iRobot Roomba i4 Vacuum Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Apr 26, 2021 at 10:05 am
iRobot Roomba i4 Picture
6.9
Bare Floor
6.4
Low-Pile Carpet
7.2
High-Pile Carpet
6.8
Pets
6.1
Stairs
5.9
Cars
Vacuum Type
Robot
Bagless
Yes
Cordless
Yes
Anti-Allergy Filter (HEPA)
Yes

The iRobot Roomba i4 is a robot vacuum with a versatile performance. It automatically adjusts its height and suction power depending on the surface type, so it can easily move between carpet and bare floors. It's best suited to cleaning high-pile carpet, where it clears pet hair and debris like sand. This vacuum also comes with a Dual Virtual Barrier Device, which lets you mark areas for the vacuum to avoid by setting up a boundary that it won't cross. It has a very good build quality and comes with an allergen-trapping HEPA filter, but it's difficult to maintain and incurs a lot of recurring costs.

Our Verdict

6.9 Bare Floor

The iRobot Roomba i4's performance on bare floors is alright. It has no problem picking up small and bulky debris like rice and cereal, though it has a tough time clearing pet hair. Its cleaning performance may also decrease slightly as the dirt compartment fills up. This vacuum follows an efficient path, and you can even use the Dual Virtual Barrier Device to keep it out of certain areas. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to maintain since quite a few parts need regular servicing.

Pros
  • Easily picks up small and bulky debris on bare floors.
  • Sturdy build.
Cons
  • Many recurring costs.
  • Doesn't pick up pet hair too easily on bare floors.
6.4 Low-Pile Carpet

The iRobot Roomba i4 has an adequate performance on low-pile carpet. It does a fairly good job of cleaning pet hair and large debris like sand, though it struggles to pick up fine debris like baking soda. It automatically adjusts the height of the vacuum head and its suction power, which is helpful when switching between different surface types. Unfortunately, this vacuum can occasionally get caught on rug tassels, which may be annoying. Also, it incurs quite a few recurring costs since quite a few parts need to be replaced from time to time.

Pros
  • Sturdy build.
  • Automatic surface-type adjustment.
Cons
  • Many recurring costs.
  • Struggles to pick up fine debris on carpet.
7.2 High-Pile Carpet

The iRobot Roomba i4 has a decent performance on high-pile carpet. It picks up pet hair and large debris like sand fairly easily but really struggles to clean fine debris like baking soda. Thankfully, its performance remains consistent as the dirt compartment fills up. It also automatically adjusts its suction and height off the ground, which is helpful when cleaning high-pile carpet. Unfortunately, it has quite a few recurring costs, since a lot of parts need to be periodically replaced.

Pros
  • Automatic surface-type adjustment.
  • Long battery life.
Cons
  • Difficult to maintain.
  • Struggles to pick up fine debris on carpet.
6.8 Pets

The iRobot Roomba i4 is okay for pets. It does quite a good job of cleaning pet hair from low and high-pile carpet but struggles more when picking up pet hair on bare floors. It comes with an allergen-trapping HEPA filter, which is useful if you have a pet that sheds heavily. Also, you can easily remove its brushroll, letting you clean any hair that gets tangled around it. Unfortunately, a lot of parts need regular cleaning, especially if you have pets.

Pros
  • Comes with a HEPA filter.
  • Long battery life.
Cons
  • Difficult to maintain.
  • Doesn't pick up pet hair too easily on bare floors.
6.1 Stairs

The iRobot Roomba i4 isn't designed for use on stairs.

5.9 Cars

The iRobot Roomba i4 isn't designed for use in cars.

  • 6.9 Bare Floor
  • 6.4 Low-Pile Carpet
  • 7.2 High-Pile Carpet
  • 6.8 Pets
  • 6.1 Stairs
  • 5.9 Cars
  1. Updated Apr 26, 2021: Review published.
  2. Updated Apr 20, 2021: Early access published.

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Woven Cool Roomba i4+
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Woven Grey Roomba i4
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Woven Neutral Roomba i4+
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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
8.0
Design
Build Quality

The iRobot Roomba i4 has a very good build quality. It has a similar design to the iRobot Roomba i3+, and it's mostly made of hard plastic with rubber wheels and brushrolls. Although it feels sturdy overall, the dustbin feels like it could break if you drop it. There are three buttons on the top to start a cleaning cycle, spot-clean an area, or return to the dock. The vacuum comes assembled, so you just need to set up the docking station.

5.5
Design
User Maintenance

The iRobot Roomba i4 requires quite a bit of maintenance. Several parts need regular servicing, but fortunately, most of them are easy to access.

  • Dirt compartment: The dirt compartment can be easily removed by pressing the button on the side of the vacuum. Once you empty it, you can clean it with water. It must be dry before you use it again.
  • Brushrolls: The rubber brushrolls are easy to take out since you only need to remove the brushroll guard. You can remove any tangled hair, but they're somewhat difficult to put back as you need to carefully align them. iRobot suggests that you clean the brushrolls once a month or twice if you have pets.
  • Filter: The filter is located inside the dirt compartment. To clean it, you have to gently tap it on the side of a garbage can since you shouldn't wash it. It needs cleaning once a week or twice a week if you have pets.
  • Side brush: The side brush can be difficult to remove since you need a screwdriver to take it out. You should clean it once a month, or twice if you have pets.
  • Wheels: The omnidirectional wheel in front can be removed. It needs cleaning every two weeks.
  • Sensors: The sensors on the vacuum should be cleaned once a month with a dry cloth.

4.0
Design
Recurring Cost
Bag Part Number
No bag
Filter Part Number
4639161
HEPA Filter Part Number
4639161

The iRobot Roomba i4 has a lot of recurring costs. Although it's bagless, quite a few parts need to be replaced periodically.

  • HEPA Filter: The HEPA filter should be replaced every two months.
  • Rubber Brushrolls: The brushrolls should be replaced every 12 months.
  • Side Brush: The manufacturer recommends replacing the side brush every 12 months.
  • Front Wheel: The front wheel should be replaced every 12 months.

Thankfully, iRobot sells a 'Replenishment Kit' on its website that includes brushrolls, three side brushes, and three HEPA filters. You can also purchase these parts individually.

9.0
Design
Storing
Height
3.94" (10.0 cm)
Width
13.39" (34.0 cm)
Depth
15.75" (40.0 cm)
Cord Storing/Management
Not Needed
On-Board Tool Storage
Not needed
Vacuum Rack/Station
Yes

The iRobot Roomba i4 is remarkably easy to store. It comes with a low-profile docking station, which it can return to on its own. The vacuum itself is fairly small, so it shouldn't take up too much space in storage.

6.0
Design
Dirt Compartment
Dirt Compartment Volume
0.08 gal (0.30 L)
Full Dirt Compartment Indicator
No
Bag Included
No Bag Needed

The iRobot Roomba i4's dirt compartment is an adequate size for a robot vacuum. Unfortunately, there's no indicator for when it's full, and you can't see inside the dirt compartment for yourself since it's made of opaque plastic.

Design
In The Box

  • iRobot Roomba i4 robot vacuum
  • Docking station
  • Charging cable
  • 3x HEPA filter
  • Dirt compartment
  • 2x Multi-surface rubber brushrolls
  • Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barrier + 2x batteries
  • User guide

10
Design
Range
Cord Length
N/A
Hose Length
N/A

The iRobot Roomba i4 has a virtually unlimited range as long as it still has battery life left and sufficient room in its dirt compartment. That said, it can't go up or down stairs.

8.0
Design
Portability
Total Weight
7.03 lbs (3.19 kg)
Weight In Hand
0.00 lbs (0.00 kg)
Carrying handle
No

The iRobot Roomba i4 is very portable. It's small and quite light, though it doesn't have a carrying handle to make it easier to bring to another floor.

9.2
Design
Battery
Minimum Battery Life
100 min
Maximum Battery Life
100 min
Recharge Time
90 min
Recharge Dock
Yes
Battery Life Indicator
Yes
Removable Batteries
Yes

The iRobot Roomba i4 has an incredible battery performance. It provides around 100 minutes of continuous runtime, and it takes roughly an hour and a half to recharge. The vacuum automatically adjusts its suction power while in use, so its battery life may vary depending on your floor type. When the battery is low, the large button on top of the vacuum changes from white to red, and there's also a battery indicator in its companion app.

Design
Quality Of Life Features
Rotating Head
No
Power Adjustment
No
Self-Propelled
Yes
Headlights
No
Easy On/Off
Yes
Surface Type Adjustment
Automatic

The iRobot Roomba i4 4150 has a few extra features. It senses how much dirt there is around it and concentrates on those areas. Also, it automatically adjusts its power and height setting based on the surface it's cleaning. However, you can't adjust either of these settings manually.

Design
Tools And Brushes
Brushroll
Yes
Brushroll On/Off
No
Removable Brushroll
Yes
Turbo Brush
No
Crevice Tool
No
Upholstery Tool
No
Soft Bristle Brush
No
Hard Bristle Brush
No
Extension Wand
No
Ceiling Fan Tool
No
Pet Grooming Tool
No

The iRobot Roomba i4 is equipped with two removable rubber brushrolls, as well as a side brush that pushes debris into its cleaning path. There's also a Dual Virtual Barrier Device included, which lets you mark areas for the vacuum to avoid.

Design
Alternative Configuration
Performance
7.1
Performance
Bare Floor (Hardwood, Laminate, Tiles)
Pet Hair at 0 gal (0L)
68%
Large Debris at 0 gal (0L)
92%
Large Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
71%
Large Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
N/A
Large Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
N/A
Large Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Large Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0 gal (0L)
95%
Small Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
96%
Small Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Small Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Setting Used "Clean"

The iRobot Roomba i4 has decent performance on bare floors. It clears small debris like rice easily, and it does a decent job of picking up pet hair and bulky debris like cereal. However, its cleaning performance decreases slightly as the dirt compartment fills up, especially when dealing with bulky debris.

6.2
Performance
Low-Pile Carpet
Pet Hair at 0 gal (0L)
83%
Large Debris at 0 gal (0L)
75%
Large Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
72%
Large Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
N/A
Large Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
N/A
Large Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Large Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0 gal (0L)
30%
Small Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
27%
Small Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Small Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Setting Used "Clean"

The iRobot Roomba i4 isn't bad on low-pile carpet. It picks up pet hair and large debris like sand quite easily. However, it struggles to clean fine debris like baking soda, though its suction performance remains consistent as the dirt compartment fills up.

7.4
Performance
High-Pile Carpet
Pet Hair at 0 gal (0L)
85%
Large Debris at 0 gal (0L)
71%
Large Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
68%
Large Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
N/A
Large Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
N/A
Large Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Large Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0 gal (0L)
39%
Small Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
37%
Small Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Small Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Setting Used "Clean"

The iRobot Roomba i4 has decent performance on high-pile carpet. Like on low-pile carpet, it cleans pet hair and large debris like sand quite easily. It also struggles to pick up finer debris like baking soda, though its performance is consistent as the dirt compartment fills up.

7.5
Performance
Maneuverability
Under The Couch
Excellent
Under Low Table
Excellent
On Furniture
Not Possible
Rug With Tassel
Bad
Electric Cord
Ok

The iRobot Roomba i4 has good maneuverability. It automatically adjusts the height of its head, making it easier to clean a room with different surface types. Similar to the iRobot Roomba i3+, it follows a smart path and cleans a room by sections, rather than using the same pattern for the whole area. It also produces a map of its cleaning coverage, which you can see in the companion app. This vacuum is small enough to fit under most couches, but it may occasionally get stuck on a rug tassel or drag an electric cord. If you're looking for a robot vacuum that does a better job of maneuvering itself, try the Roborock S6 MaxV.

Automation
8.7
Automation
Automation (Robot Vacuum)
Remote Controller
Yes (App only)
Automatic Bag Emptying
No
Automatic Recharging
Yes
Schedule Programming
Yes
Boundary Markers
Yes
Random Pathing
No
Smart Pathing
Yes
App Name
iRobot HOME

The iRobot Roomba i4 has amazing automation features. It comes with a Dual Virtual Barrier device, which lets you mark boundaries for the vacuum not to cross. You can use the physical buttons on the vacuum itself to start cleaning, spot-clean, return to the dock, or use the remote control through the companion app to turn the vacuum on and off. The app also lets you schedule cleaning times, view the battery status, or return the vacuum to its docking station. The app is compatible with Alexa and Google Home, though we don't currently test for this.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The iRobot Roomba i4 comes in one color variant: Black. You can see the label for the model we tested here. Another variant of this vacuum, the iRobot Roomba i4+, comes with an external dirt bin/charging station for automatic debris disposal. We can't confirm that this model performs similarly, as its automatic dirt emptying capabilities could impact performance.

If you come across another variant not listed here, let us know in the discussions, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Vacuums

The iRobot Roomba i4 has a very similar design to the iRobot Roomba i3+, though it has a better performance on low and high-pile carpet. It also comes with a Dual Virtual Barrier Device, which lets you mark areas that the vacuum will avoid. Like the i3+, It follows an efficient cleaning route and cleans a room by sections, rather than following the same pattern for the entire area. However, it doesn't have an external dustbin attached to the docking station, so it can't empty its dirt compartment automatically. Like many robot vacuums, it's quite difficult to maintain and has a lot of recurring costs.

If you want to see more options, check out our recommendations for the best robot vacuums, the best robot vacuums for hardwood floors, and the best robot vacuums for pet hair.

iRobot Roomba i7+

The iRobot Roomba i7+ is a better vacuum than the iRobot Roomba i4. The i7+ does a much better job of clearing pet hair from all surface types, and it has a larger dirt compartment. Also, it uses the iAdapt 3.0 with Visual Navigation system to follow an efficient route, and it learns its environment as it cleans. There's an external dustbin attached to the docking station, so it can automatically empty its dirt compartment. That said, the i4 doesn't have an external dirtbag, which results in fewer recurring costs, and it has a longer battery life. 

iRobot Roomba i3+

The iRobot Roomba i4 is a better robot vacuum than the iRobot Roomba i3+. The i4 has a better cleaning performance on low and high-pile carpet. Since it doesn't have an external dirtbag, it has fewer recurring costs. Also, it comes with a Dual Virtual Barrier Device, which lets you mark areas for the vacuum to avoid while cleaning. That said, the i3+ does a better job of cleaning bare floors, and it has a larger dirt compartment. Also, it comes with an external dustbin attached to the docking station, so it can automatically empty its dirt compartment. 

Shark IQ Robot RV1001

The Shark IQ Robot RV1001 and iRobot Roomba i4 each have their own advantages, so one may suit you better than the other depending on your needs. The Shark has a bigger dustbin and performs better on both bare floors and low-pile carpet. It also has a longer maximum runtime, though this can vary in the real world. Meanwhile, the iRobot charges much faster, has an automatic surface type adjustment feature, feels better-built, and incurs fewer recurring costs. It also does a better job of maneuvering around obstacles.

iRobot Roomba E5

The iRobot Roomba i4 is a slightly better vacuum than the iRobot Roomba E5. The i4 does a better job of cleaning bare floors and high-pile carpet, and its suction performance doesn't decrease as much as the dirt compartment fills up. It also follows an efficient cleaning route, whereas the E5 follows a random path. However, the E5 doesn't get caught on rug tassels or electrical cords as easily. 

iRobot Roomba 694

The iRobot Roomba i4 is better than the iRobot Roomba 694, The i4 has fewer parts that require regular cleaning and a smart-pathing navigational system, which yields superior maneuverability. You can also use the included Dual Virtual Barrier device to mark areas that the vacuum will avoid crossing. The i4 also does a better job of cleaning debris on low and high-pile carpet. Meanwhile, the 694 clears more debris on bare floors, has a bigger dirt compartment, and lasts longer on a single charge, though this can vary in the real world.

Shark IQ Robot AV992

The iRobot Roomba i4 is better for most purposes than the Shark IQ AV992. The iRobot delivers much better performance on bare floors is somewhat better on low-pile carpets as well. It automatically adjusts its head height and suction power depending on what surface type it's cleaning. On the other hand, the Shark has a somewhat better performance on high-pile carpets. You can also set its suction power manually, unlike the iRobot.

Roborock S6

The Roborock S6 is better for more use cases than the iRobot Roomba i4. The Roborock feels better-built, incurs fewer recurring costs, has a larger dirt compartment, maneuvers more effectively, and delivers superior performance on bare floors and low-pile carpet. It also comes with a mopping attachment, though we don't currently test that function. Meanwhile, the iRobot does a much better job of sucking up larger debris, such as sand, from high-pile carpets.

Wyze Robot Vacuum

The iRobot Roomba i4 and Wyze Robot Vacuum each have their own advantages, so one may suit you better than the other depending on your needs. The iRobot has a larger dirt compartment, requires less time to charge, and delivers better performance on high-pile carpet. Conversely, the Wyze is less demanding in terms of maintenance requirements, incurs fewer recurring costs, has a longer runtime in its least powerful suction mode, and cleans debris more effectively on bare floors.

eufy RoboVac 15C

The iRobot Roomba i4 is a better robot vacuum than the eufy RoboVac 15C. The iRobot has a better cleaning performance on all surface types, especially low and high-pile carpets. It's also better-built and comes with an allergen-trapping HEPA filter. It follows an efficient cleaning route, whereas the eufy follows a random cleaning path. That said, the eufy has a slightly larger dirt compartment, and its battery lasts a bit longer when used in its default mode. 

iRobot Roomba 692

The iRobot Roomba i4 is a better robot vacuum for more use cases than the iRobot Roomba 692. The i4 recharges slightly faster, clears pet hair far more effectively on all surface types, and sucks up a greater amount of small and large debris like baking soda or sand. It also has a HEPA filter to trap allergens as it cleans. Meanwhile, the 692 incurs fewer recurring costs.

iRobot Roomba 675

The iRobot Roomba i4 is better than the iRobot Roomba 675. The i4 delivers better cleaning performance on bare floors, low-pile carpet, and high-pile carpet. It also maneuvers more effectively thanks to its smart-pathing navigation system and has a far more advanced suite of automation features. Meanwhile, the 675 is slightly easier to pick up and carry to another room, incurs fewer recurring costs, and has a slightly longer runtime, though it takes longer to recharge.

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