Roomba j7+ review: I tried iRobot's newest robotic vacuum and here's what I thought

·Shopping Editor
·5 min read

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Image of iRobot Roomba j7+ docked in its clean base inside a modern home
The latest Roomba innovation has just arrived, and I put it to the test. Image courtesy of iRobot.

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The iconic brand iRobot introduced us all to the world of self-cleaning robots back in 2002 — and their latest release is bringing smart sensing technology to the next level. If you've been considering investing in a new vacuum for yourself, this one might be worth the splurge. 

The newly-released Roomba j7+ is giving customers more control than ever, and features innovative new technology to improve its cleaning performance. Powered by iRobot Genius 3.0 and PrecisionVision Navigation, the newest Roomba is able to navigate around hazards like electronic cords (and even the dreaded pet accident indoors), helping to cut down on sticky cleaning situations. 

At $1,050 for the Roomba j7+ and Clean Base, or $800 for the Roomba on its own, this smart home cleaner definitely doesn't come cheap. To find out if it holds up to its claims and is worth the investment, I tested the Roomba j7+ to see how it really performs. 

iRobot Roomba j7+ Self-Emptying Robot Vacuum

iRobot Roomba j7+ Self-Emptying Robot Vacuum. Image courtesy of iRobot.
iRobot Roomba j7+ Self-Emptying Robot Vacuum. Image courtesy of iRobot.

SHOP IT: iRobot, $1,050

How does it work?

Like other Roombas before it, the j7+ navigates around your home to tidy up your floors and carpets without all the effort of standard vacuums. This model not only sucks up dirt, dust, pet hair and crumbs, but it also returns itself to its Clean Base when it’s done, where debris gets automatically sucked into an AllergenLock storage bag.

A three-stage cleaning system uses dual multi surface brushes and powerful lifting suction to sweep away messes on all types of flooring, including tile, hardwood, laminate, and carpet. It even manages to tidy into corners, with an exterior edge-sweeping brush that tackles tough to reach areas with ease. 

As the first robot to introduce PrecisionVision Navigation, the Roomba j7+ uses a camera and LED light to recognize objects and avoid obstacles like pet waste and charging cords. It even comes backed by the Pet Owner Official Promise (P.O.O.P. for short) that guarantees your robot will avoid pet waste, or you'll get a free replacement. 

At launch, the Roomba j7+ is only trained to recognize cords, headphones and pet waste. This will soon be followed by objects such as shoes and socks via a software update in the near future. As time goes on, iRobot will continue to add more objects to the list of items that tend to prevent a Roomba from completing its job.

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First impressions

I may not have a pet that lives at home with me, but I do have plenty of cords around the house that have tripped up robotic vacuums in the past, so I was certainly curious about how the Roomba j7+ would compare. 

It's important to note that you do need to find a spot in your home that allows the Roomba clear access to its base. It also needs to sit flush against a wall in a spot that's near an outlet, so depending on the layout of your space it may take a bit of rearranging before finding the perfect spot. Luckily, I have a nook just between my kitchen and dining area that works well.

Testing the iRobot Roomba j7+.
Testing the iRobot Roomba j7+.

Initial setup of the Roomba took a few minutes as it doesn't arrive fully charged, but once I had it fully charged and connected to my phone, it was up and running in no time. Through the app you can set up an automated cleaning schedule to clean your home at convenient times, and since the machine also holds up to 60 days’ worth of dirt and dust you can truly set it and forget it.

Does it work? 

This isn't my first time using a Roomba vacuum, and I have to say that this version does a much better job than previous models at navigating around my home. My last vacuum would often bump into furniture corners, and while it did a great job at cleaning the floors, it was still slightly annoying to hear. 

Since the new j7+ vacuum features an LED light and built-in camera, I found that it greatly cut down on the bumps. It also managed to live up to its claims at avoiding hazards on the floor, like charging cables and backpack straps or shoelaces on the ground.  

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In spite of all the positives, there are a couple of downsides to this vacuum. If you find yourself on frequent calls or have pets or kids sleeping during the day, I'd recommend setting your vacuum to run outside of those hours because it is a little on the noisy side. 

Expect it to run continuously for anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour depending on the size of your space, along with a constant vacuuming noise. 

Final thoughts

As someone who is not especially a fan of cleaning, the convenience of a robotic vacuum like the Roomba j7+ certainly has its appeal. It's something that I use multiple times during the week, so in that sense it's well worth its price tag. However, at $1,050, it's a definite splurge purchase that some shoppers may want to hold out on buying until you can find the best deals. 

With Black Friday coming up, it's worth keeping an eye on iRobot's site and signing up for their mailing list so you'll be the first to know about upcoming sales and promotions. And for those who can't wait until then, you can also shop a selection of iRobot's early holiday deals that are on now.

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