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The Roomba i7 (7150) is one of the most advanced Roomba iRobot vacuum models on the market. It boasts everything from autonomous vacuuming, amazing cleaning results, first-rate camera-based navigation, to scheduled and personalized cleans. Sounds amazing right?
So you might have been confused to see that there is also a Roomba i7+ (7550) on the market that comes in at a much higher price point. So what gives? Is this the same vacuum? Why is it more expensive and more importantly, should you be buying that instead?
Well actually there is only one big difference between the two models, the charging base it comes with. This base can totally revolutionize your cleaning, so much so that we think it actually makes it worth the price! How can a charging base be so important? Below we reveal all and look into this in detail, as well as check out the vacuums’ best features. Let’s dive in.
Roomba i7 vs i7+ at a Glance
Let’s have a quick look at how the two vacuums compare to each other at a glance.
Roomba i7 advantages
- Less expensive than the i7+
- Is compatible with the Clean Base should you want to upgrade later
Roomba i7 disadvantages
- No self-emptying Clean Base
Roomba i7+ advantages
- Comes with self-emptying docking station
- Slightly modified dust bin specialized for the auto-empty feature
Roomba i7+ disadvantages
- Bigger price tag
Verdict: If you don’t want to read the full article and just want to know an overview of the differences, the Roomba i7 and i7+ are essentially the same vacuum, with the same specs and features EXCEPT that the i7+ comes with a
Clean Base, meaning your vacuum can empty itself into the base while the i7 can’t and needs manual emptying. Instead of having to empty the dust bin up to twice per clean, it means you can literally forget about vacuuming for months. It’s a game-changer.
What’s the Difference Between Them?
The two models can cause confusion as many people don’t know if there are differences between the i7 and the i7+. We explain the differences to you and we have reviewed the vacuums’ main features below so you know exactly what’s different and what’s the same!
So as above, there is one main difference between the i7 and the i7+, and that is not the vacuum itself, but the charging base. The i7+ comes with a Clean Base, which not only charges the vacuum but enables the vacuum to empty itself.
This is one of the most advanced features of bot vacuums on the market today. How does this work? The Clean Base has a large inbuilt collection tower, so when dust bin of the i7+ is full, it can connect itself to the Clean Base and deposit the dirt into the base and then carry on cleaning.
The base holds up to 60 days worth of dust and debris meaning you can genuinely forget about vacuuming for weeks or even months at a time. Many buyers of the i7 plus say that this has completely revolutionized their cleaning routine and they have loads more spare time to focus on other things.
How do you empty the clean base once it’s full? You will receive a notification through the iRobot Home app letting you know that the bag is full and should be replaced. The base uses specialized Roomba bags which have a rubber seal to trap dust and dirt inside. Just open the lid on the tower, extract and replace the bag, and close it back up.
The i7 on the other hand comes with a standard charging dock. This is a little smaller and less cumbersome, and works to house your Roomba and charge it up like all general Roomba bases.
In fact both the i7 and i7+ use auto-resume technology so if they run out of battery mid-clean, they will direct themselves back to the charging base to recharge, and then pick up cleaning where they left off. Can’t decide whether to buy the i7+ outright or whether the self-emptying feature is worth the price?
The great thing is the i7 is totally compatible with the Clean Base so you can always buy this separately further down the line, effectively upgrading your i7.
Verdict: The i7+ wins hands down when talking about the charging base. The i7+ comes with the smart Clean Base included allowing your bot vacuum to completely self-sufficiently empty itself.
The next biggest difference you will notice between the i7 and the i7+ is the price. The i7+, as it comes with the smart Clean Base docking station, will set you back a significant chunk more than the i7. The i7 at the time of writing comes out at around $600 which is already a large sum for a vacuum cleaner.
The i7+ on the other hand comes in at about $200 more than that, so you do really have to pay for the automatic dirt disposal. Of course you can always decide to buy the Clean Base separately afterwards, but costing around $250 on its own, if you are thinking of getting it eventually, you may as well invest in the i7+ straight off, and save a little money in the long run.
Although some people like the idea of getting both charging stations and using them in different locations. Compared to Roomba’s very latest models like the s9+, this is still a decent price to get a premium-quality bot with an auto-emptying feature.
So the golden question, is the Clean Base worth it? Well that really depends on you, but we say absolutely. If you are already going to invest in a high-end robot vacuum, we think it’s worth going the whole hog. Self-emptying dirt disposal makes a huge difference to your day-to-day life, otherwise you will find yourself more involved with the cleaning than you thought.
In order to be portable, robot vacuums have very small-sized dust bins, so the self-emptying feature completely solves this flaw of most robot vacuums thus far. However, of course, this depends on you. Some people may find the automatic dirt disposal more or a ‘nice to have’ and don’t mind emptying the dust cup regularly.
Verdict: In terms of price, the i7 wins as you can buy it for a significantly lower price than the i7+. However, if you are thinking of buying the i7 and investing in the Clean Base later, it may be worth considering investing in the i7+ upfront, as you save a little money overall.
Both the Roomba i7 and the i7+ have a 0.5 liter capacity dust bin. This compares to other bot vacuums on the market but will still need emptying regularly. That is the benefit of getting the Clean Base so that the bot can empty itself and the small dust cup is no longer an issue.
The collection bin of both models is also totally washable, which is great to keep your bot vacuum clean and working at its best. But regardless of size, there is one small difference on the dust bin from the i7 to the i7+. And that is a small hole at the bottom.
Although this doesn’t affect performance or anything, it is there on the plus model to recognize and connect with the charging base more efficiently.
Verdict: Both models have the same sized dust bin, the i7 with a small modification to connect to the charging base.
Now let’s take a look at the cleaning performance of the two vacuums.
Basically the power and specs of the i7 and the i7+ vacuums are exactly the same and so the two bots have a pretty similar cleaning performance. They both use a Premium 3-Stage Cleaning System with impressive suction power.
In fact, the suction is 10 times stronger than the Roomba 600 series so you can expect great results on both hard floors and carpets. They use Dual Advanced Rubber brushes which are effective at picking up dirt and debris and deep cleaning carpets, surfaces and hard floors. They are also super hardwearing and so last a long time.
Of course, the i7+, with the self-emptying feature, means that you will get a longer, smoother and uninterrupted cleaning experience, as you will not need to keep coming in to empty your bot. Therefore this is a definite performance benefit of the plus model.
Verdict: In terms of power and features the two iRobot vacuums are exactly the same. However, with the promise of continuous and uninterrupted cleaning, the i7+ has to come out on top.
Both bots use the exact same rechargeable 3300 mAh lithium-ion battery and this provides a generous run time of 120 minutes. This is good compared with many other robot vacuums on the market and means that even in bigger houses, your vacuum should be able to finish a clean in one sitting.
If not though, don’t worry. The smart iRobot has an auto-resume feature, so that on sensing low battery, it will take itself back to the charging dock to charge up. Once fully charged it can then navigate itself back to the same spot to continue the clean.
These Roombas take around 3 hours to charge up but as cleans can be programmed through the app, you have plenty of flexibility to choose when your bot gets to work.
Verdict: The two vacuums have the exact same battery giving them an equally awesome run time of around 120 minutes.
Now let’s take a look at the design of the i7 and i7+ Roomba iRobots. Aside from the base as we have mentioned, the two bots have a completely identical design. The device is round like most traditional Roombas and it has an attractive, sleek, black and gray aesthetic with shiny detailing.
The Roomba iRobot is 13.34 inches long and 13.34 inches wide and 3.63 inches high. This means it is compact and low enough to fit easily under furniture and clean into hard-to-reach places. In terms of interface and usability, both robots are identical and super easy to use.
They have three main buttons on the top of the bot, the Clean button being the main and biggest button that sits in the center of the vacuum with the Home and Spot buttons on either side. What’s great about these models is that they are totally controllable through the app.
This means you can start cleans with a quick tap on your phone. You can even schedule cleans for set times and completely personalize cleans too. Finally your iRobot can be activated through voice control technology, either Alexa or Google Assistant. Now you can literally tell your Robot to ‘Clean the Kitchen’ and they will!
Verdict: The two robots have a virtually identical design so they both come in at a draw on this one.
The i7 Roomba has some seriously sophisticated navigation, and this is exactly the same for the i7+. The two vacuums can learn and remember 10 different floor plans in your home, meaning it can travel efficiently and seamlessly around the house.
It uses Adapt 3.0 Navigation with vSLAM technology so the bot always knows where it is and what it has cleaned. It comes with a virtual wall, which allows you to map out invisible Keep Out Zones, only perceptible to Roomba. This is perfect for out-of-bounds rooms or obstacles like a dog’s bowl.
The invisible wall comes as a small portable device that you can place in the area you want. It can then project either a flat or radial barrier into your chosen area, deterring Roomba from entering it. The i7 and i7+ use camera-based navigation with a camera that sits on top of the bot to help it learn the surroundings.
It also has sensors built into it so that it can sense obstacles and walls in the way and then get out of the way. The Smart Mapping Technology also means your Roomba Robot can learn the different rooms of your home and differentiate between them. With the super easy iRobot Home app integration, programming and completing cleans couldn’t be easier.
Verdict: Both bots have the same cutting-edge navigation system where they can learn the layout of your home and stay out of unwanted areas all with exceptional precision.
Now let’s quickly dig into the filtration system which again is exactly the same on both the i7 and i7+ models.
They use a HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Absorbing) filtration system. This is super effective at trapping dirt, dust particles and allergens meaning it is a great choice for individuals or families with allergies. In fact the filter traps 99% of cat and dog allergens, pollen, dust mite allergens and mold, helping you to breathe easy.
It can also be an effective choice for people with pets that drop a lot of hair. You should check the filters regularly as they can build up dirt, dust and debris. You should wash these often and also replace them every few months to make sure that your vacuum keeps bringing you the best results.
The Roomba AllergenLock dust bags which are used to collect the dust also trap 99% of pollen and mold inside using four layers of allergen-blocking material.
Verdict: Overall the cutting-edge HEPA filtration system is used for both the i7 and i7+ making them both highly efficient and effective.
Can I upgrade from the i7 to the i7+?
Absolutely! One of the great things about these two models is that they are totally compatible with each other and with both charging bases. Therefore, even if you start off with the i7, and decide later that you want the self-emptying automatic dirt disposal feature, you can buy the Clean Base separately. In fact, in theory you could then use both charging stations with your bot vacuum, perhaps in different locations.
So there you have it, the full rundown of the Roomba i7 and the i7+. So pretty much you get the exact same iRobot vacuum in terms of power, suction, battery life, design and control. And you don’t miss out on any upgraded features by choosing the i7.
Except of course, the main difference between the two bots, the Clean Base charging dock. This charging station comes with the i7+. It allows the vacuum to empty out its dust bin into the collection tower totally automatically and collects upto 60 days worth of dust and dirt before it needs changing.
This revolutionary feature is a total game changer as it means instead of having to manually empty out your iRobot every clean, you can forget about it and let it work its magic completely self-sufficiently for weeks or months at a time. Is it worth it? We think yes.
There are plenty of more budget-friendly robot vacuums on the market that perform well, so if you are going to invest in a higher-end one, we say you might as well get the self-emptying feature as this is a huge improvement.
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