Roomba i1+

About the product

Is the iRobot Roomba i1+ worth it?

As the leading robot vacuum brand on the market, iRobot Roombas offer some of the most advanced features and technology — and steep prices to match. But the iRobot Roomba i1+ has many of the same features as its higher-end counterparts at a more affordable price, making it an ideal entry-level Roomba.

Released in 2021, the iRobot i1+ is a Wi-Fi-connected robot vacuum that offers 10 times the suction power as the Roomba 600 series. It vacuums in neat rows to help it clean more efficiently and uses the Dirt Detect feature to focus on areas with heavier dirt. The i1+ is also self-emptying, so you don’t have to get your hands dirty when its bin is full. 

The BestReviews Testing Lab evaluated the iRobot Roomba i1+ in real-world conditions to see how well it cleans and how easy it is to use. The i1+ was tested on both hardwood and carpeting, moving between the two throughout cleaning to see how it transitioned between different surfaces. It also faced different types of debris to help determine how it compares to other Roomba models and what kinds of homes it would clean most effectively. 

What is the iRobot Roomba i1+?

 iRobot Roomba i1+ next to product brand box
Testing team checking contents of iRobot Roomba i1+ packaging.

Product specifications: Battery life: 92 minutes | Dimensions: 13.5” L x 13.5” W x 3.6” H | Dustbin capacity: 0.4 L | Weight: 7.44 lb | Mapping: Yes | Self-emptying: Yes | Voice commands: Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri | Scheduling: Yes

Like other high-end Roombas, such as the i3+ and i8+, the i1+ has advanced sensors that help it move around furniture and other obstacles. It never got stuck or caught up during our testing, even in cluttered areas. It didn’t bump into furniture and corners as much as lower-end models like the 692 and 694, either. 

The robot also comes with a Clean Base that allows it to empty itself, so cleaning was never interrupted. Unlike the Roomba 692 and 694, which clean in more random, haphazard patterns, the i1+ vacuums in straight lines, going row by row to cover an entire space. After cleaning, it provides a map to show you where it cleaned, so you can see spots with heavier dirt where it worked a bit harder.   

To see how the i1+ compares to other products in its space, check out our reviews for the best Roombas.

Roomba i1+ on charger
The i1+’s Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal can hold up to 60 days’ worth of dirt, so you don’t have to get your hands dirty emptying the bin every day.


  • Affordable price
  • Solid performance on hard flooring
  • Easy-to-use app and voice commands
  • Self-emptying


  • No smart mapping
  • Average performance on carpeting

iRobot Roomba i1+ price and where to buy

The iRobot Roomba i1+ retails for $469 but can often be found on sale. It’s available at Walmart.

iRobot Roomba i1+ setup

iRobot Roomba i1+ setup
Testing team setting up iRobot Roomba i1+ on clean base.

The iRobot Roomba i1+ arrived securely packaged in its box. The robot and the base both had cardboard around them to keep them from moving inside. The robot came in a case with a convenient handle that made it very easy to get it out of the box. The Roomba also had a thin foam sheet on top to cushion it, while the base was wrapped in plastic to prevent scratches.

Once the robot and base were out of the box, we only had to insert the power cord, plug in the base and set the vacuum on top to start charging. Like other Wi-Fi-connected Roombas, the i1+ requires the iRobot Home app to operate. The app is available for Android and iOS and only took us a few minutes to download and just a couple of minutes more to recognize the robot and connect it to Wi-Fi. Overall, the entire setup process took less than 10 minutes.

Carpet and hardwood performance

Roomba i1+ cleaning carpet
Testing team evaluating the performance of the Roomba 1+ on carpet and hardwood.

We tested the iRobot Roomba i1+ mainly on medium-pile carpeting and a few low-pile rugs and runners. When we placed a handful of coarse kosher salt in its path, the robot picked up nearly all the particles, leaving just a few behind. It performed similarly with kitty litter. However, it had a bit more trouble with cereal. It crushed a couple of pieces and ground them into the carpet, leaving some crumbs behind. When we placed a large clump of pet hair in its path, it removed most of the strands but left a smaller cluster of hair behind. 

The i1+ would often pick up the remaining debris on a second pass unless the particles were blown out of its path. However, we did find that the robot had much better success removing all particles from carpeting when we used the Spot Clean mode, which allows the robot to spin in an area approximately 3 feet in diameter to clean a specific spot. 

Roomba i1+ navigating toward hard flooring
The i1+’s dustbin is not dishwasher-safe. When it’s time to clean, remove the filter and wash it by hand with warm water. 

Overall, the i1’s performance on carpeting was similar to the Roomba i3+ EVO and i8+. While it picked up most debris, it didn’t offer the same suction power as higher-end models like the j7+ and s9+. We found that its carpet cleaning was superior to 600 series models like the 692 and 694, though. 

When we switched it to hardwood, the i1+ offered better suction for improved performance. However, it ran into the same issue that many of the other models we tested did — it sometimes blew larger particles out of its path where it couldn’t reach them. It removed all the kosher salt and kitty litter we placed in its path but required a second pass in each case to remove some particles that had blown away from it. It captured an entire clump of pet hair without issue but wasn’t as successful with cereal. While it picked up nearly all the cereal pieces on its first pass, it blew four pieces out of its path that it couldn’t capture on its next go-around.

The i1+ performance on hardwood was similar to most Roombas we tested. Only the s9+ had greater success because it has 40 times the suction power as the 600 series and could pull in the debris before the pieces could blow out of its path. 

Battery life

Roomba i1+ on charging base
Testers are determining charge time and battery life of the i1+.

The iRobot Roomba i1+ has an advertised battery of life of 75 minutes. However, when we tested it, the robot ran for 92 minutes before it needed to recharge. Most high-end Roombas last for at least 90 minutes, which falls in line with premium models. When the battery was fully drained, the i1+ needed an hour and 47 minutes to recharge. Nearly all of the Roombas we tested took approximately two hours to recharge, making the i1+ similar to others. 

Navigation and mapping

Roomba i1+ on carpet under table
The Roomba i1+ is mapping its way around home as part of setup process.

The iRobot Roomba i1+ navigates well, moving around furniture and other obstacles with relative ease. During testing, we never had to free the robot because it was stuck or caught between items. We didn’t observe it bump into furniture or walls much, either. However, unlike the j7, j7+ and j7+ Combo, it doesn’t have obstacle avoidance, so it can’t react in real time to avoid objects. For example, we placed a handbag in its path, and the i1+ bumped into it twice before moving around it. It also ran over a rubber dog toy we put in front of it and momentarily got stuck before backing up and moving around it. 

The i1+ maps your home as it vacuums, so you can see precisely where it cleaned afterward. However, unlike the i3+, i8+, j7+ and s9+, it doesn’t learn specific rooms or areas of your home. For example, we couldn’t send the i1+ to clean the living room as we could with the i3+. Because it doesn’t remember the layout the way premium Roombas do, it doesn’t clean as efficiently, requiring 54 minutes to clean 255 square feet.

The i1+ transitioned between different flooring types well. It had no trouble going from carpet to rug or carpet to hardwood. It was mostly successful traveling from hardwood to carpet, though it sometimes had difficulty going over thick, wooden molding between the two. Metal borders between hardwood and carpet weren’t an issue, though. However, transitioning from hardwood floors and rugs was the most difficult for the i1+, sometimes requiring a few attempts to get onto the rug. In particular, it struggled to get onto a runner with a thick, banded edge. Nearly all of the Roombas we tested had trouble going from hardwood to these types of rugs, though. 

Other features worth considering

The Roomba i1+ doesn’t have a traditional bristle brush roll. Instead, it has anti-tangle rubber brushes. They have some flex, which prevents hair from getting tangled around them. iRobot advertises that this makes the i1+ perfect for homes with pets. We tested the robot in a home with two medium-to-large dogs and found only a few strands of hair on the brushes after cleaning that we could easily remove with just our fingers — no cutting it off with scissors required. 

While the i1+ is very easy to use with the iRobot Home app, it also allows you to use voice commands via your home assistant. We paired the robot with Alexa and found it responded within seconds to voice prompts. Compared to the i8+, j7+ and s9+, the i1+ has a smaller list of commands to draw from. For example, while we could ask it to “start vacuuming,” “pause vacuuming” or “return to home base,” we couldn’t ask it to vacuum a specific room or around a certain piece of furniture. 

iRobot Roomba i1+ benefits

While the i1+ doesn’t have the advanced navigation and mapping that premium models like the i8+, j7+ and s9+ do, it offers many similar features at a more affordable price. For under $500 (or even less when it’s on sale), the robot can work for a wider range of budgets than those models that cost $700 and up. It’s also similar in price to the 692 and 694 but provides better navigation and other high-end features that those models don’t. 

One of those high-end features is the i1+’s ability to empty itself when its dustbin is full. When it senses it’s full, the robot returns to its Clean Base and empties itself into the dust bag. During testing, we observed the i1+ empty itself five times during two vacuuming runs that totaled an hour and 47 minutes of cleaning. Once the robot emptied itself, it returned to vacuuming, so it was never interrupted. 

Additionally, the i1+ performed very well on hard flooring, picking up most debris within two passes. It didn’t have any trouble with pet hair, either. Between the incredibly user-friendly iRobot app and voice commands, the robot is also extremely easy to use, so even those new to robot vacuums or Roombas won’t have much of a learning curve. 

Roomba i1+ on carpet
You can schedule the i1+ to clean on specific days and times, so your floors are always clean if unexpected guests arrive at your door. 

iRobot Roomba i1+ drawbacks

While the i1+ has many similar features as high-end Roombas, it doesn’t offer smart mapping. Because it doesn’t remember specific rooms or areas of your home, it can’t clean a certain room or avoid other locations where you don’t want it to clean. The lack of advanced mapping also makes it less efficient than models like the i3+, i8+, j7+ and s9+. 

The i1+ doesn’t distinguish itself on carpeting, either. Its performance on carpet is stronger than models in the 600 series, but it doesn’t pick up as much as the i8+, j7+ or s9+. Of course, it costs considerably less than those models, so that may be a compromise you’re willing to make. 

Should you get the iRobot Roomba i1+?

Roomba  i1+ cleaning carpet
Testing team using i1+ to clean carpet.

The Roomba i1+ isn’t as advanced as the premium robots in the Roomba line, but it is a solid model, especially for someone new to robot vacuums. It is a bit more expensive than an entry-level robot because it’s self-emptying, cleans in neat rows and has 10 times the suction power as the 600 series — yet it still comes at a reasonable price. If you’re looking to upgrade an existing robot vacuum, though, you may find that you want more sophisticated navigation and mapping than the i1+ offers.  

Carpet: 3.5
While the i1+ did reasonably well in a testing area with heavy pet hair, its performance on carpeting was average compared to high-end models.

Hardwood: 4
It handled most messes on hard flooring with ease, though it occasionally blew debris out of its path.

Floor transition: 3.5
It could handle most floor transitions well but struggled to get from hard flooring to rugs with a thicker edge.

Navigation: 4
The i1+ doesn’t compete with premium Roombas that remember specific rooms and obstacles, but it cleans more efficiently than entry-level models like the 600 series.

Ease of use: 5
The i1+ is extremely easy to use with the app and voice commands, so it’s ideal even for someone who has no experience with robot vacuums.

iRobot Roomba i1+
Battery life::
92 minutes
13.5” L x 13.5” W x 3.6” H
Dustbin capacity::
0.4 L
7.44 lb
Voice commands::
Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri