iRobot Roomba Combo j7+ Review: 2-in-1 Vacuum and Mop
Last fall iRobot announced the Roomba Combo j7+ 2-in-1 robot vacuum and mop, which offers two cleaning experiences in one machine.
Traditionally, Roomba customers would have to have two robots to handle both mopping and vacuum duties, but the premise of the Roomba Combo j7+ is to have it all in one package, including a self-emptying base, to save space.
iRobot said last fall the Roomba Combo j7+ upon launch was the “world’s most advanced 2-in-1 robot vacuum and mop,” which are some pretty big expectations. We had the chance to test out the Combo j7+ and here’s our quick review of this robot vacuum.
Unboxing and Setup
The Roomba Combo j7+ comes in a big box to house the robot vacuum and its Clean Base which it automatically empties (P.S. it’s very loud):
- 1 Dirt Disposal Bag
- 1 Reusable Microfiber Mopping Pad
- 1 Bona Hard-Surface Floor Cleaner Concentrate (2oz)
- 1 Bona Hardwood Floor Cleaner Concentrate (2oz)
- 1 Extra Filter
- 1 Extra Edge-Sweeping Brush
- Power cord
In terms of no longer relying on plastics and styrofoam, the Roomba Combo j7+ box still has some items that could be either cardboard or paper:
Comparing the Roomba Combo j7+, to the Roomba s9+ with Automatic Clean Base and Braava jet m6, you can see this latest iRobot vacuum can save you floor space by having just one combo vacuum on hand. The Clean Base on the j7+ is similar to the regular j7+ and has a rectangular design, instead of tower-shaped:
From L to R: Braava jet m6; Roomba s9+; Roomba Combo j7+
Setting up the Roomba is straightforward using the iRobot app. Plug in the new robot and the iRobot app automatically detects the Comba j7+ needs to be setup. You connect the new robot to your home’s Wi-Fi and then the app will let you know if there are software updates to install, which in our case, there was.
After fully charging the Combo j7+ battery, we started a test run to create a Smart Map of our home, figuring out where there’s carpet and runs and where hard floors are located. This data is what instructs the Combo j7+ when to vacuum or map in the home. We had previously created a Smart Map of our home using the s9+, but ran it again with the Combo j7+.
With the mapping run complete one day (it’s fairly loud to hang around a running Roomba), we tested out the j7+ and its combined vacuum and mopping abilities the next day.
iRobot says once the Combo j7+ has learned the spaces in your home, it will vacuum all carpets and rugs first in a room, then proceed to lower its mopping pad to mop the hard floor areas in the same room. Once this is done, the mopping pad retracts and the robot moves to the next room to repeat the process.
How is the Combo j7+ able to combine vacuuming and mopping capabilities in one robot? The mop pad is stowed on top of the front of the robot and ingeniously lifts down for mopping and retracts flush to the top when not in use. At the front of the Combo j7+ is a small reservoir (210 ml) to fill with cleaning solution.
Testing out the Roomba Combo j7+
From the Smart Map, after labeling rooms and adding dividers, you can then start a job specifying which rooms you want done.
In the app, cleaning preferences are as follows for each room:
- Cleaning Mode: Vacuum; Vacuum + Mop
- Liquid Amount: Eco; Standard; Ultra’
- Cleaning Passes: One pass; Two pass
We ran the j7+ to do every single room on the main floor, which had mostly hard floors and some rugs in ‘Vacuum + Mop’ mode, ’Standard’ liquid and ‘one pass’. The mopping reservoir was filled with the included 2oz of hardwood floor cleaner and the rest water, as instructed.
The Combo j7+ then started its job like other Roomba robots, making its way from room to room. We didn’t follow the vacuum super closely, but after the job said it was complete. “Cleaning complete and bin emptied!” said the Roomba’s message, noting the job took 1 hour and 28 minutes. Looking at the map, we could see every room we specified was vacuumed. But we did some obvious crumbs in the kitchen area that were not picked up.
We also noticed the Combo j7+ did not do any mopping and the map showed this. We started a second run of the same job and only this time did we actively see it mopping each room (took 3 hours and 19 minutes). The Smart Map shows you where the Combo j7+ mopped by showing an aqua green colour and vacuumed areas with light green. This second job saw everywhere mopped except for two large living areas. We ran a third job and these two last areas were mopped, with the job taking 2 hours and 26 minutes.
The front of the Combo j7+ has an LED light to assist the Roomba in avoiding obstacles. This helps as part of the Obstacle Image Review, which snaps a picture of items in the way of the Roomba during its job. You review these images and identify them as temporary or permanent objects (like extension cord power bars under a desk, for example). You need to opt-in to this feature.
Now, obviously, this is a long time to have your home vacuumed and mopped. The long job times included the Combo j7+ returning to its base to recharge, in order to continue the job. We also had to refill the reservoir more times than we liked, as in our case, lots of hard floors meant more liquid is used for mopping.
We still are testing the Combo j7+ and so far it’s performed well for a convenient 2-in-1 vacuum and mop robot. For those that don’t want a fully dedicated Braava jet m6 taking up floor space, this might be for you. The mop’s integration is pretty slick and seeing it move up and down is neat.
As for some downsides, the Combo j7+ took more work refilling its tiny reservoir used for mopping. The reusable pad will require washing and the vacuum bags are only good for 60 empties, so after that, you’ll need to buy more. The same goes for floor cleaning liquid if you want to stick to iRobot’s brand.
Also, the price of the Roomba Combo j7+ may also scare some people at a price of $1,399 CAD. That’s a big chunk of change for a robot vacuum that still requires you to prep your home (lifting up chairs, stools, toys, etc). But for iRobot customers seeking the latest and greatest with a budget to spare, it’s another formidable Roomba to add to your arsenal.
Click here to learn more about the Roomba Combo j7+ on iRobot’s website.