- Bottom Line
This hybrid robot vacuum not only vacuums hardwood but mops without damaging it too.
Its mopping pad flips up on top of the robot to avoid scrapping or oversaturating the floor. We found it had enough suction power to suck up all but a few grains of heavier debris. It can clean with water only. Its battery can run for over 2 hours before recharging.
It doesn’t have a mop-only setting. It ran into an erroneous pump error message during mopping.
About the product
Is the iRobot Roomba Combo j7+ worth it?
iRobot revolutionized floor cleaning with the release of its first Roomba in 2002. Since then, each new robotic vacuum model has introduced features that make vacuuming even easier and more convenient. The Roomba Combo j7+ definitely ups iRobot’s game — it not only vacuums but also mops at the same time.
The Combo j7+ is the only hybrid vacuum and mop in the Roomba line, but it offers the same features as some other premium models. It uses smart mapping to learn your home, remembering specific rooms for targeted cleaning. Unique to the j-series Roombas, its front-facing camera helps it spot and avoid obstacles in its path. And to make things even easier, it’s also self-emptying, so it can stop in the middle of a job, empty itself into its base and return to cleaning without any assistance from you.
The BestReviews Testing Lab set the Roomba Comba j7+ to work in real-world conditions to see just how effectively it can vacuum and mop. It cleaned hard flooring and carpeting, transitioning back and forth between the different surfaces. It also encountered different types of debris to help us determine how it compares to other Roomba models and what types of homes it would work best in.
What is the Roomba Combo j7+?
Battery life: 128 minutes | Dimensions: 13.3" L x 13.3” W x 3.4” H | Dustbin capacity: 0.4 L | Weight: 7.35 lb | Mapping: Yes | Self-emptying: Yes | Voice commands: Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri Shortcuts | Scheduling: Yes
Released in 2022, the Combo j7+ has an advertised battery life of 90 minutes, but it cleaned for more than two hours during our testing before needing to recharge. It’s roughly the same size as other Roomba models and robot vacuums, so it traveled under many pieces of furniture without issue. The Combo j7+ comes with a Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal, which lets the robot empty itself when its internal dustbin is full and continue cleaning.
Like the Roomba j7+ and j8+, the Combo j7+ uses PrecisionVision navigation with a front-facing camera to map an area. It can learn and remember specific rooms for selective cleaning and even offers obstacle avoidance to prevent it from bumping into or running over objects on your floor. It also is the only Roomba that can mop in addition to vacuum, so you can send it out to vacuum and mop or just vacuum based on your cleaning needs. But your rugs and carpet never get wet because the Roomba senses when it’s leaving a hard surface and automatically moves its mop pad up and out of the way.
To see how the Combo j7+ compares to other products in the space, check out our reviews for the best Roombas.
- Mopping: The Combo j7+ is the only Roomba model that can vacuum and mop, saving you valuable cleaning time.
- Obstacle avoidance: The Roomba Combo j7+ and the other robots in the j series are the only Roombas that feature obstacle avoidance with a front-facing camera, so you don’t have to pick up power cables, wires and other items from the floor before it cleans.
- Smart mapping: Like other advanced robot vacuums, the Combo j7+ uses smart mapping to learn a floor plan, identifying specific rooms and dividers to clean more efficiently.
- Performance on carpeting: With 10 times the suction power as the 600 series models such as the Roomba 694, the Combo j7+ cleans carpet effectively, though it sometimes requires two passes to remove all debris.
- Battery life: The Combo j7+ can clean for at least 90 minutes. When we tested it, it had a battery life of two hours and eight minutes.
- Compact base: The Combo j7+ has a Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal. However, unlike the Clean Base for the i and s series, which is 19 inches tall, the j-series base is only 15.7 inches tall.
- Manual refills for mopping: While the Combo j7+ is self-emptying, it requires you to manually refill the water tank during mopping.
- Doesn’t scrub: The Combo j7+ has a pad for mopping, but it doesn't scrub the floors, so it may not remove tough, stuck-on grime.
- No mop-only setting: The Combo j7+ can go on vacuum-only runs but can’t be sent out to only mop.
- Price: The Combo j7+ is one of the most expensive Roomba models.
Testing the Roomba Combo j7+
When we tested the Roomba Combo j7+, we started with stats we could easily measure. First, we timed how long it could clean before its battery ran out. Next, we recorded how long it took for the Combo j7+’s battery to fully recharge. We noted how much time it took the robot to clean an entire room and the space’s square footage to evaluate its efficiency.
To assess how well the Combo j7+ cleans, we tested it on both hard flooring and carpeting. We filled its water tank with a mixture of cleaning solution and water, so it could mop hard surfaces, as well as vacuum. We analyzed the Combo j7+’s suction power by placing different types of debris, including coarse kosher salt, pet hair, cereal and kitty litter, in its path to see how it cleaned the mess on hardwood and carpeting. We also tested the Combo j7+’s ability to remove debris from the corner of a room and around furniture.
Additionally, we tested its navigation capabilities by sending it out on mapping runs to learn the testing area. We placed items in its path, including a shoe and a stuffed pet toy, to see how it handled obstacles. We also used the iRobot Home app to access special features, such as scheduled cleaning, to determine how user-friendly it is. And we gave it voice commands through Amazon Alexa to see how quickly the Combo j7+ responded.
Roomba Combo j7+ price and where to buy
Roomba Combo j7+ setup
Like all the Roombas we tested, the Combo j7+ was securely packaged. However, unlike other models, including the i8+ and s9+, the robot didn’t come in its own cardboard case with a handle. Instead, it had a couple of pieces of cardboard around it to keep it in place, and we had to reach in and remove it with our hands. That made lifting it out of the other box a bit more difficult than the other models.
All the Roombas we tested were easy to set up, but the Combo j7+ was one of the easiest. Once the robot and base were out of the box, we only had to plug in the base and set the vacuum on it to charge. After downloading the iRobot Home app, it automatically recognized the robot, so we didn’t have to look for a code or help it search for the model number. After we connected the Combo j7+ to our Wi-Fi network, the robot was ready to clean.
Roomba Combo j7+ retractable mop
The Combo j7+ features a retractable mop, so the mopping pad sits on top of the dustbin when not in use. To prepare the robot for mopping, we first had to attach the mopping pad by flipping up the mopping arm and resting it in the bracket on the arm’s underside. Next, we filled the water tank with a mixture of water and cleaning solution. The Combo j7+ came with two packets of cleaning solution, one for hardwood and one for hard flooring. We emptied the entire packet into the tank and filled it the rest of the way to the fill line with water. Unfortunately, the fill line wasn’t visible inside the tank, so we had to install the tank and check to ensure it was filled properly before it was ready to mop.
The water tank is located on the other side of the dustbin, so you remove and install it in the same way you do the bin. The tank occasionally dripped if we jostled it too much when reinstalling it, but we didn’t have an issue if we took our time.
During testing, the Combo j7+ mopped various areas of laminate flooring. None of the floors were particularly grimy, but we were impressed with how clean they were afterward. We didn’t observe any streaks, either. We spilled iced tea on the floor, and the robot cleaned it with two passes, leaving behind no residue. Because the mopping pad retracts to the robot’s top when it senses it’s leaving a hard surface, the Combo j7+ never got the carpeting or rugs in the testing area wet.
Unlike other robot mops on the market, the Combo j7+’s mop head doesn’t agitate while it cleans, so floors don’t get scrubbed. That can make it difficult to remove stuck-on messes. However, during our testing, the Combo j7+ removed a spot of sticky residue on laminate flooring in a kitchen, so it is quite effective.
Battery life and suction
The Roomba Combo j7+ has an advertised battery life of 90 minutes, but it ran for 128 minutes, or more than two hours, during our testing. There was no difference in how long its battery lasted based on whether it was vacuuming or mopping.
When its battery was drained, the Combo j7+ needed two hours and 42 minutes to fully recharge. That was a longer recharge time than the other Roombas we tested, which typically took about two hours to recharge, but its battery life was the longest of these models.
During testing, we were impressed with the Combo j7+’s suction power on both hard flooring and carpeting. It sometimes needed a second pass to fully remove debris, so it wasn’t as powerful as the premium Roomba s9+, which has 40 times the suction power as the Roomba 600 series. However, we found that its performance on carpeting was stronger than models like the i1+, i8+ and i3+.
We tested the Combo j7+ mainly on medium-pile carpeting and low-pile rugs. It easily handled pet hair, removing the clump we placed in its path in just one pass. It removed nearly all the kosher salt and kitty litter in a single pass and captured the remaining three or four particles on a second pass. It picked up 99% of the cereal in its path but crushed one or two pieces, so it needed a second pass to remove the remaining crumbs.
The Combo j7+’s suction was even better on hardwood and laminate flooring. However, it ran into the same issue that other robot vacuums we tested did — it sometimes blew debris out of its path into areas where it couldn’t reach the particles. Just as on carpeting, it removed all the pet hair in a single pass. It picked up most of the kosher salt we sprinkled around but blew a few particles out of its path and had to return for a second pass to remove them. While it captured most of the kitty litter and cereal, it blew some of the particles beneath a low-clearance table that it couldn’t fit beneath and never removed them.
Like most round robot vacuums, the Combo j7+ struggled in corners on both hard flooring and carpeting. In a room with hardwood floors, it cleaned approximately three-quarters of the kosher salt we scattered around, but it blew some out of its path and never managed to pick it up. It also captured roughly three-quarters of the salt on carpeting but left a small line of particles along the wall.
Navigation and obstacle avoidance
Like the other Roomba j-series robots, the Combo j7+ uses PrecisionVision navigation. While all other advanced Roombas have top-mounted cameras, the j-series models feature front-facing cameras that help them learn landmarks and obstacles around your home to create smart maps. While your Roomba can map your home while it cleans, it’s essential to send the Combo j7+ on a mapping-only run before cleaning to learn the different flooring surfaces in your home. It then knows where it should both vacuum and mop and where it should only vacuum.
During these mapping runs, the robot focused solely on mapping rather than cleaning, allowing it to work more efficiently. We sent the Combo j7+ out to map our testing area first, and it took just 34 minutes to map 420 square feet. The smart map it created was highly accurate after just one run, too, with four of the five rooms correctly identified with no input from us. Once the Combo j7+ learned the layout, we could send it out to clean specific rooms or the entire floor.
The Combo j7+ navigated floor transitions well, so it moved through the testing area with hardwood, laminate, carpeting and rugs without our assistance. It handled switching from carpet to rug, carpet to hardwood and hardwood to carpet without any issues. However, once or twice, it had trouble going from hardwood to rug if the rug had a thicker edge. In those cases, the robot had to back up and then move forward again to get over the edge.
The most significant navigation advantage that the Roomba j-series robots have over other Roomba models is their obstacle avoidance. Because of its front-facing camera, the Combo j7+ can “see” objects in front of it and move around them. This saves you time because you don’t have to pick up power cables, wires and other items before you send the robot out to clean.
When we placed a shoe in the Combo j7+’s path, for example, it sensed the item was there and pivoted away. It reacted the same way to a stuffed dog toy and a purse we placed in front of it. It never got caught on any wires or power cords around the testing area, either.
Roomba Combo j7+ application
Like all Wi-Fi-connected Roombas, the Combo j7+ works with the iRobot Home app, which allows you to access the robot’s features. The app is extremely easy to set up and use, so it can make operating your Roomba even easier.
In the iRobot Home app, you can send the Combo j7+ out to map your home without cleaning it. But whether it goes out on a mapping run or standard cleaning run, you can find the smart map it generates in the app. You can edit the maps by relabeling rooms or moving dividers, so they are as accurate as possible. These maps allow your robot to clean a specific room or group of rooms rather than an entire floor.
You can also create Keep-Out Zones for your Combo j7+ in the smart maps. These are areas where you don’t want your Roomba to clean. We set up a Keep-Out Zone for the robot in a cluttered laundry area, and it successfully avoided the spot on all of its cleaning runs.
You can send your Combo j7+ out for one-off cleaning sessions, but the app also lets you schedule regular cleaning. You can choose the days and times you want the robot to clean, and it will automatically go out according to your schedule.
You can also use voice commands through Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant to schedule cleaning sessions for your robot.
In the iRobot app, you can adjust the Combo j7+’s cleaning preferences. Its default is one cleaning pass over an area, but you can change it to two passes for more thorough cleaning or you can choose “room-size clean,” which balances cleaning time with the room’s size.
Additionally, you can change how much liquid the robot uses for mopping. The default is standard, but you can change it to ultra for more liquid or eco for less liquid.
Cleaning and maintaining the Roomba Combo j7+
Like the other Roombas we tested, cleaning and maintaining the Combo j7+ is pretty easy. You don’t need to worry about emptying its internal dustbin after each cleaning session because it can empty itself in the Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal. However, you should clean it regularly to keep it in good working condition. You can rinse the bin in warm water, but remove its filter before washing. It’s essential to dry it thoroughly before returning the bin to the robot.
Make sure to clean the filter at least once a week, too. Just tap it against your trash can to remove dirt and debris. The filter isn’t washable, so you should replace it every two months.
Like other advanced Roombas, the Combo j7+ has an anti-tangle rubber brush roll rather than traditional bristle brushes. You should clean them once a week by pressing the brush-release tab on the robot’s underside. Because hair doesn’t tangle around the brushes, you can usually just remove it with your fingers. Wipe the brushes with a dry microfiber cloth before reinserting them to remove dirt and debris. iRobot recommends replacing the brushes every six to 12 months.
Finally, use a dry microfiber cloth to wipe down the sensors along the front edge of the Combo j7+’s underside and its wheels.
Roomba Combo j7+ benefits
The Roomba Combo j7+ is the most versatile model in the Roomba line because it can mop in addition to vacuum. We found this feature extremely convenient and efficient during testing because the robot does the two jobs at once to save time. The Combo j7+’s obstacle avoidance also sets it apart from most other Roombas because you don’t have to worry about going around and picking up wires and other items lying on your floor before it cleans. It comes in handy if you have pets who sometimes have accidents on the floor because the robot will steer away from the poop instead of spreading it around your home.
The Combo j7+ also offers smart mapping, so it learns your home’s layout, identifying rooms and dividers. That means you can send the robot out to clean just your living room or your bedroom and bathroom rather than the entire floor to save time. We were also impressed with the Combo j7+’s performance on carpeting. It sometimes needed a second pass to fully remove all of the debris, but outside of the Roomba s9+, it and the j7+ were the most effective models for cleaning carpets and rugs.
Additionally, it cleaned for more than two hours during our testing, so it would be ideal for a large home. Like other self-emptying Roombas, it comes with a Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal. But its base is more than 3 inches shorter than the standard Clean Base, making it easier to tuck away under an end table or in a corner.
Roomba Combo j7+ drawbacks
While the Combo j7+ doesn’t need you to intervene when its bin is full, it does require you to refill its water tank if it runs out of cleaning solution. Its tank only holds 100 milliliters, so if you have large areas of hard flooring, you may need to do it in the middle of a cleaning session. The mop head uses pressure to remove grime from floors, but it doesn’t agitate or scrub like other robot mops, so it may not remove stuck-on dirt and debris. You can send the robot out to only vacuum if you want, but there’s no option to send it out for mopping only. It’s also one of the priciest Roombas available, so it may not fit all budgets.
Should you get the Roomba Combo j7+?
If you want versatility and convenience from your floor-cleaning robot, the Roomba Combo j7+ is the top contender. Its ability to mop and vacuum simultaneously means that it can get hard flooring as clean as possible. It boasts impressive power on carpeting, handles pet hair well and can avoid obstacles, including pet waste, making it a perfect model for pet owners. But its obstacle avoidance makes it ideal for any home that tends to be cluttered, so your kids can leave toys lying around without the Combo j7+ getting stuck on anything. Its price is definitely hard to swallow, but if you want a time-saving robot vacuum with powerful suction and top-of-the-line navigation that can mop, too, it’s worth the investment.
The Combo j7+ removed most debris on carpeting, though it sometimes needed a second pass to get all the particles.
It is highly effective on hard floors but can sometimes blow debris out of its path. It also mops hard flooring, so it provides a more thorough cleaning than most robot vacuums.
Floor transition: 4
It transitioned easily between most flooring surfaces, though it had to back up to get over the thick, banded edge of a rug once or twice.
Between its smart mapping features and obstacle avoidance, the Combo j7+ offered some of the best navigation among the Roombas we tested.
Ease of use: 5
The Combo was easy to set up and required much less prep work than other models because of its obstacle avoidance. The app also makes operation a breeze.