Roomba i3 next to Roomba i4.

Roomba i3 vs i4 – Is There Even a Difference?

Both the Roomba i3 and Roomba i4 are robot vacuums that come packed with features that make it a breeze to keep your floors clean. If you are trying to see if there are any differences between the two, you’re in the right place.

Differences between the Roomba i3 and i4

The only difference between these Roombas are the included accessories. The i3 comes with just 1 spare filter, while the i4 has 2 spare filters and a virtual wall accessory. Other than that, the two robot vacuums are virtually identical and perform exactly the same.

In other words, when you purchase the Roomba i4, you get a Virtual Wall accessory and an extra spare filter.

That’s all for the difference, if you can believe it. Now let’s take a look at their similarities.

See Roomba i4 on Amazon

Similarity: Both the i3 and i4 have logical navigation even though neither have a camera.

Both vacuums are able to navigate your home logically. Because they have smart navigation, they’re efficient in their cleaning paths and vacuum in satisfying lines.

Neither vacuum have built in-cameras. I actually find this quite nice, since you get all the benefits of having a smart navigation vacuum without any of the privacy concerns of a smart device with a camera roaming your house.

See Roomba i3 on Amazon

Similarity: Both have the “recharge and resume” feature.

The Roomba i3 and i4 are able to automatically recharge themselves when they run low on battery. When the vacuum senses it can’t finish cleaning your entire home with the remaining battery life, it will remember where it has already cleaned, return to its charging dock, and resume cleaning after it recharges.

This makes battery life a much less important issue. If you let it clean while you’re away, you won’t even know that it took a break mid-clean to recharge!

Similarity: Neither the i3 nor the i4 have the “keep out zone” feature found in advanced Roombas.

While this is a convenient feature to have, it is definitely not a must.  Keep out zones is a feature found on premium Roombas that allow you to draw boxes in the app to mark where you don’t want the machine to roam. Models like the i7+ and s9+ plus have this capability but not the i3 and i4.

There is another way to achieve the exact same result, and that’s to use the Virtual Wall accessory included with the i4. Just put 2 AA batteries in the beacon, set it where you don’t want the Roomba to go, and you get a physical version of the “keep out zone”.

Similarity: Both have a self-emptying “plus” version.

Both of these vacuums have a version that comes with a self-emptying docking station. The idea is that after cleaning, the Roomba will return to the home base and empty its contents into the home base automatically, saving you from having to empty the dustbin yourself.

Although the clean base is nice, it’s quite loud and not entirely environmentally friendly. The disposal bags that the home base uses are one-time use, so you will have to repurchase them every so often.

But if you absolutely despite coming into contact with household dust, the i3+ and i4+ might be for you. Note that plus versions may not always be available, depending on your location.

Similarity: Both the i3 and i4 use anti-tangle brush rolls.

Traditional vacuums have bristles that are hair magnets. Not these Roombas. The double anti-tangle brush rolls found on both the i3 and i4 do a great job of loosening dirt and debris yet never tangling up hair.

If you have long hair or pets with long hair, you know what a pain it is to clean hair out of the vacuum. The anti-tangle brush rolls makes maintenance a breeze.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it important to get the clean base?

In my opinion, the clean base is not worth the extra cost. The main reason: it’s not that difficult to manually empty the dustbin after each clean.

What’s the deal with the virtual wall included with the i4?

The virtual wall will help you keep your robot from going where you don’t want it to go. This can be especially useful if you want it to clean a certain part of the house, but not the whole thing. Or perhaps there are pet bowls on the ground that your Roomba should always avoid.

Which One Performs Better? The i3 or the i4?

They perform identically, they are the same vacuum that come packaged with different accessories.

Which one should I get between the Roomba i3 and i4?

I would pick up whichever one is cheaper. The included accessories are nice-to-haves but not deal breakers if they are missing. Ultimately it comes down to the price.

If happen to be the same price or similarly priced, go for the i4 because you get an extra filter and a Virtual Wall accessory included in the box.

See Roomba i3 on Amazon


If you want a vacuum that’s easy to maintain, powerful enough for your home, and have smart navigation, either of these will do a great job. The only difference between them are the included accessories,  the machines themselves do not have any meaningful differences.

Where the two do differ is what comes in each package: the Roomba i3 box includes the robot vacuum itself, 1 charging station, and 1 spare filter. The Roomba i4 box has the robot vacuum, 1 charging station, 2 spare filters, and a virtual wall.

If you don’t care much about extras, save some money by choosing the cheaper option!

See Roomba i4 on Amazon

4 thoughts on “Roomba i3 vs i4 – Is There Even a Difference?”

  1. I completely disagree with the opinion that the clean base is not worth the extra cost. Before I had the clean base I had to be aware of the robot every time it cleaned so that I could empty the bin when it was full. Especially if it happened before it was finished vacuuming the entire area.
    Now I just tell it to go clean when I see the need and go off and do other things. Once every 2 months or so I check to make sure it is clean and how full the base is. I actually have to schedule a reminder on my phone, because otherwise I just don’t think about the robot anymore.
    I am so much more happy with the robot now that I have the clean base.

    1. Hi Kendall,

      I’m glad that the clean base is working well for you! I have heard that a lot of people find the Clean Base to be worth it, so you are definitely not alone!

      Thank you for sharing your experience, I’m sure other readers will find it helpful.

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