Full iRobot Roomba i4 Review (Costco Exclusive)


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Ever wonder why you might see Roomba model numbers that don’t match anything you’re seeing on Amazon? Are you using Google to search those model numbers and barely getting information back on the robot vacuums?

You won’t find the Roomba i4 or i8+ as part of regular reviews and comparisons, like my Best Roomba Model article, because these robovacs are not available through normal sales channels. 

iRobot and Costco are partners in providing Costco members exclusive Roomba models, like the Roomba i4 (4150) here and Roomba i8+. They also offer the iRobot Braava Jet m6c (6110) robot mop. 

Are these Costco-exclusive Roomba models better than their regular counterparts sold everywhere else? Let’s find out the answer to that question for the i4 and the Roomba i3 and i3+ in this Roomba i4 Review. 

If you’re in a hurry, yes, the Roomba i4 Wi-Fi Connected Robot Vacuum is worth the price and the added accessories. But there’s one big reason that might make you think twice about it. Read on to find out what that is and why the Roomba i3+ is a better option if you have the budget flexibility. 

On Sale
iRobot Roomba i3+ (3550) Robot Vacuum with Automatic Dirt Disposal Disposal...
  • CLEANS UP AFTER YOU, AND ITSELF - Forget about vacuuming for months at a time with the Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal that allows the i3 to empty itself for up to 60 days.
  • POWERFUL PERFORMANCE AND POWERFUL PICK-UP - Pulls in stubborn dirt and messes with a Premium 3-Stage Cleaning System and 10X the Power-Lifting Suction. Control how you clean with the iRobot HOME app or your voice assistant.

Last update on 2021-06-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Let’s get into the details now! 

Roomba i4 Features 

The Roomba i4 is based on the i3/i3+, so the majority of the comparisons here will be Roomba i4 vs i3

Size Dimensions and Weight

The Roomba i4 is the same as the i3 with its size dimensions being 13.26 in. wide x 3.63 in. high x 13.34 in. deep.

The i4 weighs 7.44 lbs, so it’s still light enough for you to carry it upstairs or downstairs with ease. 

Battery and Capacity 

The Roomba i4 comes with a lithium-ion battery that helps it charge and run efficiently. The battery life is tested to run for up to 90 minutes, an incredible battery performance.

An advantage of the i4’s battery is that it’s 20% larger than the i3 battery. This is going to be useful because the i4 is going to miss one key feature when it comes to emptying the dustbin. 

I discuss the missing feature further down in the Clean Base section. 

One of the greatest features here is Recharge and Resume. The i4 will automatically go back to the docking station to recharge when it’s battery is running low while cleaning. 

You can check on the battery status by looking at the large button on the top or in the iRobot app. The large button acts as a battery indicator, because when it turns white to red, that indicates low battery life.

When the i4 is done recharging, it’ll Resume cleaning from the area that it stopped originally. That’s a great feature, because it’s more efficient now. 

No need worrying about whether the Roomba will double-up in an area and waste time cleaning the already clean areas. 

Cleaning Performance and Suction Power 

Roomba’s i4 is equipped with iRobot’s Premium 3-Stage Cleaning System and 10x the Power-Lifting Suction Power of the entry-level Roomba 600 series models. That gives you and your house a great cleaning robot. 

The cleaning system and extra suction will clean the dirt, debris, and pet hair on all floor types, from hardwood to carpets. Larger debris from M&M’s to rice to sand to salt are not a problem for the i4 and its powerlifting suction performance

But it will have trouble with finer debris like powder, baking soda, and flour. The majority of robot vacuums will have this issue though.

Thanks to the addition of iRobot’s Dirt Detect Technology, stubborn dirt has no chance. The i4 will be able to detect any leftover dirt and circle over that area until it’s clean.

The Roomba i4 is great at cleaning pet and human hair on all surfaces. If you have many pets, you’ll want to check and clean the side wheels for any tangled hair though.

You don’t want them getting too entangled with a lot of hair, because that can break the wheels and even overheat the Roomba as it works extra hard to move.

Dual Brush Rollers and Edge Sweeping Brush

Each Roomba model comes with iRobot’s patented dual multi-surface rubber brushes. These removable rubber brushes are a better choice over bristle brushes that the 600 series has. 

Rubber brushes have less concern of pet hair getting tangled up because of the rubber surface. With other robot vacuum cleaner brands that have bristle types of rollers, you’ll regularly be pulling hair out of the bristles. 

If you have a home with multiple surfaces at various heights, the brush rollers will adjust its own height to stay in constant contact with carpets and other floors. No more worrying about having to manually adjust the roller height when going from a tile floor to hardwood floor to carpet. 

For homes with high-pile carpet, you might want to get the Roomba s9 or s9+ for the 40x suction power. High-pile carpet and rugs are difficult for the majority of robot vacuum cleaners.

The i4 will still do a good job on high-pile, shaggy carpets, but it won’t feel like a deep clean. Finer debris on carpet will be tough to get always. According to many cleaning tests, the i4 will still pick up sand, rice, and larger debris from high-pile carpet.

There’s also the chance that the i4 will get caught on rug tassels or electrical wires. You’ll want to account for that by moving your rug and wires, or avoiding those areaa with a Virtual Wall Barrier, discussed below in the mapping section.

There’s also an edge sweeping brush to get the dirt and debris on the sides and wall edges. 

Filters

Roomba i4 vacuums come with High-Efficiency filters that capture 99% of dirt, dust, dust mites, and allergens. It’s not quite a HEPA filter at 99.7%, but it’s still good.

You might be able to find 3rd-Party HEPA filters on Amazon if you want the extra 0.7%. iRobot Authentic Replacement Filters don’t come in the HEPA version.

For homes with pets, you might know about the pet allergens that your cats and dogs are stirring up from all the animal hairs. I have allergies and the Roomba High-Efficiency filters help to keep my allergies from going crazy. 

The Roomba i4 at Costco includes 2 extra filter replacements, so you don’t have to worry about buying more filters. 

I have another post that covers how often to change Roomba filters. Hint, it’s usually every 2-3 months, but also depends on a few factors that would lead to more frequent replacements or less. 

Clean Base and Self-Empty

One of the best features that the Plus+ Roomba models (i3+, i6+, i7+, i8+, s9+) have is the self-emptying feature that comes with the Clean Base docking station. The Clean Base will store up to 60 days of dirt, so you don’t need to worry about emptying it for weeks at a time.

Unfortunately, the i4 is not a Plus version, so it does not self-empty. You’ll need to keep an eye on the Roomba or mobile app to empty the dustbin

This is where the Roomba Plus versions stand out versus the non-plus versions. The Plus models available are the Roomba i3+, i7+, and s9+. They’re more expensive, but they’re worth the lack of headaches and worries about whether the dustbin is full. 

The self-emptying feature and Clean Base unit addition come with more expensive robot vacuums, but many people still consider them a better value than the i4. Home automation and automated cleaning are one of the reasons to buy robot products.

The Recharge and Resume feature closely ties in with the self-emptying function because the i4 can empty the collected dust and debris, while recharging.

If you have a large home and/or pets who constantly shed pet hair, you might want to consider a Plus model like the Roomba i3+

Navigation and Mapping

The Roomba i4 has iAdapt 2.0 Smart Navigation technology paired with state-of-the-art floor tracking sensors to create maps of your home during the cleaning session. 

Unfortunately, the map will not be remembered for future use. You won’t be able to tell the i4 to only clean the bedroom or kitchen. What you can do is pick up the i4, take it to the bedroom, start the cleaning process, and close the bedroom door. 

iAdapt 2.0 vacuums like the i3 and i4 do not have the ability to use the iRobot Home App to selectively clean rooms and areas of your home. You won’t be able to draw Keep Out Zones too either, so the i4 will go any and everywhere to clean your home. 

While the i4 can’t create Keep Out Zones, all Roomba models can use virtual wall barriers to prevent the Roomba from going into a specific area. There’s a virtual wall mode and a halo mode that creates a semi-circle around an object or area. 

The Roomba i4 packages comes with one virtual wall. A nice plus that the i3 package doesn’t have. 

If you want smart mapping, you’ll need to get an iAdapt 3.0 Smart Navigation and Smart Mapping robovac, like the Roomba i7, i7+, s9, and s9+. Sticking with Costco exclusive Roomba models, the Roomba i8+ has smart mapping capabilities. 

The i4 moves in neat rows for efficient cleaning routes and better cleaning coverage. Lower budget models, 600 series and e series, move and clean in random cleaning paths, but the job still gets done. It’s just not as efficient and will take more time. 

Reactive Sensor Technology comes standard on the Roomba i4. It tells the i4 where the robot can and can’t clean due to not being able to reach. This means your i4 won’t be geting stuck under furniture. Since the i4 doesn’t have smart mapping to allow you to program areas to avoid, these sensors are helpful to the i4.

Another plus is the Imprint Link Technology that will pair the i4 and Braava Jet M6 Robot Mop together for maximum efficiency and cleanliness. Your Braava will know what’s already been vacuumed and clean, so that area can be mopped. 

iRobot Home App Powered by iRobot Genius

The Roomba i4 can take advantage of the upgraded and redesigned iRobot Genius app. The new Genius app brings cleaning customizations and personalized schedules according to your cleaning habits. Yes, the i4 will learn your cleaning habits too.

The i4 will also be able to recognize that your local town’s pollen count is high and suggest that the i4 does an extra cleaning pass. Same suggestions occur when it’s pet shedding season. 

If you’re a fan of hands-free automation and voice control, you’ll love the i4. Use the iRobot Genius app to give it voice commands. Or you can use voice assistants Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa-compatible smart devices to tell Roomba to start and stop cleaning. 

Robot vacuums are often the first step to building a smart home and you’ll be able to do that with most of the Roomba, eufy, and Roborock robot vacuum cleaners

You’ll need a smart speaker like the Amazon Echo Show speaker and displays. You can also create cleaning routines through platforms like IFTTT. Connect to other smart devices through WiFi, Z-Wave, or other wireless technologies. It depends on your smart home setup. 

Roomba i4 Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Many similar features to its older sibling, the Roomba i7
  • Smart home integration capabilities
  • Personalized cleaning suggestions based on your cleaning preferences and the environment in your city
  • Schedule Cleaning times for regular cleaning cycles
  • Removable rubber brushrollls are great with pet hair

Cons

  • No smart mapping, saved maps, nor Keep Out Zone creation
  • Requires a Costco membership

Final Thoughts – Roomba i4 Review

The Roomba i4 is a great robot vacuum that provides excellent cleaning capabilities with its 3-stage, Premium Cleaning System.

Compared to the regular Roomba i3 package, the Costco Roomba i4 package includes 2 extra High-Efficiency filters, 1 virtual wall barrier, two-year warranty, and a 20% larger battery.

It’s a good deal if you have a Costco membership or can have a friend get you in and check out. .

But if you have a larger home or don’t want to empty the i4 after (or during) each cleaning session, you’ll want to get the self-emptying Roomba i3+ with the Clean Base docking station instead. 

Last update on 2021-06-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

You can also do a price check online to see if the i3+ or other models have any discounts going on, because they could provide better value.

If you’re looking for other Roomba reviews, check out the Roomba i6+ one.