Roomba Combo J7+ vs. J7+ Comparison

Roomba Combo J7 vs J7

Roomba products have evolved over the past decade, from manufacturing basic, random navigating, “dumb” robots, to one of the best obstacle-avoiding options.

The Combo J7+ is another step for iRobot in diversifying its product offerings as the first with hybrid functionality of a robot vacuum and mop.

With the influx of more versatile options from other brands, iRobot had no choice but to adapt and release its version or get left behind.

This variant is an upgraded version of the J7 model with a retractable mop, but is this enhancement worth the premium cost? We’ll find out in this comparison.

Quick overview of the Roomba Combo J7+ and J7+

Roomba Combo J7+

Roomba Combo J7+
  • Airflow: 9.8 CFM
  • Deep Cleaning: 88.3%
  • Navigation: Front Camera + Gyroscope + Optical Sensor
  • Self-empty: Yes
  • Bag capacity: 2.4-liters
  • Map saving: Yes
  • Number of maps: 10
  • Containment: Yes
  • Selective Room cleaning: Yes
  • Recharge & Resume: Yes
  • Brush roll: Twin rubber extractors
  • Dustbin capacity: <400ml
  • Mopping: Yes
  • Water tank capacity: approx. 100ml
  • Side brush: One
  • Battery: 4460 mAh Li-ion
  • Run time: 60 – 80 minutes
  • Noise: 66.2 dB

Roomba J7+

Roomba J7
  • Airflow: 7.27 CFM
  • Deep Cleaning: 85.7%
  • Navigation: Front Camera + Gyroscope + Optical Sensor
  • Self-empty: Yes
  • Bag capacity: 2.4-liters
  • Map saving: Yes
  • Number of maps: 10
  • Containment: Yes
  • Selective Room cleaning: Yes
  • Recharge & Resume: Yes
  • Brush roll: Twin rubber extractors
  • Dustbin capacity: 400ml
  • Mopping: Yes
  • Water tank capacity: N/A
  • Side brush: One
  • Battery: 2410 mAh Li-ion
  • Run time: 90 minutes
  • Noise: 63 dB

* If you click this link and purchase, we earn a commission at no additional cost.

Introduction to the Roomba Combo J7+ and J7+

iRobot’s latest release is its first hybrid robot vacuum/mop option and an industry-first retractable pad.

It uses the same framework as the older J7 model but with the added mopping feature.

Unfortunately, this upgrade will cost a hefty premium, and the purpose of this comparison is the look closely at what upgrades iRobot put in the Combo J7 and if it’s worth the added cost.

Most Versatile Roomba Yet: Roomba Combo J7+

Roomba Combo J7+


  • Most versatile Roomba option (to date)
  • (Slightly) higher airflow than the older J7 model
  • Better deep cleaning
  • Efficient navigation (at least inside a small room)
  • Added mopping function
  • A good option for cleaning carpets


  • Uber expensive
  • The mopping pad has no agitating element
  • No pad washing
  • The side brush scatters large debris chunks

iRobot finally acquiesced and released a hybrid option with mopping and vacuuming functions, but its design is unique.

Instead of using a fixed pad behind the brush roll, iRobot designers utilized retractable arms to hold the bracket, similar to a front-loading garbage truck.

Roomba Combo J7 Review

With Roomba’s current design, it’s the only location that makes sense unless they come up with a new design from scratch, which would entail more R&D.

There are apparent pluses with this design, including its ability for the pad to (totally) avoid carpets, unlike the pad lift feature, where it still touches the surface.

However, utilizing this design eliminates the option of adding an agitation element so that it won’t be as efficient as other brands like the Roborock S7 MaxV Ultra and Dreame L10S Ultra.

Besides the mopping function, the Combo J7 retains the other features of the previous J7 variant, like the low-profile base station and obstacle avoidance.

One surprise during the testing phase is the (slight) bump in airflow for the Combo J7, from 7.27 to 9.8 CFM.

This bump was then confirmed in the deep cleaning experiments where the Combo J7 had better averages, albeit slight, which isn’t surprising with the meager airflow uptick.

Cheaper Premium Option: Roomba J7+

Roomba J7 w/ clean base station


  • Less expensive option
  • The base station’s smaller vertical footprint will fit in more homes
  • Best-in-class obstacle avoidance
  • Decent vacuuming performance (surface and embedded debris)
  • Above-average deep cleaning


  • Still expensive
  • No mopping function

After releasing the I and S-Series, iRobot introduced the J7 with two critical enhancements – the redesigned clean base station and obstacle avoidance.

Since the iRobot released the first self-emptying option, the I7, all its base stations employ narrow, tower-like base stations.

Roomba I3 vs I6 vs S9 auto empty

Nothing wrong with the design, but it takes up a lot of vertical space.

The new design solves this with a bonus – space for an extra bag.

Roomba J7 vs I3 clean base open

Another upgrade from the I and S-series is the obstacle avoidance system, which I consider the “best in class” because it evades high-risk objects like stretched wires and pet feces better than any brand I’ve tested.

Similarities between the Roomba Combo J7+ and J7+

Next, we’ll look into the similarities between the Combo J7 and J7, and there are plenty.

1. Redesigned Base Station

Roomba J7 and Combo J7

The Combo J7 and J7 use the same low-profile base station iRobot introduced with the J7+.

This design is better (in my opinion) because of its smaller vertical footprint and storage for the extra bag.

Roomba Combo J7 and J7 extra bag storage

Both utilize a ramp-style dock, which I prefer over a vertical port since it offers better stability during the self-emptying cycle.

2. Obstacle Avoidance

Roomba Combo J7 avoiding stretched wires

Thanks to the algorithm and obstacle avoidance sensor, one of these robot vacuums’ best traits are their ability to avoid obstacles.

Its algorithm is smart enough not to get too close, which is an issue with other AI robot vacuums.

So it’s the only robot vacuum I’d trust to avoid these obstacles without worrying about poop causing an ugly mess or wires tangling on the side brush.

3. Round Frame

Roomba Combo J7 and J7 shape

After iRobot launched the Roomba S9, I thought all their subsequent releases would utilize D-shaped frames, but that wasn’t the case.

With J7’s release, iRobot reverted to using a round frame since it’s better at traversing around tight quarters than a square-shaped S9.

4. Brush Layout

Roomba J7 and Combo J7 brush roll layout

Another similarity is the brush roll layout, as these options use the same single-side brush and counter-rotating extractors combo.

The latter is an iRobot patented design, which you won’t see in other brands, at least in North America, but that’ll change soon with the impending release of the Roborock S8.

iRobot’s counter-rotating extractors and “dirt detect” system make it one of the better deep-cleaning robots available.

Differences between the Roomba Combo J7 and J7

Next, we’ll look at the variances, starting with the most obvious.

1. Mopping

Roomba Combo J7 mop placement

One significant deciding factor between these robots is the mopping feature iRobot introduced with the Combo J7.

It’s iRobot’s first with hybrid functionality, and it performed decently in the experiments but with some limitations.

2. Dustbin

Roomba J7 and Combo J7 dustbin

While the Combo J7 and J7 dustbins use the same frame and have the exact placement, there are subtle differences.

And with the mopping function of the Combo J7, there has to be space for liquid.

So iRobot placed a tiny space behind its dustbin to store liquid.

Roomba Combo J7 water tank level

Liquid disbursement is electronically controlled through the app.

The water tank integration decreases the dirt capacity of the Roomba Combo J7 to under 400 milliliters, but with the self-emptying feature, it’s not as big of a deal.

3. Water Level Control


Since the Combo J7 has the mopping feature, there’s an added function in the iRobot app.

Roomba Combo J7+ water level settings

Consumers can access this by tapping the green “New Job+” button on the upper right of the interface.

App Comparison

The Roomba Combo J7+ and J7+ are compatible with the iRobot Home app, and both utilize the same functionality with some minor variances.

No Live Map

Unfortunately, even with the latest release, the iRobot app doesn’t have the live map feature.

It’s not surprising since iRobot utilizes a VSLAM system that doesn’t have LIDAR.

And the only VSLAM robot I’ve tested with a live map is the Yeedi brand.

Mapping Run

Roomba Combo J7 mapping run

Both apps have a mapping run, where these robots go into exploration mode to fast-track map creation.

In this mode, the vacuum motor is shut off to maximize range and reduce the number of runs to create the map.

It’s a factor for large homes since it takes longer for VSLAM robots compared to LIDAR robots to create maps.

Map Saving

Roomba Combo J7 map saving

Another similarity is the map-saving feature available in all Roomba intelligent robot options, from the I6/I7 to the latest J-Series.

And these robots can save up to ten map levels.

One enhancement iRobot added is its option to import maps from other Roomba variants into the Combo J7+.

I’m not sure if this feature is grandfathered into older models, but based on its history, it will happen eventually.

Custom Room Naming

Roomba S9 room naming

After saving the map, folks can set partitions and name each room for easy access during future cleaning runs.

The screenshot above shows an S9 map, which will be similar to the J7 and Combo J7+.

Consumers can select from a premade list or use custom names.


Roomba J7 no-go zones

With every map level, consumers can customize each one by adding containment, and for iRobot – it’s keep-out zones.

These are boxes and rectangles that block the robot from going into them.

Unfortunately, the iRobot app doesn’t have the invisible wall feature, so there’s no way of blocking diagonal areas.

Clean Zones

Roomba Combo J7 Clean Zone

Another helpful feature in the iRobot app is clean zones, where folks can add designated “clean areas” on the map.

Consumers can access this through the “New Job +” tab in the main interface.

It’s a similar feature to “selective room cleaning” in other brands like Roborock.

iRobot’s version is savable, adding another layer of convenience since there’s no need to draw these again.

Cleaning History

Roomba Combo J7 Cleaning History

Consumers can look into previous cleaning cycles through the cleaning history tab.

It showed a list of runs, the corresponding maps, duration, obstacles detected, and even instances when you canceled it.

The feature is similar to a car’s odometer, showing the robot’s “mileage,” or how much you’ve used it.

Obstacle Areas

Roomba J7 obstacle database

Tapping one of the items inside the cleaning history tab reveals this section where consumers can view the obstacles detected in the run.

One benefit of having the front-facing camera is that it takes snapshots of these objects and permits adding these as keep-out zones.

This feature saves time in having to draw these areas manually.

Roomba Combo J7 map with keep outzone

Navigation Comparison

These robots (more or less) have the same navigation pattern since both utilize VSLAM and iRobot’s advanced algorithm enabling them to avoid obstacles at an exceptional level.

After the mapping run, the Combo J7 and J7 move in a crisscross pattern.

I did efficiency experiments where I scattered quaker oats around a small room and timed how long each would finish a two-pass run.

Here’s how much I scattered for the Combo J7.

Roomba Combo J7 coverage test before

And J7.

Roomba J7 coverage before

Both did reasonably well despite the low airflow. The Combo J7+ missed more debris near the door, but that’s because I scattered more dirt.

Roomba Combo J7 coverage test after

The J7 had similar results, picking up most of the debris but leaving remnants after the two-pass run. So I give both even scores in this category.

Roomba J7 coverage after

Strangely, the J7 took longer to finish the two-pass run at 35:26 mins, nearly twice longer than the Combo J7’s run of 18 mins.

One reason is that the J7’s dirt detection engaged several times and spent some time navigating around the chair legs underneath the table.

Also, it could be an improved algorithm iRobot introduced.

Airflow Comparison

On paper, these Roomba products use the same motor since iRobot says both have 10x more suction power than the early 600-series options, but the airflow tests reveal something different.

I used an anemometer to measure air flowing through the brush roll, and the Combo J7 registered higher scores (9.8 vs. 7.27 CFM).

This bump is confirmed in the cleaning experiments as the Combo J7 picked up more sand in the deep cleaning experiments and had higher overall cleaning scores.

Cleaning Comparison

I put these robots through a grueling series of cleaning tests on various debris types such as sand, coffee grounds, pet litter, quaker oats, and quinoa.

Roomba Combo J7+
Roomba J7+
Hard Floor
Sand on hard floor
Carpet (Surface Pickup)
Carpet (Deep Cleaning)

You could see how the airflow uptick affected cleaning performance. The Combo J7 had (slightly) higher averages, reflecting the increased airflow.

It’s not much, but a welcome sight, especially for consumers looking to use this on carpets.

Which is better on hard floors?

Despite the airflow uptick, the older J7+ scored higher in the sand on hard floor experiments (98.46% vs. 96.7%).

One culprit is the side brush scattering debris, which can be a random occurrence depending on when the robot turns and if it hits a chunk of sand.

But pick-up is similar since both use the same counter-rotating extractors.

Here are the before and after photos of the Roomba J7.

Roomba J7 sand on hard floor

And Combo J7.

Roomba Combo J7 sand on hard floor

There isn’t much variance with the eye test, meaning pick-up was excellent, and the side brush scattering debris issue is the culprit of the variance.

Edge Cleaning Comparison

With the round frames, there isn’t much variance in edge cleaning performance.

Both picked up a good chunk of coffee grounds I scattered but left noticeable remnants after the run.

Here’s a before and after shot for the Combo J7.

Roomba Combo J7 edge cleaning

And the older J7 model.

Roomba J7 edge cleaning

The older J7 variance left less debris, but I’d say it’s even because I scattered more debris in the Combo J7 experiment.

Hair Wrap Experiment

I tested these robots to see how much hair they’ll resist with five and seven-inch hair.

The older J7 model is slightly better, at least with five-inch strands.

Roomba Combo J7+
Roomba J7+
5-inch strands
7-inch strands

Nonetheless, neither is good for cleaning hair because of the low airflow.

One plus is that cleaning the brush roll is more straightforward since most strands will wrap on the axles.

Roomba Combo J7 hair wrap on axles

Another trouble spot is hair wrapping on the side brush.

Roomba Combo J7 hair on side brush

Which is better on carpets?

The Combo J7’s higher airflow enabled it to pick up more debris on carpets (based on tests).

It was better in the deep cleaning experiments, where it got more sand (88.3% vs. 85.75%), further confirming the Combo J7’s airflow uptick.

Another proof is it got better surface debris scores on low and mid-pile carpets.

If you’re looking for a carpet-cleaning robot vacuum, the Combo J7 is an intriguing option.

Mopping Comparison

Only the Roomba Combo J7 has the mopping feature, its most significant upgrade over the previous J7 model.

As I’ve said earlier, it relies on a retractable pad to engage or retract it when needed.

It was decent at removing stains, at least non-sticky ones like red wine.

Roomba Combo J7 red wine test

But it struggled with juice stains, particularly sticky prune juice, where it stalled severely.

Roomba Combo J7 juice stains

I wouldn’t recommend it to mop food-based stains, especially sticky ones like juice, so it’s another FYI.

Nonetheless, it’s good enough for light-duty tasks or maintenance clean-ups.

Also, it doesn’t have a pad-cleaning feature, and consumers must clean it after every run for the best results.

Run Time Comparison

iRobot used a larger 2410 mAh battery in the Roomba J7, so I’m guessing the Combo J7 uses the same battery.

The older J7 model will run for around 85 minutes, and the Combo J7 will be around the same territory (approximately 60 to 80 minutes) – slightly less because of the airflow uptick.

Noise Comparison

Further confirmation of the airflow increase is the noise level variance.

Based on the sound meter test, the Roomba Combo J7+ is slightly louder, registering a 66.2-decibel reading, three decibels louder than the J7 (63 dB).

The variance isn’t significant, but it’s one thing to point out with these findings to help you decide.

Related Roomba Comparisons


The Combo J7 and J7 need TLC to function efficiently for years. And if you’re spending this much on a robot vacuum, keeping it running smoothly is a good idea.

I’ll enumerate a list of components that need periodic cleaning and suggested intervals.

  1. Counter-rotating extractors: These rollers are the most abused component of these products and should be cleaned weekly to remove any dust and hair accumulation, particularly on the axles.
  2. Side brush: Another hair magnet – detach and clean hair from the base weekly.
  3. Drop sensors: Wipe these using a cleaning paper towel or towel to remove dust accumulation.
  4. Dustbin: Even with the clean base station, check the dustbin and remove any debris buildup around the lip.
  5. Filter: Remove the filter and clean it once a month by tapping it on an old piece of paper
  6. Auto empty base station: Ensure the port is free from blockages affecting the self-emptying cycle.
  7. Bag: Replace the bag once it reaches full capacity.

Availability of Parts

As with any Roomba products, parts availability won’t be an issue since third-party vendors will sell components of these variants.

Also, the Combo J7 and J7 share many of the same components as other options like the I3 and I6 – you can purchase parts like side brush or extractors, which will fit in the J-Series.

Product Specifications

Roomba Combo J7+
Roomba J7+
Roomba Combo J7+
Roomba J7+
Washable E11 Rated Air Filter
Smart Navigation
Smart Navigation
Run time
60 - 80mins.
85 mins.
Recharge and Resume
Map Saving
Number of Maps
Dustbin capacity
<400 ml
400 ml
Auto empty capacity
Water tank capacity
100 ml
9.8 CFM
7.27 CFM (Max)
1-year limited
1-year limited

Where can I buy these robots?

The Roomba Combo J7+ and J7+ are available in online stores like Amazon. Check the links below for the latest pricing information.

Disclaimer: I will earn a commission if you purchase from the link above, but at no extra cost, so it’s a win-win for us!

Which Roomba is the Better Option?

Given the price variance between these Roomba products, the cost will be a huge factor, but the real question is, are the upgrades worth the premium?

The Roomba Combo J7+ isn’t a massive upgrade or refresh but adds a mopping element previously missing in iRobot products.

Yes, it has (slightly) more airflow, but it isn’t that significant for the price difference.

So you’ll have to decide if the mopping feature and its benefits are enough to warrant consideration.

4 Reasons to Choose the Roomba Combo J7+

  1. Versatile option: The Combo J7 is the first Roomba with hybrid functionality (vacuuming and mopping), making it iRobot’s most versatile product.
  2. More airflow: A slight uptick in airflow results in better cleaning performance, especially on carpets.
  3. Decent mopping: It efficiently removes red wine stains – the same proficiency as the Roborock S5 Max.
  4. Efficient navigation: This model completed the two-pass efficiency run in just over 18 minutes – much better than the J7.

3 Reasons to Choose the Roomba J7+

  1. Cheaper option: With the Combo J7’s release, the J7+ suddenly becomes the less expensive alternative.
  2. Top-notched obstacle avoidance: Both options will avoid objects like stretched wires and pet feces at an exceptional level.
  3. Above-average deep cleaning: Despite the low airflow, the J7+ picked up an above-average percentage in deep cleaning experiments.

The Verdict: Do You Need the Mopping Feature

Choosing between the Roomba Combo J7+ and J7+ will boil down to one aspect – do you need the mopping functionality?

If yes, the Combo J7 will be the no-brainer option. Its retractable pad makes the Combo J7 the only option with proper carpet avoidance during its hybrid cycle since the pad is out of the way.

The airflow increase is a side bonus but shouldn’t be the primary consideration to purchasing this product since the difference isn’t that significant versus the price increase.

One benefit for consumers is the reduced price for the older J7 variant, but it has the same high-end obstacle avoidance capability and redesigned low profile base station.

About the author: Garrick, the visionary behind Cordless Vacuum Guide, brings over a decade of hands-on expertise in cordless vacuum testing to his insightful reviews showcased on this platform. Beyond his passion for empowering consumers with informed choices, he cherishes precious moments with his family, exploring global cuisines and exploring different horizons with his beloved wife and son. Follow him on Youtube, Tiktok, Facebook, and Instagram.