Roborock S7 vs Roomba i7 – What They Don’t Tell You

In a nutshell, what are the differences between the Roborock S7 and the Roomba i7?

  • The S7 can vacuum and mop floors, while the i7 can only vacuum.
  • The S7’s navigation is more precise than the Roomba i7’s.
  • The S7 has a longer runtime than the i7.
  • The i7 has a dual main brush system, while the S7 only has a single main brush.
  • The i7 can save more maps than the S7.

Difference 1: The Roborock S7 can vacuum and mop at the same time, the Roomba i7 only vacuums.

The i7 has no mopping function, but it’s compatible with the iRobot Braava jet® m6 Robot Mop. If you purchase this robot mop, the two robots will be able to work together seamlessly to vacuum as well as mop the floors of your home.

The S7, meanwhile, has a built-in mop module and can simultaneously mop and vacuum your floors. In addition, the mop on the S7 is the most advanced mop in the Roborock lineup.

Two things make it advanced. The first is that it vibrates left and right 3,000 times per minute while it mops. This enables the mop module to scrub the floor instead of just wiping them with a damp cloth. As a result, the mop will be able to remove dried stains, mud, and tough spills.

The second is that when the Roborock’s sensors detect carpet, the mopping module will be retracted to avoid dragging across the carpet’s surface. The carpet can then remain dry without you having to remove the mop module entirely.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that the mop module can only retract enough to avoid low-pile carpets. If you have medium-pile or high-pile carpets, it’s best to just remove the mopping module when you want the S7 to vacuum them.

If you need mopping, the Roborock S7 is the better deal. You get vacuuming and mopping for the price of just one robot vacuum.

See Roborock S7 on Amazon

Difference 2: The Roborock S7 uses LiDAR for navigation, while the Roomba i7 uses VSLAM.

The Roborock S7 has more precise maps because it uses LiDAR, which utilizes lasers to help the robot vacuum find its way around your home. In comparison, the Roomba relies on its camera and floor sensors for navigation and mapping.

The Roomba’s navigation system uses “visual simultaneous localization and mapping”, or VSLAM. This enables the i7 to move around your home to find specific markers that it will then use as points of reference.

Long story short, it does a good enough job but camera-based systems are not as precise as laser-based systems.

LiDAR is more precise than VSLAM because it uses lasers to accurately measure its distance from various objects in a room.

While LiDAR is more accurate, it probably won’t make too big of a difference in the day to day use of your robot vacuum.

Where it might make a difference is if you need it to work in the dark.

Ambient light is not needed for LiDAR to work, so the S7 will be able to navigate around your home even in complete darkness.

The i7, meanwhile, needs at least some ambient light to be able to navigate accurately. When there is not sufficient light, the i7 will switch to a different mode of navigation, where it roams around somewhat randomly, like older generation robot vacuums do.

If you think you will need your robot vacuum to work in the dark, the Roborock S7 is the better choice.

See Roborock S7 on Amazon

Difference 3: The i7 has two main rubber brushes, while the S7 only has one.

Because iRobot has a patent on its dual brush design, they make the only robot vacuums with two brush rollers.

The main advantage of having two brush rollers is that better performance on carpet. One brush is designed to agitate and loosen dirt and debris. The other brush guides the dirt and debris to where suction is the strongest.

If you have a lot of carpet or area rugs in your home, the Roomba i7 can clean them more efficiently than the S7 can.

See Roomba i7 on Amazon

Difference 4: The i7 can save up to 10 maps of your home, the S7 can only save up to four.

Both robot vacuum models can learn the layout of your home and produce maps of different floor levels. The iRobot app allows you to give the maps custom names, and you’ll also be able to save “keep out zones”, “clean zones”, and more. This way, you can simply select the map with the pre-loaded zones, then you’ll be able to immediately start a cleaning session.

While S7 can only save four maps, its maps are also more accurate because of the robot vacuum’s use of LiDAR. Furthermore, because the S7 can detect carpet, it will automatically mark areas where carpeted floors are found on the maps.

Difference 5: The Roomba has geofencing, the Roborock does not.

While you can set cleaning schedules for the i7, you can also tweak settings to make sure that the robot vacuum will clean your home without prompting from you. If you turn your phone’s location services on, the iRobot app will be able to detect when you leave your home. This will then enable the i7 to start a cleaning session automatically.

The actions of other smart devices in your network can also trigger the i7 to start cleaning. For example, if the garage door opens in the morning, this can signify to the robot vacuum that you’ve left for the day and that it can start cleaning your home.

With this feature, you won’t have to figure out a cleaning schedule, and the robot vacuum can adjust its sessions to your schedule. You won’t have to hear the vacuum while it runs, but you’ll still come home to clean floors.

On the other hand, the Roborock S7 does not have this feature. You can however, program a schedule for it to start at a certain time. For example, vacuum the bedrooms at 10am on weekdays and the whole house at 2pm on the weekends.

If your daily schedule changes frequently, the geofencing feature might come in handy.

Difference 6: The S7 can clean for up to 3 hours, while the i7 can clean for up to 90 minutes.

The S7 can cover a larger area on a single charge.

If you have a large house, the i7 might have to recharge mid-clean, especially if there is a lot of carpet.

With all this in mind, the Roborock S7 is more suited for larger homes.

See Roborock S7 on Amazon

Similarities between the Roborock S7 and the Roomba i7

Similarity 1: Both models do not have obstacle avoidance

There are Roborock and Roomba robot vacuums that can effectively recognize and avoid small obstacles like pet waste. However, the Roborock S7 and Roomba i7 are not included in that list

Thus, it’s best to make sure that your floors are uncluttered before you start a cleaning session. Remove any socks, toys, cables, wires, and especially pet waste.

Similarity 2: Both models can automatically empty their dustbins

The S7 is compatible with the Roborock Auto-Empty Dock, and the i7 is compatible with the iRobot Clean Base.

The Auto-Empty Dock and Clean Base will automatically empty the contents of their respective robot vacuums’ dustbins after every cleaning session so that you won’t have to empty the vacuums’ dustbins yourself.

The docks have their own dust bags that can store about 8 weeks worth of dust.

Both the S7 and the i7 come with regular (non-emptying) docking stations. You can buy the Auto-Empty Dock or Clean Base separately if you wish to upgrade later.

Alternatively, there are “plus” versions of these robots. If you get the Roborock S7+ or the Roomba i7+, the self-emptying dock is bundled in with the robot vacuum.

See Roomba i7 on Amazon

Similarity 3: Both models can be controlled via app and voice commands.

The Roborock app and the iRobot app have similar features and functions that allow you to have as much control over your robot vacuum as possible. You can access saved maps, set cleaning schedules, toggle settings, turn certain functions on and off, and more.

Additionally, both models are compatible with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Apple’s Siri. As soon as you link your robot vacuum to these platforms, you’ll be able to give a variety of voice commands. You won’t have to physically access your phone to start cleaning sessions, which can be a great help when you’ve got your hands full with chores, kids, work, and the like.

Similarity 4: Both models have customizable cleaning options.

The Roborock S7 has cleaning functions like “no-go zones”, “no-mop zones”, and “invisible walls”. You can use the Roborock app to draw these zones on the map.

For example, if you don’t want your robot vacuum to enter the laundry room, you can draw a no-go zone around the laundry room. You can also draw invisible walls across the thresholds of rooms to stop the S7 from getting in.

The Roomba i7 has similar functions, but iRobot calls them “keep out zones”, “clean zones”, and “virtual walls”. These work in much the same way as the S7’s customization functions, in that they mark certain areas in your house as areas for the robot vacuum to clean or avoid.


Does the Roborock S7 avoid dog poop?

No, the S7 cannot recognize and avoid pet waste or other smaller obstacles on the floor. You’ll thus have to make sure that your floors are free of clutter and any pet waste before you start a cleaning session.

There are Roborock robot vacuums with the obstacle avoidance feature, namely the S6 MaxV, S7 MaxV, and S7 MaxV Ultra.

Does the Roborock S7 scratch floors?

No. The wheels are made of rubber and thus won’t leave scuff marks or scratches on any kind of bare floor.

Can I use the Roborock S7 without mopping?

Yes. You can either set no-mop zones on the Roborock app, or you can take off the mop module to make sure that the robot vacuum doesn’t mop at all.

Does the Roomba i7 have mapping?

Yes. The i7 can learn the layout of your home and subsequently generate and save up to 10 different maps. You can access these maps on the iRobot app and use them to set cleaning functions, such as keep out zones and clean zones.

Can the Roomba i7 see in the dark?

No. The i7 needs ambient light to be able to find its way around your home. This is because it relies on its front camera for navigation and needs to be able to detect certain markers within a space in order to find its way.

So, Which One Should You Choose?

If you want a robot vacuum that doubles as a robot mop, then the Roborock S7 is the vacuum for you.

The mop on the S7 is one of the most advanced on the market, able to deep clean your floor and retract when carpet is detected.

See Roborock S7 on Amazon

If you have no need for mopping in your home, the Roomba i7 is the way to go.

The Roomba i7 is also the better pick if you have mostly carpet in your home. It has dual dual rubber brushes instead of just one, allowing it to extract dirt from carpet more efficiently.

See Roomba i7 on Amazon

Do you have one of these robot vacuums? Let us know in the comments!

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