Roomba i3 vs i7 – Which One’s Better?

Disclaimer: There may be affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through the links, but there is no extra cost to you.

The Roomba i3+ and i7+ are two of the most popular robot vacuum cleaners available with top smart features. I compare the Roomba i3 vs i7 and i3+ vs i7+ in this matchup of the new guy against the popular Roomba i7 and i7+. 

The Roomba i3+ EVO and i3 EVO seems like it has many of the same features and benefits as the i7/i7+, but there are differences.

What are the major differences and similarities of the Roomba i3 vs i7 and i3+ vs i7+ robot vacuum models, and which ones offer the better value for your money?

If you’re in a hurry, the Roomba i3 and i3+ are the best bang for your buck in this popular robot vacuum comparison. Previously, the i7/i7+ models had one major feature advantage – Imprint Smart Mapping. But now that the Roomba i3/i3+ EVO models also have smart maps, the Roomba i3+ is the best Roomba value.

The Roomba i3, i3+, i7, are i7+ are at the top of the best Roomba models list. Let’s get into the details of what makes these two robovacs great. 

Roomba i3 vs i7 Differences and Similarities

Here is a handy, easy-to-use overview and summary of the differences and similarities between the Roomba i3 and i7 models, and the Roomba i3+ vs i7+.

Difference 1: The Roomba i3/i3+ has a circular ring of fabric for design on top of the vacuum. The i7/i7+ is made of plastic all around.

Difference 2: The Roomba i7 has a built-in camera, while the i3 does not. The camera and floor tracking sensors allow the i7/i7+ to create more accurate floor maps of your home. 

Similarity 1: Both the Roomba i3 and i7 have multi-surface, rubber brush rollers that don’t entangle pet hair or human hair.

Similarity 2: Both the i3 and i7 have the Recharge and Resume feature that allows it to automatically recharge when its battery is low, and then resume vacuuming where it stopped.

Similarity 3: The i3 and i7 both have Smart Navigation and Smart Mapping for efficient cleaning. They’ll both vacuum in rows, instead of randomly.

Similarity 4: Both the Roomba i3 and i7 work with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri for convenient voicecontrol.

Roomba i3 vs i7 Features 

Let’s get into the specifics of the features and their differences.

Plus Features – Clean Base and Self-Empty

Let’s start off with this before getting into the details of the features. The Plus model of both the Roomba i3 and i7 signifies that they come with the Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal docking station. 

The Clean Base is the self emptying feature that both the i3+ and i7+ have, but the base models i3 and i7 do not have. If you’re more budget conscious and paying for the Plus model right now is difficult, don’t worry. 

You can purchase the Clean Base unit at a later date to pair with your base model. You then have the Plus model, i3+ and i7+, for hands-off, automated cleaning for up to 60 days. That’s up to 30 dustbins full of debris.

iRobot Unveils Roomba® i3+ Robot Vacuum

When the Clean Base bags are full, you’ll get a notification on the app or the LED indicator on the Clean Base will light a solid red color.

As you can see, the robot vacuums between the base model and the Plus model are the same. The only difference between them is the Clean Base station. 

 These smart, self-emptying charging docks are the more expensive option, but it’s worth it for me.

Size Dimensions and Weight

The Roomba i7 and i7 plus measure in at 13.31” wide and 3.62” tall, and weigh 7.28 lbs. That’s similar to the majority of the circular Roomba models. 

The Roomba i3 and i3 plus are 13.26 inches wide by 3.63 inches tall, and weigh 7.44 lbs. Both weigh just a tad more than the i7/i7+ and are slightly smaller, but only by 0.05 inches. 

There’s also a small difference in the design as the i3/i3+ have fabric ring on top of the vacuums. The rest of the robot vacuum is plastic. The i7/i7+ is made of all plastic.

Battery and Capacity 

The i3 and i7 batteries are lithium-ion for efficient charging and use. They both have the Recharge and Resume feature that allows them to automatically Recharge when they’re running low on battery in the middle of cleaning. 

Once it’s done recharging in about 1.5-2 hours, they’ll Resume cleaning from where they left off. 

The biggest benefit of Recharge and Resume is you don’t need to be at home while the Roomba cleans. Even if you were at home, you can relax knowing that your i3/i3+ and i7/i7+ will go back to cleaning automatically. 

If you get the i3+ or i7+, you really don’t have to worry about either for up to 60 days. Whenever the Clean Base unit is full, you’ll need to empty the dirt bags. 

Cleaning Technology System and Suction Power 

The Roomba i3/i3+ and i7/i7+ both have iRobot’s well-known, Premium 3-Stage Cleaning System for excellent cleaning performance.

They both have the regular cleaning modes and spot cleaning mode. Spot clean control will be very helpful if you only need to clean certain areas, like under the kitchen table after meals. Or maybe under the dining room table after dinner, because the kids accidentally dropped the green peas (my own experience).

Pair that with the 10x suction power of the Roomba 600 series and you have two great robotic vacuums with excellent cleaning capabilities on all floor types. There’s no difference in suction power between the two either, they offer the same suction performance on different floor surfaces.

These two powerful vacuums also have iRobot’s patented Dirt Detect Technology to find those dirtier areas in your house. The sensors will recognize more dirt and run over those areas more to ensure it’s clean. 

Even though they both have excellent dirt pickup, there might be some stubborn dirt once in a while. In those cases, you might see these top-performing robot vacuum models look like basic robot vacuums, because they’re going over the same area again and again. If you see that happening, you’ll need to give it a hand and wipe the direct away.

Dual Brush Rollers and Edge Sweeping Brush

Both the i3 and i7 have iRobot’s patented dual multi-surface rubber brushes. These rubber brush rollers are great for homes with pets because they won’t get entangled with pet hair easily.

If you have bristle type of rollers like other robot vacuum brands, you’ll need to regularly untangle animal hairs from the brushes. These dual rubber brushes make a real difference in performance from the older bristle brushes.

The brush rollers will also adjust to the varying floor heights of carpet and rugs to pull in debris, dirt, and pet hair. You don’t need to worry about cleaning efficiency on different surfaces like hardwood floors, tile floors, and carpet. 

The biggest trouble they’ll have is with high-pile carpet and rugs. That’s trouble for all robot vacuums and the best I’ve seen to deal with the high-pile carpet is the s9 and s9+ due to its suction power. 

Both have an Edge-Sweeping Brush to get the edges along the wall and into the corners. They’re 3-arm spinning brushes that are for corner cleaning, altough the Roomba shape can get in the way.

The circular shape does prevent getting as deep into the corners like the Roomba s9 and s9+, but the i3 and i7 still do great jobs cleaning. 


High-Efficiency Filters are standard in the i3/i3+ and i7/i7+ to trap 99% of dust, dirt, dust mites, and allergens. 

If you have cats and/or dogs at home, you might know about the allergens they kick up that set off your allergies. These Roomba models will trap the allergens when cleaning to help prevent or at least minimize allergic reactions. 

It’s nice to have spare filters and the Roomba i7/i7+ sets do come with an extra high-efficiency filter in the box. That’s a nice plus, since it saves you some time before needing to buy extra filters.

Navigation and Mapping

Before the Roomba i3+ got its new name as the Roomba i3+ EVO, this was where the major differences between the Roomba i3 and i7 were. But with the new firmware update that includes Imprint Smart Mapping for the i3/i3+ EVO robot vacuums, the differences are now gone.

The Roomba i3 and i3+ and i7 and i7+ both have iAdapt 3.0 Smart Navigation and Imprint Smart Mapping. Smart Mapping is a great feature that allows you to use the iRobot Home App to schedule cleanings for specific rooms and areas in the house. 

The virtual mapping technology gives them an advanced feature for digital mapping. That gives you the ability to customize zoned cleaning cycles.

Previously, the i3+ was only able to map the areas that were cleaned. Now, you can tell the i3+ EVO what areas to clean, like the i7+, j7+, and s9+ are able to do.

Tell Roomba to clean the living room, but avoid the coffee table area by drawing Keep Out Zones in the app. It’s great if you don’t want the Roomba vacuums to get near any fragile items. 

In the past, you needed to create these Clean Zones using physical virtual wall devices. They were additional devices and had a dual-mode wall function. It’s much easier now with just the app.

The i3 and i7 both have intelligent navigation tracking and mapping sensors that help them clean efficiently. You’ll see them clean in neat rows, instead of the seemingly random directions that older and lower-priced models do. These are logical, efficient cleaning paths that will give your home a complete cleaning.

They both have Reactive Sensor Technology to avoid furniture and other obstacles, so they won’t get stuck under or in-between furniture. You still might get light bumps against furniture and walls, but they’re light bumps. 

iRobot has their Braava Jet robots with automated mopping and with mapping functionalities of both the i3 and i7, they’re able to pass on where they’ve cleaned to the Braava. That means when your i3 or i7 is done picking up the dirt in certain areas, the Braava will know that those areas can be mopped. Genius! 

Speaking of Genius…

iRobot Home App Powered by iRobot Genius

The iRobot Home App powered by iRobot Genius is an upgraded, redesigned app to bring personalization options and customizations to cleaning. 

Based on your cleaning habits and the past cleaning experiences that the Roombas have had, the Home App will now make suggestions on cleaning schedules. These recommendations are all tailored to your unique needs and situation. 

They’ll suggest how often it should clean and where to clean because they’ll have the data to know how often it needs to get out on the floor to keep your home clean. It even knows when it’s allergy season and if you have allergies, it’ll suggest additional cleaning sessions. 

Experience clean in a whole new way | iRobot® Home App | Amazon Alexa & Google Home | iRobot®

iRobot Genius also brings with it smart home integrations and better voice command control with voice assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Home.

Integration and compatibility with smart home devices is a great step to get that full-on smart home automation that’s making our lives more convenient.

You can create cleaning routines using the IFTTT platform or through wireless protocols, like WiFi or Z-Wave, depending on your smart home setup. 

Connect to smart thermostats and smart locks, and create triggers for when the Roomba should clean. Left the house? Roomba can start cleaning, so when you come home to clean floors. 

Roomba i3/i3+ Pros and Cons


  • Great, similar i7/i7+ features at an affordable price
  • Smart home integration possibilities
  • iRobot Genius Home App personalized suggestions
  • Smart Mapping and Keep Out Zones


  • Circular shape can make it tougher to get into the corners

Roomba i7/i7+ Pros and Cons


  • Has all of the best features in the complete Roomba lineup
  • Smart home integration
  • Personalization from the iRobot Home App
  • Smart Mapping and Keep Out Zone


  • Higher-priced 

Roomba i3 vs i7 Final Thoughts

In the Roomba i3 vs i7 and Roomba i3+ vs i7+ comparisons, they’re both very similar and almost identical after the firmware updates. The main difference between them was the Smart Mapping functionality, but now the i3/i3+ EVO have this feature. To me, this is an easy decision – the Roomba i3+ is the best choice and value.

The Roomba i3+ EVO has all the smart features and functions to keep the house clean, while allowing you to enjoy an automated cleaning experience. Roomba i3+ Full Review

If you do have room for a higher budget, the i7+ will give you better navigation features and control over your cleaning, including targeted cleaning cycles with the available digital mapping technology.

I do suggest to get the Plus models with the self-emptying dustbin dock, the Clean Base. It gives you a more hands-off approach to cleaning. But if budget is more of a concern, get the regular, non-Plus versions.

Bottom line, you can’t go wrong with either of these great Roomba vacuums. 

Other Roomba comparisons:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

iRobot Roomba i6+ vs i7+ Differences

The Roomba i6+ and i7+ (i6 vs i7) are the same robot vacuum when it comes to the features and technical specs. The key difference is where they’re for sale and what comes in the box packages.

The i7+ comes with 1 more Clean Base bag, an extra replacement filter, and an extra side brush replacement.

The i6+ sells exclusively on and the i7+ as the base model is for sale on Amazon and many other retailers.

iRobot Roomba i8+ vs i7+ Differences

The Roomba i8+ is Costco’s version of the Roomba i7+ available in many online and offline retailers. The key difference is Costco’s i8+ has a slightly larger battery and longer runtime of about 15 min. But both models have Recharge and Resume, so the battery and runtime don’t make much of a difference when it comes to cleaning.

iRobot i4 vs i3 Differences

The Costco version of the Roomba i3 is named the Roomba i4 (4150) and the i4 does not self-empty. It’s unclear as I write this if Costco will ever have the Plus self-emptying version with the Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal docking station. You might want to get the more universal Roomba i3+ on Amazon to be safe if you want the self-emptying feature to take advantage of Recharge and Resume, which will give you a more hands-off cleaning robot vacuum. Read my full Roomba i4 review.

Photo of author

Written by:

Michael Hoyt
Michael Hoyt, a seasoned expert in smart home technology and robot vacuum specialist, is renowned for his contributions to home automation. With a deep-seated knowledge of smart devices, he has dedicated his career to enhancing living spaces with advanced technology. Michael's expertise extends from in-depth reviews and recommendations to practical advice on fully automating homes with smart home solutions.