Roomba i3 plus: iRobot Roomba i3+ EVO Review

Опубликовано: August 27, 2022 в 4:36 pm


Категории: Miscellaneous

Roomba i3+ Review — Self-Empty Dust Bin

The Roomba i3+ and i3 launched in September 2020. It’s a smart robot vacuum with a self-emptying dust bin.

But how’s the cleaning performance, features, and specs? Our i3+ review answers now.

Value-Priced, Self-Emptying Robot

Roomba i3+

The Roomba i3+ takes the advanced capability of the self-emptying dust bin and pairs it with a more affordable robot vacuum, for a value-packed blend of performance, usability, and price. It has digital mapping, smartphone integration, and great cleaning performance. You miss out on the zoned cleaning and physical virtual walls, but these may be pretty minor issues to most users. As expected, it performed fantastic in our cleaning tests, removing 99% (by weight) of all debris we tested it against (4 debris types, 3 floor types). Roomba’s i-series line continues to impress with the recent i3+ addition.Check Price


  • Comes with or without the self-emptying dust bin
  • Fantastic performance. Removed 99% of all debris we tested it against.
  • Offers significantly lower price point than the Roomba S9+ and i7+
  • Same suction as the i7+ (10x vs. the Roomba 600 series)
  • Systematic navigation (cleans in straight lines)


  • No keep out zones
  • No direct room cleaning (ie, you cannot send it to clean a specific room by name)

Table of Contents

  • Design
  • Cleaning Tests
  • Navigation
  • Roomba i3+ vs. i3
  • Roomba i3+ vs i7+
  • Size
  • Accessories
  • Features
  • Usability
  • Value
  • Specifications
  • Summary

The Roomba i3+ and i3 is built on the same framework as Roomba’s other i-series robots.

Roomba i3+ (top down view)

The i3 is also compatible with the self-emptying dust bin, which is arguably the most attractive feature of the i3+.

Roomba i3+ rubber brushroll

The look of the i3+ is also a bit different from other Roombas we’ve seen to date. This is one of the first models to have the look of a textured top face.

Roomba i3+ profile view

Still aluminum, but the outer perimeter material on the i3+ has a bit of a textile look with a smooth center.

Roomba i3+ stealth cord wrap

The “CLEAN” button is located top and center with a while LED ring around it. The ‘Home’ and ‘Spot Clean’ buttons are located to the left and right of the central Clean button.

What does the bottom look like?

The underside of the Roomba i3+ looks similar to Roomba’s new e, i, and S series robots.

Roomba i3+ (under side view)

It uses dual-rubberized brushrolls with a single side spinning brush. There are three navigational wheels, two larger ones for transitioning different floor types and one smaller one for steering or making 360° turns.

Cleaning Performance

To evaluate the cleaning performance, we run a series of tests on three different floor types (hardwoods, low pile and high pile carpet).

Roomba i3+ cleaning carpet

Within those tests we use a mix of different debris types including cereal, rice, kitty litter, and sugar.

Below is the testing data from our i3+ cleaning tests.





Low Carpet


High Carpet


Overall, the performance was nearly flawless on all floor types. This vacuum navigates in clean straight lines and has among the best suction and cleaning power of any robot vacuum we’ve tested.

Hardwood Floor Cleaning

On hardwood floors, it was basically flawless and cleaned 99% of all debris on the floor.

Roomba i3+ Hardwood Floor Cleaning Tests

Low Pile Carpet Cleaning

On low pile carpet, performance continued to be fantastic. Like hardwood floors, it scored a 99% removal rate (by weight) on low pile carpet.

Roomba i3+ Low Pile Carpet Cleaning Tests

High Pile Carpet Cleaning

High pile carpets were bascially the same story as low pile. The i3+ Roomba 99% of all debris we tested.

Roomba i3+ High Pile Carpet Cleaning Tests

While these numbers may feel a bit like a foregone conclusion, they are not. To date, we’ve tested over 50 different robot vacuums.

Of those 50 only 4 have scored 99% or higher across all 3 floor types. Those 4 being the Roomba i3+, i7+, S9+, and e5.

Roomba’s brushroll, suction power, and overall cleaning system is still a healthy step above most others we’ve tested, especially high pile carpet.


The Roomba i3+ navigates and cleans in straight paths.

In our navigation tests, it did a great job at avoiding common obstacles and did not get stuck on any obstacles in our living room / kitchen setup.

You can watch our full navigation test video below:

Roomba i3+ vs.

i3 – What’s the Difference?

The difference between the i3+ and i3 is simple. The i3+ includes the clean base, which offers a self-empty dust bin. The i3 does not, and instead only includes the standard charger.

Roomba i3+ Clean Base

The physical robot on both the i3+ and i3 is exactly the same. As a result, you can purchase the i3 and buy a standalone clean base in the future if you want to add the self empty dust bin.

Roomba i3+ auto dirt disposal slot

So while the i3+ is more convenient with the self-empty dust bin, the cleaning performance, suction, run time, navigation, and other operational characteristics are exactly the same on both the i3+ and i3.

Roomba i3+ vs. i7+ – What’s the Difference?

Roomba i3+

  • Self-Emptying Yes

  • Navigation: Systematic Navigation

  • Suction: 10X Roomba 600 Series

  • Virtual Wall: No

  • Zoned Cleaning: No

Check Price

Roomba i7+

  • Self-Emptying Yes

  • Navigation: iAdapt 3. 0

  • Suction: 10X Roomba 600 Series

  • Virtual Wall: Yes; one

  • Zoned Cleaning: Yes

Check Price

The differences between Roomba i7+ and Roomba i3+ comes down to just a few small factors—custom cleaning control and virtual walls.

iRobot app making a digital map of the Modern Castle home

The i7 offers more a more customizable cleaning, keep out zones, and the ability to clean specific rooms.

The i3 still has the ability to digitally map floor plans, but it can’t interact with those maps in as many ways as the i7+. This limits the ability to customize cleaning routines, recommendations, and specific room cleaning.

Here’s a complete list of features that the i7 has that the i3 lacks:

  • Custom cleaning control
  • Clean zones and keep out zones
  • Selective room cleaning
  • Visual navigation

Both have the same suction power, scheduled cleaning, smartphone integration, and the ability to partner with the Braava mops.

Roomba i7+ at docking stationBraava Jet m6

This technology will vacuum the floors and then communicate with the Braava mop to start a mopping cycle after the vacuuming is complete.

RELATED – Read our Braava Jet m6 review here and Roomba i7+ review here.

Size & Dimensions

The Roomba i3+ and i3 is almost the exact same size and weight as the i7. It’s fairly wide compared to other models we’ve tested and a little tall, but still well under 4″.

It’s a nice balance between power, dustbin capacity, and the ability to maneuver under furniture.

How big is the vacuum?

The Roomba i3 is:

  • 13.26″ diameter
  • 3.63″ tall
  • 7.44 lbs

Roomba i3 size

How big is the charging base?

The Roomba i3+ model is available with the standard charging base or with the self-emptying charging base.

When sold with the advanced charging base, the i3 package is called the i3+. You can also buy the Clean Base charger separately.

The Self-Charging Base (

Clean Base)

The self-emptying base is significantly larger than the standard base. Here are the exact dimensions to the Clean Base:

  • Height: 19″
  • Depth: 15.1″
  • Width: 12.2″

Roomba i3+ clean base size

After the Roomba docks into the charging base, the system will suck debris from the dust bin and deposit it into the larger cavity of the charging base.

The Standard Base

If you don’t need the self-emptying dust bin, you can also opt for the standard charging base (shown below).

Roomba standard charger

This base is just large enough to engage with the charging contact pics and provide a sensor beacon for the Roomba to navigate around and find the charger when the cleaning cycle is complete.

Accessories & Parts

The Roomba i3+ includes the following parts and accessories:

  • Roomba i3 robot vacuum
  • Charging base (standard base with the i3 or self-emptying Clean Base with the i3+)
  • Spinning side brush
  • Filter (x2)
  • Dirt disposal bags (x2; with the i3+ only)

The parts and accessories included with the i3 is nearly identical to the parts included with the i7+ and S9+ models.

One item that is not included with the i3 is any virtual walls (but you can buy them standalone here), similar to the Roomba e5. This is one area cutback that helps to keep the cost lower.

Here’s a closer look at exactly what you’ll get in addition to the vacuum itself.

Self-Emptying Base (i3+)

Standard Base (i3)

CHARGING BASE | As mentioned above, the i3+ comes with the self-emptying charging base while the i3 comes with the standard charging base.

Roomba i3+ spinning side brush

SPINNING BRUSH | The spinning brush snaps into the edge of the i3 on the underside. The rotating bristles capture dirt and debris along corners and edges.

Roomba i3+ Filter

FILTER | The filter that comes with the i3 is the same filter that comes with the i7 and e5 models. It’s about half the size of older Roomba filters and also more efficient.

Roomba i3+ disposal bag

“CLEAN BASE” DISPOSABLE BAG | The Clean Base charger is designed to hold up to 30 loads of debris from the vacuum. These bags are marked as “disposable”, but I found the quality to be better than expected.

This bag could easily be reused multiple times before needing to be replaced.

When it is time to replace, you can find Clean Base disposable bags here.


There are quite a few really great features on the new Roomba i3+.

Here’s a quick list of some of the best features on the i3+.


Of course, one of the best features we’ve got to highlight is the self-emptying dust bin. This feature is about as handy as it sounds.

Roomba i3+ clean base with self empty dust binRoomba i3+ clean base with self empty dust bin

It is the exact same system that is available with the Roomba S9+ and Roomba i7+, although the aesthetics and finishes may be a little different.

Digital Mapping

The Roomba i3+ has Systematic Navigation with enabled digital maps. With this technology, you can view the cleaning path of the Roomba using the smartphone app.

Roomba i3+ Digital Mapping

While you’re able to view those cleaning paths, you cannot interact with them after the fact to create custom cleaning routines, keep out zones, or clean specific rooms.

However, it still cleans in systematic straight lines.


Like many other Roomba, the i3+ offers scheduled cleaning. You can schedule recurring days and times or one-time cleanings in advance.

Setup takes just a few moments using the iRobot app.

Roomba i3+ cleaning schedule setup

NOTE: One thing the i3+ cannot do is allow for Selective Room Cleaning. Meaning you cannot send to to clean a specific room by name as you can with the i7+ and S9+.


The usability of this vacuum is excellent, namely due to the self empty dust bin and app integration.

Roomba i3+ app

The smart navigation and digital mapping also help the Roomba i3+ to be more self-sufficient. You don’t really need to babysit this model like you would less advanced models.

Recharge & Resume

If it can’t finish the cleaning before the battery runs down, it will recharge mid-cycle and then return to the spot that it left to continue cleaning after the battery is refreshed.


Setup on all of the newer Roomba models is straightforward.

Here’s the process:

  1. Remove all parts from the box.
  2. Plug charging base into the wall.
  3. Place Roomba on the charging base.

All Roomba come with quite a bit of charge, but it’s still a good idea to fully charge any robot vacuum before using the first time.

By fully charging and fully draining the battery right away, you’re helping it get off on the right foot with regard to battery longevity.

Starting a Cleaning Cycle

To start a cleaning cycle there are a couple of different techniques.

  1. Press clean on the robot itself.
  2. Use the Roomba app to start, pause, or schedule a cleaning.
  3. Use voice control with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.

With any of the methods above, you can start a cleaning cycle and the i3+ will get to work.

Roomba i3+ cleaning

It will drive around your home, mapping out each room, and vacuum your floors.

After it has reached max capacity within the dustbin (or it runs out of battery), the i3+ can return to the charging base, empty the debris from the dustbin, charge up if needed, and then return back to where it left off cleaning last.

Using the App

The Roomba app is one of the most intuitive and easy to use robot vacuum apps we’ve tested. After opening the app, users can place the robot in automatic cleaning mode by just clicking the “Clean”.

Roomba i3+ cleaning history

Is the Roomba i3+ a Good Value?

I would say that the Roomba i3+ is one of the best values of any Roomba released to date. It is a self-emptying robot vacuum for significantly less than other models with the same feature.

Roomba i3+ cleaning carpet

Granted, you do give up a few other bells and whistles in order to get the price so low. The features lacking on the i3 includes:

  • Uses Systematic Navigation instead of iAdapt 3.0 (as the i7+ and S9+ do)
  • No physical virtual walls, but it is compatible with them (buy standalone walls here)
  • No keep out zones

For more on Roomba see our full Roomba review series:

  • Best Roomba
  • Best Roomba for Pet Hair
  • Roomba S9+ Review
  • Roomba i7+ Review
  • Roomba e5 Review
  • Roomba 960 Review
  • Roomba e5 Review

Roomba i3 Specifications

Below you’ll find a complete list of specifications on the Roomba i3+.

Specifications Roomba i3+
Model Roomba i3+
Length 13.26″
Width 13.26″
Height 3.63″
Weight 7. 44 lbs.
Floor Type All (indoor)
Battery 1,800 mAh
Dust Bin Capacity ~0.5 L
Navigation Systematic Navigation
Imprint Smart Mapping Yes
Self-Emptying (Advanced Base) Yes; smart base is included
Washable Dust Bin (on-board) Yes
Virtual Wall No, but it is compatible with virtual walls (buy here)
Returns Yes (usually), Varies by retailer
Warranty 1-Year limited
Price Check Price

Who Should Buy the Roomba i3+?

If you’re in the market for a self-emptying robot vacuum that won’t break the bank, the i3+ is a solid option.

I would recommend the Roomba i3+ if you:

  • Want a great value: The Roomba i3+ is a fantastic value if you want the advanced digital mapping, excellent performance, and the self-emptying dust bin. It’s not the least expensive Roomba out there, but it is the best value if you’re specifically looking for these top-of-the-line features.
  • Want a self-emptying dust bin: The self-emptying dust bin is largely the best feature that separates the i3+ from other more basic models, like the Roomba e5. The Clean Base charger holds up to 30 loads of debris so you don’t have to worry about emptying it often.
  • Want excellent cleaning performance: The cleaning performance of the i3+ was simply amazing. It removed 99% of all debris (by weight) we tested against across 3 different floor types. In terms of raw cleaning power it just couldn’t get much better than this.

For more information or to buy the Roomba i3+ see here.


  • October 5, 2020 – Updated the page with our completed testing data and test photographs. Clarified a number of sections based on our data to provide a more complete and accurate picture of performance, features, and usability.
  • September 30, 2020 – Initial version of the page was published. Initial version was pre-test format, based on specs, features, and comparative performance to similar models we’ve previously tested. Full testing data and complete review will be available as soon as the robot arrives at our office.

Self-Empty Dust Bin That’s Less Expensive

  • Design – 99%
  • Performance – 99%
  • Quality – 96%
  • Usability – 100%
  • Value – 95%



The Roomba i3+ is a robot vacuum with digital mapping, app control, and a self-empty dust bin. The i3+ is the least expensive model on Roomba’s lineup that also contains a self-empty dust bin. It uses iRobot’s systematic navigation technology to digitally map your home, which allows for serviceable navigation. It misses out on room-named cleaning and keep out zones, a feature you’ll find on the more expensive S9+ and i7+. Nevertheless, the i3+ packs a lot of value into the price point, the most significant of which is the self-emptying dust bin.

Which Self Emptying Robot is Better?

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been testing and writing about self-emptying robot vacuums.

These two brands are pioneers in this industry: Shark and iRobot. And for this article, we’ll be comparing two of the cheaper alternatives – the Shark IQ and Roomba I3+.

These two models are similar but different in many ways, and we’ll be unpacking those below.

A quick overview of the Shark IQ and Roomba I3+

I put all robot vacuums through a rigorous series of tests to check how it performs and holds up. These experiments are designed to spot potential weak points that you wouldn’t see otherwise.

Shark IQ

  • Airflow: 18.87 CFM
  • Deep cleaning: 80%
  • Mopping: No
  • Auto empty: Yes
  • Auto empty dustbin capacity: 1.8 liters
  • Bag capacity: No bag (bagless)
  • Navigation: Smart Navigation
  • Map saving: Yes
  • Number of maps: 1
  • Containment: Yes
  • Selective room cleaning: Yes
  • Recharge & Resume: Yes
  • Dustbin capacity: approx. 400ml
  • Water tank: N/A
  • Side brush: Two
  • Battery: 2990 mAh Li-ion
  • Run time: 60 minutes
  • Noise: 64.8 dB

Roomba I3+

  • Airflow: 7.27 CFM
  • Deep Cleaning: 84. 7%
  • Mopping: No
  • Auto empty: Yes
  • Navigation: Smart Navigation
  • Map saving: Yes
  • Containment: No
  • Selective room cleaning: Yes
  • Recharge & Resume: Yes
  • Rubber extractors: Yes
  • Dustbin capacity: 400ml
  • Side brush: One
  • Battery: 1800 mAh Li-ion
  • Run time: 75 minutes
  • Noise: 64.9 dB

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Table of Contents

Airflow tests were done using an anemometer. I rubbed 100 grams of sand on mid-pile carpet for deep cleaning tests, weighed the dustbin empty, then full, and subtracted to get the results.

Noise levels are taken by a sound meter from a few feet away. The results you see are from the highest setting.

Dustbin and auto-empty capacities are taken from manufacturer sites, but for Roomba, it’s just an estimate (based on the eye test) since iRobot doesn’t specify it.

Introduction to the Shark IQ and Roomba I3+

As mentioned earlier, Shark and Roomba are pioneers with auto-empty robot vacuums.

iRobot was the first to introduce it when they launched the I7+. Shark introduced the IQ series afterward as a cheaper alternative to the more premium Roomba options.

Pioneer Budget Auto Empty Robot: Shark IQ

Shark introduced the IQ auto empty robot as a “budget” alternative to the Roomba I7+.

But compared to cheap self-empty options now, the price isn’t considered as such.

However, during the time, it was, and you could say it’s a game-changing product, paving the way to what we have now.

The early Shark IQ options had one fatal flaw – it lacked a floor tracking sensor, making it difficult to create maps.

Often, it took many runs to save the map successfully, and video reviews have confirmed this issue.

Newer variants don’t have this issue, and I have one of the second-generation IQs.

The Shark IQ optical sensor is beside the right wheel assembly (check photo).

It took only a single run to create the map, so make sure to get the variant with the floor tracking sensor to avoid this issue.

The IQ has a bagless self-empty dock with a 1.8-liter capacity – easily the smallest of all self emptying robots I’ve tested.

Depending on your preference, this could be a plus with the cost savings of not purchasing bags.

But there’s exposure to allergens emptying it. If you’re not careful, some debris may spill on this area.

It relies on a top-mounted camera and floor tracking sensor to create the map and track location, similar to the Roomba I6 and S9.

Underneath it has a twin side brush system with single prongs that spins at the slowest pace.

While it doesn’t scatter debris as much as Roomba, it’s much worst at edge cleaning.

Shark says that the IQ has an active anti-tangle system, which I’ve tested, but it only works for shorter five-inch hair.

Shark IQ IR101AE with Self-Empty Base and Wi-Fi



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06/11/2022 04:45 am GMT

Cheapest Roomba Self Empty Option: Roomba I3+

After launching the Roomba I7+ and S9+, iRobot set its sights on the budget auto empty niche with the I3+.

It’s currently their cheapest self-emptying robot to date.

One feature lacking is the VSLAM (or Visual SLAM).

VSLAM is an algorithm relying on a top-mounted camera and floor tracking sensors to create and save maps.

The lack of a VSLAM means that while the Roomba I3+ can draw maps (thanks to the optical sensor), it cannot save them.

Thus it doesn’t have access to advanced navigational features such as keep-out zones or selective room cleaning.

It functions similarly to the more expensive I6+/I7+ but without containment and zoned cleaning features.

This variant shares the same components as its more expensive sibling, so cleaning results aren’t far off.

iRobot Roomba i3+ (3550) Robot Vacuum with Automatic Dirt Disposal Disposal – Empties Itself

$399.00 ($399.00 / Count)


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06/11/2022 02:35 am GMT

Similarities between the Shark IQ robot and iRobot Roomba I3+

We’ll look at the similarities between these two auto self empty robots in various facets.

1. Shape

Both options utilize a round shape with a minimalist interface.

One difference is that the IQ has a top-mounted camera, and iRobot does not, highlighting the variation with their navigational algorithms.

Another difference is the diameter, with Shark IQ being smaller at 12.8″ versus the I3+’s at 13.34″.

2. Dustbin placement and capacity

The Shark IQ and Roomba I3+ have similar-sized, rear-mounted dustbins at 400 milliliters.

Shark’s dustbin has a wider opening making it easier to clean or empty (should you choose the robot-only option).

The Roomba I3’s dustbin has a narrower opening, making it more challenging to clean or empty.

Since these products have the automatic self-emptying feature, dustbin volume shouldn’t be a deciding factor.

3. Auto Empty Dock

Piggy-backing on the previous point. These robots have a self-emptying base station that empties the robot’s dustbin.

One difference is the disposal system. iRobot has a bagged system, while Shark utilizes a bagless design.

4. Recharge and Resume

These variants have recharge and resume – a feature that instructs the robot to recharge then continue cleaning (where it left off) if it doesn’t finish the cleaning cycle.

Differences between the Shark IQ and Roomba I3+

Now, let’s look at the differences between these robots.

1. Navigational algorithm

The most significant variance internally is the navigational algorithm that each robot utilizes.

Shark relies on VSLAM, which is a more advanced algorithm that offers map saving and containment features.

In comparison, the I3+ relies primarily on gyroscopes and an optical floor sensor to track its location.

Yes, it can draw maps thanks to the floor sensor, but it cannot save them. Therefore it lacks containment and zoned cleaning features present in Shark.

It’s a reason why iRobot could bring the price further down.

2. Brush design and layout

Another difference is the brush design, as this photo shows.

The Roomba I3+ utilizes iRobot’s patented counter-rotating extractors that are among the best at agitation and carpet cleaning performance.

In comparison, Shark uses its own patented design – the self-cleaning brush roll similar to the Vertex cordless with an active anti-tangle system.

Another difference is the number of side brushes. Roomba has a single-side brush, while Shark utilizes two single-pronged side brushes.

3. Battery and Run Time

Run time will vary with these robots. The Shark IQ has a shorter range at 60-minutes versus the Roomba I3+ at 75-minutes, despite having the larger 2990 mAh li-ion battery.

But it’s not a surprise since the IQ has the more powerful motor and airflow of 18.87 CFM versus the I3+’s output of 7.27 CFM.

4. Self Empty Dock Design

These robots use varying self-emptying dock designs.

The Roomba I3+ has a ramp-style design, where the robot sits on a ramp, while the Shark IQ relies on a vertical port.

If you’re familiar with my YT channel and blog, you’ll know that my preference is the former, as the ramp offers better stability.

Vertical ramps don’t have as much since the robot’s outlet port and the dock’s inlet port need a proper alignment for the self-emptying process to work.

These arrows point to the base station’s inlet and robot’s outlet ports. If these don’t line up, debris may spill on the surface, creating a bigger mess.

It’s a non-issue on hard surfaces since it has a solid base. But the alignment issue props up on carpets.

Shark rectifies this issue by offering the SharkMat – an accessory that places the robot on a solid surface to address it.

But it’s an added expense and may not work on thicker pile carpets.

5. Base Station Dirt Capacity and Size

The auto empty dirt volume also varies, with the Roomba I3+ having the larger capacity at 2.5 liters.

Shark’s capacity is a bit smaller – at 1.8 liters and please note it’s a bagless system, so there’s no need to purchase bags regularly.

One plus with the Shark IQ’s self-emptying station is its compactness. Place it beside a Roomba base station, and you can see the size difference.

It has a handle, making it the easiest of all self-emptying robots to move around.

App features

Next, we’ll look at the various app features of these robots, the similarities, and the differences.

Both options don’t have a remote, so users will need to download their respective apps to unlock all the features.

Please note that these apps are only compatible with 2.4G WIFI and not 5G.

Map saving [Shark IQ only]

Thanks to VSLAM, the Shark IQ can save maps.

Unfortunately, it only saves one map level, which defeats the purpose of its base station’s portability.

Containment [Shark IQ only]

Map saving has added benefits and one of which is adding containment zones.

The SharkClean app has access to no-go zones, which are boxed areas off-limits to the robot.

However, it lacks an invisible wall feature, so users cannot block diagonal areas on the map.

None of the VSLAM robots I’ve tested so far have this feature, but the Shark IQ does have a magnetic tape that serves this purpose.

It’s an old-school and cruder approach to a virtual wall, but it can help block doorways.

Evacuate and Resume [Shark IQ only]

The SharkClean app has this feature that tells the robot to base after 30 minutes to empty the dustbin.

It’s a feature I don’t see in other apps and helpful for large or dirty spaces to ensure the dustbin doesn’t overfill.

Cleaning Passes [Roomba I3+ only]

One advantage the Roomba I3+ has over the Shark IQ is thoroughness.

The iRobot app has a provision to do a two-pass run versus the IQ’s default one-pass run.

Add the dirt-detect feature – it beats the IQ easily in this area, despite the latter having the extended run feature, which didn’t work as advertised during tests.


Both robots have a scheduling feature, so consumers can automate the vacuuming task and take advantage of the auto-empty feature.

But only the SharkClean app can schedule multiple runs per day – up to three. One run in the morning, afternoon, and evening.

The Roomba I3+ app can schedule more runs per day.

But with a minimum gap of three hours per run.

iRobot did this (I’m guessing here) because of the short-range to give the robot enough time to recharge.

Navigation Comparison

Technically, both robots have smart navigation, meaning each can track its location in its internal map.

One difference is the algorithm used. Shark IQ has the VSLAM algorithm reliant on a top-mounted camera and a floor tracking sensor for navigation and tracking.

Since it uses a camera, it relies heavily on a light source to function. It moves in straight lines, but I noticed it going in the shortest round from end to end.

Thanks to the gyroscopes and optical floor sensor, the Roomba I3+ moves in neat rows, even without VSLAM.

It actually utilizes a crisscross pattern similar to the Roborock S7+, which provides more thoroughness.

Both are decent at avoiding furniture and not getting wedged on six to eight-legged office chairs, which is an issue with random navigating robots.

Coverage and Efficiency Comparison

Another test I do with these robots is the coverage and efficiency test. The coverage part involves checking how much debris it picks up in a single two-pass cycle.

And the efficiency part checks how long it takes to complete the cycle.

There wasn’t much difference with the results. Both were decent, picking up most of the quaker oats.

Shark was above-average given it only went around once, picking up most debris scattered in the middle portions, but it struggled at the edges.

Roomba I3+, despite its two-pass run, didn’t do much better than the Shark IQ.

One glaring issue is the fast-spinning side brush that scattered debris, but it was better cleaning the edges.

The Shark IQ completed its run in around 18 minutes, while the Roomba I3+ finished at 22:43 minutes.

Please realize that the Shark IQ only has a one-pass cycle, even with the extended run feature turned on, which almost doubles the I3+’s result.

Considering it had a crisscross navigational pattern, the Roomba I3+’s result is decent but not as efficient as the Roborock S7+.

Airflow Comparison

Shark IQ wins this comparison as it has more airflow than the Roomba I3+, even in its lowest power setting.

One thing going for the Roomba I3+ is its counter-rotating extractors, which make up for the airflow disparity.

It’s one of the better carpet cleaning robot vacuums, especially deep-cleaning embedded dirt (more on this below).

Cleaning Performance Comparison

Roomba was better with the overall scores despite the massive disparity in airflow. But that was buoyed by its higher deep cleaning results.

Shark was better with most surface debris tests: hard floor, carpet, and sand on hard floors.


Shark IQ

Roomba I3+




Hard Floor

98. 25%


Sand on hard floor



Carpet (Surface Pickup)



Carpet (Deep Cleaning)



These results show the importance of airflow in determining cleaning results. It’s not the end-all-be-all stat, but it’s critical in determining how a robot vacuum will perform.

Which is better on hard floors: Shark IQ or Roomba I3+?

One barometer I use for determining hard floor performance is how much sand it picks up. The Shark IQ picked up a few more percentage points than the Roomba I3+ (97.3% vs. 95.5%).

Here’s a before and after shot for the Shark IQ.

And Roomba I3+.

It picked up more because of the higher airflow, plus the slow spinning side brush that didn’t scatter as much.

Edge Cleaning Comparison

One downside to the slower spinning side brush is its inability to clean edges effectively.

I’ve already pointed this out in the coverage test, but the edge cleaning experiment confirms this.

The Roomba I3+ didn’t pick up everything, but it was better than the Shark IQ.

Hair Wrap Comparison

Shark IQ was much better overall, with shorter five-inch strands.

You could see the active anti-tangle system at work as it picked up nearly everything, only a few strands wrapped on the brush.

Before the Shark IQ review, I was expecting more, honestly. Unfortunately, it stalled during the seven-inch test, and this much was on the brush.

The Roomba I3+ did better with longer 7-inch strands, but the difference wasn’t much.

But with shorter five-inch strands, it only picked up 58%, and here’s how the brush looks after the experiment.

Which is better on carpets, Shark IQ or Roomba I3+?

There wasn’t much difference with surface debris on carpets.

The Shark IQ was slightly better with surface dirt (96.82% vs. 96.22%) but lagged behind the Roomba I3+ at deep cleaning tests (75% vs. 84.7%).

Shark’s higher airflow was a factor with surface debris.

However, Rooba’s extractors were much better with embedded dirt, along with the more thorough navigation and dirt-detect system.

Run Time Comparison

The Roomba I3+ utilizes a smaller 1800 mAh Li-ion battery and yet still runs longer at 75 minutes.

One reason could be the smaller motor that doesn’t require as much current.

Shark IQ has a larger 2990 mAh Li-ion battery, but it only runs a maximum of 60 minutes.

Having the recharge and resume feature does mitigate the short range of these robots.

But if cleaning a larger home is a must, then you’ll have to look at the Yeedi Vac Station that runs for up to 200 minutes.

Noise Comparison

The Shark IQ produced less noise than the Roomba I3+, topping at 64. 8 decibels (versus the I3+’s 64.9 dB) despite having more airflow, which is impressive.

Roomba products tend to be noisy, and the I3+ is no exception.


Part of robot vacuum ownership is maintenance. It’s essential to clean different components to prevent unnecessary wear and tear. I’ll show you which parts to check and replace in specific intervals.

  1. Primary brush: It’s the most abused component of any robot vacuum since it picks up debris. Check and clean once a week to remove dirt and hair accumulated on the roller and axles.
  2. Side brush: Next most abused part is the side brush. Likewise, detach and clean once a week to remove any hair and debris sticking on the arm and base.
  3. Dustbin and filter: Even with the self-empty base, dirt will accumulate inside the dustbin. Fortunately, for these variants, their dustbins are washable, making the process easier. Do this at least once or twice a month. However, the filter isn’t washable, so remove washing. Tap the filter on a solid surface to dislodge dirt and replace once every two or three months.
  4. Drop sensors: These sensors are located underneath the robot. Use a clean, dry microfiber cloth to wipe off any residue dust and contaminant, preventing an error code firing and disabling the robot.
  5. Robot body: Wipe the robot body to remove any fingerprints and smudges at least once a month.
  6. Auto empty station: Keep the ports going into the auto-empty stations clean and free from any obstruction.
  7. Bag and base station dustbin: Replace the Roomba I3+ bag when full. For the Shark IQ, empty the dustbin over a wide trash bin. Clean the Shark IQ base station filter if it’s dirty.

Availability of Parts

Shark and iRobot are two of the more popular robot vacuum options. There will be a plethora of parts available for these brands.

The Roomba I3+ and I6+/I7+ share many components, so these will be in abundant supply on Amazon or the iRobot website.

Shark also has plentiful parts available from major online stores like Amazon or the SharkClean website.

One advantage for iRobot is the availability of internal components such as the side brush motor or wheel module, even on their website.

Product Specifications

Where can I buy these robots?

The Roomba I3+ and Shark IQ are available in online stores like Amazon. Check the links below for more details.

  • Roomba I3+ on Amazon
  • Shark IQ Aut Empty on Amazon

Disclosure: I will earn a commission if you purchase through any of the links above, but at no extra cost to you, so it’s a win-win for us!

Which is the better option: Shark IQ Robot or the iRobot Roomba I3+

After testing these robots comprehensively, each option offers compelling reasons to buy.

The Shark IQ is the cheaper alternative with a bagless dock, so there’s no need to purchase bags over its lifespan and save money long term.

In comparison, the Roomba I3+ offers a more thorough vacuuming performance with its crisscross pattern but lags with advanced navigational features.

The absence of VSLAM means it doesn’t have map saving and containment features.

5 Reasons to Choose the Shark IQ Robot

  1. Cheaper alternative: The Shark IQ offers a more affordable option with a self-emptying base.
  2. No bags: Its bagless base station means a reduced cost of ownership since you don’t have to replace bags continually.
  3. Excellent for shorter hair: Shark’s anti-tangle system works well with shorter five-inch strands but may struggle with longer hair.
  4. Compact auto-empty dock: The slender IQ self-empty station with the handle is easy to transport around the home.
  5. Decent at surface debris: The Shark IQ scored higher than the Roomba I3+ with most surface debris tests.

5 Reasons to Choose the Roomba I3+

  1. More thorough cleaning: The crisscross navigational pattern and the dirt-detect sensor make the I3+ more meticulous at vacuuming homes.
  2. Better at deep cleaning: iRobot’s counter-rotating extractors are some of the best at picking up embedded dirt, and the I3+ is no exception.
  3. Less exposure to allergens: Its bagged system is less messy to empty and eliminates exposure to allergens.
  4. Base stability: The ramp-style base station is usable on different surfaces.
  5. Parts availability: iRobot offers a wide range of replacement parts options in case anything breaks. And its modular design only requires a Philips screwdriver to replace.

The Verdict: A Close Call and Will Depend on Budget and Surface

These robots are very close in terms of cleaning performance and navigation.

Neither outperformed the other in any of the tests by a significant margin, so choosing one will boil down to what surface you need to clean and what features to prioritize.

The Shark IQ would be my choice for those who want to spend less and not mind the lack of thoroughness.

If you value thoroughness, you can get around this limitation by scheduling it up to three times per day.

It does well enough on surface debris to warrant consideration but is still decent with embedded dirt.

Some consumers who commented in my video review told me that they prefer the bagless system as it offers better cost savings since there’s no bag to purchase.

The Roomba I3+ is an ideal option for people who want their robot vacuums to pick up embedded stuff on carpet.

Its counter-rotating extractors are fit for this task.

Plus, it has more thorough navigation, meaning it will clean in a crisscross pattern and do extra passes on filthier areas.

Yes, it’s more expensive, but the availability of parts and modular design bodes well for long-term ownership.

iRobot Roomba i3 – review of the

robot vacuum cleaner

iRobot Roomba i3 is a more affordable version of the top i7 model that we met in 2019. The vacuum cleaner is cheaper, has simpler movement algorithms, but still cleans well and is compatible with the Braava M6 robotic floor polisher, as well as the docking station for cleaning the dust container. I will say right away – I liked the vacuum cleaner and after meeting its price does not seem high.


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  • 1 Contents
  • 2 iRobot Roomba i3 design and construction
  • 3 Control
  • 4 Vacuum cleaner in operation
  • 900 21

    What’s in the box

    The vacuum cleaner comes with a compact charging dock, a replaceable HEPA filter for the container and a set of documentation. Spartan set, nothing more. The robotic floor polisher is sold separately, and there is also a Roomba i3+ model on sale, similar to the simple i3, but with a slightly different container and Clean Base automatic cleaning system. You can read more about it in the review of the Roomba i7+ model.

    iRobot Roomba i3 design and construction

    Describing the appearance of robotic vacuum cleaners is usually pointless. The design challenge for these gadgets is to blend in and be practical enough for a device that will bump into your walls on a regular basis. In terms of design, Roomba i3 fully meets these criteria.

    The vacuum cleaner is very similar to the top model i7, but there is a minimum of gloss, it is strictly in the right places. The top panel is made of practical rough plastic with fabric coating imitation. Luckily for the durability parameter, it’s just plastic. Of course, the vacuum cleaner will quickly become covered with scratches, you need to be prepared for this.

    The test was no longer a new copy, but during my use, other natural traces of operation appeared on it. If you do not look closely at the case, then scuffs and scratches are invisible.

    In terms of layout, everything is very standard for this category of household appliances. Round, flattened shape, bumper with sensors at the front, another sensor at the top, three-button control panel on the top panel, and a dust bin and filter eject button at the back. The bottom is also nothing new – three wheels, a pair of rubber brushes and an additional three-beam brush for cleaning in hard-to-reach places.

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    Formally, the vacuum cleaner does not even need an application for a smartphone to work. It is enough to install the charging dock in a place where there will be a free space of about 1 meter on the right and left, charge the battery of the vacuum cleaner and press the cleaning button. After that, the vacuum cleaner itself will begin to scan the room and clean in the free space.

    But, if you want to get maximum control over the vacuum cleaner, then you will need the proprietary iRobot Home application (Android, iOS), which has undergone a noticeable redesign and a more convenient interface than at the time of our last acquaintance with the products of this manufacturer.

    In the application, you can create different profiles, enable scheduled cleaning and receive notifications when the container is full. The function of automatically starting cleaning at the moment when you leave the apartment seemed very interesting to me. This feature works by tracking the geolocation of your smartphone. You can also set the time interval before your return, at which time iRobot Roomba i3 will finish cleaning.

    Roomba i3 can be integrated into a smart home system thanks to IFTTT support. For example, the start or end of cleaning can be tied to the operation of certain sensors. It’s in theory. During testing, I did not have the opportunity to test the operation of this function.

    What was a little confusing was the support for the 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi standard, without 5 GHz support. This is not to say that this is a drawback, but the older i7 + model supported 5 GHz.

    Vacuum cleaner at work

    I’ll say right away that the vacuum cleaner creates a noticeable background noise, according to my measurements, its level was 60-65 dB. This is not harmful to hearing, but the silence is noticeably disturbed. But, on the other hand, the quality of cleaning Roomba i3 fully justifies this.

    I really liked the cleaning algorithm, the vacuum cleaner moves around the room in zigzags and does not miss any of the places where it understands that it can pass. And if the possibility of passage is not obvious, at first glance, then the vacuum cleaner will make several accurate attempts to get there, turn around and go further. It can be both openings between a table and a chair, and other hard-to-reach places between furniture and household appliances.

    iRobot claims that the i3 uses simpler algorithms than the older Roomba i7. But I don’t have a single complaint about the cleaning quality of the i3 and I didn’t notice any simplification.

    The vacuum cleaner cleans really well, which I concluded from the amount of dust and other particles in the container after cleaning. And also in the footprints on the carpet, the trampled pile of which the vacuum cleaner lifted with each passage. Here it is worth saying thanks not only to the great suction power, but also to the rubber rollers, which capture everything that is possible from the surface and do not require additional cleaning. Unlike conventional brush rollers, the hair from which is then still a pleasure to remove.

    The container is quite easy to clean from dust, then it can be washed under running water, after removing the HEPA filter, of course. The i3+ model that comes with the auto-cleaning dock uses a slightly different container that matches the shape of the i3, but has a valve to connect to the Clean Base, which cleans it like a regular vacuum cleaner.

    Recall that Clean Base removes dust from the robot vacuum cleaner by sucking it out of the container and transferring it to a regular bag, as in a standard vacuum cleaner. And this, in turn, allows you to make the maintenance of the vacuum cleaner more rare.

    Battery life varies depending on how dirty the surface is in the room being cleaned. The manufacturer claims the possibility of cleaning up to 150 square meters on a single charge or 75 minutes of operation. But, as I said, the final operating time will depend on the amount of dust, as well as the mode of operation. It can be either a single pass or a double pass.

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    The points show the areas with the highest level of pollution

    charge, then continue cleaning from where it left off.


    ITC.UA score

    cleaning algorithms and quality, convenient and functional control application

    high noise level in operation, price


    I really liked the iRobot Roomba i3. During testing, the vacuum cleaner cleaned my apartment every day in far from the simplest conditions for several weeks. A lot of dust, a lot of different obstacles on the way, but, if possible, he coped with these tests with honor. Yes, its price is slightly higher than some of its competitors, but given the quality of cleaning, it is completely understandable for me. I did not find any shortcomings in this model related to the quality of cleaning or software algorithms and I can recommend it for purchase. Of course, there are nuances that should be taken into account, but this vacuum cleaner copes with its main function.


    iRobot Roomba e5 vs iRobot Roomba i3: What is the difference?

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    Comparison winner



    54 facts in comparison

    iRobot Roomba e5

    iRobot Roomba i3


    • Cleans all types of floors?
    • Has a dirt detection sensor?
    • 0. 3l more dust bag?
      0.7l vs 0.4l
    • Has carpet detection?
    • 15min longer cycle time?
      90min vs 75min
    • Charging time 2h less?
      3h vs 5h
    • 1.83x more battery capacity?
      3300mAh vs 1800mAh
    • 1.03kg lighter?
      3.27kg vs 4.3kg

    • Can map the interior?
    • Has a HEPA filter?
    • 5dB higher acoustic noise level?
      60dB vs 65dB
    • Do you have route building?
    • Self cleaning?
    • Has voice prompts? iRobot Roomba 692

      iRobot Roomba i3


      iRobot Roomba 960

      900 02 iRobot Roomba e5


      iRobot Roomba e6

      iRobot Roomba i3


      iRobot Roomba e6

      iRobot Roomba e5


      Xiaomi Mi Robot Vacuum Mop Pro

      iRobot Roomba i3


      iRobot Roomba 675

      iRobot Roomba e5


      iRobot Roomba 960 9 0003

      iRobot Roomba i3


      iRobot Roomba i7 Plus

      iRobot Xiaomi Mi Robot Vacuum Mop Pro

      iRobot Roomba e5

      vs 90 003

      Roborock E5

      iRobot Roomba i3


      Xiaomi Mi Robot

      iRobot Roomba e5


      iRobot Roomba 675

      iRobot Roomba i3 900 03


      OKP Life K2

      iRobot Roomba e5


      iRobot iRobot Roomba i3


      iRobot Roomba 698

      iRobot Roomba e5


      002 iRobot Roomba i3


      Roborock S7

      Price Comparison

      iRobot Roomba e5

      Buy Used:


      90 365

      Product Shop Price
      App-steuerbarer. ..iRobot Roomba e5 (e5154) App-steuerbarer Saugroboter (Staubsauger Roboter) mit Zwei Gummibürsten für alle Böden, Ideal bei Haustieren, Individual Anpassung per App, Kompatibel mit Sprachassistenten €429
      iRobot Aspiradora Robot Roomba E5158 WiF…iRobot Aspiradora Robot Roomba E5158 WiFi € 390
      iRobot 4649329 Roomba e5 Serie- Original…iRobot 4649329 Roomba e5 Serie- Original Bürstenmodul Reinigung Kopf Modul Pinsel Motor €58
      iRobot Roomba e5 (e515240) €329

      iRobot Roomba i3

      903 54

      Product Store Price
      9036 6

      iRobot Roomba i3 (i3152) App-steuerbarer…iRobot Roomba i3 (i3152) App-steuerbarer Saugroboter (Staubsauger Roboter), 2 Gummibürsten für alle Böden, Ideal bei Haustieren, Individual Anpassung, Kompatibel mit Sprachassistenten, Farbe Cool €449
      i3+ (i3558) 9iRobot Roomba i3+ (i3558) €447
      iRobot Roomba i3+ (i3558) €469
      iRobot Roomba i3+ (i3558) €469

      User Reviews

      Cleaning Power

      Cleaning Speed ​​

      Unknown. Help us offer a price. (iRobot Roomba e5)

      Unknown. Help us offer a price. (iRobot Roomba i3)

      Faster devices will save you time and therefore more convenience.

      cleans all types of floors

      ✔iRobot Roomba e5

      ✖iRobot Roomba i3

      Designed for all types of floors.

      cleaning modes

      Unknown. Help us offer a price. (iRobot Roomba i3)

      The device provides a wider range of different cleaning options.


      ✖iRobot Roomba e5

      ✖iRobot Roomba i3

      The device wipes the floor.

      has a dirt detection sensor

      ✔iRobot Roomba e5

      ✖iRobot Roomba i3

      The device recognizes the most dirty areas and ensures that more time is spent there to thoroughly clean them.

      Includes electrostatic filtration system

      ✖iRobot Roomba e5

      ✖iRobot Roomba i3

      Air moving through the device creates and maintains an electromagnetic charge. This attracts particles of very light dust.

      has UV light

      ✖iRobot Roomba e5

      ✖iRobot Roomba i3

      The device kills germs, viruses and bacteria with an ultraviolet light bulb.


      battery capacity



      Battery charge, or battery capacity, is the amount of electrical energy stored in a battery. The higher the battery charge, the longer the battery life.

      running time

      The device works longer without having to be charged.

      charging time

      Time required to fully charge the battery.

      power consumption during operation

      Unknown. Help us offer a price. (iRobot Roomba e5)

      Unknown. Help us offer a price. (iRobot Roomba i3)

      How much power the device consumes when it is running.

      Has overheat indicator

      ✖iRobot Roomba e5

      ✖iRobot Roomba i3

      This prevents the device from overheating caused by a system problem.

      has a replaceable battery

      ✖iRobot Roomba e5

      ✖iRobot Roomba i3

      User can replace the battery in case of failure

      automatic shutdown

      ✔iRobot Roomba e5

      ✔iRobot Roomba i3

      This feature saves power when The device is not being used or is being charged. It also shuts down the machine if it is accidentally trapped in a tight space.

      standby power consumption

      Unknown. Help us offer a price. (iRobot Roomba e5)

      Unknown. Help us offer a price. (iRobot Roomba i3)

      How much power the device consumes when it is off but still online.


      can map your interior

      ✖iRobot Roomba e5

      ✔iRobot Roomba i3

      The vacuum cleaner can map your interior. It can then be viewed in the app and enable various features, such as selecting a specific room to clean.

      supports the zone restriction function

      ✖iRobot Roomba e5

      ✖iRobot Roomba i3

      Using the app’s mapping function, you can mark certain parts of your home so that the vacuum cleaner cannot clean them.

      smartphone – remote control

      ✔iRobot Roomba e5

      ✔iRobot Roomba i3

      Allows you to use your smartphone as a remote control.

      with obstacle sensor

      ✔iRobot Roomba e5

      ✔iRobot Roomba i3

      The device detects an approaching obstacle such as furniture or a vase and slows down to avoid it.

      has problem area cleaning function

      ✖iRobot Roomba e5

      ✖iRobot Roomba i3

      Using the app’s mapping function, you can mark an area that needs special attention. This comes in handy if parts of your home need extra cleaning on a regular basis, or if you accidentally spill something.


      ✖iRobot Roomba e5

      ✔iRobot Roomba i3

      The vacuum cleaner automatically dumps dust into a larger dustbin located on the charging station. It usually collects dust for 30 days or more, which means that you will have to empty it much less often.

      has a carpet detection function

      ✔iRobot Roomba e5

      ✖iRobot Roomba i3

      Robot vacuums with this function can automatically detect carpets and increase suction power accordingly. It also allows floor cleaners to avoid carpeting.

      does not get stuck

      ✔iRobot Roomba e5

      ✔iRobot Roomba i3

      The device has a design that allows it to move around without getting caught in power cords and other objects.


Upper Darby High School
Robotics & Engineering Team

601 N. Lansdowne Avenue
Drexel Hill, PA 19026