iRobot Roomba j7+ Vacuum Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Oct 15, 2021 at 10:19 am
iRobot Roomba j7+ Picture
6.9
Bare Floor
5.7
Low-Pile Carpet
7.3
High-Pile Carpet
7.0
Pets
6.1
Stairs
5.7
Cars
Vacuum Type
Robot
Bagless
No
Cordless
Yes
Anti-Allergy Filter (HEPA)
Yes

The iRobot Roomba j7+ is a premium robot vacuum with advanced automation features. It has a self-emptying feature that allows it to dump any accumulated debris into an external dirtbag built into its charging dock. It can identify and avoid hazards like pet waste or electrical cords, can automatically adjust its head height depending on the surface type that it's on, and is advertised as being able to learn your schedule and organize its cleaning sessions around it. Unfortunately, while it performs decently well on bare floors, it struggles with clearing pet hair on this surface type and performs poorly on low-pile carpet. It also has many parts that need regular cleaning and incurs high recurring costs.

Our Verdict

6.9 Bare Floor

The iRobot j7 is alright for bare floors. While it clears bulky and small debris like cereal or rice without too much difficulty, it struggles with pet hair, which tends to be pushed around by its front bumper rather than being sucked up. Thankfully, it feels well-built, maneuvers itself very effectively in part thanks to its hazard-identification capability, and has a very wide range of automation features, including its self-emptying function. Unfortunately, it has demanding maintenance requirements and incurs high recurring costs.

Pros
  • Advanced automation capabilities.
  • Excellent build quality.
  • Superb battery performance.
Cons
  • Struggles with pet hair on bare floors.
  • Demanding maintenance requirements.
  • High recurring costs.
5.7 Low-Pile Carpet

The iRobot j7 is a middling choice for low-pile carpet. It doesn't suck up much in the way of larger material like sand and struggles with cleaning fine debris like baking soda, though it does a fantastic job dealing with pet hair on this surface type. In addition, it has many parts that need cleaning and incurs high recurring costs. This vacuum feels amazingly well-built, and its self-emptying feature also helps slightly reduce hands-on maintenance requirements. It also maneuvers itself around obstacles amazingly well.

Pros
  • Advanced automation capabilities.
  • Excellent build quality.
  • Superb battery performance.
Cons
  • Struggles with fine debris.
  • Demanding maintenance requirements.
  • High recurring costs.
  • Doesn't clear very much in the way of larger debris.
7.3 High-Pile Carpet

The iRobot j7 is decent for cleaning high-pile carpet. It sucks up pet hair and larger debris like sand with very little difficulty. While it may need to make another pass to fully clear finer material like baking soda, it still does a fairly good job dealing with this kind of debris. Its surface detection feature allows it to automatically adapt to different floor types. Unfortunately, it can sometimes struggle to climb onto this kind of surface. It also incurs very high recurring costs and has many parts that need regular cleaning.

Pros
  • Advanced automation capabilities.
  • Excellent build quality.
  • Superb battery performance.
Cons
  • Can struggle to climb onto high-pile carpets.
  • Demanding maintenance requirements.
  • High recurring costs.
7.0 Pets

The iRobot j7 is satisfactory for cleaning pet hair. It has no trouble cleaning up pet hair on carpeted surfaces, but its front bumper can cause it to push around this kind of debris on bare floors rather than sucking it up. Thankfully, it has a HEPA filter to trap allergens as it cleans, and its camera system is advertised as being able to identify pet waste and consequently allowing the vacuum to maneuver around it. You can also remove its brushrolls for easier cleaning of tangled hair.

Pros
  • Advanced automation capabilities.
  • Excellent build quality.
  • Superb battery performance.
Cons
  • Struggles with pet hair on bare floors.
  • Demanding maintenance requirements.
  • High recurring costs.
6.1 Stairs

The iRobot j7 is a robot vacuum and isn't designed for cleaning stairs.

5.7 Cars

The iRobot j7 is a robot vacuum and isn't designed for cleaning cars.

  • 6.9 Bare Floor
  • 5.7 Low-Pile Carpet
  • 7.3 High-Pile Carpet
  • 7.0 Pets
  • 6.1 Stairs
  • 5.7 Cars
  1. Updated Oct 15, 2021: Review published.
  2. Updated Oct 13, 2021: Early access published.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
8.5
Design
Build Quality

The iRobot j7 has amazing build quality. Its body is made of high-grade plastic, with a gloss-finish outer casing and glossy top cover. The vacuum's camera sits at the front of the vacuum and features a small LED light to help it see obstructions and hazards. There are few obvious weak points in the vacuum's construction, and while its internal dustbin could break if you were to drop it, it still feels sturdier than most other robot vacuums' dustbins. Its dock also feels very well-built, and even features premium touches like a leatherette pull tab to lift open the external dustbin lid.

Out-of-the-box setup is very easy, with no actual assembly required. You only really need to pair the vacuum with its charging station, and the external dirt compartment comes with a dirtbag already in place.

5.0
Design
User Maintenance

The iRobot j7+ has quite a few parts requiring regular maintenance, but thankfully they're quite easy to access. You can also check the 'Maintenance' tab in its companion app to watch instructional videos for maintaining different components.

  • Dirt Compartment: The internal dustbin can be removed by pressing the release button on the side of the vacuum. If there's any leftover debris inside the internal dustbin, you can wipe it out with a dry cloth or tap it against the side of a trash can. If necessary, you can wash it with water, but be sure to remove the filter beforehand. The dirt compartment should be allowed to dry for 24 hours before it's put back in the vacuum.
  • Dirtbag: The dirtbag can simply be pulled out of its housing inside the charging station. It isn't reusable and needs to be thrown away when it's full, which is indicated by the status light on the docking station switching from white to red. The status light also turns red when the dustbin is blocked, though you also receive an in-app warning when this occurs. A cover on the dirtbag prevents dust and debris from spilling out when removing it.
  • HEPA Filter: The filter is located inside the dirt compartment. You can clean it by tapping it against the side of a trash can once or twice a week, depending on your usage habits. You shouldn't wash it with water.
  • Brushrolls: The brushrolls can be accessed by lifting the brush guard on the bottom of the vacuum and pulling them out. You should clean them by removing any hair tangles or debris once or twice a week, depending on your usage habits. It can be a little difficult to put them back in place since they need to be precisely aligned in their housing.
  • Side Brush: The side brush is under the vacuum, and you should clean it of any stuck-on debris once a month.
  • Wheel: The front caster wheel can simply be pulled out of the vacuum and then pushed out of its socket. You should clear it of any tangled hair or debris every two weeks.
  • Sensors and charging contacts: The sensors and charging contacts on the vacuum and docking station should be wiped clean with a dry cloth every two weeks.

2.0
Design
Recurring Cost
Bag Part Number
4640235
Filter Part Number
4639161
HEPA Filter Part Number
4639161

The iRobot j7+ incurs very high recurring costs since it has several parts that need regular replacing.

  • HEPA Filter: You should replace the HEPA filter should be replaced.
  • Rubber Brushrolls: You should replace the brushrolls every six to 12 months.
  • Front Wheel: You should replace the front wheel every 12 months, though it isn't currently listed on the manufacturer website.
  • Side Brush: The manufacturer recommends replacing this every three months.
  • Dirtbag: You need to throw away and replace the dirtbag when it's full.

iRobot sells replacement parts as individual packs, but you can also buy a 'Replenishment Kit' on its website that includes brushrolls, three side brushes, and three HEPA filters.

8.6
Design
Storing
Height
13.39" (34.0 cm)
Width
13.39" (34.0 cm)
Depth
16.54" (42.0 cm)
Cord Storing/Management
Not Needed
On-Board Tool Storage
Not needed
Vacuum Rack/Station
Yes

The iRobot j7+ is amazingly easy to store. The vacuum itself is small, as is its charging station/external dustbin, which has a rack to store any excess length of power cord.

8.0
Design
Dirt Compartment
Dirt Compartment Volume
0.70 gal (2.65 L)
Full Dirt Compartment Indicator
Yes
Bag Included
2

The iRobot j7+ has a large overall debris capacity. Its external dirtbag has a similar capacity to the iRobot Roomba i3+, as it can fit 2.4 L of debris. Its internal dustbin has a capacity of 0.25 L. The indicator light on the docking station changes from white to red when the bag is full or whenever there's been a blockage in the entry to the dirtbag, which is accompanied by a notification in its companion app.

Design
In The Box

  • iRobot j7 robot vacuum
  • Recharge station/External dustbin
  • Charging cable
  • 2x HEPA filter
  • Dirt compartment
  • 2x Side brush (one is already fitted to the vacuum)
  • 2x Multi-surface rubber brushrolls with bearings
  • 2x Dirtbags
  • Getting Started guide

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

The iRobot j7's range is limited only by remaining battery life, though it can't climb or descend staircases.

8.0
Design
Portability
Total Weight
7.36 lbs (3.34 kg)
Weight In Hand
0.00 lbs (0.00 kg)
Carrying handle
No

The iRobot j7 is very portable. It's slightly lighter than alternatives like the yeedi vac station, but unfortunately, it doesn't come with a carrying handle to make picking it up a little easier.

9.1
Design
Battery
Minimum Battery Life
102 min
Maximum Battery Life
102 min
Recharge Time
137 min
Recharge Dock
Yes
Battery Life Indicator
Yes
Removable Batteries
Yes

The iRobot j7 has exceptional battery performance. Its surface detection feature allows it to automatically adjust its head height depending on the surface type that it's on, so its runtime may vary somewhat in the real world. While it takes notably longer to recharge than the iRobot Roomba i7+, it does have longer battery life. The indicator light under the clean button changes from white to red as its charge level drops, and you can keep an eye on its precise battery level by checking its companion app.

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

The iRobot j7's front camera is advertised as being capable of identifying hazards like pet waste or power cables and avoiding them. It also features a headlight to help it see in dimmer conditions. It has a surface detection feature and consequently adjusts its head height depending on the floor type that it's on, though you can't adjust this manually. It can also identify areas with a higher concentration of dirt and focus on cleaning those spots.

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 j7 has a side brush that directs debris from the side of the vacuum into the path of the twin primary rubber brushrolls.

Design
Alternative Configuration
Performance
7.2
Performance
Bare Floor (Hardwood, Laminate, Tiles)
Pet Hair at 0 gal (0L)
26%
Large Debris at 0 gal (0L)
85%
Large Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
85%
Large Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
85%
Large Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
85%
Large Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Large Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0 gal (0L)
98%
Small Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
98%
Small Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
98%
Small Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
98%
Small Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Small Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Setting Used "Clean"

The iRobot j7 offers decent performance on bare floors. It does a reasonably good job of sucking up bulky debris like cereal and easily cleans smaller material like rice. However, unlike the other iRobot vacuums like the iRobot Roomba i7+, it struggles with pet hair on bare floors, as it may push hair around with its front bumper instead of picking it up.

Note: All testing was completed when the dirt compartment was empty, with the data for the 0.25L, 0.75L, and 1.5L tests being copied from the 0L test. Since the iRobot Roomba j7+ automatically empties its internal dirt compartment when docked after completing its job, it doesn't lose suction performance.

4.9
Performance
Low-Pile Carpet
Pet Hair at 0 gal (0L)
99%
Large Debris at 0 gal (0L)
48%
Large Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
48%
Large Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
48%
Large Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
48%
Large Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
0%
Large Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
0%
Small Debris at 0 gal (0L)
17%
Small Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
17%
Small Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
17%
Small Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
17%
Small Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Small Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Setting Used "Clean"

The iRobot j7 performs poorly on low-pile carpet. It has no issue with pet hair on this surface type, but its capability in clearing larger debris like sand is middling, and it struggles with sucking up fine material like baking soda on this surface type.

Note: All testing was completed when the dirt compartment was empty, with the data for the 0.25L, 0.75L, and 1.5L tests being copied from the 0L test. Since the iRobot Roomba j7+ automatically empties its internal dirt compartment when docked after completing its job, it doesn't lose suction performance.

7.7
Performance
High-Pile Carpet
Pet Hair at 0 gal (0L)
100%
Large Debris at 0 gal (0L)
68%
Large Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
68%
Large Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
68%
Large Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
68%
Large Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Large Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Small Debris at 0 gal (0L)
47%
Small Debris at 0.07 gal (0.25L)
47%
Small Debris at 0.2 gal (0.75L)
47%
Small Debris at 0.4 gal (1.5L)
47%
Small Debris at 0.8 gal (3L)
N/A
Small Debris at 1.6 gal (6L)
N/A
Setting Used "Clean"

The iRobot j7 has good performance on high-pile carpet. It easily sucks up pet hair and cleans an impressive amount of larger material like sand. In addition, while it may need to make another pass to fully clear fine debris like baking soda on this surface type, its performance is still relatively adequate.

Note: All testing was completed when the dirt compartment was empty, with the data for the 0.25L, 0.75L, and 1.5L tests being copied from the 0L test. Since the iRobot Roomba j7+ automatically empties its internal dirt compartment when docked after completing its job, it doesn't lose suction performance.

8.5
Performance
Maneuverability
Under The Couch
Excellent
Under Low Table
Excellent
On Furniture
Not Possible
Rug With Tassel
Bad
Electric Cord
Good

The iRobot j7 has excellent maneuverability. It cleans in an organized pattern and immediately returns to its docking station after it's finished with its current task. It's small enough to clean under chairs and tables, and its hazard detection feature is effective in causing it to avoid objects like electrical cords. However, you may need to clean the area around the cable yourself if you want a complete clean. It can also get caught on rug tassels and struggles to climb onto high-pile rugs without lifting them.

Automation
9.7
Automation
Automation (Robot Vacuum)
Remote Controller
Yes (App only)
Automatic Bag Emptying
Yes
Automatic Recharging
Yes
Schedule Programming
Yes
Boundary Markers
Yes
Random Pathing
No
Smart Pathing
Yes
App Name
iRobot HOME

The iRobot j7+ has an exceptional range of automation features. Aside from its most obvious self-emptying feature, it's advertised as being capable of recognizing your schedule and organizing its cleaning sessions around it. It's fully compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home devices, meaning you can control it with voice commands. It also generates a map of its coverage area, which you can then use to set up virtual boundary markers or set up precise cleaning zones. If you have a compatible Braava Jet M-Series robot mop, the "Imprint Link Technology" feature allows it to start mopping automatically after the iRobot j7 is finished vacuuming.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The iRobot Roomba j7+ can be purchased without the external dirt bin built into its charging dock and is simply referred to as the iRobot Roomba j7. We can't confirm that this model performs similarly, as the lack of the self-emptying feature could have an impact on performance. We tested the pricier variant with the self-emptying feature and corresponding external dustbin, and you can see its label here.

If someone comes across a differently-equipped iRobot j7, let us know in the discussions, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Vacuums

The iRobot j7 is a premium robot vacuum with a unique obstruction identification capability. Like the iRobot Roomba i3+ and iRobot Roomba i7+, the j7+ variant of this vacuum is capable of dumping any accumulated debris in its internal dustbin into an external dirtbag mounted to its charging dock. It also has a wide range of advanced automation features and feels amazingly well-built. Unfortunately, its performance on low-pile carpet and bare floors is notably inferior to those older models. If you're looking for alternatives, take a look at our list of recommendations of the best robot vacuums, the best robotic vacuums for hardwood floors, and the best robot vacuums for pet hair.

Roborock S7

The iRobot Roomba j7+ and Roborock S7 each have advantages, and one may suit you better than the other, depending on your needs. The iRobot has a self-emptying feature that should reduce hands-on maintenance requirements, charges much faster, maneuvers itself more effectively, and clears more pet hair on carpeted floors. Meanwhile, the Roborock has a mopping attachment, incurs lower recurring costs, lasts longer on a single charge, and delivers better overall performance on bare floors.

iRobot Roomba i7+

The iRobot Roomba i7+ and iRobot Roomba j7+ each have advantages, meaning one may suit you better than the other, depending on your needs. The i7 performs significantly better on low-pile carpet and charges faster but has a shorter battery life than the j7. The j7 also clears more debris on high-pile carpet and has a unique hazard identification capability to avoid obstructions like pet waste.

iRobot Roomba S9

The iRobot Roomba S9 is better than the iRobot Roomba j7+. The S9 incurs lower recurring costs, charges faster, has an automatic suction power adjustment feature, and performs better on all surface types. Like the j7, it can also be purchased with an external dustbin and a corresponding self-emptying capability at an additional cost, though we haven't tested this variant. Meanwhile, the j7 has its unique hazard identification feature and weighs notably less.

Roborock S6 MaxV

The Roborock S6 MaxV and iRobot Roomba j7+ perform better for different use cases, meaning one might be a better fit for your needs than the other. The Roborock incurs fewer recurring costs, has a much longer maximum battery life, comes with a mopping attachment, and delivers superior overall performance on bare floors and low-pile carpet. Meanwhile, the Shark has a self-emptying function, takes much less time to recharge, deals with pet hair more effectively on low-pile carpet, and delivers better overall performance on high-pile carpet.

Shark AI Robot

The Shark AI Robot and iRobot Roomba j7+ each have their own strengths, so one may suit you better than the other depending on your needs. The Shark incurs lower recurring costs, has a longer maximum battery life, and delivers superior performance on bare floors and low-pile carpet. Meanwhile, the iRobot charges much faster, feels better built, clears more debris on high-pile carpet, maneuvers itself more effectively, and has more advanced automation capabilities, most notably its self-emptying function and hazard recognition capability.

yeedi vac station

The yeedi vac station is better than the iRobot Roomba j7+. The yeedi has fewer parts requiring regular maintenance, incurs slightly lower recurring costs, and performs better on all surface types. It also comes with a mopping attachment to clear sticky messes on bare floors. However, the iRobot has an allergen-trapping HEPA filter, charges considerably faster, and has a unique hazard-detection feature.

iRobot Roomba i3+

The iRobot Roomba j7+ is slightly better than the iRobot Roomba i3+. The j7 has a longer battery life, maneuvers itself slightly more effectively, has a wider range of automation features, clears more debris on high-pile carpet, and feels slightly better built. Conversely, the i3 performs better on bare floors and has an easier time cleaning material like baking soda or sand on low-pile carpet, though it struggles more than the j7 with pet hair on this surface type.

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