Roborock vs Roomba: Which robot vac offers the best value?

Roborock vs Roomba: Which robot vac offers the best value?
Roborock vs Roomba: Which robot vac offers the best value?

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When it comes to robot vacuums, there are a lot of options out there. Two brands that constantly come up in search engine results are iRobot and Roborock. Both these brands have a lot in common. Both brands are often second adopters of the latest robot vacuum features, and they both have models that span multiple price points.

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We’ve tested many models from both Roborock and Roomba in our labs, and here are our thoughts.

For the sake of comparison, let’s pit a Roborock model against an iRobot that is in the same price tier. We’ve got the Roborock S7+ and the iRobot Roomba j7+. They cost around the same and are both flagship models for their respective brands.

754.99 at Amazon

$949.98 at Amazon

Roborock beats iRobot in a photo finish when it comes to cleaning power

The Roborock S7+ has the edge over the iRobot j7+ in pure cleaning prowess.
The Roborock S7+ has the edge over the iRobot j7+ in pure cleaning prowess.

When we test robot vacuums, we have them traverse our obstacle course, which has furniture legs of different widths and types of carpets. We place specially ground-up cork around all the obstacles to test how well a robot vacuum cleans.

Both the j7+ and S7+ picked up over 10 grams of cork per run on average. That puts them both in the top tier of all the robot vacuums on the market.

The S7+ gets an additional floor cleaning bonus because it has a robot mop feature that this Roomba does not have. This mop allows the Roborock S7+ to help get rid of stuck-on dust and dried stains.

You can find an added mop feature on an iRobot model, but you’d need to upgrade to the j7+ Combo for more money, or purchase a separate robot mop.

When it comes to navigation, iRobot finds the better route

We tested the j7+’s object avoidance with (fake) poop.
We tested the j7+’s object avoidance with (fake) poop.

Any product that uses batteries requires designers to make a series of tradeoffs. When it comes to the Roborock S7+, it’s about 5% bigger and bulkier than the Roomba j7+. That doesn’t sound like much, but it does mean it won’t get into the smaller nooks of your home.

We also noticed that the S7+ mop pad, which is located at the back of the unit, sometimes gets caught on throw rugs and high-pile carpets.

Additionally, the Roomba j7+ has a forward-facing camera that allows it to visually recognize objects in its path. Things like power cords, headphones, and even pet accidents.

High-end Roombas have better designs and features

We think the iRobot j7+’s design is less intrusive in most homes.
We think the iRobot j7+’s design is less intrusive in most homes.

One thing that sets the iRobot Roomba j7+ apart from its competitors is its attention to design and utility. Both the Roborock and the Roomba empty their dirt bins into self-sealing bags in their charging docks. However, the Roomba j7+’s dock is less intrusive and, in our opinion, fits in with most décor.

On the smart features front, again, the iRobot eeks out a victory. The current lineup of Roombas is all compatible with iRobot OS smart platform, and this includes the j7+.

Both the iRobot and Roborock apps allow you to do things like create virtual floor plans, direct the units to specific rooms via voice control, and schedule cleaning cycles.

However, what sets the iRobot OS app ahead is the fact that it has the ability to better integrate into a smart household.

For example, if you have a smart lock on your front door, you can program the j7+ to clean the carpets in the atrium after your kids return home from school, and it knows how to do so when the lock disengages.

So in the battle of Roborock vs iRobot, which robot vacuum would we recommend?

After looking at all the variables, we have to give the edge to iRobot.

When Roborock models go on sale, they’re comparable to iRobot and other high-end brands.

However, when the Roborock S7+ and the iRobot Roomba j7+ go head to head, we think the Roomba provides better value. The Roomba app is more programmable, possesses better navigation, and has comparable cleaning power.

When it comes to Roborock vs iRobot, our winner is iRobot.

$949.98 at Amazon

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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.

This article originally appeared on Reviewed: Roborock vs Roomba: Which brand is a better value on Amazon