Roomba 985 vs i7: Which Robot Vacuum is Smarter and More Powerful?

Investing in a top-of-the-line robot vacuum means investing in your home and yourself. The iRobot Roomba 985 and Roomba i7 are high-end, powerful smart vacuums that make cleaning more convenient than ever. As the newer model with a higher price tag, how does the Roomba i7 fare against the older 985? Our detailed comparison will help you decide which one suits your cleaning needs better.

Roomba 985 vs i7 Comparison Chart

ModelRoomba 985Roomba i7
iRobot Roomba 985 Wi-Fi Connected Robot Vacuum iRobot Roomba i7 (7150) Robot Vacuum- Wi-Fi Connected, Smart Mapping, Works with Alexa, Ideal for... 
PriceCheck Price Check Price 
21 Reviews 

Weight8.7 lbs7.44 lbs
NavigationiAdapt 2.0 with vSLAMiAdapt 3.0 with vSLAM
BrushesDual Multi-Surface Rubber Brushes, Edge-Sweeping BrushDual Multi-Surface Rubber Brushes, Edge-Sweeping Brush
HEPA FilterYesYes
Clean Map ReportsYesYes
Suction Power1,700 Pa1,700 Pa
Zoned Cleaning and Imprint MappingNo
Wi-Fi and Smart Home ConnectedYesYes
RuntimeUp to 120 minutes120 minutes
Charging Time180 minutes180 minutes
Recharge & ResumeYesYes
Bin Capacity600 mL500 mL
Full Bin IndicatorYesYes
Virtual Wall Barrier1 includedZoned Cleaning
Clean Base Automatic Dirt DisposalNoCompatible
Imprint LinkYesYes


Both Roombas have similar physical controls and dimensions but differ in color

Roomba 985 vs i7 design
The dustbin release of the i7 (left) is found on the side of the robot

Apart from the obvious color differences, the Roomba i7 does not have the halo finish and dust bin release mechanism found on the Roomba 985’s faceplate. The i7’s dustbin release is found on the side of its body. The i7 also has a sleeker, monochrome finish, including its “clean” button which is black and unlike the typical iRobot “clean” button which is silver and green.

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Just like the other Roombas, the 985 and i7 are 3.6-inches thick and go under most furniture without problems.

Mapping and Navigation

The Roomba i7 has more advanced mapping navigation capabilities

i7’s Zoned Cleaning (left) and Smart Imprint Mapping (right) alleviates the need for a separate Virtual Wall Barrier

With its iAdapat 2.0 navigation system that maps out your floor plan, the Roomba 985 is definitely more advanced than entry-level Roombas that just randomly clean areas. The 985’s vSLAM technology tracks the areas it has cleaned while the Virtual Wall Barrier that comes with it allow you to block off areas that you don’t want your robot vacuum to clean or bump into.

However, the Roomba i7 boasts more advanced navigation technology through its iAdapt 3.0 with vSLAM and Imprint Smart Mapping technology. This technology allows your vacuum to learn multiple floor plans and determines the most efficient way to clean different rooms. You can also designate keep out zones without having to use a separate Virtual Wall Barrier.

You can either do a trial run with your Roomba i7 or set it up to clean and map at the same time. If you simply do a trial run, it won’t clean the areas that it goes through and simply records your floor plan for a more efficient cleaning afterward. If you have a small to medium floor size though, we recommend simultaneously cleaning and mapping to save more time as your i7 gets smarter every time you use it.

Cleaning Performance

The Roomba 985 and i7 use powerful motors, brushes, and use High-Efficiency Filters

Both robot vacuums are great for deep cleaning even thicker carpets, thanks to their 1,700 Pa Power Lifting Suctions and iRobot’s 3-Stage Cleaning System. They can pull in dirt and debris with 10 times more power than the entry-level Roomba 600 series. They can also increase their power and work harder when transition from your bare floor to the carpeted area.

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If you have a pet that sheds a lot or family members with long hair, their Dual Multi-Surface Rubber Brushes are perfect as they don’t get tangled with hair no matter how often you use them. They also come with a side sweeping brush to keep every corner of your house clean. Both the Roomba 985 and i7 also use HEPA filters which makes them more ideal for people with allergy.

Run, Recharge and Resume

Both Roombas can dock, recharge, and resume automatically

Both Roombas can find their way back to their docking station and restart where they left off

The Roomba 985 and i7 also have the capability to dock, recharge, and resume cleaning where they left off. Entry-level Roombas do not remember where their cleaning path and may go through the same areas multiple times. This won’t happen with the 985 and i7. If you have a larger home that the Roomba can’t finish cleaning in one cycle, this comes in handy.

Both Roombas can run for up to 120 minutes on standard mode, shorter when it keeps using its carpet boost. They need to be charged for 180 minutes to be able to run again on a full cycle.

Control Options

Both use the iRobot app and are smart home connected

The Roomba i7’s app lets you choose specific rooms for your robot to clean

The Roomba 985 and i7 use the iRobot HOME App to control your robot vacuum and schedule cleaning no matter where you are. You can also view your cleaning history, clean map reports (to determine which areas have been cleaned), and watch videos to help you maximize your robot vacuum’s powerful features.

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They are also compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant for a completely hands-free cleaning control.

Additional Features

The Roomba i7 is compatible with iRobot’s Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal

No more emptying the bin every cycle with iRobot’s Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal (right)

As you may have noticed, the Roomba 985 and i7 have similar iRobot’s cleaning technologies and features, save for some navigation capability upgrades.

Apart from its iAdapt 3.0 and Imprint Mapping, another difference between the two is the i7 is compatible with the iRobot Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal that can be bought separately. This is game-changing as this technology finally alleviates the need to keep emptying your dustbin after every cycle. It takes care of that for you. Even when you’re not home to empty the dustbin, your robot vacuum can keep working hard in keeping your home spotless.

iRobot claims you can forget vacuuming for months after you have scheduled your cleaning, but it still depends on your floor size and the amount of debris and hair on your floor. If you have a pet that sheds so much hair, you might find that you need to empty the Clean Base after a week or two.


The Roomba i7 is smarter than the 985, but they are both powerful

With its Smart Mapping Navigation, more advanced iAdapt 3.0, and the possibility to it upgrade it with automatic dirt disposal makes Roomba i7 a better buy than the 985. The price difference becomes insignificant when you consider these new features found in the Roomba i7.

As the Roomba 985 is also equipped with similar technologies as the i7, it is still a powerful machine that does an excellent job of cleaning your home efficiently. The Virtual Wall Barrier that comes with it is useful, too. However, it is not compatible with the iRobot Clean Base. If you find yourself wanting the convenience of automatic dirt disposal in the future, you won’t have that option with the 985. This is why the Roomba i7 makes it worth paying a little more for.

Last update on 2020-04-02 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Rhodaline E
Rhodaline E

Managing Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about people, product comparisons, culture, and current events.