iRobot has a new line of robot vacuums, and we will be comparing all three of them – the Roomba I7+ vs. I7 vs. E5.
We will look closely at its similarities differences to help you find which option is best for your home.
The Roomba I7 and I7+ are virtually identical products except for two things – the charging station and dirt bin.
With the I7+, it comes with iRobot calls the automatic dirt disposal system where a second vacuum (on the charging dock itself) is in place to empty the contents of the robot.
Another difference would be the Roomba I7+ has a slightly different dirt bin. It has a slot at the bottom to give access to the clean base station to vacuum.
Overview of the Roomba I7+ vs. I7 vs. E5
Here’s a quick rundown of the I7+, I7, and E5 models.
Roomba I7+ = Convenience
Of the three robot vacuums, the Roomba I7+ is the best option in my option. This robot screams convenience with the automatic bin emptying feature, and the smart navigation cleans with efficiency and thoroughness. It scores high in cleaning tests on hardwood and carpet, scoring nearly 100% on debris pickup.
Yes, it’s a high price to pay for a robot cleaner, but the convenience you’ll get is worth it. If you don’t want to spend, then the I7 is still a good option, but it won’t be as hands-free. The E5 is the cheapest option but does not have the smart mapping or the automatic dirt disposal system.
Roomba I7 = Smart Navigation Without the Self-Emptying Bin
While the I7 provides brings a lot of conveniences, it is also costly. For people who don’t want to pay a premium for the “plus” version, the I7 is a good alternative. It retains the same smart navigation, but it doesn’t have the auto-empty feature. So, consumers, there’s much more frequency in emptying the dust receptacle.
Please note that the I7 does not have the dirt canister opening for the clean base to suck out contents. So if you’re planning on buying the I7 and then buy the clean station to save money, you’re better off getting the I7+ right off the bat.
Roomba E5 = Least Expensive But Traverses Randomly.
The cheapest of the three is the Roomba E5. It has the same upgraded brushes as the I7+ and I7, but minus the smart navigation. I’ve heard rumblings about the E5 having the same cleaning mechanics as the I7 but minus the intelligent navigation and the auto-empty.
In essence, this model traverses like the Roomba 890, 675, and 690, but with the same dual rollers as the I7. It’s better at cleaning than the Roomba 890 with the older rollers and side brush.
Similarities of the Roomba I7+, I7, and E5
Here’s an overview of the parallels of these robots.
- Round Shape: Most Roomba products use a round shape except for the flagship S9 model.
- Three-Stage System: All these robots have the same three-stage cleaning system but with better brushes with longer, deeper threads for better agitation.
- WiFi and Alexa Compatible: You don’t need a remote with these vacuums as much thanks to the WiFi and iRobot Home App. Voice is also another option through Alexa.
- Same Filtration: These robots all have HEPA filtration, which means fine dust will stay inside the dirt bin during the cleaning cycle.
- Dust Cup Capacity: The Roomba I7+, I7, and E5 can hold up to 0.5 liters of dirt. Design is such that you can interchange the bins of all three models.
- Dirt Detect Technology: All models have acoustic sensors underneath that will make extra passes on dirtier surfaces.
- Navigation: The Roomba I7 and I7+ have the same smart mapping navigation that helps the robot be efficient, avoid obstacles, and know exactly where it is. After it saves your home map, you can ask it to clean specific rooms on specific days at particular times. That’s the most significant benefit of the latest I-series. The Roomba E5 does not have this smart mapping or the recharge and resume.’
- Self-Emptying Dust Bin: Roomba I7+ is a game-changing product in that it can empty its bin. This frees you up from having to dump the bin after every cycle. iRobot adds a second vacuum on the charging base that disposes of it for you. The Roomba I7 and E5 don’t have it.
- Price: The Roomba i7+ with the self-emptying bin is the most expensive of the bunch, the Roomba I7 without the clean base is cheaper than the I7+, and the E5 is the most economical.
- Cleaning Performance: All these robots have excellent cleaning performance, with dirt pickup on carpets and hard floors. The difference would be how they go about cleaning. The I7 and I7+ with smart navigation will clean multiple rooms efficiently while the E5 cannot.
What is the difference between Roomba i7 and i7+?
There isn’t much of a difference between the Roomba I7 and I7+; both models are the same robots. Each one has the same motor, battery, and smart imprint navigation. The only difference between is the clean base station, which is only found in the I7+.
It’s a second vacuum within the charging base that empties the robot’s dust container’s contents after it docks. It frees you up from having to do this task manually.
Design Similarities and Differences of the I7, I7+, and E5
When you look at the button layout of the I7, I7+, and E5, all three are similar, with the large round clean button at the middle flanked by two smaller buttons on each side.
The Roomba E5 does not have a camera, so the whole top is flat. It’s also the only option of the three to have a handle.
The Roomba I7 and I7+ are virtually identical with the same layout and two-tone color scheme.
What are the buttons on top?
The button layout of the I7 and I7+
Here’s how the E5 looks like
There are three buttons on all the models. Since all these variants have an app and compatible with Alexa, you won’t be using these very much, but just in case, here’s some info about it.
- Clean: Pressing the CLEAN button at the middle activates the default cleaning mode, pause, or resume cleaning.
- Spot: Spot cleaning is a great option to clean a specific area. When you activate this mode, the robot will go in a spiral motion from the middle going outward.
- Home: Pressing this button tells the robot to go back to the dock regardless if it is done with the cleaning cycle or not.
All of these functions are also available in the iRobot Home App. I’d recommend downloading the app to get access to all the advanced features.
How does the Roomba I7, I7+, and E5 clean?
All three robots use the same three-stage system that’s been a staple in all iRobot vacuums.
If you’re not familiar with their 3-stage system, it consists of a side brush, main cleaning brushes, and suction.
What’s different in the latest Roombas is the upgraded extractors with deeper grooves that provide better debris pick up.
The underside of the Roomba I7+, I7, and E5 are the same with some minor differences.
Here’s a view of all three when you flip it over.
Putting these robots side by side, you can see the similarities and differences. The E5 and I7 are almost identical with the side brush placement, rollers, and dust container. While the I7+ has a smaller dust receptacle with a slot at the lower left for the clean base station.
Around the front are cliff sensors that warn the robot of potential drop zones such as stairs and prevent it from falling.
The drop sensors in these robots also can distinguish black carpet and an actual drop point. So you can use it on dark carpet or rugs with black patterns.
On the right is an acoustic sensor that helps the robot detect dirtier areas that need more cleaning.
When you put the dirt bin of the Roomba 980 and the I7 side by side, you’ll notice that the I7’s container is smaller.
One reason would be the placement of the motor. In earlier versions before these robots, iRobot put the motor inside the bin. In these three robots, iRobot moved it right beside the receptacle.
Hence, the smaller sized dust cup. All three models have the same bin design and capacity. The difference is that the I7+’s bin has a slot for the smart dock to vacuum contents when it charges.
Filtration: AeroForce System
Another upgrade in all three robotic vacuums is the filter.
The latest Roombas all use the AeroForce system that uses a smaller HEPA filter that helps block allergens.
iRobot changed the configuration of the filter in the AeroForce system.
In the AeroForce 1.0 found in the Roomba 980 and 960, the filter was on top of the dirt bin.
With the I7, I7+, and E5, engineers moved it to the side of the bin. Engineers did this out of necessity to maximize space.
iRobot had to reconfigure everything – the size of the container to the filter placement since the motor is relocated to the side of the dust container
The result is a smaller bin (just 0.5 liters vs. the 0.56 liters in the 980) that’s washable.
This isn’t an issue with the I7+ with the self-emptying feature, but with the I7 and E5, you’ll have to do more babysitting between cleaning sessions.
All these models have the same dimensions.
- Width (Diameter): 13.3”
- Height: 3.6”
The clean base (only the I7+ has this) is more substantial than the standard charging dock.
- Height: 19”
- Width: 12.2”
- Depth: 15.1:
The weight difference isn’t much; perhaps the difference in weight can be attributed to the camera in the I7 and I7+.
- Roomba I7 and I7+: 7.4 pounds
- Roomba E5: 7.2 pounds
One of the best features of the Roomba I7, I7+, and E5 is its ability to clean different floor types. It does not matter if it’s carpet or hard surfaces; it will get the job done.
In cleaning tests done with these three robots (technically, the I7 and I7 plus are the same machines), the results were almost unanimous. All these robots can clean 99% of surface dirt regardless of the surface it is cleaning.
One difference that could sway your decision is the smart navigation found in the I7 and I7+, which the E5 does not possess.
This feature makes the I7 and I7+ more viable inside larger homes as it can traverse through numerous rooms without getting lost. It is something that the E5 lacks, limiting its functionality to cleaning single rooms or at most two.
Hard Floor Cleaning Comparison
All three robots will do well on hard surfaces such as hardwood. In cleaning tests done, the I7+ and E5 could pick up nearly everything scattered on the surface.
It did not do as well as the Neato D7 on the first pass, but thanks to the acoustic sensor, it eventually picked up nearly everything.
One issue with the I and E-series Roombas is the high RPM brushes that tend to scatter debris, especially on hard floors. Roomba has toned the RPM down in the
Carpet Cleaning Comparison
These machines are capable of cleaning low pile carpet. Again, all three were able to pick up almost 100% of dirt on low pile carpets.
Even on thicker pile carpet, the Roomba I7, I7+, and E5 can clean medium pile carpet. All the variants did well at picking surface dirt of different sizes. On carpet, it can clean stuff like cheerios, pet litter, hair, and dust, as you’ve seen in the clip above.
Surface dirt pickup won’t be a problem with all three robots.
The I7 and I7+ are decent at deep cleaning carpet picking up 79% of sand on medium-pile carpet. It isn’t as good as the
Of the three robot vacuums, the Roomba E5 runs the longest at 90 minutes. The Roomba I7 and I7 will only run for 75 minutes. However, withou the recharge and resume, it won’t matter much since it’s not efficient.
The E5 would make sense inside smaller homes with a simpler layout, while the I7 and I7+ are better in large spaces where the smart navigation and imprint features will excel.
All Roomba vacuums have WiFi and compatible with the iRobot Home app, and that includes the I7, I7+, and E5.
Aside from WiFi, you can also use voice command through Alexa or Google Assistant. If you have any of these devices, these robots are compatible.
You’ll notice that none of these robots have a remote because you don’t need it with the WiFi, Alexa, and Google Assistant compatibility.
The Roomba I7 and I7+ will navigate the same way because both use the same Imprint Smart Mapping Technology that remembers your home’s layout.
This technology not only draws a map but also saves it for later use. Some have called this technology “persistent mapping,” and it has some excellent benefits.
After the robot runs several times and maps your whole home in its database, you can assign room names and ask the robot to clean a specific room at a particular day and time.
That’s the flexibility it gives you. Now, the I7 does not have the vacuum on the dock, so you’ll have to empty it manually.
The I7+ has it, and that changes a lot of things. No, longer will you have to check the bin after every cycle or mid-cycle (if you’re cleaning a large home) to check if it’s full.
There’s no risk of coming home and finding the robot not finishing the task because the bin is full.
Which Robot Has The Better Value?
Each of these robots has its strengths and weaknesses and will appeal to a different consumer type.
Of course, price is always a primary factor that will decide which of the three you will pick.
The Roomba E5 is the cheapest option of the five that will clean and the other two more expensive options. But it won’t be as smart as either the I7 or I7+ because it doesn’t have a camera or intelligent mapping.
If you need something smarter
Suppose you live in a larger home, the Roomba I7 is a better option because it can clean more efficiently.
It has smart navigation, which helps it clean with better efficiency. The imprint feature enables it to save maps, name rooms, and clean specific areas using the app or Alexa.
Consider this option if you live inside a larger house. It won’t be as good as the S9 when it comes to cleaning, but it isn’t as costly.
The Roomba I7+ provides the ultimate convenience with the automatic bin emptying system. This upgrade over the I7 is crazy expensive, but it’s the most hands-free option available.
It has the same smart imprint navigation as the I7, but with one extra layer of convenience – the auto-empty system!
So after the robot cleans your home, a second vacuum inside the charging station empties the robot’s dust container automatically.
It’s not entirely hands-free as you’ll have to replace the bag once or twice a month.
This robot is a step in the right direction to having a genuine robot helper that will do the task for you.
Other Roomba Comparisons
Roomba has a bunch of models in their product line. Find out how each one contrasts with the other plus also comparisons with other brands like the Neato.
- Roomba Comparison
- Roomba 614 vs. 675
- Roomba 675 vs. E5
- Roomba 675 vs. 690
- Roomba 690 vs. 960
- Roomba E5 vs. 960
- Roomba 960 vs. 980
- Roomba 960 vs. S9
- Roomba I7 vs. I7+ vs. E5
- Roomba I7 vs. 980
- Roomba I7 vs. S9
Comparing Roomba to other brands.
Roomba I7+ vs. I7 vs. E5 Specifications
Let’s compare the product specifications of these three robots.
up to 75 mins.
up to 75 mins.
up to 90 mins.
|Full bin indicator|
Where can I buy these robots?
The Roomba E5, I7, I7+ are all available in online stores like Amazon and Walmart. Please check the links below for the latest prices.
Please note I will earn a commission if you purchase through any of the links above. But at no additional cost to you, so it’s a win-win for both of us.
The Verdict: Which Roomba model is best?
All the Roomba vacuums bring something unique to the table. Let’s summarize to what consumer each of the robots would best fit.