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The best iRobot vacuums you can buy

The best Roomba robot vacuums can map your home, empty themselves, and even avoid pet waste. Here's how to choose the best iRobot vacuum for you.
Written by Elizabeth Mauder, Video Producer

A robot vacuum is certainly a worthwhile investment, but it is still a large chunk of change to drop upfront on a household product. For the hefty price tag you may payout, you want to be certain you're getting a quality device that can tackle all of your floor's cleaning needs.

iRobot has long been known for its high-quality vacuums, using smart technology to take the work out of vacuuming. It's a familiar, reputable name but with several models available, it can be hard to tell the difference, or figure out which one is best for your home. 

Also: The best robot vacuums of 2023, tested

I've done hands-on testing and reviewed several Roomba vacuums, evaluating each for design, mapping and self-emptying capabilities, pet waste avoidance skill, smart technology, and cost to help you find the best iRobot vacuum for your home. Based on my testing, the iRobot Roomba j7+ is the best iRobot vacuum overall, thanks to its smart navigation and self-emptying feature. Read on for the rest of our picks for the best Roomba vacuums. 

The best iRobot vacuums of 2023

Pros & Cons
  • Self-emptying
  • Intelligent
  • Smart Mapping technology
  • User-friendly app
  • Loud when it self-empties
  • Unimpressive battery life
More Details

iRobot Roomba j7+ features: P.O.O.P - pet accident avoidance guarantee | PrecisionVision Navigation | 3-stage cleaning system | Clean Base automatic dirt disposal

The iRobot Roomba j7+ is my pick for the best overall iRobot vacuum. With its PrecisionVision Navigation, the j7+ beautifully navigates your home without vacuuming up cords, shoes, and other common household objects. Its three-stage cleaning system is suitable for a dirty home, successfully cleaning up after my German Shepherd, German Shorthaired Pointer, cat, and everyday dirt and grime. 

The unsung hero of the j7+ is the Clean Base: The vacuum knows when its dustbin is full, pausing in the middle of a job to go self-empty into the Clean Base as many times as it takes to get your house clean. 

The j7+ is one of the few robot vacuums I fully trust to clean my home while I'm away, knowing it won't get stuck, it will self-empty as needed, and overall it will do a great job. 

Review: The Roomba j7+: A life-changing robot vacuum

Pros & Cons
  • High suction power
  • Auto-emptying
  • Easy-to-use app
  • Noisy when self-emptying
More Details

iRobot Roomba s9+ features: D-shaped design | iRobot's most-powerful robot vacuum | 3-stage cleaning system | Clean Base automatic dirt disposal 

The Roomba s9+ is iRobot's most powerful robot vacuum available right now. It has the highest suction power of all their units and, thanks to its D-shaped design, is made to fit easily into tight corners. The design is one of my favorite features because it's able to easily get all of the dust bunnies and dog hair clumps from their hiding places. 

The Clean Base on the s9+ is smaller than the one on the j7+, featuring a skinny and tall design that can fit into your home well. And the three-stage cleaning system navigates easily from tile to carpet without skipping a beat. As iRobot's most powerful robot vacuum, you can rest assured it's going to successfully tackle any mess you throw its way.

Pros & Cons
  • Reliable self-emptying
  • Intelligently avoids items and obstacles
  • Retractable arm is surprisingly adaptive
  • Mop pad and liquid tank can be bigger
  • Some attention is required during cleaning
More Details

iRobot Roomba Combo j7+ features: Vacuums and mops simultaneously | Guarantees to avoid pet accidents | Auto-Retract mopping system | Four-stage cleaning system

The iRobot Roomba Combo j7+ is a first-of-its-kind two-in-one vacuum and mop, with a retractable mop head. The Combo j7+ will vacuum and mop until it reaches carpet or a rug. At that point, it will lift its retractable mop head to sit on top of the robot, and will only vacuum on the carpeted surfaces. Once it reaches a flooring surface that needs mopping, it'll drop its mop head back down behind it and begin the two-in-one cleaning once again. 

Like the name implies, the Combo j7+ uses the same technology as the j7+, so you can rest assured you're getting an intelligent and capable robot. Although it may be the first two-in-one machine from iRobot, the technology is truly impressive. I ran this in the dark, during the day, in weird shadows, and all kinds of other scenarios and it never mopped over carpet or rugs. It's truly a genius machine.

Review: The Roomba Combo J7+: A 2-in-1 vacuum done (almost) right

Pros & Cons
  • Smart mapping technology
  • Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility
  • Dirt Detect Technology
  • Doesn't self empty
More Details

iRobot Roomba i4 features: Imprint Smart Maps | Dual multi-surface rubber brushes | Dirt detect technology | Google Assistant and Alexa capable

The iRobot Roomba i4 is my pick for the best budget vacuum thanks to its lower price and smart technology. Despite the lower price tag, the i4 still intelligently maps your home and cleans in neat, methodical rows like higher-end robot vacuums. The dirt detect technology even ensures that when the i4 encounters a messier area in your home, it knows to spot clean that location until the mess is vacuumed up. Finally, its Reactive Sensor Technology lets the robot know where it can and cannot reach, meaning that it'll get stuck less than other budget-friendly robot vacuums.

What is the best iRobot vacuum?

Users and myself love the Roomba j7+, and for good reason. It's intelligent, capable, and perhaps most importantly, self-emptying. What good is a robot vacuum if it doesn't understand when its dust bin is full in the middle of a job? I need a robot vacuum to suction up all of my dirt and debris, no matter how much there is. Several other iRobots have a self-emptying base as well.

Best iRobot vacuumCostClean Base
iRobot Roomba j7+$639Yes
iRobot Roomba s9+$1,000Yes
iRobot Roomba Combo j7+$999Yes
iRobot Roomba i4$400No

Which is the best iRobot vacuum for you?

After a while, even the best iRobot vacuums begin to blend together. These are our expert recommendations to help you find the best iRobot vacuum for your needs.

Choose this best iRobot vacuum...

If you need...

iRobot Roomba j7+

iRobot's most intelligent robot vacuum on the market. It's perfect for people who have pets and don't always have time to pick up their home before they vacuum.

iRobot Roomba s9+

A premium iRobot vacuum that tackles pet hair. It also features automatic emptying so you never have to worry about the vacuum unit getting clogged.

iRobot Roomba Combo j7+

A combination robot vacuum and mop. This 2-in-1 model is capable of cleaning up just about any mess from just about any surface.

iRobot Roomba i4

A budget-friendly iRobot vacuum. It retails under $300, and still offers great features like Alexa voice controls and personalized cleaning recommendations.

How did we choose these best iRobot vacuums?

I did hands-on testing with these iRobot Roomba vacuums, and put them through a number of cleaning scenarios in my home, where I have a little one, two dogs, and a cat, to see which performed best. I looked at the following factors when building this list to help you find the best iRobot vacuum for your specific home.

  • Design: Each iRobot vacuum is designed slightly differently, with some models better able to fit into corners, and one that includes a mop. 
  • Mapping: iRobot vacuums use sensors to create a map of your home, noting doors, stairs, and other areas to avoid. It can then use this map to vacuum more efficiently, and you can tweak the map yourself if your home's layout changes or you want specific areas cleaned instead of your entire home.
  • Smart technology: In addition to Wi-Fi, some models also feature compatibility with Amazon's Alexa and Google Assistant. This means you can easily set schedules and activate the iRobot vacuum with just your voice.
  • Self-emptying: Is it even really a robot vacuum if you have to empty it constantly? Many iRobot vacuums are known for their self-emptying feature, allowing themselves to empty at the dock and then return to finish the job.
  • Pet waste: Some iRobot vacuums come with iRobot's Pet Owner Official Promise (P.O.O.P.) that your iRobot will avoid any pet waste in your home. If the unit fails to avoid it, iRobot will send you a new one for free.
  • Cost: The cost of iRobot vacuums can vary significantly, ranging from a couple of hundred dollars to more than a thousand, depending on which one you choose. Be sure to compare features before choosing the best iRobot for you, as they can vary from model to model.

How long does an iRobot vacuum session last?

iRobot vacuums vary in runtime, ranging anywhere from 90 minutes to 120 minutes on a single charge. iRobot vacuums are some of the few on the market that can recognize their dust bins are full in the middle of a job, pause, self-empty, and then return to their job without you ever having to lift a finger. All of this to say, I fully excuse the lack of runtime capabilities some of the iRobots offer thanks to this one incredible feature.

Are iRobot vacuums worth it?

Yes, especially for those busier households. iRobot vacuums do require an investment up front, but they are cost-effective machines that can save you a ton of labor and stress in the future. These are self-sufficient machines that you can simply turn on and forget about, greatly simplifying life and reducing cleaning costs. The ROI (return on investment) I've gained from having extra time with my family is absolutely worth the cost of even the priciest Roomba.

How much do the best iRobot vacuums cost?

iRobot Roombas can range in price from a few hundred dollars to more than a thousand. The best iRobot Roombas run between $239 and $1,099, depending on the model you choose.

Are there alternative best iRobot vacuums worth considering?

Here's some other options we found in our research for the best iRobot vacuum for your home.

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