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iRobot Roomba i3 Review


At this point, Roombas might be the most well-known robot vacuum on the market. Thanks to their awesome features and advanced technology which have revolutionized home cleaning, the Roomba has become a household name, and rightly so.

If you’re looking for a handy robot vac at the perfect price point, the iRobot Roomba i3 Robot Vacuum is definitely worth looking into. It has some of the sophisticated features we love in newer models but without the hefty price tag so you can continue keeping each room in your house spick and span no matter how busy you are.

In this full review, we take a look at some of this model’s best features, why you should buy it, as well as its pros and cons. Read on to see why the iRobot Roomba deserves the praise that it gets!

About the iRobot Roomba i3 Robot Vacuum

Model NameRoomba i3
ColorWoven Neutral and Black
Dimensions13.34 x 13.26 x 3.63 inches
Weight14.99 lbs
Batteries1 Lithium ion batteries required. (included)
Dustbin Size0.6 L
Noise Level~ 60 dB
Inclusions• 1 Clean Base® Automatic Dirt Disposal 
• 2 Dirt Disposal Bags 
• 1 Extra High-Efficiency Filter

If the latest Roombas are a little out of your budget, don’t worry. The iRobot Roomba i3 Robot Vacuum packs a punch that rivals robo-vacs have well above its price range. This unit may be older, but it’s certainly not weak. 

In fact, it possesses advanced reactive sensor technology and an automatic dirt disposal feature that makes the cleaning experience hands-off. With the ongoing pandemic and increasing business of our at-home lives, it’s a huge blessing to have a little helper that cleans up for you without much intervention.

Other features we love are the auto docking station, HEPA filter, rotating side brush, and dirt-detect technology.

Get to know the i3 more in our in-depth review!

iRobot Roomba i3 Robot Vacuum Features

The iRobot Roomba i3 Robot Vacuum is one of the top-performing robot vacuums on the market. It’s also ranked #7 on Amazon’s Robotic Vacuums category. Let’s take a deeper look at this unit’s best features to see why.

Design and Key Features

Among the many iRobot Roomba models, the i3 is perhaps the best when it comes to value for money. It’s also the ideal vacuum for those who simply want efficient cleaning without the hassle of setting up a ton of features.

The i3 boasts extended battery life from its predecessor, lasting around 75 minutes on a full charge. That said, battery life is becoming less and less of a problem as the model supports a “resume cleaning” feature, meaning its memory stores data from each cleaning session so that it can pick up where it left off if it dies in the middle of cleaning.

Its edge-sweeping brush is made up of tangle-free bristles so the vacuum doesn’t get caught on larger debris, dirt, or even pet hair while cleaning. You’ll also find 4 cliff sensors for detecting “cliffs” and avoiding falls, as well as floor sensors that enable the vacuum to switch its cleaning suction power depending on the floor type. The latter feature makes cleaning both carpeted and hard floors a breeze.

Inside the vacuum is a HEPA filter with four layers of allergen-blocking material that traps potential allergens.

Performance & Everyday Use

One thing everyone needs in a robot vacuum is good performance, and that’s what the i3 has. Despite sitting at almost 4 inches tall (which is pretty tall for the usually sleek and nimble Roomba), the iRobot Roomba i3 manages to deftly maneuver under and out of dining room chairs, low cabinets, and couches, cleaning even under hard-to-reach areas. Plus, it does a better job of cleaning up all kinds of messes like pet hair, 

This might also be due to the smart mapping ability of this vacuum, which is another feature we can’t live without. The i3’s sensors allow it to map out a room before cleaning, which enables it to do its job systematically. 

It works by cleaning in neat rows and straight lines so you don’t accidentally knock it over. This also makes the cleaning process much easier, unlike other vacuums that move randomly. Dirt detect technology also lets the vacuum sniff out dirtier spots accurately, whether it’s under dining chairs or in far-reaching corners.

Clean Base® Automatic Dirt Disposal Feature

The i3 is a powerhouse packed with plenty of great functions. But perhaps the handiest is the automatic self-emptying feature. It’s pretty self-explanatory – once the Roomba’s tank is filled up, it hurries over to the Clean Base-slash-charging dock and, with the help of its bin sensor, empties its tank. The charging dock contains a dustbin on top with a large disposable bag that can hold up to 60 days’ worth of dirt, debris, pet hair, tangled hair, and other trash.

This makes cleaning a lot more hands-off as you don’t have to get your hands dirty to empty your Roomba. However, it is worth noting that you might still have to carry the vacuum up and down the house if you have a multiple-story residence. The iRobot Roomba i3 sadly can’t go up and down stairs (yet), and the cliff sensors ensure that it doesn’t go near potential cliffs while cleaning.

Also, you’ll need to continue purchasing disposable bags which can incur a lot of costs in the long run. However, for us, it’s a small price to pay to have a vacuum that disposes of its own trash. 

Affordable Robot Vacuum

This is a superior-quality vacuum that is almost the same size as its predecessors and can clean up the same amount of dirt as more expensive models. It can even do a better job of navigating specific rooms due to its floor-tracking sensors. Plus, the iRobot app allows you to set a specific cleaning schedule with different cleaning times and extra cleanings if needed. 

The iRobot Roomba i3 also happens to be the cheapest Roomba that still has a self-emptying feature and dust bin/charging dock, unlike older models that only have a charging station without a clean base. This in itself is a money-saving function because you won’t have to buy the Clean Base charging dock separately. 

iRobot Home App and Voice Control

Finally, the iRobot Home app ties it all together by allowing the user to control almost everything about the Roomba i3. The app indicates battery levels and lets you set up cleaning schedules. Like other robot vacuums, the app functions as a remote control for the Roomba i3. However, you can still get a truly hands-free experience by setting up the device with your Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa.

Pros and Cons of the iRobot Roomba i3 Robot Vacuum

✔️ Long battery life
✔️ Durable and reliable robot vacuum cleaner
✔️ Self-emptying robot vacuum with automatic dirt disposal feature and self-emptying dock and self-emptying dustbin
✔️ Ideal for cleaning specific rooms
✔️ Compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant, and voice control
✖️ Minor software issues

Is the i3 Roomba Vacuum good for carpets?

The iRobot Roomba i3 Robot Vacuum does a great cleaning job on both hardwood floors and low-to-high pile carpets. This is due to its brushes and suction power that can vacuum almost all the debris and dirt on pretty much any surface. However, as is the case with many other robot vacuums, deep-cleaning a carpeted surface takes much longer than cleaning up bare floors.

What People Are Saying About It: Comparisons and Conclusions

Overall, the Roomba i3 is a capable and advanced vacuum that requires simple regular maintenance. Its automatic self-emptying function allows it to empty dirt on the docking station/charging dock with an attached dustbin, which is always a nice feature to have. It can clean up pet hair, dust, food, and other debris in a snap and on almost any type of surface while boasting a battery life of about an hour or more. After charging, the bot quickly picks up where it left off. Its biggest letdown is having no virtual walls but it’s no dealbreaker. 

“If you want a smart, powerful robot vacuum you can upgrade over time, iRobot’s Roomba i3 is our pick.”


Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between an i3 and i7 Roomba?

The i7 has a longer run time, an extra side brush, and a smarter vSLAM navigation that utilizes cameras to create a more precise map of your home. You can also create specific cleaning zones with the i7’s app so it doesn’t clean the whole room each time. Overall, the i7 is an upgrade to the i3, which means it has more advanced technology and a wider variety of intelligent features.

Does Roomba I3 Vacuum Have Mapping?

The great thing about the Roomba i3 is that you also get all the nifty features of newer Roombas, like smart mapping and voice command (it’s compatible with both Alexa and Google Pairs). All that’s missing is a virtual wall barrier, but it is available online.

Is the i3 Roomba Vacuum Worth It?

So, what makes the iRobot Roomba i3 Robot Vacuum different from most robot vacuums? this unit’s appeal is pretty much its value for money. At a reasonable price, you’re getting customizable features like specific cleaning schedules and cleaning passes, 10 times more suction power than iRobots basic models, and a self-emptying station. 

Where to Buy the iRobot Roomba i3 Robot Vacuum

Ready to make your home even cleaner? The iRobot Roomba i3 is available right now on Amazon. Head over to the website to get the best deals and prices.

Looking for other models? We list the best robot vacuums of the year right here.

iRobot Roomba i3 Robot Vacuum

The iRobot Roomba i3 is an exceptional robot vacuum cleaner that boasts an extended battery life, allowing for thorough cleaning sessions without interruption. Its build is sturdy and dependable, ensuring long-lasting performance.

One of its standout features is the self-emptying capability, which includes an automatic dirt disposal feature, a self-emptying dock, and a dustbin that empties itself. This makes maintenance hassle-free and convenient.

The vacuum is particularly effective at cleaning specific rooms, thanks to its precision navigation and mapping abilities. Moreover, it is compatible with popular voice assistants such as Alexa and Google Assistant, offering convenient control through voice commands.



The iRobot Roomba i3 vacuum is the perfect robotic vacuum for anybody who wants to take the load off when it comes to cleaning the house. Despite having a few setbacks, like lack of specific cleaning zones and virtual maps, the i3 has incredibly solid beginner features that make it a true gem and a few sophisticated functions that perform just as well as more expensive models.

Total Rating

Sota Takahashi

Sota Takahashi is a Japanese-born electrical engineer. At the age of 18, he moved to Seattle and completed his Electrical Engineering degree at the University of Washington, Seattle. Being a fan of all things tech, he channels his geeky side through this website, and with his wife Linda, shares knowledge about robot pets and how they can be lifelong and advantageous companions for both children and the elderly.

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