Roomba I3 and I4: Is There a Difference?

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The Roomba I3 and Roomba I4 are great choices if you’re looking for an affordable Roomba that automatically self-empties.

These two entry-level robot vacuums have been designed to automatically empty themselves after they are done vacuuming.

Which one is best for you? What is the Roomba i3 better than the Roomba i4? Learn everything you need about the two iRobot vacuums.

The Roomba i3 or i4 robot vacuums are packed with features that will make your floor cleaning easy. You’re here to find out if there are differences between them.

Also read: Why are buyers crazy about iRobot Roomba 692 vs 694 comparison?

Roomba i3

irobot roomba i3

Roomba i4

roomba i4


Similarity: Both Versions Have a Self-Emptying Version.

These vacuums come with a self-emptying docking station. This allows the Roomba to return to its home base after cleaning and automatically empty its contents into it. It saves you the effort of emptying the dustbin manually.

The clean base is beautiful, but it can be quite loud and may not be very environmentally friendly. You will need to purchase the disposal bags now and again because they are only good for one time.

The i3+ or i4+ may be the right choice for you if dust is a problem. Please note that the plus version may not always be in stock, depending on where you live.

Similarity: The I3 and I4 Do Not Have the “Keep-Out Zone” Feature Found in Advanced Roombas.

This is a useful feature, but it’s not essential. Premium Roombas have a feature called Keep out Zones that allows you to draw boxes on the app to indicate where you don’t want the machine roaming. This feature is available on models like the i7+, s9++ plus, and the i4, but not the i3.

The i4 comes with a Virtual Wall accessory that allows you to achieve the same result. You can use the 2 AA batteries to power the beacon and place it in a location you don’t want your Roomba to reach. This will create a physical “keep out zone.”

Similarity: Both Offer the “Recharge-And-Resume” Feature.

Roomba i3 or i4 can automatically charge themselves when they run out of battery. If the vacuum detects that it cannot clean your entire house with the remaining battery, it will recall where it was and return to its dock to recharge.

This makes battery life much more important. You won’t even notice that your battery is taking a break to recharge if you leave it in its place.

Similarity: The Roomba I3 and I4, Both Come With Logical Navigation (In Absence of a Camera).

Both vacuums can logically navigate your home. They are smartly able to navigate your home and clean it satisfyingly.

Both vacuums do not have built-in cameras. This is quite nice. You get all the benefits and privacy of a smart navigation vacuum, but without a camera roaming around your home.

Similarity: The I3, as Well as I4 Both, Use Anti-tangle Brushes Rolls.

The bristles of traditional vacuums are hair magnets. These Roombas are not like traditional vacuums. Both the i3 & i4 have double anti-tangle brushes that do a great job loosening dirt and hair debris but not tangling.

You know how difficult it can be to vacuum hair in case you have long hair. Maintenance is easy with the anti-tangle brush roll.

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Comparison of Features

1. Create a Schedule

Both have very basic scheduling capabilities. It can only be scheduled to work on a particular day and time of the week.

They do not have digital blocked areas. Add a virtual wall barrier if you need the robot cleaning area to be visible.

2. Mapping

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Roomba is more efficient than robots with no map and just move randomly until they run out of battery. The map it generates allows Roomba to move in straight lines, covering the cleaning area.

Roomba i3 uses an optic motion tracking sensor and gyroscope to map your home’s layout. Roomba i4 utilizes iAdapt 2.0 navigation technology.

Both do not have multi-tier storage.

Also read: Get shocked by reading Roomba I3+ vs I7+ review!

3. Activity Tracking

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After Roomba has finished cleaning, you will be able to view its cleaning history. You cannot track both in real-time, and you can’t see the robot vacuuming.

4. Controls

Roomba i3 can be controlled manually, just like a car radio.

You can send Roomba where you want them to go by using the iRobot Home app.

Using Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa Support, you can also use voice prompts to control the robot vacuums.

Roomba i3 and i4: Face-to-Face Comparative Review

How does the I3 compare with the i4? What are the differences between these Roombas? This section will explore these differences.

We will help you make the best purchase decision by comparing the two robot vacuums.

1. Design & Aesthetics

To be able to fit under most household furniture, a good robot vacuum must have a low-profile design. You should also know the appearance of each robot vacuum.

What Does the i3 Look Like?

Both the Roomba i3 and i3+ have a low-profile, round-shaped design. Although the i3 may not have the most elegant design, its dimensions of 13.34 x 13.26 x 3.63 are still manageable under most household furniture. The robot vacuums come in black with a gray-woven-like ring at the top.

What Does the i4 Look Like?

Roomba’s i4 and i4 + have a round shape and are low-profile. It measures 13.34 inches x 13.34 inches x 3.63 inches. Therefore, it can be placed under most low-profile furniture. The Roomba i4 has the same aesthetics as the i3, but the woven ring this time is black.

2. Dirt Detect Technology

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Roombas’ Dirt Detect Technology is a unique feature that allows the robot vacuum spot detection at high dirt concentrations.

Does Roomba i3 Detect Dirt?

Roomba i3 uses iRobot’s patented Dirt Detect Technology. Sensors can detect Dirt that is concentrated in one spot.

Does i4 Detect Dirt?

The i4 can also detect Dirt, just like the Roomba i3. This model is equipped with iRobot’s patented Dirt Detect Technology. It works the same way as the Roomba i3.

Once the area has been detected, the Roomba moves there and activates Dirt Detect. The Roomba switches to spot mode and conveniently vacuums up all Dirt until it is gone.

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3. Bin System & Filtration 

Onboard bins are available for robot vacuums. An external bin is also available for advanced models, making it easier to empty the bin manually daily.

Also read: How good is Roomba E5 vs I3?

Roomba i3

The i3 is equipped with high-efficiency and dependable filters that capture around 99% of allergens. A 0.5L dust container onboard with an indicator shows how full it is.

The Roomba i3 robot vacuum is self-emptying, as we mentioned previously.

The i3 base model doesn’t include the iRobot Clean Basin Automatic Dirt Disposal Unit, however, the i3+ does.

Roomba i4

In terms of filtration, the Roomba i4 works the same way as the Roomba i3 but has a different bin system.

iRobot also included high-efficiency filters to capture 99% allergens and other substances that can cause a foul odor or just make your home stuffy.

Two additional filters are also included. A 0.5L bin is also included onboard. It has a full-bin indicator that will alert you when it’s empty.

The Roomba i4 series can be used with the iRobot Clean Bas Automatic Dirt Disposal Unit, however, the Plus model is not included.

4. Battery & Runtime

Robot vacuums are equipped with rechargeable batteries, as you may already know. This segment will compare the Roomba i3 battery to the i4.

i3 Battery & Runtime

Roomba’s i3 has a 1,800mAh lithium battery. It can last up to 75 minutes when it is brand new. As you keep charging the Battery, its cells become weaker, and runtime drops.

The Roomba i3 and i3 + are entry-level robot vacuums. They will automatically recharge and resume cleaning, even without prompting.

i4 Battery & Runtime

The Battery and runtime are two main differences between the I3 and i4 models. The Roomba I4 and i4+ have a 20% larger battery, which can provide up to 100 minutes of running time.

The Battery is listed on most review sites as a 1800mAh lithium-ion battery. However, it is a 2210mAh lithium-ion battery. The i4 can dock to charge itself and resume cleaning automatically.

5. Mopping Function

roomba i3 1

The latest robot vacuums can do 2-in-1 cleaning. They can mop and vacuum simultaneously. How does the I3 compare to its sibling, the i4

Is the Roomba I3 Equipped With a Mopping Function?

No. This Roomba i3 vacuums just like the rest. The good news is that the Roomba i3 works with the Braava HTML6 robot mop. This is Imprint(r) and Link Technology’s mechanism that allows the i3 or Braava to vacuum or mop in perfect order.

Is the Roomba I4 Equipped With a Mopping Function?

Although the Roomba i4 does not have a mopping function, it has Imprint(r) and Link Technology. It can also sync with the Braava, which allows you to mop and vacuum floors simultaneously.

6. Navigation and Mapping

Evaluating the cleaning performance and autonomy of the robot vacuum you are considering buying is important. Thanks to the navigation and mapping system, your robot will be able to vacuum efficiently, avoid obstacles and avoid any obstacles.

How does the Roomba i4 contrast to the Roomba i3 in terms of performance? Let’s see.

(a) Navigation

Although the Roomba i3 or i4 might not have the best navigation system in the industry, they do the job.

Roomba i3 GPS Navigation System

The i3 is an entry-level Roomba and doesn’t come with a sophisticated navigation system. The i3 still uses iAdapt 1.0. This is a SLAM-based navigation program that relies on sensors to detect obstacles.

Anti-cliff sensors prevent the robots from falling off the stairs. It uses the docking station as a reference point to determine its location.

The i3 might not be ideal for homes with high traffic, but Reactive Sensor Technology means it can still avoid the accidents that older Roombas caused with iAdapt 1.0.

Roomba i4 GPS Navigation System

Roomba i4 robot vacuum is also an entry-level model. Don’t expect it to be any more than the Roomba i3. It uses iAdapt 1.0 SLAM navigation to avoid falling from the stairs and detect obstacles. Reactive Sensor Technology is also available on the Roomba i4 to prevent accidents.

(b) Mapping & Boundary Marking

Mapping refers to how the robot vacuum learns about the layout of your house and the patterns it uses. Boundary marking, on the other hand, allows for containment.

Roomba i3 Can Map Your Home

Roomba i3 robot vacuum can very well scan and map your house to plan effective cleaning routes.

To ensure complete cleaning, the robot can make temporary maps of your home by drawing them and then moving them in neat rows.

The Roomba i3 does not have Roomba Digital Boundary Marking, also known as Keep Out Zones. It operates with Roomba Virtual Walls instead. One node is included.

i4 Can Map Your Home

Roomba i4 has similar capabilities to the i3 regarding mapping and boundary marking. Sensors are used to make temporary maps of your house and then move in clean patterns.

This ensures that the robot can clean every level. The i4 does not have to Keep Out Zones digital boundary marking technology.

Virtual Walls can be used to draw boundaries, but only one node is required.

7. Vacuuming Performance

The i3 & i4 robot vacuums are unlike Roborock or Deebot, which offer both mopping and vacuuming functions. They use a three-stage cleaning process that involves Dirt being agitated, lifted, and finally sucked into the bin.


roomba i3 5

The dual multisurface main bristle is located under the Roomba I3. One brush is used to agitate Dirt, while the other can be used for lifting Dirt. A single side-sweeping brush at 27 degrees is used to sweep deep corners and wall edges.

The robot’s suction power is a 2nd generation motor, which can deliver a maximum of 900pa. This is a commendable figure, but it doesn’t do enough to clean deep carpets.

Also read: Very Shocking expert testing of Roomba I7 vs J7


The I4 uses a 3-stage cleaning process. The main multi surface brush is dual-surface and can be used for both agitation or Dirt pick up. A sweeping side brush complements it.

The Roomba i4’s 2nd Gen motor produces 900pa of suction power. It does a fantastic job on bare floors but struggles with medium and high-pile carpets.

8. Smart Features & Convenience

roomba i3 6

A smart robot vacuum is desirable in this age of smart homes. This Roomba i4 and i3 comparison review will show how they compare in terms of convenience and smart features.

  • Roomba i3 is a dependable Smart Robot Vacuum.
  • Yes. The Rooba i3 and i3 + smart robot vacuums are powered by 2.4GHz WiFi. The iRobot Home App allows you to control the robots from your smartphone. The Roomba i3 includes the state-of-the-art iRobot Genius Home intelligence, which allows you to create a customized cleaning experience. The new platform allows you to create a customized home cleaning command center that will allow you to set up custom-tailored cleaning schedules and clean preferences and integrate smart home features. What’s more? You can also sync the Roomba with Alexa or Google Assistant using voice assistants.
  • Roomba i4 is a Smart Robot Vacuum.
  • Roomba i4 and i4 + smart robot vacuums are compatible with 2.4GHz WiFi. They can be used to operate voice assistants and smartphone apps. You get the same app features as the Roomba i3, including revolutionary iRobot Genius Home Intelligence. The Roomba i4 can be operated using Google Assistant and Alexa.

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Cleaning Performance Comparison

1. Robot’s Mobility

roomba i3 1

Both can be used for thicker carpets due to their 20 mm (0.78 inch) climbing ability.

The sensors in the iRobot Roomba i3 or i4 detect dirt. This system recognizes high-traffic areas and allows the cleaner to clean these areas several times until it is clean.

The robots have a variety of sensors to prevent them from bumping into objects or falling and keep them at a distance between walls and furniture of 10mm.

2. Noise & Suction Power

They have a suction force of 1800 Pa (noise level measures 68 dBA).

3. Floor Cleaning Feature

Either robot vacuum cleaners are limited to sweeping and sucking. Combine the Braava Jet M6 with mopping

4. Filters

The HEPA filter is located under the lids of the dustbins. It makes the robot safe and healthy for those with asthma or allergies. Both Roomba filters are not washable. You should replace the filter at least every three months.

5. Dirt Treatment

Each has a 400 ml waste container capacity.

The iRobot Roomba i3 or i4 can’t automatically clean the dustbin. However, it will notify you when it is time to empty the trash.

Roomba i3 & i4 are designed to be compatible with iRobot’s Auto Clean Base(r). However, it does not come with Clean Base(r) or Automatic Dirt Handler, so you must purchase it separately.

6. Capacity to Sweep and Suck

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Roomba i4 can recognize carpets with its sensor. The vacuum’s suction power automatically cleans deeper when placed on a carpet.

Side brush: Both sides have a rubber side brush.

The unique dual multi-surface rubber brushes are non-tangled and won’t catch pet hair. The brushes adjust to flex and stay in constant contact with hard floors and carpets.

Cleaning Brush: Both have detachable tips. This makes it easier to clean hair around the edges. The new brush also has 250% more bristles, which provide a better pick-up.

Most Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the deal with the i3 vacuum’s virtual wall feature?

You can prevent your robot from going to places you don't want. This is especially helpful if your robot needs to clean only a specific area of your house. Perhaps there are pet bowls that your Roomba should avoid.

Which one is better, the i3 or i4?

They work identically and come with the same accessories.

Which of the Roomba models should we choose between the i3 or i4?

We would choose the less expensive one. Although accessories included are nice to have, they don't necessarily make the purchase worthless if they aren't there. It all comes down to price. The i4 is cheaper than the i3 or similar prices. You get a Virtual Wall accessory and an extra filter.

Do you think it is important to have a clean base?

The extra cost of cleaning the base is not worth it. It's easy to empty the dustbin manually after every clean.

Wrapping Up


Here it is, folks – the iRobot Roomba I3 vs. I4 comparison review. These robot vacuums look very similar. However, there are some differences.

The Roomba i4 offers the best deal, as it has a bigger battery, two additional filters, and a virtual barrier.

The Roomba i4 was initially a Costco model. However, it is now available in other online shops, including Amazon.

Also read: Can Roomba E5 truly become your best cleaning friend?

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