iRobot Roomba i6 Review

The iRobot Roomba i6+ is a member of the i series of the iRobot vacuums. The i series was introduced in 2018 and is the 8th generation of robot vacuums from the company. The ‘+’ indicates that the product includes a self-emptying base that allows the vacuum to empty its bin and continue to vacuum the house. The company says that the vacuum can empty itself 30 times into a disposable bag inside the clean base.

image of the iRobot i6 Roomba robot vacuum

image of the iRobot i6 Roomba robot vacuum

We became very interested in this particular product line for a couple of reasons. The first one is that we just got a second dog, a golden retriever, which has significantly more hair/fur than our Viszla has. Second, there was a fantastic promotion on Prime Day 2020 that included this particular model.

Getting Started with the i6

Getting started with the Roomba i6 was really easy. These were the only steps that we needed to take to get up and running:

  1. Take the vacuum out of the box
  2. Plug the disposal bin into the outlet
  3. Place the vacuum onto the charging contacts on the disposal bin
  4. Download the iRobot app
  5. Connect the app to the vacuum via WiFi; this actually took me 2 tries because I forgot the wifi password.
  6. Click on ‘start job.’

This whole process took me about 10 or 15 minutes to accomplish, with much of that time spent by my wife and me running around the house picking stuff up off the floor. The first run thru the house took a total of 3 hours.  The vacuum did spend some time in the docking station recharging in the middle of the run.  The full run through the house was about two-thirds of that time.

See our Best Robot Vacuums to Buy

You have to keep in mind that one other thing is essential when thinking about a robot vacuum. In the 3-hour run through our house, the vacuum returned to its home base at least twice to empty itself. If you get a vacuum that does not empty itself, you will need to do this manually for somewhat large areas.

The one problem we encountered was when the vacuum would not enter one of our bedrooms. The issue was caused by an unfinished cut of the carpet without a saddle keeping the carpet in place. We had to place the vacuum in the room to vacuum this room.

What like about the iRobot Roomba i6+

There’s a lot to like about this vacuum. While our new puppy isn’t shedding yet, the house has been noticeably cleaner since we got this vacuum a couple of weeks ago. The suction is excellent and has only picked up one or two things that had to be pulled out of the vacuum.

One of the best features of this and any robot vacuum is its ability to get under things.  Under normal circumstances, this may not be easy and typically skipped in a quick vacuum around the house.  Now, we get under the bed, under the dining room table, under the liquor cabinet every time we vacuum.

When I started researching robot vacuums, I was not excited about the prospect of having to empty the vacuum potentially multiple times to vacuum the house. I wanted to run the vacuum when I wasn’t home and come home to a dusty free home. This is one of the best features of the PLUS iRobot series’.

The iRobot App

The iRobot app is where you have the most control over your vacuum. To get the most out of the app, when you first get your i6, press the 'Clean' button on the vacuum. Pushing this button will have the robot explore your entire house wherever it is capable of going. While the vacuum is working, the iRobot app creates a map of everywhere that the vacuum went.

After this first trip, you can use the mapping feature to map out every room in your house, identify and name them and create borders between areas of your home. Updating the map will allow you to identify specific areas of your house to vacuum later, whether it is a scheduled trip or you want to vacuum one room 'right now.'

The best part of the app is creating schedules to vacuum different parts of your house automatically. We needed to do this feature because of where the dogs like to hang out. Where the dogs hang out, that's a dust bunny waiting to happen. You'll need to determine your schedule, but we vacuum the main parts of the house where the dogs go a total of 3 times per week. The rest of the house gets cleaned twice a week.

Be sure to refer to our Robot Vacuum Buyers Guide.

Problems with the iRobot Roomba i6+

Of the currently 250 reviews on Amazon for this particular model, several people did provide a review and gave the vacuum only 1 star (with some people wishing they could give 0). Several of these reviewers had WiFi connection issues; this is an issue that we did not have, nor could we provide an opinion about this particular issue.

More than one reviewer stated that their vacuum worked well for a short time, 1 to 2 weeks, and then stopped working. We have not had our vacuum long enough to stop working, but we now have it scheduled to run three times per week to keep the animal hair under control, and we will report back if we have this issue.

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