Get cleaner floors with less effort—with the Roomba® i3 robot vacuum that offers 10X the Power-Lifting Suction* to pull in dirt, dust and pollen. When allergy season hits or peak pet shedding season comes around, it offers extra cleaning sessions to keep your floors looking their best. It even learns your cleaning habits and suggests cleaning times that work around your schedule. Reactive Sensor Technology helps it avoid getting stuck, while Dirt Detect™ Technology focuses cleaning where its needed most. When you’re ready to clean, use the iRobot Home App or just say the word—Google Assistant and Alexa can tell your robot to clean with just the sound of your voice. Navigating purposefully and logically in neat rows, it powerfully vacuums your floors using Dual Multi-Surface Rubber Brushes—taking vacuuming off your mind, and your to-do list.
Pulls in stubborn dirt and messes with a Premium 3-Stage Cleaning System and 10X the Power-Lifting Suction.* Control how you clean with the iRobot HOME app or your voice assistant. *(Compared to the Roomba® 600 series cleaning system)
SMART NAVIGATION GETS THE JOB DONE
The i3 navigates and maps your home in neat rows using state-of-the-art floor tracking sensors to vacuum hardwood and carpet.
GOES WHERE IT'S NEEDED, AVOIDS WHERE IT'S NOT
Reactive Sensor Technology tells the robot where it can and cannot reach, and with Dirt Detect sensors, it can focus cleaning where it’s needed most, like the dirtiest areas of your home.
LEARNS YOUR LIFE LISTENS TO YOUR VOICE
Learns your cleaning habits to offer up personalized schedules, while Google Assistant and Alexa allow you to start cleaning with just the sound of your voice. The i3 will even suggest an extra clean when your area’s pollen count is high.
IDEAL FOR HOMES WITH PETS
Unique Dual Multi-Surface Rubber Brushes don't get tangled with pet hair. Brushes adjust and flex to stay in constant contact with carpets and hard floors. High-Efficiency Filter traps 99% of cat & dog dander allergens.
THE DREAM TEAM OF CLEAN
With Imprint® Link Technology, the Roomba® i3 robot vacuum and Braava jet® m6 robot mop team up to vacuum then mop automatically in perfect sequence, giving your floors a comprehensive clean with just a command to your voice assistant or in the app.
PICKS UP RIGHT WHERE IT LEFT OFF
Doesn’t skip a beat, or a mess. When its running low on battery it recharges and resumes, ensuring a complete clean.
COMPATIBLE WITH CLEAN BASE®
The Roomba® i3 Robot Vacuum is compatible with a Clean Base® Automatic Dirt Disposal so your i3 robot vacuum can empty its own bin.
The Roomba I3 robot is a great way to help out with simple house chores. For anyone that has every owned a Roomba we all know the quality and dependability that they bring. But the real question comes down to is there any real breakthrough technology with this new flagship that warrants the price tag. I will try my best to give you any information to help with your buying decisions.
First off i want to start by saying im comparing this unit to other similar units that i have tested in the past. In total i have tested about 5 other robot vacuums. The Roomba will come with everything needed to set up the unit including the base station, instructions, power cord and actual unit itself. Set up is done through the app however the app is not needed to actually use the robot. Speaking of which lets talk about the app real briefly. At this point and time the app is very generic in its design. Through the app you can set up schedules, view battery power, change your robots name and set up favorites. As of right now there are no favorite cleaning schedules that you can set up. you only have one option and in my opinion the app still feels like it is in beta testing. This isn't that big of a deal as i feel very confident as time goes on they will be adding more features to the app. So one thing Roomba does to their vacuums that im not really a big fan of is they removed one of the side bristles in place of a sensor. So the theory behind this im guessing is that the sensor is there to help with edge cleaning and deep dirt detection. That's nice and all but the issue i have with it missing the sensor is that when the unit hugs the walls to clean along the edges it always seems to hug along the side that is missing the bristle which proves pointless. However i can't knock it too much because this unit hands down does the best job at cleaning. The upgraded bristleless rollers means that if you have pets you don't have to worry about them tangling up as that will never happen however they will still tangle in the one side bristle that the unit has. The trash bin on this unit is the worse i have seen compared to other units. It's very small and if you have pets it fills up very fast. Also the exit port on the bin is tiny and does not allow for dumping of the waste to be done very easily. What i mean by this is that the opening is so small that when it comes time to dump the bin any hair or medium size debris does not empty easily which forces you to stick your hand in there and manually pull it out. This was a very big let down for me as i have personally seen cheaper units do a better job by providing a bigger waste pin while utilizing anti-static technology for hands free removal. Another big disappointment for me is the lack of no-go zone accessories. What no-go zone accessories are is strips or towers that allow you to block off certain areas that the robot is not allowed to go. For example lets say you have a computer office with lots of wires everywhere and you don't want the unit to go near the wires but you still want it to clean the room. Most units provide you with magnetic strips that you can place around the wires that will detour the unit from going near them and running them over. Roomba does not provide this and its very frustrating because i have started to notice a trend with big box companies and that trend is all about upsell. If you want to set up a no-go zone area then you have to buy these IR towers from Roomba for an additional charge. This is pretty unfair considering the price point and which they are selling this unit. Every unit i have ever tested always provided these no- go zones free of charge enclosed with the unit. Heck the newer units will actually map your rooms and display them onto a app service and will now let you digitally set up these zones removing the need of having to use strips or towers. Roomba is definitely behind the times in this area and me personally i feel they are taking advantage of the consumer considering most other competitors offer this for free at a lower price point.
Let's get in to the cleaning aspect of this unit, after all that is why you intend to buy this unit. One good thing that Roomba does have against its competitors is how well it cleans. So when you first turn the unit on and have it clean, it will move around your house aimlessly with no seemly purpose. However what it is doing at this point is the AI system is trying to determine your layout and floor plans so that it can clean your house more uniform. It does not take long at all for it to figure out the layout. After about 10 mins i noticed the unit started cleaning in nice straight lines and along the edges. I have dogs that shed alot and one of the first things i noticed was how well the deep cleaning AI system performed. When the unit would go over my carpets it would detect the hair imbedded in the fibers. The circular light would light up blue indicating that it detected deep dirt and it would go back and make a couple more extra passes to ensure the dirt was pulled up. It did a phenomenal job in pulling the hair fibers from the carpet. Did it get all the fibers? No but it did just as good as a upright. Another area that the Roomba really shines in that has its competitors beat is how well it cleans around surfaces and furniture. For example all other units i have used in the past always struggle to clean under my dinning room table due to the dining room chairs. Most units would either get stuck under the chairs and struggle to get out or would completely give up and not clean under the table. The Roomba has them beat hands down in this area. This is where i really saw the AI technology shine here. The Roomba would detect what it was and would clean under each chair flawlessly hugging the legs to get a good clean then it would proceed to move under the dining table and would clean in a uniform line. It cleaned it so perfectly it almost felt like it had physical eyes that could see. The Roomba has plenty of power to get over any small raised dividers seperating rooms apart and the built in sensors ensure that it will never fall off a edge or roll down the stairs. If for some reason the unit tangles up in something it will power down and send a distress message to your phone letting you know it needs help. Another nice feature this unit offers is the fact that it is not a quitter. This unit is the only one i have seen not quit on a job that is not done. So lets say you have a big floor layout and the battery runs low before it is done with the job. The unit will return home to power up some more and then after receiving ample charge it will automatically go back to cleaning picking up where it left off. If you have the app downloaded it will even tell you through the app that it is charging and will resume cleaning once it has enough power. Very impressive. A full charge yielded me about 2 hours of run time which was way more than enough to clean my 2800 sq ft house. Charge time is slightly under a hour on a low battery.
Here's the bottom line. This unit is a good unit but does lack some features. Although it does a very good job cleaning this is nothing new to the Roomba family. While other units are coming out with the ability to physically map your home on to its app services, Roomba does not. There is no real break through tech on this unit and in my opinion this Roomba works just about the same as its predecessors. Does it do a good job? Absolutely, in fact it probably cleans the best out of all its competitors. With that being said if you have a previous model just hold on to it and don't upgrade. This unit reminds me alot of cellphone carries. When new phones come out theres really nothing new other than the camera and processing speed. Its the same with this unit, there really is nothing new about this unit that makes it jaw dropping. So should you buy this? Well that depends. If you are looking for a unit that can hit every nook and cranny than ya this is gonna be the best out there. However if you are looking for something more affordable that offers more in the way of options and versatility than no i would pass on this unit as there are other units out there that provide more resources and better mapping. Also keep in mind that you will also need to buy the no-go zone towers as they are not included in this unit.
-Good obstacle detection
-Long battery life
-Lack of no-go zones
-Small trash bin
I would recommend this to a friend
Cleaning quality, Ease of use, For carpet
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
So Smart and Capable.
So Smart and Capable.
This iRobot i3 is so smart and that makes all the difference!! This is my second robotic vacuum and first iRobot. My first bot vacuum (not an iRobot) I bought was another well known, well rated bot but it was not a smart bot to be sure. It’s only ability to clean a floor relied on bumping randomly into everything forever ….dumb and prone to getting stuck….and ultimately useless and as such returned. So, I was skeptical about robot vacuums in general but before abandoning robotic vacuums for a few more years to let them evolve, I thought I’d give the last shot to the big dog in the area…iRobot Roomba. I know Roomba’s brand and its reputation so I was excited to try it out.
This iRobot i3 is just amazing! Set up could not be any easier. iRobot has a quick 5 step startup guide that had me ready to go in about 5- 7 minutes. I pulled out the charging station and plugged it in. That’s 3 of the 5 steps…easy enough! I placed the Roomba on the charging station and waited a few seconds then followed the steps on the app. EASY. The app is great as well.
Once the Roomba was ready, I selected “vacuum Everywhere” on the app and off it went. I watched intently as it begin its task like I was watching a new puppy explore the house. As I said before it’s smart…It uses an intelligent pattern to clean and after it was all done it showed me a map of my house that it cleaned. I mean at the end I could see an actual map of my floor plan! I can’t stress how important that feature is in a smart vacuum. It makes all the difference. Roomba i3 started in the living room and began to explore. It bumps into things but learns from it and gets smarter. It never got stuck once… Not once! Now keep in mind I prepped the house as they advised. I made sure dog toys were put up and chords weren’t laying around shoes put away ect. Whichever iRobot programmer or team that wrote the algorithm for it’s vacuum path selection did an amazing job! You can see it learning and figuring it out. It’s not just a bumper car hoping to grab some dirt as it haphazardly bumps into everything. The cleaning pattern seemed to be back and forth and then a perimeter sweep to find the walls and ensure it covered all the space. It would make a 90 degree turn as it navigated around furniture without touching it as it got smarter and as it learned my house layout! Super cool. It has a purpose and intelligence to getting the job done and the brains to recognize and avoid getting stuck which all equals a great clean house with no effort from me (except for emptying the Roomba’s trash bin twice)! Now that I have seen just how hands off and capable the Roomba is, I will probably invest in the cleaning station that makes it hands free for up to 60 days!
As the Roomba diligently toiled away, I monitored the battery level through the app to make sure I didn’t miss it when it was time for it to find the docking station. When the battery was getting pretty low, 45 minutes to an hour of run time I’d estimate. The Roomba stopped and spun around in the living room and I watched closely as it flawlessly navigated back to the charging area and precisely closed in and docked with the station. Really cool! At this point, it dawned on me that I should check the Roomba’s trash bin to see how the cleaning was coming. My wife and I don’t have kids and have a small dog. Our house is really pretty clean overall….or so I thought. There is a release on the side of the Roomba you can easily access as it charges so you can empty the trash bin and not disturb the charging. It was full of disgusting carpet fiber, hair and dust bunnies galore!! I was honestly shocked. One of the reason there was so much debris is because the nimble Roomba has a very low profile compared to my upright stick vacuum. The Roomba got places that have not seen a vacuum in many years!!!
After about 45-60 minutes of charging, I heard a beep and the Roomba got back on the job. It picked up where it had left off! As it cleaned away, I was impressed with the precise strait lines it left in the carpet (see pictures) leaving an impressive history of its precise cleaning it had accomplished!
It continued on tirelessly and then recharged one more time. I emptied the trash bin on the Roomba again and was shocked just how much more stuff it collected! The Roomba finished by leaving the furthest part of our house and effortlessly navigated back to the docking station navigating turns and furniture without toughing them once! The app told me it had completed the job and showed me a floor map of my whole house!! Again, It was my floor plan and was detailed and easily recognizable. Really amazing for this price point. I started the job at about 4pm and it finished the whole house at about 8:30pm. The app told me the actual run time was 2 hours and 1 minute with 2 hours and 28 minutes of charge time. It told me the square footage it had vacuumed and it was very close to my houses actual square footage! SMART!!!
The vacuum performed outstanding on our hard wood floors, and medium pile carpet and did a pretty good job on a high pile floor rug in our living room. The high pile living room floor rug was a little bit of a struggle for the Roomba but it was impossible for our first robot vacuum and is difficult to vacuum with my upright as well. Honestly, I did not expect the Roomba to be able to vacuum the living room high pile floor rug but it did. It is really powerful both in its ability to vacuum and its drive train to move from carpet to hard wood flooring and even ½” lips from wood to tile ect.
Overall I highly recommend this Vacuum! Super smart! These vacuums are investments in allowing you to spend your precious time doing something other than vacuuming! Make sure you invest in one that can do it all and do it better than a human could do with its ability to go under couches and dressers ect.! iRobot Roomba i3 does this in spades!!! This brand with this tech in this price point… You can’t go wrong! I love it!
I would recommend this to a friend
Cleaning quality, For carpet, For pet hair
Rated 4 out of 5 stars
Good Vacuum, Missing Advanced Smart Map Features
I was disappointed to find out that the i3 does not support many of iRobot's Advanced Smart Mapping features, which includes customized cleaning zones and “keep out” zones. Having the ability to customize the floorplan of the different rooms in your home helps considerably in targeted cleaning and preventing the robot from accessing certain areas (a.k.a “keep out” zones). In addition, with the advanced smart mapping features, you can label each room and tell the vacuum to go and clean that specific room. The robot intelligently leaves its base, heads straight for the selected room, cleans that room, then returns to it home base to charge. Another feature that is not included with the i3 model, but is included with the i7 model, is the ability to create zones within a room. For example, I own an iRobot Braava jet m6 mopping robot that has the advanced smart mapping features, and I created multiple zones in my living room. One zone is the high traffic walkway, and the other zone is the area under the couches. I can tell my Braava jet to mop only the walkway area, rather than mop the whole leaving room, which includes under the couches. This saves time, cleaning solution, and maintenance on the unit. So, many of these features are not available with the i3 model, and only available with the i7 model. iRobot’s website does list these differences in the i3 and i7 product comparison page. However, they are listed on the iRobot Home App webpage. There is a footnote on the bottom of the page that states that these features are only available with the s, i, and m series Roomba robot vacuums and Braava robot mops, but it doesn’t specify that it’s only available for the i7 model, and not the i3 version. I don’t think this is intentional on iRobot’s part, just an oversight they haven’t fixed yet.
Some positive features about i3 is that its suction is truly exceptional for a robot vacuum. It can pick up cat litter effectively. And the new style rubber brushes do a very good job at not allowing pet and human hair to get tangled around them. Another positive is the motors the drive the wheels; they are very strong. The vacuum can easily move over thresholds and from hardwood to carpets. Unfortunately, this strength has its downside. In one particular room in my home, the floor transitions from hardwood to a heavy shag carpet. Most other robots I’ve owned, will hit the shag carpet and work around it. This model can make its way onto the thick carpet, but eventually gets bogged down, then stuck. I don’t think this model is designed for extra thick carpet. Which is fine, but I wish I had a way through the app to draw a “keep out” zone so I don’t continuously get a “Robot is Stuck” error. The first few times it got stuck, I would open the app and see the customized map it had drawn of my room’s floor. I was excited because I thought I could edit the map, like on my Braava jet m6 mop. I looked for the map edit icon (see pic) within the app, but it was missing. It appeared under the Braave jet mop, but it was not available for the i3 model. This was very perplexing to me because the customized map was already drawn in the app by the i3, but the feature to edit it is turned off for this model. I then tried one of iRobot’s virtual wall accessories, which is not included with this vacuum. It looks like a small pencil holder (see pic) that you place on the ground and depending on the direction you point it, it will create an invisible wall that the robot knows not to cross. The virtual wall kept the robot from going onto the carpet, but the wall only stretched about 4 feet. My carpet is at least 12 feet wide, so once it got past the 4 feet distance, it made its way onto the carpet, then eventually got itself stuck. I ended up standing on the carpet and placing my foot along the edge to prevent it from crossing onto the carpet. I did this for the length of the carpet. Hoping that after I taught it to stay away from that area of the floor, the next time it would vacuum, it would not try to cross onto the carpet. Unfortunately, that was not the case, and it would go onto the carpet each time and get stuck. This behavior is contradictory to the description for this unit, which states that it “Goes where it's needed, avoids where it's not.” And its “Reactive Sensor Technology tells the robot where it can and cannot reach, which means less getting stuck on furniture and more knowing where to go.” I guess these features may work in other settings, but it didn’t work in this situation. Also, it’s quite possible that these features will be improved overtime, and updates can be sent to both the vacuum and app.
To get some clarification on its mapping and sensor ability, I called iRobot’s tech support. I was instantly connected with a live person who wanted to understand the issue. She was very helpful and communicated my information to the engineering team. Afterwards, she did confirm that many of the mapping features are not available with this model but thanked me for my feedback because it can help with improving this model. As a courtesy, they offered to send me an additional virtual wall, which I appreciated. I now understand that many of the smart map features are only available with the i7 model, but it would be nice to at least enable the “keep out” zone feature, so those with similar issues can prevent their robot from getting stuck in the same place. Still, I can’t say enough about iRobot’s customer service. They were extremely helpful and thorough with their support.
Overall, I would recommend this vacuum if you’re looking for a strong vacuum that can cover the majority of your home without the need for mapping customization. You may need to invest in a virtual wall or two, or simply block the area with something heavy to keep the robot from entering specific areas, but otherwise it can vacuum hardwood floors and light to medium pile carpet extremely well. If you want all the additional smart map features, you’re better off looking at the i7 model.
I would recommend this to a friend
Cleaning quality, For carpet, For pet hair
Loud, Mapping, Stuck
Rated 4 out of 5 stars
A budget friendly alternative to the i7
The iRobot Roomba i3 is a great robot vacuum, no question about it. It does a great job on carpet and even does good on hard surfaces, but carpet is where it really shines over other vacuums.
- Google assistant and Alexa integration
- straight neat rows vs random cleaning
- great sensing of floors, stairs, and objects to work around
- small design fits under a lot of furniture and beds to get where you can’t
- app is simple but effective
- ability to start and stop with schedule or app from anywhere
- can be added to the disposal charging and empty it’s own bin
- if it runs low on battery the robot will return home and recharge before finishing the job
- great on carpet just ok on hard surfaces
- specially designed rollers don’t get hair tangles. A pet owners dream!
- dust bin is washable (filter is not)
- ability to suggest cleaning times based on your habits and even the pollen report for your area
- no smart mapping like i7
- pretty loud, especially on hard surfaces
- can’t handle shaggy rugs or carpet
- no ability to make “no zones” on the map; you’ll need virtual walls to keep the vacuum out of an area
- does not include any spare parts other than one spare filter
What’s inside the box is pretty basic; the robot, standard charging dock with power cord, and a spare filter. Note there is NO spare sweeping brush or virtual wall barrier. That being said, the i3 is only $400 and the i7 starts at $600 so it’s going to have some budget cuts. Unfortunately that includes no smart mapping or ability to define rooms or “no zones”.
Setup was relatively easy, but if you are like me and never had a robot vacuum before, it may be a small learning curve before you understand exactly how it all works. Once I took the robot out of the box and got him on the charger I realized there’s really no documentation. As is the way these days, they put very little information in the manual and included a “quick start” page that basically just says, “charge it, push clean, and wait.” As someone who likes to customize and tweak things, I was a little bummed that the i3 is a more basic model and doesn’t include more custom features but I understand this was a design choice to make a more affordable option.
Once my robot was fully charged, I decided to push clean and see what happens. Right away the robot set out and started cleaning and mapping the room, looking for edges and walls. I have a pretty large main floor with laminate wood floors, tile, and a shag rug.
So during the first cleaning, I noticed right away that on hard surfaces, the i3 is pretty loud. I’m going to assume that’s all robot vacuums and also, it is a vacuum after all, but to anyone thinking they can run this at night while they sleep, you may find it is too loud for that. Now, on carpet, it was much quieter and potentially would be ok overnight for those who sleep a little heavier. However, when the robot was on my tile floor with deep grout lines, it was bouncing off the grout lines and making all sorts of noise. For me that’s not a deal breaker, it’s a vacuum and I assume when I am vacuuming it will be a little noisy, but it’s worth noting for anyone who wants to know if it’s “whisper quiet” or not.
As far as how good a cleaning job it actually did, this is where I was most impressed with the i3 roomba. Setting aside personal dislikes about missing features, this vacuum was designed to clean floors and it does that very well. It maps out your room with special floor sensors and creates a map for the robot to follow, I assume over time it will learn the rooms and be able to clean more efficiently but I can’t confirm that after just a few days of testing. I’m hoping that a firmware update will come shortly and allow you to save maps or edit areas of the map but I have not heard anything about that so as of now (sept 2020) that is not an option. But as my roomba got to work cleaning my laminate floors, I noticed it was getting all the little dog hair tumbleweeds and looking for edges before making neat, straight rows back and forth throughout the room. This has to be one of the best parts of the newer Roomba vacuums, no more random movements. The i3 will make clean straight rows and, on carpet, you’ll get those nice carpet rows everyone likes. (see photos)
One negative point to mention though, during the cleaning of my main floor I noticed the roomba was struggling on my shag rug. It is a pretty heavy shag and my shark stick vacuum actually struggles with it as well, but the roomba was trying to clean the rug and would eventually give me a red circle warning and stop until I cleaned the “dirty” brush rolls. Reality was that it was just too thick of a rug for the rollers to move. This was unfortunate because roomba said that it can handle deep carpets and rugs but apparently mine was too much for him. I’ll attach a photo to show the rug and the robot stuck. Unfortunately, when the vacuum stalls out like that there is no way to remotely restart it and I have to physically move the vacuum and press the clean button again. This happened on average 3 times before it would finish that area and move on. Now, I can easily block off this rug but again, that makes regularly scheduled cleanings more difficult unless I remember to block the area off first. And since this unit does not include a virtual wall device, I would have to purchase that separately to attempt to keep the vacuum off the rug. If you think you have areas in your home that would be trouble like my rug, I would suggest saving a little more and buying the i7 so you can simply tell the vacuum to avoid that area with the advanced mapping that comes with that unit. (unless they update the i3 to include a similar option down the road). For 200 bucks more you can get the i7 or for 100 bucks you can get 2 virtual wall devices. So to me it’s worth it to go for the i7 if you’re in that situation.
Other than getting stuck on my deep rug, the i3 did a really good job cleaning all the areas of my floor and avoiding things like stairs and window curtains hanging low. It did fine on my more standard style rugs and would generally go over the rug and back without an issue. I did notice some soft mats in the kitchen were moved a bit because the vacuum drug them along some, but overall there were no other red warnings or stops.
The i3 was able to do my entire lower level (337sqft with no carpet) over 53 minutes in one charge but is capable of returning to home to charge up and then will continue to finish the cleaning after it gets some juice.
One other noteworthy point, I have a 3 story home, so I wanted to see what would happen if I moved the robot upstairs without the home charging dock and simply made it clean my carpeted bedroom. I set the robot down in the doorway and pressed the clean button and right away it took off and started mapping the room and cleaning in straight rows. Bonus, it went UNDER my bed too! That is really nice to have since we can not clean under the bed normally and I know a lot of dog hair and dirt gets trapped under there. Actually, it was so bad that the bin was full before the room was finished! The app alerted me that the bin was full so I emptied it and pressed the clean button again and off he went to finish the job. After the room was done, I was curious where the robot would go given there was no charging dock home but it simply drove to the same spot I set it down in the doorway to start and then parked there and the app sent me a notification that the job was finished. This was a HUGE feature for me, the ability to simply take the vacuum to any room in the house and send him off to work is a real time saver. Simply clean up the clutter around the room beforehand and then let the robot do the work.
The basics of being able to schedule cleaning times and control the start and stop via the app is obviously included on the i3 but some other notable features are the ability to connect to alexa or google assistant, set up favorites (not sure exactly what that is because the app just says “coming soon”), control cleaning passes (one pass, two pass or auto), dirt detection (which will make the vacuum do a few extra passes over a very dirty area, and the ability to add the roomba clean base which will automatically empty the bin (this is included in the i3+ version).
Overall I really enjoy this vacuum and am happy with it’s cleaning ability. It lacks some features the higher end models have but comes with a lower price tag because of it. It’s a great robot vacuum for someone who wants a little help with the cleaning but doesn’t need a whole lot of control. The app allows you to start and stop from anywhere and the ability to add it to google or alexa allows you to start and stop simply with the sound of your voice. Personally, I have google in my house and on the first try all I said was “tell [vacuum name] to start cleaning” and right away he left the dock and got to work. There’s also a spot cleaning option which will clean about 3 foot area around the vacuum when you press the spot clean button. I found this pretty useful for little spills or quick cleaning around a doorway etc but overall figured I’ll just have it do the whole floor or use a classic broom
I would recommend this to a friend
Cleaning quality, Ease of use, For carpet
Dust bin, Mapping, Stuck
Rated 3 out of 5 stars
Finally a vacuum that doesn't tangle
Decent navigation AI for not having a camera
Lack of camera is nice for those more privacy conscious
Floor navigation sensor works in the dark
Handles furniture much better than previous models
Cleans hard floors better than previous models
Anti-tangle brush operation very good
Voice prompts very clear and easy to understand
Upgradable to CleanBase
Dirt sensor allows it to find extra dirty spots
Full bin sensors prevent wasted vacuuming
New design is much quieter
Google and Alexa integration
Smart integration can allow it to vacuum when you leave
Charge and resume mean less manual intervention
HEPA filter cuts down on dust being put back in air
Shows map of where it vacuumed when completed
Poor vacuuming performance on low pile decorative carpets
Randomly misses parts of rooms
Vacuums in parallel but often diagonal lines
Wanders between rooms instead of finishing one at a time
Low profile means it often gets hung up on even low carpet edges
Side brush often just throws debris further away
Side brush rubs bottom of unit creating plastic burns on it
Side brush easily gets tangled with hair and bogged down
When it gets stuck it just keeps repeating the same operation
Still bumps into furniture and appliances constantly
Requires lighthouses to avoid areas
Dust bin is cumbersome to empty
Often drags larger objects around lifting it up where it doesn’t vacuum
Small brushes mean much longer vacuuming time
Shape doesn’t clean edges and corners well
Rollers loud on hard floors
Its easy to recognize this as a Roomba. It has the same shape and design they have had since nearly the very beginning. Of course, some sensors are different, rollers are different, and finishes are different but from the outside you could be forgiven for thinking this is an older model. That’s not necessary a bad thing if the design is right. In this case, the dual rollers are the same width but a bit smaller than the old combo style brushes used in the past. Gone are the bristles in favor of rubber rollers said to resist hair tangling. A design that used to be available on their top end model. The rollers also sit lower to the ground now. The side brush looks very similar only much larger than the older designs. This model comes with a fabric accent ring on top and three buttons. There is no camera on top and a floor navigation sensor, likely a camera of some sort, on bottom. The charging station also looks mostly unchanged. What is different in this generation is the option to add a CleanBase automated bin emptying system. The i3+ version includes the CleanBase in the package, but this version can save you some money up front while still allowing you to add the option later if you wish.
Usage and Performance
Essentially, the i3 is a more affordable version of the i7. It the exact same design, with the same parts, and the same AI. The big difference is the lack of a camera on top means no Imprint Smart Mapping System. What that boils down to is the i7 can map out rooms and be sent to clean specific rooms and avoid areas just by drawing them on the floor map. The i3 has a more basic floor map which only uses a floor navigation sensor. There is a new feature in the app saying coming soon for favorite routines, but it describes how you will be able to vacuum based on time. It makes no mention of room smarts.
Without room mapping, vacuuming is an all or nothing affair. There is a spot clean feature where you can manually bring it to a spot, and it will vacuum in an outward spiral away from where you set it but that’s it. It also means that while it can vacuum in parallel lines it does not have the smarts to make sure those parallel lines match up with walls. From time to time you will find the i3 decides to vacuum a room diagonally, in zigzag shapes, or even U-shaped parallel lines. Sometimes it will also vacuum half a room one way, and the other half another way. It seems the more often it vacuums, the more erratic the patterns become. It also means that it might vacuum part of a room, leave the room to continue the line for a while, and then come back to the room and continue. If your primary goal is saving some extra money, then these oddities are not a big deal as they in no way affect performance. Although the manual makes no mention of this, the i3 can recover its basic location even if you have to pick it up to rescue it or fix it. How far away you can move it from its previous location without causing a problem is less clear. Since older generations without full room mapping would require you to start the entire vacuuming routine over if you even picked up the Roomba so this is a nice addition.
The biggest change day to day is having the dual rubber rollers that resist tangling in hair. You do have to watch out for hidden hair buildup on the edges of the rollers underneath the retainer brackets. Overall, if you have dogs or family members with long hair this will come in handy. In nearly a week of usage with two dogs who shed heavily and two family members with long hair, not once did the roller on the i3 get tangled with hair. At one point a small bundle of hair was temporarily built up and cleared itself, but it has been otherwise maintenance free. If you fight with lots of hair around the house and grow tired of pulling it out of rollers, this feature alone is worth it. Unfortunately, the side brush isn’t so great in this department. It’s hard to imagine iRobot making this brush any larger as it is comically large now, but it is a hair magnet. It often ends up flinging debris away from the Roomba and sometimes under furniture. Over the years iRobot also hasn’t addressed how the side brush tends to rub the underside of the main body and rub plastic all over the place requiring periodic scrubbing to get it off. Thankfully it’s less important so you can ignore it but overall, the side brush is less useful.
Vacuuming performance is good on hard floors except when the side brush catches a hold of objects. If it runs up onto an object, like a large nut, it will just ride up on it and carry it around while the rollers won’t vacuum anything. Carpets are less consistent. The body sits so low to the ground that often the i3 gets stuck trying to get onto low shag decorative throw rugs requiring several attempts. When it does get stuck, it doesn’t try different methods. It just tries the same back and forth motion and over until you rescue it. Hopefully iRobot will upgrade these smarts in a future update. Strangely, this low profile doesn’t translate to good performance on low shag carpets. Medium shag carpets it performs much better. Traversing built in carpets is much better and the low rollers gives you more distinct vacuum marks, even if those marks are often at odd angles. It still visibly pulls the carpet up. Although listed as 10X stronger than previous models using the same suction system as the higher end i7, it’s cleaning ability is still far less thorough than a manually operated vacuum. The round shape means corners are largely missed and edges depend heavily on the side brush. The main rollers are a good 2 inches inboard, so the wall edge of carpets never get more than a light brush. We still are not to the point that a Robotic vacuum can be as thorough as a manual vacuum, but the big advantage is you can run it every day. It might not pick everything up the first day but over time it can extract more and more, and you don’t have to lift a finger. With a built-in dust sensor, it can find the more heavily soiled spots and spend more time cleaning those as well.
The weakest area of the i3 is the dust bin. If you don’t vacuum every day and don’t want to have to stop to empty the bin mid vacuum, you will need to invest in the CleanBase upgrade or get the + model. It does have bin full sensors that let you know when it is time to empty to the bin, but by default it is set to continue vacuuming even with a full bin. This can be adjusted on the app to pause an alert to empty it. Ideally you would let it run often enough to where the bin would not fill up before vacuuming is done. The design of the bin seems a bit awkward to the point where you feel iRobot really wanted you to buy the + model with the CleanBase. Debris often doesn’t like to fall out of the opening requiring some work sometimes to get things out and sometimes manual intervention. A nice feature though is the waste bin and pre filter can be cleaned in water. The built in HEPA filter, which is great for allergy sufferers, is the only part not washable. The i3 seems to have become even quieter than previous generations to the point where you can comfortably watch TV while it is running. You just might to turn it up slightly.
The i3 can be paired with Google Assistant and Alexa to allow voice controls. It can also be controlled by some smart home products to allow automated cleaning. It would be nice if those assistants could be used to broadcast Roomba errors as well. The product information lists smart scheduling where it can suggest extra cleanings during high allergy times or based on your routines. Strangely, it is turned off by default and there is no initial question asking if you want it on. Most people would probably be left wondering why the allergy alerts never came up. Allergies have been low, so no suggestions have come up.
The Roomba i3 is a bit of a mixed bag. On the one hand, it only makes small iterative changes from previous models without fully addressing old quirks. On the other, it brings advance features that previously were relegated to higher end models down to the more affordable models. If you are ok with the quirks and can’t spring the money for the higher end version, the i3 is still a good vacuum. If you can upgrade later to the CleanBase, it’s an even better vacuum. If you are in the market for a mid-range robot vacuum, the i3 is an imperfect but good option.
I would recommend this to a friend
Ease of Use
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Cleaning quality, For carpet, Home use
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
My house is cleaner than it’s ever been!
Owned for 1 month when reviewed.
My only regret is that I didn’t buy this sooner. I don’t love the price of the replacement filters but so far that hasn’t made me regret my purchase. I don’t normally spend this kind of money but I am so happy I did. We recently replaced all the carpet in our home to LVP flooring and I didn’t like the way my feet felt dirty, even after sweeping. Now, my house is cleaner than it’s ever been. I am amazed every day when I see how much Roomba picks up. I have 3 kids and one indoor cat. Now my kids pick up their stuff because I told them Roomba would eat it if they didn’t. And I didn’t realize how much cat hair was in my house. Roomba goes underneath our beds and dressers, places hard to sweep under. Roomba is loud, I wouldn’t want to sleep with it on, but that’s ok with me. Quieter than a regular vacuum. It vacuums the rugs in the bathrooms great. It climbs up onto my fireplace which is about 3/4” high. It does bump into stuff but softly and doesn’t hurt anything. It works in the dark. I turn it on when I walk out to go to work and I get a notification on my phone when it’s finished. It’s only got stuck 3 times in 2 months and each time was understandable. It doesn’t fall down the stairs. I’ve moved it to another level of my house and it does great. I have a big rug and it cleans it wonderfully. One floor has lots of obstacles so it takes a while for it to clean but that’s ok with me. I can see why someone would want the I7 because you can tell it specifically where to clean, like under the dining table. I don’t have a problem emptying the bin every day. I kind of like seeing what it’s picked up. Plus the bags for the automatic emptying bin are an added cost. Roomba will clean one entire floor (1100 sq feet) without needing to be emptied. After Roomba runs, I can go over the floor with a wet mop and I’m finished. Just remember to read the instructions and do the suggested maintenance. I didn’t do that at first and my filter was full and hair was wrapped around the wheels. It was easy to get it off though. I hope my Roomba lasts for a while and I get my money’s worth out of it. I do not plan to ever live without one now.
The picture of the stuff in my hand is about what I get every day. It is becoming less every day though because my floor is getting cleaned more often. The other picture is when I cleaned the rollers, wheel and brush.
Ease of Use
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I would recommend this to a friend
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
iRobot Roomba still the best
This Roomba i3 looks more modern and is smarter than my Roomba 805. It navigates in neat rows and create a map in the app unlike the Roomba 805 navigates randomly and take longer to complete. This i3 can automatically recharges itself & resumes cleaning. It never stuck at stairs. It also works with the dual mode virtual wall barrier. The app has the favorites option but it is not active yet so the only favorite is to clean the whole house.
The dust bin filter is smaller and is easy to empty the bin as you can open the door pretty wide. However, dust can still fall out when removing the bin and some dust still stay in the main body.
I wish the app has navigation button to remote control the vacuum to go anywhere you want.
Also this i3 does not have a carry handle.
I would recommend this to a friend
Cleaning quality, Ease of use, For carpet
Rated 5 out of 5 stars
Part of a Great Family of Robot Vacs
Robot Vacuums have been on the market for many years now and improvements over those years have eliminated many of the problems that plagued early designs. The days of low battery power, low “suction” power, unreliable navigation, inability to find or return to the charge base and uselessly small dust carrying compartments are long behind us. This year’s crop of vacuum robots like the iRobot Vacuum i3 from Roomba are designed to eliminate even more difficult problems. The i3 is not the most feature laden vacuum in the large family of Roomba cleaning robots, but unlike many in its entry-point competitors, it has VERY strong bones. By that I mean that compared to the several other brands I’ve owned, instead of beginning as a blank design with “economy” in mind, the i3 is built from essentially the same underframe, motor, battery sensors and high-quality materials as Roomba’s highest i9 model. It’s minus some of the esoteric features, BUT BOY CAN IT CLEAN! It’s the best vacuum robot I’ve ever owned when it comes to handling the edges of small throw rugs and loose electrical cords it might encounter. Instead of ingesting and choking until it’s stuck, it pauses, reverses its rollers to “spit out” the rag or carpet, backs away from the “problem” and then moves in a different direction to continue cleaning. It’s fascinating to watch. Unlike all of the other robot vacuums I’ve owned, this is the only one that is able to finish cleaning the house without calling me with an App or just a plaintive chime to get it unstuck. To me this is its #1 feature. I’ve included a couple of pictures of the i3 encountering the throw rug and rather untidy computer, router and Wi-Fi cables under my desktop computer. I had to block this area off from my old vacuums that would get stuck there EVERY time. The i3 just does the job carefully and moves on.
- The aforementioned ability to avoid entanglement in cords or rug edges.
- Relatively high suction force.
- Creates a map of your floor plan and uses it (if necessary) to return to the exact spot it left off at (to return to the charger for about an hour), before it resumes cleaning the whole floorplan.
- Has improved infrared scanners and sensors so it can clean in (to our eyes) total darkness.
- Uses its sensors and software to clean in straight logical paths instead of bouncing from wall to wall like older robot vacuums.
- Easy to remove and clean the pick-up rollers if long pet hairs get wrapped around those rollers.
- The extra large dust-bin/charging station that sucks the dirt out of the robot at the end of every cleaning session can be purchased separately. This unit is standard with the i3+, i7 and i9 Roombas. Depending on how dirty the floors are, this dirt extracting station can allow the Roomba to operate for days or weeks autonomously without needing to be emptied after every session.
- 1-year limited warranty
- Charging station.
- Downloadable Android or iPhone App for monitoring or control of the i3.
- Great cleaning ability
- Good Customer and Technical Support by phone to make up for poor User Manual.
- The ability to set up/pair with Google Home or Apple Siri through Bluetooth allows hands free control.
- The User Manual does not offer much information beyond FCC and safe operation rules.
A very capable robot vacuum that does the basics very well. It’s also somewhat upgradable since it can use accessories used with higher end Roomba models in the same family. I found that a call to their Technical Support can explain this quite well.
A:AnswerNo, the i3 does NOT have smart mapping... which means you cannot tell it to clean specific areas in your home. The higher tier models (i7, s9) DO have the feature. The i3, however, has a "Clean Map" feature where it tells you where its cleaned. The Clean Map is found in the "history" section in the iRobot Home app.
Not sure how the 675 handles carpet to wood or vice versa... but the i3 does a great job... I have no issues with it getting stuck or turning back thinking it's an obstacle.