Full iRobot Roomba i4 Review (Costco Exclusive)

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.

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?

iRobot and Costco are partners in providing Costco members exclusive Roomba models, like the Roomba i4 (4150) 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...
  • INTRODUCING - The new Roomba i3+ Robot Vacuum. Takes cleaning off your mind, and your to-do list, for months at a time.
  • 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. AllergenLock Bags capture and trap 99% of pollen and mold.

Last update on 2020-11-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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. 

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. 

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. 

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 Technology System and Suction Power 

Roomba’s i4 is equipped with iRobot’s Premium 3-Stage Cleaning System and 10x the 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 types of floors, from hardwood to carpets. 

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 multi-surface, dual brushes made of rubber. These 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 clean efficiently. 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, but it won’t feel like a deep clean.

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. 

For homes with pets, you might know about the pet allergens that your cats and dogs are stirring up. 

I have allergies and the Roomba High-Efficiency filters help to keep my allergies from going off. 

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 robot vacuums have – the self-emptying feature that comes with the Clean Base docking station.

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 is one where most people will need to take a good look at because it provides you with automated cleaning. 

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 camera 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. Lower budget models, 600 series and e series, move and clean randomly, 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. 

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. 

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. Whether you have Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa, you’ll be able to tell the 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
  • 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 and is a good neat-row Roomba. The Costco package that includes 2 extra High-Efficiency filters, 1 virtual wall barrier, and a 20% larger battery is a good deal.

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 2020-11-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API