One minute review
Present for more than two decades, iRobot was one of the first brands to launch a robot vacuum cleaner. With a combination of innovative technology and powerful suction, the Roomba name continues to lead the automated floor cleaning market. iRobot claims that 20% of robot vacuums sold are Roombas, so it’s no surprise that many of its models feature in our list of the best robot vacuums you can buy right now.
The Roomba J7 Plus is the brand’s latest robot vacuum, sitting between the high-end Roomba S9 Plus and the Roomba i7 Plus. While it couldn’t match the suction power of the S9, it was able to pick up dust and debris from hard floors and carpets just as easily as the i7.
It’s also iRobot’s smartest Roomba yet, using built-in AI to sense and identify obstacles, like a charging cable left on the floor or a sock that got loose on its way from the laundry basket in the washing machine. It will clean as close to these objects as possible, without crossing them, preventing them from becoming entangled in the brush roll.
The Plus moniker refers to the fact that it is a self-emptying robot vacuum. Supplied with a base station that is one of the most compact we have seen to date, the robovac will drop the contents of its 14 oz / 0.4 liter dust canister into a 57 oz / 1.7 liter bag. liter which will probably only need replacing about every 60 days – although this depends on how often the robot vacuum cleaner cleans your floors. Note that this means there is an ongoing cost associated with this robot vacuum.
At $799.99 / £899.99, the Roomba J7 Plus is one of the most expensive robot vacuums on the market, especially considering that it doesn’t offer mopping functionality on top of the vacuum. However, for those looking for the most convenient route to cleaning, without having to spend time mopping the floor before the vacuum gets to work, the investment is worth it.
Price and Availability iRobot Roomba J7 Plus
- List price: $799.99 / £899.99
The iRobot Roomba J7 Plus costs $799.99 / £899.99 and is available direct from iRobot or online retailers including Amazon. However, it is currently not available in Australia. Replacement dirt disposal bags cost $19.99 / £21.95 for three.
The robot vacuum is also available without the self-draining base. Known as the iRobot Roomba J7, it’s priced at $599.99 / £699.99.
- 14 oz / 0.4 liter dust box
- Two rubber brushes to prevent hair from getting caught
- Ground and cliff sensors and integrated camera
Unlike the Roomba S9 Plus, which sports a D-shaped design, the Roomba J7 Plus is circular in shape. Measuring 13.3 x 13.3 x 3.4 inches / 33.8 x 33.8 x 8.6 cm, the Roomba J7 is sleek, fusing matte black plastic with bronze accents. The top of the robovac is completely flush, housing a single button to start and pause cleaning, or hold down for five seconds to return the robot vacuum to its base.
A plastic bumper surrounds the top half of the robot vacuum, while below are two wheels and a caster wheel to help the robot vacuum move around your home. According to iRobot, the two rubber brush bars bend to adapt to different types of floors and ensure that hair, whether human or pet, does not get tangled around them. There’s also a three-armed side brush for cleaning edges and crevices in a room.
The J7 Plus comes with a 14oz / 0.4 liter dust box and benefits from ground tracking and cliff sensors, as well as a built-in camera, to allow it to methodically roam your house – and to prevent him from diving down a flight of stairs. Unlike many robot vacuums on the market, you cannot manually adjust the suction level here; but the J7 Plus will automatically increase power if it detects a particularly dirty area of the floor.
As mentioned, the J7 Plus self-empties and comes with iRobot’s own base. Measuring 12.55 x 13.39 x 15.35 inches / 31.9 x 34 x 39 cm (hxwxd), it is compact and features a textured design, giving it a sleeker look compared to most stations loading and self-emptying. There’s even a brown leather tag on the lid, to make it easier to open.
The Clean Base comes with two dirt disposal bags, one installed in the Clean Base and one spare. iRobot says the bags can hold up to 60 days of dirt before they need to be replaced.
- Excellent pickup on carpets and hard floors
- Can identify and avoid a range of obstacles
As for pickup, the J7 Plus made it easy to pick up fine dust, cookie crumbs, and larger debris — including grain — from hard floors. However, on hard floors, we found that the side brush tended to push large debris farther into the room, making the vacuuming process slightly longer than expected.
Unlike many robot vacuum cleaners on the market, it is not possible to manually adjust the suction level of the J7 Plus. However, the robot vacuum can detect if areas of the floor are particularly dirty, and it will increase the suction to adapt. This was evident during testing, as our decibel meter registered an increase in noise of around 5dB. As already mentioned, the J7 Plus can create maps of your house, and it is possible to save maps of different levels. This means that we were able to clean the ground floor and the first floor of our house successfully.
The robot vacuum made a methodical course around our house when vacuuming, and thanks to the onboard camera, it only occasionally bumped into furniture. We were also impressed that the J7 Plus was able to identify and avoid obstacles, including a charging cable and sock, which we deliberately placed in its path. Each time we set the robot vacuum, we could also see an estimate of the length of the vacuuming session – a figure that became more accurate the more we used the device.
The J7 Plus robot vacuum proved to be pleasantly quiet whether cleaning hard floors or carpet, registering a maximum of 64dB on our decibel meter during use. This is similar to the sound of general chatter in an office.
Even better, if you pause a cleaning to instruct the robot vacuum to tackle a specific area, it will turn off the suction components of the device, so it’s as quiet as possible when moving between Tasks.
The low noise doesn’t extend to moments when the robovac docks and empties its dust canister – in this case our decibel meter hit 90.6 dB, which is the sound you’d feel 20 feet from a automatic car wash. This makes the J7 Plus one of the noisiest robot vacuums we’ve tested.
However, we were impressed with the J7 Plus’ geofencing feature, which started the robot vacuum once we left the house, so it wasn’t under our feet. Even better, we were able to set the robot vacuum to stop cleaning and return to its base station if it hadn’t finished vacuuming by the time we got home. Alternatively, the robot vacuum will pause cleaning if you get home before it’s finished, sending you a notification asking if it should continue. Note that this geofencing feature requires an IFTTT account, which is free to set up.
- Simple to use
- Stores pictures of obstacles
- Integration with Alexa and Google Assistant
The iRobot app is simple to use once the robot vacuum is connected to Wi-Fi, so you can easily start a thorough cleaning. The J7 Plus will map your home as it cleans, including creating room boundaries and highlighting rooms with area rugs. It is then possible to edit the map, adjust boundaries and assign names to individual rooms. This will allow the J7 Plus to clean individual rooms, as well as the entire floor.
Once vacuuming is complete, the app provides an overview of the session, which covers area cleaned, time spent vacuuming, and number of dirt events – or areas where robovac noticed more than dirt than usual. If Roomba J7 Plus has encountered obstacles, it will store photos of them in the app, which can be reviewed and confirmed as a temporary obstacle, an area the robot vacuum should avoid, or a false positive. Even better, Roomba can be sent back to clean areas it missed due to suspicious obstacles with just one click.
From the app, you can also create a schedule for when the robot vacuum should clean and adjust what the robot vacuum does when its dust bin is full. A feature that automatically displays a feedback form when you take a screenshot has proven to be extremely handy, making it easier to report any issues with the robot vacuum and fix them.
The J7 Plus is compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant, so you can use your voice rather than the app to start the robot vacuum cleaning your floors.
- Will “smartly recharge” for the time it takes to continue cleaning
- Battery takes about three hours to fully charge from flat
- Indicator level does not show percentage
iRobot does not claim how long the Roomba J7 Plus battery lasts between charges. However, the robot vacuum will automatically return to its charging station if it does not have enough battery left to perform cleaning. In these cases, it will recharge just enough to complete the job.
We were able to clean both floors of a three-bedroom house on one full charge – but, annoyingly, the battery level doesn’t offer a percentage of time remaining, so we had to guess how much charge was left. It took three hours to fully charge the J7 Plus.
Should I buy the iRobot Roomba J7 plus?
Buy it if…
Don’t buy it if…
First revision: February 2022