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Roomba i3 vs i7 (2021): Which iRobot Vacuum Cleaner Should You Get?

The Roomba i3 is the latest addition to iRobot’s growing catalog of robot vacuum cleaners. Together with its plus model, the Roomba i3+, this midrange device hopes to make automated cleaning more accessible to consumers. But how does iRobot’s new robovac compare with the higher-end yet popular Roomba i7? Read our comparison below to see which is the better vacuum cleaner.

Roomba i3 vs i7 Comparison Chart

ModelRoomba i3Roomba i7
 Amazon productAmazon product
PriceAmazon productAmazon product
Suction power10x suction power compared to Roomba 600 series10x suction power compared to Roomba 600 series
Smart mappingNoYes
Smart navigationYesYes
Visual navigationNoYes
Cleaning systemPremium 3-stage cleaning systemPremium 3-stage cleaning system
Tangle resistant brushesYesYes
Clean Base compatibleYesYes
Create Keep Out zonesNoYes
Plus modelsRoomba i3+Roomba i7+
Dimensions 13.26″ x 3.63″13.34″ x 3.63″
Weight7.44 lbs7.44 lbs

Design and Hardware

The Roomba i3 and i7 are both well-built robot vacuum cleaners with sophisticated aesthetics.

Compared to the Roomba i3 (left), the Roomba i7 has a more premium-looking cladding.

The Roomba i3 and i7 sport the same round design that has become synonymous to the iRobot’s brand of robot vacuum cleaners. On top, you’ll find a few physical buttons to manage the machine. These buttons are linked into the robovac’s body, minimizing issues of dust entering them. Meanwhile, most of the cleaning features are discreetly tucked underneath the Roombas.

The i3, however, comes with a silver, metallic finish whereas the i7 looks more premium, clad as it is in a charcoal gray top cover with a black plastic that surrounds the controls. Both brandish a wide black bumper that keeps the vacuum cleaners from damaging itself as well as any furniture it might accidentally hit.

iRobot’s i3 and i7 both weigh just a little over seven pounds, and share the same 3.63-inch height. With these dimensions, the robovacs enjoy greater maneuverability that should allow them to clean most spaces inside the house.

Cleaning System

Both the Roomba i3 and i7 are equipped with the 3-stage cleaning system.

Both i-Series Roombas can sweep along corners and walls.

Despite coming in different price points, the Roomba i3 and i7 are essentially equipped with the same iRobot 3-stage cleaning system. Compared to the Roomba’s best-selling 600 series, these i-Series vacuum cleaners boast 10x more suction power. This helps draw in more dirt, debris, and dust.

Apart from the suction, you also get two types of brush system. The dual multi-surface brushes allow the i3 and i7 to stay in contact in any surface, whether it’s hard or carpeted floor. But they’re also designed be easy-to-care for as they don’t tangle with pet hair. An edge sweeping brush, on the other hand, helps clear debris along tough-to-reach corners as well as room edges. However, because of the round form of the i3 and i7, trickier corners can be missed โ€” a problem that’s been solved by the more premium Roomba S9 and S9+’s specially designed corner brush.

Both the Roomba i3 and i7 come with high-efficiency filters that not only trap pet allergens but also take in dust mites and dirt. Those who opt for the plus models also get automatic emptying courtesy of the Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal. The base is the same for both the i3 and i7, and features AllergenLock bags that can hold dirt for up to 60 days.


When it comes to navigation, the Roomba i7 has the advantage over the i3.

Here’s the Roomba i3 (left) returning to its charging base and the Roomba i7 (right) following keep out zones.

What spells the difference between the Roomba i3 and i7 is their respective navigation systems. The more affordable Roomba i3 comes with iAdapt 2.0 Smart Navigation. Meanwhile, the i7 features a more advanced iAdapt 3.0 Smart Navigation technology. In any case, both robovacs are essentially capable of navigating a room in clean, efficient, and neat rows.

But the Roomba i7 offers more with its vSLAM technology. With this visual mapping feature, the i7 not only navigates your house but also learns its layout, allowing the machine to build a Smart Map it can use for future cleaning. On the i3, the vacuum cleaner only tracks the layout of your house for any cleaning in progress. After a session, the machine basically forgets what it just mapped.

This innovative visual mapping on the Roomba i7 also means you can program the machine to avoid certain parts of your home, through what iRobot calls Keep Out Zones. This should make automated and scheduled cleanings not only convenient but also worry-free, as you can be sure the i7 will ‘keep out’ of rooms where they may be fragile furniture and equipment.

Nonetheless, both the Roomba i3 and i7 are equipped with Reactive Sensor Technology that helps it identify obstacles or furniture it needs to avoid. iRobot’s vacuum cleaners also boast of Dirt Detect sensors so it can recognize parts of your home that needs the most cleaning.

Smart Features

Both the Roomba i3 and i7 can be managed through the upgraded iRobot Home app.

The Roomba i3 and i7 work well with voice assistants, humans, and pets alike.

Today’s smart appliances are largely easy to control thanks to their companion mobile apps. iRobot recently upgraded their iRobot Home App to the new Genius platform. With this enhancement, you can now get notified of your cleaning schedules. You can also opt for personalized recommendations, based on your vacuum cleaning habits.

The Roomba i3 and i7 are also compatible with Alexa-powered devices. From cleaning-on-demand or simply stopping the robot, a simple voice command will suffice. And for greater convenience, the Imprint Link technology allows you to sequence vacuum cleaning to be followed by automated mopping with a Braava jet m6 robot map.


The Roomba i3 is a great budget alternative to the Roomba i7.

Amazon product

iRobot is undoubtedly the leader when it comes to robot vacuum cleaners. And now that these mean cleaning machines are becoming a staple in households, having the Roomba i3 and i7 makes the technology and convenience even more accessible.

Between these two cleaners, the Roomba i7 makes it easier to schedule cleaning, without worrying about where the robot can and cannot go. Its distinct edge in visual mapping and navigation means you get a smarter robot that can learn the layout of your house. If you’re someone who wants to be sure the Roomba stays out of certain rooms, you’ll benefit more from the i7.

Now while the Roomba i3 doesn’t come with a smart mapping technology, it does boast practically the same cleaning system as the i7. You get similar suction power and operating runtime as well. And at around $200 less than the i7, the new Roomba i3 certainly makes a strong case. Moreover, you can get the Roomba i3+ with the Clean Base for the same price as the regular i7. It’s definitely a deal worth getting.


๐Ÿ“Œ What’s the difference between the Roomba i3 and i7?

The Roomba i3 and i7 share the same 3-stage cleaning system. However, the Roomba i7 comes with vSLAM navigation that allows it to learn the layout of your house for more efficient cleaning sessions. The i3, on the other hand, comes with a regular mapping feature.

๐Ÿ“Œ How long does the Roomba i3 and i7 run?

Both the Roomba i3 and i7 have about 75 minutes of runtime. Charging is easy, as both the i3 and i7 will automatically return to its charging base when the battery is low. Once fully powered, these vacuum cleaners will resume where it left.

๐Ÿ“Œ How often do you need to empty the dust bin on the i7?

The frequency of emptying your Roomba i7‘s dustbin depends on your cleaning habits and your current home situation. Full cleaning may require emptying the dust bin after a session.

๐Ÿ“Œ How does the Roomba i3 fare with pet hair?

When it comes to pet hair, the Roomba i3 does an excellent job of drawing them in and keeping floors clean.

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Mari Bassig

Senior Editor, writer and researcher passionate about gadgets, social media, and music.