Living With a Roomba i7 Six Months On - Review

At the end of 2021 my household got a Roomba i7. We've been using it on and off and this is my review of the first six months.

Living With a Roomba i7 Six Months On - Review
A much-cleaner-than-mine stock photo by Onur Binay / Unsplash

First up, some points:

  • The floor space it cleans is approx 45sqm/485sqft.
  • It's run 37 times. However only a handful of full cleans as most were targeted rooms.
  • Emptied 6 times.
  • Stuck twice.
  • No pets and the household was inside most of the time
  • Hard flooring

The initial run of the space took just over an hour. This is a mapping run to understand the layout. In fact the first few jobs are mapping runs to help gain that understanding. Hilariously I was impatient and didn't charge it long for that first run and it shortly returned back to the base station to charge. What was cool is that it continued when it had enough charge I believe.

It had a really tough time with loose rugs in hard flooring, often bundling itself up as it rotated and pulled the rug toward itself. Though as a counter point, this allowed the rugs to be lifted, shaken, and thrown into a corner somewhere such that the Roomba could sweep up the dirt from the rugs.

Cords are definitely an issue. Especially more thin and long ones like phone chargers. They'll get battered and beaten easily, occasionally getting munched by the dual rollers underneath. Similar to the rugs, it's kind of annoying to have to move them, or skip that room when feeling lazy when with a conventional vacuum cleaner you can just push the cords to the side with the head.

Long hair eventually ends up being an issue. They'll wrap around the rollers and the sweeping brush rendering them less effective. However with how easy the rollers are to take off, the coiled around hair can just be easily pushed down and off one end of the roller.

I find the bumping into things like walls and doors aggressive at times. The bumping is to push the big button on the front such that it's aware of the surroundings, but sometimes a half open door can be bumped in a stronger-than-expected way.

Banging into an unexpectedly open door.

After about five months, it did request to have the charging contacts cleaned.

But how well does it clean? Let's compare. If a regular good vacuum cleaner is used and a lot of careful effort goes into the clean, I'd rate that a 95/100 for cleanliness. The type of clean that makes you go "damn, that's a clean house". The Roomba I'd put at like a 70/100. It cleans a better than I expected, and it's really handy to reduce the big cleans. Which, by the way, it doesn't replace what a person with a decent vacuum can do. But it does lighten the load and prolong the time until the next big vac needs to happen.

Side note, the spot cleaning function is similar to a hand vacuum. Let's say some flour is dropped on the floor. If you had a hand vacuum, you'd get that and suck it up right away because it wasn't too big of a mess. With the Roomba, it can be easily picked up, put onto the mess, and the spot clean button pressed. From here it will do an ever widening spiral to clean the messy area. Afterwards, I just pick it up, put it in front of the dock and press the home button to make sure it docks successfully.  

The app is fun, showing the house layout as it understands it along with where it's cleaned and any really dirty places. But my main usage is to tell it to clean specific rooms, which doesn't feel like a fancy feature - nor should it be.

Do I think it's worth the money? I waited for a sale and paid NZD$1,285 which is approx USD$900. Things are sometimes expensive in New Zealand, and this is one of them. So no, I don't think it was worth it. The convenience factor fantastic, except for the times rugs and cables have to be moved. If it were something like NZD$400/USD$258 I think it would be well worth it.

Though, with all that, my friend sent me this meme after I said it made a dash for the door on the first run:


When your vacuumcleaner leaves you 😩 #goodbyemylover #goodbye #andheisoff #heartache

♬ Goodbye My Lover - James Blunt

We called ours Nu-nu, based off Noo-noo. Very original.