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iRobot Roomba Combo j7+ Review: The Best robot vacuum & mop combo

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After many years of releasing robot vacuums and mops separately, iRobot has finally brought them together into one product. And it doesn't disappoint.

iRobot Roomba Combo j7+
$1,099
Rating
star star star star star
Pros
  • Able to mop and vacuum at the same time
  • Able to lift the mop up, completely off of the ground
  • Performs pretty well in low-light areas, thanks to the new light
  • Rubber brushes do well at not getting tangled
  • Obstacle avoidance appears to have improved since the Roomba j7+
Cons
  • Auto-empty dock doesn't clean the mop pad nor refill the water tank
  • Suction lacks compared to competition
  • Mapping could use some work

iRobot provided AndroidHeadlines with a review unit of the Roomba Combo j7+, which we’ve been using for about 3 weeks before writing this review.

iRobot has been making robot vacuums and robots in general for many years now. iRobot, after all, was founded way back in 1990. So it’s not new to this. But it is new to making a combo robot vacuum, that is also able to mop. One of the hinderances for iRobot, the company says, is that they didn’t want the wet and dirty mop going across your carpet, getting it wet and dirty. Now some competitors have made robot vacuums that are able to pick up the mop. But iRobot has gone a step further here, and lifts the mop completely up and places it on top of the robot vacuum.

So now, how well does this robot vacuum perform in the real world? Is it worth spending $1,099 on? Let’s find out in our full review.

iRobot Roomba Combo j7+: Design

The design of the Roomba Combo j7+ isn’t really that different from the Roomba j7+ which we reviewed a few months ago. The main difference here is the backside of the robot vacuum. There’s now space on the backside of the top of the robot vacuum for the mop and its arms to raise and lower it. Additionally, the dustbin is also a water tank now. So it feels heavier and larger. But it holds roughly the same amount of dirt and debris as the regular j7+ did.

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On the front of the Combo j7+, we have the camera which is used for obstacle avoidance, as well as a light above it. This is here to help with obstacle avoidance as well, particularly in darker areas. Think of under the bed, or furniture, or in a room where the light isn’t on. The light does actually help it quite a bit, compared to older Roombas and even older robot vacuums. It’s also a feature we’re seeing on more robot vacuums.

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Like the j7+, the Roomba Combo j7+ does not have a LiDAR arrow sticking up on top of the vacuum. This means that the top is flat, and it has a lower clearance, allowing it to make its way under more furniture in your home.

On the bottom, it has the front spinning brush available (iRobot does include a spare), as well as two rubber rolling brushes. These are actually really great. And we’ll talk more about those in the performance section actually.

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Then there’s the dock. It’s actually a really good looking dock. It’s pretty low, unlike the s9’s dock from iRobot. It does look very modern, so it should fit into most people’s living room. It does come with a dirt bag pre-installed, as well as a second one included in the box.

Overall, the design is quite nice, and not a big change from the regular j7+. Which should come as no surprise, since the vacuum is based off of the j7+.

iRobot Roomba Combo j7+: Cleaning and Performance

Now, to the important part. How well does the Roomba Combo j7+ clean and perform? Quite well actually.

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As some background, I live in a townhouse, and have a dog as well. So with the Roomba Combo j7+ I was using multiple floorplans as well as it needing to deal with dog hair. And it performed really well. When it comes to navigation, it does it pretty well, doesn’t really miss a spot, which is always good to see. It is a bit odd that it doesn’t go around the perimeter of the room and then run up and down to clean the room though.

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The two rubber brushes on the Roomba Combo j7+ work really well. They have yet to get tangled, or cause any problems. And I’ve run this vacuum probably close to 20 times so far. So that’s good to see. Having two brushes there helps to get up all of the stubborn dirt and debris too.

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Now let’s talk about mopping. Watching the mop go around the vacuum to start mopping is pretty cool. But how well does it clean the floors? Well, I don’t have a lot of space that is not carpeted here in my townhouse, so it didn’t get as much use as it should. But in the kitchen, it mopped pretty well. iRobot does give you options in the app to control the waterflow. And there’s also cleaning solution included in the box. Something that a lot of robot mops can’t even use, never mind include in the box.

Overall, the performance is quite good. It cleans very well, it’s also super quite and can get back to the dock without many issues. I’ve tested a handful of robot vacuums since moving, and some have trouble getting back to the dock. But the Roomba Combo j7+ has not had a single issue, I’m happy to report.

iRobot Roomba Combo j7+: Maintenance

On a robot vacuum with an auto-empty dustbin, the maintenance is pretty minimal. Since receiving this unit, roughly 3 weeks ago, the only thing I had to do was untangle a dryer sheet that the vacuum had picked up (I have no idea where it was picked up from, though). Hair, dirt, and other debris were not an issue for the Roomba Combo j7+.

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There was also one time where the vacuum did not fully empty the dustbin upon docking itself. So I had it empty again and it was fully emptied this time. All in all, maintenance is super easy here. The only real thing you’ll need to do on a weekly basis (depending on your home and schedule) is filling the water tank. Because, unfortunately the dock does not do that, nor does it clean the mop.

iRobot Roomba Combo j7+: App

The iRobot app is super easy to use and understand. Which kind of answers the question as to why Roomba’s are so popular. Now I do wish that you had more options available here for things like the level of suction, and on a per-room basis. However, you can choose to have it do your whole house once or twice, and you can also set up multiple floorplans.

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As someone that lives in a townhouse, I do have multiple floorplans available on the Roomba Combo j7+. The only hassle is, I actually need to move it between floors. But otherwise it can immediately recognize which floor it is on.

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Within the app, you can also help the Roomba Combo j7+ clean smarter. As it will learn each time it cleans the floors in your home.

Should you buy the iRobot Roomba Combo j7+?

On the surface, the Roomba Combo j7+ is basically the Roomba j7+ but with a mop now. So it doesn’t seem like it would be all that impressive, but it truly is. Honestly, for only $200 more than the j7+, you’re getting a 2-in-1 robot vacuum that can clean every room in your home. And mop it. Sure the price is pretty steep, but it will save you a ton of time in cleaning your home.

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You should but the iRobot Roomba Combo j7+ if

  • You have a pet, thanks to the improved object avoidance and suction power, it’s no match for dogs and cats.
  • You want full automation in terms of cleaning your home.
  • You have a mix of carpet, hardwood, laminate and concrete (basement) floors.

You shouldn’t buy the iRobot Roomba Combo j7+ if

  • You don’t have many rooms that are not carpet.
  • You don’t believe a robot can mop your floors well enough.