickup||Inexpensive, simplistic, great at thorough spot cleaning, good at edging|
|Cons||Average cleaning performance, lacks top-tier intelligent features||Expensive, poor pet hair cleaning, average hard surface cleaning, average edging performance||Average edging, no dust collection system||No room mapping, no barrier protection, no disposal system||No room mapping, poor at docking, bad multiroom coverage, no barrier protection, no disposal system|
|Bottom Line||If you want a decent robot with poo-avoidance then this is a great option||If you want an incredible robot that does everything and more, then look no further, but it's spendy||An excellent performer in all of our test metrics and challenges, and has our team impressed, especially considering its low cost against its competitors||We appreciate this model for its stellar pet hair performance and price, but not much else||With newer technology like room mapping in apps, we'd suggest looking to another more capable product|
|Rating Categories||iRobot Roomba j7+||Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra||Roborock S4 Max||Roborock E4||Eufy RoboVac 11S Slim|
|Home Coverage (20%)|
|Carpet Cleaning (15%)|
|Hard Surface Cleaning (15%)|
|Pet Hair (10%)|
|Specs||iRobot Roomba j7+||Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra||Roborock S4 Max||Roborock E4||Eufy RoboVac 11S Slim|
|Bin Capacity||.4 L||.4 L||.46 L||.64 L||.6 L|
|Weight||7.6 lbs||10.4 lbs||7.3 lbs||6.6 lbs||5.8 lbs|
|Battery||Lithium Ion||Lithium Ion||Lithium Ion||Lithium Ion||Lithium Ion|
|Warranty||3 year limited||1 year limited||1 year limited||1 year limited||1 year limited|
|Recharge & Resume||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Multi-Room Navigation (Cleaning)||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||No|
|Measured Brush Width||6.75||6.5||6.5||6.5||5.5|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The iRobot Roomba j7+ is one of the best all-around robot vacuums, giving the best models on the market some stiff competition, and may also be the perfect choice for pet owners trying to keep a home tidy between more thorough cleanings. To see how well it performed compared to other models, check out our robot vacuum review.
We purchased all the most promising and highly rated robot vacuums, rated features for convenience, then scored their performances in a set of head-to-head challenges to see which models merit winning an award or deserve our team's recommendation. The iRobot Roomba j7+ produced impressive results, which we detail below in six distinct rating metrics, each weighted for overall significance.
Our first test metric challenged each device's ability to navigate a control area with different obstacles and tight spaces. Because of the importance of navigation for robot vacuums, we weighted the metric to account for 30% of each robot's overall score.
The iRobot Roomba j7+ did an okay job of navigating furniture in our test, although it did travel in seemingly inefficient patterns to achieve complete cleaning coverage. It is also a little abusive to furniture, and during testing, it frequently accelerated and made jerking motions as it approached and struck furniture legs. Just from observing furniture avoiding behaviors, it is obvious that the Roomba j7+ isn't as smart as some of the most intelligent models we tested.
With regard to poo-avoidance, the iRobot Roomba j7+ avoided the two small and large-sized simulated pet feces, which is better than most robots we tested, but it also did not pick up much around them. The differences in navigational intelligence between the j7+ and the smartest models were made apparent again in our docking challenge, where it did not take the easiest path, and instead opted for a more direct path. While it could handle a more difficult and direct path, it bumped around under a table in a less intelligent fashion.
For our second test metric, weighted to account for 20% of each robot's overall score, we tested each vacuum's ability to cover an entire house. It includes sub-metrics that evaluated multiroom coverage and mapping, spot cleaning, virtual barrier effectiveness and cleanliness, single room coverage, edging, and the ability to resume a task after a recharge. The iRobot Roomba j7+ proved it was fairly average in this metric overall.
An app allows users to create multiple rooms, set up virtual barriers, and request a spot cleaning. We were able to set virtual barriers, including virtual no-go zones in the form of a square, but when it came to testing, it somewhat violated those barriers.
The iRobot Roomba j7+ could also be better at spot cleaning. Unlike more intelligent robot vacuum apps that allow you to draw a shape, the j7+ is limited to selecting a square that is scalable. Unfortunately, during testing, it left a thin strip where it did an ineffective job of cleaning.
In our single room coverage challenge, the J7+ put the hurt to our test furniture and walls. It aggressively abused both, but most interestingly, it would pause while it did some sort of algorithmic evaluation, before proceeding to ram furniture legs and walls.
In our edging test, it exhibited another average performance, working closely along walls, but unfortunately left a fine strip of residue where it was unable to do a thorough cleaning job. Lastly, the Roomba j7+ proved that it will resume a job after charging, which is fairly standard now, but a few models we've tested still lack this feature.
The iRobot Roomba j7+ offers above-average carpet cleaning performance, albeit slightly imbalanced, but it did trail the best carpet cleaning robots in our test lineup by just a little bit.
In our rice challenge, the Roomba j7+ did an exceptional job. On short carpet it only left two rice grains after they got stuck under the vacuum and were dragged for a short ride. This behavior was actually exceptional when compared to the other models we tested. It continued to repeat that performance, although it left a bit more behind on fluffier carpet.
The j7+ did similarly well on breakfast cereal. On short carpet it picked up all whole cereal but did leave a tiny amount of crushed debris, and on fluffier carpet it picked up all cereal and left only a fine residue that was so fine that it was difficult to detect.
When tasked with cleaning oatmeal, we were surprised to see the Roomba j7+ struggle. On low-pile carpet, although it picked up the majority of oatmeal, it left some whole grains and debris behind. It did do better on high pile carpet, but it could have done much better.
The j7+ finished the carpet cleaning test metric with a good performance on the fourth and final challenge, flour. It made a circular cleaning path when driving over the flour and left a visible patch, but it also successfully picked up more than others.
Hard Surface Cleaning
The iRobot Roomba j7+ didn't do as great a job on hard surfaces as it did on carpet. The hard surface test is comprised of a set of challenges that proves difficult for most models we tested, and some models may be good at lifting one type of debris while failing miserably at others. The Roomba j7 isn't too different, exhibiting a similar mix of performances.
It did a great job picking up oatmeal and excellent job cleaning flour, but only a fair job of picking up rice and a poor job of cleaning cereal.
In our oatmeal challenge, the j7+ left a couple of grains plus some finer bits but did well by the standards set by all the other robots tested. It did an even more excellent job cleaning flour. It missed a few spots, leaving them less thoroughly cleaned than the rest of the test environment, but again it did well and outperformed most of the models we tested.
Rice was a struggle for our robot, and it did a fair job of cleaning rice, leaving a long streak behind, consisting of 12 rice grains. It also did a poor job of cleaning up cereal and was essentially unable to do anything but drag along the six pieces of cereal used in the test — a common performance we saw from many robots.
The Roomba j7+ lifted 2 grams of the pet hair used in our test, putting it in the top three performances exhibited by the robots we tested. So if you are a pet owner looking for a little help maintaining spaces between more thorough house cleanings, this would be an option well worth considering.
The iRobot Roomba j7+ is an above-average robot and tower system combo when it comes to our last test metric, convenience.
The iRobot included a bagged collection system in the tower of the docking station with a 2.2L capacity, meaning you won't have to empty bags as frequently as other models, nor will you need to empty the robot itself. The tower also happens to be significantly shorter than quite a few other models, meaning it will conveniently fit in more places in your home.
The Roomba j7+ does not offer a physical remote. Instead, all controls are done via the app. That app could have more robust spot cleaning as it uses square zones. It also has no suction power adjustment and accessory life tracking, meaning you won't know if or when anything might need maintenance.
The repeat feature exists on this model, and it does two passes but could certainly be more robust. For example, letting the user request a repeat of a spot clean.
Should You Buy the iRobot Roomba j7+?
The iRobot Roomba j7+ is one of the best pet-friendly robot vacuums and offers similar performance to the all-around best vacuums we tested while remaining relatively affordable. It has superior poo-voidance compared to most other models we tested and does a great job lifting pet hair. So if your budget allows it and you could use a little helper for your many pets, then the Roomba j7+ is well worth the price.
What Other Robot Vacuums Should You Consider?
While the iRobot Roomba j7+ offers great poo-avoidance and pet hair performance — other robots, like the more intelligent, better all-around Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra offers just as good if not better poo-avoidance, but mediocre pet hair performance. That said, it is next level when it comes to robot vacuums and may be worth serious consideration. If excellent poo-avoidance isn't a must-have, then consider the best all-around performer, the Roborock S4 Max, as it does a great job overall for nearly half the price.
— Jessica Riconscente and Benjamin Hickok
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