iRobot is an American manufacturer specializing in consumer robotics, best known for being a pioneer in the design of robot vacuums. Their lineup of vacuums are popular with buyers due to their easy-to-use design, with the best Roombas also offering a dense feature set. The company also offers a range of dedicated robot mops under the 'Braava' name.
The best iRobot vacuum we've tested is the iRobot Roomba S9. This high-end robot vacuum has the most powerful suction motor in iRobot's lineup, resulting in strong debris-pickup performance on bare floors and carpet. Its twin rubber brushrolls are highly effective at collecting pet hair on a variety of surfaces and are easy to clean. The S9+ variant comes bundled with a self-emptying base station, reducing hands-on maintenance requirements as it transfers debris from its dustbin into an external dirtbag. While its vSLAM system isn't as fast or precise at room mapping as a LIDAR sensor, it does still generate a permanent map of your home, enabling it to plot out efficient cleaning routes. You can use its companion app to send it to specific rooms or create no-go zones the vacuum won't enter.
Unfortunately, battery performance isn't especially noteworthy for a robot vacuum of this caliber. It can run out of charge in about 50 minutes in its most powerful suction mode, which might not be enough to clean large areas in one go. Thankfully, it can resume a cleaning session from where it left off after recharging.
The best Roomba we've tested at an upper mid-range price point is the iRobot Roomba j7. Compared to the iRobot Roomba S9, it has a less powerful suction motor, so it has a harder time lifting away heavy debris and material embedded deeply within carpet fibers. However, it has a major advantage over the S9 in the form of a front-facing camera, which allows it to see objects that would fall beneath the view of a top-mounted sensor. It lets it identify and, if necessary, avoid hazards like pet droppings or simply brush aside more benign obstacles like slippers and socks. It also has a similar range of in-app automation features to the S9, like support for virtually-drawn boundary lines and the ability to direct it to a specific room in your home.
The j7+ variant of this vacuum comes bundled with a self-emptying base station, so every time the vacuum docks, debris is transferred into an external dirtbag. If you have an iRobot Braava Jet M-Series robot mop, the Imprint Link feature allows it to start mopping automatically after the j7 has finished its vacuuming job.
The iRobot Roomba i3 is the best Roomba at a mid-range price point we've tested. It doesn't have the iRobot Roomba j7's real-time hazard recognition system and uses a less powerful suction motor than the iRobot Roomba S9. That said, going for the i3+ variant, which comes bundled with iRobot's Clean Base self-emptying docking station, gets you a self-emptying robot vacuum at a substantially more affordable price than either of the latter. You can use its companion app to label different areas of your home after it's been mapped or set up boundary lines to prevent the vacuum from getting stuck in a difficult-to-clean area. It also has a recharge and resume feature, enabling it to pick up a cleaning session from where it left off if it needs to recharge. It's also fully compatible with Google Home and Amazon Alexa devices, enabling you to use voice commands to enable certain functions.
Similar to the j7 and iRobot Roomba S9, this vacuum has a HEPA filter that does a great job of sealing in allergens. Build quality is also very impressive, with durable rubber wheels and a plastic top cover with a textured finish resembling woven fabric. Unfortunately, debris pickup performance isn't particularly impressive, especially on carpets, where it'll need to make several passes to collect everything.
The iRobot Roomba 694 is the best Roomba vacuum for those on a budget. In terms of automation capabilities, it falls well behind even the mid-range iRobot Roomba i3, with no room mapping capability, relying on random pathing to move around its cleaning area. As such, it isn't capable of recharging and resuming a cleaning session and doesn't support user-generated no-go zones or individual area cleaning. That said, it's very budget-friendly and a worthy option if your Wi-Fi coverage at home is somewhat spotty, as you can control all of the vacuum's major functions using the included remote control. It can even automatically ramp up its suction power on carpeted floors thanks to its floor sensors. It's also worth noting that this vacuum is sold as the iRobot Roomba 692 in some markets, with the sole difference between the two being that the 694 comes with an extra post-motor filter, while the 692 bundle does not.
While the 694 does a great job of handling debris on bare floors, it struggles on carpets. In addition, it comes with iRobot's older primary brushroll design, which features an array of closely-packed bristles that struggle with pet hair and get tangled pretty easily. Unlike the pricier models in iRobot's lineup, it isn't compatible with a self-emptying base station, which would help cut down on hands-on maintenance requirements. Air filtration performance is also terrible, with fine particles spewing out the exhaust. Thankfully, it does feel rather well-built, given its affordable price point.
Unlike iRobot vacuums, Roborock equips most of their product lineup with LIDAR sensors, resulting in quicker, more precise room mapping, even in the dark. Many of their models also feature onboard mopping modules, though most are passive systems that provide little in the way of surface agitation. That said, iRobots tend to feel sturdier, while their twin rubber brushroll system usually results in better pet hair pickup.
iRobot vacuums tend to target a higher price niche than eufy models, and that's reflected in their superior cleaning performance, a wider array of features, and sturdier build quality.
iRobot currently has a relatively small range of robot vacuums. Unlike alternatives from Roborock, iRobot robot vacuums don't use LIDAR sensors, resulting in slower room mapping, though some newer models offer real-time hazard recognition. Another point in Roborock's favor is that many of their models have mopping attachments, which is rare for iRobot. That said, the best Roomba vacuums are better built than similarly-priced Roborock models, as well as offerings from Shark or eufy.
iRobot is a manufacturer specializing almost exclusively in robot vacuums and mops. The best Roombas tend to be well-built and easy to use. However, their reliance on optical sensors means they're generally slower to map out their coverage area compared to alternatives with LIDAR.