This Roomba Was Built To Avoid Dog Poop, And We Tested It
Because no one wants a tiny robot tracking dog poop all over your house 💩
Vacuuming can be such a daunting chore, especially if your home’s always covered in pet hair or there are chew toys scattered all over the floor.
You might be intrigued by the convenience of a robot vacuum, but can you trust it to clean your home without bumping into things, getting stuck on cords, or creating a total poopacalypse by running over your pet’s poop?
That’s why we were so excited to try out the Roomba j7+ vacuum. According to the company, it was built to literally steer clear of anything in its way, including that nasty accident your BFF left in the middle of the floor (yes, we tested that).
It earned our official Paw of Approval, because it finally made us feel comfortable having a robot vacuum without the fear of waking up to a nightmare of a mess. Keep reading to find out the other reasons we loved it so much.
What Is The Roomba j7+?
The Roomba j7+ is a robot vacuum designed to a flaw in previous models; this Roomba was made to specifically avoid obstacles in its path.
That means the Roomba j7+ shouldn’t get stuck trying to vacuum up your phone charger or run over a pile of dog poop, dragging the nasty mess all over the floor.
Not to mention this vacuum uses two multi-surface rubber brushes that avoid tangled pet hair for more suction. (And during pet-shedding season, it’ll even recommend an extra cleaning to make sure your house stays fur-free.)
It’s also designed to empty itself when it’s full by docking at the Clean Base (and you shouldn’t have to empty the bag inside the Clean Base for two months).
The Roomba j7+ will return to the Clean Base either to empty itself or simply when it’s done cleaning. Its battery charges while it’s docked, too, so it's (almost) totally self-sufficient.
How Does The Roomba j7+ Work?
The Roomba j7+ uses what the company calls PrecisionVision Navigation, which is basically programming that allows the vacuum to recognize certain obstacles to avoid.
In fact, the company’s so confident that this model will avoid smearing piles of poop all over your floor that they’ll replace the Roomba for free if it does. (This offer is only valid for the first year and only applies to solid waste products.)
The Roomba j7+ also has a mapping feature, which means it will map and remember the layout of your home, including where it should and shouldn’t clean.
You can use the iRobot Home App to mark Keep Out Zones, clean a specific spot, and label obstacles as temporary, permanent or not as obstacles at all. And every time you let your Roomba j7+ know about an obstacle it encountered, it learns, remembers and gets smarter. (Plus, you can set it to work with voice assistants, like Alexa.)
What Comes With The Roomba j7+?
The Roomba j7+ comes with more than just the Roomba itself. When you buy this robot vacuum, you’ll get:
- A Roomba j7+ vacuum
- A Clean Base
- Two Dirt Disposal bags
- A power cord
- An extra filter
- An extra corner brush
We picked two Dodo pets who tend to make a mess to really put the Roomba j7+ to the test.
Does The Roomba j7+ Work?
Our human tester was thrilled to see just how well the Roomba j7+ was able to avoid objects on the floor instead of bumping into them or running them over.
“It works incredibly well and navigates the dog toys and cords around our home perfectly. It's incredible to watch it encounter obstacles and navigate around them.” — Cristal C.
Even tiny obstacles didn’t go unnoticed.
“The obstacle detection was incredibly detailed, down to noticing a single piece of dog food.” — Cristal C.
And since there are so many horror stories about robot vacuums running over pet poop and smearing it everywhere, we decided to put any potential poop problems to the test.
“We staged an obstacle course of (fake) poop around our main floor, and the Roomba navigated all of them perfectly. It paused in its tracks within a foot of the waste and navigated a safe route around it. We tested throwing the waste in front of the Roomba while it was in motion, and it detected that too!” — Cristal C.
What We Love
There are a bunch of things we love about the Roomba j7+ vacuum.
Keep Out Zones are so helpful
If you notice your Roomba j7+ getting stuck on something, marking the area as a Keep Out Zone can fix that.
“We had an issue where it would get stuck on the track for our sliding glass door over and over, so we created a Keep Out Zone around those doors and didn't have a single issue after that.” — Cristal C.
It picks up pet hair on different surfaces
The Roomba j7+ isn’t just for hardwood floors or totally smooth surfaces.
“The Roomba works amazingly well for picking up pet hair and other dirt or dust on hard surfaces, like our wood floors and bathroom tiles. And it did great on low-pile carpets and rugs.” — Cristal C.
It learns more every time it cleans
Our tester’s excited by the idea that the Roomba j7+ uses your feedback to learn how to clean your home more effectively each time.
“After each run, the iRobot app notifies you that the clean is finished and allows you to review obstacles and let it know if they are temporary , permanent or no obstacle. From there, it helps to better learn and detect. We love the fact that the vacuum will continue to get smarter the more we use it!” — Cristal C.
It actually looks nice in your home
Since the Roomba j7+ and its docking station are going to be permanent fixtures in your home, it’s such a relief that they’re actually nice to look at.
“The Roomba is sleek and modern, and the technology is incredible. The base and vacuum were not an eyesore in our home, which we keep pretty minimal.” — Cristal C.
There are a couple downsides to the Roomba j7+ robot vacuum.
It doesn’t avoid liquid messes
If your pet makes a mess whenever he drinks water, pees on the floor or happens to have a bit of a runnier accident, the Roomba j7+ probably won’t avoid that.
“One ’obstacle’ it did not detect was water left on the floor by Moose after he drank from his bowls. The Roomba ran right through it, but it didn't seem to impact performance, just left a bigger wet spot as it pushed the water along the floor.” — Cristal C.
Pet hair can still get tangled
While the Roomba j7+ was made with multiple brushes to avoid tangled pet hair, some strands still managed to get stuck.
“We did find that the pet hair wrapped around the intricate under-parts of the vacuum, which required some regular intervention.” — Cristal C.
It’s not as effective on thicker rugs or carpets
While the Roomba j7+ is great at cleaning on hardwood and low-pile rugs, it didn’t work as well on thicker and softer surfaces.
“The Roomba had a tough time really cleaning our thicker wool rug and jute rug, as it left behind a good amount of hair and dirt. The Roomba was unable to clean (or even get onto) our master bedroom rug, which is a shaggy, long-fiber rug.” — Cristal C.
It can be pretty loud at times
The Roomba j7+ got so noisy that it spooked our reviewers.
“The sound it makes is closest to the sound of an airplane taking off. The volume is shockingly loud. For context, you can hear the Roomba emptying when it's on the second floor from our front lawn — outside the house!” — Cristal C.
Even the regular running volume can be a little loud.
“The volume of the vacuum running is quieter than your average vacuum, but the operational volume is also a bit challenging to work or sleep through.” — Cristal C.
The Roomba j7+ costs $799.99 so it’s definitely a splurge. But the massive price tag makes sense when you think about everything this robot vacuum can do entirely on its own.
“The technology and seamless integration with the app are of incredible quality, and I can certainly see why this product is pricey.” — Cristal C.
Cristal C. said she plans to continue using the Roomba j7+ and would gladly recommend it to other pet parents.
Is The Roomba j7+ Worth It?
Vacuuming your home can take a lot out of you, so it’s pretty amazing that the Roomba j7+ takes on this chore all on its own.
And since it knows to avoid obstacles — and gets smarter every time you review the ones it encountered during a clean — you can have total peace of mind while this vacuum does its thing.
(It’s especially nice knowing it won’t smear any pet accidents all over your home.)
How to tell if a Roomba is charging
You’ll be able to tell if your Roomba j7+ is charging from the light ring on the vacuum.
While your Roomba’s charging at its Clean Base, the light ring could be pulsing red or pulsing white, solid white or white swirling clockwise. Here’s what each of those patterns mean:
- Pulsing red: charging, but the battery is too low for it to start cleaning
- Pulsing white: charging
- Solid white: fully charged
- White clockwise swirl: starting up or updating software
How to empty a Roomba
Since the Roomba j7+ plus empties itself at its Clean Base, your job’s pretty simple.
Each Dirt Disposal bag inside the Clean Base holds up to 60 days’ worth of debris. After those 60 days, you just remove the bag, throw it in the trash and put a new empty bag in the Clean Base.
The Dodo may receive complimentary samples to test in our Paw of Approval program, but all our opinions are 100 percent our own. We only publish endorsements of products we (and our dogs and cats) absolutely love! You can find out more about our testing process here. If you have a product you love that you want to share with other pet parents, send a tip to firstname.lastname@example.org.