Roomba i3 + review: Clean Base not decisive despite lower price

Review: Roomba i3+ system worth the price of about 649 euros? The answer is not no but also not a resounding yes. Overall it is not very convincing.

The Roomba i3+ is a cheaper robot vacuum cleaner with its own Clean Base, which also empties the dust container of the vacuum cleaner. But is that worth 649 euros?

The Roomba i3+ is by no means the cheapest robot vacuum from iRobot, but it is the cheapest version with its own Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal. That is the base station that we encountered earlier with the Roomba i9+   and Roomba i7+ . That station ensures that your Roomba is always charged and ready for the next vacuum. It also ensures that the trash can in the robot vacuum cleaner is automatically emptied after each vacuuming session. That is again one less action for you as the owner of the vacuum cleaner.

The Roomba i3+ robot vacuum cleaner is available online in the Netherlands from 699 euros via and at Coolblue, MediaMarkt, and BCC. The Roomba i3 robot vacuum cleaner is also available without the Clean Base from 449 euros.

Functionalities and possibilities

The Clean Base brings more than just convenience. The base contains a special dirt bag, called the AllergenLock bag, which captures 99 percent of all pollen and mold thanks to four layers of material that stops allergens. That is of course an excellent additional source of income for iRobot, the manufacturer. When you bring the vacuum cleaner into your home, you will receive at least two bags. One bag lasts up to sixty days, so in the most favorable case you have enough space for the first 120 days.

In many cases you can still somewhat hide a robot vacuum cleaner. Next to or under a cupboard, for example, because the charging stations take up little space. That is not the case with the Roomba i3+. That base station is quite large and comes about to your knee. The colossus therefore needs quite a bit of space, since the robot vacuum cleaner must be able to find its way there. It is therefore also important that you leave some space in the width. That might be a tricky puzzle in a slightly smaller house; something to take into consideration though.

The Roomba i3+ features a High-Efficiency Filter that traps 99 percent of all pollen, mold, dust mites, and cat or dog allergens. The 3-Stage Cleaning System consists of Dual Multi-Surface Rubber Brushes (for effective cleaning), a specially designed Edge-Sweeping Brush (for the tricky corners) and a Power-Lifting Suction, which should be ten times more powerful compared to the Roomba 600 series. Thanks to the Dirt Detect technology, the i3+ ‘knows’ where dust collects in the house, so that extra attention can be paid to it.

The design has also been thought of. Robot vacuum cleaners usually have a plastic shell that can hold a lot of fingerprints and dust. Although the Roomba i3+ has not been completely stripped of plastic, a layer of fabric has also been added to prevent many of those first world problems. When there is dust on the vacuum cleaner, it is not immediately noticeable when the light hits it well. Fingerprints are still visible when you use the buttons on top of the device, instead of the app or voice control.

Installation and use

Installing the Roomba i3 + only takes a few minutes. After you have unpacked and put everything down, download the app and follow the steps on the screen. In the meantime, place the vacuum cleaner on the station so that it starts charging. After charging, you can immediately activate the vacuum cleaner by pressing the Clean button twice. That’s the largest button on the device, so you can’t miss it. You press once to turn on the vacuum cleaner and a second time to activate the cleaning. And then it does its thing completely.

The Roomba i3 + works quite accurately. He takes over entire rooms by cleaning the room in straight lines. This way you can be sure that no spots are skipped. It takes quite a long time this way; but works well takes time. In between, the vacuum cleaner, we called it Roomby, may return to the base station. There he can charge in the meantime or empty his bin. If the process has not yet been completed, Roomby will automatically leave again to really do the job further down the house.

During cleaning, a number of things stand out. When a dirty spot is detected, the vacuum cleaner will hang for a while. It does not get stuck or something like that, but cleans extra well in that spot. This is done in two ways: either he makes short movements in one place or he automatically drives several times in the same place. You can also activate this manually by pressing the Spot button. In that case, the vacuum cleaner will grab an area of ​​about three feet around it to clean.

Roomby creates a map of the area. It mainly does this for itself, so that at a given moment it knows where walls and the like are, so that it can clean in a straight line along the wall. The map is not interactive: you cannot create rooms (so you cannot send it to a specific room), nor can you select any point on the map to clean. For that you really need a more expensive version of the Roomba i-series. The i3 + does not help you with that.

The Roomba i3 + works meticulously and methodically, but does it also clean well? Sure. After vacuuming, we rarely come across a little bit of dust or anything else on the floor. In addition, the device copes well with the deep-pile carpet on the floor. As soon as the carpet is reached, the system switches automatically and the carpet is cleaned in one go, in the same methodical way. In addition, Roomby also leaves a shallower print and shallow trail on that carpet, compared to the Eufy RoboVac 35C.

It is also very striking how short the built-in battery lasts. After about an hour and a half, the vacuum cleaner returns to base. If you are not at home, that is not much of a problem. But if you are, you are suddenly startled by a loud suction noise from the charging base. The advantage is that Roomby knows where it has not yet been when the battery ran out before he could finish his round. After a moment of charging, the robot vacuum continues where it left off, so this does not have to be a very big problem.

Application and smart functions

The Roomba app is nice and clear and offers the functions you are looking for at a glance. With a simple push of a button you give the vacuum cleaner, whether you are at home or not, the command to start. If you use the standard option, Roomby will take the whole house with you until it is ready. But you can also give him a time limit of fifteen, thirty or 45 minutes. In addition, you can easily set a fixed schedule for him, based on time, or you can tell the Roomba i3+ to clean when you leave the house.

You can give the application access to your location. When you leave your house, and you are outside the set zone, Roomby will vacuum automatically. You can also determine on which days that happens; it may not have to happen to you on a daily basis. You can also make a link with other smart home products, such as August’s , via IFTTT . If you lock the door and leave the house, Roomba will know and can start vacuuming. These are handy integrations that can completely take care of such tasks.

The app also provides a handy overview of past cleaning sessions. This way you can see exactly where the Roomba has been (that’s the only thing you can use the card for), you can see how long it has been busy during cleaning and you can see the statistics about the lifespan. Here you can see how often the vacuum cleaner has been emptied automatically, how often dirt has been detected, how much time has been spent on all tasks and how many cleaning tasks have been performed. Useful information to keep an eye on Roomby.

Don’t have a smartphone to hand and are too lazy to get up? No problem: the Roomba i3+ also supports the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. When you connect the vacuum cleaner to one of these two voice assistants, you can ask if Roomby vacuums the house with a simple command. Also here it is not possible to ask whether he cleans a specific place. And unfortunately it is not possible to manually adjust the Roomba, but for the rest, the vacuum cleaner does a good job.

Roomba i3+ – conclusion

Is the complete Roomba i3+ system worth the price of about 649 euros? The answer is not no, but also not a resounding yes. 649 euros is just a lot of money. For a few hundred euros less you can also buy a good alternative from Eufy or Xiaomi, but they do not have an automatic emptying function. However, the question is whether you need it and what you are willing to sacrifice for it. For example, a Eufy has a manual control option, while a Xiaomi can often be sent to a specific place via the app.

The Roomba i3+ is very precise, cleans well and again takes a task off your hands that you can sometimes forget. It also looks fairly premium and offers a lot of smart functions and integrations. However, even without the base station, iRobot asks a lot of money for the device, while Chinese competitors, as mentioned earlier, offer excellent alternatives for less money. In terms of basic functions, many of those vacuum cleaners are similar; the base station must then provide the decisive factor, but does not fully justify the price.

Pros of Roomba i3+

  • Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal
  • Accurate and methodical
  • Smart features and integrations

Negatives of Roomba i3+

  • Quite expensive
  • Map functionality below par
  • No manual adjustment