If you live in a midcentury modern home, it can be tough to find appliances that fit your decor—and your lifestyle. The iRobot Roomba j7+ Self-Emptying Robot Vacuum is an exquisite exception to that rule. It features a stunning, self-emptying Clean Base (you can also get the Roomba j7 on its own, without the Clean Base) and makes scheduling no-maintenance, hands-free vacuuming easy.
What’s in the box of the iRobot j7+?
One of the things that I love about iRobot products is that they’re packed in a way that makes sense. Each product comes in staged boxes, so they’re easy to unpack. They’re also easy to re-pack, which is great for families who move frequently and like to store their appliances in their original boxes when they do so.
In the box of the iRobot Roomba j7+, you’ll find one Roomba j7 robot vacuum, a Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal dock with plug and winding apparatus, and two dirt disposal bags. The vacuum comes assembled with a filter and corner brush attached, but iRobot includes an extra of each as well.
You’ll also find a quick start guide, instruction manual, and warranty information. However, as with any iRobot product, all you really need is the iRobot app. The j7+ connects easily to your app using Wi-Fi, which will allow you to control and troubleshoot the product whenever necessary.
What’s new in the iRobot j7 and j7+?
The Roomba j7 and j7+ introduce iRobot’s new PrecisionVision Navigation functionality. PrecisionVision uses a camera to recognize objects that it stumbles into, and to better avoid them in the future. In some households, that means items like ottomans and phone charging cables. In others, PrecisionVision solves a major robot vacuum issue: something that I like to call the “drag and spread.”
If you live in a home with a potty-training child or pet, you may have already heard the horror stories. On rare occasions, if there’s something… let’s say soft and fresh on the floor, robot vacuums can run into a problem where they spread that substance around. Unable to suction or brush it up, they’re left dragging it throughout the house. As you’d expect, this can cause a larger, smellier problem.
In the j7 and j7+, however, iRobot has produced a fix for soft substances and household cords. They’re calling it PrecisionVision, and while it ostensibly exists to avoid obstacles in general, their own product descriptions make it clear that it’s primarily for avoiding what they call “pooptastrophies” and cords. (In fact, the company promises to replace your Roomba j7+ for free if yours causes any similar pet poop catastrophes.)
What kind of maintenance does the Roomba j7+ need?
If you’re shopping around for a new robot vacuum, you may have noticed that many iRobot Roomba models are offered in a “letter#” and a “letter#+” version. The “+” in any iRobot Roomba product denotes that it’s a model with a Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal. Those devices will need a little less upkeep on a regular basis.
Instead of requiring manual emptying of the vacuum’s built-in dustbin emptied after every 1-2 cleanings, iRobot plus models with Clean Bases allow the vacuum to self-empty after or during any cleaning session. It’s a pretty noisy endeavour, but works great for most debris. (I’ve noticed that some heavier solids, such as dry rice, can get stuck in small amounts in the vacuum’s dustbin even after the vacuum self-empties.)
iRobot estimates that the j7+ will be able to empty itself into the Clean Base for up to 60 days, which is a huge stretch of hassle-free cleaning time! It also lines up nicely with your maintenance schedule on other parts of the j7+.
In the iRobot app, the brand gives suggestions for cleaning and replacement frequency for many of the parts you’ll find attached to your vacuum. High-efficiency filters, for instance, should be cleaned every 1-2 weeks and replaced every two months (similar to the schedule your Clean Base will need to be emptied on). Other parts, such as the sensors and wheels, need to be cleaned every two weeks and replaced closer to a year if needed. There’s a full maintenance list for each vacuum in the iRobot app, which I love—it helps cut down on cost and waste, and means that you can keep a high-functioning product in top condition for much longer.
What other features does the iRobot Roomba j7+ have?
Pet poop jokes aside, there’s plenty left to love in the Roomba j7+. This smart home-friendly vacuum is app-enabled with optional voice commands, and it cleans in three stages for the best results possible. If you’re looking for a vacuum and mop combination, the j7+ pairs with iRobot’s Braava Jet line using Imprint Link Technology so that the Braava Jet m6 only mops in areas that have already been vacuumed.
The iRobot Roomba j7+ uses large, spring-loaded wheels to climb on top of thick objects like rugs and mats and dual rubber brushes rather than a brush roll, so you’ll experience fewer tangles (and find it easier to clean them when they do happen). It navigates in efficient rows once it learns the map of your home, and has the ability to resume a cleaning session partway through if it gets interrupted by a low battery or full canister alert.
In the iRobot app, you’ll be able to set scheduled cleanings, customize your home’s maps, and label and outline each room or zone. It’s easy to set up Keep-Out Zones for this Roomba to avoid. You’ll also be able to create Clean Zones in your areas that need frequent spot cleaning, such as under the kitchen table or right in your front entry.
How does the iRobot j7+ tackle cords, cables, and more?
iRobot recommends the j7 and j7+ for their ability to avoid items like cords and cables using PrecisionVision. Overall, I’d say that this vacuum did a good job with cords and cables.
Something I’ve noticed in robot vacuums recently is a switch to larger rubber rollers over a traditional brush roll or single roller. These new roller paddles, which are set into a guard, do a fantastic job of avoiding cable tangles. If you have charging cables and extension cords around the house, don’t worry: I didn’t have any cables get stuck in my j7+, and it didn’t manage to unplug anything during its cleaning sessions.
However, I did find that the j7+ struggled to avoid items like bathmats and smaller raised surfaces or objects, even after getting stuck in the same spot three or four times. For one or two single cables, this vacuum should be able to navigate over or around them with ease; for anything larger, I recommend adding one of iRobot’s Keep-Out Zones to protect the area.
My experience with the iRobot Roomba j7+
I love an iRobot product and I’m not shy about it. The j7+ has a ton of features that I love, and its Clean Base is perfect for my laissez-faire lifestyle. (Or, okay, my “I’ve already vacuumed three times this week and I cannot do it again lifestyle). Its mapping feature is incredibly handy, and—something a friend of mine pointed out to me—its neat rows deliver a pleasing result on freshly-vacuumed carpets.
Speaking of carpets: this vacuum does a great job of cleaning tall carpets and rugs. Its large, springy wheels mean that it can tackle inclines better than other devices I’ve tried, and it doesn’t get stuck on my memory foam kitchen mat or raised bathroom tile. Just make sure to mark off lighter textiles with a Keep-Out Zone for best results.
I really enjoyed using the j7+. Its Clean Area selection tool and detailed maps let me know which areas were cleaned and where there was a large amount of dust, dirt or debris, and its detailed cleaning record is helpful in making sure that each task has gone to schedule. I feel like it was quieter than the brand’s iRobot Roomba i3+, but with how long it takes to complete each cleaning session, I wish that it had more options for cleaning intensity and volume.
Who is the iRobot j7+ best for?
For the j7+, the iRobot app offers room-sized cleaning (2-3 passes in a given area), daily cleaning (a single pass), and extra clean (two passes through the whole map), but lacks volume or suction options. This device took two hours and 43 minutes to fully map my home (about 700 square feet), and each subsequent “daily clean” took 45-55 minutes.
Because of this, I wouldn’t recommend the j7+ to anyone looking for a super quick or quiet clean—so, no homes with skittish or noise-reactive pets, for instance. However, this vacuum’s neat lines and self-emptying base are great features to have, and this line’s Clean Base looks extremely chic with its molded lines and leather tab.
Overall, the iRobot j7+ is an excellent self-emptying vacuum that’s ideal for homes with pets. Its simple, easy-to-use scheduling capabilities and unique PrecisionVision feature are there to help you cut down on your regular floor maintenance time, and for families who need an extra deep clean, the j7+ pairs perfectly with iRobot’s Braava Jet m6.
Shop the iRobot Roomba j7+ Self-Emptying Robot Vacuum online at Best Buy.